Daily Wisdom

September 28, 2007

Hope Rides Alone

By Seargent Eddie Jeffers
February 1, 2007

I stare out into the darkness from my post, and I watch the city burn to the ground. I smell the familiar smells, I walk through the familiar rubble, and I look at the frightened faces that watch me pass down the streets of their neighborhoods. My nerves hardly rest; my hands are steady on a device that has been given to me from my government for the purpose of taking the lives of others.

I sweat, and I am tired. My back aches from the loads I carry. Young American boys look to me to direct them in a manner that will someday allow them to see their families again...and yet, I too, am just a boy....my age not but a few years more than that of the ones I lead. I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid...because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there.

There are the demons that follow me, and tempt me into thoughts and actions that are not my own...but that are necessary for survival. I've made compromises with my humanity. And I am not alone in this. Miles from me are my brethren in this world, who walk in the same streets...who feel the same things, whether they admit to it or not.

And to think, I volunteered for this...

And I am ignorant to the rest of the world...or so I thought.

But even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn't fit your average man. And then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America, and see the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who compare our President to Hitler.

I will watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls, because that's what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman is nineteen years old. The average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private First Class.

People like Cindy Sheehan are ignorant. Not just to this war, but to the results of their idiotic ramblings, or at least I hope they are. They don't realize its effects on this war. In this war, there are no Geneva Conventions, no cease fires. Medics and Chaplains are not spared from the enemy's brutality because it's against the rules. I can only imagine the horrors a military Chaplain would experience at the hands of the enemy. The enemy slinks in the shadows and fights a coward's war against us. It is effective though, as many men and women have died since the start of this war. And the memory of their service to America is tainted by the inconsiderate remarks on our nation's news outlets. And every day, the enemy changes...only now, the enemy is becoming something new. The enemy is transitioning from the Muslim extremists to Americans. The enemy is becoming the very people whom we defend with our lives. And they do not realize it. But in denouncing our actions, denouncing our leaders, denouncing the war we live and fight, they are isolating the military from society...and they are becoming our enemy.

Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word "quagmire" around and compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war. Like it or not, we are here, some of us for our second, or third times; some even for their fourth and so on. Americans are so concerned now with politics, that it is interfering with our war.

Terrorists cut the heads off of American citizens on the internet...and there is no outrage, but an American soldier kills an Iraqi in the midst of battle, and there are investigations, and sometimes soldiers are even jailed...for doing their job.

It is absolutely sickening to me to think our country has come to this. Why are we so obsessed with the bad news? Why will people stop at nothing to be against this war, no matter how much evidence of the good we've done is thrown in their face? When is the last time CNN or MSNBC or CBS reported the opening of schools and hospitals in Iraq? Or the leaders of terror cells being detained or killed? It's all happening, but people will not let up their hatred of President Bush. They will ignore the good news, because it just might show people that Bush was right.

America has lost its will to fight. It has lost its will to defend what is right and just in the world. The crazy thing of it all is that the American people have not even been asked to sacrifice a single thing. It's not like World War II, where people rationed food and turned in cars to be made into metal for tanks. The American people have not been asked to sacrifice anything. Unless you are in the military or the family member of a servicemember, its life as usual...the war doesn't affect you.

But it affects us. And when it is over and the troops come home and they try to piece together what's left of them after their service...where will the detractors be then? Where will the Cindy Sheehans be to comfort and talk to soldiers and help them sort out the last couple years of their lives, most of which have been spent dodging death and wading through the deaths of their friends? They will be where they always are, somewhere far away, where the horrors of the world can't touch them. Somewhere where they can complain about things they will never experience in their lifetime; things that the young men and women of America have willingly taken upon their shoulders.

We are the hope of the Iraqi people. They want what everyone else wants in life: safety, security, somewhere to call home. They want a country that is safe to raise their children in. Not a place where their children will be abducted, raped and murdered if they do not comply with the terrorists demands. They want to live on, rebuild and prosper. And America has given them the opportunity, but only if we stay true to the cause and see it to its end. But the country must unite in this endeavor...we cannot place the burden on our military alone. We must all stand up and fight, whether in uniform or not. And supporting us is more than sticking yellow ribbon stickers on your cars. It's supporting our President, our troops and our cause.

Right now, the burden is all on the American soldiers. Right now, hope rides alone. But it can change, it must change. Because there is only failure and darkness ahead for us as a country, as a people, if it doesn't.

Let's stop all the political nonsense, let's stop all the bickering, let's stop all the bad news and let's stand and fight!

Isn't that what America is about anyway?

--Sergeant Eddie Jeffers (a US Army Infantryman serving in Ramadi, Iraq) was killed in a vehicle rollover accident on September 19, 2007 in Iraq.

Hat-tip to Mig for this one. For more info, click HERE.

September 24, 2007

Ahmadinejad: A Man In Denial

Click to enlarge

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, seems to be in denial more often than Egyptian river bathers...

He denies that Iranian weapons are being used against U.S. forces in Iraq, even though U.S. forces have found weapons in Iraq that were clearly labeled with Iranian markings, and captured video shows Iraqi insurgents firing Iranian weapons.

He denies that the Holocaust ever occurred, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (including thousands of eye-witnesses).

He denies any need for a nuclear bomb, because he says "we want peace and stability".

He denies building a nuclear weapon, although Iran is an oil-rich country without any need for nuclear energy.

He denies claims that Iran is arming Iraqi militias, although an Iranian Quds Force officer was captured in Iraq this week.

He denies the existences of a secret arms agreement with Syria, although the Arabic newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported that Iran would provide $1 billion to Syria for advanced weapons procurement and would assist the country with nuclear research and the development of chemical weapons, with the understanding that Damascus would not negotiate peace with Israel.

He denies being one of the U.S. Embassy hostage-takers in 1979, although a photograph of one hostage-taker strongly resembles him, and 5 former hostages believe that he was indeed one of the hostage-takers.

He denies Israel's right to exist, although Israel was lawfully proclaimed a state by the authority of the United Nations on May 14, 1948.

He denies threatening Israel with attack, although he plainly said "Israel must be wiped off the map".

He denies helping Hezbollah, although somebody helped Hezbollah fire a sophisticated Iranian radar-guided missile at an Israeli warship during the Lebanese war in 2006.

He denies arming the Taliban, although NATO troops in Afghanistan have begun intercepting sophisticated Iranian arms bound for the Taliban.

He denies supporting Yemeni rebels, although the Shi-ite rebels there oppose Yemen's close alliance with the United States.

And now he denies that war with the U.S. is possible, or that there any homosexuals in Iran...

Would you buy a used car from this guy?

September 21, 2007

The Ad Guys


Here's a new drug from DNC Pharmaceuticals...

September 17, 2007

Petraeus & Congress

Hat-tip to Heirborn Ranger for this one...

September 15, 2007

Ann Coulter's "Brains"

The book is not due out until October 2, 2007 so obviously I haven't read it yet. But I sure love the title...

September 13, 2007

A Rebuttal To The MoveOn.Org Ad

General David Petraeus is too dignified and honorable a man to defend himself against the likes of MoveOn.Org's reprehensible ad in Monday's New York Slimes. Therefore, he has left it to me to offer a rebuttal on his behalf. I only hope that I can do him justice. Good hunting and Godspeed, Good Sir!

Here is the infamous MoveOn.Org full-page ad...

Since the words in this picture are too small to read, let me quote them here (Aghhh! Don't puke on your computer)...

General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts. In 2004, just before the election, he said there was "tangible progress" in Iraq and that "Iraqi leaders are stepping forward." And last week Petraeus, the architect of the escalation of troops in Iraq, said, "We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress."

Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed. Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That's because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don't count. The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you're shot in the back of the head - not the front. According to the Associated Press, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we've been there. We'll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won't hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.

Most importantly, General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war. We may hear of a plan to withdraw a few thousand American troops. But we won't hear what Americans are desperate to hear: a timetable for withdrawing all our troops. General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.

Today, before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.

My rebuttal follows. Just for a laugh, compare the wording...

God Bless those who serve our country. God Bless those who risk their lives to provide the idiots at MoveOn.Org the freedom to be idiots. May God especially Bless the families and friends of those whose loved ones have made the ultimate sacrifice for those of us who are so undeserving.

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. --John 15:13

September 11, 2007

The Implications Of 9/11

For many Americans, the events of September 11, 2001 were a genuine wake-up call. This was a different kind of terrorist attack in both magnitude and effect. While it is true that Americans had been attacked by terrorists in the past, we had never seen anything like this level of devastation on American soil.

In 1979, 52 Americans were taken hostage for 444 days from the U.S. embassy in Tehran. But that was in a far away land. It was indeed a humiliating experience for a great country like America, but it was not an event of mass destruction.

On October 23, 1983 the Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon was bombed killing 241 American servicemen. A disaster for sure. But then, they were military personnel -- a dangerous occupation under any circumstances, especially in a war zone.

The same could be said for the attack on the USS Cole in October, 2000. Far fewer casualties. Again military personnel. Operating in unfriendly waters. And the ship didn't even sink.

Leon Klinghoffer, bound to a wheelchair, was thrown from the cruise ship Achilles Lauro on October 7, 1985. But he was only a single individual, and he was Jewish... and they were Palestinian. It was seen by many as a problem caused by Jews, not Americans. So it had little impact on Americans as a whole.

Even the attack on the Twin Towers in 1993, although significant and on American soil, was considered a failure. The bomb blast killed six and injured 1042, but the structure remained standing. I think it gave Americans a false sense of invincibility.

The twin embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania of 1998 were again in faraway places. Most of the victims were Kenyan and Tanzanian. The U.S. made little effort to retaliate. It was an irritation more than a call to arms.

The events of 9/11 were different. They were intended to bring down the towers, kill thousands of innocent civilians, destroy the financial hub of America, and bring the economy to a grinding halt. In some respects, the terrorists succeeded. The towers did come down, nearly 3,000 people were killed, and the economy suffered. Airline travel was halted for many days. Millions of dollars were spent on clean-up, repairs, and security improvements. The nation was in mourning and in fear of another attack.

But in another way, the terrorists made a major blunder on 9/11. The attacks united Americans in a way we have not seen in recent memory. Americans for the first time realized that is truly a war against radical Islam. And for the first time we joined the fight...

We froze the assets of dozens of organizations tied to Islamic terror organizations. We reorganized our intelligence communities. We started new intelligence gathering operations to ferret out potential enemies. We began capturing or killing major terrorist leaders. We forced Osama bin Laden and his top people into hiding. We have thwarted dozens of terrorist plots both at home and abroad.

Although it is sad to say that the patriotism and unity felt among Americans following 9/11 has dissipated to a large extent, many Americans remain committed to fighting the War on Terror. America remains vigilant and is actively fighting an offensive battle against terrorism. The result has been no second attack on American soil since 9/11.

But Americans cannot become complacent. More than 8 years elapsed between the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and the events of September 11, 2001. We should not overly pride ourselves on our current success at stopping terror attacks here at home. It has only been 6 years since 9/11 and the terrorists have not given up the battle.

We learned on 9/11 that there is a faction of religious extremists and fanatics who hate everything American. They hate democracy. They hate freedom. They hate choice. They hate Christianity, Judaism, and all religions other than Islam. They want to convert America into an Islamic caliphate. They think nothing of mass murder and mass destruction. In fact, they seem to relish in it. They bear the sword against us. Only naivete would lead one to think they can be reasoned with.

The danger we face as a nation, is that we will forget. Many Americans have short memories. They want to forget about terrorists. They want their fast food, iPods, 'Dancing With the Stars', and 'American Idol'. God have mercy on us. Let us never forget...

In Memorium: Neil G. Shastri

This was first posted at the View one year ago...

The morning of September 11, 2001 dawned a bright and sunny day in the New York area. The sky was a clear, beautiful deep blue and absolutely cloudless. The temperatures were mild and seasonable. Humidity was low. It looked like it was going to be a great day, until... "out of the blue" at 8:46:26 AM, American Airlines Flight 11 impacted the north side of 1 World Trade Center between the 94th and 98th floors at a speed of 490 miles per hour.

Neil G. Shastri was a Technology Consultant employed by Scient/IXL, consulting to Cantor Fitzgerald on the 103rd floor of 1 World Trade Center. He was last heard from at approximately 9:00 am, when he placed a phone call to his wife soon after the plane hit, complaining of smoke and difficulty breathing.

Neil was South Asian by ancestry. He was born on August 17, 1976 in Pittsburgh, PA, and raised in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ. He was a graduate of Rutgers University. At the time of the disaster, he was residing in New York City. His obituary reads in part as follows...

SHASTRI, Neil Gautam, 25, ...Devoted husband to Kruti Shastri (Naik), beloved son of Gautam and Kiran Shastri. Loving brother of Umang, Jay, Shefali, and Amish. Cherished son-in-law of Jitendra and Nila Naik.

According to his family and friends, he had a "generous spirit", a "passion for learning", and a "tremendous capacity to love". Although he was young, he had already made philanthropic endeavors "predomitantly directed towards children's and homeless charities".

To honor the memory of Neil's generosity and passion for learning, a foundation has been created in his name. The Neil G. Shastri Foundation was established by family and friends to continue Neil's legacy by engaging in various philanthropic endeavors that reflect his spirit and passion. "To this end, the Foundation sponsors an annual academic scholarship, supports various children's causes and the needs of the homeless."

What We Do
The Neil G. Shastri Foundation main activites focus on three things, fundraising for other charitable organizations, devoting time to volunteer at charities and other institutions of aid, and providing financial aid for high school graduates attending college. The direction of our efforts is guided by the ideals and compassion that Neil lived his life by.

On this fifth anniversary of his death and the tragedy of 9/11, we extend our condolences to those who knew Neil and loved him. We also lift up a prayer for peace... peace in the hearts of those he left behind, and peace for the world in general.

The real tragedy of 9/11 is that Neil and many like him, were cruelly cut down in the prime of life. People who, like Neil, had so much to give but were never allowed to. Never allowed to follow their dreams. Never allowed to pursue their true destiny.

LORD have mercy. And let us never forget...

September 07, 2007

All The Liberal People

Hat-tip to SGT USMC 1ea. This was just too good not to share!