28 November 2006

Academics trying to talk about the military again

Wired News: Army Game Proves U.S. Can't Lose
'You don't see the day-to-day boredom, you don't see broken legs and equipment failure,' she says. 'You don't see that the military is mostly grunts and only the grunts on the ground die.'

1. The Army is not mostly infantry. That's part of the probelm: we don't have enough of it.
2. "Only the grunts on the ground die"? Hardly - that's another big issue right now, that there are a lot of non-combat MOS's in harm's way in Iraq. Guys who expected to be driving trucks behind friendly lines are out in "injun country" most of the time.

11 November 2006

Words of advice from someone who should've heeded them

George F. Will - Inoculated for Exuberance? - washingtonpost.com
'Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you do with it,' he told the New York Times. 'It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens to it once we leave?'

Who is he? Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense, 1991.

09 November 2006

Marines in 4th Grade

I have no idea how legit this is, but it's still funny, especially the sniper with the wagon. This was received from a friend through email, as most humorous things are these days...


A buddy of mine used to do tech support for a school district in the Chicago area. Back in 2004 he was pulling a late night shift cleaning up after one of those nasty viruses that showed up in emails as playboy.scr and inevitably got passed around the office by dimwitted staffers. He was having a lot of trouble on a computer in an elementary school classroom so he created a hotmail account, installed MSN and started talking to me to kill time. When he finally finished up for the night and bid me adieu he forgot to uninstall MSN. Over the next few months I periodically noticed the MSN account he had created would come online during the day and then log off in the middle of the afternoon. I mentioned it to him and he said he must have just left it on there and he assured me he would get around to uninstalling MSN.
After a quiet summer in 2005, the account started coming back online just in time for the school year. I ignored it for a few months, but around September of 2005 it started messaging me. Once or twice a week I would receive the occasional "eat a butt" or "shitshitshitshit". One of my favorite head-scratchers was, "LANKIN BULLET 2 i said allready". I mentioned these messages to my friend even as they became increasingly cryptic, but he had moved on to greener employment pastures and any hope of uninstalling MSN on that elementary school computer had evaporated.
When it started again this August I resolved to put a stop to it the only way I knew how: become a nuisance to the school teacher until he or she got the new tech support guy to uninstall MSN. That meant somehow making the teacher think leaving MSN installed on the computer was a bad idea. I didn't really want to get arrested for exposing the kids to porno links or, god forbid, just ask them to uninstall it. I decided on the much more patriotic course of changing my MSN name to Sergeant Haymaker and posing as a particularly unethical recruiter for the United States Marine Corps.
In retrospect, that's probably illegal too, so I would like to apologize to the Marines. I specifically do not apologize to Marine Corps recruiters, who were absolutely annoying fuckers back when I was in high school and there wasn't even a war going on. I can only imagine what they're like these days. For everyone else, I hope you enjoy the prank.
+ + +
Tekwarz: hello
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Oorah! How are you doing today?
Tekwarz: hi
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Have you considered the opportunities we can offer you in the United States Marine Corps?
Tekwarz: my name is caleb
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Caleb, let me ask you, have you ever wanted to see a 500 pound JDAM drop down a cave entrance and frag a pack of terrorist scum plotting to destroy America?
Tekwarz: i dono
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Caleb, could I talk to your teacher?
Tekwarz: miss barons
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Oorah. You got it, kid. Let me talk to her.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Are you still there?
Tekwarz: One of my students said he was speaking with you.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Hey yeah, my name is Staff Sergeant John J. Haymaker, United States Marine Corps oorah! wanted to ask a quick question or two.
Miss Barons: Alright.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: When do you think I could come down and have these kids take some ASVABs?
Miss Barons: I'm sorry, what are those?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. It's a test that'll help them pick their MOS and serve the forces of democracy.
Miss Barons: Sir, this is a fourth grade class.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: I think you're way underestimating your students' abilities and that's tragic.
Miss Barons: Sir, I appreciate your interest, but these kids are learning fourth grade level earth science.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: I wasn't talking about getting them to join tomorrow, ma'am.
Miss Barons: Oh, excuse me, I misunderstood.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: No problem, oorah. We test them now, offer them some career options, and let them finish out the school year. Then we give them their signing bonus, or in the case of these kids give it to their parents, and then ship them off to Parris Island for boot. Then it's on to the school specific to their MOS to learn how to take part in the War on Terror.
Miss Barons: You're talking about fourth graders. That's unreasonable!
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Between fourth and fifth, and no offense ma'am, but I think you're the one being unreasonable.
Miss Barons: How is that?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Ma'am, I'm just trying to give these kids the opportunities they deserve in life. A chance to serve their nation and become a real Marine. Oorah!
Miss Barons: How could a fourth grader possibly become a real Marine?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: There are so many ways, ma'am. This is part of the Early Advantages Program we just started last year. It has been a resounding success. I've got almost 95 signups that will be shipping out to their units in two to four weeks depending on their MOS.
Miss Barons: What job could they possibly do?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Oh, anything under the sun, ma'am. You'd be surprised. Some things the little rascals are better at than regular Marines. They have trouble humping an 80 pound ruck uphill but in hand-to-hand they will put an e-tool right through a coccyx, oorah!
Miss Barons: They're fighting?!
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: One of those little guys scored an expert on rifle and went straight to sniper school. Little dude has a wagon he carries the gun around in, but he can head shot a terrorist from 900 yards over open sights.
Miss Barons: That is ridiculous.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: I know it sounds like it, but America has a proud tradition of youth induction into the Armed Services. Did you know that during the Civil War both sides employed drummers and buglers as young as seven? We're not going that young. Right around ten.
Miss Barons: Ten?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: That's the sweet spot. Very fast learners and at the same time they don't have to forget any garbage they might have picked up in civilian life. Drug abuse is almost a non-issue with them, just have to watch them around sweets or they'll be off the walls.
Miss Barons: I really don't know what to say. This is frankly disturbing to me.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: I am really sorry to hear that, ma'am. All I ask is the opportunity to come talk to you and the class about the opportunities available in the Marines.
Miss Barons: I think some of the parents would have a real problem with that.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Heck, invite them too! I have a pamphlet I can talk about how the EAP can provide tax incentives and credits to parents. Did you know that if you have two children ages 10 and 11 and you send both of them to the Marines you get almost 1500 apiece back on your next filing? Plus 50% combat bonus if their kid's unit is deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Miss Barons: You're paying the parents?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: We tried toys for the kids at first but the parents complained a lot in our test program. Once we switched over to giving the money directly to the parents they were happy to cooperate.
Miss Barons: Staff Sergeant, this all sounds inappropriate. I am going to say firmly no to you and ask you to please leave my students alone.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Fair enough, but you're passing up on a sizable referral bonus.
Miss Barons: What?
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Yeah, if we get a kid to sign up the person who refers them, in this case you, gets a bonus equal to 25% of the signing bonus. So say, if I get a kid to sign up and send him to field artillery school then you get 350 dollars. Another one hundred if he speaks Arabic.
Miss Barons: This is disgusting and it's like selling these kids into slavery!
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Ma'am, I'm offended. Would slavery pay for them to go to college? Will it cover their braces when they turn 12? Would it provide three squares a day, free juice boxes and a fruit snack in the afternoon? The United States has a volunteer military and I would not even want a kid who is not 110% behind making the world a better place.
Miss Barons: I don't want you to ever contact my kids again.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Caleb messaged me and he seemed very interested in joining the Marines. I think you just need to let them find their own way in the world. I bet Caleb would like to drive a big green tank all over and make it shoot its big gun at the bad guys. Why don't you ask him?
Miss Barons: He's a child, I'm not asking him that.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Do you think that's what a terrorist teacher says when she straps a bomb to Al Calebbi? Do you think she underestimates her students so much that she thinks they can't walk into a checkpoint and blow themselves up trying to destroy freedom?
Miss Barons: I don't think what you're saying really happens.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: It does too happen. I read a report about it. They're killing us with their children so it's time we kill them with ours.
Miss Barons: You're joking.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: I'm more serious than a Hitler shirt. I am wake-up-next-to-a-dead-hooker serious. Oorah! If you don't believe in America and Freedom, and you don't believe in your kids, then I will park our big Hummer outside your classroom and put up a sign for free mini-Snickers. Then they'll come to me.
Miss Barons: I'll call the police.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Go ahead. Marines beat police. It's like asking paper to throw scissors out of the parking lot.
Miss Barons: They'll throw you off school property. This is morally repugnant.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Oorah. Well, you just take your high-and-mighty morals and your three-dollar words and you see how well they do against our interactive videogame kiosk. You've got, what, high ideals? We've got puffy American flag stickers and free bracelets. Do you really think your text book of science can hope to compete with our brochure about the Harrier? It's four-color glossy on 110 card stock. CARD STOCK! Oorah!
Miss Barons: Don't ever contact any kids in my classroom again.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: As long as they message me with questions I am empowered by the President of the United States of America and God to answer them.
Miss Barons: We'll see about that.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Yeah, right, what are you going to do? Uninstall MSN? Right, like a teacher could do that.
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: You're not trained for MOS 432224 Instant Messaging Technician, but I bet I could turn one of your kids into a dadgum expert. I will teach those little dudes to tear the throat out of a shark with their teeth. Oorah!
Miss Barons did not receive your message because they are no longer logged in to MSN
Staff Sergeant Haymaker: Oorah!

04 November 2006

Information Warfare: The John and Seymor Show

Information Warfare: The John and Seymor Show
Senator Kerry's comments concerned an alleged lack of intelligence among the troops and the notion that many of the recruits are poor. First of all, the comment was grossly inaccurate.

No, your interpretation of it is grossly inaccurate. He was clearly taking a swipe at the President, and in an election season in which no Republican can claim any real policy successes, the right-wing echo chamber has reduced themselves to endlessly parsing the statements of a man not even running for office. Absent any legitimate progress on Iraq, they're left to slap around a man not on any ballot - mostly out of a reflexive habit left over from 2004.

Every year since 1983, over 90 percent of all recruits have at least a high school diploma. Many officers and enlisted personnel tend to get college degrees (both graduate and undergraduate), often paid for by the armed services.

And yet the Army has very publicly lowered the educational standards for entry...

The claim that most of the recruits are poor also did not stand up to facts. Most of the recruits come from middle-class families. These recruits also score high on the AVSAB tests (two-thirds of recruits score over 60 percent on the test).

The ASVAB is not a "percentage" test where a high or low grade is relevant. It is a test to determine what job skills you're best suited to, in the interest of matching you up with a good job in the military. You'd think a military website would recognize that.

Galloway says what the administration doesn't want to hear

Our 'friend' in Baghdad

Our 'friend' in Baghdad
By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
McClatchy Newspapers

Just when it seemed that the situation in Iraq couldn't get any murkier, more muddled or more dangerous, it did.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, our "friend" or our client, if you will, has openly declared his independence from us and his dependence on his most important domestic supporter, the anti-American Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.
Maliki, it's becoming clear, is as big a part of the problem in Iraq as al-Sadr and his gang of thugs and murderers. But President Bush is, well, staying the course with Maliki with all the obstinacy that he's displayed throughout his sojourn in Iraq.
The Iraqi prime minister threw the idea of benchmarks for progress toward disarming the Iraqi militias and standing up competent and capable Iraqi army and police units back in the administration's face last week.
Then, this week, he ordered American troops to pull down their security checkpoints around al-Sadr's power base in Baghdad's Sadr City, home to 2 million Shia.
American troops had sealed off all the routes in and out of the neighborhood in an attempt to find an Iraqi-born American soldier who's believed to have been kidnapped by the Mahdi Army militiamen.
Maliki obviously is never going to have any part of disarming the Mahdi militia, the Badr Corps or any other Shiite militia, as his nation descends into civil war. He doesn't trust the Iraqi army or police any more than anyone else does. If there's going to be a fight to the finish, Maliki wants the deck stacked in favor of the Shiites.
What Washington wants is irrelevant and immaterial to Maliki at this point. Benchmarking and videoconferences with President Bush and rush visits to Baghdad by national security adviser Stephen Hadley won't make any difference.
As we approach a December benchmark - standing up 330,000 ill-trained, ill-equipped and unreliable Iraqi army and police units who aren't up to the job of keeping the lid from blowing off - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced that he's inclined to approve a plan to add 30,000 more Iraqi troops to that force.
That guarantees that American trainers and advisers to the Iraqi forces, as well as the other 147,000 embattled U.S. troops, will remain in Iraq for the foreseeable future unless the newly independent Maliki orders all of them to go home.
As if 30,000 more Iraqi troops, with the same hasty training, questionable leadership and ambiguous loyalties as the first bunch, might somehow make a difference.
In a war full of futile gestures, that one takes the cake, Mr. Secretary.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that an important benchmark - a classified briefing chart prepared each month by the intelligence section of the U.S. Central Command - shows that Iraq is steadily edging closer to chaos.
The chart, an "Index of Civil Conflict," measures the escalation in sectarian violence since last February and highlights the ineffectiveness of the Iraqi security forces and the waning influence of moderate Iraqi religious and political figures.
It highlights a growing number of urban areas where ethnic cleansing is under way and reports that violence is at an all-time high and spreading geographically in Iraq.
The civil strife index chart mirrors the growing concern among the military commanders most closely involved with the war in Iraq, and it's a warning that even worse news could be on the horizon.
Contrast that with President Bush's recent declarations that although Iraq is a tough situation, we're winning, and victory and glory will be ours - or his - in the end.
It's also clear that our uniformed military leaders are worried that, when push comes to shove, the administration's micromanagers will try to blame them for failing to achieve that victory with too few troops and too little freedom to change a failing course.
The most recent polls indicate that the number of Iraqis who want us out of there is approaching 70 percent. It may be ironic that the number of Americans who want us out of there, too, is nearing the same percentage.
They want us to leave. We want us to leave.
There's nothing standing in the way of satisfying both majorities except a president, a vice president and a defense secretary who are willing to fight to the last man - willing to drive our military to utter destruction - before they'll admit that they were wrong, wrong, wrong from deluded beginning to wretched end.

27 October 2006

Rumsfeld undercut by his own subordinates

Transcript from NBC Nightly News 10/26/06
(from Lexis-Nexis database, my emphasis added below)

MIKLASZEWSKI: When Rumsfeld questioned the tone from reporters, reporters questioned back.
Can you blame us for the tone, expressing some skepticism, because...
Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, no. That's your job. You can--you can express all the skepticism you want.
MIKLASZEWSKI: A benchmark has been laid down in terms of security forces and the like, the Iraqis have been unable to meet them.
Sec. RUMSFELD: That is just false. We should...
Offscreen Voice #1: You have no leverage...
Mr. RUMSFELD: Just a minute. Just a minute.
That is false. I mean, that is--there's people ranting like that up on the Hill, but that is just wrong to say that. It's not even--it isn't even close to being true.
MIKLASZEWSKI: In terms of their ability to provide for their own security, there are many times when the US has called upon them where they just haven't stood up.
Sec. RUMSFELD: Anyone who runs around denigrating the Iraqi security forces and minimizing their capability is making a mistake and doesn't understand the situation. Thank you.


So, apparently, Maj Gen JD Thurman, Commander, 4th Infantry Division, and Multi-National Division, Baghdad, "doesn't understand the situation"
From NY Times (scroll down for article link in earlier post)
“Part of our problem is that we want this more than they do,” General Thurman said, alluding to the effort to get the Iraqis to put aside sectarian differences and build a unified Iraq. “We need to get people to stop worrying about self and start worrying about Iraq. And that is going to take national unity.”
“Until we get that settled I think we are going to struggle,” he added.

25 October 2006

military regalia

Kids wearing military clothing don't bother me; we all play dressup sometime.
Adults who have not earned the military regalia they walk around in - even just combat boots - should be ashamed of themselves. Especially when people are dying to earn their stripes right now.

23 October 2006

Why Iraq is falling apart

To Stand or Fall in Baghdad: Capital Is Key to Mission - New York Times
“Part of our problem is that we want this more than they do,” General Thurman said, alluding to the effort to get the Iraqis to put aside sectarian differences and build a unified Iraq. “We need to get people to stop worrying about self and start worrying about Iraq. And that is going to take national unity.”

A very trusted friend in Baghdad pointed me to this article as an accurate reflection of what's going on there on the ground. I think this quote sums it up quite well.

21 October 2006

C4ISRJournal.com - Out of the fog

C4ISRJournal.com - Out of the fog
Out of the fog: Training tools prepare commanders to deal with the unknown

This article makes me sound like a lot more of an expert than I probably deserve, but hey, why not? :)

10 October 2006

Fantastic Military Photos

Follow the link to see the photos.
ASK Brown Military Collection: Photographs of Napoleon's Veterans
Some of the earliest photographs of veterans are a series of fifteen original sepia views of members of Napoleon's army taken when these old soldiers were well into their 70's and 80's. It is not known how Mrs. Brown acquired them. They measure 12' tall by 10' wide and are mounted on stiff card. At some time in the 20th century, the name of each veteran and his regiment was inscribed in pencil on the verso of each.
These remarkable photographs provide probably the only surviving images of veterans of the Grande Armee and the Guard actually wearing their original
uniforms and insignia, although some of the uniforms have obviously been recut by tailors of the 1850's. Each is a formal portrait of an individual gentleman photographed in a studio. Some of the men stand in front of a blank or paneled wall on a elaborately decorated carpet, while others are seated. One old veteran who appears to have lost his right eye, Monsieur Loria of the 24th Mounted Chasseur Regiment and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, stands against a piece of furniture that appears also in other portraits by a curtain. It is not known who the photographer was and the blurring on one or two suggests the difficulty aging subjects had in standing still for several seconds while the plates were exposed.

02 October 2006

bomb 'em all...

Murphy's Law: The USN Notes The Passing of an Era
There are a lot more nations out there in need of a good bombing, than can protect their own air space.

30 September 2006

GALLOWAY - Army being pushed past its limits

The State | 09/30/2006 | Army being pushed past its limits
Army being pushed past its limits
By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
The Bush administration and the Congress have so starved the U.S. Army of funds - in the middle of a war whose burdens fall most heavily on that Army - that push has finally come to shove.
Without major reinforcements, both in money and manpower, the Army won't be able to provide enough units for the next rotations into Iraq and Afghanistan, much less provide the additional troops that many, if not most, officers think are needed to stave off disaster in both countries. The Marines aren't much better off.
Put simply, the Army doesn't have enough soldiers, equipment or money to do the jobs assigned to it, even as the administration and the Pentagon talk about a "long war" against global terrorism and the nation's intelligence community warns that our policies are stoking the global spread of Islamic terrorism.
Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, in mid-August clearly signaled just how bad the situation has become when he refused to put an Army budget on the table.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had told Schoomaker that he had to come up with a spending plan that provided approximately $114 billion for fiscal 2008 - a $2 billion cut from 2007.
Schoomaker's response: "There is no sense in us submitting a budget that we cannot execute... a broken budget."
He said it would cost an additional $17 billion just to work through the huge backlog of broken and worn-out Army tanks and Bradleys and Humvees at Army repair depots. Nearly 1,500 worn-out fighting vehicles are sitting at the Red River Army Depot in Texas, and 500 useless M1 tanks are at the Anniston Depot in Alabama.
Meanwhile, the Army is so bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq that only two or three of its combat brigades, fewer than 10,000 soldiers, are ready and able to deal with any new crisis elsewhere in the world.
None of the other brigades that have returned from combat duty for a year at home are ready for combat: Some of them have only half their allotted number of troops and none of their fighting vehicles.
Army leaders say they'll require substantial numbers of Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers to make the next rotation that Gen. John Abizaid, the regional commander, says will be required in Iraq. Since most Reserve and Guard units have already maxed out at the permitted two years on active duty out of every five, Congress will have to change the law so they can be sent back again.
Schoomaker has told the Pentagon and the White House that the Army needs $138.8 billion in 2008, 41 percent more than the current budget of $98.2 billion. So, either Congress ponies up the money or the administration will have to scale back demands on the force that's carrying virtually all the load in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Of course there's an alternative, and one that I predict the politicians will grab for in desperation: Cutting back on the Army's $200 billion Future Combat System, the only major weapons system on the Army's books.
That would be eating the seed corn - cutting off research and development of future fighting vehicles and the only hope of rebuilding and refitting the Army in the wake of Iraq - but a little thing like that has never bothered our politicians.
This is a problem could have been addressed in the Pentagon's last Quadrennial Defense Review, the one in which Secretary Rumsfeld was going to re-order the world of defense contracting and kill all those costly and unnecessary Air Force and Navy weapons programs that consume the bulk of the defense budget.
He was going to, but he didn't, and now the Army and the Marines are paying the price.
Rumsfeld came into office convinced that brilliant technological leaps were rendering the Army ground-pounders obsolete. He thought the quick victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan confirmed that.
But just as some of us always knew, it turned out that if you want to hold and pacify a hostile land, or two hostile lands, you need soldiers and Marines standing on that ground, rifles in hand, bayonets fixed.
It's galling in the extreme for the leaders of our Army - an outfit that believes in "Can Do" as a way of life - to admit that they can't do it anymore; to admit that they can't do a 12-division mission with 10 divisions.
There are no more easy fixes. The people who are fighting your wars are broke. It's time for the people who proclaim their support for our military and use soldiers as extras in their political events to put up or shut up.
Write to Mr. Galloway at jlgalloway2@cs.com

29 September 2006

TSA clearly out of control

CNN.com - 'Idiot' barb gets passenger detained - Sep 28, 2006
The supervisor told Bird he had the right to express his opinions 'out there' -- pointing outside the screening area -- but did not have the right 'in here,' Bird said.

At this point, we need to seriously re-examine (a) who's in charge of the TSA, (b) what messages they're allowing to trickle down to their employees, and (c) the legal justification for the TSA's existence.

A TSA spokeswoman said she could not confirm whether Bird had filed a complaint, but described the incident as insignificant.

And this is why the TSA is the most reviled agency in American after the IRS. Detaining a customer and claiming he has no rights is "insignificant"? Come again?

'Everyone's entitled to their own opinion,' she said.

Apparently not, if we have no rights "in [t]here"...

26 September 2006

Here I come to save the daaaaayyyy!

Rumsfeld holds talks with Montenegrans - Yahoo! News
Amid news the U.S. Army has extended a second unit's deployment in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was meeting Tuesday with top leaders in Montenegro to discuss the newly independent republic's possible contribution to the war on terror.

Because, as we all know, the Montenegrans are feared throughout the world for their counter-terrorism prowess, and adding them to the coalition is surely the tipping point that will forever change the global war on terror!

Clinton vs Rice

Condi Rice claims that the Bush administration in the first 8 months of their time in office did at least as much as the Clintons over several years to kill Bin Laden.
"What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," Rice said during a meeting with editors and reporters at the New York Post.

Here's all you need to know about that claim:
Number of cruise missile strikes directed at Bin Laden-sponsored training camps during the first 8 months of Bush's administration: 0.

21 September 2006

Failed suicide bomber sentenced to death in Jordan - Yahoo! News

Failed suicide bomber sentenced to death in Jordan - Yahoo! News
AMMAN (Reuters) - A Jordanian military court sentenced to death an Iraqi woman who tried to carry out a suicide bombing and six other people on Thursday for planning attacks which killed 60 people in Amman last year.

And the penalty for trying to kill yourself shall be... death?

20 September 2006

StrategyPage examines the 'protests' over the Pope

The CBS Ambush - On Point Commentary by Austin Bay StrategyPage.com
Benedict -- in a speech that examined historical relations between Muslims and Christians -- quoted the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologus, a ruler whose empire consisted of little more than the city of Constantinople. Muslim Turks had all but dismembered his realm. Manuel II, engaged in a dialog with a Muslim Persian scholar, challenged the Persian to show him 'just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.'

11 September 2006

The Last Day of Innocence - Leonard Pitts

The last day of innocence: The last day of innocence
By LEONARD PITTS JR.
Miami Herald

On Sept. 10, 2001, this nation was over a quarter century past its last real crisis.
This is not to say the intervening years were uneventful: They were not. Those years saw three attempted presidential assassinations, a shuttle explosion, an impeachment and sundry hostage takings, military actions and political scandals. But there had not, since Watergate, been a true "crisis," no event of the kind that shakes a nation, that stops it cold and takes its breath and makes it anxious about its future.
In this, the quarter century that ended five years ago was an aberration. Previous generations of Americans had come of age with reminders of life's true nature breathing close enough to stir the hairs at the nape of the neck. From the Great Depression that put the nation on the skids in the 1930s, to the sneak attack that plunged it into war in the 1940s, from the 1960s when every day seemed to bring fresh outrage – assassinations, riots, a step to the brink of nuclear war – to Watergate and the subsequent fall of a sitting president, and from there to the Cold War that hung over more than 40 years of American history like a pall of smoke, we were a nation too frequently made to know that life does not play fair.
By Sept. 10, 2001, we had largely forgotten this truth. Or, more accurately, we had enjoyed the luxury of not being reminded for a very long time.
It was the last day of the good old days, and we didn't even know. Not that the days were good and old. Not that they were doomed.
But then, you never know the good old days when you are in them. On Sept. 10, 2001, the Cold War was 10 years past, 17-year-olds were becoming Internet millionaires, and we thought a crisis was a president receiving oral sex in the Oval Office.
We had not yet seen people jumping from flaming skyscrapers. We had not yet seen office towers crumble to the ground on live television. We had not yet seen dust-caked people wandering the streets of our greatest city. We had not yet seen an airplane sticking out of the Pentagon. We had not yet seen wreckage in a Pennsylvania field. We had not yet seen men and women in badges and uniforms rushing forward into chaos and smoke and a certainty of death.
We had not yet seen. So we could not yet know.
On Sept. 10, 2001, such sights as those – never mind the attendant feelings of fury and terror – were unthinkable. As in, literally unable to be thought, unless in the context of a Stephen Spielberg movie, a Tom Clancy book, some artist's artifice by which we gave ourselves the pleasure of a good, hard scare, a shiver up the back in the heat of a summer's day. But real? Not in a million years.
On Sept. 10, 2001, we were innocent. And that seems a purely strange thing to say because innocence is the commodity we were repeatedly assured we had lost. We were told this in 1963, when John Kennedy was murdered, in 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned, in 1993, when the World Trade Center was bombed.
But innocence, it turns out, is a renewable commodity. That's heartening. Also troubling, because if you can have it again, it can be stolen again.
No, check that. It will be stolen again. That's the lesson of these last five years, that there is no vacation from history, no finish line you cross where you can raise your arms and lower your guard. Chaos is not the aberration. Respite from chaos is. And being human means molding yourself to that reality, finding a way to live in the spaces chaos leaves.
On Sept. 10, 2001, we had forgotten that we once knew this.
That last day, like every day, the sun came to America first on the rugged coast of Maine and began its slow arc across the country. Down below, we worked, watched television, checked homework, got dinner on. The sun left us in the South Pacific, the sky turning dark above a pendant of American islands.
On Sept. 10, 2001, we went to bed. We slept in innocence.
And then the morning came.

05 September 2006

24 August 2006

Uh... so fuckin' what?

CNN.com - Former Iraq POW Jessica Lynch is pregnant - Aug 24, 2006
Jessica Lynch, the former prisoner of war whose 2003 rescue in Iraq made her an instant celebrity, is pregnant.


She's famous because her unit was incompetent. Can we stop worshipping her now, and focus on the real heroes of the war: 3-15 IN, 1-8 Marines, 4-64 AR, 7th Cav, the 187 IN, and the soldiers who shot straight, cleaned their weapons, and knew how to read a map.

19 August 2006

Confederate Yankee: The Show Must Go On

Confederate Yankee: The Show Must Go On

This is an entertaining bit of photography.
The pristine sofa cushions are one bit of amusement. The non-dust-covered black blanket another. But the teleporting bottle of water is the best.

15 August 2006

Apostrophitis in Iraq

Military Photos Military Photo Military Pictures

People really need to learn how to use apostrophes properly...

08 August 2006

When did a machine-gun become a non-lethal weapon

Peacekeeping
The microwave weapon has a range of about 500 meters. ADS is carried on a hummer or Stryker, along with a machine-gun and other non-lethal weapons.

Anan piles on Israel while ignoring Hizbollah

Anan says Qana killings could breach international law as ceasefire sought - Yahoo! News
'The attack on Qana should be seen in the broader context of what could be, based on preliminary information available to the United Nations, including eyewitness accounts, a pattern of violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, committed during the course of the current hostilities,' Annan said.


Why not 'The attack on Haifa should be seen in the broader context of what could be, based on preliminary information available to the United Nations, including eyewitness accounts, a pattern of violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, committed during the course of the current hostilities,'

I thought the UN was supposed to be a neutral arbiter.

05 August 2006

Finally! Someone gets the conflict between Israel and Hez-bollocks

The State | 08/04/2006 | No sympathy for those who destroy life
No sympathy for those who destroy life
By KATHLEEN PARKER
Washington Post Writers Group
Watching the anguish in Lebanon following an Israeli airstrike that killed at least 37 children in Qana Sunday put me in mind of Susan Smith, the South Carolina mother who drowned her children several years ago.
The Smith parallel requires a small stretch of free association, so bear with me.
You'll recall that Smith killed her children, then tried to blame a fictional villain. After allowing her car to slip into a lake - with the boys strapped in their car seats inside - Smith claimed the children had been kidnapped. Her infertile imagination provided a racist cliche: A black man did it.
Fast forward a few years, and I bumped into a woman who had just visited Smith in prison, where she is serving a life sentence for the double murder. When I asked how Smith was doing, the woman replied: "Like any grieving mother, she's mourning the loss of her children."
Then Rod Serling stepped into the frame and cued the "Twilight Zone" soundtrack. Let's see: You kill your children, and then you get sympathy for your loss?
That dissonant comment has haunted me ever since, and it came to me a few days ago as I watched reports of the Qana airstrike. As the Qana myth unfolds, the children's deaths are blamed on the Middle East's perpetual villain - Israel - while Hezbollah's minions gnash and wail for the cameras. We are expected to join in vilifying Israel while Hezbollah enjoys a bounce in popularity.
Obviously, the anguish of the Lebanese people is heartfelt, and no one celebrates the loss of innocent life. Wait, correction. No one except Hezbollah, which pioneered that nihilistic addition to modern warfare, the suicide bomber. The suicide bomber's purpose, of course, is to kill as many civilians as possible. Hezbollah excels at that sort of thing. The "Party of God" is also a proud innovator in the use of human shields, especially women and children.
Indeed, Hezbollah relies on the civilized world's outrage as part of its strategy. By bringing the war to suburbia in violation of the Geneva Conventions and launching rockets from villages such as Qana, Hezbollah virtually ensures that civilians will die.
Pending an investigation, many facts are unknown, including whether the building in which the children died came down as a result of Israeli fire. The Associated Press and others now report that the Israeli strike on Qana came between midnight and 1 a.m., but the building didn't collapse until 7 a.m. or 8 a.m., possibly as a result of munitions inside the building.
Whatever the case, Israeli Defense Forces had dropped leaflets into Qana a week beforehand, warning residents to evacuate. Although international humanitarian law forbids the deliberate targeting of civilian areas, exceptions are tolerated under certain circumstances.
As Human Rights Watch explains on its Web site (humanrightswatch.org), a civilian area can be targeted if it "makes an 'effective' contribution to the enemy's military activities and its destruction, capture or neutralization offers a 'definite military advantage' to the attacking side in the circumstances ruling at the time."
The humanitarian guidelines also call for "proportionality" in "dual use" areas and for precautions to protect civilians.
Parsing the language of "dual use" when bombs are killing sleeping children seems absurd when measured against such senseless loss. But it is also necessary if we are to maintain perspective against a cowardly enemy that hides among women and children, then relies on emotion to gain traction on the battlefield of public opinion.
Why some residents of Qana didn't leave given fair warning is a point of speculation, but Hezbollah reportedly has blocked residents from evacuating other areas. Proportionality is a trickier question, but let's be clear on the issue of moral equivalence. There is none. Hezbollah aims to kill civilians; Israel aims not to. But by firing rockets from civilian areas, Hezbollah forces Israel to return fire, thus inciting the condemnation of civilized nations and fueling the reliable outrage of the Arab street.
The fog of war may prevent absolute clarity, but this much seems certain: Those dead women and children are casualties of Hezbollah, not Israel. As in the case of Susan Smith, we mourn the deaths of the children, but have no sympathy for the responsible party.
Only in the Twilight Zone is Hezbollah a victim.
Write to Ms. Parker at kparker@kparker.com."

02 August 2006

In other late-breaking news, gravity continues to hold people to the planet

CNN.com - Army Guard 'in dire situation' - Aug 1, 2006
WASHINGTON (AP) -- More than two-thirds of the Army National Guard's 34 brigades are not combat ready, mostly because of equipment shortages that will cost up to $21 billion to correct, the top National Guard general said Tuesday.

'I am further behind or in an even more dire situation than the active Army, but we both have the same symptoms, I just have a higher fever,' Blum said.


This crap has been going on since Kosovo. The Georgia guard, then the Texas guard, and every one since then, has been hit with a retention drop since they came back. It's even worse with units that are now on their third deployments in the last 6-7 years. This has been a problem since before 9-11. We were over-committing units loooooong before the war on "terror" (which seems to not include Irish terrorists, or Tamil Tigers, or Chechnya, or the Chinese government).
Now don't get me wrong, most national guard guys are more than happy to chase Al Qaeda around Afghanistan, but the ones I've talked to are mad as hell about Iraq and sick of dealing with it. They don't see Iraq as significant enough to put their lives on hold (again, for many of them) while the President invents emergencies. The national command folks act as though the National Guard should have expected to be gone from home 1-2 out of every 5-6 years. Try selling that to their civilian employers - especially if the guardsman is self-employed.

There's a big difference between defending the country and an expeditionary force exerting their firepower to bring about the deluded policy aims of a few over-thinking, underperforming bureau-weenies. National guard troops mostly signed up for the former, not the latter. And yes, they are smart enough to tell the difference.

17 June 2006

All you need to know about Iraq

Iraq's Atomization
Just in May, just in Baghdad, sectarian violence killed 1,400 -- and that figure does not include victims of car bombs. It speaks depressing volumes about the U.S. predicament that the new idea is to . . . conquer Baghdad. On April 20 the Iraq war became as long as the Korean War. As of tomorrow the war will be as long -- 1,185 days -- as U.S. involvement in World War II was when U.S. troops captured the Ludendorff railway bridge at Remagen and became the first foreign troops to cross the Rhine since Napoleon's in 1805. And Baghdad beyond the Green Zone is a war zone, which accounts for the flight from the country of many educated and mobile Iraqis.
But it did not take three years of Zarqawi and terrorism and sectarian violence to turn Iraqis into difficult raw material for self-government. For that, give another devil his due: Saddam Hussein's truly atomizing tyranny and terror. On June 20, 2003, just 72 days after the fall of Baghdad, The Post reported this from Fallujah:'Military engineers recently cleared garbage from a field in Fallujah, resurfaced it with dirt and put up goal posts to create an instant soccer field. A day later, the goal posts were stolen and all the dirt had been scraped from the field. Garbage began to pile up again.
'An Army captain asked, 'What kind of people loot dirt?'

29 May 2006

News report: Rioting in Afghanistan after US convoy causes traffic accident

CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News
At least five people were killed and 60 injured when a deadly traffic accident involving U.S. troops sparked the worst riot in the Afghan capital since the fall of the Taliban regime, officials said. Hundreds of protesters looted shops and shouted 'Death to America!' Rioters ransacked several buildings, including a sprawling compound belonging to the international aid group CARE International.

Those damn Americans caused a traffic accident! I will express my displeasure by stealing DVD players!

06 May 2006

StrategyPage v Europe


StrategyPage really doesn't like the Europeans

25 April 2006

StrategyPage contradicts themselves

Information Warfare
The recent flap over six retired American generals publicly calling for the Secretary of Defense to resign, also brought out opinions, via the Internet, from lower ranking troops (active duty, reservists and retired.) The mass media ran with the six generals, but got shot down by the troops and their blogs, message board postings and emails. It wasn't just a matter of the 'troop media' being more powerful. No, what the troops had going for them was a more convincing reality. Unlike the six generals, many of the Internet troops were in Iraq, or had recently been there. Their opinions were not as eloquent as those of the generals, but they were also more convincing. Added to that was the complaint from many of the troops that, according to the American constitution, it's the civilians (in the person of the Secretary of Defense) that can dismiss soldiers from service, not the other way around. While the six generals were only expressing their opinions (which only active duty troops are restricted from doing, because of the different military legal system they operate under), it rubbed a lot of people (military and civilian) the wrong way because of the constitutional angle.

Lemme get this straight: The troops were more convincing - and presumably pro-Rummy - because they're closer to the action. But the generals were only able to speak out after retirement because "active duty troops are restricted from doing [so]". Could it be that the pro-Rummy opinions coming out of the troops with "a more convincing reality" were in fact the only ones allowed because active duty troops are restricted from speaking out about the civilian leadership?
And of those 6 generals, one was a division commander in the Gulf. One has been an ambassadorial envoy to the Middle East appointed by multiple presidents for his expertise in the region. Another was in charge of the national-level planning that included rotating troops in and out of the gulf. These guys clearly know what they're talking about, even if you don't agree with them.

24 April 2006

Gas vs Terrorism

So some new polls are showing that voters are more concerned with gas prices than terrorism. By some accounts, it's the 3d-biggest issue to voters, behind only Iraq and Immigration. (Though the Bushies would consider Iraq and terrorism to be the same thing. They're wrong, but that's their view.)

Surprised? You shouldn't be.

How many cities in the US are really concerned with terrorism? 10? 12? NY, DC, LA, Miami, Seattle, probably SD (proximity to border), Detroit... a few others. Not Casper, WY. Not Tulsa, not Champaign, not Chattanooga, Omaha, Birmingham, Amarillo, or Las Cruces.

But people in all those cities buy gas.

23 April 2006

More media-bashing from SP...

Information Warfare
Today, the media would have reacted differently

It's pretty clear that although Hutch is preaching to the choir of the assembled StrategyPage anti-media faithful, the truth is he's got no idea how decisions are made in a journalistic setting. His parodies are mildly amusing, but are exactly that: parodies. They play up sterotypes for the purpose of whipping the faithful into a frenzy, but they contribute very little to the overall discourse of the issue.

19 April 2006

Should he stay, or should he go (straight to hell)

David Broder - The Rumsfeld rebellion
But the case the generals are making is as serious as it is passionate. To take but one example, the essay in Time magazine by retired Marine Lt. Gen. Greg Newbold, the former director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, lists six separate areas where he saw failure on the part of the civilian leadership of government:
"The distortion of intelligence in the buildup to the war, McNamara-like micromanagement that kept our forces from having enough resources to do the job, the failure to retain and reconstitute the Iraqi military in time to help quell civil disorder, the initial denial that an insurgency was the heart of the opposition to occupation, alienation of allies who could have helped in a more robust way to rebuild Iraq, and the continuing failure of the other agencies of our government to commit assets to the same degree as the Defense Department."


For years, we've been hearing about problems in the military's command culture. Now that it's infected the civilian leadership, too, you wonder who can fix it, and how.

28 March 2006

Agent Orange victims gather to seek... justice?

Agent Orange victims gather to seek justice - Yahoo! News
Deformed children born to parents Vietnam believes were affected by the estimated 20 million gallons of herbicides, including Agent Orange, poured on the country were brought to the conference as dramatic evidence of its effects.
'The use of Agent Orange in Vietnam produced unacceptable threats to life, violated international law and created a toxic wasteland that continued to kill and injure civilian populations long after the war was over,' said Joan Duffy from Pennsylvania.

Uh... didn't John Stossel debunk this crap in 1996? He did a show about junk science and showed the USAF unit that loaded Agent Orange onto the aircraft. No one in Vietnam had more exposure to AO than these guys - their hazing ritual for new guys was to force them to drink a cup of it! Guess what? They're just as healthy as the rest of the population their age.
Could it be the deformed children are the result of thrid-world prenatal health care and relatively substandard preventive care? Wouldn't want to impugn our society, so let's just blame Agent Orange...

And what 'international law' was violated? Was Vietnam a signatory to any of these international 'laws'? And who's the enforcement regime for those 'laws'?

10 March 2006

StrategyPage

StrategyPage.com
StrategyPage gives you rapid access to military news. We report these events as history, not headlines, and provide concise, comprehensive and easy-to-understand descriptions of the troops, their equipment and why wars the world over are being fought.

I'll let y'all decide if "history" includes "partisan bias."



Military Photos at StrategyPage
Here's a story you have never heard the military's 'friend' John Kerry talking about.
Children jump on two new spring toys before their installation August 19 at the orphanage in Kirkuk. Sgt. Doyle constructed these from old HMMWV parts during his spare time and other unit soldiers painted them. All the playground equipment in the photos where constructed by members of the Task Force 2-116 Armor. (Photo submitted by Task Force 2-116 Armor)

09 March 2006

FEMA & Homeland Security & The Department of Perpetual Stupidity

So now we want to redraw the organizational boxes for FEMA and pull it out of DHS. Weren't these problems predicted back in 2002?
And do the boxes really matter if you fill them with idiots who are never held accountable for their actions?
We rearranged the boxes in the intel system because of 9-11, under the assumption that if the boxes were arranged differently, 9-11 wouldn't have happened. We didn't fire the people who were in the current boxes, we drew an org chart around them, thus insulating any idiot in those boxes from ever having to make a decision for which (s)he could be fired.
Instead of holding people accountable, we have institutionalized a new Department of Perpetual Stupidity.

01 March 2006

Europe in 2015


EUROPE IN 2015
Sent by a fellow Wargamer staffer. Having lived in Europe, and knowing what's going on with the Turkish talks with the EU, I can say that this isn't as funny as the first glance would have you think. I also think that Denmark might be sunk by then, especially if the Ira(tional)nians get their nukes working.

28 February 2006

Third of UK military unready due to strain: report - Reuters

Third of UK military unready due to strain: report - Yahoo! News
"We found that almost a third of forces had serious or critical weaknesses to their required peacetime readiness levels -- their readiness to deploy on any future operations -- against a backdrop of a continued high level of commitment to current operations," the report said.

Good to know we aren't the only ones in trouble...

27 February 2006

A PFC?!

US paratroopers charged in gay porn site - Yahoo! News
Three men will face court-martial on charges of sodomy, pandering and engaging in sex for money while being filmed, said Pfc. James Wilt, an 82nd Airborne spokesman. Having sex while being taped is illegal under the U.S. Military Code of Justice.

Why is a PFC maing these statements?
Every division has a LTC as their public affairs officer, and several MAJs working for him/her. Can't they find a little more brass to make the public statements?

13 February 2006

Man lives on the ground. To win the war, you have to own the ground. Aircraft don't own the ground. Ships don't own the ground. Put it another way - when was the last time you saw a police helicopter pull over a car and give the driver a ticket? You haven't. It takes a cop on the ground to issue that ticket, to control that ground.


Pentagon passes on redesign

By JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY
Knight Ridder Newspapers

No one has been more contemptuous of Cold War thinking and planning in our military than Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his band of transformers and reformers, and yet when it came time to fish or cut bait last week, they just sat in the boat doing nothing.
The Defense Department thinkers have had four years to write the document that is to guide and inform our military strategy, tactics, arms acquisition and manpower for the next 20 years, the Quadrennial Defense Review mandated by Congress.
For months the Rumsfeld lieutenants have floated trial balloons warning that the most capital-intensive branches of service, the Air Force and Navy with their costly aircraft and ships, were going to feel the pain of severe cutbacks or cancellations of cherished next generation goodies.
The savings would be invested in lower tech but higher utility things like the soldiers and Marines who are still required to win wars the old-fashioned way, by killing people and controlling contested territory by the simple act of standing on it, rifle in hand.
After all the talking and posturing and debating, what did they choose to do? The short answer: Nothing much different. No hard choices made. Both the old and the new continue rolling along, and the problem is shoved along for another administration, in another QDR, to solve and pay for.
The QDR with its talk of preparing to fight the “long war” against terrorists and irregulars came out as the Bush administration unveiled a $439 billion 2007 defense budget.
In the budget the Pentagon continues to fund three very costly short-range jet fighters — The F/A-22 Raptor, the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter — as well as the Navy’s Virginia class nuclear attack submarine at $2.4 billion each and the CVN-21 next generation aircraft carrier and the DD(X) destroyer. The Army’s expensive and futuristic Advanced Combat Systems program, based on systems that haven’t been invented yet, is still rolling along.
The huge weapons programs may be sexy, and certainly they are beloved by members of Congress in whose districts the big defense industry plants and shipyards are located. The usefulness of such aircraft and ships in the wars against terrorism in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq, however, is just about zero, since our control of air and sea are unchallenged there and elsewhere in the foreseeable future.
At a time when many analysts say that our problems in Iraq lead back to a failure to send enough soldiers and Marines to secure the place after the invasion, there’s no money in the 2007 budget to increase Army and Marine manpower — and the QDR actually calls for shrinking the Army from today’s inadequate 491,000 to no more than 482,400 over the next five years.
The budget proposes a 30 percent increase in the number of special operations, psychological warfare and civil affairs units vital to counterinsurgency operations, but the money earmarked for the language and cultural training members of such units desperately need — $191 million — is less than the cost of just one F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Another problem that was not addressed in the budget or the QDR is re-capitalization of transport aircraft, helicopters, vehicles and gear of the military. Put simply, that stuff has been ground down in nonstop operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last three-plus years. Assuming that sometime in the next four years our forces will be coming home, we will need to fund repairs and replacement programs that won’t be cheap.
The war costs, which will top $300 billion this year, have to date been funded by off-budget supplemental bills. When the war ends, so too will the supplemental pile of cash.
The trouble with this nuts-and-bolts budgeting and the strategic vision, or lack of it, in the Rumsfeld Pentagon and the Bush White House is that they won’t be around when the bills come due.
One military analyst, Col. Ken Allard (ret.), former dean of students at the National War College, put it this way:
“As Winston Churchill was unkind enough to point out, it is occasionally necessary in war to suspend one’s preferences and actually consider the enemy. The QDR has not done that for one simple reason. It says little or nothing about the need for soldiers. And how they can best be provided, trained, protected and sustained to meet an enemy who thinks in generational rather than technological timelines — which is why that enemy thinks he can win and why he may be right.”
Mr. Galloway is the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers.

10 February 2006

Chavez: UK must return Falklands - Feb 10, 2006

CNN.com - Chavez: UK must return Falklands - Feb 10, 2006

Uh - just when did Argentina (as a nation) ever own the Falkland Islands? Of course, you wouldn't expect Chavez to worry too much 'bout the truth, now, would you.

12 January 2006

Everything you need to know about the Palestinians and Israelis

Yasser Arafat dies and Israel goes on. People get up and go to work, go to school, go about their lives.
Ariel Sharon goes down with a stroke, and Palestinians stop traffic, hand out candy, celebrate, and party.

Name one business started by a Palestinian that exports anything that doesn't explode.
Name one Palestinian scientist who's made a great discovery.
Name one prominent Palestinian who is not blowing things up.

You can't do it. Palestinians have defined their entire existence around the eradication of Israel, to the exclusion of any positive effort in their lives anywhere for any reason. Israel left the Gaza strip (historically part of Egypt, not Palestine) and Palestinians... didn't start any schools, clinics, factories, anything.

Israel wants to get on with life.
Palestine wants the world to whine the Israelis away.
Won't happen.
Get over it.