That knucklehead that got picked up for trying to blow up some car bombs was looking to blow them up here. Understand though that the last ground attack was back in 2004, it doesn't mean that we're safe forever, but it does mean that the guys who are responsible for making sure that the IZ stays "heavily fortified" are doing a good job of it. I slept just as good after hearing about this as I did before I heard it, it's not a macho thing, just that if I worried about every threat or possibility for attack I'd be wound so tight I'd snap.
To the troops who put the flexcuffs on this guy - good job, thanks for making me safe.
Sadr Backs His Thing Up
If images of the rotund Sadr gettin' jiggy don't send you into a fit of laughter then they'll send you to the hospital and I'm sorry for that. However, images of Sadr telling his militiamen to back down from confrontations with the Iraqi and Coalition forces though should make everyone happy. It's taken a while and a couple good battles, but it seems that Sadr is getting the idea that he isn't above the law.
According to the reports, Sadr gave his leaders the following instructions:
- Reduce the size of units to 75 fighters, from as many as 400, to make the units more manageable.
- Issue new identification cards to Mahdi army members to replace IDs that have been forged.
- Send every member to an orientation course that would outline the group's mission.
- Lay down weapons temporarily.
COL MacFarland of the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division says that the situation in Ramadi has tipped in favor of the good guys. Ramadi is located in the Anbar province which had been getting a lot of bad media recently after a leaked classified report was interpreted as portraying the situation as a stalemate. Well, even if that was true, now with the support of the majority of the tribes in Anbar, the Iraqi government is set to put a hurtin on the bad guys.
If I was someone who was interested in what was going on in Iraq, I'd keep an eye on Anbar in the next few months.
SGT Leigh Ann Hester
On 20 March 2005, one squad of MPs escorting a supply convoy was ambushed by 34 bad guys. After applying a hearty helpin' of whoopass there was one squad of MPs escorting a supply convoy while 27 bad guys were dead, 6 were wounded and one was captured. SGT Hester was awarded the Silver Star for her part in the fight.
If being interrogated by a woman is an outrage on a bad guy's personal dignity, I wonder what getting killed by one is.
Hester, 23, who was born in Bowling Green, Ky., and later moved to Nashville, Tenn., said she was surprised when she heard she was being considered for the Silver Star.
"I'm honored to even be considered, much less awarded, the medal," she said.
Being the first woman soldier since World War II to receive the medal is significant to Hester. But, she said, she doesn't dwell on the fact. "It really doesn't have anything to do with being a female," she said. "It's about the duties I performed that day as a soldier."
Hester, who has been in the National Guard since April 2001, said she didn't have time to be scared when the fight started, and she didn't realize the impact of what had happened until much later.
"Your training kicks in and the soldier kicks in," she said. "It's your life or theirs. ... You've got a job to do -- protecting yourself and your fellow comrades."