Posts belonging to Category War

Largest Reenlistment Ceremony in American History

I didn’t see much about this in the news. On this Independence Day, let us remember the sacrifice and service of those in our military who willingly risk their lives to defend our freedoms.

From Bob Krumm: Baghdad Reenlistment and How did you spend Independence Day?:

While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq.

World’s Most Dangerous Enemy and Best Friend

Michael Yon reporting from Iraq:

I may well have spent more time embedded with combat units in Iraq than any other journalist alive. I have seen this war – and our part in it – at its brutal worst. And I say the transformation over the last 14 months is little short of miraculous.

The change goes far beyond the statistical decline in casualties or incidents of violence. A young Iraqi translator, wounded in battle and fearing death, asked an American commander to bury his heart in America. Iraqi special forces units took to the streets to track down terrorists who killed American soldiers. The U.S. military is the most respected institution in Iraq, and many Iraqi boys dream of becoming American soldiers. Yes, young Iraqi boys know about “”

As the outrages of Abu Ghraib faded in memory – and paled in comparison to al Qaeda’s brutalities – and our soldiers under the Petraeus strategy got off their big bases and out of their tanks and deeper into the neighborhoods, American values began to win the war.

Iraqis came to respect American soldiers as warriors who would protect them from terror gangs. But Iraqis also discovered that these great warriors are even happier helping rebuild a clinic, school or a neighborhood. They learned that the American soldier is not only the most dangerous enemy in the world, but one of the best friends a neighborhood can have.

HT: Bob Krumm (who is currently at Fort Benning getting ready to head for Iraq himself)

Maps of the World’s Religious and Imperial History

Here are two fascinating flash video maps from the Maps of War website. The first map shows how the geography of religion has evolved over the centuries. Pay special attention to Christianity’s explosive growth that began with the rise of modern missions in the 1700-1800’s.

                                            History of Religion

                      (5000 years of religious history in 90 seconds)

The second map traces the major empires of the world showing who has controlled the Middle East over the course of world events.

                              Imperial History of the Middle East

                      (5000 years of imperial history in 90 seconds)

HT: World on the Web

Related post: Map of the World’s Religions

The Creative Bomb

The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter. This week marks the anniversary of the atomic bombings that took place at Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9 in 1945. In remembrance of these events, here is a poem I wrote called “The Creative Bomb.”

“THE CREATIVE BOMB” – by Ray Fowler

The two-faced god of Janus peered
Intently to the right
And on his left perceived a boy
Who craved creative flight.

With powers of flux unknown to man,
And often blamed as chance,
He touched the lad’s still waiting brain
And watched the neurons dance.

Thoughts ravaged his right hemisphere,
Then, quiet as a theft,
Stole fast across the cortex
To be stored within the left.

Opposing forces caught in time
Wreaked havoc on his brain.
Janusian thoughts negated rhyme;
The contrapuntal reigned.

Destruction, death and severed souls
He could not vindicate.
Aha! Why could he not invent
A bomb that would create?

In chemistry and medicine
We have our antidotes;
The harmful drug may save a life
When taken in small dose.

So why not have a bomb that could
Explode a song of joy,
Shatter new frontiers of thought,
Create, and not destroy?

If dropped on Nagasaki such
A bomb would surely find
That space-time point of harmony
Before the dreadful grind.

No mushroom cloud of measured rage,
Instead our bomb revised
Would bloom a rose of beauty far
Above the watchful skies.

“But stop!” they say. “Review, and let
Your noble neurons rest.
You’ve failed to yield a product –
Creation’s acid test.

The bomb you praise does not exist;
You ponder it in vain.
Perhaps you are the product of
An overactive brain!”

“I have no bomb to give to you
And know not where to start.
And so with failure weighing deep
And heavy on my heart,

I humbly submit to you
(Correct me, if I’m wrong)
This simple poem, now become
One big, creative bomb.”

Click here for more poems by Ray Fowler.

News and Notes – 6/29/2007

Gator golf. An 11-foot, one-eyed alligator grabbed a Florida golfer by the arm while he was retrieving his ball from a pond on the sixth hole. The golfer was taken to the hospital but not seriously injured. The pond has a “Beware of Alligator” sign posted. That’s what I call a water hazard.

Wrong pocket. A pickpocket got more than he bargained for when he tried to pick the pocket of 72-year old Bill Barnes of Walker, Michigan. Barnes is a former marine and Golden Gloves boxer who is retired after 20 years as an iron worker. When Barnes felt the hand in his pocket, he grabbed the pickpocket’s wrist and started throwing punches. The store manager also helped, and together they subdued the pickpocket until police arrived.

Surplus hearts. “Nearly 500,000 Purple Heart medals were manufactured in anticipation of the casualties resulting from the invasion of Japan. To the present date, all the American military casualties of the sixty years following the end of World War II — including the Korean and Vietnam Wars — have not exceeded that number. In 2003, there were still 120,000 of these Purple Heart medals in stock. There are so many in surplus that combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan are able to keep Purple Hearts on-hand for immediate award to wounded soldiers on the field.” (Wikipedia: Operation Downfall)