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Archive for May 13th, 2010

A proposal for a new “combat” medal honoring “courageous restraint” is being floated around the headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan. The brain child of British Major General Nick Carter, commander for the Regional Command South of the ISAF, will be awarded to service members who hold their fire to save civilian lives, even if their lives or the lives of their comrades are at risk.

The new medal is being touted as a way to prevent civilian casualties. Now let this sink in:  Brother O’s politically correct military is actually proposing a combat medal for soldiers who make a conscious effort to avoid a combat action.

Perhaps the military should call it the “Chicken Heart for Naïve Restraint” medal and award it in Brother O’s name to those soldiers who have shown restraint by doing nothing during a combat action against an enemy of the United States hidden among civilians.

The Chicken Heart will be a heart-shaped medal within a yellow border, about 1 1/2 inches wide and contain the profile of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Above the heart will be the words “Peace in Our Time.”

On the back there will be a raised dove in flight carrying an olive branch in its claws with the words “For Courageous Restraint” etched below the branch.

The ribbon should be 1 1/4 wide and consist of an 1⁄8 inch white stripe, a 1 inch yellow stripe, and an 1⁄8 inch pink stripe.

That is all.

I.M. Kane


 

Hold fire, earn a medal

By William H. McMichael

U.S. troops in Afghanistan could soon be awarded a medal for not doing something, a precedent-setting award that would be given for “courageous restraint” for holding fire to save civilian lives.

The proposal is now circulating in the Kabul headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force, a command spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

“The idea is consistent with our approach,” explained Air Force Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis. “Our young men and women display remarkable courage every day, including situations where they refrain from using lethal force, even at risk to themselves, in order to prevent possible harm to civilians. In some situations our forces face in Afghanistan, that restraint is an act of discipline and courage not much different than those seen in combat actions.”

Soldiers are often recognized for non-combat achievement with decorations such as their service’s commendation medal. But most of the highest U.S. military decorations are for valor in combat. A medal to recognize a conscious effort to avoid a combat action would be unique.

Consideration of such an award, first reported by an Associated Press reporter in Afghanistan, doesn’t mean that, if approved, troops would be pressured to prevent such casualties at risk to themselves, Sholtis said.

“We absolutely support the right of our forces to defend themselves,” Sholtis said. “Valuing restraint in a potentially dangerous situation is not the same thing as denying troops the right to employ lethal force when they determine that it is necessary.”

A spokesman for the 2.2 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation’s largest group of combat veterans, thinks the award would cause confusion among the ranks and send a bad signal.

“The self-protections built into the rules of engagement are clear, and the decision to return fire must be made instantly based on training and the threat,” said Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. “The enemy already hides among noncombatants, and targets them, too. The creation of such an award will only embolden their actions and put more American and noncombatant lives in jeopardy. Let’s not rush to create something that no one wants to present posthumously.”

Giving a medal for restraint was proposed by British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, ISAF’s Regional Command South commander, during a recent visit to Kandahar by Army Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hall, the top U.S. enlisted member in Afghanistan, Sholtis said.

U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the ISAF commander, has placed a premium on preventing civilian deaths, having last year tightened the rules of engagement for air strikes and other combat operations in an effort to prevent fatalities. Such deaths build resentment among a populace the U.S. is trying to win over as part of its counterinsurgency strategy to simultaneously drive out the Taliban and strengthen Afghan government.

According to the United Nations, more than 2,400 civilians were killed last year, although estimates vary widely. From March 21 to April 21, 173 civilians were killed in Afghanistan — a 33 percent increase over the same period the previous year — according to the Associated Press, citing Afghan Interior Ministry figures.

Tell us what you think

Is showing “courageous restraint” worthy of a medal? Will it save the lives of civilians? Could it put troops in danger? We want to hear what you’re thinking. Send your comments to marinelet@marinecorpstimes.com and be sure to include your name, rank and duty station.

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Laura Bush, the country-club Republican and former school teacher, has finally removed her mask to reveal the limousine leftist beneath. Traveling the circuit hawking her book Spoken From The Heart, the former first lady told Larry (the marriage) King that she supports abortion and same-sex marriage.

Add Laura Bush to the list of illustrious, elitist Republican females (mother-in-law Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Cindy McCain) to offer a mea culpa before the leftist establishment and to seek absolution through the Democrat Party media.

Now that she has announced that she is self-righteously pro-choice and unapologetically down with same-sex marriage, Oprah and Joy, Barbara and Whoopie, and Travis and Charlie will uplift her as one of the few enlightened civilized beings in a party of naysaying Neanderthal Republicans.

And audiences of fawning feminists will come to embrace Laura as one of them, and to know that she is special too.

I.M. Kane


 

Laura Bush For Gay Marriage & Pro-Choice! 2:44 Video

Laura Bush Supports Gay Marriage, Abortion

By Russell Goldman

In Interview Former First Lady Splits With Husband on Same-Sex Marriage, Abortion

Former first lady Laura Bush has broken with her husband on the premier social issues of his administration and said she backs gay marriage and abortion.

After more than eight years of silence on the controversial issues, Mrs. Bush said in an interview with CNN’s Larry KingTuesday, that gay marriage and abortion were points of contention with her husband, former President George W. Bush.

Mrs. Bush in recent weeks has been promoting her memoir “Spoken from the Heart,” in which she writes about her life both before and after becoming first lady.

In response to a question about gay marriage, she said, “There are a lot of people who have trouble coming to terms with that because they see marriage as traditionally between a man and a woman. But I also know that, you know, when couples are committed to each other and love each other, that they ought to have, I think, the same sort of rights that everyone has.”

Mrs. Bush said she and the ex-president “disagree” on legalizing same-sex marriage.

“I understand totally what George thinks and what other people think about marriage being between a man and a woman. And it’s a real, you know, reversal really for [them] to accept gay marriage,” she said.

When King asked if she could accept gay marriage, the first lady said: “I think we could, yeah.” “You think [legalization of same-sex marriage] is coming?” asked King.

“Yeah, that will come, I think,” she replied.

Laura Bush called gay marriage the “social issue” of her husband’s second campaign in 2004. In February of that year, weeks after a Massachusetts court ruled same-sex couples could marry in that state, her husband endorsed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Laura Bush and George Bush Disagreed on Abortion, Gay Marriage

The ex-first lady also told King she believes abortion should remain legal, an opinion she suggested she held on the President Bush’s first day in office in 2001.

On the day of George W. Bush’s first inauguration, the first lady sat down with CBS’ Katie Couric who “asked two questions about abortion, and then she asked me if I was for the overturn of Roe versus Wade… This was the very morning my husband was about to be inaugurated. And I thought, do I really want to start my husband’s presidency, you know, suggesting that a Supreme Court rule being overturned? And I said ‘no.'”

Laura Bush said abortion should “remain legal, because I think it’s important for people, for medical reasons and other reasons.”

Mrs. Bush said she was “not really” expressive about same-sex marriage and abortion when she lived in the White House. She said she and her husband talked about both issues, but were not “argumentative.”

“I understand his viewpoint. I really do,” she said. “I understand his viewpoint. And he understands mine.”

Bush’s comments sparked reaction  and criticism  from both sides of the aisle. Liberal groups said she should have spoken out sooner when she had the White House as a bully pulpit. Conservatives defended the merits of their arguments despite, being seemingly unable to convince the wife of one of their movement’s most prominent figureheads.

“When the right wing was using same-sex couples as election year pawns and the president calling for a cynical constitutional amendment to deny people rights, we would have welcomed support from the first lady. Nevertheless, her speaking out for marriage equality shows that more and more Americans realize all families need the same rights and protections,” said Michael Cole, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group.

Conservatives said Laura Bush had hinted at her positions in the past and that her opinions neither influenced policy nor reflected the sentiments of the American people.

“It’s disappointing to hear Laura Bush, who is a well respected and admired former first lady, espouse positions on marriage and the value of human life that are contrary not only to her husband’s but arguably, according to polls, in conflict with the majority of Americans,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, spokeswoman for the conservative group Focus on the Family. 

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In response to public and political pressure, BP has finally released a :31 underwater video of the Deepwater Horizon oil leak.  The raw video shows oil and gas gushing out from a hole 5,000 feet below the surface into the Gulf of Mexico.

The video footage of the spill should help experts better estimate the amount of oil spewing in the Gulf. Based on satellite images of the oil slick, Ian MacDonald, a Florida State University oceanography professor who specializes in tracking oil seeps in the ocean, projects five times more oil in the Gulf than is currently estimated.

Although the accuracy of McDonald’s estimate has been challenged, there is no question that it looks bad down there.

I.M. Kane


 

THIS is the Deepwater Horizon Leak :31 Video

BP caves to pressure, releases first video of oil gushing into Gulf

By Brett Michael Dykes

Finally.

Earlier today we reported on how BP was coming under heavy pressure from the media, Washington politicians and the general public to release underwater video footage of the oil spewing into the Gulf so that a better assessment of its potential damage could be made. ABC even asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs if the Obama administration could pressure the company. BP held firm.

But now, the beleaguered energy company has released a 30-second clip and publicized the move on Twitter.

It’s believed that getting a glimpse of the gushing oil would allow experts to more accurately estimate the amount spewing into the Gulf each day. Up to this point, outside specialists like Ian MacDonald, a Florida State University oceanography professor who specializes in tracking oil seeps in the ocean, have been forced to base their projections on satellite images of the oil slick.

The accuracy of such estimates has been challenged because chemical dispersants, sunlight and the powerful Gulf tides are believed to have made large swaths of the oil difficult to detect. MacDonald, for one, believes as much as five times more oil than is currently estimated could be in the Gulf.

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