Thirty two years after the end of Vietnam war, you still can find a lot of "bull shit" in the Vietnam war books. While "hunting" (armed with digital camera) for the VNAF photos in Barnes & Noble I happened run into an "interesting" page in a newly published book.
The photo on the top-left was a popular photo (to many ARVN soldiers) that showed three Communist T-54s destroyed by the soldiers of 81st Airborn Ranger Battalion on the morning of April 30, 1975. The location of that ambush was near the "Lang Cha Ca" intersection (you can see the bell tower of "Ba Chuong" Catholic church in the background of the photo); but if you read the caption of the picture you would be "shocked," angry, or cracking out loud (depending on your mood at the moment), because the caption told a "fucking lie!" Don't rush to click on it for an enlarged photo so you can read the caption. I also found some more misinformation in the other captions in that book but didn't bother to take the pictures because they were minor. How about if the botched reports were buried somewhere in the texts, then we wouldn't be able to point out and show the errors without the photo like in this case. "Enjoy" the caption! :0)
CYBORG INSECT, FUTURISTIC SPY
CYBORB INSPECT ART
(Insect art designed by Mike Libby of Insect LAB)
U.S. Military Plans to Make Insect Cyborgs
By Shaun Waterman
WASHINGTON - Facing problems in its efforts to train insects or build robots that can mimic their flying abilities, the U.S. military now wants to develop "insect cyborgs" that can go where its soldiers cannot.
The goal is to create technology that can achieve 'the delivery of an insect within five meters of a specific target located at hundred meters away, using electronic remote control, and/or global positioning system.'
Once at the target, 'the insect must remain stationary either indefinitely or until otherwise instructed ... (and) must also be able to transmit data from (Department of Defense) relevant sensors ... includ(ing) gas sensors, microphones, video, etc..'
The Pentagon is seeking applications from researchers to help them develop technology that can be implanted into living insects to control their movement and transmit video or other sensory data back to their handlers.
In an announcement posted on government Web sites last week, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, says it is seeking "innovative proposals to develop technology to create insect cyborgs," by implanting tiny devices into insect bodies while the animals are in their pupal stage.
As an insect metamorphoses from a larva to an adult, the solicitation notice says, its "body goes through a renewal process that can heal wounds and reposition internal organs around foreign objects, including tiny (mechanical) structures that might be present."
TOBACCO HORNWORM WITH CIRCUIT AND ELECTRODE IMPLANTED
The goal is to create technology that can achieve "the delivery of an insect within five meters of a specific target located at hundred meters away, using electronic remote control, and/or global positioning system." Once at the target, "the insect must remain stationary either indefinitely or until otherwise instructed ... (and) must also be able to transmit data from (Department of Defense) relevant sensors ... includ(ing) gas sensors, microphones, video, etc."
The move follows challenges the agency says it has encountered in its efforts to train insects to detect explosives or other chemical compounds, and to mimic their flight and movement patterns using small robots.
Several years ago, DARPA launched a $3 million project to train honeybees to find landmines. According to a report by the American Forces Press Service, scientists used sugar-soaked sponges treated with explosives to get the bees to identify the smell as a possible food source.
But last week's solicitation says the project didn't work out.
"These activities have highlighted key challenges involving behavioral and chemical control of insects... Instinctive behaviors for feeding and mating -- and also for responding to temperature changes -- prevented them from performing reliably," it says.
As far as the development of purely robotic or mechanical unmanned aerial vehicles -- so-called micro-UAVs -- the solicitation says that developing energy sources both powerful and light enough "present(s) a key technical challenge."
Both sets of challenges "might be effectively overcome" by the development of insect cyborgs, says the solicitation.
The devices DARPA wants to implant are micro-electro-mechanical systems, or MEMS. MEMS technology uses tiny silicon wafers like those used as the basis for computer microchips. But instead of merely laying circuits on them, MEMS technology can actually cut and shape the silicon, turning the chip into a microscopic mechanical device.
The solicitation envisages the implanted device as a "platform" onto which "various microsystem payloads can be mounted ... with the goal of controlling insect locomotion, sens(ing) local environment, and scaveng(ing) power."
"Possible methods of locomotion control may be sensory manipulation, direct muscle interface, or neural interface to the insect," says the document, known as a Broad Agency Announcement. It goes on to say that sensory manipulation, for instance by projecting ultrasonic vibrations or ejecting pheromones, is likely to be species-specific, whereas technology to directly control insect muscles or brains "may be more general."
DARPA believes that the heat and mechanical power generated by the insects themselves as they move around "may be harnessed to power the microsystem payload" eliminating the need for batteries or other power systems.
The objective is to transform the insects into "predictable devices that can be used for various micro-UAV missions requiring unobtrusive entry into areas inaccessible or hostile to humans."
Among potential missions, says the solicitation, would be the collection of "explosive signatures from within buildings, caves, or other inaccessible locations."
Although flying insects like dragonflies and moths are "of great interest," the document says, "Hopping and swimming insects could also meet final demonstration goals."
Implanting the devices during pupation is key, says the document, because "the insects are immobile and can be manipulated without interference from instinctive motion."
As part of their honeybee training project, DARPA glued tiny radio transmitters to the bees, to help track their movement.
The solicitation says that the healing processes which insects go through as they change from larvae into adults "are expected to yield more reliable bio-electromechanical interface... as compared to adhesively bonded systems to adult insects."
Inserting the devices in pupae could also "enable assembly-line like fabrication of hybrid insect-MEMS interfaces, providing a considerable cost advantage," says the solicitation.
The cyborgs also offer unparalleled opportunities for lab workers to shout, "It's alive! It's aliiiiiiiive!!!"
NAVY TEST INCREDIBLE SCI-FI WEAPON
The U.S. Navy yesterday test fired an incredibly powerful new big gun designed to replace conventional weaponry aboard ships. Sci-fi fans will recognize its awesome power and futuristic technology.
The big gun uses electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to fire a projectile farther and faster. The railgun, as it is called, will ultimately fire a projectile more than 230 miles (370 kilometers) with a muzzle velocity seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7) and a velocity of Mach 5 at impact.
The test-firing, captured on video, took place Jan. 31 in Dahlgren, Va., and Navy officials called it the "world's most powerful electromagnetic railgun."
The Navy's current MK 45 five-inch gun, by contrast, has a range of less than 23 miles (37 kilometers).
The railgun has been a featured weapon in many science fiction universes, such as the new "Battlestar Galactic" series. It has also achieved newfound popularity among the 20-something-and-under generation for its devastating ability to instantaneously shoot a "slug" through walls and through multiple enemies in video games such as the "Quake" series of first person shooters.
The Navy's motivation? Simple destruction.
The railgun's high-velocity projectile will destroy targets with sheer kinetic energy rather than with conventional explosives.
"I never ever want to see a Sailor or Marine in a fair fight. I always want them to have the advantage," said Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead. "We should never lose sight of always looking for the next big thing, always looking to make our capability better, more effective than what anyone else can put on the battlefield."
The railgun's lack of explosives means ships would be safer, said Elizabeth D'Andrea, Electromagnetic Railgun Program Manager.
The Navy's goal is to demonstrate a full-capability prototype by 2018.
By Staff Sgt. Ryan HansenAir Armament Center Public Affairs
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFMCNS) -- There's an old saying that goes,
"good things come in small packages."
That saying rings true for the warfighter when looking at the
capabilities of the Small Diameter Bomb, the Air Force's newest
precision-guided munition. At just 5.9 feet long and 285 pounds, SDB's small size increases the
number of weapons an aircraft can carry, therefore raising the amount of
targets it can kill in one sortie. Because of its size and precision
accuracy, it also reduces collateral, or unintended, damage in the
Complementing the weapon is a smart miniature munitions carriage system.
This system can carry four SDBs, enabling an aircraft to quadruple its
loadout. The carriage system functions similar to an aircraft stores
management system by communicating with and controlling up to four
weapons. A SDB can be used in adverse weather and has a standoff range of more
than 60 nautical miles. Once released, the weapon uses its inertial
navigation and an anti-jam Global Positioning System to fly to the
target. Its guidance is further augmented by a differential GPS system,
which provides corrections to enhance accuracy.As the Air Force chief of staff's number one weapon priority, the SDB is the fastest major acquisition program in Eglin history. The weapon is
scheduled to be in the hands of the warfighter for the first time in September.
A Weapon is Born
A weapon like the SDB is not created overnight. It was actually born as
the Small Smart Bomb through an advanced technology demonstration at
Eglin's Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate.
There, a team of engineers wanted to demonstrate weapon technologies
that increased aircraft loadout and allowed multiple targets to be
attacked in a single combat sortie."This was done by focusing on the delivery accuracy, controllability, and penetration capability of a 250-pound class weapon with
approximately 50 pounds of explosive," said Ken Lockwood, director of
the SDB I Squadron, who was part of the demonstration team at the lab.
"The success of the program emphasized the fact that accuracy and
loadout were sufficient to overcome the warhead size constraints."
The group also wanted to explore increased standoff capability of the
weapon. But they had to make sure they maintained the bomb's
effectiveness and penetration capability while doing this.
"The objectives were to develop a low-cost wing kit that could extend
the range of this weapon to greater than 40 nautical miles," Mr.
Lockwood said. "At the conclusion of this program, increased loadout,
supersonic carriage, and release, standoff, and weapon effectiveness had
all been demonstrated." Requirements set for the SSB became SDB's foundation. The program was
transitioned over to the Air Armament Center for further development and
fielding. Gen. John P. Jumper, chief of staff of the Air Force at the time, liked
the new SDB so much that he wanted it fielded and ready for the
warfighter by the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006.
Picking a Contractor
From their Request for Proposal, the new SDB program office picked two
contractors to design and test their prototype weapon system. They would
then select one of them to produce the bomb after completing the
Component Advanced Development phase. "Schedule was number one from the beginning," said Richard Walley, deputy director of the Miniature Munitions Systems Group. "Therefore, a
lot of emphasis during the CAD phase was on design maturity so we could
go right into a program with minimum changes." The SDB team accelerated the acquisition process for the CAD phase by using a lot of the same concepts as the Joint Direct Attack Munition and
Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser program offices."The whole point of the competition was to have a higher probability of getting a weapons system that would perform to the requirements and have a price competition for the production options in out years," said Col.
Richard Justice, commander of the MMSG. "We used the competition very
effectively; and if you look at the production pricing, we're buying it
at less than half of the user's requirement."
During the next two years the program office carefully graded and
evaluated the two contractor's different designs. "The competition phase was essentially a fly-off because both had weapons that flew," said Cynthia Schurr, director of engineering for MMSG. "From there, we rolled down into one contactor and moved ahead." Boeing was selected in 2003 to complete the System Development and Demonstration phase and produce the SDB.
Testing the New Weapon
During its developmental testing program, the SDB completed 35 out of 37
flight tests successfully. The program office attributed its success to
having a good stable design early and keeping focused on the schedule. "The success is really a product of two things," Colonel Justice said. "We didn't stretch too far technically, we didn't go out after something that was out of reach, and we hired a good contractor."
In 2005, 19 months after the weapon was awarded to Boeing, it was ready
to enter operational testing. But the weapon had some GPS issues during operational testing. With
their eyes still focused on staying on schedule, the SDB program office pulled together an independent team to review the bomb and find a fix. "Everyone realized the significance of the weapon and knew they had to find the problem," Colonel Justice said. "Our review team included other program offices, staff organizations, and members from industry. Within a month and a half, they had identified the highly probable root causes and provided suggested fixes."
Even though the weapon had suffered a setback, it never got off schedule
and is now approximately halfway through operational testing. "We've kept the budget stable, the requirements stable, the leadership stable, and we picked the right contractor to do it. As an acquisition community, we're executing under budget and exceeding requirements," Colonel Justice said. "We can't have a bigger success in the acquisition world than that." The weapon is scheduled to complete operational testing in May.
Getting it to the Warfighter
The SDB will first be integrated on the F-15E and is scheduled to have
Required Assets Available in September. This means warfighters will have
the weapon in their arsenal and can use it. "In the urban conflict we're currently engaged in, the warfighter struggles at times to find a weapon that gives them a desired effect on a target without an excessive effect," Colonel Justice said, "so the SDB will be a nice addition."
Up next for the weapon will be integration on the F-22A. As the Air
Force continues to move forward with newer platforms, the SDB will be
right there with them. "The F-22A is going to be our Day One weapon system in the future," Mr.
Walley said. "Right now it can only carry two 1000 pound JDAMS, but with SDB, it will be able to carry eight. That's a four-fold increase and will improve the effectiveness of the aircraft in the early hours of a conflict." SDB workers continue to keep their eye on the schedule. "The acquisition community at large is looking forward to getting SDB
out there on schedule," Colonel Justice said. "This program can be
viewed as a trial of the acquisition process. It kicked off in a period
of tension in the [acquisition] community when we weren't meeting Air
Force expectations. Eglin leadership responded by structuring a
high-confidence program and ensured stable requirements, leadership, and
funding. The result, SDB is on schedule, under budget, and meeting
requirements. It shows we know how to do business right."
Making it Even Better
While the warfighter is waiting to get the baseline SDB in the
inventory, the program office is looking ahead to making the weapon even
more valuable. Upgrades to the weapon include Focused Lethality
Munition, which would further reduce an SDB's collateral damage. "We're replacing the steel casing, which has a fragmentation effect of 2000 feet or more, with a composite casing and new explosive fill that will minimize that significantly," Mr. Walley said. "It basically provides a more localized kill mechanism." Like the weapon itself, this new upgrade is also being pushed hard by
Air Force leadership. However, this new warhead will not be a part of every SDB off the assembly line. "We're not going to replace all the steel warheads with this new casing," Colonel Justice said. "It will just be a variant."
The Air Force plans to purchase 24,000 SDBs through 2017 at less than
$30,000 a weapon. With the weapon on the verge of being handed over to
the warfighter, it has set the bar high for other acquisition programs
Sent by Peter Nguyen
SENT FROM A BLINDFOLDED SOCIETY
SENT FROM A BLINDFOLDED SOCIETY
This letter was originally written in Vietnamese language from a group of students of National University in Ho Chi Minh City and has been translated into English by an unknown student in USA. Living in a democracy nation, one would take everything for granted, even common information. What a discovery for learning knowledge after someone in a blindfolded society happened to see a low budget movie made in a free nation. Perhaps you wouldn't believe this until you read the following letter.
To All Vietnamese Overseas and To All Who Share Their Concerns About The Struggle for Democracy for Vietnam.
This letter is to synthesize the voice of a group of students from the National University at Ho Chi Minh City and to express the group's deep gratitude to all whose struggle for the democracy in Vietnam, whether it be internal or external to Vietnam, is ever a constant effort.
No sooner than the April 30, 2007 did we ever come to learn our country, of which we are part, has long been run by the iron-fest kept system run by the communist ruled leaders. Youth age group of 21 to 23, like many of us, has grown up in a communist-driven education system thinking that we have lived in the best condition there has been and that our country have constantly been surrounded by "reactionaries," "enemy forces," especially the "Vietnamese overseas," ever ready to hinder the country's progress or to destroy them altogether.
Under that pretext, the Vietnam Communist leaders have ruthlessly seized on to attack, to suppress, and to imprison thousands of helpless individuals, whose simple wish was to suggest a Democracy for Vietnam. The Government's ruthless oppression has concerned in such a profound manner. Who were the individuals that were detained, ruthlessly interrogated, and condemned with sentences shocking people with conscience? They are lawyers, students, reverends, freedom-minded-journalists... and these intellectuals have been alleged of engaging in propaganda to promote anti socialism and charged by use of the vague criminal code titled "Article 88." The government-led news only publicizes the one-sided stories that those people were condemn-worthiness. But, other than barraging them with heavy-dose of libel, defamation, character-assassination insinuations as if to suppress others who may participate in the same cause, no specific charge understandable to the public was ever made public. As persons with conscience this type of government action clearly alarmed us.
How are that so many intellectuals put to condemnation? And, why is that an innocent, constitutionally-blessed, non-violent conscience speaking met with such an unconscionable criminal sentences?
So distraught by the events that unfolded, we set out to learn the truth. From the "Journey of the Fall" film by Producer Ham Tran, to the "Buoc Chan Vietnam" DVD produced by Asia Production Center, we were able to hear, to see as the contents depicted what has transpired prompting to the society we are now in, without which we have been kept in darkness. For the first time, our eyes have been open to the fact that what we heard off before thinking them to be a product of fairy tales was in fact true; we never knew that there ever existed a life of freedom in South Vietnam, that was put to an end by the North communist-led force; and that the exodus of millions of refugees in search of freedom and not a result of the luxurious comfort chasing by following the imperialist American masters. Not until now, that we have learned to appreciate that these refugees were victims of war and not the people we were taught that they were death-condemned worthiness.
The prized bestowed upon the film serves to affirm in us that the depiction in the film was fact-based and not just a product of some imagination. No, the world outside Vietnam is not one of blindness. It is only us that have long been fed with one-sided view, eradicating our own sense of history. Though we have heard off some stories of the horrified days of the communist-led take over, thinking it could not have been real at the least and at the very best it was likely to be a product of some propaganda. Yet, the film has brought us so close to such a sorrow. How naive have we been not realizing such a reality did vividly exist in our country, the victims of which could be our friends, our neighbor, or even our family that was kept so hidden for fear of the government retaliation capable of long-term prison or subject to consequences humanly unimaginable.
Some skeptics among us held on to the thoughts that what presented in the film was just a bunch of propaganda intending to disrupt our social order. But, then how could we reconcile with the existence of the known-to-be Saigon's former regime armed forces cemetery that people are kept far-off by layers of cannon and guns drawn ready security force manned by the people's army?
To us, there were lots of questions that went unanswered. We even thought why is there a need to keep the graves with armed layers of weapons as if the weapons were ready to use against those who would dare to come nearby or worse as if the weapons were headed against the graves made up of the same language speaking people?
The reality was brought to view in a more convincible way when in the Asia's DVD " Buoc Chan Vietnam" we were prompted with the famous criminal trial in which the reverend's mouth were handed-tightly shut by those public officers as if to prevent him from airing at the trial set up to condemn him.
For so long we have been blinded. And, we have all along been fed with fantasy accentuated by falsity to ensure that the communism is well-safeguarded. This communist Government has demonstrated their willingness to do whatever it takes, no matter how inhumane, how immoral and to whatever extent possible they need to go to keep their communist's last breath.
The summary above cumulates how our eyes were open to the unspoken truth that we have come to realize and through such realization of our ignorance of the fact in front of our eyes we respectfully and humbly address this letter to you conveying both our shame for the ignorance we have held during these many years of our life.
We deeply hold our gratitude to all of you, who have unselfishly stood by to defend; to demand in steadfast for Democracy for Vietnam, despite difficulty you faced or indifference you confronted without giving up. Please continue to help us, making our struggle known to and ever alive in the free-world in hopes that one day Vietnam could spell democracy in a real sense.
PIERCED STEEL PLANK (PSP)
Have you heard of PSP but forgot what it stands for? Here is some photos and a short summary of its history with some technical figures.
The pierced steel plank (PSP) or Marston Mat was developed during World War II and was widely used in every theater of operations. Though rigid enough to bridge over small surface inqualities of the ground, it was used to best effect on stabilized subgrade. This combination provided an adequate semi-permanent runway.
Studies were conducted during WWII to test the feasibility of using magnesium or aluminum, to provide equally strong mats weighing half as much. Some conception of the logistics problems of war can be gained from the fact that some 60,000 pierced steel sheets 15-inches-by-10-feet are required for a 150-by-5,000-foot runway, weighing nearly 2,000 tons, requiring 35,000 cubic feet of cargo space to be shipped overseas perhaps 10 or 12,000 miles. A runway this size can be put down in 175 hours by 100 unskilled men.
AL-QUAEDA HAS LEARNED MORE FROM VIETNAM THAN WE HAVE
"AL-QUAEDA HAS LEARNED MORE FROM VIETNAM"
By Jack Cashill
Two events of the past month have that eerie "deja vu all over again" sense about them. One is the recent visit of Muhammad Ali to the White House to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom award. The second is the now out-of-the-closet commitment of the Democratic Party leadership to lose a war needlessly.
"The idea that we're going to win this war is an idea that unfortunately is just plain wrong," boasted Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. Dean's comments a week ago on a San Antonio radio station differ from his Democratic colleagues only in his relative lack of discretion.
In December 1974, the Democrats in Congress were busily conspiring to abandon Vietnam as much as they are now doing now with Iraq. In the same month, another congenial middle-of-the-road Republican president, Gerald Ford, was congratulating draft-resister Ali for reasons no more comprehendible than they are today.
Like President Bush, Ford put his imprimatur on the champ when he invited Ali to the White House. Ford did so as part of his effort to pull the nation together after a highly divisive 10 years. The well-meaning president eagerly embraced Ali in the hopes of healing the divisions that Ali and his Nation of Islam cronies had helped create.
"Because of his principles," Ford would later reminisce, "I firmly believe that as time goes on, Muhammad Ali will be remembered for more than just excellence in athletics." By the end of 1974, the man in the White House proved no more capable of seeing through the Ali myth than the man on the street.
That same month that Ford and Ali made nice, a dovish U.S. Congress – confusing abandonment with peace – washed its hands forever of Indochina. In passing the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974, Congress cut off all military funding to this beleaguered ally, just when South Vietnam needed it most. As Ali succinctly put the case, "South Vietnam, you must do the best you can, because we're through."
This astonishing bit of legislation confirmed the wisdom of Le Duan, Ho Chi Minh's successor. In October, the same month Ali beat George Foreman to regain the title, Le Duan had spoken to the North Vietnamese Politburo about the opportunity implicit in President Nixon's August 1974 resignation. He argued that in Nixon's absence there would be no public will in the United States to enforce the terms of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords. He was more right than he knew.
Although the Tet offensive in January 1968 had been a military debacle for the Viet Cong, misreporting by the American media – the beginning of a pattern – led to a massive erosion in U.S. resolve. Soon after, the Americans began to disengage, and by August 1972, all U.S. ground forces had been withdrawn. The Paris Peace Accords were signed in January 1973. >From then on, whatever ground fighting there was took place between the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) and the ARVN (Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces). U.S. air power and military aid to the Republic guaranteed the peace – at least in the beginning.
By April 1973, however, the Watergate affair had already begun to paralyze the White House, and Congress took advantage of Nixon's distractions to undercut the South. When Congress withheld all funding, the die was cast. Soon after, the NVA began its final assault. By Jan. 3, 1975, its artillery was firing 3,000 rounds a day. As NVA Gen. Van Tien Dung told the Politburo conference a few days later, "To fully exploit this great opportunity we had to conduct large-scale annihilating battles to destroy and disintegrate the enemy on a large scale." From mid-March to early April 1975, while Ali trained for the Ron Lyle fight in Las Vegas, the armies of the South valiantly held off the Northern advance before collapsing in the face of major NVA reinforcements.
Meanwhile, the victorious forces of the Communist Khmer Rouge entered the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh. This was not supposed to happen. Anti-war activists had long greeted the phrase "falling dominoes" as something of a laugh line. There was nothing to laugh about in Phnom Penh. The Khmer Rouge gave the city's 2 million-plus residents 24 hours to get out of town. As the "Black Book of Communism" reports, the Khmer Rouge intended "the most radical social transformation of all: the attempt to implement total communism in one fell swoop," and it began with the evacuation of the cities.
Once in the countryside, these "New People" were forced to wear blue clothes while everyone else wore black. Their unelected communist masters singled them out for starvation and eventually extermination. Realistic estimates put the final liquidation toll at about 2 million, a quarter of the nation's population. According to the "Black Book," the Khmer Rouge "was indeed a member of the family," meaning the communist family. The Vietnamese Communists had exercised the single greatest influence on their development.
In Vietnam, two weeks after Phnom Penh fell, Saigon collapsed following a dramatic and demoralizing siege. When the last Marine pilots reluctantly lifted their helicopters off the Embassy roof, they left behind not only thousands of our friends clamoring to flee, but our good faith as a nation. Ali's new buddy in the White House reportedly played a round of golf while the American Embassy was under siege. He, too, was something of a jock.
After Saigon fell, the new Stalinist regime in the South promptly sent scores of thousands of its citizens to concentration camps for "re-education" and hundreds of thousands more off to "new economic zones" to work the land. Additional persecution, especially against those of Chinese origin, led to the ethnic cleansing of an additional 2 million "boat people," many of whom died in their attempt to flee.
The anti-war cohorts, now in control of virtually every major American institution save – barely – for the White House, chose not to notice. They would hold no one accountable for the horrific fate of Indochina, not Ali, and certainly not themselves. Although the South fell three years after American troops left the battle, they would chalk up a big "L" against the U.S. military, give themselves a "W" for wisdom, and glory in their own righteousness for years to come.
Unfortunately, al-Qaida knows this history better than we do.
MILITARY WITHDRAWALS ARE THE WORST FOREIGN POLICY
"MILITARY WITHDRAWALS ARE THE WORST FOREIGN POLICY"
By Thai A. Nguyen-Khoa
In the annals of American history, military withdrawals must be the worst form of foreign policy, as they are associated with failures in objectives, planning and execution. In the last two centuries, Vietnam and now Iraq -- with the recent vote on the Senate-backed plan for a pullout -- are two examples of American failures. No matter how rationalized or justified, withdrawal is the most irresponsible strategy in American geopolitics.
As a recipient of the failed American intervention in Vietnam, which ended in the tragic and shameful debacle of the last century, I know all too well where this new withdrawal plan will lead the United States: down the slippery slope of credibility.
Thirty-two years after the defeat in Vietnam, the United States doesn't need to be reminded that the struggle for democracy and freedom there has cost millions of lives -- and a refugee crisis of untold proportion that strained the resources of many nations as well as those of the United States -- not to mention decades of oppression, as exemplified by the renewed persecution of dissidents by Hanoi. This underscores America's unfinished business and a failure to learn from its own lessons of war.
Of course, the two involvements differ in nature and substance. In Vietnam, the precepts of nationalism and nationhood were forces already in play long before the United States interfered. Yet America's withdrawal has festered in the killing fields of Cambodia and the Communist suppression of a nascent democratic voice in Vietnam -- which continues with the United States coddling of the regime there.
In Iraq, the removal of a brutal dictator unleashed sectarian strife and revealed long-simmering factional divisions between the empowered and the powerless -- Sunni, the Shiites and the Kurds -- while the progressive moderates remained largely uninvolved.
While there is little doubt that the invasion of Iraq was poorly planned, or even wholly unnecessary, the worst of the situation for America is not how it was drawn into war, but the divisiveness of the two-party system, where one party is always ready to score victory at the expense of the other. Partisan politics, it seems, could care less about finding a way out of the Iraq impasse.
America's larger problem is the lack of a well-defined national purpose and mission. This manifests itself in the government's inability to draw up a cohesive foreign-policy vision -- be it hawkish, dovish, interventionist or isolationist.
Few Americans would agree with the federal government on what our national interest is, or even what it should be. There is no national debate or consensus regarding the role of America befitting its status as the world power. In spite of its image as a country addicted to war, America is viewed by many countries around the world as the beacon of freedom and human rights.
While the majority of Americans favor withdrawal from Iraq -- and that may soon be the sorry end for a costly dilemma -- I'm not so much against pulling out as I am tormented by the idea that America believes it can just invade any country, then leave it in shambles. These occupations often come with the admonition that "when you stand for democracy, America stands with you."
But no one needs to stand by the country that's about go to hell in a hand basket because partisanship denies it leadership.
(Source: San Francisco Chronicle)
US ARMED FORCES' FUTURE
If Hillary was elected as President of The United Stated of America, This would be the future of US Armed Forces.
CONSCIENTIOUS REJECTOR OR OPPORTUNIST?
Do you know a recent hot news: First Lt. Ehren Watada, a 28-year-old Hawaii native, is the first commissioned officer in the U.S. to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq. He announced last June his decision not to deploy on the grounds the war is illegal. This story has been reported at hotzone.yahoo and drew more than twenty thousand responses from readers, among them there was a great one as follow:
About this Watada issue. I am an officer in the US Army currently in Iraq. I have seen many things in my short time here and I still have to pause at times just to take it all in. I feel that most of the blame here is falling on the American government and American forces when really it should fall on the media and the Iraqi people.
You ask why the media? Well, how many mainstream stories have you heard about the good things we are doing in this country? How many faces of young Iraqi children that just got school supplies, drinkable water, or a healthy school lunch have you seen? Heck just getting an education is new to most kids. How many times have Americans heard that teachers are targets here in Iraq? Teachers? That alone should tell you something about these insurgents in itself. Do they tell you about those insurgent pigs that give small children toy guns in hopes that Colation Forces will feel them a threat and be forced to fire on them? NO! Only if the worse happens do you hear about it. It's not a story till some kid is dead! Do they tell the stories of Soldiers who work 18 hours a day protecting markets so Iraqi people can simply shop for basic needs? NO, only when the market gets blown up. Basically its not news till someone dies. No wonder the a lot of Americans are tired of this war! Why the Iraqi people? How about the Iraqi people that allow insurgents to use their homes to hid? They are so afraid to defend themselves or tell CF forces where these insurgent pigs are hiding. I mean they kill them most of the time even if they cooperate so hell go out with a fight at least. It's a known fact that most of the insurgents are from other countries why do the iraqi people put up with it. I think the Iraqi people need to get mad and fight for themselves as well. The Sunni and @#$% e fighting amongst one another just helps the insurgents and Iraqi people seem just too dumb to realize it. If this countries people got together and said "NO MORE" we could be gone in less then a year. Really, thats all it would take.
If CF Forces are guilty of anything it would be putting up with this countries lack of selfworth. This country could be great, there are so many things these people could accomplish if they really wanted to do it together. It amazes me everyday how these people actually survive in the state this country is in right now. But the WMD still hangs in your mind? Get this, there are more things here that can kill you as you are going about your safe little lives back in the states then a Nuclear Bomb. These insurgents are sick, perverse, deranged, and would most likely be locked up in a modern society. They run free here to terrorize the people and if not kept in check they would be at home terrorizing you.
So LT Watada, Sorry man but as a Platoon Leader myself I would never abandon my Soldiers. The Army may not always seem like the most organized organization, and sometimes it even amazes me that we won 2 world wars without powerpoint and email. "Some of you will get that". But when American people and even worse American Servicemembers fuel the ego's of these crazed insurgents it only prolongs the fight for peace.. Posted by usmc_doc1974 on Sun, Jan 7, 2007 4:36 PM ET
Beside this great posting of a Platoon leader, there are tons of bullshit and none sense thoughts posted that really pissed me off, so I took time to write some "kick-ass" (see below). After a day, guess what? They deleted my posting, while kept all the others that denounced US Army as terrorists etc...! Unbelievable! If the Iraq war can be compared as the Vietnam war, it was the similarity how the US main stream media manipulated readers' emotion, misled, and provided only bungled news stories.
As a Vietnamese Veteran (an outsider) of Vietnam War I think I can identify the true character of this "Officer and a Gentleman" better than may others, so let me point out some things you all should notice:
1/ The guy's argument sounded more like a political accusation of some election candidate, not a soldier's protest. He kept using the words like "immoral, illegal, corrupt, crime etc."
2/ He joined an ARMY, but do not understand what an ARMY means! In such an organization, everyone has to carry the order first, and if disagreed on some thing he should submit a complaint later. Otherwise, an Army would disintegrate if all soldiers could make judgments and decisions by themselves like the Guy Watada. Perhaps even a band of bandits wouldn't want him, for fear someday he may sell them out based on his own code of ethics. It is grateful for US Army to let him go.
3/ In his demagogic rhetoric, Watada used camaraderie and emotion appeals as part of the argument for his decision not going to Iraq (such words like "the American soldiers have suffered..."I saw the pain and agony etched upon the faces of these families of lost soldier..."). As my own experiences of Vietnam War, because of camaraderie, true soldier will march along with brothers into harm's way, even when he has the choice not to do so. Not like the guy Watada who stayed back and..."blow the whistle!"
4/ Near the end of World War II, in an attempt to tip the balance of victory, Japanese Empire sent their youth pilots as suicide bombers (the Kamikaze pilots' attack) against the US fleets. Those Kamikaze pilots have gained respect by most Japanese people (me included) for their sacrifices and dedicated spirit although their sacrifices have been exploited for a futile ambition. If born by then, I wonder Watada would have used the same rhetoric to not joining the Kamikazes' rank or he would instead shout "Tora, Tora, Tora."
For conclusion, let me say: Watada is a hypocrite just like many other anti-any-wars leftists who will say whatever that fits their political agenda. What made him different and advantageous is he happened to wear US Army uniform. He is neither a coward nor a deserter in front of enemy for he has never been in battle and faces death. The guy is just a scumbag who mistook US Army as a...job or worse, a romantic adventure!
Posted by Gucci as # 21665 but being sensored :) So why not post on my own website! Thank millions to the revolution of computer and internet that keep free speech soar
WHY NOT INVADE VIETNAM TOO?
Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He will be among the 22 speakers at FFF's upcoming conference on June 1–4 in Reston, Virginia: "Restoring the Constitution: Foreign Policy and Civil Liberties."
By Jacob G. Hornberger
Amidst all the comparisons of the Vietnam War with the occupation of Iraq, people seem to be ignoring an important question: Why not invade Vietnam too?
After all, everyone knows that Vietnam is not a democracy. In fact, unlike Saddam Hussein's dictatorial regime in Iraq, the Vietnam dictatorship is communist, and as U.S. officials reminded us throughout the Vietnam War, communists are committed to burying America. Moreover, let's not forget that the Vietnamese communists killed almost 60,000 American men – that is, many more Americans than Saddam ever killed and, in fact, 20 times the number of Americans killed on 9/11.
Wouldn't an invasion of Vietnam not only spread democracy in that country but also avenge the deaths of tens of thousands of American men?
So why was President Bush recently visiting Vietnam and shaking hands with its communist dictators instead of leading a U.S. invasion force into Vietnam in his capacity as commander in chief?
By shaking hands and partying with the Vietnamese communist dictators, Bush was implicitly conceding that the issue of regime change in Vietnam properly lies with the Vietnamese people, not with the U.S. government. By his actions, he was saying that the U.S. government would have no more right to invade Vietnam and liberate the Vietnamese people than the Vietnamese government would have to invade the United States to liberate the American people. Regime change – whether through the ballot box or through violent revolution – properly lies with the citizenry of each particular country, not with foreign governments, especially since the price of such regime change is oftentimes extraordinarily high in terms of death and destruction, as the people of Iraq have involuntarily discovered.
Bush's refusal to invade Vietnam is not much different from how U.S. presidents treated Eastern Europe during the Cold War. As miserable as the citizens of Eastern Europe were after U.S. officials delivered them into the clutches of the Soviet communists at the end of World War II, the issue of violent regime change properly lay with the Eastern Europeans, not with the U.S. government. They chose peaceful means, even though it took almost half a century to throw off the shackles of Soviet tyranny. Who is to say that Eastern Europeans would have been better off with a U.S. invasion that would have killed hundreds of thousands of them and left Eastern Europe a wasteland?
Why did Bush invade Iraq rather than travel to Baghdad and shake hands with Saddam, as U.S. envoy Donald Rumsfeld did during the 1980s on behalf of the U.S. government, and as Bush himself recently did with the Vietnamese communist dictators?
The answer lies in a very simple fact: U.S. presidents use their standing army, which loyally and obediently follows presidential orders, to attack weak and relatively defenseless Third World countries, such as Panama, Grenada, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and only when U.S. casualties are expected to be low. With Iraq as with Vietnam, it's obvious that they simply miscalculated a bit.
As the Iraq debacle continues to spiral downward, sucking ever-growing numbers of people into its death throes, all too many Americans continue to judge the invasion and occupation of Iraq by how many U.S. troops have been killed. But from a moral standpoint, Americans should also be asking themselves two important questions: (1) Under what moral or legal authority did the U.S. government invade Iraq, killing hundreds of thousands of people in the process? and (2) If the U.S. government invaded Iraq to spread freedom and democracy, as U.S. officials maintain, why is it cozying up to such totalitarian regimes as the communist dictatorship in Vietnam?
INSTRUCTION FOR LIFE FROM DALAI LAMA
1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a
wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate
steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and
think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the
current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
(Sent by Triple T)
•With money you can buy a HOUSE but not a HOME
•With money you can buy a CLOCK but not TIME
•With money you can buy a BED but not SLEEP
•With money you can buy a BOOK but not KNOWLEDGE
•With money you can buy a DOCTOR but not GOOD HEALTH
•With money you can buy a POSITION but not RESPECT
•With money you can buy BLOOD but not LIFE
•With money you can buy SEX but not LOVE
*I think I can understand best the last item :0)
"THE POLITICAL INCORRECTNESS"
Here with at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating
heart: I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on
the cover of People and US constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits
and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They
never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change
my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are
they so important?
I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is either, and I do not care at all about
Tom Cruise's wife. Am I going to be called before a Senate committee
and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick
and Jessica are. If this is what it means to be no longer young, it's
not so bad.
Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was
Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call
those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees Christmas trees. I don't feel
threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are:
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me. I
don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a
In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and
sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all
that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my
beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with
me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think
Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think
people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period.
I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution, and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we
should worship Nick and Jessica and we aren't allowed to worship God as
we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But
there are a lot of us who are wondering where Nick and Jessica came from
and where the America we knew went to.
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a
little different: This is not intended to be a joke, it's not funny,
it's intended to get you thinking.
Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane
Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of
our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we
demand He leave us alone?"
In light of recent events...terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I
think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her
body found recently) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools,
and we said OK.
Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible
says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor
as yourself. And we said OK.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they
misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we
might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We
said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK. Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill
strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it
out. I think it has a great deal to do with "WE REAP WHAT WE SOW."
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the
world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say,
but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes'
through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending
messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny
how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through
cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and
Are you laughing?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it. Funny how we can be more worried
what about other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no
one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't
sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
(Story sent by Lois)
THE GREATEST SPEECH OF AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT
My Fellow Americans: As you all know, the defeat of Iraq regime has been completed.
Since congress does not want to spend any more money on this war, our mission in Iraq is complete.
This morning I gave the order for a complete removal of all American forces from Iraq. This action will be complete within 30 days. It is now to begin the reckoning.
Before me, I have two lists. One list contains the names of countries which have stood by our side during the Iraq conflict. This list is short. The United Kingdom, Spain, Bulgaria, Australia, and Poland are some of the countries listed there.
The other list contains everyone not on the first list. Most of the world's nations are on that list. My press secretary will be distributing copies of both lists later this evening.
Let me start by saying that effective immediately, foreign aid to those nations on List 2 ceases immediately and indefinitely. The money saved during the first year alone will pretty much pay for the costs of the Iraqi war.
The American people are no longer going to pour money into third world Hell-holes and watch those government leaders grow fat on corruption.
Need help with a famine? Wrestling with an epidemic?
In the future, together with Congress, I will work to redirect this money toward solving the vexing social problems we still have at home. On that note, a word to terrorist organizations. Screw with us and we will hunt you down and eliminate you and all your friends from the face of the earth.
Thirsting for a gutsy country to terrorize? Try France, or maybe China.
I am ordering the immediate severing of diplomatic relations with France, Germany, and Russia. Thanks for all your help, comrades. We are retiring from NATO as well. Bon chance, mesamis.
I have instructed the Mayor of New York City to begin towing the many UN diplomatic vehicles located in Manhattan with more than two unpaid parking tickets to sites where those vehicles will be stripped, shredded and crushed. I don't care about whatever treaty pertains to this. You creeps have tens of thousands of unpaid tickets. Pay those tickets tomorrow or watch your precious Benzes, Beamers and limos be turned over to some of the finest chop shops in the world. I love New York.
A special note to our! neighbors. Canada is on List 2 Since we are likely to be seeing a lot more of each other, you folks might want to try not pissing us off for a change.
Mexico is also on List 2. President Fox and his entire corrupt government really need an attitude adjustment. I will have a couple extra tank and infantry divisions sitting around. Guess where I am going to put em? Yep, border security. So start doing something with your oil.
Oh, by the way, the United States is abrogating the NAFTA treaty - starting now.
We are tired of the one-way highway. Immediately, we'll be drilling for oil in Alaska - which will take care of this country's oil needs for decades to come. If you're an environmentalist who opposes this decision, I refer you to List 2 above: pick a country and move there. They care.
It is time for America to focus on its own welfare and its own citizens. Some will accuse us of isolationism. I answer them by saying, "darn tootin."
Nearly a century of trying to help folks live a decent life around the world has only earned us the undying enmity of just about everyone on the planet. It is time to eliminate hunger in America. It is time to eliminate homelessness in America. It is time to eliminate World Cup Soccer from ! America. To the nations on List 1, a final thought. Thanks guys. We owe you and we won't forget. To the nations on List 2, a final thought: You might want to learn to speak Arabic. God bless America! Thank you and good night. If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.
WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO TURN ON THE TV AND HEAR ANY U.S. PRESIDENT, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN GIVE THE ABOVE SPEECH?
(Story sent by Dan Byrd)
WHERE ARE ALL THE PEOPLE
If you visited Southern California, you would notice something unusual on the Sunday morning: The freeway is a kind of empty! You may wonder where the heck are the people? What are they doing? Here are the reasons for light traffic on Sunday:
-The white folks are gathering at the churches.
-The African-Americans are still at sleep due to heavy party last night.
-The Mexicans are either always fixing their old cars on the driveways or taking care somebody else's lawns.
-And the Vietnamese are working overtime at their jobs as usual.
CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
Two Arabs boarded a flight out of London. One took a window seat and the
other sat next to him in the middle seat.
Just before takeoff, a Marine sat down in the aisle seat. After takeoff, the Marine kicked his shoes off, wiggled his toes and was
settling in when the Arab in the window seat said, "I need to get up and
get a coke."
"Don't get up," said the Marine, "I'm in the aisle seat, I'll get it for
As soon as he left, one of the Arabs picked up the Marines shoe and spat
When the Marine returned with the coke, the other Arab said, "That looks
good, I'd really like one, too."
Again, the Marine obligingly went to fetch it. While he was gone the other Arab picked up the Marines other shoe and spat in it.
When the Marine returned, they all sat back and enjoyed the flight. As
the plane was landing, the Marine slipped his feet into his shoes and
knew immediately what had happened.
"Why does it have to be this way?" he asked. "How long must this go on?
This fighting between our nations? This hatred? This animosity? This
spitting in shoes and pissing in cokes?"
(Story sent by Fitzwarter)
As you know, Marines are always taught:
1) Keep your priorities in order and
2) Know when to act without hesitation.
A U.S. Marine was attending some college courses between assignments.
He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU.
One day he shocked the class when he came in, looked to the ceiling, and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes."
The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when
the U. S. MARINE got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and coldcocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold.
The MARINE went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the MARINE and asked, "What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you did that?"
The MARINE calmly replied, "God was too busy today protecting America's who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So He sent me."
(Story sent by Jim Stewart)
December 9, 2005 (CNN)
While interviewing a US Special Forces soldier on his sniper skills, a news agent asked the soldier what he felt when shooting members of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
The soldier shrugged, "Recoil."
Story sent by Jim Stewart
A US military advisor and a Vietnamese interpreter team traveled to a village near Cambodia border to search for an US Army chopper that had crashed in that area. The Vietnamese village Chief (who can speak Cambodian) summoned a witness, a Cambodian Buddhist monk for information on the location of the crash site.
During the Q/A session, the conversations went back and forth from English to Vietnamese then Cambodian, and vice versa. At the end of the talk, assuming that the Buddhist Monk had run for help as he already did, the American asked the usual last question, "So what did you do after you saw the airplane went down?"
Here is the answer from the monk after it goes around the chain of translation:
A true story recalled from San Antoli's book (a Vietnam Vet author).