Remember the Alamo. If you happen to think the brave old days are gone forever, they're not. The Free State Project is still looking for people who believe in Davy Crockett's tradition. For those of you interested more in the history than the movement, you can find some history right here.
This is the other Georgia. The USMC is training Georgian security forces in combined arms, still a new concept over there. There's a brief, but interesting write-up over at USMC.mil.
Meanwhile, Marine Corps Times has published the "Lessons Learned" doc for OIF, USMC Reserve. I've worked on docs like this in the past, though not for the Corps. Doc-in-the-Box will be glad to know that they include this gem:
Corpsmen. Mobilize them on the same schedule as their SMCR unit.Meanwhile, as always, I'm taken by the dedication. Ten Marines gave their lives in the course of the events that led to these suggested improvements. It's good to know the Corps takes that seriously--but we, of course, expect nothing less.
I spoke to the family over the internet--we here at Grim's Hall have one of those cheap video-com webcams so that the grandparents can visit with wee Beowulf--and asked after the recent primary back home in Georgia. The whole family voted in the Democratic primary (regular readers will know that Grim comes from a very long line of Southern Democrats, in a tradition right back to James Jackson). The whole family voted for Edwards, who lost narrowly, mostly due to the Atlanta vote. Georgia is becoming a microcosm of America, divided on urban-rural lines. Atlanta has almost exactly half the population of the whole state, and is fervently liberal. The rest of the state is quite rural with only a few small cities, and quite conservative. Conservative Democrats voted for Edwardian populism, entirely familiar to the Southerner; liberal Democrats, reasonably, voted for Kerry and his lifetime 93% rating from the Americans for Democratic Action.
The other issue in Georgia was the flag, with the new flag winning out. There was, again, unanimity in my family on the question, although for different reasons. My father voted for the flag, I gather, just so they'd quit changing the damn'd thing. My mother preferred it because it didn't have the Confederate Battle Flag on it anywhere, whereas the blue flag had a very small version of the Battle Flag. She was not aware that the new flag was based entirely on the Confederate National Flag, which actually left the voters without an option for a truly non-Confederate flag; but then again, they didn't have the option of voting for the Battle Flag, either. Therefore is Georgia a republic, I suppose, not a democracy.
Our boy Blackfive has the story of a teacher and soldier, called up for duty, who has been told he has to fork over the cost of the substitute out of his military pay. We all know how well paid both soldiers and teachers are, especially considering the service each performs. This is a particularly astonishing example of disrespect for the volunteer military, from people who ought to be damn glad it exists. If you don't want to serve, honor a Reservist or National Guardsman: they're the reason we don't have to have a draft.
Those of us who honor them anyway, simply because they choose to serve, can only be appalled.
As you know, today is the Senate vote on S. 1805, which is the bill to protect the gun industry from assault-by-lawsuit. The Puppyblender points out that both Kerry and Edwards, neither of whom have set foot in the Senate in ages, are both returning to D.C. today to cast votes in favor of limiting your rights. That is another attack against the Jacksonian values that the Democratic party has often relied upon.
We expect no better from Kerry, who has famously been dubbed the most liberal Senator of all, although I still can't quite understand why "liberal" means "in favor of restricting rights." Still, Kerry is consistent: he doesn't want you armed, but he doesn't want his country armed either. We might have expected better from the Senator from North Carolina, but we aren't going to get it.
May they reap what they sow here. Seeking to strip Men of the power to defend themselves, may they be stripped of power instead.
Iraq approved its interim constitution today. The LittleGreenFootballs blog is not at all happy about it; Charles himself is 'not encouraged,' and the commenters are downright growlish.
All this is highly unfair to the Iraqis, who seem to be taking these issues seriously:
The Iraqi Governing Council repealed decree 137 today (the controversial decree bringing in Sharia law passed in December. A group of women came in to lobby against decree 137. They presented their case to the Governing Council as to why Sharia discriminates against women.Eight members of the council walked out in protest, but today an aide to the most powerful cleric in Iraq, al-Sistani, issued this statement:
The council vote to repeal decree 137 was passed by 15 in favor and 10 against (the full council of 25 was there). The women who had lobbied against decree 137 ululated and shouted for joy at the end of the vote.
And, an aide to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani said on Sunday that even in an Islamic state, people should be free to decide if they drink alcohol or if women should wear veils. "We don't want to put pressure on the people. Everyone was born free," Seyed Ali Abdul-Karim al-Safi al-Musawi, al-Sistani's representative in Basra, told The Associated Press.Note that link is to a Pakistani newspaper. The whole idea of the Iraq war was that bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq could send shockwaves of reformation through the Middle East. What's the Richter scale on that statement from the spokesman of Iraq's Grand Ayatollah?
We fought in Iraq to make men free. It's their country now, and they can do what they like with it. They deserve credit for the hard choices and difficult considerations they are employing. If it's not what you want--or what I want--well, Iraq isn't ours. That was never the point. De Oppresso Liber is just a rephrase of that line from the Battle Hymn of the Republic:
As He died to make men holyI don't wish to pick on LGF, which is an excellent weblog. Nevertheless, the people of Iraq's freedom was bought at a price in blood. To honor the dead, we ought to preserve and respect their exercise of that freedom. It's their country now, free, at last.
Let us die to make men free.