“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Middle East News

A US District Court judge has refused to allow the release of secret wire-tapping records. The very liberal People for the American Way Foundation sued to obtain records who approved the program, and how much tapping was going on. One interesting fact is the judge was appointed to the District Bench in 1999—you know, the Clinton years.
(…think this may be the end of it?...any one?...)

Democrats are divided about the draft? Really? Imagine that. Charlie Rangel is trying to push his long sought after goal. He is getting support from Jesse Jackson, who seems to think that military service gives college access to a privileged group. Their prime opponent? Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, who is to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee. And, Republicans don’t support it either. But, make sure you read between the lines of what’s being said. I recommend reading John’s breakdown. for the serious hearted among us. For pure laughs, read this.

On the subject of the military, a secret study group has released it’s recommendations—or at least the existence of them. As everyone knows, there seem to be only three possibilities: put up more troops, prepare to stay a lot longer, or go home. The usual players are to be found in the usual corners. Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter wants more troops and finish the fight. McCain says more troops now, then get out. Obama and Levin say start leaving and get out in 4-6 months. And so on…and so on…

With Iran and Syria trying to get involved, the Iraq situation is becoming more and more problematic. The Bush administration is wary of the overtures. Of course, the Islamists are for the involvement. So is the American Left. It doesn’t matter that despite all the rhetoric, neither of these countries has done anything to stop the violence—and have even encouraged its spread tacitly or implicitly. For example, as one commenter on this article says, Iran at some point offered to reign in Hezbollah. Why haven’t they done it anyway? More importantly, why isn’t there more media pressure for such a thing.
(…as if I need to ask…)

Lastly, BIG HAT TIP to Op-For for sharing this. I’ve often felt unsettled as I have blogged the names of some of the fallen. They were not service members I knew. Just the ones I could find to honor. My unsettledness came from not being able to honor them all. But, at our house, unlike the media, we know they have names. Go visit”They Have Names” to find their stories.

On May 29th, two journalists were killed and one severely injured by an IED in Iraq. Every media outlet in the country seemed to trip all over themselves trying to tell the American people about these "brave journalists". There were specials aired during prime time, full front page articles on almost every national newspaper and most local papers. And in every single article was this vague and nonspecific notation: "A U.S. soldier and an Iraqi translator also died in the blast."

Who was this "U.S. soldier"? For days, he endured anonymity for his sacrifice while these journalists whom he'd given his life to protect were paraded throughout the media as martyrs. I made it my goal in life to find out who he was and tell his story. He was not just "a U.S. soldier" to me. He was a brother. He was father. He was a son. And he had a name.
They have names was created to in order to pay proper respects for our fallen heroes. All too often, these Troops are relegated to mere numbers by the press. Their stories are unknown. Their lives are unkown. And their names are unknown. Their sacrifice is impersonal and taken for granted. To many Americans, they are faceless figures. They are not enigmas - They Have Names.
At the time of this writing, over 3000 troops have been killed in Iraq alone. Each and every one of them has unique talents, hobbies, families, and histories. Each of them had a reason that led them to serve in one of our nation's armed forces. These people are not mere numbers - They Have Names.
This site is dedicated to the memory of CPT James "Alex" Funkhouser, who gave me the motivation to share the stories of our fallen heroes.
At our house, we remember the cry of the warriors:
"Tell them of us and say,
For their tomorrow, we gave our today."
--The Kohima Epitaph--

We remember what you have given. And we say thank you for the tomorrows you have given others. May God give back to your families more than they have sacrificed and lost.

And, now, we dance In Memoriam.