Toast A Mojito! The Bastard Fades Away With a Wimper... Fidel Castro Resigns as Cubas President.
By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr.
Published: February 20, 2008
MEXICO CITY Fidel Castro stepped down Tuesday morning as the president of Cuba after a long illness. The announcement was made in a letter to the nation written by Mr. Castro and published early Tuesday morning on the Web site of Granma, the official publication of the Cuban Communist Party.
The resignation ends one of the longest tenures as one of the most all-powerful communist heads of state in the world.
In late July 2006, Mr. Castro, who is 81, handed over power temporarily to his brother, Ral Castro, 76, and a few younger cabinet ministers, after an acute infection in his colon forced him to undergo emergency surgery. Despite numerous operations, he has never fully recovered but has remained active in running government affairs from behind the scenes.
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Do you remember when Puerto Rico was raising heck about the US Navy using that nothing little island just off the coast of Puerto Rico for bombing practices, which they had used for the past 75 years?
Demonstrations were held; Hollywood left wingers, Al Sharpton, and his fellow demagogues went down there to demonstrate to get the Navy out?
I am sure it infuriated you just as it did me at the time. Well, here is our revenge. Always be careful what you ask for, you just may get it!
One of the many headaches that the U.S. has had was the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. In the waning years of the Clinton Administration protesters demand that the US Navy abandon bombing and naval gunfire exercises that had taken place on the largely uninhabited island for nearly seventy years.
In 2002, the bombing exercises were transferred to an Air Force bombing range in central Florida not far from Jacksonville and Pensacola Naval Air Stations. In January, many of the protesters were back in Puerto Rico, celebrating the final bombing exercise on Vieques and waved Puerto Rican flags and placards that read "U. S. Navy, get out of Puerto Rico."
The following February, Rumsfeld announced that the U. S. Navy will close the Roosevelt Roads Naval Air Station in Puerto Rico in 2004, eliminating 1200 civilian jobs as well as 700 military positions. This naval facility is estimated to have put nearly $300 million annually into the local economy.
The next day a stunned Governor Sila Calderon, held a news conference in San Juan protesting the base closure as a serious blow to the Commonwealth's fragile economy. The governor stated that "The people of Puerto Rico don't now or never did have an interest in closing the Vieques bombing range or the Roosevelt Roads naval base. We are interested in both staying in Puerto Rico.
When asked, the Commander-in-Chief, Western Atlantic Command, said, "Without Vieques, I see no further need for the facility at Roosevelt Roads. None."
So, Yankee go home? Fine. But we'll take our DOLLARS with us. Hasta la vista, baby!
On February 21, the Secretary of Defense also announced that starting this year! , the U .S. European Command would begin moving most, if not all, of its active combat and support units from bases in Germany to others being established in Poland, The Czech Republic, Hungary and Turkey to "better position them for rapid deployment to likely hot spots in those parts of the world."
Immediately the business and government leaders in the German states of Hesse, Rinelandand Wurttemburg, protested the loss of nearly $6 billion US revenue each year from the bases and manpower to be displaced. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry speculated that the move may be "what the Americans call 'payback' for the actions of t his government in opposing Military action in Iraq."
"Does anyone know the German translation for: "Hasta la vista, baby?" I think "Aufwiedersehen, linesmen" is a good translation.
Oh, isn't it nice to see a government with guts and a good memory???
Allso, here are some statistics and conclusions about a different subject.
If you consider that there has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theater of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,112 deaths, when this was written) that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers.
The firearm death rate in Washington D. C. is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. (...and that was while handguns were outlawed!!)
That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U. S. Capitol, which has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, than you are in Iraq.
PASS THIS ON 'cuz you can be sure that CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS won't!
Conclusion: Just maybe the U.S. should pull out of Washington, D.C. !!!!
Dear Friends, This e-mail has been overlooked by me since December. It's still important and needs to be read by all American citizens. It's possible that the following numbers are larger today than when it was originally written. Read it and send it on. We should all know.
Read it & wonder...
If only half of this is a fact I have to wonder about our press.
The saddest thing about the email below is the conclusion about the media...
WE ALL SHOULD KNOW!
Did you know? I didn't know!
Did you know that 47 countries have reestablished their embassies in Iraq ?
Did you know that the Iraqi government currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?
Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are now under construction. And 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq ?
Did you know that Iraq's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?
Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program?
Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.
Did you know that Iraq's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational corol) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?
Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion?
Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers?
Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks?
Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilits, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.
Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?
Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?
Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?
Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?
Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004?
Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?
OF COURSE WE DIDN'T KNOW!
WHY DIDN'T WE KNOW?
OUR MEDIA HASN'T TOLD US!
Instead of reflecting our love for our country, we get photos of flag burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at the presidential motorcades. Tragically, the lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two purposes:
It is intended to undermine the world's perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support, and it is intended to discourage American Citizens.
---- Above facts are verifiable on the Department of Defense web site.
---- Pass it on! Give it a Wide Dissemination!
(Unfortunately, this turns out to be a hoax - Read about it Here!)
Hoover and Eisenhower Did It. Why Can't They Do It Today?
Here is something that should be of great interest for you to pass around. I didn't know of this until it was pointed out to me. But, back during the Great Depression, President Herbert Hoover ordered the deportation of all illegal aliens in order to make jobs available to American citizens that desperately needed work.
And then again in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower deported 13 million Mexican nationals! The program was called 'Operation Wetback' so that American WWII and Korean veterans had a better chance at jobs. It took 2 years, but they deported them!
Now, if they could deport the illegals back then, they can sure do it today!! If you have doubts about the veracity of this information, the check out the link below:
POMC for Deceased Veterans
Private Ships of War
By Ann Jocelyn
Privately owned warships are so deeply at the heart of American maritime tradition that a reference to them is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. With their own contract crews who rushed to the fight for independence during the American Revolution and in defense of the nation during the War of 1812, the private warships successfully waged naval guerrilla warfare against the world's most powerful fleet. Private warships also fought the Barbary pirates in the nation's first foreign war.
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A Coalition of the Capable
How private naval companies can expand humanitatrian efforts
By Claude Berube
The first sign of the disaster was a little girl's sandal in the water. Then the debris of houses, the bodies, and then the smoke on the shoreline from burning refuse of what hadn't been swept away by the waves. Survivors were met almost immediately by gray hulls and Americans. Two years later on the other side of the world, a city fell to a hurricane as levees broke and anarchy followed until the citizens' fellow Americans arrived on the scene.
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France denies report special forces fought in Chad
Fri Feb 8, 2008 2:15pm EST
PARIS (Reuters) - French government and military officials denied on Friday a newspaper report that French special forces supported the Chadian government in fighting rebels who attacked the capital last weekend.
France's La Croix daily, citing diplomats and military sources, said members of the special operations command helped to drive back rebels in fighting around the capital N'Djamena.
The newspaper said French soldiers also opened fire on rebels approaching the airport during an evacuation of foreigners, and said Paris persuaded Libya to send tank ammunition which enabled Deby's forces to defeat the rebels in the capital.
During a visit to Mauritania, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner dismissed the report.
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The Patton of Counterinsurgency
By Frederick W. Kagan and Kimberly Kagan
The Weekly Standard | Monday, March 03, 2008
Great commanders often come in pairs: Eisenhower and Patton, Grant and Sherman, Napoleon and Davout, Marlborough and Eugene, Caesar and Labienus. Generals David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno can now be added to the list.
It's natural to assume that successful pairs of commanders complement each other's personalities (the diplomatic Eisenhower and the hard-charging Patton, for example) or that the junior partner is merely executing the vision of the other (Sherman seen as acting on Grant's orders). In reality, the task of planning and conducting large-scale military operations is too great for any single commander, no matter how talented his staff. The subordinate in every successful command pair has played a key role in designing and implementing the campaign plan.
History does not always justly appreciate such contributions. The role that Davout played in shaping operational plans for Napoleon is a matter for specialists. General Odierno deserves better. He played an absolutely essential role in designing and executing the successful counterinsurgency operations in Iraq. His contributions to securing Iraq offer many important lessons for fighting the larger war on terror. As he and his team return to Fort Hood, Texas, it is important not only to commemorate their achievement, but also to understand it.
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Special Ops Force Based In Hawaii To Be Field-tested
By William Cole
A lot of Hawai'i-based special operations forces will be in the field this week on O'ahu as the headquarters of Special Operations Command-Pacific based at Camp Smith gets some extra training.
About 150 Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine service members are taking part in the deployment. Many are Navy SEALs and Army Special Forces, otherwise known as Green Berets.
The command, which operates as U.S. Pacific Command's rapidly deployable special operations joint task force, has been in Hawai'i for 25 years.
The "SOCPAC" service members will conduct individual and team tasks. Individual tasks include "water confidence" training, and qualification training with individual weapons.
A six-mile hike at Ka'ena Point is planned, and the troops also will conduct survival training and jump operations.
The Hawai'i Army National Guard will fly CH-47 Chinook helicopters for jump operations and a Navy dive unit is providing Zodiac boats for the training, officials said.
The training will take place at Camp Smith, Area X-Ray at Schofield Barracks, and at Iroquois Point.
SOCPAC members and component units recently participated in a two-week exercise in Guam to hone readiness as the Pacific region's special operations Joint Task Force-510.
"The exercise was designed to bring JTF-510 together on short notice to test our capability to rapidly deploy and respond to crisis situations," Maj. Gen. Salvatore F. Cambria, SOCPAC's commander, said at the time. "Our forces performed extremely well, and are now better trained and more capable to serve U.S. Pacific Command."
That exercise, Fortune Maker 2007, included command post and field training events with notional host nation forces.
About two dozen SOCPAC service members based out of Hawai'i are typically in the southern Philippines as part of the 500-member Joint Special Operations Task Force Philippines.
UK enlisted astrologer to fight Hitler
By D'ARCY DORAN, Associated Press Writer
Desperate for a glimpse into Adolf Hitler's unpredictable mind, British spies hired an astrologer during World War II to write horoscopes for him and other Nazi leaders, documents declassified Tuesday show. They soon regretted it.
The file released to Britain's National Archives catalogs the frustrations of MI5 handlers as they tried to prevent the astrologer, Louis de Wohl, from publicly embarrassing high-ranking intelligence and military officers.
"I have never liked Louis de Wohl he strikes me as a charlatan and an imposter," reads the first line in the astrologer's file. The letter is typical and appeared to be signed by Dick White, who went on to become the head of Britain's domestic spy agency, MI5, in the 1950s.
That view didn't keep de Wohl from winning a temporary rank as a British army captain. He was sent by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who did not believe in astrology, to the U.S. to persuade Americans that the Nazis would lose within months if they entered the war.
When de Wohl's services were no longer needed, intelligence agents puzzled over how to get rid of the man who called himself Britain's state seer, the declassified documents show.
De Wohl was born in Berlin in 1903 and fled to Britain in 1935 to avoid Nazi persecution for being part Jewish. His wife, Alexandra, fled to Santiago, Chile, where she claimed to be a Romanian princess and was known as "La Baronessa."
In London, de Wohl claimed variously to be a Hungarian nobleman, the nephew of an Austrian conductor, the grandson of a British banking magnate and a relative of the Lord Mayor of London. His break came, he wrote in a later book, during a dinner at the Spanish Embassy, when a Spanish duchess asked de Wohl to reveal Hitler's horoscope to Britain's foreign secretary, Lord Halifax.
Sir Charles Hambro, the head of Britain's Special Operations Executive, soon hired de Wohl as part of his network of agents across Europe.
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U.S. captures Iranian special forces commander near Baghdad
BAGHDAD The U.S.-led coalition has captured a senior Iranian operative who helped finance and equip Shi'ite militias.
U.S. Army paratroopers detained the suspected senior leader of the Iranian-sponsored Special Groups network during an operation in Baghdad's Beida neighborhood on Feb. 27.
Officials said the Special Groups was trained and equipped by Iran. They said the organization, believed to comprise a series of cells, introduced the Explosively-Formed Penetrator, designed to destroy U.S. and other Western origin main battle tanks.
The loss of yet another senior Special Groups leader places additional stress on the criminal Special Groups network," Maj. Trey Rutherford, executive officer for the 2nd Bn., 325th Abn. Inf. Regt., said.
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Special Operators Head West
Over the next six years, Cannon will acquire nine squadrons of special operations forces and aircraft.
By Marc V. Schanz, Associate Editor
The wind-blown plains and mesas of New Mexicos Melrose bombing and gunnery range are dotted with targets, from the hulls of tanks to ammunition carriers, from gun emplacements to mock SA-6 anti-aircraft batteries. Over the years, fighter pilots had taken aim at them and fired countless rounds.
In December, however, the Air Forces New Mexico-based F-16 fighters roared out on their last mission from Cannon Air Force Base. The forces of Air Force Special Operations Command began moving in.
The change was ordered up by decision-makers in the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process. Out at Cannon, AFSOC is building its new 27th Special Operations Wing, which will be the first of its kind outside of Hurlburt Field, Fla., and only the second special operations wing in the United States.
Over the next six years, Cannon will experience a massive makeover. It will see the addition of up to nine squadrons of special operations forces and aircraft, the introduction of the CV-22 Osprey and the MQ-9 Reaper to AFSOC operations, and an expansion of Air Force special tactics training into the desert upland of eastern New Mexico.
In those wide-open spaces, air commandos, gunships, and tilt-rotor aircraft will be able to train with a broad collection of Air Force assets and other SOF elements. Dedicated areas on the range are being set aside for the practice of assault landings and special tactics. The participants will include pararescue jumpers, combat controllers, and combat weathermen, all Air Force specialities.
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Colombia: Says some documents suggest the rebels have bought and sold uranium - Chavez Funding FARC Rebels
By TOBY MUSE, Associated Press Writer
Venezuela and Ecuador sought Monday to make Colombia pay a high price for killing a leftist rebel leader in the Ecuadorean jungle expelling its diplomats, ordering troops to the border and cracking down on trade across the border.
But Colombia quickly struck back, revealing what it said were incriminating documents seized from the rebel camp that suggest its neighbors have been secretly supporting the leftist rebels' deadly insurgency.
And in a tit-for-tat move, Venezuela later displayed the laptop of a slain drug trafficker, which it said contained information implicating Colombia's national police chief in the cocaine trade.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa piled on the pressure saying Colombia's killing of the rebel leader Raul Reyes Saturday had scuttled talks between his government and the guerrillas to free 12 rebel-held hostages, including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three U.S. defense contractors.
"I'm sorry to tell you that the conversation were pretty advanced to free 12 hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt, in Ecuador," said Correa in a televised address. "All of this was frustrated by the war-mongering, authoritarian hands" of the Colombian government.
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Hunt Continues for Nazi Treasure
German treasure hunters were to begin digging Tuesday for what they claim to be plunder buried by the Nazis in a man-made cavern near the Czech border.
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Bullet Magnet' Prince Harry fights Taliban in Afghanistan
by Phil Hazlewood
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Left from Pleiku, Vietnam on a C-141 Nov 1966
The Hanoi Taxi (tail #66-0177) was retired from active service in May 2006.
She was the last of the 285 C-141's built by Lockheed to leave active service. She flew 100 POWs out of Hanoi on 12 February 1973, some of them tasting freedom for the first time in six years. Each POW put their shot-down date on the face of the oxygen panel during their flight to Clark Air Base in the Philippines . For her retirement ceremony, the POWs she brought home were brought back for the ceremony and one last flight by this gracious lady. Most of them are old men now but their enthusiasm, emotions, and excitement were evident during this flight and retirement ceremony. She was then flown to Dayton , OH where she will spend her final days in the Air Force Museum. A very touching video - Be sure to turn on the sound.
Watch the Video here
Berkeley City Council Condemns Our Soldiers
You may not be aware of the situation in Berkeley, California. The mainstream media has not been reporting on it. Here is the situation. The Berkeley City Council has told the Marine Recruiting Office to get out of Berkeley.
Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina has put together a video that shows you explicitly what the City Council members of Berkeley said about our Marines and the effort to force the recruiters to leave the city. They include comments from the Mayor who says that the Marines "don't belong here in Berkeley ."
These people aren't just against the war, they are against our soldiers who are fighting and dying in that war.
The video also includes rebuttal by veterans of this nation who are outraged by the conduct of this city council. I hope you will send the letter and forward it to friends and family. The letters will go straight to the Mayor and City Council members.
Click here to watch the video.
Read the letter from Debbie Lee, whose son was killed in action.
Read the statement from U.S. Senators DeMint, Cornyn, Vitter, Coburn, Inhofe, and Chambliss.
Click here to send the e-mail to the Mayor and City Council members.
Please forward this to family and friends.
Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and Chairman American Family Association