Archive for Iraq

Violent Muslims protest UK returning soldiers

Posted in Islam with tags , , , , , , , on June 15, 2010 by saynsumthn

AP reports

Protesters have heckled soldiers and brandished placards opposing the war in Afghanistan during a homecoming parade for troops.

A group of predominantly Muslim protesters gathered in Barking town centre, in east London, as members of the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment marched through the streets.

One witness said: “There were about 25 to 50 Muslim protesters carrying placards with things like ‘Muslims Against Crusades’ and ‘British Soldiers Go To Hell’.

“Then there was a counter-protest of about 100 guys barracking them.”

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said two people had been arrested for public order offences.

Barking and Dagenham councillor Liam Smith said the march was unaffected by the protest.
He said: “I’m glad the actions of a vocal minority failed to spoil what was a proud day in the borough’s history and one we will remember for all the right reasons in years to come.

“The Royal Anglians are our local regiment. We are proud of them and the difficult and dangerous job they do, and as today’s turnout for the parade showed, so are the people of Barking and Dagenham.”

Adopt a Retired Military Working Dog

Posted in Animal Lovers with tags , , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by saynsumthn

Military Working Dogs Saving Soldiers’ Lives

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This is a rush transcript from “Hannity,” December 29, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

RICH LOWRY, GUEST HOST: Thousands of American men and women are spending the holidays in a war zone half a world away from home. Ainsley Earhardt takes a look at some of the four-legged soldiers who are fighting alongside them and what you can do to help them.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When it comes to protecting our freedoms here in the United States, we usually think of the brave men and women serving in our armed forces. But some of the most unheralded members of the fighting force are its 2,300 military working dogs.

(on camera) I’m at Lackland Air Force Base here in San Antonio, Texas. If you enlist in the Air Force, this is where you’ll come for your initial basic training. But it’s not just the airmen that are being trained here. It’s also the Department of Defense military working dogs, like Pearl.

Come here, girl. Good girl.

CAPT. DAVID STAMPER, 341ST TRAINING SQUADRON: The mission of the 341st Training Squadron is to provide trained military working dogs, trained and used in explosive and drug detection, patrol and specialized mission functions for the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

STEWART HILLARD, PH.D., CHIEF OF MWD PROCUREMENT: The dog has 120 days from the time that it enters the course to graduate in both detection and patrol. At the end of the course, the dog is, what we say, certified for these tasks, meaning he’s passed a performance test showing that he is fully trained and that he can carry out explosives detection or drug detection and patrol.

EARHARDT: Along with their handlers, these dogs are deployed from every branch of service wherever duty calls, helping guard our military bases and protecting our troops.

HILLARD: Trained military working dogs are, many people argue, the single most effective countermeasure against IEDs. And IEDs, of course, are the single most deadly weapon.

They search for and locate explosives, either explosives that are being stored or explosives that are being fashioned into explosive devices, or explosives that are put in place as improvised explosive devices to wound and kill our folks.

So what the dogs do is they tell us that they’re there, and then the dog teams are withdrawn and EOD folks go in and take care of the explosives.

SGT. FIRST CLASS CAREY FORD, MWD INSTRUCTOR: They’re the first line of defense. We use these dogs, again, in all aspects of the program. We assist battlefield commanders in their mission, and these dogs have saved countless lives from now until World War I, World War II, since the inception of the dogs being used.

EARHARDT (voiceover): Military working dogs have been keeping our soldiers safe for more than 60 years. Ken Shepherd is a World War II veteran.

KEN SHEPHERD, WORLD WAR II VETERAN: I was — joined the Marine Corps in 19 — July 1942, and I was in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

EARHARDT (on camera): And you were part of the first platoon in the Marines…

SHEPHERD: I was in the first Marine war dog platoon in World War II.

EARHARDT: Tell me about your dog.

SHEPHERD: Well, he was Sparky. He was a red — red Doberman, and he was sharp. They were good on the trails when we went out on patrols at night or during the day.

EARHARDT: And do you feel like Sparky was responsible for saving your life?

SHEPHERD: Yes.

EARHARDT: Do you think you’re standing here talking to me because of Sparky?

SHEPHERD: Yes. They came crawling up one night. And he came right up on a little hill right by us, and Sparky alerted. And my buddy threw a grenade down over the bank and got him.

EARHARDT (voice-over): And just like their two-legged counterparts, after years of honorably protecting the U.S. and keeping us all safe from harm’s way, their service comes to an end, too, and they go back to the civilian world.

HILLARD: Like any other organism, you know, they get old. They have to be — they have to be retired. They’ve reached the end of their working days, and they’ve got to go find, you know, a rug to lie on and some nice place to live. And many of these dogs are highly adoptable. They can make wonderful pets.

EARHARDT: But finding suitable homes for these four-legged heroes isn’t always as easy as it seems. In 2000, Congress passed a law enabling military working dogs to be adopted by former handlers, law-enforcement agencies and civilian families.

Rodney Sparkoiwich works for the Department of Defense as the military working dog adoption coordinator. It’s his job to find good homes for these retired service dogs.

RODNEY SPARKOIWICH, ADOPTION DEPOSITION COORDINATOR: The vast majority of the dogs that we have, they have no training, so all they know is, “Yay,” life is a game. So people have to start there. They don’t know about living in a house. They don’t understand how the world is very different. It takes 60 to 90 days to see the real dog, until they begin to understand, this is normal. Rest, relax.

• Click here to learn more on dog adoption from Lackland Air Force Base

EARHARDT: After learning to adjust to civilian life, these dogs prove to be great additions to any home. They just need to be given a chance.

Debbie Kandoll’s husband is a member of the armed services, and she jumped at a chance to take one of these dogs into her house.

DEBBIE KANDOLL, ADOPTED MILITARY SERVICE DOG: This is NWB Benny Bravo 163. He’s a retired narcotics detection and patrol dog, and he served in the United States Air Force for 10 years.

My husband had deployed to Iraq, and I wanted to do more than keep the home fires burning. And so I got the idea, after finding out that military working dogs could be adopted, that I wanted to give a home to a canine hero, because these dogs do so much for our troops and our soldiers.

EARHARDT: Inspired after adopting Benny, Debbie made it her mission to find good homes for every retired military working dog.

KANDOLL: I decided that maybe I could help people work through the process of adopting military working dogs by putting my experience on a Web site. And on that Web site you will not only find a host of military working dog adoption stories, as chronicled by the folks that adopted them, but you’ll also find a step-by-step guide telling you how to adopt a military working dog.

EARHARDT: But Benny isn’t the only success story. Other canine heroes have found loving homes, as well. Debbie Aguillon adopted Cesar nine months ago.

DEBBIE AGUILLON, ADOPTED CESAR FROM LACKLAND: It’s been absolutely wonderful. Initially when we adopted him it was — we have a Rottweiler at home and we wanted to adopt another one, and we thought about — we looked at the Lackland Web page and saw the military adoption program. Knowing that he was a military working dog and had never really socialized with other dogs. I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out, but it’s — it’s been — it’s been wonderful.

EARHARDT: Stories of these courageous dogs also inspired J.T. Gabriel to give another retired military working dog a home.

J.T. GABRIEL, WWW.K9SOLDIERS.COM: I happened to ask the kennel master at Bowling one day if he had any of the military dogs up for adoption. He said, “As a Matter of fact, we do,” and he sent me a picture of Ben. And I feel in love immediately, just from the picture.

• Click here to learn more on dog adoption from K9 Soldiers

KANDOLL: These dogs are amazing, not only while they’re serving our country, but even in retirement. I’ve never had such a devoted animal as my Benny.

GABRIEL: I absolutely love this country, and I love what our young men and women and also, by extension, these dogs do for the freedom. I know that I can wake up in peace every day because there are men and women and dogs putting their lives on the line every day for me.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

— Watch “Hannity” weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

Harold Koh,Legal Adviser:Department of State and Sharia Law?

Posted in Constitution, Islam, Racism, Religion, Violence against women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2009 by saynsumthn

Harold Koh- Nominated: Legal Adviser to the Department of State.

It looks like former Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh will in fact be the next Legal Adviser of the State Department. The cloture voted just passed, 65 – 31. The cloture vote ends months of debate over Koh’s nomination. An up-down vote on his nomination should follow soon.

On Monday, nearly four months after President Obama nominated Harold Koh to become legal adviser to the State Department, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) filed cloture and moved his nomination to the floor. Confirming the dean of Yale Law School to a powerful but usually uncontroversial position had proven harder than either his supporters or his detractors could have expected.

READ WHAT THE No Koh People have to say about this pick:

NY POST March 30, 2009:

OBAMA’S MOST PERILOUS LEGAL PICK

By MEGHAN CLYNE

Koh: Wants US courts to apply “world law.”

http://www.nypost.com/seven/03302009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obamas_most_perilous_legal_pick_161961.htm

JUDGES should interpret the Constitution according to other nations’ legal “norms.” Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts. The United States constitutes an “axis of disobedience” along with North Korea and Saddam-era Iraq.

Those are the views of the man on track to become one of the US government’s top lawyers: Harold Koh.

President Obama has nominated Koh — until last week the dean of Yale Law School — to be the State Department’s legal adviser. In that job, Koh would forge a wide range of international agreements on issues from trade to arms control, and help represent our country in such places as the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

It’s a job where you want a strong defender of America’s sovereignty. But that’s not Koh. He’s a fan of “transnational legal process,” arguing that the distinctions between US and international law should vanish.

What would this look like in a practical sense? Well, California voters have overruled their courts, which had imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Koh would like to see such matters go up the chain through federal courts — which, in turn, should look to the rest of the world. If Canada, the European Human Rights Commission and the United Nations all say gay marriage should be legal — well, then, it should be legal in California too, regardless of what the state’s voters and elected representatives might say.

He even believes judges should use this “logic” to strike down the death penalty, which is clearly permitted in the US Constitution.

The primacy of international legal “norms” applies even to treaties we reject. For example, Koh believes that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child — a problematic document that we haven’t ratified — should dictate the age at which individual US states can execute criminals. Got that? On issues ranging from affirmative action to the interrogation of terrorists, what the rest of the world says, goes.

Including, apparently, the world of radical imams. A New York lawyer, Steven Stein, says that, in addressing the Yale Club of Greenwich in 2007, Koh claimed that “in an appropriate case, he didn’t see any reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States.”

A spokeswoman for Koh said she couldn’t confirm the incident, responding: “I had heard that some guy . . . had asked a question about sharia law, and that Dean Koh had said something about that while there are obvious differences among the many different legal systems, they also share some common legal concepts.”

Score one for America’s enemies and hostile international bureaucrats, zero for American democracy.

Koh has called America’s focus on the War on Terror “obsessive.” In 2004, he listed countries that flagrantly disregard international law — “most prominently, North Korea, Iraq, and our own country, the United States of America,” which he branded “the axis of disobedience.”

He has also accused President George Bush of abusing international law to justify the invasion of Iraq, comparing his “advocacy of unfettered presidential power” to President Richard Nixon’s. And that was the first Bush — Koh was attacking the 1991 operation to liberate Kuwait, four days after fighting began in Operation Desert Storm.

Koh has also praised the Nicaraguan Sandinistas’ use in the 1980s of the International Court of Justice to get Congress to stop funding the Contras. Imagine such international lawyering by rogue nations like Iran, Syria, North Korea and Venezuela today, and you can see the danger in Koh’s theories.

Koh, a self-described “activist,” would plainly promote his views aggressively once at State. He’s not likely to feel limited by the letter of the law — in 1994, he told The New Republic: “I’d rather have [former Supreme Court Justice Harry] Blackmun, who uses the wrong reasoning in Roe [v. Wade] to get the right results, and let other people figure out the right reasoning.”

Worse, the State job might be a launching pad for a Supreme Court nomination. (He’s on many liberals’ short lists for the high court.) Since this job requires Senate confirmation, it’s certainly a useful trial run.

What happens to Koh in the Senate will send an important signal. If he sails through to State, he’s a far better bet to make it onto the Supreme Court. So Senate Republicans have a duty to expose and confront his radical views.

Even though he’s up for a State Department job, Koh is a key test case in the “judicial wars.” If he makes it through (which he will if he gets even a single GOP vote) the message to the Obama team will be: You can pick ’em as radical as you like.

Meghan Clyne is a DC-based writer.

More Stories

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/03/31/obamas-appointment-koh-state-department-legal-adviser-stirs-controversy/

JUNE 24, 2009

In the end, every Democrat* and eight Republicans voted for cloture on Harold Koh’s nomination for legal adviser to the State Department. The Republicans: Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio). Three of them — Gregg, Martinez, and Voinovich — are retiring in 2010. All of them except for Alexander and Hatch represent states won by President Obama last year.

“We were confident that we would get the votes needed to invoke cloture and are pleased that this nomination is moving forward,” said Regan Lachappelle, a spokesperson for Sen. Harry Reid (R-Nev.) “Our hope, of course, would have been to consider the nomination without having to take up all of this time.”

Thirteen of the Republican “no” votes came from senators, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who voted to confirm Koh to his last job as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, back in 1998.

*Sen. Ted Kennedy (R-Mass.) and Sen. Robert Byrd (R-W.Va.) were not in the Senate for the vote.

http://washingtonindependent.com/48499/eight-republicans-vote-for-harold-koh