Friday, March 11, 2005

Crashed UAV Reveals Change of Hearts & Minds In Iraq

Every once in awhile you can find The Associated Press being "fair and balanced". This is one such time:

MUQDADIYA, Iraq (AP) - When an unmanned U.S. spy plane crashed in a farmer's onion field in central Iraq, his first instinct was to bury it.

He was afraid that if he helped the U.S. military recover the aircraft, insurgents in the area might see him as a collaborator and kill him, according to a U.S. soldier involved in the recovery operation.

The circumstances may be unique - after all it's not every day that a plane crashes in one's backyard - but the farmer's dilemma was not. As militants press their violent campaign against the American military presence, Iraqis must often choose whether to risk running afoul of U.S. troops or attack by insurgents. Complicating matters, they don't always know which side their neighbors are on.

U.S. forces lost radio contact with the plane late Tuesday. It wasn't immediately known what caused the crash in Muqdadiya, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad.

The crash set off an intense hunt - not just by American troops. U.S. officials said insurgents were also combing the area for the plane, which was loaded with sensitive observation equipment.

"Some other people were also looking for the (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), not necessarily friendly people," said Lt. Col. Roger Cloutier of the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, who commands U.S. soldiers in and around Muqdadiya.

The farmer was aware the search was on. Knowing he could not keep his unwanted treasure a secret long, he sought help from the local governor, Abdullah Hasan Rashid al-Jabouri, the self-declared survivor of 14 assassination attempts by insurgents.

Al-Jabouri suggested the two visit U.S. troops at Camp Normandy, just outside of Muqdadiya, and tell them where the plane was. The farmer agreed.

U.S. soldiers quickly arrived at the crash site and asked the farmer's son about it. The son, unaware his father had asked U.S. forces to come, played dumb, and was detained.

He wasn't held long.

As the farmer, dressed in tribal garb, sat in Cloutier's office late Wednesday, his son, visibly nervous, arrived to a warm welcome, bashfully nodding at soldiers in the room.

"It was a big misunderstanding," Cloutier said apologetically. He said the family had provided assistance "at great peril to themselves."

Al-Jabouri said the farmer did not go to the Iraqi police in Muqdadiya because he feared possible double agents who work with the insurgency.

Cloutier said the farmer's help was "really an indication of the shift of the mind-set of the (Iraqi) people" since the Jan. 30 national elections.

Miles away, U.S. soldiers dug up the destroyed plane.

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Robert "KKK" Byrd's Senate Seat To Be Challenged

RadioBlogger hits us to this report from The Hill that says Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito of Virginia will challenge the 87 year-ancient Bobby Byrd in 2006.

Beyond Capito's qualifications, The Hill speaks of Republicans hopes that Byrd is out of step with the state he purports to represent:

"The National Republican Senatorial Committee [NRSC], they’ll try and twist and turn Senator Byrd’s long record on its head and convince West Virginia voters that red is blue and blue is red," Gavin said.

NRSC spokesman Brian Nick said that West Virginia "has moved out from under Senator Byrd" and that the senator is ="way out of touch with the mainstream
...and Democrats counter:
Phil Singer, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman, said of Capito: "She’s wasting her time and money if she is thinking about taking on Senator Byrd."
In my opinion Byrd should pack it in and Democrats in the state should put up a moderate to keep the seat on their side of the isle. But hopefully they won't listen to me.

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Great Interview On K-TALK

After an initial technical glitch was resolved, the interview flowed through all the info on and related to drilling for oil in ANWR. Kyal 2K is a consumate interviewer and just as informed on ANWR as anyone I have come across before. Thanks to Kyal and the crew for the great plugs for this blog.

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Interesting Headlines.....

I will try to do a general news post like this once per day, schedule allowing. Click on the link of the headlines that interest you.

Yahoo! News - Harvard in Lather Over Campus Maid Service

Blogging Clicks With Colleges (

Desperate to be housewives: young women yearn for 1950s role as stay-at-home mums

Actress Dies of Pneumonia Complications: Actress Nicole DeHuff, who memorably took a volleyball in the face from Ben Stiller in the 2000 hit movie "Meet the Parents," died of complications from pneumonia. She was 31.

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Don't Let Our Servicemen Suffer The "Dead-beat Dad" Moniker

If a reservist takes a lower salary as a result of their extended service, should they still be required to pay the same amount of child support even though they make less money?

Most of the reservists called up to serve in the Iraq war have paid a big price: a significant reduction of their wages as they transferred from civilian to military jobs, separation from their loved ones, and of course the risk of battle wounds or death. Regrettably, on their return home, those who are divorced fathers could face another grievous penalty: loss of their children, financial ruin, prosecution as "deadbeat dads," and even jail...

...These servicemen fathers cannot get relief when they return because federal law forbids a court to reduce the debt retroactively. Once the arrearage reaches $5,000, the father becomes a felon subject to imprisonment plus the loss of his driver's and professional licenses and passport.
Thanks to BlogsForBush for the tip!

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One Female Guard Responsible For Defendant

Here in lies the problem: The multicultural-corrective agenda of today's government agencies is putting lives at risk. We must not allow this huge mistake to be repeated.

Of course I can find no media reports to link to that talk about the propriety of assigning a woman to guard a 210 lb. violent criminal.

Read the Associated Press account here.

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MEDIA ALERT: Kevin Korenthal To Appear On Radio Program

AM 630 K-TALK will be interviewing founder Kevin Korenthal at 4:15 PM Pacific Time. K-TALK is based out of Salt Lake City, UT but thanks to the web, you can listen in from anywhere in the world by going to and clicking on the link in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Host Kyal 2K will be interviewing Kevin on his recent article "President & SoCalPundit: Open ANWR To Drilling For Oil" (see previous SoCalPundit post).

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