24 December 2009

"A Father's Journey to Iraq" by Greg Janney

What were you doing on April 6, 2004? While most of us went about our daily lives, members of 2/4 Marines Echo Company were fighting and dying in Ar-Ramadi, Iraq, and twelve families’ lives were forever changed. On a day that few of us remember, 11 Marines and a Navy Corpsman were killed during a daylight ambush in a narrow, concrete block-lined alley 8000 miles from home. I know the father of one of these men, and this is the tale of two long journeys that we made to Iraq in an attempt to visit the site where his son fell in battle that terrible day in 2004. If successful, this trip would be the first time that any Gold Star parent had visited the actual site where their son or daughter was killed while in Iraq.

John Wroblewski, father of Marine 2nd Lt. J.T. Wroblewski, and I first met on January 12, 2007, as we set off with journalist Martha Zoller on our first trip to Iraq. Martha’s plan was to get John to the site in Ramadi where J.T. was mortally wounded. We arrived in Baghdad on January 14, but despite numerous attempts to get to Ramadi, we were unsuccessful due to sniper activity there. Having spent seven days by John’s side during which we heard more about J.T. and the Wroblewski family, I felt John’s anguish as we risked so much in our unfulfilled attempt to honor his son’s sacrifice. On the solemn flight home, I promised John that I would bring him back to Iraq to fulfill his dream.

After a year of planning and fundraising, John and I boarded a plane on February 27, 2008 on the first leg of our second journey to Iraq. We arrived in Kuwait on February 28th and received my first email from Marine Public Affairs Officer MSgt. Ellerbrock, which advised that we had clearance to get to Fallujah, but that Ramadi was not an option. I feverishly hammered out my response that we had to get to Ramadi, as that was the main purpose of my embed request. Ellerbrock then requested the reason for the urgency. With nothing left to lose, I explained that my assistant John Wroblewski is actually the Gold Star father of a U.S. Marine who was killed in action in Ramadi, and our mission was to perform a memorial service for J.T. and the ten other Marines and Navy Corpsman who fell alongside J.T. on 6 Apr 2004. Msgt. Ellerbrock's next message advised that he would see what he could do and would advise me via email soon. Since John and I were scheduled to depart via helicopter to Fallujah soon, I lost access to the internet for many hours.

With dreadful uncertainty, John and I continued our slow journey to Baghdad. We boarded an Air Force C-130 at 7:00 a.m. on March 1st, and landed in Baghdad at 10:00 a.m. Within 30 minutes of arrival we had boarded a Blackhawk helicopter, and landed inside Baghdad’s International Zone after a 15 minute flight (a special thank you to my friend at the helo desk.)

We arrived at CPIC and soon obtained our new press credentials, and I waited for a reply to my email. At 3:00 p.m., I received a call from US Army Maj. Lee Peters about my request. I told him about the ambush and my plan to take John to the site to perform a memorial service. The silence on the other end of the phone was deafening. After what seemed like a lifetime, Maj. Peters said, “I’m not sure how, but I’ll make it happen.”

We boarded a CH-47 Marine helicopter late on March 2nd, and were greeted in Fallujah by Msgt. Ellerbrock at midnight. Incredibly, we had all met during our January 2007 trip, but I didn’t realize it until then (a very interesting story in itself for later.) On March 3rd, after a few hours sleep, John and I met with the Marine Public Affairs staff to plan our strategy. Later, I interviewed Marine Major Matt Reid, Regimental Command Operation Commander, to outline challenges, goals, and accomplishments of the combined Army/Marine Units. We later retired to our quarters where I checked email and updated my blog. March 4th was spent with units of 1-4 and 3-1 Marines on a patrol southwest of Fallujah where we met with the mayor of Faris and toured an irrigation reconstruction project near the Tigris River. On March 5th, we met Marine Major General John Kelly (Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq – West) who would accompany us to the site in Ramadi on March 6th, along with 2/8 Marines PSD Company. John and I slept little that night as we knew that tomorrow was the big day. Would we reach our ultimate goal on this 2nd and final attempt?

At 8:20 a.m. on March 6th, John and I met Maj. General Kelly for a pre-mission briefing and a quick lesson on tourniquet application in the event someone was injured. John looked as nervous as I felt as he climbed into Gen. Kelly's Humvee. I said a silent prayer for our safe passage and we began the last leg of our quest to visit the ambush site. Our Humvee convoy departed Fallujah on Route Michigan for the tense ride to Ramadi.

After our convoy stopped at the Ramadi compound for a short meeting with Maamoon Sami Rahseed al-Awani, the Iraqi governor of Al-Anbar province, we headed toward Route Gypsum. The narrow market-lined street seemed almost too narrow for the Humvees along with Iraqi foot and vehicle traffic. We soon stopped and dismounted. I shouldered my camera gear, taking photos along our walk toward the T intersection leading to the alleyway where the ambush took place. I tried to focus on my images, but was very aware that a shot could ring out at any moment.

We kept to the cinder-block walls of the alley, and a Marine used a GPS device to confirm the exact spot where J.T. fell. John Wroblewski and Major General Kelly stood side by side as John solemnly explained that we were there to honor the 12 men of 2/4 Marines, Echo Company that died on April 6, 2004. His voice gravelly with emotion, John read the names of the fallen, “LCPL Benjamin Carman, LCPL Marcus Cherry, PFC Christopher Cobb, LCPL Kyle Crowley, PFC Deryk Hallal, PFC Ryan Jerabek, PFC Moises Langhorst, LCPL Travis Layfield, HM3 Fernandez Mendez, LCPL Anthony Roberts, SSGT Allan Walker, and my hero, 2nd Lt John Thomas Wroblewski.” John then asked for a moment of silence and we all bowed our heads. Finally, John asked the Marines if they would give a Marine cheer to honor their fallen brothers. The Marines’ loud “Ooh-Rah!” echoed off the houses and alley walls surrounding us and slowly faded away into the palm trees in the distance.

06 December 2009

Iran: Killing US troops since 2003+/- Ahmadenijad will use nukes to hasten Apocalypse

President Ahmadinejad and Iranian officials have recently promised to construct many more nuclear facilities in response to possible sanctions by the U.N. Some media consultants proclaim this an idle threat due to Iran's lack of resources. Regardless of their ability to follow-through, Iran long ago declared war against the U.S. by providing Iranian elite special forces troops (Quods) the means to train and supply insurgents to kill or kidnap American troops.

I think that there are several reasons to be concerned about a nuclear Iran: 1) I think that Ahmadinejad believes that Iran can initiate the return of the Muslim messiah through the extermination of Israel. I think he believes that he can fulfill (cause or instigate) Muslim/Jewish/Christian apocalypse by starting a world war between Israel and Muslim countries. This scenario was also aired on the History Channel recently. 2) Ahmadinejad and Iran export arms and technology to known terrorist groups. 3) Nuclear weapons will bring Iran the respect Ahmadinejad craves and put Iran above the reach of world sanctions.

Many of my 2007 interviews and 2008 blog posts explain Iranian involvement in Iraq (see post labels beginning with Iran.) I am re-posting a link to a news video about a Lebanese Hezbollah officer captured with Iraqi insurgents in 2007. His group kidnapped and murdered 5 American soldiers in an attack on a U.S. post. He confessed to being paid by Iran to infiltrate Iraq and train foreign fighters/Iraqi insurgents how to use special IED's (improvised explosive devices) that can destroy our armored vehicles. The Iraqis captured with the Quods officer confirmed the details of his confession. Now, ask yourself honestly - If Iran is/has been sending Iranian troops to Iraq to kill our troops for at least 3 years, isn't that a declaration of war? http://www.indcjournal.com/archives/003033.php

I have several recordings of interviews with native Iraqis who easily identified Iranians posing as Iraqis in their neighborhoods in Iraq. Apparently, "local/regional accents" are identifiable in both the U.S. and Iraq - imagine that? This evidence tells me that that Iran is already prosecuting a war against the U.S. One wonders if any nations (Iran?) are supporting Taliban or Al Qaeda in Afghanistan to harm our troops there.

Since Iran is already at war with the U.S. (if you agree that nation-sponsored military action against the U.S. constitutes a declaration of war), what will Iran do when it acquires/develops a nuclear weapon? Based on Iran's rhetoric and actions, the U.S. should plan on either Israel or the United States being attacked. The threat of Iran using nukes against the U.S., or our allies in the region (Israel and southern European countries)must be resolved before it is too late. Is it better to take action to prevent a holocaust, or punish those responsible after the attack? I am in favor of any action that will prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon, be it stick or carrot, as long as no one pays them blackmail or ransom.

Honestly, I believe the Israelis will "remove" the threat well before the majority of Americans wake up to realize that this is a life-and-death situation. I know this attitude may seem cynical to others, but it seems that many people either don't care or won't think for themselves these days. I guess it's hard to worry about geopolitics, conflict and Muslim holy war against all non-believers if you are unemployed and have no way to pay your bills or buy food.

05 November 2009

Simon Klingert's Postcard from Afghanistan

I would like to introduce you to a fellow photojournalist, a very talented (and brave!) photographer named Simon Klingert. I first met Simon at CPIC (Central Press Information Center) in Baghdad's Green Zone on 2 Mar 2008. My first impression of Simon Klingert was one of astonishment. This 20+ year old German student had completed (and financed) many self-assignments in areas that are extremely hazardous to Westerners, and has done a splendid job in the process. Simon is continuing his award winning photography in Afghanistan, and his "photo postcards" tell many stories. Here is a link to his blog: http://www.simonklingert.de/
I highly recommend that you follow his posts. Simon is embedded in areas in Afghanistan in which few U.S. journalists dare to tread.

05 October 2009

RCT1 Humvee crew & John Wroblewski interview 4 Mar 2008 by Greg Janney

This video is an interview of the Humvee crew members of RCT 1, 3/1 Marines and John Wroblewski in Iraq on 4 March 2008 following our patrol to Faris, Iraq. Crew members featured are: "CC" Carlsen Crosby (.50 BMG gunner); Sam Michaels (vehicle commander); Christian Martinez (driver); and John Wroblewski (Gold Star father of USMC 2Lt. J.T.Wroblewski, who was KIA in Ramadi, Iraq on 6 Apr 2004 along with 11 other Marines.)

I haven't heard from these men lately, but I pray for them and their families that they are safe and well.

Wrigley's Gum in Faris, Iraq 1 March 2008 video by Greg Janney

Hello everyone. I have some more videos to share with you from my 2008 embed in Iraq. The first video was filmed after Iraqi children made a 17 pack of Wrigley's Chewing Gum "disappear" in about 10 seconds. School children on their way home in Faris, Iraq surrounded me to get a stick of Wrigley's. The video begins a few seconds after the gum has been handed out.

After the children get all the gum I have, they go about their way home from school. But watch as the winds preceding a sandstorm swirl the gum wrappers down the street toward the market. Those swirling pieces of foil clad paper tell several stories: Those of Iraq's children; Iraq's education system; socio-cultural differences of Iraq and U.S.; trash disposal; eco-awareness; being "green."

I plan posts on some of these topics, along with more videos. Thanks for your support of our armed forces deployed around the world. Please keep the troops and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

08 June 2009

Death of Major Kevin Jenrette, US Army 5 June 2009

I am incredibly shocked and saddened to report that one of my US Army Ranger friends and colleagues, Major Kevin Jenrette of Lula, Georgia was killed in action in Afghanistan on 5 June 2009 along with 2 other soldiers, "Staff Sgt. John C. Beale, 39, of Riverdale; and Spc. Jeffrey W. Jordan, 21, of Rome, died near Kapisa, Afghanistan of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device" (courtesy of www.accessnorthga.com.) Major Jenrette had been a liaison in my ongoing assignments with the US Army Rangers for a number of years, and I greatly mourn his passing and the deaths of his comrades in this cowardly IED attack on their convoy.

Here is a link to the original post that I read today: http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=220898&c=10

This news was a great personal shock as Major Jenrette and I spent numerous days together coordinating photography for the US Army Rangers in past years. Unfortunately, I did not know the other two soldiers, but having spent a great deal of time with the military over the past ten years, I know that all these men gave their lives in service to our country, performing a job for which they volunteered to bravely complete. I also know that there are no words to ease the pain of their loss for their loved ones. However, I can say that we will never forget these brave soldiers or their sacrifice.

I have not heard about any arrangements for these soldiers as yet, but will update you as they are released. You can also check www.accessnorthga.com for updates.

My thoughts and prayers will be with these families, and the rest of our men and women in uniform as they proudly serve our country in a difficult and dangerous mission, thousands of miles away from the love and comfort of their families and homes.

26 April 2009

Greg Janney - John Wroblewski interview on PajamasTV.com

This address is for the 15 minute Pajamas TV interview with John Wroblewski and I last Friday, 26 April 2009. The interview is done by Bill Whittle, PJTV Commentator on PJ Daily TV at http://www.pjtv.com/video/PJTV_Daily/A_Father%27s_Journey_to_Iraq/1771/

Please take the time to rate and comment on these recent media efforts to recognize the Wroblewski family, and the loss of at least twelve other families during the 6 April 2004 ambush. If we do not act now to keep the story in the public eye, it will quickly fade away. Let's do what we can to make sure that all Gold Star parents across the nation, as well as our military across the world know that we thank them all for their service and will never forget the sacrifices of the fallen or their families.
Freedom is not free, but is dearly paid for with the blood of patriots.

Web 2.0 media coverage through Brett Joshpe at http://www.parcbench.com helped make this coverage possible. Please visit my story, "A Father's Journey to Iraq" to read the full text of our story, and it is also posted on this blog as a separate post.

It is unlikely that these stories will be shown via the (generally) mainstream media. They do not want the world to hear any tributes to the U.S. soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Air personnel that have fought so hard, sacrificed so much, in their tireless effort to complete their mission in Iraq. So, I would encourage you to do some web-based research to sift the truth from the propaganda (or even worse, the absence of the truth) in media coverage.

I personally would prefer a story written by someone who has actually "experienced what happened, been to the scene, or has interviewed eye-witnesses", but many media agencies get their news from local "stringers or hired part-time reporters (hacks)", or report a wire story that came from God only knows where and from whom (unnamed sources!). What about you? Do you believe everything you see or read in the media? How credible (or biased) are the sources? I would enjoy your opinions on this topic, so please post a response to this blog (anonymously or not), so we can discuss this issue.

06 April 2009

John Wroblewski 4 Mar 2008 returning to Fallujah after patrol

This clip shows John Wroblewski in our RCT 1 Humvee on the road back to Fallujah after our patrol and mission in Faris, Iraq.
Good video and comments.

"CC" Turret Cam video 4 Mar 2008 - Marine RCT1 Gunner "CC" Crosby's Turret Cam video - Pt 1 of 2

This is part 1 of 2 - A cool video made by 3/1 Marines RCT1 gunner "CC" Crosby's "Turret Cam video" as our Humvee heads toward Fallujah after our mission to Faris and the reconstruction project. A gunner's eye view from behind his M2 .50 cal machine gun from the gun turret, shot by future director, C. Crosby of 3/1 Marines RCT1. Thanks "CC"!

5th Anniversary of 2004 ambush of 2/4 Marines Echo Company

Today is 6 April 2009 and marks the 5th anniversary of the ambush of 2/4 Marines, Echo Company in Ramadi, Iraq in an alley next to the marketplace on Route Gypsum. Eleven Marines and a Navy Corpsman lost their lives in this alley five years ago today, fighting and dying for their fellow Marines, and while proudly serving our country in the United States Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy.

Let's remember them today, along with a prayer for their families, loved ones, and the men they served alongside in Iraq, who also paid a terrible price with the loss of these brave men.

My thought's today center on my friends, the Wroblewski family. I will be thinking about J.T. and praying for you all today, and will look for a feather today in the yard to let me know if your angel stopped by on his way home to see you.

3/1 Marines visits U.S. funded Reconstruction project - Irrigation facility 4 Mar 2008

This video shows the U.S. funded reconstruction project of an irrigation facility near the Tigris River. Local dignitaries, Mayor of Faris, local businessmen, U.S. military personnel view the completed project in operation as 3/1 and 1/4 Marines provide security for the group.

4 Mar 2008 - RCT 1 Michaels sitrep in Faris, Iraq

Our Humvee cruises main street in Faris, Iraq. You can hear Vehicle Commander S. Michaels' voice in the background describing the general security situation in their AO (area of operations.)

4 Mar 2008 Faris, Iraq - 3/1 Marines RCT 1 Vehicle Commander Michaels comments

The Humvee of RCT1 (our vehicle) enters Faris, Iraq. Vehicle Commanders S. Michaels' voice can be heard in the background.

Heading out of Fallujah 4 Mar 2008 on 3/1 Marines - John Wroblewski video

Here is John looking at the kids waving from the side of the road as we head out of Fallujah to Faris, Iraq on our 4 Mar 2008 patrol with 3/1 Marines.

John Wroblewski Humvee to Faris, Iraq on 3/1 Marine patrol 4 Mar 2008

This clip is a quick shot of the interior of our Humvee as we begin a patrol with 3/1 Marines along the road from from Fallujah to Faris, Iraq. You can see our driver C. Martinez, the legs of our gunner C. Crosby (who is in the turret manning a Browning M2 .50 cal machine gun!) and John Wroblewski.

01 April 2009

Gold Star dad visit to Iraq on www.parcbench.com

Great news everyone! An original story I have written, along with my photos of John Wroblewski's visit to Ramadi, Iraq is the featured, front page article on www.parcbench.com today. I hope you will take the time to view this article and post a comment. Brett Joshpe and the staff have been very enthusiastic about this story and worked hard to get it published before the 6 April anniversary of the ambush in order to honor these brave men of 2/4 Marines, Echo Company, their sacrifice, and the sacrifices their families have made to our nation.

The staff is interested in more about our trip, so I would appreciate it if you would add your comments to their website to show your support for what I have tried to accomplish, so that the public can read more about John and his trip to honor J.T.'s memory along with the rest of the fallen.

28 March 2009

Video #11 - Janney & Wroblewski depart BIAP for International Zone 1 Mar 2008

This clip of 2 Blackhawk helicopters was shot as Wroblewski and I began walking across the tarmac at the Baghdad International Airport to board one of them. Video or photographs at the airport are strictly against OPSEC (operational security.) However, my low quality video (posted over one year later) was hardly an OPSEC issue, then or now. Listen to the background audio, which is incredibly amusing in hindsight, as a female civilian (not wearing required body armor or Kevlar!) chastises me for shooting this short video. Seconds later, she was yelled at by our airfield escort for talking on her cellphone in a prohibited area! Booyah!

Video #10 - John Wroblewski gives Thumbs Up on C130 on 1 Mar 2008

This very brief (and dark) video shows John Wroblewski's "can do" attitude as he gives me a "thumbs up" after we have boarded a C130 aircraft prior to our departure from Kuwait to BIAP (Baghdad International Airport.)

Video #9 - John Wroblewski on C130 prior to departure for Baghdad 1 Mar 2008

Both John Wroblewski and I are exhausted after 30+ hours with little sleep, following our 18+ hour series of flights to get to Kuwait. This video shows John aboard the C130 in Kuwait prior to our departure for Baghdad International Airport.

27 March 2009

Video #8 - Janney & Wroblewski 1 Mar 2008 Departure from Kuwait to Baghdad

Short clip of John aboard Air Force C-130 as we prepare to depart Kuwait for Baghdad International Airport at 0700 hours (after staying awake throughout 29 February in order to make roll call "wait list" for US Embassy flight.)

25 March 2009

Video #7 - Janney and Wroblewski safe in Kuwait - Prepare to depart for Iraq

John Wroblewski and I have arrived safely in Kuwait on 28 February 2008, and quickly prepare to depart for Iraq. Very spartan quarters that all of our troops experience in Kuwait on their "layover" before they head to their next stop in Iraq. Constant roar of the diesel electric generators, along with 24/7 arrivals and departures of troops and contract employees make this desert stopover a personal "purgatory" for me. The canvas tents with minimal ventilation and temperature controls are set up on concrete slabs, surrounded by deep gravel to minimize dust during the heat of summer and ankle-deep mud holes during the rainy season. Negotiating your way across this huge camp is akin to walking in deep beach sand when dry or a swamp during the spring monsoons.

24 March 2009

Video #6 - John Wroblewski during flight to Kuwait 28 Feb 2008

John Wroblewski makes his video debut during our KLM flight over Iraq as we head toward Kuwait City, Kuwait on 28 Feb 2008. I think that he is deep in thought about our journey (and the reason for it: We are returning to Iraq to visit the site where John's son, USMC 2Lt J.T. Wroblewski, was mortally wounded during an ambush in east Ramadi on 6 April 2004. Ten other Marines and a Navy Corpsman were also killed during this ambush. However, John pretends that he is interested in our flight path during this clip, and smiles for my camera.

23 March 2009

Video #4 and #5 - Janney - Wroblewski 2008 Iraq embed - KLM flight to Kuwait

Here are short videos I shot during our flight from Amsterdam to Kuwait as we flew over eastern Turkey, and later, Iraq.

Videos of Janney-Wroblewski 2008 Iraq embed - The Journey Begins

I have finally recovered over 40 videos that I made during our embed assignment in Iraq last year from a damaged laptop.
As promised, I will begin posting these videos (40+) within this forum today.

This is raw unedited video. Please be kind with comments and critiques. I am a much better photographer than a videographer, but I did what I could to capture this aspect of our trip, and (finally) share it with you.

Note: Some adult language may be present in these videos! Realize that many of these videos were made while on patrol with the USMC in a combat zone in Iraq. Parents/caretakers should review before allowing children to view these videos.

04 March 2009

1st Anniversary of 1st visit by Gold Star Dad to site where USMC 2Lt J.T. Wroblewski KIA Iraq 6 April 2004

As the first anniversary of my and John Wroblewski's journey to Iraq approaches, I will be posting unedited video shot on 6 Mar 2008 of our historic visit on 6 Mar 2008 to the actual site where his son, USMC 2Lt J.T. Wroblewski, ten other US Marines, and a Navy Corpsman were killed in a Ramadi ambush on 6 April 2004. This video (shot by USMC Combat Cameraman Cpl Angel) was used along with my images for a 2008 Memorial Day special by Fox News on 26 May 2008.

I was honored to escort John Wroblewski as he made a 2nd attempt to travel to Iraq to perform a memorial service at the site where his son, J.T. and the other 11 men were KIA. Unfortunately, our first visit in January 2007 with Martha Zoller was unsuccessful, but this time we made it. My eternal thanks to the fine men and women of the U.S. military for working with us to make the journey possible. I was honored to have been a part of this historic 1st visit by any Gold Star parent to any site in Iraq where their son or daughter was killed. I felt we tried to honor the terrible sacrifices paid by the 12 men who were killed in that alley on 6 April 2004.

The names of the fallen are as follows: LCPL Benjamin Carman, LCPL Marcus Cherry, PFC Christopher Cobb, LCPL Kyle Crowley, PFC Deryk Hallal, PFC Ryan Jerabek, PFC Moises Langhorst, LCPL Travis Layfield, HM3 Fernandez Mendez, LCPL Anthony Roberts, SSGT Allan Walker, and 2nd Lt John Thomas Wroblewski.

My heart is also heavy with the realization that 6 April is only a month away - a date on which 12 brave men died together during a well planned ambush in 2004 in Ramadi, Iraq. This date will be one of sadness for those families that have lost sons, fathers and brothers. But 6 April should also be a day of remembrance of their noble sacrifice, as they selflessly laid down their lives while they fought alongside their Marine and Navy brothers. These men were also doing the job for which they volunteered, a job that most of them loved, proudly serving their country, the United States Marine Corps and U.S. Navy.

Our successes in Iraq were bought and paid for with the blood of our sons and daughters. We must never forget their sacrifices! Please remember them as they fought and died for all of us. Rest in peace brave warriors. Semper Fidelis!

02 January 2009

Does the Israel - Gaza conflict affect security in the Mideast or Iraq?

Currently, Palestinian militants are launching homemade and Iranian manufactured unguided rockets into Israeli civilian areas on an ongoing basis. Meanwhile, Israel is responding to these terror attacks through intelligence research, and has since surveyed and attacked Palestinian CNC (command and control sites), weapons caches, smuggling tunnels, rocket/mortar launch sites, and clandestine activities to load-fire-conceal these rockets. Generally speaking, I believe that Israel has previously restricted their responsive attacks to the particular locations where the rockets or munitions are located or have been used as launch sites.

Please note that in spite of the Israeli turnover of Gaza to the Palestinians, Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks have continued, and are likely to increase. Complaints about "precisely targeted" Israeli air strikes ring hollow when compared with the the many unrestricted attacks that Israel and it's citizens have experienced during the seven years of Palestinian missile launches into Israel. Since 2001, Palestinian militants in Gaza have launched over 10,000 unguided missiles from the Gaza Strip into Israel! Yet, our Israeli allies are criticized when they defend themselves. This is an inexcusable double standard from the liberal apologists and radical Islamic jihadists. Even the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called for restraint and a cessation of Palestinian rockets attacks! Gaza has got to be at fault if a Clinton chastises them!

My primary concern is Iran's (clandestine) support of Hamas in Gaza during this conflict. Iran is continuing to supply weapons, technology, training, and support for the Palestinian "rocket men" in spite of calls from Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria to end Palestinian attacks against non-specific Israeli targets inside Israel.

As I have reported previously during my Iraq embeds, Iran is desperately seeking to exert influence in the Mideast to increase their prestige among the Arab nations. Iran has spent huge amounts of money supplying EFP's (explosive formed penetrating devices), weapons, and Quod's training to "Al Qaeda in Iraq" insurgents during the last 5 years. Iran's radical Islamist leadership seems to be supporting Ahmadenijad's "bully" tactics to date.