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A Twitter friend of mine is outraged at what has happened, and so am I. I just heard Rush speak to some of the people who there, and this is worse than we thought. We knew there were going to be union bosses there with their minnions, but they were there only to do violence with anyone who disagreed with the democrat politician. This is NOT a republican form of government anymore. PS. Read the Constitution. We were promised a republican form of government, NOT a democracy. Please read his press release.

For Immediate Release

August 7th, 2009

Phone: (***) ***-****

ALG Condemns SEIU Beating of Kenneth Gladney at St. Louis Town Hall, Calls for Special Prosecutor to “Investigate White House Complicity”

August 6th, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today condemned the brutal beating of activist Kenneth Gladney in South St. Louis County, MO, at a town hall event sponsored by Congressman Russ Caranhan (D-MO) by SEIU members who Wilson said “appears to have been sent out purposely to intimidate the crowd and instigate violence.”

Wilson said that a Special Prosecutor would need to be called “to investigate the possibility of White House complicity in this union thuggery.” The White House told representatives and senators ‘punch back twice as hard’ against opposition to Barack Obama’s government-run health care initiative, and “clearly some of their followers took the message to heart,” Wilson said.

According to Kenneth Gladney’s attorney, David B. Brown, “Kenneth was attacked on the evening of August 6, 2009 at Rep. Russ Carnahan’s town hall meeting in South St. Louis County. I was at the town hall meeting as well and witnessed the events leading up to the attack of Kenneth. Kenneth was approached by an SEIU representative as Kenneth was handing out ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flags to other conservatives.”

The statement continued, “The SEIU representative demanded to know why a black man was handing out these flags. The SEIU member used a racial slur against Kenneth, then punched him in the face. Kenneth fell to the ground. Another SEIU member yelled racial epithets at Kenneth as he kicked him in the head and back. Kenneth was also brutally attacked by one other male SEIU member and an unidentified woman.”

According to the statement, “The three men were clearly SEIU members, as they were wearing T-shirts with the SEIU logo.”

“This sort of thuggish political violence is what one would expect in Mussolini’s Italy by the Black Shirts,” said Wilson, adding that, “This is pure fascist aggression. The SEIU is sending out goon squads to beat people up who disagree with ObamaCare.  Only a Special Prosecutor can determine if it was done with the knowledge of the White House and Congressman Carnahan.”

After watching the video, Wilson said, “The part where the attackers claimed they were attacked, when Mr. Gladney is clearly on his back, is straight out of the SEIU-ACORN playbook. They train their thugs well. Only, this time, they were caught.”

According to Brown’s statement, Gladney was being civil when he was attacked: “Kenneth was beaten badly. One assailant fled on foot; three others were arrested. Kenneth was admitted to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center emergency room, where he was treated for his numerous injuries. Kenneth was merely expressing his freedom of speech by handing out the flags. In fact, he merely asked people as they exited the town hall meeting whether they would like a flag.”

Brown insisted that Gladney “in no way provoked any argument or altercation, as evidenced by the fact that three assailants were arrested.”

“This is a sad chapter in American history,” Wilson declared, “when a man is cruelly assaulted by political hooligans merely for expressing his beliefs and exercising his First Amendment rights to speak freely and peaceably assemble.”

Wilson said there was a causal relationship between the White House’s call to “punch back” against opposition to Barack Obama’s government-run health care initiative and the incident. “The White House sent out millions of emails, as did the DNC, and the SEIU, all calling on supporters to attend these meetings. And now we know why.”

The SEIU, the Service Employees International Union, was formed by Wade Rathke, also founder of the  group, ACORN, which Barack Obama served as an attorney for. “These are the same people that helped get Barack Obama elected,” Wilson explained.

“Barack Obama has long-time financial and material relationship with ACORN and SEIU. SEIU donated $30.8 million to Obama’s campaign, organized volunteers, and campaigned on his behalf.  ACORN is under investigation for crimes in 15 states, and Barack Obama served as their attorney at one point.  He even gave them $800,000 in 2008 for ‘get-out-the-vote’ efforts.  And now they’re carrying out his dirty work,” Wilson added.

According to the Brown’s statement, “This was a truly senseless hate crime carried out by racist union thugs. Regretfully, Representative Carnahan’s statements blaming Kenneth for being a disruptive force are wholly untrue and slanderous.”

Carnahan today stated that “Sadly, we’ve seen stories about disrupters around the country, and we have a handful of them here in Missouri.”

“The only disruption that occurred was of Mr. Gladney’s rights to life-and-limb as an American citizen,” Wilson said in response, charging that, “Carnahan appears to have been complicit in the incident.”

Wilson also condemned press outlets for failing to report on Mr. Gladney’s story. “Where is the controlled media?” Wilson asked. “Where is CNN? Where is Olbermann and Matthews? They rave about ‘mobs’ but turn a blind eye to a man who was beaten by union thugs. They should hang their heads in shame, or else apply for network anchor positions in Venezuela.”

Wilson said a Special Prosecutor to investigate the White House, SEIU, and Carnahan was necessary because “The American people have no faith in Eric Holder’s Justice Department, which just let two goons off-the-hook who were intimidating voters in 2008 at a Philadelphia polling station with Billy clubs.”

“If anyone thinks there was no relationship between Obama’s call to “punch back” and this brutality in the streets of St. Louis, we have some nice real estate that runs over the East River in New York we’d think they’d be interested in purchasing,” Wilson concluded.

Interview Availability: Please contact Robert Romano at (703)383-0880 or at Robert@getliberty.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.

# # #

Americans for Limited Government is a non- partisan, nationwide network committed to advancing free market reforms,private property rights and core American liberties. For more information on ALG please call us at 703-383-0880 or visit our website at www.GetLiberty.org

Cross-posted @ Long Beach Patriots and Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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by Jim Garamone
Armed Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (June 8, 2009) – The investigation into a May 4 close-air support incident in Afghanistan’s Farah province that caused civilian casualties has pointed to some deviations from established tactics, techniques and procedures, but those involved showed extraordinary care in the incident, the Pentagon’s press secretary said Monday.

Geoff Morrell said Army Brig. Gen. Raymond Thomas conducted the review and briefed Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on the recommendations of his report.

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell responds to questions posed by members of the news media during a June 8, 2009, Pentagon press conference.  DoD photo by R. D. Ward  (Released)

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell responds to questions posed by members of the news media during a June 8, 2009, Pentagon press conference. DoD photo by R. D. Ward (Released)

Thomas conducted the investigation on orders from U.S. Central Command chief Army Gen. David H. Petraeus. The full report will be released later this week.

“It appeared to me … that the personnel involved took extraordinary care in tracking the militants that they had come under attack from,” said Morrell, who attended Thomas’s briefing.

An Afghan unit had come in contact with Taliban militants and asked for back-up from U.S. Marines. “That unit came in, and over the next several hours beat back this attack, killing several dozen Taliban in the process, and required some close air support to ultimately prevail,” Morrell said.

The investigation found some problems with the way in which close-air support was used. A B-1 bomber, because of the way the aircraft makes its approach, had to break away from positive identification of its targets, Morrell said.

“There’s no way to determine whether or not that had anything to do with the fact that civilian casualties did incur in this incident, but they did note that as one of the problems associated with how this all took place,” the press secretary said.

Between 20 and 30 Afghan civilians died in the incident, U.S. officials have said. “I’m going to let [Central Command] speak to the final numbers,” Morrell said. “But they were greatly outnumbered by the Taliban killed in this incident.”

Morrell called the Thomas report “exhaustive” and said that the Americans on the ground went to great lengths to limit civilian casualties.

American forces already have tightened rules for close-air support, Morrell said, and there will be a further review of procedures. Since the beginning of the year, civilian casualties in Afghanistan are down 40 percent, he noted. Meanwhile, he added, “American casualties and that of our coalition partners and Afghan security forces have shot up 75 percent.”

Morrell said coalition officials want to reduce civilian casualties to zero, but that it’s impossible to do so. “I would be foolish to stand up here and say that we’ll ultimately eliminate civilian casualties, but we are going to make every effort we can to reduce them,” he said.

Source: CENTCOM.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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U.S. Dept of State.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (May 20, 2009) — Humanitarian aid provided by United States arrived at Chaklala Air Base near Islamabad this afternoon in response to an appeal for urgently needed basic food, shelter, and supplies for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North West Frontier Province.

Airmen unload crates of humanitarian aid upon arrival in Islamabad, Pakistan Wednesday. The aid items are bound for displaced Pakistanis in the North West Frontier province.

Airmen unload crates of humanitarian aid upon arrival in Islamabad, Pakistan Wednesday. The aid items are bound for displaced Pakistanis in the North West Frontier province.

The shipments, which arrived by U.S. military air transport included air-conditioned tents and more than 120,000 pre-packed halal meals. U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson delivered the supplies to Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed, the government of Pakistan’s coordinator of all IDP relief operation. The Ambassador was accompanied by the U.S. Embassy’s chief military officer, Admiral Michael LeFever.

“We understand the urgency of providing immediate assistance to those displaced and are committed to helping the Government of Pakistan meet their critical needs,” said U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson. The United States will continue to monitor the situation and is committed to providing additional assistance as needed.

The deliveries follow yesterday’s announcement by U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton that $110 million in immediate humanitarian assistance is being provided by the United States to assist IDPs. Last week, the people of the United States provided $4.9 million to purchase tents, blankets, cooking sets, jerry cans, soap, and bedding.

The United States also sent logistical equipment including generators, transformers to power water pumps, and other logistical and support equipment. This included laptop computers, rental cars, and internet connectivity to assist emergency support operations. In addition, $28 million in agricultural commodities including 50,000 metric tons of wheat valued at $16.8 million, and 6,800 metric tons of vegetable oil valued at $11.2 million was provided by the United States last week.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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by John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (May 17, 2009) – The Afghan national army could lead operations in Afghanistan in two to four years, with the U.S. playing a support role, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said during a May 8 interview, portions of which aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday.

As the handover of responsibilities to national forces in Afghanistan develops, it is likely to mirror security progress that unfolded in Iraq following the surge of U.S. troops there, Gates said during the interview, conducted with Katie Couric in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul.

“I think what you’ll see is the same kind of evolution here that you have seen in Iraq, and that is where the Iraqis have increasingly taken the lead and we have increasingly receded into the background,” he said. “I think that’s what will happen here over time.”

The Afghan national army has about 86,000 troops with a “significant number” of battalions leading joint operations with U.S. and NATO International Security Assistance Forces, Gates said.

The defense secretary said the Afghan army is showing progress as the size of its ranks grows over coming years to the currently authorized number of 134,000 troops. He also expressed confidence in the Pakistani army’s ability to root out terrorist safe havens along its border with Afghanistan, but he used measured terms in providing his assessment, acknowledging that the situation is subject to change.

“War is inherently unpredictable, okay, and the enemy always has a vote,” he said. “But I think that if things go according to the way that our commanders are planning and the strategies that we’re following, that would be our anticipation.”

Some 47,000 U.S. forces serve in Afghanistan — a number that is rising as 17,000 additional American troops arrive there. Meanwhile, NATO member countries and partners have more than 32,000 forces in country.

Gates, who has previously criticized the NATO contribution, reiterated his frustration at the disparity of force levels.

“I’ve been disappointed with NATO’s response to this ever since I got this job,” he said, pointing out that even excluding the U.S., the has almost 2 million men under arms. “Why they can’t get more than 32,000 to Afghanistan has always been a puzzle to me.”

As the U.S. begins to implement the Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy that President Barack Obama’s Administration unveiled in March, Gates described his impression of American expectations.

“I think what the people in the United States want to see is the momentum shifting to see that the strategies that we’re following are working, “ he said. “And that’s why I’ve said in nine months to a year we need to evaluate how we’re doing, to see whether, in fact, the situation is getting better.”

During the program, Couric asked Gates – who is the only cabinet secretary holdover from President George W. Bush’s administration – why he agreed to remain in his position as defense secretary. He replied: “I do it because it’s my duty.”

“I do it almost exclusively for these young men and women out here in uniform and whatever I can do to help them,” he continued. “The rest is all fluff as far as I’m concerned.”

Source: CENTCOM.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

EN ROUTE TO CAIRO (May 4, 2009) – Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is en route to Egypt and Saudi Arabia for sessions aimed at reaffirming ties with the important regional powers that both have strong military-to-military relationships with the United States.

The visits “clearly are all about strengthening relationships with long-time friends,” Gates told reporters traveling aboard a military aircraft with him.

The secretary, who last visited both countries a year and a half ago, is expected to focus on regional security issues, including the Middle East peace process and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The trip is Gates’ first overseas visit in almost five months, except for a brief NATO conference in Krakow, Poland, in February. “I felt that it was important to focus on the budget and the strategy relating to the budget,” he explained. “And I also thought it was important to stick around Washington and get to know my new colleagues and establish strong relationships with them, which I think I have been able to do.”

Now back on the road, Gates said, he’ll encourage both Egypt and Saudi Arabia to forge stronger diplomatic ties with Iraq. Recognizing suspicion “about how much influence Iran has in Baghdad,” Gates credited the Egyptians with taking “some serious steps forward to re-engage” with the Iraqi government.

“If the Arab world is concerned about Iranian influence, then the way to deal with that is to have more Arab influence in Baghdad – more ambassadors, more engagement with regional security arrangements that involve the Arab states,” he said. “So I think one way to allay their concerns if for them to reach out and be a counter-influence in Baghdad. I think that is very important.”

Gates said he’ll also offer assurances that any U.S. outreach to Iran “will not be at the expense of our long-term relationships with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states that have been our partners and our friends for decades.”

The United States will deal with Iran “in a sensible way, and in a way that hopefully increases the security of everybody in the region, not just us,” he said.

“I just think it is important to reassure our friends and allies in the region that while we are willing to reach out to the Iranians — as the president said, with an open hand — I think everybody in the administration from the president on down is pretty realistic and will be pretty tough-minded if we still encounter a closed fist,” Gates said.

During the first stop of his trip, in Cairo, Gates said, he plans to discuss Egypt’s role in the Middle East peace process.

“The Egyptians have played a huge role in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian problem in trying to be a go-between and help move that process forward,” he said. “The Egyptians have played a critical role in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations for a long time.”

The U.S.-Egyptian bilateral military relationship will be another major agenda item. “We also undoubtedly will talk about smuggling in the Gaza and the programs we are working on together to try and limit that kind of smuggling,” Gates said.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers team in Egypt is testing advanced tunnel detection systems to be used to stem Palestinian weapons smuggling along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip. The team also will teach Egyptian security forces how to operate the system, purchased through the military sales program.

During the next leg of the trip, in Saudi Arabia, Gates is likely to discuss its possible role in helping Afghanistan’s democratically elected government reconcile with the Taliban. Gates said he’ll also encourage continued efforts to influence events in Pakistan.“Whatever they can do to help bring the Pakistanis together in a broader sense to deal with the challenge for the government in Islamabad obviously would be welcomed,” he said.

Gates said he expects the discussions to extend to the deposition of Yemeni detainees now at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “The Saudis have perhaps the most successful repatriation [and] reeducation program of any country at this point,” he said. “So clearly there will be an interest in pursuing that with them.”

The secretary turned reminiscent as he anticipated returning to Egypt. He recalled the exact date of his first meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek – Aug. 4, 1990 – as the United States was preparing to send troops into Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield.

He also remembered his first visit to Egypt 30 years ago, accompanying then-President Jimmy Carter during the final stages of the Camp David peace talks. “So I always look forward to visiting Egypt and rekindling old friendships,” he said. “It is basically all about strengthening relationships.”

Similarly, Gates said he has made several return visits to Saudi Arabia. “It is good to go back and renew these relationships,” he said.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts.

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President Obama has chosen to disregard the advice from the inter-agency panel he created from all the national security agencies to review all the cases of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners. He has decided that American citizens do not have the right to live as long as there are jihadis in Gitmo willing to kill us, apparently. They will be released sometime next week. Have a good weekend. It may be one of our precious few left.

Hat tip: Jed Babbin. (Read about it there.)

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Talon, TCU, SGP and Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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Some of these pig-eatin’ thugs may be released in the United States of America. You can thank President Obama and AG Eric Holder. Some others may face a trial as criminals instead of warring enemies. If this is the case, the gov’t has a greater burden of proof to find these Islamofascists guilty. If they are found not guily, they must be let go. Thank you very much, President Obama.

When the next attack comes, and it will, don’t look at the Conservatives and ask why. We already told you, but you were too busy hating President George W. Bush to care. What a wasted shame.

There is a some more at Obama Administration May Release Some Gitmo Terror Suspects in U.S., written by BrianinMo.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

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There is some rather disturbing news breaking about the organization ‘CAIR’ (that is, if you haven’t been following their attempts to put a stranglehold on our legal system and our Republic), and the FBI has determined to cut their ties with them. The national organization must explain some of their disturbing ties with the organization of Ham-ass and the Muslim Brotherhood – both terrorists groups as listed with our State Dept.

Who are the Muslim Brotherhood? These are the jihadis from which all terrorists stem. You will also find that Ham-ass is also tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. Ham-ass also has ties to CAIR.

This is the most important thing you need to know. They are setting up shop in America, and they want to destroy us from within. Oh, you’ve known this for a long time? Well, many of us have, but some people do not. It is to them I would like to share this evidence. You may use it also.

Here is what was found in the transcripts of the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) trial concerning the Muslim Brotherhood:

In order for Islam and its Movement to become ‘a part of the homeland’ in which it lives, ‘stable’ in its land, ‘rooted’ in the spirits and minds of its people, ‘enabled’ in the lives of its society and has firmly established ‘organizations’ on which the Islamic structure is built and with which the testimony of civilization is achieved, the Movement must plan and struggle to obtain ‘the keys’ and the tools of this process in carry out this grand mission as a ‘Civilization Jihadist‘ responsibility which lies on the shoulders of Muslims and – on top of them – the Muslim Brotherhood in this country…

I want you to pay close attention to the term, ‘Civilization Jihad’. Also note, they are in this country as I write this. This next quote is the meat of the issue (emphasis mine):

The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in elimiating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is elimated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions. Without this level of understanding, we are not up to this challenge and have not prepared ourselves for Jihad yet. It is a Muslim’s destiny to perform Jihad and work wherever he is and wherever he lands until the final hour comes, and there is no escape from that destiny except for those who chose to slack. But, would the slackers and the Mujahedeen be equal.”

“As for the role of the Ikhwan, it is the initiative, pioneering, leadership, raising the banner and pushing people in that direction. They are then to work to employ, direct and unify Muslims’ efforts and powers for this process. In order to do that, we must possess a mastery of the art of ‘coalitions’, the art of ‘absorption’ and the principles of ‘cooperation’.”

The FBI would still like to have a relationship with local Muslims, but they need to clear up things with the unindicted-coconspiritors to the HLF, CAIR. We must stop them. I see no way for them to ever come to any understanding about the overthrow of our government. I really do not.

You may read better and more detailed information about this at FBI Cuts Off CAIR Over Hamas Questions by Mary Jacoby and The Importance of the FBI’s CAIR Cut Off by Douglas Farah. Have a nice day.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ TCU Nation, SGP and Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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by Sgt. Rick Nelson
CENTCOM Public Affairs

MACDILL AFB, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2008) — In a change of scenery from the deserts of Iraq to the sunny skies of Florida, Gen. David H. Petraeus took the reins of United States Central Command from acting commander Lt. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey here during a change of command ceremony. The ceremony included 84 guests from both the outgoing and incoming commander’s 1974 West Point graduating class and remarks from distinguished guests Dr. Robert M. Gates, Secretary of Defense and Adm. Mike Mullen, United States Navy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, new commander of U.S. Central Command, addresses the audience at the CENTCOM change of command ceremony Oct. 31 at MacDill AFB, Fla.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, new commander of U.S. Central Command, addresses the audience at the CENTCOM change of command ceremony Oct. 31 at MacDill AFB, Fla.

“I recall my first meeting with Marty Dempsey when he took the reigns of CENTCOM some seven months ago. He gave me a sheet of paper outlining the priorities of this command and asked for my guidance,” Gates said. “After hearing what Marty had to say, I simply held up that same sheet of paper and said ‘this is my guidance to you, a testament to his strategic vision and pragmatism which he possesses an extra measure.’”

During his time as commander at Central Command, Lt. Gen. Dempsey has more than held down the fort, Gates explained. “He has fully seized the reigns and taken on the responsibilities of leading this vital command. He has reorganized the headquarters, published a theater strategy and a theater campaign plan, revised contingency plans and reviewed and revised regional and country action plans,” he added. “Through it all, Marty has always placed the war fighter at the forefront, a priority that he made clear from day one, and he has responded at every turn with a quiet confidence that earned my admiration and that of countless others under his command and throughout the region and Marty will bring these qualities to his new post.”

Dempsey will now venture to Fort Monroe, Va. where he will take command of the United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. “Dave, you probably require less introduction than anyone I know so I’ll simply say thanks to both you and Holly for taking on yet another tough job for your country and I’m very proud to be your classmate and friend,” Dempsey said during the ceremony.

Petraeus, who relinquished command of Multi-National Force-Iraq on Sept. 16, after 19 months, will now step up to the plate as the new commander of United States Central Command, where the Area of Responsibility stretches from Egypt to Kazakhstan.

“Indeed from transnational extremist organizations and industrial strength insurgencies to weapons proliferation, a rise in piracy and persistent ethno-sectarian conflict, the CENTCOM area contains innumerable challenges,” said Gen. Petraeus, graduate of West Point Class of 1974. “As we have all seen in recent years, addressing these challenges requires comprehensive approaches that employ the whole of our government’s capabilities in close coordination of host country and coalition governments and security forces. This is necessary, not just to resolve pressing short term issues, but to address over time the underlying conditions that give rise to such serious security challenges. CENTCOM’s tasks are of enormous importance to our country, to the CENTCOM region and to the world. It’s clear that in the months and years ahead, a great deal of responsibility will continue to rest on the shoulders of the wonderful men and women of the coalition countries serving in harms way in the Central Command area of responsibility and it is an honor to serve with them again.”

General Petraeus will continue to lead Marines, Soldiers, Coast Guardsmen, Airman and Sailors on a much larger scale throughout the U.S. Central Command’s AOR as he begins his new assignment. “There can be no higher privilege for any soldier than being allowed to serve once more with such wonderful Americans,” Petraeus added. “Teddy Roosevelt once observed that far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. This position certainly fits that description.”

As Petraeus is no stranger to commanding an Area of Operation during a time of combat he will now enter a billet where he will have authority of combat operations not only in Iraq, but the United States Central Command Area of Operations as a whole.

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, new commander of U.S. Central Command, addresses the audience at the CENTCOM change of command ceremony Oct. 31 at MacDill AFB, Fla.

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts.

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by John J. Kruzel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON (Sept. 17, 2008) – President Bush Wednesday praised Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the outgoing commander in Iraq who oversaw a dramatic reduction in violence there, and thanked him for agreeing to lead U.S. Central Command. The president also denounced an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, that killed an unspecified number of security personnel.

After meeting with the general at the White House, Bush credited Petraeus with helping to plan and implement a 33,000-troop surge that started in January 2007 and has been cited as a key factor in Iraq’s improved security. “General David Petraeus was asked to do a very difficult job, and he did it with distinction and honor,” Bush said. “He implemented the surge, along with a lot of other brave people. And the United States and the world is better off because of it.”

President George W. Bush meets with U.S. Army General David Petraeus, former Commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008, in the Oval Office at the White House. In speaking to reporters President Bush honored and congratulated General Petraeus for his outstanding command leadership in Iraq, and thanked him for agreeing to be the new commander of CENTCOM.

President George W. Bush meets with U.S. Army General David Petraeus, former Commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008, in the Oval Office at the White House. In speaking to reporters President Bush honored and congratulated General Petraeus for his outstanding command leadership in Iraq, and thanked him for agreeing to be the new commander of CENTCOM.

Bush also said the United States is fortunate to have great men and women who volunteer to serve in a time of danger. “I have been incredibly impressed by the sacrifice of our troops who have been put in harm’s way, and I’ve been incredibly impressed by the level of leadership for those troops,” he said.

Petraeus served as the top U.S. commander in Iraq as violence dropped to recent historic lows. “It’s great to be home, sir, and it was a great privilege to serve there with our young men and women,” he told the president. The general is slated to take the reins as the commander of U.S. Central Command, which is responsible for a large swath of land stretching across the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, and includes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the contentious tribal areas of Pakistan.

Petreaus relinquished command of Multinational Force Iraq to Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno during a ceremony yesterday at Camp Victory in Baghdad. “When General Petraeus took charge 19 months ago, darkness had descended on this land,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said at the change of command. “Merchants of chaos were gaining strength. Death was commonplace. Around the world, questions mounted about whether a new strategy – or any strategy, for that matter – could make a real difference.

“Slowly, but inexorably, the tide began to turn,” Gates said. “Our enemies took a fearsome beating they will not soon forget. Reinforced and fortified by our own people, the soldiers of Iraq found new courage and confidence. And the people of Iraq, resilient and emboldened, rose up to take back their country.”

In Washington, Bush said today’s violence in Sanaa is a reminder of the nature of extremist enemies. “One objective of these extremists as they kill is to try to cause the United States to lose our nerve and to withdraw from regions of the world,” he said. “And our message is that we want to help governments survive the extremists.”

The president expressed his condolences for the families of those killed in the attack, which reportedly began with a car bombing at the embassy’s gate, followed by a second explosion. “I want to thank our diplomats who stand in harm’s way,” Bush said. “I thank our military who stands in harm’s way.”

Source: CENTCOM.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts.

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