Saturday, August 30, 2014

UKRAINE vs. RUSSIA: Ball's In Your Court, NATO

Now is time for NATO to put up or shut up. Easy enough to be Big Bad NATO when all you're doing is pushing around dinky little Balkan countries - this is about fighting THE RUSSIAN BEAR and THIS is the reason why NATO was formed in the first place . . . S.L.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

NATO Secretary General statement after the extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission:

We have just held an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, following the serious escalation of Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. The meeting was held at Ukraine’s request.

Despite Moscow’s hollow denials, it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border into eastern and south-eastern Ukraine. This is not an isolated action, but part of a dangerous pattern over many months to destabilise Ukraine as a sovereign nation.

Russian forces are engaged in direct military operations inside Ukraine. Russia continues to supply the separatists with tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and rocket launchers. Russia has fired on Ukraine from both Russian territory and within Ukraine itself. Moreover, Russia continues to maintain thousands of combat-ready troops close to Ukraine’s borders. This is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It defies all diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution.

Today, we expressed strong solidarity with Ukraine. At the Wales Summit next week, we will meet President Poroshenko to make clear NATO’s unwavering support for Ukraine.

We condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s continued disregard of its international obligations. We urge Russia to cease its illegal military actions, stop its support to armed separatists, and take immediate and verifiable steps towards de-escalation of this grave crisis.

Looks like it's time to put your money where your mouth is NATO or take your bat and ball and go home . . . money talks and bullshit walks . . .


Friday, August 29, 2014


After my first tour in the Holy Land in 1983, I acquired a Bible that included maps of the ancient kingdoms all the way back to the time of Moses. The Kingdom of Gaza is depicted in all of them. It was at this time I first came to appreciate that the Beginning of the World occurred in the Middle East, and that the End of the World will take place there . . . S.L.

The Camel Corps in Beersheba

The First World War in Gaza and the Battle for Palestine

The oasis of Gaza — the last outpost before the Sinai desert — has for thousands of years been a strategic objective for conquerors of all kinds. Any Middle Eastern empire had to control Gaza in order to confront Egypt, and any campaign towards the Nile Valley had to be launched westward from Gaza. From Alexander the Great in 332 bc to the Ottomans in 1516, control of Gaza was a prerequisite for confronting Egypt.

‘Muster on the Plain of Esdraelon, preparatory to the attack on the Canal.’

Any power ruling Egypt had to control Gaza in order to break through Palestine and the wider Levant, which is why the Pharaohs, the Ptolemaic dynasty, the Mameluks and even Bonaparte in 1799 sent expeditions from Egypt to conquer Gaza, before marching north along the Mediterranean coast. The strategic road through Gaza was called ‘Horus’s Path’ by the Egyptians, ‘Via Maris’ by the Romans and the ‘Sultan’s Way’ by the Mameluks.

World War One witnessed the last clash between two empires fighting for control of Gaza as part of the struggle for Palestine and the wider Middle East. The Ottomans concluded a secret alliance in August 1914 with Germany. Sultan Mehmed V had the formal status of Caliph, but was by then the creature of the Young Turks, who devised with Berlin a baroque version of ‘jihad made in Germany’: the Caliph would declare jihad against the French, British and Russian ‘infidels’, while German agents would disseminate this declaration in Arabic, Persian and Urdu, hoping to foment trouble in their adversaries’ colonies.

Berlin had nevertheless overestimated the prestige of the Ottoman Caliph among non-Turkish Muslims. ‘Jihad made in Germany’ proved a flop but London was in no mood for further strategic disturbance and imposed a fully-fledged protectorate over Egypt, after thirty-two years of British domination. The Jerusalem-based Jamal Pasha sent an Ottoman army through the Sinai down to the Suez Canal. It was defeated there in February 1915 and withdrew to the relative safety of Gaza, leaving only a few Ottoman outposts in the desert peninsula.

An Ottoman machine gun corps defending the Gaza line during the Second Battle of Gaza, April 1917.

In March 1916 General Archibald Murray assembled an Egyptian expeditionary force that comprised significant Australian and New Zealand contingents. Nine months later, the British conquest of El-Arish completed the restoration of imperial rule over Sinai. A coastal railway was built to provision the Allied troops camping at the gates of Gaza, with water pipes running across the desert from the Canal. But Murray failed miserably in two frontal assaults on Gaza, in March and April 1917, suffering more than 10,000 losses (twice as many as were inflicted on its defenders).

Murray was replaced in June, following the Battle of Arras, by General Edmund Allenby. The new commander linked up with the Arab insurgents who had conquered Aqaba and were harassing Ottoman troops in the Negev desert. (This Bedouin army was led by British advisors, notably T.E. Lawrence a.k.a. Lawrence of Arabia - S.L.)

Allenby planned a coordinated assault on Gaza and Beersheba, the main oasis of the Negev. From 27-31 October, Gaza was pounded with artillery and ordinance from battleships and planes. Beersheba fell on 1 November and a week later the British army forced its way into Gaza.

The city was devastated by British bombing, but also by the Ottoman practice of destroying local buildings in order to fortify their defences, and for many years after Gaza remained a depressing and ruined ghost city. Allenby entered Gaza on 9 November, the same day the British Foreign Office announced the ‘Balfour Declaration’ endorsed a week earlier: ‘His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment of a national home in Palestine for the Jewish people’. One battle for Palestine was over in Gaza, another was about to begin.

Gaza in ruins after the Third Battle, 1917. (Library of Congress)

Jean-Pierre Filiu is Professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po in Paris and the author of Gaza: A History.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Martha Raye was a true friend to Special Forces . . . We Love Her . . .

Lt. Colonel Martha "Maggie" Raye

Martha Raye (August 27, 1916 – October 19, 1994) was an American comic actress and singer who performed in movies, and later on television. She was honored in 1969 with an Academy Award as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award recipient for her volunteer efforts and services to the troops.

Beyond being an entertainer who went to the camps that no other entertainers went to, Martha Raye was also a trained nurse who interrupted her shows to render medical aid to the wounded. She would go to any Fire Base anywhere in Vietnam and visit the troops and bring bear no fear always supported the teams.

Why Did The Guys Love Her?

Martha Raye did USO tours where some celebrities refused to go out of fear in Vietnam . . . and who could blame them, right? Well Martha Raye won the hearts and souls of the Green Berets while she was there, later in life the Governor of California made her an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the California National Guard, in honor of her service in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. After Vietnam, when the American public had turned their backs on the Veterans, Colonel Maggie had a standing invitation to any Green Berets to stop by her home in L.A. and she would fix coffee and just chat for a while. During those dark days, this personal touch meant so much to so many.


Here's one example from the foggy recesses of an old trooper's memory banks: Colonel Maggie was visiting the A and B camps of D Co in the Delta and the S-4 Air Ops was assigned to be her escort officer. She had visited Cai Cai A-431 and moved on to RON somewhere else. They were hit that night. When she heard the news the next day, she ORDERED her slick to go back to Cai Cai so she could see if they needed her. She was a qualified nurse. The escort radioed back for instructions and IIRC, the CO (Colonel Bob Hassinger) said HE wasn't going to countermand Maggie and he didn't think it would be a good idea for anyone else to try either. She ALWAYS put the men first.

A Brother Remembers:She was scheduled to visit our Team in Vietnam. Two things: we had to have a bottle of Vodka dedicated just for her and magic markers handy. If she wanted to write on the walls, to let her.

When Colonel Maggie died, she was buried in the military cemetery at Fort Bragg, in accordance with her wishes. The Green Berets lined up to be her honorary pall bearers. Guys placed so many Special Forces coins in her coffin that they had a hard time lifting it up at her wake.

Colonel Maggie - picture taken at VungTau, Viet Nam in 1967 around January or February.

Politically, Raye was conservative affirming her political views by informing an interviewer, "I am a Republican because I believe in the constitution, strength in national defense, limited government, individual freedom, and personal responsibility as the concrete foundation for American government. They reinforce the resolve that the United States is the greatest country in the world and we can all be eternally grateful to our founding fathers for the beautiful legacy they left us today."

When Col. Maggie died, I was working at SERE (Evasion/Survival) and Richmond Nail told us all kinds of crazy stories about her visits out to the firebases in Vietnam, and how she loved to drink and play cards with the troops. All the Nam-era vets taught us to respect Col Maggie for the way she supported SF during, and especially after the war. There is a shrine to Colonel Maggie at the Special Forces Museum at Fort Bragg; a replica of the living room of her home in Bel Air, where she entertained so many returned soldiers, seeking their way after their return from Vietnam.

Colonel Maggie is a Hero of Special Forces.


Friday, August 22, 2014


War reporter Alex Quade reveals the story behind the US Army Special Forces' capture of one of the Taliban-5:

Alex Quade persuaded the elite Operators to go on the record, assess the high risk detainee's exchange for POW, Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and whether the released Taliban leader will attack U.S. interests again. One highly decorated Green Beret who originally helped capture him is now leading US counter-terrorism figure who worked behind the scenes on the recent exchange. His former Special Forces “Horse Soldiers” teammates share details with Alex, not heard elsewhere. Quade’s exclusive reveals the Taliban leader’s connection to convicted "American Taliban" Johnny Walker Lindh, and CIA Agent Mike Spann, the first American killed in action in the war in Afghanistan. You’ll also learn of the released Taliban leader’s ties to notorious former warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum – currently a vice presidential candidate in Afghanistan. Read the full story at

Alex Quade Sends:

Hope you have a moment to watch and share my new video on the story behind the Special Operations Forces’ original capture of one of the Taliban-5, recently exchanged for POW Army SGT Bowe Bergdahl. (On my website: *Those of you who’ve followed the “Horse Soldiers” will be interested in this latest chapter of their story. I truly appreciate it, thank you! - Alex

Thursday, August 21, 2014


They say the only difference between a War Story and a Fairy Tale is a Fairy Tale begins with 'Once Upon A Time', and a War Story begins with 'There We Were, No Shit . . .'

This happened early in the 00's - I was back at Bragg for some TDY deal . . . S.L.

It was lunchtime and I had a hankering for some Taco Bell so that's were we ended up, on Yadkin Road. I'm in line waiting for my turn at the counter, when suddenly this young blonde ponytail girlie soldier in front of me with a MEDDAC patch on her shoulder turns and points to my Combat Diver badge on my BDUs.

"Excuse me Sergeant, WHAT'S THAT???"

I've been waiting for an opportunity like this for over ten years. I couldn't resist.

"Space Shuttle Door Gunner."

"REALLY ? ? ?"

She took the hook, now I had to play the line.

"Uh, yeah. It was a program they introduced back during the Reagan Administration. Part of his Star Wars Initiative, the thing that ended up bankrupting the Soviet Union. The operation was codenamed BRILLIANT PEBBLES. You've probably heard of it, it's since been declassified."

Young Blonde Ponytail Girlie was looking at me like a goldfish, mouth wide open. I knew I had her totally hooked, so it was time to reel her in.

"They never deployed us, but we completed the training, to include backseat rides in the SR-71 - that's astronaut qualified right there - so a limited number of us were awarded the badge and orders."

Poor girl was transfixed. I had her totally under the spell. The Special Force mystique - there's nothing like it, our version of Jedi Mind Tricks.

I was spouting 100% pure unadulterated Bullshit. But I'm not a Bullshitter, I simply couldn't keep up the Bullshit. I finally said, "Do you believe me?"

Young Blonde Ponytail Girlie went red right up to the hairline.

Hell, all I ever did was THIS:

I often wonder how far I would have made it with her if I'd kept up the charade. She was really cute.


Sunday, August 17, 2014


This is an Arabic letter which is being painted on Christians' homes in Mosel, Iraq . . .

. . . to identify them as Christians. They have been given the ultimatum to leave, pay a heavy tax, convert, or die by the sword. I wish any good Muslims left on Earth would stand up to this. We need to show the world that this is not Islam. We need to show them that SILENCE IS A SIGN OF ACCEPTANCE. Let's all stand up the way people stood up when race was an issue in our country. Oddly enough, this Arabic letter is the letter N, which begins to spell the word Nazarene (Christian).


Friday, August 15, 2014


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Please forgive me loyal readers . . . juggling too many chainsaws and some domestic issues . . . its August and everybody else gets to take a vacation - I never get a vacation. I can't say its a slow news cycle; there's all too much going on in the news and I'm a part of the story. Too busy working 12 hour days - still serving God & country - when I get a breathe of fresh air I'll hit it again and keep y'all informed. In the meantime if you're not following @sean_linnane on Twitter you're simply missing half the story . . . give me a week to get my head straight . . . Love ya, mean it . . . S.L.

Friday, August 8, 2014


This a.m. the Pentagon confirmed that two F-18 fighters dropped 500lb laser guided bombs on an ISIS mobile artillery battery firing at Erbil. US Army Special Forces operators from 3rd and 5th Special Forces are on the ground in Iraq - they must have been the laser designators. Stay safe brothers.


Thursday, August 7, 2014


First World War Centenary: Lamps to go out across Britain to Commemorate Dead.

A century after Foreign Secretary Edward Grey ominously observed on the eve of the First World War that “the lamps are going out all over Europe” homes, offices and public buildings in Britain and around the globe will dim the lights in memory of the start of the conflict.

Read about it HERE

Final moments: The Archduke of Austria Franz Ferdinand with his wife Sophie in Sarajevo minutes before their assassination at the hands of Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip.

Arresting Princip’s fellow conspirator Nedeljko Cabrinovic after a failed attempt to kill the Archduke on the same day.

I have stood on that very same spot and looked at the bridge where Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated - S.L.

Crowds in central London cheer Britain’s declaration of war on Germany

The innocents: New recruits, with bicycles, training with the British Army in 1914.

1914: A lone soldier with a bicycle stands amid the remains of a German motor convoy which lines a country lane after an attack by French field guns in the battle of the Aisne in France

German infantry advance through Belgium in August 1914

Civilians near the Austrian lines in Serbia are strung up – probably as a reprisal for guerrilla resistance to the invaders.

Captured soldiers of the Russian 2nd Army after their defeat at the Battle of Tannenberg.

Wounded and exhausted British and Belgian soldiers retreating after the Battle of Mons.

Things started to get ugly, early - S.L.

Supporting troops of the 1st Australian Division walking on a duckboard track near Hooge, in the Ypres Sector

Early indications that this thing wasn't exactly going to be a walk in the park . . .


Saturday, August 2, 2014


I have friends in Israel. I have worked there, and I have been to Gaza. Here are a few words about sharing and attribution and truth on Gaza - written by a close friend whom I've known since the Seventies - S.L.

I have lived in Israel since 1989, loathe our settlement expansion policy, support a two-state solution, and have despaired over the situation in Gaza.

Articles, op/eds, and now videos that I share here are eyewitness accounts by respected journalists who have been or an in Gaza now. They have been my friends and colleagues for more than 20 years - men and women that I know and trust.

Hamas Threatening Journalists in Gaza who Expose Abuse of Civilians

Reporters are bullied, have equipment confiscated, barred from sensitive sites… but they don’t report it. ‘They’re too scared,’ says Israeli official, lamenting capitulation to harassment

Regarding Hamas and their own Shifa hospital: "Shifa has indeed “become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices,” the Washington Post reported on July 15. The Wall Street Journal‘s Middle East correspondent, Nick Casey, wrote on Twitter that Hamas uses Shifa “as a safe place to see media” but removed the post afterwards.

Yesterday my daughter went to a funeral for a friend from her class, a boy she's known since 7th grade. He and two other kids were killed when they entered a booby-trapped UNWRA clinic to destroy a tunnel leading from the clinic to a massive network underground. I am including just two videos that show tunnels, one from a mosque, and another in the bathroom of a private home. There are dozens of videos like these showing tunnels that lead from schools and living rooms, mosques and clinics--just as there are still dozens more tunnels. All of them were constructed at a staggering cost with aid from abroad--not to mention building materials provided by Israel, earmarked for the construction of homes, schools, clinics, etc. This has been documented time and again.

While operating in Gaza against Hamas, IDF soldiers found a mosque that contained many weapons. Furthermore, two tunnel openings were found in the bottom floor, which was also the prayer area.

The Gaza Strip is a beautiful stretch along the Mediterranean coast, with enormous potential for growth and self-sufficiency. This has NEVER, EVER been a goal of Hamas, despite the billions of dollars in aid that it collects each year from Israel and many countries around the world. Ordinary Gazans see none of this aid - most live in abject poverty, while Hamas commanders live in and operate from the comparative luxury of their private compounds. That is when, of course they are not hiding out underground, or in Qatar.

Most Israelis are SICKENED by the death of innocent civilians in Gaza. Our conflict, and the struggle to do what is right is played out every day in Israeli media and on the street.

The decimation of Gaza is not and never has been Israel's goal. We do believe that education and prosperity offer the ONLY hope for the people of Gaza.

Rockets Found in a UNRWA School for a Third Time

Palestinians at an UNRWA school after fleeing their homes following an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 18, 2014. (photo credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Today another ceasefire has been announced, and I just want to quote--or paraphrase, really, Khaled Mashaal's speech from two weeks ago, in which he said "any ceasefire is temporary . . . it will last until we have completed more tunnels, amassed more missiles, and can attack again to kill and drive out the occupiers . . ."

The first paragraph of Hamas' charter - which you can find just about anywhere if you look for it - calls for the destruction of Israel. Hamas has refused to renounce this objective. It must remain in the charter, says Mashaal, "for internal reasons".

Israel DOES not occupy the Gaza Strip, or the West Bank. Mashaal and Hamas - want Israelis, Jews, OUT OF ISRAEL.

Ceasefire or not - I, we, are not going anywhere.

- From K.K. in Tel Aviv