The Iraqi parliament “unanimously” voted to reinstate a law that bans the public display of the Israeli flag — an apparent response to Israel’s support for the recent Kurdish independence referendum:
Israel was the only country to publicly support the referendum for an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq that took place in September…
In a show of gratitude for Israel’s support, Kurds proudly waved large Israeli flags at massive rallies held ahead of the vote…
Israel had long supported Kurdish uprisings against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
For those keeping track, the United States of America has expended vast amounts of money, effort, and human life in “liberating” and then rebuilding Read more
An interesting US Air Force story describes how US Air Force Chaplain (Maj) Chris Conklin is acting as an advisor to the Afghan Air Force Religious and Cultural Affairs office, a rough equivalent to their chaplaincy:
Chaplain (Maj.) Chris Conklin is the first air advisor charged with assisting the Afghan military’s religious and cultural affairs program with the mission of effective religious care and spiritual readiness for those who defend their nation.
Interestingly, the article makes a point to say their discussions aren’t religious in nature: Read more
The US military apparently conducted a leaflet drop in Afghanistan recently that offended just about everyone:
The leaflets dropped Monday night, which encouraged Afghans to cooperate with security forces, included an image of a dog carrying the Taliban flag, said Shah Wali Shahid, the deputy governor of Parwan province.
The problem, such that it is, is the Islamic verses of the Quran are venerated in Islam — and there are Islamic verses on the Taliban flag. Dogs are viewed as filthy.
So, despite the evil the Taliban represents, seeing a Taliban flag in the mouth of a dog is worse.
The Taliban subsequently Read more
A US Air Force article highlights the religious ministry support team at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, where chaplains rotate to geographically separated units to provide continuous religious support:
Thousands of feet above Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, two Airmen, riding in a helicopter, wearing more than 75 pounds of gear, hover around the city before landing. These Airmen are not pararescuemen or tactical air control party—they’re a chaplain and chaplain assistant.
After landing, they travel to the nearby chapel, where Read more
The Stars and Stripes has an interesting write up on Saint Christopher’s Chapel, an open-air church built by the US Army during World War II:
The nondenominational Saint Christophers Chapel, built in 1943 by the Army’s 542nd Engineer Battalion, is the only structure remaining from when Rockhampton served as a springboard and training location for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s World War II island-hopping campaign. The city hosted the 1st Cavalry Division and the 24th, 32nd and 41st infantry divisions on a half-dozen camps between 1942-44.
Somewhat interesting that journalist Marcus Fichtl makes a Read more
RAdm Robert Sharp, director of the National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office and commander of Office of Naval Intelligence, recently made a fascinating statement in support of the LGBT community [emphasis added]:
[Sharp] said his commitment comes from the important role diversity and inclusion play in building a strong Navy. It not only the right thing to do, he said, it is a warfighting readiness imperative…
Nowhere is that more important than in the intelligence community, he said.
“It’s our job to go out there and understand adversaries. We need to be looking at threats from every different angle, and if we can’t bring in diversity of experience, diversity of expertise, diversity of thought, we will not be as good as we need to be for our nation.”
That begs two important questions: Read more
As the Trump Department of Defense reconsiders the decision by the Obama Administration to allow “transgender” individuals to serve in the US military, indications of growing opposition even within the Armed Services are undercutting claims that transgenders in the military would be a “non-event.”
US Rep Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 that would have prohibited the military from accepting those who describe themselves as transgender. Representative Hunter agreed with her:
“This (policy) doesn’t make (troops) more effective or efficient or deadly. What it does is distract everybody,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who served with the Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I couldn’t imagine having to share showers with somebody that was a girl and didn’t have a surgery to become a man but kept the girl stuff and now she’s with a bunch of guys.”
Hunter’s comments were criticized by his political opponents: Read more
Clayton Lassiter was a US Marine in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now he’s a pastor in Florida, and he’s aiming to help veterans with some of the same struggles he had:
Since January, three of Clayton Lassiter’s buddies from his military command have killed themselves.
Having served with the Marine Corps during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lassiter has dealt with his own struggles. He’s had nightmares, flashbacks and used to have trouble being in unfamiliar environments.
Notably, the article only mentions the VA once — to highlight that it is “overwhelmed.” Lassiter isn’t out to point people toward the VA; he’s trying to start a group of veterans helping veterans, potentially focusing on the area that helped him: Read more