When I was in college during the Reagan Administration, I could still find Republicans not favorably disposed to the State of Israel. Back then, the Democrats seemed the most consistently pro-Israel party. And while Secretary of State George Shultz was a good friend to Israel, his successor in the Administration of George H.W. Bush, James A. Baker, III was not a friend to the Jewish State.
As recently as the election of 2000, I was concerned that George W. Bush might not recognize the strategic importance of our alliance with that outpost of freedom in the turbulent Middle East. Shortly after the election of 2000 was decided, I told a member of my synagogue that I feared Bush (43) might be like his father on Israel. Well, his record has quieted my fears as the incumbent president ranks, along with Ronald Reagan and Harry S Truman, as among the best friends Israel has had in the White House.
And the president is not the only Republican favorably disposed to the Jewish State. According to Gallup, more Republicans have positive views of Israel than Democrats — 79% vs. 60% — nearly 20 points! It’s heartening to see this shift in Republican attitudes. And I’m delighted to note that while the Left has tried to use the “coaltion of the oppressed” argument to turn Democrats against that Middle Eastern democracy, a solid majority of that left-of-center party remains favorably disposed toward the Jewish State.
(H/t: Michelle Malkin.)
It is hard to believe that 25 years ago this afternoon, I came home from *gulp* 7th Grade and flipped on the TV (like any normal 13-year old). It was a little past 3pm Eastern and I must admit that I was a “General Hospital” (the original Luke & Laura Years) addict. But ABC News anchor man Frank Reynolds suddenly interrupted things.
President Ronald Reagan had been shot at this very minute 25 years ago. It is one of those moments, minutes, hours and days that will always be with me for the rest of my life. My President had been nearly killed that day by a lunatic in love with a Hollywood actress. But he survived.
And through his strength a nation began to rebuild itself from Watergate, energy crises, the birth of Islamo-fascism in Iran, and the growing nuclear threat from the Soviet Union.
Reagan’s brush with death was itself a catalyst to passing his economic and tax cut measures by a Democrat Congress in 1981 — launching the longest economic expansion in US history… some say we may still be reaping the benefits of Reagan’s tax cuts to this day.
Like his political loss in 1976, Reagan’s near death in 1981 found him rising out of the ashes — the American Phoenix standing tall and shining the beacon of freedom throughout the world.
25 Years ago…. unbelieveable. Thanks to Malcontent for reminding me of this date a few weeks ago!
If you take a gander at the bottom of the page, you will notice that sometime this morning GayPatriot reached the 600,000 unique visitors mark. Somehow it snuck up on me. It seems like we just hit 500,000!
Congrats to all of our readers. And a special thanks to my co-blogger Dan…. and our Revolving BlogPatriots Nick and John (whereever they are!?!)
Anyway, I wanted to mark the occasion. Hang up some balloons and blow out a candle or two whereever you may be.
After a bit of a delay, we are finally hitting the road for the beginning of our Country Music Experience this weekend.
Knoxville or bust!
-Bruce (GayPatriot….. being guided blindly for the next 4 hours by Magellan)
The New Map of North America in the eyes of the illegal immigration activists. (courtesy Polipundit)
Call your Senators today!
If you have never been to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA (Chocolate Town, USA), please consider it this summer. I have so many great memories of my visits to this amusement park as a kid. It was there where I “survived the Sooper Dooper Looper” (my first upside down roller coaster ride), my first flume ride, first bumper cars, skipping out of school with my friends Senior Year for a Hershey Park road trip…. I could go on and on.
Not as flashy and grand as Disney World and not as trashy and run-down as Six Flags Great Adventure (circa 1985), Hershey Park is a great family-friendly amusement park with plenty of thrills for the young adults and thrill seekers.
I am writing this post after reading this news item on CNN — Sweet! Chocolate Tour gets an update
The Great American Chocolate Tour Ride, which opened in 1973, has just undergone its third major renovation — a $5 million update to ensure scenes along the ride reflect the latest chocolate-making technology. Brighter colors, more multimedia entertainment and a hip new soundtrack will also greet the public when the attraction officially reopens April 1.
Now drawing about 3 million visitors a year, the Great American Chocolate Tour Ride opened when growing interest in touring Hershey’s factory (and concerns about how rising temperatures from body heat was affecting the chocolate) made it impossible for the company to continue offering tours of its working facilities.
The ride is meant to simulate the experience of being in a chocolate factory, while educating visitors about the chocolate-making process, from bean to candy.
Any kid within driving distance of Hershey who grew up under the influence of the original Willy Wonka movie, knew what a great ride that Chocolate World was. I’ll always remember the ending jingle (which was also the Hershey TV ad jingle) — “Hershey, the Great American Chocolate Bar.” Oh yeah, and they used to (maybe still do?) give you free chocolate at the end of the ride. Best part!
-Bruce (GayPatriot…. on the road to Knoxville to see Brad, Billy & Sara)
Having submitted my paper on the goddess Athena and the Trojan War and completed two presentations, each involving (in some way or other) that Greek deity, I will hopefully soon be back to blogging, likely tomorrow (Thursday, March 30, 2006) afternoon. I have to say that I was struck by a number of things in the past week, how the MSM in reporting on the death of former Reagan Administration Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger dwelled on his involvement in the Iran-contra scandal. That good man was not convicted of anything, thus the MSM seem more interested in highlighting the accusations of an overzealous special prosecutor than the accomplishments of a distinguished conservative public servant.
And I realized, given one of Bruce’s recent posts, that I need to weigh in (once again) with my thoughts on gay marriage and the increasingly ludicrous debate. Those on the right wish to score political points with social conservatives by pushing gratuitous amendments while advocates of gay marriage seem more interested in attacking social conservatives than in defending the merits of the instiution — and the reasons for extending its benefits & protections to same-sex couples.
And I have some thoughts on Log Cabin, particularly its “convention” which seems more designed as a love letter to the gay rights groups in our nation’s capital than a gathering to consider means to promote “inclusion” (a word Log Cabin loves to use) of gay people in the GOP. I note once again how the language Log Cabin uses, this time to promote the confab, resembles more that of those gay rights groups than it does that of a Republican organization.
And about the narrow-mindedness of California’s openly gay State Assemblyman (Mark Leno) (via BotW). And to wonder why an openly gay anti-American peace activist decided to become closeted while detained by an anti-American extremist group (also via BotW).
And of course, I want to talk about some of the movies I have been watching (mostly for class) — a great variety of other issues. For now, let me just recommend that Patrick Guerriero watch Braveheart which, despite its flaws, has a valuable message which might help him better understand modern American conservatism. (More on that anon.) Oh, and, another flick I included in my presentation was Patton, a film I can’t recommend highly enough.
And I want to blog once again on gay identity — and why I have been considering changing my blogging moniker.
I just finished reading Robbie’s spot-on review of last night’s American Idol. And it got me all fired up and angry again about this horrible Idol season, as I alluded to earlier. It didn’t help that as I was reading it, I was also talking about the horrible show to a former work colleague back in Washington, DC who is a fellow Idol-maniac.
But this year is just painful. It doesn’t help that I thought this year’s final crop — especially the guys — held the most promise. But as the field of contestant thins, the lack of vocal talent becomes more apparent. It has gotten so bad that I thought Taylor Hicks’ had the best vocals last night. And he drives me crazy because he is either retarded, spastic or both.
As for Ace…. dude, cut the hair. You look like a girl now and that ain’t “smoldering.”
Even my favorites Kelly Pickler and Chris Daughtry were not at the top of their game last night. I still think Chris is the one to beat, but his increasing move to head-banging has begun to grate on me.
My advice for you fellow Idol fans experiencing bleeding from your ears this year….. turn to the USA Network on Tuesdays at 10pm after the amateurs at FOX are done trying to pretend they can sing.
Via Gateway Pundit:
Craig Penshar writes in with this news:
I found some interesting tidbits. I don’t claim to understand the full context, but it appears that these Iraqi officials were admitting to:
* Bribing Russian officials to get specific UN Security Council proposals changed.
* Lying about imported chemicals
* Transporting nuclear material outside of Iraq
This undated media file contains 62 minutes and 36 seconds of audio recorded tape, of President Saddam Hussein’s meeting with high ranking Iraqi officials, discussing Ikius Report in the Security Council regarding the Iraqi Biological File.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL ‘AMIR:
…However, there are grounds for the Biological Program. Sir … one could be suspicious of it [the Biological Program] if we concentrate on it [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and the trafficking effort and dodging everything in regards to it…
…We have succeeded in a few of the UN paragraphs, we have won Russia, ahhh … we have convinced Russia by way of generous accounts [payoffs] in which, you remember how and why it happened…
…They have a bigger problem with the Chemical program than the Biological program, a lot bigger than the Biological program. It is not the weapons, the size of the imported material, the size of [UNINTELLIGIBLE] that we presented to them or the size of the stockpile. They knew that not all of this was true. We have not told them that we used it on Iran, nor have we told them about the size or kind of Chemical weapons that we produced, and we have not told them the truth about the imported material…
…Sir, where was the Nuclear material transported to? A number of them were transported outside of Iraq. A number of them [did not specify whom] knew about the nature of our work in the past [UNINTELLIGIBLE] I mean, they got out. Therefore sir, to solve this issue, we must stand firm. Why should we stand firm? We should stand firm because the time will allow us to confess all that we have … Sir, this estimate could take up to five years while they are trying to solve it….
Screw UN sanctions against Iran… how about UN sanctions against Russia and France for supporting a dictator who was actively engaged in WMD development and hide-and-seek?
PatriotPartner and I are going to be knee-deep in country music by the time Sunday rolls around. Before I fully explain, let me direct your attention to a more interesting reality TV show involving wanna-be singers than the usual “Idol” banter on FOX.
Nashville Star on the USA Network
American Idol was so painful last night (now I know why singers have producers to pick their songs!) that I needed something to cleanse my senses. Thank God for Nashville Star! And the website is fantastic. You can see the performers do their songs via video clips from the previous episodes.
Our favorite? Chris Young. Tall, dark and country! Official Chris Young website here.
But all of the Nashville Star guys are very good, great singers …. and good-looking! Check it out. Tuesday nights at 10pm on USA Network.
Back to our “Country Music Week”…. on Thursday we are making the four-hour drive from Charlotte, NC to Knoxville, TN to see three of our favorite country performers in one concert.
Brad Paisley is headlining with special guests Sara Evans and Billy Currington. (Billy is one of the top search engine keywords that bring folks to GayPatriot, by the way)
Then on Saturday night, back in Charlotte, we are on the floor at the new Bobcats Arena to hear one of our absolute favorites — Martina McBride!
I actually got turned onto Martina’s music thanks to Sean Hannity using her great song “Independence Day” as his bumper/intro music. When I first heard the song, I had to find it! I’ve loved Martina’s music ever since.
So that’s our week. I’m not sure how much blogging I will be doing in Knoxville on Thursday and Friday due to the drive time, but I’ll try!
Perhaps if one spent more time working to meet with White House officials for the past 5 years (including the very important role of Budget Director), one would be able to actually spell the name of the now-new White House Chief of Staff. This from Log Cabin (Republicans) own press release:
Log Cabin Republicans Thank White House Chief of Staff Andy Card for His Service to the Nation
(Washington, DC) –”Andy Card has served the country and President George W. Bush with distinction. We thank him for his service to the nation,” said Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero. President Bush said, “Andy Card has served me and our country in historic times: on a terrible day when America was attacked, during economic recession and recovery, through storms of unprecedented destructive power, in peace and in war.”
“As a fellow Massachusetts native and former state legislator, I’ve seen Mr. Card bring his integrity and commitment to public service to the White House during remarkably challenging times,” said Guerriero. “We wish him well in this new phase of his life. Log Cabin looks forward to working with Josh Bolton [sic] as he takes over as White House Chief of Staff.”
President Bush’s new Chief of Staff spells his last name B-O-L-T-E-N. Our United Nations Ambassador, John Bolton, does spell his name the Log Cabin way. Maybe Patrick was confused?
Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that Patrick has no problem spelling abortion, Solomonese, hatred, victimhood, Massachusetts Republican, Kennedy, Schumer, Clinton, first-class airfare, fundraising, behind closed doors, and rubberstamp.
I just wish the Log Cabin gang could spell: DIALOGUE and PARTNERSHIP and use them in the same sentence as REPUBLICAN MAJORITY.
As reported right here over a week ago…
Via email from Jeff Cook for Congress
March 28, 2006
I would like to take this time to express to you my heartfelt gratitude for the support you’ve shown over the past six months. As you know, last September I formed an exploratory committee to consider the possibility of running to represent New York’s 19th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
We have put together a great team of talented individuals, raised nearly $100,000 and had the privilege of meeting hundreds of neighbors and families from across the Hudson Valley. We’ve talked about the issues that really matter and what Americans should be able to expect from their elected officials. I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from those in New York and across the nation, and today I find it difficult to write this letter.
After months of consideration and honest conversations with family, friends and supporters, I have decided not to seek election at this time. Of course, this is not an easy decision. As we have explored this race, I have come to understand the hard reality of challenging an incumbent of one’s own party in a primary. In order to win, we would have to run an incredibly expensive and negative campaign—the type of campaign that is not in the best interests of the Hudson Valley, our long-term efforts or the values that have motivated me to seek public office.
In the months ahead, I will continue to be a voice for fiscal and ethical accountability and our inclusive conservative message that one day I hope to take to Washington. I will remain active in my community and work hard to build a grassroots network of support. Together, we will achieve victory at the appropriate time.
Once again, thank you so much for your friendship and support. We have laid the groundwork for future success, and more importantly, our message has been heard.
Paid for and authorized by Jeff Cook for Congress Exploratory Committee
My sources tell me he had only raised $40,000 and spent $30,000 of it at the last FEC report. But hey, what’s $60,000 among friends?
I admire Jeff for having the guts to run for Congress. I am completely baffled as to why you would take on an incumbent of your own party at such a young age. I don’t think it did him or his former boss, Patrick Guerriero, any favors with the majority party leadership on Capitol Hill.
GP Prediction — Jeff Cook will become at least an “independent” (if not a born-again Democrat) like former Republican state legislator Steve May or closeted liberal DC Congressman David Catania.
So liberals wail and beat their chests when the President, using his authority to wage war in the 21st Century to protect Americans, okays eavesdropping on suspected terrorists in the USA when they make calls to their buddies overseas.
But where are the wails for “censure” when a United States Congressman explicity and knowingly violates the wiretapping laws for his own party’s political benefit?
Jim McDermott: Lawbreaker – Michelle Malkin
A federal appeals court ruled today that Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., violated federal law by turning over an illegally taped telephone call to reporters nearly a decade ago.
In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that McDermott violated the rights of House Majority Leader John Boehner, who was heard on the 1996 call involving former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The court ordered McDermott to pay Boehner more than $700,000 for leaking the taped conversation. The figure includes $60,000 in damages and more than $600,000 in legal costs.
McDermott leaked a tape of a 1996 cell phone call involving former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to The New York Times and other news organizations.
I hope it won’t take another 10 years to find out and prosecute the United States Senator who leaked classified information about the War on Terror to the media!
I’m hoping that Americans get as excited and angry about the watered-down Senate immigration bill as they did about the Dubai ports sale. We have got to toughen our borders first, and worry about law-breaking refugees second. If you are in this country illegally, you should not have any rights under this nation’s Constitution. It is a pretty obvious conclusion.
I am a product of an immigrant family who came through Ellis Island in the early 1900s and did it legally. If the immigration process is cumbersome, good. We cannot absorb every refugee from every nation on earth into our country. It is impossible!
To give you an idea at what that might look like — just take a gander at the burning riots in France this year. Someday soon Los Angeles and New York will be under the same strain if we allow unfettered access to our country.
Please call your Senators today and urge them to toughen the weak and pathetic immigration bill that was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. It doesn’t go far enough to protect America and to ensure that those who are here illegally are made to follow our laws and our Constitution. I have no more right to go to Switzerland and expect instant citizenship than those from Mexico or Canada do to come here and demand the same. Tell your Senator to support amendments making the Senate bill in line with the House-passed bill.
Finally, is there any doubt as the result of this story that illegal immigration is a security threat? This sounds like an hour episode out of “24″ for crying out loud! (Hat tip: Polipundit)
Clinton chauffeur an illegal immigrant – UPI.com
Congress — wake up! We need a real fence, real enforcement of our exisiting immigration laws, and the balance on this issue needs to tip to national security, not political correctness sensibilities.
Moussaoui Admits Lying So Sept. 11 Attacks Could Go Forward – FOX News
Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui helped himself get one huge step closer toward getting the death penalty Monday when he testified that not only did he know about the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks ahead of time but that he and shoe-bomber Richard Reid were supposed to hijack a fifth airplane and fly it into the White House.
The self-confessed Al Qaeda member also said he rejoiced and was delighted when nearly 3,000 people were killed and the World Trade Center was reduced to rubble after the attacks that day.
Moussaoui’s three-hour long testimony in his death-penalty trial revealed stunning new details in the case, many of which were in stark contrast to his previous statements in which he said the White House attack was to come later if the United States refused to release a radical Egyptian sheik imprisoned on earlier terrorist convictions.
“I was supposed to pilot a plane into the White House,” Moussaoui responded when defense lawyers asked him if he knew he was supposed to be a pilot in the Sept. 11 attacks when he was arrested on Aug. 16 of that year. “I only knew about the two planes of the World Trade Center in addition to my own,” he added.
Some of my thoughts. First, Moussaoui should immediately be charged as an accomplice in the 3,000 murders that took place on September 11th. Second, this seems to prove that the brave American heroes on United Flight 93 prevented their plane from being flown into the US Capitol, since Moussaoui’s plane was planned to hit the White House.
Finally, shouldn’t our intelligence community have tagged Richard Reid and prevented him from boarding an airplane, much less wearing a shoe-bomb, since his was apparently one of 5 other intended 9/11 hijackers?
Equal time rule applies on this blog! This is a reply from a staunch supporter of Log Cabin (Republicans) to this posting from earlier today.
The posting from Ted at Charging Rhino is just flat out stupid… the convention is key noted by Senator Danforth, honors the only openly gay R member of Congress, includes pieces on immigration reform, the war on terror, and reigning in spending… there is also a piece on Republican women that includes former Gov Jane Swift… and this doesnt sound like a Republican organization? give me a break… there are legitimate complaints and then there are the desperate and pathetic rants, that honestly dont even make sense when you read them… that posting is little more than pathetic…
I’m still not sure where I see any venue for reports on what LC(R) is doing, or any grassroots voting on issues or the makeup of the Board of Directors. But hey, I’m not wasting my money to go.
-Bruce (GayPatriot… on Pathetic Avenue today)
I’ve received two emails of note lately that I wanted to bring to your attention.
First, this one from a reader in Missouri.
Subj: Your principled stance on marriage.
Just had to drop a note to high-five your clear and excellent thought process on this emotional issue. As is your style, you cut to the essence of the debate with honesty and feeling. It reminds me a little of when my daughter and her boyfriend were presenting all sorts of logical and economic reasons for which they should live together. I was so annoyed with them. I said, “Don’t give me economics, give me passion as your reason.” It felt right at the time and it feels right still. I want everyone to be able to love the person of his choice. Marriage is not a prerequisite to having that. Yes, civil unions are a good answer and I support them.
And then this one from a GP reader who contributed a significant amount of money via PayPal to this blog. It was so significant I wrote him back to make sure he hadn’t gotten a decimal point in the wrong place. Here’s his response.
No, that was definitely not a mistake, though I understand your wish to confirm it. I have given similar amounts to Independent Gay Forum and Andrew Sullivan in the past. My wife and I ardently support gay rights, but who we REALLY love are gay moderates and conservatives who know that there are other important issues out there, too. The most pathetic scene has been yours truly sitting next to a militant lesbian at a black-tie fundraiser for a well-known national gay organization and foolhardedly trying to convince her that being gay doesn’t necessarily require her to be a Maoist anarchist intent on destroying the system that, after all, provides refuge for all and will, with time, move ever forward, if slowly. Usually, I get a polite look that suggests I might be from some outer planet in the solar system. If they think that Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell are bad, the humorless men who will bring Sharia law to Western Europe in 2030 will make them look like Chelsea
boys on Pride Day.
I was also very upset last year about an outing of a sponsor of a gay conservative web site (to his employers) by the self-appointed leftist thought police that resulted in the shutting down of the site. This is intimidation of the worst kind. Anyway, that is my story. I hope that this contribution helps to keep your site active.
Thanks to everyone for your wonderful support of this site and the message we are trying to get out to mainstream America!
Ted @ Charging Rhino has reviewed the … ahem… “program” for the Log Cabin “Republicans” convention and he’s not a bit impressed.
The following open-letter was faxed to Patrick Guerriero at Washington, D.C. Headquarters
24 Mar 2006
I’ve spent the last several days looking at the program for the LCR National Convention; looking at Expedia and Hotels.com for a better deal on rooms….and stewing. Looking at the options and mulling whether to skip Thursday-night, or just go Saturday, etc… And part of my problem is the Agenda…or rather what’s not on the Agenda.
If your NOT a VIP or Trustee; there’s the Thurs. Reception at the Capitol Club and the party later-on at Remington’s….but if your not a VIP you’re not invited to the intervening dinner. There’s no open-attendance dinner or party Friday other than the Trustee’s cocktail hour, and the Saturday evening party is for VIP’s-only as-well. And Sunday morning is the brunch for those “available”. As I read this, that means that the general LCR members will not have an opportunity for interacting with the VIP’s at-all socially between Thursday’s reception and Sunday’s brunch. All of the opinion-shapers and decision-makers will be out-of-reach and out of earshot for the duration of the LCR Convention after Thursday afternoon’s reception.
The official program bothers me in that it’s the agenda of a gay-rights group, not a Republican electoral organization. On Friday we have;
A speech in Gay Marriage, A speech on DADT, Keynote Speech by Bishop Robinson’s speech on Faith and Sexual Orientation, Followed by a panel discussion on religious intolerance, and a “Gay Rights” panel discussion.
On Saturday is the LCR Convention: GOP Women and the Big Tent, “Insights” into 2006 ands 2008, and “immigration reform, the war on terror and the spending situation in Washington.”
I don’t see any “partisan politics” being committed…and I don’t see any accountability of LCR-National to the general membership, nor the membership assembled. There’s no General Membership Business Meeting scheduled, and I don’t see any reports being made on the performance of the National, and I would have liked to hear some reports or comments from chapters on what was successful for them and not-successful. How they went about raising funds, soliciting both for their chapters functions, but also how they raised monies that where then channeled to their local, county and state GOP organizations. You and I both know that the two things that can any political organization influence in either party is the ability to mobilize manpower and money.
Where’s the grassroots organization and activism?? No small-group discussions? I see lots of “rights activism” but little “Republican political action”…and that worries me. Why no break-out seminars on getting involved in the partisan-political process. Presentations on why a gay Republican should run for local office. The How-to of organizing and growing chapters; or how to make a difference. I don’t see anyone speaking on how their Chapter has made in-roads into the GOP establishment…nor on how chapters can synergistically aid other chapters. Where’s the “politics”? How to orchestrate a mailing campaign. How to effectively lobby state legislators without waving huge bags of money. Where’s the the real-world examples of how to be effective on a county GOP committee to gain influence with the Committee.
I would like to attend, but I figure it’s $1500.-minumum at attend; and do what? Other than sitting in the dark, I don’t see the general membership of the LCR doing-much that counts; either at the Convention, nor once they get back home. At the moment, I think I’ll just leave my options open.
Yeah… and there doesn’t look like a chance for members to vote on the Board of Directors either. Perhaps that’s because it is fait accompli by the time the “membership” gathers.
At least there is democracy flourishing in the Middle East, even if it doesn’t at our national gay organizations.
If the purpose of going into Iraq was to “control their oil”…. why are our gas prices over $2.50 a gallon three years later? Do we not “control their oil” now?
Since our wonderfully “fair” national news media is so inept and celebrating America’s success in the War on Terror, I am determined to highlight our American heroes when I become aware of them.
Medals – Liberty Just In Case (hat tip: Instapundit)
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 30, 2005) — The White House announced March 29 that President George W. Bush will honor Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith by presenting his family the Medal of Honor on April 4, the second anniversary of his courageous actions during the Battle of Baghdad Airport.
Smith is the first to receive the military’s highest award for actions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In action near the Baghdad Airport on April 4, 2003, Smith, a Soldier in Company B, 11th Engineer Battalion, working with units of the 3rd Infantry Division, was tasked to build a compound to hold enemy prisoners, when his small force came under attack by more than 100 enemies.
Smith threw two grenades and fired rocket launchers at the enemy before manning a .50-caliber machine gun on an M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier to protect his troops. While engaging an enemy attacking from three sides, Smith fired more than 300 rounds from the machinegun before being killed.
He prevented the enemy from overtaking his units position, protected his Task Forces flank, and defended the lives of more than 100 Soldiers, according to his award citation.
Smith was serving as a platoon sergeant in Bravo Company, 11th Engineer Battalion, Task Force 2-7, 3rd Infantry Division. He had been serving in the Army since October 1989.
The question is, as Liberty rightly asks, why did I not hear of Paul R. Smith last year when he was given the Medal of Honor? I guess Valerie Plame was too damn important, huh?
I took this photo at Philadelphia International Airport a couple of weeks ago. It was hanging on the wall of the Mrs. Fields counter in Terminal B.
At least you can resolve your munchies at the same time….