Hezbollah is Hurting
The powerful Lebanese Hezbollah militia has thrived for decades on generous cash handouts from Iran, spending lavishly on benefits for its fighters, funding social services for its constituents and accumulating a formidable arsenal that has helped make the group a significant regional force, with troops in Syria and Iraq.
But since President Trump introduced sweeping new restrictions on trade with Iran last year, raising tensions with Tehran that reached a crescendo in recent days, Iran’s ability to finance allies like Hezbollah has been curtailed. Hezbollah, the best funded and most senior of Tehran’s proxies, has seen a sharp fall in its revenue and is being forced to make draconian cuts to its spending, according to Hezbollah officials, members and supporters.
Fighters are being furloughed or assigned to the reserves, where they receive lower salaries or no pay at all, said a Hezbollah employee with one of the group’s administrative units. Many of them are being withdrawn from Syria, where the militia has played an instrumental role in fighting on behalf of President Bashar al-Assad and ensuring his survival.
Programs on Hezbollah’s television station Al-Manar have been canceled and their staff laid off, according to another Hezbollah insider. The once ample spending programs that underpinned the group’s support among Lebanon’s historically impoverished Shiite community have been slashed, including the supply of free medicines and even groceries to fighters, employees and their families.
From one of my West Point Classmates in Honduras
This letter was written this month.
Sergeant York – the Horse
About three years ago, Heather, the daughter of a good friend, went to the US Army Caisson Platoon to meet Sgt. York, possibly the most famous horse in the barn. Heather does a TV show called Post Time that centers around standard bred horses and Sgt. York was a race-horse that retired to be one of the horses used for military funerals. He was the rider-less horse in Ronald Reagan’s funeral. The video tells it all; it’s fun.
A Great Song: Another Soldier’s Gone
At the 55th reunion of my West Point class (last month) a classmate, Fred Gray, sang a song that is extraordinary. I think you’ll appreciate this.
West Point Graduation
On May 24th, the US Military Academy graduated over 980 cadets in the Class of 2019. This was its most diverse class ever..
It’s a “Seasons of Firsts” for these new Army officers who will lead America’s soldiers in the defense of the nation.
Highest number of African-American women
Highest number of women to graduate for any class (since 1980)
Most diverse class (ethnicity and gender)
USMA will graduate it’s 5,000th woman
USMA will mark it’s 1,000th Jewish cadet to graduate
Football seniors will be the first to have earned the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy back-to-back and win three consecutive bowl games.
First international student to graduate from the Netherlands (The international program has been in existence since 1889)
“After this 47-month journey, over 980 second lieutenants shaped by rigorous military, physical, academic and character development will join the proud ranks of the US Army ready to fight and win,” said. Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent US Military Academy.
Vice President Mike Pence was the commencement speaker. This marks his second visit to West Point and his first time as graduation speaker.
I’m proud of my alma mater—but I do wonder what diversity has to do with combat readiness.
Just A Common Soldier
A wonderful video and a great poem.
Captain Henry T. Waskow
Ernie Pyle, the greatest war correspondent of WW II, was from Dana, Indiana, a tiny town of about 500. He went to Indiana University to study Journalism and left a few credits short to join the War effort, travelling with our troops and recording the details of their lives and deaths as they slogged across Europe and the Pacific islands.
This short story is one of his most memorable columns that he wired back to the States, as the war consumed yet another group of our heroic soldiers’ lives. His description of the passing of Captain Henry Waskow is especially poignant during this week’s anniversary of the Normandy Invasion. Great Men.
The Home the Videotown Battlefield
This song was written by a Canadian to commemorate the Canadian Vets who lost their PTSD fight with suicide. It is a strong song and clear message that is as appropriate to remembering our veterans who also suffer PTSD and the many who lost their fight on the hometown battlefield.
West Point Cadet Dies in Accident
A military vehicle containing cadets and soldiers had an accident. One cadet was killed.
Winning in Iraq
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve hosted over 30 national representatives from troop contributing nations at Union III, Iraq, June 4, 2019 for a day of in-depth discussions on the evolving efforts to fully defeat Daesh in Iraqi and Syria. This was the first meeting of ambassadors and senior national representatives with CJTF leadership since the elimination of Daesh’s so-called physical caliphate, which was a significant milestone toward their enduring defeat.
This video is from 2014 but this occurs in nearby RAF Mildenhall England, every year.
WWII aviation buffs, this is something to see. Watch in full screen mode, turn up
the volume to really appreciate the noise of those engines.
Can the Palestinians Govern Themselves?
President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner said in an interview that the Palestinians aren’t yet able to govern themselves and declined to promise them an independent state in the White House’s long-awaited Mideast peace plan.
“The hope is that they over time will become capable of governing,” Kushner said in an interview with Axios on HBO.
Kushner is leading a White House effort to draft a new peace proposal for the Israelis and Palestinians, and Trump said he believed a deal could probably be reached. The effort faltered after Trump announced in 2017 he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem. The Palestinians have said they will boycott an economic conference in Bahrain this month that Kushner arranged as a first step in the peace plan.
Building the Wall – GoFundMe
A crowdfunding effort to build a wall at the US-Mexico border unveiled its progress, quelling skepticism from some supporters of the $22 million fundraising campaign. But the project’s legality is now being questioned by a local mayor, who issued a cease-and-desist order.
“Here we go!! Liberals trying to intimidate us!” Brian Kolfage, who launched the viral border wall GoFundMe in December, wrote in a tweet. “SOUND THE ALARM.”
Kolfage seeks to fill gaps along the “porous” southern border, which he says leaves the United States “vulnerable to attack.” When GoFundMe offered refunds in January after Kolfage fell short of his $1 billion goal, he channeled the money to a nonprofit that aims to construct wall segments on private property.
Why So Many Mass Shootings
This month, Americans learned of another mass shooting, this time by an employee who decided to murder as many of the people he had worked with for years as possible. As of this writing, the murder toll is 12 people.
Every American asks why. What was the killer’s motive? When we read there is “no known motive,” we are frustrated. Human beings want to make sense of life, especially of evil.
Leftists are virtually united in ascribing these shootings to guns. This month, in a speech in Brazil, former President Obama told an audience:
“Our gun laws in the United States don’t make much sense. Anybody can buy any weapon any time — without much, if any, regulation. They can buy over the internet. They can buy machine guns.”
That the former president fabricated a series of falsehoods about the US — and maligned, on foreign soil, the country that twice elected him president — speaks to his character and to the character of the American news media that have been completely silent about these falsehoods. But the main point here is that when Obama addresses the subject of mass shootings — in Brazil, he had been talking about the children murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 — he talks about guns. But…
The US Constitution
When members of our Armed Forces are sworn in, we all take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the US against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The entire document, including all amendments, takes slightly less than 7600 words. We veterans and, indeed, all patriots, should read this document over and over again. It’s not complicated.
The Tenth Amendment says all powers not specifically given to the federal government in the Constitution remain with the states and the people. This amendment seems to be ignored.
There are two national organizations that are focused on making our nation aware of, and practicing, the Constitution—and I’m active in both of them. First is Concerned Veterans for America (cv4a.org). Then, there’s Combat Veterans for Congress (CVC.org).
Once a Terrorist…
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the release of self-admitted “American Taliban” member John Walker Lindh “unexplainable and unconscionable.”
Lindh, who was recently paroled from a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, served 17 years of a 20-year sentence for illegally aiding Taliban forces. Lindh had joined the terrorist organization before September 11, 2001. He was in Afghanistan at the time and was also there when a group of Taliban prisoners murdered CIA officer Johnny Micheal Spann.
Spann’s daughter, who was 9 when her father died, called Lindh’s early release “a slap in the face” to everyone who died on 9-11. After his capture and return to the U.S., Lindh struck a plea bargain, admitting to illegally providing help to the Taliban, but denying any role in Spann’s death.
God Loves Us
Scott McChrystal is a retired Army Colonel, Chaplain. Here are some of his insights that I think you’ll find appropriate.
Military life presents many challenges. Do you know the one challenge that seems to appear at or near the top in many surveys? It’s isolation. If you or someone you know is feeling isolated, here’s an excellent video that talks about isolation and provides helpful steps to overcome it.
Retired Navy CAPT Joe John has done many things in his life; I’ve asked him to share a few words of wisdom with us:
Since 14 June is the Army’s birthday, here’s the march, You’re In the Army Now
The words go something like this: You’re in the Army now, you’re not behind a plow, you’ll never get rich by diggin’ a ditch, you’re in the army now.
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Two quotes to consider.
The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.
Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the US, and former Captain in the Army Reserves
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
Harry S Truman, 33rd President of the US, and former Army Colonel
Programming: You’ll want to tune into the show (live or by podcast)
15-21 June: This is our Father’s Day Show. Col Allen West will address challenges our nation faces. Then Renee Nichell will present her book about her brother, Always My Hero. Nathan Phillsides will share his book, In the Hurricane. And my favorite local weatherman, Bill Stephan, will share stories about his veterans father.
22-28 Jun: General Arnold Punaro will discuss threats to our nation. Steve Horton from HelpVet.net will discuss all the help available to, yes, vets. And combat veteran Tom Norton will discuss his goals. Randy Horton, a pilot, will discuss WWII bombers.
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Never Squat With Your Spurs On!
Will Rogers, who died in a 1935 plane crash in Alaska with bush pilot Wiley Post, was one of
1. Never slap a man who’s chewing tobacco.
And, finally ~ If you don’t learn to laugh at trouble, you won’t have anything to laugh at when you’re old.
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Lt. Col. Denny Gillem (Ret.)