3.09.2006

Some Sunnis Targeting al-Qeada in Iraq

Yahoo! Story

Residents reported curious declarations hanging from mosque walls and market stalls recently in Ramadi, the Sunni Muslim insurgent stronghold west of Baghdad. The fliers said Iraqi militants had turned on and were killing foreign al-Qaida fighters, their one-time allies.
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A local tribal leader and
Iraq's Defense Ministry have said followers of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, have begun fleeing Anbar province and Ramadi, its capital, to cities and mountain ranges near the Iranian border.



It's about damn time. There might be hope after all.

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IN OTHER NEWS...

Housing update: We're still being evicted. The homeowner doesn't seem to have a problem booting us out in the face of an upcoming deployment so we're on the hunt for a new place. We are limited by time and the fact that MacGyver will be heading to Fort Irwin, CA for NTC time (National Training Center) sometime during April and May. So we're looking to move sometime in June. JUST what I wanted to be doing right before sending my husband off to war. (*can you tell I'm still pissy about this one?*)

We do have a lead on a house just 2 blocks away in the same little subdivision. The current tenants are military as well and are most likely moving off the island in June so the timing is perfect. They don't have orders yet but I've talked to her and she's going to keep us posted. The house is about the same size as what we are in right now (if not slightly bigger) and would keep Princess Trouble at the same school. We're still keeping our eyes open for other options as well.

Housing on post is also still an option, especially with the incentive package Actus (the company that manages on-post housing) just came out with : free yard maintenance, free child care hours, free "handyman" services each quarter, 1 month free rent for anyone moving form off-post to on-post housing, and cash bonuses for on-post residents who refer off-post residents to on-post housing. Actus is HURTING. Last deployment, they lost buckets of money because a LOT of families left the island during the deployment. Looks like they are trying to counter that this time around. They weren't very helpful when we went in last month but I'm thinking they might be more willing to give me what I ask for now. That is our last resort though.

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Deployment news: We had our first FRG deployment briefing last night. Not a lot of new information - deployment dates are still classified but the timeframe hasn't changed. Training calendar was handed out which was nice though, again, a lot of the dates can, and will, change. Really, all of the information presented last night could have been sent out in an e-mail. I do have a few suggestions for our FRG leader and unit commander though...

1. if you are going to insist on the soldier AND the spouse being present at these briefings, MAKE CHILDCARE AVAILABLE. There is this WONDERFUL thing called STACC: Short Term Alternative Child Care. The CDC will send a child care worker and materials (i.e. toys!) to your location for unit-related events such as FRG meetings. That way, moms and dads do not have to spend 2/3 of the briefing chasing after or "shhsh"ing their children so that others can hear the information being presented.

2. microphones are a MUST. PERIOD. Especially for the psychoanalyst lady from Soldier and Family Life Services that speaks in a voice that only dogs can hear.

3. If you state that the meeting will take 1 hour, BE DONE IN 1 HOUR. Don't go over because you want to stand up there and yak about stuff that doesn't pertain to the deployment.

4. Don't rehash previous deployment stories during the meeting. Those stories are best left to bars and gatherings other than a pre-deployment briefing.

5. There are 4 things I, as a spouse, want to learn from these meetings: WHEN will my husband be leaving? WHEN will my husband be returning? WHO do I call if there is an emergency? And WHAT do I need to do before the deployment to cover my ass for whatever is going to hit the fan while he's gone? That about covers it.



That's about all I have right now. Those of you watching CNN, no...we are not in the midst of the flooding that is happening in certain parts of the island. We live pretty much in the dead center of the island and flooding isn't really an issue here. Although I am going to start architectural drawings for my ark if the rain doesn't let up soon...




Pau.




- hfs

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