Archive for the ‘Matt Sanchez’ Category

Writing from Afghanistan: Matt Sanchez

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

My friend Matt’s back in country, writing for Fox News:

In a Class By Themselves
It’s hard to imagine what Americans back home are willing to risk their lives for, but here in Afghanistan no imagination is needed.

‘Incorruptible’ Commandos Sign of Hope for Afghanistan’s Future

At a former Soviet training base in the town of Rish Khvor, a few miles out of Kabul, American Green Berets are working to mentor and support Afghan Special Force soldiers code-named Commandos. Better equipped, better trained, better paid and reputedly incorruptible, the Afghan Commando is meant to be everything the Afghan National Army (ANA) is not. The competition to become part of the elite force is grueling, and the reward for those who make it is the guarantee of battle against deadly insurgent forces.

Go read both, and let’s pray for our servicemen and women, and for Matt and the reporters incountry.

Richard Rich, or Richie Rich?

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Dr. Krauthammer writes about John Edwards:

Edwards has made much of his renunciation of his Iraq war vote. But he has not stopped there. His entire campaign has been an orgy of regret and renunciation:

* As senator, he voted in 2001 for a bankruptcy bill that he now denounces.

* As senator, he voted for storing nuclear waste in Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Twice. He is now fiercely opposed.

* As senator, he voted for the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind education reform. He now campaigns against it, promising to have it “radically overhauled.”

* As senator, he voted for the Patriot Act, calling it “a good bill . . . and I am pleased to support it.” He now attacks it.

* As senator, he voted to give China normalized trade relations. Need I say? He now campaigns against liberalized trade with China as a sellout of the middle class to the great multinational agents of greed, etc.


Betsy:

And then Krauthammer delivers this scathing conclusion recalling this Biblical line used in A Man for All Seasons when Thomas More asks the man who just perjured himself in order to get a job in Wales.
It profits a man nothing to sell his soul for the whole world. But for 4 percent of the Nevada caucuses?

Ouch. The name of the perjurer whose testimony helped send More to the block? Richard Rich. Now, every time I see John Edwards I’ll picture Paul Scofield asking Richard Rich

Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world… but for Wales?

John Edwards – the 21st Century Richard Rich.

The way I see it, Richard had a maturity that Edwards lacks; Edwards is more of a Richie Rich type – a cardboard cartoon of a character.

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Matt Sanchez has his own podcast. He’s got a lot to say on Hillary and the “Hispanic” vote.

Matt was my podcast guest last October.

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Listen to Fausta's blog on internet talk radio
Today at 11AM Eastern Happy Catholic joins Siggy and me to talk about food.

Happy Catholic has posted the first photograph of Siggy ever to hit the internet, and you can find it at her post here.

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Matt takes on the lying dogs of war, and more

Monday, December 10th, 2007

In The lying dogs of war, Matt Sanchez addresses Franklin Foer’s article on how the New Republic lied on their “Baghdad Diarist” series. Foer managed in his article to work in a personal dig at Matt,

On August 1, six days after the “skulls on their head in sector” meeting, the Army concluded its investigation. Two days later, a public affairs officer announced that Beauchamp’s piece had been “refuted by members of his platoon and proven to be false.” The Army didn’t announce this to The New York Times or even The Weekly Standard, let alone in a public report. It first gave the story of Beauchamp’s supposed fraudulence to a former porn actor turned blogger named Matt Sanchez.

Where to start?

First of all, Foer is defending a lie. Not just any lie, but a lie that he personally tried to maintain for weeks to no end. No matter who the Army first gave the story to, the story was a lie.

In second place, the Army gave the story to Matt because Matt was there. As you can appreciate by browsing through Matt’s website, he’s been with the troops in Iraq reporting the truth.

And then, as I have previously stated, it’s not the conservatives who have psycho-sexual issues. Foer may dismiss Matt’s writing because of his past, but wouldn’t the same standard apply to often-married former brothel madam Maya Angelou?

But never mind that; as Matt says,

Foer, never the shrinking violet, asserts his detractors weren’t professionals, just conservatives, bloggers and pornstars. Franklin may have learned this haughtiness from his time at Columbia University where the righteousness of one’s leftist cause is always beyond reproach.

In frustration, Foer writes that Gen. David Petraeus’ spokesman, Col. Steven Boylan, took forever to get back to him, because he apparently didn’t realize that a call from the New Republic in Washington was far more important than all that silly surge stuff going on in Baghdad.

No one had a problem contacting Maj. Luke Luedeke, public affairs officer at Forward Operating Base Falcon, the home of the Baghdad Diarist. In fact, when I returned to FOB Falcon, Luedeke told me he was swamped by major media requests. I specifically asked if Franklin Foer or someone from the New Republic had been in contact. Luedeke replied, “They called once, a couple of days ago and haven’t called back since.” This is what Foer called “pleading with the Army” for information.

Once at Falcon, I just spoke to the public affairs officer and proceeded to execute what is commonly referred to as reporting.

The higher-ups at FOB Falcon said Beauchamp quickly recanted his Baghdad Diarist stories. I asked the Army if I could talk to the private and was told Beauchamp did not want to speak to any more media. As anyone who has been around the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan knows, there are plenty of jokes and rumors told just to pass the time, or as the editor-in-chief of the New Republic likes to call them, an opportunity to give his liberal readers the kind of imagery they need to justify those long therapy sessions and costly anti-depressants.

Read it all.

Matt has another article, Kicking out the Taliban
Huge Pearl Harbor Day air assault on Afghanistan

Also don’t miss his post Trauma, shrapnel, and the fight for life.

Matt has been my podcast guest twice: when he called from Iraq,and when he called from Germany prior to going to Afghanistan. Go listen.
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It’s not the Surge, it’s the CounterinSURGEncy

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Blackfive has an excellent post that you must read:
Counter-InSURGEncy, a primer on our impending victory

The Surge is not our strategy and he is correct that it is not responsible for the tremendous success in Baghdad, the surrounding belts, Al Anbar, Diyala and now even in some of the Shia tribal areas as well. Our strategy is Counter-Insurgency (COIN) and the additional troops, known as the Surge, are simply part of that effort along with every other military member and civilian over there. Read LTC Kilcullen for an elegant primer on COIN in the Small Wars Journal.

COIN is completely different than the nation-building and national institution-building that we had been doing since toppling Saddam and up until the beginning of this year. We had hunkered down on the FOBs heading out on patrols and then back inside the wire. Now we cleared areas and then stayed and lived side by side with the Iraqis, and once they saw that we were staying they “awakened” and determined that al Qaeda brought death and destruction and the Americans brought electricity and water, not to mention security.

Yesterday Michelle Malkin was noticing the news in The Australian

There have certainly been several days in the past month when no US or British soldiers were killed.

During a five-day stretch between October 19 and 23, there were no deaths among coalition forces.

Take a look at the weapons caches turned in by the Iraqis in the past year.

In The First Ten Months Of 2007, Coalition And Iraqi Security Forces Have Found And Cleared 5,364 Caches”

“That Is Twice The Volume Of Material Found And Cleared In All Of 2006.

The Democrats are tripping over themselves not to acknowledge that the COIN is working. To the contrary; Yesterday they were saying that the real reason behind the falling casualty rates in Iraq was that Muqtada al-Sadr had declared a six-month ceasefire.
Today they’re saying that If violence is decreasing in Iraq, it may be because insurgents “are running out of people to kill,”

For more on the real story on Iraq, please listen to these two podcasts where Matt Sanchez and Michael Fumento talk about Iraq.

They’ve been there.

Matt’s writing about the media’s Iraq con job. Go read it. The WaPo‘s shedding a dark light on the news.

James Tarranto talks about the death count in Iraq.

A. J. Strata has more metrics on success in Iraq.

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Special podcast today at 1PM Eastern: Matt Sanchez calls from Germany

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

While the WaPo proclaims, ‘I Don’t Think This Place Is Worth Another Soldier’s Life’ bloggers like Jim Hoft are taking the time to check and verify. Frequently their findings are contrary to those of the MSM.

Then there are the independent journalists and bloggers that go to Iraq and report from the war zone.

Jeff Emanuel asks, Does independent journalism from Iraq really make a difference?

Clearly it does:

The bottom line is, though, we do have outlets (though none better than our own websites, which is why we try to flush traffic there at every opportunity), and we risk our lives to make the information available. It’s up to the American people to decide to use that information. As far as media competition goes, that’s a large part of what Bill Roggio and his PMI (an organization I’ve done a lot of work to help out with) are trying to do — to set up a news-reporting version of the AP, AFP, Reuters, etc. that makes its living (inasmuch as a 501(c)3 can “make a living”) filing reports from the front lines in the war on terror, through the use of embedded reporters. Is it possible? Yes. Is it sustainable? To this point, the conservatives and unaffiliateds who have been approached — some people who spend an inordinate amount of time griping about the media we (Americans) have vs. the media they want us to have — have proven unwilling to actually do anything about the problems they are so vocal about; therefore, PMI is behind the power curve as far as funding goes. If and when a conservative (or non-liberal) with actual vision to go along with his or her deep pockets steps forward and decides to back the frontline reporting project, then this, I believe, can and will become a powerhouse of journalism that more and more people will see and become affected by.

Today Matt Sanchez, who’s been embedded in Iraq for four months and will be returning there after a break in Germany, will be calling for a special podcast at 1PM Eastern.

We will continue the conversation we started three weeks ago when Matt called from Iraq.

The call-in number is (646) 652-2639. Please join us!
BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

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In other, unrelated war news,
The Iraqi Army has collected money to aid the families whose homes burned down in California.
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WaPo favors day-before news to real news from Iraq

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Last Friday I posted on a press conference and bloggers’ call held from Iraq by three members of the Provincial Reconstruction team. The State Department had formally announced the press conference on Thursday. The video conference was later transcribed and posted, and the video is on line.

At that time I did the Friday post I wondered what the MSM would report on the information from that press conference. Mind you, this was the second press conference on PRTs this week. The first one (which was held on Monday) went mostly ignored.

Well, this morning I did a search and here’s all there was at the Washington Post as of this morning: Reconstruction In Iraq at a Crawl, Auditor Reports, which was a summary of an audit released on Thursday. This was the case with all the American newspapers.

One has to go to new Zealand to find any reporting on either of the PRT press conferences from this week: Provincial Reconstruction Teams Progress In Iraq, which refers to the Monday press conference.

What all the people who spoke at the press conferences emphasize is that the Iraqis are taking charge of a much larger role in their own governance and security. This doesn’t match the MSM’s meme that Iraq is a quandary, civil war, Shia-vs-Sunni, loser’s game. The media are doing this meme without actually visiting the country.

As Matt Sanchez said in our podcast, the progress taking place is remarkable. Michael Totten is in Commentary Magazine reports,

In the parts of Iraq where the locals turn against the insurgents en masse, it is only a matter of time before the insurgents are finished. Civilians phone in actionable intelligence on the locations of safe houses, weapons caches, IED’s, and everything else.

Michael Yon reports on America’s best ambassadors.

Matt and both Michaels are in the very areas they are writing about. They are there.

Any firsthand reporting that Iraq is not what the MSM wants it to be (“another Viet Nam”), is being ignored. For instance, Anbar Province Team Leader Kristin Hagerstrom specifically talked about Ramadi. As you may remember, last year al-Qaeda declared Ramadi the capital of the Califate in Iraq. Next week, Ms Hagerstorm stated, the people of Ramadi are planning an enormous rally in memory of Sheik Shatar and against al-Qaeda.

But a few newspapers are starting to report on what really is going on in Iraq now. This morning Michael Ledeen writing in the WSJ makes the bold statement that Victory Is Within Reach in Iraq

As evidence of success mounts, skeptics often say that while military operations have gone well, there is still no sign of political movement to bind up the bloody wounds in the Iraqi body politic. Recent events suggest otherwise. Just a few days ago, Ammar al-Hakim, the son of and presumed successor to the country’s most important Shiite political leader, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, went to Anbar’s capital, Ramadi, to meet with Sunni sheikhs. The act, and his words, were amazing. “Iraq does not belong to the Sunnis or the Shiites alone; nor does it belong to the Arabs or the Kurds and Turkomen,” he said. “Today, we must stand up and declare that Iraq is for all Iraqis.”

Mr. Hakim’s call for national unity mirrors last month’s pilgrimage to Najaf, the epicenter of Iraqi Shiism, by Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni. There he visited Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the top Shiite cleric. The visit symbolically endorsed Mr. Sistani’s role as the most authoritative religious figure in Iraq. Mr. Hashemi has also been working closely with Mr. Hakim’s people, as well as with the Kurds. Elsewhere, similar efforts at ecumenical healing proceed rapidly. As Robert McFarlane reported in these pages, Baghdad’s Anglican Canon, Andrew White, has organized meetings of leading Iraqi Christian, Sunni and Shiite clerics, all of whom called for nation-wide reconciliation.

The Iraqi people seem to be turning against the terrorists, even against those who have been in cahoots with the terror masters in Tehran. As Col. Sanders puts it, “while we were down in Basra, an awful lot of the violence against us was enabled, sponsored and equipped by. . . Iran. [But] what has united a lot of the militias was a sense of Iraqi nationalism, and they resent interference by Iran.”

The propaganda war here in the US continues. But the real reporting is being done by 33 independent embeds in Iraq.

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Al-Qaeda In Iraq Reported Crippled

Monday, October 15th, 2007

In this morning’s WaPo: Al-Qaeda In Iraq Reported Crippled:

The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.

The deployment of more U.S. and Iraqi forces into AQI strongholds in Anbar province and the Baghdad area, as well as the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters to combat AQI operatives in those locations, has helped to deprive the militants of a secure base of operations, U.S. military officials said.

Just yesterday the WaPo was reporting that violence had decreased,

In September, Iraqi civilian deaths were down 52 percent from August and 77 percent from September 2006, according to the Web site icasualties.org. The Iraqi Health Ministry and the Associated Press reported similar results. U.S. soldiers killed in action numbered 43 — down 43 percent from August and 64 percent from May, which had the highest monthly figure so far this year. The American combat death total was the lowest since July 2006 and was one of the five lowest monthly counts since the insurgency in Iraq took off in April 2004.

In last Wednesday‘s podcast Matt Sanchez, calling live from Anbar, reported about the progress:

Al-Qaeda is on the run,
the Iraqis are stepping up their battle against al-Qaeda,
the media overplays the Shia-Sunni divide,
the Iraqi army is emerging as our ally,
Iraqis are optimistic.

Matt is right there with the troops. He knows what he’s talking about. Listen to the podcast (Matt comes in 27 minutes into the podcast due to problems getting a connection; he called from a satellite phone in a tent in Anbar).

Matt writes about Anbar:

Territory itself, the physical land, has become synonymous with the Corps. Anbar belongs to the Marines, although after having traveled throughout the province, it’s fair to say there’s plenty of Army, Navy and Air Force here too. The tranquility of the Anbar province is seen as a result of the Corps’ presence, and justifiably so. Of all the forces in Iraq, it seems as if the Marine Corps has not only adapted to the harsh conditions, but actually thrives.

Not only Matt – Bill Roggio, also in Iraq, writes that Violence in Iraq drops dramatically due to local intervention:

The push against al Qaeda has been matched equally with a push against the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups — known as the Special Groups — and the “rogue” Mahdi Army. US forces killed and captured numerous Special Groups operatives and six members of Iran’s Qods Force, Iran’s foreign wing of the Revolutionary Guards Corps. Qods Force set up the Ramazan Corps and three subcommands to operate within Iraq; the US captured the commander of the Zafr command.

US commanders have repeatedly said there is a short shelf life on the amount of time the local security forces will operate without recognition and support from the central government. The dramatic development of local security forces, along with the change in US strategy and the deployment of additional forces are directly responsible for decreasing the violence in Iraq. The Iraqi government must make the next move and recognize these auxiliary police units, which are in already working hand in hand with US and Iraqi forces.

You must read Matt and Bill’s reports. They are the ones in the battlefields. It is vital to an understanding of how the media manipulates the narrative

But back to the WaPo articles: Ed Morrissey explalins,

Why not rush to declare victory? Plenty of reasons come to mind, but one overriding concern is credibility. We’re in a credibility war with radical Islamist terrorists, and in a weird way, it has a dynamic in reverse of terrorism. We often tell ourselves, and correctly so, that we can defend against a thousand terrorist attacks successfully and feel like nothing’s changed, but the terrorists only have to be successful once.

However, that’s at the tactical level. At the strategic level, the situation is really reversed. The Islamists base their entire system on the supposition that God (Allah) has ordained them to beat the infidel and recover the ummah for Islam. They can’t afford to be seen to have lost land to the infidels, because it would disprove their entire raison d’etre. If they can’t hold the ummah, then they’re not chosen by Allah at all.

A defeat in Iraq (and Afghanistan) will strip them of their legitimacy among Muslims. They cannot abide defeat and retreat, because they cannot run from the ummah and claim at the same time to be its holy defenders. That’s one reason among several why victory in Iraq is so critical — and why it’s critical to get it right in declaring it.

Indeed.

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You must listen to what Matt Sanchez said last night

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

UPDATED


I’m having to attend to some work matters this morning and will post later about last night’s podcast but in the meantime, listen to Matt Sanchez.

It was truly an honor to speak to Matt, who was calling from a tent somewhere in Iraq. He called from a satellite phone and his connection was iffy at times, but this was an excellent podcast. While we waited for Matt to call in, Siggy and I were joined by Matt’s producer, Scott, and by Jennifer of Military News on Line Radio.

Special thanks to Siggy for his help. My own phone connection got cut halfway through the podcast and Siggy valiantly held the fort.

More blogging later.

UPDATE:
Siggy just posted,

Notwithstanding that Sanchez had some technical difficulties and called in late, the podcast was extended and turned out to be noting less than a terrific and eye opening examination of the realities in Iraq- realities that the MSM are not reporting.

Sanchez is one of only 33 reporters in all of Iraq – a nation that is geographically the size of Utah with a population that is equal to the states of New York and New Jersey combined. To put that another way and in perspective, there are more network news staff in Billings, Montana than there are in all of Iraq. Further, the majority of the reporters in Iraq are huddled in Baghdad hotel rooms, with no first hand experience in the field.

Not so Matt Sanchez. Unlike most of his journalist ‘colleagues,’ Sanchez is embedded with fighting troops and reports from the battlefront. He is as comfortable in remote regions along the Syriam border as he is walking down the streets in Baghdad or Basra. He has been in Afghanistan and has seen remote villages where the Taliban are welcomed and others, we they are scorned.

Sanchez puts the pictures broadcast from Iraq into the proper focus. His is a wide angle and panoramic view, unlike the deliberately cropped, and edited images and ideas that are the mainstay of the MSM menu.

We discussed how Iraqis regard the Americans and the little mentioned real cooperation between the Iraqi Army and our own troops. We talked about the missing WMD’ – a subject most Iraqis want to avoid and we talked about Al Qaeda in Iraq.

We also discussed the Shia/Sunni rift and Iran. Matt’ take on that will upend everything you think you know about Iraq.

Joy in Sadr City

Monday, August 13th, 2007

As the number of truck bombs and other large al-Qaeda-style attacks in Iraq have declined nearly 50% and of course the NYT continues to twist the truth on British troop reductions, Matt taped this video smack in the middle of Sadr City:

Matt emailed,

Iraq is filled with children, more than what you’ll see in the US. Despite the troubles, kids are always laughing, playing and generally seem healthy. These kids were playing soccer on the street and came over to try handshakes they have seen on television with the soldiers.

The surge must really be working: the UN wants a bigger role in Iraq

Update: And the troops are saving babies, too, Troops Shelter an Unlikely Survivor in Baghdad.
“There is an intangible and growing moral clout and it flows from an increasing respect among Iraqis for our military.”

Front yard invasion, today’s items, and the Carnival

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

UPDATE
Don’t miss also Ellen Goodman, Helpless Little Girl


The Husband does the gardening (except for the mulching, which was done this week – and trust me, you don’t want to smell the mulch much), and a couple of years ago he planted clematis. Well, the clematis love our front yard and now we have a large patch of clematis ready to take over. The ones in the picture are well over 5′ tall and seem to be spreading.

Let that be a lesson to all of us.

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SC 2 Linked To Sami Al-Arian Investigation
There’s been another strange development regarding the searching of a home in the investigation into Yousseff Samir Megahed and Ahmed Abda Mohamed, arrested for allegedly carrying pipe bombs in their vehicle just miles from a military facility in Goose Creek, South Carolina. According to this report, the home was also searched some years back during the investigation into Sami Al-Arian.

Go read the rest.

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For some reason the comments aren’t showing under the posts. I have not a clue as to why or what to do, so my apologies for the inconvenience. Hopefully it will fix itself.
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Don’t miss Francis Porretto‘s excellent post from 2004 following up my post from yesterday.
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Matt has an article from Nate Fick on Afghanistan. Fick’s the author of One Bullet Away

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Newsweek Editor Calls Mag’s Global Warming ‘Deniers’ Article ‘Highly Contrived’, debunking itself.
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The Carnival of the Insanities is on!