Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Islamic Republic of America

This latest outrage at Fort Hood together with other news items and history compels me to put the following words on paper. Army Major Nidal M. Hasan killed 13 soldiers and wounded 38 others. As the story unfolds it is becoming clear that there have been many instances that should have sounded alarm bells. Soldiers have come forth and stated that they said nothing out of fear of being rebuked for discrimination. The thought of this man counseling soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is very disturbing. What might he have said to them and what might be the continuing effect of his words? Hasan yelled out “Allahu akbar” as he was killing our soldiers. Checking Google we find that it means “God is the greatest” The God of Islam of course.
President Obama in his eulogy stated that it was the act of a deranged person. “This much we do know—no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. For what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice—in this world, and the next." I don’t fault him for this. This was not the time to discuss the larger issue of America and Islam. I am sure in the next few days he will address the American people as this subject will not just disappear. This was not thousands of miles away in a strange different country. This was right here in the heart of America on a base of 50,000 soldiers. If they cannot feel safe there, then is there any place of safety? That is the burning issue.
Six soldiers from Britain were killed recently by an Afghan in their unit. There have been instances in both countries of natives turning on Allied soldiers and killing them. This has happened repeatedly since the first Gulf War as we have tried to train and build local forces so they could provide a safe environment to their people as we start the withdrawal, at least in Iraq.
While the president said nothing, two of his underlings have; Army Chief of Staff General George Casey and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. Gen. Casey is worried about backlash and so is Janet Napolitano the Director of Homeland Security. She has filled top positions with Muslims.
In an interview with John King on CNN’s “State of the Union” program the General said, “And frankly, I am worried — not worried, but I’m concerned that this increased speculation could cause a backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And I’ve asked our Army leaders to be on the lookout for that. It would be a shame — as great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.” He went on to clarify that there were about 3,000 active Guard and reserve Muslim soldiers at the present time. It appeared to others, including myself that the possibility of discrimination was more important to him than the lives lost and the potential danger to our soldiers by some Muslim soldiers that have the same conviction Hasan has. How can this be shoved under the table? The Associated Press reports that while in the United Arab Emirates, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano warned against an anti-Muslim backlash after the attack at Fort Hood last week. "This was a terrible tragedy for all involved," Napolitano told reporters in the United Arab Emirates' capital Abu Dhabi. "Obviously, we object to -- and do not believe -- that anti-Muslim sentiment should emanate from this… This was an individual who does not, obviously, represent the Muslim faith.” In other words backlash is her greatest concern. This is the Secretary who just recently placed two Muslims in high positions in her agency. Arif Alikhan, a devout Sunni Muslim to assistant secretary for the Office of Policy Department of Homeland Security. He was instrumental in taking down the LA Police Department's plan to monitor its Muslim community.
Alikhan is affiliated with MPAC, the "Muslim Public Affairs Council". The other is Kareem Shora, who was born in Damascus, Syria. He was appointed by DHS Secretary Napolitano on the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).
It was Islamic terrorists that destroyed the Twin World Trade Center Towers taking the lives of over 3,000 Americans. For eight years our soldiers have been fighting in two Arab nations against terrorists all of whom are of one sect or another of the Islamic faith. While I will not state that all Muslims are potential terrorists, the fact remains that there are millions worldwide already identified as such.
President Obama has said repeatedly his admiration for Islam in speech after speech and has stated America would never go to war with Islam. The real problem is that we have been at war for many years except it has been one sided. Islamic Fundamentalists are at war with America and our leaders will not accept this as fact. They fall all over themselves to not upset the Muslim followers of Islam. My greatest concern has to do with our current president, who I voted for in the last election. A friend sent me a video of his remarks over the past few years. It was created by Feel the Change media. Click on the following to hear for yourself what he has said and obviously believes about Islam.
After you have done so, ask yourself if this is the person we feel confident in leading us through these treacherous times. What will happen to the rest of the civilized nations if America falls? Total domination will be the result. If these radicals are allowed to continue being embedded in the highest government positions, sooner or later confusion and conflicting directives will undermine our confidence in government. Check out your history books. Whenever Muslims have attained control they act as a superior race. All who have not converted must live in a subordinate position. I for one will resist this with everything I have. I happen to like the basic freedoms we enjoy in this country while at the same time I am concerned about the direction we are going which I consider to be national suicide. We are doing this on our own, can’t blame jihadists.
I just felt compelled to put these thoughts on paper whether they are read or not. At least I am willing to stick my head out. If it gets chopped off so be it.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
November 11, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

THE STRONGEST TRIBE- a book report

By Bing West
Mr. West is a reporter who became imbedded with our military in Iraq beginning in 2003. The book ends as 2008 begins. He provides detailed information about our policies and procedures in conducting the war throughout these years. The title was from a statement made to him by an Iraqi. It was meant as a tribute to the fighting ability and total dedication of our soldiers in carrying out their mission.
As a person who was totally against starting this war from the beginning and still today, this was difficult reading. I spent most of my reading time over three weeks to finally finish.
Before even starting to read, I knew that my opinions wouldn’t change after reading. As far as I am concerned it was a fiasco from the start. It became a dark pit into which billions were poured together with the blood of thousands of our military men and women, for what purpose?
His concluding sentence hit me directly. “No nation can sustain its values by claiming to support the soldier while opposing his mission. The truth is that the nation determines the mission.” In the many articles I have written since the war began I have continued to praise our soldiers while condemning the leaders who put them in harms way, presenting them with a nearly impossible job to do with their hands tied behind their backs. Over and over they were sent into cities going door to door with death waiting each time they entered. Not being able to distinguish who they were in conflict with, they sometimes took fire without responding to avoid civilian casualties. They weren’t functioning as soldiers but as policemen in a foreign land without knowledge of language or customs.
The lack of leadership from Prime Minister al-Maliki created many obstacles. He was so concerned about the resurgence of Sunnis that he created the division between them and the Shiites which he supported. It was our military that convinced Sunni leadership to stop fighting us and work with us to drive out Al Qaeda terrorists and bring peace to their areas. This began in 2006 followed closely thereafter with the “surge”.
I accept that this book is accurate in its content. What I do not accept is that we have any business being there or Afghanistan for that matter. If you are interested in learning much more than you have read in newspapers or heard on TV, then I recommend this book to you. I found it at the Public Library.

Jack B. Walters 3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750 (520) 722-2958
November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

High Infant death rate in U.S.

Associated press article 11/4/09

In the late 60’s my family and I were living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Our youngest son was born there. A nurse started calling on my wife early in her pregnancy and continued for several months after birth. She provided information and counseling. Since this was our third child, my wife well understood the process but none the less it was appreciated. For a first time mother it would have been extremely valuable. This service was provided without cost to us.
We have it all wrong in America. Compare this minor expense to the tragedies that were mentioned in this article. Is it even possible to apply a cost evaluation when so many lives are lost who could have been saved?
Hooray for our health care system.

Jack B. Walters
3961 N. Hillwood Circle
Tucson, AZ 85750
(520) 722-2958
November 4, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

1,000 SAHC Peaks Climbed

November 2, 2009 I reached my latest objective of climbing 1,000 peaks on the SAHC Peak list. I guess I am one of those people who need goals to spur them on to accomplish something. After reaching the highest award of 400 different peaks in April 2008, I kept climbing whenever I could and bit by bit the numbers increased until this new goal came in sight.
I started climbing mountains shortly after arriving in Tucson in the fall of 1993. Wasson Peak in the Tucson Mountains was my first. I fell in love with the beauty of the desert and the joy of reaching the summits and then looking down on the spectacular landscape which Southern Arizona possesses. The original top achievement award was the 315 which were peaks identified within 75 miles of Tucson. This took me to remote mountain ranges and onto 4 wheel drive dirt roads to places 99.9% of Arizonans have never seen. All of it is spectacular. We have seen all forms of animal life including bears, lions, coatimundi, fox, antelope, deer, lizards and lots of snakes, mostly rattlesnakes. We enjoy seeing them. We keep our distance and let them live. We also never litter. We have great respect for the wilderness and try to enjoy it without leaving a trace that we have been there except for the practice of hiding a bottle in a rock pile on top with our names written in. It really has no significance. It is just something we enjoy doing.
Once I reached the 315 goal I started leading hikes helping other friends reach their goals. In addition I would go on hikes led by others particularly to the newest peaks that were added for the 400 award. The distance from Tucson was increased to 100 miles to find enough named peaks for this purpose. I never really intended to try for the 400 but while I was off on a family visit Roxanna opened a member account for me on the web site created by John Yau and had started putting in my peaks. Once I accepted her idea I spent a considerable amount of time going through my records and when I brought it up to date I found I had 345 separate peaks already so I accepted the challenge of adding 55 more. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to those who cheered me on and particularly those who guided me to these new very remote areas. The ones most responsible were Doug Howard, Brian Larson and Ron Meech. There were others of course but these three really took on the challenge and I will be forever grateful for their encouragement and extreme effort extended on my behalf.
I must now admit that in recent months I have climbed Saddleback in the Catalina’s on a weekly basis as club hikes. Erika Hartz leads a hike to Blackett’s Ridge usually every Monday and Friday. To reach it you pass by Saddleback, so every time I hiked with her, I took the side trip to the peak. Many do not think highly of this as far as difficulty is concerned but at my stage of life it still takes considerable effort for me to climb. It is 6 ½ miles and about 1,700 ft. of elevation gain and takes me about 3 hours and 20 minutes roundtrip to complete. Particularly in the hot summer months we are grateful to finish before the extreme heat builds up so we leave very early sometimes using flashlights. Another aspect of aging is that my pace is slower now. Erika has allowed me to start ahead of her main group and I usually hike with Roxanna so Erika doesn’t have to accept responsibility for me. If I end later, I will call her at home and advise of my safe return.
This past Saturday Ron Meech led a hike with 15 hikers to Harts Butte, Helvetia BM and Weigles Butte in the Santa Rita Mountains. The wind was unexpectedly fierce and each of the peaks were extreme bushwhacks including rocks, many of which were loose. I was very conscious that I held up the group from the beginning but particularly the last peak. I honestly didn’t think I could make it, but because of Ron’s patience, the understanding of the group and Roxanna and Jim Terlep hiking with me step by step, I did reach all three. Jim steadied me numerous times as fatigue affected my ability to maintain balance. I wanted these to close in on my objective. They were 997, 998 and 999. This was the fourth time for me to climb these peaks, but the only time it was so difficult to finish. For the sake of friendship with Ron and the other hikers, I will limit the times I hike with the group to hikes I am fairly confident I can finish without delaying the hike.
Now that I have cleared this point up I want you to accept this letter as a feel good report on what for 16 years has been my main source of amusement and accomplishment. This morning Jim Terlep came in support of my 1,000th peak. We met him at the route leading to Saddleback peak. Erika and her group were also waiting for me to lead them to the top. Once there, we all signed the register. Roxanna provided treats at a tailgate party in the parking lot to celebrate my achievement.
I am not sure what I will do, going forward from today. There are trail and canyon hikes offered, but being a dedicated peak bagger I would like to continue on those I feel confident I can do at a reasonable pace. I have had unbelievable experiences over the years and have made many friends. I could write another book just about those adventures but I won’t.
(K.O.H) Means keep on hiking,

Jack B. Walters