In Praise of Milbloggers, and of the Iraqi Air Force

“Ask any of these three brand-new pilots if the Surge worked.” (Photo Credit:

The financial crisis has sucked all of the oxygen out of the news media, but it’s good to remember that there’s a war going on — and going well.

From a “DV” (distinguished visitor, not otherwise identified) at the first graduation of new Iraqi Air Force pilots since the liberation of Iraq, via an unofficial translation on the fly:

“He is saying that for the first time in our history, we are not doing things for one man, but we are doing it for all the people of Iraq. He is saying the US has showed us how, and we must not forget when we thank God every day, we must also ask him to bless the US.”

My link above is to a Jonah Goldberg post in The Corner, but the original author of those words is “Bill” at, “the home of two of Jonah’s Military Guys.” Other milbloggers also were all over the story, but it went unreported in the mainstream media. As one of Bill’s co-bloggers said later, “how is this not important?”

In Bill’s words,

a few months ago, putting their pictures in a public forum would have been a death sentence for them or their families. Right after the ceremony, they were each interviewed for Iraqi TV.’s “Bill” is not further identified in the “About Us” section of the website, but he’s referred to on another milblog as “CWO [Chief Warrant Officer] Bill T.” indicates that all the posters are “retired warriors.” Bill’s post indicates he teaches a course at the flight training school in Kirkuk.

In other words, he’s a contractor… or, in the execrable formulation of Markos “Screw Them” Moulitsas, owner of Daily Kos, he’s a “mercenary” — a type of warrior declared not worthy of being mourned, when the charred bodies of four contractors were dragged through the streets of Falluja in 2004.

My anger is rising as I write this. It’s no longer sufficient to my mind to say that the situation is “improving” in Iraq. If it was in any way defensible in April 2007 for Senate Majority Leader Henry Reid to declare “this war is lost and the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday” — then simple logic and justice demands the conclusion today that “the war is being won.” Not “over” — “being won.” But you won’t read about it in the MSM. Good news is no news, and besides, it remind the voters about where the candidates stood on the surge.

More from “Bill”:

Class 66 was the last class to graduate from the *old* Flight School. Seven years ago. In Tikrit. …

[As for Class 67, which graduated Oct. 13,] There are only three of them. They volunteered when it was a tossup whether they’d even live to graduate.

But there are eight in Class 68.

Twelve in Class 69.

And twenty-four in Class 70.

Back at you, “DV”: May the Good Lord bless, preserve and keep Iraqi 2nd Lieutenants Hassan, Majid and Habeeb as they proudly wear their flying wings in defense of their country.

P.S.: I’m late to the party as a milblogger fan — a good place to start exploring is this list of the top 100 milbloggers.

9 thoughts on “In Praise of Milbloggers, and of the Iraqi Air Force

  1. Thanks for the link – and actually, the only reason we haven’t *named* the DV is because Bill couldn’t get a spelling of the General’s name he was sure of. He is the Iraqi standing next to Bill in the last photo in the post.

    I see I need to do some updating on the site, too – and put up those “about us” bits I keep meaning to get to, but never make the time for.

    Yes, Bill is a contractor. A retired NJ NG aviation CW4 who’s career started in Vietnam in 1971 and ended in 2004 when he retired. He trains rotary- and fixed-wing pilots for the IAF.

    Heh. I’m a retired soldier, and I’m a contractor too – I just do it stateside, where apparently I’m not a mercenary… 8^ )

  2. Thanks for stopping by! And how cool is it that Bill is from the Jersey Guard?

    I understand about not naming DV, thought that was probably the case, but didn’t seem needful to speculate.

  3. You’ve discovered a wealth of info in the Milbloggers. I get all my war news from them. I’ve been reading them (and passing their stuff along) for at least 4 years and have always had a positive outlook on the War in Iraq, thanks to their superb talents. They are treasures in more ways than their military service!

  4. Thanks for the comment missbirdlegs. I’ve seen various things from the milbloggers over the years, but something about this item today really spoke to me powerfully.

  5. John’s been exposed to the MSM too long. I started in 1968 and I retired in 2005.

    Geez — never thought I’d have to fact-check a fellow mercenary…

  6. Is there any information about the kind of aircraft these newly graduated pilots will be flying – and will they be sufficient to defend Iraq’s borders?

    The Iraqis are capable of flying the world’s most modern, high performance aircraft and that was probably what the graduating classes prior to class 66 were trained to fly.

    If these pilots are only going to be flying prop planes, then it can be percieved by the Iraqis to be the US preventing them from obtaining the right kind of equipment necessary to stand on their own. We would never expect American troops to be able to stand in iraq without superior weaponry, so why should anyone expect the Iraqis could stand on their own without it?

    This looks like we are setting up a protectorate or dependency and not building an independent nation that can stand on it’s own, as its being portrayed by the White House.

  7. Mike, thanks for stopping by. The best place to pose your question would be at, I don’t have any information on that.

  8. Pingback: Iraq: Mission Accomplished! | All That Is Necessary…

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