Tuesday, November 30, 2004

YIKES! Posting here is long overdue...
I've been in the middle of moving (across town), doing a few radio interviews (special thanks to my friend, Jim Rondeau, at NPR affiliate-station KCLU in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, California), working on a new book on Pirates (more later) and a few back-to-back articles in NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE (two of which were featured in Rush Limbaugh's daily "stack of stuff"), wrapping up the fall semester teaching at the University of South Carolina's J-School, and celebrating Thanksgiving with my family.
Speaking of USC, we've got Steve Spurrier!
Speaking of Thanksgiving, following is one of the nicest holiday notes I've ever received... it's from Major Francis P. "Frank" Piccoli, a Marine officer currently stationed in Iraq's Sunni Triangle.
He writes:

Dear Thomas,
I, today, am thankful for having the support of former Marines and great Americans like you.
Semper Fidelis,
Maj. Piccoli

Folks, that is as good as it gets.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


Happy Veterans Day!

I'll be discussing Veterans Day, among other things (probably Fallujah), on The Kirby Wilbur Show at 11:00 (EST). Kirby's show airs 5:00 - 9:00 AM (PDT) on FOX NEWS affiliate 570 KVI in Seattle.
Also, see my piece, Battlefield to Boardroom... lots of great comments from veterans - including Brig. Gen. David L. Grange (who wrote the foreword to one of my books), Commander Richard "Rogue Warrior" Maricinko, and PARADE magazine publisher Walter Anderson - in today's NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Happy Birthday, Marines - Update

My editor at NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE (NRO), Kathyn Jean Lopez (known affectionately as K-Lo), posted an e-mail (from me to her) about the Marine Corps birthday on NRO's THE CORNER (8:05 AM). Almost immediately, she received a response from a reader arguing that the Army was playing a major role in the fighting in Fallujah, too, but wasn't getting enough play in NRO... Ah, the old interservice rivalry.
Yes, many of the Army's crack units from the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Infantry Division, Special Forces, etc. are playing a major role in Fallujah, but it is largely a Marine Corps show.
If that offends some... sorry. The U.S. Central Command didn't see the need to consult me in the matter. And frankly, had they done so, it still would be a Marine show.
Anyway, I wrote about the back-and-forth between the Army and the Marines for NRO in June. See it here: Rivalry at Normandy.


Happy Birthday, Marines

Today is the 229th birthday of the finest fighting force on the planet... and America's force of choice in the battle for Fallujah and so many other guerrilla strongholds throughout Iraq and elsewhere.
On November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress met and passed the following resolution - in secret - thus establishing an American Marine Corps (based on the Royal Marine Corps model):

Resolved: That two battalions of Marines be raised consisting of one colonel, two lieutenant colonels, two majors & other officers as usual in other regiments, that they consist of an equal number of privates with other battalions; that particular care be taken that no person be appointed to office or enlisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea, when required. That they be enlisted and commissioned for and during the present war between Great Britain and the colonies, unless dismissed by order of Congress. That they be distinguished by the names of the first & second battalions of American Marines, and that they be considered a part of the number, which the Continental Army before Boston is ordered to consist of.

I've been celebrating Marine Corps birthdays every year since winning my eagle, globe, and anchor more than two decades ago. Pressing deadlines and other obligations will keep me from attending the Marine Corps Birthday Ball, this year. But I am going to e-mail a few Marine buddies, read a passage or two from FIRST TO FIGHT by Lt. Gen. Victor "Brute" Krulak (yes, the former commandant's dad), and then have some cake (actually, a Twinkie with a candle stuck in it).

Semper Fidelis.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Will be a guest on The Michael Graham Show, sometime around 11:00 AM.
The show airs from 9:00 to 11:45 AM (EST) on radio station WMAL 630 AM in Washington, D.C.
We'll be discussing FaLLUJAH.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

U.S. Marine ground forces ringing Fallujah are coil-spring-loaded and ready to strike when given the "go." Weapons have been cleaned, K-Bar fighting knives sharpened, deuce-gear packed, ammunition issued, and vehicles are gassed-up and ready to move out.
Earlier today, Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, commanding the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, fired-up his leathernecks with a stirring pre-game pep-talk and blessing. "God bless you, each and every one," he said, according to an Associated Press report. "You know what your mission is. Go out there and get it done."
They surely will... but it won't be easy.
Sgt. Maj. Carlton W. Kent compared the coming ground assault to some of the Corps' epic fights like Inchon, Iwo Jima, and Hue.
For a better understanding of this new generation of young men - the ones about to launch this offensive - read my piece, Return of the Marines (NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE).

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Lots of comments have been coming in over the past two days, and I thank you ladies and gents for that.
I've been away for a variety of reasons, all good :) So keep reading. Tell your friends. OK, it's back to work and watching two of the most entertaining guys in America - Al Sharpton and Bill O'Reilly.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Trying to work and watch the election returns... t'ain't easy. Meanwhile, back at the OK Corral, Marine Corps and Air Force aircraft are pummeling guerilla positions in the Fallujah-Ramadi area. Marines on the ground are poised to strike en masse and vowing to "continue to conduct operations and will not cease until Fallujah is free of foreign terrorists and insurgents. Semper Fi!
On another note, was pleasantly surprised to learn that FactChasers, an international research service where I'm an "on call" military technical advisor, is an ENTREPRENEUR magazine "quick pick." See the piece here, and congrats to friends and colleagues Sue Russell, Sophia Dembling, and Karen Dustman.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Ah, the first day of November: Pumpkins, pilgrims, rustling leaves, and - for those of us here in the Palmetto State - a forecast-high of 88 degrees. Oh well, you still can do something seasonal like rush right out and pick up a copy of the Nov./Dec. issue of SOUTH CAROLINA HOMES & GARDENS magazine. The gorgeous cover alone is worth the purchase price, but for a short walk with the "ghost of Christmas past," read my piece, Dad's Little Stretch of Main Street. And yes, that dashing squire in the white shirt and tie (the picture on page 75) is my late father, William Thomas "Bill" Smith.

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