By GI Korea
April 21st, 2014 at at 7:06 am
The more we learn about the South Korea ferry boat disaster the worse the incompetence and neglect becomes. The latest finding is that all the sailors on the ferry boat abandoned the passengers and even the service personnel working on the ship to save themselves:
Lee Joon-seok, the captain of the Sewol, is being arrested on Saturday.
A total of 24 crew were aboard the ill-fated ferry that sank off the southeast coast last week, and all 15 able sailors among them escaped with their lives. But only three of the nine crewmembers who were not sailors, such as clerks and cooks, were rescued, with two killed and four missing.
A comparison between the crew roster and a list of survivors on Sunday shows that all able sailors including captain Lee Joon-seok (69) were rescued. The sailors consisted of eight deck staff that steer the ferry and seven engineering crew that operate the engine room. [Chosun Ilbo]
It only gets worse; while people were trapped in the ship the captain was already rescued and drying out his money:
Rescued passengers said they heard several announcements over the ferry’s public address system to wait in their cabins since it was too dangerous to come outside. As a result, hundreds lost their chance to escape before the Sewol sank.
It was not until 10 a.m., more than an hour after the ferry capsized, that passengers were told to escape. But the ferry’s crew did not tell the passengers how.
By then the captain and some of the crew had long abandoned ship and been rescued. They were among the first 47 people to be rescued and set foot on dry land even before the ferry had even gone fully under. The captain was later spotted drying his money on the floor of a hospital where he was being treated. [Chosun Ilbo]
You can read more at the links, but even the sailors in the engine room were notified in enough time to evacuate to where they were able to make their way out from the very bottom of the ship. This just confirms to me that if the captain and crew would have executed a timely and orderly evacuation many more lives would have been saved.
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By GI Korea
April 21st, 2014 at at 2:20 am
The attack on military benefits has now been taken up by TIME magazine. The below excerpt is from their defense correspondent Mark Thompson who uses the usual false arguments that servicemembers are over compensated:
But this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The fealty the nation has shown its warriors since 9/11 has put it into this predicament. Granted, it is impossible to place a price on the blood U.S. troops have shed on behalf of the 99% of the citizenry who elected not to serve, nor on the mental wounds more than a decade of war has inflicted on many of them.
But it’s also true that U.S. troops—all volunteers—earn more than 90% of their civilian counterparts with similar education and experience.
“In my 33 years, I have never seen this level of quality of life ever—we have never had it so good,” Barrett told the Senate panel. “If we don’t get a hold of slowing the growth, we will become an entitlements-based, a health-care-provider-based corps, and not a warfighting organization.” Those are words you often hear in private, but rarely out in the open.
In some quarters, the military is increasingly sounding less like a service, and more like a guild. [TIME]
Anytime someone brings up some phony statistic that military pay is so much better than civilian pay you know that person never served which Thompson has not. What civilian job requires deployments, constant moves, the daily grind of PT, the loss of basic freedoms, and most importantly the loss of life? Comparing the pay of an 18 year old out of high school working at McDonald’s to the pay of an 18 year old in the military does not tell the whole story.
Additionally Thompson’s criticism of the Army being a guild instead of a service is another false argument. A guild is a professional organization where skills are passed on from one member to another. That is what the military does, more experienced members training junior members in the profession of arms who are compensated for their skills. Does Thompson expect servicemembers to work for free? If that is what he wants than why not support a draft and be the first one willing to volunteer?
By GI Korea
April 20th, 2014 at at 7:02 pm
This may very well be the funniest Duffel Blog posting ever:
JERUSALEM – In a recent boost for Middle Eastern peace efforts, the Defense Department confirmed that a raid by Navy SEALs in the West Bank had killed known extremist agitator Isa Ibn Yusuf.
The 35-year old resident was facing a federal indictment on several counts of supporting terrorism and had been accused of recruiting young men for a violent group of zealots.
“It may have taken us 40 days and 40 nights, but we got him,” said Special Operations Command head Admiral William McRaven while describing the mission.
Ibn Yusuf, who at one point claimed he would set the world on fire and that he had not come to bring peace but a sword, was discovered on Sunday during a pre-dawn raid in a cave outside of Jerusalem.
The SEALs, working closely with both the Israeli Mossad and the Palestinian National Authority, were able to locate him through a tip from a close informant, described by Pentagon sources as Ibn Yusuf’s “left hand man.”
While there were previously no definitive images of Ibn Yusuf, who has been alternately described in the media as either Caucasian or African, the SEALs identified him through several prominent scars on his hands and feet. [The Duffel Blog]
Read the whole thing at the link.
By GI Korea
April 20th, 2014 at at 1:25 pm
Soldiers of the Army’s Special Warfare Command demonstrate martial arts in front of residents of a Seoul welfare center for the disabled at their unit in Geoyeo-dong, southern Seoul, on April 18, 2014. The event was held ahead of the Day for the Disabled celebrated every year in South Korea on April 20. (Yonhap)
By GI Korea
April 20th, 2014 at at 3:27 am
Please leave anything you want to discuss in the comments section.
By GI Korea
April 19th, 2014 at at 9:33 pm
I am thinking that Kim Kyong-hui has been removed from public life in North Korea not because she has been purged, but because her appearance reminds people of her husband Jang Song-taek:
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s aunt Kim Kyong-hui, the widow of executed eminence grise Jang Song-taek, has disappeared from documentary footage shown on North Korean TV since February. This has led to speculation that she too has fallen victim to the violent purge.
In a re-run of a documentary aired on North Korean Central TV on Tuesday, a scene in which Kim Kyong-hui appeared had been replaced.
Until January this year, Kim Kyong-hui was often seen with her nephew and his wife. The scene in the film showed her with the couple walking toward the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang to pay tribute to the embalmed bodies of former leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il.
But since then the scene has been cut and replaced with footage showing only Kim Jong-un and his wife paying tribute along with other officials. [Chosun Ilbo]
You can read more at the link.
April 19th, 2014 at at 7:25 pm
She shot a final round 67 to finish two shots ahead of Angela Stanford.
Wie opened the final round 4 shots behind Stanford. She birdied three of the first six holes and when Stanford made bogey on the 8th, Wie was in a three-way tie for the lead. Hyo Joo Kim was the third golfer at the top.
On the back nine Wie made three more birdies and just missed on a couple of other opportunities. Stanford and Kim couldn’t get anything going. Wie missed a good birdie chance at 17 and made bogey at 18, but that was more than good enough for the win.
The LPGA Lotte Championship is played in Honolulu, so Wie won in her hometown. It’s her first win in the United States. She has three LPGA wins in all. The other two took place in Canada and Mexico.
Wie is playing very well right now. She finished 2nd at the Kraft Nabisco, an LPGA major, just two weeks ago. I would not be surprised if she wins again this year.
By GI Korea
April 19th, 2014 at at 1:23 pm
Models pose with an enlarged replica of SanDisk Corp.’s new memory product during the Photo & Imaging 2014 exhibition at COEX in southern Seoul on April 18, 2014. (Yonhap)
By GI Korea
April 19th, 2014 at at 7:04 am
These complainers lost this argument throughout the Army when they immediately played the racism card and they still will not let it go:
I am proud to be an American and I feel very grateful to the men and women of the U.S. military who sacrifice their physical health, mental health, lives and limbs to keep us safe. My heart goes out to the victims of the Fort Hood massacre and my prayers are with them and all military families.
Given the fact that military men and women sacrifice so much, I believe that all members of the military regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation deserve to be honored and respected. Sadly, black women of the U.S. army who choose not wear weaves or wigs and also choose not to use heat or chemical relaxers to straighten their own naturally kinky hair are being severely dishonored and disrespected by Army Regulation 670-1 which bans a number of traditional hairstyles for afro-textured hair.
The regulations reveal such a deeply entrenched European standard of beauty, grooming and acceptability that it is shocking that that any diverse focus group could have approved the regulations. The Congressional Black Caucus has issued a letter to that effect. The regulations are so burdensome for women with afro-textured hair that it is as if black service women are being told that they have to “look more like white women,” by straightening their hair, in order to be acceptable. [Huffington Post]
Normally I say read the rest at the link, but don’t bother. Like I have said before does anyone think that black NCOs were not involved in putting together the new grooming standards? So clearly this is not a race issue and all NCOs that advocated for these changes should be offended that they are being called racists. If these complainers want to know about burdensome try shaving every morning and cutting up your face to meet the grooming standards like males do. Some males have to shave twice a day depending on how early in the morning they went to work and how late they end up working that day. This is something that biologically happens for males just like some black women have curly hair, but males are still expected to meet grooming standards. Also males have to frequently have haircuts to maintain the high and tight appearance unlike females. So if these complainers are allowed to grow out their hair than how come male soldiers cannot have beards and mullets?
Anyway I have an idea that can allow people to grow whatever hair they want and still be uniform, lets issue everyone turbans!
By GI Korea
April 19th, 2014 at at 3:59 am
It is good to see that the US-ROK cost sharing deal was approved by the Korean National Assembly:
The ruling and opposition parties came together to pass a number of long-pending bills this Wednesday at the National Assembly.
After months of gridlock, lawmakers passed the revised defense cost-sharing pact with the U.S. Seoul and Washington had agreed in January to renew the Special Measures Agreement that lays out the costs each side pays for the 28,500 U.S. troops stationed on South Korean soil.
“Under the deal, South Korea will pay some 880 million U.S. dollars annually from this year through 2018, a 5.8 percent increase from its share last year. Approval of the pact was delayed over concerns that it requires Seoul to pay more than is necessary.”
The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy had expressed the most concern, wondering aloud whether Washington would divert some of Seoul’s share of the money to finance the relocation of a U.S. military base in the country. [Arirang News]
You can read more and watch news video at the link.