Friday, June 17, 2005

Mosul

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on the surrender of an Al Qaeda big in Mosul.

US forces have arrested the leader of the Mosul branch of al-Qaeda in Iraq, a capture described by the spokesman for coalition forces as a major defeat for the terrorist group. Mohammed Khalaf, also known as Abu Talha, was arrested last Tuesday, said US Air Force Brigadier General Don Alston.

"Talha was one of al-Zarqawi's most trusted operation agents in Iraq. This is a major defeat for al-Qaeda terrorist organisation in Iraq. Al-Zarqawi's leader in Mosul is out of business," Alston said. He added that US forces found Abu Talha in a quiet neighbourhood in Mosul after a number of tips.

Abu Talha, he said, did not go through with a reported threat to kill himself rather than fall into American hands. "Instead, Abu Talha surrendered without a fight," Alston said. His arrest follows the June 5 capture in Mosul of Mutlaq Mahmoud Mutlaq Abdullah, also known as Abu Raad, who was Abu Talha's key facilitator and financier.

Michael Yon, a writer who has become the personal chronicler of the Battle of Mosul has described the struggle for this city. Mosul has been characterized as the strategic linchpin of the Sunni insurgency because on it depends any hope of insurgent control over the huge oil fields of Eastern Iraq.  Abu Talha for one, may no longer believe in the victory of the insurgency in Mosul. And maybe he should know. Sixty years ago, Richard Tregaskis chronicled the Marine struggle in the Southwest Pacific in Guadalcanal Diary, a place later to become known to the Japanese as the "Island of Death". It was not American firepower that convinced the Japanese that they would lose; they knew that already. It was that they learned, for the first time, that the Americans wouldn't give up.

This article is best read alongside the interview with Dr. Saad al-Faqih, a Saudi who is on the UN terrorism list, and is said to be an expert on Al Qaeda. (Hat tip: MIG). In that interview,  al-Faqih admits that the Al Qaeda had weakened greatly within Saudi Arabia because they had mistakenly attacked the state security forces and ordinary civilians. Henceforth, al-Faqih believes, the Al Qaeda will focus on attacking the Saudi Royals. But it is his comments on Al Qaeda's activities in Iraq that are germane.

the invasion and occupation of Iraq gave al-Qaeda a huge boost and the Saudi government has indirectly admitted (in a research paper highlighted by the al-Arabiya channel) that at least 2,500 Saudis are fighting in Iraq. ... Al-Qaeda has lost ground militarily, politically and ideologically. Attacking civilians proved to be a major blunder and it remains to be seen whether they can fully recover from it. Also by attacking the security forces they lost a lot of sympathy inside these organizations. The momentum in Saudi society today is not particularly sympathetic toward al-Qaeda. The situation was very different 2-3 years ago, when ordinary people were willing to give the jihadis shelter and other forms of support.

The solution lies in what is happening in Iraq, since many ordinary people and the security forces are supportive of jihad in Iraq. And of course the jihad in Iraq is strongly linked to al-Qaeda. ... I believe that Zarqawi is al-Qaeda in Iraq. ... Zarqawi is not simply a man of pure action, but a good strategist who has studied the situation in Iraq closely and concluded that the best way to defeat the Americans is to provoke a sectarian war in the country. ... 

Al-Faqih clearly believes that Al Qaeda is looking to Iraq for a reversal of fortune. In consequence, they've dispatched a large number of their best Jihadis there, some 2,500 from Saudi Arabia alone. This is a major investment in strength. They fully intend to win a civil war after an American departure that will bring the Shi'ites to heel. The interview continues.

MA (interviewer) : But how does this square with al-Qaeda's avoidance of sectarian schisms in Islam?

Al-Faqih: This is an Iraq-specific strategy and it actually makes a lot of sense. It is important to note that it is easy to mobilize Iraq's Sunni Arabs into a coherent mass, since historically and culturally they are very powerful, much more powerful, in fact, than the Shi'as.

MA: Does this strategy of targeting the Shi'as have the blessings of bin Laden?

Al-Faqih: I can not say for sure, but I am inclined to think that it does have the blessings of bin Laden.

MA: Does this strategy look beyond the current occupation of Iraq?

Al-Faqih: Yes it does. One of the ultimate goals of this strategy is to sweep the Shi'as from power once the Americans depart the arena.

This point has been noted in the Belmont Club before: that the insurgents have no expectation of defeating the US outright on the battlefield, but are confident that a loss of American political will will eventually repeat the Vietnam withdrawal of 1972, after which a there will be triumphant Sunni return to Baghdad after an indecent interval. This envisioned success additionally depends on whether the Iraqi government forces (reviled by the Daily Kos as "fresh meat") will fold up and maintaining a foothold in Mosul, which is the geographical key to the eastern oilfields. If the Al Qaeda are banking on Iraq to save their global political fortunes they are playing long odds. It's difficult to see how Zarqawi can provoke a civil war with a numerically superior ethnic group, in control of the oil fields fighting to prevent re-subjugation and expect to prevail. If one of Al Qaeda's chosen representatives, Mohammed Khalaf a.k.a. Abu Talha has declined to fight to the death in Mosul, the wheels are falling off their wagon.

40 Comments:

Blogger al fin said...

The US military has apparently been much improved since then President Clinton ordered the retreat from Mogadishu. The upgrade is especially large when compared with the mostly lackluster performance in Vietnam.

US Marines have always been mostly volunteers, so their professionalism is expected to be high. The US Army was not expected to perform well, as a mostly drafted force, and it did not. Now the volunteer US Army appears to be building a legacy of professionalism and pride previously reserved for the US Marines.

President Clinton apparently considered the military to be a grand social experiment, to try out theories of gender promotion. Now the US military seems to have given up the political correctness in favor of effectiveness. None too soon, I might add.

6/17/2005 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

...and a month before the end of the war, Americans still weren't giving up:
. Dealing with suicide bombers — 60 years ago .
In just these few weeks before the end of the war, 12,520 Americans were killed — well over twice as many as were lost at the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and in Afghanistan and Iraq combined. In all, more than 33,000 more American s were wounded and missing. Perhaps another 200,000 Japanese soldiers, Okinawan auxiliaries and civilians died in the inferno.

Suicide bombers were vastly underestimated. No one ever imagined that there were 10,000 Japanese bombers and fighters committed to the campaign — and perhaps as many as 4,000 kamikazes slated for suicide attacks.
The result was the greatest losses in the history of the American Navy — 36 ships sunk, 368 hit, 5,000 sailors killed. Anger arose almost immediately: Why no accurate intelligence; why no armored aircraft carrier decks; why no suitable fighter screens; why the need to post off the island as sitting ducks — why the need to invade at all? Why, why, why?

Meanwhile, the Americans hit the Shuri Line, using head-on charges into fixed defenses — the Marine way of bullet, flame and bayonet. Thousands fell — including my namesake Victor Hanson of the 6th Marine Division — during the last hours of the last day of the successful effort to take Sugar Loaf Hill.
For all the talk of the softness and decadence of modern Western man — whether the hot-rodders and soda jerks of the late 1930s or our own Jasons and Jeremys with rings in their ears and peroxide hair — the free American soldier proves far more lethal than those who blow themselves up.

Operational mistakes and intelligence gaffes are the stuff of all wars — whether the failure to count accurately the enemy on Sugar Loaf Hill or in the Sunni Triangle. Yet victory, then and now, goes to those who in their calm determination press on and thus make the fewest errors rather than none at all.

6/17/2005 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

And the jihadists trump card has always been, they are not afraid to die while Americans are. But on the other hand, Americans have not been afraid to kill them, so that sort of nullifies that particular claim to fame. And, as we can see with the capture of the last two biggies AND Saddam, they *are* afraid to die, which you'd think the dumb little bombers-in-waiting would notice one of these fine days.

6/17/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger jakita said...

Once again we are shown the value of letting our enemies know that we aren't wusses and pussycats. As many on this blog have said before, sometimes one has to be cruel in order to be kind.

This is what frosts me about stupid remarks like those of Senator Dick Durbin and other critics of Gitmo. Durbin and his ilk give our enemies reason to believe they can escape the vengeance (yes, vengeance even though I saw Batman today, and we're not supposed to be vengeful) of the American people.

Too many barbarians underestimate the vast power of the American people. I say this in all modesty. I'm not personally powerful, and yet...and yet...I'm writing to an audience of thousands, thanks to the invention of the internet.

That's a lot of power right there.

Plus I have other powers too. Be vewy afwaid, mr. islamofascist.

6/17/2005 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I don't think "lackluster" is a fair description of U.S. military performance in VIetnam. THey performed in an outstanding fashion, especially considering the limitations placed upon them.

6/17/2005 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ha Nahncee--yeah you've gotta wonder, when exactly 0 of their vaunted leaders have done themselves to death to take a few infidels with them, what the little bombers in waiting are waiting for, exactly?

I wonder whether there isn't some way to take down Al Jazeera. Or block its transmissions. Seems like these poor bastards are in a hermetic bubble and know about absolutely nothing outside their tiny vicious little worlds.

6/17/2005 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger jakita said...

dan...

Even though I've also sometimes thought we should take out Al Jazeera, there's the other thing to consider...When U.S. troops show up on someone's doorstep after they've been led to believe the U.S. was losing...well that's the very best kind of psychological warfare.

6/17/2005 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Dan:

I don't know if they really count as insurgents, but Uday and Qusay went down fighting. But I think that was more our lack of wanting to take them alive rather than their will to die fighting.

Dead, alive, intact, in pieces – it's all the same to me.

Except we get to make this knucklehead listen to Christina Aguillera. Seems like there would be a lucrative market for tapes of such an event...

6/17/2005 07:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Dan said,
"Ha Nahncee--yeah you've gotta wonder, when exactly 0 of their vaunted leaders have done themselves to death to take a few infidels with them"
---
Hey, let's be fair here!
What about his Angelic Sons?
(and those immoral inhuman postmortem photos by the terrormaster Bush.)

6/17/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

husker,
Good to see someone else standing up for the downtrodden.
(so to speak)

6/17/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The famous paper tiger quote from Osama comes springing to mind. He said sure they have all this military might but America is a paper tiger and run at the first sign of blood.

6/17/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

It was not American firepower that convinced the Japanese that they would lose; they knew about that firepower already. It was that they learned, for the first time, that the Americans wouldn't give up.

Wretchard--

That was one thing about the American character. The other was its civilized integrity. In Flyboys James Bradley tells the story of a Japanese soldier who watched from Chichi Jima as an American sub picked up the young George HW Bush after his plane went down. The soldier turned to his American captive and said sadly that no Japanese sub would have done that for one of them. So impressed was this soldier with his prisoner's courage that when the war was over (the prisoner long since executed on Chichi Jima) the man took his American prisoner's first name as his own.

It is good to read Michael Yon and know that this continues -- both the courage of the men and the care their officers have for them.

Meanwhile, in order to maintain, the terrorists rely on drugging their 'jihadists' and chaining them to their death cars. Some glory.

6/17/2005 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Altho I'll pull the trigger as quickly as possible to protect the Free World from as many of the splodey-dopes as possible, yet there IS a recognition in my consciousness, that they are being lied to, manipulated through lies and fear, and are shamefully abused!

But they're still terrorists.

6/17/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Doug:

Well, I'm nothing if not sensitive to the downtrodden.

Unless, of course, they're homicidal Islamofascists. Then I'm all about Christina Aguillera and radical climate control.

Back on topic...

Considering the historical track record of the American fighting spirit, I can't believe anyone would make the mistake of judging us as "soft".

But I guess one fat philanderer in the White House can offset even the noblest traditions...

6/17/2005 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger ed said...

Hmmm.

The one thing people shouldn't underestimate is the impact of computer gaming on the modern military. The kids entering service now were all raised on computer gaming. They've all had years of experience working out tactical problems in FPS (first person shooters). While much of the techniques are germaine to each specific game, tactical evolutions are not. Teamwork and the ability to think tactically is useful anywhere.

It's long been my opinion that computer gaming is taking America's military to the next level. Not equipment, weapons or toys. All this gear helps a great deal, but ultimately it comes down to the soldier.

And today's American soldier is someone with years of simulated combat experience.

When I joined the USMC in the early 80s, we all had to be taught basic tactics from the ground up. I had some detailed prior knowledge because my friends and I were wargamers. But most of my fellow Marines didn't initially know about grazing fire, suppression and other techniques.

Today's recruit goes into service with that knowledge. And each successive year that body of initial knowledge becomes greater and more detailed as the simulations improve dramatically.

What's needed to really take things to the next level is a US military funded MMO, Massively Multiplayer Online, tactical simulation. One that embraces combined arms and allows players to fight on a huge virtual battlefield involving thousands of players. There is a commerical sci-fi game that somewhat accomplishes this called Planetside. What's needed is a simulation that incorporates modern military technology and weaponry.

Now imagine new recruits having played such a game assiduously since the age of 12.

6/17/2005 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

From Ali, at the Free Iraqi blog:

One incidence that one of my friends who work in the ministry of health told me is that when a group of the F.P.S of the ministry of health went on a business to the ministry of financial affairs, the F.P.S of the latter asked them to hand out their weapons before entering to the ministry building. As the two groups were arguing a group of American soldiers, fully armed entered the ministry building without anyone stopping them. The guys from the health ministry (who are Sdirists by the way) asked "why are these allowed to enter with their arms?" and the F.P.S of the ministry replied, "Because they're honorable people, unlike you"! That was enough for everyone to drop their arms and engage in fists fighting.

6/17/2005 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Ed:

The Marines are actually training on an urban warfare simulator based on the game engine from the famous FPS "Doom".

There was a lengthy article just after the invasion of Iraq about the whole thing. I'll dig it up if I can find it.

But in short, you hit the nail on the head. 18-22 year olds have a good deal of squad level experience from these kinds of console and internet based games. And the game developers have been, over the last 5 years, consulting with the military to make the games more realistic.

In the end, Mom and Dad Sixpack have been supplying the best Christmas gift imaginable for young PFC Sixpack: risk-free combat training.

And you thought all that money was going to waste...

6/17/2005 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Ed:

Oh BTW...

There is a WWII specific unit level simulator called "Combat Mission" (and various add ons for Russia and Africa) that depend on a player understanding suppression, hull down positions, overwatch, defense in depth, etc. in order to win. The developers are amatuer military historians that built realism into the game engine. Even the AI is a pretty competetant small unit tactician.

6/17/2005 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Another benefit of games is to combat the feminizing influence of culture and "education."
...but of course, sizeable numbers in the State Dept. are pedal to the metal,
IN REVERSE:
"Real Men Moisturize." So begins an article on "Sharp Dressed Men" that appeared in a State Department funded magazine aimed at youth in the Arab world. The magazine, called "Hi" is published in Arabic and English. A State Department website explains that Hi is published "with the hope of building bridges of greater understanding among our cultures."
The article continues: "In fact, some of them, like Michael Gustman, a 25-year-old public relations account executive from Boca Raton, Fla., even have separate moisturizers for the face and body. Facial pores can clog with too heavy a salve, it seems. Not long ago, these and other habits would have been considered odd for a male. Gustman exfoliates. He gets manicures. He gets pedicures. He gets facials. He gets his hair done every two weeks. He accessorizes. He puts effort into getting ready for a date. He loves cooking complex dishes. He's a refined, evolved, sensitive guy. In a word, he's a metrosexual." The State Department is apparently so delighted with the Hi Magazine approach that they are translating it for use around the world.
"This is now everybody's world." Oh?
What was it before?
In this "everybody's world," particularly the parts at which Hi Magazine is pitched, there are troubles that seem a bit remote from hair and nail care. In Iraq, half the population, according to one poll, believes that a man has a right to beat his wife if she disobeys him (and the Koran gives this sanction). In Iran, as Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi reports in Front Page Magazine, women continue to be stoned to death for the crime of adultery. Accompanying this story is a photo (smuggled out of Iran) of a weeping woman being buried up to her waist in preparation for stoning to death.
. Devil of a State (dept)

6/17/2005 11:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Oliver North - Death Wish .
Since we have been in Manila, 14 Filipinos have died at the hands of Abu Sayyaf Islamic terrorists. The murders hardly made the news in the United States. In that same timeframe, five American soldiers and more than two dozen civilians were killed by terrorists in Iraq.
In much of our media, the Iraqi butchery was offered as further proof that bringing democracy to Baghdad is a futile endeavor.

The right of the American media to publish classified military information -- such as that in Time magazine's "exclusive" account from Guantanamo -- is well established.

Though the editors are unlikely to acknowledge it, Time magazine's much-ballyhooed story has far less to do with human rights than it does with domestic politics. The authors even admit that "the case of Detainee 063 is sure to add fire to the debate about the use of American power in the age of terrorism." Fire indeed. One should be careful what one wishes for.
Time:
The 20th hijacker is "weirdly innocent" and childlike. So are the other 19! AND FURTHER: "WE'LL NEVER GET TO KNOW THEM!!!"
. THEY'RE JUST CHILDREN! .

6/18/2005 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger yahoo said...

http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/2005/06/throes-of-defeat.html

The above posts relates to Ramadi. You folks are WAY in over your heads. The ending to this sorry story won't be pretty.

And you know what? It'll be quite something watching you guys trying to eat your tasteless dish of crow. You never had a clue what you were doing. And vomiting in the general direction of the Left does nothing to change that.

6/18/2005 04:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

whatever,
can't wait, hate taste of vomit.
Thanks for the help.
---
The End of Europe
.
Robert J. Samuelson
-- it faces a bleak future of rising domestic discontent and falling global power. Actually, that future has already arrived.
Unwilling to address their genuine problems, Europeans become more reflexively critical of America. This gives the impression that they're active on the world stage, even as they're quietly acquiescing in their own decline.
...sounds like France.

6/18/2005 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

I think we all need to sit back and reflect and try to determine what we have done to make Whatever hate us.

/snicker

6/18/2005 05:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"A man described as an Egyptian spy was beheaded and his body dumped on a busy shopping street. Warned by the killers to leave it for five days, shoppers pretended not to notice the figure in the brown robe, its head resting on its back.
Four days ago two suspected Shia militiamen were beheaded in the marketplace in full view of traders, said a senior police officer who asked not to be identified. Two boys played football with one of the heads, he added.
"
Sounds like a PR winner.
---
Time for some more Draino in the Anbar province watershed.

6/18/2005 05:39:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Ed has an excellent point about the utility of war games. When I was at VMI in the mid-1960's learning small unit tactics, I found I had an immense advantage from having spent 5-6 years playing the Avalon Hill board wargames -- all that was available then. Especially valuable was the original 1958 'full tournament' version of Gettysburg in which unit alignment, fields of fire, range, and the inability to see what would have been truly out of sight on the battlefield played significant roles. This, of course, was a level or two removed from the first person shooters of today. While it would have been of limited use to the individual soldier, it was invaluable to the company grade officer.

There is an important analogy that I have not seen anyone make: During our early wars, the familiarity of most Americans with firearms, and especially rifle marksmanship, were often credited as an enormous advantage -- indeed it was a distinct Southern advantage in The War. While first person shooter wargames are widely available today, they are most popular with, and widely played by, young American men. The advantage this individual knowledge of tactics provides our young soliders is very much akin to the advantage familiarity with arms and rifle marksmanship afforded our forebearers in fighting the British and later urbanized Yankees.

6/18/2005 06:08:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

It is my considered opinion that whatever has been sucking on Senator Drubin's nickname.

Fuller explanation here.

6/18/2005 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Who is this Dick Dirtbin?

6/18/2005 07:13:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
You mean,
I think we all need to sit back and reflect and try to determine whatever we have done to make Whatever hate us?

6/18/2005 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

How about:
I snicker?

6/18/2005 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger yahoo said...

doug et al,

we don't hate you.

but we do pity your stupidity and naivete.

6/18/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The latest VDH piece in National Review Online quotes some interviews that say that the Saudi terrorists are greatly valued, not the least of which because they bring lots of money with them to pay for the whole operation.
One wonders how much longer the Iraqis - whatever their religion - will put up with this kind of thing coming from their neighbors and instead start using their newfound special ops skills to start doing some highly selective urban renewal activity next door.
If you start a sectarian civil war, there is no guarantee that it will stay in one country.

6/18/2005 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger ed said...

Hmmmm.

"Ed has an excellent point about the utility of war games. When I was at VMI in the mid-1960's learning small unit tactics, I found I had an immense advantage from having spent 5-6 years playing the Avalon Hill board wargames"

What I'm waiting for is a MMO strategic/tactical combined arms simulation. One where commanders have to operate in a strategic RTS mode and in a FPS real-time mode. Where ammunition, food and bandages aren't picked up as "powerups" but has to be transported by truck-bots.

This sort of company, battalion and regimental simulation would be extremely useful not just as an internal training tool, with classified modifications of course, but also in identifying potential recruits with special talents and abilities.

Not to mention the advantages gained from having a recruit force with such experience.

6/18/2005 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Ed, the closest thing yet to what you are talking about is WWII Online, which I used to play. www.wwiionline.com

It was released in an unfinished form and has been patched ever since. Therefore I don't know how far it has evolved since I left [a year ago], but at the time supply was calculated and allocated by higher ups, but not physically moved on the virtual world.

Players organized historic units, French, British, German, etc. I myself was a member of the virtual American 2nd armor [which was 'on loan' to the French Army until the Americans were patched in]. These were staffed by a heirarchy of officers within the divisions, and also within an "Allied High Command" and "Axis High Command."

The major problem was that few people have the time to undertake the 30-60+ minute missions that such a large game world required. This means that the battlefield was relatively sparse, and intimidating to the average gamer. The point obviously being that closer to real-world warfare a larger game becomes, the less fun it becomes. Most people just want a few minutes of combat, not enough grognards out there. I suspect the game has either, or will peter out.

Personally, I myself used to be a huge computer gamer [before college began taking up my time]. Flight sims, FPS, wargaming... Still play Norm Kroger's TOAW [The Operational Art of Warfare] and Hearts of Iron II. It certainly gave me a feel for military history and military operations.

The potential for learning is there, but I wouldn't overestimate it. Most FPS are really very far from educational. America's Army and Rainbow 6/Rogue Spear [the latter a favorite of mine] are two exceptions. I had a highschool friend who was contracted by the army to program America's Army, which was conceived as a recruiting tool. The usual suspects of course complained that the Army was taking advantage of naive kids.

6/18/2005 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

RWE,
It seems like a scam,some little wet behind the ears Saudi kid turns up,they take his money and make him into a suicide bomber.
Sometime the Saudis are going to wake up as well.

6/18/2005 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Peter UK:
I know what you mean, and I tend to agree. Among other things, you have to think about how competent such a "won't soil my hands" guy would be at much of anything. I tend to think "Now, would I trust this guy to change the oil in my car, or worse yet, in my airplane?" when I judge someone. John Kerry? No way! President W? No problem. Some spoiled kid from Saudi? Forget it!
Recent reports are that some of the suicide bombers think they are merely delivering the car bomb to the real suicide bomber. "Isham, take this car to Ahmed. He is going to be a glorious martyr. And be sure to follow this exact route." This would tend to confirm the "poor dupes" theory of terrorist volunteerism.
But the Saudis wake up? The bombs in their own country have done that to a degree - and there are reports of some mysterious deaths in the extended Royal Family - but they don't seem to be bumping off or disappearing their favorite holy men. I really wonder if they have it in them.

6/18/2005 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

RWE,
Yes,I also have another nasty theory,who inherits in a family with many sons,who gets snt of to the Jihad with a fond wave from his brothers?

6/18/2005 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Just Some Poor Scmuck said...

I've often wondered if the "insurgents" aren't kidding themselves with their plan to win a civil war after an American withdrawal.

I think that there would be a non-trivial chance that the Kurds and Shia would combine to annihilate the Sunnis and divide the country. A conflict between the Kurds and the Shia might develop after that but the Sunni minority would be wiped out at that point and in no position to benefit.

6/18/2005 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Just Some Poor Scmuck said...

I've often wondered if the "insurgents" aren't kidding themselves with their plan to win a civil war after an American withdrawal.

I think that there would be a non-trivial chance that the Kurds and Shia would combine to annihilate the Sunnis and divide the country. A conflict between the Kurds and the Shia might develop after that but the Sunni minority would be wiped out at that point and in no position to benefit.

6/18/2005 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Husker Met Said:

"There is a WWII specific unit level simulator called "Combat Mission" (and various add ons for Russia and Africa) that depend on a player understanding"

CMAK is great. And so is training. There as so many dumbass rookie mistakes to make that you have to get them out of the way in order to survive. I play CMAK with a lot of people around the world. There are a lot of civilian men and women who can outplay many of the men in the military.

6/19/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger Thomas Hanson said...

President Bush referred to the Civil War in his speech tonight. Read of the woes President Lincoln had with an anti-war press at my blog at http://www.christianconservativeeditor.com

6/28/2005 06:14:00 PM  

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