Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Battle for the Border

Commenter CJR draws our attention to the following New York Times report as a collateral indication that a major operation against insurgents along the Euphrates line is in progress.

Most of those fighters are believed to enter the country north of the where the Euphrates river crosses into Iraq. Because the American military presence has until recently been on the south side of the river, the north side has become something of a sanctuary for insurgents moving foreign fighters south along the river to Baghdad and north across desert tracks to Mosul. There are only a few bridges across the Euphrates between the Syrian border and Haditha ... even fewer of the bridges are substantial enough to allow coalition forces to safely move armored vehicles from one side of the Euphrates to the other.

The United States military began addressing the flow of foreign fighters in May with a major operation along the Syrian border north of the Euphrates. The number of insurgents encountered in those operations ... convinced Gen. George Casey, the top American commander in Iraq, that it was time to focus on the north bank in order to stem the flow downriver. ... 

"Now we own the Rawah bridge and they can't move across the river," a senior intelligence officer in Baghdad said Wednesday, adding that "the operations are making it harder and harder for them to move around."

Meanwhile, the Marines based at Haditha have begun a major hunt for insurgents south of the river. Operations and intelligence officers say they don't believe there are more than a few dozen insurgents operating in the area but that the new military presence north of the river has triggered a rabid response. "We struck a nerve," the intelligence officer said. "All along the river we're seeing an upsurge of activity."

Much of this information was reported earlier on July 31 in the LA Times (hat tip: Joshua Landis) which emphasized the logistical preparation for the campaign. 

American troops have established the first long-term military base along a major smuggling route near the Syrian border in a new effort to block potential suicide bombers from reaching targets in Baghdad and other major Iraqi cities. A force of 1,800 U.S. troops, responding to continuing concerns that foreign fighters are crossing the Syrian border into Iraq, recently began an operation that includes setting up the base, three miles from the crossroads town of Rawah. ... 

The American forces began arriving July 16 in the region, where they occasionally have carried out incursions in the last two years to fight insurgents. ...  As the operation unfolds, Marines would continue to hold the region south of the Euphrates, while the Stryker Brigade, which has been based in Mosul, pushes south, putting insurgents in a "vice," a senior U.S. military strategist said. The unfamiliar whoosh of helicopter rotors and the sight of the Army brigade's Stryker vehicles engaged in battles along largely rural roadways have prompted hundreds and possibly thousands of the estimated 20,000 people in Rawah to flee in fear of an attack similar to the one in Fallouja, officials said.

Rawah is located at 34 28 N 41 55 E, almost exactly halfway between the Syrian border and Haditha. A main road runs on the south bank of the Euphrates but a bridge at Rawah gives onto a crossroads on the opposite side, from where a number of  roads radiating like spokes on a wheel provide access to the Syrian desert crossings, Mosul, Tharthar Lake and other points on the north bank of the river. Bill Roggio has a map and more information on the Rawah operation at his site together with a compendium of all the operations that have taken place along the Euprates River line. Visit each of Roggio's links in his enumeration of the river operations and it will be abundantly clear how every one is aimed at pruning the routes along the Euphrates and horizontally across Iraq towards the Tigris.

Making it harder for the enemy to move around while making it easier for US units has the effect of lowering apparent enemy numbers while correspondingly increasing apparent American troop strength; but this is only a means to an end. Another LA Times report on the Rawah operation, Rebels on the Run, Locals Too describes some of its effects as observed by the correspondent.

Since arriving in mid-July, the 2nd Infantry Division's 2nd Squadron of the 14th Cavalry Regiment has defeated the fighters here and will now spread out to seal the border with Syria, said Lt. Col. Mark Davis, the unit's commander. ... Having wrested control of Rawah, the division's Stryker Brigade Combat Team now hopes to press westward toward the border and, for the first time, gain control of a broad swath of the land north of the Euphrates that has eluded the U.S.-led coalition for more than two years. On Thursday and Friday, soldiers searched every one of the town's estimated 3,000 to 5,000 homes, capturing some suspected insurgents and a bounty of weapons, including mines, rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, bomb-making equipment, sniper rifles and rockets.

"Since then, there has been no enemy attack, no explosions, nobody shooting at us in Rawah," Davis said. The town might be quiet now, but it's not necessarily friendly. On an outer school wall, spray painted in Arabic, is a note of defiance: "Praise the people of Fallouja" — a former insurgent stronghold where U.S. and Iraqi forces prevailed in November. Davis acknowledged that most Iraqis had left town but said they didn't leave under instructions from U.S. troops. The insurgents apparently had held the town hostage, American officials said. There were no police, a dormant city council, a compound of schools with no children and no teachers inside.

(Speculation alert) There are probably many similar operations that are taking place along the river and to its north, as per the Di Rita briefing. One of them may have been undertaken by the US Marines at Haditha, during which 21 Marines were killed. One possible reason why this operation has been kept low key, despite its size, is that it may be literally ripping up the insurgent base of support along the upper Euphrates. If the LA Times article is accurate, the insurgents essentially took the whole population of Rawah with them; if the phenomenon is being repeated elsewhere, the displacement of the Sunni population must be huge. To the north there is the unsustaining desert; to the south across the river there is the sweep of the Marines; for the insurgents to leave the population in place would risk leaving intelligence in the hands of the Americans. This has got to hurt and it is only the beginning. The LA Times notes the abandonment of RPGs, sniper rifles, mortars -- stuff you wouldn't leave behind -- not willingly. The whole point of strangling the enemy lines of communication while building support bases is to set up the stage for pursuit. And they will be pursued. The focus of newspaper coverage in the coming days may abruptly shift from 'poor helpless Marines from Ohio' to 'we're slaughtering them! We're killers!' These are the hard choices of war, and as Hemingway once wrote "all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you."


Blogger NahnCee said...

If the townspeople have disappeared does that mean they went willingly and in support as they were at the beginning in Fallujah.

Or does it mean that there will be a big pile of corpses found in the desert where all the townspeople were executed when the bad guys got tired of carrying them?

Or does it mean that they have been kidnapped and will be ransomed back and/or held as protective hostages so that the Marines will have to shoot their way through a towns-worth of people to get to terrorists?

8/04/2005 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


The LA Times report suggest the population were hostages of a sort even when they were still in town, but I imagine some townspeople were sympathetic to the insurgents. I don't know what will happen; I'm at the very edge of the data and likely to go wrong pushing things further. Only thing to do is wait and see.

8/04/2005 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger chthus said...

The concentration of US deaths this week has indeed been an I told you so to those who never supported the war in the first place, but it has also been a punch in the gut to those who do support it and want it seen through. This is especially true for the military families.

While a very publicly reported 'turning of the tide' in the news will likely be used as 'look, we're horrible murderers,' moment by the same that want us out, it may very well serve as a tonic for those in support. Not that it will bring back the dead, nor even just as a retribution, but as a sign that all is not hopeless and the enemy is very touchable.

8/04/2005 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

If this is a Suni town, isn't it likely they were sympathetic to the enemy? It is interesting that the military seems to be downplaying this, wonder if this is to try to catch some people napping?

Thanks Wretchard for the helpful insights.

May we remember to thank those who gave their lives. May it not have been in vain. The world is still a dangerous place.

8/04/2005 11:23:00 PM  
Blogger truepeers said...

as Hemingway once wrote "all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you."

yes, but the death that formally closes or consecrates the story gives it a significance in relation to the worldly actions internal to the story that create meaning from their fight against, and deferral of, the inevitable, an end that is in fact transcended by stories that survive after we are gone. Thus it is the virtuous behaviors internal to the story that we are encouraged to emulate in the fight against the end. It is the heroism of those who have loved life and fallen that the story well told will lead us to remember in our own struggles against the death cults at home and abroad.

Wretchard, you are a great communicator. Soldier on and to hell with the newspaper coverage in the coming days. The lack of inspiration and cynicism there can only be overcome one story at a time, with the kind of stories that will be remembered.

8/04/2005 11:29:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Hemmingway blew his brains out with a shotgun. He was wrong then and as usual he is wrong here.

Jesus rose from the grave and His story has no end. And what's more all those who are in Christ Jesus share the same glorious future.

So there!

8/04/2005 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Heraclitus said...

I would think what's happening now, that is taking the fight to the Sunni heartland as a run up to the elections, is right in line with strategic plans made long ago.

A second piece is getting the Iraqis to take a greater and greater role in internal security elsewhere in the country which seems to be happening.

Again, the Shia have had a bellyful and unlike the first Fallujah assault, this time, they want to see their Sunni brothers roughed up real good. The Shia are thinking maybe they'll sit down at the table and hammer out a workaround out of the present morass rather than the civil war route.

Let's hope Bush has what it takes to stay the course because my gut feel is that this thing is on the cusp of having all the pieces fall in place. Like having a baby, it all comes together right at the end.

8/05/2005 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Or, this has nothing to do at all with the elimination of the Baathist/Sunni insurgency and everything to do with preparation for the ratification of the completed Constitution.

Which would no doubt be disappointing to those still hoping for a decisive battle and an end to all insurgent activity.

I think Heraclitus has it right.
A functional and deployed Iraqi military, a completed Constitution, and its ratification is our only measure for victory.

Afterwards, there will be some degree of withdrawal of coalition forces, with the possibility of a continued coalition presence of some size according to a negotiated Status of Forces Agreement.

The bombings and other aspects of asymetrical warfare may continue for many years after the ratification. We will have successfully destroyed a regime hostile to the US and our allies, and replaced it with one allied with or neutral to us, and that is how our victory will be measured.

8/05/2005 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

Let's not kid ourselves Syria is a real problem.

Whether an organization is "decentralized" or "centralized" is of little consequence because the fact is there are principals at the top who control the organization.

For example multinational Johnson & Johnson (the makers of medical equipment) is "decentralized" yet is controlled by a board of directors. On the other hand, Dell Computer is highly centralized with all of its orders flowing through the main organization and is controlled by a board of directors. Both are effective and both are controlled by principals (board of directors). The same goes for Isamo/terror organization. These organizations may be multinational but they have a set of directors (or principals) who cut the checks and call the shots - where ever they may be. To think the Islamo/terrorists are restricted to map lines is a mistake. There are no boarders in this war.

Syria's main principals are responsible for terror acts in this terror/insurgency against Iraq and the USA (reguardless of their excuses). Syria's top players have been joined at the hip with Saddam for years. They are the major players in current "river war" or bomb attacks (including sophisticated shaped explosives, armor penetrating mines and complex recognizance missions) against Iraq and US troops.

Logically, if one were to neutralize these top players the "river war" or the so called "insurgency" would be hobbled (that's not to say a few Iranian "clerics" or other players are not in on the game). If one wants to stop the insurgents one would liquidate the "board of directors" or the so called "Clerics" and their money men.

Wretchard links the Army Times. They indicate US troops have struck a nerve in the Syria/Saddam ratlines. The Army Times notes capturing "...[Russian] BKC machine guns with about 700 rounds of ammunition and SVD sniper rifles ..." both of which are attributable to Syria.

Further the Army Times describes the destruction of a military bunker on the boarder, "...suspected safe house consisted of multiple rooms, including a 20-foot by 45-foot meeting-style room. Soldiers also found a 20-foot by 20-foot bunker extending out of the back of the building. The bunker had a concrete slab roof... Air Force jet dropped a [500 lb] Joint Direct Attack Munition bomb on the site, demolishing the bunker and suspected safe house..."

This is not your poor Syrian farmer's house. It was a military instilation. Let's look at the Syria-Saddam relationship via the Los Angeles Times (LAT).


DAMASCUS, Syria — A Syrian trading company with close ties to the ruling regime smuggled weapons and military hardware to Saddam Hussein between 2000 and 2003, helping Syria become the main channel for illicit arms transfers to Iraq despite a stringent U.N. embargo, documents recovered in Iraq show. The private company, called SES International Corp., is headed by a cousin of Syria's autocratic leader, Bashar Assad, and is controlled by other members of Assad's Baath Party and Alawite clan. Syria's government assisted SES in importing at least one shipment destined for Iraq's military, the Iraqi documents indicate... Files from the Baghdad office of Al Bashair Trading Co., the largest of Iraq's military procurement offices... the successful deals — such as the delivery of 1,000 heavy machine guns and up to 20 million bullets for assault rifles — helped Baghdad's ill-equipped army grow stronger before the war began in March. Some supplies may now be aiding the insurgency against the U.S.-led occupation... Contract #23/A/2001, for example, was for SES delivery to Iraq of Russian-designed heavy machine guns. "The Iraqis have confirmed their reception of 1,000 pieces, according to the contract," meeting notes from Nov. 11, 2001 read. "The Iraqi side is in the process of paying the Syrians for a second delivery of 500 pieces of Machines Gun BKC." Syria's Foreign Ministry helped SES at least once, according to minutes of meetings between Asef Isa Shaleesh and Munir, the Al Bashair director, on April 7-8, 2002 .

See: Syria & Iraq

[see sniper gun]

7.62-mm Dragunov sniper rifle with optical sight and knife bayonet

It's clear that the Syria/Saddam problem is significant and is growing. Something must be done to neutralize it before it's too late.

8/05/2005 01:07:00 AM  
Blogger Heraclitus said...

The former regime elements followed their game plan and the U.S. is on its. One would certainly hope the U.S. commanders were not taken in by the initial rout in 2003, this is the tried and true Arab tactic dating back to at least the crusades.

We have reached the heart of the struggle. The preliminaries are over and there is now a psychological dance, an ebb and flow.

It is well to remember that the unconditional appeals only to slaves.

8/05/2005 02:08:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"The focus of newspaper coverage in the coming days may abruptly shift from 'poor helpless Marines from Ohio' to 'we're slaughtering them! We're killers!' These are the hard choices of war"

These are the hard choices of war? For whom? For those who write headlines?

8/05/2005 03:37:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Tony Blair has just finished a news conference. He got quite heated at one point when asked if Iraq involvement = London bombings.

The BBC's take.

8/05/2005 04:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Your post smacks of using *Aircraft and Missiles,* to save American Military Lives!
How very un PC of you!

8/05/2005 04:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

And after only a few days of the sacred ritual of Hiroshima Guilt Tripping.

8/05/2005 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

it must be nice not to have to play by any rules when trying to kill your enemy - i've always thought saving civilian lives from the enemy camp(s) is a poor trade-off for loss of our combat troops, but then I've never worried about 3rd world sabre rattling, UN condemnations, liberal ranting and the arab street with peasants waving their arms in the air and burning our flag

8/05/2005 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Socialist or not, he sure beats Compassionate George on rhetoric:
"Until we get rid of this... frankly complete nonsense in trying to build some equivalence between what we're doing helping Iraqis and Afghans get their democracy and these people going and deliberately killing wholly innocent people for the sake of it... we're not going to confront this ideology in the way that it needs to be confronted.

"My point to you is this - it's time we stopped saying 'OK, we abhor their methods but we kinda see something in their ideas or maybe they've got a sliver of excuse or justification'. They've got no justification for it...

"Neither have they any justification for killing people in Israel either. Let's just get that out of the way as well.

"There is no justification for suicide bombing whether in Palestine, Iraq, in London, in Egypt, in Turkey, anywhere. In the United States of America, there is no justification for it. Period."

8/05/2005 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

thanks so much, that is some bracing stuff:
A public figure telling the truth!

8/05/2005 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Taken from the VFW Magazine, 8/05 issue:

7/21 - 8/15/1944 (25 days) Battle of Guam Marines: 1,568 KIA

6/15 - 7/9/1944 (24 days) Battle of Saipan Marines: 3,152 KIA

This sort of puts the past month's casualty rate in Iraq in perspective, if you believe we need to be engaged there and that the threat of islamic terrorism/fundamentalism is every bit the equal of the threat Japan posed back then.

8/05/2005 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...but if we kill that many of THEM, it's a war crime.
Have Kofi Call a tribunal of certified maniac killers.

We need their input before we proceed.

8/05/2005 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

The Sunni Islamists have a problem. They have to substantially ramp up the killing rate to have any chance of influencing the political outcome. Although even one mass murder episode every few days plays well with the BBC, NYT, et al it's not enough to get ahead of the curve of lifestyle improvements being perceived by Joe Iraqi. No analogy is complete but perhaps the current level of the so called insurgency is comparable to the efforts of the Sicilian Mafia to cow the authorities by killing a few prosecutors along with large numbers of civilians. A bomb here and there may be enough to keep people indoors and quiet but it's not enough to subdue the hostility and eventual vengeance.

If the Sunnis cannot sucessfully move large numbers of people and supplies into the urban areas they lose. I don't have empirical data to support it but it seems likely that the Baathist holdovers have expended their ability to inflict sufficient havoc from urban caches. The Sunni problem is that large numbers of people have to be assembled for training and supply. That leaves footprints, and nothing in the world is more efficient at destroying large numbers of assembled troops than the US military. That's what happened in Fallujah and I believe that's what we're seeing now.

It seems that the legitimate Iraqi authorities were successful in rearranging the tribal leadership in Fallujah following the destruction of the terrorist infrastructure. I hope they can do the same in these outlying areas.

8/05/2005 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger chthus said...

So 'Operation Quick Strike' it is. Is this it in it's entirety? Or merely a piece?

"BAGHDAD (AP) — About 1,000 U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces launched attacks in western Iraq in an operation aimed at disrupting insurgents and foreign fighters in the Euphrates River valley, the U.S. military said Friday."

"The operation, dubbed Quick Strike, began Wednesday with Iraqi soldiers and Marines positioning their units, said a military statement. They focused on an area centered around the cities of Haditha, Haqlaniyah, and Parwana, about 130 miles northwest of Baghdad."

"On Friday, U.S. and Iraqi troops, including Special Operations forces, moved into the city of Haqlaniyah, the Marine statement said. U.S. jets conducted an airstrike on insurgents hiding in buildings outside of the town.

Residents in the area said U.S. and Iraqi forces had cordoned off Haqlaniyah, about 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, and began conducting house to house searches. American warplanes were hovering overhead and a number of heavy explosions were heard. Witnesses said 500-pound bombs were being dropped in the area."

8/05/2005 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

It seems that US intelligence thinks a recently-captured cache of shaped charges came from Iran. If true, this only adds weight to the idea that Iran as much as Syria stands to lose a lot if Iraq gains a stable and democratic government. It also adds even more weigh to the question of what we and the Iraqis are going to do about it.

It's tempting to suggest that we go in guns a'blazin' (in both Iran and Syria), but it's not clear at this point what targets we could hit. A decapitation strike might not be seen as a proportional response to the provocations so far; but a decapitation strike is the only kind of military action that makes sense. Both Iran and Syria are being very careful to keep their aid to the Iraqi insurgents on the Q.T. -- any agents or weapons we capture are sure to be far removed from any government official.

I've always been of the opinion that Iran is in many ways a more dangerous player than Syria, for the simple reason that Syria is just trying to survive while Iran is making a play to be a major regional power (with nukes!). A democratic Iraq serves as a counterweight to Iranian power: a stable Arab republic offsets a Persian one, a moderate Arab Shi'a controlled Iraq offsets a radicalized Persian Iranian one; and an Iraqi military would in time be a challenge to the Iranian one. Iran has a lot to lose and very little to gain by a free and prosperous Iraq (even if that Iraq is controlled by the Shi'a).

I have a feeling that as we roll up the Sunni insurgency, the Shi'a problem will grow in response -- Iran will foment as much trouble as they can, even to the extent of aiding the Sunni extremists, because it serves their larger goal.

This insurgency must be maddening to American commanders because it does not have a single unified character or aim: you have a mish-mash of Islamists, Baathists, nationalists, criminals, and foreign agents all working against you and sometimes against each other. The goal of your enemy is chaos rather than a competing ideology or political system.

There will be a day of reckoning for Syria and Iran. Success in Iraq will demand it.

8/05/2005 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger cahmd said...

Why can't the President at least refer to these publications? The American people have to be convinced that in spite of our recent losses, we are on the offensive. Taken as a group, Americans have to be constantly stroked: many do not have the patience or ability to sort through the fog of war.

8/05/2005 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Doug - Japanese KIAs were not listed in the chronology. The divine wind carried several hundred thousand off to parts unknown compliments of US forces. Aside from that, it is time to take out Iran's nuke sites and to strongly punish Syria. We certainly have the stealth capability and cruise missles to do the job.

8/05/2005 06:02:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I agree with cahmd - I've supported the war from the start and now more than ever. But the administration has done an abyssmal job of getting their message out.

We always here that the Administration wants to bypass the MSM, but how are they doing it? By keeping silent?

I learned about this offensive on this blog yesterday, and today on NPR and the Washington Post - nothing.

The Administration needs to let the American people know about our successes in this war and our military heroes, since the MSM refuses to do more than report body counts and the juvenile musings of Democrats.

8/05/2005 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger cahmd said...

To further amplify my point, the President at the very least should not hesitate to engage in a public debate with the critics about Iraq and the WOT. He has to continually show the American people both his concern and passion about the greatest challenge this country has faced since Pearl Harbor. I know President Bush can lead, but he also has to talk the talk and not just walk it.

8/05/2005 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well abakan, welcome to reality. Glad you've seen the light.

As to this current offensive and the added pressure along the Syrian border. Better late than never
It is encouraging to read that the Iraqis are working in concert, but independently of our troops. That is the most heartening news of all.

8/05/2005 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Tony Blair's speech,

er, sorry, wrong link. It should be this.


8/05/2005 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Bush has said he does not read the newspapers, doesn't pay any attention to what the media is saying about him and our efforts in Iraq. I think from a psychological point of view, that's probably very wise because it would *have* to start to get you down if you read a stead drum-beat day after day about what an evil, sinful, malicious moron you are.

It seems likely that it would also be the reason Bush doesn't respond to each and every new (and biased) headline at the dawn of each day. He keeps his responses general like when he says, simply, we won't fold and pull out.

I understand why people are frustrated that the White House doesn't issue details to the great public out there in the nation and the world in rebuttal to the more egregarious lies and allegations. But if ignoring what the MSM are currently moaning and wailing about keeps Bush on an even keel and looking ahead rather than backwards, then I'm for it.

Lead on, MacDuff!

8/05/2005 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger pete speer said...

In the original work-up to the Iraq invasion, the United States posited the use of Turkish bases and the jump-off from there to move to the west and south. One would have hoped that part of the division sized force would have been assigned to the western Desert to stop the resupply of terrorists and weapons from Syria.

Regretfully, the Turks withdrew permission and our forces had to move up from the south.

As we started to fan out to the west, Assad announced his intention to crack down on terrorists in eastern Syria. This was patently false. His Ba'athist Party in Syria was dedicated to support the remainder of the Saddam Ba'athist. His Sunni population supported the Sunni in Iraq. His funding sources came from Saddam and from the Saudis. Saddam had billions when he was overthrown. Assad needs the money badly. Similarly, Saudi money from the Wah'hab members of the royal family is also required. Iran likely contributes for the protection of Hezbollah. Assad is not able to resist these pressures.

It is Syria upon which we must focus, for there is no way to destroy completely the pipe line after it spews men and material across the border.

8/05/2005 06:56:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The challenge to that theory, nahncee, is that without the great unwashed, here with US, there is no GWOT.
It goes back to the same old song. The Admin does a poor job defining its goals and priorities. We still do not know who the enemy is.
Many here think Syria is on the enemies list. It is NOT. Perhaps it should be, but today at least, it is NOT.
Same for Iran and KSA. Pakistan is an ALLY, not a hot bed of Mohammedan Jihadists. Yeman, Somalia and the Sudan are all above the fray.
Before we move outside Iraq we, the Public, will need to be informed of the names of our new Enemy.
Bush could do a Nixon, and crush the Syrian Parrots Beak in one decisive operation, but I tend to doubt he will.

8/05/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger RattlerGator said...


Patience, ladies and gentlemen. Strategery and misunderestimation works to our advantage.

Let the MSM keep on harping; that's what they do.

The main thing is that we have a competent and professional military doing the j.o.b. and a real President with real resolve.

The War For Freedom has been engaged and, historically-speaking, is going quite well. Yes, I still come into contact with folks DESPERATELY hoping for American failure.

Cool with me.

Lowered expectations in Iraq kinda-sorta work to our advantage. Wretchard et al seem to be concerned about an "abysmal" p.r. effort from the DOD. What they are doing (basic info -- no real "selling") strikes me as quite rational. They would open themselves up for severe attack if they did otherwise.

On another point (unless I misunderstood him), Wretchard is right: we've got to do that job. In the blogosphere and elsewhere. We've got to sell the truth -- that America is leading a coalition taking the fight to the enemy and raining holy terror upon their natural behinds.

8/05/2005 07:17:00 AM  
Blogger Morgan said...

In the summer, cutting the enemy off from the Euphrates may cut them off from access to water.

I think they'd be hard-pressed to get by on less than 1.5 gallons/person/day and stay active.

The maps I've seen show no year-round water sources between the Euphrates and the Tigris, and no towns north of the river except Rawah.

Could this be the goal? Force them away from the only source of water, and use water distribution (by truck, probably) as a way to track them to hideouts?

8/05/2005 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...


Let us say that there are 2,000 people from that town. That is a hugh strain on the logistical support base of the enemy.

If the enemy kills most of them to reduce the logistical strain they will have a much smaller support base for the future. Word gets out. In either case it dries up the ocean in which the guerillas swim.

There is no need to attack the guerillas and their hostages. In siege warfare (which covers this situation) patience is a very large virtue.

8/05/2005 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

nothing is going to happen in syria until after the israeli withdrawl from gaza and northern west bank..

the white elephant in the room is hezbollah and it's 12,000 missiles/rockets aimed at northern israel

the cutting out from under it (iran) of it's traditional allies is the reverse theory from the old days, seek out the biggest bully on the playground and punch him in the nose to the new concept, drain whatever swamp is easiest to do 1st, as you take down support so that in the end iran will stand alone...

syria has had it's ears boxed... think of it, lebanon, the oil $ from iraq are gone, the soviets are gone...

iran still holds court, but in the mean time iranian international terrorism is finding fewer places to have "right of way" It is going to get messy, but l predict that the islamists will continue to over play thier hands, they will continue to murder thus drying up traditional western "support" for thier causes.. look to blair in london and this was barely round 1..

wait til next time..

look for intolerance to islamic-intolerance in europe to spread.. look at SWEDEN... Do you remember when in Germany the German skin heads were tourching the Turks and they were PEACEFUL at that time...

also the gaza and west bank withdrawl sets a precedent... and not how the arabs wish it to be....

8/05/2005 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Good point, morgan
1.5 gallons if your stationary.
It is well over 110 degrees out there. That causes a tremendous drain on bodily fluids and electrolytes. If there are 20,000 people in the desert, on foot, they will soon be in the midst of a humanitarian nightmare.
If this is a concerted effort, across the length of the Valley...
The numbers of displaced, as W stated, could be staggering.

The real effect only now beginning to sink into my sun baked brain

8/05/2005 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...


Insurgencies always depend on criminals as part of their core element.

The IRA is classic in this regard.

8/05/2005 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger M. Simon said...

desert rat,

Rummy says Syria 'not behaving in wise manner'.

They may yet be on the target list.

It is a matter of peeling off the weakest members of the enemy coalition. One country at a time.

8/05/2005 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I believe you are right about Syria making it onto the list. I think they should have been included a couple of years ago, but other arguments prevailed.

My concern is with the Timeline and Public Support. Time marches on and support seems to be waning. If the two continue to move in tandem...

8/05/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

m. simon:

Insurgencies always depend on criminals as part of their core element.

Well, sure, but this insurgency is somewhat unique in that it depends on the long-established criminal underworld for much of it's structure. In Iraq, the Ali Babas, kidnap gangs, and smugglers have a very long pedigree -- some of the "crime families" go back for decades. The smugglers were especially valuable to Saddam during the santions period, so they had ample time and resources to establish their infrastructure.

I wonder much of the so-called "insurgency" is really just criminals working for pay. The smugglers might be using their established infrastructure to move explosives, weapons, and fighters across the borders and into the pre-laid "pipelines".

Just another piece of a very complex puzzle, I suppose.

8/05/2005 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

ot, 'Rat: JD Hayworth hosting Laura Ingraham Show. 3 Amigos w/Dick Army in lead for Bush Border BS show.

8/05/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

JD is an all right guy.
Bushes Border Policy sucks.
He ought to enforce the law.
If the law sucks change it, but enforce the existing law for now.

JD has broken with the White House over the Border Policy. I'll have watch closely, but where once JD was on the Dems "Hit List" he is pretty safely entrenched, now.
He announced he was not running for Governor, here in AZ.
It would have been a tough race against the current Dem, Janet Napolitano.

8/05/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...he does not endorse drunk lawn mower racing to the bar, but does endorse organized lawnmower racing.

8/05/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Desert Racing in the Cards.

8/05/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

John Deere's faux Camel Race.

8/05/2005 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger D. B. Light said...

AP is reporting on "Operation Quick Strike" which is pretty much what Wretchard described. His last two posts thus qualify as a superb catch. The fact that US forces are on the offensive and have a specific goal [disrupting the Jihadist structure in anticipation of the upcoming October constitutional referendum] places the recent deaths in a very different context than was reported in the MSM.

8/05/2005 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

JD in 2008.

8/05/2005 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Short list for VP

8/05/2005 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

The President is caught between a rock (not Iraq) and a hard place. From your PR perspective, you think he's doing a bad job. Yet when he does name the enemies (the Axis of Evil), those on the other side of the divide think he's doing a bad PR job. And getting support from the Democrats and other nations is still vital in this struggle. So he/the administration is walking a tight rope between trying to speak softly enough for the left, and loudly enough for the right, taking both of those into account when deciding when to use the big stick.

8/05/2005 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The only thing that I could think of that would have delayed this Operation, for so long after Matador, is that the Iraqi were finally deemed "ready and able" to proceed.
The Operation kicks off to coincide with General Petraeus
departure from Iraq.
Quite an accomplishment to be sure

8/05/2005 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was "concerned" w/General Petraeus, departure, but this may not be so bad after all.

8/05/2005 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I understand why we have chosen the course that we have. I just believe it is time to tack.
Perhaps, as Aristide suggests, Bolton at the UN is the crossing of the next phase line. If it is not, and the Admin does not engage the Public with the seriousness of the challenge, beyond rhetorical 'evil doers', they will lose on the Homefront.
The advise from DoD was to downgrade the rhetoric, away from War on Terror. The President, it seems, rejected that advise.
I'd advise a move towards reinteration of the War Aims and the Strategic Vision to achieve those Aims. Define Victory
A sitrep report to the US Public and the World

8/05/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

If we have been waiting for Bolton to arrive at the UN to cross the next phase line, five months lost to Democratic delay. But perhaps we were not ready, until now, regardless.

8/05/2005 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Contrast the upbeat tone of this post with the defeatist tone taken by some (not necessarily Wretchard) a few days ago on this blog.

The only change between then and now is the news accounts Wretchard cites in todays post indicating U.S. forces have the initiative.

It is folly to follow day by day news accounts of the progress, or lack thereof, in Iraq and allow one's estimate of the situation to roller coaster up and down.

Mistakes are made, setbacks happen, but the underlying conditions on the ground in Iraq have not changed. We have the upper hand in almost every measure. The terrorist/insurgents know this. Ralph Peters' recent column was spot-on and describes it better than I can. I can't find a link to that article; however.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

8/05/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

morgan said: In the summer, cutting the enemy off from the Euphrates may cut them off from access to water.

Threaten something that the enemy holds dear, and he will have to defend. You then reintroduce the element of predictability into this fight: a time and place. Iraq is the Macro. Entry to Iraq the Micro?

8/05/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Sometimes where a message originates matters just as much as what it says. Therefore, I believe that the Iraqis will be the ones making the case for punitive action on Iran and Syria, with Bush in the role of advocate instead of principal.

Hoshyar Zebari, the Foreign Minister of Iraq, sets our timetable:

"We were supposed... we are now actually in the process to start the process of writing the constitution. This must be finished by the 15th of August. And also this really needs to have the approval of the majority of the Iraqi people through a referendum by October. And then we will have a new election at the end of December."

Since it is likely that insurgent attacks will continue during this period, expect a steadily building chorus of Iraqi, US, and eventually European voices invoking Syrian and Iranian transgressions on the floor of the UNSC. And then, with resolutions in hand, the new Iraq government, with the strength and legitimacy of the December elections behind them, will be the ones to lead the charge.

This has to be an Iraqi thing, I think. I get the sense that Bush is trying to stay behind the Iraqis to push, instead of getting out ahead to pull. Where the idea comes from could make all the difference in its reception, and we absolutely need a good reception. We may only get one shot at Syria and Iran with the goodwill of the world behind us. Prudence gives the floor to Iraq.

8/05/2005 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...


I wanted to point your attention to a blog you may not have seen. I ran across it yesterday doing Council links. He's an American Arab Muslim soldier, stationed in Iraq. I haven't read thru the whole thing, but his work seems to be translating at the hospital.

What Is Truth?

Since he's Muslim, I doubt he knows the allusion re the name he chose for his blog...and he's somewhat pessimisitc about our chances there.

BTW, thanks largely to you, we made Large Mammal today!!

A novena for *you,* sir.


8/05/2005 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Abu Yusef:

26 married, one daughter and a son on the way. I speak Arabic. I am in Iraq, and hope I leave safely and without having to hurt anyone.
Hopefully I get out of here in one piece and that my Iraqi friends, and American colleagues manage to stay alive, and uninjured

This guy should not be in the US army. Whoever recruited him should be dismissed as well.

8/05/2005 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Bush is wise not to pay attention to the media,one because he has far better sources of information available to him,and secondly if he did and responded, the media would lead him by the nose with evey shock horror story they could make up.
This would all be of the nature,"When did you stop beating your wife".

8/05/2005 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

...after we adopted our too light "Hispanic" children, that dress poorly.
John Roberts, esq.

8/05/2005 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

pc^killa -

I thought Abu was an honorific?

Until I'm convinced that Abu Yusef is not Hoosier Daddy's cousin I think I'll take this cum grano salis as we used to say in the legion.

8/05/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Sparks Fly: And the Holy One, promised by Jesus as "He, the Spirit of Truth" Who is leading us into all truth, CAME at the time all 3 of Jesus' promises were fulfilled: (Matt 24:14, Luke 21:24, Matt 24:15), May 23, 1844.

Yes, Christ the Lord told the truth about returning in the Glory of the Father , but Christian clergy engage, even today, in the "damnable heresy" of "scoffing and denying our Lord Who redeems us" has returned! (IIPeter2:1)

And all humanity SUFFERS for having chosen CLERGY instead of God's Holy Messenger, the Glory of God.

THAT's why this is a world civil war!

8/05/2005 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Desert Rat said,
"Well abakan, welcome to reality. Glad you've seen the light.

As to this current offensive and the added pressure along the Syrian border. Better late than never
It is encouraging to read that the Iraqis are working in concert, but independently of our troops. That is the most heartening news of all."

I have no idea what you are talking about. I have had a consistent message in this forum. Nothing stated in my previous post represents a departure from anything else I have said previously.

8/05/2005 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

"The advise from DoD was to downgrade the rhetoric, away from War on Terror. The President, it seems, rejected that advise"

The President is making a huge mistake. I usually wind up being the apologist for the administration in this forum, but the rejection of this advice may be dangerous and probably reflects a bit of arrogance.

8/05/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

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8/05/2005 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

"The fact that US forces are on the offensive and have a specific goal [disrupting the Jihadist structure in anticipation of the upcoming October constitutional referendum] places the recent deaths in a very different context than was reported in the MSM."

- d.b. light

We're ALWAYS on the offensive, light. And the offensive ALWAYS has a specific goal.

For crying out loud.

We don't play defense. Not there. That's the other guys' lot.

8/05/2005 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Bentpatriot said...

Why are we in Iraq and when will we leave?

I think we are witnessing a new gold rush, substitute the American West with the Middle East and gold with oil and it all seems pretty cut and dry. The oil traders, attorneys, and corporate heads in BushCo. are going to drag this one out to the very end. Considering the fact that other reliable forms of energy already exist and are currently in use around the globe, it's obvious that they want to continue down the road of oil until we run out; look at Europe, they have been supplementing their oil use and electrical generation for quite some time. Our government and our citizens need to get on the ball. Bush will not pull out of Iraq until they have built high walls topped with razor wire around the oilfields over there. Why the heck is oil so important? Is it because oil is the only economy base that the administration understands anymore? Are they not at all prepared for a change? Do they think that the rest of the world is going to sit idly by and continue to use the oil they capture while waiting until America is ready to convert? They can make money from new energy technologies and the industries that those technologies will bring about just as easily (and seamlessly, if conversion starts before the supply of oil really begins it's decline), not to mention the fact that there are a multitude of new energy patents which are currently owned by the big oil companies (which they hide away from the rest of us, every corporation has got to have it's trade secrets).

I often wonder what it's like to be addicted to money the way that this administration is. Money is their drug, they are so addicted to the current economy and the money they grab from it that they have gone to war with the Middle East to ensure that they are controlling the global oil economy until the last drop goes through the pipelines. The desire to be in control of the final decline of oil, if done from a humanitarian angle (saving our economy and people from possible end-of era regression) could be looked at from the perspective that the end justifies the means, but when done in the manner that BushCo. has, (lying, covering up or otherwise changing facts, ignoring questions asked of it's citizens and press) it seems more along the lines of deceitful corporate money-grabbing and self interest. If they don't act soon the aforementioned patents the energy corporations hold wont mean squat. It's going to take a good amount of the remaining oil to fabricate the opening salvo of new industrial machinery and the equipment necessary to convert, being that it currently takes the usage of oil to allow today's industry to function. Considering the track record of the administration, it's unlikely that they have any such plan in mind. They are far too unwilling to listen to reason, and why should they? They are here for the quick money, the easy money that they are accustomed to and so enamored by.

If our country could either get off the current electricity grids and create one hundred percent of the power our homes consume or enact a law requiring our utility companies to make the switch then it seems to me that would cut our dependence on oil by nearly half which would allow for more time to develop new resources for transportation. It would be optimal to convert both utilities and transportation on a concurrent time frame, however there would be less shake up within the global economy if one commitment was executed prior to the other. Some companies, like Toyota have their own time frame, they have announced an additional 10 hybrid vehicles to their lineup over the next decade, seen here: Maybe we'll all be able to buy John Deere wind generators from Home Depot in the near future! Not really soon enough, but Deere is doing something nonetheless. Here's a bit from Renewable Energy Access:

Scary Stuff!


8/05/2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

A little "push back" in Iran? If Iraq can have an "insurgency" with Baath/Sunni brigands blowing stuff up, why can't the Kurds in Iran have a little sport too?

Now, if the Kurds in Syria caught a bit of insurgency fever...

8/05/2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Since it is likely that insurgent attacks will continue during this period, expect a steadily building chorus of Iraqi, US, and eventually European voices invoking Syrian and Iranian transgressions on the floor of the UNSC. And then, with resolutions in hand, the new Iraq government, with the strength and legitimacy of the December elections behind them, will be the ones to lead the charge."

aristides, think.

What are the odds of stabilizing Iraq and getting our asses home (which the locals might appreciate even more than we) when Iraq is in a state of open war with Iran and Syria? Better odds than now? What are the chances of Iraqis having an even halfway normal existence in the forseeable future if its government, which cannot keep the water flowing and the lights on and its representatives alive, declares war on two of its neighbors? Better chances than currently exist?

If we're looking at an extremely high-risk endeavor as things are now, things as you would have them send that risk through the goddamed roof.

8/05/2005 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The more oil we use, the quicker it will dry up. The quicker the oil fields dry up, the quicker the jihadi swamp will dry up.

SUV's for everyone!!

8/05/2005 12:24:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

How long can the strategic thinkers here at BC go wihout proposing or foreseeing a US/Iraqi offensive on Syria or Iran?

Three minutes?
Five minutes?

Twenty at the most.

8/05/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Is Rumsfeld the problem? Neoconservative mandarine William Kristol certainly seems to thinks so as he writes from the pages of The Weekly Standard:

"As Newsweek reported last week: "Now the conditions for U.S. withdrawal no longer include a defeated insurgency, Pentagon sources say. The new administration mantra is that the insurgency can be beaten only politically, by the success of Iraq's new government. Indeed, Washington is now less concerned about the insurgents than the unwillingness of Iraq's politicians to make compromises for the sake of national unity. Pentagon planners want to send a spine-stiffening message: the Americans won't be there forever."

But not-so-well-hidden under the pseudo-tough talk of "spine-stiffening" is the INESCABLE WHIFF OF WEAKNESS AND DEFEATISM. Rumsfeld either doesn't believe we can win, or doesn't think we can maintain political support for staying, or doesn't believe winning is worth the cost. So we're getting out, under cover of talking about how "political progress is necessary to defeat the insurgency."

It's of course true that political progress in Iraq is important. And the political progress is heartening. But political progress is not sufficient to defeat the insurgency. There has been no more impressive example of political progress than the January 30 elections. But the insurgency continues.

Furthermore, how likely is political progress if everyone in Iraq decides we're on our way out? The talk from the Defense Department about withdrawing troops from Iraq is doing damage to our chances of political and military progress. The more we talk about getting out, the more our enemies are emboldened, our friends waver and hedge their bets, and various factions decide they may have to fend for themselves and refuse to commit to a new Iraqi army or government. . . .The president knows we have to win this war. If some of his subordinates are trying to find ways to escape from it, he needs to assert control over them, overrule them, or replace them. Having corrected the silly effort by some of his advisers to say the war on terror is not fundamentally a war, he now has to deal with the more serious effort, emanating primarily from the civilian leadership in the Pentagon, to find an excuse not to pursue victory in Iraq. For if Iraq is the central front in the war on terror, we need to win there. And to win, the president needs a defense secretary who is willing to fight, and able to win.

8/05/2005 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

I would start to worry when Galloway, Juan Cole, Cedarfart, et al., start telling us we're wining the War on Terror and actually are doing something right.

8/05/2005 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

You, aristides, don't have to fight any of these wars, don't have to die in any of these wars, don't have to lose a leg or an arm or half your face - nor son, nor daughter, nor wife, nor husband. No sir, all you have to do (and even this is optional) is sit there and think up nonsense like: "This has to be an Iraqi thing."

And upon reading that, the Iraqis will look at you as if you were a creature from a different planet. Which in a sense, you are.

8/05/2005 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Furthermore, how likely is political progress if everyone in Iraq decides we're on our way out?

How likely is someone to grow up when they know they'll need to leave the comforts of home?

8/05/2005 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

trish said...
How long can the strategic thinkers here at BC go wihout proposing or foreseeing a US/Iraqi offensive on Syria or Iran?

Three minutes?
Five minutes?

Twenty at the most.

trish for me, it's not how long can I go, but rather when I started...

For me, It's either the hama episode of love, or it's general place in the middle east since, let's say 1956... syria has smelled like sh-t since then....

and it just keeps stinking.........

8/05/2005 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"syria has smelled like sh-t since then"

And it's gonna smell like shit for years to come.

Because it's Syria.

8/05/2005 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

"You, aristides, don't have to fight any of these wars, don't have to die in any of these wars, don't have to lose a leg or an arm or half your face - nor son, nor daughter, nor wife, nor husband."

Bad day, Trish? How else to explain the invectiveness?

Everyday I go to work my life is on the line in this war. I lost many close friends in the World Trade Center, and I continue to have family members in harm's way abroad, both in the military and the foreign services.

So what the f*ck are you talking about?

8/05/2005 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

d. b. light spoke somewhere above about military offensives and specific objectives.

The current overarching objective of our military offensives in Iraq is a de-escalation of insurgent violence. What we want to do is bring that level of violence down -not to raise it by expanding the war into other territories. Iraq cannot afford the latter, as its neighbors will be its neighbors long after we've departed. We cannot afford it, as we must be able to depart reasonably soon. We are NOT there forever; no one is planning for an ROK-like stay in Iraq - no matter how it turns out.

So while I am not at all unsympathetic to those who want to see an end to the current regimes of Syria and Iran, and their replacement with something more humane and less troublesome, this isn't going to be done now, and it's not going to be done by the US military and/or the fledgling Iraqi one.

That's just the way it is.

8/05/2005 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Right, aristides. I take everything back except the part about you not having to personally fight these wars you think up, or lose a son, daughter, wife or husband in them...and the part about Iraqis regarding you as a creature from another planet.

Good luck there in New York, scribbling away about Syria, while that rat f*ck Zawahiri sits...somewhere that's not Syria.

8/05/2005 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

The only thing we have to fear is apologists and defeatists among us.

Wretchard, thanks for this excellent analysis of available news. You perform a great service to help see through the negative lens of MSM to the events they are purposely obscuring. (As you did in Falluja 1)

The Philly Inky chose to run large stories on the "lightly armored" vehicle, doing the wrong job. Another article made the point that the entire Marine Corps is not "designed for this mission."

If that's not defeatism, what is?

I'm one of those who feel these large losses as a punch to the gut as someone says above. The punch of the loss of these irreplaceable individuals. And the punch to our national stomach for this war.

The MSM sees the glass not only half-empty, but tipped over, busted and dangerous. The Belmont Club serves the glass half-full. I'll have two, please. Cheers, mate.

8/05/2005 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

trish: "I take everything back except the part about you not having to personally fight these wars you think up"

Surely you give me too much credit.

Also, I noticed that not one substantive argument showed up in your pixilation.

James Baldwin once said, "Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch."

Lose the crutch, Trish. You're already so far behind.

8/05/2005 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think C4 has gained some kind of "mind" control over Trish.

8/05/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

She'll be talking about what part of someone's anatomy Aristotle should lick, next.

8/05/2005 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I thought foreign wars used to bring countries together?

8/05/2005 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

(Hope for the Iraquis: No hope here.)

8/05/2005 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Doug said...
Your post smacks of using *Aircraft and Missiles,* to save American Military Lives!
How very un PC of you!

Yes, my PC sensitivity class did little. We could take a page from Clinton's play book regarding the bombing of the Chinese embassy. Just simply say "Ooops, we missed. Sorry!" a smoking crater marks the spot of what was jihad training camp.

8/05/2005 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Trish - nice reference to global guerillas where they discuss the thousands of IED cells and their structure, quick diffusion of bomb-making skills, and how it is hard to get "evidence" on the cell leaders so our PC troops must often let them go even when we KNOW they are involved..

Pete speer - It is Syria upon which we must focus, for there is no way to destroy completely the pipe line after it spews men and material across the border.

Well, perhaps it might help to try guarding the Border 1st. Bashir Assad and the Saudis have a point when they say that they are doing things, but it is not easy with the corrupting power of money that fuels traditional smuggling ---- and more importantly, they point out that more than two years after we replaced the Iraqi government, all Iraq Border crossing checkpoints are still abandoned. The Americans haven't even tried..

An apocryphal story had Bush repeatedly asked to authorize reinforcing the Border and checking people crossing, only to have Bush firmly say it was vital to his donors to keep the unguarded Open Borders situation ongoing. Last spring, the military finally figured out Bush meant the Mexican Border, and they are now starting to watch the Iraq-Syria border...

Fighting a 3rd war simultaneously? Well, it would make the Israelis happy to see American blood and treasure expended once again to take out a major enemy of Israel at no cost to them....but I sorta like the idea of at least trying to guard the Syrian Border, first.

And a "surgical, cakewalk" invasion to liberate the "noble, freedom-loving democracy-hungry" people of Iran? Forget it until it goes through the UN...not even the Christian Zionists in Congress are that stupid..

AK writes

Having corrected the silly effort by some of his advisers to say the war on terror is not fundamentally a war

So hows the War on Terror going vis a vis the Tamil Tigers, ETA, abortion clinic bombers, Columbian and Mexican narcoterrorists?

Hmmmm, no one is talking about that?

Perhaps that is because terrorism is just a tactic, and we are not at war with a tactic. And Bush stubbornly (or arrogantly) denied that this is a struggle against radical Islam - wanting to use his trusty old cliche` a bit longer.
GWOT. 'Bout time to haul "Smoke the evildoers out of their caves." again...or perhaps do one of his "Islam is peace, Islam is love" speeches.

he now has to deal with the more serious effort, emanating primarily from the civilian leadership in the Pentagon, to find an excuse not to pursue victory in Iraq. For if Iraq is the central front in the war on terror, we need to win there.

Unh uh! His 5 week vacation just started. That will have to wait.

Good talking point regurgitation though, - "The Central Front in the WoT".

8/05/2005 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The french are starting to make useful noises concerning Iran and the UNSC. I doubt Syria will be long behind. Once economic sanctions kick in, it will be a another stimulus for ME reform.

8/05/2005 05:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

WRT the southern border, we are in pre 9-11 configuration, thank you very much.
Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy like I did in the 90's when Clinton caused the end of History to occur.
Nothing to do but track dot coms to the heavens.

8/05/2005 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...


A Border Patrol agent was charged Friday with smuggling illegal immigrants and forging a birth certificate to get hired.

Oscar Antonio Ortiz, a Mexican citizen who was born in Tijuana, allegedly secured his job with the Border Patrol in 2001 by using a fake birth certificate that stated he was born in Chicago.

8/05/2005 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

I have heard enough people say that Syria is a supply line to the Iraqi “insurgency” that I believe it is true. If it is, why is Bush not conducting an air war on Syria? I am losing patience with Bush and I feel like there is no one (outside the blogosphere) articulating why staying on the offense is important. To paraphrase an American hero:

My dear Bush: If you don’t want to use the Air Force, I should like to borrow it for a while.

It is important for all to understand that the “porous” border between Iraq and Syria is porous in both directions. 50,000 feet above the earth, there are pores that a stealth bomber can fly through. Izzy Al-Duri, look up buddy.

8/05/2005 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

PC Killa
Not everyone in the Armies job is to kill. There are some who do it full time, targeting those who would target us actively... But the Army is full of people who provide logistical support and who are trained to kill if engaged. We do not seek out anyone.

My original profile said "I can hit 38 out of 40 man size targets at distances of up to 300 meters. I hope I never have to."

I changed it later because I decided it was in poor taste.

Killing is something that should never be taken lightly... that is one of the things that seperates the just and rigteous from their opposites.

I would say that most people in the Army don't want the people they know around them to be killed... and want their colleagues to survive... even those who are not their friends per se. Some of my colleagues are my friends. Some are not... I do not differentiate in my profile because I hope both have the same fate: a long life. I have no Iraqi colleagues...

As for the topic brought up on Syria. Here is my opinion as an analyzers of current events and facts rather than as a soldier

Syria is supposedly the root of the insurgency... but that is political posturing by the administration...

Jordan and Saudi borders are not wonderful either, though less problematic due to the desert terrain.

Because Jordan and Saudi Arabia are public "allies" (yeah some allies when 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi, and you didn't see a Syrian on the planes...) the US government does not put pressure on them but does put pressure on Syria... since it is juxtaposed with the united states.

Regardless Syria is not a rich country... and any terror supporting it does it does with the financial support of the Saudis and the Iranians.

The US government position towards Syria and even Iraq to a degree has all been a scapegoat philosophy... They are afraid to cross the Saudis... or unable.

Further it appears the US government is afraid to put to much pressure on Iran for their obvious complicity due to Nuclear talks with Europe. (We all know that Sadr is linked to the hezbollah station Al Manar... and that in truth Secular socialist former soviet ally Syria tolerates Hezbollah as part of an agreement with Iran, who provides most of the arms and funds, and who has oil riches. Syria is a pawn)

As I said 15 of 19 high jackers were Saidi citizens. None of the rest were from any states that are on the lists of states who sponsor terror... yet Saudis and Kuwaitis still get faster visa than Syrians... despite the fact that not one Syria has ever commited a terrorist act on American soil, and despite the fact that not one highjacker or anyone closely linked to 911 was of Syrian origin and despite the fact that Saudis and Kuwaitis are more likely to be terrorists.

The first thing that should have been done... was not impose harder practices on Syrians trying to enter America... or Libyans, or members of others states on the lists of "state that sponsor terror" but to screen more closely members of the nations from where the terrorists and their allies were more likely to come from...

Abu Yusef

(Abu Yusef could also be Jacob, aslo known as "Israel" but I didn't think of that when I chose the name)

8/05/2005 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

By the way I am not an Arab...


I am more pessimistic some times than others...

Lately it is because my leaders in the states are talking of trying to pull us out... (senate)

and in the meantime... Rumsfeld is saying it is going to take ten years to stabilize things...

If the senators get their way and rumsfeld is right... then pessimism is called for.

Abu Yusef

8/05/2005 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Salaam Yusef, Abu

You're an interesting character. Which side did you say you were on?

Seriously, I just have one question. It's standard for any Muslim I come across. Do suicide bombers go to paradise?

Just my way of keeping score.

8/05/2005 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

No, Abu Yusef.

These people you serve with are not your colleagues. They're your brothers and sisters.

If you dread killing per se, you shouldn't have, you wouldn't have, volunteer to the Armed Forces. What you dread is killing jihadi majnuns, because as part of the ummah these are your brothers and sisters.

8/05/2005 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/05/2005 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Abu Yusef said: Killing is something that should never be taken lightly... that is one of the things that seperates the just and rigteous from their opposites.

Consider this as my righteous opine: Those that are kind to the cruel, are cruel to the kind.

8/05/2005 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

If he's got the courage to be in Iraq, helping us root out our enemy - he's beyond OK with me, and deserves respect rather than scorn.

8/05/2005 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

You might be right, Cutler...

But after a few of his comments, a little more info might be in ordnung. Not everyone on the net, even here, is who they say they are.

Without his shilling for Syria, I wouldn't have raised an eyebrow. I have people in Lebanon.

8/05/2005 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I'm with pc-killa. He considers Americans to be "colleagues" and Iraqi's to be "friends". And he doesn't want to kill anybody.

This is *not* someone I'd want to have at my back in a war zone.

Ship him back to the States to count boots. I'm sure there must be an honorable position doing *something* in the Army where a collegial American life is not dependent upon the performance of that job.

8/05/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Always pays to be skeptical, I can be credulous at times.

His comments also didn't strike me as so unbelievable.

It also wouldn't surprise me to know that Jordanians and the Saudis are crossing their respective borders. Most of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudis, according to the latest Brookings report. 60% of Jordanians approve of Bin Laden, according to that latest Pew Poll.

I previously discounted the countries themselves as the direct sources because, as he said, the terrain is bad, but I could be wrong.

It also wouldn't surprise me if we were playing down it all down for political reasons. We already know that we give the Saudis a public pass [for disputed reasons] most of the time, even though they are the source of many of our problems.

Just another point of view I guess, for that I'm appreciative. Never want another group-think WMD debacle. Course, I have been known to be gullible occasionally. Is he the real deal? I suppose we'll see.

8/05/2005 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

I definitely think the Syrians and Iranian are involved though, I would be if I were them.

One of the reasons given for Iraq being a good place to start was its central position, we're finding out the downsides to that central position, unfortunately.

8/05/2005 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

Anyone who thinks Syria is a greater threat than Saudi Arabia... Doesn't understand what is going on in the world...

I can understand partisanship about Syria if someone has connections to Lebanon...

But the main front for fighting terror is Saudi Arabia.

Hands down. Not Syria.
It was on 911 and it is today... and we are still not doing a thing about it.

That is if you are more concerned about American national security rather than Israeli national security...

I see there are a lot of inflammatory remarks on this board.

About suicide bombers...
Whether or not an action is correct or incorrect is based on what the action does. Good actions are rewarded bad ones are punished. If a person kills other people, specifically intentionally murdering and targeting innocents... regardless of their ethnic origin or political and religious views... then they will most likely burn in hell...

If however it is an act against combatants... then I will let God be the judge of whether or not the will be punished or rewarded. It is not the "suicide" part that interests me... but who they are killing in the process.

I am not an infantry men. I will kill if I have to, but I don't want to. Yes being in the armed forces means that I believe that sometimes killing is necessary... I am certainly no pacifist and I carry a weapon like anyone else. But I am not going to go out of my way to do it. If someone is going to take out other soldiers he is a dead man if he is in my sites and armed...

and PC killa...

all men are my brothers and sisters. The world is one brotherhood. I would prefer to reeducate those who have gone astray if possible... but if they are armed and a threat I am not above killing them... especially considering that in such a case both my life and those beside me are on the line.

Part of this war is a PR one. Maybe you don't like everything I say on my site... but I guarantee one thing... people know some of the good we are doing over here thanks to it.

As for what side I am on... I am on the side of the Iraqi people, the side all American soldiers should be on... since that is the reason we came here.... right?


Abu Yusef

8/05/2005 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

Are all your colleagues at your job your friends?

I thought not.

I wish for all my colleagues to return home safely... not simply my friends.

I guess by your logic... I desire or am indifferent to Iraqis killed by a bomber at a wedding because in the legalistic banter you are using I didn't mention them... and only want my friends to survive... no?

How trite.

How judgemental.

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 12:30:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

If I said I want to kill someone it would be about equivilant to my saying that I want my unit to be hit by an IED or ambushed... since those are the most likely ways that I am ever going to be in a position to kill someone who needs killing... IE if they engage us first... no thanks... I have no desire to be hit by an IED or ambushed even if it means I get to engage the enemy...

I certainly wouldn't want a soldier at my side who did... would you? They would belong in a mental ward... not the Army.

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

As for what side I am on... I am on the side of the Iraqi people, the side all American soldiers should be on... since that is the reason we came here.... right?


The side all American soldiers should be on is the American side. And the American side ONLY. You are not there for the Israeli or the Iraqi people. You are there for the American people. The American people that pay your salary so you can feed your family and provide shelter for them in America.

I'll also remind you that is it Iraqis that almost on a daily basis are killing Americans and are sheltering and helping kill Americans in Iraq. That you are there to fight Iraqis until they submit and adopt a western democratic liberal non-jihadist political/cultural identity. And when you are done in Iraq, you'll be looking to fight the next Islamofascist foe who puts up a resistance to this objective.

all men are my brothers and sisters. The world is one brotherhood. I would prefer to reeducate those who have gone astray if possible

Your place is not in the Armed Forces, and whoever recruited you should be dismissed. The world is not one brotherhood. It never was. And if you believe that the world is one brotherhood, then go sing kumbaya. What the fsck are you doing in the army?!

Are all your colleagues at your job your friends?

Actually yes. But that's besides the point. When I'm in the Army, those that I like, those that I can't stand, those that I don't know, are ALL my brothers and sisters. It would NEVER even enter my head to refer to them as my colleagues, EVER.

I certainly wouldn't want a soldier at my side who did... would you? They would belong in a mental ward... not the Army.

If you have no desire to engage the enemy, or have American soldiers engage the enemy in Iraq then you should not be in the army. You are an American soldier there to engage the enemy in Iraq so those in America don't have to engage the enemy in America as civilians.

Given your answers, one thing becomes very clear. You are indeed engaged in a PR war. It is referred to as Taqiyya.

8/06/2005 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/06/2005 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/06/2005 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

PC Killer.

It is clear that you do not have a decent bone in your body.

I am here because I believe in a humanitarian cause that I believe we are participating in.

YOu are not in the army so you have no business telling me what I should feel or say when I am in the Army. If you don't like the way I say things... and you have all these high and mighty feelings then fine. Why don't you come into the Army... if you are too old to be in the Army... then you still don't have any business telling me what I should think.

Not all soldiers are supposed to seek out and engage the enemy... in facty most ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO. Like I said... anyone who wants to be hit by an IED is an idiot. If you think I shouldn't think that way... then no one is stopping you from coming over here and finding an IED to get hit with so you can start engaging the enemy.

As for being my brothers and sisters. All mankind are my brothers and sisters. The world is one brotherhood. But if you want to get all up on the double speak.. and lie and say all your colleagues are your friends...

Then I will tell you this.

My friends are those people who I most intimately trust... and with whom I get along with well. Few earn the right from me to be considered my friend because to me the word actually means something other than referring to those towards whom I maintain a friendly disposition.

If you want the other members of the armed forces to be you "brothers and sisters" like in some sort of movie then fine...


As for your complete nationalism and fake patriotism...

I don't really care.

I am not here for the American people. I am here to defend the principles embodied in the American constitution. The ones that let you spout off hateful rants without fear of persecution.

You can talk about the fact that Iraqi insurgents are killing Americans... but we are not in Iraq to stop Iraqis from killing Americans. If that were our job we could do it just as well from outside Iraq. If we weren't in Iraq we would not be getting killed. We are in Iraq to stop the insurgents from killing Iraqis... and to allow the Iraqis to create their own democratic government and constitution whether it is western or not.

I provide logistical support to those who actively fight those trying to stop the Iraqi people from deciding their own fate. Are you calling the president and his staff a lyer? Isn't regime change and bringing Democracy and women's rights, and WMD and terrorism all the reasons we came to Iraq? I believe in all those principles which in my view are wholly compatable with my faith.

BTW there is no such thing as Taqiya so far as 99.9% of Muslims are concerned. It was invented by bigots. I recall the western fascists making similar false claims against Jews in the time of Hitler... in order to create a scape goat. I see the sound of modern National socialist types did not fall far from the tree.

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

OK Abu, if you're telling the truth, you just passed my test.

Now tell us what we don't know about Saudi. Our information is filtered thru the kidneys of the media, old and new. I don't trust any of it. My people in Lebanon don't like Syria or Israel. They're christian aid workers and they know where the bodies are buried.

8/06/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

THat being said...

I will engage enemy whom appear that they are intent on engaging American forces or civilian... and I will engage them directly if ordered to move to contact... of course it would be idiotic to waste my talents engaging enemy since the Army put millions of dollars into training me and those in my unit to do other tasks that are equally important, and upon which those who actually like to fight and are specifically trained to do it as their primary task rely to do their mission...

You show clearly that you do not understand that there is more than just one part to the military, but rather mutiple organs. Logistical people do not want to get in a fight... at least 99% of them don't being in the Army I am qualified to say that...

It is funny I try to make a page... that shows that the Army is not the blood thirsty mindless zombies who are being slaughtered in droves and killing innocent civilians as the press would have you believe... but that we are actually human beings... and that we actually do try to do some good when we get the chance...

those you call "islamofacsists" differ little from you in many ways...

Both of you are so blind... that you wouldn't be able to have a simple discussion with them. In the case of the former it is being in the military that urks them...

and in your case it is being a Muslim.

Please go put your head back in the sand.

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Dang man!


I was typing while you posting that last one. Don't get baited into saying things you don't want to have said.

If you've got info that's important for us to hear, stick to that. You gotta know, I hate Islam. It's given me no reason not to. But I have friends that are Muslims. But they have to renounce those who kill non-combatants or they are my enemy.

Your take on Saudi intrigues me, and would all of the serious people on this or any honest blog.

Don't bother with the self-defense. You won't be able to accomodate everybody.

8/06/2005 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

I think I need to finish with politics...

If you want to know about the Saudis you don't have to look far. Most of the weapons are funded by who?

Training is led by people mostly from where?

Terrorists themselves have a Saudi funding, nationality or their leaders are Saudi.

The reports in the government on 911 classified numerous pages about Saudi Arabia.

Anyway it doesn't matter.

Syria may be providing the border support... but they are not creating the mind set. YOu could turn Syria into a smoking hole... but the Saudi suicide bombers that having been running to Iraq would still exist... and they would still do there thing somewhere.

Saudi Arabia (our ally) has a more religiously oppressive government than Iran. In Iran at least Christians are allowed to worship and maintain their holy books and holidays... I am not saying Iran is a paradise by any means...

I have an Armenian friend in Iran.

but you don't see women being banned from driving... or Iranian suicide attackers... or Iranian police stopping girls from exiting a burning building for not dressing properly...

In Iran women are required to cover their head but can wear modern styles of clothing... and don't have to wear black from head to toe as the do in Saudi... one of the hottest nations on earth...

Yeah the rhettoric and propaganda is both over the top... bigoted anti western anti Israel... and the like...

But if you had to choose where to bring up your daughters... and you had only Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia to choose from... I don't think saudi would be number 1 or 2.

What my problem is is that the number one worse terrorist state is still thriving... and it is not on the list of "states that sponsor terror". Why not?

8/06/2005 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Are you calling the president and his staff a lyer? Isn't regime change and bringing Democracy and women's rights, and WMD and terrorism all the reasons we came to Iraq?

No. The President (show some respect) and his staff are not liars. Regime change and bringing Democracy and women's rights to Iraq is a tactic, not an end in of itself. The goal is to transform the past jihadi political and cultural identity of Iraqis to that of a non-jihadi political and cultural identity. And if regime change and bringing Democracy and women's rights doesn't do it (and there is ample evidence that it might not), then it will be done absent of Democracy and women's rights, etc.

8/06/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...


Do you believe Saddam's WMDs went to (thru?) Syria? What about Iran's nuke program? Should we preemtively strike?

Where would the non knee-jerk muslims come down on that?

8/06/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

so you are calling him a lier... but you think it is justified.

Well I, unlike you do show some respect.

I don't call him a liar, and in my morality Lying is considered a sin... apparantly you are the only one here accepting a principle of tawqiya

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

We all know invasion in Iran is not an option...

As for Saddam... I think his weapons were long gone...

but that he fixed the human intel to make himself look stronger than he was...

There is great irony in my interpretation of events...

because murdering lying Saddam...
became the boy who cried wolf.

No one believed him and for once this diabolical murderer actually was telling the truth....

and no one really believed him...

Poetic Justice. He was removed from power for the one thing he wasn't doing wrong... just as he had had so many others killed for doing nothing wrong.

I like to believe my story... though he may well have given them to Syria...

There is not a snow balls chance in the fires of Jehennah that he gave it to the IRanians that is for certain...

Bush made the right decision with Iraq even if Iran is the bigger nuclear threat.

Iran doesn't have the any precedent for using WMD, while Saddam did. Neither does Syria. If I had to choose between the three as a regional threat... and if I had to bet on which government was most amoral and capable of using weapons... Saddam would have come in number one of the three...

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Perhaps next you'll tell us you are sinless.

8/06/2005 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

As long as such a strike was targeted only at the nuclear infrastructure and nothing else...

IRan is twice the size of Iraq occupation would be idiotic...

I don't know... I am not so sure Iran is such a threat... they talk real loud...

But going solely on links to terror groups... I would say that Pakistan is more dangerous nuclear terror threat than Iran.

8/06/2005 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

I interview all the returning soldiers I can. They appreciate someone asking them what THEY think. I ask:

1) What's happening in Iraq? (Or Afghanistan)

2) What SHOULD we be doing?

I believe you've earned the right to say.

8/06/2005 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

I never condone sin...
I just make them.

The difference between a good and bad man is not whether or not he sins...

but the degree... the amount he tries to change and whether or not he tries to justify it.

8/06/2005 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

As long as such a strike was targeted only at the nuclear infrastructure and nothing else..

Iran's nuclear facilities are mostly out of reach from the air. You'll need people on ground to get at them. This can be done either through sanctions and inspectors, or through combat boots. My feeling it will be both.

Iran doesn't have the any precedent for using WMD, while Saddam did.

Both Iran and Iraq used WoMD on each other. You say you're not Arab. What is your background? Iranian?

8/06/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Islam is a superMeme - an intransigent and rapacious one to boot. It seeks to dominate the whole world by hook or by crook.

In general two schools of thoughts prevail. And I'm one who opts for eradication, rather than reformation.

Like Dr. Ali Sina and other ex-muslims, I believe that Islam is an intransigent monster, one with a built in fail-safe loop that disallows it from being truly reformed. A poisonous snake will always be a poisonous snake, no matter how often you try and milk the poison out. For me to characterize it any different is to be disingenious. (Credit to sista KKKim).

8/06/2005 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

Iran didn't use WMD... I am sorry that you like to make things up to prove your points.

If you have something to say that is grounded in historical fact in the future please do.

Either way... had Iran used weapons against Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war... they would have been well within their rights.

The US government maintains that it has the right to use chemical and nuclear weapons against enemy troops that resorted first to such a tactic.

Certainly all country are allowed to follow the same standards... as rule of law is meant to protect all equally...

It doesn't matter. There is no precedent for Iran using WMD. Brutal oppression... yes.

WMD... no.

I happen to have a book on the Iran Iraq war... you see I like history... and generally use it when deciding what happened in history...

Every reference in the book that refers to chemical attacks refers to Iraqi chemical attacks.


I am a 4th generation American of central European origin.

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

and that is why I am better than you...
I do not believe in killing innocent people.

You do.

You are just the same in ideology as the terrorists...

Allah bless you with his divine wisdom...

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

Ali Sina
is a fool and is easily discredited as are his lies...

I seriously doubt he was ever a muslim, for he knows very little about Islam or Muslims.

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger anybudee said...

I believe Islam was begun by an ambitious warlord as a tool to conquer jews, christians and other kaffirs. That's from the human end. The spiritual reality is that religion itself is a counterfeit. The spirit they worship (which in turn empowers them) is not Jehovah. The Quran could not have the same inspiration source as the Bible.

With a billion Muslims, eradication cannot be the answer. Self defense is one thing. Genocide is another.

We didn't have to eradicate the Soviets. We checked them where we could and outlasted them. They imploded and morphed. That's my hope for Islam (and China).

8/06/2005 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed because it linked to malicious content. Learn more.

8/06/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

We didn't have to eradicate the Soviets. We checked them where we could and outlasted them. They imploded and morphed. That's my hope for Islam (and China).

More Soviets were killed in WW2 than Nazis and Allied Forces combined. We didn't eradicate them all in one fell swoop, but we sure did bleed them.

8/06/2005 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

and that is why I am better than you...
I do not believe in killing innocent people

Why kill them when you can steal their lands and daughters and have them as your perpetual slaves.

8/06/2005 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

The intel report you refer to was later debunct... further no history book... nor even the current US government gives it any credit...

In fact...

No one actually believes it anymore...

well except for fools.

As for my religion...

Mohammad the prophet started a movement to reform his own people and the corruptions that had occured to the other Abrahimic faiths...

He was a great man, equaled only by Jesus and Moses... whose revelations followed the same vein. As can be shown to anyone who takes part in in depth and careful scholarship.

Abu Yusef

8/06/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

Even if that is what both I and my faith did advocate...

IT is still more moral than you.

8/06/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Lets take a good look at the fundamentals of Islam, what has Islam brought to us Persians? A Religion of Terror which openly preaches martyrdom & destruction of all Non Muslim's (exact verses of Quran listed on other articles of IPC) lives & property, a prophet who was a thief, bandit, assassin, murderer, rapist, child molester, & most of all a charlatan! The most fanatical, ignorant, superstitious religion which ever existed in the whole world! What is the true legacy of Islam?

Aba: Islamic Cape Amameh: Turban Ghaba: another Islamic cover Hejab: women's covering Chaghchoor: women's head cover Charghad: Islamic Scarf Lachak: Traditional Islamic Scarf Roobandeh: Women's face cover Maghana'eh: Women's specific head cover Chador: Veil Giveh: Islamic shoes Nalein: Islamic Flip Flop Aftabeh: Islamic toilet Pitcher Tonban: Islamic Pajama Quran: A 1500 years old pile of garbage torn paper, creation of a sick evil charlatan's mind called Muhammad the Bandit. Muhammad: the prophet of terror himself, a delusional, epileptic, schizophrenic, pedophile, child molester, murderer, assassin, rapist, assaulter of women, female slave holder, criminal charlatan! and of course, 1400 years full of history of blood, murder & terror, Islamic Style, which we are still involved with it specially during the last 22 & 1/2 years as we know it as the Islamic Republic of Iran! And we are still denying that the true Islam is not what IRI practices or Taliban practices, but the true Islam is beautiful as Roses & holier than the holy! Give yourselves a break & open your eyes & mind & smell the true stench of Islam all around you & not just inside the mosque!

8/06/2005 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

The intel report you refer to was later debunct

I think we'll have to wait for the trial:

Saddam Could Call CIA in His Defense
by Sanjay Suri

LONDON - Evidence offered by a top CIA man could confirm the testimony given by Saddam Hussein at the opening of his trial in Baghdad Thursday that he knew of the Halabja massacre only from the newspapers.

Thousands were reported killed in the gassing of Iraqi Kurds in Halabja in the north of Iraq in March 1988 towards the end of Iraq's eight-year war with Iran. The gassing of the Kurds has long been held to be the work of Ali Hassan al-Majid, named in the West because of that association as 'Chemical Ali'. Saddam Hussein is widely alleged to have ordered Ali to carry out the chemical attack.

The Halabja massacre is now prominent among the charges read out against Saddam in the Baghdad court. When that charge was read out, Saddam replied that he had read about the massacre in a newspaper. Saddam has denied these allegations ever since they were made. But now with a trial on, he could summon a witness in his defense with the potential to blow apart the charge and create one of the greatest diplomatic disasters the United States has ever known.

A report prepared by the top CIA official handling the matter says Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the massacre, and indicates that it was the work of Iranians. Further, the Scott inquiry on the role of the British government has gathered evidence that following the massacre the United States in fact armed Saddam Hussein to counter the Iranians chemicals for chemicals.

Few believe that a CIA man would attend a court hearing in Baghdad in defense of Saddam. But in this case the CIA boss has gone public with his evidence, and this evidence has been in the public domain for more than a year.

The CIA officer Stephen C. Pelletiere was the agency's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. As professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, he says he was privy to much of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do with the Persian Gulf.

In addition, he says he headed a 1991 Army investigation into how the Iraqis would fight a war against the United States, and the classified version of the report went into great detail on the Halabja affair.

Pelletiere went public with his information on no less a platform than The New York Times in an article on January 31 last year titled 'A War Crime or an Act of War?' The article which challenged the case for war quoted U.S. President George W. Bush as saying: ”The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or disfigured.”

Pelletiere says the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report following the Halabja gassing, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need- to-know basis. ”That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas,” he wrote in The New York Times.

The agency did find that each side used gas against the other in the battle around Halabja, he said. ”The condition of the dead Kurds' bodies, however, indicated they had been killed with a blood agent -- that is, a cyanide-based gas -- which Iran was known to use. ”The Iraqis, who are thought to have used mustard gas in the battle, are not known to have possessed blood agents at the time.”

Pelletiere writes that these facts have ”long been in the public domain but, extraordinarily, as often as the Halabja affair is cited, they are rarely mentioned.”

Pelletiere wrote that Saddam Hussein has much to answer for in the area of human rights abuses. ”But accusing him of gassing his own people at Halabja as an act of genocide is not correct, because as far as the information we have goes, all of the cases where gas was used involved battles. These were tragedies of war. There may be justifications for invading Iraq, but Halabja is not one of them.”

Pelletiere has maintained his position. All Saddam would have to do in court now is to cite The New York Times article even if the court would not summon Pelletiere. The issues raised in the article would themselves be sufficient to raise serious questions about the charges filed against Saddam - and in turn the justifications offered last year for invading Iraq.

The Halabja killings were cited not just by Bush but by British Prime Minister Tony Blair to justify his case for going along with a U.S. invasion of Iraq. A British government dossier released to justify the war on Iraq says that ”Saddam has used chemical weapons, not only against an enemy state, but against his own people.” An inquiry report in 1996 by Lord Justice Scott in what came to be known as the arms-to-Iraq affair gave dramatic pointers to what followed after Halabja. After the use of poison gas in 1988 both the United States and Britain began to supply Saddam Hussein with even more chemical weapons.

The Scott inquiry had been set up in 1992 following the collapse of the trial in the case of Matrix Churchill, a British firm exporting equipment to Iraq that could be put to military use.

Three senior executives of Matrix Churchill said the government knew what Matrix Churchill was doing, and that its managing director Paul Henderson had been supplying information about Iraq to the British intelligence agencies on a regular basis.

The inquiry revealed details of the British government's secret decision to supply Saddam with even more weapons-related equipment after the Halabja killings.

Former British foreign secretary Geoffrey Howe was found to have written that the end of the Iraq-Iran war could mean ”major opportunities for British industry” in military exports, but he wanted to keep that proposal quiet.

8/06/2005 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Abu Yusef said...

First you try to discredit me as an Arab then you use an article written by one...

Good for you...

Anyway as I have said the American government no longer accepts that CIA report... which is well known to have been considered fraudulant...

nice work...
using common

hell of a source...

regardless you win,

I do not have interest in defending against the lies you tell against my faith... or the prophet Mohammed. I would surely win such and argument...

But Quite frankly I have argued here more than I normally like to...

Normally I try not to argue as this persona.

The White ape is a fitting picture for you by the way...

It is clear you know nothing about Islam except that which you have been taught by your own version of hateful Mullahs...

I will clear out now... lest continuing to listen to the lies you spew forth about my religion... and not having the time to answer in full...

I can argue against everything Ali Sina ever said about Islam... and have done so successfully for years against other bigots like you...

By the way... more clothes is never immoral though less often is.

Abu Yusef...

and may the God of Abraham bring you to his true faith: Islam.

8/06/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

By the way... more clothes is never immoral though less often is.

That's why a new born baby is the most immoral creature of all.

8/06/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

hell of a source...

Islamic scriptures are indeed a hell of a source. Or rather a source of hell.

Refute any of the specifics, you wont. Nothing from you other than dimwitted cliches.

8/06/2005 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

An American Muslim fighting in Iraq, and he gets the third degree? Christ. Nobody else saw a problem with this?

He's right, that report was discredited. It was previously used by Hussein apologists to put forward the idea that that Iranians killed the Kurds. I see we've now gone full circle.

I also agree, Saudi Arabia is the source of our problems. Retrograde desert hicks whose superstitions and xenophobia were spread throughout the world because they were lucky enough to sit on oil, which they not only didn't discover, but are forced to hire infidels to run.

We'll never be done till they're dealt with.

8/06/2005 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

trish said...
"You, aristides, don't have to fight any of these wars, don't have to die in any of these wars, don't have to lose a leg or an arm or half your face - nor son, nor daughter, nor wife, nor husband. No sir, all you have to do (and even this is optional) is sit there and think up nonsense like: "This has to be an Iraqi thing."

And upon reading that, the Iraqis will look at you as if you were a creature from a different planet. Which in a sense, you are."

STOP channeling your version of the imaginary Iraqi common mind. It is a silly exercise and a poor substitute for a logic argument.

8/06/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Abakan said...

To Abu Yusef

Thank you for your service. Stay safe. I feel much better knowing that there are soldiers like you in Iraq.

Keep your head on your task at hand and don't take anything you read here too seriously. You have more important things to worry about and real work that has to be done.

8/06/2005 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/07/2005 10:50:00 AM  

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