Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mosul 2005

In case you haven't already, read Michael Yon's description of a car chase through Mosul's streets, continued on foot through its mazes, concluding in a wild shootout in a dusty alley. Yon has action photos of close quarters combat, which if they didn't exist, would render any account of the actual sang froid of both American troops and the enemy open to disbelief. See for yourself. Men shot firing back on the way down. An enemy fighter who'll pull your helmet down over your eyes, with four rounds already in him, like some lethal member of the Three Stooges. A Command Sergeant Major straight out of central casting engaging the enemy so closely that he went hand-to-hand; wins -- and then comes out dragging his quarry still wearing his Oakleys -- mad that someone had left toothmarks on his wristwatch. It brought to mind Osama Bin Laden's taunting assessment of his American enemy.

But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where -- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order -- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu.

American troops seem to be OK, so what part of it did Osama get wrong? Maybe he kept reading the papers, because without people like Michael Yon it would all have gone down the Memory Hole.

Update

One part Yon saved from the memory hole was the fact that the man who shot LTC Kurilla, Khalid Jasim Nohe, as pointed out by Desert Rat in comments, had earlier been caught only to be released.

412 Comments:

Blogger Karridine said...

Fierce and free, disciplined and tough (with the newk exceptions), Kurilla DOES show the American fighter's spirit!

But note Yon's assertion of Kurilla's "conviction" of emerging freedom, while taking the pulse of the city. We have history, and conviction.

There is little else for proof.

8/25/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

As an aside, Yon gets the title of his post from Stephen Pressfield's Gates of Fire, with himself somewhat in the role of the man who goes to tell the world of what must never be forgotten. Pressfield tells a grand story. Friendship. Losing first love to find it again -- and then walking away -- by the wave-pounded shores of the sea -- to face what threatens to enslave it. Something I think Yon, Kurilla and even the terrorist in his own way would understand,.

In Pressfield's book the worst of all possible fates is to go through the world without living, trying not to exist. One cynic described liberalism as "idealism without conviction"; no wonder Osama thought there was nothing to stop him. Surprise, surprise.

8/25/2005 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger kthome23 said...

Kurilla definately sounds like a stand up guy! Hope he recovers soon. I would imagine he's going to kick the .... out of the two that were froze.

I would like Yon to talk to the two newbies that froze up, not to harass them, but to get their prospective on what was happening in their own mind.

What would be an 'entertaining' match up would be Kurilla and Bin Laden! :)

8/25/2005 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Remember the 'Bionic Runner' from the last episode? Wonder if he got treated worse then the Opfor member that shot the LTC

this excerpted from Yon's work

"...The terrorist turned out to be one Khalid Jasim Nohe, who had first been captured by US forces (2-8 FA) on 21 December, the same day a large bomb exploded in the dining facility on this base and killed 22 people.

That December day, Khalid Jasim Nohe and two compatriots tried to evade US soldiers from 2-8 FA, but the soldiers managed to stop the fleeing car. Then one of the suspects tried to wrestle a weapon from a soldier before all three were detained. They were armed with a sniper rifle, an AK, pistols, a silencer, explosives and other weapons, and had in their possession photographs of US bases, including a map of this base.

That was in December.

About two weeks ago, word came that Nohe's case had been dismissed by a judge on 7 August. The Coalition was livid. According to American officers, solid cases are continually dismissed without apparent cause. Whatever the reason, the result was that less than two weeks after his release from Abu Ghraib, Nohe was back in Mosul shooting at American soldiers.

LTC Kurilla repeatedly told me of--and I repeatedly wrote about--terrorists who get released only to cause more trouble. Kurilla talked about it almost daily. Apparently, the vigor of his protests had made him an opponent of some in the Army's Detention Facilities chain of command, but had otherwise not changed the policy. And now Kurilla lay shot and in surgery in the same operating room with one of the catch-and-release-terrorists he and other soldiers had been warning everyone about. ..."

The Mosul Police could not have done worse with the 'Bionic Runner' than we did with Khalid Jasim Nohe.

Time to toughen up or come home, or preferably, both.

8/25/2005 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Kurilla and the men of Deuce Four are indeed heros, I wish them continued success in overcoming a hate-filled enemy. Mike Yon's dispatches are gripping and intense, thank god someone is there telling it as it is.

8/25/2005 06:24:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

And back of "Gates of Fire" lies "Thermoplyae"....

The judges over in Iraq sound like they are Ivy League graduates, like totally sensitive and multicultural, dude.

The nice thing about Yon's report is that the Bad Guy, though alive and in a modern hospital, is now a eunuch. This has to have some effect on his status among his fellow "insurgents."

8/25/2005 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

wrethard, I think OBL's taunt was not necessarily an indictment of America's armed forces but rather of the resolve of her political leadership. And judging by the spinelessness eminating from some quarters of our loyal opposition(after an attack on our own soil mind you), I'd say he was spot on. Guess he too, misunderestimated the crazy cowboy from Crawford.

8/25/2005 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

desert rat,

Even at the high end, prisoners go in one door at Guantanamo and leave by another, sometimes to strike again. But some will complain that the Khalid Jasim Nohes don't get enough due process. Gulag. American barbarians, and so forth.

Which is why, were it not for specifics such as are supplied by people like Yon, or pointed out by posters like you, the whole thing would pass unnoticed into the Memory Hole. As it stands the whole thing is an indictment of the accusation. It's a testament to the lie that 'we're just as much against terrorists as you are'.

Now soldiers can't fight this informational battle. If Yon gets into trouble for picking up a rifle, soldiers get into trouble for picking up a keyboard. So even though it isn't as exciting, the process of getting at the truth, sifting fact from fiction, engaging in analysis and getting the word out is important. Unless the physical efforts of men are turned into ideas their sacrifice will be in vain.

8/25/2005 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Also, this civil war within the US is one between the Ivy League "Elites", and the rest of 'em.

Thus, the soldiers have to put up with the Educated Elite allowing the Terrorist Murderers to go free, back on the street to fight and kill again. The Educated Elite, of course, is NOT on the street, it is back in a comfy hotel in the Green zone, complaining about the hot Iraqi weather, and sneering at the Coalition soldiers as low grade morons who have nothing better to do with their dull little lives than enlist and fight in Iraq.

I truly hope that this Yon story comes to the attention of the President and Rumsfeld. Those judges should be court martialed.

8/25/2005 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

What will the reaction be to the two young soldiers who froze up? One of them was being mentored to take over his own group -- is that likely to happen now? In the real world, do soldiers who behave this way once get a second chance, or are they firmly shuttled aside and ignored as being too dangerous to be around?

8/25/2005 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger kthome23 said...

Heather,

"The nice thing about Yon's report is that the Bad Guy, though alive and in a modern hospital, is now a eunuch."

Pfhhh.hahhaha!! LOL! Nice :)!!

8/25/2005 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Perhaps it is time for more summary executions after perfunctory interrogations, as a new policy. This revolving door policy for murdering terrorists is getting too many good men killed.

8/25/2005 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Wonder how long Kurilla is out for? Or if he'll ever be back. Wonder who takes over for him? What an incredible loss. On the ground partially incapacitated in front of the terrorists for what, at least 5 minutes? With no support from the 2 rookies?Superhuman. Someone looking out for that guy. The shame the rookies must be feeling right now...

Seeing as that was the rookies first encounter I would imagine they get a 2nd chance. Failing that someone from Deuce 4 should enlist Mike.

8/25/2005 07:16:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The problem with releasing terrorists who have been caught in the act because they cannot be convicted under civilian due process exacerbates the problem of the "Ace Factor". I can't find the online reference to it, but air combat statistics show that the vast majority of aerial kills are accounted for by a small number of people, the so-called "aces".

If you read Yon's account, you will see how the "aces" stand out. Khalid Jasim Nohe is clearly an ace. So is Yon. Look at his pics. No shake. Personally I probably couldn't even find the shutter at a moment like that. Look at Kurilla and that Sergeant Major. Aces and the rest were simply not there. But it is also statistically true that new arrivals to the battlefield tend to rise to another plane after their first combat. Chances are that the rookies will be alright. Hence, a lot of effort is spent getting them over the hump after which their prospects of survival improve dramatically. But I digress.

The point is that releasing an experienced enemy combatant is to release an enemy ace, almost by definition. From an operations research point of view this is the most destructive thing you can do to your own side. The solution is to create some kind of long-term detention system. But that's what Guantanamo Bay was supposed to be and the Left is slowly but surely dismantling it. The consequences were predictable, but it took an embedded blogger to highlight it. The Memory Hole would have swallowed the data.

8/25/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

heather
By my reading it was the Iraqi judges that released the Terrorist.

So, eventually, all the prisoners are turned over to the Iraqi Courts, or so it seems. Well, rest assured that Khalid Jasim Nohe will not have woman's panties placed on his head, in fact no one will be allowed laugh at his current disability, except US.
The LTC could lose his leg, at worse. Khalid Jasim Nohe will find Allah's allocated Fruit Basket, eventually. The Virgins being beyond his present and future capacity.
Praise be to allah

8/25/2005 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

One other thing. I described the "cliff" function evident in IED attacks. Seventy five percent of IEDs attacks produce no casualties at all. Twenty five percent are deadly. It doesn't shade off like some continuous function, but looks like a discrete distribution.

Maybe that's because we are really looking at two distributions. The attacks by the unwashed and the enemy aces. I wouldn't be surprised to find if a small number of enemy fighters account for the vast majority of American casualties. I would be unsurprised to learn that at least some of these have already been in custody then later released.

8/25/2005 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

What REALLY Frosts me is what the NYC ACLU and "Human Rights Watch/Amnesty" attorneys have accomplished, beyond making soldiers reluctant to shoot and take down fleeing attackers and in the case of two cowards that refused to move to rescue their wounded LT Colonel Kurilla because maybe they feared that a NYC attorney never in combat would seek to presecute and ruin them if they charged into the house the gunfire was coming from and killed a "innocent, noble Iraqi" is this:

One of the very same fleeing terrorists that tried killing a squad, then fled and no one dared shoot at him because of lawyers Rules of Engangement given he dropped his visible firearm, then maimed the LTC with a bullet shattered femur was a terrorist that had past involvement in killing 22 Americans and maiming 38 with a bomb - but was let go by a judge after being caught red-handed with an arsenal after fleeing the Dec mess hall attack in Mosul.

The two soldiers that refused to rescue their senior commander froze up, and were not reprimanded, even though they cowered 60 feet away from their commander who was fighting for his life against a fantic terrorist trying to finish him off. The reporter, Michael Yon, who did pick up a firearm was threatened with permanent removal for picking up arms and trying to rescue the LTC and "violating" his agreement as a field writer.

I hope Michael Yon names the judge.

I hope the judge pays in some way. Formally, or informally.

If 22 Americans die in a suicide bombing, with 38 more maimed and cleanup partially consists of troops with shovels loading American GI hamburger into several body bags....and we catch terrorists involved in it red handed, but they are released 8 months later...I would prefer that enabling judge meets informal justice.

I hope that the Bush Administration realizes that they could not write a script that shows how to better demoralize US soldiers by springing their mortal enemies, crafting absurd ROE, and ignoring cowards actions while threatening the career of a reporter who had the guts to pick up a weapon when they froze and try to save a wounded Colonel from being finished off by a terrorist.

8/25/2005 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

The new guys or at least the potential platoon leader were facing the crucible of small unit combat that makes or breaks leaders.Kurilla sounds like a wonderful battalion commander who utterly gets it and recognizes not only the enemy but who can hang and who can't in his subordinates.Hopefully his unit is rotating out as he'll be nearly impossible to replace.In a perfect world a guy like that would be at the top of command one day(maybe when we're engaging the Chinese).In the politically correct army today a guy like that might never advance very far.
The Sergeant Major is definitely an old school NCO who will charge into hell for his commander.
Listening to the demented Mrs. Sheehan and the spineless pols and media ,these guys and Michael Yon make you want to sing "America the Beautiful"

8/25/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Used to instruct Guats and Hondos in mechanical ambushes at the School of the Americas and US troops at the Jungle Warfare School @ Fort Sherman, CZ.

Det cord and Claymores were the usual tools of choice, for training 'light infantry'. Some people love to work with demo while others are deathly afraid of it.
Covering Avenues of Approach and Secondary explosives placement for follow on charges are pretty standard fare, even for the most elementary training.

Instigate the ambush mechanically, light weapons fire at the ambushed force, attempting to get the survivors to "rush the ambushers"
Set off the secondary claymores to stymie the counter attack. Det cord lightly covered in the bar ditches of the road, injuring any Opfor laying on it, in the cover of the ditch.

8/25/2005 07:55:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I looked at some of the details in Yon's account here. Can anyone shed some light on the east Mosul situation?

8/25/2005 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I posted this in previous thread, heard on hewitt when relative of the Major called in.
---
'Rat,
Just heard Major Mark Bieger in Yon piece is from Phoenix!
...been there about 9 months, maybe you'll get to see him soon.

---
I cannot imagine anything being more demoralizing than the legal/pc cloud hanging over everyone.
We've gone way beyond reason and decency.

8/25/2005 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I loved Michael Yon's post. I read it this morning the second time he put it up after some initial corrections and this evening posted it over at freerepublic.

But I am struck by the lengths to which the US soldiers go to even the playing field to their own detriment. Would the Jihadistas be impressed by mercy? Wouldn't they rather think that a sign of weakness since they are so merciless to themselves.

By way of constrast consider the post at 365 and a wake up The author describes patrolling in a1 Abrams Tank. Everything is quiet around the tank because no one wants to come out to play.
///////////////////
We spent most of the morning patrolling one of most fearsome roads in sector without hearing a single shot. For a few hours that contested piece of road was as quiet and still as a mountain lake, the insurgents knew that tangling with the Abrams was a sure path to the next life. Standing there in the turret, surrounded by tons of thick armor I could understand why so many tankers are loathe to dismount their vehicles. Inside those overpowered fortresses you don’t protect terrain – you dominate it. The M1 leaves the insurgents utterly impotent; all they can do is crawl into a corner and wait for you to leave. And that is the essence of power – defeating the enemy without ever firing a shot.

/////////////
Of course in both cases it can be said that "the enemy is rendered impotent"The point of this piece different from that of Yon's piece.

8/25/2005 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Jeff,

Thanks for this link. The guys running that blog are thinking like analysts, unafraid to connect dots, show up contradictions, infer what must be true or very probable and ready to doubt. It's funny about their interest in the Pressfield book. It is flowery but good. I'd read it in the corner of the house so no one could see me cry.

8/25/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Catch and Release:


"That December day, Khalid Jasim Nohe and two compatriots tried to evade US soldiers from 2-8 FA, but the soldiers managed to stop the fleeing car. Then one of the suspects tried to wrestle a weapon from a soldier before all three were detained. They were armed with a sniper rifle, an AK, pistols, a silencer, explosives and other weapons, and had in their possession photographs of US bases, including a map of this base.

"That was in December.

"About two weeks ago, word came that Nohe's case had been dismissed by a judge on 7 August. The Coalition was livid. According to American officers, solid cases are continually dismissed without apparent cause. Whatever the reason, the result was that less than two weeks after his release from Abu Ghraib, Nohe was back in Mosul shooting at American soldiers.

"LTC Kurilla repeatedly told me of--and I repeatedly wrote about--terrorists who get released only to cause more trouble. Kurilla talked about it almost daily. Apparently, the vigor of his protests had made him an opponent of some in the Army's Detention Facilities chain of command, but had otherwise not changed the policy. And now Kurilla lay shot and in surgery in the same operating room with one of the catch-and-release-terrorists he and other soldiers had been warning everyone about."

Given the few but significant details of Nohe's first capture, he would have been readily identified as a combatant. As a matter of doctrine and of simple self-preservation, he would be held indefinitely. His "case" wouldn't come before a Coalition judge; there is no "case" as such. The Coalition doesn't try combatants in Iraq.

Yon says that Nohe's release angered "the Coalition." Who was the Coalition angry with? Itself - for its own catch-and-release policy?

Are the Iraqis now reviewing and adjudicating Coalition battlefield captures for possible later trial? Yon's mention of a US soldier who goes to court to testify against an Iraqi identified on the battlefield indicates that this is the case.

This comes to mind after a recent Parameters article by a Stryker Bde officer recently returned who states that the Iraqi judicial system is notoriously weak - something of a revolving door for criminals and insurgents.

Was the judge who let Nohe go an Iraqi judge?

8/25/2005 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger luminary said...

You can make a throne of bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long.' - Boris Yeltsin

8/25/2005 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Wretchard,

Then I'll say thank you to you! The link I posted about dissecting Gates of Fire was from my blog.

I am no analyst, no intel guy, I haven't been in the service. Just have a dear relative serving in Iraq, and these things interest me.

I've been reading your site for a long time, and am an admirer.

8/25/2005 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Don't be too harsh on the two who didn't react in the desired manner. From all I have heard/read (no personal experience) that is an extremely common reaction for individuals in their first situation like that, and does not indicate at all what kind of soldier they will turn into.

8/25/2005 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

When teaching I sometimes found it hard to make my judgements stick. I would fail a student only to find him the next level in the next term. I do not recall the corrections ever being stopped but someone was "helping".

A top level administrator was sacked because he tried to eject a student from the University because he was unable to pass our program in four years of trying. I was able to get "stones" to pass with extra attention (proper help) and encouragement. If a student couldn't pass in one go they were pitiful, if a student was there for years on end trying to escape our program then...

We are not just rying to change a system of government but a culture, an outlook on life as well.

It is hard to say. The judge may have known the now nutless wonder's brother or cousin, or may have hailed from the same tribe or some other tenuous connection.

8/25/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

charles
The enemy may be impotent when the M1 cruises by, but being in hiding is not the same as being defeated.
So while the enemy did not engage the M1, they were by no means defeated without a shot.
That is one of the problems of using Conventional Force to combat an Insurgency. The Tankers think they won the day and successfully completed the mission. The Opfor survives and prepares, waiting for a HUMVEE or dismounted infantry or an Iraqi police patrol, unaffected by the combat power of the M1 back in the motor pool.

8/25/2005 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Fear and drawing back is a common occurance in first exposure to fire.Its more of an issue for the potential platoon leader.His failure to advance under fire almost cost the life of Kurilla,a very popular commander.It seems to me that it would be highly unlikely he could effectively lead in that unit now.The only way he could gain the men's respect would be through incredible acts of courage which might be viewed as recklessness to prove a point.
New lieutenants are nearly always viewed with skepticism by their men.Starting out with an act of perceived cowardice is nearly impossible to overcome.

8/25/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Please tell me that Iraqis are not in a position to free Iraqis - those, at least, who are are captured and positively identified by us as combatants - to kill more Coaliton soldiers.

8/25/2005 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I cannot tell a lie, Trish, so cannot fulfill your request, just join you in disgust and revulsion.

8/25/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rational ROE would then be kill all terrorists on sight, as they are a threat to your safety for the rest of their lives when there is no justice.

8/25/2005 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"It is hard to say."

It's not hard to say at all, marcus.

Identified combatants - OUR CAPTURES - are being released in a theater of war to kill and wound MORE OF US.

Who are they being released by?

8/25/2005 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Peace Like A River:Dissecting Gates of Fire

Last detail I'd like to look at, Yon says this:


When Kurilla woke in recovery a few hours after surgery, he called CSM Prosser and asked for a Bible and the book: Gates of Fire. Kurilla gives a copy of Gates of Fire to every new officer and orders them to read it. He had given me a copy and told me to read it. In my book, there is a marked passage, which I thought rather flowery. But I have it beside me on the table by the map of Iraq.

"I would be the one. The one to go back and speak. A pain beyond all previous now seized me. Sweet life itself, even the desperately sought chance to tell the tale, suddenly seemed unendurable alongside the pain of having to take leave of these whom I had come so to love."


The book, Gates of Fire, is written by Steven Pressfield.

(This link to Amazon came through GMT Games, a game company with which I have no affiliation, other than as a customer.)

Why might Kurilla, a leader of men, find special meaning in this book?

The book is fiction, a historical novel, but describes the famous battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. In a narrow mountain pass, 300 Spartans,led by Leonidas, and their allies held back a massive Persian invasion force. This force was wiped out.

It is a brilliant novel. Kurilla must have been touched by the account of Leonidas, and his difficult task of leading men in this perilous situation, one fraught with mortal danger.

In the book, Leonidas says this:


"You are the commanders, your men will look to you and act as you do. Let no officer keep to himself or his brother officers, but circulate daylong among his men. Let them see you and see you unafraid. Where there is work to do, turn your hand to it first; the men will follow."


Kurilla was that kind of man. He was the first man down that alley.

It is instructive that Yon highlighted the passage he did. The passage is taken from Chapter One. The words are from a character named Xeones. Xeones is the narrator of the novel. He survives the battle, and lives to tell the tale of what happened in that mountain pass.

Yon is that person as well. He sees himself as the one who will witness battle and return to tell others about it. He is the one who brings back to us tales of unbelievable courage. Without him, we would know very little of the courage of the men who put their lives on the line for us. God bless Yon, and God bless our Armed Forces.

Today, there is a famous monument at the site of the battle, and an epitaph on the monument says this:


Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
that here, obedient to their laws, we lie


Yes, Michael, go tell all of us of the courage of those who serve to defend us.
http://www.jeffkouba.com/myblog/2005/08/dissecting-gates-of-fire.html

8/25/2005 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Iraqi Judges, from what I understand, Trish.

8/25/2005 09:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trangbang68,
I had a friend who was there when you were, as a Doc.
He said while he held other's lives in his hands, he had no qualms about putting his safety in the hands of a Marine Lieutenant.
Like you say, that 2nd should never lead those troops, if any.

8/25/2005 09:35:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Please tell me that Iraqis are not in a position to free Iraqis

One wonders how much Iraqi judges make ... since there seems to be quite a lot of free money floating around -- from left-over Saddam's stash, from trouble-making Iranians, and from fanatical Saudi's.

And if this terrorist *is* an ace, who would be willing to pay how much to bail him out.

Hell, he's probably on CBS's payroll!

8/25/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gabriel said...

Wow OBL's comments could have come straight from the mouth of Xerexes himself.

8/25/2005 09:52:00 PM  
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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/25/2005 09:52:00 PM  
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8/25/2005 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

nahncee,

What I read is that while the police are corrupt, the judges are more in fear of their lives. These are not mutually exclusive categories, of course.

I'm still trying to absorb the idea - and I very much hope I'm wrong about it - that OUR CAPTURES are being reviewed and adjudicated and released by those who...

...(are supposed to be on the side of those, or that, that we're fighting for)...

Holy shit.

8/25/2005 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Iraq on brink of meltdown.

In what appeared to be an attempt to inflame sectarian tensions, the bodies of 37 Shia soldiers, killed with a single bullet to the head, were found in a shallow river south of Baghdad, the latest of several such grim discoveries. Police said they had been stripped to their underwear.

The constitutional vacuum drew in another opponent of federalism, the firebrand Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who was responsible for two uprisings in the south last summer but who has since been quiet.
At least 12 people were killed as his Mahdi Army militia clashed with members of the Iranian-linked Badr Brigade in six cities and a Baghdad suburb. Sadr has now formed common cause with the Sunnis, fearing that federalism will play into the hands of Iran.

The Badr Brigade is the armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which dominated the elections. It wants the southern states to become a semi-autonomous region with partial control over its revenues and security.

The speed of the violence underlined that even a "defeated" militia such as Sadr's still has a formidable arsenal and that the security forces are nowhere to be seen when the fighting starts.

8/25/2005 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

I froze for about five seconds in my first combat. The brain just goes into overload w/ all the input, the body locks up and it's like a dream where you can't run or even pick up a boot.

About second number three I "perceived" the point man and the two others in front of me begin to fire and run. I was two steps into running when my brain said, "Oh yeah. Always attack and ambush." Then SOP and training kicked in and I was ok from then on.

Afterwards, my team SGT said, "Ya done good EL TEE. You'll get faster." It was his way of telling me that he had seen the freeze and that it was alright.

8/25/2005 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Unholy, to be precise.

8/25/2005 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That bullet whizzing by the Lt's head was unfortunate in the extreme.

8/25/2005 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

hey, Charles, that 9:26 gave me the chills...you're writing some stuff, man.

8/25/2005 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I think that's Jeff's stuff, Bud.

8/25/2005 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Oops, sorry Jeff.

Andrew--Stephen Crane made a whole novel out of that freeze moment--The Red Badge of Courage--stood up the hair on the neck of many a generation of American kids. With more to come, if the schools still allow it on the premises.

8/25/2005 10:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

doug
as you say the Badr Corps is "the armed wing of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, which dominated the elections."
So why have these armed and semi-trained militiamen not been inducted into the ISF?.
Now they are the armed wing of the Governing Political Party, with NO secular Iraqi Government oversight. No direct or even indirect US funding and no control, even through purse strings.
These militias should have been Federalized two years ago, not left to roam their cities as psuedo security men.
Another botched counter Insurgency move by whomever made that decision.
Last year all the reports were that Sadr was a front man for the Iranians, now he sides with the Sunni. Are the Iranians going to back an even larger Sunni Insurgency, using the Constitutional Crisis the Sunni manufacture to rally further civilian support.
My hope was that we would offer enough enticements to the Sunni leadership that they would 'roll over'. If that proves to be a false hope, and the Iranians begin to use the Sunnis as Proxies, well Sally bar the door, cause this dance is just starting.

8/25/2005 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Buddy Larsen said...
hey, Charles, that 9:26 gave me the chills...you're writing some stuff, man.

10:23 PM
//////////
ummm yeah that jeff from "Peace Like a River" There's a couple links on the post to his site. Good writing. Great reference to Thermopoli. Sobering thoughts.

8/25/2005 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Glad you made that post, 'Rat, 'cause I had trouble believing what I was reading, as I had the same expectation as you, namely that the Sadr/Iran connection was what we had to fear:
Now I have no idea what NOT to fear, if that report is true.

8/26/2005 12:13:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

The freeze is to be expected. After the first few engagments you loosen up. Full speed live fire MOUT helps a lot. Those two guys will be ok.

If you've hunted pigs in the brush at close quarters with a newby, its the same thing. Pigs running in all directions and people firing everywhere. Newby just stands there while the pigs hide behind him. Heh.

Yon may need to come home. The stress is showing on him and the Chaplain's reaction tells a lot.

While I might have picked up the rifle, I most certainly would have put my Sergeant's boot in the LT's ass first.

The 5.56 round has to be replaced. The 6.8 or 7.62 is better. Better yet, reissue the .45 carbine for CQB.

If CSM Presser had had a .45 - either a 1911 or a 45 Carbine, the Eunuch would be wrapped in linen by now.

8/26/2005 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just listening to Yoni talking to Hugh:
Said he would have thanked Mike for saving his men.
Also said given that they are letting them go, the only thing to do is kill them.
Hugh disagrees.
I disagree w/a policy that regularly gets our men killed unnecessarily.
Better a murderous terrorist than a heroic GI.
Sometimes the "high ground" is immoral.

8/26/2005 01:06:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

I've finished the day with a few alcoholic beverages, so I'm in the mood for a different point of view.

Would it be safe to say that this battle ended in a safe house for insurgents? Details...

A writer grabs a gun? A moment of celebration and a moment to consider something much more important.

We gave a farmer back his gun and not shooting him was praised as an act of good judgement.

We don't shoot people solely because they flee.

Why would the "Gates of Fire" have any importance at all?

Some would think that all of this represents chaos, spontaneous reaction to uncontrollable and mysterious actions.

At the lowest levels closest to the action our fighting forces are dealing with the simple and the complex with an efficiency that is frightening to some, and a source of pride for others.

I'm proud, and a bit more optimistic tonight.

We wait for a constitution and a vote. When we succeed I will owe it all to a Republican, Christian, cowboy, born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and a small group of neocons.

I'll give credit where credit is due even though I'm an atheist and a Democrat.

I feel good.

8/26/2005 01:15:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hugh's next caller was a Sgt with the 35th Infantry here in Hawaii.
He hadn't heard or read the story yet, but mentioned a Sgt there was a former roommate, Hugh asked "what's his name?"
Sarge replies,
"Prosser" !
Hugh mentions a little about the hand to hand action, Sarge says,
"That's my guy!"
...think he'll be reading the whole piece!

8/26/2005 01:22:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Desert Rat said,

"So why have these armed and semi-trained militiamen not been inducted into the ISF?.
Now they are the armed wing of the Governing Political Party, with NO secular Iraqi Government oversight. No direct or even indirect US funding and no control, even through purse strings."

The answer is rather simple. It is because their allegience may shift according to the political wind. You should know this already.

The guys shaping policy and working behind the scenes to create the 'wind' aren't fools or ignorant.

They could still fail, but to reduce their decisions to incompetence, is doing them a great injustice.

8/26/2005 01:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ugly Scene - Cleric Urges an End to Clashes

8/26/2005 02:11:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Captain Ed,
"Does this demonstrate why we need detention facilities like Guantanamo Bay and should remain firm that terrorists don't get released -- ever?
Unlawful combatants need to remain imprisoned for life. Otherwise, we wind up fighting them again, and even worse, they wound and kill America's finest as soon as they get free. Patton once said that he didn't like tactical withdrawals because he didn't like paying for the same real estate twice. We need to change our way of thinking to a war footing and understand that when we let these lunatics go free, we're paying for the same real estate twice or more, and the price we pay are commanders like Lt. Col. Kurilla."

8/26/2005 02:26:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

I have to admit that I find watching the Belmont Club reaction to the idea of a soldier wrestling with a terrorist "hand to hand" with rapt attention to details about wrist watches and teeth marks a bit amusing. I'm not saying that I find the life and death struggle between two men amusing just the general reaction here to such a struggle. Add to that the almost mystical quality attached to this same soldiers appreciation for a novel called "Gates of Fire" which is about the Battle of Thermopylae.
I guess that's why I love this forum.

Have you ever been in a fight?
Have you read the Art of War or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? What is your scariest moment?

8/26/2005 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

If the Iraqis, our "allies," are letting go combatants during hostilities - and if we, who provide the main fighting force, are silent partners in that mind-boggling betrayal - then this farce better damn well be over very, very soon.

8/26/2005 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

re desert rat's comment Last year all the reports were that Sadr was a front man for the Iranians, now he sides with the Sunni. Are the Iranians going to back an even larger Sunni Insurgency, using the Constitutional Crisis the Sunni manufacture to rally further civilian support.

Shiites and Sunnis generally don't get along. But the one thing that really terrifies the Iranian mullahs is the thought of independent Shiite opinion leaders who are not under their control, and who could serve as a voice of opposition to their rule in Iran.

A Shiite-led pluralistic democratic republic next door is not something they want to see. As such it is to their advantage to support the Sunnis in Iraq

8/26/2005 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

abakan

Yes, read Sun Tzu's "Art of War a number of times, as well as Musashhi's "A Book of the Five Rings" which is, I think superior for the individual soldier. Still have copies of both.
Been in more than a few fights, mostly fist, but a couple, three were gun fights. Scariest moment occurred while flying in a Shithook helicopter.

The Battle of Thermopylae is a story of self sacrifice for a cause greater than one's self, which is at the core of being a soldier. Granted most modern soldiers do not sacrifice as much as the Spartans did, at Thermopylae.

To rush through a door, not sure of what is on the other side, firing as you move is an exciting and scary thing. The danger, the unknowns that lurk beyond the doorway, gives a stomach churn and adrenaline rush unlike any other.

There is danger outside the wire, and that is what some, not all or even most, soldiers live and/or die for.

I know that this can be hard for civilians, those that have never served, to understand, sometimes.

8/26/2005 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Ditto, trish. I think you have just hit upon the breaking point for me in how/when do we pull out: when not only the Iraqi Bad Guys are trying to kill us, but the Iraqi Good Guys are, too.

And if the Iraqi's don't take it any more seriously than that, then why the hell should we???

8/26/2005 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

This sort of combat brings to mind that famous picture of the Vietnam War, with the South Vietnamese Chief of Intelligence shooting a captured enemy fighter in the head.
That picture convined many that the South Vietnamese were not worth saving. It did not go down the Memory Hole but remains, floating on the edge of consciousness in the anti-war crowd.
What has gone down the Memory Hole is that execution took place among the chaos of the Tet Offensive, and that the enemy agent that was summarily put to death had just been captured in the act of blowing up a school bus full of children.
In my mind, shooting that piece of walking filth in the head showed remarkable strength and compassion.
Under the same circumstances I would have shot him in a place a lot lower and let him die a bit more slowly.

8/26/2005 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

nahncee & trish

It is Iraq
It is an Iraqi challenge
There is an Iraqi solution, we just have to force them to take responsibility for themselves.

If you read the "Authorization for Use of Force" you will see that we have accomplished ALL the Goals set forth in it.

Authorization for Use of Force

Moving the Goal Posts is done by both sides in the Politics of this Conflict.

At this point using 130,000 US troops as sugar to attract flies, and to then not kill the flies we attract is counter productive.

We have been following the wrong course in Iraq for almost two years. The past and current Commanders have had their opportunities and done poorly.

Baghdad's Airport Road is symbolic in that we have occupied Baghdad for well over two years and it is still not secured for travel.
That is a microcosm of a failure of Command that is really of monumental proportions.

8/26/2005 06:47:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

This is like someone saying a school bully isn't very tough, then the bully goes and beats up some kids 5 years younger and half his size, and says, "see I'm tough!".

On the whole you can't say the US is winning anything in Iraq. The resistance is really kicking their ass. If not for the noble resistance of everyday Iraqis sick of occupation, Iraq would be the neo-liberal playground that Cheney hoped it would be, oil would be flowing at full capacity, and the US military would have built bases across the country which they could use to threaten neighbouring countries. Considering the US isn't even remotely close to any of those goals, it's pretty clear they're losing badly to basically a bunch of angry kids with rusted old guns and makeshift bombs. If the resistance had apache warcopters, stealth bombers, body armour, etc. the US would really be in trouble.

8/26/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger nellodee said...

Sir, you gotta read this from Tigerhawk.
http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2005/08/considering-dissent-and-limited-war.html

8/26/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"If the resistance had apache warcopters, stealth bombers, body armour, etc. the US would really be in trouble."
Yes, we would really be in trouble.
But only with the antiwar crowd and the U.N.
Because the terrorists and ALL of the nations that gave them all of that stuff would ALL be dead.
6 Aug 1945.
That is how we handle the big bullys.
What an idiot.

8/26/2005 07:03:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

abakan
with regards'The answer is rather simple. It is because their allegience may shift according to the political wind. You should know this already.

The guys shaping policy and working behind the scenes to create the 'wind' aren't fools or ignorant.

They could still fail, but to reduce their decisions to incompetence, is doing them a great injustice"

To leave 50,000 armed and organized militiamen outside the Government Security Force is incompetent. That Force should have been disbanded or co-opted, years ago. We did neither.

As Mao wrote "Little Red Book"
'Political Power Grows Out of the Barrel of a Gun'. In a state of flux, such as Iraq, combat power must remain a monopoly of the State.

That we allowed others, in Iraq, to maintain combat power, outside the State's control is, was and will continue to be a sign that the decision makers are incompetent.

8/26/2005 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Perhaps a review of the process (as we can glean it from Yon's accounts) might be in order prior to fixing the blame on the perfidious Iraqis.

1. Taken into custody

A. Status determination by US personnel

i. determined to be a bystander through preliminary field interrogation - released

ii. determined to be a bad guy - complete field interrogation and immediate action based upon information gathered

iii. disposition - returned to base for further interrogation and then turned over to Army Detention Facilities for further processing.

2. Army Detention Facilities

A. Assumes responsibility for prisoner

i. receives prisoner and field evaluation - I believe that this is the process point at which Col. Kurila believes that significant errors are being made

ii. continues interrogation and makes a disposition decision concerning the "level of danger" the prisoner poses

a. Retains prisoner for further interrogation

b. Delivers prisoner to Iraqi authorities for charge and trial - one of the factors in this story is that Col. Kurila's RTO was testifying in court against a couple of other mutts taken two months previously

Col. Kurila's ire was reserved for Army Detention Facilities - the same folks responsible for Abu Ghraib.

Perhaps justice was suborned through the Iraqi Criminal Court system - but the evidence is not in this piece.

8/26/2005 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

well - iotm has shown his true colors once again...

why don't you go kill some children and enjoy the kudos of your muslim brothers

8/26/2005 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Tlear said...

The two guys that froze displayed the normal reaction. I never been in combat but I think I can understand. My first parachute jump was a free fall jump with an instructor jumping beside me, not the normal line jump. 30 sec free fall then I had to open the parachute myself. The sensory overload is immense, your mind struggles to keep to the training trying to count and check altimeter. There is no fear, just mind strugling to comprehend whats going on.

After jump you have to write a recount of what you did. I couldnt remember anything right after the jump. 30 sec of basicly blank, only later I started figuring out that I opened too early, at about 23 seconds I thought I was already way over the 30 second limit.

Erich Hartmann highest scoring air ace of all time was shot down on his first sortie and was extremely lucky to survive the belly landing. Wretchard is 100% correct, "aces" score the vast majority of the kills, by allowing enemy aces to gain experience and survive US is making a huge mistake. If Russians could finish him off there would never be incredible 352 victories that he scored.

8/26/2005 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rick,
Where did you learn that?
---
'Rat,
Here is my post after yours at Tigherhawks.
Catchy,
There is no proof that the majority of protesters love America.
Desert Rat loves America, I love America, but a majority of "anti war activists" define themselves as America Haters then protest when anyone complains about their lack of patriotism.
Most are so ignorant as to be beneath contempt, but they still lend aid and comfort.

8/26/2005 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tlear,
That 2nd lieutenant looked like he was moving foreward until a bullet hit the wall within 18 inches of his head!
Can't blame ANYONE for ducking from that, esp a newby.

8/26/2005 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tlear,
And God would not have made perfectly good aircraft only to have men jump out of them.

8/26/2005 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger iotm said...

OK, the US has killed what, 100,000+ people in Iraq? I'm calling for Iraqis to fight this violence and I'm a bad guy?

This has nothing to do with being Muslim and your comment to that effect shows how much of a hateful racist you are. Islam is a bullshit religion almost as bad as Christianity. I see people as humans, unlike you lot who see Americans, then everyone else. There are things called humans rights, you lot don't believe in that. You believe only morons who self-labotomize and echo the US government are worthy of rights.

People have a right to fight repression and occupation. That's what Iraqis are doing by attacking and often killing American soldiers. If you think these soldiers are "children", you should probably support their withdrawal from Iraq. I don't want American soldiers to die, so I support withdrawal. If they stay there though, I fully support the resistance's right to fight them with everything they've got, not only soldiers but any foreign profit-takers who want to help with the neo-liberalization agenda. Iraqi collaboraters are fair game too.

Funny how you theo-cons mock anti-war types as being timid pacifists, yet the idea of someone daring to resist the violent American Empire with violence of it's own sickens you and you call for complete pacifism.

Such hypocrisy. Of course most people on this site are now utterly terrified of me, and simply ignore my impalations of their logical contradictions, what else can you do I guess? Clearly calling me names, like everyone rallied to do when I first appeared here didn't faze me.

There's nothing more scary to thoughtless idealists who simply absorb their opinions from the authorities as some honest debate. I offered it up, everyone on this site, especially the author of the articles, tucked their tails between their legs and ran and hid.

8/26/2005 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Charles and Buddy, thanks for your kind words. I see Hugh Hewitt has now linked to it as well.

Tlear - That's a great point about not letting the enemy build up their experience pool. In Yon's piece, it's too bad Prosser wasn't able to fully throttle the guy into Paradise.

8/26/2005 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat,
Maybe you could defend yourself against a following comment at Tigerhawk's.
As in,
You are not calling for an immediate pullout, right?
---
I am calling for an immediate cessation of sacrificing American lives for insanities such as almost took Kurilla's life.
PC justice is sometimes worse than no justice at all.

8/26/2005 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Moti=Moron,
Gay, or Otherwise.

8/26/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Moti, I am not a theocon, I am a member of the violent American Empire.

8/26/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Of course most people on this site are now utterly terrified of me, and simply ignore my impalations of their logical contradictions, what else can you do I guess? "
---
Moti,
I am terrified because I thought I knew English, but I was obviously mistaken since I have no idea what an impalation is.

8/26/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Doug,

I think he's trying to parlay Idiot Of The Month into Idiot Of The Year. You have to admit he's up against some stiff competition.

Wrt - how do I know?

Yon's reports supplied everthing up to the handover from base to Army Detention Facilities. Here is a precis on what's going on after the handover.

Just dot connecting.

8/26/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Oh how times, they is a changing...

“In a future war involving U.S. soldiers what would a TV reporter do if he learned the enemy troops with which he was traveling were about to launch a surprise attack on an American unit? That's just the question Harvard University professor Charles Ogletree Jr, as moderator of PBS' Ethics in America series, posed to ABC anchor Peter Jennings and 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace. Both agreed getting ambush footage for the evening news would come before warning the U.S. troops.
For the March 7 installment on battlefield ethics Ogletree set up a theoretical war between the North Kosanese and the U.S.-supported South Kosanese. At first Jennings responded: "If I was with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans."
Wallace countered that other reporters, including himself, "would regard it simply as another story that they are there to cover." Jennings' position bewildered Wallace: "I'm a little bit of a loss to understand why, because you are an American, you would not have covered that story."
"Don't you have a higher duty as an American citizen to do all you can to save the lives of soldiers rather than this journalistic ethic of reporting fact?" Ogletree asked. Without hesitating Wallace responded: "No, you don't have higher duty... you're a reporter." This convinces Jennings, who concedes, "I think he's right too, I chickened out."
Ogletree turns to Brent Scrowcroft, now the National Security Adviser, who argues "you're Americans first, and you're journalists second." Wallace is mystified by the concept, wondering "what in the world is wrong with photographing this attack by North Kosanese on American soldiers?" Retired General William Westmoreland then points out that "it would be repugnant to the American listening public to see on film an ambush of an American platoon by our national enemy."
A few minutes later Ogletree notes the "venomous reaction" from George Connell, a Marine Corps Colonel. "I feel utter contempt. Two days later they're both walking off my hilltop, they're two hundred yards away and they get ambushed. And they're lying there wounded. And they're going to expect I'm going to send Marines up there to get them. They're just journalists, they're not Americans."
Wallace and Jennings agree, "it's a fair reaction." The discussion concludes as Connell says: "But I'll do it. And that's what makes me so contemptuous of them. And Marines will die, going to get a couple of journalists."

8/26/2005 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

okay doug, I did as you asked.
tigerhawk may never be the same

8/26/2005 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Rat,
Great post at Tiger's, why don't you repost relevant parts here?
Did you notice Kurilla was in the Panama business, not to mention Desert I, Bosnia, Kosovo, whatever, whata guy.

8/26/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

On parsing and then extrapolating his remarks, iotm seems to advocate an isolationist policy where everybody should mind their own business, where no country, people, or individuals may be held accountable to any state, legal or moral authority but their own. No country can have any justification whatsoever to interfere with the affairs of another country, except insomuch as some other country has violated its sovereignty, in which case it is entitled to self-defense, but-to "logical" extension- only to the extent that original borders can be restored, in order to satisfy the balance, as it were. Thus, the goal is stasis; a sort of perpetual balance that can only be upset when one country infringes upon the sovereignty of another country.

At the root of the policy is moral equivalence. All countries need to see themselves as morally equivalent to all other countries in order to justify "humanitarian" non-intervention. No country can see itself as superior- or inferior- to any other country in any way. A country with an inferiority complex is as dangerous to the delicate balance as one that believes itself to be superior. And on this tenuous equilibrium point of collective self-valuation, the security of the entire arrangement relies.

Thus, iotm is upset because the United States has infringed, and seemingly continues to infringe, upon the sovereignty of Iraq. This has upset the balance, which, to iotm, the insurgents are only attempting to restore. As a result, they are "morally" justified in doing so, because the United States has infringed upon their power. Furthermore, since the United States is the infringing party, his debasement thereof is justifiable to the extent that it contributes to restoring the balance. Furthermore, as long as the United States considers itself superior to any other country in any way, it must be debased until it accepts this debasement and its fundamental moral (and other) equality with all other nations, lest it continue to be a destabilizing influence.

Much of this is speculation, and I invite iotm to confirm that this abstraction more or less accurately represents his moral system, or to deny it and then (hopefully) explain it otherwise.

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

iotm:
Let me correct a small missunderstanding you seem to have. The Sunni insurgency who are "fighting against occupation and repression" are the same people who were "repressing" the other 80%+ of Iraq (AKA Shiites and Kurds) just 3 years ago. In fact, the Sunni's are not fighting against "occupation and repression". They are fighting so that they can "repress" the rest of Iraq again. Understand the difference? So, if you were really concerned about "repression", I would have thought you would be most critical of the Sunni insurgents, not the US.

8/26/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

IOTM, your confusion is easily explained: The people here want the West to win the war that Radical Islam declared on it sometime back in the 70s.

You, on the other hand, want the other side to win.

Therefore, there is little point in arguing with you.

As far as anyone being afraid of you, this is the internet--nobody can hurt anybody.

Maybe if you showed up in my hometown and set off an IED, that'd be different. Then I would fear you and have to attack you--much as the better countries of the West are now doing to the terrorists, in response to the tens of thousands of terror murders committed against us over the last few decades.

If you really want me to fear you, you'll have to come down to Dripping Springs, Texas, and ask anyone where the Larsen place is out in the Henly area. Then drop by and introduce yourself, and maybe then if you've got the drop on me, I'll fear you. Until then, sorry, pal, you're just another arrangement of silly little sentences.

8/26/2005 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Doug, thanks for mentioning Kurilla's resume. I hadn't heard that.

It ties in well with Tlear's point about building up experience. The US military has built up a great deal of experience over the years, fighting in a myriad of situations and environments.

8/26/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rick link is interesting

"...Other profiling information provided by Brandenburg shows that 96 percent of those in the detention camps are Iraqis and about 60 percent are either from Baghdad or Anbar provinces -- two areas where much of the insurgency has been concentrated. ..."

As of 15 May 05, "... the detainee population surpassed 11,350 last week ..."

So only 454 "Foreign Fighters" are in Custody. Extrapulate that number or percentage to the entire Opfor and we see aQ Iraq is a very minor player in the Insurgency.

Obviously having 130,000 troops to fight that small percentage of aQ is counter productive.
How many of the total Insurgent Force are fighting US just because we are there?
Pretty high, I'd think.
How many are fighting because they do not want to live in a Shia dominated Iraq?
Again, pretty high.
How many are already engaged in an Iraqi Civil War?
Again, a sizable number.

The numbers do not lie.
It is an Iraqi on Iraqi fight. Best we remove ourselves from it, as much as possible.

8/26/2005 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

and to satisfy doug's request

From Tigerhawk's blog

"... I am discussing how to best achieve our continuing Goals.
Those Goals that are articulated in the Authorization for Use of Force have been achieved. Iraq's Government is no longer a threat to US or the oil producing States in the region. There is an emerging democracy.

The Idea that we should continue to deploy 130,000 troops to battle car bombs, land mines and satchel charges is counter productive.

This insurgency will not be defeated by a larger US occupation. To garrison the country adequately enough to quell the insurgents, by sheer numbers, would take over 500,000 troops, based on post WWII experiences. We do not have a Force Structure capable of delivering that size of a Police/ Constabulary Force.

The best past example of a counter insurgency victory is El Salvador. With aprox. 54 uniformed personnel and a 'few' hired contractors the Opposing Forces were defeated in both El Salvador and the entire Region.

In Iraq we should:
1. Preposition equipment in the Western desert airbases
2. Garrison those bases with a Division size Army unit, similar to Korea.
3. Deploy Special Forces type liaisons at the Battalion or preferably Company level of the Iraqi Security Forces. The troops would act as advisors and Forward Air Controllers. Aprox 5 to 10,000 US troops spread across the ISF
4. Maintain an Air Wing, both fixed wing and rotary, for ground support operations at the Western Airbases
5. Improve Iraqi troop training by embedding those advisors described in #3 early in the training cycle and leaving those advisors with the ISF units that they trained as the units deploy to action stations within Iraq.

While not an all inclusive plan these 5 steps would bring US closer to Victory than staying the course. ..."

8/26/2005 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

"If not for the noble resistance of everyday Iraqis sick of occupation"... "it's pretty clear (Coalition forces are) losing badly to basically a bunch of angry kids"... "people have a right to fight repression and occupation"

iotm forgot to mention the local sociopathic thugs and foreign agents who stoke, mentor and supply the "bunch of angry kids", and he omitted the part about them intimidating and murdering "everyday Iraqis" in the hopes of installing a fascist regime under Allah (and strongman). Guess it's not surprising that today's leftists are rooting for resurgent ME totalitarianism and the criminals who kill for it, considering the Left's twisted love affair with communist insurgency, rule and empire in the 20th c. and with any anti-American dictatorship. But cheering on jihadists who kill for god seems somewhat out of character for them. Maybe leftists don't consider a god worshipped by non-westerners to be threatening to the Secularism they worship. Or maybe they're willing to bow to those who bow to Mecca for awhile, if it helps subvert the traditional Christian-Judeo ethos of the West: people with conflicting ideologies finding common cause.

Yon is telling one of the most important stories of our time. His own courage and integrity in chronicling our efforts in Iraq are fittingly overshadowed by the courage, integrity, sense of mission, and sacrifice of our troops he writes about.

8/26/2005 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Desert Rat,

I second Doug's thought on posting your proposal here. If not on this thread then on another. My only objection is that 'division' is no longer a correct unit deployment title. I'd say six Stryker brigades on a tighter rotation.

I believe that you will see that draw down beginning after the referendum on the constitution and subsequent elections.

8/26/2005 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I think the fundamental issue between iotm and the rest of the posters here, is that iotm sees the United States- as it consists of humans- as no better in any way than the insurgents, who are also humans. In fact, he sees the United States as worse than the insurgents, because- he believes- it is the United States that has infringed on their power, not the other way around (ostensibly).

The rest of us disagree with the belief system, founded on universal moral equivalence, driving iotm's arguments. The key issue on which we disagree, is whether there is indeed some extranational moral (or other) authority by which the United States (or any other country) can judge itself morally (or otherwise) superior to any other country, and thence justify its intervention in the affairs of other countries, even by force of violence. To iotm, who is a devout atheist, there is no such authority except what has been conjured up by imagination. Furthermore, he can call many of us hypocrites for supporting violence, against the teachings of the religions he assumes we follow.

Furthermore, we seem to disagree on a fundamental perception of reality. Iotm seems to believe in some kind of moral balance that the United States has violated. The rest of us posit that there is no such thing and that all people and all parties are chronically valuating themselves against each other, so that in order to survive it is necessary to deem oneself superior to others and to act, in competition, towards those ends. Iotm challenges the need for the United States (the bully) to assume superiority, since it does not have to compete with Iraq (the younger, smaller child). That is, iotm believes that Iraq does not in any way challenge the survival of the United States. But here, a dilemma in iotm's speculated worldview is revealed. The United States, by the dubious virtue of being "the bully," is emphatically not equal to the "younger child" Iraq. By what means did this inequality occur? Furthermore, does the perception of one, or both sides, threaten the stability of system? Finally, is the intervention of the United States fundamentally exploitative, or is the United States attempting to restore the "balance" whose current instability does threaten it, by coarsely forcing the improvement of Iraq by violence- a method with which iotm thoroughly disagrees?

8/26/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rick
I've been saying that for months, now.
The challenge is in what we leave behind, that is where Victory will be measured.

The troop levels have become a Political Barometer for support of Bush.

They should be determined by Tactics, not Politics. The Tactics we have followed to this point have been partially successful, but not without without fault.

As we move forward our Action Plan had better improve, or Victory will, once again in my life time, slip away from US.

8/26/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"As we move forward our Action Plan had better improve, or Victory will, once again in my life time, slip away from US"
---
And I, for more years than you, are tired of that,
Only yesterday my wife talked to a Viet Vet that mentioned nothing since WWII has been simply concluded w/VICTORY.

Being a conspiracy nutjob, I think that neatly corresponds w/ the lifetime of the United Nations.

8/26/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I am,
Although Buddy would contend my schizoid selves ARE.

8/26/2005 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

I are, therefore I IOTM?

8/26/2005 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

This is long, so I'll delete it later, but it's from an email, and is an advance on an article appearing tomorrow, so if I'm going to add this to rat's argument--out of respect, not out of full agreement--here 'tis, for awhile (message is in the provenance--who is saying this):

ADVANCE COPY

In the new issue of The Weekly Standard:

-Irwin M. Stelzer on the economics of war:

"We will accept nothing less than total victory over the terrorists and their hateful ideology," President Bush told the Veterans of Foreign Wars last week. But, as they say both on the streets of New York and the ranches of Texas, talk is cheap. We now have a choice--in the vernacular, it is to put up or shut up.

That choice can no longer safely be postponed. We can tailor our national security policies to the economic resources we are willing to commit to those policies, or we can commit sufficient resources to allow us successfully to implement the policies the president has decided are in the national interest. Put differently, if we want to continue to speak loudly, we will have to buy a big, expensive stick. If, instead, we decide that all we care to spend will buy only a tiny twig, we will have to speak more softly.

The first alternative, which we might call neo-realism (some will call it neo-isolationism) is both practicable and not without appeal. Here is what it would entail. Abandon the idea that we can only be secure if we spread democracy to the peoples of the world, all of whom we assume are yearning to breath free. Even if they are, it is up to them to work out the means for attaining that goal, just as many of the countries of Eastern Europe did, without Iraq-style interventions on our part. We are not prepared to spend the blood and treasure to help them.

Abandon also the idea that we can participate in the real-world global economy by pretending that world markets are organized in a way that allows us to achieve Adam Smith-like efficiencies by espousing free trade. We are playing against a stacked deck, as recent experience with China shows.

First, currency manipulation guarantees China an advantage over and above the natural comparative advantage provided by its relatively low wages. Second, disregard for property rights allows the Chinese government and other economic actors to steal American technology and intellectual property. Remember: The Chinese government feels it has made a commendable display of virtue by promising to stop using pirated software sometime in 2007--and that is the government that is supposed to prevent what passes for the country's private sector from engaging in such thievery. More important, the advantage China gains from distorting the patterns of trade provides the funds it is using to expand its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, fund military exercises with Russia, and extend the reach of its fighter fleet, nuclear submarines, and aircraft carriers.

So if we are to tailor our policies to fit our unwillingness to shore up our military power in the world, we have to abandon our long-held and, it can be argued, myopic view that more-or-less rigid adherence to free trade serves our geopolitical interests. True, we will sacrifice some of the efficiencies that have brought us a plethora of consumer goods at prices so low that they have offset the devastating impact of high oil prices on consumer budgets. But we will have traded cheap T-shirts for greater control over our monetary policy, and put something of a strain on the resources China is devoting to its military build-up. . . .

Log on to weeklystandard.com on Saturday, August 27, to read rest, along with the entire new issue.

8/26/2005 10:18:00 AM  
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8/26/2005 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Martin said...

Absolutely unforgivable! The catch and release. That happens to thieves and rapist in America, but I didn't think it would happen to Murderers and terrorists in a war zone. What are they thinking?

8/26/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

I think the farther one is from Iraq and the problems that confront senior command, the easier it is to criticize in-country tactics and strategy. Free from the restraining effects of logistics, transport, force safety, and other limiting factors, critics can devise many plans that seem better than our current strategy. In fact, the less information one has the easier it is to devise alternate plans.

If I had my d'rothers we would insert 500,000+ mechanized troops and roll from one end of the country to the other sweeping terrorist/ insurgents up and killing or capturing them in the process. The relatively strong insurgency results from our failure to inflict total humiliating defeat on the bathists. Where stiff resistence is encountered, call in air strikes and level any obsticle in our path. Any Iraqi that even vaguely resembles the enemy would be detained in POW centers. The Sunni Triangle would be destroyed entirely - buildings, mosques, homes, infrastructure. Refugees would be housed in refugee camps. That is total war. We would quickly prevail. Unfortunately we would still be left with the problems we have now. These are similar problems to those we encountered in Europe and Japan following our victory in WWII.

I think our strategy is working. We have had some signal successes. We must now remain focused on our ultimate goal, which is establishing a free and democratic Iraq capable of defending itself. We owe this to our brave soldiers like Kurilla and Prosser.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

8/26/2005 10:38:00 AM  
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8/26/2005 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Doug Santo,
As usual, cogent post, but I would disagree re, criticism of policy to this extent:
Thank you, poster Martin for doing my work:
Martin said,
Absolutely unforgivable! The catch and release. That happens to thieves and rapist in America, but I didn't think it would happen to Murderers and terrorists in a war zone. What are they thinking?
---
And what are WE thinking when child molesters have more rights than children?

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8/26/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Buddy,
Just last week, I was reading something at Amazon, and came across a Book about the coming liquidation of the USA, or some such, by China.
His credibility was reduced somewhat by the fact that he had written a very similar book about Japan some years earlier!

8/26/2005 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/26/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Doug

"Absolutely unforgivable! The catch and release. That happens to thieves and rapist in America, but I didn't think it would happen to Murderers and terrorists in a war zone. What are they thinking?
---
And what are WE thinking when child molesters have more rights than children?"

Agree with that.

Doug Santo

8/26/2005 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Doug Santo,

Hear, hear.

VDH has a very cogent piece that bookends nicely with Tigerhawk's.

Now, lessee, which poster here most deserves the David Duke Award?

Hmmm. Tough call.

"Mr. Schicklgruber is here for his appointment, Mr. Djugashvili."

Doug,

You'll like this one. (if memory serves)

8/26/2005 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

It may be true that benefits accrue in the short run with trade protections, and it is probably correct that such practice creates benefits in the medium and long term, too.

But what are the opportunity costs? If we set up the game of "global trade", where the choices are cooperate (adhere to principles of free and fair trade) or defect (dog-eat-dog approach with no adherence to fundamental rules or ethics), America has a significant interest in maximizing the number of players who cooperate. There are many reasons for this interest, from national security to market strategies, but I think it is inarguable that America is better off with most countries cooperating in Global Free Trade and its underlying ethical construct.

On the other hand, cooperation may never be an equilibrium. The global incentive structure may inevitably skew towards an "exiter" strategy and rampant defection, but it is not obvious, at least not to me, that this is the case. From where I sit, if we can stimulate incentives to cooperate and diminish incentives to defect, it should not be impossible to create a more or less Free Trade World.

And so I'll make three big assumptions that argue against trade protection in the short and medium term. One, such protection provides a disincentive for cooperation and an incentive for others to defect. Two, our strength can get us through a rising great power's birthing pains, so we should not worry too much about China. And three, if we hold firm, the end state equilibrium of Global Commerce will be cooperation and adherence to fundamental rules of trade, where players agree to pursue free trade in spirit if not always by the letter.

I just think that our long-term interest in an orderly and stable free trade arena outweighs our short-term interest in halting China's military and shoring up the Yuan.

8/26/2005 11:00:00 AM  
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8/26/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Desert Rat said,

"To leave 50,000 armed and organized militiamen outside the Government Security Force is incompetent. That Force should have been disbanded or co-opted, years ago. We did neither."

Taking away their arms in a country where arms are easier to get than bottled water seems to be a huge waste of time.

Taking away their organization would have been taking away any means to control them.

As a practical exercise it would take a large force and I'm not sure at all it would be worth such energy.

8/26/2005 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Doug Santo
We had our options and opted out of
1. Maintaining a Military that can field a 500,000 man force
2. A humiliating defeat of the Iraqis in the Sunni Region

Now, as we move forward, there are other options to choose from. It is not time rest on our laurels, it is not time to praise our Commanders and it is not time to be satified with Staying the Course.
It is time, however, time to stop moving the Goal Posts.

Our troops WILL start withdrawing in the Spring. How we do that and what we leave behind in our wake is all important to honoring the sacrifices already made and those yet to come.

Given the LOW number of Foreign Terrorists in Iraq they are no reason to stay.
In all other Countries, Foreign Terrorists are cause for concern to the National or Federal as well as Local Police. In Countries were the Military and Police are seperate it is the Police, not the Military, that are the PRIMARY enforcement agency against FOREIGN Terrorists.
Why should it be different in Iraq?
I have read estimates, by Rumsfeld if I recall, of 50,000 Opfor.
22% of it, or 11,000+/- is incarcerated. Of that number only 454 are Foreigners. Extrapulated from this there are, maybe 2,500 Foreign Fighters in the entire Iraqi Insurgency.

2,500 enemy, dispersed in a population of 25 million.

The capture of those 2,500 Foreign Fighters is, without a doubt, not the job the 4th ID or the 4/2 is trained for.

The rest of the Insurgency is part of an Iraqi Civil War and/or part of an anti US occupation effort.

The larger our footprint the larger the target the Insurgents have to shoot at. It gets US no closer to Victory..

8/26/2005 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

Wretchard:

I've always thought that Yon should team up with the guy that made "Gunner's Palace". Those two guys could make an absolutely definitive film of the conflict in Iraq.

As an aside: is there any way to keep those stupid blog-turds from showing up? I mean those, "Great blog! Here's my h!rb!l v1agra site!" things.

8/26/2005 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

I think IOTM has beaten-wife syndrome.

"He is just misunderstood." becomes "They are just like us."

And "Its all my fault, if only I had.." becomes "Its all the USA's fault, if only the USA would.."

The Psychology is the same, just a transferral from individual relationships to political relationships.

8/26/2005 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Abakan
you say
"Taking away their arms in a country where arms are easier to get than bottled water seems to be a huge waste of time."

If it was easy we'd send you.
If the effort required in securing a Democratic Iraqi State seems to be a 'waste of time', Why pray tell are we still there?

"Taking away their organization would have been taking away any means to control them."

If they were disarmed there would be NO NEED to 'control' them.
If they had been integrated into the ISF they would be part of the State, which their Party dominates, not loose cannons on a Ship of State.

"As a practical exercise it would take a large force..."

We have a 'Large Force' there. Over 130,000 troops, that is why they are there.

"and I'm not sure at all it would be worth such energy"

It is worth $82 BILLION a Year.
There is a lot of energy in that $82 BILLION, I think we'd all like to see SUCCESS in establishing a Democratic Government in Iraq.
That cannot be done when armed militias roam the streets, a law unto themselves.

8/26/2005 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

So abakan
We cannot disarm the Iraqis, we cannot secure the Airport Road, we cannot secure Baghdad, Mosul or the Euphrates River Valley?
Why not?
Why not Victory.
Why settle for Staying the Course, when the Course has proven faulty?

We still want to make Port, now more than ever, it is time to tack

8/26/2005 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Abakan said...

Desert Rat,

I know you aren't that fond of cut and paste, and I know it eats bandwith so let's try this in the free and clear.

Are you saying that you think disarming them is possible even though arms are more plentiful than bottled water?

Taking away their arms once or thousands of times is an attempt to control them. The question is would that be an efficient measure of control?

8/26/2005 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

Cedarford you twit,

You obviously are incapable of paying attention to Michael Yon's reports, mis-quoting him repeatedly.

As for your launching into those two newby infantryman, HOW DARE YOU call them cowards! HOW DARE YOU sir!!! They have more courage than you'll ever have, you armchair-leftist-in-a-generalisimo's uniform!

8/26/2005 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

rick ballard,

"I believe that this is the process point at which Col. Kurila believes that significant errors are being made"

Even though there is no mention of "errors," but rather of a specific "policy." Even though there is no mention of Nohe being processed and detained as anything other than a combatant.

Yon is very specific that the determination to let Nohe go was made by "a judge." We do not have Coalition judges reviewing detainee cases because the Coalition isn't in the trial business, rather the detention business. It WAS an Iraqi judge who let Nohe - and others - go. These are common enough to have earned the title "catch-and-release terrorists."

Further, "the Coalition was livid" about Nohe's release. Unless the object of the Coalition's outrage was itself - which makes no sense -it is reasonable to infer that the Coalition was angry at an agency/organization outside itself. ADF is a Coalition function. It BELONGS to the Coalition.

Kurilla made a lot of noise to the ADF about "the policy." Not recurring screw-ups, not "errors," but a rule or set of rules governing our PUCs.

What's the policy? An apparently quite extraordinary one
that makes it possible for "perfidous" Iraqi judges to let (in Yon's words) "known terrorists" go free. While hostilities are on-going. That, rick ballard, is quite simply breathtaking.

Our doctrine is to hold combatants for the duration. They don't get tried. They don't have cases for court review. They sit in detention 'til it's over.

What could possibly make us throw doctrine out the window and put identified combatants back on the battlefield to kill and wound more?

The desperate, deadly politics of an occupation that never deserved the name.

8/26/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The US stands as the largest consumer market in the world. As we shed off manufacturing capabilities countries like China will take up the slack. The US is producing less and less of what it consumes. If we limited access to US markets like every other country in the world does, then there would be greater incentive for US manufacturers to produce every day consumer items. Our national idea of liberal trade policies means to open our markets to others and let others use various forms of protection to shield their fragile industries from us and others. This is not a balance of trade. In the end, those who advocate the US as a service economy will find that we have evolved into a society of hair dressers and phone sanitizers with an army of 130k troops ready to deploy.

8/26/2005 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The most effective thing to have done with the militias, both Shia and Kurdish would have been to integrate them into the ISF. Either as individuals or complete units.
They would then be part of the Iraqi State, both accountable to it and taking an "ownership" position in it.
Nationalizing the militias not continuing to localize them would have been and still is a better course.
Yes, if the Militias are neither needed or wanted by the National Government than ANY and ALL efforts required should be used to continually disarm them. They are Insurgents waiting to happen, or the trigger to an expanded Iraqi Civil War.
In either case a direct threat to the new Democratic Government's ability to maintain the 'monopoly of force' required to rule.

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8/26/2005 12:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As GWB used to be paraphrased
"you're either with US or the Terrorists"

Same goes for Iraqi Militias

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Blogger Buffy said...

Yon is a stud. I'd take him over the entire contingent of msm "journalists" any day.

Hugh Hewitt is quoting Thucydides in reference to Yon:

The secret to happiness is freedom and the secret to freedom is courage.

I like that quote. Yon has courage, but the journalists getting drunk in the bar every day and night, afraid to report the news, are cowards.

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Blogger trish said...

desert rat,

When you get time, read John Robb's piece on Primary Loyalties over at Global Guerrillas.

You're right about the monopoly on the use of force. Until and unless the new IG achieves this, Iraq is going to be a very hairy place.

8/26/2005 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Trish,

How did Nohe get in front of an Iraqi judge? Yon makes it clear (and the WaPo article further explicates) what the process coonsists of. American forces do not turn suspected terrorists over to the Iraqis directly from the field.

You might note that I in no way exonerated the judge, I said that the facts provided do not justify the assumptions being made. Judges release guilty men every damn day because "knowing" something is not even in the same ballpark as "proving" something. The Coalition can be mad as hell at the judge and the judge can still be right according to rules of jurispudence. If you don't believe me, talk to a cop.

A system failure is not the same as systemic failure.

8/26/2005 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger iotm said...

Nathan, first of all, congratulations on actually trying to engage what I've said instead of adding a nomination in my favour for the idiot of the year award, which somehow magically disproves everything I say based on popular opinion, rather than statements.

What you've said is not my position whatsoever. Imperialists often get caught up in the false dichotomy of "invade everyone" and isolation.

I also mentioned human rights, which implies an over-riding global standard, not the subjective morality which you talk about. I find it strange you'd use relative morality in an accusational sense, since that's the basis of US foreign policy. We do it, we're liberators and democrats, they do it, they're terrorists and war criminals. US foreign policy is either dedicated to amoralism, or to complete logical contradiction.

To see Iraq as a threat to the US is just plain silly. One minute you're bragging about how powerful the US military is, the next you think some two-bit dictator whose military consists of a bunch of guys with peashooters ready to surrendor or switch sides at the first opportunity as a threat. Iraq wasn't a threat to you or the safety of the US. Iraq was a threat to American economic and political hegemony. Saddam Hussein was resisting neo-liberalism, he wasn't open to Iraq being run by US corporations. Second of all he ended up becomming politically unfriendly to the US in a very strategic area. If you commit both of those faults, you're a threat to American Empire, of course never a threat to any average american. The American Empire is not you, just because you live there doesn't mean you're part of it. The American Empire is as much opposed to the interests of common americans like you as it is to the interests of foreign governments who stand in the way of it's dominance. You have an identity problem. See my essay A Theory of Power Worship on my site for an explanation of that problem.

I've got no problem whatsoever with humanitarian intervention. The problem is that people think that's why the US is intervening in these places. They couldn't care less about human rights or democracy, as evidenced by their attacks on democratically elected leaders in Haiti and Venezuela, and support for ridiculous dictators in Saudi Arabia. The US is interested in securing political and economic dominance. Authoritarianism always runs counter to human rights. If Iceland overthrew Bush and then occupied the country, would you argue that Americans have no moral right to defend themselves against such occupation and repression by a foreign government? The fact that Bush is a murderous tyrant wouldn't justify occupation. Or would you be the pacifist in this case? Selling out your fellow americans to collaborate with the occupiers?

cjr, the idea that the resistance is only Sunni or only Ba'athists is silly and just plain not representative of facts. One of the biggest resistance groups is led by teh Shiite Muqtada al-Sadr.

Buddy Larsen: Iraq had no radical islam. Now it does. THe US occupation/invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with religion, you sound like Bin Laden.

james: clearly those elements are not noble nor are they part of the resistance. People like al-Zarqaqi are opportunists, he sees no difference between a shiite and an american. His problem isn't occupation of Iraq by the US, it's that HE wants to control Iraq. Most of the other resistance groups have put hits out on him. Why you think I'd support him or any of the non-political criminal opportunists makes no sense.

8/26/2005 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

(Hugh Hewitt:)

"UPDATE: If you'd like to drop LTC
Kurilla or SGT Lama a note of appreciation, here's the address:

LTC Erik Kurilla or SGT Daniel Lama
Patient
9040 Jackson Avenue
Madigan Army Medical Center
Tacoma, WA 98431"

(iotm:)

"james: clearly those elements are not noble nor are they part of the resistance."

Beg to differ.

8/26/2005 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Tlear said...

iotm
>>>
I also mentioned human rights, which implies an over-riding global standard, not the subjective morality which you talk about. I find it strange you'd use relative morality in an accusational sense, since that's the basis of US foreign policy. We do it, we're liberators and democrats, they do it, they're terrorists and war criminals. US foreign policy is either dedicated to amoralism, or to complete logical contradiction.
>>>

Awesome equating US operations with blowing up bunch of kids ON PURPOSE. Not by accident but because blowing up kidds makes a better statement.

To put it simply, western culture and moral values(not to be confused with some crazy evangelists blabling about final days) are supperior to the pre-medieval state of mind that midle east countries live in. Call me racist if you want :)

>>
To see Iraq as a threat to the US is just plain silly. One minute you're bragging about how powerful the US military is, the next you think some two-bit dictator whose military consists of a bunch of guys with peashooters ready to surrendor or switch sides at the first opportunity as a threat. Iraq wasn't a threat to you or the safety of the US. Iraq was a threat to American economic and political hegemony. Saddam Hussein was resisting neo-liberalism, he wasn't open to Iraq being run by US corporations. Second of all he ended up becomming politically unfriendly to the US in a very strategic area. If you commit both of those faults, you're a threat to American Empire, of course never a threat to any average american. The American Empire is not you, just because you live there doesn't mean you're part of it. The American Empire is as much opposed to the interests of common americans like you as it is to the interests of foreign governments who stand in the way of it's dominance. You have an identity problem. See my essay A Theory of Power Worship on my site for an explanation of that problem.
>>>

Ya ya the global American empire conspiracy la la la la. Anything new? nah I am sure its Mossad inspired and Zionist controlled too.

>>
I've got no problem whatsoever with humanitarian intervention. The problem is that people think that's why the US is intervening in these places. They couldn't care less about human rights or democracy, as evidenced by their attacks on democratically elected leaders in Haiti and Venezuela, and support for ridiculous dictators in Saudi Arabia. The US is interested in securing political and economic dominance. Authoritarianism always runs counter to human rights. If Iceland overthrew Bush and then occupied the country, would you argue that Americans have no moral right to defend themselves against such occupation and repression by a foreign government? The fact that Bush is a murderous tyrant wouldn't justify occupation. Or would you be the pacifist in this case? Selling out your fellow americans to collaborate with the occupiers?
>>>

Ah you want USA to spend hundreds of Billions just because US should be nice? rofl Are you in kindergarten or are you one of those communist freaks?

You have no clue what insurgency war really means in terms of traitors, invaders etc. My family is Ukrainian many fought first together with germans because german regime was BETTER then Stalin's then later against both. All of your patriotic: "You shold protect local dictator who raped, tortured and maimed us for 30 years is bullshit". If you were stupid enough to resist another foreign regime that freed you from him you would be plain retarded.

People fighting against US who freed Iraq from the horror or Saddamn rule (dont bother attepmting to portray rose gardens and happy kids running around here) want Power to control population through violence, torture and fear. They are not some noble "freedom fighters". Those dont exist, never have

>>
cjr, the idea that the resistance is only Sunni or only Ba'athists is silly and just plain not representative of facts. One of the biggest resistance groups is led by teh Shiite Muqtada al-Sadr.
>>

How many ied did Sadr people detonate last year? Car bombs? you basicly have no clue what you are talking about

8/26/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Beg to differ on that second part.

"Why you think I'd support him or any of the non-political criminal opportunists makes no sense."

Please name the non jihadist-religious-killers-for-god-and-theocracy fascists and non-criminal opportunist-thug fascists who are the glorious political insurgents trying to suppress democracy in Iraq for some other (fill-in-the-blank political cause). Are you counting the Baathists as legitimate political rebels, or do you think of them as criminal opportunists as do most? Do you think that foreign fighters and provocateurs who kill Iraqis and Coalition forces have a legitimate political right to oppose a democratic Iraq?

8/26/2005 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Maybe this will help:


Speak No Evil: Targeting a
Population’s Neutrality to
Defeat an Insurgency

CHRISTOPHER M. FORD

From Parameters, Summer 2005, pp. 51-66.


[...]



Since the transfer of sovereignty, the execution of lethal engagements and the ability of coalition forces to detain insurgents has become necessarily dependent on the Iraqi judicial system. When functioning properly, a judiciary based on the rule of law provides a powerful example of persuasive force. The judiciary, however, like many aspects of the sitting government, is undermined by instances of corruption and institutional weaknesses. The Coalition Provisional Authority established the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) as the nation’s highest criminal court. The CCCI hears virtually all of the cases brought against individuals charged with attacking coalition forces. The CCCI and all Iraqi criminal courts operate under the Iraqi Penal Code of 1969, a modern and sophisticated criminal code drawn from British and American criminal codes.35 It provides substantial rights and enumerates the penalties for numerous crimes. Coalition Provisional Authority Order 3A (revised and amended), still in effect in Iraq, supplements the 1969 Penal Code by providing mandatory minimum punishments for violations of weapons control laws.36 The CCCI has shown a habitual reluctance, however, to apply the standards enunciated in either the 1969 Code or CPA Order 3A.

Many Iraqi civilians will claim the judiciary, like the rest of the government, is rife with corruption. The ineffectiveness of the system, however, may more realistically be the result of institutional disorganization and lack of security for the courts and the judges. Regardless of the causes, a weak judicial system that fails to execute its charge fundamentally undermines coalition efforts to project effective persuasive force.

[...]

Captain Christopher M. Ford is a Command Judge Advocate for a Brigade Combat Team in the 1st Cavalry Division, Baghdad, Iraq

8/26/2005 01:04:00 PM  
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8/26/2005 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"American forces do not turn suspected terrorists over to the Iraqis directly from the field."

Hells bells, rick, I never said they did. The guy was in detention for six months, then let go.

8/26/2005 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

John Robb's piece on Primary Loyalties, for anyone interested:

http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2005/01/primary_loyalti.html

8/26/2005 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

I knew that title sounded familiar.

I actually stole it from my ex-girlfriend, whose class was reading it. If I remember, Hackworth was quoted on the back recommending it.

Funny, because the Professor is an old drug experimenting hippy.

8/26/2005 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger Hanba'al said...

Good job Ferdinand,

When I heard someone hiding behind the skirt of lady liberty and calling soldier who put their life in the line of fire every day coward, I know immediately

1) That person has never ever expose himself in any danger except when crossing the street, driving a car in freeway or arguing with his wife.

2) That person if is a veteran, he is a desk top veteran.

3) And the probability that he is a leftist liberal is about 99%.

Soldiers who put their life on the line, don't call their comrade coward because they will instantly recall the moment and the feeling of life & death flashing in their face in first battle. They know the fear and it's real. They got pissed because that SOB couldn't move fast enough (10 seconds into an intense battle seems like an hour) to cover them but they won't be mad. We might tease them as "the freaking chicken who got me almost killed" but we won't delve into it the next minute. We don't even call them coward, but we call leftist liberal coward all the time whose only courage is found behind the skirt of lady liberty.

8/26/2005 01:19:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

IOTM:

I'm not terrified of you any more than I'm terrified of the guy standing outside Borders screaming obscenities, nonsense, and asking for money.

On some level I respect you because you call a spade a spade. You don't pretend to support the troops, while opposing the mission. You don't pretend to be a patriot of the West, while decrying its every action. You understand the logical conclusions of your ideology. Fine, at least you have the intellectual courage to take a position.

But it ain't mine. Your sophistry is the bringer of death and repression. You're an apologist for madmen, authoritarians, and murderous ideologies and you're just too stupid to see it, and well beyond rescue. You're not worth getting involved with, merely a looking glass into the ignorance we're fighting.

8/26/2005 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

...and I will now go back to ignoring and mocking you. You arrogant imbecile.

8/26/2005 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Hey, Lan Nguyen, go here and read the letter by Art Fougner of Flushing, N.Y. (you'll enjoy it, if 'enjoy' is the right word, which it isn't quite).

8/26/2005 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger 11maxiwilo66 said...

Red River or anyone else with the knowledge,

What's wrong with the M4 rifle and why didn't Prosser have the rifle he needed?

And when is the Brass going to take the handcuffs off our boys and let them fight like Kurilla and Prosser?

8/26/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

11max, go see Kim du Toit, and type in search [ 5.56 vs 7.62 ] see what happens...maybe nothing...but if it hits, it'll be colorful.

8/26/2005 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

Lan N - nothing could be more frightening than arguing with my ex-wife.

8/26/2005 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Hanba'al said...

Buddy,
You mean someone just trying to teach leftist liberals having Alzheimer about basic comprehension, again?

8/26/2005 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ha! Try mine.

8/26/2005 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Hanba'al said...

ex-democrat,
I know the feeling. The reason I have only one wife is I don't argue with her.

8/26/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

We do it, we're liberators and democrats, they do it, they're terrorists and war criminals.

To the contrary, this is indicative of the American assumption of moral superiority.

8/26/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Right, Lan--that's about the size of it. I wish them one educational encounter, at some point in life, with those folks you barely escaped from. Straight talk from someone who fought the NVA is mighty sobering, for everyone but the drunks.

8/26/2005 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

trish
thanks for the Iraqi Court post
All the more reason to put more Iraqis out there on the front line, now.

Kurilla's patrol should have had a least a platoon of Iraqi with them.
How less will the Iraqis learn?

They can and do and did freeze just like the Spec 4 and young LT. Not cowards, just inexperienced.
To a degree, they were not well led or advised. Why no anti personel or stun grenades? Where was the Platoon Sgt, checking both the 'new guys' combat loads?
Lessons learned, all around.

The Iraqis coming out of 8 or 16 weeks training will fare no better nor, hopefully, worse then our 'new guys'. But they will need OJT just as much, if not more then our own 2nd Lt.

8/26/2005 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Fernad Braundel -

Cedarford you twit,You obviously are incapable of paying attention to Michael Yon's reports, mis-quoting him repeatedly.As for your launching into those two newby infantryman, HOW DARE YOU call them cowards! HOW DARE YOU sir!!! They have more courage than you'll ever have, you armchair-leftist-in-a-generalisimo's uniform!

And Ian sympathizes, like it is perfectly natural for two guys to duck and cower and watch their CO down and a terrorist trying to finish him off without even laying down covering fire. Then ignoring a journalist who was screaming and cussing at them to save the colonel and who finally ended up taking the lieutenants rifle and demanding a clip of ammo so the journalist could try saving them.

I was fired on once, BTW. I fired back.

Those two guys will be thought of as cowards in the unit. They will either be surrounded by proven courage-givers until they redeem themselves, or they will be gone because they have lost the confidence of their men.

It may not be "fair", anybody can lose their nerve in combat, but war is not fair and bottom line, they failed to engage the enemy or attempt to save a wounded comrade officer in arms. If they failed their superior, what does the average private or specialist think the odds are that if they go down and a terrorist is trying to finish them off that either of those two will take on the enemy or attempt rescue of a subordinate.

If you think that is "perfectly understandable", then you no doubt think of John Kerry's decision to flee 1500 meters down river after a Swift Boat was mined and the other 4 boats stayed for rescue and laying down suppressing fire as "perfectly understandable, no one should hold that against Kerry".

8/26/2005 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

11max,
The M16 and it's variants (of which the M4 is one) are generally considered to be somewhat underpowered.

8/26/2005 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Hey flavor of the month or IOTM or whatever your name is you must have taken up Kate on some of that Cialis
if you think anyone here is afraid of your puny leftist pap.History will sweep up you and your bankrupt rant as long as we have Kurillas,Yons and Prossers in our American gene pool.So run off now little boy.Your bus left for nowhere about 25 years ago.

8/26/2005 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

5.56mm high velocity, low mass projectile. Not renowned for it's "Stopping Power"

Of intermediate range, firing up to 400 meters with acceptable accuracy from a M16, probably less with M4

Debate has continued on the viability of the 5.56mm round since it's introduction in the early 60's as the standardized US ammo.

It replaced the venerable 7.62mm Nato round, which had in it's time replaced the 30-06 round utilized combat rifles in WWI.

Each generation of replacement rounds being less powerful the the generation prior.

8/26/2005 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

Your latest two posts inspired my own extended consideration of the significance of events as relayed by Mr. Yon.

Michael Yon has offered us a rare and educational view of the daily actions of our white blood cells for intense consideration as we act to maintain the condition of the body...

... lest it collapse before the infestation of a fatal malignancy.

8/26/2005 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"All the more reason to put more Iraqis out there on the front line, now."

Absolutely.

8/26/2005 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt got to talk to Yon for 10 min. If he doesn't put it up at Radioblogger I'll try to figure out a way to make it available, I presently don't have an FTP account.
Yon says they haven't been hit by an IED in nearly two weeks, and it used to be TWICE a DAY.
...says we are NOT getting an accurate picture of the amount of improvement:
Big surprise from the seditious MSM, huh?

8/26/2005 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Rocko Button said...

Well done - love it...from a San Mateo Vet

8/26/2005 04:09:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Actually abakan, on reflection they are not Insurgents waiting to happen.
If an order by the Government to disarm and disband was disobeyed, the militias would be, by definition, Insurgents.

Your definiton of victory, as I recall, was always a viable democratic Iraqi state that could defend itself.
Well no such viable state can allow an independent armed force to operate within it's borders. It is an ipso facto assualt on the Governments Soveriegnty.
As long as there are armed non ISF militias we will have not succeeded, by my understanding of your previously held standards.

8/26/2005 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat - What was the rationale for the 5.56 at the time?
I remember reading about damage done due to velocity of bullet, and tumbling inside, etc. but obviously it has important limitations. Did they make a smaller version of the 14 (shorter barrel, stock, etc) and if not, why not?
Doubt if that guy on the floor would have been in very good shape with 3 or 4 7.62s.
How did they ever bring guys down with the M-1 Carbine? Weighed about as much as a pellet gun as I recall.
What was the relative size/velocity on that?

8/26/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Haven't read all the posts, but are C4 and Aba aware that "Journalist" Yon is ex Green Beret?
I know Aba's posts last night read like he had not read Yon's accounts.
BTW C4, YON has NO PROBLEM w/2nd Lt as it was his FIRST time out.
Some problem w/other guy who had been there longer.
Did you notice the Picture of the strike on the wall right next to his head, C4?

8/26/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

trish
It seems 'bionic runners' mother does know best.
"They'll hold you a little while and let you go" paraphrases Moma to a T.
Three hots & a cot. Showers & A/C No harsh interrigation, no panties on the head or nudie photos.
Be part of the Force that blew up a US Mess Hall - Six months Confinement and release. That's HARD time though.
Misfire your IED, well no harm done. Old 'bionic runner' may get 30 days, he did not even carry a weapon. Well, that's after he dropped the detonator, and ran.

Khalid Jasim Nohe well, he'll have a media spotlight on him now. It'll be harsh on him now, maybe 18 months, considering there are no prior murders on his rap sheet, and he was just defending himself, those pesky Americans started it, anyway, you know, Judge.

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8/26/2005 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

C4 - re Kerry. what i hold against him is his attempt to appear like a war hero - not the fact that he wasn't one.

8/26/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

doug - C4 would have caught that one with his teeth

8/26/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Those two guys will be thought of as cowards in the unit. They will either be surrounded by proven courage-givers until they redeem themselves, or they will be gone because they have lost the confidence of their men"
FWIW:
Yon reports just the opposite from Mosul, but what would he know, just another journalist.

8/26/2005 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Then you know what would have happened to that right hand too, don't you, ex dem?
Strange Love Indeed.

8/26/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ex dem,
Prior to Kerry, and to a slightly lesser extent McCain, Vets were almost universally known for their quiet humility.
Kerry did for that
what Bill did for Schoolgirls and Oral Sex.

8/26/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"considering there are no prior murders on his rap sheet"
---
Yeah, just caught running around Mosul after 22 were killed w/a bunch of terrorist knick knacks in hand.
In a sane world it would have been a 45 for him then and there.

8/26/2005 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Weight of the weapon and the ammunition were both positives in the M-16 vs the M-14 (which it replaces.)

8/26/2005 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ex Helo, and at "normal" range, it is closer to 7.62 in killing ability?
Notice you have no comment on M-1, you youngsters just don't remember well!

8/26/2005 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The 5.56mm round
The round spins so fast it explodes in the body. Not really
It is a self cleaning round. Not at all.
Hydrostatic shock blows of limbs. Sometimes it may, there are anecdotal stories to that affect.

You can carry more rounds.
That, I think, is the real reason.
Studies from Korea are reported to have shown that the amount of 'aimed' small arms fire was much less than was previously thought. That most enemy small arms casualties were caused more by chance than by design. The idea being that the more rounds that could be sent down range the higher the probability that someone would be hit.
The secondary idea, I think, is that the round causes more WIA than KIA. It takes no one to deal with a body, but a casualty ties up a lot of Opfor resources. medics, drugs, doctors, transportation, etc.

8/26/2005 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lan Nguyen said...
ex-democrat,
I know the feeling. The reason I have only one wife is I don't argue with her. 2:48 PM
At least ex dem is a SURVIVOR.
Some of us with only one wife are still dumb enough to live VERY dangerously.

8/26/2005 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger johnplatts said...

Blogs
Michael Worth, I am the one who quotes the Bible directly. I am the one who has knowledge of the Bible and the background for each Book in it.
Nice to see some decent content for a change. FYI, I log on today and see that we've got a new feature, the 'Flag blog' button, which is inconveniently located between the 'Get Your Own Blog' and 'Next Blog' buttons so that we would presumably be getting some flags on error alone (although if one happens to notice it, you can unflag a blog) But that's a trivial matter. What concerns me is this: When a person visiting a blog clicks the "Flag?" button in the Blogger Navbar, it means they believe the content of the blog may be potentially offensive or illegal. We track the number of times a blog has been flagged as objectionable and use this information to determine what action is needed. This feature allows the blogging community as a whole to identify content they deem objectionable. Ok, see the problem with this? What's "objectionable." I'm guessing there are a good deal of people that would likely deem my blog to be objectionable; and there lies the problem: what is objectionable and what is subjective. Just my 2 cents, ITT Technical Institute

8/26/2005 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The M1 Carbine with 30 caliber ammo
Next to worthless as a combat weapon, but looks cool in the folding stock version.
The round was really a pistol round, much like the 9mm the Germans utilized in their pistols and machine pistols.
Our M3 submachine gun was a better weapon, than the Carbine, in that it fired the 45ACP round, which if it happened to hit something, would knock it down. Hard to aim and a really flimsy looking extending stock. The M3 was still in inventory in the early 80's.

8/26/2005 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"More WIA than KIA.""
---
So, does CBS arm their stringers w 5.56 ammo?

8/26/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rat, I just learned something about Korea I didn't know:
Someone said Rhee released 50,000 POWs behind our lines resulting in 5,000 US Casualties!

8/26/2005 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Soviets followed US into the smaller caliber round with their AK74 model, which also was chambered for a 5.56mm bullet, but the cartridge was shaped differently. The US and Soviet ammo was NOT interchangable

8/26/2005 05:03:00 PM  
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8/26/2005 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Never heard that one before, doug

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Don Corleone, Godfather

Maybe there is only one revolution, the good guys against the bad, problem is, who's who?
Dalworth- The Professionals

8/26/2005 05:07:00 PM  
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8/26/2005 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Yon expects to be leaving in a couple of weeks, a little time "off" then hopes to go to Afghanistan.

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8/26/2005 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger http://www.economicfractalist.com/ said...

There was a young academy student who prophetically gave the broad picture before the northern excursion of the Kuwaiti border...

The bigger picture is this:

A Completed Fibbonocci Third Growth Sequence on Friday 26 August 2005

The fractal evolution since October 2002 strongly suggests that there are very real and very simple quantum number fractal laws that underlie the macroeconomy. This discovery will be little consolation to the turmoil that is about to unfold over the next decade.

August 24 (Wednesday's) and August 25 (Thursday's) trading days once again demonstrated on a 5 minute unit fractal level, the recurrent precise fractal theme of x/2.5x/2x-2.5x - that pervades the economic universe.

For the Wilshire 5000 the base was about 17 five minute units. The three sequential growth fractals were 17/42/34 of 34 before the fall on Friday morning. The lateral 'skeletonized' evolution of this fractal sequence suggests the final lower (very lower) high is close at hand. Friday August 26 is the Fibonacci 85th day of a 52/130/85 daily sequence dating since August 2004.

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8/26/2005 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Hanba'al said...

C4,
You are freaking hard on them. I was 5 years into it and I have seen them all. They are basically 2 greenies

1) just transfer and not belong in the unit, yet. Some soldiers will overcome their fear to help each other when they feel that they're belonged.

2) No experience in firefight, yet. The LT was not running away. He aimed the gun at the door. His mind is blank, no doubt and frozen. That's fear and duty in conflict. Most will take sometimes to get into it. Some will never. Not all is natural into it. It takes time.

3) They were ambushed so psychological factor is even harder on greenies.

Now about my "favorite Kerry". He has been around there for a while. He's belonged, I am sure. When a soldier with reasonable experience, belonging to the unit and run-away at firefights (I've seen plenty of them too), I would be careful with that SOB as my backup. As a matter of fact, I would tell him to stay put at the base to be the chief mess hall monitor. I just leave at it if he leaves it at it. I wouldn't degrade that man neither if anyone asks my opinion about the men serving under my command. However, if that SOB coming back home, lying to his teeth about who he was not, stab in the back of those fine soldiers to further his political gain, the sacred loyalty to each other of front line soldiers are no longer binding. It's my obligation to tell the world that SOB is a coward, a traitor, a back stabber, a political whore standing in a low light corner with full make-up awaiting the unsuspecting customers. As the matter of fact the Swiftboat vet did just that. And he still has 59 millions customers. What do you know?

We soldiers at the front line don't look down to others despite the mistakes they make at the front line. Trust and loyalty to each others within the frame work of liberty and moral, because after the first shot being fired, we fight for each others. Isn't that just simple?

8/26/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

DOug,
I used to collect military rifles; so I am very familiar with the M-1 (although I never had one personally). THe greatest infantry weapon of WWII.

8/26/2005 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"A political whore standing in a low light corner with full make-up awaiting the unsuspecting customers."
---
God, that's good, lan,
it it just so...
very
*Kerry*

8/26/2005 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

A few observations and questions:

1) With the Iraqi judges letting terrorists go, I have to wonder if the Baathists or others aren't influencing these decisions with blackmail or bribes. Perhaps they are fighting on a level we aren't even aware of. We have armored vests to protect us from their bullets. They can't afford the armor, but they can protect their most important people by having them surrender to our forces (who won't shoot people surrendering) and then lean on the judge later to get free from the legal system we respect. If we bury our heads in the sand over Iraqi corruption, we may be missing an important area of combat.

2) Maybe we didn't turn the bionic runner over to the Iraqi police because we had a way to get the information we needed that was as good or better, but also humane. Perhaps our guys can't explain this to the Iraqi's (or Yon to us) because of the need for secrecy. For all we know, there could be thousands of caught and released terrorists that, unbeknownst to them, carry implanted bugs or are tracked by stealthy UAVs back to their workshops and caches. Maybe we fighting them on a level they don't comprehend.

3) What is the real name of the operation where LTC Kurilla was injured? Mr. Yon gives it as "Lancer Fury" but a google only turns up an operation from 2004. Niether of these articles gives the name of a current operation in Mosul:
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002452883_commander26m.html
http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Aug2005/20050826_2538.html

8/26/2005 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Helo,
Wow, I didn't know that, sure was easy to handle.
They still had a ton of them at Ft MacCarther in the '60's and a couple other places, but I forget which.

8/26/2005 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

They seemed to be kind of thrown together compared to the M-14.

8/26/2005 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Quality wise.

8/26/2005 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Perhaps our guys can't explain this to the Iraqi's (or Yon to us) because of the need for secrecy."
---
I doubt Yon would make up a story about Kurilla complaining about it if it were not true.
Maybe even Lt Col Kurilla isn't in on the secret?

8/26/2005 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

U.S. commander: Iraq violence could worsen:

Asked why the U.S. military has been unable thus far to defeat the insurgents, Taluto said progress is being made and it is not widely recognized that U.S. troops stop many attacks before they can be executed. On the other hand, he said, it also is true that the insurgents have become part of the fabric of Iraqi life.

"They are intrinsic, and so it seems like they can act with impunity," Taluto said. "And then they do escalate their activities, so they surge and so on and so forth."

http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/12488058.htm

8/26/2005 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"“This fight was not about me,” Thune said just after the vote. “This whole decision was about the merits. It had nothing to do with the politics.”
John Thune,
---
Whatever, just nice to have you back on board, John.
---
Rick,
How much do you think he's been damaged by this?
Might have turned into a pretty bitter guy if he had lost.
I was watching election returns in early morning on the reservations when he lost the first time, and could tell long before the "experts" keeping normal hours figured out that election was stolen.
Even sent the evidence to Rich Lowry who wrote about it a lot but never gave me a hat tip.
sniff.

8/26/2005 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

Sorry, here are the links again:

one

two

8/26/2005 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Red River 11:22 AM,
Maybe Moti IS a beaten wife, in which case perhaps you owe her an appology, or at least a short note of condolence and understanding.

8/26/2005 07:56:00 PM  

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