Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Wizard War

Michael Yon's ongoing account of the battle in Mosul is worth reading. He begins with an extended James Mitchenerish description of the effects of explosive on armor and unprotected human beings as a way of setting the stage about a bomb towards which his Stryker is rolling. You keep reading wondering how it will all turn out.

Forty three Americans have died in Iraq over the last 10 days, including Pvt. 1st Class Nils G. Thompson in Mosul, but 24th infantry has killed 150 in just one neighborhood in the last 10 months. So who's ahead, we ask, but keep reading. But Yon's hasn't written his last dispatch; the unit he's with detects the bomb. The triggerman is spotted, but inexplicably not killed, even though the gunner has him in his sights. He is captured. Enemy snipers covering the IED area exchange fire with Deuce Four. Rotary wing shows up immediately. An EOD unit arrives with a robot but fail to blow up the bomb. It detonates some nights later perhaps as some of the enemy attempt to retrieve it. At least there are some car parts scattered all over the block.

Deuce Four takes the IED triggerman back to his neighborhood and Americans strike a conversation with his mom. Then they take him to the local police station, but decline to turn him over to the local cops and keep custody. A couple of nights go by. Yon ends the post just as Deuce Four are closing in on a house where they think more car bombs are being assembled.

What Yon omits is as tantalizing as what he describes. A lot is happening offstage that we are not allowed to see; we are given only glimpses. There are staged IED attacks to lure out the enemy into the sights of snipers. The are constant meetings with the Iraqi police whose subject matter is never described. Inexplicable things happen, like the the IED triggerman being taken back to his neighborhood right even while fire is being exchanged at the failed ambush site by Army officers who are certainly too busy to just shoot the breeze or idly wander around town. Bombs are left on the road and just happen to blow up when the insurgents attempt to retrieve them later. Large explosive caches are discovered in ways that are never divulged. A car bomb factory is about to be raided as Yon ends the post, in the cliff-hanger manner of the Republic Serials, and we are left not only to wonder what will happen, but how the raiders came to that very door.

(Speculation alert) We are probably going to have to wait a decade to find out how the battle of Mosul was fought out. But I think it is probable that a large role will have been played by electronic warfare in particular and information warfare in general. Both sides are trying to get inside the decision cycles of their opponents and Yon's description of the failed IED ambush at the traffic circle is a case in point. The enemy covers the IED amush site with snipers and the Americans cover the area with rotary wing. Yon is afraid mortars will hit the traffic circle but lets on that the mortars are afraid of counterbattery. So they disengage. Ambush counter ambush. The enemy makes a special target of EOD troopers but maybe the EOD guys have a few tricks up their own sleeves. The bombmakers target Americans and Americans target the bombmakers. The Americans refuse to leave the IED triggerman with the Mosul cops, after trailing him all over his neighborhood.  After the raid whose outcome we'll know in the next Yon installment, that triggerman may want to change his address and maybe get some plastic surgery into the bargain. I'm going to guess that Mosul is one of those engagements which will make the word 'database' a synonym for weapon and 'cover story' equivalent in certain situations to overhead cover.

104 Comments:

Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/10/2005 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

Wretchard, you forgot to mention: Yon isn't affiliated with any news organization; his reporting is financially supported by contributions. So readers may wish to click the "Support the Next Dispatch" button, or send him a check.

8/10/2005 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

We are probably going to have to wait a decade to find out how the battle of Mosul was fought out.

With this, I agree completely. I'm reminded with the end of Oliver Stone's JFK, when Costner's character goes on a tirade about how he can't wait until the records around the case are unsealed. Much like that, I can't wait until more of the info how the military executed their sweeps is available. It's fascinating stuff.

8/10/2005 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I agree with Solomon2 about contributing to Mr. Yon. Not every blogger has to buy fire-retardant clothing. His need is greater than mine.

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

I was just reading some pertinent comments on the A Briefing at the DOD thread by Bozo, Desert Rat, and Andrew Scotia.
Mr. Yon is certainly in the thick of it.

8/10/2005 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

This is the kind of journalism that's patriotic in a sense I can't believe anyone would find offensive - what other kinds of accounts could actually give real, tangible content to the Administration's "a test of wills" and "a long hard slog" comments? I read a lot of history, but I know nothing about actual tactics except for the broad mass-army WWI and WWII variety (or the 30 years war, if you're interested). But it seems to me that the Left suffers from some variety of the mistake that an Iraqi woman reportedly made when she registered shock and suspicious amazement that the US medic who'd just saved her son's leg couldn't cure her other son's Downs Syndrom. It strikes me that the only thing that could account for Left anti-warism is--since they would never put their own safety knowingly at risk--the idea that we're so big, strong and permanent that the fact that these little people over in a noble mythical place can even manage to put TNT in vans and drive them into lines of waiting recruits is indicative of some sort of heroic will. Obviously it isn't--it's a tactical consideration given the perameters of a given block, neighborhood, city, regioin. Lacking any actual information about that type of analysis, the vague aesthetic view, underwritten by their presuppositions, is bound to trump all. But journalism like this--of which John Burns used to write in the beginning of OIF--could go a long way towards dissipating that aesthetic reaction. Looking forward to the next piece.

8/10/2005 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

To a large extent, the war in Iraq is now an intelligence war, where turning an informant has more military importance than taking a hill

It's not a new environment, although it may be an environment that the military has not been used to. Read (or re-read) "The Godfather" at some point. The insurgents have "gone to the matresses"

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

Wretchard said: I agree with Solomon2 about contributing to Mr. Yon. Not every blogger has to buy fire-retardant clothing. His need is greater than mine.

It's pathetic that Mr. Yon, yourself, et al, have not been able to find a source of organized financial support. Maybe that's something to analyze on your next post.

8/10/2005 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

pc^killa, do not assume too much. I'm not sure if Yon really wants "organized financial support"; he seems happy doing what he's doing, as "his dispatches have the benefit of his life experiences without drawbacks based on deadlines or demands of marketplace". Maybe Wretchard is also happy with his situation.

8/10/2005 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

..without drawbacks based on deadlines or demands of marketplace

Why would one necessarily include the other?

Why the difficulty in organizing a non-profit foundation or a non-commercial foundation, set up for this purpose?

8/10/2005 06:41:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

papa bear - please elaborate. thx

8/10/2005 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

. The Algerian killers chose the wrong guys to go hand-to-hand combat with: Ramirez and Welch .
A pagefull of great Yon photos from a previous Wretch link:
. Battle for Mosul, Part III .
ex dem,
Here's some of the weaponry:
. Mosul Calling

8/10/2005 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mr. Yon, seems a bit too busy to think about marketing.

8/10/2005 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger sunguh5307 said...

I don't have much more to add- but this context really articulates the vast gap between the hotel residents of the MSM and Mr. Yon. I know a thing or two from my experience and other friends in country, and many would be amazed by the amount of experience our troops are getting. This is what makes us effective- not just tactics and missions (which some compare to number crunching), but the grey area of human interaction and cooperation.

Off topic, this will be a critical point for any future operations militarily- not to mention the influence of those coming back. I think Roger Simon mentioned that a few weeks ago. We are really rotating the core of this nations Reserve and National Guard elements through. And so many are just oblivious it's amazing.

8/10/2005 06:59:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

sunguh5307,
60's college Professor meets OIF vet?

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

posted by Michael Yon @ Wednesday, August 03, 2005 Michael Yon is an independent, informed observer chronicling the monumentally important events in the efforts to stabilize Iraq. His dispatches have the benefit of his life experiences without drawbacks based on deadlines or demands of marketplace. The cost of these dispatches is borne solely by Michael. Readers who enjoy these dispatches and want to support Michael's mission in Iraq, can make a contribution using the following PayPal link. Donations can also be sent to Michael Yon P O Box 416 Westport Pt MA 02791

8/10/2005 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger superheavyduty said...

Hey, it's Charo week in San Francisco
If you're under 28 you probably have no idea who Charo is, but she was a mainstay on the TV talk show circuit throughout the 1970s and early 80s.
Wow! You have a nice blog here. I'm definitely gonna check back and tell my friends. Keep it up.

I have a residual income site. It's all about residual income and related things.

Check us out if you get time.

8/10/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I just sent Mr. Yon a modest donation. It's nice to know I'm getting a great deal for my money, to say the least!

8/10/2005 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Amazon Editorial Review has a nice recap of Yon's life. (and yet another example of Reagan's Vision.)

8/10/2005 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Mr. Yon if he gets out of it alive (Iraq, after all someone did say none of us gets out of here alive) then he is set, because he will be able to put together one heckuva book.

8/10/2005 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

"I walked back through the dark and did the radio interview by cell phone. During such interviews, I get the impression that people at home are losing faith in the effort, though we are winning. But at home they cannot see it, and when I said goodbye that time, I sat in the dark."
= Speaking Truth To Power.

8/10/2005 08:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8/10/2005 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger ed said...

Hmmm.

Excellent! What Deuce Four is doing is involving the triggerman's entire family with his actions. If they just killed him, then people would mourn and that would be that. But by involving his family, and possibly his tribe, then you get some intensely interesting situations involving personal/family/tribe honor and financial penalties for damages incurred.

In this kinda of culture injuries or death caused by a family or tribal member can be presented for restitution by the family or tribe in a formal "court". What Deuce Four did was open up the man's family and tribe for a massive "court" case among tribes for financial or punishment retribution.

Looks like a winning strategy to me.

8/10/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger TonyJ said...

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Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you!

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8/10/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger joe said...

U.S. Court Won't Block Ariz. Immigrant Law
A federal appeals court refused Tuesday to block part of an Arizona law that denies some public benefits to illegal immigrants, saying the plaintiffs had no right to sue.
Hey! you have a great blog here, I'mdefinately going to bookmark it!
I have a golfsite blog, it pretty much covers golf related stuff

8/10/2005 08:24:00 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

It is a fascinating piece, but within is a detail that rather saddened me. Yon mentions a few soldiers wonder if we here back home care about them.

I emailed Mr. Yon, most of which I captured here, but I wish our efforts on the home front were so vigorous and so supportive that soldiers would never have to wonder if we care.

Yes, it must be disheartening for them to hear about all the trash the Left puts out on the curb, but the soldiers should know there are still Americans who support what they are doing.

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

If he were to marry Heather Ann, she would be Heather Ann Yon.

8/10/2005 08:43:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Come hither, Heather.

8/10/2005 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Warning, OT.

What the crap is with all the recent robot-generated comment spam plugging irrelevant, robot-generated sites? First it was porn. Now it's "residual income", "home based internet businesses" and "golf". Furthermore I bet none of the linked sites have anything to do with "residual income" et al. They're probably automated advertising portals chock full of popups and autodownloading popup launchers and all sorts of similar happiness. I'm not even going to risk clicking on any of them to find out.

The signal to noise ratio in here is dropping fast. Is there anything that can be done about it?

8/10/2005 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

re: ex-democrat's "please elaborate"

What's happening in Iraq is similar to classic gang warfare. The bad guys have set up a number of safe houses ("gone to the matresses") which serve as their bases. They venture out to conduct their ambushes, then retreat back to cover.

The counter-strategy also comes from gang warfare: turn one or more members from the other side so they provide intelligence on where the bad guys will be so we can ambush them.

The critical point will be when some of the bad guys perceive the conflict to be going badly for them. The ones who are first in selling people out to the opposition will be rewarded, the ones who hesitate will be sold out.

The tribal nature of the society works against us at first. Having to go into "witness protection" and disconnect from their family and tribe is an uncomfortable prospect, particularly if their family and tribe will be targeted for retribution. Too many people to put into witness protection, particularly since some members of the tribe will still be on the side of the bad guys.

The way to make it work for us is to make it clear that attacking us will subject your entire tribe to the attention of the new Iraqi government, thus giving patriarchs an incentive to restrain their young people and making informing on the bad guys the lesser of two evils

8/10/2005 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

re nathan's comment about the comment spammers: my paranoid side is wondering if it's a deliberate disruptive attack

8/10/2005 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

ed,

The terrorist's mom was proud of him. When they took this piece of shit out into his family's neighborhood, Yon says the neighbors shielded him. They looked on this terrorist as a hero for daring to stand up to the Americans.

Perhaps even more frustrating, the terrorist himself was imperturbed. These murderers know how good they have it with the Americans, how, once caught, they will get air conditioning and three squares a day and showers and all that. Yon writes that the mom was encouraging her son in front of our soldiers, wearing a smile and saying "Don't worry, you'll be released soon."

Then you have the rule that we cannot hand over a prisoner to the Iraqi police unless they assist in his capture. This is, of course, political correctness. Yon writes, "During lunch, the Chief persisted in his entreaties to LTC Kurilla, saying his police would find all the bombs, break the cell, and give the prisoner back tomorrow at the latest. And they could. The Iraqi Police could break the cell because they can break the man."

But we can't allow this to happen. If we hand one of our prisoners to the Iraqis, the NYTimes and Nancy Pelosi will grab onto that story will both hands and hold it up high: "We are complicit in torture!"

These Leftists and opportunists, who have no shame, register no interest in the only part of the story that matters. They willfully ignore the import of the first three acts, scan the second to last page of the fourth, find a terrorist who, though caught with a detonator and without uniform, was not given his Geneva Convention rights...and that becomes The Story that they will trumpet for the next two weeks. Instead of wondering whether the terrorist cell was in fact broken, and whether our troops were made safer, they wonder about Rumsfeld's resignation, time-tables for surrender, and how many dead soldiers' names they can fit onto a screen.

Meanwhile, the archetypes of courage and the drama of our success go unnoticed and unsung, except by a truly remarkable independent journalist riding, living, and maybe dying with Deuce Four.

8/10/2005 09:02:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

off topic...

http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/english/2005/08/200508090003.shtml

homicide bomber strikes in CHINA

8/10/2005 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/english/2005/08/200508090003.shtml

8/10/2005 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

And yet the strategic geniuses of the Left, armed with their degrees in modern warfare from Portland State and NYU, have it all figured out. Brave teenage Iraqi minutemen fighting for their nation's liberation from the crusading stoomtroopers of the Imperial West are picking off confused grunts one by ten. If I've read it once on AP, I've seen it a dozen times in Reuters. History is comprised of one honest record and 10,000 mischievous fictions.

8/10/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Nathan and Papa Bear: Ignore it, please.

Why do I always get the impression from the glint in Rumsfeld's eye, that he knows something the media doesn't know, and he is not telling?

Just a thought.

8/10/2005 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

The description meshes very well with articles in Aviation Week over the past several weeks. F-16's equipped with targeting pods zip around out of sight and out of mind, using the capabilities for surveillance. The data is relayed real time to the troops in the field and also to analysts, who have moved from an emphasis on trying to figure out where the bombs are to where they are made. At a higher level, more analysts look for overall patterns.
The description of combat in Iraq sounds reminiscent of early reports from the Battle of Britain, where British fighters were scrambled to just the right place in the nick of time to intercept German raids. At night their ability to intercept was attributed to catlike eyesight or copious quantities of carrot juice. It sounds like the early days of Vietnam where pilots were told "Go here and you will find a hole in the clouds." How do you know? Mums the word, but the hole will be there.
Radar and satellite reconnaissance were not spoken of at the time, but both proved to be transformational. The big question is what will prove to be transformational as a result of the Iraq war.

8/10/2005 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

I routinely punch the PayPal for Yon.

Not to brag but... Yon puts enough detail into his writing that people with the right backgrounds can infer what is happening in the lacunae (spaces).

Wretchard is substantially correct in his inferences. sunghu5307 and ed are also correct.

"Always Out Front" Google that and add motto.

8/10/2005 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger Dylan said...

One suspects that a UAV overhead to follow anyone leaving Mom's place after the visit was the least of it.

8/10/2005 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Doug-

Get real. Mr. Yon is indeed busy, but marketing is something he sure *does* think about --he mentions it in his emails. And so does anyone who has to put food on the table. That's why Wretchard has a wolf at the door on his 'donate' button.

Jihad Watch is in financial trouble because they lost a major funding source. They may fold.

Belmont chugs along on our donations,too. Wretchard lives on our love, ya think???

The big guys have other sources of income -- is that why so many of them are lawyers? -- but people like Yon and Wretchard -- and Spencer, for that matter -- do need money.

Wretchard's modest demur that Michael Yon needs fire-retardant clothing but that he, humble blogger, does not is a buncha who-know-what.

One of the things I like about Yon is that he is becoming more aggressive about marketing what he has to offer. It means he respects his own work.

Yon said that the donations allowed him to get a better camera. Sure enough, the quality of the photos just took off! Imagine if W had enough money to get outta Dodge and have a blog that was his own....

And, yeah, I'm a nag about money...big deal. If Theo hadn't nagged the world for his brother's paintings none of us would've heard of van Gogh (actually, it was Theo's wife).

Before you delete me, Wretch, please take a gander at those spam comments. Man, those guys are getting good.

8/10/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

I would like to second Dymhna. I will only do this on the 10th of each month so that it does not become boringly repetitive.

Yon and Wretchard are both worthy of readers support. Mr. Yon is effectively marketing his product through his site and writes a very nice thank you note when you contribute. Wretchard also writes a very nice thank you note and many more of his readers need to receive one from him.

In order to receive a nice thank you note you need to hit the PayPal button. If you want to complain about the platform and spam hit the PayPal button first.

TANSTAAFL

8/10/2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

There it is (photo of Motorola radio), a DTMF code-dialer phreaked up with a walkie-talkie. Dual Tone Multi-Frequency encoders and decoders are commonly used with garage door openers and car alarms and parts can be purchased at your ME equivalent of Radio Shack. Clever little mash up with the radio to get the range. The detonator has a decoder waiting to hear that magic 1209Hz + 852Hz dual tone. It’s for you.

Hey does Yon have a product placement deal with Pepsi?

8/10/2005 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

A year's subscription to the NYT is $49.95 US.

8/10/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

I have a half dozen of those little Motorola's that we use for family outings and stuff. I've also got neat vox boom mikes and a couple of throat mikes too. Many soldiers in Iraq are using them to supplement comms. They are not using them now since word went out in many units to confiscate and mung them.

Since I heard that and got the latrine rumors on how the terrs were using them having gotten burned by the previous cell phone tech, I've been thinking up several ECM plans and I obviously wasn't the only one. Unattended, inexplicable explosions accompanied by auto and/or body parts? Sorry 'bout that Achmed.

8/10/2005 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Yon's photo of the Stryker vehicles, with the caption "Deuce Four Strykers: movement to contact" shows anti-RPG armor installed.

This web site Stryker Armored Vehicle says The Army was concerned about the Rocket Propelled Grenade threat, the enemy’s weapon of choice. ... The most obvious add-on to the discerning eye is called slat armor. It resembles a “bird cage” that will add three feet to the Stryker’s width. The slat armor installed on the Strykers resembles a big catcher’s mask that wraps around the vehicle. The armor is basically a grill of wire mesh that will cause the RPG to detonate away from the vehicle.

This kind of armor was home-made during WWII to protect tanks from shaped charge munitions.

8/10/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

But these are the rules.
I wonder if it would be more effective to execute the “detainee” in front of the mother and neighbors. One could imagine that the smug smiles would soon melt away. Perhaps something obscene involving a pig would give them something worthy to celebrate for eternity. The Israelis, famously, bull-dose the house of the families of those who set off bombs. It looks cruel, but the effect is a measured dose of humiliation. There can be little doubt that this is what would have happened in less civil conflicts. It is no doubt that is what the terrorists do when they offer a video of gory executions for all to see on the internet. A little humiliation is a lesson for one, violent retribution is a lesson for all. This isn’t a soccer match… justice would have been served if the gunner took out all the participants on the street corner.

8/10/2005 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I hate to segue off pc's tawdry example, but fifty bucks is a huge bargain for NYTimes readers, as they will surely read items during the year that will make needful changes in their lives--changes that would go unmade but for some mind-opening sentence or paragraph that happened to fall serendipitously out of their readings. Information about information--attitude, outlook, support for or resistance to the moving things busily creating reality for us or against us, is the great bargain of the era.

8/10/2005 12:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

I mean, enhancing one's life and powers with anything else--from vehicles and mansions to gambling and drugs--is going to cost magnitudes more, and likely deliver the same magnitudes less.

8/10/2005 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

annoy mouse:

Not effective tactics, not to mention bad karma, in insurgent warfare. It's like being a teacher. You model the behavior that you want to see in the students. In Mosul everybody is a student. Not effective? Go to India, for example, and look for high status individuals and observe how "English" their mind set, speech , mannerisms and behavior is, with not much drift since the ending of the Raj.

On the karmic costs of warfare, read LTC Dave Grossman's book, _On Killing_.

8/10/2005 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Dymphna said...

Buddy--

Being unable to stomach the NYT, Shrinkwrapped has offered to read it for me. All I have to do is read his blog to see if they have anything interesting.

What a relief.

8/10/2005 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

aristides
you write
"... Yon writes that the mom was encouraging her son in front of our soldiers, wearing a smile and saying "Don't worry, you'll be released soon."

Then you have the rule that we cannot hand over a prisoner to the Iraqi police unless they assist in his capture. This is, of course, political correctness. Yon writes, "During lunch, the Chief persisted in his entreaties to LTC Kurilla, saying his police would find all the bombs, break the cell, and give the prisoner back tomorrow at the latest. And they could. The Iraqi Police could break the cell because they can break the man." ..."

which is totally true, we, by working with the Iraqi Security Forces, could shut down t his terrorist cell.
We will not, however, do so.
This is the primary reason to work swiftly to remove our troops and replace them with indig forces. If those had been Iraqi troops in the vechicle with an US adviser, well then, today that terrorist cell would have been rolled up. Instead we leave the Opfor on the street to ambush our troops tomorrow.
We should be turning all the Opfor over to the Iraqis. It is their country and problem. The faster the hand off prisoners to the Iraqi Justice System can be accomplished, the better.
Justice and the Cause of Peace would be better served.

8/10/2005 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

george,
That is garbage
Not worthy of the bandwidth
Not worthy of the Club
Not worthy of further comment

8/10/2005 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger greatwebsites said...

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It pretty much covers bank loan related topics.

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8/10/2005 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Common Cents said...

Just a suggestion: Put Michael Yon's site on your blog roll.

8/10/2005 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Andrew,
Granted I am deeply conflicted here. I am concerned that US troops are a source of amusement to the insurgents family. If US troops cannot be respected I would hope that they are at the very least deeply feared.

So the rules are to reduce civilian casualties and improve intelligence gathering by shooting only combatants with firearms, but it still doesn’t settle well with me. The Phoenix Project taught some rough lessons in counter-insurgency. I realize this is no way to win the hearts and minds but let us not bear the seed of hope for those who seek eternal salvation. There is no Karma in hell.

Jeesh George,
Maybe it’s time to start your own blog. You certainly have enough material.

8/10/2005 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

George, most folks reading this sort of blog is already fully aware of the degree of pathology rampant in the enemy's criminal behavior. There's no need to scream at us. The excitement and adrenalin of the revelation & recognition phase has been over for some time, for most of the readers here. That the jihadis are extremely bad people is an accepted point of departure for most of the discussions encountered here. I don't mean to be rude--just conservative of bandwidth.

8/10/2005 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

George, old man, get a grip.

8/10/2005 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Fascinating how our forces are dealing with improvised explosive devices with improvised intell devices and cunning. How traitorous insurgents, triggermen and snipers are being met with set-ups that leverage their own duplicity against them, literally blowing up in their own faces. One hopes that our improv is sufficiently disciplined and not too TOO extra-legal in rendering the enemy's double-dealing unreliable. Yes, we need to do what is needed to be done to win the peace and secure law and order for Iraqis, but we also need to secure a respect for law and order and civil liberties in the fledgling democracy. Tough calls are being made every moment over there- thank goodness there isn't an ACLU chapter in Mosul second-guessing every terror-busting move our troops and commanders make.

Rick,

About donations: PayPal is not always a pal. Joint credit card holders cannot have separate PP "accounts" on their one card (Amazon allows each authorized card user to set up an Amazon account in his/her name). In my household, our one credit card is tied up on an old, inactive PayPal account, my husband doesn't remember the password, and he won't call them to cancel the account as they are requiring he do before I can have a PP credit card account in my name. Since setting up a bank account for PP entails some trouble, I wrote a couple of bloggers to see whether they could receive donations other than through PP. Remarkably, one did not bother to answer, but Wretchard did in a lovely note (he couldn't), and so I opened up a separate checking account for him and other PP-only bloggers who are gracious enough to respond to donation queries.

After opening the account and notifying PP, after waiting several days for them to make token deposits which I had to track and then report back to PP for my account to be confirmed, PayPal then let me know that bank account PP customers are limited to $500 per month in withdrawals. We can upgrade" our PP accounts and not be limited in the withdrawals we make from our private bank accounts if we provide PP our social security numbers and other credit card info. I put 15k in this account earmarked for donations and can only withdraw $500 per month through PayPal bank drafts. Great.

Yon and a few other bloggers offer Amazon and/or PO boxes in addition to PP for receiving donations, which is brilliant of them. Meanwhile, I need to get my own credit card, don't I?

8/10/2005 02:07:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Um, I think "George" is a spambot, whether human or computational.

Wretch, let's make an example of George, eh?

I vote C4's next, because like Buddy, I "just don't give a sh!t" about the diseased preoccupation with the Conspiracy of International Jewry.

And then, Moqtada al-Sadr. Kaput.

8/10/2005 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Lady ~D,
I was commenting on 'Killa's use of the word pathetic, (probably took it too personally) then tried to do my small part with the links and book reference.
The pics say billions of words and he does say thanks.
If we all buy the book mentioned in the Amazon link, that can't hurt either, right?

8/10/2005 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

The latest terrorist Infomercial says, in English, "You in the West think you are free, but you are actually slaves to your whims and desires."
This sounds absurd on the surface but probably means something very basic about different views of what "freedom" really is. I am not sure what.
I hope that Wretchard gives this some thought and expounds upon it.
It would be interesting to hear what someone like Lee Harris would say about the subject - although I must admit that I found his most recent longish piece in the WSJ all but incomprehensible.

8/10/2005 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

annoy mouse:

Ah feeeel yur pain. But, reflect. We whack with no mercy those found carrying AK's. Then we interact with the populace in a firm but reasonable manner. We model correct, rule structured behavior. We care for the wounded do divil projects and a host of other things that Americans just do. And eventually the cognitive dissonance results in positive change.

Cognitive Dissonance: "An inconsistency among some experiences, beliefs, attitudes, or feelings. According to dissonance theory, this sets up an unpleasant state that people try to reduce by reinterpreting some part of their experiences to make them consistent with the others"

Do soldiers think about these things in advance? Some do. See military government and civil affairs.

8/10/2005 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger JD in Oslo said...

Well said, Buddy - and very politely too!

8/10/2005 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

annoy mouse: one more time then I have work to do. I vividly and personally remember Phoenix and it wasn't what the left made it out to be. that is not say that it achieved its objectives or was all peachy. In the military we have a concept called "Lessons Learned". It is an ongoing element. We learned from Phoenix.

I looked for an email off list for you but couldn't find one. So for my bonfides you're just gonna have to trust me on this. Lots of really smart people have been working on counter insurgent warfare for a lot of years. We have a new book now full of time tested, effective techniques that disseminate down to the soldier level. They work. Respect is a slippery topic but I think we can all agree that, whatever it is, it is not fear and it must be earned.

8/10/2005 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger KeithM, Indy said...

dead men tell no tales...

Good for pirates covering their tracks...

Bad for soldiers trying to track down terrorist cells...

I was a bit worried about the insiders tip about the fake IED setups, but I assume they are no longer used otherwise Yon wouldn't mention them for OPSEC reasons.

I also thought the guy they brought back to the mothers house was the bionic runner, who Yon described as seemingly slightly retarded. Perhaps the neighborhood was sheilding him because they knew him. "Oh him, he doesn't know what he was asked to do, he's a moron. This one time (at band camp) we got him to..."

The mother was happy, because little Johnny jihadi wasn't dead, and would be well taken care of by our guys. As oppossed to whatever the ISF does to suspects, or the terrorists do to those that fail them and run (put a dead mans trigger on a special vest?)

Wouldn't you be happy, faced with those alternatives?

8/10/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

KeithM,
Yes, the steaming flesh on the 'wire seems a poor alternative to a dash home to see mom.

8/10/2005 02:53:00 PM  
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8/10/2005 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Baron Bodissey said...

Re: George -- not only is the comment too long, but it contains those fixed-width {hr} tags that screw up the appearance of the thread. I vote to deep-six it!

Dymphna's right about the comment spam. Seems I spoke too soon.

8/10/2005 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

nora,

I agree about PayPal. A super pain. Perhaps Wretchard could set up a PO Box now that he has disclosed his identity.

wrt spambots - perhaps Wretchard could deputize a couple of bot vigilantes authorized only to try and then hang spambots on sight.

8/10/2005 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Baron and Rick,
Who else is getting hit?
Maybe some bots should be allowed to run home to mama.
(As Blogger Special Forces perform their magic.)

8/10/2005 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Aristides said...

rwe,

This Al'Qaeda joker is talking about license and appetite, which we have, but completely whiffs on the other, more important staple of our society. Our Constitution ensures negative rights: "freedom from" instead of "freedom to". That's why the First Amendment is formulated like this: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...etc."

Different perspectives exist concerning the effects of a licentious populace on liberty. Only a virtuous people will remain free, people who don't match good judgment with their freedoms risk losing them, etc.

If this is indeed what you were interested in, this article at Stanford's philosophy site is a good summation.

8/10/2005 04:47:00 PM  
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8/10/2005 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Aristedes,
See my Watts link on previous thread.
Sad, and completely predictable to all but the "enlightened."
Tony Blair, having no 1st amendment to get in his way, gets down to business.
Here, we have the first amendment, but now also, PC Censorship, meaning only the worst have the full protections of the first.

8/10/2005 05:11:00 PM  
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8/10/2005 05:13:00 PM  
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8/10/2005 05:27:00 PM  
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A link to the comic strip:

Don Winslow comics

8/10/2005 05:48:00 PM  
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8/10/2005 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Aristides: I am aware that commentators in the West frequently mention consumers’ seemingly insatiable desires for the latest VCR or DVD player and how that in turn cheapens life. Of course Thoreau said all that quite well quite some time ago.
But I don't think that is what the terrorists are talking about. I suspect that what they mean - if they mean anything, which is expecting a lot - is that we are NOT instead subjecting ourselves to the whims and desires of an OTHER.
This is rather odd when you think about it. After all, that is exactly what the members of U.S. Military have to do as a part of its very existence. In fact, it is an intrinsic element of the Western Way of War.
So, as a result of their own actions, the terrorists are getting, up close and personal, daily and nightly examples of why this concept is incorrect.
Talk about cognitive dissonance.....

8/10/2005 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger ag1 said...

"Despite trying all kinds of permutations, even standing up in the hatch for better transmission, nothing happened. Kurilla came back down and asked for more instructions, but the thing would not work. The receiver might have been damaged by the three EOD blasts." Or the terr. was lying.

8/10/2005 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

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8/10/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

THIS is the American Way:
"Well, what CAN we do here in Mosul?" (dum, dedum, trama-dama blah) "Oh. Okay, then we'll USE THAT AGAINST the terrorists, like THIS..."

American-style Improvised Equalizing Device!

Made out of 90% locally-available materials!

8/10/2005 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

With re: to the smirking momma, I'm thinking that the American troops led the rest of Iraq right smack dab up to the door of someone they can get their hands on who is demonstrably a blower-up.

So what if the neighbors protected him. So what if momma is proud of him. There are THOUSANDS of Iraqi's who would like some vengeance and/or justice for their dead relatives who have been blown up by suicide bombers.

The Iraqi cop even suggested that the Americans let them escape and then they'd be recaptured. You suppose the Bionic Terrorist is still scampering about free? You suppose his dear old (terrorist raising) momma is still smirking proudly?

BTW, the thought also occurred that maybe one reason the Bionic Terrorist could run fast could be methamphetamine, also known as speed. We know the Bad Guys are doping up to stay bad. It seems to me that if (1) he's running supernaturally fast, (2) he collapses suddenly, and (3) he acts confused or retarded, might not there be a chemical explanation, too?

8/10/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Pa. Soldiers Suffer Deadliest Day in Iraq:

Pennsylvania is mourning the deaths of seven National Guard soldiers killed in Iraq in less than four days, including five slain during the deadliest day of the war for the state's soldiers, the governor announced Wednesday.

"It brings home the crushing reality of this war," Gov. Ed Rendell said at a Capitol news conference.

http://wireservice.wired.com/wired/story.asp?section=Breaking&storyId=1074470&tw=wn_wire_story

8/10/2005 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Michael Yon gives writers a good name.

He reminds me of the first book that shook me awake about my fellow Americans' experience in Nam.

”Dispatches – by Michael Herr

Herr took himself to Khe Sanh, to experience the siege of our Marines and other troops, surrounded by divisions of the same relentless enemy who had crushed another hill fort manned by the French, Dien Ben Phu. Herr's writing from the trenches is one of the few post-WWII things I have found comparable to Yon.

"Is that a man? Is that a Man!"

(The Right Stuff)

8/10/2005 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger sugar said...

Enemy snipers covering the IED area exchange fire with Deuce Four.

Thats what its really turning into - sniper warfare. So much so that the Army is trippling the number of its sniper forces to that of the Marines which have 3 snipers per platoon I believe. The sniper schools here in the US are putting on crash courses to deploy snipers to Iraq.

Enemy at the Gates anyone?

8/10/2005 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

me softly with his song...Michael Yon writes like his pen is dipped in the veins of his subjects and memorialized in their holy .These young men are better than we deserve.Anybody who's been a groundpounder in some strange exotic ground shivers at these accounts.
I met a guy in an airport with the Electric Strawberry on his BTUs and he had just been in Iraq and we had one of those moments as that was my division in Viet Nam.Maybe he'd been in Mosul.
I've read the problem in Mosul is it once was a Kurd area but Saddam did what tyrants do and repopulated it with Sunnis.They're probably fighting to hold onto their thieving gains .
The one Spammer captured the moment with his Charo week in San Francisco blog.That's about the perception of so much of America while these brave warriors are carrying the mail for us.
God keep them and steel their hearts.

8/10/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Sorry for the semi-coherent post.The preview function malfunctioned and my filter took out some words.

8/10/2005 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Iran removes UN's nuclear seals:

Iran has broken all the remaining UN seals at its nuclear plant at Isfahan, making it fully operational.

The EU and US suspect Iran's scheme is a cover for a nuclear weapons programme.

Iran says it has the legal right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to carry out the nuclear fuel cycle.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4136662.stm

8/10/2005 08:54:00 PM  
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8/10/2005 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So, if we nuke Iran, who's going to say, "Bad Imperialist!"? Russia is even being quoted telling them to knock it off.

8/10/2005 10:40:00 PM  
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8/10/2005 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT,

A Motive For Berger's Bizarre Behavior?
This is a stunning revelation about the Clinton administration's role in preventing intelligence from passing from the military to law enforcement concerning the 9/11 hijackers:
This is a stunning revelation about the Clinton administration's role in preventing intelligence from passing from the military to law enforcement concerning the 9/11 hijackers:
Dr. Sanity
9-11 Coverup:
. Captain Ed .

. Rep Curt Weldon 2002 .
...why was that 3-hour briefing with the recommendations to take out 5 cells of bin
Laden's network condensed down to a 1-hour brief when it was given to
General Hugh Shelton in January of 2001? And why were the
recommendations to take out 5 cells not followed up on? That is the
question we should get answered, Mr. Speaker.
Because 1 year before 9-11, the capability that special forces built
actually identified to us the network of al Qaeda. And they went beyond
that and gave us recommendations where we could take out cells to
eliminate their capability. So for those pundits out there sitting in
their armchairs criticizing President Bush, they have it all wrong.
Facts are a tough thing to refute, and the fact is that back in 1997,
we told the administration at that time what to do. In 1998, we briefed
the agencies. In 1999, we put language in a defense bill. In 2000, we
put language in a defense bill. In 2000, special forces command built
another mini version of that capability. And in 2000 they briefed
General Shelton telling him to take out 5 cells of bin Laden's network.
All of that activity could have prevented or helped to prevent 9-11
from ever occurring. I challenge my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, to review
the facts. I challenge the media to report the truth.
We still do not have a national collaborative center.
.``Before the U.S. can take
action against emerging threats, we must first understand
their relationship to one another, their patterns, the people
and countries involved and the level of danger posed to our
nation,'' Weldon says, ``That is where NOAH begins.''
. http://justoneminute.typepad.com/main/2005/08/able_i_was_ere_.html .
. Able Danger Spy Ops .

8/10/2005 11:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Better to have 3,000 die than to displease Gorelick's liberal lawyers.
.
...However, because of concerns about pursuing information on "U.S. persons" - a legal term that includes U.S. citizens as well as foreigners admitted to the country for permanent residence - Special Operations Command did not provide the Army information to the FBI. It is unclear whether the Army provided the information to anyone else.
The command instead turned its focus to overseas threats.

If the team did identify Atta and the others, it's unclear why the information wasn't forwarded. The prohibition against sharing intelligence on "U.S. persons" should not have applied since they were in the country on visas and did not have permanent resident status.
...and If a US Citizen wants to commit mass murder, he was/is? even LEGALLY entitled to protection.
Works for me, I'm a tolerant guy.

8/10/2005 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Bush, defense, foreign policy teams to meet:

Last January, when Iraq had its first elections, troop levels were raised as high as 160,000, mainly by overlapping some units arriving in Iraq to begin a one-year tour with those who were ending their yearlong tours. Di Rita said that this time commanders could also ask for volunteers to serve extended tours or send some U.S.-based troops to Iraq to augment the force during the fall election period.

The White House says Rumsfeld will brief the president on the Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated top-to-bottom review of defense strategy and plans. The review, begun earlier this year, will be completed around January, in time for the February budget submission.

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/news/special_packages/iraq/12352140.htm

8/10/2005 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Just read Yon's dispatch. Wow... Thanks, Wretch.

8/11/2005 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Red A said...

If the delivery man and trigger man are primariliy in it for the money, I can understand how Mom would be proud and how fast the guy talked.

I still think we should have set up an oil trust fund that would issue monthly checks to keep the mercs from fighting for a small paycheck AND as an incentive to keep the government in power, infrastructure intact..."we can no longer deliver oil revenue checks to the following cities due to insurgent activity...once the activity has been reduced, delivery of checks will recommence."

8/11/2005 01:19:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Then again, Bionic Speeder MIGHT have been playing the fool, because he and Mom had talked it over; he had a fallback to give up (two of 3 buried IEDs); he really expected to be lionized by EVERYBODY around him (because of his mindset/attitude/choice-of- companions); and is only NOW finding out how wrong, how very wrong he was, about the W.H.O.L.E. bizness!

8/11/2005 05:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

He and mom were not wrong, it is off to the detention center where 3 hots and a cot, along with warm showers are the norm.
There will be no one there to put panties on his head. 90 to 120 days from now he will most likely be released, as is the norm for those rounded up.
If we handed this terrorist over to the Iraqis, his cell would have been identified and rolled up, or dispersed. Now they are still on the ground in Mosul, plotting their next IED ambush.
The Iraqis must be given the opportunity to secure their country, themselves. If we do not devolve, to them, the Authority they will never be able to handle the Responsibility.

8/11/2005 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

A hot flash from the Queen of Thailand:(paraphrasing) "Religion should be a matter of personal freedom. Worshippers SHOULD be free to worship in freedom."

While she was at pains to tiptoe around the Muslim atrocities in southern Thailand, yet in her Mother's Day address to the nation she dwelt on the Muslim Problems for nearly 10 minutes out of a 25-minute speech.

She's very concerned, and has valid reason to be: her beloved nation is being torn to pieces at the whims of Thai (and foreign) thugs calling themselves Muslims! 21:18 Thai

8/11/2005 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

sam -- fwiw, maybe the deaths of 30 pennsylvanians on 9/11 (source: http://www.thewgalchannel.com/news/2475426/detail.html) should have "[brought] home the crushing reality of this war," to the PA governor.

8/11/2005 07:23:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If 'Rat is right, it would mean a Bremmer-Like entity is still in charge.
(as bad as NO ONE being held accountable after the Clinton/Gorelick/Berger Coverup)
OK, 1 sock stuffer awaits his sentencing.
...and many other perps move on up in the govt. to continue to put the country at risk with their lies.

8/11/2005 07:55:00 AM  
Blogger old man said...

Yon is the current Ernie Pyle he likes the troops and reports what is going without a whole lot of political bias. Besides he likes our troops and anyone who has met them does they are our best and brihgest

8/11/2005 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger J said...

Yon's account of Mosul makes it sound like more fun that a Die Hard weekend.

No wonder so many sign up for the adventure.

Me, I don't even know what IED means, and Cozumel beats out Mosul every time.

http://www.templarbond.com

3/06/2006 09:14:00 AM  

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