Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Propaganda of the Deed

Iraq the Model believes that the car bombs which hit Baghdad, with especially deadly effect on civilians, killing over a hundred, was Al Qaeda's revenge for Coalition Operations against Tal-Afar.

Eleven explosions till now in Baghdad alone and the news are coming while I type these words. I passed by two of the car-bombs on my way home, one of them-gladly-failed to detonate and the driver was arrested, he was apparently trying to attack the interior ministry, the crowd that gathered in the scene say the driver was Syrian. A few minutes later I saw a big explosion that was close to the green zone. The other passengers in the mini bus were discussing the explosion in Kadhimiya that killed more than a hundred construction workers who were waiting for employers to hire them.

The Washington Post described the attacks in this way.

Targets included crowds of Iraqi civilians and at least three U.S. military convoys. The deadliest attack, in a northwest Baghdad neighborhood, exploded among crowds of Shiite Muslim day laborers gathered to look for work. Iraq's Interior Ministry spokesman, Col. Adnan Abdul-Rahman, said 90 people were killed.

Iraq the Model continues:

The Al-Qaeda called it the "battle for avenging Talafar" and this gives us a clue of the extent of the losses inflicted upon Al-Qaeda by Iraqi and American troops and the anger and frustration associated with these losses. The huge losses of Al-Qaeda in Talafar were in my opinion a result of the poor training of the new recruits as many of the old, well trained fighters were either killed or arrested over the past two years.

US casualties to this point in September have been a third of those for the same month point in time as last year, despite the Tal-Afar offensive. One possible explanation is as Iraq the Model suggests, "the poor training of the new recruits" as the more experienced enemy fighters are killed off. If he is right, then the enemy would logically aim his remaining assets at soft targets. Although no definite information is in yet, the Baghdad attacks against US formations were probably far less deadly than those delivered against the jobless Shi'ite construction workers. Ironically the harder it becomes to hit American troops, the more likely the enemy is to turn his sights on civilian targets.

There is very little military value to massacring jobless people, as even the dimmest bulbs in Al Qaeda would realize. Therefore the goals of this attack must be entirely political: to hearten the insurgency's supporters and possibly to provoke a sectarian war. However, it may have the entirely opposite effect and strengthen the government's public mandate to do whatever it takes to wipe out the insurgents. Iraq the Model says, "this reminds me of Saddam when he felt that his end was nearing and called the battle "the hawasim" (the final or decisive) and it was indeed as it ended his reign."

We shall see.


Blogger kstagger said...

I'm _still_ waiting for the much predicted Civil War to break out... you know, the one that is just around the corner... or the next corner... or the next...

Tonight I will be going to see Victor Davis Hanson 'debate' Huffington. I'm not expecting much of a debate, more of a liberal sob-story (Huf.) versus rational judgement(VDH).

9/14/2005 07:46:00 AM  
Blogger pragmatist said...

wretchard suggested:

"Ironically the harder it becomes to
hit American troops, the more likely
the enemy is to turn his sights on
civilian targets."

Actually, there is nothing ironic about
that at all. The same holds true in
any terror situation.

The IRA came to the same conclusion

So too the Cechan "militants".

And the Basque "separatists".

The Palestinian terrorists have never
really tried to attack the IDF. School
children who can't fight back are a
much easier target.

9/14/2005 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

While there is no "military value" in attacking innocents, that is viewing things in Western terms of Military Value.
Afghanistan prior to the U.S. invasion represents the ideal society for the likes of Bin Laden.
He represents those who can only stand tall because others have been laid low - the "military value" of such attacks derives from that philosophy.
Even if they won in Iraq, the terrorist "government" would keep killing such people anyway - just as Saddam did.

9/14/2005 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Common Cents said...

Why would al Queda perform such horrendous acts? Why to buck up support in the NY Times and other MSM outlets.

9/14/2005 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


One of the basic functions of Government is to protect the life and limb of the citizenry. All governments must do this or they fail. AQ & the Baathists know this and are working to show Ahmed Abdulla (aka Joe Sixpack) the government in Iraq can not protect them. IIRC this is what happened in Algeria, which Wretchard has discussed here in the past.

Also, the end battle rhetoric is becoming louder and louder from the AQ types. I believe it to be rhetoric and little else.

9/14/2005 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Amazingly tenacious little buggers. Of course a civil war is unlikely to happen if only because the populace definitely seems a little exhuasted, not riled up for a decade as generally precedes such outbreaks. Least that's my impression. But who knows, maybe it'll all go up in a ball of fire. I doubt that would be my first or second thought, however, without the media's constant monomaniacal "We're so wise! It's Vietnam! Power to the Hippies!" yawping.

9/14/2005 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

"The Tal Afar operation is obviously a quagmire, and worse, it has given the terrorists the justification to attack us here in Baghdad. The Administration needs to explain why our people are dying for a war of occupation and a veiled attempt to secure oil on the cheap. We are in a battle for the hearts and minds of our Iraqi people, and we are losing. The unilateral actions of the Administration, along with its doctrine of preemption, has alienated our friends in Syria, Iran, and Waziristan, not to mention our longtime Baathist compatriots and France, and never before has the image of Iraq been so tarnished. These countries are sending men to murder our people, and it would be irresponsible for us not to ask why they hate us so. Something is wrong when we are opening firehouses in Tal Afar and having them blown up in Baghdad. The war is lost, and we have no exit strategy. Bring the troops home, Mr. President, before any more die for your lies."

Ted al'Kennedi, Democratic Socialists of Baghdad.

9/14/2005 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger nellodee said...

Sadly, this is very good news for our side. Do you remember the first part of OIF where homicide terror attacks on iraqi civilians were blamed on the coalition forces? Because the Qu'raan explicitly forbids muslims killing other muslims. At first the iraqis simply could not believe that other muslims would kill them. But every attack now reinforces just exactly who is doing the killing.

The reality tv show on al-Iraqiya is a good example, where weeping relatives get to accuse the captured terrorist who slaughtered their kin face to face. And the terrorists, instead of being the amanu (those who keep the faith), are being transformed into the mukadhdhibun (those who are not content to refuse to assert certain Qu'raanic understandings, but who actively persecute those who do).

*wistfully* maybe the time will come when some imams preach to the nature of the terrorists, and explain that they not good muslims carrying on jihaad, but mukadhdhibun, refusing the teachings of the Qu'raan and defiling the nature of Islam.

9/14/2005 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

Hey al-Kennedi,

You are misquoting AGAIN! You left out Germany, Russian, China and your Saudi Wahhabi masters!

Other than that O.K.

(Great Satire, Aristides! Heh! Heh! Ha! Ha!)

9/14/2005 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Therefore the goals of this attack must be entirely political: to hearten the insurgency's supporters and possibly to provoke a sectarian war.

It seems clear that "the bit dog is hollering" and that is good. Of course the goal is always political theater to be consumed by the western media and used for propaganda purposes by the left/msm. However, evidence is beginning to mount that the attempt to provoke a sectarian war is getting, at best, mixed results.

From the WaPO Sunday, August 14, 2005; Page A01
BAGHDAD, Aug. 14 -- Rising up against insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi, Iraqi Sunni Muslims in Ramadi fought with grenade launchers and automatic weapons Saturday to defend their Shiite neighbors against a bid to drive them from the western city, Sunni leaders and Shiite residents said. The fighting came as the U.S. military announced the deaths of six American soldiers.

From Al-Reuters
RAMADI, Iraq, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Two Sunni Arab tribes, one loyal to al Qaeda and the other to the government, clashed in western Iraq, killing at least 20 people and wounding scores, clerics and hospital officials in the town said on Saturday...The tribes fought months ago and violent confrontations erupted again on Friday and Saturday near Qaim


I think the relevant discussion regarding Algeria was that the French lost because they became so Draconian that they drove their indigenous supporters over to the side of the rebels. In the current case, it is Zarqawi et al who are taking the Draconian approach, while the kid glove approach of the US and the nascent Iraqi government vis-a-vis the Sunnis appears to be vindicated.

9/14/2005 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

- the more grieving extended family members there are, the more people that will report terrorists -

9/14/2005 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger metatron118 said...


Is the show on the web anywhere? It sounds like great IO.

9/14/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Yes perhaps. Then they are attacking the wrong people and perhaps the support they have among the left is actually hindering their cause!

Quite a few people I talk to are of the (Michael) Savage Mind, that is that we are not being brutal enough, that we should just turn Iraq into an obsidian plain and be done with it. Action such as this would indeed backfire.

9/14/2005 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

I believe that American MSM has significantly affected public opinion of the war in Iraq. Reporting on the war is overwhelmingly negative. Even straight news reporting is accompanied by snide remarks from reporters. Still most Americans know that anything short of victory in Iraq is an American disaster. Victory is the establishment of a free and democratic Iraq capable of defending itself.

The media has a different definition of victory. To the MSM victory means no Iraqi disagrees with the current constitution, no Iraqi expresses dissatisfaction with the interim government, no Iraqi is involved in the terrorist insurgency, and no terrorist attacks are committed. This unrealistic measure of success is not one that should be used to gauge American effectiveness or lack thereof.

The terrorist insurgency is slowly, sometimes imperceptibly, being routed and crushed. One measure of the terrorist insurgency is its political status. The terrorist insurgency has lost the political struggle in Iraq. The terrorist insurgency wants to impose an authoritarian, nominally Islamic, political system dominated by the Sunni minority. If the terrorist insurgency was successful, there would be a clear split between former Bathists and Islamic fundamentalists leading to the suppression of the fundamentalists through overt force. A Sadamite government would reemerge with some new dictator.

Recent polls show the majority of Iraqis do not want to return to a Sadamite government. The majority of Iraqis want to vote for a representative type government. The majority of Iraqis want an open society consistent with Islamic and local customs. The majority of Iraqis are not sympathetic to terrorist/insurgent causes. The majority of Iraqis see a bright future in the near term.

Another measure of the terrorist insurgency is its effectiveness on the battlefield. The terrorist/insurgents cannot operate openly in most of Iraq. When they do local citizens quickly turn them in. This has resulted in a series of battles near the Syrian border. Each battle has been a military disaster for the insurgency culminating with Tal Afar. The U.S. military has not been attrited in any significant way. The IDF grows stronger, more mature, and more battle hardened by the day. In contrast, the insurgency grows weaker. There are a finite and limited number of Bathists willing to take up arms against the new government. There are a finite number of jihadis willing to come to Iraq and be killed or commit suicide, and surely traveling to Iraq as a jihadist can only be described as a suicide mission. The reaction of the insurgency to its recent defeat at Tal Afar is to commit suicide attacks against soft targets of opportunity. How can this be interpreted as a sign of strength?

Another measure of the terrorist insurgency is its financial situation. I have no information on which to judge this aspect of the struggle.

Based on available information the insurgency will be defeated.

The critical aspect of the battle now is American will. Because this is not a life and death struggle for America, out-of-power politicians have politicized the war. The media is a co-conspirator in that politicization more interested in defeating the current administration than the enemy in Iraq. If any aspect of the American effort is in question it is the will of the American people to succeed.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

9/14/2005 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

And here is the angle the BBC choose to go with:

The attacks once again showed the limits of military might as a solution to the insurgency, the BBC's Rob Watson says.

When under military pressure in one part of Iraq, the insurgents simply strike elsewhere, our defence and security correspondent says.


9/14/2005 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

Maybe they had to "use 'em or lose 'em" and revenge was just the 1st excuse they could think of.

9/14/2005 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I'm working on the screenplay for a film about a young teenager who survived the Fall of Berlin, WWII.

He relates how the radio would bring rants by Der Fuhrer, telling everyone about "...the Final Decision..." as Nazi Germany was being pounded into rubble!

The national-socialist fascist parallels with al-Qaeda Iraqi thug bombers are many, and telling. They SEE the writing on the wall, and it doesn't bring them ANY hope!

9/14/2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Rune said...

Doug Santo: Still most Americans know that anything short of victory in Iraq is an American disaster.

Well I hope you're right because I've several times discussed with liberal Americans (on for instance) whom wished for more US casulties and American defeat on the logic that a bloody war and a disgraceful defeat will deter Bush from starting another illegal war.

9/14/2005 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Redneck Texan said...

I think our new tactic of dressing up a cooperative local in an Iraqi army uniform and a hood, then rounding up all men in a village and letting him point out the bad guys has really thrown a wrench in our smiley faced enemy's M.O. of using the populace for camouflage.

Even if our masked informer only fingers the bad guys in the other tribe, or picks out some innocent ones, it will decrease the local populaces incentive to harbor their Jihadi / insurgent brothers.

The only flaws in our new tactic is that we arrest the fingered ones instead of allowing the pesh merga to summarily execute them on the spot, and that for some asinine reason the local Cleric is not included in the round-up.

I think once the US military and Media get to hell out of the way the new Iraqi Army will be able to nip this insurgency in the bud relatively quickly, using methods historically proven to resonate within our enemy's culture.

9/14/2005 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Rem870 said...

I just read the following headline at - Al-Qaida in Iraq leader purportedly declares war on Shiites, Iraqi troops. That's all they've got thus far. Could be a civil war is a brewin'. Or it could be a uniting factor. We'll see.

9/14/2005 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger tex said...

From the post: "Targets included crowds of Iraqi civilians and at least three U.S. military convoys. The deadliest attack, in a northwest Baghdad neighborhood, exploded among crowds of Shiite Muslim day laborers gathered to look for work. "

Any thoughts on why social institutions in Iraq have not changed in some way to discourage crowds of people standing around? For example, waiting in lines rather than crowds would reduce the number killed from a suicide bomber. I understand the big advantage from being in the front of the line of the unemployed, but still. I live in a major city, take public transportation, and I am almost never in a crowd of more than 100 people.

9/14/2005 11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Yea, they are getting more desperate, but until we shut down their money supply from around the world, (I have no idea how to stop the kidnappings) and jail the mullahs who are recruiting and brainwashing new recruits (all over the world), there is no way to defeat them in the long run.

There are two assholes in Iraq right now (along with their close ass.ociates, that need to be arrested today.

I'll let you guess who.

Papa Ray
West Texas

9/14/2005 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger ricksamerican said...

"Therefore the goals of this attack must be entirely political: to hearten the insurgency's supporters"

The American press can get pix in Baghdad but not in Tal Afar--I firmly believe these attacks are staged more for the benefit of the US MSM to defeat us at home, than at the actual victims. As you say, what point can there be in the wanton slaughter of innocent civilians when it is obvious that it is alienating the population. If your goal is absolute domination under Shari'a, it makes no difference what the subjugated thinks of the subjugator. The only conceivable goal of the jihadis here is to make the 6 0'clock news

9/14/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

Another nice little statistic, Iraqi Security Force fatalities are down 40% in September(6 a day) from July(10 a day).

9/14/2005 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Waiting in a line is a foreign concept in Arabia.

It really is.

9/14/2005 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jrod said...


"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." --Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002
I wonder if he was nippin' at grandpapy's cough syrup when he said this, or the comments you just cut/pasted?

9/14/2005 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Reg Jones said...

Al Qaeda Declines in Northern Iraq, Military Officer Says

WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2005 – Eighty percent of al Qaeda's network in northern Iraq "has been devastated" since January due to the capture or killing of key leaders and the outrage of Iraqi citizens...

Carnage wrought by foreign terrorists also has caused Iraqis who used to favor the return of the defunct Saddam Hussein regime to change sides and support the new Iraqi government...

Today, Mosul's citizens routinely identify insurgents and provide other information to U.S., coalition and Iraqi security forces...

Brown said enemy mortar attacks in his area have decreased to about six a month, compared to around 300 monthly prior to the January elections.

And "we have not seen well-trained foreign fighters" since the elections, Brown said. Foreign terrorists captured these days are poorly trained and "very young," he noted, ranging in age from 15 to 17 years old.

Al Qaeda is "clearly our biggest threat" in Iraq, Brown said. Of 550 terrorists killed during U.S.-coalition operations in northern Iraq during February and March, he estimated between 60 percent and 70 percent of enemy casualties were foreign fighters...

The brigade's victories against terrorists haven't come without cost, he noted, with 33 having lost their lives in Iraq over the past 11 months...

He said 115 rocket-propelled-grenade rounds, as well as myriad machine-gun bullets, have failed to penetrate the Stryker's tough skin during his brigade's tour in Iraq.

9/14/2005 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

The vengeance culture of the Middle East needs to be taken into account,much like the mafia no affront can be allowed to go unpunished.Al Qaeda cannot be sen to be taking powerless,nonetheless by attacking civilians and soft targets they are proving to be so.
From the beginning the mighty Holy warriors have been the murderers of women and children,ambushers and assassins,slaughterers of the defenceless.These are not soldiers,nor even terrorists,they are bandits pure and simple,the remedy should be the same as it always was.

9/14/2005 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

Army Col. H. R. McMaster, commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment Tuesday, September 13, 2005 1:07

"I'd like just to briefly characterize the enemy, describe who we're fighting here. This is an enemy, who when they came in, they removed all the imams from the mosques, and they replaced them with Islamic extremist laymen. They removed all the teachers from the schools and replaced them with people who had a fifth-grade education and who preached hatred and intolerance. They murdered people. In each of their cells that they have within the city has a direct action cell of about 100 or so fighters. They have a kidnapping and murder cell; they have a propaganda cell, a mortar cell, a sniper cell -- a very high degree of organization here. And what the enemy did is to keep the population from performing other activities. To keep the population afraid, they kidnapped and murdered large numbers of the people here, and it was across the spectrum. A Sunni Turkmen imam was kidnapped and murdered. A very fine man, a city councilman, Councilman Suliman (sp), was pulled out of his car in front of his children and his wife and gunned down with about 30 gunshot wounds to his head. The enemy conducted indiscriminate mortar attacks against populated areas and wounded scores of children and killed many others. The enemy here did just the most horrible things you can imagine, in one case murdering a child, placing a booby trap within the child's body and waiting for the parent to come recover the body of their child and exploding it to kill the parents. Beheadings and so forth.

So the enemy's grip over this population to maintain the safe haven was based on fear, coercion, and these sort of heinous acts. And not only were they targeting civilians, brutally murdering them, torturing them, but they were also kidnapping the youth of the city and brainwashing them and trying to turn them into hate-filled murderers."

This is the enemy we are fighting. I wonder why western media do not report stuff like this.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

9/14/2005 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

"Bombs, gunmen kill over 150 in Baghdad"

That is the headline from Reuters. It is displyed at the top of my homepage in Yahoo.

Reuters reporters were at Col McMaster's press briefing portions of which were listed in my previous post. I guess the reporters didn't hear the Col describe how his unit and thier Iraqi counterparts chased the terrorist/ insurgents in and around Tal Afar. Strange.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

9/14/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

The attack on Shiite civilians and the declaration of war on Shiites is an acknowledgement of defeat packaged in bluster.

Zarqawi's brutality and the insurgency will continue for some time, but they are doomed to dwindle and fade away. Sunni's are not going to follow him over the cliff. Even if they did uniformly, it is suicide for 20% of the population to declare war on the other 80%, expecially when the other 80% (Shia Arabs and Kurds) has the backing of the United States.

Moreover, if Zarqawi continues to make the even bigger mistake of trying to force Sunni's to go along with his insane plan through intimidation, his movement will disappear all that much quicker as a result of a torrent of tips from Sunni informants.

9/14/2005 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger BigLeeH said...

I think the insurgency has run out of time for their civil war. The political process has progressed to the point where an increasing majority of Iraqis look to the new Iraqi forces as the group that ought to be responding to the insurgents. There is, to be sure, a great deal of dissatisfaction with the pace and effectiveness of the process of rebuilding the Iraqi security forces but that impatience is a sign that a corner has been turned.

The image of the insurgents in Iraq increasingly resembles the villains in old-fashoned melodrama -- twisting their moustaches and declaring "Foolish Shia and Kurds, your puny army cannot defend you" while their supporters, seeing the handwriting on the wall, start to quietly look for the exit.

As for how their attacks play in the US they are accomplishing less than they think. Most Ambericans will read the gory headlines looking for US casualties and if there aren't many they will tend to think "Those wacky Iraqis are killing each other again -- we ought to do something about it... Oh yes, we are, aren't we? Well, carry on then." Iraqi casualties will make headlines in the US -- the left-leaning media will see to that -- but they make less impact.

9/14/2005 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Attacks on three American convoys resulted in 10 wounded US soldiers; no deaths. That means we are still under fifteen KIA for September, despite the Tal-Afar offensive and despite their retaliation. But since they've killed 150 civilians, it's an 'insurgent victory'. Personally I don't think so.

9/14/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger N. O'Brain said...

Every Iraqi killed causes three more to join the....government side????

Hey, wait a minute.....

9/14/2005 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

I suspect it is the security we impose that creates the lines. With our self imposed "safe zone" in the center of Baghdad, we set up a situation where there would be lines of people being checked as they came and went.

We would have been much better off if we had set up our bases outside the cities, and had less of a target. It may be that the looting set up a situation where we felt we had to protect the main assets left, i.e. the oil ministry.

Like Katrina, Monday Morning quarterbacking is always easier. It is easier to find scapegoats, rather than actually figure out if something went wrong, and try to solve it.

9/14/2005 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Sadly the "insurgents" understand the whores of the media and their lust for blood,column inches will be in direct proportion to the body count.It is time the media were asked,"How people their words killed today?"

Another point is, Syria will be looking fearfully at the ne Iraqi army which,I would predict will be banging on the gates of Damascus,so anything that wards off that fateful day will be perpetrated.

9/14/2005 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

What is the equivalent of Breakout and Pursuit in Counter-insurgency operations?

The Sioux looked strong at Little Big Horn, but they were really broken at the Wagon Box fight prior. They were no longer able to keep the buffalo hunters out or the buffalo in or protect their wintering grounds.

Hard campaigning followed, but the losses at both battles reduced the Sioux's options for maintaining their Communcations and made the subsequent defeats inevitable.

The removal of the River Rat lines and then the closing of the Syrian border is the equivalent of killing the buffalo and then campaigning into the Black Hills.

The huge numbers killed in Tal Afar suggests a deliberate herding strategy or a panicked reaction of the terrorists. Massing huge numbers of insurgents into a pocket where they can be killed shows a breakdown in command and control.

9/14/2005 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The other passengers in the mini bus were discussing the explosion in Kadhimiya that killed more than a hundred construction workers who were waiting for employers to hire them"
This has been asked here before, (hopefully not in this comment thread which has yet to be read by me)
But why isn't it possible to lessen casualties by not having big groups on the street?
Often there are other venues, and in this case they could have at least been in a long line rather than a bunch.
Is it a cultural thing that cannot be overcome?

9/14/2005 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

red river 5:17 PM,
Disregard my advice when it is them doing it in response to our helpful prodding!

9/14/2005 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Marcus, 12:51 PM
Even under threat of death, the habit cannot be broken?
Am I stuck back on the Palestine thread, or what?

9/14/2005 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Carridine, 10:41 AM,
I know someone here that lived that life!
I'll contact him if you're interested.
He's a very outgoing, fun loving, sociable single guy that loves to talk.

9/14/2005 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

One thing I wonder about: Will the common method of attacks between the Israelis and the Iraqis lead to an alliance between those two countries?
They are in a better position to understand what each other are going through than anyone else.
And both have great reason to hate Syria and to be concerned about Iran.
It was Karzi of the new Afghanistan who said "We see eye to eye with Israel on terrorism." Of course, in that case both could see "Arabs" as the main problem.
But it would be ironic, if not too surprising if both the new Iraq and Israel decided to cooperate in order to clean up the neighborhood - because they are both fighting Arabs who fight in the same brutal way.
And remember - the Palestinians were pro-Saddam.

9/14/2005 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

J. Random American, 10:36 AM
Wasn't that the rationale for Desert Storm?
Hence no need to pursue beyond the highway of death.
(stocks were reduced to "reasonable" levels, mission accomplished)

9/14/2005 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

They could use a pipeline between the two as jihadi bait.
(while oil runs through the parallel one beneath the sands.)

9/14/2005 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT: AstroBrain needed:

Astronomers from Japan and the University of Hawaii have used telescopes to measure a massive star in the throes of dying about 12.8 billion light-years away -- the most distant explosion of a star seen from Earth.

The gamma ray burst came from the explosion of the star at the dawn of the universe. (Anybody know HOW we "know" this?)

The astronomy team that measured the precise distance of the dying sun was led by Nobuyuki Kawai, astronomer with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, using the 8.2-meter Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea.

The Subaru telescope is Japan's largest optical-infrared telescope and operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

Other astronomers collected information through telescopes worldwide, including NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea and the Magnum telescope on Haleakala.
. Starlight, Starbright

9/14/2005 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Great Clip at CNN:
Dems to blame for Brown hire? 2:21)
Democrats share blame for FEMA fallout for greenlighting Director Mike Brown. CNN's Ed Henry reports

9/14/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Judge Carlton, who outlawed The Pledge in school,
(God and all)
earlier ruled IN FAVOR of Muslim Prisoner Religious Rights!

9/14/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I wonder how many attacks on civilians like this it will take before the MSM and unthinking liberals will give up on the idea that America is causing all the trouble in Iraq?

I would estimate an infinite number.

9/14/2005 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I agree with what seems to be the consensus that this deliberate targeting of civilians is a sign of desperation on the part of the terrorists. I'm wondering, too, if this presages a pull-out of Iraq by Al-Queda to go and focus on the soft underbelly of Saudi Arabia. After all, our little terrorist buddies have shown they *really* don't like to deal with people who shoot back, and where else on earth do you have literal Keystone Kops who kill 160 civilian bystanders in order to bag 116 terrorists ... after how many escapes and misadventures and miraculous disappearances?

al-Qaeda vs the Magic Kingdom

By Bill Roggio

In a recent poll at an online forum of radical Islamists closely associated with al Qaeda in Iraq, the participants overwhelmingly endorsed taking the fight to Saudi Arabia (72 to 28% in favor). In the same timeframe, al Qaeda’s commander in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has openly denounced the royal family of Saudi Arabia. "The (Saudi) tyrants are traitors to the nation and its religion, who have waged war against the mujahideen and allowed the Crusaders into the peninsula of Prophet Mohammad to loot its wealth and spread corruption…From what we have seen of these tyrants, their rule has no legitimacy.”

Counterterrorism expert Evan Kohlmann states al Qaeda in Iraq’s desire to take the fight to Saudi Arabia “is yet another sign of the impending “bleedout” effect from the conflict in Iraq.” But this is misleading, as it implies al Qaeda attacks on Saudi Arabia stem from the war in Iraq, and that al Qaeda is confining its actions to Iraq in the region.

...Zarqawi is merely following the lead of Osama bin Laden, who last December praised attacks within the kingdom, endorsed the overthrow of the al-Saud regime, and called for attacks on oil infrastructure.

So the question isn’t whether al Qaeda wishes to wage war on the kingdom, because they already are at war, but whether they wish to divert resources from Iraq to do so. If they are indeed willing to divert resources, then they:

• …believe Iraq is going well, and they can afford to devote expertise, fighters, supplies and money.
• …believe Iraq is going poorly, and are moving resources from the battlefield, using the precept that they desire to war with the al-Saud regime.
• …see a weakness in the Saudi government that they wish to exploit, and calculate that bringing down the Saudi regime would force the U.S. to divert resources from Iraq.
• …are making the statements for political reasons, and the statements are designed to shore up the ranks of al Qaeda, strike fear into the west and further drive up the cost of oil, and reach out to the disaffected citizens of Saudi Arabia.

I like Option #2 listed above, that Zarqawi has lost too much too often too soon, and needs to relocate and rebuild some momentum. I have to think that these cluster bombings around Iraq somehow speak to that need, too.

9/14/2005 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Zarqawi declares ‘all-out war’ on Shiites:

Zarqawi’s group remains a potent force in Iraq and although US and Iraqi forces have claimed to have captured a number of his aides, he remains an elusive quarry despite a number of near misses.
He was reported injured in May and said to have been treated in an Iraqi hospital.

Unlike bin Laden, Zarqawi has never released a videotaped message and preferred to remain a shadowy figure. Only grainy identity shots, old images from Afghanistan and more recent photos of a portly, grizzled figure give any clue as to his appearance.

9/14/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...


Will the common method of attacks between the Israelis and the Iraqis lead to an alliance between those two countries?

Hardly. Zionism is hated. Maybe decades from now after Israel is accepted by Aran nations and in turn accepts hard Borders.

But for now, an essential trust-building element our soldiers must undertake with every Iraqi they deal with is convincing them our soldiers are not Zionists in the service of Israel.

And remember - the Palestinians were pro-Saddam.

No, Iraq got it's only support from the Palestinians. The Scuds launched on Israel were a gift every Palestinian appreciated. The support wasn't for "one man" - Saddam - it was for the Iraqi people.

There are mutual enemies, however, so like with the past secret Israeli deals with Iran, S Africa, the Soviet Union, and China....I could see them working with anyone if it was in their interests...even Iraq.

9/14/2005 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger exguru said...

We would all be much poorer without Amod and his THE IRAQI MODEL over the past couple of years. If we had been depending on BBC, Reuters, AP, NY Times and Chuck Hagel, we would have given up a long time ago...

From President Talabani as well as THE MODEL, I have a real sense that the republican government in Baghdad has taken hold now, and that it's there for keeps. THE MODEL also remarks at one place about "improving government services," either yesterday or today.

9/14/2005 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

WORLDVIEW Britain’s Turnaround On Terrorism:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, on a visit to India as current president of the EU council, called on the world to send “a clear and unified message” against inciting terrorism. That declaration was made at a news conference on September 7 with Blair seated alongside his Indian counterpart.

Given recent and repeated attempts by Blair’s man-on-the-spot in Kathmandu to soft soap terrorism, the British premier’s frank assertions in New Delhi indeed made for welcome reading. They include his categorical statement that there is “absolutely no justification or excuse” for terrorism.

The plight of Muslims in Britain, post 7/7, has been well sketched in a Time magazine piece by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a newspaper columnist, entitled Living with the Bombs. One particularly evocative excerpt is this: “Shock initially united the city."

In keeping with the new zero-tolerance mood towards terrorism in Britain, it is also notable that the security service MI5 has drawn up a list of the country’s 50 “preachers of hate” who face expulsion from Britain under tough new anti-terrorism laws. It is within such a context that Blair’s anti-terrorism pronouncements in India must be assessed.

9/14/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Times of London indicates that Mr. Z has been able to unite the disparate Islamic extremist groups (as opposed to the larger Sunni grouping) and augment them with several thousand imports.

Actually, I don't expect it to succeed at all. Z is simply alienating the wider Arab world.

9/14/2005 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Reputed Terrorist Al-Zarqawi Still Shrouded in U.S.-Fed Myth, Mystery:

The Bush administration’s nearly constant focus on suspected Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi as the source of its problems in Iraq has helped turn the Islamic fundamentalist into a figure of mythic proportions, but despite the hype and hyperbole surrounding the mysterious Al-Zarqawi, little is actually known about the man or his alleged misdeeds.

According to British journalist and author Jason Burke, who has reported extensively from the Middle East for the UK Observer, Al-Zarqawi grew up in a poor Jordanian family with Bedouin roots.

Al-Zarqawi reportedly fled Afghanistan in late 2001 while the country was under invasion by the US and UK. Several reports say Al-Zarqawi spent much of 2002 moving back and forth from Iran to Iraq. The Bush administration claims that Al-Zarqawi set up a poison and explosives training camp in northern Iraq, working alongside members of Ansar Al-Islam (supporters of Islam). However, that organization, heavily targeted during the 2003 US invasion, was vocally and militantly opposed to Saddam Hussein.

Michael Ware, an Australian journalist working in Iraq for Time magazine, reported in late 2004 that Al-Zarqawi’s profile within the Islamic fundamentalist movement has grown due to his reputed ability to organize spectacular car bomb attacks and his skill at using the internet to disseminate videos showing what appear to be the beheadings of foreign contractors kidnapped and murdered by Al-Zarqawi’s associates.

9/14/2005 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Terrorists unite to plot Iraqi civil war .

9/15/2005 12:00:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Trish, say it ain't so, is this you reading ANOTHER
Anti Bush Ranter?

9/15/2005 12:22:00 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I didn't read everyone's comments but I would like to remind you that Iraq has been off the headlines for almost a week now. Seems like there is also a possibility that, besides low resources with less training and trying to get the most bang for their buck, they were probably going for the spectacular in order to get their "cause" back on the front page.

These guys are quite media savy. I think if they'd been able to do something here in the post Katrina disaster, they would have.

9/15/2005 01:04:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Fear Grows in Damascus .
Analysts believe that Assad canceled his New York trip for two reasons: U.S. officials couldn't guarantee his entourage immunity from arrest if Mehlis and the Lebanese government issued a warrant, and, more important, he feared the risk of turmoil in Damascus if he were to leave now.

What an invigorating spectacle, to watch as the rule of law squeezes the arrogant men who treated Lebanon as their private fief. Some of them are in jail; others are trying to cut deals; still others are said to have defected to other countries. Credit goes to Lebanon's new government, which was tough and united in making the surprise arrests, at dawn on Aug. 30, of the security chiefs. Rumors are spinning in Beirut and Damascus about which members of the Assad regime are ratting out their friends. A Paris-based newsletter, Intelligence Online, wrote that a Syrian intelligence colonel had defected to France with information about the Slovakian-made explosives that allegedly killed Hariri.

9/15/2005 01:39:00 AM  
Blogger Karensky said...

Why this obsession to labeling people, Shiite Muslim Construction workers, are they not Iraqi construction workers? I don't get it.

9/15/2005 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

on the OT star explosion:

They know how far because the way the light was shifted. The greater the red shift, the farther. They can tell how much it is shifted by checking where absorption lines change to.

9/15/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4: And remember - the Palestinians were pro-Saddam.

No, Iraq got it's only support from the Palestinians. The Scuds launched on Israel were a gift every Palestinian appreciated. The support wasn't for "one man" - Saddam - it was for the Iraqi people.

and for the rape of Kuwait! those pali's can back real winners...

9/15/2005 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But "the Dawn of the Universe?"
...seems a bit of a stretch,
even for a poet,
much less a physicist!

9/16/2005 01:06:00 AM  
Blogger trackersmurf said...

By the way, I don't know if you guys saw the Col McMasters statements to Stars and Stripes...

U.S. troops find chemical weapon in Tal Afar stronghold
U.S. commander derides enemy’s ‘unscrupulous’ actions

By Jeff Schogol, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Thursday, September 15, 2005

ARLINGTON, Va. — While taking down the insurgent stronghold of Tal Afar, U.S. troops discovered a crude chemical weapon, the commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment said Tuesday.

The troops had just entered a building when their ears and throats started to burn, said Army Col. H.R. McMaster in a briefing to reporters.

U.S. forces determined insurgents had rigged the chemicals to explosives, McMaster said, though he did not identify the type of chemical.

“We evacuated the civilians from the area and we demolished that building without a hazard to the people,” McMaster said.

He said several families were living near the building, suggesting insurgents intended to detonate the chemical weapon to harm them and blame it on coalition forces, he said.

Also the good Colonel is the one who kicked off the 73 Easting engagement back in Desert Storm back when he commanded Eagle Troop 2/2ACR....

It's fitting he's handling this now.

9/16/2005 01:49:00 AM  

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