Saturday, September 10, 2005

Tal-Afar

What's different about the Tal-Afar operation is that the Iraqi government is taking the lead.

Iraq's prime minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, announced the start of the offensive in a statement yesterday morning. "At 2am today, acting on my orders, Iraqi forces commenced an operation to remove all remaining terrorist elements from the city of Tel Afar," he said. "These forces are operating with support from the Multinational Force."

Tal-Afar, the area in which the operation is taking place, is located just east of the Sinjar Mountains (Jabal Sinjar), a prominent ridge along the Syrian border, and southwest of the mountainous border with Turkey, placing it across a channel between Syria and Mosul. The Guardian adds that this may be a prelude to further operations.

Amid warnings from senior Iraqi government officials that assaults were also planned for the cities of Samarra and Ramadi, troops in Tal Afar battered down walls with armoured vehicles as they conducted house-to-house searches. ... At a news conference later in the day, Jaafari said that the insurgents wanted 'to isolate Tal Afar from the political process as we are preparing for the referendum on the draft constitution ... so our duty is to protect the country and spare no effort in helping all Iraqi people.'

The New York Times adds that these steps are part of an effort to control the Syrian border.

For days, American and Iraqi forces have been encircling Tal Afar, skirmishing with the guerrillas who control the city, in preparation for a final assault. That push began at 2 a.m. on Saturday when the first Iraqi brigades began moving in, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said. On Saturday evening, as fighting died down, Iraq's interior minister, Bayan Jabr, announced that the border with Syria had been closed in Rabia, near Tal Afar. A curfew was imposed, with all travel in and out of Rabia between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. strictly forbidden. ...

The offensive was led by the Iraqi Army's Third Division, officials said ... After the operation is complete, the police commandos will maintain control of the city temporarily, then eventually cede authority to a new police force of 1,700 officers, including 1,000 recruited from Tal Afar, said Mr. Jabr, the interior minister.

First up the rivers, now the border. The pattern of campaigning against the insurgents began with an attempt to control the Euphrates and Tigris river lines moving northward from Baghdad. The current emphasis has been upon controlling the Syrian border, on which both the river lines are anchored. Over the last several months, US forces have laid down the logistical infrastructure for moving men and equipment rapidly into the space north of the Euphrates going eastward to the Tigris, a process described in the post Battle for the Border.

Apart from the military effect of the current operation, it sends the message to insurgents that these may be the first of the post-occupation crackdowns by the Iraqi government. Because the Iraqi government is dominated by Shi'ites and Kurds, not only for demographic reasons but because of the insurgency's policy of nonparticipation in the political process started by the US, there are fears that sectarian fighting in Iraq may degenerate into a civil war leading to the breakup of the country. Mounting Iraqi-led operations while there are still very large numbers of American forces in- country restrains sectarian elements from going on a rampage. It also has the advantage of putting the Syrians on notice that the new Iraqi government, which the Ba'athists are increasingly unlikely to recapture, is taking steps to maintain its territorial integrity. Given another year the new Iraqi government may come to regard the Syrian-supported infiltration as a cassus belli -- not necessarily, but the threat is there.

The insurgency is now in a position where it must choose between staying away from the Iraqi constitutional process, in the hopes that Syrian, Jihadi and international Leftist support will enable it to prevail against the new government; or concede its cause is lost and join the Iraqi government. Considering the physical oil deposits and seaports of Iraq are in areas the insurgency does not control, the largely Sunni insurgents face a declining power-curve relative to the Shi'ites and Kurds. Is it better to strike a deal now, while they have some leverage left or continue on with dwindling resources against increasingly powerful foes? Can the insurgency wait until the United States withdraws completely from Iraq?

Update

Bill Roggio has been following events on the border very closely. Border Shutdown West of Tal Afar, The Anbar Campaign Intensifies and The "Islamic Republic of Qaim" Crock.

(Speculation alert) Personally I am content to let events unfold and use the word consciously because we are going to see the seeds of much earlier effort begin to see fruition. The two most important strategic seeds have been the establishment of the new Iraqi government and the gradual establishment of its army. Because these efforts have happened in the background, unpunctuated by dramatic news stories they have largely been ignored. Yet from those two things sprang the fundamentals for victory. At one level lower has been the campaign against the insurgency: namely the reduction of the Tiger and Euphrates river lines, the blunting of the insurgent campaign to take over Mosul; the key to the oil resource and now finally the battle for the Syrian border. At a still lower level have been the operational improvements in US forces. New logistics bases to strike north, the deployment of unmanned aerial assets to provide better surveillance coverage, the silent electronic war against IEDs, the uparmoring of vehicles, etc. Finally, there was the unquantifiable improvement that came from increasing experience in American officers and NCOs in the Iraqi environment. The language and people were no longer so strange; the friends no longer so few.

The enemy has not been without successes, proving tactically adaptable and ruthless. Yet at heart his strategy was static: it was to inflict a low but continuous rate of casualty on US forces and broadcast that fact to the world. The enemy center of gravity was the US electorate. They attached video and camera crews to their striking units in the same way that US forces attached supporting weapons to theirs, creating the first combined media-military arms in history. Using these new type of formations they relentlessly projected the message, 'we are in charge'. And people believed them.

Those two competing strategies met each other head-on in Iraq. The US strategy was far superior in the conventional sense. The enemy strategy was arguably the more creative and daring; with a far larger "information" dimension than the American. Each approach had its strengths and weaknesses. The American approach emphasized changing reality and letting perception follow. It played to American strengths: logistics, training, advanced weapons, tactical speed. The enemy approach was to manage perception, both among its own base and in the field of public opinion, while striving to inflict as much damage as it could on US forces. Although it was America that first used the term, it was the insurgents who truly perfected the process of "shock and awe": the mind-altering application of battlefield force. But shock and awe are evanescent while dying tended to be permanent. My own guess is that the issue is no longer in the balance.  While some combination of political or military blunders could still save the insurgency the fundamentals are against them.

In retrospect, the insurgency's greatest failing was its inability to create a "national united front" against United States "occupation". To the end it remained a sectarian movement; and the narrowness of this focus was probably the price of its alliance with Syrian intelligence and Al Qaeda, whose tent was never large enough to admit the Shia or the Kurds. The moment of greatest danger to OIF probably came in April of 2004, when the towns west of Baghdad -- Falluja in particular -- erupted along with Moqtada Al Sadr's Mahdi Army in the south. Then, if ever, was the time to realize a "national united front". The American decision to go on the defensive on the Sunni front by aborting the Marine assault on Falluja and turning to crush the Sadr's Shi'a threat -- objectively the main threat because the Shi'as are the majority -- may have been fortuitous. Falluja never became a national symbol of resistance; and America gained time to build up effective Iraqi forces. By the time US forces returned to Falluja in November, it had acquired an evil reputation as the locus of slaughterhouses for Sunni insurgents. And the operation was carried out against a town largely deserted by its civilians and held by an enemy too vainglorious to run, with embryonic Iraqi forces in tentative attendance. Although the balance of opinion is that the aborting the First Battle of Falluja was a mistake, historians will have an interesting time examining whether in retrospect the seeds of victory were planted then. But if the failure to create a "national united front" constituted its principal strategic mistake, it was the insurgency's reliance on terror which ultimately poisoned its bloodstream. Terror is a Frankenstein monster which can destroy its creator unless it is carefully controlled. The myriad and decentralized killers, whose decentralization was accounted a military asset by some analysts -- turned their car bombs, mortars and knives on ordinary Sunnis, Shi'as and Kurds. While attacks on the Shi'a pilgrims, for example, may have brought the insurgency momentary recognition in the Western media, no one but a fool could believe it would buy them anything but enmity among its victims. Decentralization turned out to be another term for 'no command and control'. For terror to succeed it must succeed; against an immoveable object like the US Armed Forces it gradually became a public menace and another species of crime.

141 Comments:

Blogger RWE said...

Let me refer to my immediately previous post on the previous thread and ask: If the new Iraqi government chooses not to use our kid gloves approach (and it is easy to believe that they would not given who they are, what they have suffered, and the danger that exists) do we offer advice toward a kinder gentler form of warfare, look the other way, or say "And hit them a few good licks for us, too, while you are at it!" ?

9/10/2005 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

No oil fields and no ports....nothing much but Baghdad and desert. If push comes to shove, Iraq can lop off a vast portion of god-forsaken no man's land west and south of the Euphrates and never look back.

9/10/2005 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

As aristides quoted Jalal Talabani, President of a Free Iraq.

“Thank you, America, for your dignity and courage. We fought together to end a civil war. There was a civil war, a civil war of Saddam Hussein against the people of Iraq.

Now, we continue to struggle side-by-side to uproot the Iraqi fascism that has long threatened us all. By treating the Iraqi people as partners, the United States has courageously made the final and most important alteration to its policy in the Middle East."

I would postulate that the Civil War is ALMOST OVER. I think the President is a little optimistic in his English.

As Iraqi Forces take charge of Iraq the armed insurgents will have a harder time. As I've said for months this is the only winning strategy, in Iraq.
Whether the Sunnis operate as a political block or splinter is a question that will be answered definitively in October, in the Ratification Election.

9/10/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger RDS said...

Bridget said: Iraq can lop off a vast portion of god-forsaken no man's land west and south of the Euphrates and never look back.

We could call it...palestine!

9/10/2005 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Bridget said...

"We could call it...palestine!"

Or....Gaza!

9/10/2005 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

wretchard says:
"The insurgency is now in a position where it must choose between staying away from the Iraqi constitutional process, in the hopes that Syrian, Jihadi and international Leftist support will enable it to prevail against the new government; or concede its cause is lost and join the Iraqi government."

Let's all sing a chorus of "Time Is On My Side". With the MSM/Left diverted by Katrina its' efforts to cape Bush into a position to put in a few more banderillas to get him into a position for the sword, there is an opportunity to clean out some rats nests and make the insurgents position untenable.

Syria knows that any overt actions taken in support of their in country clients could draw more than just diplomatic gestures this time around. I think the significance of this is the Iraqi government taking charge to eliminate the rat lines now in place.

9/10/2005 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

W. posits: Considering the physical oil deposits and seaports of Iraq are in areas the insurgency does not control, the largely Sunni insurgents face a declining power-curve relative to the Shi'ites and Kurds.

That seems to assume this insurgency is local, rather than fueled, funded and driven by forces outside the country. Given the proportions of foreigners being captured, it seems this "insurgency" is largely becoming an attack upon the nascently re-sovereign Iraq by outside elements.

In any case, things are moving in a positive direction, though you would never get that sense if you depend on insights from Mad Magazine, errr, I mean, the New York Times.

9/10/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

tony
last proportions of captured non Iraqis was quite low. The last figures I've seen were from May '05. Just a few hundred out of tens of thousands detained.
If you have more current data please provide a link, I'd love to see it.

9/10/2005 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Al Qaeda Terrorist Thought Killed in Safe House Attack
American Forces Press Service


WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2005 – Coalition officials reported a senior al Qaeda terrorist may have been killed when fighter aircraft dropped precision-guided munitions on a terrorist safe house in the western Iraq city of Ubaydi today.
The senior al-Qaeda terror consultant and foreign fighter facilitator known as "Sheik" is believed to have been in the house at the time of the attack. Sheik has been linked to other senior al-Qaeda in Iraq and foreign fighter facilitators operating throughout the Euphrates Valley, officials said.

Intelligence sources confirmed that Sheik was specifically brought in to the Husaybah area to consult with Abu Islam, thought to have been killed in a recent coalition air strike, and Abu Ibrahim, Islam's brother and successor to manage terror operations in the area, officials noted.

Sheik has been known to have extensive connections throughout the Middle East to include Yemen, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Syria. From those countries his connections recruited and financed foreign fighters, who were later smuggled into Iraq, usually through Syria, and subsequently delivered to various terrorist groups in western Iraq, officials said.

Officials said the type of munitions used and the timing of the air strike to destroy the safe house lowered the risk to civilians in the local area.

In other news from Iraq, Task Force Freedom detained 13 suspected terrorists in operations in northern Iraq Sept. 8 and 9.

During a raid Sept. 9, soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, detained a terror suspect in western Mosul.

Multinational forces and Iraqi army soldiers from 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, detained seven terror suspects after receiving small-arms fire in Ganus Sept. 8.

In another raid, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, detained five terror suspects during separate operations in eastern Mosul.

In Tal Afar Sept. 8, Task Force Freedom soldiers killed nearly a dozen terrorists engaged in movement of arms and other operations.

Coalition aircraft flew 47 close air support and armed reconnaissance sorties Sept. 9 in support of ground troops, officials reported today. These missions included support to coalition troops, infrastructure protection, reconstruction activities and operations to deter and disrupt terrorist activities.

U.S. Air Force F-16s performed a strike against a building used by insurgents in the vicinity of Al Qaim.

Other sorties included U.S. Air Force F-16s and Navy F/A-18s that provided close air support to coalition troops in the vicinities of Al Mahmudiyah, Al Mansuriyah and Baquba. Ten Air Force and Navy intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft flew missions to support operations in Iraq. U.S. and Royal Air Force fighter aircraft also performed in a nontraditional ISR role with their electro-optical and infrared sensors.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq, and U.S. Central Command Air Forces Forward news releases.)

9/10/2005 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The Fourth Rail
September 01, 2005
The Battle for the Border III
By Bill Roggio
The Battle for the Border continues. On the heels of last Friday and this Tuesday’s air strikes and tribal fighting, Marine attack aircraft pound a train station being used as an al Qaeda weapons storage depot and headquarters last evening. Marine Captain Jack Pool emails “Over the past two days, numerous reliable sources have observed approximately 50 Al Qaeda (AQIZ) terrorists staging weapons at a train station to be used in continued attacks against local Iraqis and coalition forces.” According to the military press release, “Marine F/A-18 jets dropped precision-guided 500 pound bombs on the target after "numerous reliable sources" saw about 50 al-Qaida-linked insurgents using the facility.”

It is clear the U.S. military is working very closely with the Albu Mahal tribe, is gaining good intelligence, both human and electronic, and there is an ongoing offensive taking place to target al Qaeda fighters in the region.

The use of precision-guided munitions indicates a certain degree of sophistication with air and ground teams. The 500 pound bombs are either laser (GBU-12) or GPS (JDAM GBU-30) guided weapons. Due to the nature of urban combat and the media fallout from civilian casualties, it is highly likely U.S ground teams are working directly in conjunction with the Albu Mahal tribe in gathering intelligence, identifying the safe houses, and directing the weapons on target, much in the manner U.S. Special Forces operated with anti-Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.

The air strikes and tribal combat in Qaim and Husaybah is another operation in the Anbar Campaign (details), except this unnamed operation has a twist. The Albu Mahal tribe is acting as the ground forces, which by nature are permanently stationed in the area. If the Coalition is careful in its approach, and provides combat support, follow up reconstruction aid, and government support, the Qaim region can be the first instance of a clear and hold operation on the Syrian border - without the need for U.S. Marines to provide for the main brunt of the combat power.

9/10/2005 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

rwe,
Given that knocking down walls scene, perhaps Powell should send in Bremmer to oversee the Iraqis.
Opps, wrong term.
Sure hope it was the Iraqis that called in that precision weapon Charles relates, since we NEVER should be involved with assasinations of any kind.

9/10/2005 09:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

My kid said he has seen video from mini anmanned VTO devices dropping guided weapons, but I don't have a link.
Has anyone here seen that?

9/10/2005 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

unmanned - like a 'Rat.

9/10/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Chester said...

We are going to win. Let's hope there is some sort of impossible to ignore event that marks the occasion, otherwise, this victory will just result in our drawdown from Iraq, and the American people will either think we lost, or not know how we could have possibly won.

If you go to the site for the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities, a Marine Corps think-tank, view their reading list.
Among the texts you would expect to see about counter-insurgency is a different work that stands out: "The Tipping Point".

The point will be reached soon enough. The political and military pincers of our strategy will finally meet.

9/10/2005 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"We are going to win. Let's hope there is some sort of impossible to ignore event that marks the occasion, otherwise, this victory will just result in our drawdown from Iraq, and the American people will either think we lost, or not know how we could have possibly won."

For Pete's sake, Chester, shouldn't a win - obvious or not - bring about a drawdown? What're we gonna do, just hang out in the desert, parking our very expensive butts behind the wire, after the fat lady sings?

9/10/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

I'm STILL trying to figure out why I care if the Ba'athists and/or Sunnis get themselves locked out of the government of Iraq and/or slaughtered. They were the oppressors; Saddam's SS and Wehrmacht, respectively (to use a Nazi metaphor). Frankly, I would enjoy it if Tikrit were plowed under.

9/10/2005 09:46:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"Given another year the new Iraqi government may come to regard the Syrian-supported infiltration as a cassus belli -- not necessarily, but the threat is there."

Aaaagh. It's the Belmont Club itch.

Leave it alone already.

9/10/2005 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

No, Chester's right. Perception will be everything. We can beat 'em bloody for three rounds and still the Russian (NYT) judge will have us losing on his card.

It has to be a knockout.

9/10/2005 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There will not be a knock out punch, not in this round of the Millennium Mahdi Wars, just a change of venue.
Central Asia, Horn of Africa or Chechnya are all possible options for the Mohammedans. As well as Liberia and Nigeria, Congo and our old favorite, Sudan.

Listen to the President, Iraq is just one front in the WoT. Victory in Iraq will come in the December, with the elections. There will be no definitive point of finish, in Iraq, just a new Government and an extended US presence.

9/10/2005 10:09:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"It has to be a knockout."

Anybudee, we will be lucky - very, very lucky - to get a TKO before we go. And luckier still to get jack out of it.

9/10/2005 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

When you choose to ride a bull be happy to get off alive. Then worry about the points you scored.
Even some of the best bull riders have died in the arena, but that just adds to the rush of an 8 second ride. Getting off the bugger is always the most dangerous part of bull riding.

9/10/2005 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

3case,
Amen to Tikrit comment!
---
re: Wretch's update:
The insurgie's Media War would have been underpowered in the extreme without our turbocharging defeatist press.
The only things more depressing are some authors on Trish's reading list!

9/10/2005 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I thought Chester's Place was a Marine Corps Think Tank ?

9/10/2005 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Trish,

With the way the Mainstream Misleaders (led by Al-Pazeera) have reported this war, we are losing and losing it badly.

Without some real visible sign of victory, we will be withdrawing and most people will be assuming we lost. Kinda like Saddam surviving Desert Storm and declaring it victory but opposite.

9/10/2005 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Marines do not have many tanks, thinking or other wise, doug
Amphibious Assault Vehicles are more their style.
They are a long way from the beach, though.

9/10/2005 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

They attached video and camera crews to their striking units in the same way that US forces attached supporting weapons to theirs, creating the first combined media-military arms in history. Using these new type of formations they relentlessly projected the message, 'we are in charge'. And people believed them.

I would say this is a tactic they picked up from our forces. They are doing a good job of picking up that fight. However, a sympathetic MSM is a powerful ally of theirs.

I think in the future this idea of embedding videographers and reporters will become a standard piece of military doctrine. While I claim this is nothing new, calling it a "combined media-military arms" is novel and spot on. The terrorists use the media just like our forces use JDAMs.

Magandang gabi sa inyong lahat, matulog na ako.

9/10/2005 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just read a hilarious piece at Cutler's, I think, where the "Journalist" was seriously perturbed about why an amphib would not have a bunch more armor, kinda like a tank.
A Sink Tank for Journalists?

9/10/2005 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The only clearsign will be the elections. That is the essence of Bush's Policy. There will not a set piece battle where the Mohammedan Mahdi are defeated. They will just fade away, if Iraqis are lucky. The Jihadists moving on to the next theater and the Sunnis joining the Iraqi Republic.
If things go badly, the ISF will have to chase down and kill/capture the Sunni Insurgents. One criminal cell at a time.

9/10/2005 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

One assualt vechile for all seasons and terrain, that is what we need. A F35 for our ground pounders, one size could fit all!
Tanks that float on air, Hover Tanks, right out of Hammer's Slammers.

9/10/2005 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The near air space was filled with those ground effects airborne devices back in the 50's and 60's, at least as depicted in Pop Mech and Pop Sci mags.
---
Didja ever see the Chapparal Ground Effects Sports Racing car by Jim Hall of Texas?
The mobile vacuum cleaner had skirts around the edge, and sucked and stuck like it was on rails.
Don't know if it was eventually outlawed, or what, but it really cleaned up while it lasted.
Literally and Literally.

9/10/2005 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

ot - Alexander the Average on Scene in Austin.
But he's also a federal employee working for Homeland Security out of Austin, so as you might imagine, he has been heavily involved with responding to the devestation of Hurricane Katrina. In fact, if you haven't stopped by his blog lately, you really need to. His information and analysis regarding the relief effort has been outstanding. He's got a FEMA summary that is really informational; some personal insights from relief victims, to potential donors, and to those whose ill-advised self-deployments lead them to believe that everything is going wrong; a plea for assistance for one of his soldiers, whose home has been destroyed by the hurricance; and interesting thoughts about federal versus state/local responsibility and FEMA/DHS responsibilities, and how to better design the organization(s). He's even got a neat link, Viva Mexico!, to our southern neighbors unprecedented effort to contribute to the relief effort.
. Bobby's World!

9/10/2005 11:34:00 PM  
Blogger hollymer said...

I have remarkable film footage of a night vision movie from Iraq, showing real live action against Iraqi insurgents. The pictures were taken from an AC130 Specter gunship (plane) two and a half miles away. The guys in the picture are setting up a roadside bomb and planning to ambush an American convoy which followed a short while after the pictures were taken. They were setting up for the ambush and were pacing off the distance from the bomb to where the convoy was to pass by. The level of effort these crews put forth to control the enemy's antics is commendable, and their marksmanship with those electronically controlled 40mm cannons is astounding.

I do not think it is a matter of if we and the Iraqis will win but when...and using unmanned aircraft makes it just that much more horrific for the enemy. Our troops are just astounding and seeing this video is therapy for the down days when we lose some of our wonderful US troops. If I get discouraged, I watch this and feel much better.

9/10/2005 11:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Reality always trumps fiction!
"Does anyone think that refugees need an old typewriter?
That's one of the things that I saw someone trying to donate yesterday to the relief effort here in Austin.
"

9/10/2005 11:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

hollymer,
I saw a similar clip almost 2 years ago in which some heroic Jihadis were marching down the street, pumping away, then poof!
The first half of their ranks disappeared, more or less.
Refreshing entertainment indeed.
Next time have some Jolly Time Popcorn ready.

9/10/2005 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger hollymer said...

Doug,
This video is cool in that the gunship is over 2 miles away. You hear our soldiers discussing what the iraqis are doing, who they are. The iraqis have no idea that someone is watching them from the sky. After considerable conversation the troops decide to take these guys out...very satisfying since they were setting up a roadside bomb.

9/10/2005 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger anybudee said...

Trish and 'Rat
(Sorry, had to do a cheesy flick with the wife)

Regarding that knockout.
Chet said: We are going to win. Let's hope there is some sort of impossible to ignore event that marks the occasion, otherwise, this victory will just result in our drawdown from Iraq, and the American people will either think we lost, or not know how we could have possibly won.

That is extremely insightful and underscores the entire problem with this 'war'. We don't have any problem beating the insurgents in Iraq, (just see the comments immediately above) but we are in danger of losing the PR war. The war for American opinion.

The knockout is not an end to the whole Islamic conflict, these are just the opening bouts on the way to the gold. But they each must be won decisively or the MSM will paint them as losses.

Just like in Vietnam, our military didn't lose nary a battle, but the REMF's in Washington lost the war for american hearts and minds. That is the ONLY way that Iraq resembles 'Nam, but that is scary enough.

9/11/2005 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

hollymer, anyway we could find that video?
---
ot, humor in the midst of destruction.
(some amazing pictures from Biloxi on his blog)
---
A bittersweet moment of levity:
I went to a DMORT (see my article in today's SunHerald) center for families trying to locate missing loved ones. These four guys walk in looking for a family member and at one point the subject of dentures comes up.
The following monologue, which had everyone rolling on the floor clutching themselves with laughter, from one of the four men took place:

"Man, you fink FEMA gonna hep me ged thome new teef? I thaw my dendures floading away in da thtawm. I thweah man, I can' harly ea' nuffin. Dey wath givin ou' ham thamicheth da ova day. Me an' dith ova guy wath ea-in' nem. Took him ten minute ea' hith thamich. Took me foday-fahv minute ea' mine! I thweah' man. You fink da federa' gubnent goin hep me git thome teef back? Man, I can' ea' no cawn, no threemp. Ith terribew man, terribew."

9/11/2005 01:41:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just a Mooning Mike in the Rain

9/11/2005 01:56:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

South Mississippi's Homepage (Mike's Paper)

9/11/2005 02:03:00 AM  
Blogger Sophia Phoster said...

If you define victory as the ability to determine the political outcome the insurgency lost the Iraq Campaign when the national electoral process began. It was probably much earlier than that, I don't believe that the Baathists and Al Qaeda types ever had that ability, but Iraqis voting at the polls in a continuing, planned and structured political process towards representative government is the most visible evidence of the insurgent defeat.

The Iraq Campaign will not be over until the central government is able to assert its undisputed authority in every town and village in the country but that is quite another thing. Car bombings and roadside ambushes make life unpleasant but they are woefully inadequate to put a dictator or caliph in Baghdad.

9/11/2005 03:09:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Sophia Phoster,

That's right. There is a tremendous distinction between being able to make trouble and being able to seize power. For that reason, the failure of the insurgency to establish a "national united front" and their attempts to ignite a civil war by attacking the Shi'ites and the Kurds effectively precluded any chance of seizing power in Iraq.

After April 2004, they neither had the ability to militarily defeat the United States nor the ability to seize power in Iraq. In retrospect, the calls to bolt from Iraq and withdraw pell-mell in defeat have to be regarded with a kind of wonderment. The enemy really thought he could humbug the US into defeat, with a little help from their friends. The fact that this expectation was entirely realistic, given the insurgency's unwinnable position, really provides food for thought.

9/11/2005 03:53:00 AM  
Blogger DaveK said...

re: bridget's comment on lopping off the area to the south and west of the Euprates...

IIRC, this area is believed to have some pretty significant oil reserves, though little serious exploration has yet been done. It would be VERY foolish for the Iraqi government to abandon a potentially valuable resource to enemy forces.

Just my $.02
DRK

9/11/2005 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard,
But we SHOULD WITHDRAW NOW!
People are dying in the streets of the USA BECAUSE of our presence in Iraq.
---
The Louisiana National Guard, already stretched by the deployment of more than 3,000 troops to Iraq, was hampered when its New Orleans barracks flooded.
It lost 20 vehicles that could have carried soldiers through the watery streets and had to abandon much of its most advanced communications equipment, guard officials said.

Partly because of the shortage of troops, violence raged inside the New Orleans convention center, which interviews show was even worse than previously described. Police SWAT team members found themselves plunging into the darkness, guided by the muzzle flashes of thugs' handguns, said Capt. Jeffrey Winn.
---
Can't you SEE?
Vehicles could not be moved out of water's way in 48 hours, and police security could not be provided by the City that sent these poor souls to these detention ah refugee centers,
BECAUSE WE ARE IN IRAQ!
---
You really should spend more time reading the NY Times:
.An initial examination of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath demonstrates the extent to which the FEDERAL government failed to fulfill the pledge it made after the Sept. 11

9/11/2005 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Doug, reporting for the NY Times, reminds us of the difficulties encountered when, several days TOO LATE, the hapless LA governor finally let herself be forced to take the legal steps required of her to bring in federal help.

And, as Doug so ably reminds us all, there WERE transportation problems, exacerbated AFTER the storm by leaving 240 buses UNUSED before the storm and storm-damaged (unusable) because of the storm, thanks to Ray Nagin.

Mayor and Governor are being investigated to determine the extent of their criminal culpability in not having followed their own storm-evacuation procedures, written into law.

It is to Iraq's GREAT BENEFIT that Iraqi leaders are clearly Grey Tribe heroes and heroines!

9/11/2005 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Desert, I haven't read all the comments, so if someone else has already posted this, forgive me. This is the story I was referring to:
Iraq army: 200 insurgents arrested in Tal Afar, AP, 8 Sept 2005,
“TAL AFAR,Iraq - U.S. and Iraqi forces have encircled the insurgent stronghold of Tal Afar, and Iraqi authorities on Thursday announced the arrest of 200 suspected insurgents there — most of them foreign fighters. The Iraqi military said 150 of those arrested Wednesday in this town near the Syrian border were Arabs from Syria, Sudan, Yemen and Jordan.”

Today, there's more on this new Operation Cyclone: "The operation, which is called Zoba'a or Cyclone, started early Sunday "with the objectives of rooting out al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists operating within the area and disrupting insurgent support systems in and around the city."

Rutba is more than 370 kilometers (230 miles) west of Baghdad.

"For the past several months, terrorists within Rutbah have escalated their intimidation and murder campaign against the local populace and city government officials. The resulting effect was an increased ability to move freely within the area and a base for them to launch attacks against innocent civilians, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces."
Tal Afar 'big warehouse' for arms

9/11/2005 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

If the Sunnis don't "sue for peace" now, they risk being slaughtered by the Shi-ites after the U.S. leaves.

As far as a "knock out" punch, our victory (no matter what shape it takes) is going to be significantly muted by the MSM, either deliberately or because they lose interest in something that can't be protrayed negatively towards the administration.

9/11/2005 07:35:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

On this , the 4th Anniversey of the 11 Sep 01 attack, Mark Steyn writes in the Chicago Sun Times

"... On this fourth anniversary we are in a bizarre situation: The war is being won -- in Afghanistan, Iraq, the broader Middle East and many other places where America has changed the conditions on the ground in its favor. But at home the war about the war is being lost. When the media look at those Bush approval ratings -- currently hovering around 40 percent -- they carelessly assume the 60 percent is some unified Kerry-Hillary-Cindy bloc. It's not. It undoubtedly includes people who are enthusiastic for whacking America's enemies, but who don't quite get the point of this somewhat desultory listless phase. If the "war" is now a push for democratization and liberalization in Middle East dictatorships, that's a worthy cause but not one sufficiently primal to keep the attention of the American people. You'd have had the same problem in the Second World War if four years after Pearl Harbor we were postponing D-Day in order to nation-build in the Solomon Islands.

Four years ago, I thought the "war on terror" was a viable concept. To those on the right who scoffed that you can't declare war on a technique, I pointed out that Britain's Royal Navy fought wars against slavery and piracy and were largely successful. Of course, since then we've had the shabby habit of presidents declaring a "war on drugs" and a "war on poverty" and, with hindsight, that corruption of language has allowed Americans to slip the war on terror into the same category -- not a war in the sense that a war on Fiji or Belgium is a war, but just one of those vaguely ineffectual aspirational things that don't really impinge on you that much except for the odd pointless gesture -- like the shoe-removing ritual before you board a flight at Poughkeepsie. The "war on terror" label has outlived whatever usefulness it had.

And, as the years go by, it becomes clearer that the war aspects -- the attacks in New York, Washington, Bali, Madrid, Istanbul, London -- are really spasmodic flashes of a much more elusive enemy. Although Islamism is the first truly global terrorist insurgency, it shares more similarities with conventional terror movements -- the IRA or the Basque separatists -- than many of us thought four years ago. Terror groups persist because of a lack of confidence on the part of their targets: the IRA, for example, calculated correctly that the British had the capability to smash them totally but not the will. So they knew that while they could never win militarily, they also could never be defeated. That's what the Islamists have bet. ..."

Terror war all but forgotten on home front

It seems I'm not the only one who has seen the communication, with our Public as the main challenge in the Millenium Mahdi Wars.

As I said yesterday, we are in the midst of a "Phoney War" or as Winston Churchill referred to it, in WWII, the ‘Twilight War’. The Mohammedan Mahdi Armies, Border Bandits in another age, will have to be dealt with country by country, cell by cell, or the WoT will never make my grandchildren save.

9/11/2005 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

tony
that is realy interesting, it seems that the aQ types are not dispersed evenly in the population. When the ISF began rounding up folk, a few months ago, I guess they were "drag netting". Picking up the "Usual Suspects".
Let US hope that those detained in Tal Afar will not be soon released, as was the shooter in LTC Kurilla's incident. After being detaineed in connection with a Mess Hall bombing in Mosul.

9/11/2005 07:42:00 AM  
Blogger PLWCPA said...

OT

Doug:

I remember the Chapparal well. If I recall correctly, it was also the first racing car to use an automatic transmission.

9/11/2005 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Holy crap they got the Sheik? He was the alias talked about since the very first article about Qaim published in The Atlantic - the one describing an early hearts and minds operation where the Marines divided the town into three thoroughfares named Hustler, Penthouse and Playboy. Ha. Well that's good news - evidently the Sheik was the main suspected conduit for money moving between Iraq and Syria (especially). I hope it's true.

9/11/2005 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

In May, as I recall, there being 400-500 non Iraqi detained. If that number remained steady, or has grown to say,600, then the capture of 150 is quite signifgant.
We now would have 750 non Iraqis detained out of a prisoner population of 15,000-20,000, from a General population of 25 million.
and a Sunni minority of aprox. 5 million.
If we are being at all effective in combating the aQ element, in Iraq, than our 750 detainees should represent at least 8% - 10% of the aQ force.
aQ strength in Iraq should range in the 7500 - 10,000 man range, dispersed in a population of, in the 'Sunni triangle', about 13 million.

General Jack Keane, the former vice chief of the Army has said, last month, that U.S. forces had either captured or killed some 50,000 insurgents so far this year. Most of those would have had to have been native Sunni Insurgents.

If the October and December elections are successful and Sunni participation is close to the National Average, then the Goals in Authorization for Use of Force will have been fulfilled.

Victory gained on that Front.

The Mohammedan Mahdi Wars will continue, in another venue, at another level, with different players on their side, as surely as night follows day.

9/11/2005 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Doug and Hollymer: One of my AFROTC instructors knew the guy who invented the gunship. He kept trying to get people interested in the idea, even committing the Big No -No ofd going over his bosses' head, and finally outfitted a Piper Cub with a semiauto .22 rifle and shot at decoys on a duck pond with it to prove that you could hit something on the ground by shooting sideways. Thus was born the AC-47.
That same instructor was on the first Low Light Level TV/40MM gun equipped AC-130 when it went hunting trucks on the Ho Chi Minh trail. The NVA could not figure out where the fire was coming from; their trucks just started blowing up.
Over on VDH's site he has a Q&A session with some people - could not finish it; was making me too mad before bedtime. One idiot supposedly working on his Master's in History took VDH to task for asserting that OIF was not just like Vietnam.
My thoughts were that if Iraq is like Vietnam, we have completely secured the South, taken over all of NORTH Vietnam and the VC is reduced to scattered attacks around Hanoi.
In other words, to use the Vietnam analogy: We already have won.

9/11/2005 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

By the way, it is 11 Sep:

REMEMBER FLIGHT 93!

9/11/2005 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

Story for Doug:

Since this thread seems to be losing gas I thought I'd insert a little story for Dourg.

There are male and female sea cucumbers. When the male sea cucumber encounters a female he attach's himself to her in a bond that becomes permanent. Eventually he is absorbed into the females body and becomes just another of her organs.

Doug might want to consider getting his own blog to avoid the fate of the male sea cucumber.

9/11/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger oldefogey said...

Trish,

Sorry but we're not going to be "outta there" for a long time just as we are not "outta Korea" nor "outta Japan".

How else are we ever going to get Saudia Arabia and Pakistan to stop giving millions of dollars to the mullahs to create hate filled teens?

How else are we going to make sure that Iran knows that ANY nuclear explosion on our territory will mean immediate termination?

How else are we going to keep civil war from erupting in Iraq?

How else are we going to be sure that the kids in the sand box understand it is time to grow up and act like adults?

This does not mean we're going to have massive levels of troops deployed for decades but we will certainly be there for a long time and the world will be better for it.

9/11/2005 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

REMEMBER FLIGHT 93!

Remember the firemen...

9/11/2005 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Andrew Scotia said...

Ten Bells
I have the scanner monitoring duty this AM for our local CERT Group.

The fire dispatcher just came on the air to do Ten Bells for "...their fallen brothers in New York."

Ten Bells for all of the fallen.

9/11/2005 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

The enemy really thought he could humbug the US into defeat, with a little help from their friends. The fact that this expectation was entirely realistic, given the insurgency's unwinnable position, really provides food for thought.

Wretchard,

That is the really scary part.

We have met the enemy and he is us!

9/11/2005 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger hollymer said...

Doug,
I got the video from a friend and have it in email and have no idea how to send it on other than email so...email me at hollymer@hotmail.com and i will forward it to you..and anyone else who wants some cathartic release today...

9/11/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger hollymer said...

desert rat,
Interesting math on the detainess but what do we do with these scum....if we imprison them we have a problem, they cannot ever be released...think the iraqis can/will take control of them?

9/11/2005 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Bridget said...
No oil fields and no ports....nothing much but Baghdad and desert. If push comes to shove, Iraq can lop off a vast portion of god-forsaken no man's land west and south of the Euphrates and never look back.

sounds like gaza...

9/11/2005 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

Did MSM and 50 % of American people broke resolve GWB to fight terrorism everywhere.His Iraq last actions looks like swan song.Years 2001 and 2002 sound different than 2005.Already before Katrine, tones of song vere different.Summer 2005 brought change.Let`s hope that change will not proceed to the end of GWB`s term and during next presidency.
Final effect of such evolution of War on Terror could mean end of resolve and victory of Iran,Syria,N.Korea,part of Egypt.
Victory of forces brought 9-11....
There IS difference between nation of USA of 1943 and 2003-2004.Is it only way how WH and Pentagon lost war with MSN?Or there is something deeper in nation itself? Could Vietnam cause such deep change in nation?Are there forces inside USA working so succesfully against half of nation, feeling necessity to stop forces of terror?Is there such difference in MSM from years 194....
and years 197....200....?Is power of those forces such,that it can destroy resolve to fight and destroj terrorism.Go to Michelle Malkin blog and have a look at proposed memorial to heroic flight 93,where 44 people were able fight and destroy even for price their lives terrorists.Talk on phone to people of Nat.Parks.Unbelievably they are willing to accept shape of monument what shape is pretending that terrorists were heros too.
Canada-governement and other forces governing the nation are willing to accept Islamic Court of Law Shari`ia.What kind of internal forces are taking over in these two nations.USA and Canada.What situation is evolving in South America.Mexico.EU?Are we giving up,steping down?Read very thoughtfull esseys of American Thinker.
Everything what happens around N.Orleans-Katrina is falsely explained way not having with truth even one grain,and look at final effect in MSM,pols,afterefects.....

9/11/2005 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

After reading this 14 page article by a Berkley professor in NY Times Mag, I'm not sure what to do with those detainees. That is why in past Wars partisans were summarily executed.

The Times article is an overview history of the Millennium Mahdi Wars, as perceived by the Mohammedans & UBL. It is very interesting in the time lining or events, despite the Berkley spin, which is easy to see.
How each side defines Victory, though, is an important insight into the Conflict.

As we spoke before of a "knockout"" and "Winning" the Jihadists seek only continued turmoil, that is, in itself, Victory for them.
They will "spin a win" regardless of our actions.

Taking Stock of the Forever War By MARK DANNER

9/11/2005 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Today is 9/11 - Fly the Flag.

9/11/2005 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

How many millions of "usefull idiots" are now in USA fighting for our enemy?

9/11/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger paulmerr said...

Doug, maybe we should start our own car blog...I certainly remember the Chaparral...Jim Hall has a degree in enginering from Cal Tech. His first car was built by Troutman & Barns. He then began reading the rule book and applying his engineering know how.
The vacuum cleaner car created an uproar because it was dramatically faster than the McClaren's, Ferrari's or any of the other big dollar Can Am cars.
Vic Elford won the pole everywhere he went in the vacuum car. Besides Jim Hall and Vic Elford other big name Chaparral drivers were Brian Redman and Phil Hill.
SCCA gave in to pressure from big dollar teams and sponsers and banned the ground effects-vacuum car in late 1969.
If you want a fun experience go and spend a couple of days driving competition go carts at the school operated by Jim Hall Jr. in Oxnard, Calif.. You will often find known drivers from NASCAR, Indy Car and F-1 there shartening their driving skills.
Paul

9/11/2005 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

the Chaparral series of Jim Hall cars also were the first to develop the air foil rear wing, if my auto recall is working correctly. That was also a big step forward, but not as cool as the vacuum.
Phil Hill, I think, went on to greatness, as a race car driver.

There are now over a million cars in Baghdad, paying pennies per gallon for gas imported from KSA, subsidized by US, while I pay $3.05 per gallon.
Ain't life grand.
What a benevolent country, US.

9/11/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Yes, by all means,
Remember the Firemen!
But Flight 93 was not professionals doing their job, no matter how tough.
Flight 93 was the equalvent of "Adolph Galland's JG-26 Top Guns of the Luftwaffe" versus
"Guys who Stayed in a Holiday Inn Express Last Night"
And the rank amateurs forced - at worst - a draw.
If Bin Laden had as many as two working brain cells he would not have looked at Flight 93 and said "Well, 3 out of 4 ain't bad"
he would have said "Ohhhhh Shhhhhiiii..."

9/11/2005 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

P.S. Thanks for the reminder, Tony.
I'm putting my flag out right now.

9/11/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

Fly the flag IS proper remembrance of 9-11.However,methinks to load AK47 would be more proper.

9/11/2005 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

rwe
if you believe the writer of the NYT Mag piece, old Osama is saying
"One of the two countries the Crusaders invaded in response to the 9-11 attacks caused the Infidels to spend their treasure and blood to further my aims.
My message has spread across the World and my mission parameters and timelines are being met. We have shown that the Infidels are not omnipotent, they will tire and quit, as predicted.
We will endure by will & faith."

9/11/2005 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

240 buses UNUSED before the storm and storm-damaged (unusable) because of the storm, thanks to Ray Nagin.

Carridine,

Did you happen to catch Newt on This Week this morning making the point about Nagin's evacuation inaction regarding those buses?

George Stephanopoulis (sp?) was quick to defend the honourable Mayor, though, saying: "But the Mayor says the buses were never part of the evacuation plan!"

Journalism at its finest. Uhuh.

9/11/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

rwe,

Good points regarding Flight 93.

I only thought it appropriate to continue and not stop there. And of course, the list continues.

9/11/2005 10:28:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

This is interesting, from Saudi's neighbors at UAE's GulfNews. I wonder if the Americans, then, hand these Saudi jihadists over to Naif for appropriate interrogation and torture before they're permanently disappeared. An alternative scenario might be that it's a vicious rumor put out there to persuade stupid Saudi young men that becoming a teacher/jihadist is *not* a wise move because we'll get 'em coming or going, and they'll never get a chance to kill their very own American.

The final note is that no where in the article does either the correspondent nor any of the people being quoted act like this going off to another country to kill Americans is a bad thing. I don't suppose we could convince an Education Minister or one of Saudi's world-famous "authorities" to add a semester or two to its education system, to TEACH their idiot youth, "Thou shalt not kill Americans!" since somehow that message seems to not be getting through?

* * *

Big business on border Concern over missing Saudis in Syria


By Mariam Al Hakeem, Correspondent

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's National Society for Human Rights has expressed concern over the recurring reports on the disappearance of Saudis in Syria.
The society said it had received reports on the disappearance of five Saudi teachers who had gone to Syria as tourists.

"We are following up these incidents with utmost concern," Dr Saleh Al Khathlan, deputy chairman of the committee for monitoring and follow-up at the society, told Gulf News. "The recurrance of such incidents shows a worsening security situation for Saudis going to Syria."

He did not rule out the possibility that the disappeared Saudis might have been kidnapped by gangs engaged in human trafficking to American forces as happened in Afghanistan.

"Another possibility is that they might have been kidnapped by these gangs and kept them as hostages in order to make money," he said. He said he was awaiting word from either the Saudi Embassy in Damascus or Syrian authorities on the matter.

He called upon the relatives of the teachers to contact the society and provide it with all information regarding their loved ones, in order to locate them.

Riyadh Human trafficking by organised gangs has become a major business on the Iraqi-Syrian border, said young Saudi men.

"There are gangs trafficking jihadists to Iraq. They take money from Arabs intending to fight alongside insurgents for smuggling them into Iraqi territory, but later hand them over to US forces for more money," said one man who returned from border area.

Young Saudis returning from Iraqi-Syrian border said human traffickers were handing over Saudis to US forces for $10,000.

The amount is double what they get for handing over other nationalities, they said.


http://www.gulfnews.com/Articles/RegionNF.asp?ArticleID=181044

9/11/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/11/2005 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Then George never took the time to read the plan. Each Parish was responsible for coordinating transportation, using the buses.

The plan was posted, here at the BC, just a few days ago.
Quite interesting reading

"...Abakan said...
B. Assumptions

(5) The primary means of hurricane evacuation will be personal vehicles. School and Municipal buses, government owned vehicles, and vehicles provided by volunteer agencies may be used to provide transportation for individuals who lack transportation and require assistance
... "

9/11/2005 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

off topic:

c4: Israel is also a nation with deep hooks into America's influential elites. It has managed to procure for it's wealthy citizens and it's peace bribe neighbors half of total US foreign aid. The aid for Israeli citizens alone, cumulatively, exceeds the present value of aid dollars given for the Marshall Plan.

me: New Orleans is also a place with deep hooks into America's influential elites. It has managed to procure for it's wealthy citizens and it's peace bribe neighbors half of total domestic aid. The aid for NO citizens alone, cumulatively, exceeds the present value of aid dollars given for the Marshall Plan (marshall plan = 20 billion).

ME: Nato is also a Group of nations with deep hooks into America's influential elites. It has managed to procure for it's wealthy citizens and it's peace bribe neighbors 110 billion a year in "off budget" foreign aid. The aid for European citizens alone, YEARLY, exceeds the present value of aid dollars given for the Marshall Plan.

ME: Iraq is also a nation with deep hooks into America's influential elites. It has managed to procure for it's wealthy citizens and it's peace bribe neighbors 300 billion in off budget US foreign aid. The aid for Iraqis citizens alone, cumulatively, exceeds the present value of aid dollars given for the Marshall Plan by 10 times...

ME: Afganistan is also a nation with deep hooks into America's influential elites. It has managed to procure for it's wealthy citizens and it's peace bribe neighbors 100 billion dollars in off budget foriegn aid. The aid for Afgan citizens alone, cumulatively, exceeds the present value of aid dollars given for the Marshall Plan.

9/11/2005 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

desert rat,

Yes, thanks. The buses were part of the evacuation plan.

Too bad the Mayor and George S. couldn't be bothered to find it out too.

9/11/2005 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Danger in Viet Nam analogy at endgame.Vietnamization included Nixon promises of air support and materiel.The same leftist Quislings who sold out ARVN in 1975 still are on center stage.Need an iron will and no Madam Lafarge Clinton.

9/11/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

...Yes, thanks. The buses were part of the evacuation plan.

Too bad the Mayor and George S. couldn't be bothered to find it out too.

maybe the fleet of buses were not real? they were in fact fake buses staged there (by the jews) to make the mayor look bad... just ask c4, after all it's a zionist plot....

9/11/2005 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Andrew 8:36 AM,
I know all about that bond that becomes permanent.
None of the boys in class would ever let the whole darned class miss it when two dogs got hooked.
Kids do the darndest things, esp out in the country.
Never saw the dogs meld tho,
See Cucumber or No See Cucumber.

9/11/2005 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Let us not forget:
MOST of the flooding came days AFTER Katrina hit, giving Nagin and the Guv even LESS excuse for their criminal neglegence.
...esp Nagin and lack of Security at Convention Center.
And the buses of course
Is Nagin a Jew?

9/11/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

The Iraqis will not be as gentle with their meddling neighbors, once they gain complete control of their country. The new Iraqi security forces will be the most potent in the entire Islamic world. Solid and competent, not like Saddam's paper tiger force.

Every neighbor of Iraq will need to take care not to offend the new lion of the middle east. Iraq will not be a nice guy, will not overlook offenses like the USA tends to do.

9/11/2005 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Is Nagin a Jew?

secret original black jew, not the faker type jews that world sees...

9/11/2005 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Zarqawi tape accuses US of using chemical weapons in Iraq
AFP ^
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1482371/posts

Posted on 09/11/2005 10:44:12 AM PDT by jmc1969


A voice recording attributed to Al-Qaeda's Iraq frontman Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and posted on the internet Sunday accused the US military of using chemical weapons in its assault on rebels in the northern town of Tal Afar.

"O nation of Islam, your enemies are using more destructive weapons including poison gas against the inhabitants of Tal Afar," the voice said.

Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari gave the go-ahead Friday for an all-out assault on Tal Afar by some 4,000 US and around 6,000 Iraqi troops after days of deadly clashes failed to dislodge insurgents from the town.

The Iraqi Red Crescent said up to 7,000 families had fled the US-backed offensive.

9/11/2005 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-09/11/content_3476062.htm
BAGHDAD, Sept. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Iraqi insurgent groups threatened to use chemical and non-conventional weapons against the US and Iraqi troops if "the attack against Tal Afar is not stopped" within 24 hours, an Internet statement said on Sunday.

"The Iraqi resistance prepared unprecedented strikes against the US occupation bases and its agent government," said the statement posted on an Islamic Web site.

The statement threatened to use chemical weapons "developed by the resistance elements to cause more casualties to the US soldiers and their collaborators."

It confirmed that the deadline given to the US and Iraqi troops would end by the dawn on Monday.

The authenticity of the statement could not be verified.

9/11/2005 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Its interesting that the al queda claim that the US used chemical weapons in tal afar would be conveyed through french afp whereas the al queda threat to use chemical weapons themselves on US forces would be conveyed through chinese Xinhua.

ie lots of symetry and canny understanding of local predjudices.

9/11/2005 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Islam Online
Tal Afar Residents Send Out SOS

http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2005-09/09/article01.shtml
Injured civilians find no health care.

MOSUL, September 9, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) – Residents of the northern Iraqi city of Tal Afar has sent out an SOS to the international community to interfere with the US occupation authorities to stop their continuing bombing of their devastated city, revealing a terrible humanitarian situation.

"US and Iraqi forces are still besieging Tal Afar amid ongoing intensive bombing, ordering residents of Hassan Kawi and Sarray neighborhoods to evacuate immediately," a Tal Afar tribal leader told IOL over the phone Thursday, September 8.

"The Americans are seemingly bombing the city with chemical weapons," he said, adding Tal Afar residents are speaking of suffocations and other health problems upon exposure to any hit area.

9/11/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Rantburg
http://rantburg.com/poparticle.php?ID=128666&D=2005-09-05&HC=1
2005-09-05 Iraq-Jordan
US troops cordon Tal Afar, find possible chemical weapons lab


A cacophony of gunfire and explosions filled the air around Tall Afar on Sunday, the heaviest day of fighting since the invasion began. Soldiers continued methodically searching homes and questioning residents, frequently coming under small-arms fire that whistled overhead as they passed from house to house or leapt across gaps between rooftops.

Much of the shooting came from a series of deep, grooved valleys that divide the city. The valleys, dipping as low as 40 feet below street level, allow insurgents to stash weapons and move undetected. Soldiers have found large caches of explosives in the valleys and begun firing warning shots when they spot men of military age descending into them.

"With the geography and the buildings so close together, it's a complex terrain to fight in," said Capt. Noah Hanners, 26, of Chillicothe, Ohio, commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's Blue Platoon, Eagle Troop, 2nd Squadron, which cleared several homes along the edge of a valley northeast of downtown Sunday.

Just after 9 a.m., Hanners's platoon used a sledgehammer to knock down the door of a two-story house made of large stone blocks. A woman wearing a purple abaya , or full-length cloak, and holding a baby ran toward them. "Already my husband is dead and you are breaking my house!" she shouted.

When shots rang out in the streets, she clutched her baby close to her chest. As a series of explosions grew closer, she sat down, rocked her baby and began to cry.

"Um, that's close. Very close," said Pfc. Hector Rodriguez, 20, of Buffalo, after an explosion rattled the windows.

Soldiers scrambled to set up shooting positions on the roof.

"We are receiving sniper fire," a voice over the platoon's radio said.

"Where from?" someone answered. No one knew. The platoon's machine gunner began shooting staccato bursts into the valley from the next roof.

"Who is that shooting?" Hanners asked over the radio.

"Blue saw team, we saw muzzle flashes from the south," came the response.

Another call over the radio said a Tall Afar resident working with the Army had identified an arms dealer in a house across the street. The soldiers gave the woman with the baby a voucher for $300 to repair her gate, redeemable at a nearby military base, and dashed next door.

By the time they reached that house, the suspected arms dealer and two other men had already been handcuffed and blindfolded by other members of the platoon.

"This is my nephew. He does not even live here," a woman in the house said as the men were led away.

"He was identified. That's what you get for selling weapons," a soldier said.

The soldiers continued to the last house on the block. They herded a family of nine into a living room and searched their belongings. A drawer of silverware crashed to the floor, startling the children.

"I am scared. We are all scared, but what are we supposed to do?" said the father, Shimsdain Muhammed, 40, an electrician, according to an account of his remarks provided by a military interpreter traveling with the unit. Muhammed told his children to wave and smile at the soldiers, who responded in kind. "I cannot tell them to leave, so we will do the best we can."

Suddenly, an explosion outside shattered the windows of the house, eliciting screams and confusion. It turned out to be a passing U.S. M1-A1 Abrams tank firing its main gun into the valley.

"This place is too much," another soldier said later, recounting the story to a friend.

Elsewhere Sunday in Tall Afar, an Iraqi army unit freed 35 hostages held in a house south of downtown, according to Maj. Gen. Khorsheed Salim, commander of the army's 3rd Division, which is heavily involved in the operation.

Soldiers in the western part of the city found a laboratory rigged with explosives, McMaster said. The lab also contained a chemical that burned the troops' throats and eyes when they entered. The Army is trying to identify the substance.

9/11/2005 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Charles,

Those two news items are even more interesting viewed as a piece.

Could it be, is it possible, that Al Qaeda in Iraq was brewing a batch and it blew up in their faces? Blew up because our side blew it up?

One can hope.

9/11/2005 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This from billroggio

"... Yesterday, Iraqi Defense Minister Dulaimi made the following declaration; "We tell our people in Ramadi, Samarra, Rawah and Qaim that we are coming.” The facts is that U.S. units have forward operating bases in each of these cities. The “we” he is referring to is the Iraqi security forces. Operations in Tal Afar, Qaim, Husaybah, Rabiah and Rutbah are setting the table for the impending arrival of Iraqi security forces to assert control in these trouble areas of the Anbar province. This would be Phase III of the Anbar Campaign. ..."

The Iraqis are coming!
The Iraqis are coming!

Could it be that the advance guard of the Cavalry has finally arrived?

Is it to much to hope that coming up behind them is a 'follow on force'

Elections here we come!

9/11/2005 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Following a revised form of the Powell Doctrine, I'm sure that the ISF can muster overwhelming force in each operation. It may be why it has taken so long to stand them up.
The level of operational proficency required to direct 6,000 of their own troops, in coordination with 4,000 allies is considerable.

9/11/2005 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Tal Afar showcases the ISF abilities just weeks prior to the Ratification Election. A show of force does not hurt the legitimacy of the Iraqi Government, either.
The timing could not be better.
Almost as if it had been planned this way all along.
Nah...

9/11/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

1. Al-Qaida Plan: Islamic World in 15 Years

Al-Qaida has a master plan to take over the world and turn it into an Islamic state - by the year 2020.

Wishful thinking? Not in the minds of the top terrorist lieutenants interviewed by Jordanian journalist Fouad Hussein for a new book - including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, mastermind of many atrocities in Iraq.

The plan, which is revealed for the first time in the Australian publication The Age, has seven phases:

Phase 1: The "awakening" in the consciousness of Muslims around the world following the 9/11 attacks, which were aimed at provoking the U.S. into declaring war on the Islamic world and mobilizing Islamic radicals.

Phase 2: "Opening eyes," the current period, which should last until 2006. Hussein said the terrorists hope to make the "Western conspiracy" aware of the "Islamic community" as al-Qaida continues to form its secret battalions.

Phase 3: "Arising and standing up," which should last until 2010 and bring increasingly frequent attacks against secular Turkey and archenemy Israel.

Phase 4: Lasting until 2013, this phase will see the fall of hated Arab regimes, including Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Oil suppliers will be attacked and the U.S. economy will be targeted with cyber terrorism.

Phase 5: An Islamic state, or caliphate, can be declared between 2013 and 2016.

Phase 6: "Total confrontation," beginning in 2016, will see the Islamic army begin the "fight between the believers and the non-believers" that has been predicted by Osama bin Laden.

Phase 7: "Definitive victory."

Hussein writes that this phase should be completed by 2020, and that the terrorists believe the caliphate will prove victorious because the rest of the world will be beaten down by an army of "one and a half billion Muslims.

9/11/2005 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/11/2005 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger al fin said...

Milan, that is an interesting, er, "plan." I wonder whether the plan allows for realistic setbacks caused by faulty tactics or strategies? One more cynical might say the "plan" resembles a wishful fantasy more than a practical setting forth of achievable goals.

As for Tal Afar, it looks like al qaeda had rigged a booby-trapped chemical weapons lab as a bomb, expecting it to be set off releasing a cloud of toxic gas in the town. They had their propaganda outlets pre-positioned to take advantage of the PR coup. But the explosives were discovered and disarmed.

These jihadis are starting to look more like the second or third string.

9/11/2005 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

In time of GWB weaker political position as result of situation in Iraq,unsolven situation around Katrina and few smaler things,his inability to properly draw situation for nation and by that giving full empty plyground to MSM a Dems,army of so called "useful idiots"only in USA goes to milions.Every of those Bushhaters is member of army of our enemy.Situation in Pentagon itself is not clearly defined as side of GWB or Rummy.Situation around Condy Rice is similar.Justice system?Will situation GOP in one year improve so that can be situation improved, if in 5 long years GOP was not able to change in those two important offices negative attitude?What is attitude of CIA? Its attitude is well known.Changes GWB tried implement,did not get even into middle strata that organisation.

9/11/2005 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

OT, if Wretchard puts up a 9-11 piece later, I will delete here and repost there.
---
Frank, The Fireman, and 9-11.
Frank was a Marine when they blew up the barracks in Lebanon.
He survived.
Frank came back and joined the NYPD.
His brother became a NY Fireman.
When his brother was married, he and his bride came to Hawaii for the ceremony.
They both loved Hawaii so much, they kept coming back year after year.

Frank's brother kept hounding Frank to come back again with them, but Frank's only trip was to attend the wedding, and the trips here and back were a nightmare of delayed flights, hang-ups, and etc to the point that Frank arrived just in time to be at the wedding and then leave to go back.

Frank swore he would never come back, and he never did.

Then came 9-11, and Frank, NY City, and his Sister-in-Law lost his brother.
His beloved wife fulfilled his wishes and traveled to Hawaii to spread his ashes in the Pacific.
Frank escorted her here on his second trip to Hawaii.

The Grandmother of the Maui Fireman assigned to be their host on their visit, an elderly Hawaiian Lady, attended the services.
After the services, the 80 year old lady came up to Frank, put her hand-made Lei around Frank's neck, gave him a hug, and whispered in his ear:
"Thank you for your sacrifice, so that we all might live to enjoy our freedom."

Frank was deeply touched. So deeply that when he returned to NY City, burdened with all it's memories, those all too fresh, mixed with those from throughout his life, that he decided he would chuck it all and move to Hawaii.
Mayor Giuliani credited his service in the Marines with that of his service in the NYPD, and Frank retired forthwith.
Frank got a job as a security officer at the Maui Wailea Marriot.
His job involved patrolling the grounds at night in an electric cart.
The guests all love Frank, his co-workers all love and respect him, and the higher ups all love him also.
Because of that, Frank's job has morphed somewhat over time, and he now spends a lot of his time talking to, and helping guests find their way around the property.
He loves his job, his home, his place of work and the people he comes in contact with every day.
When the newly remodeled hotel officially reopens, Frank will officially become a Concierge for the hotel, but in fact he is, and will continue to be, more of a goodwill ambassador.
A great big Loveable Italian All American Ambassador to the Islands of Hawaii.

Frank confides how most of us have our dreams when we are young, but the majority never fully live out those dreams.
His life had long since passed the point when he expected ALL his dreams would come true.
Then came 9-11.
As Frank puts it, in less than a heartbeat he would give up everything he loves so much here if only we could rewind and relive that day differently.

Being that that is not the case, he feels it is his responsibility to live out the dream his life has become as fully as possible.

9/11/2005 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Milan Oskoryp Sr. said...

Mine outlook is far from pesimistic,hope is more realistic.As former officer of one eastern army I am not wiling forget,that any plan goes awry in touch with enemy.Fact is fact that half of nation of USA and more than half of Canada very realisticaly could be called as "usefull idiots." Even passivity is what enemy needs.Realistically have a look around,how all parts of our civilization is ready and willing to fight for its survival.I want to believe great part of those idiots will change their wiev and attitude.I want to believe.I wish it could happen.

9/11/2005 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Desert Rat -

I spent some time today and read "The Forever War", perhaps the title is a homage to Joe Haldeman's scifi novel.

Maybe it was that Berkeley background, but he had to focus on the idea that Bush feared a large mobilization of the American public because he put tax cuts for the wealthy first.

Which is why we have no strategic communications, no schools opening up where selected students can learn Arabic, Urdu, Indonesian, Pashtun, or Chinese - no naming of the enemy.

The other thing I liked in the article was the quicksilver image. It has been used before. We hit the Center of a ball of mercury and got some of it, but many little balls of toxic stuff scattered everywhere.

It is nice after more than 2 1/2 years of out military being staged for Iraq operations that we are finally thinking about the Border. But why did 2 1/2 years pass when the chorus of military Brass said "Yessir, yessir, 3 bags full. We have enough troops to do whatever we want"?

9/11/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

D-Rat, I read Danner's [lengthy] book on "torture" in one of my classes on International Law. I came to the same conclusion as you, these people were never intended to be dealt with by international law. They should have been shot out of hand from the very beginning after a quick trial and hard interrogations.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons we began this war with kid gloves, expecting to be given a fair trial in world opinion. In retrospect, I'd rather have the debate be over summary executions of illegal combatants, then the handling of Korans and perpetual imprisonment. We can't win either way, there will always be a sufficient outrage, real or imagined, to mobilize the perpetually indignant around the world. At least the problem would be taken care of, however.

I wouldn't call half this country useful idiots. There's a good portion of this country that wants to kill the terrorists wherever we find them, but merely do not think Bush is effective at doing so. They're in line with the goal, but don't see how we're getting there. The Democratic Party has largely set itself up as a pure demogogic organ over the past 3-4 years, providing plenty of criticism, much in hindsight, but little substantial alternatives.

The basic problem, as I see it, is that very few people in the United States actually understand the scope of our enemy and its supporters. If you really believe it is just a fringe of the Muslim religion, who everyone wants to see defeated, then you can see how a police approach might work - after all, everyone's on board. The truth is obviously much more complicated, but has never really been explained, and for the most part wasn't really known by even many Bush supporters until much later into the war.

If you don't understand the scope of the problem, it is hard to understand the neo-Conservative argument - which itself was never really sold publically, for its own reasons.

Clumsy handling all around, but considering the circumstances, I cut them some slack. At least they recognize the scale of the problem.

9/11/2005 04:32:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Using "methinks" correctly when simulating broken English is a serious error. Kinda gives the game away.

We sure don't lack for useful idiots though.

9/11/2005 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Pork for Yahweh -

This is a thread for the Iraqi border operation. It is finally happening. It is a good thing.

It has nothing to do with Israel, which is a hindrance more than a help to the USA in the struggle against radical Islamists.

The danger that Israel and it's neocon allies were going to suck us into two more major wars against Israel's main foes - Iran and Syria - IMO, has passed. Bush cannot get another war going even if he wanted to. Our loss of most international support, soaring deficits, overextension in Iraq, Katrina, and loss of bipartisan support for military ops precludes it.

So the menace of Israel guiding America into more blunders is over.

Time for America to finish up in Iraq and get back on track and moving in the right direction again. Both domestically and overseas. It may take a few years more to get Iraq at least stable before we leave, but we won't be doing anymore 1.3 trillion dollar nation building experiments.

It's also time for Israel to start pulling back from it's West Bank Colonies in prep for final Borders.

And not look to the US to pay each of the remaining 400,000 a 1/3rd of a million per family "compensation" as we did with the 8,000 Gaza Colonists.

America is tapped out. In 4 years, Bush has added 3 trillion in debt - as much debt as America ran up in the rest of it's history. The victims of Katrina will get less than the Israeli Colonists get.

Enough is enough.

Go suckle on another teat.

9/11/2005 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

That's not to say that their intellectual and political leaders are necessarily so innocent.

9/11/2005 04:58:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I think back to the beginning of OIF: the canvas-sided Humvees, George Tenet smoking his cigar as he thought a bomb had been dropped on Saddam from intel his men provided, the hurried appointment of Paul Bremer, etc; following a ground campaign that was several times shorter than the process of getting UN approval which was never granted.

It's possible to see in retrospect how ill-prepared everything was, right back down to the 1990s. It was contact with the enemy that demonstrated how the solid pillars -- the UN, CIA -- were like rotten sticks. America went into Iraq with a Cold War Army. But the key was the decision to act: that way one could learn and fix the deficiencies. There's this idea going around that if we had somehow prepared better we would have been more successful. But that ignores the fact that much of what we would have considered to be "preparation" would have been useless. Things could probably have been done better; how much better I don't know.

9/11/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4 spouted: This is a thread for the Iraqi border operation. It is finally happening. It is a good thing.

It has nothing to do with Israel.....


so at this point you launch in to an anti israel hissy fit?

is that on topic?

9/11/2005 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The military movement into Iraq and on to Baghdad went quite well.
Limited US casualties and the collapse of the Iraqi Forces came quickly. The deaths of Saddam's sons and then his capture helped to seal the deal.

Politically things could have gone better, from even prior to the invasion. Exampled by the Turkish refusal to allow off loading the 4th IFD. Mr Powell's State Department did not seal that deal.

From afar it would seem that we were slow to devise a hand off policy. To many months looking for support from outside the country, instead of fostering a SYSTEM of support from within the Iraqis.

Imam Sistani had desired early elections, we should have moved Heaven & Earth to deliver on Democracy, quicker. Pasha Bremmer, by procrastinating on Iraqi electoral freedoms did help US lose our Liberator status.

In future prospective engagements I would prefer the Afghan model vs. the Iraqi. As long as the Mahdi do not mass Heavy Armor, there is not much reason for US to.

Hopefully the ISF will prove to be even more effective than the Northern Alliance. It has taken much longer to bring them online. As a proxy force the ISF along with the Kurdish militia could be considered a "Strong Horse", especially now, after Tal Afar

9/11/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

_____big-boys.com_____
Hollymer,
Speaking of entertainment, this fairly high quality video is only some 700 k in size, so right click and download to your desktop or wherever.
It's probably only funny to overgrown boys, but somehow the apparent innocence of this kid takes me right back to when I was 12 years old, and if you think I'm stupid now, you should have seen me then. Nothing but rockets, all the time. All home designed and built: Tactical jobs, one of which almost burned down my father's only competitor, submarine/torpedo rockets, classroom disruption "display" devices, friend built a deadly fragmentation rocket, on and on.
But luckily, in those days we did not have quite the fixation w/the hindquarters that the younger set seems to have now.
I guess it's become quite the fad: Bands do it, drunk chicks do it etc, but luckily I was directed to this one which is just about my speed.
I like the seeming innocence of the kid, and the various expressions on his face in the early stages.
The kid is no longer innocent, at least concerning the hazards of this exercise.
For anyone into studying details, I got my media player down to a speed of 0.100, which shows a lot that gets missed at full speed. Things like this particular rocket goes through quite a sequence before achieving a rather impressive full thrust state prior to liftoff. Quite impressive, depending on your POV, of course. Also some pretty impressive video and audio in the post launch phase. Certain aspects resemble nighttime submarine launches.
Maximize window size,
To set a low speed (at least on my old media player version 9):
View Menu:
"Enhancements"
"Play Speed Settings"
---
Back on main panel, *uncheck*.
"Snap Slider to common speeds."

Set slider to 1/2, for a run or two, then as low as you want to spend time on, just be sure not to get into negative territory, 'cause then it snaps back to full speed on playback.

9/11/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4: which is a hindrance more than a help to the USA in the struggle against radical Islamists.

do you know anything about radical islam?
Israel has been the canary in the mine for these folks...

c4: The danger that Israel and it's neocon allies were going to suck us into two more major wars against Israel's main foes - Iran and Syria - IMO, has passed.

thank goodness your opinion doesnt count for anything....

syria and iran are enemies to the usa or havent you learned anything by the last 10 yrs of middle east history?

c4: Bush cannot get another war going even if he wanted to.

he can if Iran attacks amercia again...

c4: Our loss of most international support, soaring deficits, overextension in Iraq, Katrina, and loss of bipartisan support for military ops precludes it.

again, nonsense, if and when we are attacked, we will respond

C4: So the menace of Israel guiding America into more blunders is over.

you assume to much, some how israel can lead the stupid american leaders to war? what are you smoking?

c4:I t's also time for Israel to start pulling back from it's West Bank Colonies in prep for final Borders.

Like the borders the israelis OFFERED 4 years ago and were turned down by the palestinians? how many times should a loser be offered statehood?

c4:And not look to the US to pay each of the remaining 400,000 a 1/3rd of a million per family "compensation" as we did with the 8,000 Gaza Colonists.

actually last i heard no additional aid has been given to israel for the gaza withdrawl, do you know the heart and mind of President Bush?

c4: America is tapped out. In 4 years, Bush has added 3 trillion in debt - as much debt as America ran up in the rest of it's history. The victims of Katrina will get less than the Israeli Colonists get.

actually, the victims of katrina will get 60 billion, far more than any aid to israel since it was founded

c4: Enough is enough.

yes c4, please stop distorting aid amounts to fit your perverse arguements... why do you call israelis colonists and not any other people in the world, including your fat ass? your JUST as much a colonist as any israeli west bank person.. ask and native american...

9/11/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Constitutional Referendum is scheduled for 15 October. 34 days from now. Will the ISF continue it's offensive until the election?

"Iraqi Defense Minister Sadoun Dulaimi, a Sunni Arab, suggested that future military operations might be in store in other cities where the insurgency is strong.

"We tell our people everywhere Ramadi, Samarra, Rawa and Qaim that we are coming," he said. ..."

He certainly has a target list, sounds quite confident when discussing ISF capacity and you'd think they would want to liberate those ciies prior to the Referendum.

"... This shows we have gained experience in resisting the terrorists," Mr. Dulaimi said. "We now have the ability to defeat them anywhere they are hiding."

NYTimes

9/11/2005 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

Palestinians begin looting Gaza settlement

Palestinians who entered the southern Gaza Strip settlement of Morag early Monday carried off what was left in the debris, including chairs, tables and shopping carts.

Young men were seen tearing down electricity poles and grabbing the wires. Others ripped out toilets and walked off with doors and window frames.

ues the natives (according to c4) are returning!

9/11/2005 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger PresbyPoet said...

Wretchard,
Your idea that we learn from our mistakes certainly was the case in WWII. From torpedoes that ran too deep, or didn't explode when they hit ships, a rescue effort to save Wake Island that would be a comedy of errors, if it hadn't led to the horror of brave Marine defenders of Wake, suffering 4 years in Japanese prisons, (those who survived). WWII is full of our mistakes.

To read the history of our efforts in WWII, is to wonder how we had a chance. Invading Guadalcanal, the Navy commander bugs out, after the most incompetent guard duty ever performed by any military force, in the battle of Savo Island.

We had U.S. tanks that were no match for Nazi tanks they faced. The first major battle in Tunisia, the German Army whipped the green Americans at Kasserine.

There were American towns that refused to turn their lights out, while Nazi subs used them to help sink American tankers sailing unprotected along the coast.

The useless invasion of Peleliu, where victory added nothing to the war effort, except add 10,000 American casualties, and 14,000 dead Japanese, surely qualifies as a mistake.

I could go on for pages, true screw-ups that killed thousands. Today, each would be a headline of "American Military mistakes".

Those mistakes taught us. Mistakes at Wake taught us, mistakes at Coral Sea taught us, we learned from our mistakes. By Okinawa, they were the best.

We make mistakes today. The more you attempt, the more mistakes you will make. A coward never rises to speak, so he never makes a mistake. The brave man opens his mouth in the face of the mob, knowing his words cannot be prefect, but willing to try. Teddy Roosevelt's comments about the man in the arena are appropriate.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
You find the entire speech,(given April 23,1910 in France!)at:
http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html

9/11/2005 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Please forgive the somewhat OT post on this anniversary of 9/11.

Before there was OIF, there were the brave Americans on Flight 93, who fought with the Islamist hijackers and managed to crash the aircraft into a field in Pennsylvania, instead of into the Capitol Building or White House.

Is it just me, or is some Post Modern Architect trying to make a mockery of this gallantry by his design of the Memorial to Flight 93 ?

9/11/2005 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Stoutfellow,

Take a look at what Sissy Willis and Dean Esmay have to say. Eye of the beholder and all. c4 will probably see a Star of David.

9/11/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

Wretchard,

Do you not sometimes feel like the boy whom cried wolf? When I read a post like Saturday’s I am reminded of that fable. How many times over the recent past have I read you write things like:

“Is it better to strike a deal now, while they have some leverage left or continue on with dwindling resources against increasingly powerful foes?”

“the largely Sunni insurgents face a declining power-curve relative to the Shi'ites and Kurds.”

“Personally I am content to let events unfold and use the word consciously because we are going to see the seeds of much earlier effort begin to see fruition.”

“While some combination of political or military blunders could still save the insurgency the fundamentals are against them.

In retrospect, the insurgency's greatest failing was its inability to create a "national united front" against United States "occupation"”

I am tempted to did through the archives and pull up the numerous times you have made these statements in the past while the insurgency seems to rage on, growing. Is it really just the MSM affecting our perception of reality? I think not.

9/11/2005 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Stout,

Btw - it's a Muslim symbol IMO.

9/11/2005 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Under Pressure, Rebels Abandon an Iraqi Stronghold (some really good quotes in this article)
NY Times ^
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1482570/posts



But after entering Sarai, troops found the neighborhood abandoned and discovered tunnels intended to allow insurgents to escape an assault that had been telegraphed months ahead of time.

The two tunnel complexes were "clearly designed for terrorists to escape from Sarai," said Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the senior American military spokesman in Iraq. "They had seen this coming over the last four months."

He said troops had captured some insurgents who had used the tunnels but were caught at checkpoints, some wearing wigs and dressed as women. "The rats know we're closing in on them," he said.

Troops captured a car-bomb factory in the city, and General Lynch said American forces had destroyed a meeting place for insurgents who had killed at least 20 people in Tal Afar. About 40 people described as insurgents by the military were inside the building when it was bombed, he said.

Mr. Dulaimi added that troops discovered 18 arms stockpiles - enough munitions, he said, to destroy a city 10 times the size of Tal Afar, which has a population of 200,000. At least nine homes were found booby-trapped with explosives, he said.

9/11/2005 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

For Pataki, rebuilding carries a message for the terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers four years ago:
"We're stronger than ever; we're just going to continue to rise," Pataki said.

"We were attacked because we believe in freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to choose our own leaders, and freedom to worship as we see fit, which some find unacceptable and threatening."

9/11/2005 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

Rick,

If you open the picture from my link in a new window in your browser, you can see that, inside the trees, is a red crescent shaped structure. It thicker in the middle and gets smaller near the open end.

If the architect calls it a crescent and it's shaped like a crescent, then it is a crescent. It is also an insult to the memory of the passengers on Flight 93 and an insult to the American people.

9/11/2005 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=Palestinians&c=news_photos

amazing photos of the new democratic state of palestine...

flags waving in front of thousands of cheering hamas and fatah members looting and burning jew-worship buildings!

brings a tear to my eye to see such happiness...

now that the evil "colonists" are gone peace and happiness will rule...

9/11/2005 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Upper Right Corner of this page has links to NY Times Frontpages for first 10 Days following

9/11/2005 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

U.S.-Iraqi forces clear militants from Tal Afar
By The Associated Press

Monday, September 12, 2005


As troops continued house-to-house searches in Tal Afar, a group claiming to be an offshoot of al-Qaida in Iraq said it would strike U.S. positions and the Iraqi government in Baghdad with "chemical and unconventional weapons ... unless the military operations in Tal Afar stop within 24 hours."

The Mujahedeen of the Victorious Sect posted the threat on an Islamic Web site known as a clearing house for militant messages. The claim could not be authenticated, but it was the second such threat since Friday, when al-Qaida in Iraq said it would use chemical weapons against Baghdad's Green Zone, which houses the Iraqi government, parliament and the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. military, meanwhile, said it killed a key al-Qaida leader, identified only as Abu Zayd, during a raid on a safe house in Mosul, 45 miles east of Tal Afar. Four other al-Qaida militants were captured.

Al-Dulaimi said the offensive in Tal Afar would be a model as his forces soon thrust farther west toward the Syrian border and south into the Euphrates valley.

"After the Tal Afar operation ends, we will move on Rabiyah (on the Syrian border) and Sinjar (a region north of nearby Mosul) and then go down to the Euphrates valley," he said.
http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/trib/newssummary/s_373185.html

9/11/2005 09:19:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades Commander Muhammad Deif Threatens to "Turn All of Palestine into Hell for Israel "
Peace be with you Pork, and as you know, What Is, Izz.

9/11/2005 09:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Or is it
What Izz, Is?

9/11/2005 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Al-Zarqawi: Katrina an answer to prayers:

Iraq's president told CNN his country would not suffer unduly if the United States were to reduce its spending there in order to direct more resources toward its own Gulf Coast.

Asked how long his nation will depend on U.S. assistance, Jalal Talabani predicted his country will "be able, within two years, to stand up and to depend on its own sources."

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/09/11/zarqawi.message/

9/11/2005 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

NY Times Frontpage, 9-12, with articles.
. Click on headlines and photos to read the full text of all articles .

9/11/2005 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Slate can't wait:
"Katrina will also have an impact on how citizens of the United States view foreign policy.

The enormous problems and costs associated with the hurricane will raise additional questions about the ability of the United States to "stay the course" in Iraq.

The aftermath of the catastrophe will inevitably increase political pressure on President Bush to begin to reduce the U.S. involvement in Iraq and refocus U.S. resources at home, be it on the expensive reconstruction of flood-ravaged areas or on improving the country's capacity to deal with future disasters of this magnitude. "

9/11/2005 10:10:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A Message to Iraq's Residents
"To our dear residents of Iraq… The liberation of Gaza is a lesson for us, you and all those seeking freedom in the world.
Do not abandon your weapons; resist your enemies until their noses rub in the mud…"

(Link from Izz, above.)

9/11/2005 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Rick Ballard said...

stout,

See my second post - I agree.

9/11/2005 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger John Lynch said...

What's up with Samarra and Ramadi? Weren't they supposed to be secured by now? Wasn't Samarra raided at the same time as Falluja last year?

Not hearing much about these places.

9/11/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Jordan sentences 12 alleged anti-U.S. terrorists to jail:

Separately, the military court upheld a June 2004 guilty verdict against Jordanian Ahmad Mahmoud al-Riyati, described as an Al-Qaeda terror cell leader, who was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for plotting terror attacks against unspecified U.S. and Israeli interests here.

Riyati began plotting attacks in Jordan as early as August 2001 in mutual agreement between Al-Qaeda and another radical Islamic fundamentalist group, Ansar al-Islam, the court heard.

His targets also included Western tourists and top Jordanian intelligence officials. Details of the plots were not revealed. Riyati has denied the charges.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=18392

9/11/2005 11:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Right (for anyone) to vote:

"But even that seemed to be a change of position, because right after Mayor Bloomberg was elected, Ferrer sent Hizzoner a report advocating noncitizen voting."

9/11/2005 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

101st prepares for Iraq deploment:

The division has lost 66 soldiers since the beginning of combat operations in Iraq.

Base officials are planning an official ceremony later this month to observe the departure.

http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1092740.php

9/12/2005 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

BRAC panel submits report, questions ‘illogical’ time line
The Pentagon is using an “illogical” timeline in proposing to close or shrink of hundreds of facilities, has failed to boost joint military operations and will save far less than it estimates in latest infrastructure overhaul, the independent base-closings commission says in its final report to President Bush. (more)

9/12/2005 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

That islamic plan for world domination is laughable. Even if, by some miracle, they do establish an islamic caliphate able to wage war against the world, they have 1 billion indians and 1 billion chinese to deal with, both nuclear armed, and one of them a colossus with no great consideration for human life, either their own or that of the enemy(re: Korean War) once they get sufficiently riled up.

To be defeated by the Americans at this early stage is a mercy for the islamo-fascists. They do NOT want to be fighting the Chinese, the Vietnamese, a suddenly inspired militant Japan, or even the Russians.

9/12/2005 01:03:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

Iraq tour complete, La. Guard unit returns to devastated state:

The unit members are in Kuwait awaiting transport home, and “the 500 most severely effected people” are scheduled to arrive back in Louisiana by Saturday night, Sept. 10, said Brig. Gen. John Basilica Jr., commander of the 256th Brigade Combat Team with the Louisiana Army National Guard.

Army and defense officials have given “unprecedented support” to those unit members affected by the hurricane, Basilica said. For example, the out-processing center in Kuwait includes information about new temporary housing arrangements for those whose homes were damaged or destroyed by Katrina.

In light of the length of their combat tour, unit members are being allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to remain mobilized to take part in disaster-relief missions, Basilica said.

http://www.armytimes.com/story.php?f=1-292925-1092653.php

9/12/2005 01:53:00 AM  
Blogger tim maguire said...

Somewhat OT:

I notice that the wonderful 'Scrappleface by accident' newssite sploid.com is referring to the Iraqi forces in Tal-Afar as an army of occupation.

Clearly, the only legitamate forces are the Al-Queda freedom fighters.

9/12/2005 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

I have been reading the threads without commenting because they are so complete. I do agree with Wretchard's thesis that the Terrorist cooked themselves by killing far too many Iraqis. I have followed Bill Roggio blog and it's gotten much better with the tying together of all of his open source material and analysis (his commentators provide some good insight). I must go back to my original statement: Syria is a sponsor of a good majority of terrorism in Iraq. Syria must be dealt with. Or, as Wretchard notes: ...Given another year the new Iraqi government may come to regard the Syrian-supported infiltration as a cassus belli [for action ]...

I do agree with Tony's links to the number of foreign terrorists captured or killed. I say this because they are staging in Syria and cross into Iraq. Thus, it leads back to state sponsored terrorism from Syria.

And, I agree oldefogy that we are going to be in this region for along time. Oldefogy notes Japan and Korea as examples. I fully agree.

Desert Rat makes a good point: "...Let US hope that those detained in Tal Afar will not be soon released, as was the shooter in LTC Kurilla's incident. After being detained in connection with a Mess Hall bombing in Mosul." I think that goes back to the failure to try and execute terrorists.

Chester notes that we will win the physical battle but lose the media battle without some type of visible knockout event. I think that is somewhat true. There will be not a VE day or a VJ day. But, the administration could mark some specific event and just and transform it into a VE day type of marker. But, I would not bet on that happening. Reason for this - the type of engagement we have. It's not like Korea - but it's not unlike Korea. To repeat We will have troops there for a long time. We should get used to it.

We have got an interim government in place but we have not gotten a constitution in place - nor, have we secured the country. Further, we have not facilitated Saddam's trial and planted him in the earth. The last is a major problem. Saddam represents the old gangster system and give hope to Sunni rebels - and may even be providing support via his cash stash in Syria. The quicker he is gone the better (one true milestone).

I am upbeat on the political process in Iraq. If the Sunnis don't enter the political process they will suffer greatly. So it's in their best interests to get into the political process and out of the terror game. The Iraqi constitution very well could be rejected (the Kurds not agreeing with the Iranian sponsored Shira law and disputes over oil revenues and many other details). But, that may be a blessing because the law will default back to the TAL.

Although the TAL is not perfect it's fairly good and can be adjusted as necessary. In fact, if the Iraqi constitution doesn't get in place by the end of Bush's second term the TAL would suffice.

9/12/2005 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

US Ambassador to Syria: Shut down Terror camps now.

"Our patience is running out," he said at news conference at the state department in Washington on the help Damascus is giving radical groups in Iraq. Asked how Washington would respond, the ambassador said "all options are on the table," including military.

The stiffest warning to Syria yet was issued Monday by US Iraq ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad...


see: Stiff warning

[NYT]:

"Syria has to decide what price it's willing to pay in making Iraq's success difficult," he added.... government official... said the administration had picked up indications that the United Nations investigation of the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri in February might implicate senior Syrian government leaders. The chief United Nations investigator, Detlev Mehlis, arrived in Damascus on Monday to question senior Syrian officials.
If those indications prove true, the official added, the administration was poised to pounce on Syria
...

Syria Assists Training of Terrorists

9/12/2005 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger andy said...

an immoveable object like the US Armed Forces
I like that.

9/13/2005 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger donald said...

Hollymer sent me the gunship footage and it is on my website at:
www.macqueen.us/nightShift.htm.

9/13/2005 02:43:00 PM  

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