Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Dead Man Laughing

Oxblog points to a Washington Post article by Peter Baker, who has been covering Afghanistan since the US ousted the Taliban. Sometime back he met a Hakim Taniwal, an Afghan who had formerly been a sociology professor in Australia, seemingly bent on a suicide mission. Taniwal had a commission in his pocket from President Karzai appointing him governor of a province. Unfortunately the governor's mansion was occupied by a warlord whose retainers were armed to the teeth. Taniwal was nevertheless determined to take possession and Baker never expected to see him alive again. "Dead man walking". It didn't quite turn out that way.

When I saw him again here two weeks ago, he was sitting in the provincial governor's office and the warlord was somewhere in the countryside, out of power, his militia largely disbanded. I reminded Taniwal of our first meeting, when he could not even get into the governor's house because it was occupied by the warlord's family and dozens of his thuggish guerrillas, bristling with Kalashnikovs and grenade launchers. Taniwal looked at me and smiled. "Things have changed," he said with satisfaction.

Baker's story highlights the power of individual effort. Big ticket entities like armies and national policies may set the stage, but much of the real execution relies on individual or small group initiative.  Pundita describes a point made by Robert Kaplan (author of Imperial Grunts: The American Military on the Ground) during a John Batchelor radio interview. According to Pundita, Kaplan argues that:

... the State Department and the CIA and their paranoid Cold War scheming are no longer in charge of presenting America's face to the world. And neither is the Pentagon in charge. ("The Pentagon just moves the money around now," explained Kaplan.)

So who's in charge? Small military units working under the direction of theater-level, unified combatant command units or "Coms" built on the CENTCOM concept, which was originally conceived as a rapid deployment force. ... Of course, US soldiers are still trained to kill people and break things, but historically neither activity has been very successful at gathering actionable intelligence and inspiring cooperation. So the Coms favor specially trained units -- sometimes as small as 4 by typically 12 in number -- which are tasked with risking their lives to do an honest day's labor in places you never even heard of.

Even in the Wall Street Journal as early as 2004 Kaplan was maintaining that smaller was better.

In months of travels with the American military, I have learned that the smaller the American footprint and the less notice it draws from the international media, the more effective is the operation. One good soldier-diplomat in a place like Mongolia can accomplish miracles. A few hundred Green Berets in Colombia and the Philippines can be adequate force multipliers. Ten thousand troops, as in Afghanistan, can tread water. And 130,000, as in Iraq, constitutes a mess that nobody wants to repeat--regardless of one's position on the war.

In Indian Country, the smaller the tactical unit, the more forward deployed it is, and the more autonomy it enjoys from the chain of command, the more that can be accomplished. It simply isn't enough for units to be out all day in Iraqi towns and villages engaged in presence patrols and civil-affairs projects: A successful forward operating base is a nearly empty one, in which most units are living beyond the base perimeters among the indigenous population for days or weeks at a time.

Smaller is not always possible. Detached units and individuals can only survive in an environment cleared of main enemy forces. Hakim Taniwal's enterprise succeeded because the Taliban had first been driven from their strongholds by JDAMs and infantry action. Yet once the major enemy forces are gone a lone ex-sociology professor with a mission might succeed where a gigantic World Bank type development project would fail. Returning to the Washington Post article, Baker found many positive changes for which the US was only indirectly responsible. Afghanistan was being rebuilt not by a few units of tens of thousands, but by ten thousand units of a few.

The hardscrabble town of Gardez, located near the site of Operation Anaconda, the largest battle of the U.S. war ... Yet just outside of town, the Americans have helped build a new Afghan army base and a police training facility with modular buildings. ... And dozens of new two- and three-story buildings are being put up by Afghan businessmen north of town, a cluster being called New Gardez.

A day spent driving around Kabul ... teeming with millions of Afghans who have returned home from abroad ... jammed with traffic all day long. A city that once offered little more to eat than lamb kebabs, rice pilau and mantu dumplings now boasts Chinese, Thai, Italian, Indian and French restaurants. Construction litters the landscape. ...  Just two weeks before I returned to Kabul last month, the nine-story-tall Safi Landmark Hotel and Suites opened its sliding glass doors; it features every modern convenience, including a health club, satellite television and minibars. 
Attached to the hotel is a snazzy new shopping mall ... I watched as a woman in a burqa figuring out the concept of an escalator ...

Perhaps one day historians will discover that the phrase 'War on Terror' was a misnomer after all; that in retrospect September 11 was not an insurrectionary act, as the Left often pretends it is, but the last attempt of a fading aristocracy to preserve its prerogatives. Then Ground Zero will look to Statue of Liberty with a matching message of its own.

Arise you tired, 
you poor,
you huddled masses
and breathe free.

131 Comments:

Blogger Martian said...

Wretchard,

You can certainly write.

Lucky us.

10/12/2005 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

This is the promise: A world of freedom to choose a lifestyle and a vocation, to raise a family free from oppression and fear. This is what the Islamic overlords and clerical minions fear: the desire of the masses to be free from coercion of all types.

Islam is looking more like Pol Pot's version of communism. It must kill to instill fear into the masses, to maintain control.

10/12/2005 03:27:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

But we need more troops in Iraq!! That's what they say on CNN!

10/12/2005 04:53:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

semi-OT, but related to this thread. A message from Jalal Talabani.

Iraq's message

10/12/2005 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Sounds like they're making better new construction progress in the relative peace of Kabul than the pesky Manhattan environment at ground zero.

10/12/2005 05:37:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

But the defeat of the Taliban WAS a small footprint operation. There never was a major US presence in Afghanistan. JDAMs can fall from the sky, without many US troops on the ground. Use of native, indig fighters, in Afghanistan allowed the US to succeed in ousting the Taliban with minimal US troop strength. Some have argued that the Tora Bora battle was mismanaged, using Afghan fighters rather than US troops.

In Iraq the US was slow to incorporate Iraqis into the Force Structure. While there may have been Political concerns about the Iraqis, there never were any other viable alternatives to giving Iraq to Iraqis.

Lessons learned decades ago in far away, Asian places, had been forgotten by Pentagon Bureaucrats.

10/12/2005 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Desert_Rat,
I don't think that there would have been instantaneous "buy-in" from the Iraqis.

10/12/2005 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

al-Zawahiri's an Arab, right?

10/12/2005 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

"And neither is the Pentagon in charge. ("The Pentagon just moves the money around now," explained Kaplan.)
NOW?!?
That is the way it has always been. The "Pentagon" manages nothing, plans little, and commands infrequently.
And as for the idea that it is individuals singlely and in small groups who get things done, anyone who has been in the U.S. Military can confirm that in spades. As a Lt. on more than one occasion I soley was responsible for getting an entire fighter wing back in the air. As a Lt. Col. I created some multibillion dollar national policies - and effectively shut down or delayed Presidental-level directives because I simply refused to implement them.
But let us not lose sight of the fact that all that is required has an enormous "tail" - the JADMS require huge specalized efforts from St Louis to Cape Canaveral. The aircraft that insert the special ops have a similar tail. Some people fret over this complexity - and the fact that so little of it is under their direct control - but that is because they do not know how to lead in this new world.

10/12/2005 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Some the CAPs (civil action platoons) in 'Nam were very successful and the special ops boys had good success with the 'Yards as well. It is good to see this kind of progress occuring on the flank of Iran.

10/12/2005 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ex helo
The US Congress had authorized the training of an exile Iraqi Army, Dept. of State, under Powell, did not permit the program to go forward.
5,000 Iraqis, under Mr Chilabi, where planned to initially accompany US troops into Iraq, again vetoed by DoS.
Mr Bremmer, a DoS operative took command of the Iraqi Operation after the initial US victory over Saddam's Armies. His administration of Iraq avoided Iraqi partipation in the defense of Iraq. When he disbanded the Baathist Armies he did not IMMEDIATELY, start rebuilding Iraq's Army. Who was he planning to hand off to, the French?
The Iraqis were standing ready from before the invasion, we left them behind and out of the loop.
That is not the fault of the Iraqis.

10/12/2005 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger gmat said...

It's a good, thought provoking model that the last paragraph proposes. The radical islamist as a reactionary rather than an insurgent. I know Hitchens always refers to them as the forces of reaction. It's a good point to keep pushing on, that the forces of globalization are the insurgent force.

Wretchard reinforces Barnett's thesis, that you need both types of forces: the Leviathan that can take down the rogue regime, and the "system administrator" that can do the nation building.

Of course, any old Marine will recognize Kaplan's small unit, force multiplying, civil action force from the old days of the Civil Action Platoons in I Corps. These were a quite successful project that Lew Walt was running in the lowlands (where the population was). Then that lightweight Westmoreland told him, "No, Lew, I want you to take your battalions out into the boondocks and get in some big fights." Don't get me started.

Anyhow, another thing that struck me was the similarity between the image of many small units doing the Sys Admin work in Afghanistan, and many small news gathering/reporting/analyzing units doing the work in the blogosphere, from the previous article on blogging. Maybe there's a common principle at work.

10/12/2005 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

dan
Egyptian

10/12/2005 06:28:00 AM  
Blogger gmat said...

Desert Rat

I don't know who signed Bremer's checks, but he was totally a creature of DoD, not State.

State had a plan for Iraq, the Future of Iraq Project (13 volumes), Garner was going to implement it, Allawi was the key Iraqi on this project.

The reason it didn't happen was the other faction, led by Cheney, Feith at DoD, and Chalabi as the key Iraqi, won the day. Their plan was to create a corporate utopia from the ground up in Iraq.

I'm not crazy about Powell, but it wasn't he that turned Bremer loose in Iraq.

10/12/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Who was chosen to run the interm Iraqi Government, not Mr Chilabi, DoD's man, no it was Mr Allawi who became Prime Minister. DoS's and CIA's man on the ground.
Obviously that would put Mr Bremmer and DoS in charge of post invasion policy. As per your post on who was whom's stalking horse.

Mr Allawi may make a come back in December, Mr Chilabi may take the charge, or some unknown may surge to the lead.

10/12/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger CJB said...

desert rat said...
dan
Egyptian,


al-Zawahiri is an Arab from Egypt, to be exact.

10/12/2005 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger gmat said...

Desert Rat

You're compressing the timeline.

Bremer, working for DoD, ran Iraq starting in summer 03, after Garner had been quickly sent home.

In Jun 04, Allawi took over as PM when Iraq became (formally) sovereign, and Bremer left town.

Chalabi had run into problems establishing himself as the man almost from day one. DoD ditched him. But he's resilient, and he's made a comeback.

If you think Bremer worked for State, you must be unaware of the two factions in the US policy elite that were vying for power right up to the fall of Baghdad.

Clearly, Powell's faction (Garner was his man) lost, and Cheney's faction won.

10/12/2005 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Asher Abrams said...

Wretchard, great post as always - and congratulations on your accession to PJ Media! The "ten thousand units of a few" (for some reason I want to say "thousand points of light", but I'm rambling) model could well apply to the internet too.

gmat, amazing how many people still don't grasp the concept of two factions in Washington. I touched on it here. Be interesting to see how it all plays out.

10/12/2005 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

IIRC it was Einstein who said make your theories as simple as possible but no simpler than necessary to explain the phenomana you are trying to explain.

The article has an air magic-bulletism to it. All good managers know the ideal amount of resources to apply to a job is the exact amount to get the job done; no more, no less. This certainly applies to military affairs as well. The trick is to determine and plan for ahead of time the correct amount of resrouces needed. In Afghanistan the estimate was nuts on. I am not yet certain about Iraq but I suspect it is closer than critics want to admit.

People forget those soldiers have to be supported with logistics (a fancy word for water, bullets, gas, food, and so on) and it is easier to supply smaller forces. Too large of a force also stumbles over itself at times, and too large of a force presents more targets for the terrorists.

Ahmed Chalabi and a force of Iraqi partisans fighting with the Americans presents many problems and most of those problems come down to which side you take in the infighting that went on amongst Bush subordinates. Most of the reading I have done writes off Mr. Chalabi's bad reputation to smear jobs by the DoS but the stories are too common to be completely ignored.

10/12/2005 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

D-R,
I don't buy into the theory that Iraqi exiles coming in with the U.S. forces would have been a huge success with the locals. This synergy was going to take some time to develop; it is not something that could be force-fed.

10/12/2005 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

gmat
This is how the situation was viewed in London, Pakistan and Boston in 2003.

Daily Times

"...The dispute over Bremer’s appointment is the latest battle between the Defense and State departments, especially as Pentagon officials attempt to extend their powers into diplomatic areas long considered the territory of the secretary of state

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is well known for his testiness, especially in his exchanges with journalists about the Iraq war and its aftermath. But even his testiness is not likely to help him get around the fact that he blundered very badly when he handpicked his old buddy retired army General Jay Garner to be administrator of post-war Iraq.

During a stopover in London on Friday on his way back to Washington after a week-long trip to the Middle East, Rumsfeld responded testily to reports that a civilian former diplomat would be brought in to lead reconstruction efforts, outranking Garner.

US officials, speaking on the usual condition of anonymity, much favoured by officialdom everywhere when commenting on contentious issues, said on Wednesday that L. Paul Bremmer III, a former ambassador in the Reagan administration, would soon become administrator for Iraq — a move supported by the State Department.

Garner, a controversial figure because of his fervently pro-Israeli views and his links to the US arms industry, has been leading US “reconstruction” efforts in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad with help from President Bush’s Special Envoy for Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, a senior official of Afghan origin at the National Security Council and another controversial figure, in his case because of his close links to the American oil industry.

Reacting to the news reports in a terse statement, Rumsfeld said, “Jay Garner is doing an outstanding job for the nation. Any suggestion to the contrary is flat untrue and mischievous.” Rumsfeld also noted pointedly, “The White House has made no announcement regarding other appointments.” ..."
"...The Boston Globe said, “The dispute over Bremer’s appointment is the latest battle between the Defense and State departments, especially as Pentagon officials attempt to extend their powers into diplomatic areas long considered the territory of the secretary of state. State Department officials had claimed a victory with Bremer’s anticipated appointment ..."
"...According to the Boston Globe, “Rumsfeld’s sensitivity on the matter is not only about internal tussles with Powell and his senior staff on the makeup of the US team overseeing Iraqi reconstruction, but also over the possibility that the person Rumsfeld chose to lead the effort was being supplanted a month into the operation.” ..."

Contemporaneous reports in The Boston Globe and the Pakistani Daily Times, both disagree with your assessment of both Garner's and Bremmer's loyalties.

Another

10/12/2005 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

I see Iraq very much as ExHelo, above: Fault-finding and blaming are unnecessary, and detract rational energy from assessments of "what's going RIGHT?"

So it took a while (for Americans) to sort out trustworthy Iraqis from Baathist thugs...

So it took Iraqis a while to find trusworthy attributes in the (one-time double-crossing) Americans...

So some things work in Afghanistan and usually work in Iraq...

Keep yr eye on the GOAL: functional and secure Iraqis building an Iraq free from al-Zarq and al-Zaw thugs!

And THIS seems to be healthy and on-schedule.

10/12/2005 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

helo
It may not have been a "success", it may not have helped the new ISF to have had Iraqis embedded with US troops. The experience they would have gained with US troops may not have had a positive affect on the ISF.
Training an Iraqi Army, in exile, may not have sped up Iraqi Army capabilities.
I doubt though that it would have been worse than what actually occurred on the ground.
We wasted a year, for what ever reason.

10/12/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I think that the mistakes that were made were tactical in nature, not strategic. I.e. should have been tougher with Sadr, once we started into Fallujah the first time, should not have backed out. But I don't see that we could possibly have been in this same position (i.e. the bartering to get the Sunni buy-in to the constitution, which I think is absolutely HUGE) a year ago. That was going to take time to develop.

10/12/2005 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Carridine
Lessons learned ARE important.
Revisionist history is negative to the learning curve.
If US has to, in the future, intervene in Syria, Iran, Sudan or any other country, we had best understand what we did in Iraq, both the good and bad. Some of the Occupation has gone well, other aspects have been less than perfect.
Much of the Insurgency in Iraq has been caused by our "large" footprint there. If we had moved to an Iraqi face, quicker, the Insurgents would have lost one of their recruiting tools. Both internally and internationally.
You may be right though, it may better to live in the dark and neither discuss or learn from past errors.

10/12/2005 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ex helo
I agree that the Political situation on the ground could not have developed much quicker then it has.
After decades of NO political process, the learning curve has been very steep.
Their military could have been developed quicker, we chose not to.
For what ever reasons.

10/12/2005 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Santo said...

“Perhaps one day historians will discover that the phrase 'War on Terror' was a misnomer after all; that in retrospect September 11 was not an insurrectionary act, as the Left often pretends it is, but the last attempt of a fading aristocracy to preserve its prerogatives.”

Don’t sell Bin Laden and Zawahiri short. These are smart men with small resources who have concocted a well-reasoned scheme to defeat the world’s lone superpower and establish an Islamo-fascist state in the Middle East. That they did not come close to this dream was through no fault of their own.

We are witnessing the beginning of the end of Islamo-fascism as a serious force. The coming defeat of Islamo-fascism is due to the outstanding leadership of President Bush combined with the exceptional performance of the American military.

Previous American victories have been sweet, but this one will be something to treasure. In spite of constant criticism from the confused left, in spite of constant negative and biased reporting from American, European, and other world media outlets, in spite of constant predictions of failure from academic cranks and other punditry, the American political and military plan for victory in Iraq is succeeding. Afghanistan was the first victory in the GWOT, but Iraq is more important. Iraq is the first victory in President Bush’s larger strategy for change in the Middle East. In the President’s plan change will be wrought through the introduction of liberal democratic principles and open government responsible to the people. This larger plan will take years to unfold and requires a continuity of leadership from future American Presidents. It also requires the long-term support of the American people.

I Believe history will show President Bush to be one of the most important world leaders in the new century.

Doug Santo
Pasadena, CA

10/12/2005 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger DirtCrashr said...

Maybe this is one reason why successes in Afghanistan and Iraq are not being acknowledged at the MSM level: they, their expectations, and their internal Pentagton sources have been outflanked.

10/12/2005 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Westhawk said...

We certainly agree with both Mr. Kaplan and Desert Rat. The Coalition's problems in Iraq are the result of too large, not too small, a military force.

Al Qaeda and the Baathists in Iraq are now on a sharp decline; this corresponds completely with a greater Iraqi, and smaller U.S., presence in security operations.

Could the U.S. military presence in Iraq have been smaller and still have been successful? Could the 5000-man Iraqi exile force, with U.S. assistance, been effective in 2003? No and no. Given the situation in 2003, there were no other good options that would have quickly removed the Saddam regime.

But there were other options in the 1990s. George Bush the Elder should have come to the rescue of the Shi'ites in the spring and summer of 1991 and occupied this portion of Iraq in order to defend them against the Baathist marauders. The U.S. Army was in place to do this (Saddam's army was largely destroyed) and he would have had the moral and legal authority under the Genocide Convention to do so. After securing the Shi'ite territory, the U.S. could then have spent several years building an anti-Baathist proxy army of Shi'ites and Kurds. The Shi'ites and Kurds could also have formed an alternative Iraqi government. Within a few years this force, with U.S. assistance, could then have seized the rest of Iraq.

Alternatively, the U.S. could have spent the 1990s supporting an anti-Baathist insurgency based in the Shi'ite and Kurdish territories. After the U.S. betrayal of the Shi'ites in 1991, this would have been a hard sell. But it might have been an option.

The point is that the way the U.S. did Iraq in 2003 is simply not feasible for future problems, such as Iran, that the U.S. will face. The conversation that we, Wretchard, Kaplan, Desert Rat, and exhelo are having is very critical to the how the world will turn out over the next ten years.

Westhawk

10/12/2005 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Westhawk
I did not mean to imply that 5,000 Iraqis could have deposed Saddam and the Baathists.
They could have been embedded with US forces. Then, after Major Combat Operations were over, could have become the core of the "new" ISF.
Instead we had the ISF and their training, put on the "back burner" for far to long.

10/12/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

If any of your readers has not read Michael Yon's essays on the Battle of Mosul, they should do so post haste.

Sometimes our Solidiers have work to do in larger units, but they can, over time and with the support of the American public, be very effective.

One tragedy of this war is how few American's know about these things. The talking heads and beltway pundits will be sorely surprised when they discover the truth.

10/12/2005 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Robert Schwartz said...

If any of your readers has not read Michael Yon's essays on the Battle of Mosul, they should do so post haste.

Sometimes our Solidiers have work to do in larger units, but they can, over time and with the support of the American public, be very effective.

One tragedy of this war is how few American's know about these things. The talking heads and beltway pundits will be sorely surprised when they discover the truth.

10/12/2005 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger Michael McCanles said...

To Doug Santo:

Bush will be remembered as a significant American president for the Afghan/Iraq initiatives whichever way they turn out.

10/12/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Michael McCanles said...

The breadth of the mainstream media's attempt to manipulate political opinion in America, and the depth of its political depravity in doing so, both of these await future investigation and report. I suspect that the result will a shattering fall of credibility.

10/12/2005 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger Pundita said...

I have one correction re: "Kaplan argues that the State Department and the CIA and their paranoid Cold War scheming are no longer in charge of presenting America's face to the world" -- actually, it was Pundita who made that argument, not Robert Kaplan; i.e., those precise words are mine, not his. However, from the entirety of his discussion with Batchelor and the body of his writings, I doubt Kaplan would take issue with my words.

Re: "Perhaps one day historians will discover that ... in retrospect September 11 was not an insurrectionary act ... but the last attempt of a fading aristocracy to preserve its prerogatives" -- Wretchard has put his finger on it.

That is exactly what al Qaeda's leaders and their mirrors in despotic governments are trying to preserve.

Their thinking is centered on the notion that there is no problem in governance that can't be solved by taking more slaves.

That thinking is grounded in what I term the Pasha mindset, which European colonial enterprises reinforced. The mindset reflects the idea that success in life is measured in how many people you control.

That is what al Qaeda and Wahabism actually "stand" for -- not a religion, not the Arabs or Sunnis, and not the Umma. They do not want to live in a world where they can be held accountable for bad leadership decisions, where they have to cede to knowledge-based authority. Above all, they do not want a world where their efforts are measured against others.

Thus, simply arguing for democracy is naive. The arguments need to be shored at a much deeper philosophical level. And they need to be reinforced by practical demonstrations, which is just what the US military units that Robert Kaplan describes are doing.

Believe you me, seeing men wearing the uniform of the most powerful military in the world pick up shovels and work like coolies alongside the poorest locals is a better illustration of what America stands for than a million lectures on human rights.

Men who knew nothing but the whipsaw of despotism and subjugation, and who were raised to the idea that the only honorable labor is warfare, are getting a long-overdue education, courtesy of the US military.

They are seeing with their own eyes that there is another model for males to live by -- a very successful model.

In other words, they are learning that you can be a real man without being a warlord who murders with impunity.

Why couldn't they see this when the Peace Corps came calling? Because of Pasha Logic 101: Peace Corps workers must be coolies in their own tribe and pansies to boot, else why would they be in my village digging a well?

But it's quite another argument when a man carrying enough firepower to blow my village to Kingdom Come rolls up his sleeves and picks up a shovel.

So, finally they're getting it. I wish for an easier way to make the demonstration; one that does not cost American lives and billions of US dollars. However, the bottom line is the length of time the Pasha mindset has ruled in just those areas of the world that al Qaeda and the Saudi-backed Wahabists are trying to control.

There are some ideas so deeply entrenched, so powerful, that they can only be undone with unrelenting tenacity -- and yes, with sacrifice of blood and treasure. I say with great bitterness that it didn't need to be this way. Yet the unblinking reality is that when the colonial offices shut down, they didn't roll up the legacy of thinking they helped entrench.

So in one sense, al Qaeda's declaration of war on the West, and the War on Terror in retort, represent the unfinished business the European colonial masters left behind.

But there is no use hurling recriminations at this late date. The Europeans simply moved in on ways of life that supported the Pasha mindset. So if we want to gear up the blame game, we'll end up blaming the history of the human race.

Yet not until I heard Kaplan's discussion with Batchelor did I find myself daring to hope that I might live to see the day when humankind has finally closed the chapter on Europe's colonialist era.

The pity is that the discussion was not preserved in a podcast or transcript. I was too stunned by Kaplan's revelations to do any more than scribble a few quotes on the back of an envelope. In the essay that Wretchard linked to, I tried to do justice to what I heard.

The additional information about Kaplan's writings that Wretchard presents, and the story he told to back up Kaplan's observations, only deepen my appreciation of what the "new" US military is accomplishing.

I am left with a question that Wretchard implied in his passing remark about the Left:

Would the Left change their opinion of the War on Terror, if they got better educated?

One can always hope but I fear that history will have to be their teacher in this case, as it was for divesting them of the notion that Stalin's Russia was a model for humankind.

10/12/2005 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger leaddog2 said...

"the depth of its political depravity in doing so, both of these await future investigation and report. I suspect that the result will a shattering fall of credibility".

Absolutely, Michael!

10/12/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

"Perhaps one day historians will discover that the phrase 'War on Terror' was a misnomer after all; that in retrospect September 11 was not an insurrectionary act, as the Left often pretends it is, but the last attempt of a fading aristocracy to preserve its prerogatives."

So true. Unfortunately most people don't realize is that all 'the aristocracy' used to mean was the local clan of thugs. That's why their ancestral halls were so often decorated with armor and bludgeons.

Unfortunately people on the left, seeing thugs bossing ordinary people around, tend to perceive only the fulfilment of their own dream life, something they are drawn to hail and support.

George Orwell said something about how, whenever he heard people talking about life would be 'under socialism', he could always tell that the speaker was clear that ordinary people would be assigned the 'living under' role, and that the speaker invariably saw himself 'on top'.

10/12/2005 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Doug Santo - It's not a GWOT. Even Bush has now abandoned that stupid slogan that we were at war with the tactic of terorism. Time to change your meme. It's radical Islamism, 99.9% whom are seeking victory through actions and support of radical Islam outside direct involvement with terrorism.

Desert Rat:

The US Congress had authorized the training of an exile Iraqi Army, Dept. of State, under Powell, did not permit the program to go forward.
5,000 Iraqis, under Mr Chilabi, where planned to initially accompany US troops into Iraq, again vetoed by DoS.


Chalabi's idea was that the US would insert he and his henchmen into Baghdad, back him with Special Ops troops and he would declare himself President. Much of the bogus WMD crap came from his Exiles. Even as clueless as the Bushies and CIA was, they had enough information from other groups, especially the Kurds, that the idea of turning over the country to a previously wealthy elite who fled 30 years ago was unacceptable to most factions within Iraq, and would get no support. Perhaps we still had some Institutional memory of the bum dope of past "exile" groups like the White Russians, DaGaulle and the Free French, the Batistas and the Bay of Pigs, and miscellaneous other "valiant freedom-fighers" that cut and ran and expected the US to return them to power and money sources...and those exiles were only out 3-5 years at the time. He was a special pet of the neocons, because he pledged he was going to sign a friendship treaty with Israel and ship much of the oil through Israel once he "consolidated his position" (ha. ha!)


Mr Bremmer, a DoS operative took command of the Iraqi Operation after the initial US victory over Saddam's Armies.

Garner was Powell and the State Dept's man who was to impliment the 13 volume Iraq postwar plan State and other groups like the War College compiled. Cheney and Scooter Libby, Wolfowitz, Feith, and eventually Rumsfeld opposed him and convinced Dubya to put in Cheney's man, Bremer, who would report to DoD, as Rummy insisted. Bremer was a believer in no plan, making hip-shooting decisions on awarding no-bid contracts, creating the New Iraq from committees of conservative Americans safe in the Green Zone bubble, and firing all the Iraqi Army and police. We all know how that turned out. None of that was in Garner's post-war plan. And the neocons still didn't get the pipeline to Israel after all the casualties and money we spent!

Desert Rat and ex-helo and a segment of the pundits are right to look at what we screwed up and could have done better. It may not be Chalabi's personal exile army, but options should be looked at. In other wars, the pattern a conquering army has engaged in is to either kill or enslave a conquered army (especially in the early days) or keep a defeated enemy army intact and converted into auxiliaries of your own force (Persians under Alexander, Romanians and French under Nazis, Koreans under the Japs) or used as civil affairs, peacekeeping troops until structure is established and the troops are able to be mustered out into civvie jobs. (US used Nazis and Imperial Jap troops that last way)

We are unlikely to ever do another war without an approved postwar plan with detailed assignments and resources ready or a plan that does not keep forces of law and order intact until they are de-nazified, de-ba'athified, de-ayatollahfied...whatever. (Yes the Iraqi Army scattered rather than be JDAM'd - they could have all been remustered and told they would get the Barry McCafferty treatment if they betrayed their parole and conditions of surrender - he butchered an entire Special Guard battalion that fired on Americans after they surrendered)

10/12/2005 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

meme chose: Unfortunately most people don't realize is that all 'the aristocracy' used to mean was the local clan of thugs. That's why their ancestral halls were so often decorated with armor and bludgeons.

A man who commands a couple of armed thugs is a bandit. A man who commands a thousand armed thugs is a duke

I also agree with you about "intellectuals" and socialism. The attraction of a planned economy is greatest to someone with the hubris to think he would be invited to be a member of the planning class

10/12/2005 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Garner was Powell and the State Dept's man who was to implement the 13 volume Iraq postwar plan State and other groups like the War College compiled.

I'm sure I'm not the only person here who would love to see and compare this plan in detail to the reality manifested through Bremer. The assertion that a thorough and credible plan did exist but was simply not followed is powerful stuff. Remember, New Orleans ignored its own publicly available disaster plan, and the consequences of this are rather more readily understandable absent the obfuscations surrounding Iraq.

10/12/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Why don't some of you go read Kaplan's book?

10/12/2005 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger gmat said...

Nathan

cedarford was talking about The Future of Iraq Project, which was undertaken by State; that's one of the main reasons it was ignored, because the CPA was run by DoD.

Thorough it was. Credible? Depends on who you talk to, and which side of the food fight they were on.

A useful collection of sources on the subject is here

10/12/2005 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

The idea the Pentagon did not have a postwar plan is complete and total rubbish. Perhaps, the plan they had did not work out so well, perhaps no plan would have worked out so well.

One thing that is key and that is both the populace have to learn to trust and how to deal with the occupiers and the occupiers have to learn how to trust and deal with the populace.

Rich Lowry wrote an article sometime ago for National Review. In it the people he talked to said it was a matter of of the soldiers learning to deal with the culture. This is much more than knowning shookron is thank you, minth fudluck is please and you shake your little coffee cup three times to decline another cup of coffee.

The idea of the Pentagon not planning is silly. I bet they have plans to invade every nation on the earth,.however some are much dustier than others.

10/12/2005 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Marcus Aurelius -

The idea the Pentagon did not have a postwar plan is complete and total rubbish.

If you call "We assume we will be greeted as liberators with rose petals at our feet, the noble Iraqi people will let off a little steam then be back at work on Monday, and in gratitude they will give us all the Oil contracts and be pals with Israel...."

Any sort of real plan.

William Langeweische, Kaplan, high ranking soldiers in testimony in front of Congress testified to a lack of plans, no orders, utter confusion on who had what role. Doug Feith, the neocon placed in charge of post-war planning at DoD, said they just hadn't gotten around to serious planning because of WMD search plans and other "higher priority" stuff until 2 weeks before the invasion. Rumsfeld himself called the aftermath, after reality smacked him around for 18 months - "a catastrophic success".

Never again will the Pentagon and Congress ever do a war, unless we are surprise attacked, without ensuring they are prepared to handle the postwar. The only silver lining was - because they were left holding the neocon's bag of shit - the Marines and Army were not gutted as obsolete "Cold War relics" as Rumsfeld originally intended. Instead, DoD is letting the Navy, AF, and Reserves equipment and weapons platform inventory levels attrit to well below what Clinton turned over to Bush.

In it's own way, the postwar failure is as bad in respect to failed planning, piss poor diplomacy, and sheer ignorance of realities on the ground as the Bay of Pigs failure was.

10/12/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard delivers another piercing insight: these are not Minutemen fighting for freedom we face, these are Islamofascists attempting to impose their cancer upon mankind.

Our enemies openly declare Iraq as the central battle in this world war, while our leftist countrymen continue to declare it an "optional war" or if they are witty, a "sideshow." Our enemies clearly express desperation in Zawahiri's letter, while lefty pundits declare our defeat. Our enemies clearly see how Vietnam was lost, our liberal brethren long for the US to suffer the same humiliation again, giving not a fig for the millions who would suffer and die - again.

From the very beginning, this President made the stakes clear:
" Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.

This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime."
President Bush address to Congress, 20 Sept 2001

The willful ignorance of the left grows only more entrenched, but thanks to the Web and places like the Belmont Club, the truth will out.

10/12/2005 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

(I'm still mulling over what it was that I saw in the interesting sci fi flick "Serenity".)

There was a secret that the "confederation" was trying to hide. The secret was that a planet set up and populated by the confederation died. The reason the planet died was that they were fed a chemical that made everyone non agressive. However, because everyone became non agressive they lost their will to live. So most simply laid down and died. Except for a small portion of the population which became cannibals. These cannibals supped on those that did not die by themselves and then the cannibals mauraded around the rest of the known galaxy preying on planets here and there and eating their human victims alive.

The battle cry of the movie was suprisingly calvinist sounding. The hero told his crew that they were imperfect beings and should fight for their right to be imperfect. He said they had to get the word out about what had happened on the dead planet because the rulers would try again to "perfect" humanity. And without information the people would not know that they must resist.

Now for the strange part.

They were being silenced by a federation that spoke in a code that looked very oriental...my first association was chinese. (but a case could have been made for the characters being japanese)

I associated chinese because in the late 90's there were a number of reports that passed through FreeRepublic that talked about cannibalism in China during the cultural revolution. This was at a time when Mao was trying to perfect the chinese.

Whether we're pasha, nomenclatura, or "little princes"--the battle to keep the world from congealing into a hardpan non porus caste system--is never really won.

And its important to get some idea of who the players are and how they are acting on each other.

For example, I think that the Mexicans coming over the US border are not "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" but rather stalking horses for the one world nomenclatura and special interests like borderless billionaires roaming the world looking for more billions as well as homosexuals interested in resurrecting some sort of the prechristian pagan religion around a borderless world.

10/12/2005 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Charles,

I don't know if you saw Firefly, the television series preceding Serenity, but I understand that the Chinese influence stems from the fictional background of the Serenity universe: China and the United States as reconciled superpowers cooperating in spaceborne expansion. By Occam, nothing so sinister as a recollection of nascent Maoism.

10/12/2005 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Here is the fully text of the letter from Ayman Zawahiri (Bin Laden right-hand man) to the thug Abu Musab Zarqawi who is operating in Iraq (I will say that I am not sure if it is directly addressed to Zarqawi).

This letter indicates extreem distress. He asks for money. He bemoans the loss of one of his wives (most likely in a bombing raid) and other misfortunes. Hence Wretchard's details of the use of small effective units of Americans troops seems to be working . But, the enemy seems to be using those same tactics!

There are Five noteworthy points in the English version of the letter:

1) Ayman Zawahiri (Bin Laden's man) is asking a lesser terrorists for money.

2) Ayman Zawahiri goes to lengths to berate Abu Musab Zarqawi for brutal slaughter of the Shia [sp?] non-combatants.

3) Ayman Zawahiri drives home the point that the media must be used as a weapon - as it was during Vietnam.

4) Ayman Zawahiri want's to quickly fill the vacuum when Americans leave Iraq.

5) Deception of the average Muslim is OK if it can achieve a 'caliphate.'

[CentCom translates the letter]

English Version (note that the letter is not copy protected - don't fret about copy write infringement):

In the name of God, praise be to God, and praise and blessings be upon the Messenger of God, his family, his Companions, and all those who follow him.
.................................
The gracious brother/Abu Musab, God protect him and watch over him, may His religion, and His Book and the Sunna of His Prophet @ aid him, I ask the Almighty that he bless him, us, and all Muslims, with His divine aid, His clear victory, and His release from suffering be close at hand. Likewise, I ask the Almighty to gather us as He sees fit from the glory of this world and the prize of the hereafter.
1-Dear brother, God Almighty knows how much I miss meeting with you, how much I long to join you in your historic battle against the greatest of criminals and apostates in the heart of the Islamic world, the field where epic and major battles in the history of Islam were fought. I think that if I could find a way to you, I would not delay a day, God willing.

2-My dear brother, we are following your news, despite the difficulty and hardship. We received your last published message sent to Sheikh Usama Bin Ladin, God save him. Likewise, I made sure in my last speech-that Aljazeera broadcast Saturday, 11 Jumadi I, 1426h, 18 June 2005-to mention you, send you greetings, and show support and thanks for the heroic acts you are performing in defense of Islam and the Muslims, but I do not know what Aljazeera broadcast. Did this part appear or not? I will try to attach the full speech with this message, conditions permitting.

Likewise, I showed my support for your noble initiative to join with your brothers, during a prior speech I sent to the brothers a number of months ago, but the brothers' circumstances prevented its publication.

3-I want to reassure you about our situation. The summer started hot with operations escalating in Afghanistan. The enemy struck a blow against us with the arrest of Abu al-Faraj, may God break his bonds. However, no Arab brother was arrested because of him. The brothers tried-and were successful to a great degree-to contain the fall of Abu al-Faraj as much as they could.

However, the real danger comes from the agent Pakistani army that is carrying out operations in the tribal areas looking for mujahedeen.

4-I want to keep corresponding with you about the details of what is going on in dear Iraq, especially since we do not know the full truth as you know it. Therefore, I want you to explain to me your situation in a little detail, especially in regards to the political angle. I want you to express to me what is on your mind in regards to what is on my mind in the way of questions and inquiries.

A-I want to be the first to congratulate you for what God has blessed you with in terms of fighting battle in the heart of the Islamic world, which was formerly the field for major battles in Islam's history, and what is now the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era, and what will happen, according to what appeared in the Hadiths of the Messenger of God @ about the epic battles between Islam and atheism. It has always been my belief that the victory of Islam will never take place until a Muslim state is established in the manner of the Prophet in the heart of the Islamic world, specifically in the Levant, Egypt, and the neighboring states of the Peninsula and Iraq; however, the center would be in the Levant and Egypt. This is my opinion, which I do not preach as infallibile, but I have reviewed historical events and the behavior of the enemies of Islam themselves, and they did not establish Israel in this triangle surrounded by Egypt and Syria and overlooking the Hijaz except for their own interests.

As for the battles that are going on in the far-flung regions of the Islamic world, such as Chechnya, Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Bosnia, they are just the groundwork and the vanguard for the major battles which have begun in the heart of the Islamic world. We ask God that He send down his victory upon us that he promised to his faithful worshipers.

It is strange that the Arab nationalists also have, despite their avoidance of Islamic practice, come to comprehend the great importance of this province. It is like a bird whose wings are Egypt and Syria, and whose heart is Palestine. They have come to comprehend the goal of planting Israel in this region, and they are not misled in this, rather they have admitted their ignorance of the religious nature of this conflict.

What I mean is that God has blessed you and your brothers while many of the Muslim mujahedeen have longed for that blessing, and that is Jihad in the heart of the Islamic world. He has, in addition to that, granted you superiority over the idolatrous infidels, traitorous apostates, and those turncoat deviants.

This is what God Almighty has distinguished you and your brothers with over the mujahedeen before you who fought in the heart of the Islamic world, and in Egypt and Syria to be precise, but this splendor and superiority against the enemies of Islam was not ordained for them.

God also blessed you not only with the splendor of the spearhead of Jihad, but with the splendor as well of the doctrines of monotheism, the rejection of polytheism, and avoidance of the tenets of the secularists and detractors and inferiors, the call to the pure way of the Prophet, and the sublime goal that the Prophet @ left to his companions {. This is a blessing on top of blessing on top of blessing which obliges you and your noble brothers to be constantly thankful and full of praise. The Almighty said: (If ye are grateful, He is pleased with you) and the Almighty says: (If ye are grateful, I will add more unto you.)

B-Because of this, we are extremely concerned, as are the mujahedeen and all sincere Muslims, about your Jihad and your heroic acts until you reach its intended goal.

You know well that purity of faith and the correct way of living are not connected necessarily to success in the field unless you take into consideration the reasons and practices which events are guided by. For the grandson of the Prophet Imam al Hussein Bin Ali }, the Leader of the Faithful Abdallah Bin al-Zubair }, Abdul Rahman Bin al-Ashath ~, and other great people, did not achieve their sought-after goal.

C-If our intended goal in this age is the establishment of a caliphate in the manner of the Prophet and if we expect to establish its state predominantly-according to how it appears to us-in the heart of the Islamic world, then your efforts and sacrifices-God permitting-are a large step directly towards that goal.

So we must think for a long time about our next steps and how we want to attain it, and it is my humble opinion that the Jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals:

The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq.

The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or amirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate- over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq, i.e., in Sunni areas, is in order to fill the void stemming from the departure of the Americans, immediately upon their exit and before un-Islamic forces attempt to fill this void, whether those whom the Americans will leave behind them, or those among the un-Islamic forces who will try to jump at taking power.

There is no doubt that this amirate will enter into a fierce struggle with the foreign infidel forces, and those supporting them among the local forces, to put it in a state of constant preoccupation with defending itself, to make it impossible for it to establish a stable state which could proclaim a caliphate, and to keep the Jihadist groups in a constant state of war, until these forces find a chance to annihilate them.

The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq.

The fourth stage: It may coincide with what came before: the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity.

My raising this idea-I don't claim that it's infallible-is only to stress something extremely important. And it is that the mujahedeen must not have their mission end with the expulsion of the Americans from Iraq, and then lay down their weapons, and silence the fighting zeal. We will return to having the secularists and traitors holding sway over us. Instead, their ongoing mission is to establish an Islamic state, and defend it, and for every generation to hand over the banner to the one after it until the Hour of Resurrection.

(3) The Muslim masses-for many reasons, and this is not the place to discuss it-do not rally except against an outside occupying enemy, especially if the enemy is firstly Jewish, and secondly American. 4

If the matter is thus, we must contemplate our affairs carefully, so that we are not robbed of the spoils, and our brothers did not die, so that others can reap the fruits of their labor.

D-If we look at the two short-term goals, which are removing the Americans and establishing an Islamic amirate in Iraq, or a caliphate if possible, then, we will see that the strongest weapon which the mujahedeen enjoy - after the help and granting of success by God - is popular support from the Muslim masses in Iraq, and the surrounding Muslim countries.

So, we must maintain this support as best we can, and we should strive to increase it, on the condition that striving for that support does not lead to any concession in the laws of the Sharia.

And it's very important that you allow me to elaborate a little here on this issue of popular support. Let's say:

(1) If we are in agreement that the victory of Islam and the establishment of a caliphate in the manner of the Prophet will not be achieved except through jihad against the apostate rulers and their removal, then this goal will not be accomplished by the mujahed movement while it is cut off from public support, even if the Jihadist movement pursues the method of sudden overthrow. This is because such an overthrow would not take place without some minimum of popular support and some condition of public discontent which offers the mujahed movement what it needs in terms of capabilities in the quickest fashion. Additionally, if the Jihadist movement were obliged to pursue other methods, such as a popular war of jihad or a popular intifadah, then popular support would be a decisive factor between victory and defeat.

(2) In the absence of this popular support, the Islamic mujahed movement would be crushed in the shadows, far from the masses who are distracted or fearful, and the struggle between the Jihadist elite and the arrogant authorities would be confined to prison dungeons far from the public and the light of day. This is precisely what the secular, apostate forces that are controlling our countries are striving for. These forces don't desire to wipe out the mujahed Islamic movement, rather they are stealthily striving to separate it from the misguided or frightened Muslim masses. Therefore, our planning must strive to involve the Muslim masses in the battle, and to bring the mujahed movement to the masses and not conduct the struggle far from them.

This, in my limited opinion, is the reason for the popular support that the mujahedeen enjoy in Iraq, by the grace of God.

As for the sectarian and chauvinistic factor, it is secondary in importance to outside aggression, and is much weaker than it. In my opinion-which is limited and which is what I see far from the scene-the awakening of the Sunni people in Iraq against the Shia would not have had such strength and toughness were it not for the treason of the Shia and their collusion with the Americans, and their agreement with them to permit the Americans to occupy Iraq in exchange for the Shia assuming power.

(4) Therefore, the mujahed movement must avoid any action that the masses do not understand or approve, if there is no contravention of Sharia in such avoidance, and as long as there are other options to resort to, meaning we must not throw the masses-scant in knowledge-into the sea before we teach them to swim, relying for guidance in that on the saying of the Prophet @ to Umar bin al-Khattab<: lest the people should say that Muhammad used to kill his Companions.

Among the practical applications of this viewpoint in your blessed arena:

(A) The matter of preparing for the aftermath of the exit of the Americans: The Americans will exit soon, God willing, and the establishment of a governing authority-as soon as the country is freed from the Americans-does not depend on force alone. Indeed, it's imperative that, in addition to force, there be an appeasement of Muslims and a sharing with them in governance and in the Shura council and in promulgating what is allowed and what is not allowed. In my view-which I continue to reiterate is limited and has a distant perspective upon the events-this must be achieved through the people of the Shura and who possess authority to determine issues and make them binding, and who are endowed with the qualifications for working in Sharia law. They would be elected by the people of the country to represent them and overlook the work of the authorities in accordance with the rules of the glorious Sharia.

And it doesn't appear that the Mujahedeen, much less the al-Qaida in the Land of Two Rivers, will lay claim to governance without the Iraqi people. Not to mention that that would be in contravention of the Shura methodology. That is not practical in my opinion.

You might ask an important question: What drives me to broach these matters while we are in the din of war and the challenges of killing and combat?

My answer is, firstly: Things may develop faster than we imagine. The aftermath of the
collapse of American power in Vietnam-and how they ran and left their agents-is noteworthy. Because of that, we must be ready starting now, before events overtake us, and before we are surprised by the conspiracies of the Americans and the United Nations and their plans to fill the void behind them. We must take the initiative and impose a fait accompli upon our enemies, instead of the enemy imposing one on us, wherein our lot would be to merely resist their schemes.

Second: This is the most vital part. This authority, or the Sharia amirate that is necessary, requires fieldwork starting now, alongside the combat and war. It would be a political endeavor in which the mujahedeen would be a nucleus around which would gather the tribes and their elders, and the people in positions, and scientists, and merchants, and people of opinion, and all the distinguished ones who were not sullied by appeasing the occupation and those who defended Islam.

We don't want to repeat the mistake of the Taliban, who restricted participation in governance to the students and the people of Qandahar alone. They did not have any representation for the Afghan people in their ruling regime, so the result was that the Afghan people disengaged themselves from them. Even devout ones took the stance of the spectator and, when the invasion came, the amirate collapsed in days, because the people were either passive or hostile. Even the students themselves had a stronger affiliation to their tribes and their villages than their affiliation to the Islamic amirate or the Taliban movement or the responsible party in charge of each one of them in his place. Each of them retreated to his village and his tribe, where his affiliation was stronger!!

The comparison between the fall of Kabul and the resistance of Fallujah, Ramadi, and Al Qaim and their fearless sisters shows a clear distinction, by God's grace and His kindness. It is the matter towards which we must strive, that we must support and strengthen.

Therefore, I stress again to you and to all your brothers the need to direct the political action equally with the military action, by the alliance, cooperation and gathering of all leaders of opinion and influence in the Iraqi arena. I can't define for you a specific means of action. You are more knowledgeable about the field conditions. But you and your brothers must strive to have around you circles of support, assistance, and cooperation, and through them, to advance until you become a consensus, entity, organization, or association that represents all the honorable people and the loyal folks in Iraq. I repeat the warning against separating from the masses, whatever the danger.

(2) Striving for the unity of the mujahedeen: This is something I entrust to you. It is between you and God. If the mujahedeen are scattered, this leads to the scattering of the people around them. I don't have detailed information about the situation of the mujahedeen, so I ask that you help us with some beneficial details in this, and the extent of the different mujahedeen movements' readiness to join the course of unity.

(3) Striving for the ulema: From the standpoint of not highlighting the doctrinal differences which the masses do not understand, such as this one is Matridi or this one is Ashari or this one is Salafi, and from the standpoint of doing justice to the people, for there may be in the world a heresy or an inadequacy in a side which may have something to give to jihad, fighting, and sacrifice for God. We have seen magnificent examples in the Afghan jihad, and the prince of believers, Mullah Muhammad Omar - may God protect him - himself is of Hanafi adherence, Matridi doctrine, but he stood in the history of Islam with a stance rarely taken. You are the richer if you know the stances of the authentic ulema on rulers in times of jihad and the defense of the Muslim holy sites. And more than that, their stances on doing justice to the people and not denying their merit.

The ulema among the general public are, as well, the symbol of Islam and its emblem. Their disparagement may lead to the general public deeming religion and its adherents as being unimportant. This is a greater injury than the benefit of criticizing a theologian on a heresy or an issue.

Of course, these words of mine have nothing to do with the hypocritical traitors who are in allegiance with the crusaders, but I wish to stress the warning against diminishing the ulema before the general public.

Also, the active mujahedeen ulema - even if there may be some heresy or fault in them that is not blasphemous - we must find a means to include them and to benefit from their energy. You know well -what I am mentioning to you- that many of the most learned ulema of Islam such as Izz Bin Abdul Salam, al-Nawawi, and Ibn Hajar - may God have mercy on them - were Ashari. And many of the most eminent jihadists, whom the Umma resolved unanimously to praise such as Nur al-Din Bin Zanki and Salahal-Din al-Ayyubi - were Ashari. The mujahedeen sultans who came after them - who didn't reach their level - whom the ulema and the historians lauded such as Sayf al-Din Qatz, Rukn al-Din Baybars, al-Nasir Muhammad Bin-Qallawun, and Muhammad al-Fatih, were Ashari or Matridi. They fell into errors, sins, and heresies. And the stances of Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiya regarding al-Nasir Muhammad Bin Qallawun and his extolling of him and his inciting him to jihad - despite the prosecutions and prison which befell the sheikh in his time - are well known.

If you take into account the fact that most of the Umma's ulema are Ashari or Matridi, and if you take into consideration as well the fact that the issue of correcting the mistakes of ideology is an issue that will require generations of the call to Islam and modifying the educational curricula, and that the mujahedeen are not able to undertake this burden, rather they are in need of those who will help them with the difficulties and problems they face; if you take all this into consideration, and add to it the fact that all Muslims are speaking of jihad, whether they are Salafi or non-Salafi, then you would understand that it is a duty of the mujahed movement to include the energies of the Umma and in its wisdom and prudence to fill the role of leader, trailblazer, and exploiter of all the capabilities of the Umma for the sake of achieving our aims: a caliphate along the lines of the Prophet's, with God's permission.

I do not know the details of the situation where you are, but I do not want us to repeat the mistake of Jamil al-Rahman~, who was killed and whose organization was shattered, because he neglected the realities on the ground.

(4) The position on the Shia:

This subject is complicated and detailed. I have brought it up here so as not to address the general public on something they do not know. But please permit me to present it logically:

(A) I repeat that I see the picture from afar, and I repeat that you see what we do not see. No doubt you have the right to defend yourself, the mujahedeen, and Muslims in general and in particular against any aggression or threat of aggression.

(B) I assert here that any rational person understands with ease that the Shia cooperated with the Americans in the invasion of Afghanistan, Rafsanjani himself confessed to it, and they cooperated with them in the overthrow of Saddam and the occupation of Iraq in exchange for the Shia's assumption of power and their turning a blind eye to the American military presence in Iraq. This is clear to everybody who has two eyes.

(C) People of discernment and knowledge among Muslims know the extent of danger to Islam of the Twelve'er school of Shiism. It is a religious school based on excess and falsehood whose function is to accuse the companions of Muhammad { of heresy in a campaign against Islam, in order to free the way for a group of those who call for a dialogue in the name of the hidden mahdi who is in control of existence and infallible in what he does. Their prior history in cooperating with the enemies of Islam is consistent with their current reality of connivance with the Crusaders.

(D) The collision between any state based on the model of prophecy with the Shia is a matter that will happen sooner or later. This is the judgment of history, and these are the fruits to be expected from the rejectionist Shia sect and their opinion of the Sunnis.

These are clear, well-known matters to anyone with a knowledge of history, the ideologies, and the politics of states.

(E) We must repeat what we mentioned previously, that the majority of Muslims don't comprehend this and possibly could not even imagine it. For that reason, many of your Muslim admirers amongst the common folk are wondering about your attacks on the Shia. The sharpness of this questioning increases when the attacks are on one of their mosques, and it increases more when the attacks are on the mausoleum of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib, may God honor him. My opinion is that this matter won't be acceptable to the Muslim populace however much you have tried to explain it, and aversion to this will continue.

Indeed, questions will circulate among mujahedeen circles and their opinion makers about the correctness of this conflict with the Shia at this time. Is it something that is unavoidable? Or, is it something can be put off until the force of the mujahed movement in Iraq gets stronger? And if some of the operations were necessary for self-defense, were all of the operations necessary? Or, were there some operations that weren't called for? And is the opening of another front now in addition to the front against the Americans and the government a wise decision? Or, does this conflict with the Shia lift the burden from the Americans by diverting the mujahedeen to the Shia, while the Americans continue to control matters from afar? And if the attacks on Shia leaders were necessary to put a stop to their plans, then why were there attacks on ordinary Shia? Won't this lead to reinforcing false ideas in their minds, even as it is incumbent on us to preach the call of Islam to them and explain and communicate to guide them to the truth? And can the mujahedeen kill all of the Shia in Iraq? Has any Islamic state in history ever tried that? And why kill ordinary Shia considering that they are forgiven because of their ignorance? And what loss will befall us if we did not attack the Shia? And do the brothers forget that we have more than one hundred prisoners - many of whom are from the leadership who are wanted in their countries - in the custody of the Iranians? And even if we attack the Shia out of necessity, then why do you announce this matter and make it public, which compels the Iranians to take counter measures? And do the brothers forget that both we and the Iranians need to refrain from harming each other at this time in which the Americans are targeting us?

All of these questions and others are circulating among your brothers, and they are monitoring the picture from afar, as I told you. One who monitors from afar lacks many of the important details that affect decision-making in the field.

However, monitoring from afar has the advantage of providing the total picture and observing the general line without getting submerged in the details, which might draw attention away from the direction of the target. As the English proverb says, the person who is standing among the leaves of the tree might not see the tree.

One of the most important factors of success is that you don't let your eyes lose sight of the target, and that it should stand before you always. Otherwise you deviate from the general line through a policy of reaction. And this is a lifetime's experience, and I will not conceal from you the fact that we suffered a lot through following this policy of reaction, then we suffered a lot another time because we tried to return to the original line.

One of the most important things facing the leadership is the enthusiasm of the supporters, and especially of the energetic young men who are burning to make the religion victorious. This enthusiasm must flow wisely, and al-Mutanabbi says:

Courage in a man does suffice but not like the courage of one who is wise.
And he also says:

Judiciousness precedes the courage of the courageous which is second

And when the two blend in one free soul it reaches everywhere in the heavens.

In summation, with regard to the talk about the issue of the Shia, I would like to repeat that I see that matter from afar without being aware of all the details, I would like my words to be deserving of your attention and consideration, and God is the guarantor of success for every good thing.(5) Scenes of slaughter:

Among the things which the feelings of the Muslim populace who love and support you will never find palatable - also- are the scenes of slaughtering the hostages. You shouldn't be deceived by the praise of some of the zealous young men and their description of you as the shaykh of the slaughterers, etc. They do not express the general view of the admirer and the supporter of the resistance in Iraq, and of you in particular by the favor and blessing of God.

And your response, while true, might be: Why shouldn't we sow terror in the hearts of the Crusaders and their helpers? And isn't the destruction of the villages and the cities on the heads of their inhabitants more cruel than slaughtering? And aren't the cluster bombs and the seven ton bombs and the depleted uranium bombs crueler than slaughtering? And isn't killing by torture crueler than slaughtering? And isn't violating the honor of men and women more painful and more destructive than slaughtering?

All of these questions and more might be asked, and you are justified. However this does not change the reality at all, which is that the general opinion of our supporter does not comprehend that, and that this general opinion falls under a campaign by the malicious, perfidious, and fallacious campaign by the deceptive and fabricated media. And we would spare the people from the effect of questions about the usefulness of our actions in the hearts and minds of the general opinion that is essentially sympathetic to us.

And I say to you with sure feeling and I say: That the author of these lines has tasted the bitterness of American brutality, and that my favorite wife's chest was crushed by a concrete ceiling and she went on calling for aid to lift the stone block off her chest until she breathed her last, may God have mercy on her and accept her among the martyrs. As for my young daughter, she was afflicted by a cerebral hemorrhage, and she continued for a whole day suffering in pain until she expired. And to this day I do not know the location of the graves of my wife, my son, my daughter, and the rest of the three other families who were martyred in the incident and who were pulverized by the concrete ceiling, may God have mercy on them and the Muslim martyrs. Were they brought out of the rubble, or are they still buried beneath it to this day?

However, despite all of this, I say to you: that we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media. And that we are in a media battle in a race for the hearts and minds of our Umma. And that however far our capabilities reach, they will never be equal to one thousandth of the capabilities of the kingdom of Satan that is waging war on us. And we can kill the captives by bullet. That would achieve that which is sought after without exposing ourselves to the questions and answering to doubts. We don't need this.

E-I would like you to explain for us another issue related to Iraq, and I think without a doubt that you are the most knowledgeable about it. Can the assumption of leadership for the mujahedeen or a group of the mujahedeen by non-Iraqis stir up sensitivity for some people? And if there is sensitivity, what is its effect? And how can it be eliminated while preserving the commitment of the jihadist work and without exposing it to any shocks? Please inform us in detail regarding this matter.

F-Likewise I would like you to inform us about the Iraqi situation in general and the situation of the mujahedeen in particular in detail without exposing the security of the mujahedeen and the Muslims to danger. At the least, we should know as much as the enemy knows. And allow us to burden you with this trouble, for we are most eager to learn your news.

G-I have a definite desire to travel to you but I do not know whether that is possible from the standpoint of traveling and getting settled, so please let me know. And God is the guarantor of every good thing.

5-Please take every caution in the meetings, especially when someone claims to carry an important letter or contributions. It was in this way that they arrested Khalid Sheikh. Likewise, please, if you want to meet one of your assistants, I hope that you don't meet him in a public place or in a place that is not known to you. I hope that you would meet him in a secure place, not the place of your residence. Because Abu al-Faraj - may God set him free and release him from his torment - was lured by one of his brothers, who had been taken into custody, to meet him at a public location where a trap had been set. 6-The brothers informed me that you suggested to them sending some assistance. Our situation since Abu al-Faraj is good by the grace of God, but many of the lines have been cut off. Because of this, we need a payment while new lines are being opened. So, if you're capable of sending a payment of approximately one hundred thousand, we'll be very grateful to you.

7-The subject of the Algerian brothers at our end, there are fears from the previous experiences, so if you're able to get in touch with them and notify us of the details from them, we would be very grateful to you.

8-As for news on the poor servant,

A-During an earlier period I published some publications:

(1) Allegiance and exemption - A Faith transmitted, a lost reality.
(2) Strengthening the Banner of Islam - an article emphasizing the authority's commitment to monotheism.

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

(3) Wind of Paradise - an article about: Most Honorable Sacrifices of the Believers - Campaigns of Death and Martyrdom.

I endeavored in this article to include what was written on the subject as much as I could. I also strived to verify every word in it, and it's an issue that took me almost a year or more.

(4) The Bitter Harvest - The Muslim Brotherhood in 60 Years - Second Edition 1426h - 2005m.

In this edition, I wanted to delete all the extreme phrases for which there's no proof, and I referred to the book a number of times, then I wrote a new preface. In it I pointed out a dangerous trend of the Brotherhood, especially in the circumstances of the New Crusader War which was launched on the Islamic Umma. In my opinion, this edition is better than the first with respect to the calmness of the presentation instead of being emotional. The Brotherhood's danger is demonstrated by the weakening of the Islamic Resistance to the campaign of the Crusaders and their supporters. God is the only one who is perfect.

(5) I have also had fifteen audio statements published and six others that were not published for one reason or another. We ask God for acceptance and devotion.

I will enclose for you the written statements and what I can of the audio and video statements with this message, God willing. If you find they are good, you can publish them. We seek God's assistance.

(6) I don't know if you all have contact with Abu Rasmi? Even if it is via the Internet, because I gave him a copy of my book (A Knight under the banner of the Prophet@) so he could attempt to publish it, and I lost the original. Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper published it truncated and jumbled. I think that the American intelligence services provided the aforementioned newspaper with it from my computer which they acquired, because the publication of the book coincided with a publication of messages from my computer in the same newspaper. So if you can contact him and get the original of the book, if that is possible for you all, then you can publish it on your blessed website and then send a copy to us, if that is possible.

B-As for my personal condition, I am in good health, blessings and wellness thanks to God and His grace. I am only lacking your pious prayers, in which I beg you not to forget me. God Almighty has blessed me with a daughter whom I have named (Nawwar), and Nawwar means: the timid female gazelle and the woman who is free from suspicion, and technically: it is the name of my maternal aunt who was a second mother to me and who stood with me during all the difficult and harsh times. I ask God to reward her for me with the best reward, and have mercy on her, our mothers and the Muslims.

9-My greetings to all the loved ones and please give me news of Karem and the rest of the folks I know, and especially:

By God, if by chance you're going to Fallujah, send greetings to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

In closing, I ask God entrust you all with His guardianship, providence and protection, and bless you all in your families, possessions and offspring and protect them from all evil and that He delight you all with them in this world and the next world, and that He bestow upon us and you all the victory that he promised his servants the Believers, and that He strengthen for us our religion which He has sanctioned for us, and that He make us safe after our fear.Peace, God's blessings and mercy to you.

Your loving brother
Abu Muhammad
Saturday, 02 Jumada al-Thani, 1426 - 09 July, 2005.



See: English version

[and segments examined]

Quote: "The brothers informed me that you suggested to them sending some assistance. Our situation since Abu-al-Faraj is good by the grace of God, but many of the lines have been cut off. Because of this, we need a payment while new lines are being opened. So, if you're capable of sending a payment of approximately 100,000 [units of currency] we'll be very grateful to you."

See:Extreemist's essay

10/12/2005 04:25:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Thanks for the post ledger.

10/12/2005 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Ledger (and anyone else): Do you think that (1) Zarqawi read the whole entire everything? And (2) took it to heart?

I haven't known personally any blood-thirsty terrorist Muslim beheader types, but my take on Zarqawi is that he's pathological, remorseless, and possibly impulsive. I think he would *resent* such a laundry list and would feel that the whole thing was one long criticism of him.

And he would ask himself, who is more successful, Zawahiri asking for money, or Zarqawi who's name and picture are on the front pages of every newspaper in the world.

I agree that it's an interesting look inside the tent of Al-Queda, but if I were going to predict a reaction, it would NOT be that Zarqawi would meekly tug his forelock like a good little Muslim, murmur "Allah u Akbar" and send off $100,000 on the next camel per their request.

'Course I could be totally wrong, since there haven't been any beheadings since the letter came to light, and if Z wanted to send Z a real "F- you!" message, that would be it.

10/12/2005 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger JB said...

...but my take on Zarqawi is that he's pathological, remorseless, and possibly impulsive.

Precisely. A homicidal maniac.

It's like trying to restrain a rabid dog. Good luck.

10/12/2005 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger CapZap said...

I am anxious, each day, to get to your blog. It is SO well done. Food for mind and soul. Thanks

10/12/2005 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Nahncee,

Didn't the letter come to light only a day ago? There's still time to send that F-you.

10/12/2005 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

This comment responds to the post, rather than the comments that precede it, on account of my fatigue.

It seems to me that Kaplan's conception of who is really in charge -- "Small military units working under the direction of theater-level, unified combatant command units or "Coms" built on the CENTCOM concept" -- is really a return to the methods by which we managed American "small wars" from Jefferson through the early 20th century. To a great degree, distance required that the government essentially delegate foreign policy in regions of the world without American representation to Navy captains. Because events unfolded much more quickly than a message could be transmitted across huge distances and back again, those captains sometimes started and ended whole wars without Washington knowing until the shooting had stopped (see Max Boot, Savage Wars of Peace). The requirements of today's "global counterinsurgency" have opened up a similar gap between the speed with which decisions must be made and and the time it would take for the entire chain of command to make those decisions. That gap requires delegation of authority to the local level not entirely different from America's great age of naval foreign policy.

10/12/2005 08:04:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Tigerhawk,
I disagree with that. I think that with today's instantaneous communications, there are actually fewer "strategic" decisions being made on the spot than ever before. The lower ranks have more firepower at their disposal than ever, thanks to the availability of close air/artillery support, but that is very localized. But there is no way that their COs are making major decisions without going through the chain-of-command.

10/12/2005 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Al Qaida letter reveals goals in Iraq: reports:

"We don't want to repeat the mistake of the Taliban, who restricted participation in governance to the students and the people of Kandahar alone," Zawahiri wrote.

US officials declined to reveal when the letter was intercepted,and whether it had been sent or received, according to the reports.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-10/12/content_3611595.htm

10/12/2005 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Robert McClelland said...

since the US ousted the Taliban.

The US didn't oust the Taliban. The Northern Alliance ousted the Taliban with some assistance from the US.

10/12/2005 09:10:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The real Iraq war:
The USA vs. al-Qaida:

Both the United States and al-Qaida view Iraq in similar terms. Both want to use it as a launching pad. The United States envisions a democratic Iraq spreading liberalism and democratic ideas throughout the region, while al-Qaida envisions a base from which to instigate the overthrow of the neighboring states.

With that realization, there can be no thought of retreat until Iraq is capable of protecting itself from this snake in the sand. In his letter, Al-Zawahri cited Vietnam, saying America “ran” and anticipating we will do the same in Iraq. He would view that as victory for al-Qaida, which it would be.

http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showfast.html?article=61720

10/12/2005 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Cutler said, "Thanks for the post ledger."

You are welcome. I tried to edit it but most of the meaning was lost - so, I posted the whole thing.

NahnCee said, "Ledger (and anyone else): Do you think that (1) Zarqawi read the whole entire everything? And (2) took it to heart?

I haven't known personally any blood-thirsty terrorist Muslim beheader types, but my take on Zarqawi is that he's pathological, remorseless, and possibly impulsive. I think he would *resent* such a laundry list and would feel that the whole thing was one long criticism of him.

And he would ask himself, who is more successful, Zawahiri asking for money, or Zarqawi who's name and picture are on the front pages of every newspaper in the world... it would NOT be that Zarqawi would meekly tug his forelock like a good little Muslim, murmur "Allah u Akbar" and send off $100,000 on the next camel per their request.
"

That was one of the main points I was driving home during another post.

First, Mr. Big Shot, Ayman Zawahiri (Bin Laden's man) ask for money from Zarqawi, a thug whose only photo is believed to be a mug shot (probably from Jordan or some other ME state). Second, Mr. Big Shot Ayman Zawahiri berates Zarqawi for this brutal publicized beheadings. I would guess that Zarqawi is confused and angered by the letter (but, one must remember the letter is from the July time frame and Zarqawi is now deep in hiding). Yes, Zarqawi will probably keep up his mad-dog murdering ways and stiff Ayman Zawahiri. Further, the letter could be construed as a power grab by Ayman Zawahiri over Zarqawi.

Other than the five points I mentioned, it looks like bin Laden's crew was pounded rather badly. Ayman Zawahiri recounts his wife's death under a cement ceiling. This would indicate that US forces struck very close to him (and possibly bin laden). Also, Ayman Zawahiri indicated that his computer and other materials were lost - depriving him of some of his propaganda material. I would not be surprised if Bin Laden had been seriously injured (possibly killed) in any of those raids (to my knowledge US official has publicly Authenticated any of bin laden's tapes since Tora Bora - they have speculated on the tapes but not confirmed them).

Another tidbit of intelligence which came to light was the fact that al Qaeda's main money man had been captured putting the whole operation in a financial bind. Sure, Syria probably stepped into the breach and provided funding for Zarqawi. Zarqawi maybe funded by Saddam's loot (Thus Zarqawi kills Saddam's foes the Shites). And, it indicates there is a cash flow problem caused by the Coalition's sucessful operations.

It interesting to note that the letter says, "...9-My greetings to all the loved ones and please give me news of Karem and the rest of the folks I know, and especially: By God, if by chance you're going to Fallujah, send greetings to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi..." This would indicate to the casual observer that the letter was addressed to a different person than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

It could be there is another player in the chain that we don't know about - or - as have some speculated at the 'Iraq The Model' blog, al-Zarqawi is a composite made up of several people who use the same name "al Zarqawi." That maybe why he is hard to catch.

If any of you have any other interesting observations - speak up.

10/12/2005 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The Northern Alliance ousted the Taliban with some assistance from the US.

Boy! That Northern Alliance sure does have some mighty fine aereoplanes! Who woulda thunk a bunch of Afghans had the technology to build something like that, let alone the learning to fly 'em!

Wonder how come that there Northern Alliance didn't overthrow Mullah Omar, et al, four or five years ago, if they were so capable?

10/12/2005 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

here's one observation, ledger: among other things, the great sage Zawahiri doesn't know sh#t about "English proverbs,' as the one he "quotes" doesn't exist.
Pathetic.

10/12/2005 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

I would not be surprised if Bin Laden had been seriously injured (possibly killed)

Bush still refers to him in his speeches every now and then. Goss has said he knows where he's at. Taking that into account you would have to conclude he's still out there.

10/12/2005 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Al Qaeda No. 2 pans Zarqawi's efforts in Iraq:

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the letter "shows clearly the nature of the enemy we're dealing with."

"It's a caliphate that will start in Iraq and move to take over Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, and practice the kind of abuse and intolerance and perfidy that we saw under the Taliban in Afghanistan, which was in cahoots with these guys," Mr. Ereli said.

"Those who claim to be speaking in the name of Islam and representing Islam can be seen by Muslims to be the perverters of the religion that they are," he said.

http://washingtontimes.com/national/20051012-104913-9270r.htm

10/12/2005 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Report from the NYTimes says a declassified study from a 2004 CIA team reveals some things about the 2 reports on Iraq intervention that are still classified though Dems want their release.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/13/international/middleeast/13intel.html

But the 2004 report refers to several elements of the previous 2 reports in terms of things the CIA was dead nuts wrong about and dead nuts right about and said unfortunately, the only thing the White House listened to was the WMD "slam dunk" while blowing off the rest of the CIA key findings they were dead right on, deferring to the Pentagon neocons and Cheney's people instead.

Dead Wrong:

1. Elements of WMD proof the CIA officially stood behind even though their own analysts had rejected or had big doubts about items that George Tenet accepted.
2. Technical analysis errors on WMD that should have disclosed, readily, that things ID's as potential WMD implements and sites were in fact, not.

Dead Nuts Right:

1. No connection between Saddam and Al Qaida.
2. Correctly predicted disbursal of Ba'athists and Sunni military elements rather than fight and set up guerilla war.
3. Correctly anticipated insecurity in oil production and that an Iraq War would lead to considerable long-term price increases due to risk premiums and access fears.
4. Reports stated Iraq was riven by tribal and ethnic fissures that ensured postwar chaos and difficulty in creating a functional national government.
5. Lack of translators and experts in tribal affairs in Iraq would greatly hamper the American military and civil administrators so it was necessary to keep existing military and police under muster and pay and use them until they could be De-Ba'athified of the worse elements and then placed under control of the sovereign Iraqi Gov't after a short transition.
6. No "Atta & The Anthrax".

It will be interesting to read exactly what the White House blew off in the CIA, DOD, and State intelligence reports, what they accepted and rejected from Israel, the UK, France, and Germany. And what came to be reality from the illusions of the neocons and Their Man Chalabi. What in the reports was quashed? If all the bad stuff that was likely to happen - a huge increase in oil prices, tribal and ethnic strife, a need to keep Ba'thists and the pre-war military and police paid and monitored and getting translators and experts from that pool....if only the stuff that favored war like the bogus WMD intel was presented to Congress - stand by if 2006 Iraq is as bad as 2004, 2005.

10/12/2005 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Letter from bin Laden lieutenant outlines hopes, strategy in Iraq:

U.S. intelligence officials believe that the letter is authentic, but two of them warned Tuesday that it may not be a completely accurate rendering of al-Qaida's thinking, in July or now. Separately, Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, cautioned "against reading too much into a single source of intelligence."

While the Bush administration calls Iraq "the central front in the war on terrorism," the letter indicates that al-Qaida believes the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq has created an opportunity to rally Muslims behind "the greatest battle of Islam in this era," one that eventually will lead to the creation of a pan-Islamic state, or caliphate.

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/12877595.htm

10/13/2005 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Tina Brown reports that Margaret Thatcher is feeling that she was had by Bush and Blair and both did not really look at the facts in deciding to launch a war on Iraq.

She is 80 and even without the WMD you still have defiance of all the UN Security Council Resolutions - but this is Margaret Thatcher.....

The former chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, Lord Palumbo, who lunched with Mrs. T six months ago, told me recently what she said when he asked her if, given the intelligence at the time, she would have made the decision to invade Iraq. "I was a scientist before I was a politician, Peter," she told him carefully. "And as a scientist I know you need facts, evidence and proof -- and then you check, recheck and check again. The fact was that there were no facts, there was no evidence, and there was no proof. As a politician the most serious decision you can take is to commit your armed services to war from which they may not return."

10/13/2005 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger sam said...

Lee Ellis, Former Vice President of CBS:

In my personal opinion, these words say more about why we were fortunate in having our President go into Iraq and Afghanistan. They also prove that we must WIN if we are to keep the world from being governed and ruled by the Islamic Fascist regime. There is much in this letter that will help you counteract the propaganda being used against President Bush and the Republican goals by the Leftists. When the polls show that 57% of the people disapprove of our President’s policies, then you know that the propagandists are successful in telling the Big Lie! Remember that al Qaeda does tell us that more than half the struggle is taking place “in the battlefield of the media.” Only you readers can counteract this in letters, coffee klatches and at the “water cooler” in the office. It is not enough to have our troops fighting overseas, or to just say that we support them; we must also have civilians back here in the USA backing them up in this propaganda war by counteracting the local leftist media with the truth. Write letters; call radio talk shows and start conversation groups in your homes.Our troops need not only our support; they also need us to express our belief in what they are doing to keep us free. They use live ammunition; we must use verbal ammunition. They are both vital to winning this war and keeping us and our Constitution free from more attacks!

http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=17298&catcode=13

10/13/2005 12:38:00 AM  
Blogger Sophia Phoster said...

Isn't it interesting how the NYT has a direct pipeline to any CIA report that is critical of the war effort or the President? Peter Goss has a mess bigger than the Aegean Stables.

Perhaps more interesting is that becasue tof these "reports" people (I'm projecting here) see the NYT more as a fifth column than as a watchdog of government intrusion or guardian of individual liberty.

10/13/2005 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger gmat said...

On and on about the Leftist this and the Leftist that, and how if 57% of the populace disapproves of administration policies, well, that proves the success of the Leftist media.

If 57% of the people disapprove of administration policies, that signifies a failure of the administration, a failure of leadership. It is the Executive's job, in a democracy, to sell his war and keep it sold. It so happens that a drawn out counterinsurgency, with no clearly defined war aims, is a tough sell in the US.

Corporate media are in the business of selling audiences to advertisers, period. Whatever gets printed or broadcast is in the service of that one imperative.

Whining about the evil Leftists (by the way, for the chronically disoriented, Howard Dean is not a Leftist -- Howard Zinn is a Leftist) is an easy way to dodge responsibility.

10/13/2005 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger gmat said...

Anyway, with that off my chest, I thought I'd share a slightly different POV on a couple topics of this thread, that of the quirky old Spengler, who always makes me think outside my little box.

On the threat of Sunni extremists vs. the apparent quietism of Iraq's Shiites

here

On Kaplan's latest offering

here

10/13/2005 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Cedarford, your biggest problem is that you have no balls.

10/13/2005 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger Sophia Phoster said...

Why is the insurgency "drawn out"? Please inform me of the proper amount of time for such an insurgency.

The war aim has been clearly defined from before the beginning - to help establish a democratic government in the heart of Middle East. Perhaps you could also mention the proper amount of time a task like that should take lest we get drawn out.

10/13/2005 06:18:00 AM  
Blogger gmat said...

Sophia

The war aim you mention has two problems: 1) it's not clearly defined, and 2) while it may have been the objective of the policy makers from the beginning, it wasn't the war aim used to sell the war initially

And that's what I mean by selling it and keeping it sold.

What does drawn out mean? In this case, empirically, I would say 2.5 years.

How long should it take to stand up a new country from scratch? No idea.

But it's not a question of how long it "should" take. It's a question of how long can the Executive keep it sold (and it has something to do with election cycles)

10/13/2005 06:31:00 AM  
Blogger Sophia Phoster said...

So you're telling us what Tina Brown told you about what somebody told her about what Margaret Thatcher told him several months ago.

10/13/2005 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

We know Saddam had vast quantities of Bio/Chem weapons. We know this, because we know what was supplied to him by western allies. Do you know if these stockpiles been found and accounted for yet? Lady Thatcher? Are you awake Lady Thatcher?

10/13/2005 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

So then ... if Zawahiri's letter was initially intended to go to another source and to then be re-routed to Zarqawi -- or perhaps the other source was merely to *talk* to Zarqawi, passing along the instructions and the request for financial assistance -- what are the chances that Zarqawi never even received the letter?

And that the first Zarqawi knew of it was when the Americans released it, with the result that he's diss'd in front of the whole universe? Everyone in the world now knows that, at least, Mouth of bin Laden thinks Zarqawi is a barbarian.

You suppose that's maybe why the Americans released it?

10/13/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger herb said...

Not for nothing is small business the real engine of the American economy and the great hope for the economies of the rest of the world.

10/13/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Aristides said...

Ah, yes, Kaplan. Glad we've finally gotten to him.

C-Span.org at In Depth Book Notes has a three hour interview with Kaplan. Watch it, and as Red River said, go read his book.

We should understand the empire we're building. Much like the American experiment itself, our new empire is something truly unique, and exceptional.

10/13/2005 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Some empire.

10/13/2005 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

"Arise you tired..."

In answer to the Anglican bishops' call to apologize for the liberation of Iraq and also serving as a timely counterpoint to Zawahiri's letter, Iraqi President Talibani writes in The Times:

...The lesson of the ghastly drumbeat of terrorism, the rioting in Basra and the vile murder of the leadership of the Iraqi Anglican Church is that the battle of Iraq cannot be won by retreat or compromise, but by the vision and determination for which Britain is renowned. Above all, Britain owes no apology for delivering the enslaved people of Iraq from the hands of a callous tyranny.

The challenge is to show fortitude in the face of horror so that we can finish the job that began in 2003 of uprooting dictatorship and implanting a democratic government. Reforming Iraq, restoring a society distorted by fascism, was never going to be easy.

The alternative — to pretend that sanctions were working and that Saddam Hussein was contained — was an illusion...

Those who preferred the stability of the mass grave to liberation, and who raised their voices to save Saddam, but not his victims, have spuriously claimed that the war was fought to discover stocks of weapons of mass destruction... (but) Saddam could always re-create his stocks...

It is from this perspective, of the need to rebuild Iraq after decades of being run by a criminal state, that I have come to ask Tony Blair to keep British troops in Iraq...

While Iraq has often proved unpredictable, substantial progress has been made in rehabilitating a country that from the moment of its British colonial creation in 1921 was a failed state. Unfortunately, many in Britain are unaware of the advance of Iraqi democracy and of the desire of its first democratically elected government to have British and other foreign troops remain. Instead, some parts of the media have elevated the hooligans of Basra into tribunes of the people.

The stone throwers of Basra do not speak for the 8.5 million Iraqis who defied terrorist violence to vote on January 30, 2005. Nor do they speak for the vast majority of Iraqis whose democratically chosen representatives negotiated a final constitution in record time...

Similarly, those who attack mosques and churches, who murder schoolchildren and labourers, who behead foreigners and who kidnap humanitarian workers are not engaged in “resistance”. Those sabotaging Iraq’s first democracy bear no resemblance to the resistors of foreign occupation in wartime Europe. Rather, they are, in their ideology and record, contemporary representatives of the fascism that wreaked such havoc 60 years ago in Europe. They are supremacists and racists, as worthy of our contempt as those who practised apartheid in South Africa.

Nor do these terrorists have a popular base. They are drawn from a minority within Iraq’s Sunni Arab minority. They have no political wing and no manifesto beyond punishing their fellow Iraqis for welcoming British and American liberation and for daring to vote. Many of the suicide terrorists are not even Iraqis, but foreigners driven by religious fanaticism and al-Qaeda’s death cult — the poisonous gift of the Arab world that supported Saddam and now vilifies our nascent democracy...

Building democracy in Iraq is not a fanciful quest, but a recognition that all other approaches have failed. True stability comes from consent, not from the illusory “stability” of dictatorships. It is therefore in our mutual interest that we pursue the cause of democracy. We may falter, we may tire, but if we persevere, we shall not be defeated.

10/13/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

With just 40% of US approving of Bush's performance FOX NEWS poll and RealClearPolitics poll averaging giving the Dems a 7.3% lead in a generic Congressional '06 poll, there is not much time for Bush and Company to seal the deal in Iraq.
If the Dems can take the Senate in a year, Bush will be quacking for the final two years of his term. His percieved lack of performance in Iraq, and the Gulf Coast are beginning to take their toll in America.
I am listening to him promise "Total Victory". Wow! Just a year late and $160 Billion short.
I bet the Jihadists in Central Asia are shaking with fear in their mud huts.
aQ reports the "Letter" from Z to Z is a forgery and a fraud,
manufactured by US to defame aQ and Dr. Z. Who'd have ever thought we'd do that?
Promisng endless conflict, instead of a clearly articulated route to Victory, is the kind of leadership that the Republicans will pay for, dearly, in '06.

10/13/2005 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The attack by Mohammedans in Russia, today, is just a diversion from the real Jihadist War.
Bali, don't worry about that, Sudanese Genocide, US internal attacks and border security, forget about it. Osama is not a real factor in the Jihadist cause.

Iraq is all that is important, Dr Z says so, as does Mr Bush. Wow, they finally agree on something.

Ignore all those terrorists lurking behind the curtain, just like the Wizard of OZ.

10/13/2005 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Rat,

Don't let the weather grind you down. I'd like to think Big Satan is just as tough as Little Satan. :)

10/13/2005 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Btw, if that's the 40% that votes, Bush & Company will do just fine. :)

10/13/2005 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger jim said...

Promising endless conflict, instead of a clearly articulated route to Victory, is the kind of leadership that the Republicans will pay for, dearly, in '06.

Talibani both thanks and reminds the British about that stiff upper lip of theirs. Calls for courage and patience, all around. Will the Brits, Aussies and Americans forget their innate common sense, decency and fortitude and not see through the liberation and democracy missions we undertook unless our leaders constantly "sell" us on the war? Will we turn out the anti-Islamist/ pro-democracy war party in the States if it didn't make major armed conflict and nation building in the ME seamless and snappy enough? Are we that short-sighted and intolerant of imperfection?

Or perhaps a more perfect war could have been/ can be fought, in which case I'll have a McWar to go with the smooth instant victory sauce, please.

10/13/2005 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Dan: Cedarford, your biggest problem is that you have no balls.

I served in the US military as an officer in a combat position in the late 80's and early 90s.

I presume you didn't.

So your definition, as a Chickenhawk is:

"Dan is someone who has the balls to advocate other men's balls be put in harm's way in pursuit of a badly led war so he can vicariously experience their courage from a safe distance. And call himself brave and ballfull by proxy."

10/13/2005 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Ha - yes. Congratulations: only brave men served, no brave man didn't. I repeat my previous statement, but I'm glad to see a little brevity out of you - thank you. Your conspiracy inferences are symptomatic of constitutional weakness; constantly addressing it is ennervating.

10/13/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

mika
I used to think so too.
Seems that the US Public won't go for endless combat, even with minimum casualties.

I fail to see why the Sunni Insurgents were not chased out of Ramadi and Sumarra over a year ago. Why aQ terrorists can operate Worldwide, on a shoestring budgets, while all of our Allies are inept at everything but spending US money.

Failure to shut aQ down, after more than 6 years since the African Embassy attacks and lack of US aggressiveness in Iraq have, and will continue to, take their toll on the Administration. Failure will do that, no matter the spin.
As sophia said "to help establish a democratic government in the heart of Middle East" well that mission will be finished in 2 days, or it will never happen to the satisfaction of US.
The continual moving of the Iraqi Goal Posts will cause more of US to quit on the never ending policing of the "Central Front" with 156,000 troops.

Osama and Dr Z may have been killed in the recent earthquake. The chances of that are higher than being caught or killed by US, any time soon. It has been YEARS now, that we have been hunting them. Bush said we'd get him "Dead or Alive", failure is all we've bagged on that Front.
No wonder we gave up hunting and gathering as a lifestyle, we'd have all starved by now.

10/13/2005 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Desert Rat makes good points -

With just 40% of US approving of Bush's performance FOX NEWS poll and RealClearPolitics poll averaging giving the Dems a 7.3% lead in a generic Congressional '06 poll, there is not much time for Bush and Company to seal the deal in Iraq.

Very true. If Iraq goes into civil war following the Constitution, the Democrat's will be able to get more popular support for a "Screw the Noble freedom-loving Iraqi People" phased withdrawal of the US forces since 2 1/2 - 3 years have shown Iraqis are unable to get their act together with 240-260 billion and 15-17,000 US casualties squandered in the effort. And Bush will go past Carter and Nixon and set a modern record for low popularity. Lets hope the Constitution passes, because the country doesn't need 3 years of a crippled Presidency.


If the Dems can take the Senate in a year, Bush will be quacking for the final two years of his term.

Absolutely. And, the situation is worsening because the best, strongest candidates the Republicans wanted to run in 2006 to replace Democrats to compensate for likely Republican Senatorial losses in RI, PA, TN refused to be considered for the WV, NJ, WI, VT, NE, and possible NY - they sense a bad year is coming for Republicans and don't wish to destroy their political futures in a blowaway.

His percieved lack of performance in Iraq, and the Gulf Coast are beginning to take their toll in America.

For almost 4 years he was afraid to name the enemy. He has left the Borders open because he kow-tows to business interests replacing Americans with cheap, illegal labor. His Navy, Reserve AF, and AF are now 3/4s the size of what Clinto gave him to preserve his tax cuts for the wealthy. Postwar Iraq was horrifically ill-managed for close to a year and let a full insurgency form. The 40-60% increase in oil prices made Bushies who claimed cheaper reliable oil supplies would pay for the cost of the Iraq War look like idiots. The worst for voters was Katrina - which killed Bush on several levels

1. He had not prepared the nation and the Federal Gov't, we found out, for dealing with a man-made or natural catastrophe 4 years after 9/11.
2. It was not important enough for him to pull away from his 5 week-long vacation or planned fundraiser schedule until 2 days after it hit.
3. For almost a week as the media showed pics and while they did exaggerate - the media certainly revealed a major clusterfuck of failed American civilization and leadership on all levels save the military commanders and Gov Haley Barbour - Bush did not lead.
4. The disaster added one more name to a long list of cronies who had already tarred the Bush Administration as too insider, too secretive, too much about loyalty rather than results - an Administration that never holds people accountable for ineptitude.

I am listening to him promise "Total Victory". Wow! Just a year late and $160 Billion short.

1 1/2 years too late, and 220 billion short to Bush's Japanese, Chinese, and Saudi underwriters of the US Gov't.

I bet the Jihadists in Central Asia are shaking with fear in their mud huts.

Maybe from the earthquakes. But Bush's war on "evildoers who use the tactic of terorism" has gone over like a lead balloon in much of the world because of his failure to use strategic communications, focus on building Iraq into a Democratic nation, and bleeding America's creditworthiness - the last which Binnie stated was his real objective - not to kill Americans but bleed them of their treasure so badly, as he did with the Soviets, that they would go into major economic recession, even depression, and have to withdraw back to their own country.

Promisng endless conflict, instead of a clearly articulated route to Victory, is the kind of leadership that the Republicans will pay for, dearly, in '06.

Bush sometimes forgets that with his Churchillian rhetoric about America sacrificing for the freedoms of noble Muslims in an endless conflict, the Brits could only stomach about 4 years of Churchill and when he wanted Round II - an endless war on Communism - voters rejected Churchill in 1946.

And it is important to add that Bush promises endless war and sacrifice for only a small band of volunteers - while promising more tax cuts, less sacrifice the higher the remaining Americans are in the socio-economic order.

Even Churchill asked all Brits to unite and contribute to victory.

10/13/2005 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

c - your 1:03 PM post nailed it.
amazing how others use so many words to say so little.

10/13/2005 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Rat,

There's only one poll that counts. And so far, the media's polls and this poll have not come even close to a match.

10/13/2005 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

mika
the only poll that counts, now, is coming in November of '06.
Yesterdays election is yesterday's news. I've watched Johnson, Nixon, Carter and Clinton all suffer from percieved ineptitude while they were in the White House. Even Reagan was assailled by the 2nd term blues. Bush does not seem to be breaking the pattern.

If he does not declare Victory, next week, December at the latest, the Republicans WILL take a lickin' in November.
If the Election in November '06 is even close, the Dems will RUN to the right of the next Republican candidate, promising Victory. Just like Nixon did against Mr Humphrey. It was an effective tactic in '68, it will be in '08.
"Peace with Honor", I remember the rhetoric well. The facts on the ground, well, that was something else entirely.

10/13/2005 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger StoutFellow said...

c,

The stone throwers of Basra do not speak for the 8.5 million Iraqis who defied terrorist violence to vote on January 30, 2005. Nor do they speak for the vast majority of Iraqis whose democratically chosen representatives negotiated a final constitution in record time...


You are correct. They speak for their propaganda mouthpiece Newsweek

Be of good cheer Desert Rat. Many of those dissatisifed souls in the poll are like you. They want Bush to do more and have no illusions whatsoever that voting for the disloyal opposition is an option.

10/13/2005 02:21:00 PM  
Blogger Sophia Phoster said...

One of the Founding Fathers said during the Revolutionary War that Americans were 30% Tories, 30% Patriots, and 40% Didn't Care.

There weren't 3 people in the whole country cheering the Civil War the second year in. Heck, the govt had to march regular troops from Gettysburg to NYC to put down a real life shoot-em-up insurrection. Recruiters were grabbing Irish immigrants off the boat (literally) and putting them in uniform.

The MSM with all their polling has much less influence than they will ever admit. Readership of almost every major newspaper wouldn't be plunmmeting like a rock if they did.

Americans don't tire of war. They tire of waiting for victory. Post 911 grumblings aren't about too much war but too little.

10/13/2005 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Gmat wrote: It is the Executive's job, in a democracy, to sell his war and keep it sold.

In this particular democracy, he did sell it and it's gonna stay sold based on the vote last November. Us glass-half-full guys expect that policy won't change, at least until 1/20/09. Didn't the Senate just approve the Defense Budget unanimously? I can't see this Congress de-funding this increasingly successful effort like the Dems de-funded our allies in South Vietnam. After the 08 election, maybe.

You can call them the Left or the Daft, I'm not referring to an historical intellectual movement, I'm talking about the willfully ignorant who can be easily swayed, and who vote to affect our government.

Left/Daft, whatever, in the 90's the US did not fight back against declared enemies who openly train and operate in Afghanistan, while conducting an invulnerable and sustained bombing attack upon the Former Yugoslavia.

Why was there no "peace movement" in the 90's? We were constantly bombing Iraq, and assorted others, throughout the 90's. No "anti-war movement." Isn't that curious?

We see how weak we became in the 90's. Left, Daft, whatever. Don't wanna go back there, and therefore resent the endless loser prattle of despair and whining in the MSM.

10/13/2005 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/13/2005 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Rat ,

I think your assessment is dead wrong. There's no need to promise things if there's doubt about being able to deliver. Let the Dean-o-crats monopolize the hot air and empty promises. The more they do, the more ridiculous they become. It's a win/win for Bush.

10/13/2005 04:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

mika
Bush is never going to run again. His victory is not the issue, US victory is.

10/13/2005 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Biden and Clinton are just some the Dems with Gravitus. It will not be Dean and his ilk running in '08.
After their experience with a Viet Vet Against the War candidate, last go, who only lost the National election by what, 50,000 votes in Ohio?
No, I do not think they will do a McGovern, again. Unless of course there is another "Perot", an independent running to the right of the Republican. There by splitting the Republican vote, it happened to W's father. Soros or another big buck player could fund that kind of disruptive run. It is a scenario that put Clinton in office.

Bush's and the Republicans failure to win the war, their failure hold the line on Federal spending and their failure to secure our borders will all come back to bite 'em.
The Republican failures are not the fault of MSM reporting.

Osama, Dead or Alive.
That was the promise.
America awaits delivery on that promise.

10/13/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Thomas Friedman: Shameful silence on suicide and genocide:

Western leaders keep saying after every terrorist attack, "This is not about Islam." Sorry, but this is all about Islam. It is about a war within Islam between a jihadist-fascist minority engaged in crimes against humanity in the name of Islam, and a passive Sunni silent majority. Many of those Sunnis, I'm sure, are appalled by the violence against Iraqi civilians, but are too afraid, too morally leaderless or too quietly anti-Shiite to act.

As I said, a civilization that tolerates suicide-genocide will eventually be devoured by its extremists from within.

http://www.startribune.com/stories/562/5668091.html

10/13/2005 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Rat,

Bush is liable for how well the republicans fair in the upcoming elections. Him not running again is irrelevant. And then there's Jeb Bush. So who knows, you might well see a Bush running in the '08 elections after all. Also, keeping the US economy humming at 3 to 4 percent with record low inflation/ interest rate/ unemployment, in this delicate and difficult environment is not what I would consider a failure. The Iraqi situation is very close to resolving itself. Oil prices will start to climb down soon after, and this will give the US economy a second wind. So I really don't see a leg for Dems to stand on.

As far as spending goes, you have to look at what it means relative to the increased size of the US economy. What does 40% growth (over 10 years) of a 1,000,000 trillion dollar economy mean relative to 400% growth (over 10 years) of 1 trillion in debt. The numbers are made up, but I hope you get the point. Yes, you now have an additional 4 trillion in debt, but your economy has grown by 400,000 trillion. I think that a good trade-off, don't you? Anyway, we've gone over this point in previous threads. Btw, let me recommend to you the soundtrack "Unbearable Lightness of Being". Lovely stuff. And not a bad movie either. Cheers!

10/13/2005 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

sam - i wish i had a buck for every epiphany friedman has had right after just about everyone else with half a brain.
yet, even then, as here, he manages to fluff the punchline, trot out an old saw and then miss the newest information. for example, he is, of course, oblivious to the import of his own opening line ("If I were editor of my newspaper, I would have led last Thursday's issue with the news report, under a big headline, saying that a Sunni Muslim suicide bomber attacked the Shiite mosque in Hilla,..." - and the reason your editor didn't, Tommy?? hmm.)
The final irony is the greatest: friedman suddenly realizes that radically changing the ME is the only long-term solution to islamic terrorism and blames his obtuseness on... the administration! for not SPLAININ IT TO HIM PROPLEE (sniff)!

10/13/2005 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Ex-dem,

...under a big headline, saying that a Sunni Muslim suicide bomber attacked the Shiite mosque in Hilla,..." - and the reason your editor didn't, Tommy??

Yeah, I caught that also. Wonder why he doesn't get it?

10/13/2005 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Qaeda positioning for US defeat in Iraq:

Zawahiri’s admonitions appear to have had little effect on Zarqawi’s campaign of suicide bombings, which have surged in advance of Saturday’s constitutional referendum. And despite the lecturing tone, Zawahiri’s letter also indicates the vulnerability of his position.

At one point, he reminds Zarqawi that a hundred Al Qaeda militants, many of them leaders in their own country, are in custody in Iran. agencies

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2005%5C10%5C14%5Cstory_14-10-2005_pg7_3

10/13/2005 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

c4: I served in the US military as an officer in a combat position in the late 80's and early 90s.

Anyone on a blog can claim to be anything....

even american....

10/13/2005 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Clifford D. May:
Today’s War on Terror began in 1979:

For more than a generation, a war was fought against the United States. Most Americans, however, didn’t know it. And even those who did may have been puzzled about whom it was we were fighting.

The war began in 1979, after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came to power in Iran and his followers, chanting “Death to America,” seized our embassy in Tehran and took our diplomats prisoner. But we did not interpret that to mean we were at war with Iran.

http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=61772

10/13/2005 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Whether we're pasha, nomenclatura, or "little princes"--the battle to keep the world from congealing into a hardpan non porus caste system--is never really won.
//////////
make that read:
Whether we're talking about the pasha, nomenclatura, or "little princes" of china--the battle to keep the world from congealing into a hardpan non porus caste system--is never really won.
///////////////
Nathan said...


I don't know if you saw Firefly, the television series preceding Serenity, but I understand that the Chinese influence stems from the fictional background of the Serenity universe:China and the United States as reconciled superpowers cooperating in spaceborne expansion.
///////////
sometimes i think that US policy towards china won't really change until henry kissenger dies.

Europe dodged a bullit when France and the Netherlands voted their constitution down. But Brussels wasn't disbanded taxes still go to all the ministries there. There will be another opportunity.

In both the Europe and China the nomenclatura are working hard to solidify their gains. That stunningly radical sounding speach that Bush gave at his inaugural in January of this year can really be counted as a measure of how much progress the nomanclatura have made and what a corner Bush felt he had been forced into.

The great danger of the US policy in the Mideast is that while it breaks up the pasha elites in the mideast--the ccp in china, the brussels bureacrats and the pri in mexico are given a free reign to entrench their power. n

10/13/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cedarfard,

What's the minimum time that one can serve as an officer in the US military?

10/13/2005 08:03:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Al-Zawahiri: Beheadings Are Bad P.R.:

Zawahiri, who trained as a physician, merged his Egyptian Islamic Jihad group with bin Laden's in 1998.

They issued a joint fatwa that year from the International Islamic Front against Crusaders and Jews declaring that all Muslims had an individual duty to kill Americans and their allies - civilians and military - in order to "liberate" the mosques in Mecca and Jerusalem and expel the enemy from the "lands of Islam."

A longstanding supporter of suicide bombings, Zawahiri last August issued a statement claiming responsibility for the July 7 terrorists attacks in London.

http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/10/13/173148.shtml

10/13/2005 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

C'mon Mika, that's what Google's for.

10/13/2005 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Sam,

Oh, I was just curious as to what Cedarfard would decide to Copy & Paste..

10/13/2005 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger Red River said...

Sam,

Zawahiri got his butt run out of Egypt after the Hatshepshut massacres where foreigners where raped and gunned down at the Hatshepshut ruins. He founded the radical group that did that awful deed. The group was driven out of Egypt and moved to Afghanistan and merged with AQ.

This then led to a series of attacks on US interests culminating in 9/11. Had Egypt gotten Zawahiri, AQ would not be the formidable force it became.

One commmon thread running from Egypt to 9/11 is that Zawahiri thought Hatshpeshut would lead to a general uprising in Egypt - just as OBL thought 9/11 would lead to a Worldwide muslim uprising.

Shades of John Brown's Raid here, eh?



Zawahiri and OBL were both wrong.

10/13/2005 09:07:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Let's return to Ayman Zawahiri's (Bin Laden right-hand man) letter to the thug Abu Musab Zarqawi operating in Iraq.

1) I believe it's an original because of the Arabic version and the English version (there is just too much detail to be fake - further the foes have called it a fake which means it's probably the real thing)

2) The overall lecture from Dr. Abu Musab Zarqawi to a thug regarding the killing of innocent Muslims seems to follow a doctor's mentality (Doctors don't like kill innocent people).

3) The letter is an overall intellectual strategy to impose a "caliphate" that highly schooled Arabs would desire (although the so-called "caliphate" is a mystically vision that has never actually occurred). This fits the psychology of the doctor (he was probably indoctrinated and at early age through expensive schooling about the mystical "caliphate").

Hence, the letter is real. And, it's a treasure-trove of information regarding the enemy's thought process (political and war propaganda: readings from the Koran, books on the subject, articles on the subject, and the idea that one must read said material to become a true Islamic leader - while hiding from the "Satin" foe).

I agree with NahCee and sam - and others on the subject at hand (one can read their comments).

I will say that Bush has maneuvered the enemy into a corner with the carrot of democracy and stick of destruction. This has been done with many errors - but it has been done.

Bush has planted a seed of freedom in a totalitarian part of the world. This seed is the target of many foes who will lose power if it grows. Hence, there is a huge push to strangle the baby in the crib.

Sure, the offensive could have been more robust, but as Wretchard has pointed out, there are advantages to being small and nimble.

I will add that Afghanistan was a model for the small and nimble formations of Coalition forces (Yes, RWE does makes a good point that the smallest groups of men illuminating a target on the ground requires a huge Tail of men and equipment to carry out the pinpoint bombings - that is to say - the heavy artillery in the background is very necessary - make no mistake, the smallest airplane to the largest carrier group is necessary to achieve said goals - enough said on that subject).

Now, back to the main subject. The message is percolating down to the average person (despite the MSM). Here is some raw text.

[Picture the President taking to soldiers - full text - not copyright protected]

9:54 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Captain Kennedy?

CAPTAIN KENNEDY: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it's good to see you. Thanks. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to allow me to visit with you a little bit. I've got some questions for you here in a minute, but I do want to share some thoughts with you.
First, I want to thank the members of the 42nd Infantry Division and Task Force Liberty for serving our country with such distinction and honor. I want you to know that the mission you are on is vital to achieving peace and to protecting America. One of my most solemn duties, a duty that you have joined me on, is to protect the American people.

And we're facing an enemy that is ruthless and cold-blooded, an enemy that actually has a philosophy, and the philosophy is so opposite of ours, it is the exact opposite of what America stands for. We stand for religious freedom, and freedom to speak, and women's rights, and capacity for people to realize their dreams. They stand for a vision that is -- doesn't believe in freedom, that if you don't agree with their narrow point of view, that you're subject to reprisal.

And so I want to thank you for being a part of this global war. And Iraq is a part of the war, because the enemy understands that a free Iraq will be a blow to their vision and their strategy of spreading dominance throughout the broader Middle East. And so I want to thank you. When you email your families, you tell them how proud the Commander-in-Chief is of their patience and their support, as well.

We got a strategy, and it's a clear strategy. On the one hand, we will hunt down these killers and terrorists and bring them to justice, and train the Iraqi forces to join us in that effort.
The second part of the strategy is a political strategy, based upon the knowledge that you defeat a backward, dark philosophy with one that's hopeful. And that hopeful philosophy is one based upon universal freedom. I'm very impressed that the Iraqi government has continued to work to have a constitution that attracts Sunnis and Shias and Kurds. They've worked hard to get a constitution, and now the people of Iraq are going to get to vote once again, on a constitution, in this case.
And I want to thank you for providing the security necessary for people to exercise their free will. You're part of an historic mission that is laying the foundation for peace. I am convinced that when we look back at this time in history, those who follow us -- whether it be in the armed services or in the political process -- will say, thank goodness the United States of America didn't lose our nerve or will; that we've put in motion something that can't be stopped, and that is the march of freedom.
So I want to thank you for giving me a chance to visit with you. You just got to know the American people are proud of you. You've got tremendous support here at home. And there's nobody more proud of you than I am.

Let me ask you some questions, Captain, if you don't mind. One of the, you know, questions I have is about the pre-election operations, about what you've been doing, and what are the -- what's your strategy, and how do you think it's going for -- to make sure the people have a chance to vote.

By the way, you're in Tikrit, as I understand it, as well. It's kind of an interesting place to be. It's Saddam's old stomping grounds.

CAPTAIN KENNEDY: Good morning, Mr. President, from Tikrit. I'm Captain Brent Kennedy. To my right is Sergeant Major Akeel from the 5th Iraqi Army Division. We're working together here with the Iraqis in Task Force Liberty for the upcoming referendum. We're surging an operation, called Operation Saratoga, that includes the securing of over 1,250 polling sites. We're working right alongside with the Iraqis as they lead the way in securing these sites.

THE PRESIDENT: That's good. And so, like -- I mean, and so the vote is in less than 48 hours -- or about 48 hours, I guess. And so how do you -- how would -- are you confident? I mean, how do you feel the operations are going?

CAPTAIN KENNEDY: Mr. President, I'm going to field that question to Captain Smith.

THE PRESIDENT: I didn't want to give you -- I didn't want to throw you a hardball there, Captain.

CAPTAIN SMITH: Morning, Mr. President. I'm Captain Dave Smith from Grand Rapids , Michigan. I'm representing the 3rd Brigade Combat Team here in -- headquartered in Baqubah.

THE PRESIDENT: Right.

CAPTAIN SMITH: I work directly with the Iraqi army. I am responsible for coordinating all their security responses in our area of operations.

Sir, our Iraqi partners have been conducting battalion and Brigade-size operations since April. They have been planning and coordinating with other Iraqi security forces, such as the Iraqi police and local government agencies, preparing for this referendum. Sir, we as coalition forces, we have taken a supporting role only as they prepare to execute this referendum.

THE PRESIDENT: How are they doing? Give us an assessment. One of the things, Captain, that people in America want to know is, one, do the Iraqis want to fight, and are they capable of fighting. And maybe somebody can give us an appraisal.

CAPTAIN KENNEDY: Mr. President, I'm going to field that question to Captain Pratt.

CAPTAIN PRATT: Good morning, Mr. President. My name is Captain Steven Pratt from Pocatello, Idaho, serving with the 116th Brigade Combat Team as the Iraqi army coordinator. The Iraqi army and police services, along with coalition support, have conducted many and multiple exercises and rehearsals. Recently we've conducted a command post exercise in which we brought together these Iraqi security forces with emergency service units, and the joint coordination center, in which we all sat around a model and discussed what each one would do at their specific location and what they would do at the referendum.

It was impressive to me to see the cooperation and the communication that took place among the Iraqi forces. Along with the coalition's backing them, we'll have a very successful and effective referendum vote.

THE PRESIDENT: Captain, thank you very much. Let me ask you something. As you move around, I presume you have a chance to interface with the civilians there in that part of the world. And a lot of Americans are wondering whether or not people appreciate your presence or whether or not the people are anxious to be part of the democratic process. Can you give us a sense for the reception of the people there in Tikrit toward coalition forces, as well as the Iraqi units that they encounter?

CAPTAIN KENNEDY: Mr. President, I'm going to field this question to Captain Williams.

CAPTAIN WILLIAMS: Mr. President, I'm Captain David Williams. I'm from Los Angeles, California. I'm currently with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, attached to the Military Transition Team. Sir, in North-Central Iraq, voter registration is up 17 percent. That's 400,000 new voters in North-Central Iraq, and 100,000 new voters in the al-Salahuddin province. Sir, I was with my Iraqi counterpart in Tikrit, the city Tikrit last week, and he was going around, talking to the locals. And from what he told me that the locals told him, the Iraqi people are ready and eager to vote in this referendum.

THE PRESIDENT: That's good. It's pretty interesting. That's a pretty interesting concept for the people of Tikirt, when you really think about the fact that that was Saddam Hussein's hometown. They didn't get to vote too often when he was the leader there. Let me ask you about the progress. Most of you have been there for nearly a year, as I understand it.

And is it possible to give us a sense, kind of a calibration of what life was like when you first got there, and what it's like today?

CAPTAIN KENNEDY: Mr. President, Master Sergeant Lombardo will answer this question.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: Good morning, Mr. President. I'm Master Sergeant Corine Lombardo, with the Headquarters 42nd Infantry Division and Task Force Liberty, from Scotia, New York. First, I'd like to say that this is a pleasure to speak with you again. We had the honor of your visit in New York City on November 11th, in 2001, when you recognized our Rainbow Soldiers for their recovery and rescue efforts at Ground Zero.

THE PRESIDENT: Were you there?

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: We began our fight against terrorism in the wake of 9/11, and we're proud to continue it here in North-Central New York -- North-Central Iraq.

THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you something. Were you there when I came to New York?

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: Yes, I was, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: I thought you looked familiar.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: Well, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: I probably look familiar to you, too.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: Yes, you do, Mr. President. I can tell you over the past 10 months we've seen a tremendous increase in the capabilities and the confidences of our Iraqi security force partners. We've been working side-by-side, training and equipping 18 Iraqi army battalions. Since we began our partnership, they have improved greatly, and they continue to develop and grow into sustainable forces. Over the next month, we anticipate seeing at least one-third of those Iraqi forces conducting independent operations.

THE PRESIDENT: That's important. The American people have got to know -- and I appreciate you bringing that up, Sergeant Major, about how -- what the progress is like. In other words, we've got a measurement system --

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: Well, together --

THE PRESIDENT: I'm sorry, go ahead.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: I'm sorry, just, together with our coalition forces, we've captured over 50 terrorists, as well as detained thousands of others that have ties to the insurgency. And I believe it is these accomplishments and the numerous accomplishments from our task force that will provide a safe and secure environment for the referendum vote.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I appreciate that. There's no question that we need to stay on the offense, and we need to stay on the offense with well-trained Iraqi forces, side-by-side the finest military ever -- ever to exist, and that's the United States military.

SERGEANT LOMBARDO: That it is, Mr. President. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Sergeant Akeel, thanks for joining us. I appreciate -- appreciate your service. You've got something to say, Akeel?

SERGEANT AKEEL: Good morning, Mr. President. Thank you for everything. Thank very much for everything.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you're welcome.

SERGEANT AKEEL: I like you. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I appreciate that.

LIEUTENANT MURPHY: Good morning, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.

LIEUTENANT MURPHY: I'm First Lieutenant Gregg Murphy from the 278th Regimental Combat Team, from the Volunteer State of Tennessee. I want to tell you, sir, that we appreciate you coming with us today for this interview, and hearing us express our confidence in the Iraqi security forces' role in the upcoming referendum. Sir, we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make this thing a success. But the important thing here is that the Iraqi army and the Iraqi security forces, they're ready, and they're committed. They're going to make this thing happen.
Back in January, when we were preparing for that election, we had to lead the way. We set up the coordination, we made the plan. We're really happy to see, during the preparation for this one, sir, they're doing everything. They're making the plans, they're calling each other, they've got it laid out. So on Saturday, sir, we're going to be beside them, we're going to be there to support them through anything. But we can't wait to share in their success with them on Sunday.

Sir, from all of us here at Task Force Liberty here in Tikrit, we want to express our gratitude to you for spending a little time with us this morning, and thank you, sir, for hearing our assessment of the current situation here in Tikrit, Iraq.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Lieutenant, thanks. It's been my honor. And, you know, I wish I could be there to see you face-to-face, to thank you personally. It's probably a little early for me to go to Tikrit, but one of these days perhaps the situation will be such that I'll be able to get back to Iraq to not only thank our troops, but to thank those brave Iraqis who are standing strong in the face of these foreign fighters and these radicals that are trying to stop the march of freedom.

Again, I want to thank you all for being so courageous and for stepping up when the United States of America needed you. I repeat what I said earlier: Please give your loved ones my deepest respect. And you've got to know, the American people are standing strong with you. We're proud of you. May God bless you all in your work and when you get back to the states, you know, if I'm hanging around, come by and say hello.

Thank you all.



President Addresses U.S. Troops in Iraq in Video Teleconference

[Iowahawk gets letter from Al-Zarqawi complaining about mixed signals :^) ]

How's it hangin... here in the Big Sandbox. Not much new since my last letter; Team Satan keeps dropping the hammer, we keep mopping up the jihadi juice. Despite the occasional market-bombing morale booster, the situation has been going downhill...

Guest Commentary,by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi,Senior VP, Al-Qaeda In Iraq


As to the suggestion that the letter is fake I will only say that it's to exact to be fake (sure it is well timed - but not fake). As a Lgf poster notes:

[#2 foreign devil 10/13/2005 03:24PM PDT]

I don't think so. They've never put out a 'fake' before and this was written after the London bombings and he refers to "our Algerian brethren" in it. So there's too much detail in 13 pages to make it fake. It's the genuine article but they don't like what it reveals about their 'readiness' capabilities right now. It makes them look weak and they know it.

see: comments #2

10/13/2005 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"So, finally they're getting it. I wish for an easier way to make the demonstration; one that does not cost American lives and billions of US dollars. However, the bottom line is the length of time the Pasha mindset has ruled in just those areas of the world that al Qaeda and the Saudi-backed Wahabists are trying to control."

Pundita, the Pasha mindset is yielding to the influence of the Glory of God, no matter how brutal it seems in the short run.

Exiled to Baghdad, He lived 10 years under house arrest, but revealed in writing that the punishment and sorrow the Iraqi people were bringing on themselves by placing their faith in CLERGY instead of turning to God, would be a painful chastisement, indeed!

Witness the 35 years under Saddam's thugs! Even a recitation of the evils visited on the Iraqi people brings tears to the eyes, and disgusts the reader.

Is it possible to think the Iranian people have or will escape a scourging chastisement? After what THEY did to the Lord of Hosts?

Hah! Wait and see.

10/13/2005 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Red,

I just read up on John Brown. Thanks for the history lesson. Parallels are similar except that John Brown was in the right.

10/13/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Malignant display:

If the bombings, murders and other al-Qaida-sponsored terrors have proved anything thus far, they have proved the Iraqis to be a persistent lot.

For the terrorists, that persistence may yet make their worst nightmare come true.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/1014fri2-14.html

10/13/2005 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Sam says: For the terrorists, that persistence may yet make their worst nightmare come true.

Michael Yon (and the official presenting American general at that recent Pentagon briefing) document that there HAS been a sea-change manifest in the general Iraqi populace, Sunni or Shiite: "Hello? Quickly, there are 3 killers in house 7, on the hill road, near the cliff! They killed some children just now, to silence us, and left to- what? Yes, wait a moment... Oh, yes, I see the blast on the hillside now! Thank you, thank you! Allah'u'Akbar!" -click!-

10/13/2005 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

US funding boosts ex-Soviet scientists:

There is little choice but to expand and improve the collaboration, according to Deborah Yarsike Ball, a national security analyst at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and a co-author of the recent energy department survey of Russian scientists.

''Science in Russia is still very much in a state of flux," she said in an interview. ''And Russia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Everything is a payoff. That's not conducive to the kind of culture we want that feels strongly about keeping their knowledge. The problem is not going to go away any time soon."

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/10/14/us_funding_boosts_ex_soviet_scientists/?page=2

10/13/2005 11:18:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

ledger,

1) I believe it's an original because of the Arabic version and the English version (there is just too much detail to be fake - further the foes have called it a fake which means it's probably the real thing)

2) The overall lecture from Dr. Abu Musab Zarqawi to a thug regarding the killing of innocent Muslims seems to follow a doctor's mentality (Doctors don't like kill innocent people).

3) The letter is an overall intellectual strategy to impose a "caliphate" that highly schooled Arabs would desire (although the so-called "caliphate" is a mystically vision that has never actually occurred). This fits the psychology of the doctor (he was probably indoctrinated and at early age through expensive schooling about the mystical "caliphate").

Hence, the letter is real.


Since the most likely suspect, if this letter is indeed a forgery, would be US Psychological Warfare specialists, you are basically saying that US intelligence is too stupid to create a letter that: (1) contained so “much detail”; (2) was believably written by Dr. Zarqawi; (3) discussed the concept of the caliphate. I’m pretty sure US intelligence officers are (1) smart enough to put in some detail; (2) clever enough to make it sound like it was written by the good doctor; (3) have at least skimmed through at least a few of Bernard Lewis’ works and are therefore familiar with the term “caliphate”..

In fact I’ve heard rumors that Little Green Footballs and Powerline are working overtime tonight trying to match the Arab font of the original letter to software programs available in the Middle East.; they suspect the MSM has planted this letter to embarrass Bush just before the vote in Iraq and the mass arrest of the entire staff of the White House Iraq Group by Patrick Fitzgerald.

There is also talk that one of the letter’s pages was printed on CBS letterhead!

10/14/2005 01:51:00 AM  
Blogger gmat said...

Sam said earlier that, contrary to assertions by US officials, radical Islamism IS part of Islam in general. I agree with that, it's been around for centuries, and I don't think it's going away any time soon, because it's inherent in the religion.

Read that Spengler article I linked yesterday. What happens is, some faction of the religion gains ascendency, and by virtue of that rise to power, it is seen as being corrupted by worldly influences (in our era, this worldly influence is identified as the West, globalization, etc). Then it becomes the target of the new generation of radical islamists, out to purify the religion.

When (if) the new generation succeeds in defeating the "establishment" faction, the new faction becomes the new establishment, and the cycle starts again.

I don't think a democratic government in Iraq, whether it's a western style secular democracy, or an islamist republic, or a hybrid, is going to change that cycle that exists within the religion. That's why I don't put too much faith in the idea of destroying the ideology of radical islamism.

I think it can be controlled and contained, with occasional flareups. And I think the key to that will be a combination of economic freedom and a great big stick, rather than a particular form of governance, such as democracy.

Speaking of linking to articles, some of these cut and pastes are just huge. Why not learn to insert a hyperlink, and save the rest of us all the annoying scrolling?

10/14/2005 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/14/2005 06:11:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Kevin,

I'd say it's even simpler than that. If it's typed it's most likely a fake.

10/14/2005 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Mika,
It varies on the program that you entered the service with, and the specialty that you will be working in; the minimum used to be 4 years, but could be as high as 7 for some areas. (Naval aviators, for instance, were obligated for 5 years after completion of flight school, which generally took 1.5-2 years.) Today, in general, the minimum obligation has increased to (I believe) at least five years, up to 9 for some programs.

10/14/2005 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Exhelodrvr, thank you for sharing that info.

I take it that Cedarfard taking his time not answering the question is a reflection on the veracity of his latest claim. He's been caught in a lie on more than one occasion. So perhaps he's figured it is better to just slither away and not press his luck on this one.

10/14/2005 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Although I don't generally agree with him on his posts, I haven't seen any reason to doubt that he was an officer in the Navy; on a number of occasions he has made points that only someone "who had been on the inside" would know.

10/14/2005 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

I'd also add that on Ace of Spades HQ, Cedarfard claimed, prior to having been banned from that blog, to have been an NGO volunteer (can't recall if it was for the UN), as he verbally savaged (bbeck was her handle, if I recall correctly) the wife of a US Navy man.

Exhelodrvr, another question if you don't mind. I know in the IDF you're required to take and pass psychological tests before you can proceed forward with your military career. Is this also the case in the US military? 'Cause if it is, I don't see how Cedarfard could've possibly passed those tests.

10/14/2005 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Hahah!

I found the link. Turns out she was an Air Force wife that Cedarfard confused for a male sailor.

Here it is: http://www.ace.mu.nu/archives/061590.php

10/14/2005 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger exdem13 said...

Boy, this was an uplifting article. Hey, in war, you get some things right the first time, some things you get right the second or third time. But still, we are winning, they are losing, and Iraq & Afghanistan are winning too. Your article was 100% more informative than any MSM article, and 300% more optimistic. Keep up the good work!

10/14/2005 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Mika,
I am not aware of a requirement for those types of tests; at least I never had to take them. They may be a requirement in some areas, though. FYI, I think you're being too harsh on Cedarford.

10/14/2005 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Exhelodrvr,
Yeah, I guess you're right. Anyone that cried watching Marathon Man, especially when Laurence Olivier dies in the end, can't be all bad.

10/14/2005 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Let me try to answer on vexing point of the letter which NahnCee notes:

...if Zawahiri's letter was initially intended to go to another source and to then be re-routed to Zarqawi -- or perhaps the other source was merely to *talk* to Zarqawi, passing along the instructions and the request for financial assistance...

[From discussion from Omar at Iraq The Model some Iraqis believe that thug Zarqawi could be a composite - one or more people using the handle "al-Zarqawi" and that their is a person call Abu Musab Zarqawi - not to be confused with Dr. Ayman Zawahiri]

-- what are the chances that Zarqawi never even received the letter?

[Very little - it was intercepted and carefully studied by American intelligence]

And that the first Zarqawi knew of it was when the Americans released it, with the result that he's diss'd in front of the whole universe? Everyone in the world now knows that, at least, Mouth of bin Laden thinks Zarqawi is a barbarian.

[He diss'd it. He, (or his composite), is probably being funded by Saddam via Syria. Saddam loot is in Syria - along with his trusted men. So, Zman is in Saddam's back pocket]

You suppose that's maybe why the Americans released it?

[Timing and the fact it was leaking out anyway]

Sam: "Bush still refers to him in his speeches every now and then. Goss has said he knows where he's at. Taking that into account you would have to conclude he's still out there."

[That could be and it could be not. OBL has always been a media rabbit. It's very strange of him to be so silent - unless he is seriously injured or dead. There is advantages on both sides of the fence to keeping him alive - say a good excuse on our part to go into the Paki boarder to get some bad guys.]

Keven said: "...I'm pretty sure US intelligence officers are (1) smart enough to put in some detail; (2) clever enough to make it sound like it was written by the good doctor ..."

[Sure, that's always a possibility. But, what are the probabilities? One could die by walking across the street - it's a real possibility - but the probabilities are low. The same goes for the Dr. Zarqawi's letter - the lettter is most likely real]

Red River: "Zawahiri got his butt run out of Egypt after the Hatshepshut massacres where foreigners where raped and gunned down at the Hatshepshut ruins... One commmon thread running from Egypt to 9/11 is that Zawahiri thought Hatshpeshut would lead to a general uprising in Egypt - just as OBL thought 9/11 would lead to a Worldwide muslim uprising. Shades of John Brown's Raid here..."

[Yes, Shades of John Brown. Good point]

ex-dem said: "here's one observation, ledger: among other things, the great sage Zawahiri doesn't know sh#t about "English proverbs,' as the one he "quotes" doesn't exist.
Pathetic
."

[Yes, the "leaves are in your face so you can't see a tree" or whatever - the guy is pathetic]

10/16/2005 12:37:00 AM  

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