Friday, October 07, 2005

Operation Iron Fist photos

Here are some pictures courtesy of the Marine Public Affairs Office which provide samples of actual photos of Operation River Gate. Thanks Capt JP! I think it illustrates the kind of terrain that's been talked about in past posts. The pictures were taken within a few miles of each other. Along the band irrigated by the river ...


... entering one of the towns


... then when you go above or below the river belt, you are in the desert.

Have a good weekend!


Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

Reminds me a lot of Al-Ain UAE and Buraimi. Lots of palms and green but get just a little bit away one side and you had the huge rolling dunes go the other way and it was a flat gravely plain.

10/07/2005 04:51:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

I haven't seen much Iraq coverage in the news lately, at least beyond the 'US Offensive...'

Are we making a dent? Or are the 'insurgents' hunkering down during our offensive?

10/07/2005 05:08:00 AM  
Blogger ex-democrat said...

kstagger - check Bill Roggio's site:

10/07/2005 05:10:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

Grunts on patrol. Some things never change.

10/07/2005 05:35:00 AM  
Blogger EddieP said...


The MSM have Plamegate and Tom Delay at the top of the really serious problems facing USA right now. Iraq is a filler topic. Plus we, along with the Iraqis are making great progress. That will never get reported.

10/07/2005 05:47:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

I think the insurgency, at least at this rate, will fade away and be thrown down the memory hole. There are thousands of liberal pundits who don't want to be shown to be wrong (again).

10/07/2005 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Solomon2 said...

[off-topic] Wretchard, I think you'd like to read this little history note at my blog.

10/07/2005 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger CJB said...


For reports on what's actually happening, as opposed to the msm spin, check these blogs:

From what I have read, any insurgent that "hunkers down" is a dead insurgent.

10/07/2005 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger CJB said...

kstagger said...
"I think the insurgency, at least at this rate, will fade away and be thrown down the memory hole. There are thousands of liberal pundits who don't want to be shown to be wrong (again).

I think you are absolutely correct. The next liberal msm narrative will go something like this: US imperialism fails as Iraqis achieve democracy & independance, occupying troops forced to withdraw.

The media will conveniently forget the US liberation of Iraqi made independance & democracy possible.

10/07/2005 07:12:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

cjb -

thanks for the links, I've been following almost daily for the past week.

I don't use the MSM for much these days, I guess I should have framed my question better. I wonder what percentage of insurgents (I really hate that word) are being rooted out? I'm hoping that we are seeing the endgame being played out. If the number of suicide attacks continues to decrease, then this will be proof enough that our counter-insurgency methods are working.

10/07/2005 07:36:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

CJB - you cracked me up with that comment but there is a grain of truth to it

10/07/2005 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

The next media meme will be:

The American military is killing children...

The average age of the 'militants' is getting younger. There are multiple reports stating that the majority of foreign fighters are in their late teens...

So watch for the meme to become one in which we are killing untrained, defenseless, children!!!

Even now, the media is expressing wonderment on the dispersed organization of al Qaeda, the agony of Iraq, the fervor of ‘militant’ youth, and super-weapon IEDs; instead of understanding that we are destroying al Qaeda’s the command structure, defining the battlefield, are out-recruiting the terror organizations, and can defend against IEDs and deploy super-weapons of our own that the enemy has no defense against.

10/07/2005 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

My opinion of the media is reaching new lows, and not just from the Iraq coverage

A suicide bomber sets himself off outside a crowded football stadium at Univerisity of Oklahoma, after trying to get in the stadium with his backpack. His roommate is Pakistani. The explosive used (TATP) is the same used by the London bombers.

This is non-stop national news, right? Ooops, sorry, if it didn't involve Aruba, it doesn't exist.

Gates of Vienna has a nice summary

10/07/2005 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger cjr said...

In a press conference, General (cant remember the name) said he expects the fighting in Anbar to continue through to the end of the year. So, I'd say its much to early to say how it is going.

10/07/2005 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger kstagger said...

If the average age of the insurgent is truly getting younger, than that itself is an indicator of a failing 'movement'. Reminds me of the Hitler Youth defending Berlin against the Russian tanks with nothing more than rifles and a few Pazerfausts.

10/07/2005 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger diabeticfriendly said...

....The next media meme will be:

The American military is killing children...
The average age of the 'militants' is getting younger. There are multiple reports stating that the majority of foreign fighters are in their late teens...

For years, the MSM claimed that Israel was killing palestinian "youths/kids" even if these innocent children had bombs strapped to their bellies, or had "non-lethal" rocks or firebombs...

How about this? If someone takes a rock, (over 1 gram) and propels it at a officer of the law/army, it is responded to by a small lead rock propelled back...

When i was young the thought of being able to attack a cop or soldier and NOT having my brains blown out never crossed my mind. Now rioting protesters are allowed to TRY to smash the skulls of cops/soldiers and somehow it's a violation of the freedom of expression of the protesters for the cops to use live fire

10/07/2005 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

How does our President, George W. Bush, wake up every morning and face the disaster that the Clinton / Gore junta left for him to mop up. Even in Iraq, it seems that some “Clinton Generals”, probably homosexual, are now bombing bridges on the Euphrates. Hello!!, we occupy the country, why in the hell are these Clinton Generals bombing eight bridges? This is a loser move. Surely we can control these bridges against the rag-tag insurgents without bombing them. If we don’t replace these Clinton appointees soon, Iraq will be lost.

Besides, President Bush has to now deal with Clinton appointee, the flagrantly leftist homosexual Karly Rove, an obvious spy for Al Qaida, who disclosed the identity of the top-secret agent, Mrs. Joe Wilson. Supposedly 22 Clinton appointees are soon going to be indicted for the outing of the galliant CIA agent who single-handily kept the world free of WMD’s. Just wait for the MSM to try to blame this on poor George.

Then Hilary’s secret lover, Harry Miers, is appointed to the Supreme Court! How is George W. Bush supposed to sort through all the DC sewage left behind by the Al-Clinton/Gore? It is hardly honest George’s fault that this feminist – top is now going to have a lifetime appointment to decide on some of the most important issues facing America in the coming years.

As if that wasn’t enough, the stupid Norwegians have given the Nobel Peace Prize to Osama Bin Laden’s Number 2 in the Al Qaida hierarchy: Mohamed El-Baradei.

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

Michael Yon writes from

"The enemy began slaughtering the ISF, and American officers estimate that about 600-700 ISF have been killed in Mosul since November 2004. These numbers are difficult to verify; when I asked ISF officers (police and army), they agreed that this might be an accurate estimate for Mosul, but nobody seems to know and the Iraqis don’t share the American penchant for detailed statistics."

If this is accurate, then approximately 1 battalion of ISF (army, police, special forces, border patrol, etc) were killed in Mosul in the past year. From this, one could estimate that maybe 6 ballations worth of ISF were wounded and maybe 1/3 of those - 2 batallions were injured too badly to rejoin their units. And this is just Mosul.

If Mosul has chewed up 3 battalions of ISF, then it's probable that Wretchard's estimates for battalion production by the 'training' forces of the coalition are too low. Given the growth in battalion count in the ISF, I would suggest that it is reasonable to add at least 2 to the number of battalions produced each month and reaching levels of 2 or 3.

Any concurrence from you, Wretchard?

10/07/2005 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Building a bridge takes considerable time. Un-building a bridge take time as well. I suspect that the bridges were bombed as part of tactical operations to keep the enemy off balance and possibly catch them out in the open. I must admit though, it seems wasteful. Couldn’t you dump a load of concrete or something in the approaches to the bridge?

10/07/2005 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ex-Manissean said...

Kevin and Annoy Mouse,
You almost got it right annoy. The US no longer 'blows up' bridges, rather they now use 2000 lb concrete filled bombs to disable their use, but makes it quicker and cheaper to repair once they are ready to use them again.

10/07/2005 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...

Kevin's on LSD again.

10/07/2005 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger kstagger said...

For Kevin -

"You know what I'd be, if I had the chance to do it all again Listy?
A general in Napoleon's armies... the chance to march across Europe and kill Belgians!" (from the BBC series Red Dwarf)

10/07/2005 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


I didn't take any account of casualties in making calculations about Iraqi force generation, but then I was working with proxy numbers which are good only for very rough estimates.

One thing though is that those ISF battalions, in taking those losses, must have inflicted some of their own on the enemy. Maybe it was not an equal percentage to their own losses, but it must have been something. So ISF losses imply some level of insurgency losses.

10/07/2005 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Fernand_Braudel said...


...and it's reasonable to assert that as these ISF battalions gain more experience, that their kill/loss ratio against the terrorist is getting better by the week.

Mike Yon's transcript of Abu Zayd's last letter before he was killed would imply that Al-Qaida-In-Iraq would believe the same thing, and are in the loose-bowels stage in Mosul as a result. I don't see anything that would indicate a different end-result elsewhere in Iraq.

10/07/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...


Failed State nations are trying to seize control of internet ROOT servers!

Better do what you can, EACH of us, to stop this from happening!


10/07/2005 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

insurgents (I really hate that word)

Try "terrorists". It seems to work quite well.

And if you're feeling a little more informal, Bad Guys does nicely too.

"Insurgents" is soooooo yesterday's NY Times!

10/07/2005 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

To kill time, so I read Frank Rich's defeat-infantilism today.

According to the Sunday NYT Op-Ed, the American empire is dissolving in fastmotion, as more and more of us join the "apostate majority."

Majority? Like in a vote?

This denial of election results is becoming a laugh line.

In the words of Elvis Costello: "I used to be disgusted / Now I try to be amused"

The Old Gray Lady is fading, inexorably. Truth from many voices is on the rise.

So why be annoyed anymore at Dowd or Krugman or Rich or any of them?

They are singing to themselves, openly now. You know, the "apostate majority."

10/09/2005 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger exdem13 said...

Some nice-looking scenery there. The Marines look very confident. Am I right to assume the doggie in one photo is a bomb-sniffer?

10/12/2005 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/16/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

My fiance, Cpl Kevin McCall, took those pictures. I'm not trying to be rude, but I believe he deserves some kind of credit.

10/16/2005 09:04:00 AM  

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