Tuesday, June 20, 2006

No Letup

The first instinct of any family is to do anything possible to save their loved ones. For individual families it is often better to cooperate with captors to obtain some chance negotiating a release than to press them unremittingly. For society as a whole the incentives go the other way: yielding to intimidation only leads to worse. Evil men must be pursued so that they may never harm again. Unfortunately individuals must pay the price when evil strikes back.

News that the bodies of two soldiers who may have been taken captive on June 16th were found today, allegedly in a mutilated condition suggests their captors could not take them far. A group describing itself as linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq "claimed without offering proof that it had kidnapped two American soldiers, as thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops looked for the missing men in an area known as 'the triangle of death.'" If the past is any guide, this group's preference would have been to parade them on television and make political demands for an American withdrawal, or else they would have killed at the scene of the first clash. That the terrorists had to forgo their customary media carnival can only mean they found it too dangerous to go further, like a predator who must drop his victim because the beaters were right behind them.

A Fox News reports provides background on operations in the area:

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A key Al Qaeda in Iraq leader described as the group's "religious emir" was killed in a U.S. airstrike hours before two American soldiers went missing and in the same area, the military said Tuesday.

Mansour Suleiman Mansour Khalifi al-Mashhadani, or Sheik Mansour, and two foreign fighters were killed as they tried to flee in a vehicle near the town of Youssifiyah, in the so-called Sunni "Triangle of Death."

U.S. coalition forces had been tracking al-Mashhadani for some time, American military spokesman Maj. Gen. William Caldwell said in announcing his death. He said al-Mashhadani was an Iraqi, 35 to 37 years old, and that one of the men killed with him was an Al Qaeda cell leader identified as Abu Tariq


The Fox News report raises the intriguing possibility that the attack on the checkpoint was made in order to gain hostages for a breakout or at least to distract from the pursuit of cells related to Sheik Mansour. But that's speculation. Knowing that we can do no more for these soldiers my most earnest wish is for the pursuit continue. Rescue is now beyond hope. But not retribution.


Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

They could also have been killed first, mutilated later.

6/20/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger whit said...

From the BBC:
"An internet statement posted by the Mujahideen Shura Council - a grouping of insurgents that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq - said it had abducted the men and slit their throats.

The posting, which cannot be independently confirmed, said the new leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq - Abu Hamza al-Muhajir - had been "favoured by God", in being allowed to carry out a Sharia law tribunal death sentence.

I am sure that Amnesty International will be all over this inhumane barbarity. A visit to their website indicates that for now though they are focused on shutting down Guantanamo Bay, forcing the US to try the detainees in US courts, and rolling the Euros on the rendition issue.

6/20/2006 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger dueler88 said...

In the informal Marine Gunfight Rules, no. 10 states the following:

"Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty."

Inter-service rivalry not withstanding, I'm hoping that at least some corollary of this sentiment was on the minds of these brave young men before they were killed.

The attackers of 9/11 re-wrote the rules of terrorism. No longer are hostages more-or-less guaranteed survival if they cooperate. "Soldier taken hostage" seems oxymoronic.

I only wish that the line between "terrorist" and "soldier" was clearer on the Left.


6/20/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Unfortunately, we'll probably know the answer soon. I would expect them to release a video. If they couldn't get that together--safe house, equipment, hostage-minders, etc., that might be telling.

6/20/2006 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Menchaca's uncle, Mario Vasquez, said family members were distraught, and were waiting to receive the body before making any arrangements. Earlier, some family members heard of the possible discovery through the media, before being notified by the military, Vasquez said.

"I wish they'd punish the people that do these kinds of things right away, instead of taking forever and spending millions of dollars," Vasquez said"I think, you capture them, make them pay for what they did.
Don't think that it's just two more soldiers.
Don't negotiate anything.
They [the killers] didn't.
They didn't negotiate it with my nephew.
They didn't negotiate it with Tucker."

6/20/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Tortured Mind of Andy Sullivan:
20 Jun 2006 02:26 pm
I doubt whether even Donald Rumsfeld will describe what has been done to two young American soldiers as a "coercive interrogation technique." But you never know. Some people wonder why I remain so concerned about torture, and the surrender of our moral standing with respect to this unmitigated evil. Maybe the news of captured, tortured and murdered Americans will jog their conscience. Or maybe it will simply reinforce the logic of torture-reciprocity endorsed by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Gonzales. As usual, complete silence from Instapundit. Almost radio silence from the Corner, except for the torture-advocate, Mark Levin, who is urging reciprocal atrocities. Give him points for consistency. And so the cycle of depravity and defeat deepens ...

6/20/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Excellent post on a disturbing topic. You couldn't be more right, the only response is grim determination, like the Marines at Iwo and Okinawa.

6/20/2006 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


Mr. Sullivan has tended to disbelieve investigative results which tend to cast doubt on the thesis that torture -- real torture -- is official American policy. Here's a story at Pajamas Media about a report on Haditha: No Knowing Coverup, which although not about torture, is something regarded as an established fact by the Left.

The problem with disbelieving official investigations on the general grounds that they are part of an even-wider cover up is that one's imagination then has no check and you can believe anything you want. How to prevent a complete descent into fantasy? One possibility is to say: Ok. If it were true that American policy is to torture, what else would be true? Well for one there would be quite a number of torture victims around. I don't mean a dozen or two dozen. I mean hundreds and thousands. Second, people like the customs agent who provided a lead to Zarqawi would not be left in Jordanian custody but taken to a US facility, where presumably they could be tortured. I mean, you want to confirm intel, so if you are going to use torture you would use your own rather than get it a second hand. So why leave him with the Jordanians?

On the other hand, it's also necessary to define acts of torture. Recently he alleged that keeping prisoners in constrictive cells 48"x48"x20" for 48 hours, except when they were fed, bathed or interrogated was torture. Now that's 26.7 cubic feet and definitely uncomfortable. If we look at the EPA specs for a 2004 Chevrolet Aero, we find it has a passenger volume of 91 cubic feet and maximum seating capacity of five, or 18.2 cubic feet -- less per person than Sullivan's torture cell. But's the cell's narrow, one will object. The seat width of 1940 Spitfire fighter was 15 inches.

I'm not arguing that Sullivan's torture cell isn't torture only saying it's not proved. The gap between the seats in airline economy class is less than 20 inches as shown by this diagram which also shows the infamous A380 proposed "standing seat", where passengers are lashed into an upright position. My dad is 86 years old and wants to fly from Australia to the US to visit my sister. He'll be going economy. And so will many pregnant women, persons who are traveling for medical treatment, people with disabilities, etc who would presumably not be hardened, physically tough Jihadis.

The other way to think about this is economics. Probably no one would consent to really being tortured for any amount of money. But I think it's a fair bet that a large number of people would volunteer to stay in one of Mr. Sullivan's torture cells for 48 hours (with breaks for meals and bathing) for $20,000. Or, if you want to put it another way. Suppose you were the father of one of the captured soldiers. And you could obtain information which could save your son by staying in Sullivan's torture cell for 48 hours (with time for baths). Would you do it to yourself?

The problem with all these undefined terms is that it somehow excuses real bararism. And when you have undefined terms it's very easy to draw equal signs between them. My two cents, anyhow.

6/20/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/20/2006 05:00:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

A Reuters article says that the bodies were desecrated so badly that they won't be sure of the identity until DNA testing is completed. An unnamed official pointed out the possibility that those may be non-American bodies put there as decoys, which is why the bodies and area area were booby trapped.

6/20/2006 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

If Richard Armatage is right(The Australian, June 21,2006) the Iraqi government may soon ask the US forces to leave Iraq. Situation deteriorating in the south, with Shia/Shia violence over religious interpretations. Best that can be hoped for if we leave, he says, is some kind of loose 'federation'. Probably means three or at least two way split later on.

6/20/2006 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Even the BELGIANS think Gitmo is just fine!
Jed Babbin interviews Charles Stimson, deputy assistant secretary for detainee affairs.
I like him pointing out that the ACLU types are trying to define a right to trial of combatants during wartime by mere repetition of the lie.
His descriptions of who we have in custody there now is of interest, also.

6/20/2006 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

You don't have to make a link, but it would be helpful if you would just paste in the *address* of some of your valuable finds.
(Assuming you're not too busy tending the back 40.)

6/20/2006 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

As far as I can tell, conditions in ordinary French jails, and the terms under which Muslims (who make up the bulk of the French prison population) are held there, are clearly worse than those at Guantanamo.

I'm looking forward to Sullivan's outraged condemnation... (...chirp...)

6/20/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Front page of today's Australian newspaper right under the picture of the tanks. Will take intensive course from my daughter this weekend on procedures.

6/20/2006 05:15:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

" Suppose you were the father of one of the captured soldiers. And you could obtain information which could save your son by staying in Sullivan's torture cell for 48 hours (with time for baths). Would you do it to yourself?"
I like that kind of construction.
Sullivan would probably figure out an "answer" that would only anger further, however.
Somehow they never seem capable of honestly asking themselves questions like that.

6/20/2006 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just copy contents of address bar and paste it in the post!
(make sure she doesn't leave w/o demonstrating that enough times for the aged mind to remember!)

6/20/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Assuming those bodies really were the US soldiers, I see this as evidence that Al Qaeda is breaking down. Unlike the days of Fallujah, the terrorists don't feel safe enough to keep prisoners for a long time. The torture and killing of prisoners, along with the recent suicide bombing of a senior citizen's home shows how desperate and weak the terrorist have become. They are so impotent militarily that the only things they even attempt are sacrificing their own "soldiers" to kill old women and mutilate the bodies of prisoners.

Granted, someone could argue that killing and capturing a three man US squad is a military action. However torturing prisoners and mutilating their bodies is not only evil, it is a pathetic sign of weakness by Al Qaeda. And Al Qaeda actually resorted to name calling in their web comment.

Compare that to a really effective military force, the US tracking down and killing a senior Al Qaeda leader in that very same area a few hours before the US troops were ambushed.

I should know better, but it still amazes me how the MSM pretends that the "resistance" are super men who are winning the war. Al Qaeda in Iraq is more like teen age stoned gang bangers. If their biggest "accomplishment" is committing suicide by blowing up old ladies, I don't think this war will go on much longer.

6/20/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The link to the Armitage story.

"The British used to make a big deal of walking around in their berets in the south," he said. "Now they won't even go to the latrines without their helmets. The south has got much rougher, it's mainly Shia on Shia violence."

Mr Armitage said much of the violence came from differences over how the Islamic religion should be interpreted.

And he said he believed the Iraqis would soon ask the US to leave their country. ...

Mr Armitage believed the Shi'ites and Sunnis had not sated their appetite for violence against each other. But there were signs of the essential compromises necessary to make Iraq stable in the negotiations taking place inside the new Iraqi Government.

6/20/2006 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

While everyone is sad and concerned about the faith of the two missing Soldiers and their families.

I can tell you this much and you can take it to the bank.

The Unit that the Soldiers were taken from are feeling all of our feelings magnified beyond our understanding.

But in addition they are building up a hatred and anger that will find its way out. Sooner or Later.

I just hope that in the aftermath of this, more of our Soldiers do not find themselves in trouble because they didn't take the extra few seconds or the extra efforts to make sure that "civilians" are not injured or killed.

War is hard when you don't have to give the enemy the first shot.

When you do have to wait until he does try and kill you, it's almost impossible, and that is the rules of engagement our Warriors have now.

Papa Ray
West Texas

6/20/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I want to take back & amend something I said earlier. The apparent capture / killing of the US squad may not have been a military accomplishment at all, regardless of what the supposed witnesses said. It may have been based on a feigned surrender, wearing improper uniforms, etc. that terrorists have used so many times in the past.

6/20/2006 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

"Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty."

Inter-service rivalry not withstanding, I'm hoping that at least some corollary of this sentiment was on the minds of these brave young men before they were killed.

The thought has crossed my mind that it's just possible these men delayed returning fire until it was too late, maybe due to a recent change in the ROE, maybe due to the stink certain people in political leadership positions have recently made concerning our troops and their alleged itchy trigger fingers.

These brave young men may have paid with their lives in order to avoid the accusation of murder in cold blood.

But I suppose one shouldn't make reckless accusations. Fair is fair, after all.

6/20/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The Reuters article to which I referred:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The mutilated remains of two bodies believed to be U.S. soldiers missing in Iraq will be flown back to the United States for genetic testing because they cannot be identified, a U.S. defense official said on Tuesday.

While U.S. officials said it was believed the remains were those of two soldiers missing since Friday, the defense official cautioned that insurgents could be wrongly making that claim.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there remained doubt about the identity of the badly damaged bodies and noted the insurgents could have set the scene to lure other soldiers involved in the search into a booby-trapped area.

Genetic testing will take three to four days, the defense official added. The remains were being flown to Dover, Delaware.

The Pentagon was also waiting for other evidence, such as a videotape, to substantiate claims by al Qaeda in Iraq that the group had killed the soldiers.

6/20/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Voltimand said...

Since no one so far has taken up the Sullivan gauntlet, I will suggest a reply. Essentially the same response was recorded on LGF from Kos: U. S. lost the "moral highground" when it started torturing people, and the price we pay now is beheaded soldiers.

The logic of that thinking presupposes several thing things:

(1) That the jihadis would not have beheaded our soldiers--on the present assumption that the bodies were ours and that they were beheaded--had Americans not done the same thing to Jihadis first. This is of course historical nonsense, since the beheadings have been occursing now for several years.

(2) This is the same thinking as produced the "blowback" theory of the 9/11 attacks: the U. S. is suffering--justly--the response to its own political sins.

(3) This is a standard left-wing narrative: what America's enemies do in attacking it is deserved because America is guilty of attacking others.

(4) Extending this template, this is the marxoid theory of political/military cause-and-effect: the wealthy have it coming from the poor, because by being wealthy they have deprived, and therefore created, the poor.

(5) Kos seems to believe that the Jihadis care about the Geneva conventions. Why can't these types get it into their heads that these conventions are not "international law," but treaties, i.e., contracts with signatories who agree mutually among themselves something to the tune of "if you don't do X, we won't do X."

This argument of "just moral retribution" underpins a great deal of left-wing thinking. It is the sign of their sclerotic thinking that they can't stop themselves from producing the same explanation for every event that comes along.

6/20/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/20/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger JP Phish said...

Armitage apparently has been out of country too long - looks like he is not aware of the support coming from Republicans in Congress for the war in Iraq. And it also looks like he is not aware of today's Op-Ed in the WaPo, written by Iraq's National Security Advisor. Here is one paragraph:

"There has been much talk about a withdrawal of U.S. and coalition troops from Iraq, but no defined timeline has yet been set. There is, however, an unofficial "road map" to foreign troop reductions that will eventually lead to total withdrawal of U.S. troops. This road map is based not just on a series of dates but, more important, on the achievement of set objectives for restoring security in Iraq."

6/20/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger fred said...

The Left over at DailyKos can't get the Geneva Conventions' conduct out of their heads because they believe (incorrectly)that it is a body of International Law and that "everybody" outside the U.S. observes "international law." Hell, somebody forgot to tell those folks that there are plenty of Muslim countries in the U.N. (their favorite arbiter of law)and those countries do not recognize the Declaration on Human Rights!

I have no patience for those retards over there, whose reference to reality is their own imagination, paltry and simple though it may be.

6/20/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

Wretchard: In Richard Bach's book "Stranger to the Ground" he says that the way to torture someone into providing information is to put him in the cockpit of an F-84F and force him to sit there, not flying, but sitting alert.

Also, perhaps you are aware of a concept the Japanese came up with several years back. At airports they would have a wall made up of plastic boxes, each big enough for a man to lie in on a futon, with a TV set. They rented them out to people on long waits for flights, or who were on short layovers. Maybe about 24 Cu Ft in size, I would guess. And it sounds a whole lot more comfortable than an F-84F cockpit.

6/20/2006 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


In my personal opinion, nothing will alter Andrew Sullivan's outlook except personal experience. I had the fortune or misfortune to grow up in a Third World country and have drawn my own conclusions. I'm not predicting what conclusions Mr. Sullivan will draw should he ever be unlucky enough to meet the Jihadis in person, only that he will draw them.

This is the generic problem of the War on Terror. We keep vast populations safe in the US and they think they know something. And they do. People are funny in that way. A person who has never directly experienced something can be more correct about a subject than one who has. But in general, it's safe to say that this indirect knowledge will have certain gaps, which I would not wish filled upon my worst enemy.

6/20/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...


Winston Churchill tells the story of how he escaped from Boer captivity by jumping over a prison wall and eventually hopping on a freight train for Portuguese controlled territory. He burrowed into a stack of grain sacks and remained there for about 48 hours, if memory serves. I can't imagine it was comfortable. But at the end of it, he walked into the British consul's, order a lunch at the best place in Lorenzo Marques and took a ship to Capetown that evening. He was Winston, after all.

There was a story about a Jihadi in Falluja who hid out in an heating oil tank. A Marine watched the surface and he ever so slowly came up for a sniff of air, which turned out to be his last.

Just recently two Australian miners in Tasmania survived two weeks trapped underground in an elevator the "size of a kennel". When they were rescued, they walked out, punched their timecards and went home for a beer. If you ever want to think well of Australians, think of that.

6/20/2006 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I think at least the threat of partitioning will need to be used to end this war. It is time to admit that much of what is happening in Iraq is not foreign led terrorism, but a civil war against the central government by the Sunnis. The excuse is often given that the Sunni people are so afraid of the resistance that they can't talk, yet the Kurds and Shiite talk to the US, and all it would take is a few anonymous whispers giving away resistance locations.

The way this war is being fought gives the Sunnis the best of all worlds because they can participate in the government while "secretly" trying to bring it down. It reminds me of Arafat saying with a sneer that there were no suicide bombers in Palestine, he looked but couldn't find them anywhere. So the Sunnis have set up a position where the reputation of the US depends on setting up the central government of Iraq, and the Sunnis think they can win simply by continuing to kill everyone involved, preventing that government from succeeding, and making the people miserable. They think the polls eventually will force Bush to bring the troops home. Also, as outsiders the US is severely limited in the force it can apply to the situation; Amnesty International, the Democrats, and the MSM are all over any alleged collateral damage.

My suggestion is that we fight this more like Afghanistan, working with friendly allies like the Northern Alliance. We give security guarantees to the Shiites and Kurds that will help defend them against any Sunni invasion. Then we contact not only the elected Sunnis but other Sunni leaders as well and say: You've been fighting a civil war for over three years now. It's time to decide if that's what you really want. Because if the "resistance" against the central government doesn't stop immediately, then the rest of Iraq will start fighting back. We and the Shiites will drop all security guarantees for Sunnis, including civilians. Their bombings will match your bombings, their death squads your death squad.

In that situation, rather like Afghanistan, the pressure on the US to pull out would drop greatly. We could keep that war going for a long time. The Sunnis would lose their hope of ruling Iraq by force when we left, because unlike their own population, the Shiite and Kurd people would support us if we helped them defend their territory.

Faced with that choice, perhaps after tasting a year of civil war, perhaps the Sunnis would agree to the central government. If not, we would still be better off with a partitioned Iraq. Don't think the Al Qaeda foreigners would live very long once the Sunnis no longer needed them.

Ultimately, if the Sunnis don't want us on their soil, then we should leave. If OTOH the bulk of the Sunni population is truly held in bondage of "the resistance", then we should be able to find a few of them brave enough to point out their captors.

6/20/2006 07:23:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Just in case it wasn't clear, my above posting is not "cut and run". In fact it is the opposite. By fighting mostly through surrogates, we could stay on friendly Kurd and Shiite Iraqi soil for decades. We, or our surrogates, could bomb or raid Sunni territory any time we wanted. It would be fighting Iraq more like Afghanistan.

6/20/2006 07:31:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

One of the articles I read said the bodies had been hacked to death with a machete. Another said their throats may have been slit.

Which makes me wonder if their throats were slit, and then they were hacked up ... both of which are fairly quiet ways of terminating a life.

Which then makes me wonder just exactly how close American troops may have been that necessitated they be killed right now and quietly.

6/20/2006 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Relatives Describe Young Men Determined to Serve Country

6/20/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Coalition Kills 15 Terrorists, Detains 6, Captures Senior Leader
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, June 20, 2006 – Coalition forces in Iraq killed 15 terrorists and detained six other suspects and a senior terrorist leader during raids yesterday and today near Baqubah, military officials reported today.

6/20/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

You could be a guy in Kandahar, doing his Tai Chi "prison style" where all his movements and weight shifts happen in the square of your two feet side by side.
You are in a tiny walled window space, and the guys standing in the back of the pickup passing by looked over the wall, grinning and leering at you, their blue eyes sparkling like their glinting knives under crystal Afghan skies.


And when you have undefined terms it's very easy to draw equal signs between them.

6/20/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The Democratic Strategy of Cutting and Running:

As the navy commander in the bar scene in the movie "Midway" said, "They said to wait and see,(referring to what the top brass said before Pearl Harbor),just look at what the wait and seers got us." This can be paraphrased to the cut and run policy that the Democratic Party stands for today.

If they want to cut and run, Bosina and Kosovo would be a good start. Then Europe.

Democratic Strategy

6/20/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Cut and run haiku

Slug strains against the coming dawn, slides cross the knife edge lest he bake.

6/20/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...


6/20/2006 09:59:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Sailors watched in awe shaking fists at plunging zeros. Now Murtha drools.

6/20/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Dumb Jihadis. China skins who it kills; Europe buys for cosmetics.


6/20/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Jihadi, your hell is eternity spent with others just like you.

6/20/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Youssifiyah dust brings tears, but it won’t jam a weapon’s receiver.

6/20/2006 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

That's a pretty far out article, Fiddler. Wouldn't it be cool if the Chinese were allies and fighting alongside us? Man, this shit would've been finished yesterday. It doesn't have to be this difficult if countries would just get with the program.

6/20/2006 10:59:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Nethaway: America at war with a holy terror:

“We give the good news . . . to the Islamic nation that we have carried God’s verdict by slaughtering the two captured crusaders.”

This message from al-Qaida in Iraq justified the capture, torture and slaughter of two U.S. soldiers in the name of God.

America at War

6/20/2006 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger The Mad Fiddler said...

Cut and run? Cut Jihadi throats. Let their blood run. After that we leave.

6/20/2006 11:35:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

In Iraq, A Drawdown But Not Out:

...But several things need to happen to get the Iraqis ready to receive the baton:

Iraqi police and their families need to be better protected against insurgent attacks, both at work and at home. They ought to have fortified stations and living quarters.

Iraqi security forces need better means of communicating and calling for backup when they come under attack by insurgents.

The job of advising and training Iraqi police and the military needs to become the top priority of the U.S military.

Drawdown but not Out

6/21/2006 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Setting aside the grief and anger over the killing of these two troopers, I find it interesting that they were killed so quickly and with such little fanfare.

The Mujahideen Shura Council is among the more media-savvy terrorist organizations operating in Iraq. That they would simply kill these troopers and not try and put them on TV every weekend indicates to me one of two things, or potentially a combination of both.

1) These two troopers resisted their kidnappers and refused to go quietly into their fate.

2) The recovery force was in such hot pursuit that the kidnappers didn't have the time to organize themselves or their prize into a media feeding-frenzy.

If neither of these are the case and al-Muhajir did in fact murder these troopers then that would indicate that he doesn't have the same grasp of how to "use the media" that Zarqawi did.

6/21/2006 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger om said...

do we remember, in the opening days of the war, when the supply convoy was overrun, the incident in which jessica was taken pow? do we remember what happened to the male soldiers also captured? they were found bound, their pants down, sodomized and excuted with bullets to the back of their skulls. this barbaric behavior occurred BEFORE ABU GHARAB, BEFORE ANY OTHER ACCUSATIONS OF MISTREATMENT OF PRISONERS BY AMERICANS, BEFORE WE HAD ANY PRISONERS. there was no motive of revenge or retaliation that sullivan and the loony left would have us believe. the terrorists' inhumanity has nothing to do with revenge for supposed american mistreatment of muslim prisoners. its how they behave, they commit the same atrocities against their fellow muslims. its how the have been dealing with other human beings for centuries, its how they behave. they would and did commit these types of atrocities regardless of what we did.

6/21/2006 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Were We Fooled?

These two young Amercian GI's seem to have died because of two tactics, the first being separated from their squad and the subsequent massive manhunt may have had the ironiclal consequence of dooming them. It could have been a clever diversion. The US and Iraqis were on a roll with the intelligence found on Zarqawi. Did we allow the pressure to ease by diverting attention and assets looking for the two soldiers? Are our tactics so predictable? Did someone escape the net?

6/21/2006 03:06:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The sources said the two men had suffered severe trauma. The bodies also had been desecrated and a visual identification was impossible -- part of the reason DNA testing was being conducted to verify their identities, the sources said.

Not only were the bodies booby-trapped, but homemade bombs also lined the road leading to the victims, an apparent effort to complicate recovery efforts and target recovery teams, the sources said.

It took troops 12 hours to clear the area of roadside bombs. One of the bombs exploded, but there were no injuries.

The terrorists took the time to booby trap the bodies, right on a public street by a power plant, then spent hours planting enough IEDs that it took the US 12 hours to defuse them. Yet none of the Sunni citizens saw anything or so they say.

It wasn't just the Jihadis that killed our troops. The local citizens were accomplices. Our leaders need to have a political and military strategy that takes that into account.

Just today cbsnews.com said that in another case the supposedly friendly Iraqis killed US troops: "A source says U.S. military investigators have concluded that two California soldiers shot to death in Iraq were murdered by one or more Iraqi civil defense officers who were on patrol with them.

The deaths of California National Guardsmen Spc. Patrick R. McCaffrey Sr. and 1st Lt. Andre D. Tyson were originally attributed to an ambush during a patrol near Balad, Iraq, on June 22, 2004.

A U.S. military official says an Army Criminal Investigation Division report expected to be released Wednesday says that one or more of the Iraqi officers fired on the American soldiers.

6/21/2006 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger bandit.three.six said...


Who is so important that the terrorists would pull such a stunt just so that they could escape?

If they were trying to get this guy out, it didn't work:

6/21/2006 03:19:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The US military says that a single vehicle which was ambushed, not the three vehicles which "witnesses" supposedly saw.

From the washingtonpost:
Two U.S. soldiers, missing for three days since their abduction in an insurgent stronghold south of Baghdad, were found dead, a military spokesman said Tuesday, and a top U.S. commander ordered an investigation into why the men were isolated from a larger force in such a dangerous part of Iraq...

The killings of the two privates raised questions about why such low-ranking troops were left alone, backed by a single armored Humvee, in a region Caldwell described Thursday as "an insurgent hotbed" and the most dangerous place in Iraq for U.S. forces after Baghdad and Ramadi. Even in safer areas, U.S. troops generally travel in convoys to provide support in case insurgents attack or a vehicle breaks down.

Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the commander of U.S. ground forces in Iraq, has ordered an investigation into procedures used that night. "They are looking at the entire situation," Caldwell said.

6/21/2006 03:42:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

If this horrible quote from washingtonpost.com is true, the terrorist might have been trying to recreate a Somalia effect, getting the US to withdraw by creating a video of bodies dragged through the streets:

In telephone interviews, two Yusufiya residents, Muyasar Ghalib al-Qaraghuli, 19, and a tribal leader who gave his name only as Abu Salam, described a gruesome scene in which insurgents beheaded and dismembered the soldiers after dragging their bodies behind pickup trucks.

"It's something that we are against," Qaraghuli said. "But what could we do? It happened."

Those accounts could not be independently confirmed, though U.S. and Iraqi officials acknowledged privately that the killings had been particularly brutal.

According to a report on the Web site of the Houston Chronicle, Menchaca's uncle, Mario Vasquez, said military officials told him early Tuesday morning that the two soldiers had been beheaded.

6/21/2006 03:46:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

"It's something that we are against," Qaraghuli said. "But what could we do? It happened."

This is my point exactly. That's a "tribal leader" speaking, and is the same excuse they've been giving for years anytime a Shiite wedding is bombed or a suicide bomber blows up Shiite old women.

It's total BS. They know exactly what they can do, the same thing the Northern Alliance did to the Taliban in Afghanistan. They just don't want to.

6/21/2006 03:52:00 AM  
Blogger oseaghdha said...

I know it's been said before, but the truth is that 21st century man has not the mental physique to prosecute a 14th century war. Sure, we drop laser guided 500 pounders and clap, but the efforts are towards a kinder gentler machine gun hand. We will never have the inclination to get "Roman" with them, which is precisely what it will take to put paid to this business. I just heard some knob on the radio stating that the jihaddies that perpetrated this outrage are 'criminals' who must be caught and punished. Feh!
I estimate it will take three more WTCs to get US to raise up and truly get our crusade on. We are a victim of our own success.

Ilsa: Can I tell you a story, Rick?
Rick: Has it got a wow finish?
Ilsa: I don't know the finish yet.
Rick: Go on and tell it. Maybe one will come to you as you go along.

6/21/2006 03:53:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

We can win this. The political leaders just need to recognize the real situation, then respond with the proper strategy, like in Korea and Afghanistan.

We need to stop protecting the Sunni people while they attack us, the central government, and the other Iraqi peoples. The two ways to fight a total war would be a direct attack on the Sunnis, including carpet bombing, until they surrender, or allowing the Shiites and Kurds to respond bombing for bombing, terror for terror, and to plant tracking devices in Sunni territory like the Northern Alliance did in Afghanistan.

6/21/2006 04:02:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/21/2006 04:03:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Bandit, it worked in Tora Bora. I wish I were back in Bora Bora!

6/21/2006 04:12:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

Tell me, Wretchard, are we supposed to feel good that these young men were spared a carnival on the way to their beheadings? I found your comment to be atypically stupid, if not off point altogether.

That said, you had plenty of company. Check it out at http://kikoshouse.blogspot.com

6/21/2006 04:16:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

I re-read Wretchard's comments twice to make sure I did not miss anything. Perhaps you ought to read then again Shaun. Please show me the stupid part or the off point.

6/21/2006 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

I don't trust the reporting of the MSM (WoPo, CNN and others). If one listens to the actual briefing one gets a better picture of what happened.

I put together a post with the relevant links to the DOD and Multinational Force Official Web Site. The information is good.

I would suggest those interested to follow the links and listen the briefing.

Don't believe anonymous sources and speculation from the MSM.

The military has a lot of people in custody and has received a lot of actionable tips. There is a lot going on under the surface.

See: post #191 95% down

6/21/2006 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

from washtimes.com:

Why, commanders are asking, was a small group of junior enlisted soldiers in Humvees left alone to man a checkpoint near Yusufiyah in a particularly dangerous area of Iraq dubbed the Triangle of Death? The area in the Anbar province is a hotbed of Sunni Muslim insurgents and foreign terrorists who constantly attack U.S. forces.
"My first question is: Where were the noncommissioned officers?" said a retired Army general who has spoken to active-duty officers about the incident. "Why were only privates protecting a checkpoint? The assumption you have to make is they were part of a platoon that was broken up to watch numerous checkpoints. This again goes back to the same thing: We don't have enough troops."
Soldiers and Marines in Iraq typically travel in large enough numbers to repel an attack by setting up a defensive perimeter and calling in a quick-reaction force of armored vehicles and combat aircraft as backup.
Supply convoys typically travel under a heavy guard that includes armored Humvees, Bradley fighting vehicles and attack helicopters.

6/21/2006 04:43:00 AM  

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