Sunday, October 01, 2006

Baghdad update

Iraq the Model has further updates on the situation in Baghdad. Things appear to be quiet and word on the ground is, as reported by Bill Roggio, that the preemptive operations undertaken in connection with the curfew were directed at an al-Qaeda cell and not Sadr.


The situation in Baghdad calmed down soon after we made the previous post. Saturday has been so quiet so far, never a single explosion happened as far as I know and there was hardly any sound of gunfire in or around our district in Baghdad. What can be noticed about this particular curfew is that it's being strictly enforced by Iraqi and US forces in Baghdad. During most previous days of curfew, vehicles and pedestrians were occasionally seen on the streets but this is not the case today. At least that's what I heard from people who tried to move around for shopping or other business. All, whether driving or on foot, were ordered to go home. ...

However, there's a rumor in Baghdad that al-Qaeda was planning to launch a major offensive in Baghdad and takeover wide sectors of the city. The rumor that was heard for the first time several days ago speaks of 3,000 al-Qeada fighters who have entered the city for that reason.

An alternative explanation is that it wasn't al-Qaeda at all but some Sunni politicians trying to mount a "coup". According to Deutsche Presse-Agentur: (Hat tip Pajamas Media)

Iraqi press reports on Sunday quoted Bahaa al-Araji of the United Iraqi Alliance as saying that the alleged coup plot had been masterminded by supporters of ex-dictator Saddam Hussein and of the former ruling Baath party.

Interestingly enough, Omar describes the conflicting stories about which side is attacking who. Everyone agrees that US-assisted troops have been involved. But Sunnis are reporting that Shi'a militias are also on the offensive while Shi'as are reporting that Sunni elements are on the march. Concludes Omar:

everyone tells the story in a different way based on his background. It's still difficult to determine which story is closer to the truth at this moment. More updates will follow when available.

Ain't that the truth?

43 Comments:

Blogger desert rat said...

LONDON: General Musharraf has mixed rank self-righteousness with a remarkably stark warning to the West that it could be 'brought to its knees' if Pakistan withdraws its cooperation in the so-called war on terror.

Launching a fierce and finger-wagging attack on the West's growing doubts about Pakistan's role in fighting Islamist terrorism, ...

... Musharraf declared, "You'll be brought down to your knees if Pakistan doesn't co-operate with you. That is all that I would like to say. Pakistan is the main ally. If we were not with you, you won't manage anything. Let that be clear. And if ISI is not with you, you will fail."

The Link to The Times of India

10/01/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The BBC reports:
"Pakistan's intelligence agency was behind the train blasts in Mumbai in July that killed 186 people, Indian police say."


Pakistan's intelligence agency is the ISI that the General President Musharraf says:
And if ISI is not with you, you will fail."

10/01/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

Interesting find, desert rat. There is no question that Pakistan's cooperation has been critically important until now. The interesting question is why Musharraf feels emboldened to attack the US and Bush at this time. There has been speculation that he's about to retire - but if he's presided over a covert switching of sides in the war, there is literally no place in the world he is safe from an appropriate end.

Of course, India is an interested party in this whole affair, given it's traditional rivalry with Pakistan. One wonders if we could access what we need in Afghanistan via India - especially if we assisted India in asserting ownership over all of Kashmir. Islamabad is very close to the Indian border - perhaps it's time to take out Pakistan altogether.

10/01/2006 09:33:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

There is a thing called the “law of expectations” which some regard as psycho-babble claptrap that states that you ‘will’ what eventually happens, that through positive or negative reinforcement one eventually achieves the results that they have conjured.

If such a law is true than it would be doubly so for media because media need only conjure a reasonable portrayal of reality to make it so. It is both art and entertainment in an age that uses “reality” or the bare semblance of it to accomplish the deed of TV. Take the strained hyper reality constructs of Oliver Stone and Michael Moore. Stone ever so artful weaves a case as a lawyer might and Moore ever so crass, mish-mashing a puzzle of incredulity that holds together by the indignant reactions that it is meant to stir, wrong nonetheless.

So we hope for the raids and the eventual destruction of Sadr and we get the disappointing news that the coalition is only breaking up another al Queda cell or this is all smoke and mirrors for a darker thing. A thing that is best countered with a modicum of information security or not to play into the hands of MSM because it is political dynamite? If transparency brings understanding does understanding bring tactical advantage to the enemies? What alliances have been forged in the dark and whose side are we on, if none but our own?

10/01/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

I saw the press conference at the WH with the president standing between Musharraf and Karzai like he was standing between the participants of a civil court dispute. The tension between Musharraf and Karzai seemed palatable. Strange days are in store for these two countries in the short run. One hopes in the present calm that we are not witnessing the little Dutch boy with his hand in the dam of histories flood.

I too find India’s position to be a possible motive for the report. We not may be very generous to our friends but we are extremely generous with the enemies of our enemies. Strange days indeed.

10/01/2006 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

My take for whatever it is worth is that we are joining the info/bomb - bomb/info war: information guided bombs and bomb colored information. Our military is catching on!

One wonders how much one should say.

After listening to recent Mullah talk it is pretty obvious that they are taking up the Far Left Democrat talking points: Bush did it! Are they reading our blogs?

Whatever anyone says it seems pretty obvious that the Sadam Sunnis and Mr. Sadr are going at it tooth and nail.

It looks like the Sunnis had a plan afoot to blast a hole in the Green Zone wall and slaughter everything living on the other side. Their political leader may have been compromised by a convincing threat to his life and allowed bombs to be brought into his personal living quarters. These are very brave or very fatalistic men in Iraqi government leadership positions these days.

What else is going on?

10/01/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

In the previous thread,
Asher Abrams said...
"I have just received confirmation by e-mail from Michael Yon's office that this message is indeed authentic. Yon will be issuing a statement soon."

10/01/2006 02:24:25 PM

10/01/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/01/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/01/2006 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

sparks fly

It looks like the Sunnis had a plan afoot to blast a hole in the Green Zone wall and slaughter everything living on the other side.

Have no fear, I can assure you that Bush's threat of withholding the distribution of free soccer balls by the US Army from youths throughout the Sunni Triangle if their fathers ever breach the wall and behead all the Westerners in the Green Zone is a sufficient deterrent from that every happening.

10/01/2006 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ms T,
But wouldn't that constitute Torture by Humiliation tm?

10/01/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger geoffb5 said...

My local "newspaper" Sunday front page headline, "Terrorists enter Baghdad".

The second paragraph was about how "millions in Baghdadis were stranded at home without supplies during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan"

This is why I only take the Sunday edition for the ad flyers. The rest is garbage liner.

Belmont Club, LGF, PJM, Instapundit, Free Republic and so many others give much better reporting, opinion and commentary. Thank God (not Gore) for the internet.

10/01/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

I sense Musharraf is in a bind and is using his public appearances to gain leverage with the USA and other countries.

I think Musharraf’s loss on the boarder area and his implication into the 7/11 train bombings in India (plus infiltration by al Qaeda in to his military/intelligence forces) has put the heat to him. Clearly, he has been working both sides of the street.

Now, with Isreal’s not so successful war in Lebanon Musharraf now opportunity to play is cards or fold.

I suspect he will play them as successfully as Iran has and will keep himself in power for the present time (he will cater to both the USA and certain elements of al Qaeda).

Personally, I wouldn’t trust Musharraf as far as I could throw him (very little). I would keep a very close watch on what he does (he could flip sides at any time).

Moving to Baghdad, the situation it looks failed power grab plot by some of Saddam’s old buddies. But, because Shia are carefully watching the Sunnis the plot never materialized.

Further, I think the US military is exploiting this curfew to grab as many HVTs as possible.

In the above case, I would quietly try to take out as many militant shia, Sunnis, and other assorted thugs as possible (reduce the over all acidic nature of Baghdad) while staying out of the lime light.

Sort of like watching the Crips and Bloods fight it out - while systematically sniping down thugs from both groups (during the fog of war).

10/02/2006 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

From The Telegraph:


Paras almost retreated under Taliban assault

By Tom Coghlan
(Filed: 02/10/2006)

British forces in southern Afghanistan came within hours of retreating from a key base because they suffered a critical shortage of helicopters, the task force commander has disclosed.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph Brig Ed Butler said Taliban fire was so heavy and accurate at Musa Qala, a key forward base in northern Helmand, that Army helicopters faced a serious risk of being hit.

Brigadier Ed Butler
Brigadier Ed Butler, commander of British Forces in Afghanistan

He said the loss of such crucial equipment — together with the political impact of a large loss of life — meant he came close to ordering his soldiers to abandon the base.

Brig Butler said he had warned his superiors early last month that the intensity of Taliban attacks was such that mounting air supply and casualty evacuation missions was likely to lead to the loss of Chinook helicopters.

[...]

***********************************

Afghanistan has been and remains a severely under-resourced theater - and not just for NATO. Short on everything but bad guys (the game preserve for SF that Yon memorably described), it is not surprising that British forces have sought a withdrawal agreement with Taliban leaders in the south. The Afghan government, of whom locals are deeply mistrustful, must now step back into these areas and assert itself anew. As many local Afghan officials are former warlords, I don't imagine this will be a pleasant process. I also don't know what the ready alternative might be.

Whatever happens in the south, there are other areas, sorely neglected, that undoubtedly wait to grab headlines. We'll see what next Spring coughs up.

10/02/2006 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

trish, your post was of interest to me. I took a liberty and added it to a related post.

10/02/2006 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

One hopes in the present calm that we are not witnessing the little Dutch boy with his hand in the dam of histories flood.


I thought the main reason we went into Iraq was the destabilize the whole region and then rebuild after the collapse of each individual state/country. Looks like the Plan is working.

10/02/2006 06:51:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Musharraf will retire in Paris, host to every dictator,anarchist,revolutionary,expatriot, and every pusillanemous soul found on Earth.

10/02/2006 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

As long as he doesn't "retire" prematurely, habu.

10/02/2006 08:44:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"Interesting find, desert rat. There is no question that Pakistan's cooperation has been critically important until now. The interesting question is why Musharraf feels emboldened to attack the US and Bush at this time. There has been speculation that he's about to retire - but if he's presided over a covert switching of sides in the war, there is literally no place in the world he is safe from an appropriate end."

Seems to me, he's put his finger in the wind and judged we're not winning. As to his end, we won't assaassinate serving officials, why would we touch Musharraf?

10/02/2006 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

All things considered I don't think the US has much animus for Musharraf. It is the fanatics in Pakistan that have been taking pot shots at him and it is clear that the cancer of Islam has already spread to his armed forces. Musharaff is screwed.

10/02/2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

The cancer of Islam, annoy mouse? Are you saying officers and troops in Pakistan are actually converting to Islam?

Or are you saying Islam is divided into cancerous and non-cancerous forms and it is the cancerous form that is spreading to the armed forces of Pakistan?

Perhaps radiation therapy is indicated.

10/02/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Trish,
Retire or expire?


In these matters they usually just board a plane bound for a "confernece" in Paris or Brussels, and just never return.
Of course General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq didn't quite have the timing just right.

10/02/2006 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Eggplant said...

Off topic: Spengler has an article complaining that the West simply does not understand the theological motivations behind Islam (this lack of understanding even includes the Pope). The article is interesting but largely over my head.

Spengler maybe the brightest guy on the web. Unfortunately Spengler is so bright that I often can't follow his arguments. Never the less, it is worth reading his articles because one can almost always learn something from them.

10/02/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger DB2 said...

On this Yom Kippur I was looking at a list of Israelis killed in the Hezbollah war this summer. In addition to the civilians there were 113 military KIA. The breakdown by rank seemed odd to me, with almost three-quarters of the names being sargents of one type or another. Are there no privates in the Israeli army?

0 Pvt
8 Cpl
82 Sgt
8 Lt
7 Capt
7 Maj
1 Col

10/02/2006 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Teresita,
Though I was self aware of the ambiguity when I wrote the last comment, I think you answered your own question.

10/02/2006 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Trish,
Retire or expire?

- habu

Either one.

10/02/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger DB2 said...

In the last couple of months the US has moved more troops into Baghdad with about 11,000 there now. That is less than 10% of theater forces, while the city has almost 25% of Iraq's population. Does anybody have any thoughts on why the under-representation of troops in Baghdad?

10/02/2006 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

2164th,

It was a shit sandwich in the making for the NATO guys. The long-promised, much-discounted Spring Offensive finally found its opening in the command transition. Hope they'll find their footing, but resource-wise...not a lot to hope for there.

10/02/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"The interesting question is why Musharraf feels emboldened to attack the US and Bush at this time."

While he is with us, he cannot appear too close to us...and all the tinhorns have just been in town at Turtle Bay Crime Syndicate HQ gassin' along on the evils of America.

Were it that we, as a people, were not so squeamish about the imposition of moderate amounts of slaughter upon those who do, or plot to do, us ill. But then, that is the twits' one valuable function. The cross they bear is that within their urge to restraint lies the slaughter of innocents by those who do, or plot to do, us ill because we have not slaughtered them.

bin Laden hides to avoid his slaughter as does his Egyptian homicidal munchkin aide-de-camp.

10/02/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Trish,
Read the post and check the pics. The Telegraph is scathing in their opinion, and should be.

10/02/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"Are there no privates in the Israeli army?"

There aren't a lot of privates in our army, either. Perhaps as distressing as the # of Sgts KIA is the # of company grade (Lt/Capt) officers killed. It is the LCpls, Cpls, Sgts and company grade officers who are most in contact with the enemy.

10/02/2006 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq's prime minister on Monday announced a new plan aimed at ending the deepening crisis between Shiite and Sunni parties in his government and uniting them behind the drive to stop sectarian killings that have bloodied the country for months.

The new plan emerged hours after gunmen abducted 14 computer shop employees in a bold, mid-day attack in downtown Baghdad, the second mass kidnapping in as many days.

The bodies of seven of the 24 captives kidnapped Sunday were found dumped in southern Baghdad. Sunni politicians blamed Shiite militias for both and demanded the government take action. ...

...The new four-point plan announced Monday after talks between the parties did not include new security measures to crack down. Instead, it aimed at preventing the political rift from deepening by giving all the parties a way to oversee security forces' actions against the violence.

Under the plan, local commissions will be formed in each district of Baghdad — made up of representatives of every party, religious and tribal leaders and security officials — to consult on security efforts. A central committee, also made up of all the parties, will coordinate with the armed forces, al-Maliki said.

A media committee will also be formed, and the parties will meet monthly to review the plan's progress.

"We have taken the decision to end sectarian hatred once and for all," al-Maliki told reporters. "We have vowed before Almighty God to stop the bloodshed."


on the AP wire

10/02/2006 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

"... But U.S. commanders have suggested that since then some Shiite militants have split from al-Sadr, saying he is not radical enough and carrying out attacks on their own.

Violence has not slowed in the wake of al-Sadr's orders. A curfew slapped on Baghdad on Saturday in the wake of the arrest of al-Dulaimi's bodyguard brought a day of calm. But as soon as it was lifted, violence exploded again.

10/02/2006 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

"The Telegraph is scathing in their opinion, and should be."

The Telegraph has no AR.

Just sayin.

10/02/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger trish said...

Never bother to examine a folly.

Ask only what it accomplishes.

10/02/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

desert rat said...
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq's prime . .
The new four-point plan announced Monday after talks between the parties did not include new security measures to crack down. Instead, it aimed at preventing the political rift from deepening by giving all the parties a way to oversee security forces' actions against the violence.

Under the plan, local commissions will be formed in each district of Baghdad — made up of representatives of every party, religious and tribal leaders and security officials — to consult on security efforts. A central committee, also made up of all the parties, will coordinate with the armed forces, al-Maliki said.


Thanks for posting this DR. "Giving all parties" oversight over military decisions? That sounds like an outrageously horrible idea. How can the military crack down on Sadr when his party will have a say in its deployment?! Forget leaks -- about which there will be fountains -- what about executive decisions and the need for unitary command? We're going backwards here. This is Hobbes 101.

The Sunni are obviously still allied or riddled with AQ and their own indigenous insurgents. The arrests in al-Dulaimi's office cast light on this problem, and each Shiite faction has their own death squad. Why bring them all into a grand "central committee" to oversee a troubled counter-insurgency?! This is a terrible notion and confirms my fear and bitter faith that this frankenstein Iraqi government is not worth a single American life.

The sooner we pull out of this fiasco the sooner the Sunni-Shiite civil war can begin in earnest. Nothing will deprive the forces of international jihad of oxygen and energy like an internal bloodbath. The only thing keeping our enemies from each other is . . . us. Pull out. Let it bleed.

10/02/2006 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

3Case, the decline in the force strength of privates in the Army can be partly attributed to a decision to emphasize higher quality recruits who have some college or junior ROTC, and letting them start at a higher rank, at least after they get out of basic training when everyone is dirt.

10/02/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Pull out let it bleed.

Can we move off into garisons and watch?

10/02/2006 05:41:00 PM  
Blogger DB2 said...

"3Case, the decline in the force strength of privates in the Army can be partly attributed to a decision to emphasize higher quality recruits who have some college or junior ROTC, and letting them start at a higher rank, at least after they get out of basic training when everyone is dirt."

However, in the Israeli army everybody serves. So it would appear either there are no privates or they didn't go into Lebanon.

10/02/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"In the last couple of months the US has moved more troops into Baghdad with about 11,000 there now. That is less than 10% of theater forces, while the city has almost 25% of Iraq's population. Does anybody have any thoughts on why the under-representation of troops in Baghdad?"

Purely speculation, but if the numbers are right it might have something to do with the servere shortage of manpower in the combat arms. 150,000 men doesn't amount to much after you take out the logistics, intelligence, general support, etc. That 11,000 would probably be predominantly combat.

A large amount of the rest are problem shuttling through Anbar and the general area around Ramadi.

For comparison, in Vietnam we peaked at 580,000 men, a similar number of ARVN (though not well supported till after Tet), hundreds of thousands of American and Vietnamese civilians working in supporting projects and militia forces, and supporting groups like the Montagnards.

How on Earth we thought we'd be able to handle this smack in the middle of Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, I'll go to my grave wondering. Especially with an Army relatively the same size as on 9-10.

10/03/2006 01:35:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/03/2006 01:37:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

I remember the talk about the brilliant strategic move of starting with a country right in the middle of all our enemies.

Wow, that sure wasn't the most well thought out plan. Bit of a difference between when we do it and Napoleon did it.

10/03/2006 01:46:00 AM  
Blogger Clyde said...

DB2,

Most of the Israeli forces that went into Lebanon were reservists, who had already served their active duty time. Only a total screw-up would still be a private when he reached reservist status; anybody who doesn't get disciplined is going to be at least a corporal by that point.

10/03/2006 01:02:00 PM  

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