Monday, November 20, 2006

Dust in the Wind

Former Spook at In From the Cold writes:

I'm getting word of a major battle last week in Iraq last week, between terrorists and elements of the 82nd Airborne, east of Baghdad. One U.S. officer described the engagement as "one of the five biggest battles" between U.S. troops and insurgents in recent years. Other reports indicate as many as 100 terrorists were killed in the fighting, which lasted for several days. American casualties were described as "light." The engagement reportedly began when the 82nd discovered--an attacked--an apparent terrorist training camp. So far, no confirmation of this operation from the "western press" in Iraq, nor the Multi-National Forces in Iraq (MNF-I) public affairs office.


Maybe this is what he means, or maybe it was something else. From Bill Roggio:

Over the past week, U.S. and Iraqi forces fought Sunni insurgents in lopsided battles in the Iraqi cities of Kirkuk, Baquba, Yusifiyah and Ramadi. In each engagement, Sunni insurgents took massive casualties with no U.S. or Iraq forces killed.

In Kirkuk, the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 5th Division of Iraqi Army, in conjunction with the 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division conducted a brigade sized operation in and around the northern city of Kirkuk. The operation, originally announced on November 16th, was a major success. The Iraqi Army and U.S. forces killed nearly 50 insurgents and captured an additional 20 in a raid on a "large cache complex." "The caches included over 400,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition, 15,000 rounds of heavy machine gun ammunition, five mortar bipods, three heavy machine guns, three anti-tank weapons, two recoilless rifles and numerous mortar rounds, grenades, flares and artillery rounds," according to Multinational Forces Iraq. The soldiers also found materials to make roadside bombs as well as "propaganda materials and a large amount of U.S. dollars." Seven al-Qaeda were detained in a seperate raid in Kirkuk.

But why would it matter, if as some have argued, all military victories are hollow victories. And all the political work done till now is as a castle built on sand? What is the fundamental ingredient missing which turns all of these impressive statistics into dust and ashes? It's a serious question. Any ideas? Or maybe they are not "dust and ashes".

116 Comments:

Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Joseph Crowley at The American Thinker comments on a similar story. The inhabitants of terrorist-controlled Ramadi are revolting against Al Quada and throwing in with the American military.
http://www.americanthinker.com/comments.php?comments_id=6647

11/20/2006 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...

And God said:

"We got muthaf*ckin' snakes in this muthaf*ckin' Garden of Eden!"

Bible audio featuring the voice of Samuel L. Jackson as God is #1 on Wal-Mart's bestseller list.. :)

11/20/2006 06:04:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The most common critique of GWB's strategy in Iraq was that it was impossible to do worse. Anybody but Rummy. And therefore there was no need to show an alternative. Any change would be a change for the better. But that's not always true. As Britney Spears found out, it was actually possible to do worse than Justin Timberlake. And maybe foreign policy's Kevin Federline is just out there, waiting to show us his popozao.

11/20/2006 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

This (and other MSM biases and omissions) emphasizes WHY the President would be well-served to deliver a personal, presidential report once a week, with snippets of not-so-good and huge gobbets of GOOD, and POSITIVE, and Allied WINS!

Fireside chats, perchance?

11/20/2006 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Someone at an OJ Simpson book thread argues that the book cancellation by Newscorp was unfair because Simpson had already "mentally spent the money". It would be similarly unfair to go back and try for a victory of sorts in Iraq because because certain people have already mentally withdrawn. The celebration's all done. Would be cruel to take it back now.

11/20/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

re: Fireside chats

More of the same.

11/20/2006 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Chester said...

You know, reading spy novels set in the 30's and WWII, I find that there is some element present that makes all the gore ok: no matter what I know the outcome. The good guys win, in 1945.

But I really have no idea now. Aside from my own little echo chamber in the 'sphere, nobody really seems to care. Defeat in Iraq? Just another speedbump on the way to the Dow at 15,000. An Iran with nukes? Who cares? Plenty of other countries have nukes.

11/20/2006 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger tbrosz said...

A briefing was released today here.

It mentions a large engagement on November 13th (slides included) that might be the one they're talking about.

11/20/2006 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard

Other reports indicate as many as 100 terrorists were killed in the fighting, which lasted for several days.

Are we doing enemy body counts for political hay again? So soon after 'Nam?

The Iraqi Army and U.S. forces killed nearly 50 insurgents and captured an additional 20 in a raid on a "large cache complex."

Yep.

11/20/2006 06:52:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

wretchard wrote:

Someone at an OJ Simpson book thread argues that the book cancellation by Newscorp was unfair because Simpson had already "mentally spent the money".

Well tough for OJ, the book was about how he mentally killed his wife and her pal.

11/20/2006 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

chester wrote:

An Iran with nukes? Who cares? Plenty of other countries have nukes.

Yeah, but we've never had a nuclear country with a pound-the-shoe-on-the-table, "We will bury Israel" crazy President before...oh wait, never mind.

11/20/2006 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"What is the fundamental ingredient missing which turns all of these impressive statistics into dust and ashes?"

General public knowledge of these events.

Must not have occured in the lobbies or by the pools of the major Green Zone hotels (Joe Wilson journalism) or, having heard the onset of the battle(s) on the East side of Baghdad, the MSM has management relocate their rooms to the West side of the hotels, lest they be biased by what they observe and the inisurgents' press release(s) have not yet made it across the hall.

11/20/2006 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"There are snakes in the Garden of Eden..."

That's an interesting response to use when people imply that Christ has NOT returned at the time He said He would, because they're thinking Baha'u'llah should have snapped His fingers and turned this world into an explicit Garden of Eden, halos and harps...

Heh!

11/20/2006 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

3case wrote:

Must not have occured in the lobbies or by the pools of the major Green Zone hotels (Joe Wilson journalism) or, having heard the onset of the battle(s) on the East side of Baghdad, the MSM has management relocate their rooms to the West side of the hotels, lest they be biased by what they observe and the inisurgents' press release(s) have not yet made it across the hall.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. - George Bernard Shaw

11/20/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

I don't know if I want the Press talking about it.

Rapunzel spun straw into gold and the press when it comes to Iraq spins gold into straw.

WC is right. We will always win the body count battle. However, in the end that is always turned against us by us to show how brutish we are.

another speedbump on the way to the Dow at 15,000. An Iran with nukes? Who cares? Plenty of other countries have nukes. I fear Chester is right, things are so good and have been for so long there is this air of invincibility. one argument I heard over and over in the runup to Iraq is Saddam knows if he gets out of line we will thump him so hard.

As I have said in the past (I don't think I am the only one) I think democracies are the nice guys. We will get pushed and pushed and finally we will transform into the Incredible Hulk. The problem is while we are brushing off one provocation after another, the Islamic radicals are themselves transforming into a hulkish figure.

11/20/2006 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wretchard said . . .
What is the fundamental ingredient missing which turns all of these impressive statistics into dust and ashes? It's a serious question. Any ideas? Or maybe they are not "dust and ashes".

The fundamental ingredient missing is a worthy US ally that benefits from these battles. We are killing Sunni insurgents for the greater power of pro-Iranian, pro-Hezbollah Shiite Islamists. If, as Wrecthard wrote weeks ago, Maliki has shown his "true colors" then we should not be fooled as to the nature and agenda of Sadr/Badr/Dawa, and yet, we continue to support them. Without a reliable ally we can not consolidate gains in our favor. The analogy is inexact, but it didn't matter how many VC we killed if it was only to prop up an incompetent like Diem. Theiu was better, but ultimately not good enough. Maliki is a failure, who do we have to replace him and can we? Without answering that question, all those battles will indeed be "dust and ashes".

11/20/2006 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

Karridine, like a breath of fresh air, wrote

This (and other MSM biases and omissions) emphasizes WHY the President would be well-served to deliver a personal, presidential report once a week, with snippets of not-so-good and huge gobbets of GOOD, and POSITIVE, and Allied WINS!


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! It is sooooo refreshing to read a good post.

11/20/2006 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

The Unified Endeavor mission rehearsal exercise brings together about 1,300 servicemembers who will deploy in January as Combined Joint Task Force 76. The task force, which also will include other supporting Army and Air Force elements, will serve in Regional Command East under the NATO-led ISAF.

In preparation for that mission, Unified Endeavor presented realistic training scenarios and real-time collaboration with Afghan nationals, more than 65 ISAF officers and a host of interagency representatives, Paul Mayberry, deputy undersecretary of defense for readiness, told Pentagon reporters today.


Afghanistan Deployment

11/20/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

dla, were you around this site during the great tsunami, when Karradine was posting news from ground zero, as he was in the middle of it on a medical mission helping survivors from about day 2 onward?

11/20/2006 08:39:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Buddy, thank you sincerely for the benchmark, but I was 'helping' rapidly-decaying corpses for the first 10 days, and THEN the torn remnants of families at Bahn Kem.

And while its true that I STAYED for a while, helping where I could, I went for very selfish reasons, to check on my wife's uncle. (He was fine.)

11/20/2006 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Chip said...

The argument is that every military victory "creates more terrorists." But the terrorists are all Islamic mujahideen from a finite population. They will not pass their ideology on any more than they already have.

I think killing scores of mujahideen makes less mujahideen. Radical to be sure, but I think I could defend the notion with empirical analysis.

11/20/2006 08:48:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Sister Teresita bemoans "We're doing body counts for political hay".Every freakin' day Al AP and Al Reuters ,etc.list a body count of Iraqi civilians offed and GI KIA's with never a mention of any Jihadis killed except when they can't avoid it like the junior Saddams and Zarqawi.As soon as we list the spoils of a successful battle ,we're just playing politics.Jeez! Did anyone ever tell you, you're too clever by half.
Always count on the cheerful Reo-con to find the pile of crap in any positive news.Viet Nam wasn't worth while because while Thieu was better he still wasn't good enough.In other words unless its for the spawn of Gandhi,Martin Luther King,Mother Teresa and Helen Keller,no fight is ever worth while.So lets just turn the world over to the dirtbags and buy a new Play Station.

11/20/2006 08:52:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...

Reocon,

What's wrong with a "pointless" anti-Sunni punitive expedition? Should not the US keep at it so our old allies get the "pointless" point?

11/20/2006 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Trangbang,

You nailed, set, and puttied it like a pro!

11/20/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Never met a hero yet who'd admit it, Karradine--
:-)

11/20/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger possumDieter said...

Reocon,

You define our objectives much too narrowly. Of course, the more narrow the objectives, the easier it is to point out how overwhelmed it is by the enveloping turmoil.

And you are correct: indeed, there is turmoil. But it is turmoil that we can compete within to an extent. It is not Somalia nor Viet Nam by any such stretch. Sure the representations of the turmoil are sour on our end, sour enough to imply the unworthy sacrifice and the quagmire of Somalia and Viet Nam. Yet that is a problem of representation and not of our success in taming the turmoil.

That the taming of one tumult leaves room for another to ascend is cause for alarm, but it is hardly defeat. It is but another stage, a new game.

11/20/2006 09:42:00 PM  
Blogger possumDieter said...

An Analogy:

Reocon, say you are in your family room tapping your plastic sceptre onto the carpet as you ridicule Brit Hume. The barbs are sharp, and you've reduced Mr. Hume to the essence of a buffoon, a drunkard and a layabout. Yet he persists on giving you the latest headlines and market updates.

The Gaia forum tells you your sceptre should be larger and both mods and admins of Gaia agree; they cite many instances of elaborate and mighty sceptres summoning up consumate and unmatched doom.

But you are uncertain and do not trust the reviews of sceptres on Amazon.com.

You know that its not the capabilities of the sceptre; yours is fine. Infact, its just an instrument and not universally useful. It requires not only a desire to use it, but a plausible mechanism for success - that is, it must have a chance of crushing Brit Hume's appalling swagger and aplomb.

Only a phone call or a plane ticket to his production studio can suffice in this regard and both are fraught with peril. You try the phone calls, hoping against hope that the bastard picks up the the other line, but they are like playing wackamole. Once your home phone number is blocked, you burn through calling cards and pay phones, disposable cell phones and Skype. Your friends call "quagmire" and say Brit Hume is not worth it.

But you crave in yourt heart of hearts to slay Hume's ego, to see his production staff driven before you and to hear the lamentations of the broadcaster.

So what do you do? Cut and run? Make all your phone calls dust and ashes? Or do you buy that plane ticket?

11/20/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger possumDieter said...

We ain't just proppin' up Maliki, Reocon.

We are propping up a new int'l regime, one that has resulted in Iraq, and if we abandon Iraq, we not only have the fate of a failing nation but the fate of a int'l regime vacuum. What will fill it?

11/20/2006 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Tangbang - Always count on the cheerful Reo-con to find the pile of crap in any positive news.Viet Nam wasn't worth while because while Thieu was better he still wasn't good enough.In other words unless its for the spawn of Gandhi,Martin Luther King,Mother Teresa and Helen Keller,no fight is ever worth while.

I don't speak for Reocon, but perhaps his analogy was "like Vietnam" the Iraqi people lack the leadership to put fire in their belly to fight a smaller foe. Thieu only began making the land reform and working benefit changes opposed by the wealthy ruling elites late in the stuggle, post-1973, when things were getting desperate.
By then it was too late. The Communists "wanted it more" and won over more of the masses to their side with promises of better, more equitable treatment than what they got from their "freedom-loving" S Vietnamese landlords and bosses.

The feudal fatcats of S. Vietnam failed to reform fast enough. Naturally, they were the 1st in the boats...

11/21/2006 12:53:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Try this, the only connection that Vietnam has with Iraq is on this side of the pond.

11/21/2006 01:30:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/21/2006 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

"The Communists "wanted it more" and won over more of the masses to their side with promises of better, more equitable treatment than what they got from their "freedom-loving" S Vietnamese landlords and bosses."

B.S. leftist propaganda. The Communist Vietnamese lost the battle within South Vietnam. They fell back on North Vietnamese imperialism and Russian tanks. There was no internal uprising by "masses" of South Vietnamese yearning for "equality."

11/21/2006 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Nylarthotep said...


Are we doing enemy body counts for political hay again? So soon after 'Nam?


Funny that. The MSM seems to have no issue with reporting, in gory detail, the number of US military and coalition deaths, but some think that counting the bodies of the enemy is wrong?

Is there a contention that the MSM's reporting of coalition deaths isn't "political hay" of some variety? It certainly does provide political assistance to the insurgents.

11/21/2006 04:04:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

How are Iraq and O.J. Simpson alike? Read on . . .

IRAQ:

I have read General Caldwell's briefing on the action near Ramadi.

Several thoughts:

* Imagine what the coalition would have been capable of doing had they been given enough troops. (Note past tense.)

* It is extraordinary that a positive development like this would take days to come out.

* There has a palpable sense of gloom over the war at the White House and Pentagon since the election. Add to that the avalanche of "victory is no longer possible" statements from former supporters like Henry the K and you picture the giant ship that is the U.S. mission on the verge of crashing into an iceberg. The only way to avoid the iceberg is to send in tens of thousands of more troops. It ain't gonna happen. Why? The American people have spoken . . . er, voted, and The Decider has squandered every last drop of good will.

O.J.:

I covered both the criminal and civil trials.

America has become a nation of such exerable bad taste that it was gratifying that Murdoch has pulled the plug on the book and TV interview.

What Murdoch's News Corp. execs forgot was that projects involving The Juice have met with outrage in the 11 years since he was acquitted.

Again, the American people have spoken.

11/21/2006 04:14:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Actually, WC,

That was sarcasm.

Unsurprisingly, that eluded you (given that you chose to trifle in the ad hominem).

ttfn,
3Case

11/21/2006 04:54:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

...or, maybe you didn't...in which case I apologize. It was still sarcasm.

11/21/2006 04:57:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Shaun D. Mullen said...


* There has a palpable sense of gloom over the war at the White House and Pentagon since the election.
/////////////////////////
This is not the impression that I've been getting. I was at the Warner theatre last thursday night in downtown washington dc. Rush Limbaugh gave a talk. He had just come from visiting the white house. His expectation was that all would be gloom and doom. But everyone there, including Rumsfeld, was in high spirits.

I heard a similiar thing a week ago monday. The choir director of the New Dominion Chorale here in Mclean VA took his wife to the white house. She was getting an arts award for some of her biographies. The choir director's comment was also that everyone at the white house was in high spirits --including Rumsfeld.

11/21/2006 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

trangbang68 said...

Always count on the cheerful Reo-con to find the pile of crap in any positive news.Viet Nam wasn't worth while because while Thieu was better he still wasn't good enough.In other words unless its for the spawn of Gandhi,Martin Luther King,Mother Teresa and Helen Keller,no fight is ever worth while.So lets just turn the world over to the dirtbags and buy a new Play Station.
.

Nope, our choice for Iraq wasn't and will never be a Gandhi of MLK. There's too much killing to be done. I was thinking more of a Sukarto. A General who is only nominally Islamic and can slaughter an insurgency while bringing about economic recovery. Unfortunately the elections put the Islamofascists in charge: "victory"! We had enough juice to get rid of Jaafari, but Maliki (also from the nefarious Dawa party) hasn't been much better. Who follows after Maliki? The question is complicated by the electoral weight of the Shiite Islamic parties that dominate the "unity" gov't.

As to cheerful, well, Wretchard's question as to "ashes and dust" didn't really merit a cheerful response. It demanded an honest one.

Habu1 said . . .
We ain't just proppin' up Maliki, Reocon.

We are propping up a new int'l regime, one that has resulted in Iraq, and if we abandon Iraq, we not only have the fate of a failing nation but the fate of a int'l regime vacuum. What will fill it?


We're not propping up Maliki? I'm not sure what you mean by that as it runs so contrary to established fact. If not Maliki's gov't then who are we fighting FOR in Iraq? Maliki was our choice over Jaafari and the in'l regime you mention is, as you know, only as good as its leaders.

As to what will "fill" Iraq if we abandon it, my guess is: a bloodbath between competing Islamists. The Shiite South will consolidate around the Shiite Islamists that are already enthroned in Baghdad; the Kurds wil hunker down up North, maybe with the added benefit of American bases; and the Sunni West will probably be ground zero after we try to leave the Sahawat movement in charge. The Shiite South and the Sunni West will be slaughtering each other and themselves, as they receive support from their various coreligionist in the near abroad.

Until then, we can either bank on the incompetent and duplicitous Maliki and our efforts of family counseling for the Islamic split, or we could find someone else to lead the country. Any suggestions?

11/21/2006 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

sarchasm (noun) the occasional gap between printed-word sarcasm as sent, and as received.
(borrowed from WaPo's neologism contest)

11/21/2006 06:17:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

Charles:

I stand corrected. If no less authorities than a drug addicted Bush syncophantic right-wing talk show host and a choir director are saying everything is okey-dokey, then I'm sure that it is.

11/21/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

shaun d. mullen wrote:

I stand corrected. If no less authorities than a drug addicted Bush syncophantic right-wing talk show host and a choir director are saying everything is okey-dokey, then I'm sure that it is.

Very soon after Hush Bimbo pontificated on Michael J. Fox's meds, there was an election, and very soon after that, Hush came clean for a moment and said he was relieved he didn't have to carry water anymore for politicos who didn't deserve to be re-elected anyway. So if Hush Bimbo says everything is okey-dokey now, maybe in a couple months he will talk about how relieved he is he doesn't have to carry water anymore for a policy in Iraq that didn't deserve to be implemented anyway.

11/21/2006 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

11/21/2006 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Pierre Gemayal just shot dead, Lebanon.

11/21/2006 06:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nylarthotep wrote:

Funny that. The MSM seems to have no issue with reporting, in gory detail, the number of US military and coalition deaths, but some think that counting the bodies of the enemy is wrong?

No, what's wrong is when the government gets into the business of reporting on its own news. Many people call the Fourth Estate a Fifth Column, but the alternative is government propaganda. Let the market and the American people sort out who to trust, not Herr Goebbels.

11/21/2006 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger Gudovac April 1941 said...

Tbrozs - many thanks for the link to the briefing.

This map of Bagdahd from the briefing is illuminating.

http://www.mnf-iraq.com/images/stories/Press_briefings/2006/November/061120_slide2_hi.jpg


WRETCHED - pretty please w/ suger on top, write one of your brilliant military pces. on the Battle for Bagdahd ( the type with maps and all the other hard information)

11/21/2006 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Shaun D. Mullen said...
Charles:

I stand corrected. If no less authorities than a drug addicted Bush syncophantic right-wing talk show host and a choir director are saying everything is okey-dokey, then I'm sure that it is.
///////////////////
Shaun
very good. so what was your source for saying "There has a palpable sense of gloom over the war at the White House and Pentagon since the election."
btw I think you and Woman Catholic/Terrisita would be happier over at the Daily Kos.

11/21/2006 07:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

charles

btw I think you and Woman Catholic/Terrisita would be happier over at the Daily Kos.

By their blogroll ye shall know them. Just because a person doesn't drink the Rush kool aid or the Bush kool aid doesn't mean they are commies.

11/21/2006 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can't evaluate whether our victories are "hollow victories" because we don't have enough information.

What we really need, as distingushed from the propaganda and noise we get in the media, is some sense of how the battles you're describing are evaluated "on the other side of the hill." I don't mean the "By God we're whupping the infidel" sort of talk that's just normal propaganda...I mean, more sense of what the enemy commanders/gang leaders really think about what's going on.

I would not be shocked to find that (1) they're losing large numbers of people and really getting hurt; but, (2) their evaluation of our media convinces them they're in the game -- in effect converting our military victories to "hollow" ones.

If you cannot control perception, particularly in terms of dictating what your enemies perceive, how can you win at war ? I don't think it's possible for our society to pursue a war when we haven't got the media on board or otherwise zeroed-out.

As it is, our Iraqi and jihadist enemies know what's in our press; know what the press wants to see; and can give the press the "metrics" it wants to prove that we are losing. It's a self-reinforcing feedback circle. All the victories we win are for naught if we cannot be perceived as winning.

11/21/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

reocon wrote:

...the Sunni West will probably be ground zero after we try to leave the Sahawat movement in charge.

With about as much oil as Jordan or Syria, making them about as scary as Somalia. And the Sunnis know it. That's what this whole tussle is all about, the Kurds and Shi'ites, flush with oil, are shaking off their Sunni parasites at last. They were offered a share, just like Arafat was offered 96% of the West Bank in 2000, but Jihadis don't seem to know when to hold 'em, when to fold 'em, when to walk away, or when to run.

11/21/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

It's hard to see that we have any allies in Iraq, groups even willing to investigate snatching of our own people.
----
U.S. and Iraqi forces raided the overwhelmingly Shiite Sadr City slum on Tuesday and detained seven militia members, including one believed to have information about an American soldier kidnapped last month, the military said...

Iraqi Police Capt. Mohammed Ismail said a young boy and two other people were killed in the early morning raid and 15 people were wounded...

Cradling the child's body outside a hospital morgue, a Shiite legislator told reporters that
Iraq's government should be condemned for allowing such attacks.

"I am suspending my membership in parliament since it remains silent about crimes such as this against the Iraqi people," legislator Saleh Al-Ukailli told reporters outside the Imam Ali Hospital. "I will not return to parliament until the occupation troops leave the country."
----
Iraq and Syria, which severed diplomatic relations 24 years ago, officially restored them on Tuesday in a development that could stem some of Iraq's unrelenting volence. In central Baghdad, some Iraqis were cheered by the newly restored relations.

"Maybe improved ties between Iraq and Syria, and some of our other Arab neighbors, will help us one day get rid of the U.S. forces," said Ghalib Akzar.

11/21/2006 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

Chuck:

Someone of your ilk invariably leaves a snarky comment whenever I drop by this most excellent blog. I would recommend that you increase your medications and include an anti-constipation drug in the mix.

If the American electorate had just told you that it's time to resolve the Mess in Mesopotamia,the Army was stretched to the breaking point, the chances of the war spreading elsewhere in the Middle East were growing by the day, some of the very neocon stalwarts who helped draft the war policy (Fukuyama and Perle) as well as conservative stalwarts (Buckley and Kristol) had jumped ship and America's standing in the world was in the toilet, wouldn't you be feeling a little glum in your more private moments?

That is what my correspondent friends tell me and I believe they're accurate.

Or maybe Rush is sharing his really good stuff with the generals and White House bigs and they're all high as a kite.

11/21/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

el jefe maximo wrote:

All the victories we win are for naught if we cannot be perceived as winning.

I tend to be more of a reality-based person. The mainstream media can say we lost every battle and we are losing the war, and spin things to their heart's content, just so long as we are killing the enemy, clearing towns of jihadists, and getting the Iraqi people to hold them. But we have to conquer the same towns over and over again, and we have to give Maliki all our our Shia prisoners so he can put them back out on the street, and all Bush says is he's open to input from his generals.

11/21/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

WC - No, what's wrong is when the government gets into the business of reporting on its own news. Many people call the Fourth Estate a Fifth Column, but the alternative is government propaganda.

As General Giap taught, war is divided up into the battlefield and the propaganda war directed at both the people and the enemy.

He said both are absolutely critical and victory over the enemy may be achieved on either front. The Left, Soviet agitprop agents, the NYTimes, and Uncle Walter gave him that victory in the 2nd military conflict far from Vietnam.

When America has had great victories like WWII or the Gulf War, it kept journalists on a tight leash and waged a masterful diplomatic and propaganda effort on the all important global and US domestic 2nd War Front.

Do I trust the government to get it right? No, even when they tried before they gave up on anything but Bush and DOD happytalk, they blew it with the phony Jessica Lynch Hero Warrior rescued under fire fiasco.

But that is still far better than just abdicating and leaving the strategic communications to whatever the NYTimes, Soros-controlled NGOs, the Guardian, al-Reuters, the ACLU, and Tabloid TV wish to ignore or sensationalize.

11/21/2006 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Catch & Release has been the policy in Iraq for years, nothing new there.
Not at all limited to Mr al-Sadr and his minions. Mr Yon reported on it, as an ongoing challenge, years ago, now.

11/21/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

The Syrian killing of Gemayel in Lebanon constitutes the calling of our bluff. The administration's reaction this morning (or lack of reaction) will determine whether Syria formalizes its control over Lebanon again later this week.

If we react with the usual diplospeak (and France does as well) we will see the Signiora government collapse later this week, to be replaced with a government made up of Hizbollah and other pro Syrian factions. We may be seeing further signs of James Baker's grand bargain (Syria gets Lebanon, the Golan and the Hariri investigation ended, we get ???).

What I don't get is that for a grand bargain to work we have to be deemed to be giving up something that was ours to keep. But, by rolling over so easily (as I expect we will) we cannot expect much in return. It is also disturbing to see the US providing consideration before the other side is required to provide anything. Perhaps this is the way the grand bargain has to play out – in seemingly unrelated stages. The terms of deals as disgusting as these must be kept secret to be palatable. It is kind of like seeing sausage made. Perhaps the end result is edible, but not if you see what went into it.

11/21/2006 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

war is divided up into the battlefield and the propaganda war directed at both the people and the enemy Cedarford

WC knows that, Cedarford. It's just that she's fine with the current iteration of negative media propaganda. At least you're honest enough, as an opponent of this war, to point out the strategic and operational impact that slanted coverage, either way, has on our diplomatic and military efforts, down to the troops on the ground.

It's a no-brainer, of course, but if one believes our government to be so utterly untrustworthy as to not merit posting of its data or perspective in our media, especially in wartime, then we're lost as a republic. We should just default to Katie Couric and her crackerjack news team telling it like it is. The more discriminating among us, of course, would still get our elitist prole truth from NPR.

11/21/2006 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Wretchard, reading recent posts and comments I would like to suggest a title for the Chapter following the recent election: The Belmont Club Surrenders. Perhaps we should organize a conference with Daily Kos and the Democratic Underground -- with experts from the Huffington Post presiding -- and make it official.

So, how do we win ("winning" being an independent Iraq).

First: No Iraqis come to the United States. If Iraqis will not hang together they should hang separately. And the sight of the hangman will certainly focus their minds. In any case, these are the folks who will organize victory -- for Iraq, not the U.S. So, burn the boats because there will be no boat people. (When the French Revolution was in trouble, they turned on neighboring countries. Encourage Iraq's neighbors to worry about such a scenario if they force the US out. How about Kurdistan as an autonomous part of Turkey -- including the bits in Syria and Iran? Perhaps we can solve a problem for Turkey while causing one for Syria and Iran. And who gets the oil around Kirkuk? Turkey. Syria can be handled in much the same way. If Iraq comes undone, why not Syria? Draw up a dozen new maps for the area and show them around -- in private, of course. And let these ideas bubble up from the ground -- like the local crude. And as we enter these discussions, keep on smiling -- because everything is on the table and we only want the best for everyone).

Second: Negotiate a Short Term Security treaty that runs into 2009. The next President could withdraw or extend it. Submit the treaty to Congress and force the Democrats to come up with their alternatives. They can either approve the treaty or put their finger prints over any resulting disaster. Put in the form of a treaty, it can go through the Senate and perhaps give our Iraq policy some "Joementum." Plus, it will show that at least we recognize the government of Iraq.

Failing to destroy us, our enemies threaten to destroy themselves. "Buy this magazine or we will shoot this puppy!" is how the National Lampoon put it some years ago. And we will only have ourselves to blame.

11/21/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Doubt is to certainty as neurosis is to psychosis. The neurotic is in doubt and has fears about persons and things; the psychotic has convictions and makes claims about them. In short, the neurotic has problems, the psychotic has solutions.
Thomas Szasz

Punishment is now unfashionable... because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility.
Thomas Szasz

Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
Thomas Szasz

If you talk to God, you are praying. If God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.
Thomas Szasz

11/21/2006 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

All About Dog Poop!

Oops, what's that? Dog poop on my shoe?

Nothing has a greater capacity to ruin your day than getting dog poop on your shoes. It's not a pleasing prospect for you or your children to inadvertently step in some dog's poop. Imagine yourself all dressed in your Sunday finery on your way to church, or your kids playing in the park. It can and has happened to everyone.

Being proactive in removing your dog's crap will go a long way in protecting the health, safety, and beauty of your community.

11/21/2006 09:22:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> The Syrian killing of Gemayel in Lebanon constitutes the calling of our bluff. The administration's reaction this morning (or lack of reaction) will determine whether Syria formalizes its control over Lebanon again later this week.

That may very well be true. Other than actually surrendering, it is difficult to imagine how a president could have done a worse job than Bush in reacting to the election.

The message from Bush to our enemies and to the anti-war Democrats is that they have won, or even more strangely that his administration really doesn't think it matters much.

Bush should have sent the message that he will work with the democrats, independents, and whoever the people elect, but Americans are agreed that the war on terror is going foward. He could have done what most presidents do after an election (or at least they used to) was to get the Democrats to agree to some common items and announce it together. This would be things like the war on terror as a general principle, defending americans world wide, blah, blah, blah.

Not only did Bush not do that, but he queued up all these studies, etc. to finish weeks and months from now, then spent his time doing other things like going to Vietnam to get cheap off shore labor to replace US jobs, and to talk about the war we lost.

11/21/2006 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> war is divided up into the battlefield and the propaganda war directed at both the people and the enemy

That's what the Bush administration and many of the "hawks" forgot. It gives the enemy and the US leftists a win by default in public discussion about the war on terror. If only one team steps onto the playing field, they are usually the ones who win.

11/21/2006 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger NorthPut21 said...

Does the US really have the "McCain" option? Could the US actually muster 4 or 5 hundred thousand troops in a short period of time to finish off this mess once and for all?

I thought in war you are supposed to go "all in" from the get go. Since we didn't then, could we now?

11/21/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wu wei wrote concerning the information war:

That's what the Bush administration and many of the "hawks" forgot. It gives the enemy and the US leftists a win by default in public discussion about the war on terror. If only one team steps onto the playing field, they are usually the ones who win.

So if we clamp down on the leftists and just allow government data about enemy casualties to get to the American people, that amounts to giving the leftists and the enemy a loss in public discussion about the war on terror. But the problem there is we've moved completely out of the realm of "discussion" altogether. There's a reason the first amendment is enshrined in the Constitution. The Founders considered the press to be yet one more check & balance on the government.

11/21/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

Here's a statement with which I completely agree:

Wretchard, reading recent posts and comments I would like to suggest a title for the Chapter following the recent election: The Belmont Club Surrenders

Yes, many of the posters here are completely ready to hand their sword to the islamic radicals.

What is interesting is how well some of these guys have intellectualized thier surrender. When I pointed out this fact last week I recieved a barrage of overheated rhetoric explaining to me that the only choice we have is total surrender.

My goodness it gets soooo tiresome reading to all this dooooooooom and glooooooooom.

Self fulfilling prophecy any one?

Oh one more minor aside. Last week one of the regular intellectuals that comment here asked me if I knew ANYTHING about Iraq. I was asked, for example what SCIRI and DAWA stood for.

here ya go:

Some Cognac Improves Reocon's Inanity.

Do All Wussies Argue (so pointlessly)?

How's that?

11/21/2006 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Shaun D. Mullen said...
Chuck:

Someone of your ilk invariably leaves a snarky comment whenever I drop by this most excellent blog. I would recommend that you increase your medications and include an anti-constipation drug in the mix.

If the American electorate had just told you that it's time to resolve the Mess in Mesopotamia,the Army was stretched to the breaking point, the chances of the war spreading elsewhere in the Middle East were growing by the day, some of the very neocon stalwarts who helped draft the war policy (Fukuyama and Perle) as well as conservative stalwarts (Buckley and Kristol) had jumped ship and America's standing in the world was in the toilet, wouldn't you be feeling a little glum in your more private moments?
////////////////////
oh I see. you're a mind reader. And that's why you know the white house is feeling gloomy.

You need to talk more with Terrista/Woman Catholic. She's a mind reader too.

11/21/2006 10:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

northput21 wrote:

Does the US really have the "McCain" option? Could the US actually muster 4 or 5 hundred thousand troops in a short period of time to finish off this mess once and for all?

Yes, we would have to empty all the Army bases at Inchon, Pusan, Weisbaden, Wurzburg, and the Marine bases in Okinawa, & Guam. We'd have to get rent-a-cops for all US Navy bases again and send the Master-At-Arms rates out to the front lines (where they would kick ass, I assure you).
And we'd need to pull off a miracle in battle preparations not seen since they turned around the Yorktown in three days at Pearl Harbor to get her ready for Midway.

11/21/2006 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> Does the US really have the "McCain" option? Could the US actually muster 4 or 5 hundred thousand troops in a short period of time to finish off this mess once and for all?

There is a big, big risk too if Iran really does have nukes or one of our enemies chose that time to get rid of much of the US Army in a few mushroom clouds. It sounds paranoid, but those things must be considered.

11/21/2006 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

charles wrote:

You need to talk more with Terrista/Woman Catholic. She's a mind reader too.

I don't know what that comment is supposed to mean, but life is too short to tangle with people on the internet who get hostile for intangible reasons. At least 3case delivered that most rare of blog events, an apology.

11/21/2006 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> So if we clamp down on the leftists and just allow government data ...

That has nothing to do with what I wrote, which was an analogy about two teams competing on a field. I specifically want the two, which means no changes for the liberals, just that Bush and conservatives would take the field and start talking back.

11/21/2006 10:43:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

So if we clamp down on the leftists and just allow government data about enemy casualties to get to the American people, that amounts to giving the leftists and the enemy a loss in public discussion about the war on terror. (Woman Catholic)

Alert! Incoming strawman to be knocked down! Who said we should "clamp down" on the leftists?

Woman Catholic is the one who would de facto censor the government, saying that it shouldn't be trusted to put its "propaganda" in the media along with Keller & Couric. She knows and Cedarford knows that today there's no controlling the press.

She also knows that to oppose the inclusion of our government's data and evaluation of an on-going war and to only accept the facts and opinion from reporters in hotels and journos in cublicles is a wish for sure defeat.

11/21/2006 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

A "cublicle" is a Herman Miller partitioned office cell with the AC turned too low.

11/21/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wu wei said:

I specifically want the two, which means no changes for the liberals, just that Bush and conservatives would take the field and start talking back.

Point well taken, but my original objection was to the principle of going for enemy body counts, which becomes a sterile goal unto itself with no connection to events in the field. In a war you need to kill such great swaths of the enemy in such a short amount of time that you can't possibly count them. If it's not a war, it's a police action and police don't report progress by counting dead bodies.

11/21/2006 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> My goodness it gets soooo tiresome reading to all this dooooooooom and glooooooooom.

> Self fulfilling prophecy any one?

Exactly. It is like a poker game where the Democrats won one hand, are bluffing with a very, very weak one, and instead of playing to win, many of the hawks / conservatives are ready to fold.

Politically the Democrats have a totally crappy hand, not even a pair. The president's party normally loses seats in the sixth year of the presidency, and scandal was the #1 issue cited by voters in polls. The Democrats are only up by a single vote in the Senate, Lieberman's, and a number of the new Democrats in the House promised to support Bush in the war.

The Democratics of the House voted strongly against making anti-war John Murtha their #2 leader, in spite of #1 leader Nancy Peolsi twisting their arms hard. Every member of their leadership has said that that they won't vote against funding for the troops, and they're not even going to vote on Rangel's suggestion that we revive the Draft.

So it totally comes down to self-fulfilling prophecy. Just as it was before the election, it is happening afterwards that only the anti-war forces speak.

11/21/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

skipsailing said...
Some Cognac Improves Reocon's Inanity.

True, so true, Skippy. Which is why I've never had much truck with the French stuff. I prefer Powers Irish Whiskey to keep me edge on. My favorite drunk back in Galway used to call it "three swallows".

I'm glad that you've done so much research into SCIRI, Dawa, Fadhila and Moktada al-Sadr. Maybe now you can tell me why you embrace them, why you've come to accept dhimmitude and think that these Shiite Islamofascists Scum are worth one American life? Why do you support a coalition that's already killed over a hundred Americans?

You haven't surrendered, have you Skippy? Oh yeah. . . just what does SCIRI stand for?

11/21/2006 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cedarford defended government information ministries thus:

But that is still far better than just abdicating and leaving the strategic communications to whatever the NYTimes, Soros-controlled NGOs, the Guardian, al-Reuters, the ACLU, and Tabloid TV wish to ignore or sensationalize.

This demonstrates a lack of respect for the intelligence of the American people, that they are mushy little minds, and the problem is we ought not let the left wingers have a monopoly on manipulating them, lest they defund our adventure in the Middle East. Americans are smarter than that, and if they aren't paying much attention to Bush's splendid little war right now, it could be that the police action doesn't deserve it.

11/21/2006 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

I think we need more metrics for the war, including body count. It is one of the best ways to measure performance in a war on terror.

Otherwise people are stuck making overly broad, rather meaningless statements like "the war in Iraq is a failure" or "We are winning the war on terror".

11/21/2006 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

too bad there were a couple of stray dogs in the area, otherwise they could have called in air strikes

11/21/2006 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> This demonstrates a lack of respect for the intelligence of the American people, that they are mushy little minds, and the problem is we ought not let the left wingers have a monopoly on manipulating them

How is that a lack of respect? If the only story available about the war is from the anti-war MSM, it becomes difficult or impossible for people to hear the truth. Most people don't have the option of flying to Iraq to find out the truth for themselves.

11/21/2006 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger skipsailing said...

reocon, baby you are contradiction in terms here, a veritable oxymoron.

You are fighting hard for the privledge of surrendering.

How does that make sense.

As I wrote earlier, if you want to surrender, then by all means throw down whatever it is that you call a weapon and walk into the cage.

Further reocon you are proving another old adage: misery loves company. Look how hard you are arguing to convince me that I should join you in your misery.

Bullshit pal, you can be miseable all by your lonesome. I'll stay with the people who still have hope.

Save the quiz for someone who cares. I thought you could take a little teasing, apparently not. Now leave me alone. I'm sure there are any number of weakminded individuals out there that are more than willing to join your on your knees.

Not me.

11/21/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Woman Catholic: "but my original objection was to the principle of going for enemy body counts, which becomes a sterile goal unto itself with no connection to events in the field. In a war you need to kill such great swaths of the enemy in such a short amount of time that you can't possibly count them."

No, your original point was about the government (insidiously) putting out enemy killed counts for political purpose, or "hay".

You said, "Are we doing enemy body counts for political hay again? So soon after 'Nam?... Yep."

Then you drew a parallel between our government trying to get its war facts and figures to the public and the propaganda efforts of Nazi Germany.

You said, "No, what's wrong is when the government gets into the business of reporting on its own news. Many people call the Fourth Estate a Fifth Column, but the alternative is government propaganda. Let the market and the American people sort out who to trust, not Herr Goebbels."

Then, you disingenuously tried to contend that what's in the media makes no difference to the prosecution of a war.

You said, "The mainstream media can say we lost every battle and we are losing the war, and spin things to their heart's content, just so long as we are killing the enemy..."

And now you contend that those who would wish for more balanced coverage of this war, to include what our Government and armed forces have to say, would be insulting to the American people.

You say, "This demonstrates a lack of respect for the intelligence of the American people, that they are mushy little minds, and the problem is we ought not let the left wingers have a monopoly on manipulating them, lest they defund our adventure in the Middle East..."

In your mind, the "police action" may not "deserve" funding and balanced reportage, but some of us happen to believe our troops serving under fire do, woman catholic.

11/21/2006 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

What do we even have news for, woman catholic, if we "the American people" be so smart and unmushy minded that we can divine and ferret out the real goings-on all by ourselves all over the world, to include war zones?

11/21/2006 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

C4, don't miss this--

11/21/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger doolz said...

istarious said...
11/20/2006 06:04:59 PM

Bible audio featuring the voice of Samuel L. Jackson as God is #1 on Wal-Mart's bestseller list.. :)


I liked his performance as Principal Firebush even better.

11/21/2006 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger doolz said...

Actually, Principal Firebush's admonition could as easily apply to the battle which was the subject of the main topic.

11/21/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

HOLIDAY SEASON RECIPES (CON'T)

Pickled Pigs' Feet

An item available in about every corner grocery
store when I was growing up was pickled pigs feet.
Some places you could only buy a jar, other places
you could buy them individually. They go great with
a cold beer. Here is a quick and easy recipe for you
to fix your own:

Ingredients:

4 pigs' feet (split in half)
3 cups cider vinegar
1 onion (sliced)
1 tsp crushed red pepper
3 whole cloves
1 bay leaf

Wash the pigs feet thoroughly. Place in a pot with cold
water along with the vinegar. Bring to a boil and skim
off the foam. Add other ingredients and cook over medium
heat until thoroughly done (approximately 2 1/2 hours).

Store in a container along with the liquid. If you have
too much liquid, remove the cooked pigs feet and boil it
down a little. Refrigerate. Serve cold.

For after dinner a slice of Claxton Fruitcake and some buttermilk..umm.umm good

11/21/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we accomplishing anything in Iraq ? I'd say at the very least our military has gained invaluable comabt skills that no amount of training could replicate, especially the special ops guys. If we are headed for WWIII, That is a real value to our side, as well as the allied troops that have helped in Afghanistan. We went into WWII w/ mostly green conscripts and there was a hell of a learning curve. We have probably taken out the baddest jihadis they had, The replacements are not as tough or committed as the ones we have already killed. How much sooner could we have beaten the third reich if we had eliminated their toughest troops and commanders at the very beginning ? That's what were doing now. In fact, if we keep doing this, they may never get the chance to really get their whole war plan in action. We are draining the swamps of the meanest alligators there.All we have to do is stay on the hunt and hope that a Chuchill will come along to convince the rest of us of what it takes to win. Mourn our fallen soldiers -they are the best of us all. But they did not die in vain.

11/21/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Goat Testicle Stew

8 - 10 pairs of goat testicles
Salt water.
1 large chopped onion
Several chili peppers
Celery
Potatoes, butter & milk for mashed potatoes

Boil the testicles in natural saltwater. Throw onions, chili peppers and celery in the in the pot.
Let it boil for approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Serve with mashed potatoes

Once again polish the feast offf with a slice of Claxton Fruitcake and a big glass of buttermilk

11/21/2006 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/21/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/21/2006 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/21/2006 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

Link

This is a good article about Ramadi:

Last spring I visited Falluja and the surrounding area for the second time and Ramadi for the first time, writing articles on each in these pages...

For this very reason, Ramadi is both a litmus test for the counterinsurgency effort in Iraq and a laboratory. If we can defeat the insurgent and terrorist forces here, there is no place we cannot defeat them. And from what I found, we are defeating them. It's painfully slow, and our men there are still dying in inordinate numbers from a broad variety of attacks. But a multitude of factors, including tribal cooperation, the continual introduction of more Iraqi army and police, the beginning of public works projects, the building of more Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), the installation of more small operational posts (OPs), and plunking down company-sized Combat Operation Posts (COPs) smack in the middle of hostile territory are destroying both the size and the mobility of the enemy. This time the rats are dying in place.

11/21/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

The Bush Admin's response to the Gemayel killing has been strong. See http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyid=2006-11-21T192502Z_01_N21409423_RTRUKOT_0_TEXT0.xml&src=112106_1456_DOUBLEFEATURE_lebanon%3A_reaction

Additionally, the French govt. has also reacted fairly strongly. Chirac's office wrote that it: "learned with horror and consternation of the killing and hoped that the assassins are tracked down and punished". (It would have been much better if he had demanded that the assassins be tracked down and punished)

Finally, and most importantly, the Lebanese govt's reaction has been very strong. Signiora is using the killing as a motivation for resisting the pro-Syrian forces attempt to force the dissolution of the government. His response has been pitch perfect.

Will it be enough? Will it deter Syria and Hezbollah from their power grab? If it does in the short term, will it last?

11/21/2006 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Kinuachdrach said...

Iraq is not just about Iraq -- maybe not even prinicpally about Iraq, which is what makes the "cut & run" talk so disheartening. Look at the score so far.

Saddam Hussein disrespected his own people, the UN, & the US for decades. Now he is out of office. Score one for the good guys.

But Saddam Hussein is still around, as the kind of trial that the Romanians did in a day runs on for year after tiresome year. Oh well!

Hizb'Allah showered missiles randomly on civilians -- inadequate response from Israel, none from anyone else.

North Korea pops a nuke. No response from anyone.

Iran funds terrorists in Iraq and builds a nuke, thereby flipping the bird to the "international community" and the UN. No response.

Democrats campaign on the most confused of messages, squeak out an astonishingly narrow win in Congress, and the Media present this as a forceful repudiation of US policy in Iraq.

Syria lets it be known that it wants the Golan Heights back, although it is not prepared to fight for them. The EU thinks this is a good idea.

Two interpretations --

1) What You See Is What You Get; the US has lost direction; the EUnuchs are pre-emptively surrendering; and Russia & China are rubbing their hands in glee. (There is no downside for them in Islamists seeing off the West. Let there be no doubt -- if Islamists are silly enough to head off in the direction of Russia or China, the response will be dramatically violent and there will be no time lost seeking UN authorization).

If this is the case, Israel is a dead man walking, the EU is a house of cards waiting to fall, and the US is facing decline if not internal collapse.

2) This is a masterful policy of appearing weak (convincingly appearing weak) to bring out the real enemies so that they can be destroyed.

But maybe that is too hopeful?

11/21/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> This is a masterful policy of appearing weak

I have often thought about that, maybe Bush's reaction after the election is a Rove-ian trick, a clever stunt to get the Democrats and the enemy to reveal themselves.

However, the quote below from washtimes.com shows that Bush caved in to Russia on his recent trip, giving them the WTO (trade) status they wanted, but getting nothing about Iran in exchange. IOW, Russia will continue to block sanctions against Iran.

During a brief stop in Moscow and later in Hanoi, Mr. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin made more substantive progress on trade issues than on nonproliferation efforts. Russia's unwillingness to support sanctions against Iran has curtailed U.N. efforts against the rogue regime. Mr. Bush, equipped with an enticing carrot in the form of an agreement that would give Russia its coveted WTO membership, pressed the Russian president to support U.S. efforts against Iran. While important to the United States, the WTO agreement was even more valuable to Russia and an important bargaining chip. Mr. Bush, said Press Secretary Tony Snow, impressed upon Mr. Putin the need to send a "clear message that we're not only united, but serious." The agreement, signed Sunday, formalized U.S. consent to Russian entry into the WTO.

11/21/2006 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Kinuachdrach,

3) This is a farce: "Dr. Kissinger, or how we learned to stop worrying about the bomb and love appeaseable Ahmadinejad, amiable Assad, and putty-in-our-hands Putin.”

11/21/2006 01:26:00 PM  
Blogger Phoenix_Blogger said...

The reason this isn't getting more play is the context and symbolizm are lacking. OK...so we won some "major" engagements in Iraq. That is just what we are supposed to do, while the insurgents are still out there and still kidnapping and setting IED's. We are not impacting the enemies will to fight...or at least the perception at home is that we are not impacting that will.
I agree the fireside chat idea is a good start, but right now there is no major positive news source aside from the blogsphere and the vast majority aren't getting the good news, but are hearing all bad news in stereo. Until the leadership recognizes PR is critical to the war effort and pushes for regular updates of information in some format that is carried on TV or radio...the preconcieved outcome set by those with the megaphone will not change.

11/21/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Rebuilding in Iraq tops 4,000 projects

"Not counting the deteriorating security situation, no facet of the Iraq war has received more negative press than the U.S.- and Iraqi-financed reconstruction. The Washington Times, along with other newspapers, has published a series of articles on setbacks and corruption. But, the Pentagon contends there is another storyline.
"It's quite a heroic story maligned often by the news media," Mr. Popps said during an interview in his E-Ring Pentagon office. A nearby multicolored map designates hundreds of projects started and completed, from Mosul to Basra.
"
---
So we keep transporting MSM in in hopes of getting the story out to no avail.
Meanwhile the Censorship continues with Michael Yon and Walt Gaya being refused entry!

11/21/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Recipe for the Ultimate Girls’ Night

Whether you’re hoping to evade the latest emotional roller coasters or simply looking to reunite with old pals, a classic “Girls’ Night” can serve as an entertaining and relaxing conclusion to an endless day or week. Forget the movie-style pillow fights in bras and panties and get ready for some serious pampering and story swapping!

Some suggestions to make your chosen venue into a home-spa extraordinaire...


Facials
Manicures
Pedicures
New Hairstyles
Makeovers
Set the perfect atmosphere for your Femmes Only Shindig


Grab some great chick flicks…

Dirty Dancing or Ghost-Patrick Swayze is a great actor and doubles as eye candy!
Any Girl-Gets-Guy movie that strikes your fancy…
Or for those guy-less nights, go for the classic Thelma and Louise!
Share stories and jokes while flipping through photos-relive old times and catch up on new times!
Experience your youth all over again with Truth-or-Dare and other games you’ve played in your younger years.
Ogle the hot men in magazines, or take fun quizzes and read humorous articles...
Offer a scrumptious menu for your gal-pals but don’t overindulge

11/21/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Democrats Feel a Draft


This weekend, the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY, 100%), whipped his hobby horse into a frothing gallup: he insists upon trying to ram a restoration of the military draft through Congress -- as a way to "deter wars" by making military action as politically costly as it was during the Vietnam war.

Has there ever been a more blatant example of politicizing the military? Imagine that: Charles Rangel actually hopes that unwilling American conscripts will be killed, because that would cause political problems for the (presumably Republican) president who sent them into harm's way.

Here is his reasoning, straight from the horse's mouth:

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.
Well for heaven's sake, who does he imagine the congressional representatives from Texas, Virginia, the Carolinas, and even California and New York thought would be sent to Iraq? The First Regiment of Venus?

I believe that Charles Rangel's problem is that he's permanently stuck in the 60s: for him, the entire military consists of "people of color" who join up because the segregated schools won't educate them, and the all-white lunch counters won't give them jobs. He knows in his heart that "whitey" never has to go to war; that Operation Iraqi Freedom was conducted entirely by black, Hispanic, female, and gay soldiers (the latter Shanghaied under the "don't ask, don't yell" conscription rule).

Thus, he believes that if white people (and Jews) were "forced" to serve, all these war things would come to a screeching halt. This is structurally similar to feminists who lout that "if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament"... forgetting that women -- who already can get pregnant -- tend to be more pro-life than men (many of whom celebrated the arrival of the Pill more than did their girlfriends, who were deprived of a more potent counterargument than "I've got a headache").

(Actually, the feminists are correct, in a way: these feminists do, in fact, see abortion as a sacrament -- or at least a rite of passage.)

In reality, the American armed forces pretty much mirror American society; neither the force itself nor the subset who suffer casualties is any more "of color" than the general populace. Recruitment and even retention of Iraq-war veterans are at all-time highs; and as Sen. John Kerry (D-MA, 100%) just found out to his discomfiture, an awful lot of soldiers, sailor, airmen, and Marines are well-educated college grads who would have little trouble getting a good job in this great economy... especially if they were "people of color."

But shhh! Don't tell Rep. Rangel... it's dangerous to awaken a sleepwalker.

11/21/2006 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

GO BIG

GO LONG

GO BONG

11/21/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Stand beneath the waterfall and receive unreservedly the flow of the hierarchy of Aquarius that comes through our embodied messengers. When the waterfall ceases to flow, move on, for hierarchy will not be stopped. We will open another stream and prepare a channel for the crystal-clear waters of life
--Kuthumi

11/21/2006 01:56:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

WC - cedarford defended government information ministries thus:

"But that is still far better than just abdicating and leaving the strategic communications to whatever the NYTimes, Soros-controlled NGOs, the Guardian, al-Reuters, the ACLU, and Tabloid TV wish to ignore or sensationalize."

This demonstrates a lack of respect for the intelligence of the American people, that they are mushy little minds, and the problem is we ought not let the left wingers have a monopoly on manipulating them, lest they defund our adventure in the Middle East. Americans are smarter than that, and if they aren't paying much attention to Bush's splendid little war right now, it could be that the police action doesn't deserve it.


1. Of course it demonstrates a lack of respect for the intelligence of the American people. Any nation that makes Paris Hilton millions richer before her porn tape broke in the news, then even richer after that, isn't especially smart and can be readily manipulated into hysteria. It doesn't help that we are also dead last in math and science public school educational attainment among the advanced nations and 70% of Americans cannot locate the Philippines on a map.

2. Until quite recently, the secular progressive Jews had a pretty good lock on ownership and control of direction of Hollywood, broadcast radio syndicates, TV, comics & magazine trade, major newspapers, and the music industry. And had erected some pretty good walls and internal barriers to prevent "outsiders" from muscling in. That is until talk radio, the Internet, and family owners grabbing the fortunes big multinationals offered for prize media properties.

3. The American public has been manipulated quite well in the past. There was no Red Terror, the Bolsheviks were heroes bringing the backwards Russians and Ukrainians into the modern work. The "missile gap". Nixon as the archevil paranoid who thought he had enemies. Over Vietnam. Over the nobility of feminists, criminals as socioeconomic "victims" who didn't deserve punishment, but absolution. Extolling abortion clinics as "freedom", and banning all guns but for "trained government protectors". Since the Bolshevik whitewash, the greatest manipulations were either the "losing in Vietnam meme" or the foisting of Open Borders on America in 1965 - and calling anyone who objected "a betrayer of the Statue of Liberty".

4. I am not saying government should suppress a free press except when they reveal classified info to the enemy or give clear aid and comfort as a way of advancing their politics.
In WWII, we convicted 4 broadcasters of treason for aiding the enemy and locked another up in an insane asylum the rest of his days (Ezra Pound). The Brits hanged two - including one Irish-American serving the Nazis (Lord Haw-Haw).
Just about every free and democratic nation but the USA has state media the government communicates through as a secondary channel. (And no, NPR doesn't cut it - it was set up as a lifetime sinecure for LBJs henchmen after that Texan left office) Aside from PC and oh, so Elite in a 2nd class British sense --America had that in robust USAID entities like Radio America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Marti...then we cut funding thinking it was Fukuyama's end of history. We had won, we were the global hegemon, so powerful we were not needing to explain ourselves to others or our own people. (Bush I, Bush II, and Clinton's Administration).
We should run our official US information network in parallel to the fine folks at the NYTimes, CBS. As things stand, the radical Islamic line is carried in Al Jazeera and several state-owned newspapers and TV networks to some 80 nations with Muslim populations around the world. We counter that with nothing but the likes of Newsweek screaming Qu'ran abuse along with what other fatcat owners choose to run to damage America to better change it to the de-Christianized, secular progressive America they work hard to achieve.

5. Americans are smarter than that
Whenever you hear a politician or a journalist say that, it's pretty much a dead giveaway that its pandering, and deep down the Ruling Elite who utters it does believe they aren't smarter than that.

11/21/2006 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

that's what I like--practical advice.

11/21/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

i meant, kuthumi's crystal clear waters.

11/21/2006 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

What is the fundamental ingredient missing which turns all of these impressive statistics into dust and ashes?

The terrorist training and militia supply bases in Iran and Syria that are invulnerable to American action. The recruiting networks in Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Morrocco, Yemen and Saudi that are outside of American reach. The hydra can always grow another head.

11/21/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

skipsailing said...
Save the quiz for someone who cares. I thought you could take a little teasing, apparently not. Now leave me alone. I'm sure there are any number of weakminded individuals out there that are more than willing to join your on your knees.

Not me.


But kid, all I'm asking is a very basic question: who are we fighting FOR in Iraq? Who do WE want to rule the country? It's very simple Skippy: if . . . IF, the government in Iraq, the one run by Maliki, is in fact just a weak front for a coalition of Shiite Islamofascists that are blatantly pro-Iran and pro-Hezbollah, then should we really be fighting and dying for them? What if these people are what CIA says they are: Khomeneists? (I know its a big word, but you really should look it up) Is it really in our long term, or even short term interests to put them in charge of Iraq?

What you're saying Skippy is the following: "I won't surrender to the Islamofascists! I want to fight for a governemnt that includes Moktada al-Sadr. And I don't want to look to into the politics in Iraq 'cause I don't like quizzes and I don't like history. It makes my heart hurt and I can't fight for whomever I'm suppossed to fight or not fight for when I'm confused."

Weakminded indeed. You're a credit to our educational system kid, no doubt.

Since questons about the political realities of Iraq are simply too complex and troubling for you to understand, you're going to have to take my word for it that they are important. And those who don't engage them really aren't going to have anything substantive to contribute the great debate of our time.

11/21/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger SnakeInTheWoodpile said...

This mushy mind has observed for a few years now that the MSM has been so unhinged by their hatred of everything Bush that no effort is spared to make every daily news item reflect poorly on his administration, from what is chosen to be covered to what is ignored. In a climate like this, government reporting of facts from the front would only seem to be unacceptable to those on board with the deranged media, unless of course it reported our defeat on the battlefield. National interest is no reason to wish good fortune on a Bush led military. Must be the mush.

11/21/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cedarford wrote:

We counter that with nothing but the likes of Newsweek screaming Qu'ran abuse along with what other fatcat owners choose to run to damage America to better change it to the de-Christianized, secular progressive America they work hard to achieve.

In America we believe that while individuals may be quite stupid, the market is a freaking genius. If Newsweek can make a killing running cover stories on all Q'u'r'a'n abuse all the time, then they've tapped into a market for that. A state-run media would have squashed the Q'u'r'a'n abuse stories flat. Americans are somewhere in the middle, they want to know when the soldiers aren't acting with professionalism, but they don't want to be pounded with that stuff 24/7. The market automatically finds out where the American people want to be and takes them there (Adam Smith's dead hand, and all that claptrap). And if a politician has good information about where Americans really are on an issue (not the circus Bush Derangement Syndrome of the Left media, or the comfortably numb sweep-it-under-the-rug-ism of the Right) then they will go far. Leadership doesn't mean hide information from the voters so they will continue pay you to take them where they don't want to be. But that is exactly what you mean by winning the information war.

11/21/2006 04:54:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Adam Smith used the image of an 'invisible' hand. The 'dead' hand term refers to the 'dead hand of the past', or, the power of the past to influence the future. It is a term often used derisively, by anti-strict Constitutional constructionists, AKA the "Penumbra People".

11/21/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Re Woman catholic's latest:

Now THAT was a tortured apologia for leftist bias in the media and ballsy pretense at being centrist and a free market capitalist while accusing our government for wanting to hide Truth.

Oh, and while wrapped in the flag to remind us rubes: "In America, we believe..."

No one, Woman Catholic, absolutely no one here advocated for a "state-run media" in lieu of the free press; Cedarford suggested a government outlet to impart information in addition to what the media puts out. You just make stuff up. Love this line: "The market [meaning media in this case] automatically finds out where the American people want to be and takes them there."

IOW, we want and deserve the media we have. So no complaining about it to change it (as in a consumer-driven market remedy.) No siree, we need the abuse, so shut up, you intelligent American people.

11/21/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

Correction last line: WC now admits we're "stupid" American individuals.

11/21/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What is the fundamental ingredient missing which turns all of these impressive statistics into dust and ashes? It's a serious question. Any ideas? Or maybe they are not "dust and ashes".

"The fundamental ingredient" has been missing since directly after the fall of Baghdad when General Franks stood by and allowed all CIVILIAN law and order to collapse in Iraq and (purposefully, it appears) put nothing in its place.

Eveything has flowed from this bizarre decision.

Almost immediately kidnappings for ransom became endemic in Baghdad, as did random murder. The phenonema received little attention: it only became apparent if you were reading the Iraqi bloggers or the writings of Robert Fisk who was reporting from the Baghdad morgues as far back as 2003.

The consequences of that decision: the anarchy in Baghdad we see today.

Short of the US coalition forces being replaced in Baghdad by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard can anyone see any other solution?

I'd also like to know if General Frank's original decision has any precedent in any other war?

11/21/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

barbara, that's too wide a net for blog comments. Go to the milblogs and start asking the guys who were there, why they operated as they did. You'll learn plenty of sympathy for they were up against, I promise you.

11/21/2006 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Shaunie Mullins ,you still out there ,laddie?My apologies,I didn't realize you were a real journalist.Who did you cover the Juice trial for,"The Weekly World News"?Just kidding.Surely it was the "Berkeley Barb".Oh really,you were the editor of the Shaun Mullins Cabbage Patch Clarion?Phew!Can't touch that.

11/21/2006 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

"The Daily Half-Thinker" ?

11/22/2006 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger TonyGuitar said...

Bigger encounters against the Sunni?. More successful encounters, true. Pulled punches, all the same.

Amassing the Nato gang against Moqtada*s Blackshirts in Sadr City is what is called for and Nouri al Maliki was allowed to call that one off. More window dressing. More pulled punches.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. The Sunni minority is no longer the enemy.

We need their help, [along with the Sunni in the countries surrounding Iraq], to tackle the real enemy, the Persian Shiia, [Iran] and they are the Blackshirts of Moqtada al Sadr.

The Blackshirts are to Iraq, exactly as the Hizbollah are to Lebanon. [Iran proxy]

The Sunni and Shiia are at each other*s throats so for us to attack the minority Sunni is beyond stupid as we are working for Ahmadinejad and Iran.

Who appointed al Maliki anyway? This has gone away off the tracks.

Bush and the Repubs are making a choice between our friends the Royal Purple, the Kurds, and an oil price hit to the economy.

Bush is avoiding today*s work in hope of winning the next election. . . . Big mistake.

No major bumps for the next year and a half? Impossible! = TG

11/23/2006 12:52:00 AM  

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