Saturday, December 09, 2006

Saddam Shall Rise Again

Shovel, meet bottom. In trouble? Keeping digging. The Telegraph tells the story of fantasy triumphing over reality.

"Sporting an olive green Ba'ath Party uniform and a bushy moustache, the newsreader barks his bulletins between blasts of patriotic Saddam-era martial music. With his gleeful boasts about Iraqi insurgent strikes on US troops, his demeanour is reminiscent of "Comical Ali", the former information minister who famously boasted of victory as American tanks rolled into Baghdad.

For coalition commanders in Iraq, however, the most sinister aspect of his broadcasts is not the bile directed at them but the equally venomous ticker-tape that runs at the bottom of the screen. "Chase the Shias from neighbourhood to neighbourhood," it urges. "Eat them for lunch before they eat you for dinner. Defend your houses by killing them."

So goes another broadcast on Al Zahraa, a satellite television channel catering to what is arguably one of the most unfashionable minorities in programming history – Iraq's Sunni Muslim community."


The Sunni insurgents going to take Iraq back, don't you know? Here's how Michael Ware saw things in 2004 in an interview with PBS. They were on a roll. Or maybe they were getting rolled. Subtle difference there.

[For Abu Musab] al- Zarqawi and his immediate organization, [and] more broadly [for] Al Qaeda, they are the main beneficiaries of this war. The very thing George Bush says he came here to prevent, he is actually fostering and giving life to. ... I have been to Al Qaeda camps, Al Qaeda communities; I've seen them training. I am now in possession of their training video ... foot soldiers going through obstacle courses, men in masks learning how to search houses, fire missiles, handle weapons, bombs, assassinations, drive-by shootings. We're now seeing that happening here in Iraq. That is only happening as a result of the U.S. invasion and ongoing prison [problems]. This is going to be the great legacy of the war in Iraq. ...

.. The secularists, the nationalists, the Baathists went into that strategic alliance with their eyes wide open.  ... I've been a keen student of these tensions, and we saw them really playing out in Fallujah, during what could be described as the glory days of Fallujah, when the insurgents held that city and could unequivocally call it their own. It's where Americans not only dared not tread, but could not tread. ...

I remember, for example, a very senior Baathist commander. He comes from one of the main strains of the Baathist insurgency ... He and some of his organization had a meeting with some very senior members of Zarqawi's organization, principally foreigners but also Iraqis. ... I had another contact with a Baathist commander, mid-ranking, who ... was drifting closer and closer towards the Zarqawi organization's sphere of operation. Essentially he was being recruited, and he and I spent a lot of time going through the processes that he was being taken through. Anyway, it got to a point where he was getting very serious about this recruitment, and then I went away. And when I came back 10 days later, I caught up with him and said, "So how is that going?" And he in essence said to me, ... "It's as though they are from another planet." Then he said to me: "I realized midway through all of this that there [are] only two ways to leave their organization: You either die in battle or you die at their hands." So he extricated himself and his entire organization from that.

"It's as though they are from another planet." And they've got a one way ticket off earth. "You either die in battle or you die at their hands." Sounds like a plan to me. And given that Al Zahraa has its own a satellite TV station, there's a distinct possibility that the regional civil war between Sunni and Shi'a that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned against (see previous Belmont Club post) is already under way.

In an interview by email with The Sunday Telegraph, an Al Zahraa spokesman revealed what officials in Washington and London have long feared, but still prefer not to acknowledge – that Sunnis and Shias are now at war. "Let's not tell lies any more, let's tell the truth of what is inside our hearts," said Basim al Jibouri, who claims to be in hiding in Jordan. "The Shias deserve death, all of them. They deserve it because they mutilate the name of Islam and are working for Iran, the first enemy of Iraq. But they will do this over our dead bodies."

Dead bodies. Always the dead bodies.

Commentary

Somewhere in Western Iraq, under a ceiling of bright stars, the cold air shut out at last by a closed window, a man tunes into Al Zahraa TV. The words are Arabic, but the ties that bind the listener and the broadcaster are familiar to anyone who has lain awake, dreaming and hoping. But mostly hoping.

Pilot of the airwaves
Here is my request
You don't have to play it
But I hope you'll do your best
I've been listening to your show
On the radio
And you seem like a friend to me

25 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretchard said, "Somewhere in Western Iraq, under a ceiling of bright stars, the cold air shut out at last by a closed window, a man tunes into Al Zahraa TV. The words are Arabic, but the ties that bind the listener and the broadcaster are familiar to anyone who has lain awake, dreaming and hoping."

Now the mainstream media is finally gonna get riled. It's one thing for Sunnis to blow up schoolbuses and shoot old women for having wardrobe malfunctions but now this al-Zahraa TV of theirs is competing directly with CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC. Sorry Baghdad Bob, that's a restricted club.

12/09/2006 07:51:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...hiding in Jordan."

Hiding...always hiding....such tough guys they need to hide.

12/09/2006 08:43:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

Sounds and looks like an episode from any of a number of US TV dramas. Maybe "Alias". Jennifer Garner is probably about to kick his butt.

I viewed a documentary called "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" and found it interesting how bogus Arabic programming is - worse than American TV. What I don't understand is whether or not the average Arabian peninsula viewer takes that stuff seriously.

Few in the US take the checkout stand tabloids seriously ("Elvis back from the dead with amazing new UFO sex diet"). And I wonder how many folks take Al Zahraa broadcasting seriously.

12/09/2006 08:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike. Check out Glenn Reynolds post from yesterday:

"HOLE. SHOVEL. DIGGING. A.P. vs. the bloggers, again."

12/09/2006 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I am amazed that nobody has killed Michael Ware yet.

12/10/2006 01:44:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

"I am amazed that nobody has killed Michael Ware yet."

I don't think Michael Ware is a bad guy. Tim Blair, who I have great respect for, seems to think he's a tough, resourceful guy. And I guess Ware is. Doesn't mean I agree with Ware though.

But in all fairness a lot of people in the MSM think the "insurgents" are winning. So Ware has lots of company. But it's really wooley thinking because a lot of news reports really don't distinguish between different groups and the power relations between them. Any bad news, even if the Shi'ites militias and al-Qaeda in Iraq are blowing each other like it was going out of style, means the "insurgents" are winning. The fact that we can't keep the Sunni terrorists from killing the Shi'ite militias is regarded as a defeat for America.

But if you were really a brutal SOB of the type that once ran Western strategy, you might be rubbing your hands at the prospect of internecine warfare in the region. Empires, like the British Empire, always found ways to turn internecine warfare to their advantage. For centuries it was the basis of balance of power politics on the European continent. Britain would come in first one side, then the other. They played the same game in India, pitting one princeling against the other.

But fortunately, and I say that with a straight face, America doesn't think that way. America thrives in a world of prosperity, which is normally a world where things work. It's empire is really the empire of the bottom line. And all things being equal, the US really does prefer Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men. Even GWB's worst enemies will honestly admit, if pressed, that he would have been pleased as punch if the Iraqis turned into the Middle Eastern equivalent of the Germans or the Japanese. Unfortunately, he didn't reckon on the depth of attachment to the politics of intimidation and terror.

12/10/2006 02:37:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

W: Re: "US really does prefer Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men."

Let's try "Peace on Earth toward men of good will."

In fact, it doesn't bother me as much to see the Sunnis & Shia slaughtering each other, that is not as much as if our guys had to do it. The Iraqis have had much more help in trying to develop a unified, democratic government than our forefathers ever had. Either way, the cost is in human lives. I'm of the mind they they will need to earn it with their own currency.

We need to face the fact that Islam needs reformation or banishment from our globe. There is no doubt that it took form and has since been in its own dark age. With its doctrines of death, it could just be that the only way to reform Islam is to replace it.

What the left can't reconcile is the cost. Once again, they balme the west for all the world's evils.

12/10/2006 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger 3Case said...

Ware isn't a bad guy...he's just of a slightly lesser character than the Germans who lived down the road from Auscwitz and Dachau...or those who loaded the trains going to them....

I am still waiting for someone to explain how it can be that a war is "being lost" when the enemy's principal tactic is to hide. The war "is lost" in the minds and hearts of those who say it is, which means they are sick in their minds and hearts and do not understand war. When your enemy is spending most of his time trying to get and stay away from you, you are not losing. This is not Napolean in Russia and it is not now 1812. If anybody is being drawn in, it is those sick in mind and heart.

12/10/2006 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Michael Ware may not be a bad guy, but he's certainly an asshole.

Also, kill Saddam. This aping the prerogatives of International Law, a symptom of imperial defeat and extortion-playground of barbarians since 1947, has been shown repeatedly and without contradiction to be INEFFECTIVE. As such, it should be abandoned.

As our parting gesture, I submit we bomb Ramadi into cinders and then have Bush get up on the podium and say First we came as liberators, but NOW IT'S ON, BITCHES.

12/10/2006 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

Since the US troops are not in Iraq either to take Iraqi women or wealth--the US troops there are functionally... fools.

That means that every time Iraqis attack american troops-- and lose -- they are being defeated twice:. Once because they are defeated and once because they are defeated by fools:

Typically people become like their enemies. (ie hate will do 95% of what love does.) It could be argued that this is the reason that the left does not want to call the conflict a war --because they don't want to magically be like Moslems. And they are fooled--because the moslems believe they are Dar-el-Harb ("House of War"). Inversely, when the Sunnis attack and are defeated by American troops -- they become fools.

12/10/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

3case:

You are, of course, correct from a military standpoint.

Unfortunately, the main battle in this war is for Western public opinion -- and it is there that we are losing.

Talk about losing 'hearts and minds.'

12/10/2006 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretchard wrote, "Empires, like the British Empire, always found ways to turn internecine warfare to their advantage. For centuries it was the basis of balance of power politics on the European continent. Britain would come in first one side, then the other. They played the same game in India, pitting one princeling against the other."

This is indeed what Poppy Bush and Baker and Scrowcroft did with Iran and Iraq. There was a time when Saddam hit one of our frigates (USS Stark) and we shrugged it off as a misunderstanding between friends, because after all he was fighting Iran. Then twelve or thirteen years later Shrub gets in there and says Saddam has to go, and all of a sudden people are talking about Iran as a regional superpower.

12/10/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

wretchard said...

But fortunately, and I say that with a straight face, America doesn't think that way. America thrives in a world of prosperity, which is normally a world where things work. It's empire is really the empire of the bottom line. And all things being equal, the US really does prefer Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.
////////////////////////////
Renegade scholar Zorn Chthulu maintains that this standard account narrated above is completely false. He believes that the clip contained a message, intended to convey to American beings that North Koreans were worthy of emulation, or that at least, the North Koreans should be regarded favorably and not be feared. Professor Chthulu argues the clip was intended to produce "good feelings" about North Koreans in the eyes of Americans in a time of rising tensions. Chthulu bases his assertion upon his extensive comparison of the clip with that of the surviving artifacts of extinct civilizations throughout the Galaxy, noting that the final cultural products of doomed civilizations were often -- and paradoxically -- unusually friendly towards the entities that finally destroyed them.
/////////////////
slowly the world is coming to an end. we are witnessing a split in histories between earth and space even before the split occurs just as there was a split in histories in Europe between between Europe and America even as colonization of the new world began in +-1500.

12/10/2006 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

wretchard said...

But if you were really a brutal SOB of the type that once ran Western strategy, you might be rubbing your hands at the prospect of internecine warfare in the region. Empires, like the British Empire, always found ways to turn internecine warfare to their advantage. For centuries it was the basis of balance of power politics on the European continent. Britain would come in first one side, then the other. They played the same game in India, pitting one princeling against the other.

But fortunately, and I say that with a straight face, America doesn't think that way.


Heh, ha, ho ho. Stop, my ribs hurt too much today to take much more. Tell me Wretchard, who did we support in the Iran/Iraq War? I forget now, all those Sunni, Shiite, Sushi, distinctions, all those "n"s and "q"s. Who can tell the difference?

Rummy went to shake hands with Saddam about . . .about. . .was it military and financial aid? Can't recall. All those TOW missiles sent to Iran during Iran/Contra? Must have gone down the memore hole.
Iran and Iraq: "It's a pity they both can't lose," said Henry Kissinger.

Yes, Wretchard, tell us more about how America thinks. The virtue of our Repubic demands that history conform to our self-perceptions. Maybe Rheinhold Niebuhr said something to that effect, but who remembers anyway?

Your brutal SOB,
Reocon

12/10/2006 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Let's see, it was what - a year ago? A year ago or so that we were hearing from the MSM experts that a Shia-Sunni insurgent alliance would sweep us from Iraq, and probably the whole Middle East. Now those same guys are saying we somehow ignited a Civil War between those long hating groups.

I recommend that we call it a "Sybil War" - as in the book about the woman with multiple personalities. That fits.

And as for Al Zahraa TV - does anyone really want to know why the USAF needs Space Control capabilities? So that, among other things we can call up the owners of the satellite and say "You can take that crap off your bird or we will turn your bird into crap. 10, 9,8,7,6..."

12/10/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> The fact that we can't keep the Sunni terrorists from killing the Shi'ite militias is regarded as a defeat for America.

Great point. But which politicians ever said that it is not a defeat for us when the Iraqis kill each other?

> But if you were really a brutal SOB of the type that once ran Western strategy, you might be rubbing your hands at the prospect of internecine warfare in the region... But fortunately, and I say that with a straight face, America doesn't think that way.

We won the Cold War that way, and Americans supported it. The only conventional battles were in Korea and Vietnam, with the rest of the Cold War fought by Special Forces, shifting alliances & double crosses, and economic pressure.

So the American people think that way but the problem seems to be that our Commander In Chief doesn't. Two or three years ago President Bush should have made it absolutely clear to both the military and the public that we were switching to a counter-insurgency war, and that the Iraqi government is responsible when its citizens kill each other, not us. Bush also should have said that the war would take a long time, which means that one of the keys to victory is reducing casualties and troop levels.

Instead, even today President Bush says our goal is "an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself". That would seem to mean it is our fault when Iraqis settle their differences with bullets instead of politics.

> Unfortunately, he didn't reckon on the depth of attachment to the politics of intimidation and terror.

This is true, and it stuns me that Bush didn't realize it. What did he think when the Iraqi military and government ran away instead of fought? Didn't Bush realize that meant they were going to use terrorist tactics to mount an insurgency? Plenty of commentators pointed out this possibility at the time of the initial invasion.

Islamic terrorists have said time and time again that they wanted to create another Vietnam, so I don't know why Bush was surprised when they used those tactics.

12/10/2006 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

3case said

I am still waiting for someone to explain how it can be that a war is "being lost" when the enemy's principal tactic is to hide. The war "is lost" in the minds and hearts of those who say it is, which means they are sick in their minds and hearts and do not understand war. When your enemy is spending most of his time trying to get and stay away from you, you are not losing. This is not Napolean in Russia and it is not now 1812. If anybody is being drawn in, it is those sick in mind and heart.

Go tell it to the Rangers.

A principle tactic of the Rangers is to hide in enemy territory and kill the enemy in enemy territory. These are light infantry forces specializing in demolitions and targeted killings, these tactics are highly effective.

During the Falklands War the SAS and SBS were on the islands before the main expeditionary force left Great Britain. They performed killings, laid mines, undertook demo and hid.

The enemy in Iraq maintains a light infantry force in hiding. They venture out of hiding to perform killings, blow stuff up and lay IEDs. In other words they are maintaining the perfect disposition for a light infantry force in enemy territory.

In comparison the American forces are in far from perfect disposition. The entire force is acting as military policemen, everyone from light infantry to heavy armour is used to patrol and gather intelligence looking for the insurgents.

How can America claim to be winning if the insurgents are allowed to carry out the most effective insurgent tactics possible?

12/10/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> The entire force is acting as military policemen, everyone from light infantry to heavy armour is used to patrol

That is my concern, that we are being forced to fight this as a conventional war, instead of a counter to insurgency. The way to win this type of war is to kill the enemy without being killed ourselves. Maintaining law and order in Iraq is very much secondary to that. In fact it is really to our advantage if Iraq becomes a hell hole for its citizens, because only then will they risk their lives to stop the insurgency.

12/10/2006 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

...only then will they risk their lives to stop the insurgency.

"Burning the forest" and killing high numbers of Sunni - motivated Iraqis can do this, Americans cannot - is the only way for the democratically elected Shia government to suppress the insurgency internally. Even then it might not work if the insurgents are provided with bases outside of Iraq. Maybe only through the use of heavy troops (like America has in place and Iraq does not have at all) to threaten neighbouring countries can the insurgency be ended.

12/10/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

> "Burning the forest" and killing high numbers of Sunni - motivated Iraqis can do this, Americans cannot - is the only way for the democratically elected Shia government to suppress the insurgency internally

Peace usually comes when both sides are hurting each other and have fought to a standstill. At that point war is hurting both sides, so they stop.

One reason it isn't a standstill now is because the Iraqis think we might leave, which could change things. If we move to a low-cost counter insurgency strategy, then the Iraqis will know we can out last them. At that point they'll fight and talk their way to a truce.
The more of the fighting we shift to the Iraqis, the greater their pain level and the sooner they will come to peace.

12/11/2006 04:48:00 AM  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

If we move to a low-cost counter insurgency strategy, then the Iraqis will know we can out last them. At that point they'll fight and talk their way to a truce.

Good solid argument. Though peace is more common with only one of the 2 sides exhausting itself.

12/11/2006 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Starko said...

I think the definition of "winning" is something that is deceivingly complex. Insurgents "win" battles by inflicting a psychological wound on their enemy's government and/or citizenry. It doesn't take a victory in a set piece battle for this to happen.

I think that many Americans believe that if we don't completely and utterly dominate the enemy then we've somehow lost or are losing, because how else could the world's only superpower be stymied? This is irrational for a number of reasons, but that doesn't change the facts.

So by my own logic, the insurgents are winning in Iraq. They'll never win militarily, but they don't have to. History is full of similar scenarios.

Lastly, does anyone know why that satellite station cannot be shut down? I don’t know the technology well enough to understand what the options would be, but these are the kinds of things that the West needs to belly up to the bar and do. It's non-violent, and it's not even shutting down Al Jazeera, which may from time to time actually have some legitimate news. Or better yet, track the broadcast back to its source either through technology or human intel, and then eliminate the source.

As far as Ware goes, he may be a decent guy but he's an idiot if he really believes there was ever a time that Americans "could not" tread in Fallujah (from a military perspective).

12/11/2006 04:35:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

When all else fails, follow Divine Instructions:
Let all Iraqis learn of the Coming of Baha'u'llah!

Let them learn of His Teachings!

Disempower the Muslim firebrands in one simple step!

12/12/2006 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"How can America claim to be winning if the insurgents are allowed to carry out the most effective insurgent tactics possible?"

1)America is winning in that 9/10ths of Iraq is living an ordered, chaos-free life, BY THEIR CHOICE

2)America is winning as it TRAINS Iraqis to counter and render ineffective those "insurgent tactics"

3)America is winning as it demonstrates, with blood, sweat and friendship, our trustworthiness

4)America is winning as more and more Iraqis CHOOSE to report terrorist 'light infantry' to the Iraqi government, making it harder and harder TO HIDE from the forces of goodness and light

I got more...

12/12/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Clausewitz100 said...

Subject: Perspectives on ISG report and Iraq

Received several interesting emails in recent weeks...........thought I
would share some of the more thoughtful ones.

IRAQ IMPRESSIONS FROM A SOLDIER ON THE GROUND:
A lot of you have asked for my current assessment, this is it. I'm not
an expert and I admit that I often miss the "big picture". My
Brigadier, a Brit, often reminds me of that, as does one of the local
State Department weinies, an oxygen thief of the highest magnitude. I
remind the Brigadier that the "troubles" in Ireland were only going to
take a year to solve, weren't they? I'm not a "big picture" guy, I'm a
"sight picture" guy, so my apologies to you deep thinkers. Me I prefer
the "Bull" Halsey form of mission statement. When he was asked by the
press in 1944 what his mission was, he replied, "Kill Japs, kill Japs
and kill more Japs.". If only we had that kind of clarity today.

As the Counter-Terrorism Advisor to the National Command Center, I see
and hear it all from the Iraqi side. I help them with targeting,
planning and execution, which, by the way, since the Ministry of
Interior is vastly Shia in all levels of leadership, involves only Sunni
targets (go figure). The Ministry of Defense, which is vastly Sunni,
targets who? Anyone want to venture a guess? Of course, Shia targets.
So is there a reasonable thinker out there who believes that when we
leave, which will now be sooner than later, this will automatically stop
and these two organizations will suddenly join hands, work together and
go after the "terrorists"? My terp and I overheard a conversation
yesterday where the Iraqi Generals that work in my building and who had
just been watching Al Jazeera and receiving the "truth" of the
Armstrong/Baker Report were saying, happily, that we, the US, would be
leaving soon and they could now solve their "problem" the "Iraqi"
way. With these Shia Generals, who are Al Sadr worshippers, anybody
want to take a guess as to what their "problem" is, or what the "Iraqi"
way entails?

Anyway, here's the assessment.

This place; big picture - hopeless. Wrong plan, wrong place. 2003-2004
was done so wrong that we can't recover. The Iraqi leadership doesn't
really want us here, they just want our money and equipment and they
want us to get out of their way so they can accomplish their own
personal agendas.
Everything is about positioning themselves for when we leave. And they
know we're leaving, every invader/occupier always has and this current
one isn't shy about stating it in the press. Corruption is an art form
here and we just keep playing into it.

In our collective arrogance, and our administration is pretty arrogant
about projecting our democracy throughout the world, we thought that
we'd be able to hand these folks the big "binder" on democracy, they'd
thank us and immediately transition to it. Don't worry about 6K years
of culture and history, surely they're smart enough to see that the 250+
year history of success in the U.S. trumps theirs. Surely the majority
Shias, who had been repressed and murdered for 40 years by the minority
Sunni Baathists, were big enough to overlook that short period of
history. After all, everybody was killing everybody for the previous
5600 years, what's a mere 40 years?
I guess we thought that the 5600 years of history had grown out of them
during the Saddam era when he was killing people just out of suspicion
or for the sake of killing. His two sons, evil murderous barbarians
that they were, lived near here where I am and the stories from the
locals abound with horror. However, I digress.

The Bremer plan sealed our fate, particularly when we decided that
anybody who had held a position of leadership in the "former regime" was
tainted and, therefore, ineligible for anything other than unemployment.
We also assumed that just because the majority of the populace had been
suppressed, didn't mean they didn't have potential governmental skills.
Wrong. They were sufficiently skilled enough to become government
street sweepers. The one thing they were ready for was black markets,
stealing, corruption and militias. They all belonged to militias.
Mahdi, Muhammed, Badr, Peshmerga, everyone belonged. If they didn't
belong they died. Security in neighborhoods was accomplished my
militias, not by police. Police were nonexistent during Saddam's time.

The successful model for here is the Marshall plan, essentially Germany
after WWII. By the way, that's what the Iraqi wanted. Every
invader/conqueror/occupier in the Iraq's history provided for the
people.
Iraq was never without a "foreign" power in control until after WWII.
Iraq has always been provided for by their occupiers. I can't even
begin to express how many Iraqis have said that we need to fully play
the role of the "big dog". According to them, we should kill more
often, we should break the will of the militias, we should force the
people to accept our leadership. We are trying to do the exact opposite
and it's a recipe for failure that has been well cooked. We should have
come in, taken power, established our own government and stood an Iraqi
counterpart next to us for
5 years (it was 10 in Europe post-WW-II). We should have taken command
of their armies and police forces, instead of trying to be the
half-hearted and unable advisors that we've been. We should have forced
the Sate Department to play ball with DOD, instead of allowing them to
create an internally subversive system behind the scenes (if you don't
believe that State Department types hate military types, you just have
to attend a few meetings here). We should have employed lots more
Special Forces and SF type leaders to destroy the militias, in the
surgical manner that SF is capable of. We should have, we should have,
we should have...

Anyway, any place that can use Black and Decker drills with practiced
skill to torture people over nothing more than their branch of the
religion, and then finish them off with a shot in the back of the head,
is a long ways froom democracy. Any place where 15-20 people die
whenever Iraq wins a soccer game, due to the falling bullets from
massive volumes of celebratory gunfire, and yet they continue to do it
anyway, has little hope. Anyplace where the general populace cheers and
dances in the streets when the news shows a Palestinian suicide bomber
killing innocent Jewish women and children, has little hope. Anyplace
where the police force acts as the kidnapping and execution arm of the
militias and no one, not even the Prime Minister will do anything,
anything, about it, has little hope.

We just need to figure out an exit strategy that will keep casualties to
a minimum and get out, quickly. Then in 5-10 years, we'll be back to
try to break the back of the extremist Muslim regime that has been
committing genocide on other Muslims and has enabled/empowered terrorism
against Jews, Christians and America. Maybe we'll get it right on the
return trip.

FROM A RETIRED CASE OFFICER on ISG Report:

I don't know whether there is a classified version of this report, but
the two pages on intelligence are, imo, astounding in their
superficiality.

They focus only on cultural/linguistic preparation, and analytic
expertise developed over time, recommendations that affect every
intelligence problem the u.s. faces or has ever faced. They fail to
address the larger organizational and conceptional issues involving
espionage, counterespionage, and clandestine operations in a war theater
and teamwork between dod and cia elements.

The humint "portion" of the report, a sentence, is egregious in this
regard.
What does the phrase "humint has improved from 10 to 30 %"
mean? "humint", given my background, has to start and end with
privileged and valuable secret intelligence acquired by human sources
working inside the insurgency and its various elements, supplemented by
the softer forms of humint, such as information from LE, detainee
interrogations, and liaison.

The report totally overlooks the absence of hard humint and fails to
even attempt to identify the causes for this lack secret intelligence.

FROM A SOLDIER COMING HOME from IRAQ:
>This was the easiest deployment in some ways. This was the hardest in
>some ways.
>
> Safest tactically, best food, best place to run, great weather, best

>living quarters, great email connectivity, a short straight-forward
>simple mission. No weird quirks or nuances. Just be a doc. No higher
>HQ next door bugging us. Sensible competent commander. Unit is low key,

>professional, good morale.
> Easy.
>
> Hard to stay motivated when you know you are losing.
> Hard to stay motivated when you sense American influence has passed
>high-tide in the Mideast and is waning.
> Hard to stay motivated when you know the American public lacks the
>gumption to fight to win.
> Hard to stay sharp when no imminent danger.
> Hard to stay sharp in a support unit.
> No excitement, no newness, no new life experiences.
> Hard.
>
> In conclusion, I observed a phenomena within myself. Over these four

>combat deployments and 15 years, I have gone from respecting Arab
>culture and Islam to despising them. From curiosity, respect, and
>interest to overt contempt. Perhaps akin to the soldiers who came home
>from the bitter Asian wars (Japan, Korea, and Vietnam) hating the
>"Japs" , the "Chinks", the "Gooks", till the day they died, long after
the conflict had passed.
> Left to myself..........I would crush Syria, Iran, Pakistan; all our

>enemies. Utterly destroy their infrastructure and governments. I feel
>no impulse to re-order Iraq, no wish at all to negotiate, nor to
>rebuild anything; just to kill our enemies.
>
> But, typical of America in the last thirty years, we straddle the
>fence, mouthing moral platitudes......while our enemies wax stronger
>every day and plot our demise.
>
> Looking forward..........life looks really good.
> Home, work, family, friends; all those things are awaiting me.
> I did my job to the best of my ability.
> In the court of my own conscience, I fulfilled my duty.
> No regrets. No guilt. No pangs of "if only I had....".
> I still like the guy I see in the mirror.
> I might have lost that if I did not take this mission.
>
> Another one in the bank. Hope it is the last. Time will tell.

12/27/2006 02:47:00 PM  

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