Wednesday, January 31, 2007

War in the Shadows

There are two interesting news stories breaking today which may be conceptually related.  From Pajamas Media roundup, various newpapers describe how a British terror team possibly composed of ethnic Pakistanis, planned to kill, torture and behead a Muslim British soldier in exchange for a troop withdrawal from Iraq. Then comes news that Osama's brother in law, long suspected to be an al-Qaeda money man, has been killed and robbed by a "mob" in Madagascar, who just happened to steal not only his money but his laptop. Has the War on Terror, long the province of the Big Battalions, now acquired a secondary character as a contest of assassinations?


A soldier: "Muslim terrorists were to kidnap a British soldier on UK streets and force him to plead with Tony Blair for his life in return for a pull-out of troops from Iraq." (The Sun)

Kidnap and beheading plot: The eight people arrested by terror police in Birmingham were allegedly planning an Iraq-style kidnapping and beheading in the UK. They intended to post a video of the hostage being tortured and killed on the internet. Their target was an unidentified man in his twenties who is now under police protection, who was picked out because of his job. It is not yet known what this was. (Sky News)

Bill Roggio reports that Osama Bin Laden's brother in law, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, was killed and robbed by a mob in Madagascar. And America's Task Force 145 may be behind it.

Khalifa, "who mined and traded precious stones in Madagascar," was reported to have been murdered by "a gang of 20 to 30 gunmen broke into his brother's bedroom, shot him dead 'in cold blood' and stole his belongings."

"I don't think [his death] was politically motivated," said Malek Khalifa, Mohammed Jamal's brother. But Khalifa's deep ties to al-Qaeda, coupled with his history of funding global terrorist operations, his operations in mining precious stones in Africa (a source of untraceable income), and the size of the 'gang' that murdered him, suggests otherwise. We suspect Khalifa was assassinated. "They stole everything — his computer, all of his things," said Khalifa's brother. Task Force 145 has a mandate to hunt down senior al-Qaeda operatives world wide, and is known to have operated in Pakistan to destroy Osama bin Laden's Black Guard. Also, the U.S. recently deployed naval assets to the region, as well as Task Force 145, in the hunt for al-Qaeda and Islamic Courts leaders fleeing Somalia.

Khalifa is alleged to have been connected with the attack on the Cole, the Islamic insurgency in Bosnia; Operation Bojinka (the rehearsal for 9/11) and the Abu Sayyaf. He was arrested in 1994 in the US but deported to Jordan, where he was released after witnesses forgot to testify against him. He was legally beyond any sanction by the United States. But nevertheless he's dead. As Bill Roggio put it:

"Khalifa was arrested in America, in Jordan, and after 9/11, in Saudi Arabia, and on each occasion was eventually released."

Khalifa cannot escape the grave.

52 Comments:

Blogger wretchard said...

With the death of Khadaffy Janjalani at the hands of the Philippine Marines, nearly all of the Abu Sayyaf leaders who beheaded Guillermo Sobero and kidnapped Tim and Gracia Burnham have been killed. Each time another Abu Sayyaf commander connected with the incident dies, a spokesman comes on the air and draws a big black "X" over another one of the row of wanted posters. The message is clear. They are all going to die.

Janjalani was hit by a platoon in the heart of his base. Khalifa was stricken in a place he probably felt able to operate in.

Networked terrorists have long had the ability to walk through the walls of international borders and organizational boundaries. In Mindanao, the JI will put on their Moro Islamic Liberation Front hats to protect them from reprisal, because the latter group is a "peace partner" of the government. But what if the Coalition has now found a way to walk through the walls themselves by coordinating with locals. This would very nearly level the playing field with the terrorists. They would be safe nowhere.

However, it would also imply that the war, heretofore the province of the large battalions, will escape the regular battlefield and enter the dark alleys of the world.

The Left has been slow to notice, but by and by they will raise the cry that a "Dirty War" is in progress against innocent people or of escalating the war. My guess is that they will start rooting around to file War Crimes indictments as soon as they can find a hook to hang it on.

1/31/2007 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

One step forward two steps back...What worries me tremendously Wretchard is the possible alliance between the Saudis and Iran as laid out at PJ Media.

My commenter Honestjoe has laid out a fairly compelling case regarding the dual role that the Saudis are playing.
US Helicopter shot down…lucky shot or inside job? Updates

1/31/2007 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Wretchard:

And my guess is that the hard Left will engage more actively in the irregular war, indeed, join it in earnest, acting to impede our progress and abet our enemies, just as the regular Left has provided aid and comfort, ideologically, politically, diplomatically and in the courts.

1/31/2007 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger rab said...

"a gang of 20 to 30 gunmen broke into his brother's bedroom, shot him dead 'in cold blood' and stole his belongings."

It seems odd that TF 145 would be commanding 20 to 30 gunmen. Maybe they were all TF 145.

We can be grateful that adults are in charge in Washington. Sandy Burgler would have nixed this operation.

1/31/2007 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Pierre,

We have often been told that the Sunnis and Shi'ites can partner against us as the situation demands. But then we are doing the same, allegedly being in alliance with the Sunnis in Lebanon and with the Shi'ites in Iraq. It's probably not that neat, but the idea is that both sides play both sides of the fence.

This is probably going to be characteristic of the fight everywhere. Is Pakistan our friend or foe? It's probable that we have "assets" inside the enemy factions on a one time or ongoing basis. Consider the warlords of Somalia. They are currently our "friends" but only in a limited sense. People accustomed to the stability of diplomatic relations, where friendships between states are more lasting, will be confounded by a new international environment where substate actors and factions within countries play a large, even determining role.

If this all sounds very murky, it's because it is. And even though the War has not been very intense kinetically, the sheer murkiness of it makes it very dangerous. It is going to touch nearly every aspect of our lives: liberties, religion, bonds of trust, institutions, etc. That's why the current world crisis is so epochal. It is a comprehensive challenge to much of our civilization, which, if not damaged by the jihadis themselves, will certainly be altered by our response. Despite attempts to return to September 10, the challenge of chaos as manifested by the jihad and the inadequacy of our current ideologies to deal with this crisis implies that we are truly in a revolutionary period. Much that is new will be built. Much that is old may pass forever.

For that reason, the reflexive and canned response of ideologues on both sides of the fence, but mostly on the side of the Left is doubly dangerous. Now is the time to set aside the obsolete paradigms of the early 20th century and think "outside of the box". But all most of the politicians can do is serve out warmed over nostrums from the 1960s and 1980s whose applicability is now questionable.

1/31/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law who is also a money-man for al-Queda gots no body-guards??? Don't *all* rich terrorists have bodyguards? Don't all rich Arabs have them, too?

So if 20-30 people broke into this guy's bedroom ... how many of them do you suppose he thought he had on his payroll?

1/31/2007 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

It's a shadow war already, even on the major battlefield. The NYT describes how the attack on Karbalah may have been carried out by Iran backing a splinter Shi'ite group called JAM possibly with support from Iraqi government officials in their payroll. If so, it is not much different from a dirty war "hit". The fact that it took place on a regular battlefield is almost incidental.

This highlights how far behind in time the Geneva Conventions are. The Left is clinging to it as a historical artifact. But as an instrument for effectively declaring what is licit in war and defining noncombatants it is so obsolete as to be irrelevant. This circumstance will in the end damage Humanitarian Law. Nothing is so dangerous to a cause than to defend it with bad or stupid arguments. If you want to make a case for the sheer pointlessness of current humanitarian law in the context of Gaza, Beslan, September 11, bombings in Western capitals, kidnappings of British soldiers in England, reprisals in Madagascar, decapitations of journalists, attacks by splinter groups in Karbalah, etc. then trot out the Geneva Conventions. Name, rank and serial number. Who's got a name? Who's got a serial number? We need a new generation of leaders who will be as self-confident as those who first created incentives to regularize the battlefield. To reorder things from first principles instead of being slavishly derivative to an era long past and perhaps never to return. But then I just defined the Left.

1/31/2007 02:51:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Mind-boggles, reading Roggio, at how many terrorist ops, and how many arrests-and-releases, the new corpse on Madagascar has on its life record.

Add to the comments on left-hand/right-hand friend/enemies, Russia itself seems to be in a likewise relationship with the west.

1/31/2007 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The current murkiness is because of the decision of Islamists to fight back the only way they know how, though the murder of the innocents. The Arab method of warfare has been largely an adoption of inner city street gang methods and culture. Gangs and hip hop culture have become mainstream and there are even Muslim rappers now spewing out the lyrics of hatred, though they don’t “f-dem hoes” dey do pop a cap in dat mofo’s skull cuz it’s a bad ol’ world and homey gotta do what he can, but like the injustice of the inner city drug lords those who live by the gun will certainly die by it. The front line is now your front door and nobody is safe as long as Muzzies are in the neighborhood. I’ve always said I can arm myself and live in the world of street terror and violence but I’m glad that my mother will not be around to see a world where no rule of law can exist because we must make room for the minorities who want to kill us because any culture but our own is better. The US government has given up on the rule of law because enforcement is too much of a burden and we wouldn’t want to be seen as picking on foreigners. Invest in Smith and Wesson.

1/31/2007 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger xwraith said...

Wretchard:

I was reading the Wall Street Journal today. I don't know if you have access, but on page A4 there is an interesting article reporting that the Democrats are going to start launching hearings on DoD operations that were not under the umbrella of the CIA.

Pentagon's Covert Activities Come Under Senate Scrutiny.

Prescient analysis of the situation Wretchard.

1/31/2007 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger lugh lampfhota said...

My neighbor is a member of the drug crime interdiction team. The world that he works in is beyond the comprehension of 95% of Americans. He asks me (and my big dog) to look out for his family while he does night raids because these "gangstas" routinely threaten to rape and kill his family. The cop thinks he's fighting a losing battle. Another war in the shadows.

Is this our future? Some Mad Max world where a convergence of criminals and terrorists reap their grim harvest from the underclass while the elites live in high security, gated communities.

Thomas Hobbes stated that the sovereign must provide security or he breaks the covenant with his people. Is the nation-state dead, to be replaced by local entities that can provide security? Are tribal-gangs our future?

1/31/2007 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Lugh,not as long as they register to vote.

1/31/2007 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"The Left is clinging to it as a historical artifact."

Clinging!...Clinging!!...The Left has distorted, and is distorting, it grossly for their own sorry political (and economic) gain at the expense of the people...there is no clingning; the historical artifact is being used as a club for purposes that suit our enemies.

God Bless Task Force 145.

1/31/2007 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

BTW, only 2 things matter about Khalifa now:

1. He is dead. F him.
2. The whereabouts of his laptop.

On my really unforgiving days it would matter that his children live, but today is not one of those days.

1/31/2007 06:55:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

To All,

Think back to some conversations you have all had with a Lib or two...

After they rail on about the illegal and immoral war in Iraq we confront them with the simple question:

What would a Lib do???

Without fail they always reach back into the glory days of Dungeons and Dragons to apply the mano-y-mano strategy of the super secret assassin gliding into the bedroom at night and pulling the trigger.

We have it all. Infantile ranting, unthinking strategy, and actions taken without accepting consequences.

How quick will each of these Libs – who just last week promoted dark alley assassination - rend their clothes and wail to Gaia?

Oh, that's right, we already know...

1/31/2007 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger cliffy said...

If Saudis and Iranians will form an alliance then Iraq would be at peace and so to the rest of the Arab countries.

1/31/2007 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

The artist as seer:I have been reading gobs of thrillers to pass time while trying to relocate to the desert.The appeal of many in this genre,Vince Flynn for example is their heroes step outside the bounds of the Geneva Convention and brutalize the brutalizers.I think this is some of the appeal of "24" also.
The average Joe Sixpack knows that the left are a clowns' posse of fantasists who will get us all killed if we listen to them.I see a day coming when there will be a huge outcry to take the gloves off.
Like the old Steely Dan song,"Only a Fool would say that"
"You do his 9-5 and drag yourself home half alive
There on the screen a man with a dream...A world became one of salads and sun
Only a fool would say that"

1/31/2007 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

There seems to be some surprise that shadow wars are taking place.
Folks, they never stop.
We've now had some time to do some recruiting since 9-11. MICE is still in operation, so it's a given we are getting better.
It doesn't mean we're bullet proof, far from it. It does mean we're getting better.
You should never even hear of the successes if things are done properly. You leave no footprint, the deeds are just done.

1/31/2007 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger Bastiat said...

Habu1

I don't doubt we've had time for recruitment, but I am dismayed when I read articles about CIA employees that are unable to leave the Green Zones in Iraq, and are playing cards and watching DVD's. For our sake, I hope that was a lame dis-info story.

I have realized from the start that the Ho Chin Min trail of Iraq goes both ways and I have hoped, without any sort of evidence, that we were sending people back into the snakes-nest with cash and weapons.

Now is the time to set aside the obsolete paradigms of the early 20th century and think "outside of the box". But all most of the politicians can do is serve out warmed over nostrums from the 1960s and 1980s whose applicability is now questionable.

Yes, the politicians have neither grasped the seriousness of the situation, nor understood the role that the US bureaucratic hydra could potentially play. FDR harnessed by hook and crook the US' economic and governmental engines to fight WWII. Our current administration should order every Dept. to follow an Alpha reg. * This Dept.'s #1 job is to contribute to the war against terror. * If every dept., commission, panel, and every federal bureaucracy sought to help in a measurable fashion, the war would be half-won.

The biggest and most embarrassing aspects of our lack of effort is our universities. Think of how much they could contribute in terms of up-to-date game theory applied kinetically and real-time. Or social network software. Or plain old language training. Our FEDERALLY FUNDED universities should be held to account for their hollow nature and apathetic or antipathetic response to the greatest challenge of the West for the next 100 years.

Fiat Lux

1/31/2007 08:51:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

I gigged you on the Palestine aid vs. Israel aid, then you come back with this sort of stuff which compels me to hang on your every word and which makes my visits to Belmont Club a predictable treat:

This highlights how far behind in time the Geneva Conventions are. The Left is clinging to it as a historical artifact. But as an instrument for effectively declaring what is licit in war and defining noncombatants it is so obsolete as to be irrelevant. This circumstance will in the end damage Humanitarian Law. Nothing is so dangerous to a cause than to defend it with bad or stupid arguments. If you want to make a case for the sheer pointlessness of current humanitarian law in the context of Gaza, Beslan, September 11, bombings in Western capitals,(snip)......then trot out the Geneva Conventions. Name, rank and serial number. Who's got a name? Who's got a serial number? We need a new generation of leaders who will be as self-confident as those who first created incentives to regularize the battlefield. To reorder things from first principles instead of being slavishly derivative to an era long past and perhaps never to return. But then I just defined the Left.

Well said Richard and it kills me when your observations seem so obvious and clear that it is obvious that everyone should be looking at it that way....but few in the Blogosphere do.

I will add another factor. The West has seen the rise of the Lawyer-Leader who claims long ago drafted laws, treaties, and Constitutions are the final word and who derive their authority by being either slavishly derivative to them or argue that only they as an elite get to interpret them.

And it's not just the Left. Many conservatives are just as bad or worse than liberals in openly venerating ossified institutions and legal documents that don't work.
In America, you will find plenty of Conservatives that believe lifetime appointment of judges, confusion over privacy rights, the separation clause, war powers, fact we have no succession for Congress if DC is nuked - all bad news. But suggest fixing the US Constitution and they will tell you that The Holy Founders made the One Sacred Parchment so perfect it shouldn't be touched.

Same with conservatives on "sacred treaties" like Geneva. Suggest they be fixed or we withdraw and they see Hitler afoot negating or openly breaking agreed-to-on treaties that MUST be followed to the end of time.

1. A Constitution is a national operating manual...it isn't the 10 Commandments or a Quran that is immutable, cannot be changed. In America, we have made updating it and fixing small matters so difficult that it is now outdated and works only by hotly disputed interpretation by a holy priesthood who inform the rabble that 4 judges "see" it one way, 5 the other way.
A bad situation. Constitutions and charters need revision as times change or they become more dysfuctional.

2. Treaties are only entered if they are seen as benefiting nations. Just like Constitutions, the drafters are so in love with their words they seek to make them almost impossible to revise and evolve to meet the times.

3. Western nations have allowed so many laws, statutes, and codes to proliferate that it is speculated that individuals typically break dozens of laws they are unaware of, and knowingly break one law to avoid breaking others. Lawyers, again, in love with the laws they make, make it hard for The People of a Democracy to change law without more effort than it is worth. So it just builds and builds until you get a Federal Tax Code covered in 800 volumes that no individual is believed to understand or know what sections conflict.

You are right - we need a new generation with the skill and courage to change constitution, law, and treaties that we somehow believe we are locked into following literally as some command from on High, when it is The People, not the lawyers or the transnational progressives, the theocrats, or EU elites that are supposed to be masters of their own destiny. But our blind fealty to the "wisdom of the past" is harmful if the documents don't work as intended, don't work because patches or lawyer interpretation work arounds weakened the intent and spirit of more important sections - or don't work because the world has changed.

1/31/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

For instance, it is reported that the great tribalist Sheik Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law was whacked today. Among a culture holding pride of family as sine qua non, the great leader was posthumously knocked on his ass. And this is a guy who claimed the power to lead Islam into a victorious war with the West. Now, I do not expect Wolf to do cartwheels, but where is the joy among conservative bloggers?
Thu Feb 01, 12:25:34 AM EST
Guest Post - Gunboat Diplomacy and Iran

***

1/31/2007 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

Utilizing assassination of terrorists and terror supporters and enablers is a tempting idea. There are plenty of terror enablers out of our reach in KSA Pakistan and other places. Killing the money men may have a real effect on terrorism.

The problem is that these will not be free hits. The enemy will figure out who did it and will fight back in the same manner. The Iranians are masters at this. They've assissinated more than 100 Iranian dissidents and other enemies since 1979. See Iran Terror

FWIW the Israelis have thought about this a lot and they have decided it's legal to kill terrorists on foreign soil under certain conditions. See this.

There are four points but these are the important items:

First, "well based, strong and convincing information" regarding the individual's terrorist activities.

Second, "a civilian taking a direct part in hostilities cannot be attacked if a less harmful means can be employed."

the attack is only justified if carried out against a civilian currently involved in terrorism. Therefore the IDF cannot target former terror operatives who have distanced themselves from terror activity.

1/31/2007 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger RCM said...

We are all "drug dealers" now; stay off our "turff."

Strange bedfellows...for the win!

2/01/2007 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Wu Wei said...

The war on terror was always fought mainly in the shadows. Bush even talked about war in the shadows shortly after 9/11, that sometimes it would be fought there.

2/01/2007 04:04:00 AM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Interesting news...but it seems that everyday my willingness to take a report seriously wanes...Many reporters seem to not understand the basic definitions of the words they file. Take this one from the AP this morning:

"Palestinian cease-fire enters third day" is the headline.
following text:
"GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Palestinian gunmen opened fire at Hamas officials early Thursday in separate attacks, marring efforts to shore up a truce that brought relative quiet to Gaza after days of deadly factional violence."

"However, the three-day old cease-fire appeared to hold in the face of the shootings."

Am I easily confused or is there something I am not reading between the lines?

The rest of the article pretty much follows the same logic.

Here

2/01/2007 05:00:00 AM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

Rubbing out the extended families of known terrorists after the fact is actually a pretty complete solution to networked terrorism.

The entire current global War on Terror process and expense is thus predicated on our unwillingness to do it.

It's interesting to speculate what the impact would be if we were to change our policy on this, reallocating virtually all of the war funding to providing say clean water to hundreds of millions instead.

Leftists, with the interests of the poor at heart and always willing to sacrifice a few mere individuals to the greater good, should love this approach. The reason they don't is twofold:

One, it doesn't present attractive opportunities to pose as morally superior.

Two, much of their power today is derived from an implicit statement that 'we represent, even if indirectly, people you don't want to upset too much'.

2/01/2007 05:58:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

It's interesting to speculate what the impact would be if we were to change our policy on this, reallocating virtually all of the war funding to providing say clean water to hundreds of millions instead.
.................
This is not really the way it works. What has to happen is that the economics of fresh water production have to make it feasible to turn the deserts green. This will happen when the cost of water desalination collapses by a factor of about 10. This will happen in the next 10 years--any maybe less than 5 years. I made this point to Newt Gingrich at the National Review Summit in Washington DC this past week end.

He was prepared to listen because he had earlier said:

"There will be four-to-seven times as much new scientific knowledge in the next twenty-five years as in the last twenty-five years."
http://www.newt.org/backpage.asp?art=4043#four-to-seven

That means that in order to plan what for 2030 you have to figure that you're back about 1880.

Under those circumstances its easy to see how a little thing like improving the cost- efficiencies-durability of current generation RO membranes for desalination would be quite doable.

2/01/2007 08:22:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

If this all sounds very murky, it's because it is. And even though the War has not been very intense kinetically, the sheer murkiness of it makes it very dangerous. It is going to touch nearly every aspect of our lives: liberties, religion, bonds of trust, institutions, etc. That's why the current world crisis is so epochal. It is a comprehensive challenge to much of our civilization, which, if not damaged by the jihadis themselves, will certainly be altered by our response.

Thank you very much for the response Wretchard.

If we had chosen this strategy because it was the most effective strategy for fighting the enemy I might not be so skeptical. But I believe that the reason we are fighting this way is our reluctance to name the enemy and then to deal with the enemy.

Not sure that I blame the government since it is hard even for me to state that we are back to fighting a religion that the west has been at war with for nearly 1,400 years. But regardless when we are faced with overwhelming support for the tactics of Bin Laden in a country like Indonesia(2003 Pew Poll showing 56% support) then we all have to face the fact that we might just be in a religious war with all the terrible implications that leads to.

I tend to believe that we are all waiting for some terrible blow to fall upon us before we all admit to what sort of battle we are in. Not sure if it will fall upon the United States, Australia, Japan, Iraq, Israel, Europe but once it does and perhaps hundreds of thousands die then we can get away from these battles in the murky shadows and get to outright elimination of those Mullahs and sects who preach that the Sword is the preferred tactic to use against us.

At the end of the day I worry that we are not fighting as hard as we can because of sheer arrogance. We simply do not believe that these strange little people present much of a threat. This is a very dangerous opinion to have since these strange little people have the will to win using whatever tactics present themselves. We have proven that our will to win vanished when we began to feel guilty for our success, the greatest victory of the left.

More thoughts on the War against Islamic Terror

2/01/2007 08:25:00 AM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

We have been projecting for over eighteen months that global anti-terror modes will take the form of clandestine raids by Special Forces combining intelligence with economic incentives-- a payoff to kill.

Once craven Leftist blowhards infesting national legislatures start seriously blocking life-and-death issues of national defense, expect to see TF-145 operations expand to bounty hunters under an extra-legal "marque and reprisal" regime. In fact, it's way past time to prevent mass murderers
from seeping through national borders ill-designed to filter their malignant effluent.

The political upside is that no-one "needs to know" how Big Joe terrorist met his end. The downside is that hate-America types ("Ha-Ha's") will use "rights violations" to frustrate and rescind such programs. But when the next 9/11 hits, it's just possible these complicit creeps will be seen for what they are.

2/01/2007 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Bastiat..
Measured words with loads of truth.
Enjoyed the read.

2/01/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Jamie Irons said...

Superb discussion here today; thank you, Wretchard, and thanks to all who commented.

Jamie Irons

2/01/2007 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Speaking of Shadow Wars: we'd be utter fools to trust an Iraqi gov't dominated by pro-Hezbollah, Iranian allied, Shiite Islamists, right? Especially if we were building an sort of victory on such a covertly anti-American foundation. Wouldn't we also be fools to trust the Iraqi National Army if the following is true?

From Foxnews.com
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,249403,00.html

Several Iraqis have been detained for questioning in the ongoing investigation of at least two senior Iraqi generals suspected of involvement in an insurgent attack that killed five American soldiers on Jan. 20, U.S. officials told FOX News on Thursday. . . At least one of the Iraqi generals under suspicion for involvement or having advance word of the attack is said to be an intelligence officer, according to U.S. officials. If that's proven to be the case, the involvement of Iraqi generals in an attack on American forces raises questions about the loyalty and trustworthiness of Iraqi military officers at the highest levels.

2/01/2007 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Joe Buzz said...

Fiction:
This discussion reminds me of the TV show here in the states that airs on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 pm EST called "The Unit". It is claimed to be based on the book "Inside Delta Force" It is fairly well acted and the scripting is adequate. The scenarios are 10x more realistic than those depicted on 24. That being said it is not without its occasional hokie scene as is the rule not the exception with most anything that comes out of hollywood. Generally speaking and as far as TV shows go it is usually worth taking the time to watch if you happen to be caught up on your reloading chores.

NonFiction:
There should be no doubt that with the trigger time, intel and awareness gained from their time spent in theater the 145, Delta, SF and allied SpecOp operators are presently at the top of their game. It is a bad time to be an enemy of the free world...regardless of what the press prints.

2/01/2007 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Section 31 said...

We Are Everywhere.....and nowhere. 99.75% of what happens in this field is black, and for a very good reason. However, it's imperative that snippets are made public, a great morale boost to those who lack a tin foil hat on their heads. And as Orwell said, "Common people sleep soundly at night in the knowledge that rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf".

Rough men (and women) indeed. I'll be enjoying a good nights sleep tonight.....

2/01/2007 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

New McCain proposal is up at Hugh Hewitt.com.
Cornyn is on board, so looks like the pubs will go with that.
Too bad the so-called grown up administration didn't have the sort of accountablility called for in the measure as policy all along.

Instead, it was kicking multiple cans down the road ad-infinitum, ignoring all the signposts called for here, in ADDITION to all the signs on the battlefield that change was called for long ago, from Fallujah I to Steven Vincent's murder, to Gates of Fire, Bush and Co. went blithley along as if all of that could be ignored.

Scary thing in proposal is the specificity, like requiring Oil Money to be shared with the Sunnis:

In the real World, one will have to ask, WHAT Sunnis?

We shall see...

2/01/2007 06:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Hewitt had a caller that said the invaluable function the war has served is to make plain the hatreds, divisions, and backwardsness in the region, which is true, only problem is some still in charge in the Admin, and all the Dems except Liebermann mostly still don't know the difference between Sunni and Shia!

2/01/2007 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

reocon,
I've heard the Iranian security forces were heavily involved, also, with red hot (not just smoking) evidence like rifles with up to the minute serial numbers from their manufacturers in Iran!

...more to bury so as to not upset the populace with FACTS.

2/01/2007 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

While the US publicly agonizes over Iran, another enemy just keeps doing what he does best.

“Dozens of al-Qaeda suicide bombers from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Sudan are crossing into Iraq from Syria every month, a senior US official said on Tuesday.”

Suicide bombers "entering Iraq from Syria"

“But he emphasised that the Saudi government was doing its utmost to take on al-Qaeda.”

Hmmm…

2/01/2007 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Utopia Parkway said...

And just for fun: PA security forces arrest 7 Iranians in Gaza Strip raid

Who'd a thunk it? Friend of my friend and all that.

2/01/2007 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Allen,
Would you expect less from our Allies, the Sauds?

2/01/2007 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"The problem is that these will not be free hits. The enemy will figure out who did it and will fight back in the same manner."

The point is the enemy is already hitting us; has been for some time...about 40 years now and "the enemy" is becoming bolder at a rate beyond arithmetic. Our "hits" have been paid for in advance...unless you adopt the mindset of the enemy, which I reject.

2/01/2007 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Now, now, the Baker study group knows that if you treat Iran and Syria as allies, they will become steadfast allies.
Suddenly it's 9-10 again!
(or 1977, even)
What's not to like about that?

2/02/2007 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

Much as I would like to believe we were behind the killing of Khalifa, there is no evidence to support it.

In fact, I think it is extremely unlikely we were involved. We do not do wet works like this against undeclared enemies. There is too much possibility that our involvement will be discovered and that there would be criminal repercussions for the administration.

Khalifa always denied his involvement in the Jihad. So
I do not think we were involved in his killing.

Its a good thing he was killed though, based on what I have read about him. Sometimes bad things happen to jihadis - for the same reason they happen to everybody else (criminality, acts of god, etc).

2/02/2007 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger allen said...

While hardly in the shadows, it is war nonetheless.

Bill Roggio has up an excellent thread addressing the issues facing NATO in Afghanistan.

“The Brit[s] concede Musa Qala is under Taliban control…”

“Just fall, the British military, without the approval of NATO command, negotiated a 'peace' with 'local elders,' much like the Waziristan Accord agreement…”

“[A] security contractor operating in Afghanistan, informed us that the al rayah, the black flag of al-Qaeda, was flying outside the district center in Musa Qala…”

Musa Qala and the NATO offensive

For those interested in such, Mr. Roggio has provided a superb map.

Also, see Westhawk’s typically cogent thread.

British experiment in Afghanistan collapses
(The British experiment with militant Islam at home isn’t working well either.)

2/02/2007 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I would make an educated guess that this type of activity has been going on for quite a while, just hasn't been publicized much.

2/02/2007 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I believe the term used by the all-wise Iraq Study Group was that we were gonna try an' "flip" Syria away from their "relationship" with Iran.

Like it's a freakin' online poker game.

This is an ongoing world war, just happen to be in a hottening up period, and if only we hadn't done whatever we did, the world would have huge respect and undying love for America and the Western Way.

Which Bush fnugged up, like Global Warming, and those poor polar bears we saw on Drudge today....

Hey! Where's Wretchard?

2/02/2007 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Three day old skank blog topic..come on W get it son.

2/02/2007 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Yo Habu,

I'd stay out of neighborhoods where people blow themselves up like walking human cancer in the body politic.

How 'bout you?

I remember my Dad telling me you never knew if the mamasan had a grenade in Korea, and I just read "Flags of Our Fathers" with the horrifying phantoms who rose up out of Iwo Jima to suicidally attack Marines ... and Iraq sounds like a mix.

2/02/2007 05:20:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

tony,

I saw Drudge's polar bear tear jerker too and posted this elsewhere.

Oh my god! Stranded polar bears cling to drifting chunks of Arctic ice, reports Drudge.

Polar bears are AQUATIC animals, marvelously adapted to life at sea. They have been found happily swimming scores of miles from the nearest ice flow. Indeed, polar bears have been observed to swim continuously for 100 km. Oh, and they can swim for hours in the frigid waters of the Arctic Ocean. Why, over millions of years, polar bears have become one of the frozen north’s premiere predators. It is the exception rather than the rule for these animals to make landfall. For doubters, have a look at a map of the Arctic Ocean superimposed over the polar bears’ range.

Forgive the omission: Ursus maritimus is the scientific name for the common polar bear. And, yes, that would be “maritimus” as in “Of, relating to, or adjacent to the sea”.

Given the absurdity, the UN will no doubt adopt the polar bear as its animal in plight mascot.

2/02/2007 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Allen,

I've seen pictures of polar bears clambering over broken ice to check out our boomers who break the surface in bear world.

The bears are not afraid, and if I'm not mistaken, they are getting a grip on the sonar-absorbing rubber on the hull and figuring it will take them about 3 - 4 seconds to climb the conning tower and eat these guys taking the pictures.

2/02/2007 08:09:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

tony,

I have seen some startling film of those guys stalking humans. In doing so, they appear (for lack of a better term) contemplative.

2/02/2007 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

allen,

The bears are doing what God wants, no silly humans or free will messing up the Design.

The bears are perfect, like yogis.

2/02/2007 08:25:00 PM  

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