Tuesday, June 19, 2007

And Bring Our Sons Home To Us

Michael Yon does a tour of the horizon, past and present, of the war in Iraq. What went tragically and monstrously wrong; what went partially right But in the end he focuses on the ongoing battle in Baquba.

But today, based on what I know first hand about this war, I respectfully disagree with Joe and the crowd of people who share his view that this war cannot be won. On this one point, because I just happen to be a person who has seen this doctor operate on a part of this patient, and I was able to see first hand that the work he did in 2003/4 is still holding today, I think we don’t call the code unless and until Petraeus says so. ...

Northeast of Baghdad, innocent civilians are being asked to leave Baquba. More than 1,000 AQI fighters are there, with perhaps another thousand adjuncts. Baquba alone might be as intense as Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah in late 2004. They are ready for us. Giant bombs are buried in the roads. Snipers—real snipers—have chiseled holes in walls so that they can shoot not from roofs or windows, but from deep inside buildings, where we cannot see the flash or hear the shots. They will shoot for our faces and necks. Car bombs are already assembled. Suicide vests are prepared. ... By the time you read this, we will be inside Baquba, and we will be killing them. No secrets are spilling here.

Nothing follows.


Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

They're waiting, let them wait. Block the exits and let them wait. Don't allow for anyone but stray dogs claim their bones.

6/19/2007 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Harry Reid already said Petraeus is incompetent. Unfortunately his opinion counts for more than Michael Yon's.

Rosie, Michael Moore, and Hollywood salute the AQ "heroes" and find our troops "war criminals." Dems compete to be as anti-war and pacifist, submissive, and weak as possible.

"Splendid Isolation" with Open Border and Amnesty for all, no more War on Terror (a bumper sticker to "persecute Muslims") and 9/11 never happened, or if it did it was a Bush and "Jewish" plot. So says the media and the political leaders.

None of the bravery, courage, sacrifice, heroism, decency, honor, and astonishing humanity of the troops fighting now will matter one bit. Dems and the Media have persuaded the Nation that only a good dose of defeat and retreat (not only Iraq, but Afghanistan) will fix the "fascist State of America" and so it's already been decided.

Obama has only one card left to play: a pledge to withdraw immediately and force a vote NOW to surrender. In order to stop Hillary's coronation. I fully expect a surrender vote in August, which will likely pass.

Never have our soldiers been so brave, and able. And our political class such miserable cowards and scum.

6/20/2007 12:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Northeast of Baghdad, innocent civilians are being asked to leave Baquba. "
Do that effectively, and the stage would be set for a Bill Clinton Style Zero US Casualties Air War, which I think most of us would welcome back at this point.

Far better than Catch, Detain, and Release.

I for one am sick of the cavalier attitude toward the welfare of our troops in order to preserve our kinder, gentler, politically correct and compassionate Reputation in DC.

Just as Compassionate George has overseen the Murder and Mayhem resulting in 40,000 innocent civilian deaths here at home since 9-11 at the hands of his beloved illegals, as he prattles and sermonizes on.
Worse yet, some here still believe this BS!

6/20/2007 03:12:00 AM  
Blogger R said...

Who would have thought that to maintain some semblance of civil order in Iraq, one would have to rule with an iron fist! Who woulda thunk it? Enter Saddam Hussein, stage right.

When Omar Sharif rode up to Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia at the watering hole, millions of women shuddered with deep internal desire for his image as a man.

When ABC news interviewed Ayatollah Kohemini in France plotting his return to Iran, millions of Americans sensed that here was a man filled with total hatred.

As the world watched those terrorists bomb up planes and kill Jews whenever they could arrange a media gathering of great proportions, we all wondered what was Yassar Arafat really wanting, hidden within a shroud of cloth that looked liked chain link fencing where only his eyes peered into the cameras.

Men who have no work, who have no sense of place, no family to care for...no daily structure: These are men who are ripe for becoming members of a mass movement. All they need are leaders to show them how to join and why they should buy their dream.

Are westerners so hungry for a fight that we must constantly offer our help in such recruitments? Do we really need to make this looming battle so easy for our opponents?

Could there be a much deeper hunger at play here?

Some people think of themselves as being so smart that they are in fact really stupid!

Are we witnessing a new class of citizen whom we should label as the "stupid smart" people?

Watch what enters stage left. It is sure to surprise most.

6/20/2007 04:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Where's Jack Webb when we need him?
And where's the buttered popcorn?
(required for watching Dragnet:
Just the Facts. Catch, Fingerprint, etc)
Life is hard for the Compassionate, buck up, more sacrifice required!

U.S. Seeks to Block Exits for Iraq Insurgents
American forces have been confounded by insurgents who have slipped away only to fight another day.

Unlike Falluja, where most of the population fled in advance of the battle, thousands of civilians remain in the western section of the city.

American helicopters dropped leaflets last night urging the residents to stay in their homes. The hope was to keep civilians off the streets while American forces began to close in on the insurgents. The appeal appeared to have little effect, though, as large groups of civilians mingled on the streets Tuesday and some students even sought to go to the local university.

The presence of so many civilians on an urban battlefield affords the operatives from Al Qaeda another possible means to elude their American pursuers. If the insurgents do not manage to sneak out, some may hide their weapons and try to blend with the city’s residents.

To frustrate such plans, the Americans intend to take fingerprints and other biometric data from every resident who seems to be a potential fighter after they and Iraqi forces have gained control of the western side of the city. The Americans will also test for the presence of explosive material on suspects’ hands.

6/20/2007 04:12:00 AM  
Blogger Karridine said...

When will we BEGIN TO SOLVE this problem by formally, repeatedly and energetically INFORMING Muslims of the Coming of their long-promised Qaim (The Bab, May 23, 1844) and Mahdi (Baha'u'llah, 1853-1892)?

Informing the Muslims serves the dual purpose of disempowering the mullahs and imams AND allowing all Muslims a face-saving way to move INTO this Day, turning TOWARD God, rather than succumbing to western allure or bribery!

6/20/2007 05:06:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Joel C. Rosenberg

At the beginning of his first novel, The Last Jihad, he puts the reader inside the cockpit of a hijacked jet, coming in on a kamikaze attack against the President of the United States.

This leads to a war with Saddam Hussein over weapons of mass destruction.
The book was written in 2001 before the September 11th attacks (a revised edition takes the event into account) and the war with Iraq, but it was published in 2002.

When published, The Last Jihad spent 11 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, reaching as high as number seven. It raced up the USA Today and Publisher's Weekly best-seller lists, hit number four on the Wall Street Journal list and hit number one on Amazon.com.

6/20/2007 05:12:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

When the insurgency first started I figured that when the Sunni's wanted to reconcile themselves to the new governement they could throw AQI overboard and "unite" with the Shia to drive out the terrorist (who want to destroy the nation rather than drive out the Americans), This is a polite lie to let the two sides live together (blame it on AQI).

I wonder how Iraq will vote in the 2008 election. If they want the US to stay and keep the neighbors from moving in and stealing everything of worth they will need to bring about a kind of peace before the elction (afterwards, who knows?).

If the influential people on all sides want the US to stick around to guard the goodies (yes, it is about oil) from the local wolves, then look for them to reign in the extremes (and offer up AQI as a "win" for the US--which it would be).

In 2004-06 the Sunni's voted for the Dems and got the surge. Why not go with the flow?

6/20/2007 05:18:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

The Battle of Baqubah II
- Roggio

6/20/2007 05:43:00 AM  
Blogger R said...

Two days ago, I trapped the last two feral kittens on my property. There had been a total of five two months ago, the village animal control came to take away the three they could catch: These two got away. I placed a board over the cage and provided water and food.

These kittens were very pretty. They jumped around at first, then calmed down. My son wanted to try to convert them into pets: I wanted to kill them immediately!

I saw the pain in his eyes when he realized my attitude. I told him we would call animal control and let them decide.

Yesterday two officers arrived and evaluated the cats. At first the kittens seemed docile and polite, but as one officer placed his hand into the cage all hell broke loose. Both officers then looked closely at these cats, noting the fleas on the ears and around the eyes. They took my cage, telling me it would be returned later that day.

The kittens are now dead. I have my cage and will see if I can trap the adult feral cats.

I control my property, I live within my village laws and social customs. Wildlife I try to nurture whenever possible. I admire the coyotes, roadrunners, rabbits, lizards, raccoons, skunks, squirrels and other animals that visit and may live on my property. I try not to feed them via my neglect in protecting garbage, etc.

We know how these feral cats come into being, who are the neglectful people.

Youth who strap bombs to their waists and walk into crowds of people exploding themselves and killing many others are not so far from my feral kittens.

I know where this game starts. I have taken a stand.

I also know others feel and think something totally different than I do. Who's right? I don't know for sure, but I do know who is wrong, and that is where we need to begin.

I don't like seeing these young Iraqi veterans at my local VA hospital. I have vowed to vote for more effective politicians and leaders. One vote is a start, a very good start.

6/20/2007 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

So Michael Yon says that when we came into Iraq we should have healed the sick, fed the hungry, fought without breaking anything - and presumably raised the dead and made all the crops grow tall.

Also cured lumbago, prevented mange on the dogs, made all the girls prettier and the children all above average, I guess.

Gee, is that all? And what will we do the next week?

If there was a "mistake" made in Iraq, it was the same one that was made in New Orleans - and one that had to be made - that of starting out with the assumption that most people there were normal, decent and competent and had the ability to select leaders who were so as well. That proved not to be the case - but to proceed otherwise would have been regarded as racism - and probably would be, in fact - even if it was based on a realistic appraisal.

6/20/2007 07:38:00 AM  
Blogger regretleft said...

re: "Shoot for our faces and necks"

This from tank.nationalreview.com : 6/16/07

[Gen. W D} "Catto told me that The New York Times had published a story revealing vulnerabilities in body armor worn by troops in Iraq even after he told Times reporter Michael Moss not to publish such information because it would potentially put Marines' and soldiers' lives at risk.
“We specifically asked him [Moss] not to, and he did it anyway,” Catto said. “You, Thomas, having been a Marine can understand why we would ask him not to do that. But he did.”
So I phoned Moss, who told me that though a “difficult, tricky line” does exist in terms of what a publication might decide to go public with: in this instance, he said, “nobody” asked the Times not to publish the information that was ultimately published.

= =

I am speechless.

6/20/2007 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

oh lordy, NYT revealing super duper secret Military secrets - head and neck are exposed to sniper fire. My, my, the travesty of such a revalation. Best you remain silent regretleft for you have just spread the news as well - I guess your sleep will now be disturbed because of guilt over revealing such military secrets, here, publicly.

6/20/2007 08:05:00 AM  
Blogger regretleft said...

Yes, quite true, "face and neck" obvious targets even without the help of journalists -

perhaps some more real-time troop movement reports courtesy of the BBC would be more helpful:


6/20/2007 08:21:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I suppose that most people would figure it out on their own - given enough time - but the torso is a substantially bigger and easier target than a moving head. Stangely enough military training directs fire at the biggest target.

Any yahoo who actually read the NYT article would know that the article pointed out specific vulnerabilities in the body armor itself. Complete with arrows and diagrams.

6/20/2007 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

TOS-1 Buratino 220mm Multiple Rocket Launcher

TOS-1 Buratino (Russian: ТОС¹-1 "Буратино") is a Russian 30-barrel multiple rocket launcher and thermobaric warhead mounted on a T-72 tank chassis. The TOS-1 was designed for defeating enemy personnel in, fortifications, in open country, and in lightly armored vehicles and transport.

The TOS-1-4 Buratino system, which first gained widespread notice in combat in Chechnya, fires a 220mm "flame rocket", a fuel-air explosive. This type of munition releases a large cloud of flammable gas and cause massive explosions that can clear out bunkers and other fortifications. The thermobaric weapon was also used to deny Chechen fighters their munition.

During the 1994-95 war in Chechnya, the Russians were surprised by the sophistication of the Chechen use of booby-traps and mines. Chechens mined and booby-trapped everything, showing excellent insight into the actions and reactions of the average Russian soldier. The TOS-1-4 system's area denial capability proved useful for both mine-clearing operations, as well as in operations against dug-in troops.

h/t: Teresita @ The Elephant Bar

6/20/2007 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

The comment I found to be most eyebrow-raising in Yon's latest dispatch is this:

"But when we flattened parts of Fallujah not once, but twice, primarily in response to the murders of four of our people, we helped create a spectacle of injustice and chaos...

The first time, they murdered four civilians, dragged their bodies through the streets, burned them, and then strung them up on bridges while dancing around mocking "the Great Satan".

You take down two of our buildings, we'll take down two of your countries. You murder four contractors, we'll flatten your teensy-tiny sandy little cesshole of a city.

The second time, I'm remembering that going into Fallujah was billed as going into the snakepit to fight the bad guys where they were living as opposed to waiting for them to sneak out and blow up American soldiers. I never saw anyone suggest that it was still payback for the murdered contractors, but maybe Yon heard some comments on the ground that never got printed.

I simply cannot understand why now, two or three years later, he's feeling all warm and gooshy about the fate of those sub-humans, both the initial murdering caperers and the 2nd round of murderous terrorists. And the "innocent civilians" who took the terrorists in and sheltered them, and (most likely) bred and created them, too.

6/20/2007 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Crazy Marzouq Redneck Muslim said...


I suggest you study d-n-i.com deeply. Y'all definately do not understand the principles of 4GW.

I also suggest you study true Islam. A good reason after reading your comments and understanding your points of view would be this: Understand your enemy, his mind, his culture to be better able to defeat him. In short, know your enemy.

Salaam eleikum.

6/20/2007 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

R wrote:

"Youth who strap bombs to their waists and walk into crowds of people exploding themselves and killing many others are not so far from my feral kittens..."

R is creepy.

He gave up on the kittens!!

I caught 5 feral kittens at my feed store. I brought them home. Fed them twice a day. In a week they would come up to me. In a month, all would sleep in my lap, purring, one big furry ball.

I am also a licensed foster parent. The things I've seen have not made me give up on these kids. It takes time, but the principles are the same.

6/20/2007 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

"I suggest you study d-n-i.com deeply. Y'all definately do not understand the principles of 4GW."

You mean Bill Lind, the 4GW Genius?

He had us running for the exits in 2004. He said the US Military was hidebound when the first ODAs went into Afghanistan in less than a month.

Queen Elizabeth and William of Orange trounced the Catholics despite thousands of agents sent by Spain into England.

Yet, he has never examined this best Corollary to our times.

4GW as codified by him has enormous flaws.

6/20/2007 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger regretleft said...

Ah! How much easier things would be if AQI were “sub-human”.

They are not. They are fully human - with all the normal human resources of agency, intelligence and intent.

They are able to read the NYT and gain valuable insights into US body armor vulnerabilities; or log on to the BBC and read near real time reports of enemy troop movements (well, for a couple hours at least, until even the BBC realized they were over the top on that).

I was troubled, as well, by much in the M Yon report linked to yesterday. The whole narrative of a purely reactive adversary. The insurgency produced by our “mistakes” which produced “doubt and mistrust”.

Why is it so hard to take the view that these people are fighting us because they want to win and they think they can?

Were the four contractors killed in order to lure US troops into a deadly ambush or because residents of Falujah had become doubtful about regular garbage removal?

6/20/2007 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

RWE said:

"If there was a "mistake" made in Iraq, it was the same one that was made in New Orleans - and one that had to be made "

We hosted a family for a few days. They were great people.

My neighbor deployed to NO during the hurricane and stayed in the superdome. She said the people were good people.

I've been to NO a few times. A number of my direct reports are from NO. They talk differently, but they work their butts off.

Which people are you referring to, rwe?

6/20/2007 10:45:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

I read Roggios latest report.


What stands out is the enormous size of the forces being used.

2-3 US Brigades and 2-3 Iraqi Brigades, some with Armor. Iraqi Armor.

In three different locations - using manuever - Corps level sized offensives!!!

This is endgame for the insurgency.

Endgame for Mookie.

Endgame for Iran.

All insurgencies have ended when one side was able to field overwhelming power.

This goes back to Wretchard's post about the relative rates of force buildup Iraqis vs the Insurgents.

6/20/2007 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...


The difference in the significance of the use of violence in the Hebrew Bible and in the Koran is huge.

For starters the Hebrew Bible describes the history of a couple thousand years with hundreds of major actors. The Koran/Haidith spans a couple decades with only one major actor.

The Hebrew Bible is the narrative of how a group of human beings made a very difficult journey from tribal barbarism to civil life by following a set of immutable rules. You can read the Bible as literature, ascribe all the references to Yaweh as symbolism, and still get the same message.

Organized violence in the Hebrew Bible is incidental to the narrative and occurs early on as one would expect.

The Koran is disorganized on its own but when read with the biographies has but a single theme - killing and robbery for the accumulation of wealth and power for Mohammed/Allah. I don't suppose that Mohammed's behavior was any different than could have been expected from anybody else with the same opportunity in 7th century Arabia. But the narrative ends there. There is no progress beyond the tribal violence. The only enduring message is how to organize to do it better.

I am always careful to make the distinction between Islam and Muslims. People can change. Islam cannot.

6/20/2007 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Yes, I know some people from New Orleans as well. Fine folks indeed. I am not talking about them, needless to say.

Who am I talking about?

Well, how about the Mayor? A great deal has been said about him. And he was reelected in a landslide.

And the Governor? The Governor who asked the Federal Government to provide busses. I am still astounded about the governor of an entire state who can’t find some freakin’ busses on her own.

And the Levy Commission – which apparently was too busy buying airplanes for long distance travel, and building bridges to enable access to casinos and multi-million dollar fountains to actually worry about the levies.

And the idiots who let all those school buses be flooded. I can’t even totally blame the Mayor on that one. There are lower level employees who are responsible as well. How much intelligence and initiative does it take to move some busses?

And the people who left New Orleans and flew to Houston, where they pushed that city’s crime rate out of sight.

And the ones who the people of Augusta, GA proudly gave free hotel rooms and spending money – and then found that in less than 24 hours the refugees had spent the money in a way to turn the free hotel rooms into drug dens.

And, finally, the voters who tolerated and enabled all of this.

That’s who.

6/20/2007 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger R said...

Red River...I think you are the creepy one here...5 feral kittens you conditioned to eat from your hand and sleep in your lap...trapped at your "feed store"?

You sound like the person who, upon arriving at the Israeli pizza parlor, noticing the suicide bomber, invites him in for some pizza and conversation with the hope of talking him out of exploding his bomb, unaware of all the patrons who entered earlier.

Narcissism takes many forms. Reading your posts suggests to me you would be wise to buy a big mirror and a comfortable chair.

6/20/2007 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger jane said...

Oh, for heaven’s sake. A wild cat is just a cat, not a jihadist. No doubt many of us here have rescued some and adopted others from local shelters. I once set up a “sting” operation with a friend to catch some ferals near us and have them fixed. My daughter volunteers some of her professional time to work with the SPCA on issues of neutering and adoption.

We’ve hunted and fished and so will kill animals for the eating. And there are times when the logical, sad thing to do is to dispense with diseased or unadoptable animals. A suffering animal that’s going to die needs to be dispatched, too. But I have to say the kid who remains pretty much a level-headed Republican got a great deal out of helping wild animals in distress. She's the first to help people in need, too (*true* need best as she can tell.)

Our enemies are human. They allegedly were born with faculties of reason and compassion but choose to act as if they weren’t. They are fair game when they attack, and I use “attack” in the sense of their ongoing campaign of hate, oppression and destruction, and not just wrt the battlefield. Oh, that’s right- jihadists don’t do the battlefield thing- it’s too manly and honorable.

Our enemies are barely human. Or, maybe all too human, depending on what one thinks of our kind.

6/21/2007 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

If this thread isn't toast, Doug what 40000 innocents have been victims of illegals? I am as much curious as skeptical.
I am now living in the Sonoran desert. Over breakfast this morning my friend who regularly camps in the desert said he is very wary of everything south of I-8 and I-10 as they are cartel corridors.He and an associate were both shot at sleeping off road near the borders. Tucson is much more violent than 20 years ago.Maybe we can change the name of south Arizona to Departmente de El Ramadi.Get it in as a rider in the comprehensive border sieve bill.

6/21/2007 11:46:00 AM  

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