Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Shadow Knows

The Shadow is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is flown by battalion tactical operations centers (TOCs). These small remotely piloted drones allow the batallion's officers to keep an eye on events occurring on the ground in their area of operation.
Often, on the TOC screen next to the Shadow screen, will be a down-link from a Predator. The Predator can be used as an eye, but it can also launch missiles. There might also be a down-link from an F-16, which can deliver devastating attacks in addition to eyes from above.

...At battalion level, maybe ten soldiers sit in front of these and other screens. One soldier will be the S-2, or intelligence. Another will monitor counter battery radar. Another will communicate with those who operate the UAV, which often is launched and controlled from elsewhere. The battalion can “task” the UAV, but an outside unit actually maintains, launches and flies it. The more high-flying UAVs might be operated from back in the United States.

The larger the unit, the more control stations in the TOC. Whereas company-level TOCs generally are limited to little more than a radio and a map, those at the battalion level are more like nerve centers which actually help coordinate battles, hence the person in charge is called the “Battle Captain.”

The next level up is the brigade and the 30 or so officers and soldiers at a brigade TOC will be clustered around computers and monitors at different stations, often three rows deep. In something reminiscent of the early NASA days, the Battle Captain sits up front in the first row, with computer screens wrapped around cockpit-like. At the next highest level up, the Division HQ, the TOC really looks like a NASA control center.

...The F-16 and Shadow both beamed down live images of the house where the terrorists had hidden after firing on U.S. forces. Now was option time. Which weapon to use? There were so many choices: mortars, missiles, and cannons of various sorts, among others. With the enemy hiding in the building, an F-16 and a Shadow orbiting in the black above, both peering down on thermal mode, the Battle Captain asked the Air Force experts, (the JTACs) what weapons the F-16 was carrying. As a JTAC started ticking off a long list, I was thinking, “How in the world to do those little jets carry all that?” In fact, I believe they were reading down the list for two jets flying in the same package. They carry a mixture of weapons cross loaded between the jets so that they might have the black magic needed for a likely situation.

[snip]...The idea is to get the Iraqis to run their own cities but most of the old leaders are gone, and the new ones are like throwing babies to cow udders. Many just don’t know what to do, and in any case, most of them have no natural instinct for it. So our soldiers are mentoring Iraqi civil leaders, which is a huge education for me because I get to sit in on the meetings. The American leaders tell me what they are up to, which amounts for free Ph.D. level instruction in situ: just have to be willing to be shot at. (The education a writer can get here is unbelievable.) Meeting after meeting—after embeds in Nineveh, Anbar, Baghdad and Diyala—I have seen how American officers tend to have a hidden skill-set. Collectively, American military leaders seem to somehow intuitively know how to run the mechanics of a city.

When Americans move into Iraqi buildings, the buildings start improving from the first day. And then, the buildings near the buildings start to improve. It’s not about the money, but the mindset. The Greatest Generation called it “the can-do mentality.” It’s a wealth measured not only in dollars, but also in knowledge. The burning curiosity that launched the Hubble, flows from that mentality, and so does the revenue stream of taxpayer dollars that funded it. Iraq is very rich in resources, but philosophically it is impoverished. The truest separation between cultures is in the collective dreams of their people.

When I listen to people in these civil administration meetings inventorying the obstacles, giving detailed and passionate speeches about why the things that need to happen cannot, often next comes the tired lament, “You can do these things because America is rich.” This seems like a chicken-egg argument, but it’s not. They will stare at you like a bird. Blinking. Blinking. As if waiting for an answer to a question that seems to forever loop back on itself. “But you are rich! You put a man on the moon!”
Michael Yon

And so on. Defeating the military enemy is only the beginning. Then you must defeat the third world defeatism that is endemic in so much of the middle east, Asia, Latin America, even Russia.

While islamists continue to send their children out dressed in explosives belts, westerners are trying to master the genome, develop nano-assembly of consumer goods, find ways to harvest the riches of the solar system, and so on--further in and further out.

It is a matter of orientation. Third worlders are oriented toward the past--religions, feuds, petty tribal antagonisms and rivalries, etc. Westerners--other than stagnant socialist oriented westerners--are oriented toward a better future, a future of constant change, innovation, and empowerment of the individual.

The psychological battle is larger and more decisive than the military battle, in the long run. A lot of it is tied in with the "youth bulge."

More on that later.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Michael Totten on Patrol in Baghdad

Not About Winning or Losing--The Time Frame is Much Too Long For That

We speak of winning or losing a game we play, or a conflict of limited duration. When conflicts last decades or centuries, those immersed within it speak less of winning or losing, and more of managing the inevitable difficulties. And of the struggle of living up to their highest ideals and standards of behaviour.
The family was treated with utmost respect. The old woman blew kisses at us. The children smiled. This was not a raid.

I stepped into the room and noticed a picture of the moderate Shia cleric Ayatollah Sistani on the wall. It suddenly seemed unlikely that this family was hostile. Still, someone in the house had locked and loaded on patrolling American soldiers.

“We have tight relationships with some of the people whose sons are detainees,” Lieutenant Colonel Wilson A. Shoffner had told me earlier. “They don’t approve of their children joining Al Qaeda or the Mahdi Army. The support for these groups really isn’t that high.”...

“Someone here locked and loaded on me when we did a foot patrol along the river a while ago,” Lieutenant Wolf said. “Who was it?”

The old man laughed. “It was me!” he said and laughed again. He couldn’t stop laughing. He even seemed slightly relieved. “I thought it might have been insurgents! It was dark. I couldn’t see who it was. All Americans are my sons.”

Lieutenant Wolf looked at him dubiously.

“What did you see?” he said. “Tell me the story of what you saw.”

“I heard people walking,” said the old man. “I did not see Americans. I looked over the roof and heard who I guess was your interpreter speaking Arabic.”

“Sergeant Miller,” Lieutenant Wolf said.

“Sir,” Sergeant Miller said.

“Does that sound right to you?”

“Sounds right to me, LT,” he said.

....“I’m a good guy,” said the old man.

“I’m not saying you aren’t,” said the lieutenant. “I’m just very concerned that you are afraid of somebody here.”

“It was the first time. It was dark. I couldn’t see. I’m very sorry.”

“It’s okay,” said the lieutenant. “You don’t need to be sorry. You have the right to defend yourself and your home. Just be sure if you have to shoot someone that you know who you’re shooting at. Thank you for your help, and I am sorry for waking you up.”

The old man hugged the lieutenant and kissed him on his both cheeks.

The family waved us goodbye.
Michael Totten

Some parts of Iraq are peaceful, and most of the residents there do not fear or dislike the coalition soldiers who try to maintain the peace. But the people do fear others. Iraqi death squads inspired by Al Qaeda and inspired by the Mahdi Army and other Iranian allied groups.

The long war between the west and Islam, between modernity and religious primitivism, will continue for many decades yet. I suspect that it will last as long as the Islamic demographic youth bulge lasts, and not much longer. During this long war, there will be advances and reversals--times when it seems the secular west is winning, and times it appears to be losing.

That is the natural cyclical behaviour of disease, of stock markets, of climate, of populations of predator and prey.

In the war against Islamist terror, what would be victory? To me, a victory would be a reformation of Islam that marginalised militant Islamism to the unwelcome fringes of the religion--much as violent political groups are marginalised in western nations.

Perhaps the example of Ireland is pertinent, although on a much smaller scale. As Ireland's financial situation improved and women became educated, the birthrate dropped and the youth bulge subsided. Somewhat simultaneously, the violence subsided.

Certainly it takes only a few people to make a lot of bombs. But it takes a lot more people to terrorize the population as the populations in Iraq, Iran, Gaza, and parts of Lebanon are terrorized. When the terrorists lose their large numbers of "soldiers", their reach will be curtailed.

It will be a very long ride.

If we are tempted to give up and appease, like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barak Obama, and others of that ilk suggest, we are lost. It is only a deep resolve to maintain our independence and freedoms against all comers, based upon principles that are passed on faithfully from generation to generation, that will allow the enlightened principles of the west to survive the multiple onslaughts that are already here, and those that are coming.

Monday, July 23, 2007

George Patton On Iraq, and Learning From History

General George S. Patton speaks out on history's lessons, and how modern America should apply these lessons to the war on terror, Iraq, Iran, and Islamofascism. As you may recall, General Patton does not take kindly to "cut and run" types. So sit back and enjoy the General's commentary.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wishful Thinking Will Not Create the World You Wish

Eager souls, mystics and revolutionaries, may propose to refashion the world in accordance with their dreams; but evil remains, and so long as it lurks in the secret places of the heart, utopia is only the shadow of a dream. Nathaniel Hawthorne

During the early 1990s, it was fashionable in the west to declare "the end of history." Now that Eastern Europe had been liberated from its oppressive autocratic yoke of tyranny, many western academics and intellectuals believed that liberal democracy would continue to spread, to topple the fortresses of autocracy scattered thickly across the globe. Alas. The future they imagined was not to be.
The assumption that the death of communism would bring an end to disagreements about the proper form of government and society seemed more plausible in the 1990s, when both Russia and China were thought to be moving toward political as well as economic liberalism. Such a development would have produced a remarkable ideological convergence among all the great powers of the world and heralded a genuinely new era in human development.

But those expectations have proved misplaced. China has not liberalized but has shored up its autocratic government. Russia has turned away from imperfect liberalism decisively toward autocracy. Of the world 's great powers today, therefore, two of the largest, with over a billion and a half people, have governments that are committed to autocratic rule and seem to have the ability to sustain themselves in power for the foreseeable future with apparent popular approval.

Today the competition between them, along with the struggle of radical Islamists to make the world safe for their vision of Islamic theocracy, has become a defining feature of the international scene.

The differences between the two camps appear on many issues of lesser strategic importance -- China's willingness to provide economic and political support to certain African dictatorships that liberal governments in Europe and the United States find odious, for instance. But they are also shaping international relations at a more fundamental level. Contrary to expectations at the end of the Cold War, the question of "regime" or "polity" is once again becoming a main subject of international relations.

...Neither Russia nor China has any interest in assisting liberal nations in their crusade against autocracies around the world. Moreover, they can see their comparative advantage over the West when it comes to gaining influence with African, Asian, or Latin American governments that can provide access to oil and other vital natural resources or that, in the case of Burma, are strategically located. Moscow knows it can have more influence with governments in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan because, unlike the liberal West, it can unreservedly support their regimes. And the more autocracies there are in the world, the less isolated Beijing and Moscow will be in international forums such as the United Nations. The more dictatorships there are, the more global resistance they will offer against the liberal West 's efforts to place limits on sovereignty in the interest of advancing liberalism.

The general effect of the rise of these two large autocratic powers, therefore, will be to increase the likelihood that autocracy will spread in some parts of the world. This is not because Russia and China are evangelists for autocracy or want to set off a worldwide autocratic revolution. It is not the Cold War redux. It is more like the nineteenth century redux. Then, the absolutist rulers of Russia and Austria shored up fellow autocracies -- in France, for instance -- and used force to suppress liberal movements in Germany, Italy, Poland, and Spain.

....It is no longer possible to speak of an "international community." The term suggests agreement on international norms of behavior, an international morality, even an international conscience. The idea of such a community took hold in the 1990s, at a time when the general assumption was that the movement of Russia and China toward western liberalism was producing a global commonality of thinking about human affairs. But by the late 1990s it was already clear that the international community lacked a foundation of common understanding. This was exposed most blatantly in the war over Kosovo, which divided the liberal West from both Russia and China and from many other non-European nations. Today it is apparent on the issue of Sudan and Darfur. In the future, incidents that expose the hollowness of the term "international community" will likely proliferate.

....Today there is little sense of shared morality and common political principle among the great powers. Quite the contrary: There is suspicion, growing hostility, and the well-grounded view on the part of the autocracies that the democracies, whatever they say, would welcome their overthrow. Any concert among them would be built on a shaky foundation likely to collapse at the first serious test.

American foreign policy should be attuned to these ideological distinctions and recognize their relevance to the most important strategic questions. It is folly to expect China to help undermine a brutal regime in Khartoum or to be surprised if Russia rattles its saber at pro-Western democratic governments near its borders.

....The United States should express support for democracy in word and deed without expecting immediate success. It should support the development of liberal institutions and practices, understanding that elections alone do not guarantee a steady liberal democratic course.

....Today radical Islamists are the last holdout against these powerful forces of globalization and modernization. They seek to carve out a part of the world where they can be left alone, shielded from what they regard as the soul-destroying licentiousness of unchecked liberalism and capitalism. The tragedy for them is that their goal is impossible to achieve. Neither the United States nor the other great powers will turn over control of the Middle East to these fundamentalist forces, if only because the region is of such vital strategic importance to the rest of the world. The outside powers have strong internal allies as well, including the majority of the populations of the Middle East who have been willing and even eager to make peace with modernity. Nor is it conceivable in this modern world that a people can wall themselves off from modernity even if the majority wanted to. Could the great Islamic theocracy that al Qaeda and others hope to erect ever completely block out the sights and sounds of the rest of the world and thereby shield their people from the temptations of modernity? The mullahs have not even succeeded at doing that in Iran. The project is fantastic.

The world is thus faced with the prospect of a protracted struggle in which the goals of the extreme Islamists can never be satisfied because neither the United States nor anyone else has the ability to give them what they want. The West is quite simply not capable of retreating as far as the Islamic extremists require.

If retreat is impossible, perhaps the best course is to advance. Of the many bad options in confronting this immensely dangerous problem, the best may be to hasten the process of modernization in the Islamic world: more modernization, more globalization, faster.

....In the 1990s serious thinkers predicted the end of wars and military confrontations among great powers. European "postmodernism" seemed to be the future: the abandonment of power politics in favor of international institutions capable of managing the disagreements among nations.

...Perhaps it was these grand expectations of a new era for humankind that helped spur the anger and outrage at American policies of the past decade. It is not that those policies are in themselves so different, or in any way out of character for the United States. It is that to many people in Europe and even in the United States, they have seemed jarringly out of place in a world that was supposed to have moved on.

As we now know, however, both nationalism and ideology were already making their comeback in the 1990s. Russia had ceased to be and no longer desired to be a "quasi-member" of the West, and partly because of NATO enlargement. China was already on its present trajectory and had already determined that American hegemony was a threat to its ambitions. The forces of radical Islam had already begun their jihad, globalization had already caused a backlash around the world, and the juggernaut of democracy had already stalled and begun to tip precariously.
Much more at the Source

Most people have come to realise that the forces of history continued unabated, undiminished throughout the 1990s to the present day. But the temptation remains to declare that the natural state of humanity is a harmonious community of nations with common aims and goals.

It is almost irresistibly tempting to blame the imperfect state of the world on a single person, a group of persons, or an entire nation. Without this person, these people, the world would revert to its natural perfection and harmony.

That is the delusion of utopia, in the service of petty politics in the mind of a lobotomised neotenate.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"Cut and Run" Just Won't Cut It

It is the collective opinion of leftists, US Democratic Party functionaries, and others of less than expansive views, that it would be best for the US to "pump up" the muslim terrorists of the world by running away from Iraq with tail between legs.

Coalition and Iraqi forces are using a different approach.
U.S. Special Forces continues the hunt for al Qaeda’s senior leadership cells, facilitators and operatives. Multinational Forces Iraq confirmed that Ahmed Sancar, also known as Khattab al-Turki, “a known terrorist and senior leader in al-Qaeda and a key financier and facilitator for the terrorist group,” was killed during a raid on June 23. Khattab al-Turki held several key positions in al Qaeda, and was planning to conduct attacks in the Kurdish north.

Khattab al-Turki, was an associate of Turkish al Qaeda members Mehmet Yilmaz and Mehmet Resit Isik, who were killed during the same raid. “Yilmaz was a close associate of Khalid Shayikh Muhammad, the mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,” Multinational Forces Iraq stated. “Yilmaz also led a group of Turks to Afghanistan in 2001 to fight against Coalition Forces.”

Special Forces captured 12 al Qaeda operatives during raids in Baghdad, Taji, Fallujah, and Ramadi on July 18 and 19.

...Coalition and Iraqi forces continue to dismantle the Iranian-backed “Special Groups” of the rogue Mahdi Army. A raid in the Amil neighborhood in Baghdad resulted in the capture of three members of the Special Groups “suspected of facilitating the flow of Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFPs) and other lethal aide into Iraq from Iran.” Also, Multinational Forces Iraq confirmed it captured Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Sbahi Al Khafaji, a key leader of the Mahdi Army with close links to Iran’s Qods Force, along with five associates on June 28 in Nasiriyah.
Much more at Source

The US Democratic Party leadership of this dismal and disreputable Congress has not ideas--other than to pat the terrorists on the back and say, "you win." By giving Iraq to the jihadis, they guarantee another era of terror organisation and execution such as the decade of the 90s when AQE was allowed to use Afghanistan as a safe haven by a weakling US administration, and other appeasement minded elements in Europe and elsewhere.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Iraq--Bleeding Ground for Terrorists

About half the Al Qaeda terrorists killed in Iraq have been Saudi. KSA is the breeding ground of Sunni terrorism, thanks to the kingdom-sponsored Wahabi fanatical sect of Sunni Islam. The Wahabi clerics breed terrorists and send them to Iraq, where they generally get killed.
Over 5,000 Saudi Islamic radicals are believed to have died in Iraq so far. For the last four years, up to half the suicide bombers have been Saudis, and about half the 135 foreigners currently held in U.S. military prisons over there, are Saudis. Currently, American intelligence believes about 45 percent of the foreign fighters (less than ten percent of all terrorists there) are Saudis. The next largest group is Syrians and Lebanese (15 percent), followed by North Africans (10 percent). The other 30 percent are from all over, including Europe.
Source These dead Saudi terrorists are making it safer for the KSA royal family. Imagine the relief of government officials, to be able to send their malcontents to another country where they can be killed by third parties. And the royal family simply continues to sponsor the Wahabis in an unholy truce.

Like the Hotel California or the Roach Hotel, terrorists can check in any time they like. When they go back home to KSA, the government there is happy to lend a hand in identifying the bodies.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More from An Bar Province, Iraq--Update from a Soldier

Here are excerpts from an email from a US soldier currently stationed in An Bar Province in Iraq. He describes the current situation he is experiencing there.
When we arrived in February, we were averaging 30 – 35 attacks per day in our area of responsibility. Now our average is one attack per day or less. We had an entire week with no attacks in our area and have a total of over 65 days with no attacks. I attribute this success to our close relationship with the Iraqi security forces and the support those forces receive from the civilian population. The Iraqi police and army forces have uncovered hundreds of munitions caches and get intelligence tips from the local population every day.

....We recently received intelligence reports that terrorists were attempting to stage attacks from an area south of the city. We increased our offensive operations in that area and made contact with a large group of al Qaeda terrorists that were attempting to infiltrate into Ramadi. There were about 50 well-equipped and well-trained terrorists who were moving toward the city in two large trucks. They all had new equipment, weapons, and explosive belts. Their targets were the tribal leaders in Ramadi (we know this from propaganda videos taken off the terrorists). We attacked these terrorists using ground forces and attack helicopters, resulting in 40 enemy killed and three captured.
Col. J. Charlton, 3 ID, Ramadi

Ayman al Zawahiri, the nominal second in command of AQE (al qaeda, Earth), recently declared that Iraq was the central focus of the world jihad. If that is the case, then it behooves the coalition forces there to convince Iraqis that they want no part of jihad--and to do this as soon as possible. Their time there is limited.

Mediocre Anti-American Bigot Receives a Humiliating Slap Down from Gentle Hirsi Ali

Hirsi Ali is a refugee from Islam who is grateful to be living in freedom. Avi Lewis is an unintelligent television host who plainly cannot hold his own with someone of Hirsi Ali's caliber.

Lewis must still be rubbing on the diaper rash cream after receiving this "pants-down spanking" from the erudite plain speaking Ali. The thrashing must have been ten times more painful for Ali's soft-spoken and gently smiling delivery.

Previously published at Al Fin

Friday, July 13, 2007

An American Mother Turns Counter-Jihadi

A Montana mother and former judge began devoting a lot of off-duty time to conducting her own counter-jihad from home. To do this, she had to learn Arabic in various dialects, and haunt the radical jihadi web sites so vital to coordinating worldwide terrorism.
Before 9-11, I had no experience with the Middle East or the Arabic language. I was a mother of three and a municipal judge in a small town in Montana. But the terrorist attacks affected me deeply. I wondered how it could happen. What kind of people could carry out such an atrocity and why? I began to read vociferously about Islam, terrorism, extremist groups, and Islamist ideology.[1] Some of the books satisfied; many did not.

In November 2001, I saw a news report about how terrorists and their sympathizers communicated on websites and Internet message boards and how limited government agencies were in their ability to monitor these web communications. This news report showed me how extensively Al-Qaeda used the Internet to orchestrate 9-11 and how out of touch our intelligence agencies were regarding this Internet activity. Apparently, there were not procedures in place for tracking communications and activity on the Al-Qaeda websites and Internet forums at the time.

The Internet address named in the news report was "" I wrote it down and proceeded to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I entered another world when I logged on to that site for the first time. I did not know Arabic, so I clicked away at random, looking at featured pictures depicting such things as dead bodies lying around in the aftermath of a car bombing and other atrocities.

Early in January 2002, I began taking an Arabic language course online for eight weeks from the Cairo-based Arab Academy,[2] which, that autumn, I supplemented with an intensive Arabic course at the State University of New York at Buffalo. As I learned more Arabic, the jihadi websites opened for me. Certain individuals stood out for either their radicalism or the information that they sent. I followed and tracked these individuals and kept notebooks detailing each website and person of interest.

Gradually, as I put to use the knowledge and skills I was developing of the Arabic language, I started posting messages on Internet forums and message boards. However, it was not until I was able to find an Arabic language translator through an online translation service[3] who was willing to assist me with constructing contextually accurate messages that I began to elicit responses from individuals at these Internet sites. As time went on, and through the process of trial and error, I eventually figured out what to say and how to say it to start the process of passing myself off as a jihadist sympathizer.

After the media picked up my identity at Anderson's Article 32 hearing in May 2004, I received numerous threats and, on December 5, 2004, someone stole my car out of my family's garage. It was later found wrecked two counties away from my home, riddled with bullet holes. As a result, I now have permanent security.

I have still continued my online sleuthing. After the Anderson case, I worked to capture members of an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Lebanon seeking to sneak chemical weapons into Iraq. Believing me to be a jihadist banker, group members said that they had already killed twenty-four British troops, wanted to attack U.S. soldiers with weapons of mass destruction, and needed money to buy the materials on the black market. Because of the hard work of a number of investigative bureaus in the United States and abroad, they never got the chance.
Much more at the Source

Rossmiller carried out her activities on her own time and at her own expense--while most of you were sleeping. Perhaps her story will be an inspiration to many who feel there is nothing they can do to combat the tide of terror sweeping the globe.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Why Sunni Arab Fighters in Iraq are Turning Against Al Qaeda

Arabs in Iraq want US troops to leave the country. When do they wish this? When the Iraqi Army and Police Forces are ready to assume responsibility for the security of the country. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid also want US troops out of Iraq--but they want it to happen before the 2008 elections, regardless of the security situation in Iraq. In other words, Iraqis want peace, and the US Democratic Congressional leadership couldn't care less about peace--they only want power without complications.

Intrepid reporter on the scene in Iraq, Michael Yon, reports:
In talking with the soft-spoken Abu Ali, his manner is similar to that of experienced American combat leaders. He is direct and clear in his speech (through an interpreter), and his intelligence is evident. An intelligent enemy who knows the dangers—who is not part of an insane death-cult promising 72 virgins and eternity with God to martyrs—and yet stands his ground against Americans over a long period, must possess great courage and annealed strength. Even among enemies, those qualities command grudging respect. I told one man in the back of the Stryker that after standing his ground with the Americans and surviving this long, al Qaeda was hopeless when Abu Ali and the 1920s shifted their martial attentions.

While we were driving in the belly of the Stryker into Buhriz, I asked Abu Ali, “What did you do to al Qaeda?”

Abu Ali said that on 1 April 2007, he and his people attacked al Qaeda in Buhriz for their crimes against Islam. He also said something that many Muslims have said to me: al Qaeda are not Muslims. (Both Sunni and Shia have said nearly the exact same words, at times on video.) Abu Ali said they fought hard against al Qaeda, and on 10 April, they asked the Americans to join the attack. It worked.

....I asked Abu Ali why he and the 1920s turned against al Qaeda in Buhriz. Speaking through LT David Wallach, a native Arabic speaker, Abu Ali said that “al Qaeda is an abomination of Islam: cutting off heads, stealing people’s money, kidnapping . . . every type of torture they have done.”

The recent stories of baked children came to mind. I asked if Abu Ali had heard about children being baked. Ali said no, he had not heard such a story, but he would not be surprised if it were true because al Qaeda had done so many crimes, such as cutting off a man’s head, putting it up on a stick and parading it around town.

Ali said people had been afraid in their own homes because of al Qaeda.

....I asked Abu Ali if there was something he would like to say to Americans. The markets that had been closed under al Qaeda were bustling around us.

Ali thought for a moment as some local people tried to interrupt him with greetings, and he said, “I ask one thing,” and now I paraphrase Ali’s words: “After the Iraqi Army and Police take hold and the security forces are ready, we want a schedule for the leaving of the American forces.”

“I will tell the Americans this,” I said. Ali seemed satisfied as he went off with another American unit.

Ali wants what most Iraqis want--a peaceful Iraq fully under the control of Iraqis. That is also what Michael Yon wants, what I want, and what most people who persist in supporting the US led coalition in Iraq want.

That is not what the "anti-war" people want, however. What they want is US troops out of Iraq even if a hundred times more Iraqis will die as a result, and the entire country of Iraq become a battleground between Sunni, Shia, and all other interested muslims and regional nations.

What these mind-children fail to consider is that under any leadership at all--Democratic or Republican--the US would have no alternative but to involve itself in the inevitable region-wide conflagration that would result from a rapid US exit. In other words--THE TROOPS WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK UNDER FAR WORSE CIRCUMSTANCES!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Europe's Terror---When The Dogs of Islam Howl

The dogs of Islam are howling throughout the vacant nights of Europe, snapping at the heels of the fat, napping land.
Many European countries are less cognizant of the danger -- still regarding it as primarily an American problem -- and lack the capacity to deal with terrorist threats. Of the 27 EU states, probably fewer than 10 have taken a real interest in counterterrorism.

Cooperation and coordination on counterterrorism remains problematic. Intelligence agencies are often reluctant to share information with their EU counterparts because of concerns about protecting sources. French terrorism investigator Jean-Louis Bruguiare has complained that information sharing in Europe is often laborious, when action is required "in real time."

Intelligence cooperation is particularly critical considering that many terrorist cells are not based in one specific European country, but scattered across the continent. For example, the six individuals convicted in 2005 of plotting to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Paris had set up cells in several countries including France, Belgium and the Netherlands. When France decided to disrupt the cell, French authorities had to secure the cooperation of law enforcement counterparts in Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain.

...The internal information sharing problems are particularly troublesome given the ease of movement and travel across the EU. With few internal borders, once an individual has made it into one member country, he or she can travel freely to most others in the Union. Consequently, Europe's counterterrorism efforts are, to some extent, only as good as its weakest link.
Weakest link? Which link is not the weakest? Europe appears to be so busy hiding its eyes and ears from any hint of danger that it has time for little else.

Meanwhile, the many terrorist movements within Islam show signs of internal divisions that could lead to internecine warfare between terrorists. The Islamists will attack where they sense weakness. If Europe can put on a strong united front, perhaps the dogs of Islam will bite each other. Certainly the war between Fatah and Hamas hints at that potential.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Report from Spain: Continent in Denial

According to Aaron Hanscom, fresh from his annual trip to his wife's hometown in Spain, many Spaniards are beginning to understand that muslims still think of Spain as Andalus--a province of the Islamic Caliphate.
While most people seem to be coming to the reluctant conclusion that radical Islamists pose a threat to their way of life (the first step in defeating radical Islam), they remain unsure how to fight back.

....Miguel wasn’t prepared to call certain Western values superior to radical Islamic values. When I asked him if we could agree to condemn honor killings (a practice spreading across Europe), he said no. Even when I pointed to his three beautiful daughters and reminded him that forced female genital mutilation was regularly practiced in many Muslim countries, he shrugged as if to say “that’s just the way they do things over there.”

....Then there was the discussion I had with my other brother-in-law and his girlfriend in Madrid. They asked my wife and me if we ever considered moving to Spain. We told them that our fear about the future of Europe was a main reason we never gave it serious thought. They agreed that tensions with Muslim immigrants would only increase in the future. However, they both still clung to the idea that Spain would be safer if it continued to keep its distance from the United States.

... An email from an acquaintance of mine who at one time lived in the United States before moving to Madrid summed up the feelings I had on my trip. He wrote:

“Come to think of it, things are really crazy here in Europe…thank God you live in America because although Spain is a great place to live at the moment, it is probably not a great place to raise a family and most certainly there is not much of a future here. What I cannot understand is that Spaniards are so blind as to what is happening all around, like they are living in denial…”

Denial? It is far more complex than that. It is the psychology of people who believe that if they keep their heads down, and disassociate themselves from those who fight back against the religious terrorists, then perhaps the terrorists will take it easy on them.

But there is nothing in the behaviour of the Islamists who insist on Sharia law in every land they conquer and control, that suggests they will "take it easy" on anyone at all. Spaniards had best brush up on Sharia and Dhimmitude. That appears to be the future they have chosen.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Baqubah Update

Michael Yon has stayed in Baqubah, after the frenzied swarm of journalists had come and gone. Yon is staying to observe the aftermath.
The big news on the streets today is that the people of Baqubah are generally ecstatic, although many hold in reserve a serious concern that we will abandon them again. For many Iraqis, we have morphed from being invaders to occupiers to members of a tribe. I call it the “al Ameriki tribe,” or “tribe America.”

I’ve seen this kind of progression in Mosul, out in Anbar and other places, and when I ask our military leaders if they have sensed any shift, many have said, yes, they too sense that Iraqis view us differently. In the context of sectarian and tribal strife, we are the tribe that people can—more or less and with giant caveats—rely on.

Most Iraqis I talk with acknowledge that if it was ever about the oil, it’s not now. Not mostly anyway. It clearly would have been cheaper just to buy the oil or invade somewhere easier that has more. Similarly, most Iraqis seem now to realize that we really don’t want to stay here, and that many of us can’t wait to get back home. They realize that we are not resolved to stay, but are impatient to drive down to Kuwait and sail away. And when they consider the Americans who actually deal with Iraqis every day, the Iraqis can no longer deny that we really do want them to succeed. But we want them to succeed without us. We want to see their streets are clean and safe, their grass is green, and their birds are singing. We want to see that on television. Not in person. We don’t want to be here. We tell them that every day. It finally has settled in that we are telling the truth.

Now that all those realizations and more have settled in, the dynamics here are changing in palpable ways.

Since my reporting of the massacre at the al Hamari village, many readers at home have asked how anyone can know that al Qaeda actually performed the massacre. The question is a very good one, and one that I posed from the first hour to Iraqis and Americans while trying to ascertain facts about the killings.

No one can claim with certainty that it was al Qaeda, but the Iraqis here seem convinced of it. At a meeting today in Baqubah one Iraqi official I spoke with framed the al Qaeda infiltration and influence in the province. Although he spoke freely before a group of Iraqi and American commanders, including Staff Major General Abdul Kareem al Robai who commands Iraqi forces in Diyala, and LTC Fred Johnson, the deputy commander of 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the Iraqi official asked that I withhold his identity from publication. His opinion, shared by others present, is that al Qaeda came to Baqubah and united many of the otherwise independent criminal gangs.

Speaking through an American interpreter, Lieutenant David Wallach who is a native Arabic speaker, the Iraqi official related how al Qaeda united these gangs who then became absorbed into “al Qaeda.” They recruited boys born during the years 1991, 92 and 93 who were each given weapons, including pistols, a bicycle and a phone (with phone cards paid) and a salary of $100 per month, all courtesy of al Qaeda. These boys were used for kidnapping, torturing and murdering people.

At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al Qaeda directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11-years-old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.

The Deputy Governor for Diyala Province had told me on 04 July that al Qaeda burned the home of a Provincial Council leader named Abdul Jabar. Jabar, an Iraqi official who has no reservations about being named as a source, provided information about the killings I described in the dispatch “Bless the Beasts and Children.” Abdul Jabar lived in the area of the al Hamira village, which he said is properly spelled al Ahamir. Jabar agreed to a video interview, during which he said al Qaeda killed and disposed of hundreds of people in the area.

....On D +1 and for those first few days of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, the Iraqi leaders seemed mostly inert. But now on D+16, only about two weeks later, they are out politicking, showing their faces in public, letting the people know they are in charge. And, unlike the tired cliché of a politician in a parade, they truly have been working behind the scenes. I know because I sit in on the meetings, and listen to the progress reports as items on the lists get checked off. I hear the whining as each section of Baqubah seems to think they are the forgotten ones. “Why the Sunni getting help first?” They ask. But then in another neighborhood, “Why the Shia getting help first?” But I watch the sausage-making. LTC Johnson will say, “Mike, c’mon. It’s time to make suasage and you need to see this.” It’s messy and frustrating. But food shipments have resumed to Baqubah after 10 months of nothing.

Iraq is a big mess--a mess of Arabic proportions. Militant Islamism is making sausage out of the Arab youth bulge at this time. If they can survive the frenzy to learn life's important lessons, perhaps there is hope.

If the west chooses not to engage the Arabic middle east during this time of crisis, the frenzy will certainly reach out and touch the west. Again. And again. And again....

Whether the current counter-insurgency/anti-terror action in Iraq succeeds or fails, it is absolutely vital that western militaries learn to fight the jihad. Because the jihad is worldwide and growing with the demographic youth bulge. There is no avoiding it by holding heads in the sand, although many "pundits" choose that route.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Muslims Attacking Eskimos? What is Their Problem?

The irrepressible Fjordman at Gates of Vienna brings more news of muslim misbehaviour in Scandinavia--in this case Denmark.
In Denmark, Muslims are attacking the Inuit people, the indigenous people of Greenland, who have been a part of the Kingdom of Denmark for centuries. Whenever Muslims target non-Muslims with violence, this is blamed by the media on past legacy of colonialism, US foreign policy, Israeli aggression etc.

Well, Muslims are now attacking… Greenlanders.

And we all know they are evil, Zionist Crusaders with a long history of colonial aggression in the Middle East, right? Here’s a Scandinavian post on the subject, with my translations.Apparently, some Arabs feel that Greenlanders don’t belong in Denmark and should go back home where they came from (my translation):

Because Greenlanders have repeatedly been attacked by Arab and Somali immigrants in the city of Århus, Danish authorities have started an information campaign in local schools and a slide show showing photos from Greenland with comments in Arabic. Greenlanders have been subject to rock throwing, harassment and assaults by Arabs. Residents in the district of Gellerup stay in their flats for most of the day because they fear to go outside. “It baffles me that parents don’t react to this. I complained to a mother in my apartment building after her son had assaulted me, but she slammed the door shut in my face,” says Naasunnguaq, who uses the Inuit word for flower as a nickname because she wants to remain anonymous. She has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years. According to Lars, also from Greenland, Arabs have racist views of Greenlanders: “They cannot understand why we should be allowed to live in Denmark. Even if we try to explain that we are Danes and get [Danish] citizenship by birth, they don’t understand it,” he says.

I grew up with Eskimo friends, so I take this muslim behaviour very seriously. It would be one thing if the Inuit had invaded the muslim lands of the middle east and North Africa, with the intent of displacing the indigenous inhabitants. That would naturally draw a backlash, as the experience of Jews in Israel can attest.

But in this case, it is the Arab and Somali muslims who have moved to Denmark to supplant the native Danes through surplus breeding. If I know my Danes, they will not take kindly to these newcomers starting up trouble with third world peoples with a long historical connection to Denmark.

Go to Fjordman's article above for more about the muslim tendency to stir up trouble no matter where they go. I suspect this problem has more to do with low intelligence, than with their primitive culture. But both certainly play a part.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Iranian Forces Working in Iraq to Kill Iraqis and Others

Pundits and other morons tell us that Iran is not involved in Iraq. "There is no need to deal with Iran, because Iran is totally innocent. Who are you going to believe? Me the pundit, or your damned lying eyes?"
A top special operations officer from Lebanon's Iranian-backed militia Hezbollah has been captured in Iraq, where U.S. officials say he played a key role in a January attack that killed five Americans.

Ali Mussa Daqduq, an explosives expert, was captured in March in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, where he was helping train and lead Shiite militias fighting coalition troops, U.S. intelligence officials told CNN.

Daqduq pretended to be deaf and mute when captured, and his identity was not known for weeks, the officials said.

Once uncovered, however, they said he began to talk, and they now believe he played a crucial role in the January 20 attack in Karbala.

Daqduq was captured in March, started talking in April, and has been singing like a canary ever since. He was captured with two other high level operatives working on Iran's payroll.

Iran is trying to do to Iraq what it is doing to Lebanon via Hezbollah, and doing to the Palestinians with Hamas. Imagine half the world patrolled by Hezbollah thugs and the other half patrolled by Al Qaida thugs. That is the world Caliphate, with a hudna between Sunni and Shia. Would you want to be caught in the crossfire between that two set of thugs? They do not use smart bombs to save civilians. They simply kill them all and let Allah sort them out.

News from Iraq

A poignant post from Michael Yon

Iranian operatives killed and captured in Baghdad

Challenges faced by Al Qaida

Recent decline in civilian deaths in Baghdad

Recap of coalition failures in Iraq, and what Gen. Petraeus may do to correct them

Michael Totten plans to return to Iraq soon