Monthly Archives: February 2007

I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad.

File this blatantly non-PC post under “Stirring the Hornet’s Nest.” Every once in a while, I start to wonder about the big issues, and sometimes the big issues are not pretty.

One of the biggest problems Americans have with Iraq is the endless lies.

Those who can still remember all the way back to 2003 may remember Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, Saddam’s Information Minister.

With U.S. tanks rolling into central Baghdad, Iraq’s information minister denied in a rooftop news conference Monday that the Americans were in the city, declaring: “Be assured Baghdad is safe, secure and great.”

“They are sick in their minds. They say they brought 65 tanks into center of city. I say to you this talk is not true. This is part of their sick mind,” Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf said. “There is no presence of American infidels in the city of Baghdad at all.”

Sahhaf, speaking outside the Palestine Hotel to a crowd of foreign reporters, said amid sirens and clouds of dust that Saddam Hussein’s forces had given invading coalition forces “poison and bitterness.”

“Their forces committed suicide by the hundreds. … The battle is very fierce and God made us victorious. The fighting continues,” he said. “Yesterday, we slaughtered them and we will continue to slaughter them.” (source)

For a more recent example, today a Sunni woman charged that she was raped by three Shiite policemen who arrested her.

Three officers of the Shiite-dominated police force have been cleared of allegations they raped a young Sunni woman in their custody and will instead be rewarded for their troubles, a government statement said Tuesday. The statement by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office accused “certain parties” of fabricating the allegation to discredit the security forces during the ongoing Baghdad security operation.

Now whether she lied or the government lied, someone lied and knew it. Sunnis in Iraq see themselves as the high class Iraqis and Shiites as low-class Iraqis, so this charge has just about the same impact that a charge that black soldiers raped a married white woman would have had in Alabama in 1945. The main difference is that Sunnis don’t run the country as their own plantation, however much they wish they still did.

Constant false accusations about American troops raping Iraqi women have been used since the beginning of the conflict to recruit Jihadist suicide bombers for al-Qaeda in Iraq. Stories of rape rooms in the Saddam-era Abu Ghraib have been used against Americans. Even the clumsy hanging of Saddam was blamed on America, as if America had an interest in talking trash to Saddam Hussein or stoking sectarian tensions in Iraq.

For another example, read about the Life and Death of Abu Deraa and contemplate how it could be that a well-known Shiite death squad leader like Abu Deraa would have been able to freely travel around Baghdad in official Health Ministry ambulances to kidnap and murder Sunnis, and was finally killed while riding in just such an ambulance. Someone at the Health Ministry was making ambulances available for death squad activity and someone at the Health Ministry was covering it up.

As Strategy Page noted on Feb 8:

How do you bring peace to a kleptocracy (a government run by competing thieves)? Corruption is still the one common thread found throughout the Iraqi government and society. Oh, you will also find honorable, hard working, patriotic men and women. You’ll also find evil megalomaniacs, fighting on against impossible odds for an improbably cause. But mostly you will find a lot of people looking for something to steal. Iraqis take this for granted, and those that immigrate to Europe or North America are pleasantly shocked at the relative lack of corruption they find in their new homes. But for all those Iraqis who cannot flee to those exotic foreign lands, life must go on.

For another ancient example of a less than flattering view of Arabs, read Aesop:

521. HERMES AND THE ARABS

Hermes filled a cart with lies and dishonesty and all sorts of wicked tricks, and he journeyed in this cart throughout the land, going hither and thither from one tribe to another, dispensing to each nation a small portion of his wares. When he reached the land of the Arabs, so the story goes, his cart suddenly broke down along the way and was stuck there. The Arabs seized the contents of the cart as if it were a merchant’s valuable cargo, stripping the cart bare and preventing Hermes from continuing on his journey, although there were still some people he had not yet visited. As a result, Arabs are liars and charlatans, as I myself have learned from experience. There is not a word of truth that springs from their lips.

That’s probably over the top. If Aesop wasn’t dead 2,500 years he would deserve a stern rebuke.

But here is the problem. Americans are famed as straight talkers, tending toward naivete. How can Americans work with people who routinely lie and cheat and steal without learning to despise them, ignore everything they say, and do the opposite of what they want? The French government prevaricates somewhat less than Arabs, and yet Americans can hardly stand official France (the French people are a different story).

Americans dislike Arabs instinctively, far more than can be explained by wariness after 9/11. Americans do understand the difference between a lie and a mistake, leftist agitators notwithstanding. Lies turn Americans off.
What can be done? Is it worth it for America to help Iraq, given this problem with Arabs (who are the ethnic group in most of Iraq outside Kurdistan)? How can Americans be convinced that it is worth it to help Iraq? And who is poised to do this convincing?

And more generally… What can you do to protect yourself when you are helping a liar and cheat? What if the whole point of helping him is to change his way of thinking so he starts telling the truth and operating forthrightly?

Is it practical or a fool’s errand?

Update: I know there are many exceptions to this characterization. I ask it anyway, because there are real implications to the perception, no matter how undeserved it is.

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What’s wrong with American cities?

Though IraqSlogger plays it as if there is a problem with the places soldiers come from:

With few options and a bleak future, many young men and women in America enlisted into the military as a way out. Others were patriots. Many have died — more than a thousand small communities across the country from Vermont to Wyoming to Louisiana are finding their burden far heavier than those in more urban areas.

What it makes me wonder is what is wrong with American cities where the wealthier people live? Do they feel too privileged to put their lives on the line to defend their country? It’s not like city people always play things safe… city rates of murder are much higher than country rates. But yet they aren’t patriotic.

Something is wrong with them. What is it? How can it be fixed?

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Two Indian Marxist Theater Troops Commemorate Saddam

Proving that there is no mass murdering tyrant too vile for communists to idolize, two separate Marxist/Communist theater troops from the Kerala area of India are simultaneously working on independent productions that tell the story of Saddam Hussein with the theme being the struggle against imperialism. This is a coincidence. The Communist Party of India-Marxist isn’t coordinating them or anything like that.

Two Kerala theatre groups, both said to be affiliated to the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), are set to stage plays on the life and death of the late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

While one group is called Mudra and is based here, the other is the party’s theatre wing, Sangachetana, based at the CPI-M’s headquarters in Kannur.

P. Sasi, Kannur district secretary of the CPI-M, said while both the groups were doing plays on Saddam Hussein there was no rivalry involved.

‘It is our desire that more cultural troupes come forward with plays on Saddam Hussein because the central message is nothing but a fight against imperialist forces,’ Sasi told IANS.

‘Is it possible for a troupe from Kannur to go and stage this all across the state? We feel not just a troupe from Thiruvananthapuram but other troupes too should do it so that the message is sent down to the masses fast,’ said Sasi. (source)

That old, soviet, anti-hegemonist propaganda machine just keeps on giving, doesn’t it?

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The Party of Defeat

Read the Democracy Project.

Update: Read Michelle Malkin

Watch Rep. Sam Johnson on PowerLine/YouTube

Just ask John Murtha about his slow-bleed plan that hamstrings our troops in harm’s way. Now it’s time to stand up for my friends who did not make it home and those who fought and died in Iraq already.

–Representative Sam Johnson

Read the excellent Editorial in Investor’s Business Daily that blasts the Unparalleled Perfidy of Harry Reid, Jack Murtha, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi. I’d have to excerpt it all to give it justice, so just go to the source.

Read Robert Novak on “Murtha in Command”

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Iraqi eddies 16 Feb 2007

If you read something here that you want to blog about, please link to where you found it and leave a pingback or a comment.

The Democrats’ Resolution
The big news about Iraq today and this coming weekend isn’t happening in Iraq. It is happening in Washington DC. In a party-line vote in the House of Representatives, the Democrats passed a sweet piece of political grandstanding that resolves against changing course and using reinforcements in an attempt to win in Iraq. Senate Democrats are planning to run the same resolution for a vote on Saturday. Why a weekend vote? John McCain will not be in DC for Saturday’s vote. He will be in Iowa. Biden, who has resurrected his presidential run, will be in DC for the vote with his plan to partition Iraq. Metaphors and similes abounded, with Iraq being compared to a neighbor who won’t mow his lawn and shoots at you when you mow it for him, to a land mine, Davy Crockett at the Alamo, a high school football game with parents booing an unpopular coach irregardless of the morale effects on the players, a forest fire, and a doctor’s visit. On Saturday in the Senate, expect a showdown between Democrats and Republicans, with Republicans preventing the vote from coming to the floor and Democrats demanding an “up or down vote” and protesting the filibuster. In the meantime, an AP/Ipsos poll shows a 9-percent increase in support for the surge between January and February.

Is the Surge working so far?
As The Thunder Run points out, civilian deaths in Iraq have dropped overnight. Ten bodies were found in Baghdad this morning, as compared to the average of 40-50 bodies per day in the recent past.

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Non-Binding Democratic Resolution

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that _

(1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and

(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on Jan. 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq. (AP)

What exactly is non-binding in the Democrats’ non-binding resolution? Is it the disapproval? Or is it the promise to support the United States Armed Forces?

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Terror Murder Plot Against Geert Wilders Revealed

Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh were only the focus of the first plans to terrorize the Dutch people.

[Dutch] MP Geert Wilders was threatened with a suicide attack last week. Two young men reportedly planned to shoot the politician down and detonate a van full of explosives next to the politician. “Many innocent people were to die in the chaos.” […] The initial, very concrete warning spoke about an attack planned for early February. Wilders would first be shot, and then a man would drive a white delivery van into the victim and detonate the 500 to 600 kilos of explosives in the vehicle. (Brussels Journal from Expatica)

The perpetrators were not fundamentalists, said the informer. They just wanted revenge.

Well, it’s all good then. Right?

Not.

Theo Van Gogh is still dead, and his murderer retains voting rights in the Netherlands. The Netherlands wants terrorists to vote, even if they are unfortunately incarcerated in a jail because they committed terror murder. The Dutch government is not serious.

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Iraq News Roundup 15 Feb 2007

I’m trying something new for me in this blog. Please feel free to blog about anything you read here. Please link to where you found it.

As Maliki announced the beginning of the operation from Karbala, Iraqi and U.S. Forces pressed the security crackdown in Baghdad. Late Wednesday the borders with Iran and Syria were completely closed down for 72 hours. The Burantha Shiite mosque (affiliated with SCIRI) was raided and a large cache of machine guns and rifles seized on Wednesday, underlining the universal nature of the current operations. The B-1 bomber has even been spotted over Baghdad. (Iraq the Model) On Thursday, Operation Law and Order set up checkpoints and conducted searches and clearing operations around Baghdad (VOA) U.S.-Iraqi patrols went into the Dora neighborhood of Baghdad, the northeast suburb of Buhriz. (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette) Two large arms caches were discovered in Lutifiyah, near Baghdad.

Iraqi Army forces targeted a murder-kidnapping gang in Mashru, south of Suwayrah, detaining several suspects. In Salman Pak, a shackled hostage, who had been hooded for three days and stated that he believed he was soon to be executed, was freed by coalition forces. Four hostage takers found in the same building were taken prisoner. (DefenseLink, MNF Iraq)

3,000 Iraqi and British troops started a lockdown in Basra, which has been suffering the tender mercies of feuding gangs of criminals and Shi’ite militants. (Reuters)

Iraqi officials announced that Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, was wounded in a battle near Balad, north of Baghdad. One of his aides was killed in the same operation. (VOA) The aide has been identified as Abu Abdullah al-Majemaai. (Yahoo News)

Where is Moqtada? First, U.S. forces stated that Moqtada al-Sadr had fled Iraq for Iran ahead of Law and Order. Then Sadr aides denied it. U.S. sources repeated their assertions. Now an Iraqi government source has confirmed that Sadr is currently in Tehran, Iran, sheltering near his extended family (Pajamas Media, Iraq Pundit). Sadr has ordered the leaders of his so-called “Mehdi Army” militia to leave Iraq ahead of the crackdown. (Reuters) Will his flight from Iraq discount him as a courageous leader against U.S. and Iraqi government forces, or is personal courage of little account to his audience?

A video of Army Specialist Ahmed Kousey al-Taie of Detroit, who was kidnapped in Baghdad in November, was shown on CNN. (Yahoo News)

The 3,200-strong 173rd Airborne Brigade out of Vicenza, Italy, will be deployed to Afghanistan instead of Iraq.

The U.N. estimates 40,000 to 50,000 Iraqis flee the country every month, with the same number migrating within Iraq. 700,000 Iraqis have sought refuge in Jordan, where they are causing problems. (VOA) The U.S. Administration has proposed to accept about 7,000 Iraqi refugees in the U.S. (about 10 times the number who have already been allowed) and will contribute $18M to the U.N.’s worldwide resettlement and relief programs. (Yahoo News) Iraqis in the U.S. applaud the plan.

In Washington D.C., President Bush’s nominees for ambassador in Iraq and Afghanistan were introduced. Ryan Crocker, nominated as ambassador to Iraq, and William Wood, nominated as ambassador to Afghanistan, appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (VOA)

Auditors appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to speak about wasteful spending in the Iraq reconstruction effort. (AP)

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has begun educating reporters at the Pentagon about Iranian involvement in Iraq, including describing the players in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Quds Force, and other parts of the autocratic Iranian government. (VOA) Echoing President Bush, he stated that it wasn’t proved that Iran’s top leadership has given the orders to smuggle Iranian weapons into Iraq to kill U.S. and Iraqi soldiers and police. Perhaps the autocratic Iranian government is unable to control arms smugglers operating inside its borders, and unable to prevent arms smugglers from stealing weapons from the IRGC. Perhaps up is down and pigs fly. The truth about Iranian weapon smuggling is apparent and has been for two years, but something else is going on behind the curtains.

Meanwhile, in the House of Representatives, enervating debate on the plan for Iraq was extended to a fourth day. (VOA) Two powerful legislators, John Murtha and Joe Biden, have begun to implement their plan to slowly starve the U.S. Military in Iraq of resources, which will cause U.S. defeat in Iraq to be inevitable, and to be blamed on George W. Bush. Democrats are bringing out the veterans to establish their military credentials for the debate on the non-binding resolution against trying to win in Iraq. A million-dollar ad campaign against the war, featuring maimed Iraq veterans, is being coordinated with the debate. Biden is still pushing the partition of Iraq. Democratic Senators are planning to hold the first test vote on the resolution on Saturday. Why a weekend vote?

A British judge dismissed charges against five British soldiers accused of mistreating Iraqi civilians. Other soldiers still face the original charges.

An Iraqi General has something to say about AP’s favorite Baghdad police captain, the pseudonymous Jamil Hussein. AP has not responded.

Iraq has reopened its embassy to Saudi Arabia.

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Giving the Democrats what they want in Iraq

From the House Iraq Debate:

“Democrats have called for a new secretary of defense, new leadership on the ground in Iraq, and a new strategy. We now have a new secretary of defense and a new commander in Iraq who are working with the Iraqis to implement a new strategy. We should give it a chance to succeed.” — Rep. Geoff Davis (news, bio, voting record), R-Ky. (source)

Following the thorough defeat of his party in the November elections, George W. Bush has given the Democrats what they wanted in Iraq. He has replaced Donald Rumsfield with a new Secretary of Defense, replaced the commanders in Iraq who were not winning the war fast enough, and changed the strategy from one of passively waiting for Iraqis to defend their country to actively policing the country. The strategy change requires additional troops to succeed.

Therefore the surge.

And once the surge was proposed, the Democrats decided it was utterly unlike what they wanted in Iraq. In fact, they wanted to keep the old commanders in Iraq and focus even more on waiting for Iraqis to police Iraq. In other words, they wanted to stay the course instead of changing gears. They still were glad that Rumsfield was gone, but that is the only demand they have not reversed.

This reveals a fundamental lack of seriousness in the Democrats. They have flip-flopped on the demands they made for Iraq in the campaign season, and now it is clear that they said those things for partisan advantage, while planning to change course if they got the power. In other words, they lied so they could get into power. Once in power, they revealed their true color: yellow. And now they want to run away from Iraq and let the Iraqis deal with the genocidal sectarian war that is brewing.

The Democrat strategy is an effective one in warfare. They deceived their enemy into doing something foolish. The enemy voted for them, or refrained from voting for Republicans, and now it is time to pay.

Did you get that?

If the Democrats convinced you to change your vote from Republican to Democrat in November by convincing you that nobody could do worse than the Republicans, then you are the enemy they fooled, you are part of the enemy they defeated. This was war, and it was the far-left wing of the Democrats against everybody else.

So what was it exactly that the Democrats wanted in Iraq? In Iraq, the Democrats were looking for the defeat of George W. Bush and the Republican party, and no matter what price the country has to pay, in Democrat eyes it is worth it. To far-left Democrats, Iraq and Afghanistan and the War on Terror are battles in the larger war of Democrats against Republicans.

God help us!

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Catspaw of Iran?

Well… Perhaps not… Read the Updates at end of article.

It now seems that there is evidence that the 260 terrorists of a messianic Shiite cult who were killed by a combined force of Iraqi Army and U.S. forces on January 29 were not what we were told.

Abid Ali, who witnessed the Najaf fighting, said a procession of about 200 pilgrims from the Hawatim tribe had arrived in the Zarqa area near Najaf to celebrate the Ashura festival. After a confrontation over the procession, Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint shot dead Hajj Sa’ad Sa’ad Nayif al-Hatemi, chief of the tribe, as he and his wife sat in their car. Members of the tribe then attacked the checkpoint to avenge the death of their chief.

“It was after this that the Iraqi army called in the Americans, and the planes began bombing civilians,” Ali said. “It was a massacre. Now I believe internal Shi’ite fighting has entered a very dangerous phase.”

Ali said most people in the area believe the US military was told by Iraqi security forces loyal to the pro-Iranian government in Baghdad that “terrorists” or the “messianic cult” were attacking Najaf. They say the misinformation was intended to mislead occupation forces into attacking the tribe. (source)

If this is true, this is embarrassing to the U.S. and a great tragedy! The least bad way forward is to conduct a thorough and quick investigation, offer apologies to the survivors, promise to do better, and extract severe consequences for the Iran-allied Iraqi government forces who caused it.

If it is true.
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