Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Troops Ask For Time, Patience & Understanding

I have been waiting for Michele Malkin's return from Iraq so that we all could read her blog and find out what is really going on in Iraq; without the typical MSM bias of what I call the "coverage ugliatarians" like Keith Olbermann and...well...probably anyone and EVERYONE over at CNN!

Her latest post has tons of information and links to peruse. So I'll stop writing and let you:

Have At It!

P.S. I ask each and every one of you who visits this what the troops ask in my title too much to ask for or what???


I only got down to the 12th paragraph at Michele's site, but I am already encouraged from what I have read!!

Our troops are going to win this thing FOR US...DESPITE THE HILARY "bash Bush's plan" CLINTONS, DICK "cut and run" DURBINS, and all the rest of the "WE DON'T THINK BUSH'S INCREASE OF TROOP LEVELS WILL WORK" naysayers WHO DON'T HAVE A CLUE AS TO WHAT THEY WOULD RECOMMEND (except for idiots like Wesley Clark who not only doesn't have a clue...but wants to "talk" to the maniacal "leaders" in Iran and Syria...).

Speaking of the troop surge, apparently the news already has AlQaeda fleeing Baghdad!

Take THAT Wesley Clark!! Your limp-wristed, namby-pamby suggestion probably had them LAUGHING THEIR A**SES OFF!!!


1:29 p.m. add-on:

Go over to Hot Air and read this post called Assessing Iraq. Here is an important portion:

5. Misunderstanding the fundamentals. War is about killing people and breaking things in order to achieve a political or existential/security objective. The Iraq war was about removing Saddam as a threat, and that mission was accomplished in 2003. We’ve been arguing over how much of a threat Saddam really was ever since, but the fact is that he’s dead and gone and no longer a threat, thanks to the 2003 invasion and successful campain against his forces.

The rest of the effort in Iraq has been about replacing the Baathist regime with something that won’t threaten us and won’t allow Iraq to become a breeding ground for terrorists with global reach, both to keep that security threat in check and to create in Iraq an example for the Middle East so that the region might become more free and thereby produce fewer terrorists. Those missions have also been accomplished or at least stand as being items we can currently check in the positive column. Calling Iraq a “civil war” misunderstands the nature of Iraq and the term “civil war.” Most of Iraq’s warring parties don’t have any chance at taking over the entire country and don’t seem interested in doing so. Most of them are reacting to the vaccuum of power since the iron grip of Saddam slipped off the country. Most of them are reacting to threats they perceive are either coming from the presence of foreign troops, or from the presence of Wahhabi-influence terrorists (al Qaeda) or from fellow Iraqis who belong to the other major sect of Islam, or from Iran. Most militia fighters would probably lay down their weapons if the overall environment improved, and by that I mean improvements in the basics: the economy and education as well as the security environment.

That said, we have also misunderstood the basics of Islamic and Iraqi culture. President Bush said in his second innaugural that all people want to be free and has based his war strategy on this idea. The truth seems to be much grayer than that; most people want to be free, but some people want to control the freedom of other people, and some people are perfectly content to farm our their decisions to others they perceive as authority figures. Additionally, the western definition of freedom doesn’t yet hold sway in places like Iraq whose contact with the west mostly consists of warfare or selling us oil. Underlying that, Islamic principles don’t foster individual freedom so much as they command modes of behavior, and that culture informs every single aspect of life in Iraq. An Iraqi federal police colonel who lives a very secular lifestyle underscored this to me when he said, in a meeting with US Army troops present, that if Ayatollah Sistani tells him to fight the Americans who are currently training his forces to take on the terrorists, then he will fight us. Islamic loyalty would trump common sense and any notion of freedom, since he knows full well that taking on the US Army would result in his own death and more destruction in his country.

6. Assuming Iraq will conform only to unreasonable expectations which are based on ignorance of counterinsurgency warfare. The troops in Iraq will tell you about three successful American occupations if you ask them–the Philippines, Japan and Germany. The latter two took five years to go from defeated enemy to ally, and decades after that before they really stood on their own feet. The Philippine insurgency took 8 years to quell and that country still has myriad problems that keep it from enjoying true First World status a century after the US put down its insurgency. Iraq is a far more complex place than either Japan, Germany or the Philippines and should therefore be expected to take longer to make the full transition to standalone state. But not knowing the history of America’s counterinsurgency operations has led us to want quick, clean victory where it just isn’t possible and never was.

7. Media misconduct and malpractice leading to flagging homefront morale. This one isn’t so much a mistake as just part of the modern world. The media is incurious, generally unethical in its approach to reporting Iraq and far more skeptical of the US military than it is of the insurgents, the militias and even the Iranians. The media hardly ever reports on victories in Iraq because the kinds of things that demonstrate real success just aren’t sexy, and perhaps because at their core they don’t believe in victory. It’s sexy to talk about US troops engaging insurgents on Haifa Street and killing every last one of them, but that’s not a real victory in the terms that govern the Iraq conflict. Street fights and reports about them play into the enemy’s hands, in fact. The media poo-poos events like the re-opening of schools in Iraq because as defined on American terms, re-opening a school doesn’t mean much at all. But in Iraq, the re-opening of a school represents a community in the end state of achieving normalcy. A community that has a functioning school also has a liveable level of security, it has functioning services like power and water and has families that aren’t so worried about local violence that they won’t send their children outside their homes. It means there are probably jobs in the area, and it means that those jobs give families a level of economic security where they can think about their children’s future. Re-opening a school in Iraq means civil society itself has returned to that school’s community. It’s a big deal. But the media doesn’t understand that and doesn’t care to, preferring to focus on combat operations and sectarian killings while it farms its daily reporting duties out to very dubious agents and stringers. The MSM’s methods in Iraq feed the insurgency’s propaganda needs and damage our efforts to win.

Having said all of this, Iraq is still very winnable. There are mistakes in every war. Iraq is a hideously complex environment to work in and its complexity has to be taken into account. Communities like Al Salam and Khadimiyah in Baghdad prove that at the end of the day most Iraqis value security and the chance to have a normal life above any notions of jihad and sectarianism, and we can work with most Iraqis to make their country safe. Most Iraqis want our troops there now, just not forever. Our troop morale is very high and they are focused on goals that they believe are attainable and will make Iraq stable. Most of the troops we spoke with support the surge; a minority don’t but it doesn’t seem to be a contentious issue. Democracy in Iraq probably won’t look like democracy here when the fight is over (and presuming that we here at home see it through), but if we correct our mistakes and change the media and political dynamics here, we can and should win. The price of failure is that Iraq would become a true hub for an al Qaeda that would see its “victory” in Iraq as Somalia times 100. Iraqi oil dollars would fuel this new terrorist power as long as Iraq’s oil infrastructure holds out. From secure bases in Iraq, the terrorists’ aims and capabilities would be practically limitless. Faith in America as a war ally would be shaken from Europe to Asian and everywhere else.
So whether we win ugly or pretty, we have to win. And we can.

Addendum: I’ve noticed a small amount of insurgent noise from a liberal for my claiming to have been on “patrol” Baghdad. I suppose it depends on one’s definition of patrol, but in one case we were on foot in a neighborhood that looked like it would make a very good sniperville, and during that long stroll Mahdi fighters briefly separated our group by driving right through our column on scooters. You see about half the Mahdi guys we saw in the photo above–I was a little slow on the draw with my video camera when they showed up out of nowhere. In another case, as I was standing in front of a mosque shooting video that’s relevant to this whole AP/Jamil Hussein story and keeping myself moving so snipers couldn’t draw a bead on me, two explosions went off less than 5 minutes apart, a few blocks from where I stood. The threat of IEDs and suicide attacks is constant, and nearly everywhere. We drove through a neighborhood that one of the officers described as “AQIZ”–al Qaeda. If that’s not “patrol” then call it something else, but insults are a bore. I won’t quibble over a word choice here and there and I’m not going to wander into the weeds with people who don’t seem to be interested in honest give and take. I figure it’s just someone’s petty way of attacking us for going over there and coming back with a shred of optimism. Or, more likely, because we’re conservative and we exist.

Hat Tips:
Pajamas Media

Michele Malkin

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Hot Air


limpy99 said...

Iraqi civilians killed in 2006: 34,452. 36,685 wounded.

Yesterday. 89 Iraqis killed in three separate incidents. 4 US troops killed in Mosul, bringing the total killed since the invasion of '03 to at least 3,026.

Number of WMDs found since 2003: 0.

Jody said...

Meanwhile, Taliban attacks are up 300 percent in Afghanistan. Suicide attacks in 2006 totaled 139, up from 27 in 2005, and the number of attacks with roadside bombs more than doubled, from 783 in 2005 to 1,677 last year. The number of what the military calls "direct attacks," meaning attacks by insurgents using small arms, grenades and other weapons, surged from 1,558 in 2005 to 4,542 last year.

And Osama Bin Laden still remains at large.

Christinewjc said...

When I get comments like Limpy's and Jody's I point people to these facts of reality. I have stated them before here, but they are the reasons why we can't lose our resolve in this war on terrorism.

First, I want to ask both of you if you have watched the documentary Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West?


That movie definitely reiterates what our president said here:

"The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy – by advancing liberty across a troubled region. It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom – and help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists – or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?"

Next, I would suggest that you read this post. War isn't like a TV show or video game...solved in one or two hours, days or even years.

The ideological struggle with Nazism lasted for many years...didn't it? The ideological struggle with communism lasted decades! These things take time!

I don't like the fact that our troops are dying over there any more than you do. But the pull out before the job is done would be absolutely disasterous!

The indoctrination of children to such an ideology needs to be stopped. But it can't be stopped if we just let that region continue to seeth and stir up more, future jihadists. It may be too late for the radicals that are already indoctrinated. They will probably have to be killed. Their radicalism SAYS that death is better than life here on this earth! They will die for Allah...(as Jaded had mentioned in a previous comment)...and expect a reward for it.

Minds and hearts need to be changed over there. But it will probably take at least one generation (if not two!) to do so! It may take 30 years! Look how long communism and the cold war thrived! Wasn't that a 60 year struggle?

We have GOT to be in this for the long run. I'm afraid that if a democrat is elected president in 2008, their pacifist mindset will gravely damage our country and nation. We might be sitting ducks for a second, more disasterous attack than 9/11 because of a new kind of "Neville Chamberlain" naive attitude that liberals have who think that we can possibly "negotiate" with such people like those fanatics in Iran and Syria.

My stomach churned when I heard Wesley Clark on O'Reilly today. Here's how it went:

Wesley Clark's Ignorance on Iran:
On another note - on tonight's O'Reilly Factor, the smarmy Wesley Clark let it slip that he did not know that Iranian fighters were in Iraq. Here's an unofficial transcript (will get the official as soon as available)...

Discussing option on dealing with Iran...
Clark: What's wrong with this as a scenario? You talk with Iran. You hold them at bay one way or another somehow western influence seeps into Iran. And the people of Iran decide that there's a better way of living than being under the ayatollahs.
O'Reilly: I am not opposed to that.
Clark: Isn't that a better approach.
O'Reilly: If Iran continues to kill american soldiers and we don't do anything about it as the scenario has been for two years.
Clark: Where is Iran killing American soldiers. Inside iraq?
O'Reilly: Did you just miss the guys that were captured there.

Of course Clark demonstrates his complete ignorance of the real world by his plan to "talk" with Iran. But to not know that Iranian fighters are in Iraq and killing our soldiers, that's just ridiculous.
(HT: Chickenhawk Express)

Wasn't Clark a general during the Clinton Admin. or something?? It floors me that he didn't know about the Iran insurgents. If HE IS THAT MIS-INFORMED...IMAGINE THE DICK DURBIN-LIKE DEMS BEING IN CHARGE OF OUR NATION!

In a previous comment posted to Jaded:

Jaded asked, "How do we stop the terrorism when they believe they are going to be rewarded for killing Christians and Jews?"

That's a great question and one that we all would like to be answered.

The "Obsession" film mentions this problem. Some critics of the film said that they didn't go far enough within the film to answer it.

From what I remember, Nonie Darwish said that you have to start with the children. Another commentator said that, "it's one of the worst forms of child abuse to teach children to hate." The film show actual footage of young, elementary aged children screaming "jihad", "death to America," "death to Israel," etc. One female child was screaming and crying claiming that she wanted to be "in battledress" and die for the cause!!! Extremely ugly fanaticism!!! But this is what they teach them and they are indoctrinated and brainwashed at such an early age.

It is for this reason that I think this battle will probably last 30 years, if not more. The generation of children being taught this hate and jihad will come of age during this time, and if the cycle is not broken, it will continue on for even more generations.

Another part of the film that was interesting is when Nonie mentioned that the meeting of the Mufti and Hitler meant that the (paraphrased here) "war against the Jews since Hitler's time isn't over...for the Muslims, despite the defeat of Hitler and Nazism."

Chilling...isn't it?

And, in a response to Stephen I wrote:

But the more I learn about this radical Islamo-facism, the more I realize, unfortunately, that this will be a battle we will have to endure for decades. If you read my last comment to Jaded you will see why it will be a long, hard battle to overcome.

It starts with a quote from President Bush:

"If we stop fighting the terrorists in Iraq, they would be free to plot and plan attacks elsewhere, in America and other free nations."

–George W. Bush, Sept. 23, 2004

The author, Craig R. Smith, then discusses:

Today the U.S. is either a) witnessing one of the most brilliant military strategies in the war on terror, or b) experiencing yet another example of the "Law of Unintended Consequences."

I think it depends upon "which side you come down on" whether or not each of us perceives this war as one or the other. History will one day give us the final answer, too.

One last question to Jody.

Would you rather see those suicide attacks, roadside bombs, direct attacks by insurgents using small arms, grenades and other weapons HERE?? OR OVER THERE???

There is a possibility that Osama bin Hidin' is already dead. We haven't seen a new video of him for a long time. Some have speculated that the gathering of the Taliban for a funeral a while back in Afghanistan may have been for Osama.

Isn't it strange that the second henchman (Zawahiri) has been doing all of the talking and videos lately?

ebsfwan said...

Don't you think a General would know more about what is happening than a talkshow host?

ebsfwan said...

There is a logical fallacy in the let's not withdraw argument. These are the arguments against withdrawing as I see them.

1. If we withdraw the Shiites will probably massacre the Sunnis.

2. If we withdraw Al-Quaeda will turn Iraq into a haven for terrorists.

Now the point that you fail to address is that there is a civil war going on in Iraq. Shiites against Sunnis.

AL-Quaeda is a SUNNI organisation. If you withdraw the SUNNIs get massacred. How does Al-Quaeda flourish then?

Jody said...

Christine, as usual, your thought process is bewilderingly Byzantine – and bogus – to behold.

If we’re going to compare outrages, I’ve been far more adamant about the insanity of violence, pain and bloodshed the Religiously Righteous have been inflicting on Civilization for far longer, and far more stridently, than you have. So don’t pull the old “If you aren’t for the war in Iraq then you are for the Terrorists” canard. It’s not only a specious argument, but you are a fool for believing we are any safer for engaging in Sectarian strife in Iraq.

Iraq was a completely optional battle in the War on Terror. As reprehensible as Saddam was, he had no WMDs, and except for his people and Al-Qaida’s schtuping the same camel on those long, desert nights, he wasn’t a part Ben Laden’s war against Modernity. Saddam was a madman, but was one not interested in dying for his cause. He kept Al-Qaida at arms length. Al-Sadr and the rest are not. We’ve only made Iran and Syria more powerful players in the region. A boneheaded move.

This isn’t WWII, Christine. This isn’t High Noon. We aren’t Gary Cooper and “Terrorism” isn’t a dude in a black hat you knock on his ass.

This is asymmetrical warfare, financed by fanatics who are just as convinced as your are that the world is a few thousand years old, witches rule the night, and Eternal Glory awaits those who die the right way.

Six years on and Saudi Arabia is still funding Wahabbists, Pakistan is still providing martyrs, and Afghanistan is still providing bases of operations. Our ports are not secure. Our airline travel is not secure. Our Intel services and diplomatic services have been neutered by the personal animosity by the highest players in public office.

The botching Iraq wasn’t the fault of the media or the “liberals.” Bush got the best advice from the best military in all of human history and he ignored it, killing and maiming thousands of our boys (and girls) on Fools Fight. Malkin isn't a patriot, but, like you, a propagandist.

We will never be rid of terrorism. It’s a verb, not a noun. We can though smash the resources and opportunities Bad Guys have for using that tactic against us, thru smarts, cooperation, and the application of overwhelming force against real and not imagined targets.

Iraq is a textbook example of everything NOT to do to protect ourselves.

Christinewjc said...

Ebsfwan wrote, "Don't you think a General would know more about what is happening than a talkshow host?"

And your point is? Sorry, but I'm not making the connection here. In my previous comment, I was pointing out that Clark didn't know that Iran fighters were crossing the border to wreck havoc in Iraq. That's a huge faux pas for anyone who is trying to make points regarding the Iraq war (especially when he is appearing on a news analysis show!), whether he's a general (or former general) or not!

I ran across a fourth idea that I think would make a good follow-up choice after the surge of troops. It was suggested by Charles Krauthammer and I saw it on a blog last night. Just need to locate it. I think it was on Michele Malkin's blog.

Found it! It's located here. But I will post it here too.

Related: Charles Krauthammer proposes a "Plan B."

Right now there are only three policies on the table: (1) the surge, which a majority of Congress opposes, (2) the status quo, which everybody opposes, and (3) the abandonment of Iraq, which appears to be the default Democratic alternative.
What is missing is a fourth alternative, both as a threat to Maliki and as an actual fallback if the surge fails. The Pentagon should be working on a sustainable Plan B whose major element would be not so much a drawdown of troops as a drawdown of risk to our troops. If we had zero American casualties a day, there would be as little need to withdraw from Iraq as there is to withdraw from the Balkans.

We need to find a redeployment strategy that maintains as much latent American strength as possible, but with minimal exposure. We say to Maliki: Let us down, and we dismantle the Green Zone, leave Baghdad and let you fend for yourself; we keep the airport and certain strategic bases in the area; we redeploy most of our forces to Kurdistan; we maintain a significant presence in Anbar province, where we are having success in our one-front war against al-Qaeda and the Baathists. Then we watch. You can have your Baghdad civil war without us. We will be around to pick up the pieces as best we can.

This is not a great option, but fallbacks never are. It does have the virtue of being better than all the others, if the surge fails. It has the additional virtue of increasing the chances that the surge will succeed.

Christinewjc said...

I wasn't going to bother to reply to you Jody. Then I not?

Jody: "Christine, as usual, your thought process is bewilderingly Byzantine – and bogus – to behold."

Said like a true liberal, left, loonie, God-hating, Christian-bashing hopelessly biased individual. Now I know why Michael Savage wrote his book, Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Jody: "If we’re going to compare outrages, I’ve been far more adamant about the insanity of violence, pain and bloodshed the Religiously Righteous have been inflicting on Civilization for far longer, and far more stridently, than you have."

Tsk Jody...I know that you have read Bob's post about fundamentalist atheism and if you saw the videos there, you would know that more deaths have been inflicted by the dogma of atheistic dictators than any religious ones. Although, Islamo-facism is probably in second place.

Jody: "So don’t pull the old “If you aren’t for the war in Iraq then you are for the Terrorists” canard."

And...where did I say this in my post?

Jody: "It’s not only a specious argument, but you are a fool for believing we are any safer for engaging in Sectarian strife in Iraq."

You want to call me a be it. But God's Word describes who are the really foolish ones:

Psalm 53:1 - To the Chief Musician. Set to "Mahalath." A Contemplation of David.
THE fool has said in his heart,

"There is no God."
They are corrupt, and have done abominable iniquity;
There is none who does good.

Psa 14:1 PSALM 14
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
THE fool has said in his heart,

"There is no God."
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

Psa 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
Psa 14:3 They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.

Psa 14:4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call on the LORD?
Psa 14:5 There they are in great fear,
For God is with the generation of the righteous.
Psa 14:6 You shame the counsel of the poor,
But the LORD is his refuge.

Psa 14:7 Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the LORD brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad


Pro 17:16 Wherefore [is there] a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing [he hath] no heart [to it]?

Pro 17:21 He that begetteth a fool [doeth it] to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.

Pro 18:2 A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

1Cr 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.


Jody: "This isn’t WWII, Christine. This isn’t High Noon. We aren’t Gary Cooper and “Terrorism” isn’t a dude in a black hat you knock on his ass."

I didn't say that this battle is like WWII. I'm well aware of the difficulties we face with the Islamo-fascist type enemy. However, the "Obsession" film clearly links the similarity (not exact, of course, but there) between the Nazi ideology and the propaganda-like tools used by them with the Radical Islamo-fascism we face today.

Jody: "Iraq is a textbook example of everything NOT to do to protect ourselves."

History will be the final judge of your opinion.

The same thing was said about Ronald Reagan and his fight against communism. History, and his legacy, have now been shown to have been the correct move.