Thursday, March 29, 2007

Iran War

Leading Seaman Faye Turney sent a letter to the House of Commons dictated by her Iranian captors where she asks for the removal of British troops from Iraq. The left’s agenda continues to be Iran’s and Al Qaeda’s agenda. Will Britain be Britain or Spain? Fred Thompson doesn’t think there is much the British can do, at least on the high sea, they’ve mothballed most of their fleet.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Credibility Contest

In the right corner we have Senator John McCain and in the left corner we have CNN. Senator McCain told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer to catch up on the news in Bagdad, that there were many areas outside the Green Zone where Americans can safely walk the streets. Later a CNN reporter in no uncertain terms called McCain a liar. The blogoshere will decide, Powerline leads the way.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Iran War

You might remember a war was started not long ago by Iranian proxies Hamas and Hezbollah with the kidnapping of three IDF troops. Now the Iranians have recently saw fit to kidnap fifteen British sailors. In all three cases the kidnappers invaded foreign territory, in the sailor’s case Iraqi waters. That is an international act of war if anybody cares. But then that’s what the Mullahs do. Michael Ledeen has a quote from Iranian tool Islamic Jihad who have been responsible for many kidnappings over the last few years.
The issue of detainees and prisoners in the world is one of the outcomes of our confrontation with the powers of hegemony, which America leads as the mother of all corruption along with its germ Israel...As such, the issue of detainees is the reaction of Muslim freedom fighters to those practices. It is also an effort to release our mujahideen who are in prison. And this kind of reaction will continue as long as we are facing the same deeds, and because we believe in the necessity of work to release our freedom fighters from the prisons of occupied Palestine and Europe, and to solve the problem of those we hold in our prisons.
The mujahideen they want released this time are the five Iranians arrested in Irbil.

The sailors, taken at gunpoint Friday by Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Al Quds soldiers were captured intentionally and are to be used as bargaining chips to be used for the release of five Iranians who were arrested at the Iranian consul in Irbil, Iraq by US troops, an Iranian official told the daily paper Asharq al-Awsat on Saturday.

In addition, a senior Iranian military official said Saturday that the decision to capture the soldiers was made during a March 18 emergency meeting of the High Council for Security following a report by the Al-Quds contingent commander, Kassem Suleimani, to the Iranian chief of the armed forces, Maj.Gen. Hassan Firouz Abadi. In the report, according to Asharq al-Awsat, Suleimani warned Abadi that Al Quds and Revolutionary Guards' operations had become transparent to US and British intelligence following the arrest of a senior Al Quds officer and four of his deputies in Irbil.
According to the official, Iran was worried that its detained people would leak sensitive intelligence information.

Tehran has reacted to all diplomatic overtures exactly as expected; they see it as a sign of weakness. Britain’s “softly-softly” approach made them a prime choice for extortion, the same type of pressure Al Qaeda used to get Spain to retreat from Iraq. We are at war with Iran, maybe a direct attack on a NATO ally will drive this point home. In any case should we reward the Iranians with any type of exchange we would open the door to more widespread kidnappings of British troops as well as our own troops. The response I would like to see is a blockade of Iranian oil imports and a UN investigation into Iranian arms shipments to Al Qaeda, Sadr Militia, Hamas and Hezbollah. That’s one tooth the basically toothless sanctions have, Iran must halt all arms exports.

Meanwhile Omar reports the surge success continues with the arrest of Ahmed Farhan Hassan, a senior aide to Abu Omar al-Baghdadi the leader of al-Qaeda’s Islamic State in Iraq. Also captured was a huge bomb making factory responsible for close to a thousand Iraqi deaths. The leaders of the shop were also arrested. Expect an intell windfall from Hassan and the bombmakers. Also noted by Omar are more Iraqi political parties coming on board.
Today a spokesman of the Accord Front, to which VP Hashimi and deputy PM Zobaie belong, affirmed the AF’s support for the ongoing operation saying, “Our bloc, seeing the security forces covering Baghdad’s districts and operating without discrimination, is now convinced that the operation is unbiased.”
Al Qaeda, Sadr's militia, and White Flag Democrats are doing their best to insure the operation's failure but are not having much luck.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Law is Broken

Michael Mann is guilty of fraud or Orson Scott Card is guilty of slander, one or the other has broken the law, civil or criminal. Card is accusing Mann of deliberately manipulating data in order to get a desired result from a flawed computer model. The desired result? Global Warming! Since Card hasn’t been sued yet I’ll believe him but you can decide for yourself here: All in a Good Cause.

It’s imperative that our next President is not a member of the Mann Made Global Warming religion of Al Gore’s ilk. Fred Thompson isn’t. He said this while filling in for Paul Harvey.
Some people think that our planet is suffering from a fever. Now scientists are telling us that Mars is experiencing its own planetary warming: Martian warming. It seems scientists have noticed recently that quite a few planets in our solar system seem to be heating up a bit, including Pluto.
NASA says the Martian South Pole’s “ice cap” has been shrinking for three summers in a row. Maybe Mars got its fever from earth. If so, I guess Jupiter’s caught the same cold, because it’s warming up too, like Pluto.
This has led some people, not necessarily scientists, to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists who run their air-conditioning at 60 degrees and refuse to recycle.
Silly, I know, but I wonder what all those planets, dwarf planets and moons in our SOLAR system have in common. Hmmmm. SOLAR system. Hmmmm. Solar? I wonder. Nah, I guess we shouldn’t even be talking about this. The science is absolutely decided. There’s a consensus.
Ask Galileo.
Thompson could be the next "Great Communicator"

Junglemom says Al Gore's Right.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Other Iraq

When I mentioned the state of affairs in Southern Kurdistan to my liberal nephew he flat out laughed in my face. He could not or would not believe that any area of Iraq could be safe enough to vacation in. Of course the violence is largely concentrated in the Sunni triangle but nowhere is safer than northern Iraq, known to the locals as Southern Kurdistan. Christopher Hitchens recently took a Holiday in Iraq and talks about the experience in Vanity Fair.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Our Friends the Tribes

One thing al-Qaeda excels at; making new enemies. So says Omar at Iraq the Model.
With this series of dirty chemical bombings a war between al-Qaeda and the tribes in Anbar is no longer a possibility. It just became a fact.
I've read at least two very optimistic reports from al-Almada in the last week about purported victories of the tribes and police over al-Qaeda in Ramadi and Fallujah. I was reluctant to trust the accuracy of the reports which sited unnamed sources but now seeing the reaction of al-Qaeda suggests that the action of the tribes was so painful that al-Qaeda retaliated in the way we see today.
Al-Qaeda's terrorists-whom AP insists on calling insurgents-expended three suicide bombers and precious resources against their supposedly sympathetic civilian Sunni hosts instead of American and Iraqi soldiers and Shia civilians; their usual enemies.
If this indicates anything it indicates that al-Qaeda's is reprioritizing the targets on the hit list. The reason: al-Qaeda is sensing a serious threat in the change of attitude of the tribes toward them and perhaps the apparently successful meeting of the sheiks with Maliki and the agreements that were made then was the point at which open war had to be declared.
The tribes in Anbar are stubborn and they have many ruthless warriors. That's a proven fact and it looks like Al-Qaeda had just made their gravest mistake—their once best friends are just about to become their worst enemy.
We might be seeing this happen in Diyala also.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Our Friends the Kurds

There are 30 million Kurds without a state yet the international community obsesses on the 600,000 Palestinians that fled Israel rather than live in a Jewish state. Whether you believe Palestinians should have a state before or after they stop killing Jews, how can anyone who supports them not equally support the Kurds?

Joshua Landis shares the views of Syrian Kurds in a recent post Kurds Commemorate the “Intifadah” of 12 March 2004. As Joshua notes the uprising of ’04 is rumored to have started at a soccer game.
How the riots began has been the subject of some debate. The version I heard many times is that a football game was being played in Qamishli, a north-eastern provincial capital, which has a mixed Kurdish and Arab population. Kurdish fans began to chant, "Long live George Bush," Arab fans responded by chanting, "Long live Saddam Hussein." A melee broke out and quickly spread to other northern Syrian towns where the Kurdish population is concentrated.
The Kurds, be they Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian, or Turkish, love the United States. Michael J. Totten explains:
Kurds have “no friends but the mountains,” or so an old saying goes. It’s hard for Westerners to grasp just how isolated these people feel. That partly explains their fanatical pro-Americanism: A friend, at last!
How good a friend remains to be seen, we have abandoned them before and if Pelosi gets her way we will again. We remain dumb and blind to human rights abuses the Turkish Kurds suffer from our NATO ally. The ally we could not count on when we needed our bases in Turkey. We have also not heard much from the Bush administration on the condition of Iranian or Syrian Kurds which is one reason Joshua’s post is so welcomed. Again the reason we are not supporting natural allies against the tyrannical Governments of Iran and Syria is because we don’t want to anger our Turkish ally.

The success of Southern Kurdistan, (aka Northern Iraq), is the great untold story of the Iraq War. Iraqis vacation there to get away from the violence. Christians and others being persecuted by Shia or Sunni are fleeing to Southern Kurdistan. International investment is pouring in and new construction is continuously popping up like weeds. Michael also explains why this is happeniing:
There are no insurgents in Kurdistan. Nor are there any kidnappings. A hard internal border between the Kurds’ territory and the Arab-dominated center and south has been in place since the Kurdish uprising at the end of the 1991 Gulf War. Cars on the road heading north are stopped at a series of checkpoints. Questions are asked. ID cards are checked. Vehicles are searched and sometimes taken apart on the side of the road. Smugglers, insurgents, and terrorists who attempt to sneak into Kurdistan by crossing Iraq’s wilderness areas are ambushed by border patrols.
The second line of defense is the Kurds themselves. Out of desperate necessity, they have forged one of the most vigilant anti-terrorist communities in the world. Anyone who doesn’t speak Kurdish as their native language—and Iraq’s troublemakers overwhelmingly fall into this category—stands out among the general population. There is no friendly sea of the people, to borrow Mao’s formulation, that insurgents can freely swim in. Al Qaeda members who do manage to infiltrate the area are hunted down like rats. This conservative Muslim society does a better job rooting out and keeping out Islamist killers than the U.S. military can manage in the kinda sorta halfway “safe” Green Zone in Baghdad.
Hopefully Kurdistan can hold its own should we cut and run. Against the insurgents and Sadr they should do quite well. Against our friends the Turks, who could well invade if they feel Iraqi Kurds are getting to strong, they may find themselves again persecuted by outsiders. They have already threatened to do so should Kurdistan get control of oil rich Kirkuk. And what would the US do?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Strykers in Diyala

Bill Roggio at The Third Rail reports on the Strykers in Diyala.

Baquba, the capital of the violence wracked province of Diyala, has emerged as the latest battlefield in Iraq. Earlier this week, Multinational Forces Iraq began to redeploy a battalion of Strykers - about 700 soldiers and 100 of their Stryker combat vehicles from the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division - from Baghdad to Baquba to chase down the 2,000 plus estimated al Qaeda fighters who have fled the capital in anticipation of the Baghdad Security Plan. Upon the first day of their arrival in Baquba, the Strykers of the 5-20 have engaged in heavy combat in the streets of the city.
Hot on the heals of Al Qaeda. Bad news for the Dems, Surge Success! Read the whole report, the Strykers have had everything thrown at them, Al Qaeda is standing and fighting so expect us to kill allot of terrorist as happens whenever they try and slog it out man to man. Bill continues to spotlight the local tribes efforts to rid themselves of the terrorists.
The recent tape released by Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the leader of al Qaeda's political front the Islamic State in Iraq, reflects concern within the terror group. Baghdadi implored tribal leaders and insurgent groups to fight under the banner of the Islamic State in Iraq, and threatened those who will not with death and damnation. Al Qaeda has seen its power decline in Anbar province the past few months and Baghdadi will want to stem this trend in Diyala, Salahadin and elsewhere.
Fred Thompson is my first choice for President with Duncan Hunter a close second. This article at NRO, Gandhi's Way Isn't the American Way, is one reason:

I feel bad for Nancy Pelosi, AND her neighbors. Anti-war activists from the group Code Pink have been giving her the same treatment the president gets at his Crawford, Texas, ranch. Camping on her San Francisco lawn, they’re demanding she cut off funds to the troops in Iraq.
Besides coolers and mattresses, protesters have brought along a giant paper mache statue of Mahatma Gandhi, who is pretty much the symbol of the anti-war movement. Code Pink was founded on his birthday, and when Saddam Hussein was being given a last chance to open Iraq to U.N. weapons inspectors, posters appeared around America asking “What would Gandhi do?”
And that’s a pretty good question. At what point is it okay to fight dictators like Saddam or the al Qaeda terrorists who want to take his place?
It turns out that the answer, according to Gandhi, is NEVER. During World War II, Gandhi penned an open letter to the British people, urging them to surrender to the Nazis. Later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives as they did in Warsaw and Treblinka. “The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife,” he said. “They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.” “Collective suicide,” he told his biographer, “would have been heroism.”
The so-called peace movement certainly has the right to make Gandhi’s way their way, but their efforts to make collective suicide American foreign policy just won’t cut it in this country. When American’s think of heroism, we think of the young American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, risking their lives to prevent another Adolph Hitler or Saddam Hussein.
Gandhi probably wouldn't approve, but I can live with that.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Surge Success


Methods that proved successful in the past to pressure our NATO allies into abandoning Iraq will now be applied again to get them to abandon Afghanistan. At home the Democrats show their support for the troops in crafted bills dubbed “slow bleed”. The Surge has been successful in that Baghdad is becoming safer while Sadr’s Mahdi army stands down and the Sunni insurgents leave Baghdad for safer regions, especially Diyala. Diyala province is right in the middle of Iran’s pipeline to Al Qaeda. Local Sheiks are banding together to fight the increased Al Qaeda presence in Diyala similar to the way the tribal leaders in Anbar have. Surge forces yet to deploy may go to Diyala.

The plan was to set up 35 to 40 Joint Security Stations (JSS) throughout Baghdad. A Joint Security Station is a joint command post that establishes a permanent presence in the local neighborhoods. We will no longer be playing “whack a mole”, secure an area only to have the mole pop up somewhere else. We are now taking a more aggressive secure and hold strategy. Every JSS is ground no longer friendly to the moles. For example the Zafaraniyah Joint Security Station in the Security District Karadah:
Located just down the street from the Zafaraniyah Government Center, where a neighborhood council meets once a week and locals stream in and out to talk to their community’s leaders, the JSS is a place where American and Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi police can live and work together among the people they serve.
Capt. Dave Eastburn, commander of B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, spends two 24-hour periods at the joint security station every week. There are always at least two platoons of 2-17 soldiers, as well as other U.S. troops involved in training Iraqi forces, at the station at any time.
“When we got here, it was a lot more hostile,” he said, citing the deeply rooted presence of insurgents. “The estimated participation in [the Jaysh Al Mahdi militia] was probably 90 percent. They had a stronghold on gas stations, the police, some of the national police. Pretty much everybody was affected in some way, shape or form.”
His soldiers and their counterparts from 1st Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division, have been able to improve the security in the area by maintaining a constant presence in the neighborhood, Eastburn said.
“Once the people started seeing they could trust us, the information started to flow,” he said. “The situation is extremely manageable now. We have days when we have a found IED or small-arms fire that you hear. The difference now is the Iraqi army and Iraqi police tell us they found the IED before it went off.”
23 JSS are up and running and have been so successful that the plan now calls for up to 70 JSS. A JSS is established in Sadr City:
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Faded graffiti on the rooftop of the Al Jezaaer Police Station in Sadr City is one of the only reminders that three years ago, coalition forces occupied the building and stood poised to take the entire area by force.
Now they are back. But this time, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, of the 82nd Airborne Division from Fort Bragg, N.C. come at the invitation of the mayor and other key leaders of the densely-packed Shiite district, and with the full backing of the Iraqi government. They come in partnership with the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police.
This time, they have come to stay

Friday, March 09, 2007

Surge Success

The Surge is succeeding and this is bad news for Democrats. They have staked so much on failure in Iraq that I can’t see them rejoicing should we win. They missed the significance of the Surge by focusing on the 25,000 additional troops instead of the change in strategy. We will no longer tolerate Iranian interference and Sadr death squads, and much more important, neither will the Iraqi Government. What’s more we are now getting tough with our ally Pakistan. Musharraf will no longer be able to look the other way as the Taliban and al Qaeda operate in and out of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border.

Have you heard the Surge is succeeding? Probably not, the MSM is as heavily invested in defeat as the Democrats, their obsessive compulsion to paint the most dismal picture of the war demonstrates this. Nevertheless the good news is out there in the New Media so let me give you a rundown on developments for a seven day period begining March 1st as reported by Bill Roggio at The Third Rail.

We moved into Sadr City permanently and Muqtada has fled to Iran. We captured the Taliban Defense Minister Mullah Obaidullah Akhund in Pakistan. Bill notes:
Pakistan has a history of making arrests and conducting strikes on Taliban and al-Qaeda camps when the political situation suits it. The arrest of Obaidullah occurred as the US and Britain are pressuring Pakistan to take meaningful action against the Taliban and al-Qaeda camps, leaders and operatives inside its borders.
We’ve captured the leader of a Jaysh Al-Mahdi cell that manufactured IEDs. Abdullah Latif al-Jaburi, aka Abu Abdullah, is believed to be captured. He was the second in command of Islamic State in Iraq, Al Qaeda’s political front organization. Special Iraqi Army Forces captured a Mahdi Army weapons smuggler. 11 United States Armed Forces personnel and 18 Iraqi security force personnel have been killed. 278 civilians have been killed, mostly Shia pilgrims. 193 insurgents have been killed and 426 captured and or detained. 140 Al Qaeda prisoners escaped custody however all but 47 were recaptured. 34 hostages were freed. For this period Iraqis suffered over 95% of the deaths in Iraq, not counting the dead terrorist who could have come from anywhere.

Politically Iraq will use the upcoming summit to pressure Syria to stop the flow of weapons and Jihadist. The Anbar Salvation Council, a coalition of 26 of Anbar's 31 tribes, is helping us fight Al Qaeda in that troubled region. The powerful Dulaimi tribe has also been reported to have turned against Al Qaeda. Over 10,000 employees from the Ministry of the Interior "who were found to have tortured prisoners, accepted bribes or had ties to militias" have been dismissed. Local sheikhs in Diyala may be organizing against al-Qaeda and its Islamic State in Iraq.

According to Bill since the launch of Operation Achilles 10 to 50 Taliban fighters are killed in every engagement with few Coalition casualties. “Coalition forces decimate Taliban formations whenever they mass in the open.” In Iraq Sadr’s on the run, Al Qaeda looses senior commanders on a regular basis, our casualties are light, very light, and if we pull out now we will really look incredibly weak in the Jihadis eyes. Yet the Dems talk of the “meat grinder in Iraq” and the need to save our “broken military”. Our “broken military” however is in no mood to accept defeat. In fact when most soldiers return home they are appalled at the defeatist media view of Iraq. As the surge continues the Dems are getting antsy, falling over each other to come up with some legislation that will kill the surge and insure defeat in Bush’s war.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Sadr and the Surge

I’m in a conspiracy mood and if you haven’t notice I really really hate Sadr so here is the latest on Brave Muqtada. Did Muqtada al Sadr Personally Hang Saddam?
When Saddam was executed on December 30th, were the onlookers cheering “Muqtada, Muqtada” because of their allegence to Muqtada al Sadr or were they cheering because one of the hangmen actually was Muqtada al Sadr?
Who really cares? Those were his men regardless and I do blame that square on Maliki. Things are changing in Iraq politically however and it looks like Muqtada will be marginalized even further. From Omar at Iraq the Model:
A new political bloc has emerged. It’s not a fourth bloc as Mohammed anticipated some time ago; it’s a union of, so far, two existing blocs. The core of the new movement is pretty much the same as what Mohammed expected, though. The Accord Front has announced it has joined the bloc led by former PM Ayad Allawi, forming what they refer to now as the “Iraqi National Front”. This new alliance has 69 seats in parliament and is likely to gain an additional 11 seats if the Dialogue Front of the nationalist Salih al-Mutlaq decides to join in, which is not unlikely.
The second development, which is far more significant than the first, just took place in the corridors of the United Iraqi Alliance, the main Shia bloc. This morning, in a frank challenge to ayatollah Sistani’s earlier call for preserving the UIA’s unity, the head of al-Fadheela party -which controls 15 of its 130 seats- declared independence from the Shia bloc and said his team now would act as an independent bloc within parliament.
Speaking of the reshuffle, it looks like about 10 ministers will be changed -mostly of civil services ministries- of which six are run by ministers from the Sadr movement.
Looks like the Surge has resulted in a bit of a Purge. Hoo Rah! The Democrats have been harping on the mantra that what we need in Iraq are political solutions not military solutions. Get a clue Pelosi, they go hand in hand. We’ve done much more than added a few thousand troops, hell I don’t think they’ve all arrived yet, but we have changed our approach as pertains to Mookie and Iran and that is going to make all the difference. It already has.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Ann being Ann

When I heard what Ann Coulter said at CPAC I thought “Well, that’s just Ann being Ann.” The Democrats have had to deal with this sort of thing twice with Don Imus, once when he blasted Bill (Clinton) at his own dinner and again when he told Bill (Richardson) to “Besa mi culo”. True Imus let loose on his supposed friends whereas Ann was dissing the other side, yet for her to make that remark in the forum she did hurt everyone there, especially Mitt Romney. But just as Imus was being Imus and should have surprised no one, Ann was being Ann and this should not come as any great shock. An apology is in order, not from Ann but from whoever scheduled her to speak.

This is especially true when you consider the stink she raised at the same event last year when she referred to Iranians as “ragheads”, smearing Muslims I assume since Iranians are not Arabs. I find that a lot more offensive and damaging to conservatives. Seejanemom thinks Ann should not be asked back and I whole heartedly agree. She’s funny and I like her but there is a time and place for that sort of humor; as Jane says “JUST NOT ON A SPONSORED STAGE AT CPAC”. If she had said it on Imus in the Morning there would have been no problem.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Why I'm a Minuteman.

Phyllis Schlafly wants to know “Is A War Going On In Texas?
If you don't have access to Texas newspapers or the internet, you may not have heard the sensational news about the enormous cache of weapons just seized in Laredo, Texas. U.S. authorities grabbed two completed Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), materials for making 33 more, military-style grenades, 26 grenade triggers, large quantities of AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles, 1,280 rounds of ammunition, silencers, machine gun assembly kits, 300 primers, bullet-proof vests, police scanners, sniper scopes, narcotics, and cash.
That sounds like a war is going on in Texas! If bomb-making factories and firearms assembly plants are ordinary day-to-day business in the drug war along our southern border, the American people need to know more about it.
The Val Verde County chief deputy warned that drug traffickers are helping terrorists with possible al Quaeda ties to cross the Texas-Mexico border into the United States. A government spokesman in Houston said "at this point there is no connection with anything in Iraq."
We are not so easily reassured. We wonder what our government is doing to fulfill its duty to "protect each of them [the states] against invasion," as called for in the U.S. Constitution, Article IV.
The Department of Homeland Security now admits that there have been 231 documented incursions by Mexican military or police, or drug or people smugglers dressed in military uniforms, during the last ten years, including 63 in Arizona, and several Border Patrol agents have been wounded in these encounters. This admission comes after years of pretending that such incursions were just "accidents."
Read the rest and support the Minuteman Project.