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Newsbrief: Iraq Situation Report

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The Surge and the Defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq

In his latest message sent out as an audio statement through al Jazeera, Osama bin Laden essentially recognized the fact that al Qaeda in Iraq is no longer a functional force. Al Qaeda is regrouping its resources, largely outside of Iraq and looking for new ways to exert their influence. They managed to prove that terrorists don’t belong in an actual ground war, and by crumbling they have certainly make it seem as if President Bush’s ‘surge’ in Iraq has worked.

In fact, the defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq is not so much the result of the additional troops sent there, as it is the result of changes in strategy implemented by General David Petraeus who has been able to win over frustrated Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar province and elsewhere and shown them that their best interests lay with turning on al Qaeda. Al Qaeda had already been dealt serious blows by heightened urban security from Iraqi and coalition forces and had been driven out of the cities to try to take their campaign of terror to the rural towns. This infringed on the territory of the Sheikhs, causing them to unify against al Qaeda and work with the Americans and the Iraqi government with the result that al Qaeda forces had nowhere left to go and no one left supporting them and they were crushed in a series of small raids and battles over the last few months.

This does not mean we should count al Qaeda out, but they are now viewed in Iraq as the interlopers and foreign invaders which they are and will no longer find a sympathetic and supporting population there. Average Iraqis have grown very tired of terrorist gangs telling them how to dress and act in public, and even telling them where they can and cannot live based on their religious beliefs. What remains to be seen is whether Petraeus and his allies in Iraq can achieve the same sort of results in Basra and other strongholds of Iranian backed Shiite militias.

The best news out of Iraq is that these successes have led to a massive reduction in violence. People are now walking the streets in Baghdad neighborhoods which used to be danger zones, they are traveling through a city no longer choked by check-points, and areas like the Anbar province which used to be in open warfare have become remarkably safe and peaceful. Overall violent incidents are down 70% since June. Car bombings are down 67%. Roadside bombings are down 40%. Violence is down so much that one article reports complaints from workers at a major Shiite cemetery that burials are down below pre-war levels, which means less revenue and fewer jobs for cemetery workers.

For more see: The New York Times, McClatchy News Service

ABC Poll Finds Iraqis Chimerical

The results of a recent ABC News poll raises the question of whether the Iraqis have developed or always had a national character of irrational pessimism. Such a trend would certainly be understandable given the trials they have gone through in recent years. The poll of a large number of Iraqis divided by ethnic, religious and regional classifications shows Iraqis highly pessimistic when asked specific questions about their situation, but strangely much more positive when asked more general questions about essentially the same issues.

For example, while 57% say the security situation in their area is bad and most Iraqis rate security issues as their highest concern, 61% of the Iraqis polled describe their life as ‘not bad’. In another example, while 80% of Iraqis say that the coalition forces have done a ‘bad job’, 81% don’t blame them for the violence in the country and 53% believe that coalition forces should stay at least until the security situation is stabilized.

Notably Kurdish respondents were characterized by enormously more positive feelings about coalition forces and their current situation and prospects for the future, not surprising since they have been largely autonomously ruled and relatively free of violence since early in the war. However, compared to earlier polls there also seems to be a significant change in attitudes among other groups, with Sunni Iraqis in the Anbar province noticeably more positive about their situation, reflecting the successes there against terrorists, while Shiites nationwide seemed much more negative about how things were working out for them.

The poll was completed in August, so it doesn’t reflect the successes against al Qaeda and in reducing violence substantially in the last two months.

For more see: Article in Baltimore Sun, Full Poll in PDF format

Turkey Poised to Invade Kurdistan

Right now, when other things seem to be going better, the worst news from Iraq is the fear of a full-scale Turkish invasion. With the election of a new hard-line religious faction to power in Turkey the threat to Iraqi Kurdistan has never been higher. The one area of Iraq where the aftermath of the war has been truly positive is now threatened with external invasion.

Since before the recent election Turkish forces have been massing on the Kurdish border, and this week some Turkish units crossed the border into Kurdistan in pursuit of suspected terrorists. In the latest development, the Turkish military today shelled targets within Kurdistan. While the Kurdish military and police forces are of high quality they are not sufficient to repel a full Turkish invasion and Kurds are appealing to the Iraqi government and coalition forces for support should an invasion take place.

At the heart of the crisis is the PKK or Kurdish Workers Party, a terrorist group with a long history of attacks within Turkey which has been blamed for 50 Turkish deaths in the last month. The Iraqi government has promised to crack down on PKK activities to try to remove any excuse the Turks might have for taking military action which they would be very ill-prepared to deal with, but newly elected Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised to take action if the PKK is not brought to heel swiftly.

Also adding to the tension are destabilizing messages coming from Washington politicians, including the failed effort by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass a resolution condemning Turkey for the Armenian Genocide of the early 1900s and a proposal from Presidential candidate and Senator Joe Biden for a legislative resolution in support of a partitioning of Iraq along religious and ethnic lines, which would result in an independent Kurdistan, something to which Turkey is adamantly opposed and would respond to militarily.

For more see: The Financial Times, Regnum News Service, Times Online.

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About Dave Nalle

  • Lumpy

    What the hell is wrong with the demcrats. Why would they put thousands even hundreds of thousands of lives at risk just to score political points on Bush or advance their presidential campaign? If Turkey invades they ought to be dragged off in chains and tried for war crimes, but in Iraq not the UN so they can face the death penalty.

  • REMF

    Nope, wait your turn Lumpy; the war crimes in Iraq committed by GW Bush, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz need to be tried first.

  • Lumpy

    Do you even understand the difference between killing innocents for trivial reasons and a just war of liberation? I’d like to see u in an Iraqi court as an al Qaeda fifth columist.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    If Turkey does invade I think it’s a bit much to put all the blame on the democrats, or even on MCH. Turkey itself is the problem here. Their demand that the political autonomy of the Kurds be suppressed is entirely unreasonable and ought to be treated that way.

    Dave

  • REMF

    “…and a just war of liberation?”
    – Lumpy

    “Just” as long as someone ELSE has to die fighting it…

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    What an arrogant bunch of American navel-gazers!

    Events between Turkey and Kurdistan have nothing to do with the congressmaggots on the Potomac and their stupid resolutions, they have to do with the fact that the Turks do not want to recognize that about a third of their own country is Kurdish because that would fracture their own nation on ethnic lines. While the news government there is a bunch of Islamist hard-liners who want to undo much of Attatürk’s revolution in Turkey, they are taking one element of Kemalism that the Turkish army appreciates, the repression of Kurds, as part of basic policy. And this basic policy is what Dave Nalle refers to in his article.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    That’s pretty much what I pointed out in my last comment, Ruvy. Plus the new regime in addition to being islamic fundamentalists are also ultra-nationalists, hence their enhanced dislike of the Kurds.

    But what the US does as far as policy in Iraq IS relevant, because if we do establish an independent Kurdistan we will see the invasion the Turks have promised for generations. If an independent Kurdistan is to happen – and it wouldn’t be a bad thing – we need to straighten the Turks out once and for all, and that probably means some pretty heavy threats with the will to back them up.

    BTW, this article is dedicated to Bliffle, who requested something like it, being tired of articles bout Hugo Chavez.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “But what the US does as far as policy in Iraq IS relevant, because if we do establish an independent Kurdistan we will see the invasion the Turks have promised for generations. If an independent Kurdistan is to happen – and it wouldn’t be a bad thing – we need to straighten the Turks out once and for all, and that probably means some pretty heavy threats with the will to back them up.”

    Go and check your history and read up on what the Turks did in Korea fighting with the Americans under the UN flag.

    The Turks are bad-asses. They’re meaner than all hell, and have seen the weaknesses of Americans – who do not know how to improvise in the absence of needed equipment as well as they or the Israelis do.

    Three thousand American body-bags will be a small count in a fight with Turks, Dave.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I know, Ruvy. But if we fought like it was a REAL war we’d still win – if we’re even capable of doing that anymore. But because we’re probably not up to defending the Kurds as we should, we need to find a way to solve this situation without resorting to violence.

    Dave

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Events between Turkey and Kurdistan have nothing to do with the congressmaggots on the Potomac and their stupid resolutions

    Sigh. Here and here.

    they have to do with the fact that the Turks do not want to recognize that about a third of their own country is Kurdish

    Wrong. More like 10-20%, or maybe 25% at the very most.

  • brian

    what wrong with the democrats? They are serving their real masters: those with money: such as AIPAC. They are the ones who want war in the middle east. And they are the ones demonising arabs and muslims the better to get americans to die for Eretz Israel.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “If an independent Kurdistan is to happen – and it wouldn’t be a bad thing – we need to straighten the Turks out once and for all, and that probably means some pretty heavy threats with the will to back them up.”

    That’s not going to happen. Turkey is NATO, and they have a serious military (at least for a Muslim, Middle Eastern country). No way in hell the US starts threatening military action against an ally, especially an ally with some important leverage in the region, and the military might to back it up.

    I mean, seriously. The day Bush starts talking about invading/going to war with Turkey, is the day I become an anti-war protester. IOW, it ain’t gonna happen.

  • brian

    A curious admission…for those following 9-11 Truth, and how those who question the official theory get called ‘conspiracy theorists’, well the following admission appeared recently:

    ‘REP. JERROLD NADLER: Well, I, as did other members of the committee, apologized on behalf of the American people for the disgusting treatment to which our government, I believe, knowingly subjected him. …

    I believe that what happened here was that the United States government consciously and deliberately conspired with the government of Syria to have him tortured. http://www.democracynow.org/print.pl?sid=07/10/24/1528217

  • brian

    ‘I mean, seriously. The day Bush starts talking about invading/going to war with Turkey, is the day I become an anti-war protester. IOW, it ain’t gonna happen.’

    so you are hard core pro-war???

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Here’s what’s going to happen:

    Turkish forces will cross the border into a Iraq a few times. They will use artillery to shell PKK positions. They will use their air power to attack PKK camps/bases. This “offensive” won’t accomplish the stated goal of “destroying” the PKK, but it will be an effective show of force, one intended to both placate their own citizens, while intimidating the Iraqi and American governments. And it will work.

    The US and Iraq will agree to crush the PKK as long as Turkey agrees to stop their military action. There will be some sort of unannounced agreement on this (although it will be leaked to the press), and it will be done. The PKK will be largely rooted out by American and Iraqi forces. The Kurds will be upset by these events, but probably not in a major way. End of story.

    The Turkish populace will be mollified, a serious NATO-splitting crisis will have been averted, and no one will be talking about any of this by December.

    That’s how this shit works in realpolitik. Watch and see.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    RJ,

    The bottom line with all of this is not the precise number of Kurds, but the fact that the Turks have been repressing their culture for as long as Attatürk’s republic has been in existence, if not longer. The Turks are desperate not to have division in Anatolia, which is the where 90% of the Turkish republic is located. While I can understand this attitude, when the Turks start extending their “sovereignty” to northern Mesopotamia, it gets my hackles up. Remember, RJ, this is my neighborhood I’m talking about, not some faraway place on the corner of the world map.

    Nevertheless, what you write in comment #15 has a ring of realism to it, and is a very viable scenario…..

    Maybe…..

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    RJ is probably spot on, but with the new regime in Turkey I think we’re a lot closer to an unreasonable response to the situation than we ever have been before.

    Oh, and contrary to what Brian says, the US has considered the PKK a terrorist organization since the 1970s and has not, in fact, worked with them.

    Brian supports the PKK because like Hezbollah and other terrorist and genocidal groups he believes in they are marxist-lenninists.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    “#9 — October 25, 2007 @ 04:09AM — Dave Nalle [URL]

    I know, Ruvy. But if we fought like it was a REAL war we’d still win – …”

    Here comes Better-Things-to-Do Dave to complain about the lousy job of fighting our soldiers have done in Iraq. Same thing the war advocates did in the Vietnam aftermath. Couldn’t admit their war theory was wrong and blamed it on the PFCs.

    Support the troops, Dave.

    When are you going to enlist and show them how to fight a REAL war?

  • troll

    Dave – the power of your ability to manifest is astounding…why just a few weeks ago you began giving your international socialist conspiracy a face in the term ‘tranzi’ and behold they start coming out of the woodwork – !

    brian – you see capitalists under your bed and condemn them…this make Dave’s question legitimate: where do you get the money to be a tourist of the world – ?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You know, Bliffle. I expected better from you than a cheap shot like #18. Guess I was being too kind.

    Point out where I said one negative word about the troops or attempted to blame anything on the PFCs. Maybe you shouldn’t leap to conclusions or perhaps you’re just projecting your own prejudices onto me.

    Obviously, my statement condemned the entire nation and in particular our leadership and was not directed at the troops. That you could take it that way is blatantly deceptive and insulting.

    I wrote on this topic for you. See if I ever take your requests into consideration again.

    Dave

  • troll

    so here’s the thing – by allowing aqi to melt away as arabs are wont to do we’ve lost another one

    what good is Iraq if it is ‘demagnefied’

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    troll, i think you had a very good point on brian – since you were agreeing with me – and I do think he’s living proof that I’m not paranoid. But what the hell was that last post about?

    Dave

  • troll

    (just a little joke Dave)

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    On thinking about it a bit more I believe I get it, troll. I just didn’t expect that bit of clarity of vision coming from you. For some strange reason I often confuse you with bliffle in my head [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor].

    Dave

  • troll

    (…probably would have been clearer if I hadn’t gone for the combination of ‘magnetized’ and ‘magnified’ – it was a reach)

  • bliffle

    Defeating AQI is a pyrhic victory. They are not AQ or even a child of AQ, but merely wannabes. They’ve been persistently demonized by the Pentagon for propaganda reasons.

    The admin is pushing Iran Invasion as the antidote to the stagnant war in Iraq. Just as Iraq was once pushed as the antidote to the lost war in Vietnam. And just as Vietnam itself was pushed as the antidote to the stalemate in Korea.

    The idea that More War is the antidote to Lost War should by now have been thoroughly debunked.

    But no! Now come the keyboard warriors advocating New wars! Now we have the president of the failed Iraq Invasion loudly proclaiming for war with Iran, and rattling the saber against Cuba, which one would think had earned the right to set their own course.

    And when the Iran bombing (already authorized by the Kyl-Lieberman act) fails to deter Iran, as they already say, then what war comes next? Syria? Cuba? What?

    There is no end to this war madness once the first draft of the intoxicating liquor is imbibed. There is no course possible except the war course. No one can point to where it ends. To quit before The End would admit cowardice, they say. It would forsake the sacrifice of those who have gone before, they say.

    No ones forethought can be entertained, for it weakens the grip of the war party on the national consciousness.

    We may not know where this war madness ends, but we can predict how: nuclear warfare. BANG!

    Now THERE’s your REAL war!

  • moonraven

    Hmmmm. Nalle calls his OPINION pieces NEWS now. When was that Orwellian change in nomenclature approved?

    I had two e-mails from Iraq today that describe the situation there very differently.

    Nalle would undoubtedly dismiss my sources since they are Iraquis, they are not living in Miami, and they are university professors (and therefore hopefully) a bit more educated than his latest protege on this site–for whom he is standing in front of the mirror doing tongue flexibility exercises….

    The bottom line is this apocryphal headline:

    Autopsy Shows Victim Healthy But Dead from Massive Heart Attack

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    SHUVÓ SHEL HANAILÓN – Return of the Plastic: Warnings of War

    My friend and neighbor Mike from Texas traveled into Jerusalem today with the little lady. He saw this on the major daily, Yediot Ahronot, took a photo, and sent the following e-mail.

    Hi Folks~

    In today’s Israel major newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, the headlines screamed…

    להצטייד בניילונים ובסרטי הדבקה מרחב מוגן ולאחסן בבית שימורים ומים

    “Equip and prepare yourselves with plastic sheetings, sticky tapes, protected room, also canned food and water…”

    IDF says that there is no need to panic but are asking residents to take advantage of these calm days in preparation for the coming war…

    ———————————————————————————————————————————
    The IDF is warning of war and telling everybody to prepare. This was NOT found on either the Hebrew or English websites of Yediot Ahronot.

    So what’s the bottom line here? The bottom line is that all the yowling about Jerusalem being divided, about peace being negotiated with the PA, about declarations of principles, Annapolis, and all the blah blah baloney going on that is occupying everybody’s attention is a smoke screen to hide the real threat – a war coming soon. Keep your eyes on the ball folks and ignore the big ugly images on the wall. The ball is attached to a missile coming the way of Tel Aviv.

  • Dan

    Thanks for the update on the war Dave.

    Ruvy: “The Turks are bad-asses. They’re meaner than all hell, and have seen the weaknesses of Americans – who do not know how to improvise in the absence of needed equipment as well as they or the Israelis do.”

    Sounds similar to what was said about Sadam’s so called “elite republican guard”. Then when the shit hit the fan, they were surrendering to reporters.

    Improvisation is what the Iraq war has all been about. The American military man is the fiercest, most resourceful, and noble warrior the world has ever seen. Even when saddled by the “weakness” of liberal Democrats.

    If the Turk’s are the “bad asses” you portray, then they won’t mind dying, should they be stupid enough to rely on your type of ill-informed smear of American military valor.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dan,

    I’m not smearing American valor.

    The Americans have regularly held war-games in the eastern Mediterranean with both the Turks and the Israelis for a while now. The American sailors were great guys and good fighting men. The Israeli sailors, not as well equipped (in fact badly equipped) did better than the Americans in the war games because they knew how to improvise better.

    I’m working on the assumption that the Turks are equipped in a fashion similar to the Israelis – that is to say not well at all. And I’m working on the assumption that they, used to deprivation as a way of life, will be able to improvise better.

    This is not an issue of valor or courage. The American fighting man is an excellent soldier and is the best equipped soldier in the world. But Americans, are not like either Israelis or Turks in that they generally have what they need and have not lived (comparatively speaking) lives of deprivation. While two year veterans may know how to improvise, this ability, all important in the chaos of battle, is not as strong in Americans as it is in Turks or Israelis.

    In a given battle between Turks and Americans, I assume that the Americans would win – but the price in blood would be very high – much higher than it has been in the last four years of fighting in Iraq.

  • moonraven

    Since there is no draft, the US military is composed of:

    1. a bunch of dead-ender mercenaries

    and 2. the very poor who hope to survive to use their military benefit to get a green card or an education.

    The second group must also be considered as mercenaries.

    If it sounds outrageous that someone would accept the money those folks are paid to come hom in body bags to defend private business interests, just keep in mind that there folks in other countries–in the Third World that will defend private business interests for a few extra points of grades at their private universities. Not even for money.

    Stupidity is the most available commodity on the planet.

  • Dan

    Ruvy, your entitled to the opinion, but I would be suspicious of those results. Being well equipped also means being well trained for improvisational situtations. A life of deprivation doesn’t equal improvisational superiority.

    The core of our military strength is not a “two year veteran” looking for free college tuition, although they’re more than helpful, and deserving of much gratitude. But we have military family traditions extending back generations. Young men groomed to be warriors. Men whose fathers and grandfathers have faced sacrifice and death. Those are the ones who make enemies die.

    The error you make in assuming a battle with Turks would be bloodier for Americans, is in not recognizing that the battle would most likely be a more conventional one where our guys wouldn’t need the handicap of preserving innocent life. That type of battle would be a route. And the Turks likely know this.

  • moonraven

    I do not believe recruiters should be using this site.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I had two e-mails from Iraq today that describe the situation there very differently.

    Well, why don’t you write those first-hand reports up as an article and submit it to the site. Contact Eric Olsen from the home page to get set up to do it.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dan,

    A couple of points for you to consider.

    The Turks took a bad beating in World War I. They got creamed by the Brits who drove them out of the Sinai, Gaza, Jerusalem and chased them all the way to Damascus, and again by the Brits who drove them out of Basra, Baghdad and Mosul. They won only one significant battle in that war – the battle to defend Gallipoli. Jemal Pasha, the fellow who later led Turkish forces in driving the Greeks out of Ionia in 1922 was the commander; he took the name Kemal Attatürk after the war and became the founder of modern Turkey.

    It is his martial spirit that hovers over the Turkish military even today. The Turks were bad-asses in Korea. Americans who fought along side them noted just how vicious they were. Turks have not changed since then.

    Finally, the other thing you really need to comprehend is that the Turkish military is utterly unlike the Iraqi one. They are proud and have a tradition of upholding the sovereignty of Turkey against the world (that’s how they were born) and against the corrupt politicians who try to wreck the country whenever they can. So they are similar to the American military that way. In defending their homeland against American attack, or in holding off American forces sent to protect Kurdistan (northern Iraq) they would take a heavy blood toll. For the Americans, even if it was a victory, it would be Gallipoli all over again.

    I do not speak out of lack of respect for the American armed forces, but out of a healthy respect for the Turkish armed forces and what motivates them.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Defeating AQI is a pyrhic victory. They are not AQ or even a child of AQ, but merely wannabes. They’ve been persistently demonized by the Pentagon for propaganda reasons.

    They drew tens of thousands of fighters from all over the region who might have been engaged in terrorism and insurgencies in other areas and got them killed or imprisoned. That weakens the pool of people al Qaeda anywhere else can draw on, because we have to assume that suicide bombers and terrorist murderers are a finite resource, even in Islam.

    The admin is pushing Iran Invasion as the antidote to the stagnant war in Iraq. Just as Iraq was once pushed as the antidote to the lost war in Vietnam. And just as Vietnam itself was pushed as the antidote to the stalemate in Korea.

    I sure don’t see this happening. I realize you hate Bush with a fiery passion, but right now it looks like he’s taking a pretty sensible course of indirect confrontation, even if he’s keeping his options open. Bush isn’t a lunatic warmonger and he does have senible advisors, you know.

    The idea that More War is the antidote to Lost War should by now have been thoroughly debunked.

    It’s an idea which exists mostly as a fantasy of the left, I think.

    But no! Now come the keyboard warriors advocating New wars!

    Really? Where?

    Now we have the president of the failed Iraq Invasion loudly proclaiming for war with Iran,

    Really, when? Hit me with a link to this loud proclamation.

    and rattling the saber against Cuba, which one would think had earned the right to set their own course.

    Rattling a saber? He offered to help Cuba out economically so that it can have a stable transition to democracy when Castro dies? How is that sabre rattling?

    And when the Iran bombing (already authorized by the Kyl-Lieberman act) fails to deter Iran, as they already say, then what war comes next? Syria? Cuba? What?

    Why are you so obsessed with invading everyone?

    There is no end to this war madness once the first draft of the intoxicating liquor is imbibed. There is no course possible except the war course. No one can point to where it ends. To quit before The End would admit cowardice, they say. It would forsake the sacrifice of those who have gone before, they say.

    Who is this ‘they’ except for some fabricated straw man or a few lunatics from the fringe?

    No ones forethought can be entertained, for it weakens the grip of the war party on the national consciousness.

    What mythical ‘war party’ are you referring to?

    We may not know where this war madness ends, but we can predict how: nuclear warfare. BANG!

    Now THERE’s your REAL war!

    You’re off your meds, right?

    Dave

  • Dan

    Ruvy, we just have a difference of opinion about a hypothetical confrontation. I don’t impugn the quality of Turkish fighters.

    I recently had the privilege of tuning in to a radio interview with one of the surviving Doolittle Raiders from WW2. His story is a very illustrative one of American military improvisation, and valor.

    After the Japanese sucker punch at Pearl Harbor, and the near devastation of our Pacific fleet, it was decided that a bombing raid was needed on the homeland of Japan. For no other reason than to boost moral at home, and to wipe the smirk off of the emperors face.

    Every man from his 17th bomb group volunteered for the unspecified, extremely hazardous mission. The details that were gradually made known to them were that they were going to launch Airforce Bombers from the deck of a Navy Aircraft Carrier for the first and only time in history. It was the only way.

    Numerous modifications had to be made to the aircraft, and the plan was to drop their payloads then fly on to friendly mainland China to attempt a landing since it was logistically impossible to return to the Carrier.

    They were spotted by a Japanese Picket about 170 miles before their launch point. They destroyed the enemy ship, but not before it had radioed the news of the impending attack.

    Knowing they would now be forced to splash the bombers down in the Sea of Japan they took off anyway. Most of them had never even parachuted before and their training consisted of being told to wait a few seconds before they pulled the cord.

    The bombers took off 5 minutes apart independently because a formation was impossible given fuel requirements. Miraculously all 16 made it off the deck.

    After a succesful raid with only sporadic anti-aircraft fire they proceeded to their uncertain fate.

    Luck was with them though when a storm gave them enough of a tail wind to make it to the Chinese mainland.

    Many of them made it and bailed out successfully, but some died in crashes, about ten were unaccouted for, a few were taken prisoner and subsequently starved and tortured. The Japanese military eventually slaughtered about 250,000 chinese civilians for helping rescue the majority of airmen.

    After his rescue, this man didn’t even return home. He went on to be shot down over Africa, and was held prisoner by the Germans until after the war.

    I’m not sure how this guy could fit his balls into a flight suit.

    That’s the kind of military men we had then, and still do today.

  • REMF

    bliffle, re #18;

    Dittos.

  • REMF

    Re #14;
    “so you are hard core pro-war???”

    Well, yes he is brian. But only in the sense of writing about it on a blogroll.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    Since there is no draft, the US military is composed of:

    1. a bunch of dead-ender mercenaries

    and 2. the very poor who hope to survive to use their military benefit to get a green card or an education.

    The second group must also be considered as mercenaries.

    A vile slander. But I expect nothing else from our wonderful little moonraven.

    One of my best friends volunteered for military service after getting his college degree, but before 9/11. He re-upped sometime in 2004 or 2005, after the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. He’s been sent to South Korea, Japan, and Oman, as well as other places in the Middle East. He’s not at all uneducated or unintelligent. And he’s certainly not a merc, with a wife and two beautiful children at home. He’s just a patriot. (And, for the record, he’s a Democrat.)

    The idea that America’s volunteer military force is comprised of nothing but blood-thirsty war-mongers and impoverished rubes is nothing more than a disgusting anti-American smear. But again, I have come to expect little else from moonraven and her communist ilk.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “For the Americans, even if it was a victory, it would be Gallipoli all over again.”

    So, you think it would lead to approximately 250,000 American causalities? And a roughly 5-4 casualty ratio?

    Not terribly likely. But, again, it’s not gonna happen anyway.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    We don’t fight battles the way Gallipoli was fought anymore. Body armor, mechanization and improved medical technology and procedures keep casualties much lower than they were back then. To have equivalent casualty levels to Gallopoli we’d need an enormously larger battle, something even even bigger than Mukden with millions of men on each side. It’s not going to happen in Iraq or Kurdistan or even Iran. For that kind of casualty count we’d need to go up against Red China.

    Dave

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    A Dave points out, in order to have the number of deaths there were at Gallipoli, you’d need lots more soldiers than are on the ground now.

    But in terms of losses, the Americans would be bloodied badly in a confrontation with the Turks.

    The same would hold true in a confrontation with Israelis IF the traitors commanding them now were relieved, and standard Israeli battle tactics of fighting to win were-instituted.

  • moonraven

    Dave: I assume that your suggestion was a joke.

    I have made it very clear that I will write Z ERO articles for this site as long as you are part of the editorial “staff”.

    The price of authentic journalism is your very bald head, Nalle.

    RJ:

    Moonraven is anything but little. Statuesque is the correct term.

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.”

  • Dan

    In the case of our corrupt main stream media, silence speaks louder than words or actions.

    I just learned from Bill O’reilly that not a single American soldier or a single Iraqi soldier was killed in the previous week.

    The success in Iraq should be the second biggest story of the year, with the disgraceful media coverage of it being the first.

  • Martin Lav

    Blif # 26

    Excellent post!

  • moonraven

    Bill O’Reilly is now the gospel????

    That guy would not know the truth if it bit him in the ass.

    You gotta be kidding.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I have made it very clear that I will write Z ERO articles for this site as long as you are part of the editorial “staff”.

    MR, I didn’t mean to suggest that anyone wants you to write for BC, I just wanted to point out that the door is open. As a member of the editorial staff I actually do something productive here, while your previously stated purpose is only to disrupt and distract with your silly antics, so it’s unlikely that anything you wrote would actually be worth publishing.

    And I do understand your need for a convenient excuse for not exposing your lack of writing skill to public examination. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

    Dave

  • Dan

    Well, moonraven, it’s either the truth or it’s not.

    If it’s a lie, or even an honest mistake, then it will be exposed with the delicacy of a sledgehammer.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle


    I just learned from Bill O’reilly that not a single American soldier or a single Iraqi soldier was killed in the previous week.

    At least O’Reilly is doing something useful with his time. I’m not surprised this wasn’t reported in the MSM, but I had noticed the general decline in news from Iraq. Given that they only cover bad news from Iraq you can assume that when the media stops discussing Iraq that means things are going well there.

    Dave

  • Marcia L. Neil

    Uh, the war is being fought by relatives of U.S. citizens who would vote “no” to give pay raises to military personnel as a political action. (Why no? Because the military troops have been incredibly lax at kicking terrorists and influence-networkers off the telephone lines.) The Grassrootspa.com website tells us that someone named Murtha has proposed an extra tax to pay for the war — instead, let all the University alumni associations chip in to settle the bill, since ROTC exists to choose ‘qualified’ candidates to send into potentially hazardous overseas duty.

  • Dan

    I think intelligent folks are gradually waking up to the disgrace that the MSM has become.

    Fewer people challenge the fact of main stream media bias with much conviction anymore.

    It’s more a question of degree, and purpose now.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    “At least O’Reilly is doing something useful with his time. I’m not surprised this wasn’t reported in the MSM, but I had noticed the general decline in news from Iraq. Given that they only cover bad news from Iraq you can assume that when the media stops discussing Iraq that means things are going well there.”

    Cite, from the AP:

    Sharp Drop Seen in US Deaths in Iraq

    BAGHDAD (AP) — October is on course to record the second consecutive decline in U.S. military and Iraqi civilian deaths and Americans commanders say they know why: the U.S. troop increase and an Iraqi groundswell against al-Qaida and Shiite militia extremists.

    Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch points to what the military calls “Concerned Citizens” — both Shiites and Sunnis who have joined the American fight. He says he’s signed up 20,000 of them in the past four months.

    “I’ve never been more optimistic than I am right now with the progress we’ve made in Iraq. The only people who are going to win this counterinsurgency project are the people of Iraq. We’ve said that all along. And now they’re coming forward in masses,” Lynch said in a recent interview at a U.S. base deep in hostile territory south of Baghdad. Outgoing artillery thundered as he spoke.

    Lynch, who commands the 3rd Infantry Division and once served as the military spokesman in Baghdad, is a tireless cheerleader of the American effort in Iraq. But the death toll over the past two months appears to reinforce his optimism. The question, of course: Will it last?

    As of Tuesday, the Pentagon reported 28 U.S. military deaths in October. That’s an average of about 1.2 deaths a day. The toll on U.S troops hasn’t been this low since March 2006, when 31 soldiers died — an average of one death a day.

    In September, 65 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.

    Yep. It seems like, as soon as the war in Iraq starts turning our way, the MSM decides it’s not an important enough issue to give much coverage to anymore.

    Why, it’s almost as if their goal has been to destroy our morale, and weaken domestic support for the war! But, nooo, that couldn’t be the case. The MSM is perfectly objective…

  • REMF

    HONOR THE FALLEN

    “Army Staff Sgt. Robin L. Towns Sr., 52, of Upper Marlboro, Md.; assigned to the 275th Military Police Company, 372nd Military Police Battalion, Washington, D.C. National Guard; died Oct. 24 in Bayji, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Humvee during combat operations.”

    – from the militarycity web site (“valor”)

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    “I’m terrified that in a few years I might suffer a similar mental breakdown.”

    Aw, don’t worry yourself too much, Dave.

    Barry Chamish, the Canadian born Israeli researcher who exposed the real killer of Yitzhak Rabin, recently suffered a stroke. Knowing him as I do, I wasn’t all that surprised – but that is besides the point. His writing, which did suffer damage for a time, has improved and he has recovered all of his writing/researching skills.

    Nevertheless, the real enemy of us writers is not typos, as Sholem Aleichem complained decades ago, but strokes and other diseases of the brain which prevent clear thinking.

  • Ninja

    “Given that they only cover bad news from Iraq you can assume that when the media stops discussing Iraq that means things are going well there.”

    What insight!

    Given that they only cover bad news from California you can assume that when the media stops discussing the forest fires that means things are going well there.

  • Igor

    So now, finally, we can plainly see that the touted “surge” was a failure. The surge was legitimized as a way to abate conflict so that political means could ascend and be used to solve problems. It failed. No matter how many and who we killed, the military surge never cleared the way for elections beyond the superficial. Once our military leaves they will collapse.

    It also illustrates the failure of the Bush policy “as Iraqis step up we will step down”, which has been defeated by shams by the Iraqis and the crooks that infest their military.

    Thus a show-biz policy of bluster and bullying from behind a show-biz curtain will be defeated by another show-biz swindle.

    Does anyone think that Bush Iraq Policy supporters will step forward and admit their folly?