Friday, August 31, 2007

Puzzle pieces

Matt Sanchez has a post up where he reiterates what Jeff Emanuel posted (and I pointed you to) yesterday about CBS sending Katie Couric over to Iraq to "get the real story" and how that's going to be the last thing she'll provide. Matt has added an interesting puzzle piece though. The post is The Statement is Worth Repeating.
  • Jeff made some excellent points about the mainstream journalist including the fact that:

  1. They rarely embed with troops on the ground
  2. They often use "stringers". In Ramadi, I met a stringer who worked for CNN, Reuters and Al Qaeda.
  3. Many reporters refuse to venture "outside the wire", but these journalists influence the perception of the war to the American public.
  • This statement is worth repeating, "If the media are the eyes, ears and voice of a nation, we are currently deaf, dumb and blind."
He met a stringer that worked for CNN, Reuters, and Al Qaeda. I''m sure that would in no way contribute to the old media always seeming to support the enemy.

On a different line. I've been saying the story of the Iraq war was The Anbar Salvation Council and that the media missed it. One piece of that puzzle is provided to us by Pat Dollard in his post The Late Captain Patriquin’s “How To Win The War In Al Anbar”.

You need to visit both links. The first are Captain Patriquin's annimations, and the second the story of an American hero who worked with The Anbar Salvation Council. Sheik Sittar wept when he heard of Captian Patriquin's death.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Old Media versus The New Media

Anytime I explain to people that getting their news by watching TV or reading a newspaper is the wrong thing to do as what "news" they report is usually incorrect, I get lots of blank stares, comments like "you're full of.....", or unbelieving smiles that mean their too polite to say anything about my absurd belief. Seldom do I actually convince anyone that they need to do research on what their told via those outlets. I'm guessing it's easier to just believe what is presented than to take the time to verify. With this attitude though, we get a majority of Americans that believe Iraq never had any WMD's, the 911 commission determined that Iraq had no connections to terrorists, and the people of Iraq were actually better off under Sadaam's rule than they are now. All of which are documented to be false and easy to verify as being false. Jeff Emanuel over at Redstate has a great post up called All Combat Zone Journalism is NOT Created Equal that covers this and the reasons that old media gets it wrong in regards to the Iraq front in the global war on terror. It's a piece he wrote to point out that, when CBS sends Katie Couric over there, don't expect her to report on any actual news on Iraq. He also points out that, to get actual news, you need to read Michael J. Totten, Michael Yon, Pat Dollard, Bill Roggio, and others that are actually out there in the trenches and are the only reliable way for you to get a feel for what's going on.
  • “The future of our involvement in Iraq will be decided when the Petreaus report is released,” said CBS’s Kaplan. “If you're going to go to the Middle East at all, this is the time.”

    Unfortunately, this statement provides all of the evidence that is needed to see that their intent is more to have an exotic Evening News backdrop than it is to go the extra mile in hopes of achieving more accurate and informative stories.

    “The time” to be in the Middle East was months ago – and the place to be, in order to capture the essence of what is really going on there, is on the front lines, alongside those fighting this war, and in full view of events as they have unfolded.

Speaking of that, Michael Yon has his latest dispatch up. It's part three of a four parter called Ghosts of Anbar. This one is a good one to give you a feel for Anbar province and the progress being built upon The Anbar Salvation Council's work of late last year, early this year.
  • To many of the Iraqis I’ve spoken with, terrorists are fair game. Kill them. But if we kill justice while doing so, we will create terrorists out of farmers. Here the Marines are creating farmers, police officers, shepherds, and entrepreneurs out of insurgents. To do that, they have to be seen as men who respect and honor legitimate systems of government and justice.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Update on the trade

I don't think it's gonna happen. First problem we have is the rest of the league will probably nix it. Iraq has a starter and we're offering a player who's done nothing. The game film will have them laughing hysterically. We risk nothing and gain a competent player. Secondly, the socialized medicine idea is failing all over the world, so Iraq would only have to look at the active examples of it to see it has no value. That was our best selling point. And thirdly, as with most cultures around the world, they won't automatically give her the benefit of the doubt on her claims, as we do, just because she's a girl and therefore needs special treatment.

Dang, it was a great idea though.

In good faith we need to pull this trade off the table. Seriously, I've reviewed the game film on Hillary and she can't run, she can't pass, every decision she makes is the wrong one, and when she steps behind center to bark out signals, everyone on the team ends up getting a headache.

Hmmmm, maybe we should look at the U.N. roster..... Maybe we can do something there...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Yeah, but what would THEY know...

Lindsey Graham just returned from duty in Iraq. He's a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve and has spent two short two week stints on active duty in Iraq this year. The whole thing is good and up over at the Washington Post online and it's called After Tour of Duty in Iraq, Graham Backs 'Surge'. One thing of note for you is in regards to the "bottom up" politics I was talking about. The relevant part is:
  • Graham predicted that Maliki's personal political flaws would be overshadowed by events on the ground. Breaking with mounting congressional skepticism about Iraq's future, he said that a new momentum from the streets to reconcile, stop the killing and reject both al-Qaeda in Iraq and Iran was reaching the point that "all Maliki has to do is get out of the way," he said.

He covers much more, so go read the whole piece.

Now, on the man made global warming front, we have a professor emeritus of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia , a research professor at George Mason University , and president of the Science and Environmental Policy Project who has a report up called Imprimis. S. Fred Singer gives you proof positive that global warming isn't a problem created by us driving SUV's.
  • IN THE PAST few years there has been increasing concern about global climate change on the part of the media, politicians, and the public. It has been stimulated by the idea that human activities may influence global climate adversely and that therefore corrective action is required on the part of governments. Recent evidence suggests that this concern is misplaced. Human activities are not influencing the global climate in a perceptible way. Climate will continue to change, as it always has in the past, warming and cooling on different time scales and for different reasons, regardless of human action. I would also argue that—should it occur—a modest warming would be on the whole beneficial.
Yeah, but what would they know...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Possible trade

Fantasy Football season is just cranking up, so, if we mentally switch gears to that mode, here's what I've come up with.

Proposed trade:

We offer Iraq Hillary in exchange for Maliki. They might be reluctant as he's a starter and she sits on the pine, but I think we could talk it up.

What Hillary would bring to their team:

  1. Hillary's socialized medicine might actually work there. They have nothing now, so it's possibly the only place on the planet you could, at least theoritcally, have the slightest chance that it would improve something "for the people". In actuality, it wouldn't, but we don't need to point that out.
  2. Stealing money from the wealthy to give to the poor might also play there.
  3. She seems to think that she understands what the Iraqi people need in a leader.

What Maliki would bring to our team:

  1. Yeah, it's a junk for junk trade, but even with that, we saw just a few months ago that he has the ability to accomplish something. If I remember right, 8 of the benchmarks Congress laid out for his administration were met.
  2. Some of the negative baggage he would bring would dissolve. Sectarianism wouldn't immediately hinder him from political progress. Our Congress would, but not sectarianism.
  3. If he worked half as hard as he does now, he would arguably be one of our top Congressmen.

Iraq probably won't go for it, but if the do, I say we pull the trigger on the trade.

If it goes through, we better get Maliki hooked up with a therapist real quick. Imagine what he's going to be going through the first day as he looks over his daily planner.
  • Rename a post office....
  • Bash the U.S. military....
  • Rename another post office...
  • Bash George W. Bush....
  • $400 haircut
  • Rename a post office...
Personally, I can't think of a better place for Hillary to be sitting than in Baghdad, with her low opinion of the Iraqi people and the U.S. Military.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dumbfounded looks

The Democrats now have almost a perfect record on Iraq. Hillary especially. When one of them comments on the situation we are almost assured they will be 100% wrong. Todays news is that Maliki has formed the needed alliance in the government to pursue reconciliation and to start working toward meeting the benchmarks our lazy-asses in Congress set for them. The middle of September will be interesting and I expect several of those dumbfounded looks to be forth coming. Wake Up America has all the details on the great news in Military Progress Allows Room for Political Progress in Iraq.
  • I don't know how many times I have seen it said and said myself that the surge that is seeing such progress as has been stated by every politician that has just returned from Iraq, was meant to give the Iraqi politicians the breathing room to reconcile and make headway.

    Despite criticism far and wide about the Iraqi Parliament going on vacation, we said that they would be working behind the scenes as was evidenced by al-Maliki courting the Sunni's last week.
Now all the pieces are in place for "top down" political progress to go hand in hand with the "bottom up" progress that's been underway. As long as we can help keep the piece until the Iraqi's are up to providing it fully, things should progress nicely.

Iraq update August 26, 2007

Bill Roggio has a post up at The Fourth Rail regarding Targeting the networks.
  • Operation Phantom Strike, the effort to disrupt al Qaeda and Shia terror cells throughout Iraq continues even as al Qaeda in Iraq is launching its counteroffensive ahead of the Ambassador Crocker and Gen. Petraeus' September report to Congress on the state of Iraq. Coalition and Iraqi security forces struck over the past few days at al Qaeda and the Iranian-backed Shia terror networks.

Bill also has an update on the Al Qaeda Counteroffensive up over at The Weekly Standard.
  • Al Qaeda in Iraq has ramped up its attacks against Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and U.S. security forces over the past 48 hours. The effort demonstrates that al Qaeda in Iraq still possesses the capacity to launch a counteroffensive to the ongoing U.S. and Iraqi operations and is seeking to influence the upcoming debate in the U.S. Al Qaeda in Iraq has launched its version of the Tet Offensive.

Pat Dollard has a post up called U.S. Attacks "Bad" Police Station In Diyala.
  • Dyiala, Aug 26, (VOI) – Four policemen were killed and at least 11 others wounded when U.S. helicopters opened fire at a police station in Khanaqin district, Diala province, on Sunday, local residents said.

Ralph Peters has SENATOR WARNER'S BAD WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS up over at the New York Post site.
  • Out here in Anbar Province - long the most troubled in Iraq - the change has come so swiftly and thoroughly that it's dazzling. Marines who were under fire routinely just months ago are now directing their former enemies in battle.

    Although this trend has been reported, our battlefield leaders here agree that the magnitude of the shift hasn't registered back home: Al Qaeda is on the verge of a humiliating, devastating strategic defeat - rejected by their fellow Sunni Muslims.

    If we don't quit, this will not only be a huge practical win - it'll be the information victory we've been aching for.

    No matter what the Middle Eastern media might say, everyone in the Arab and greater Sunni Muslim world will know that al Qaeda was driven out of Iraq by a combination of Muslims and Americans.

And, that's a great one to finish off this update. Go read the whole thing.

Iraqi Politics

Senator Clinton says Maliki needs to be removed from office. Considering he's accomplished more in his political career than she has in hers, I wonder what her recommendations are for people in our Congress who aren't doing any real work.

So, to recap the political progress happening in Iraq. It's happening from the bottom up, not the top down that the Democrats are screaming for. Top down is unimportant and would most likely fail. Bottom up starts with the people and cannot help but succeed.

Remember Michael Yon's Bread and a Circus part I and part II.

Remember too, The Anbar Salvation Council. Several other Salvation Councils are up and running in many other provinces including Diyala.

And, if she believes we shouldn't be in Iraq helping them, then in my opinion, she has no right saying anything about their government. What another great "pompous ass" moment. She's basically saying we need out because those guys will never get it together but on the other hand she feels the need to meddle in their affairs. Nice leadership, Hillary.

Why stop there though? Shouldn't she tell Israel what they're doing wrong? Iran? Russia? China? This approach really is a spineless one, in my opinion.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Major Sunni flips on Al Qeada

Bill Roggio at The Fourth Rail has this Iraq Report: Al Douri flips on al Qaeda.
  • Baathist turned al Qaeda leader Izzat Ibrahim al Douri turns on al Qaeda; operations against al Qaeda in Iraq.
Wake up America has al-Maliki working behind the scenes.
  • The other day we made mention of the fact that al-Maliki, despite the Iraq parliamentary being on the highly criticized "vacation", was working behind the scenes on political progress by courting the Sunni's.
Pat Dollard has Roggio: Saddam’s #2 Quits Al Qaeda, Allies With U.S. which obviously points you back to Roggio, but with some Pat Dollard commentary which we value highly.
  • Al Douri was #6 of the 52 most wanted men in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. He was considered Saddam’s #2 to #3 guy. When I first hit Iraq, his rep was that of the #1 mastermind of the Sunni Baathist insurgency, running and funding it from Syria. He’s been seriously ill for years, as well.

All three stories are based on a story by the Italian news service AKI called Iraq: Baathists 'disown al-Qaeda.

This has a really huge sound to it and hopefully we'll get more stories on it over the next couple of days. We definitely need another source to report it to help confirm, though.

Captain Reid

So, the "we've lost the war" ship is all but sunk. When we last saw him, Harry Reid had himself lashed to the helm by one of the crew. I figured he'd be frantically trying to untie the knots and jump ship with all the other rats that jumped earlier in the week.


He's gonna go ahead stay with her. Apparently, with the water up to his knees, he still thinks he can keep it afloat. From an old media report on the President's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today, we get this quote:
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., dismissed Bush's position.
    "Today our soldiers remain caught in the middle of a civil war and the president's strategy is still failing to deliver the political solution necessary for Iraq's stability," Reid said. "A change of course in Iraq is long overdue, and Congress will continue to fight for that change in the coming weeks."
Nice of the old media to make sure they get several Democrats views of a really great speech by George W. Bush. Wake up America has full coverage of the President's speech.
  • Very good speech. All morning we saw the media spin machine with stories of how Bush was going to "Invoke Vietnam" in his speech today, and he did, he also spoke about the Korean War, he discussed the similarities as well as the was a good speech.
And, if you have the time, spree has several other posts up today there including four 30 second T.V. ads that Vets for Freedom will be running in some states. There's also an interesting one about some major political progress in Iraq that I'm looking into. Bill Roggio has some stuff I need to read through on that also. I'll post something if I find something spree hasn't covered. There's also a great story of an Iraqi hero that's well worth reading, too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And then there's Obama

Since he's just as bad as the rest of the anti-war surrender monkey's, we can't leave him out. He also says the surge is working and so we need to "redeploy". Pat Dollard has his take on it with Obama Believes A Military Is Not Necessary For Security In Iraq.
  • When Obama says “There is no military solution in Iraq”, what else can he mean? Given that there can be no political solution without a military component to provide the requisite security, why does he think that removing the only viable military force in the country will lead to a political solution? He doesn’t believe it, he just hopes you won’t notice the absurdity of his position so he can continue to pander to his anti-victory base. We in the pro-victory movement have never said there is an exclusively military solution, but instead that there is no solution without a viable military component to enforce and protect it. Only an idiot could disagree. And since he’s not an idiot, he’s clearly a liar when he pretends that the Right is considering an exclusively military solution to Iraq’s problems.

Iraq update August 21, 2007

Well, first off, another Democrat has just returned from Iraq. Carl Levin says the "surge" is showing measurable signs of success. We need to pack up and come home though. The reason?

Drum roll...........

The political progress by the Iraqi government is too slow. They are failing miserably, according to Levin, and we need to stop providing security to the Iraqi people. Considering that Levin is part of the worst Congress our country has had in over 200 years...

...THAT qualifies this as expert testimony, in my humble view.

Hillary Rotten Clinton says the surge is working and we need to "reward our soldiers by bringing them home". So, their reward for doing such a great job in 2007 would be for her to give Al Qaeda back everything our soldiers have bled and died for this year. Thank god she's only in Congress. Imagine the damage she could do as Commander in Chief.

Don't forget your daily Uncle Jimbo fix via Black Five. Today, it's called The Surge is working- So let's Cut & Run. I believe it has to do with the Democrats, but it's so hard to tell with his posts.
  • STFU both of you clowns with a grand total of zero relevant experience. I don't play chickenhawk, but there comes a time when the mendacious drivel spouted by these two completely political animals disgusts me beyond reprieve. OK now their story changes from we have lost the war, to Well the war may be going well but the political situation is screwed. The most grotesque irony is that both are criticizing the Iraqi Parliament for not being in session 24/7 while our two members of the Senate and our entire Parliament of Hoors are on vacation as well.
Michael J. Totten has a new post up call How to Spy in Iraq.
  • BAGHDAD – American soldiers arrived in Iraq in 2003 with not much of a plan and little idea what to expect. The Iraqi government, military, and police were overthrown and disbanded under de-Baathification. Most Iraqis who knew how to run the country were either sent home or imprisoned. Americans were in charge of just about everything even though they had no experience running even their own country let alone a traumatized and suspicious Arab society. They were confounded by its exotic and dysfunctional ways. When Sunni and Shia militias launched wars against each other and against the Americans, confusion turned to bewilderment.
The Democrats like to tell you that Bush has alienated the whole world and we have all this "fence mending" that needs to be done. They never acknowledge the fact that, we are gaining respect more and more everyday because of what Bush has done. Germany and France have elected pro-American governments and now France is even pushing to get in and help us. From the New York Post online we have FRANCE'S PRO-U.S. TURN ON IRAQ.
  • August 21, 2007 -- ONE key promise that Nicolas Sarkozy had made during his presidential election campaign last spring was to "correct foreign-policy mistakes" made by his predecessor Jacques Chirac.

    Chief among these was Chirac's desperate efforts to prevent Iraq's liberation from Saddam Hussein's regime of terror. Chirac failed to save his friend's regime but managed to sour relations with the United States, Great Britain and more than 40 other democracies that joined the Coalition of the Willing to liberate Iraq in 2003.

    Sarkozy's moves to correct the mistake started before his election, when he met President Bush at the White House in 2006 and described Chirac's policy as "arrogant."

Vets for Freedom, in their troop blog section has a great read called From the front lines in Fallujah. This link is to part 2, but in the beginning they link you to part 1 so you can get the whole email. It's from Marine Sam B.
  • Hey everyone. The peak of summer has come and gone, and we're all relishing in the relative reprieve of 110 degree temperatures – down from late July's brutal mid-120s. My platoon has been very busy supporting "precincting" operations in Fallujah, much like the one I mentioned in my previous email. We have now completed seven such operations, all carried out without major incident, and the results speak for themselves. Suicide bombings and IEDs are at the lowest levels since the initial Fallujah offensive in 2004. We have hired and trained some 1400 local Fallujans as neighborhood watch-standers, of whom several hundred (and more in the weeks to come) will become full-fledged Iraqi Police. The police and Iraqi Army, despite the sectarian differences in their membership, have cooperated effectively in the city, sharing intelligence and working together during combined operations to deny insurgents the ability to carry out effective attacks.

Monday, August 20, 2007

If you wish to pass this blog along...

I've added the feature. At the bottom of every post there's a little envelope. Click on that and then you can email that post to a friend. Please feel free to do that if you think someone else will enjoy the writing on this site. Or, if you feel my writing will REALLY annoy someone, that's even better...

Always listen to your Uncles

Uncle Joe Lieberman has this post up at the Wall Street Journal online called Al Qaeda's Travel Agent. Here's your lead in.
  • The United States is at last making significant progress against al Qaeda in Iraq--but the road to victory now requires cutting off al Qaeda's road to Iraq through Damascus.

    Thanks to Gen. David Petraeus's new counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq, and the strength and skill of the American soldiers fighting there, al Qaeda in Iraq is now being routed from its former strongholds in Anbar and Diyala provinces. Many of Iraq's Sunni Arabs, meanwhile, are uniting with us against al Qaeda, alienated by the barbarism and brutality of their erstwhile allies.

    As Gen. Petraeus recently said of al Qaeda in Iraq: "We have them off plan."

    But defeating al Qaeda in Iraq requires not only that we continue pressing the offensive against its leadership and infrastructure inside the country. We must also aggressively target its links to "global" al Qaeda and close off the routes its foreign fighters are using to get into Iraq.

Uncle Jimbo at Black Five is contemplating if there's any way the anti-war surrender monkey's can still pull defeat from the jaws of victory with his post US, French & United Nations victorious in Iraq
  • Now here is why this tactic is such a brilliant one. The howling from the left comes largely in the form of Bring the Troops Home. By making troop reductions part of the post-surge COIN strategy he takes the heart out of the opposition. The reason for bringing the troops home had as much to do with declaring a defeat on W and the neo-con imperialist cabal as it ever did with genuine concern for the soldiers. By co-opting the Bring the Troops Home message the defeat cannot be declared and even worse the specter of victory is actually looming and that is very bad news for a party that has done all it can to lose the war. Man those videos of all the defeat-mongers are going to sting. I wonder if they still have that Mission Accomplished banner, wouldn't that just make their freakin' heads explode? All right I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but you have to have goals.

Al Qaeda's Allies

Al Qaeda's allies in our government for some reason have failed to act on the huge message Al Qaeda sent them last week. I'm sure AQ expected a new push by Reid, Pelosi, and Murtha to surrender in Iraq, as usually happens when AQ successfully pulls off any large bombing.

Could Reid, Pelosi, and Murtha have actually turned their backs on their number one allies in this? I say probably not, they're just on vacation. I expect the push to surrender to start back up when Congress returns from break.

It did, however, help the troops on the ground by not aiding and abetting the enemy for once. I certainly would like to believe that they have now decided that America should win in the war on terror, but, like I said, it's probably more that they are on vacation.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Iraq update August 19, 2007

It looks like the expectations are for Al Qaeda to attempt to achieve as many spectacular, high death toll attacks as possible between now and when Petraeus and Crocker come back to report. To counter that, we are pressing the attack against AQI to keep them off balance and, hopefully, not allow any mass casualty attacks. Bill Roggio has more over at The Fourth Rail.
  • In today’s press briefing from Baghdad, Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, the Commanding General of Multinational Corps – Iraq, provided an operational update on Operation Phantom Thunder and its successor, Phantom Strike. Odierno reported the security situation in Baghdad has greatly improved, and further explained the scope of Phantom Strike, the operation designed to pursue al Qaeda and the Iranian-backed Shia terror groups.

Also, from The Fourth Rail is Wesley Morgan who is over there by invitation of Petraeus himself. He got to sit in on a meeting with Alberto Gonzales and Petreaus. He couldn't give details obviously, but he does talk in general terms about the next phases of operations. His post is called Battlefield Circulation Briefing with General Petraeus and is worth the read.
  • The primary effect of Phantom Thunder, as intended, was to push al Qaeda and its affiliates out of Baqubah and Arab Jabour while preventing them from moving west again into Anbar. By coordinating two division-level offensives and a major push against enemy routes into Anbar, Multinational Corps Iraq has apparently accomplished this; Baqubah and Arab Jabour remained very difficult areas, but nobody’s planning on pulling out of them, while Anbar, and particularly Ramadi, remain phenomenally secure as a result of the Army and Marines’ cooperation with the tribes.
Pat Dollard has a post up about us going after Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen that have been crossing over into Iraq to train Shiite militias called U.S. In Pursuit Of “About 50″ Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen.
  • BAGHDAD (AP) - American forces are tracking about 50 members of an elite Iranian force who have crossed the border into southern Iraq to train Shiite militia fighters, a top U.S. general said Sunday.

    Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, whose command includes the volatile southern rim of Baghdad and districts to the south, said his troops are tracking about 50 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in their area.

    “We know they’re here and we target them as well,” he said, citing intelligence reports as evidence of their presence.

And another one from Pat Dollard called Iran Bombs Iraq which describes Iran crossing over in the north to attack the Kurds.
  • On the heels of yesterday’s story here, we have this from the Guardian:

    Iraqi Kurdish officials expressed deepening concern yesterday at an upsurge in fierce clashes between Kurdish guerrillas and Iranian forces in the remote border area of north-east Iraq, where Tehran has recently deployed thousands of Revolutionary Guards.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Oh, those wacky liberals

I might be wrong. The anti-war surrender monkey's attack seems to be to discredit the September report by Petraeus and Crocker and not that political progress is slow in coming from the Iraqi government. The left is all up in arms because the report is going to come from the White House, and not from Petreaus and Crocker directly. They seem to believe that this means that Bush intercepting the report so he can "taint" it.

The MANDATE congress installed in the Iraq Accountability act of 2007 was for the President to meet with Petreaus and Crocker, and then report to Congress on the findings. That's exactly what he's going to do. The lefties are acting like this is some abuse of power thing. What are the odds they'd be just as upset if he didn't do what they mandated in February? I'd say even money.

Wake up America is all over it.
  • Let me show you and Hat Tip to Influence Peddler because it was taking me forever to go through each and every word of H.R.2206,U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007 (Engrossed Amendment as Agreed to by House), to find the portion I had saw when the bill was first passed.

    From the Influence Peddler:

    It's also worth looking at exactly what Congress has required for September 15. I've written on it before. Here's what Congress passed, and the President signed:
    (A) The President shall submit an initial report, in classified and unclassified format, to the Congress, not later than July 15, 2007, assessing the status of each of the specific benchmarks established above, and declaring, in his judgment, whether satisfactory progress toward meeting these benchmarks is, or is not, being achieved.

    (B) The President, having consulted with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Commander, Multi-National Forces Iraq, the United States Ambassador to Iraq, and the Commander of U.S. Central Command, will prepare the report and submit the report to Congress.

    (C) If the President’s assessment of any of the specific benchmarks established above is unsatisfactory, the President shall include in that report a description of such revisions to the political, economic, regional, and military components of the strategy, as announced by the President on January 10, 2007. In addition, the President shall include in the report, the advisability of implementing such aspects of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, as he deems appropriate.

    (D) The President shall submit a second report to the Congress, not later than September 15, 2007, following the same procedures and criteria outlined above.
So, fingers in their ears and saying "nanananana" will be how good news from Iraq will be handled.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Iraq update August 16, 2007

The mass casualty suicide attack carried out by Al Qaeda in northern Iraq is covered well by Pat Dollard (no surprise there) in his post Al Qaeda's S.O.S to Congress.
  • August 16, 2007 — TWO days ago, al Qaeda det onated four massive truck bombs in three Iraqi vil lages, killing at least 250 civilians (perhaps as many as 500) and wounding many more. The bombings were a sign of al Qaeda’s frustration, desperation and fear.

The Baqouba Guardians standing up again. From MNF-I a press release called Baqouba Guardians with IP repel al-Qaeda attack
  • BAQOUBA, Iraq – In an unprecedented combined action in Diyala Province, Iraqi police and citizen volunteers defeated a coordinated attack of approximately 40-60 al-Qaeda terrorists in the southern Burhitz area of Baqouba, Wednesday, and killed an estimated 21 insurgents, wounding more.
And, also from MNF-I a release called Military official discusses progress in Iraq.
  • BAGHDAD — A military official discussed current events in Iraq at the Combined Press InformationCenter Wednesday.

    U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Bergner, Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman, gave a situational update for the Iraq theatre.

Bill Roggio has the latest on .operation Phantom Strike and Lighting Hammer It's complete with another handy map, this time with locations of where senior leaders of Al Qaeda have been killed in the month of July
  • Operation Lightning Hammer, the follow-on operation to Arrowhead Ripper, has been underway since August 13. The operation is targeting specific al Qaeda strongholds in the Diyala River Valley north and east of Baghdad. About 10,000 US troops, including "special operational elements from the Army, Marines and Air Force," and 6,000 Iraqi security forces are involved in the operation. Over 200 al Qaeda fighters are estimated to be in the target areas.

A picture is worth a thousand words

The following was seen on Yahoo News, photo taken by AFP.


The caption accompanying it read:
  • An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City. At least 175 people were slaughtered on Tuesday and more than 200 wounded when four suicide truck bombs targeted people from an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq, officials said.(AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)

Now, my daughter may not be familiar with guns, so I'll help her out. Beth, see the parts of the bullets the little old lady is holding? They're called casings and they stay in the gun when it fires. The copper colored pieces on top are what actually go out the barrel. If those evil, mean, and nasty American troops are responsible for this, they would have had to be standing in her yard throwing them at her house.

Chalk up one more feeble attempt by the anti-war surrender monkey's to make our troops look like the bad guys.

Black Five has more at Hmmmm even less right

Uncle Jimbo press briefing

I was doing the usual run on the mil blogs, but this one has to go up now. I'll go back to the surfing afterwards. It's Uncle Jimbo over at Black Five, so you know it's got the right "style". It's titled, WH Press Briefing- Petraeus, Beauchamp & Chuck D.
  • Tony Snow is taking a well-deserved vacation where he dresses up baby harp seals in CNN t-shirts and then clubs them for their fur. Previous Press Secretarying here.

    The usual suspects had all been herded into the new WH Press Center and hastily grabbed seats as the lights dimmed and the defiant sound of Kid Rock's "Cowboy" took control. Out strides Uncle Jimbo amid blazing and flashing house lights and the jackals shrink back from the all out assault on the senses

Obviously, he's just gettin' warmed up...

I have been enlightened

It took one of those liberal, anti-war surrender monkeys who called in to the Michael Reagan radio show while I was driving home from work to accomplish the task.

I can't accurately portray the whiny voice, but here were the main points:

It takes a big man to walk away from a fight, and we've already lost in Iraq so we should bring our troops home. George W. Bush is killing more of our troops every day we leave them there.

So, to the first point. He obviously listened to his Mommy when he should have followed the NEXT conversation he inevitably had which was with his Dad and probably went something like this. "Son, don't tell your Mom I'm telling you this, but if you don't stand up for yourself, they're just going to continue beating you up. You will need to fight in order to stop it. Once you make your stand, they will move on to the other kids whose mothers are telling them ' it takes a big man to walk away from a fight'".

His second point is absurdly false. We all see that. No need to comment.

His third point is obviously wrong too, but he may have George W. Bush somehow confused with Muqtada al Sadr so I'll give him a break. One of them is killing American troops and needs to pay, but it ain't George W.

So, now I OFFICIALLY STATE that the surge and it's accompanying strategy is a success. More than we imagined even. Petraeus is pitching a perfect game. The road to victory is right there in front of us. We just need to decide to walk down it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mookie's boys

Michael J. Totten has a new post up called Balance of Terror over at his site. It gives you some insight into Muqtada al Sadr and his people.
  • BAGHDAD – The American soldier sitting next to me flipped open his Zippo lighter and gloomily lit a cigarette. “Do you know why this base isn’t attacked by insurgents?” he said.

    I assumed it was because his area of operations, in the Graya’at neighborhood of northern Baghdad out of Coalition Outpost War Eagle, had been cleared of insurgents. Many American military bases and outposts in Iraq are attacked by Al Qaeda terrorists and Mahdi Army militiamen with mortars and rockets. War Eagle was quiet and had not been bombarded for months.

    “We aren’t being attacked because the Mahdi Army is in the next building,” he said. “They don’t want to hit their own people.”

Many of us have wondered why 'ol Mookie hasn't been taken out yet and Michael provides us with some needed insight. Also, you'll see why Sadr city has been pretty much off limits to coalition "cordon and sweep" operations.

"It's a long read" warning.

But wait, there's more...

I have some follow up stuff on recent posts.

On the Iranian Revolutionary Guards being added to the terrorists watch list, Scott Ott over at Scrappleface has more:
  • (2007-08-15) — Officials in the U.S. State Department are reportedly close to labeling Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps a “terrorist” organization. At the same time, sources also indicate that the State Department may soon label the Earth “round”.
In regards to the anti-war surrender monkey's and Al Qaeda's allies in our government, Dennis Prager at Town Hall has If It's Bad for America, It's Good for Democrats.
  • One of the two major political parties of the United States has linked all its electoral hopes on domestic pathologies, economic downturns and foreign failure.

    It is actually difficult to name any positive development for America that would benefit the Democratic Party's chances in a national election.

Global Warming!

Alright, we're in deep trouble here people. Apparently, we're killing the earth and life as we know it will soon be over! Man made global warming is destroying our planet and in short order we won't even be able to exist here. We need to wake up and DO something about this before it's too late!

Headline from the Washington Post:
  • Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt
The article goes on to state:
  • "great masses of ice have now been replaced by moraines of earth and stones," and "at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared."
This is horrible news. How could we have so foolishly let it get to this point...

Wait a minute...

...that's from the November 2, 1922 edition of the paper.

Never mind.

Check out Before Gore

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Al Qaeda in Pakistan

Some U.S. military intelligence sources are very concerned. Al Qaeda's training camps in North and South Waziristan have emptied.

Bill Roggio at The Fourth Rail - Pakistan: Concern over nukes as al Qaeda camps empty
  • The emptying of the camps is a cause for great concern in the military and intelligence communities. "We don't know where they went to or who was in the camps," the military officer told The Fourth Rail. "They are well trained, these aren't your entry level jihadis. They are dangerous."

    "This is one of the reasons that we are worried about a major CONUS [Continental United States] attack," the senior military intelligence source told The Fourth Rail, noting the recent influx of news of terror cells attempting to penetrate the US. "If they evacuated their bases, they almost certainly did so out of fear of more than just the Pakistani army."

Now, we move against Iran

In an interesting way. From Pat Dollard - U.S. To Designate Revolutionary Guards A Terrorist Organization.
  • The United States has decided to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, the country’s 125,000-strong military branch, as a “specially designated global terrorist,” according to U.S. officials, a move that allows Washington to target the group’s business operations and finances.

    The Bush administration has chosen to move against the Revolutionary Guard Corps because of what U.S. officials describe as the group’s growing involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as its support for extremists throughout the Middle East, the sources said. The decision follows congressional pressure on the administration to toughen its stance against Tehran as well as U.S. frustration with the ineffectiveness of U.N. resolutions against Iran’s nuclear program, officials said.

That will be the first national military branch to be put on the list. I'm not sure how affective this will be, but it has to be annoying as hell to the Mullahs.

Iraq update August 14, 2007

Michael Yon has his latest dispatch up called Three Marks on the Horizon
  • False advertising is afoot. I write these words from Indonesia, soaking wet, having just returned from photographing rice paddies in a pouring rain, wearing a Florida Gators shirt. That means there is a green alligator on my chest. While supporting my team, my shirt perpetuates the myth that alligators are green, when in fact they are black when wet, gray when dry.The mantra that “there is no political progress in Iraq” is rapidly becoming the “surge” equivalent of a green alligator: when enough people repeat something that sounds plausible, but also happens to be false, it becomes accepted as fact.
Bill Roggio has an update on operation Phantom Strike over at The Weekly Standard.
  • Yesterday, Multinational Forces Iraq announced the start of two major operations--Phantom Strike and Lightening Hammer. Operation Phantom Strike “consists of simultaneous operations throughout Iraq focused on pursuing remaining AQI terrorists and Iranian-supported extremist elements,” while Operation Lightening Hammer is directed at al Qaeda in Iraq and allied insurgent groups that escaped Baqubah and are organizing north of the city in the Diyala River Valley. These operations are the continuation of the Baghdad Security Plan and Phantom Thunder, the operations in Baghdad and the Belts that established a security presence in areas from which Iraqi and Coalition forces were absent throughout 2006.
And, just to show you I still can dig up the warm fuzzy ones, this from MNF-I called Coalition Soldiers rescue 2-year-old Iraqi boy from well.
  • Capt. David Powell, Bo Company commander of., was about to begin a scheduled security patrol when the boy’s father approached the gate of his combat outpost on foot. Using an interpreter, Powell quickly assessed the situation and sent the patrol to assist with the recovery of the child.

W. Thomas Smith Jr. over at The Tank has a new post up called Why Soldiers Cry which gives you some insight on our troops and their relations with the Iraqi people.
  • AL MANSOUR (Baghdad) — U.S. forces have launched a new offensive north of Baghdad in an attempt to crush insurgents who have recently fled Baqouba. A major bridge was attacked on the outskirts of the city (several killed). And some roundup raids, which I cannot get into, may be stepping off in the city center as we speak.
And, W. Thomas Smith Jr. at The Tank again with Soldierly Trust.
  • American soldiers and Marines are different — particularly in their approaches to tactical operations — but similar in more ways than not. One common thread I've found among them here in Iraq is that they all want to go home, but they don't want to leave . . . if that makes sense.

    They've all pretty much stopped paying attention to the stateside news about Iraq, because to them it is so deliberately misleading and too often wrong. They snicker at the one-sided drivel they so often see in the papers, are taken aback by reporters' ignorance of operational security, roll their eyes at the rantings of politicians, and wholly respect the words of their commanding officers; not because those officers are in command, but because those officers are experiencing the same dynamics and realities that they — the rank-and-file soldiers and Marines — are experiencing and know to be true.

Obama's latest absurdity

So, yesterday, B Hussein Obama had this to say about our troops:

  • "We've to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.
Air-raiding villages and killing civilians. That certainly is a strange way to show your support for the troops.

Uncle Jimbo goes off on Obama over at Black Five called Obama- The Audacity of Dim.
  • I promise to stop piling on Obama the second he drops out of the race admitting he is woefully under-qualified and plus all those questions he kept getting asked were really hard.

    Barack Obama is a political creation custom-designed for his appealing appearance. he is fit, cute, and oh my god did you know he's African-American? Throw in reliably progressive lefty positions and you have the PC perfect storm. The only flaw in their cunning plan is that Obama is not the brightest bulb on the tree.

Uncle Jimbo is always a good read. As usual, he's "to the point" so it's not an overly long read.

A little perspective on the body count reporting

None of us ever want to see any American military deaths. In any place, any time, and under any circumstances. The Iraq war coverage done by the old media has been constantly using this fact to push forward their anti-war agenda. Every time we read about another soldier being killed by an IED, we all feel the loss.

We need some perspective though, to truly gauge how big the cost in American lives really is.

Well, Lee Culpepper, a Marine turned English teacher, has this:

  • Congress’s pathetic pessimism blazes brightest when we address the fundamental danger of military duty. From 1993 to 2000, our military averaged 937.5 deaths per year. In the four years preceding 9/11 (1997-2000) the military experienced 3198 deaths (source: Murdoc Online – The Official Department of Defense Report). Clearly, there is a reason the media and politicians provide no context when advertising American deaths in Iraq.
The whole post is a great read. It's called True Grit: Winning the Hearts and Minds of Al-Qaida. Here's your starter:
  • I wonder if John Wayne is glad to be dead. If he were alive, I imagine our impotent politicians’ apologizing to the public about Iraq would kill him. Seems like America’s once-triumphant spirit endured through our unrelenting grit and hunger to prevail. Such perseverance remains a prerequisite to all success. Sadly, our new breed of representatives has no familiarity with the hunger necessary to win a war. Do you think our barbaric enemies suffer the same dilemma?

Monday, August 13, 2007

The surge moves to the next phase

So far, the "surge" has gone through 2 phases. The first, we moved out into the country and set up Combat Outposts and began living with the Iraqi people. The second, we ran off Al Qaeda and the Mahdi Army from their safe havens. Now, the third phase has begun. With one month left before Petraeus reports back, we're going on the attack against the Iranian back militias and Al Qaeda, which both want to pull off attacks that play to our media and the anti-war crowd in order to, once again, try to get us to surrender. It looks like the 3rd phase is going to try and shut that down so that peace can be maintained and the Iraqi government can attempt to make some political headway.

Bill Roggio at The Fourth Rail has the geeky stuff on operation Phantom Strike.
  • With one month left before General David Petraeus’ report to Congress on the status of progress in Iraq, Iraqi and Coalition forces have launched the next phase of security operations designed to pursue al Qaeda in Iraq, the Iranian–backed Special Groups terror cells, and the rogue Mahdi Army elements. Operation Phantom Strike was launched today, and “consists of simultaneous operations throughout Iraq focused on pursuing remaining AQI terrorists and Iranian-supported extremist elements.”

This is obviously a key moment. Not just for those of us pulling for victory, but also for those in our government that have fully invested their futures on defeat in Iraq.

President Reagan humor

On the way home from work I was listening to the Michael Reagan radio show when he was interviewing the Secret Service agent that had been in charge at President Reagan's ranch after he left office. He had a pretty good story about President Reagan.

I'll paraphrase as best I can and you need to "visualize" as best you can...

President Reagan and the Secret Service head who was in charge "Bob" were ready to mount up one morning for the usual horseback ride when President Reagan asked "Bob" if there were any new agents going on that days ride. "Bob" said yes, there was one who would be joining them who didn't have a lot of experience riding horses yet. The President asked "Bob" to call him over so he could talk to him. "Bob" called "John" on the air phone and said "Rawhide wants to speak with you". That evidently was pretty exciting to John and he proudly headed down to where the President was, which was a ride down a hill and over a ditch from where "John" was. He rode on down the hill, entered the ditch, where his horse stumbled and launched "John" over the horses head. "John" somehow managed to land on his feet, reins in hand. The President, without missing a beat, bent over to "Bob" and said "does he always dismount that way?"

Names changed because I can't remember them...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Iraq update August 12, 2007

W Thomas Smith Jr over at The Tank has a post up called Good News and Operational Energy:
  • AL TAQADDUM — There is so much more to the story of Iraq — specifically Al Anbar — that I've yet to have time to get into here at "The Tank:" Good news about amazing progress that I can't wait to explain once I begin my more detailed NRO stories over the coming weeks
Over at Black Five, Uncle Jimbo has a post up with a video you need to see called A serious Marine answers the call.
  • I would love to meet this kid. Not only is his message brilliant, but his delivery is stunning. Every time I wonder a bit about our country, somebody like this pops up to remind us what we are really about.
Badger 6 over at Badgers Forward has a post up with a link to an ABC report about Ambassador Crocker walking around Ramadi without a vest.
  • In truth I would not want to be the one making that decision, but it came off just fine so there you go.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Iraq update August 11, 2007

Task Force 145/88 from MNF-I update on ongoing operations against Al Qaeda:
  • BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces killed one terrorist and detained 22 suspected terrorists during operations targeting al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders in central and northern Iraq Thursday and Friday
Also from MNF-I is one Shiite pilgrims observe holy day in safety. This would have been a huge target for Al Qeada, so the lack of suicide attacks indicates to me the level of impotence AQI has reached.
  • Security during Thursday’s rites provided a welcome change from the violence that has accompanied them in recent years. In 2005 an estimated 1,000 people were killed and 300 wounded in a stampede on the Jisr al-Aiema bridge (BridgeImams) when reports spread that a suicide bomber was in the crowd. The incident was the single largest loss of life since the war began in March 2003.

The Thunder Run has a story up on The Baqubah Guardians which we first heard of in this story from Michael Yon.
  • This is how the war will be won, by having Coalition Forces move into an area and begin operations against al Qaeda and then winning over the locals who only want to live in peace. As each town and city moves towards normalcy al Qaeda and the insurgents that create sectarian violence will find fewer and fewer places to operate out of and soon they will be defeated completely.
And, lastly, The Tank has a post up regarding a phone call to Jack Murtha's office to get a comment about the Haditha Marines charges being dropped. Okinawa Jack had convicted them as soon as the story broke.
  • Murtha's Office Hangs Up When Asked About Haditha

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Iraq update August 9, 2007

A little roundup of stuff.

Regarding the political climate in Iraq, Grim over at Black Five has Democracy in Iraq up which deals directly with that.
  • I want to bring your attention to something remarkable that General Bergner said in this week's roundtable with him (transcript here). The whole thing is worth reading, and touches on military operations, Iran, and numerous other topics. What I asked him about, however, was reconciliation.
And, on Al Qaeda in Iraq we have Richard S. Lowry over at Op For posting Al-Qaeda on the run.
  • In March of 2003, Abu Musab al-Zargawi was holed up in his mountain terrorist training camp in Eastern Iraq. He had already been fighting Americans for quite some time. He had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan in 2002 but managed to escape to Baghdad, where he was treated and brought back to health in an Iraqi hospital. Once recuperated, he established a terrorist training camp along the Iranian frontier. He selected a mountain perch that would be easy to defend and would also provide a quick escape route into Iran. His men controlled a 300 square kilometer finger of land that protruded into Iran, just east of the ghost town of Halabja.
Michael Yon has more on Al Qaeda in a post at New York Daily News online called I have seen the horror.
  • Amid all this talk of timetables for the War in Iraq, blurred as they are by a strange lemming-like compulsion to declare the "surge" strategy a failure almost before it actually began, one deadline looms larger with each passing day: It's time for a reckoning with the truth.

And, Kimberly Hefling, a writer for the Associated Press has Democrats Praise Military Progress up over at Breitbart.
  • WASHINGTON (AP) - One senator said U.S. troops are routing out al-Qaida in parts of Iraq. Another insisted President Bush's plan to increase troops has caused tactical momentum.

    One even went so far on Wednesday as to say the argument could be made that U.S. troops are winning.

    These are not Bush-backing GOP die-hards, but Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin, Bob Casey and Jack Reed. Even Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, said progress was being made by soldiers.

You have 1 unread message

From the founder of The Anbar Salvation Council. Badger6 over at Badgers Forward has this from Sheik Sattar, and The Sons of Anbar to the American people.

That's pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Iraq update August 8, 2007

Well, first off, Michael J. Totten has a great dispatch which is an interview he did with an Iraqi who works as an interpreter. It's called (appropriately) An Iraqi Interpreter's Story. Here's your tease:

MJT: Is there a solution to the problem in this country?

Hammer: Nuke Iraq.

MJT: Be serious.

Hammer: I am serious. If you screen all Iraqis, 5 million of them would be good people. Clear them out, then kill everyone else. Syria and Iran would surrender. [Laughs.]

There's a whole lot more so take the time to read it.

Bill Roggio has his next Iraq report up at The Weekly Standard. The hunt for Al Qaeda is still ongoing and there's a new offensive which started on August 4th to the north of Baqubah, in Diyala province.

Along with the continued hunt for Al Qaeda, the heat's been turned up on Al Sadr's people too. There are reports of several "rogue" elements of the Mahdi army that have been hit in the last week or so. Al Sadr himself is still hiding out in Iran, so this problem seems to be doing a slow melt with the coalition applying the catalyst.

Something new that I've picked up on in the last couple of days or so is the fact that we're now doing operations in Sadr city. This is new. The Mahdi army got hit big time here in the last day or so. It looks to me like we are applying equal amounts of pressure to both Al Qaeda and the Iranian backed Shiite militias now.

Also, Michael Yon has part II of Bread and a Circus up now. It's another long read, but worth the time in my opinion. But, if you don't have the time, there's one part you need to hear so I'll relay it here. It's when he had traveled from Baqubah to Baghdad with a caravan of trucks to pick up food allotments for the people of Baqubah. He was in a discussion with one of the Baghdad officials who was reluctant to release food to Baqubah as it would just fall into the hands of Al Qaeda.

I recalled one of the bureaucrat’s comments, upon hearing that al Qaeda had scattered like rabbits out of Baqubah. He seemed at first not to believe that news, but once he got confirmation, he made a point to tell us what that news actually meant: if al Qaeda was done in Baqubah, al Qaeda was done in Iraq.

This sure sounds like progress from the Petraeus strategy to me.

Monday, August 6, 2007

How improved is the security in Al Anbar?

Well, I'd say it's well improved. Lt. Col. Kelly Alexander, commanding officer of Task Force Highlander, part of Regimental Combat Team-2, which operates in western Anbar province, wants to have his Marines start patrolling without helmets and with less body armor.

From Stars and Stripes:

Alexander said a change to a “soft posture” can now be considered because the security situation has improved significantly in recent months. That is especially so in local cities where the Marines work closely with an ever-growing Iraqi police force and where residents have shown a newfound willingness to tip the police to insurgent activity.

Also, from the sidebar on that:

Security conditions in the western Iraq city of Ramadi have improved so much since coalition forces wrested control from al-Qaida that 80 days have now passed without a single attack, according to Col. John Charlton, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team.

Iraq update August 6, 2007

On the military and economic fronts, things are still moving forward. The Political front seems to have some issues. I'm pretty sure the Al Qaeda's allies in our government will seize on this part to try and surrender, once again. I'm not reading it as a failure though. A setback, but not a failure.

The Political side - Lots of cabinet members dropping out of the central government. According to Omar at Iraq The Model, it's a combination of different groups dropping out of the process for differing reasons. In his post The Untimely Recess from Sunday, August 5th, it appears to be mainly the anti Maliki groups wanting to shut down progress to get him ousted, and Al Sadr's group wanting our Congress to pull our troops out. Omar thinks that what's needed is a change in the political class as soon as the ever improving security situation allows for early elections. That makes some sense to me, especially if you take into account the people in the provinces that are now wanting to take part in the government.

Polls over the weekend by the old media have found that the popularity of the war is increasing. NBC had to run their poll twice, because they didn't believe the first result. I bet it's still going to be reported as "the ever waning support" of the war, though. Still, the old media has started to report on what we've been watching and Joe Blow couch potato could actually be sensing that this is winnable. That's going to be a real pain to the Murthas, Reids, Pelosis, Obamas, Clintons, etc. etc.. I believe they are going to shift their talking points over from security in Iraq isn't happening, to the political process in Iraq isn't happening, and then try to force a "surrender at all costs" again though.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Political progress demanded

The Iraqi government has gone on a summer break. They did this despite cries from our Congress that they can't do that when work needs to be done for their people.

George W Bush just just told our Congress they need to forgo their August summer recess and act, too.

Ya gotta love it.

The Iraqi government is dealing with the heat of summer. 120 degree days and no AC. Our Congress, when last I checked, it was a sweltering 80 degrees in DC and AC fully functional everywhere. Totally unbearable conditions for our pompous asses, but we need the Iraqi government to step up.

What a boatload of jerks....

A little AC DC for ya

And, if you don't know your AC DC this isn't going to be nearly as interesting.

Marine Corps News has a a must read called Highlanders Rock on with Mawtini.

COMBAT OUTPOST RAWAH, Iraq – (Aug. 2, 2007) -- North of the Euphrates River, an unusual sound began to echo across the sands and through the hills, gradually building until words and instruments could be recognized.

“…thunder…,” pause.

Suddenly the ground shook as a mortar round, loosed by Lance Cpl. Shelby A. Weathers, exited its tube and ripped through the air, landing over a mile away on the side of a hill.


“…I was caught in the middle of a lightning attack…”

Well, you get an idea of what it is from that. It's a must read for you Rock fans.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Iraq update August 2, 2007

This press briefing from MNF-I says a lot. It was held at the Combined Press Information Center and is titled Military, economic progress continues, officials say. Nothing like some joint ass kicking.

“We continue to target the networks and leaders of al-Qaeda in Iraq and the special groups, and are steadily chipping away at both sets of extremists,” Bergner said. “We are seeing progress not just in the number of terrorist leaders that are captured or killed but also in the courage of the Iraqi people, their support for their security forces, and their purposeful stand against violence.”

Also, keep up on BlackFive. Uncle Jimbo is messing around with Skype and attempting to get some real feeds from the military bloggers. His first one is with Captain Coulson of Badgers Forward. It's 10 minutes long, but worth the listen. CPT Coulson is Teflon Don's (Acute Politics) commanding officer and was also there for the front row view on the Anbar Awakening.

And, if you really want to crunch the numbers, Bill Roggio at The Fourth Rail has the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: August 2007 Update posted. This is only good if you feel all geeky about the specifics. It's a great read though in my opinion. But, that probably means I'm a geek.

Proof the "surge" is working

From the strangest sources, too. I surmise this by the latest reactions of Al Qaeda's allies in our government. That, and the old media.

The old media is starting to report little tidbits of what we've been seeing for months. They seem to think there is this small thing happening in Al Anbar province. Thanks, old media, for being all over that! What would we do without ya....

Obama seems to be looking to see if he has any boy parts and has decided to invade the nuclear power Pakistan.

Clinton has switched sides to the max and is stuck. All she seems to be able to do is demand that the Pentagon tell her publicly what the surrender contingency plan is.

Harry Reid? He seems to be relatively quiet. So, what's the saying when you've bet the house on the wrong bet? Hmmm.... snake eyes possibly?

We had a Democrat sitting in a briefing last week with a retired General who had just got back from Iraq and she had to walk out of the meeting because it was too frustrating to her to hear that there is good news coming out of Iraq.

The surrender talk has lessened a whole lot too. Now, they are jockeying around the whole issue to try and find a stance.

That, my friends, indicates success in Iraq.

They will have to try and find a way to either take credit for it, or explain to us how this could have possibly happened under the stewardship of George W Bush.