Sunday, September 30, 2007

A short update

Pete Hegseth over at The Tank has a good read called The Sounds of Silence that's fairly short.
  • As the director of an Iraq & Afghanistan veteran’s organization, I follow the headlines from Iraq very closely. So, it’s always news to me when there is little news from Iraq…at least from the mainstream media.

    Over the last few weeks, with the exception of the unfortunate Blackwater story, headlines from Iraq have been few and far between.

    Why is this the case? There must be a reason. And I believe the reason is rooted both in what has happened and what has not.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Iraq update September 29. 2007

First off I'll start with Uncle Jimbo over at Black Five as he is commenting on the release this week of a transcript of a private conversation President Bush had with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Aznar in 2003. The left is trying to use this transcript to paint the picture that the President was hell bent on war, but the real meat of it actually shows the opposite. There was an interesting piece in there also regarding the WMD's. So, go check out Uncle Jimbo's post Saddam asked to take WMD info into exile
  • Bush lied about WMDs so we could invade Iraq and steal their oil, that is pretty much gospel here in the Mad City. The problem I always had with it was if we were lying then why didn't we plant some to be found? I realize they think W is a fool, but if you are gonna cheat the system, then plant a few chem or bio weapons and voila. Now we have a leak of a Spanish transcript from W's meeting with Aznar, which has been used to imply that W was hellbent on war no matter what. Well Jose Guardia does a full translation and it actually shows just how hard we were working to avoid war, while maintaining the realistic view that Saddam was not likely to comply. He also notes this important tidbit.

In reference to the battle with Al Qaeda from MNF-I is Al Qaeda in Iraq losing thanks to concerned local citizens
  • BAGHDAD — Iraqi citizens are helping Coalition forces hunt down al Qaeda terrorists in a vast rural area south of Baghdad, a military commander said today
Also from MNF-I is this report of a high level AQ operative taken out called Coalition Forces kill likely successor to Abu Ayyub al-Masri
  • BAGHDAD — Coalition forces positively identified a foreign terrorist killed in an operation Tuesday in Musayyib as a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq member.

    Abu Usama al-Tunisi was in the inner leadership circle of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq and was a likely successor to him.

From Pat Dollard we have Al Qaeda Launches 15 Ship Navy
  • Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network has purchased at least 15 ships in the last two years – creating, perhaps, the first terrorist naval force, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.

And, from The Thunder Run is Attack “will not weaken good people”

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Perspective of a Soldier in Iraq

This one has been up a couple of days, but in case you haven't seen it I thought I'd put up the link. It's from Lt. Colonel Chris Brady who is in Kirkuk. It's posted at The Christian Science Monitor (so I'm pretty sure unseen by any liberal eyes) called Why I want to keep fighting in Iraq
  • Despite strong public appeals by Gen. David Petraeus and President Bush this month, American views on the Iraq war remain dim. The latest Pew survey shows that 54 percent say US troops should come home as soon as possible, while 47 percent believe the US will probably or definitely fail to achieve its goals in Iraq. Many experts and politicians, meanwhile, have suggested the war can't be won.

    I am a US soldier in Iraq. And I disagree. It's not too late to succeed. The stakes in Iraq are too high not to keep fighting for progress.

    As a National Guardsman serving on a Provincial Reconstruction Team, I've seen what is working on the ground in Kirkuk, a city in northern Iraq.

Those Wacky Iraqis

It's a blog site I get routed to from time to time. Today they have up one that seems well worth linking you to called What can YOU do to help?. Some of you may belong to a church that would have the ability to help out.
  • One of my friends is the commander of a unit in Afghanistan and they are winning hearts and minds of the locals by being compassionate and caring. They have identified a group of Afghan children who are in dire need of winter clothing. I am including his info in the hope that some of you might understand that this is how we win. When we help a child they remember and maybe, just maybe, one of these children can make a difference in the future. Please help and while these children are Muslim the clothing is a fine, fine Christmas gift. There are 43 kids lsited here. You may not be able to help them all but i am sure you can help 1.

Iraq update September 27, 2007

Laughing_Wolf from Black Five is over in Iraq and has Iraqi's/U.S. Army 3, Terrorists 0 posted up at Black Five.
  • Some days, life is good. When you have a majority of days when life is good, you know that you have it good and that things may even be getting even better.

    Where I am currently, life is good and there are many signs that it is getting better for everyone here. The larger reasons are for later, but for now I wanted to share one reason life is good for Echo Company ("Team Easy"). It's good because life is getting better for the local Iraqi's.

Pat Dollard has Joint Ops Continue to Kick Ass
  • FOB HAMMER (MNFI) — The 1st Iraqi National Police Brigade recently cleared a road connecting al-Bawi and Stiyah during a combined effort with 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, resulting in the killing of six insurgents.

Also from Pat Dollard is Key Meeting On Maliki’s Day Of National Reconciliation
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki called for national reconciliation during his speech at the United Nations yesterday saying “We look at national reconciliation as a life boat, a perpetual peace project and a safe harbor for the political process and the democratic experience.” That was echoed with an historic meeting by Iraqi VP Tariq al-Hashemi and top shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani today

From Multi-National Forces - Iraq is Pushing the bad guys out
  • BAGHDAD — A year ago the area to the east of Ramadi was a haven for insurgents who attacked the city. These days much has changed in the surrounding rural lands of the east.
Jeff Emanuel has Developing Iraqi Security Forces: A Long, Difficult, and Dangerous Process - But Not a Hopeless One posted.
  • Samarra, Iraq
    The development of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) – consisting of Iraqi Police (‘IPs,’ who are under regional control), National Police (‘NPs,’ who belong to the federal government’s Ministry of Interior), and Iraqi Army – has been both a priority and a point of frustration for the coalition forces who are trying to train them as quickly and effectively as possible to fill the role currently being served in Iraq by the U.S. military.


What the heck is Dipnote? Believe it or not, it's the State Department's blog site. I kid you not. I'm guessing they were counting on using Joe Schmo's but got derailed because it's already in use...

It's a little painful to read, in my opinion, as it's that annoying white text on black background that a lot of us have problems with. Anyway, if you're curious about it then go check out Dipnote.
  • Welcome to the State Department's first-ever blog, Dipnote. As a communicator for the Department, I have the opportunity to do my fair share of talking on a daily basis. With the launch of Dipnote, we are hoping to start a dialogue with the public. More than ever, world events affect our daily lives--what we see and hear, what we do, and how we work. I hope Dipnote will provide you with a window into the work of the people responsible for our foreign policy, and will give you a chance to be active participants in a community focused on some of the great issues of our world today.

    With Dipnote we are going to take you behind the scenes at the State Department and bring you closer to the personalities of the Department. We are going to try and break through some of the jargon and talk about how we operate around the world.

    We invite you to participate in this community, and I am looking forward to stepping away from my podium every now and then into the blogosphere. Let the conversation begin.

    PS - We're new at this. It looks like we broke our own rule and used State jargon in our blog title. "Dipnote" refers to a diplomatic note. It is one of the many way in which governments formally communicate with each other.

    The dictionary definition of a diplomatic note is: "A formal communication between an ambassador and a minister (usually the foreign minister) of this host government or another ambassador."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

10 minutes of humor

If you have the spare ten minutes, I ran across this at Op For called Video Of The Day: Achmed The Dead Terrorist

I've watched it three times and I'm still chuckling...

So, who is smarter?

Liberals continually tout that, test after test, proves that liberals are smarter than conservatives. You might have seen the latest which was a test done by U.C.L.A. (I believe) where a letter was flashed on a computer screen for one tenth of a second, and then the subjects had four tenths of a second to make the appropriate action/inaction. They found that conservatives made more errors in this test then did liberals, and so concluded the following. Liberals are much better at analyzing information and changing positions. This, in four tenths of a second. My conclusion was somewhat different. I concluded that liberals are so good at flip-flopping that they can do it in four tenths of a second. Probably faster.

If we want to evaluate who, out of our elected officials, are smarter, I think we can chalk one up for the conservatives.

From Erick at Redstate - suckers.
  • Pay attention lefties. The GOP really tricked you guys today and, on the bright side, at least you know who your real friend are. The GOP machinations were, objectively, well played today.

    in the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mike Pence offered up an amendment to legislation that would have condemned the advertisement against General Petraeus. At the very same time as the Democrats on the Committee were voting to kill Pence's bill, the GOP House Leadership was making a motion to recommit Joint Resolution 52 with an amendment doing the exact same thing.

Nicely done GOP.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

We don't need no stinkin facts

JD Johannes over at Outside The Wire blog has All Analysis, No Facts
  • "The average college senior knows astoundingly little about America's history, government, international relations and market economy, earning an "F" on the American civic literacy exam with a score of 54.2%. Harvard seniors did best, but their overall average was 69.6%, a disappointing D+." Is the verdict from Intercollegiate Studies Institute after grading the results of this test.

Johannes brings up some great points in his review of this and points out that this explains a lot about the current debate on Iraq. It's a good, short read.

Iraq update September 25, 2007

It looks like Al Qaeda's new tactic is to attack the Iraqi police. From Pat Dollard is Al Qaeda Holds “Kill A Cop Day” In Iraq Updated. Al Qaeda has indicated it would begin a new offensive. This must be it. Some circles are referring to it as a "mini-Tet offensive". Tet was a major victory for us, militarily, as the NVA suffered massive casualties, but politically a huge loss, as the Democrats leveraged it big time to pull off one of their many cut and run acts.
  • Suicide bombers target cops in Basra, Fallujah, and Mosul, all in one day. Update: Fourth attack reported in Kut.

Bill Roggio over at The Long War Journal has Counterinsurgency in al Qaeda’s last bastion in Baghdad. Bill is back over in Iraq and reporting live.
  • Nine months after the announcement of the Baghdad Security plan and the subesquent “surge “of US forces, the battle for Baghdad remains engaged. With the effort to secure Baghdad from al Qaeda in Iraq and the Mahdi Army alike, the southwestern security district of Doura has proven difficult to tame. The soldiers of the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment are currently engaged in a heated battle against al Qaeda in Iraq in a corner of Doura.

From Centcom there is Violent Incidents Down; Al Qaeda ‘Off Balance’ in Iraq, Spokesman Says
  • WASHINGTON – Attacks and violent incidents in Iraq are down, but Iraqi and coalition forces still have a lot of work ahead, a top coalition spokesman in Iraq said today.
Also from Centcom is Iraqi Citizens Crucial in Locating Terror Mastermind, Securing Country
  • WASHINGTON – Coalition forces have killed an al Qaeda leader who orchestrated a massive bombing in an impoverished Baghdad neighborhood, a U.S. military spokesman announced today.

    Army Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner conducted a televised satellite briefing at Multinational Force Iraq headquarters in Baghdad to announce the killing of Abu Yakub al-Masri.

Well, it's not Iraq but Uncle Jimbo over at Black Five has his take on the Ahm-a-nuttah-job speech
  • NEWSFLASH: NO HOMOSEXUALS IN IRAN. Deranged dwarf wonders where this silly rumor got started, there is simply no man love in his country. This draws derisive laughter from gay Iranian kids and adults in audience.

    Bollinger represented his sorry peers in academia better than expected, but you can't fix stupid.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Iraq update September 22. 2007

Supposedly, at least according to some of the war critics, The Anbar Salvation Council model won't be successful if tried in other provinces and definitely won't work in Baghdad.

Bad news for them as Multi-National Forces, Iraq reports ‘Grassroots’ will be catalyst for change in Baghdad, commander says
  • BAGHDAD — The most encouraging recent development in Baghdad is the willingness of citizens to step forward and partner with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in defeating terrorism, the U.S. commander in charge of Coalition forces in the city said today.
Also from Multi-National Forces, Iraq a report from the province of Samarra called Making Progress: Unit’s relationship with Iraqi locals pays off
  • SAMARRA — As the much-anticipated Iraq report was released this month, one unit is finding that they are indeed making progress.

    An Iraqi teenager who was an informant for the Coalition force in Samarra was kidnapped by insurgents and held for several days. He was beaten and moved to different locations. The teen managed to escape, ignoring the death threats of his captors for talking with Coalition forces, and after his escape, he went straight to Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora to ask for help.

From Pat Dollard - A Top U.S. General In Iraq Blames Public’s Antiwar Views On The Media
  • NEW YORK Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said Thursday, back in the U.S. on leave at Fort Stewart, that the war in Iraq is “a winnable mission” if the the media would only cooperate.
Also from Pat Dollard - Huge Conspiracy In Abu Risha Slaying
  • BAGHDAD - The U.S. military on Saturday confirmed the arrests of 25 people linked to the assassination of the leader of the U.S.-backed revolt by Sunni Arab tribesmen in the western Anbar province against al-Qaida in Iraq.

    The suspects, who include the head of the security detail that was supposed to protect Sheik Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, killed in a bombing Sept. 13, were detained by Iraqi police, Lt. Col. Jubeir Rashid said, an Iraqi police officer in Anbar.

Friday, September 21, 2007

The Willing Suspension of Disbelief

Just a short post tonight as a reminder and maybe an enlightenment to my daughter.

We had the Clinton's for 8 years and we've heard these statements from them before. Hillary's shot at Petraeus was typical. It was the body language, the "Listening to your report today well, frankly...," that were the important parts. The statement "requires the willing suspension of disbelief" in itself means pretty much nothing. That's what you would want if you were to have a conversation with someone. If they disbelieve, you'd like them to shelve that and listen to you.

Hillary stated this well thought out line to do two things. Cement her ties with as she implies that Petraeus is a liar, and to give herself an out for the general election. Mark my words, she and her supporters will remind you in 5 or 6 months that "well, she never called him a liar, that's what the vast right wing conspiracy want you to believe. Just read her quote."

She, by her body language, and the way she made that prepared statement, only implied that he was lying. And, that was exactly what she wanted to imply. This is clintonspeak in it's normal form.

Make a note....

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I've got to admit, I've pretty much figured that a war with Iran was on the horizon. Hell, they're already in Iraq warring against us. They also continue to poke us with a stick. I wasn't clear as to why they seem to want us in a war with them, but they've been doing everything possible to initiate it. We all see it. Michael J. Totten has a great article posted up at Reasononline that really enlightened me on Iran, and in it he explains a lot of things that help clear up why Iran would be acting the way they are. It's called The Next Iranian Revolution.
  • In a green valley nestled between snow-capped peaks in the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq is an armed camp of revolutionaries preparing to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran. Men with automatic weapons stand watch on the roofs of the houses. Party flags snap in the wind. Radio and satellite TV stations beam illegal news, commentary, and music into homes and government offices across the border.
One of the few disagreements I've had with Fred Thompson's views is that he stated several months ago that war with Iran might not need to take place. I frankly couldn't see it. Iran, in my mind, was going to take the baseball bat approach. After reading Totten's article though, I see where Fred is right. He's on top of the situation much better than I was.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A couple of tidbits

I'll start you off with a quote from Glenn Beck - "Hell, I would have tasered him just for being stupid enough to sit through two hours of John Kerry..."

Ahmadinejad apparently wants to visit ground zero next week when he's here as a guest of the UN. I know this gets your hackles up. It certainly did mine. After mulling it over a little though, it might not be a bad idea. Escort him down into the pit... introduce him to real American construction workers.... police line the pit.... turn their backs to face outward...

Luckily, Pat Dollard reports it ain't happening.
  • An advance team for the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asked earlier this month that he be allowed to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site during the opening of the United Nations General Assembly next week, but the request was denied, New York City police officials said today.

I personally don't wish to become racist, but if any of you are wanting to add that personality trait, as with most anything else you learn, you'll need to go right to the #1 guy. Don't mess around with theory, go right to a professional who practices it on a day to day basis. Like Jesse Jackson.
  • Jackson sharply criticized presidential hopeful and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white”
Alright, I better go check on the almighty watchdog. Did I point out he's a real pro at watching stuff? He'll let you know if anyone is approaching the house, has entered the yard, is on the lake, is in the street, or even just acting suspicious a couple of blocks down.

Right now he's cowering in the bedroom because, well you know.... there's a fly buzzing around the kitchen...

Guess I'll go kill the fly and see if he redevelops into a boy dog.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cold pills

And, they're not what you think. You can find out more when you link to the Michael J. Totten post.

Not much time to blog tonight. If I understand the dog correctly, I'm to grab the fishing pole and go out back for an hour or two...

I've got a couple of good reads to pass along first though:

Jeff Emanual has Don't Abandon the Iraqis Now

  • The ‘Surge’ in Iraq, and the counterinsurgency strategy that the increase in forces was designed to support, has succeeded, in a very brief span of time, far beyond what most familiar with the situation there would ever have imagined – let alone realistically expected. A large part of the reason for this is that, in many different ways, the people of Iraq have shown bravery that we can only hope that Americans, if put into the same situation, would ever dream of showing.

Michael J. Totten has Anbar Awakens Part II: Hell is Over
  • RAMADI, IRAQ – In early 2007 Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province, was one of the most violent war-torn cities on Earth. By late spring it was the safest major city in Iraq outside Kurdistan.

Both are great reads and should help you if you are still on the fence on whether we should stay in Iraq and see this through, or be like Democrats and run away from the problem. Well, I guess one of them actually wants to leave there and go fight Al Qaeda in Okinawa...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sattar assassin captured

From Pat Dollard - Breaking: Man Who Killed Abu Risha Captured
  • So much for the Abu Risha Truthers at Daily Kos who were trying to claim he had been killed by rival Ramadi sheiks in order to present a chaotic picture of the Anbar Awakening:


    BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist linked to the assassination of Sheik Sattar during an operation Sept. 15 west of Balad.

    The captured individual, Fallah Khalifa Hiyas Fayyas al-Jumayli, also known as Abu Khamis, is believed to be responsible for the death of Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Resha, founder of the Anbar Awakening, a coalition of tribes in Anbar Province committed to driving al-Qaeda in Iraq out of the area. Intelligence reports indicate al-Jumayli is involved in a plot to kill key leaders in the tribal awakening. He is also reportedly responsible for car bomb and suicide vest attacks in Anbar Province, and is closely allied with senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders in the region.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Other Awakenings in Iraq

As I pointed you to in the previous post, the Shiia in Wasit Province are in the beginning phases of their own Awakening which is somewhat modeled after The Anbar Salvation Council, and in case you didn't follow the link, here's the same report via - Officials: Shiites Interested in Alliance With American Troops. Thanks to NightTwister for the link.
  • Sheik Majid Tahir al-Magsousi, the leader of the Migasees tribe here in Wasit province, acknowledged tribal leaders have discussed creating a brigade of young men trained by the Americans to bolster local security as well as help patrol the border with Iran.

Omar over at Iraq The Model has Abu Dsheer, a massacre and a moment of unity
  • A story of the savagery of al-Qaeda and the compassion of Iraqis took place two days ago in one of the southern suburbs of Baghdad.
    The story began when the people of Hor Rijab, a village inhabited by mostly Sunni farmers, made up their mind that enough is enough and formed a "battalion" of local fighters to confront al-Qaeda hardly two weeks ago.
    Al-Qaeda was definitely not happy with this rebellion and on Tuesday morning attacked the village, Radio Sawa has the details

Bill Roggio has a report of citizens in southern Baghdad who are similarly "Awakening". This reconciliation group consists of both Sunnis and Shiites. Bill's post is up over at The Long War Journal called Standing up the Concerned Citizens in southern Baghdad
  • In southern Baghdad province, the establishment of the Concerned Citizens, also referred to as Iraqi Police Volunteers, began to take hold in late spring. Initiated by tribal connections from Anbar province, the movement mimicked the rise of the Anbar Salvation Council in some respects, but differed in many ways. This bottom up process of local reconciliation consists of both Sunni and Shia tribes wishing to restore a measure of peace to the war torn regions south of Baghdad.

No less important, but somewhat unrelated to the ongoing Iraq Awakenings,

Several of the MilBloggers we reference were in a round table with President George W. Bush yesterday. Bill Roggio (The Long War Journal), Matthew Burden (BlackFive), Mrs. Greyhawk (Mudville Gazette), and Mohammed (Iraq The Model) were all participants. I'll point you to Steve Schippert over at The Tank as he has links to the posts by the others off his post. Meeting With President Bush On The War. All of their posts are excellent reads and I'd recommend you check them all out for their perspective on the meeting.
  • It was an honor to be among the MilBloggers invited to speak with the Commander in Chief for a one-hour round table on the various theaters of the conflict at hand. This post is delayed - and brief - as I try and find the words to accurately convey the exchange - not just in content, but in what it meant both personally and historically.

Iraq update September 15, 2007

Lots more stuff on the assassination of Sheik Sattar.

From Teflon Don at Acutepolitics - A True Martyr
  • His death is a grievous loss to all who long to see a free Iraq. He provided vision, determination, and stubborn perseverance in his leadership of the sons of Anbar.
From Daveed Gartenstein-Ross over at The Tank - The Iraqi Response to Abdul Sattar al-Rishawi's Death
  • On Thursday, W. Thomas Smith Jr. noted the tragic death of Abdul Sattar al-Rishawi. Al-Rishawi was a critical U.S. ally who led the Anbar Salvation Front, a collection of Sunni tribesmen, Iraqi nationalists, ex-Baathists, and others who are united by the common goal of driving al-Qaeda from their country.
And, also from The Tank is W. Thomas Smith Jr. with Wasit's Shiia May Be 'Turning' Like Anbar's Sunnis
  • More bad news for the anti-Petraeus crowd:

    American commanders in southern Iraq say Shiite sheiks are showing interest in joining forces with the U.S. military against extremists, in much the same way that Sunni clansmen in the western part of the country have worked with American forces against al-Qaida.

There seems to be a small disagreement about what the Sheiks death will mean, as you can see, but generally it's viewed as a very bad move by Al Qaeda which will align more Iraqi's with the coalition forces. I know what has happened in the past when tribal leaders are assassinated and it's never worked out for AQ. It's an attempt to force the tribes back in line and it always turns out making the movement against AQ much stronger. Time will tell.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Note to Daughter

Hey kid, I might not be blogging that much next week. Don't be concerned. The dog needs a servant. Apparently, his normal servants are taking off for a week. I'll be waiting on him hand and foot all week. I'll probably get online some, as he wears himself out bossing me around and falls asleep in the recliner from time to time, but if I don't blog much, don't be concerned.

I'm certainly looking forward to that six A.M. dog, standing on the bed, staring me down because some muscle moved the slightest bit and he thinks that means that I'm ready to get up and start waiting on his every need...


Sheik Sattar

I'm in no way an expert on the man, and you all know as much or more about him than I do. He was the founder and leader of The Anbar Salvation Council which I wrote about in July. He was also the man who had a message for the American people in You have 1 unread message. My only comment is that I believe the world just lost a very historical figure. Through his actions, and the reporting of them, a bound was developed between the Iraqi people and a lot of the American people. A huge level of respect also developed for the Iraqi people. At least from those of us that knew of him.

Links from others who are much more knowledgeable of Sheik Sattar:

Bill Roggio over at The Long War Journal -Sheikh Sattar, leader of the Anbar Awakening, killed in bombing

W. Thomas Smith Jr. over at The Tank - Thoughts on the Murder of Sheik Abdul Sattar

And, Multi-National Forces - Iraq has Joint statement Regarding the Assassination of Sheikh Abdul Sattar Bezia al-Rishawi

Sheik Sattar killed

The leader of The Anbar Salvation Council has been killed by a roadside bomb.

From Pat Dollard - Breaking: Leader Of Anbar Awakening Killed - Petraeus: “A Tragic Loss”
  • BAGHDAD (AP) - The most prominent figure in a revolt of Sunni sheiks against al-Qaida in Iraq was killed Thursday in an explosion near his home in Anbar province, police said.
    Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha was leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, also known as the Anbar Awakening—an alliance of clans backing the Iraqi government and U.S. forces.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Michael Yon

From an email he sent out (since you might not have signed up for them):


Successes are occurring, and accruing, in Iraq. Al Qaeda is still a powerful enemy, but they cannot be happy with their Iraqi franchise this summer.

Readers of my dispatches have gotten first hand reports of the kinds of positive indicators that General David Petraeus described in his progress report.

The atmosphere is changing in Iraq and I've been posting dispatches and videos that illustrate just how profound this change is in some cases.

I was the first to say Iraq was in civil war, and many readers were angry to hear me say it. Well, I'll be the first to say that I predict some sort of milestone for the war in Iraq will occur early in the next year. It's dangerous to predict like this, but something fundamental has changed in Iraq.

There is one important qualifier: this will only happen if General David Petraeus is supported by our elected officials to implement his proposed plan, without meddling from those same elected officials. Oversight and accountability are not the same thing as backseat driving after siphoning out half of the gas tank.

Please read: Hunting Al Qaeda


Odds and ends

Hillary sat there and called Petreaus a liar. To his face. Pat Dollard has the short video at Video: Fat Chick Calls Petraeus A Liar.

On to more lighter reading. Kathryn Jean Lopez over at The Tank has Dem Complaints about Petraeus. It's a quick top ten list read.

Also from the Tank, W. Thomas Smith Jr. has The Big Lie that Continues About Iraq.
  • Why does everyone continue this bit about our invasion of Iraq being "based on a lie?" That in and of itself is a lie.

And from Pat Dollard is Anbar Awakening Spreads To Triangle Of Death.

  • “Our hope a year ago was to establish very basic inroads down here,” Kershaw said. “We thought the insurgency was far too deep for us to be able to effectively root it out and develop the relationship with the locals.”

    As happened in Anbar province to the west, local Sunni leaders from this town south of Baghdad finally turned on the al Qaeda extremists in their midst when the death and destruction became too much to bear.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If you have the time...

Haystack over at Redstate has Chinese Fire Drill On The Hill

Pat Dollard has God Bless The USA

And could someone please try and figure out what the heck Uncle Jimbo at Black Five is delicately trying to say, in his normal, dance around the point kind of way with Guilty of Contempt of Congress

The TWO Reports

The first being the Petraeus report. That one's getting tons of effort and emotion in attacking and defending it. I like the fact that the anti-war surrender monkey's are investing all that energy and time into attacking it, as it's not winnable ground, in my opinion. Petreaus is on the high ground which also happens to be a mountain built of facts. On the flip side though, the people in the right have to expend the same energy in defending it.

I think they took up the wrong fight, though. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad they took up the wrong fight, but they're missing the real deal. And, that is...

The Crocker report. The decision on whether we stay or leave should hinge on this one. If Petreaus is bringing security to Iraq, and it certainly seems indisputable that he is, then will that bring any political gains? I've reread the Crocker report to see if there's an answer there. To summarize what he says as best I can:

The major issues holding up legislation from the central government is Federalism and States rights. Something we all understand. We are witness to what it takes for Iraq to figure out what Iraq is going to be. The Iraqi's are the only one's who can sort this part out. Until they do though, legislation from a central government will be real difficult. Progress is being made here though as, without legislation in place, revenue sharing is happening. Also, without legislation, amnesty is happening. These are two major issues that lead to nationalism. Benchmarks are being met without the legislation being even written or put into law yet. Our Congress wants to call this a failure.

Crocker explains this well on his observation of Al Anbar province. The largest gains politically have come there. Gee, the largest gains in security had just happened there too.

All isn't a bed of roses. There are major hurdles for the Iraqi people to overcome. Crocker believes that a peaceful Iraq that's at peace with it's neighbors is attainable. Iran and Syria need to be addressed though. But, all in all, looking at this report, it would be real hard to say the right way forward is to pull all of our troops out.

Someone tell the anti-war surrender monkeys to go spend their energies on getting us out of Okinawa or Germany. Haven't we finished up those two operations yet?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Today on the hill

Several interesting reads relating to the Petreaus and Crocker report and the moveon stunt.

Michael Yon over at The Tank with The Times Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.

  • General David Petraeus's first day of testimony was completely accurate, and consistent with my recent experiences around Iraq. Everything he said during the public hearing on Monday was measured, cogent, and demonstrably accurate. That his reputation was attacked in an entirely inaccurate full-page advertisement in the New York Times is a smear on the reputation of the New York Times.

Uncle Jimbo at Black Five offers up his opinion.
  • Today the sorriest of the sorry groups on the left, George Soros' Move0n placed a full page ad in the NYT asking

    Gen. Petraeus or Gen. Betray us

Pat Dollard has The Ad The Dems Are Running From - What Dems Are Really Behind It?
  • has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership –as an article in today’s Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday’s Politico: “‘No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,’ noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. ‘The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.’

Also from Pat Dollard Newsweek Smear: “General As Salesman: Petraeus Is Using Dodgy Information”
  • Not surprisingly, Petraeus performed smoothly in his testimony to Congress. But an internal Pentagon report is expected to ‘differ substantially’ from his recommendations on withdrawal from Iraq, NEWSWEEK has learned.

    ( Newsweek is doing some serious sleight of hand...

Petraeus, Crocker, and Iraq

The transcript of the Petraeus opening statement to Congress is up at RealClearPolitics.

Patreaus's slides (via Pat Dollard)

The transcript of the Crocker opening statement to Congress is here.

The Petraeus statement is pretty much conformation of what we've been tracking militarily since the surge started. I didn't see much that would be new to anyone who's been following along. You know about Anbar Province and the fact that other provinces are following that model. Here's a press release from today from MNF-I on another citizen group turning called In 24-hr battle, Hawr Rajab turns on al-Qaeda. It's a short read, so check it out.

The Crocker opening statement is excellent. That's the one to read if you can only get to one of them. The questions we need answers to are on the political and economic sides, and Crocker does a great job of laying it out.
  • My intention today is to give you an assessment of political, economic, and diplomatic developments in Iraq. In doing so, I will not minimize the enormity of the challenges faced by Iraqis, nor the complexity of the situation. Yet at the same time, I intend to demonstrate that it is possible for the United States to see its goals realized in Iraq and that Iraqis are capable of tackling and addressing the problems confronting them today. A secure, stable democratic Iraq at peace with its neighbors is attainable.
The anti-war crowd showed their true colors, as usually happens with their ilk, when today they took out a full page ad in the New York Times calling Petraeus a traitor, desecrated the Vietnam War Memorial, and disrupted the Petreaus and Crocker statements by yelling obscenities. The anti-war crowd has heavy ties to the Democrats through fund raising, so the silence from the Congressional Democrats today was deafening. Also, the group of lowlifes who took out the ad in the NYT has daily teleconferences with the leading Democrats, so it would be impossible for them not to know it was happening.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Man gets off a cargo ship..., oh say, Pakistan... walks down the dock and gets into an awaiting car. The car drives off through the city. Days later, you see the same guy getting out of the car and meeting up with another guy who hands him the reigns to a camel. He travels for days, staying in friendly villages each night. Slowly, he begins to make his way into the foothills of the mountainous terrain. The weather is not as hot now, as he continues his trek. He finally has to abandon the camel and go on foot as the trial has gotten narrow and steep. A couple of nights sleeping under the stars and he knows he's getting close to his destination. A few days later, he hands Osama Bin Ladin that so highly regarded package....

"Praise Allah" as Osama opens up the box that contains the DVD "Inconvenient Truth".....

Hey, maybe we're better at this propaganda war than I thought we were...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Fred on Osama

From the Fred Thompson site:
  • Posted on September 7th, 2007
    By On the Road in On The Road

    Senator Fred Thompson made the following remarks while campaigning at the Music Man Square in Mason City, IA:

    “Apparently, Osama bin Laden has crawled out of his cave long enough to send another video, and he is getting a lot of attention and ought to be caught and killed.

    “We also need to understand that when he is caught and killed, somebody will replace him.

    “We like to personalize things in this country, sometimes a little too much. Somebody will replace him. He represents the fact that we are in a global conflict and are going to be for some time.

    “The most important part of how we deal with that has to deal with the resolution of the American people and political leaders.”

Ninewa Province

If you remember back a couple of months, it was speculated that Ninewa Province could get handed over to full Iraqi in August. Obviously, that didn't happen. The clearing of Diyala Province had Al Qaeda on the run there, and if you remember Donkey Island, they tried to get back into Anbar Province. That failed miserably and they had to move to another plan. It looks like they had better luck moving into Ninewa Province. Now, operation Lighting Hammer II has been launched and part of it is to address the Al Qaeda in Ninewa, along with Salahadin, Diyala, and Kirkurk Provinces.

Bill Roggio over at The Long War Journal has more.
  • The latest operation follows August's Operation Lightning Hammer that focused on al Qaeda’s presence in the Diyala River Valley north of the provincial capital Baqubah. Baqubah itself was cleared of al Qaeda during Operation Arrowhead Ripper, which was launched in June. The Baghdad Security Plan and Phantom Thunder and Phantom Strike operations -- which focused on al Qaeda and the Shia extremist cells in the Baghdad Belts -- have pushed al Qaeda operations into regions in Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salahadin, and Diyala provinces. This rolling series of operations is designed to keep al Qaeda off balance, prevent the terrorists from reorganizing safe havens in new regions, and expanding the security perimeter beyond Baghdad.

REID! PELOSI! MURTHA!'s for you...says his name is Osama...

ABC news has the transcript of Osama Bin Laden's tape which is to be released shortly. I've read through it. I'm not sure how, but it sounds like he just got out of a meeting with Algore. Most reviews of the transcript I've read seem to overlook it though. It's right there on page 5. The whole world is dying because of global warming. Global Warming is caused by a couple of major U.S. corporation which, coincidently, are the ones responsible for George W. Bush being elected president!

Well, there ya go....

On the rest of it I'll have to agree with most of the other reviews I've read. It's a message to the American people. Well, that's the premise anyway. The only message to the American people I can make out is "Vote Democrat". The main point seems to be to Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, and that bunch. Apparently, his boys are getting whacked big time in Iraq by the American military and he's losing his patience waiting for his allies in our government to bring about an American surrender there.

So, Bin Laden speaks. Now we watch to see how high Reid, Pelosi, and Murtha jump.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Moron Chucky's comments

No, that's spelled right.

Chuck Schumer's comments about the Anbar tribes turning on Al Qaeda happening in spite of the surge is really starting to stick in my craw. It's not just me either, you'll see it on most of the milblogs. Chucky just proves that, as soon as you think Al Qaeda's allies in our government have sunk as low as they can go, they grab shovels and dig deeper. This has to be the lowest, cheapest, and dirtiest tactic ever employed by someone in our government to be used in a time of war. In my opinion, if you go this low in an attempt to gain some political power, then you've now achieved a status beneath the lowliest slug. You slide under the slime you're so low.

It's disgusting...

Wonder why Chucky doesn't know about Captain Patriquin? You all remember him. A refresher from Captain's Quarters:
  • The Iraqis aren't fooled. They named the police station after the man who masterminded the liberation of Ramadi from al-Qaeda. They named it after US Army Captain Travis Patriquin.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Well, this just ain't right...

Katie Couric, in my mind, is about as whacked out a liberal as there is. Finger nails on chalkboard to me if I ever have to be in a room with her on the TV. If I ever get to where I'm unclear on what the liberal talking points are, I know she's a great resource to go to because they're always there in what she refers to as a news broadcast. Luckily, the liberal talking points are everywhere and I never need to use her.

You'll need to sit down for this one though. From spree over at Wake up America - Katie Couric Touts Real Progress In Iraq.
  • Short and sweet. After traveling to Iraq, Katie Couric repors on the progress being seen in Iraq.

    Kudos to her for actually going there and seeing for herself after all the "reporting" from afar, it is good to see that she put her money where her mouth is and traveled to Iraq to see things for herself.

    (CBS) BAGHDAD, Iraq One week before Gen. David Petraeus is expected to give his report on U.S. progress in Iraq, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric says she has already seen dramatic improvements in the country.

    "We hear so much about things going bad, but real progress has been made there in terms of security and stability," Couric said Tuesday. "I mean, obviously, infrastructure problems abound, but Sunnis and U.S. forces are working together. They banded together because they had a common enemy: al Qaeda."
Okay, who is she and what did she do with Katie Couric....

Iraq update September 5, 2007

So, the anti-war surrender monkeys and Al Qaeda's allies in our government are due to start cranking up the "We must surrender now" coalition again. Baghdad Harry is still captain of the "the war in Iraq is lost" ship and the water is now up to his armpits. He seems to be sensing that the boat might possibly sink. He's willing to go ahead and compromise with any and all Republicans that will hop on and bail like hell. They all seem to be looking at him like "what ship?".

Grim over at Blackfive has a post up about another major milestone that just happened today. I'm betting it probably won't make any newspapers though. It's called COIN: Iraqi Police take over in Fallujah.
  • The Fighting 6th Marines are celebrating today, as a major -- oh, let's call it a "benchmark" -- is reached:

    The last battalion of Iraqi soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, withdrew from the Anbar Province city of Fallujah, Sept. 1, leaving the city’s security and stability in the hands of the local police and government.

    Brig. Gen. Ali al-Hashemi, the brigade’s commander, said the time had come when Iraqi Police alone could handle law enforcement in the city.

    You can tell our Marines are proud to see their AO blossom, but a great deal of credit belongs to the Iraqis of Anbar as well.

And of course, don't forget Uncle Jimbo. Chuck Schumer - The Senate's biggest ass?
  • Tough call there given the competition, I mean Teddy, Reid, Larry Craig but Chuck Schumer is just so consistently low and mean. Plus he is so ruthless in getting in front of a camera, there is plenty of ammo. Today was just a little soliloquizing on the Senate floor.

    I feel his pain, it is hard to stand there all pompous ass-like and try to make the case that even though the surge is working, neither W nor the troops deserve any credit. Now that is a stretch, and poor Chuck face planted.

Bill Roggio's The Fourth Rail has changed to The Long War Journal. It's the same great stuff though. Today he has up Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle: August 2007 Update. These order of battle reports are fantastic for the overall military view.
  • The September 2007 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB Page. Significant changes include a shift in focus to re-enforce Basrah, the establishment of three more "Operational Commands," the expansion and development of the Iraqi Air Force, and the potential reduction of the Iraqi National Police for lack of available competent and trustworthy leadership. The significant changes to the Order of Battle are summarized below.
And lastly, Pat Dollard has some breaking news about some of Mookie's boys not standing down like he told them to do. Breaking: Mahdi Army Elements Ignoring Al Sadr, Iranian “Special Units” Arrested
  • Baghdad, Sept 5, (VOI)- The spokesman for the Multi-National forces in Iraq Brigadier General Kevin Bergner said on Wednesday that cells from the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army did not obey the Sadr’s order to freeze their activities, accusing them of “practicing armed activities.”

Quick hitter

Regarding the mis-informed general public, the Richmond Times-Dispatch online has an Op Ed called Covering The War that explains the problem and the repercussions of it.
  • America will be making enormously important decisions in the coming days and weeks about the war in Iraq, decisions that will affect this country and the Middle East for years, if not decades. None of the decisions will be easy. The future implications are hard to decipher.

    President Bush, Congress, and U.S. generals will be responsible for making specific policy choices. But the ultimate direction of the war will be decided -- as it should be in a democracy -- by the American people. So it's exceptionally important that the people understand what's really going on in Iraq, and there's ample evidence to suggest we don't. One can argue that the passion and demagoguery infusing the war debate have sowed more ignorance than enlightenment.

And, there's been a NightTwister blog sighting. Apparently it's not of a high enough quality for him to put it on his own website so it's over at called Sen Tim Johnson. It has a real good laugh track.... errrr... comment thread.

Also, there's another Redstate blog by a Mike Volpe that describes a two hour debate between a liberal (anti-Iraq war) and a conservative (for winning in Iraq). If you've ever found yourself in one of these, the liberal talking points are all there. Mike has the answers the liberals don't want to hear. The blog is called My Trip To Minnesota.
  • This weekend I attended a wedding for a friend of mine from college in Minnesota. I hitched a ride from Chicago with another buddy who was also attending. My buddy is among the smartest people I know. He scored nearly perfect on his ACT's back in high school and he currently works as a researcher in the Department of Molecular Biology at Northwestern University studying the HIV virus. He has been known to be a sort of ringer in any game of trivial pursuit. He is what I would describe as cerebral and his interests run many topics including of course, politics.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Iraq update, Labor Day

From Pat Dollard - Bush Makes Triumphal Visit To Al Anbar.
  • President George W. Bush landed in Al Anbar with Secretary of State Condoleez Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Al Anbar, which accounts for roughly half the country, had degenerated into a private terrorist state run by Al Qaeda, has been turned around by an alliance between the US military and local iraqis who had finally stood up to the terrorist invaders
And, on a related note, and also from Pat Dollard - Bush Circumvents Maliki With Financial Aid To Sunnis.
  • WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 — President Bush, marshaling his arguments to maintain current troop levels in Iraq, has approved the acceleration of a new program to intensify economic assistance directly to Sunni Arab regions where former insurgents have joined American forces in fighting extremist Sunni groups, senior American officials say.

Pat also has video of Bush's speech to the troops in Anbar - Breaking Video: Bush Addresses Heroes Of Al Anbar.

Al Anbar province is a great place for the President to visit right now, in my opinion. Hopefully he can shake some hands of The Anbar Salvation Council while he's there.