Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Times Online: Israeli Struck Syrian Nuke Site

“We naturally cannot always show the public our cards.”

In a midnight surprise raid on September 6, Israeli Defence Forces blew apart what it believed was a cache of nuclear weapons, a British newspaper said at its website.

Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.

The Israeli government was not saying. “The security sources and IDF [Israeli Defence Forces] soldiers are demonstrating unusual courage,” said Ehud Olmert, the prime minister. “We naturally cannot always show the public our cards.”

The Syrians were also keeping mum. “I cannot reveal the details,” said Farouk al-Sharaa, the vice-president. “All I can say is the military and political echelon is looking into a series of responses as we speak. Results are forthcoming.” The official story that the target comprised weapons destined for Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group, appeared to be crumbling in the face of widespread scepticism.

Andrew Semmel, a senior US State Department official, said Syria might have obtained nuclear equipment from “secret suppliers”, and added that there were a “number of foreign technicians” in the country.

Asked if they could be North Korean, he replied: “There are North Korean people there. There’s no question about that.” He said a network run by AQ Khan, the disgraced creator of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, could be involved.

Friday, September 14, 2007

FOX News Poll: Rudy Giuliani Preferred President Over Hillary Clinton If Terrorists Attack America


The latest FOX News poll shows that if the United States were hit with a terrorist attack, by a 50 percent to 36 percent margin, Americans would rather have Giuliani in charge than Clinton, including 28 percent of Democrats and an overwhelming 80 percent of Republicans. Independents split in Giuliani’s favor 47 percent to Clinton’s 28 percent.

Full results, PDF.

Karl Rove said he believed that Hillary Clinton was a smart, capable campaigner but that she was a "fatally flawed" candidate. These poll results show why.

Also buried deep in the data is this festering sore: At 45%, she has the highest unfavorable rating of any candidate currently seeking the office of President. And, at 49% she remains unable to get her favorable ratings over half, a key measure in estimating a candidate's "electability." Her favorable/unfavorable figures have been stubbornly ugly for her, despite a well coordinated media "in kind" contribution casting her in the best possible light.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Petraeus and Crocker at the Press Club

MNF-Iraq Commander GEN David Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker speak about the current status of conditions in Iraq at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Confederate Yankee Is Pregnant!

Breakthrough blogger and journalist extraordinaire Bob Owens is pregnant. Hey Bob... They know what causes that, now.

Confederate Yankee is the blogosphere equivalent of Woodward and Bernstein circa early 1970's. He's done journalistic heavy lifting (i.e., fact-checking, i.e., reporting, i.e., investigating) on the Scott Beauchamp debacle at the New Republic and most recently instigated the Moveon.org ad price scandal.

Now that Mrs. CY has been appointed his designated driver for the next oh, nine months or so, you may want to go drop a dollar or two in the tip jar.

AP Gives Election to Democrats... One Year Early

Key dates and events in the Iraq war -- AP via Yahoo! News:

Before they change it (it's obviously a typo):


March 17 — President Bush gives Saddam Hussein 48-hour deadline to give up power. U.S.-led invasion of Iraq begins three days later.

May 1 — On an aircraft carrier under a "Mission Accomplished" banner, President Bush declares "major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

Dec. 13 — Saddam Hussein captured while hiding in hole in ground near Tikrit; hanged after trial.



April — Photographs surface of prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Oct. 6 — Top U.S. arms inspector in Iraq finds no evidence that Saddam's regime produced weapons of mass destruction after 1991, discounting a main justification of the war.



Feb. 23 — Revered Shiite shrine in Samarra bombed, triggering onslaught of sectarian violence.

May 3 — The first democratically elected Iraqi government sworn in.

Nov. 7 — In what is widely viewed as a referendum on the war in the United States, Republicans lose both House and Senate.



Nov. 8 — Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigns; Bush nominates former CIA director Robert Gates as successor.

Dec. 31 — American deaths in the Iraq war reached 3,000.



Jan. 10 — Bush commits more than 21,500 additional American troops to Iraq — a military buildup that has grown to 30,000 with support troops.

July 12 — White House report required by Congress says Iraq has made satisfactory progress on eight of 18 political and security benchmarks, unsatisfactory progress on eight and that it's too early to judge progress on two.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

McCain to Clinton: Ain't Tough Enough

The Weekly Standard:

McCain released another statement chiding Clinton for her failure to condemn MoveOn's attack on Petraeus:

"Senator Clinton said that believing General Petraeus' testimony requires a 'willing suspension of disbelief.' I think it willingly suspends disbelief to not repudiate an advertisement run by a radical left wing organization that impugns and dishonors the integrity of a man who has served his nation with dedication all of his life. If you're not tough enough to repudiate a scurrilous, outrageous attack such as that, then I don't know how you're tough enough to be President of the United States."



Combat Engineers are da shit

These are the baddest asses on the battlefield.

Trivia Question:  What is the only unit to have gone in at both Omaha and Utah beaches at the same time?

[cue jeopardy theme]

Oh, I'll go ahead and give you the answer:  299th Combat Engineer Battalion.

Hoo Ahh.

AL ASAD -- Whether it is building or renovating, combat engineers are always working hard to ensure that service members have what they need to make work or life a little better. Recently, the Marines of Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 took on a mission that has an affect on service members throughout Iraq.

The engineers of MWSS-271 have started the Rapid Runway Repair project, which is designed to fix problem areas on Al Asad’s runways.

“The problem is that there are holes in the runway from where the concrete expands and contracts from the heat and it starts breaking up,” explained Sgt. David Poole, a combat engineer for MWSS-271. “When you have holes in the flightline, the planes have trouble landing or taxiing.”

The repair on Aug. 11 was the second of many upcoming repairs that will be conducted by the ’271 engineers. The repairs are completed in small sections, so that they do not interfere with normal operations.

“We go in and cut out the portion that is starting to come up where there are holes and we jackhammer all the stuff out and put in pavement, which is runway repair material,” said Poole. “It gives it a solid surface and stops it from cracking.”

The engineers have primarily been focused on minor projects around the base, before starting on the runway repair.

“We have been building SWA huts, gyms for units, a detention facility for (the Provost Marshal’s Office), just small construction projects,” said Poole. “It’s a big change, definitely different. It’s part of our job and I feel like I’m really doing my job out here doing (runway repair) because I know it means something.”

Although the MWSS-271 engineers have primarily been tasked with small projects, their performance during the first runway repair was the catalyst for more work.

“They finally decided to give us a shot at it to see how we could do it, and we ended up doing it ahead of schedule,” Poole explained. “We had two nights allotted to us on the flight line, where they shut it down for us, and it didn’t even take one full night. So now they see that we can and we are going to be repairing a lot more.”

Just like any other group of Marines in the Corps, the engineers attribute teamwork to their success.

“Everyone gets along well and knows their job” said Poole. “It’s all planned out before we get out there, so everybody knows exactly what they will be doing and when they’ll be doing it.”

If planes cannot land or taxi, then supplies cannot get where they need to be in a timely matter. The engineers understand and relish the fact that repairing the runway is essential to the overall mission here.

“(Rapid runway repair) is one of the only projects that’s an asset to the (whole) base,” said Cpl. Jessica Torelli, a combat engineer for MWSS-272. “We usually work fast and efficiently. When things need to be done, we work together pretty well.”

The first two projects went well and the engineers plan on continuing their success, according to Poole.

“We have a couple more missions signed up and all the Marines are excited.” said Poole. “This is important to the overall mission in Iraq, its not like building a desk for somebody. We are doing something that is going to be noticed and needed for the mission.”

Nukes in Syria?

Report: Israel spots nuclear installations in Syria:

Washington official says Israeli surveillance shows possible Syrian nuclear installation stocked by North Korea, Israeli Arab newspaper claims target of alleged raid last week was Syrian missile base financed by Iran.

Israel believes that North Korea has been supplying Syria and Iran with nuclear materials, a Washington defense official told the New York Times. “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” he said.

The official added that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights over Syria revealed possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials estimate might have been supplied with material from North Korea.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Petraeus and Crocker in a Pit of Vipers Today

This morning, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker are entering a pit of Vipers.

The Senatorial Snakes of the Foreign Affairs Committee:

Joseph Biden
Christopher J. Dodd
John F. Kerry
Russell D. Feingold
Barbara Boxer
Bill Nelson
Barack Obama
Robert Menendez
Benjamin L. Cardin
Robert P. Casey Jr.
Jim Webb
Richard Lugar
Chuck Hagel
Norm Coleman
Bob Corker
John E. Sununu
George V. Voinovich
Lisa Murkowski
Jim DeMint
Johnny Isakson
David Vitter

You might see a few friendly names on that list, but virtually every member of this committee is invested in defeat. Even the Republicans are questionable.

Update:But it gets a little (only a little) better this afternoon:

Carl Levin
Edward M. Kennedy
Robert C. Byrd
Joseph I. Lieberman
Jack Reed
Daniel K. Akaka
Bill Nelson
E. Benjamin Nelson
Evan Bayh
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Mark L. Pryor
Jim Webb
Claire McCaskill
John McCain
John W. Warner
James M. Inhofe
Jeff Sessions
Susan M. Collins
Saxby Chambliss
Lindsey O. Graham
Elizabeth Dole
John Cornyn
John Thune
Mel Martinez
Bob Corker

Must See Blog of the Month

9/11 Truth March and Power to the Peaceful Festival

Zombie's photo essay just must be seen to be appreciated.

Fourteen Terrorists Killed; 20 Surrender

Coalition forces in Baghdad, Bayji and Kirkuk completed operations that resulted in 14 Tangos being sent to Allah and 20 more surrendering.  In the first operation, coalition forces targeted the expected replacement for the al-Qaeda in Iraq emir of the southern belts around Baghdad, who was killed in a Coalition operation Sept. 5.

A group of armed men engaged Coalition forces with heavy small arms fire. Coalition forces responded in self-defense, returned fire and called in close air support to engage the enemy force. Coalition forces ground and air fire killed six armed men in the engagement.

Also in Baghdad, Coalition forces captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq operative allegedly associated with senior terrorist leaders. In addition to the wanted individual, the ground forces detained four other suspected terrorists.

“We’ve been putting consistent pressure on al-Qaeda in Iraq and impairing its ability to attack innocent Iraqis,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “We will continue our aggressive operations to bring security to Baghdad and the surrounding areas.”

In northern Iraq, Eight terrorists were killed and 15 suspected terrorists were detained during Coalition operations Tuesday targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq network. Coalition forces conducted two operations targeting the al-Queda in Iraq network that conducts attacks and facilitates the movement of foreign terrorists in northwestern Iraq. Several armed men engaged Coalition forces during a raid in a desolate area six miles from the Syrian border.

Coalition forces returned fire in self-defense, killing six armed men. Coalition forces also discovered two men hiding inside a tent, one of whom detonated a suicide vest he was wearing, killing only himself and the other terrorist. Coalition forces found several suicide vests, weapons, rockets, grenades and $18,000 in U.S. currency at the site. They also detained one individual. In the second operation, in the far western part of Ninewa province, Coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists.

In Bayji, Coalition forces captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq leader believed to have taken over the sniper and assassination network in the area after Coalition forces captured his predecessor Aug. 4.

Also in the Tigris River Valley, ground forces detained one suspected terrorist near Balad for his alleged ties to a network known to attack Coalition forces.

Iraqi and Coalition forces in Kirkuk targeted the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader of the city’s car-bombing network, who also facilitates the movement of foreign terrorists who conduct suicide attacks. The ground forces detained seven suspected terrorists and found a cache of bomb-making materials, which they safely destroyed on site.

“Terrorists have no safe haven in Iraq,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “We will continue to find al-Qaeda in Iraq’s leaders and operatives and foil their attempts to destabilize the elected government.”

Trashing Petraeus

OpinionJournal - Featured Article:

MoveOn.org, and the new standards of Democratic debate.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Important as was yesterday's appearance before Congress by General David Petraeus, the events leading up to his testimony may have been more significant. Members of the Democratic leadership and their supporters have now normalized the practice of accusing their opponents of lying. If other members of the Democratic Party don't move quickly to repudiate this turn, the ability of the U.S. political system to function will be impaired in a way no one would wish for.

Well, with one exception. MoveOn.org, the Democratic activist group, bought space in the New York Times yesterday to accuse General Petraeus of "cooking the books for the White House." The ad transmutes the general's name into "General Betray Us."

"Betrayal," as every military officer knows, is a word that through the history of their profession bears the stain of acts that are both dishonorable and unforgivable. That is to say, MoveOn.org didn't stumble upon this word; it was chosen with specific intent, to convey the most serious accusation possible against General Petraeus, that his word is false, that he is a liar and that he is willing to betray his country. The next and obvious word to which this equation with betrayal leads is treason. That it is merely insinuated makes it worse.

MoveOn.org calls itself a "progressive" political group, but it is in fact drawn from the hard left of American politics and a pedigree that sees politics as not so much an ongoing struggle but a final competition. Their Web-based group is new to the political scene, but its politics are not so new. More surprising and troubling are the formerly liberal institutions and politicians who now share this political ethos.

In an editorial on Sunday, the New York Times, after saying that President Bush "isn't looking for the truth, only for ways to confound the public," asserted that "General Petraeus has his own credibility problems." We read this as an elision from George Bush, the oft-accused liar on WMD and all the rest, to David Petraeus, also a liar merely for serving in the chain of command. With this editorial, the Times establishes that the party line is no longer just "Bush lied," but anyone who says anything good about Iraq or our effort there is also lying. As such, the Times enables and ratifies MoveOn.org's rhetoric as common usage for Democrats.

Late last week, for instance, we heard it said of General Petraeus that, "He's made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual." This was from Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

The Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Lantos, said Thursday that General Petraeus would not be the author of his report; it would be written "by Administration political operatives." He opened yesterday's hearing, moments before General Petraeus was to speak, by saying, "We cannot take anything this Administration says on Iraq at face value."

So far, only two Democrats that we are aware of have repudiated this political turn. Joe Lieberman, already ostracized from the party for dissent, called the MoveOn ad an "act of slander that every member of the Congress--Democrat and Republican--has a solemn responsibility to condemn." And Joe Biden, after the MoveOn ad was read to him on "Meet the Press" Sunday, replied: "I don't buy into that. This is an honorable guy. He's telling the truth."

These are the exceptions. Another of the party's activist groups, Democracy for America, released a statement about the time General Petraeus began to speak: "It is offensive that our commander-in-chief has ordered a four-star general to mislead Congress."

As General Petraeus finished his statement yesterday, Senator Chris Dodd's Presidential campaign spammed an email about "the accuracy" of the report: "The fact that there are questions about General Petraeus's report is not surprising given that it was brought to you by this White House." Thus in Mr. Dodd's view, General Petraeus, returned from the Iraq battlefield, is a complicit ventriloquist's dummy.

Can this really be the new standard of political rhetoric across the Democratic Party? There was a time when the party's institutional elites, such as the Times, would have pulled it back from reducing politics to all or nothing. They would have blown the whistle on such accusations. Now they are leading the charge.

Under these new terms, public policy is no longer subject to debate, discussion and disagreement over competing views and interpretations. Instead, the opposition is reduced to the status of liar. Now the opposition is not merely wrong, but lacks legitimacy and political standing. The goal here is not to debate, but to destroy.

Today General Petraeus testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Its Democratic Members include Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer and Jim Webb. This would be the appropriate setting to apologize to General Petraeus for the MoveOn.org ad. Or let it stand.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Three Carrier Strike Groups Heading To Iran

Pat Dollard | Young Americans.

If I were Iran, I would take a little time out to rethink my concept. We don't need boots on the ground to wipe out their military. We have "plans" that lay out a process that takes it out in three days.

I'm guessing that the real plans have us taking out any response capability in 24 hours.

Hey, Mahmoudie... Are you sure this is what you want to do?

Disaster for the Democrats

The moonbat left is, understandably, beside themselves.

On one hand, you had Moveon.org's absolute disgrace of running a full page advertisement in the New York Tikes assaulting not only the credibility of General David Petraeus, but also his honor and dedication to this great nation of ours.

But then, the target of that assault goes before Congress and gives a slam dunk testimony. He had chart after undisputable chart. Statistic after unassailable statistic. Answer after completely dominating answer.

Then you had the spectacle of moonbats being hauled out of a distinguished hearing in handcuffs, hollering like sheep being taken to slaughter.

Absolute DISASTER.

The left's hatred for the Blue Dog Democrat caucus was already red hot before today's historic event. Now that they have seen everything they need to see in order to see President Bush's policy through, Ms. Pelosi knows that she will not have the votes she needs to defund the war. That means you can forget seeing a bill supported by the moonbats ever seeing the light of day.

It's a good day for the good guys. A bad day for the terrorists and their shameless supporters from the left.

Full Testimony

Bill Roggio's Long War Journal has a HTML version of General Petraeus testimony to the Joint House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.

I am impressed with the General's testimony, but Mr. Crocker is acquitting himself quite well also. His report, which indicated that the trend was up but that the slope of the trendline was not as high as we'd like, sounded honest and forthright.

UPDATE: Crocker's testimony in PDF format here, compliments of National Review.

Meanwhile the Associated Press finds it necessary to comment on the decor of the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.

A few observations on the testimony given today:

1. Petraeus is cool under pressure and knows his craft well.  Democrats tried to fluster him with "talking point" questions, to which he calmly dispelled the myths the talking points are based on.

2. Wexler's appearance on Fox during the break was incredible.  How anyone can show such intellectual dishonesty and keep a straight face just goes to show how treacherous these bastards are.  

3.  Crocker has not gotten many questions.  Petraeus is clearly the focus.  This is significant because of the two men, Crocker's news was the most sobering.  

What General Petraeus Should Tell America

FOXNews.com's Alireza Jafarzadeh Blogs:

The core problem in Iraq is neither a civil nor a sectarian war. The main strategic threat to Iraq is neither Al Qaeda nor the Sunni insurgents. True, they are both responsible for a significant portion of violence in Iraq, but they both lack strategic assets to take over Iraq politically and militarily.

Iraq’s No. 1 problem is, in fact, Iran’s widespread and deadly presence in Iraq. Iran is undoubtedly the main instigator of violence, instability and derailing the political process in that country. Unlike Al Qaeda, Iran is a strategic threat for a sovereign, unified and Democratic Iraq. It is a regime with vast resources dedicated to the sponsorship of terrorism and export of fundamentalism, a 900-mile porous common border, and huge political and intelligence assets both within and outside the Iraqi government. Tehran is spending nearly $70,000,000 per month arming, training and funding Iraqi Shiite and Sunni militias.

Jafarzadeh issues a pretty damning indictment of Iran. It's refreshing to see a member of the MSM come out so strongly against that cancer on the Gulf.

He writes:

Four years on, Iran’s leaders have exploited all aspects of Iraq’s political and security landscape. Currently, Iran has as many as 32,000 Iraqis on its payroll, including senior officials in the Iraqi police force, ministries, National Assembly and other institutions. More ominously, rather than fulfilling his duty to disband and disarm the militias, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is also enhancing Iran’s position by keeping his loyalty to Tehran and empowering the Iran-backed militias.

It may seem that under the present circumstances there is no hope for an improvement of the situation in Iraq. Some suggest bringing in the Iranian regime as part of the solution. But the Iranian regime is the main problem, not a part of the solution in Iraq.

That Iran has Iraqi politicians on their payroll is news to me. I have been unable to locate any source for that information. That's not to say that it isn't true. It is certainly plausible.

Go read Jafarzadeh's full opinion.

"Shock Troops:" Driving the final nails in the coffin

Today, the last two nails in the coffin for TNR's credibility were driven home.

At Hotair, Michelle Malkin interviews Michael Goldfarb, online editor for The Weekly Standard. Fair and balanced to the core, Michelle also attempted to interview TNR's Franklin Foer, but ran into a little resistance.

At Pajamas Media, Confederate Yankee's Bob Owens publishes an exclusive interview with Major John Cross, US Army. MAJ Cross conducted the Army's investigation into the veracity of PVT Scott Thomas Beauchamp's now infamous article, "Shock Troops."

The New Republic's credibility was already in a bad state of repair following the Stephen Glass debacle. As Bob points out, that should have led to a much more rigorous editorial policy at the very leftwing publication. Sadly, it has not. Owens gets a lot of credit for good old fashioned journalism--he checked facts when TNR's editors covered them up. He interviewed credible sources when TNR jinned up their comments. With these two pieces today, one wonders about the future of the TNR editorial staff.

"Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda"

From Allahpundit at Hotair (who seems to have gotten his sensibilities back).

Olbie compares Fox News to Al Qaeda and the Ku Klux Kan. The dude has lost his skill skull.

Maybe he's just permanently peeved because O'Reilly beats him like a drum every night.


Article III, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Moveon.org, DailyKos, Code Pinko and other left wing factions, along with their allies among Congressional Democrats, have the blood of U.S. soldiers on their hands. They have been adhering to the enemies of the United States by giving aid, comfort and propaganda support to Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hizbollah and Iran. Our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan fight on because they know that factions within the United States are their friends. This is no better than having an active, pro-German faction on U.S. soil, accusing U.S. troops of monstrous betrayal and targeting their leaders in propaganda. These are acts of war.

Today, Moveon.org accuses General Petraeus of being a traitor in a full page advertisement in the New York Times. They are beneath contempt. It is time that Americans stop putting up with this, and start treating these seditious bastards for what they are.

No cells at Guantanomo Bay. No orange jumpsuits. Firing squads or short ropes are called for.

America is Not at War

America is not at war. America has gone to the mall. America is at the football game. When the evenings news broadcasts switch to coverage of the day's events in Iraq, Americans switch to MTV. I am laying 8-to-3 odds that if I walked out on the street right now and asked the first passerby how many troops the U.S. had in Iraq, that person could not answer correctly. I'd lay even longer odds that if I showed the next passerby a map of the middle east, they would have a hard time identifying Iraq.

America, frankly, is bored with the Global War on Terror. They do not know that there are U.S. special forces working in the Horn of Africa and the Phillipines, because they do not care. The war is boring to Americans because the war does not affect them. It annoys them to have to pay attention to it. They do not care about the war because so few of them understand the stakes.

This week, General David Petraeus, Commanding General, Multinational Forces - Iraq, provides both open and closed door testimony to Congress. His civilian counterpart is Ryan Crocker, Ambassador to Iraq. He will also testify before Congress. Petraeus will provide information on the progress of new counterinsurgency tactics and operations made possible by the surge in troop levels. Crocker will provide his opinions on the political reconciliation process that the surge was supposed to provide time and space for. Some Americans know who Petraeus is. Precious few know who Crocker is. Despite the fact that their time on Capitol Hill this week will be both historic and crucial to the national decision on whether the U.S. maintains combat effectiveness in Iraq, few Americans will even bother to watch.

Anti-war factions on the left are fond of pointing out the cost of conducting military operations in Iraq. They point to the $880,000 million and tsk-tsk. What most Americans don't realize is that the U.S. economy produced nearly $14,000,000,000,000. That is not a typo. That is Fourteen TRILLION dollars. This economy leaks more in a month than the war in Iraq costs in a year. Anti-war factions are also fond of waving the bloody shirts of the nearly 4,000 troops lost in Iraq (not all of which are combat-related). The full time, active duty Armed Forces of the United States has abour 1.4 million men and women. There are roughly another million or so in reserve capacity, for a total of well over two million. While every death is a tragic loss of a brave soldier, the fact remains that casualty rates are extremely low in this conflict. These figures represent the lowest casualty rates ever in a prolonged armed conflict. The average monthly loss of about 70 represents a casualty rate of 0.04% to 0.06% (depending on how you calculate the average troop strength). Express that properly, please: About five one-hundredths of a percent.

That the war costs us so little in the blood and treasure of America, and that it is being conducted in another hemisphere, is part of the reason why America is bored with the war. Why should they care? Of the 300 million people living in this country, only 170,000 are serving. That's only 170,000 brave families who pray for the safe return of their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters. Why should they care? The "war tax," which represents the cost of the war vis-a-vis the economic output of America, stands at a infinitesimally small 0.0014%. That's not a typo, either. One-point-four one-thousandths of one percent. Or, for every $100,000 produced by Americans, they fork over $1.40. Ouch, huh?

Another part of the reason for their boredom is that Americans are safe. Since President Bush began combat operations in the wake of 9/11, not one American has died from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In the days following that tragic event, Americans were convinced that other attacks were a matter of when and where, not if. Not any more. They're safe because we are fighting those who attacked us on their soil, not ours. Instead of Americans dying by the thousands, terrorists are dying by the tens of thousands. In the six years since 9/11 the daily routine of dozens of terrorists being killed or captured has become so droll to Americans that it goes virtually unnoticed.

America is not at war. America is at the beach. At the lake. At the mall. At the football game. God forbid that we falter and fail to fully prosecute this war. In Vietnam, when we left the enemy stayed put. If we leave Iraq before our job is done, we can be certain that the Islamic radicals--who had been attacking us relentlessly since the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993--will not stay in the Middle East. They will follow us. A lot of them are already here, legally. A lot more will come. And then, America will wake up and realize that we have been at war for a long time.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Voice of America: Sunni bloc rejoins Parliament

A promising development in Iraq's political reconciliation process.

The last political party boycotting Iraq's legislature has returned to the parliament. The move could help ease the political paralysis that has kept lawmakers from passing legislation crucial for national reconciliation in the troubled country. VOA's Jim Randle reports from northern Iraq.

A small Sunni Arab secular bloc returned to parliament, saying its political demands had been met. The 11 members of the National Dialogue Front also rejoined the 275-seat legislature so it can play a role in the debate over a key law regulating Iraq's oil industry.

The Front was the last of several boycotting groups to return to parliament, although the cabinet of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is still missing many of its members due to walkouts and resignations.

To advance national reconciliation, Washington has been pressuring legislators to pass major laws aimed at drawing minority Sunni Arabs more firmly into the political process.

Parliament reconvened last Tuesday and is set to consider two key laws. One eases restrictions that kept former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party out of public office. That affects mostly Sunnis, and might ease some tensions between them and Shi'ites and Kurds, who make up most of the rest of the population.

Another piece of legislation outlines how revenue from the oil industry will be shared.

Blackfive: Pull yourself together, Allahpundit!

Blackfive takes Allahpundit to task for letting the NYT do what the NYT is good at:  Asking loaded questions to get expected answers.

Quite obviously we are at a pivotal moment in Iraq; security operations have done what they are supposed to, reduce the violence to a level that politicians could swing some deals but that has yet to materialize. I realize that it would have been ideal if the Iraqi Parliament had stayed in session and passed an Oil law and reconciliation procedures, but like every other legislature including ours, they took the hottest month of the year off and went home. I don't recall any expectations being laid out that political progress would track right alongside security, as a matter of fact common sense ought to have pointed toward that as a follow on to less killing. It is tough to think about peace in the midst of battle. Well things have cooled down and we have made amazing progress in Anbar, which even 6 months ago was de facto ruled by AQI, and Baghdad is hardly pacified but it is much safer.

In the face of this we have plenty of skeptics and pessimists and there is plenty to be skeptical and pessimistic about. Before I knee him in the neck let me say I love 99% of Allah's work at Hot Air, but sometimes he gets out of his depth. Today Allahpundit at Hot Air continues his trend of skeptical pessimism and you can almost hear the "We're doomed Christopher Robin", as he hugs the skirts of the NYT's Damien Cave. In a piece he titles NYT survey: Surge has largely failed, Allah joins Cave in concluding the surge has likely failed because there is no instant political reconciliation.

Amen, brother.

The NYT metaphorically seeks that which it knows cannot be--symmetrical improvements in political and sectarian reconciliation that match the improvements in security. There are only two camps to be in, at this point. Either security has improved because of the surge in troops and clear-hold-build operations, or it hasn't. We know what camp the left wing media is in. It's worth noting that the NYT has something of a professional image at stake here, having gone "Reid" and declared the surge a failure months ago.

Suck it up, Allah. Get yourself together and stop letting the NYT do that Jedi mind thing to you.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Bully Pulpit

From President Bush's Radio address today:

Next week, after consulting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, my national security team, Members of Congress from both parties, and Iraqi leaders, I will speak directly to the Nation about the recommendations General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker have presented to me. I will discuss the changes our strategy has brought to Iraq. I will lay out a vision for future involvement in Iraq -- one that I believe the American people and their elected leaders of both parties can support. By coming together on the way forward, we will strengthen Iraq's democracy, deal a blow to our enemies, secure interests in the Middle East, and make our Nation safer.

Give the man some credit. He who supposedly borrowed Karl Rove's brain has done it again. He has outmaneuvered the anti-war left, positioning them in what amounts to the path of an angry Fabulist's roaring Bradley.

Petraeus and Crocker will testify in events bookending 9/11 memorials. On Thursday, he speaks to the nation. On Friday, he delivers the much anticipated report mandated by the very doe-eyed Congress he's set to mow down.


Hunter UAV Makes History

Multi-National Force - Iraq:

TIKRIT, Iraq – A Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle engaged and killed two suspected improvised explosive device emplacers overwatching a major thoroughfare for Coalition Forces during a historic flight near Qayyarah, Iraq, in Nineveh province Sept. 1.

A scout weapons team from 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, observed the two unknown enemy fighters in a tactical overwatch near the roadside. The SWT requested support from the Hunter UAV.

The pilots guided the Hunter operator to the scene where it set up for a strike mission and dropped its precision munition, killing both unknown enemies and marking a first in Army Aviation history.

“It’s very humbling to know that we have set an Army historical mark in having the first successful launch in combat from an Army weaponized UAV,” said Capt. Raymond Fields, commander, Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Company. “This would not be possible without my Soldiers and civilians working hard day in and day out in Iraq to accomplish this feat.”

Fields continued, “I think that this success will set the tone for Army Aviation in years to come. We will see more weaponized Army unmanned vehicles being used instead of manned platforms to save not only our aviator brethren but our Army ground brethren from enemy contact.”

“This accomplishment adds a precise and discriminate means for our Army to successfully engage the enemy in counterinsurgency warfare,” said Col. A.T. Ball, commander, 25th CAB.

Engineers provide clean water to 500,000 residents

Multi-National Force - Iraq:

Mohammed Aliwi, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region South

BAGHDAD — The Gulf Region South district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has completed one of the largest water projects in here - a $266 million facility in Al Shatra to provide thousands of Iraqis with clean drinking water.

At a recent ceremony, officials from the Iraqi Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works and the Nasiriyah Governate Council gathered to mark the completion of the Nasiriyah Water Treatment Plant by opening the city connections at an elevated storage tank and allowing water to flow into the distribution network.

The plant and distribution system will help provide clean water to more than 500,000 residents of Dhi Qar Province in southern Iraq serving five major communities in the province: Nasiriyah, Suq Ash Shuek, Al Diwaya, Al Shatra, and Al Gharraf.

Safe drinking water will prevent the spread of disease in an area that historically has suffered from a lack of clean water and the resulting adverse health consequences. Southern Iraq has an extremely high mortality rate for infants and other children under the age of 5 due largely to preventable water-borne diseases.

Gulf Region South awarded the contract in 2004 for the water project to FlourAMEC, a joint U.S.-British venture, to design and construct the facility at Al Shatra. The plant is capable of producing 10,000 cubic meters of treated water per hour, according to Navy Cmdr. Mike Lang, Adder Area Office, Gulf Region South.

"The overall project included the construction of a water treatment plant with 10 clarifiers, three booster pump stations, five elevated storage tanks, five river crossings, and a pipeline of more than 100 kilometers," Lang said.

FlourAMEC was recognized in August 2006 for its outstanding efforts in the prevention of job site accidents in connection with the project. For more than two years, from August 2004 to October 2006, 793 days and 4.5 million contract hours were put in without a recorded workday accident.

Iraq leaders broker oil deal


WASHINGTON - Just in time for next week's Bush administration report to Congress on Iraq, most of the top leadership council in Iraq has reached a breakthrough agreement on a new oil law -- the thorniest of the political issues blocking political compromise in that cauldron of a country.

A Kurdish official predicted Friday to Newsday that if a final agreement can be announced to coincide with Army Gen. David Petraeus' testimony to Congress on Monday, it would be a major boon to President George W. Bush's argument that progress is being made in Iraq.

In recent days, Democrats in Congress have focused on the lack of political progress to counter Bush's claims that military progress is being made on the ground.

It was not clear Friday whether Iraqi Sunnis had approved the agreement yet, but it has been the Kurds -- not the Sunnis -- who have blocked progress. The Sunnis, who have little or no proven oil deposits in their region of Iraq, have long argued for central control of Iraq's oil and equitable distribution of the revenues by population.

Without it, experts on the region say, the country is likely to break apart.

According to one Middle Eastern source, the agreement would allow centralized control of the oil by the government in return for a larger share of the profits for the Kurds than originally proposed. Significantly, the agreement would cover future discoveries of oil deposits in addition to known oil fields, contrary to the vague provisions in the Iraqi constitution that seemed to leave such oil totally to the regions.

The Kurdish official confirmed the agreement, but said it calls for the central government and the regions to set policy together. Under the agreement, a federal council -- with both regional and federal government membership -- would be in charge of all the oil and gas in Iraq, he said.

Kurdish leaders had wanted Kurdish oil fields to be totally under their control. The Kurdish official, who asked not to be identified but was involved in the discussions, said Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, would continue to control contracts for oil exploration in their region, a major sticking point, but in coordination with the new council and its policies. The main point, the official said, is that "the center (Baghdad) cannot prohibit development in the North," as it did in the days of Saddam Hussein.

The deal was hammered out in recent days between the leaders of the two main Kurdish factions and two main Shia factions, with the Sunnis, who have been boycotting the government, not yet represented.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A look at Operation Lightning Hammer II in Ninewa and Salahadin

 The Long War Journal:

With Operation Lightning Hammer II underway in Iraq’s north, the provinces of Ninewa and Salahadin are a major focus of the latest offensive. Over half of the troops allotted to Lightning Hammer II are operating in Mosul, Tal Afar, and a region known as the Za'ab triangle in northern Salahadin province. Most of the troops conducting offensive operations in Ninewa and northern Salahadin are Iraqis.

“The Za'ab triangle is the main effort for our operations,” said Col. Stephen Twitty, the commander of the 4th Infantry Brigade, 1st Calvary Division during a Pentagon press briefing on September 7. Twitty runs the battlespace in Ninewa province, and recently assumed command of segments of northern Salahadin province in support of Lightning Hammer II. “[The Za'ab triangle] is an area that has seen very little coalition presence in previous months.” The Za’ab triangle is delineated by the Tigris River and Ninewa, Irbil, and Kirkuk provinces, and has served as an al Qaeda safe haven.

Outstanding coverage of a new offensive that the mainstream media has either refused to, or cannot, cover.

Bill does.

You can support PMI's efforts here.

The Last Principled Liberal

If he were not human, he'd be on the Department of Interior's Endangered Species List.

From today's press clippings:

Sept. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Senator Joseph Lieberman opposed a compromise measure suggested by top Senate Democrats that would mandate a starting date for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq while imposing no deadline for completing the pullout.

Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has proposed the less- restrictive measure as a compromise move to entice Republicans and others who, while skeptical of the war, haven't backed earlier Democratic proposals to force a withdrawal.

Lieberman, a Connecticut independent and ardent supporter of a continued troop presence in Iraq, said he won't support Levin's plan. ``The answer is a respectful no,'' Lieberman, 65, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's ``Political Capital with Al Hunt'' scheduled to air this weekend.

Lieberman's opposition makes it less likely that Levin's measure, co-sponsored with Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed, could muster the 60 Senate votes needed to defeat a threatened Republican filibuster or the 67 required to override a presidential veto.

Congress has yet to successfully force any restrictions on the troop presence in Iraq. Two previous measures Levin sponsored with Reed to try to mandate a troop reduction failed to secure the necessary votes.

Most recently, a Levin-Reed proposal that would have required most troops to be withdrawn by April 30, 2008, fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to end debate and move to final consideration in July.

Petraeus Report

Army General David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker next week will give a report that many lawmakers have said will determine whether more Republicans join Democrats in demanding a timetable to withdraw the 168,000 American military personnel in the country.

A study, produced by a commission headed by U.S. military commanders, said yesterday the U.S. could start withdrawing some troops from Iraq early next year if Iraq's army continues to improve its combat capability. Iraq's armed forces were dismantled in May 2003 after the U.S. invasion and are being gradually reconstituted.

Lieberman said there was no longer an appetite for mandating a troop pullout. ``The time for calling for a deadline for total withdrawal, that doesn't seem to be in sympathy here right now,'' Lieberman said. ``That change of political mood'' on Capitol Hill ``is a response to the facts that are improving on the ground in Iraq,'' he said.

Siding with the Bush administration, Lieberman said Iraq is ``significantly more stable than it was six months ago'' thanks to an increase in U.S. troops there. He said he expects the U.S. to have some troop presence in Iraq for a ``number of years.''

Iranian Bases

Lieberman repeated his view that the U.S. should consider taking military action against bases in Iran, where the Bush administration says Iraqi extremists are being trained before being sent back to Iraq to carry out attacks.

``We've said to the Iranians, `you want to have a better relationship, start by stopping this proxy war you're running against us and so far there's been no evidence of that,''' Lieberman said.

``If they don't listen to and respond to these demands of ours, then we have to consider taking military action against those bases where they are training the Iraqi extremists to go back and kill American soldiers,'' Lieberman said, adding that he isn't calling for any ``wide-scale invasion of Iran.''

I am rightfully called a conservative. I believe in conservative values and I stick to them intellectually and honestly. Joe Lieberman is rightfully a liberal. He sticks to his values just as intellectually and just as honestly.

Truth be told, this operation in Iraq should unite Americans of both primary ideologies. The people we fight against are a threat to us all. We are in a fight that affects the next generation, not the next election. We are all Americans. We should all have principles. I am saddened by the fact that Mr. Lieberman seems to be the last man on the left with any principles left.

LOOK! A Straw! Quick! Grasp at it!!!

For your reading pleasure, two prominent wire services offer their take on a letter from General David Petraeus to the Troops serving in Iraq:

Reuters: Petraeus sees mixed security gains in Iraq: letter

Associated Press: Petraeus: Iraq buildup falls short

And here is the letter itself: Petraeus' Letter to the Troops.

You don't need my interpretation to grasp the sense of utter desperation. The left, and their media shills, will leave no stone unturned or unspun to cast the events of next week in the worst possible light.

Next week is gonna be a whole helluva lot of fun.

Osama bin Laden:
All we gotta do is get rid of democracy!!

UPDATE: Dollard has the video.

I'm all for lower taxes, but his platform is a bit out of touch with the mainstream, if you ask me.

"The second is to do away with the American democratic system of government. "It has now become clear to you and the entire world the impotence of the democratic system and how it plays with the interests of the peoples and their blood by sacrificing soldiers and populations to achieve the interests of the major corporations."


"To conclude, I invite you to embrace Islam. There are no taxes in Islam, but rather there is a limited Zakaat [alms] totaling 2.5 percent."

ABC has a good excerpt of the transcript here.

UPDATE: MSNBC has the full transcript of the tape.

Pretty blatant appeal to the left. He shames the Democrats for not being able to end the war, which should have the Code Pinkos in a near orgasmic state of delight. He even gives a hat tip to Rosie, throwing out the 650,000 dead figure, and praises Noam Chomsky.

UPDATE: Dollard has the video. Part I.

Former Dallas Congressman Testifies at HLF Trial

The Investigative Project on Terrorism:

DALLAS - Former Congressman John Bryant (D-Texas), who served both as a lawyer and lobbyist for the Holy Land for Relief and Development (HLF), testified Thursday in the defunct charity's terror support trial. Bryant said HLF became a client in 1997 following news reports about an ongoing investigation into charity's alleged ties to terror.

Bryant said he sought several meetings with the Department of State and FBI officials asking for guidance about Palestinian charities which had terror ties and those which did not. HLF routed its donations through local Palestinian groups called zakat committees and he wanted federal officials to tell him whether HLF was doing anything illegal. If so, he wanted to know what the charity could do to take to change the situation.

He received no response, Bryant said.

More of Counterterrorism Blog and IPT's outstanding coverage of the Holy Land Foundation trial, ongoing in a Dallas, TX federal court.

Read IPT's full report, here.

Religion of Peace Reigns in Gaza


JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip — Hamas security forces armed with rifles and clubs beat Fatah supporters trying to hold street prayers to protest the Islamic group's rule in Gaza, witnesses said. Hamas men also assaulted at least seven Palestinian journalists and detained five.

An explosive device thrown into the middle of one protest rally in southern Gaza injured four people.

The prayer protest was the latest episode in friction between the groups since Hamas' bloody seizure of power in Gaza in June. This week Hamas banned all public prayers after Fatah supporters began holding worship sessions that quickly escalated into raucous protests against Hamas rule.

In the northern Gaza refugee camp of Jebaliya, dozens of Hamas security men in uniform and civilian clothes were stationed in the streets to head off any attempt by Fatah supporters to gather. They fired in the air to keep Fatah supporters away, beat several people and detained one man, witnesses said.

Rescue workers said two people were brought to the hospital, one wounded by gunfire and another who had been beaten.

Across Gaza, seven journalists covering the clashes were beaten and two of them were later detained, witnesses and reporters said. Two Associated Press staffers and another news photographer were also briefly detained by Hamas men.

In Jebaliya, a security officer told reporters, "If a single shot is on TV, you know what will happen." He then drew his finger across his throat. At one point a Hamas security man tried to take a photographer's camera.

"I identified myself as a journalist and showed him my card, my journalist card, I told him, 'If you want the tape take the tape, I don't care,' but they kept on beating me and took the camera," Muhammad Abu Sido, a cameraman for a Palestinian news service, told AP Television News.

Similar incidents of harassment against journalists took place during previous weeks' Fatah protests.

Taher Nunu, a Hamas government spokesman in charge of coordinating media coverage, said the reports of harassment of journalists "were individual cases and won't be repeated," and that he was working to free the detained reporters.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appealed for calm from the West Bank, where he and his Western-backed government have ruled since Hamas took over Gaza.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, about 750 Fatah supporters gathered with Abbas for prayers to demonstrate solidarity with Fatah in Gaza. Thousand of Palestinians gathered at similar prayer rallies elsewhere in the West Bank.

Marine Hero: "Stop Playing Politics with the Troops"

Marco Martinez, recipient of the Navy Cross:

You can tell a lot about a nation by whom it trusts.

I am a former gang member-turned-Marine, not a statistician. But when I read that a Pew Research Center survey recently found that 76% of Republicans "have confidence" in the U.S. military to give an accurate picture of the war vs. only 36% of Democrats, the long-range consequences of a divided country became clear: We've become a nation that sees its soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines as political pawns, not patriots. Like thousands of combat veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, I am now home, working and attending college. Yet it is the pre-presidential election climate I see stateside that concerns me most for my brothers and sisters in arms.

Gen. David Petraeus, who has faced Herculean challenges of mortal consequence, will issue his report on progress in Iraq next week. Regardless of what he reports, it's worth reminding the American people — and all politicians in Washington — that the troops must not become the rope in a political tug of war on Capitol Hill.

When I hear members of Congress, such as House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., say that progress with the surge might create a "real big problem for us" in moving toward withdrawal, I think back to the hellish fighting my fellow Marines and I endured — and I feel ashamed that any American would make such a seemingly reckless political calculation. Knowing that a politician might view success in Iraq as an electoral problem is political zealotry in the extreme. Does Clyburn's remark, though his alone, reflect a growing anxiety among Democrats that success in Iraq might complicate plans for ending the war?

Political dissent is healthy, especially when the issue is as critical as the Iraq war. But so is human decency. When an anti-war protester at the college I attend found out I was an Iraq veteran, she called me "a disgusting human being." I felt sorry for her, so blinded by politics that she had abandoned basic civility. Thankfully, she doesn't represent most Americans who oppose the war. But I worry about those still on the battlefield, and the individuals they will face when they return to a nation embroiled in election politics.

Many combat veterans, like me, have the luxury of watching the political debates from the safety of America. Not true for the 190,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Undermining the efforts of those whom one claims to support is the height of hubris.

Is it too much to ask that politicians view U.S. progress in Iraq as positive and not negative? I pray not.

USA Today, 9/7/2007, p 11a.

Blowback Redux

On August 22, in this post I wrote about how the upcoming administration report and congressional testimony by Crocker and Petraeus threatened to rip the Democrat party right down an ideological fault line.

The Democrats are properly terrified by the spectacle that is coming next week. General Petraeus--Scholar, Warrior, Patriot--is set to provide one of the most memorable congressional hearings in recent history. His testimony, and the report delivered by the Bush Administration one week from tomorrow, were required by language in a piece of legislation congressional Democrats insisted on when they passed the emergency supplemental.

At the time, no one on the left believed that a surge of troops could have had the effect that it has. This is due largely to the fact that none of the offensive operations made possible by the surge had begun yet. PL 110-28 was signed on May 25. Operation Phantom Thunder, the first offensive clearing operation began June 15. Give some credit to President Bush, who seems to have outmaneuvered Democrats again. It's likely that no one on the left knew what the brass at MNF-Iraq and CENTCOM had in store with those additional 30,000 troops, but some of them should have guessed. General Petraeus is a veteran combat commander(He took the 101st Airborne on the most aggressive, longest and most successful airborne armored assault in the unit's history, rolling through Iraq to Mosul in a breathtaking display of military brilliance).

The Democrats hadn't heard of Anbar Awakening yet. In late May, when they were crafting legislation requiring a series of reports they thought would ultimately humble the President and force a calamitous withdrawal from Iraq. They were doing it with the same mindset created by the Al-Askiriya Mosque Bombing and the year's worth of sectarian bloodshed that followed. It was hip to be anti-War. They had already jumped for joy in defeat and eagerly looked forward to hanging that defeat on Mr. Bush. That, they planned, would then be used to solidify and expand their majority in Congress and seat a Democrat in the White House in 2008.

But, a funnny thing happened on the way to that defeat. Our guys started kicking ass and taking names. Tribal Sheikhs started allying themselves with U.S. troops and fighting Al Qaeda side by side with our guys. The Sunni insurgency is now all but defeated. Al Qaeda is on the verge of a humiliating rout. Al-Sadr is caught between his own Scylla and Charybdes. And for the first time in Iraq's 16-month history, reconciliation is breaking out all over the place. There are even signs of reconciliation appearing at the national level.

Petraeus, Crocker and President Bush are going to explain all of that--in careful, pointed and incontravertible terms--next week.

Ahhh, the sweet smell of Blowback.

UPDATE: The Politico covers the fault line split I told you about last month. Next week is gonna be fun.

Iran Plan for Iraq

Counterterrorism Blog:

Walid Phares is a senior fellow with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD) in Washington, D.C., and director of the Future Terrorism Project.

Dr. Phares has sketched a very grim outline of Iran's plan for Iraq, should the United States "catastrophically" withdraw from Iraq before that nation's government stabilizes and can defend itself. Grim is a euphemistic description of the future Phares believes Iran has in store:

1) The pro-Iranian militias (SCIRI, Badr Brigade, Muqtada al Sadr, act.) would seize the control of two thirds of Iraq between Baghdad and Basra. The militias would create "security enclaves," perform several terror acts and assassinations leading to a crumbling of the central Government, and a pro-Khomeinist regime established.

2) Most moderate Shiite politicians and liberal elements in those areas would be eliminated, as did Khomeini with his partners in the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Within less than a year, most Shia partners of the Pro-Iranian forces would be eliminated.

3) And as it was practiced in Lebanon in 1990, the pro-Iranian future regime of Iraq will call in Iranian "brotherly" forces to assist in security and in the defense of the borders. The Pasdaran and the Iranian army will deploy in the southern Oil fields, along the borders with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Jordan and would connect with the Syrian forces across the borders. The latter will be asked to help in the Anbar province.

4) The Sunni areas will be left to be dealt with later, along with Syrian interventions.

5) The Kurdish areas will be submitted to isolation, pressure and internal divisions, in a concerted effort with Syria and the Islamic Government of Turkey.

In this post, I noted the strategic objectives remaining for the U.S. led coalition:

1) Complete the neutralization of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

2) Flip Moqtada al-Sadr and bring his militias into the coalition fold (al-Sistani's Badr Brigades are not fighting the coalition).

3) Eliminate or neutralize the Iranian backed JAM forces.

A fourth strategic objective should be discussed--crippling Iran's ability to supply finance and logistics support to its proxy forces in Iraq. Sooner or later, the U.S. will have to draw down and leave a largely special forces and civil affairs COIN presence. When that happens, we have to make sure that Iran does not step in and attempt to fill the void. We can not let Iran gain another ounce of influence, and we can not let them solidify anything gained to date.

Dr. Phares probably has a stronger basis for wariness of al-Sistani's Badr militia than I do. I frankly don't see al-Sistani as an Iranian puppet mullah, as he threw his support in with the new government fairly early on. It was al-Sadr who seemed to be the chief ally of Iran in Iraq, which is why flipping him becomes so important.

Very interesting, and clearly critical, times lie ahed.

Read Dr. Phares full article.

Hsu Caught in Colorado

Well, Damn.

I was kinda sorta hoping that he would flee the jurisdiction and disappear, giving us all the chance to speculate what the Clinton Machine did to Hsu to shut him up. Cement Hsu's would have been a richly wonderful conspiracy theory to plunder and enjoy.

Michelle Malkin: Captured.

Hot Air: Immigration angle?

Lightning Hammer II Launched

Multi-National Force - Iraq:

TIKRIT, Iraq – Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition Forces continued their relentless pursuit of al-Qaeda in northern Iraq by launching Operation Lightning Hammer II, Wednesday evening.

The operation, involving approximately 14,000 ISF, partnered with more than 12,000 CF, is spearheaded by Soldiers from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, partnered with members of the 2nd and 3rd Iraqi Army Divisions, and Iraqi Police forces stationed throughout Ninewa province.

In addition to the thousands of Soldiers and their ISF counterparts participating in Lightning Hammer II, attack helicopters, close-air support, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Stryker Vehicles and tanks compliment the combined effort. This operation follows Lightning Hammer I in the series of offensives to deny al-Qaeda safe haven in the provinces of Salah ad Din, Ninewa, Diyala and Kirkuk. Operation Lightning Hammer I, from Aug. 13 to Sept. 1, succeeded in driving enemy elements out of the Diyala River Valley, northeast of Baqouba.

“Al-Qaeda cells were driven from Baqouba in Diyala due to Operation Arrowhead Ripper in June and July and then pursued in the Diyala River Valley during Operation Lighting Hammer in August,” said Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander of Task Force Lightning and Multinational Division-North. “Our main goal with Lightning Hammer II is to continue to pursue and apply constant pressure to the terrorist cells operating in MND-N, and destroy them where they attempt to hide.”

“Our combined forces’ commitment to hunt al Qaeda and its operatives remains as strong as ever,” said Mixon. “We will not rest until al Qaeda in Iraq is driven from northern Iraq, and Iraqi citizens have a safe and secure homeland.”

Confederate Yankee had this story yesterday, speculating that the major media outlets may have been caught flatfooted.

It should come as no surprise, since most of the MSM reports come from "correspondents" camped out in the grueling, squalid conditions of the "Rashid Bureau," well inside the Green Zone.

In an update to the post, CY notes:

Update: I checked in with the Task Force Lightning PAO, and he told me that there are a total of 11 embedded journalists in Northern Iraq. A grand total of one is from a major wire service, and five of them are in Diyala. The remaining northern provinces of Ninewa, Salah Ad Din, and Kirkuk have a total of two embedded journalists each.

How many of them are actually covering operations related to Operation Lightning Hammer II is unknown.

Stay tuned to the blogosphere if you want up to the minute reports...

Long War Journal, Bill Roggio's new home, is certain to have complete, up to date information.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Zogby Poll: 42% of Democrats are 9/11 Truthers

Zogby release is here.   Raw polling data here.

However, 75% of Republicans believe the official story.

I scanned the raw polling data. People who shop at Wal Mart or identified themselves as NASCAR fans polled better than Democrats.

Captain Travis Patriquin - "An American Martyr"


One reason why the words of Senator Schumer piss me the hell off is because of the blood of soldiers like Captain Travis Patriquin. He was killed in Iraq last year in the midst of making a little known, but very impactful difference. It looks like Patriquin's sacrifice didn't end his work in the region...perhaps there is not a better epitaph for a man like Patriquin. He truly freed the oppressed.

Via Michelle Malkin, here is Ham Nation's tribute to Captain Patriquin's ideas on how to win the war in Iraq (via the first link above, he had put together a succinct presentation on how to win in Anbar). Thanks again to the most excellent MKH.

Guess what? He was right

Great post by BLACKFIVE. Patriquin was arguably the man who solved the Sunni Triangle problem with an ingeniously simple understanding of Arab culture and a humorously simple PowerPoint presentation.

As Democrat after Democrat rushes to microphone over the next two weeks or so, please don't forget that real Americans are in Iraq, solving real problems using good old American ingenuity.

Hoo ah, Captain.

What's Wrong with the GAO Report

Weekly Standard's Fred Kagan writes about the GAO Report, rightly pointing out that GAO was sent on a "fool's errand" in preparing it.

Congress sent the GAO off with this directive, essentially: Fit a square peg in a round hole, ignore any sense of reality, and tell us stuff that we know you know you can not know how to to measure. Wink wink.

Congressional Democrats, as blithelessly clueless as ever (since only a handful have even been to Iraq in the last four years), have naturally seized upon the predictable outcome of the report and are now claiming that the surge has failed.

It's the "this war is lost" deja vu all over again.

HLF Witness Doesn't Accept Evidence Linking Charity to HAMAS

The Investigative Project on Terrorism

Can a crook be a dhimmi? Apparently so, as Edward Abington, one-time lobbyist/moutpiece of Yasser Arafat and the PLO, refused to accept convincing evidence that the "charities" supported by the Holy Land Foundation were infested and controlled by HAMAS.

Counterterrorism Blog and the Investigative Project on Terrorism have provided detailed coverage of HLF's ongoing trial in Dallas. The prosecution rested last week. Abington was the first defense witness and his cross examination continued Wednesday.

Abington, served as counsel general in Jerusalem under Clinton, and was later paid $750,000 to lobby on behalf of the PLO.

Regional security stimulates economic growth

BAGHDAD — Coalition security efforts here are making progress, a fact reflected in other areas, including an improvement in the economic environment. That relationship was cited by Ambassador Charles P. Ries, Coordinator for Economic Transition in Iraq and Minister for Economic Affairs, and Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, Multi-National Force-Iraq spokesman earlier this week at the Combined Press Information Center.

Maj. Gen. Bergner started the conference earlier this week by outlining the recent improvements in security here.

Overall the occurrences of ethno-sectarian deaths have decreased country-wide, evidenced by the lowest numbers of security incidents in over a year.

“In the coming months, Coalition and Iraqi forces will keep the pressure on the enemy, while also supporting important economic and reconstruction efforts in areas (where) we have already secured the population,” Bergner said.

Ambassador Ries said that greater economic stability is closely linked with the security of the country. “The improvement on the security side that General Bergner described is having an impact on the economic side.”

The Ambassador described several priorities his team will focus on in the up coming months. Their first priority is and will remain developing a sustained and sustainable economy in the areas being secured by the surge.

Most important in developing a strong Iraqi economy is allowing the Iraqi government to make most of the decisions involving privatizing businesses, budgeting and regulating energy industry.

The Framework Law is hydrocarbon regulation legislation for the country, which along with the Revenue Sharing Law, will be reviewed by parliament this month. If parliament approves those laws, they will set up a basic frame work for the country in regards to oil and gas revenue sharing.

In addition the electrical supply here has improved, Ries said. The country’s electric power generation capacity has increased 2000 megawatts over the last three years. Coalition forces are working closely with the Iraqi government to repair and maintain transmission lines damaged by insurgents.

The Iraqi government will make the final decision on privatizing electrical services, but in Baghdad many citizens currently receive their power from private generators on a cost sharing basis.

The bulk of private investment here is represented by 3.75 billion dollars being paid for cell phone licenses, another indication, Ries and Bergner say, that the economic and security situations are improving here.

(U.S. Army story by SPC Megan J. Burmeister, Combined Press Information Center)

The Iraq Doomsday Report

At Young Americans, Pat Dollard blogs on the Doomsday report from Stratfor.

Pat writes:

According to local press reports verified by a confidential military source in Iraq, the real story behind Muqtada Al Sadr’s order for the Mahdi Army to “suspend” its attacks, and his stated goal of “reorganizing” it, is that he is attempting to purge it of Iranian-backed agents who now control huge chunks of the organization. Much like the Sunnis found out that their ally Al Qaeda was no more than a nefarious invader looking to wrest control of their territory, Al Sadr is discovering that his ally Iran is engaged in doing the same thing to him.

Clearly, al-Sadr lives as a free man because the United States and the Iraqi government believe al-Sadr can be flipped. If he is flipped, the last of the serious enemies in Iraq will have been isolated and targeted for destruction. The key players in Iraq's dual insurgency have always been the Sunni dominated Al Qaeda group and the Iranian backed Shiite Jaish al-Mahdi elements. Al Qaeda is nearly finished as a fighting force. Jaish al-Mahdi still has enough political and financial support to fight on.

The clock is counting down to March, when at least some of the surge troops will rotate out of Iraq and draw our forces down to pre-surge levels. That leaves three strategic objectives:

1. Complete the neutralization of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

2. Flip Moqtada al-Sadr and bring his militias into the coalition fold (al-Sistani's Badr Brigades are not fighting the coalition).

3. Eliminate or neutralize the Iranian backed JAM forces.

A fourth strategic objective should be discussed--crippling Iran's ability to supply finance and logistics support to its proxy forces in Iraq. Sooner or later, the U.S. will have to draw down and leave a largely special forces and civil affairs COIN presence. When that happens, we have to make sure that Iran does not step in and attempt to fill the void. We can not let Iran gain another ounce of influence, and we can not let them solidify anything gained to date.

The enemy is to the east of Baghdad, and it is the same enemy Leonidas and Alexander the Great faced. The enemy is Persia.

Hellfire and Brimstone: Killing al Qaeda in Samarra

Jeff Emanuel, embedded in Iraq:

“We’ve been told that ‘no al Qaeda sleep in the city,’” Captain Buddy Ferris, commander of the 82nd Airborne’s Charlie Company 2-505 (the battalion is also known as “2-Panther”), told me. His Company is the lone conventional unit responsible for the city of Samarra and the entirety of the sparsely populated (and therefore perfect for hiding people and weapons) surrounding countryside. “They know that we’ll hunt them down and kill them.”

Go read the full post.

We are fortunate to have so many brave journalists willing to endure the rigors of war to bring us the stories that the "Rashid Bureau" of the MSM can not or will not tell. Michael Yon. Michael Totten. Jeff Emanuel. Wes Morgan. Matt Sanchez.

The constant drone of negativity and defeat, interspersed with spectacular stories like the Haditha trial, the Yazidi bombing and the shootout in Karbala last month, create an environment in which the American public expects failure. The dispatches we get from the embedded journalists tell a very different story.

Our guys are winning this thing, and creating a very differnt environment on the ground in Iraq.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Israel says no Gaza offensive, for now

AP via Yahoo! News:

JERUSALEM - Israeli leaders ruled out a large-scale military response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip but threatened on Wednesday to cut off electricity or other vital supplies to the impoverished area if militants keep up attacks.

Pictures of panicked Israeli children and parents running for cover as the school year began in the battered town of Sderot have dominated news in Israel this week. The government has been forced to address growing anger and frustration over the inability of the high-tech military to counter the crude Palestinian weapons.

Israeli media quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying the need for a large operation in Gaza is approaching. But the Security Cabinet, made up of senior ministers, rejected an all-out offensive to move Israeli communities out of range by taking control of the areas where militants fire rockets.

Emphasis mine, so that I can call "Bravo Sierra."

First of all, these are not crude weapons at all. They are Katyusha rockets or Iranian made mortars. They have very good targeting hardware on them and the mortar/rocket crews are well-trained.

Israel has the same counterbattery technology that the United States and other western militaries do. Those counterbattery systems have high resolution RADAR capability and computerized tracking systems. As soon as the round leaves the launcher, the RADAR acquires it and the system begins developing a firing solution for the launch location. The firing crew would have about enough time to get one more round off before a 155mm counter artillery round is on its way to send the terrorists to Allah.

The Israelis don't return fire for the same reason Coalition troops hold fire--the terrorists are firing from civilian areas. If the IDF returned fire, civilians would likely be killed or wounded and the international press would be all over that story.

Like the U.S. in Iraq, Israel can not expect informed, much less unbiased, coverage from the media.

Wars do not work like your i-Pod.

In his Private Papers, Victor Davis Hanson sets an "angry reader" (i.e., moonbat) straight on how things work in real wars in the real world:

Unfortunately you know nothing of history and so like most on the Left think that your age, your circumstances, your views are always unique and transcend some 231 years of our America past. Do you know anything about the winter of 1776? Or the summer of 1864, or Spring 1917? Or the Pacific in 1944, or the Bulge, or November 1950? There an "incompetent group of people" did not manage a war that lost 3,000, but almost 100,000 dead and wounded alone in 2 months in the Ardennes, or 50,000 casualties in 6 weeks on Okinawa.

We can imagine your sarcastic letters after the hedgerows, or the 1942 B-17 attacks, or Tarawa, or Choisun, but fortunately until this generation yours was always a minority view. Unfortunately wars do not work like your i-Pod.

Sadly, that comes as a cold shock to a large majority of Americans. This society has had it so easy for so long that we are seemingly unable to stomach even the least sacrifice.

Americans like music and video on demand. They can walk into a Starbucks and get a double cream somethin' somethin' in a snap. They like microwave popcorn, instant replay... And Democracies built in a day.

Americans are impatient with the operation in Iraq, because Americans have been conditioned that patience is something they do not need. The "I want it, and I want it now" mentality makes easy prey for the anti-war left, who exploit impatience with the constant drumbeat of defeatist, anti-American rhetoric.

If Americans could demonstrate the patience and fortitude it took to persevere through historical conflicts, we could certainly see this one through.

Iran Buying Advanced SAM System from Russia

Press TV :

"Vice Chairman of Russia's State Duma Vladimir Zhirinovsky has urged the fast delivery of the magnificent S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems to Iran.

Speaking at the open session of Russia's State Duma on Wednesday, Zhirinovsky stated, 'S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems should be delivered as early as possible to enable Iran to defend its air space.'

The S-400 is a new generation of anti-aircraft / anti-missile weapon system developed by the Russian Almaz Central Design Bureau.

The S-400 is capable of detecting and destroying targets out to a range of 400km (250 miles), such as aircrafts, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, including those with a range of 3,500 km."

Hsu Fly

Allahpundit: Norman Hsu skips bail hearing.

Until this development, this had all the scents and markings of a story that the Clinton Machine wanted out by Labor Day 2007 so that it wouldn't be damaging by Labor Day 2008.

But with the primary perp now a tempting target for a skip tracer, maybe this thing will run for a while. At least until A&E can get Duane Chapman and a camera crew together...

O’Reilly Picks Up Dollard's Mark Cuban Story

Young Americans:

Pat Dollard did the heavy lifting, exposing Mark Cuban as the money bags behind De Palma's wind bag film, Redacted.

O'Reilly picked up the expose and ran with it last night. Pat has the segment linked on his page.

Former Ambassador Spins HLF

Counterterrorism Blog and IPT's Coverage continues.

DALLAS--A former U.S. diplomat spoke in glowing terms Tuesday about the Palestinian charities supported by the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Edward Abington, a former counsel general at the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, was the first defense witness in the terror-support trial of the Richardson Tex.-based foundation and five of its former officers.

Prosecutors spent the past six weeks detailing links between the Palestinian charities, known as zakat committees, and HAMAS, a designated foreign terrorist organization. While much of the money went to humanitarian relief, anything that went to benefit HAMAS violated U.S. law, the government contends.

Jurors heard a much different account from Abington...

For full blog click here to visit the website of the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

If the name Edward Abington rings a bell, it's because he was Yasser Arafat's mouthpiece in Washington, DC. Ed Abington was a paid lobbyist for the PLO.

Additional coverage from NY Sun here.
UPDATE:  Prosecution moves in opposition to the amicus brief filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Coalition Collars Quds Capo

Multi-National Force - Iraq:

Coalition forces grab high-value IRGC-QF affiliate

– During a pre-dawn raid in Karbala Wednesday, Coalition forces captured a highly-sought individual suspected of being an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) affiliate.

Coalition forces also detained another individual for questioning.

The detained individual is suspected of coordinating with high-level IRGC-QF officers for the transportation of multiple Iraqis to Iran for terrorist training at IRGC-QF training camps. He is also a known logistics facilitator providing lethal aid to terrorists operating in central Baghdad. It is likely that the affiliate is closely linked to individuals at the highest levels of the IRGC-QF. Coalition forces are still assessing his possible connection to the Special Groups.

Intelligence derived from other security detainees led Coalition forces to the residence of the individual. Ground troops confiscated computer equipment, communication devices, miscellaneous documents and photographs. It is believed that the captured documents may lead to information on other IRGC-QF illicit activities intended to disrupt security operations in Iraq. There were no Iraqi or Coalition forces casualties during the precision raid.

“As Iran continues its proxy war against the people of Iraq, Coalition forces will continue to build on recent operations to disrupt the flow of illicit, lethal materials from Iran into Iraq,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokeman. “The capture of individuals affiliated with the IRGC-Quds Force is an integral part of dismantling terror networks that seek to kill innocent Iraqis and security forces.”

Emphasis mine.

Heh. Nice work, guys!

I'll bet that computer didn't have a copy of Scorched Earth on it.

UPDATE: Bill Kristol responds in the Daily Standard:

It's great that the military is having success in capturing "affiliates" of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in Iraq. But it's also clear from this statement that the training of the terrorists is being  done in Iran: "..the transportation of multiple Iraqis to Iran for terrorist training at IRGC-QF training camps." A senior administration official last week discounted to me the importance of going after such targets in Iran--while not denying they exist and that we know where they are. The explanation wasn't convincing at the time. In light of this fresh evidence, and in light of the fact that the Iranians have been shelling targets in Kurdistan, in northern Iraq, that they claim are supporting violence in Iran, one has to ask: "Why are terror training camps in Iran, camps that are directly training terrorists to attack U.S. troops, off limits?" After all, if Khameini (to whom the IRGC reports) has already established the principle of cross-border attacks against accelerators of violence, who are we to disagree with the wisdom of the Supreme Leader?

Iranian State-run Website Using Moonbat Posts as Propaganda

Iran's state-run Website, Press TV, is using leftist and conspiracy nut comment posts as pro-Iran, anti-U.S. and anti-Israel propaganda.

Press TV quotes unabashed tin foil hatter, Jim McPherson:

Who is the rogue country in the middle east? Israel has refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and allows no inspections by anyone. Israel has hundreds of nuclear warheads. If we use the same criteria on Israel that is applied to Iraq and Iran, then, in the words of US General George Patton, "Hey, we're fighting the wrong guys!" Jim McPherson Roswell, Georgia www.truthseeking.org.

McPherson is one of those conspiracy theorists who believe the Apollo Moon Missions were staged; that 9/11 was an inside job and that the Zionist conspiracy is almost ready to take over the world.

I know, he's obviously a wiener short of a can of Vienna Sausages, but he is an American and the target audience is not exactly going to care much about our Black Helicopter Contingent.

Press TV also quotes a Canadian, Kenneth T. Tellis:

There is very great need for the truth about Iran being disseminated and made available, so that it is not blurred by those who do not see Iran's interest as being for peace. There are of course, other sites which information from those who promote anti-Irani propaganda and create the false impression of Iran being a threat to world peace.

We will let the absurdity of these statements stand for itself.

"Halimah," presumably an individual of "Middle Eastern descent," chimes in from the United States as well:

I don't know why the USA does not just call Israel its 51st state! The Zionists get more aid than have of all of the USA states combined...it is an outrage!

Press TV recently added a comment feature to their website, allowing readers to post comments on articles and op/ed pieces carried by the network. These stories are predictably anti-American and anti-Israel, drawing the usual self-loathing westerners and reassuring them that hating the U.S. is Ok.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Iran says US Troops Vulnerable

Iran's former IRGC Commander says 200,000 US troops are in weak positions in the Middle East and Iran has identified all their locations.

Senior Advisor to the Leader for Military Affairs, Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, made the remark Monday in a meeting with Imam Hussein University faculty in Tehran.

He is apparently responding to news reports over the weekend regarding a super secret Pentagon plan to obliterate the entire Iranian military in 3 days.

With regards to Iran having identified all of our troops locations, it's not like we're difficult to find. We've been in the neighborhood since November 2001 and basically have Iran surrounded.

Victory Caucus Stand by the Mission Petition

The Victory Caucus


The Victory Caucus has joined with a coalition of other pro-victory groups to sponsor the Stand by the Mission Petition at the link.

VC asks that you add your signature to the petition so that we can demonstrate to Congress and the world that the American public is committed to victory.

This post will stay as a widget on (see left) until the petition is submitted.

Y'all know what to do.

Choose Your Preferred Narrative, but Quit Attacking the Troops

Confederate Yankee provides another typically keen commentary on the debate over Operation Iraqi Freedom, and takes the left to task for their incessant assault on the character and integrity of our Armed Forces.

In addition to this public meeting of leaders in an area once deemed lost just a short time ago, U.S. casualties in Iraq have dropped in half at a time they were expected to actually rise, al Qaeda-aligned terrorists and insurgent groups have either turned, or become hounded and hunted in al Anbar, Diyala, and elsewhere. Some supporters are suggesting that what future history may regard as the turning point towards victory is either occurring, or may have already occurred.

For war detractors in our political classes, in the media and on the activist left, the war was lost long ago, and every day merely means another American mother will lose her soldier-child in a lost cause. To them, the war possibility of a turn-around in Iraq is unthinkable, any apparent progress is an illusion, or merely a matter of temporary gains before an inevitable fall.

Both sides are looking to make what they can of the much-anticipated "Petraeus Report" (which, as Matthew Sheppard points out, is actually something of a myth).

I will go the next step--the constant attacks on members of the military (including today's shameless Associated Press story on war crimes accusations) are deliberate and calculated.  The goal is to demoralize the troops, undermine their will to fight, and turn them against the President's policy.  This would presumably lead to more troops speaking out in opposition.

They are waging a deliberate psychological warfare campaign against the men and women of the Armed Forces, an institution which study after demographic study shows is no Democrat constituency.  The military is too white, too conservative, too Christian, too "red state," and too well educated to heed their polluted ideology.  

The left views the military as a political adversary, despite the fact that most of the men and women of the Armed Forces view themselves as apolitical and view most politicians with the healthiest doses of suspicion.  Nevertheless, the left believes that the military is aligned with the right because as I write this, the military is fighting in a conflict that the left disagrees with.

It is a twisted world view, and their desire to see the troops come home humbled and defeated is unadulterated treachery.