Saudi security forces have killed a total of 10 Islamist militants, including two of the kingdom's most wanted men, in two days of clashes in Riyadh, the interior ministry said Thursday. The clashes occurred both before and after two car bombings against security targets in the capital on Wednesday that a Saudi newspaper said left two people dead. Saudi forces killed seven militants in a shootout late Wednesday that came just an hour after the bombings at the interior ministry and a special forces base, a ministry statement said. The other three were killed in an earlier firefight that began late Tuesday and continued into Wednesday, said the statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Saud bin Hamoud al-Otaibi was reported to have replaced al-Oufi, al-Oufi being presumed croaked or seriously maimed. That's prob'ly how AP got the "head of al-Qaeda in Arabia" as having been knocked off. Al-Oufi was #3 on the Soddies' list, Saud bin Hamoud al-Otaibi #5, and Sultan Bjad Saadun al-Otaibi was #7. Dakheel was #18.
DEBKA - add salt:
The night in Riyadh was torn Wednesday, December 29, by three huge explosions not just the two officially confirmed. They were followed by long bursts of gunfire in northern and eastern Riyadh. DEBKAfile's exclusive counter-terror sources reveal that the three car bomb blasts were part of an al Qaeda attempt on the life of Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdelaziz, son of the Saudi interior minister, deputy minister and director of the ministry's security unit which runs the war on terror. This was the first attempt by Osama bin Laden's organization to assassinate a member of the Saudi royal family. It is a pivotal event in that it sharply escalates the terrorist offensive besetting the kingdom and raises the stakes on both sides.
If the Saudi royals believe this story, it sure will.
I think they're arrogant enough to discount it. Sheikh Hawali's probably sitting on Prince Abdullah's couch, "mediating," even as we speak blog...
By targeting interior minister Prince Nayef's son, the terrorists declared open warfare on the minister who had been trying for the past year to maintain a dialogue with the Saudi cell through his connections in the clergy. According to our sources, Saudi cell leader Saud bin Hamoud al-Uteibi marked out the Nayef family after concluding that the interchanges the minister initiated were not on the level but an effort to plant his agents inside the terror cell and break it up from within.
That's kinda the hallmark of the Soddy royals, isn't it? They're better at bad faith and subversion than they are at shooting it out...
Had the assassination plot against Prince Mohammed succeeded, a major upheaval would have ensued destabilizing not only the oil kingdom but sending tremors around the Arab and Muslim Middle East as well. The balance of America's war on Qaeda would have been affected and the ceiling lifted on oil prices. The sharp 4% rise in response to first news flash of the attempted murder was but an augury of the upsets to come.
The war from al-Qaeda's side is as much a war on our economy as anything else. A few corpses, even a city block or two of corpses, doesn't really cost that much to the overall economy. Paying for the security measures necessary to avoid the corpses comes at much greater cost, since you have to protect all city blocks, not just one.
very interesting - how will Nayef respond? Clerical heads on pikes would be a good start. Not holding my breath
Posted by: Frank G ||
12/30/2004 12:09 Comments ||
THE SAUDI REGIME IS NO DAMN GOOD BUT THEY ARE THE BEST OPTION WE HAVE. DEMOCRACY WHETHER IT BE U.S. OR ARAB STYLE COULD NOT POSSIBLE WORK IN THIS KINGDOM MIRED IN 7TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY AND ATROPHIED BRAIN STEMS. AS A RESULT WE NEED TO KEEP THESE GUYS IN POWER AND UNFORTUNATLEY KEEP BUYING OIL FROM THEM. IF WE DON'T OUR POLITICAL INFLUENCE WILL WANE AND THEY CAN EXPORT AT A INCREASED RATE THEIR WAHHABI INFLUENCE.
It depends on which side of this Nayef is on. If they did this without his permission / sanction, then they'll be surrounded. If he's in league, then they'll never be found.
Remember, CP Abdullah is Shammari Clan. King Fathead and Nayef (and 5 more) are brothers in the Sudairi Clan. It has always been an open secret that the other 6 brothers were not very happy with Fathead choosing Abdullah as CP. Sooner or later, and one supposes it will wait until after Fathead finally croaks, there will be open struggle. Each side has placed sons in high positions, just in case they don't live long enough or through the battles. Nayef has the advantage, but Abdullah's a tough pragmatic type.
This could be the opening salvo. And it was a dud. Nayef would off these clowns just for that - ignore the Al-Turki guy, he's the son of the UK Amb, also an Al-Turki and Nayef's brother.
Well if they were serious about AQ they would "eliminate" a few people starting with these few folk who are Saudi citizens and residents. Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Khalid bin Mafouz, Saleh Abdullah Kamel, Abdullah Suleiman al-Rajhi, Abdel Abdul Jalil Batterjee, Wael Hamza Julaidan, Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi and, Yassin al-Qadi.
Go after the money guys. Squeeze the hell out of them find out where the money goes then kill them. The Saudi Royals are a bunch of honorless, duplicitous, craptards so we know that won't happen.
A Yemeni considered to be closely linked to terror chief Osama bin Laden was one of seven militants killed in Wednesday's shootout with Saudi security forces in Riyadh, a security source told AFP. "Ibrahim Ahmad Abdel Majeed al-Reemy, a Yemeni national, was among the seven militants killed on Wednesday evening," the source said. Reemy, who does not figure on the Saudi kingdom's most-wanted list, is a "big shot in Al-Qaeda and is believed to be the link between the organisation in Saudi Arabia and bin Laden himself," the source said. Wednesday's shootout took place after two car bombings in the capital against major security sites that reportedly killed two people.
No, no. They were created by Allah as virgins in perpetuity. I hate to think how frustrated all those jihadi martyrs are rapidly becoming as they realize there is no way to deflower their 72 beauties.
Al Qaeda and the police continue to battle it out in Saudi Arabia. After a failed al Qaeda attack on an American consulate on December 6th, Saudi police were able to identify the dead terrorists and round up more al Qaeda supporters. On December 29th, al Qaeda struck again, with car bomb attacks against the Interior Ministry (which is the main enemy of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia) and a security forces training camp. These attacks killed two terrorists and wounded twenty bystanders. Later that night, tracked down seven more people involved in the twin car bomb attacks, and killed them in a gun battle.
Osama bin Laden, from his hiding place somewhere along the Pakistani-Afghan border, has sent out audio and video tapes urging on the al Qaeda faithful. Bin Laden barely mentions attacks on the infidels (non-Moslems) any more. All attention is on the terrorist heartland, and al Qaeda's desperate battle for survival. Things are not going well for al Qaeda. The invasion of Iraq brought the war on terror back to its homeland. Nearly all al Qaeda operations since then have been in the Middle East, and most of the victims have been fellow Arabs.
Middle Eastern governments have been forced to confront the terror that grew up in their backyard. This was particularly true of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Persian Gulf countries. Before 911, Persian Gulf countries were pretty tolerant of al Qaeda. If you kept quiet, you could do just about anything you wanted. Wealthy, and religious, Saudis, were generous contributors to Islamic terrorists. The Saudi government encouraged religious charities to fund religious schools overseas, and in these schools, a fundamentalist Islam was taught, a form of Islam that praised the use of violence against infidels. Even after 911, al Qaeda was popular with many Moslems, especially in the principal al Qaeda recruiting grounds of the Middle East. No more. Forced to defend their heartland, al Qaeda is killing mostly fellow Moslems these days. Moslems, especially Arabs, can no longer ignore al Qaeda violence, mainly because it is happening in their midst.
Continued on Page 49
The invasion of Iraq brought the war on terror back to its homeland. Nearly all al Qaeda operations since then have been in the Middle East, and most of the victims have been fellow Arabs. Middle Eastern governments have been forced to confront the terror that grew up in their backyard.
What was that you were saying about W being stoopid and launching a war in a place where AQ was not involved? *chirp, chirp* Can you hear me now?
Saudi police killed two terrorists in less than 24 hours in Riyadh, including the country's suspected al-Qaida leader, official reports said Wednesday. The interior ministry said police were searching suspected terrorist hideouts in a residential quarter in Riyadh early Wednesday when a motorist tossed a hand grenade at them, wounding four. Police then chased the attacker and shot him after coming under fire. There was no immediate information about the identity of the slain gunman. The ministry statement also said police captured a suspected al-Qaida member in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah Wednesday who was wounded while resisting arrest. Earlier Wednesday, a ministry source said the suspected al-Qaida leader in the country was killed and an accomplice wounded in another incident in Riyadh. The source said the incident occurred Tuesday night when a police patrol followed a car carrying two gunmen and forced it to stop near a petrol station.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/30/2004 1:44:01 AM ||
Top|| File under:
The accordion lady looks like a regugee from one of Lileks' books...LOL.
Saudi forces killed seven militants in a shootout in Riyadh late on Wednesday after twin car bomb attacks against security targets in the latest strike by Islamist extremists waging a campaign of violence in the oil-rich kingdom. The swift response to the bombings, as detailed in an official account early Thursday, was reminiscent of the killing last June of the local leader of the Al Qaeda terror network and three associates in the Saudi capital shortly after they posted website photos of the beheading of a US hostage.
"Yeah! We're all fired up! Don't hold us back, now!"
An interior ministry statement portrayed at least one of the two bombings as a suicide attack and said there were so far no reports of fatalities among security men or civilians, although several were wounded in the two blasts. "Before 9:00 pm (1800 GMT) Wednesday, members of the deviant group (the official term for suspected Al Qaeda militants) blew up a car loaded with a large amount of explosives outside the interior ministry building in Riyadh," the statement said. Five ministry guards were lightly wounded and a sixth sustained moderate injuries. A number of people who were present at the scene were also wounded and hospitalized, the ministry said without giving an exact figure. "At the same time, (another) car laden with explosives drove to the special security forces base in east Riyadh ... but security forces were able to intercept it before it arrived to the building. Whoever was inside (the vehicle) detonated it at a distance of more than 350 meters (yards) from the entrance," the statement said.
At least he got it in the right county...
It said 12 people inside the building sustained slight injuries from flying glass, "and a number of citizens and (foreign) residents who were on the scene" were also wounded.
Panic gripped the Rajshahi University teachers yesterday as six senior teachers including the pro vice-chancellor and a former VC received death threats, five days into the murder of Professor Muhammad Yunus of economics department. RU authorities have informed the Prime Minister's Office, home and education ministries, police and local administration of the threats and sought 'highest' security measures for all the teachers of the university.
Meanwhile, the leaflet through which 'Purbo Banglar Communist Party' (PBCP) claimed responsibility for the murder of Prof Yunus has created confusion as the police do not believe at all that it was released by the outlawed party. Local journalists obtained photocopies of the leaflet and found little similarity with the leaflets and statements the PBCP used to release after any murder. Rather the leaflet matches with the press releases of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS).
Awami League (AL) enforces a dawn-to-dusk hartal [riot strike] in Rajshahi today to protest the killing while Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) yesterday called a fresh students strike on January 1 and 2 in protest against 'slow investigation' into the murder. On the other hand, Rajshahi University Teachers' Association (Ruta) continued their work abstention for the fourth consecutive day yesterday.
Continued on Page 49
There are no conscripts left in Chechnya, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said at a Monday meeting of the government. He said that contract servicemen would make 100% of Russian army personnel in Chechnya by January 1, 2005. "There will be 21,000 contract soldiers and sergeants in Chechnya," he said. Special task forces, paratrooper, railroad and construction units will be staffed with contract servicemen. Several dozens of contract servicemen are citizens of CIS member countries, and more than 200 applications from CIS citizens have been submitted for military service by contract, Ivanov said.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/30/2004 1:47:53 AM ||
Top|| File under:
We will now see how Russian command handles a professional cadre.
That's a huge mountain for the Russian Army to climb. They're still massively corrupt, incompetent, brutal and demoralized. The Chechen kerfuffle should have been put down a decade ago. Putin's Russia is sick and rotten to the core. Its military symbolizes the complete collapse of effective state institutions in Russia.
Maybe we're going back to the days of Renaissance Italy (or Germany during the Thirty Years War), complete with mercenary bands led by businessmen-generals. Of course the Russians are going to have to remember that when you depend on mercenaries you risk having them turn on you.
Posted by: Jonathan ||
12/30/2004 14:16 Comments ||
I think it's a translation thing. The Russers announced a couple years ago that they were instituting an all-volunteer force -- a professional army. They were going to have, I believe, 76th Airborne Div as the pilot, and that were going to replace the draftees in Chechnya in 2004. Guess they've done it.
I hope they don't expect too much at first. It takes a while to shake down a first generation unit.
complete with mercenary bands led by businessmen-generals
Bingo. I suspect that this is more the model followed by the Russians in the middle east these days. One thing we know about post-communist Russia is that the Russian government, and its security services, is completely unchecked. In the soviet era, the Party oversaw and enforced discipline among the ranks of KGB officers, colonels, technocrats, border patrols, central bankers and factory directors.
Today, it's a free-for-all. The borders are a sieve. The military is completely undisciplined, corrupt, incompetent. Capital flight amounts to maybe 5% of the entire national GDP, and nearly all transactions are done in cash, which is why you see Russian men carrying little black "purses" with them everywhere. In place of a government that actually governs-- ie that has regular, standardized, disciplined operating procedures to ensure that it deliver basic public goods-- you have floating ad hoc alliances between "biznessmen" and military and FSB (successor to the KGB) officials to move valuable or sensitive goods across borders.
Here's where the Iraq angle comes in. Of course Saddam was a major client of the Russians, and owed them $7B for all manner of industrial and military goods delivered and never paid for. But what's less well known is that among the OFF money-laundering centers was the Russian mafia's number one money laundering destination, Dubai. We know that millions of OFF profits were routed through front companies operating in the same place that much of Russia's illicit, and massive, natural resource and other wealth flows through.
So given that background, it is completely plausible that groups of Russian individuals aligned with some combination of the security services, private businessmen, and military officers were aiding Saddam in quasi-private, quasi-governmental projects in a variety of areas, not merely economic. Among which, the movement of weapons and laboratories to neighboring countries with longstanding ties to Russian security services would surely have been a strong possibility.
Think of it as yet one more botched Russian privatization.
Laser beams have been reported beaming into six commercial U.S. aircraft on landing approach in four days, CNN reported Thursday. A government official who asked not to be named told the network none of the flights was affected, and there was no clear evidence it was "some deliberate attempt to target aircraft" or rather a result of "kids who got a laser light for Christmas." It is against U.S. federal law to intentionally shine a laser beam at a commercial airline flight. One of the incidents involved a Continental Airlines 737, which was illuminated by a laser Monday as it approached Cleveland, authorities said. FBI spokesman Bob Hawk said the light, which beamed into the cockpit around 8 p.m., came from a suburb about 15 miles from the airport. In September, a Delta Air Lines pilot reported damage to his retina from a laser beam during a landing in Salt Lake City.
A snippet apparently from this article was in the paper this morning:
"It was in there for several seconds like it was being tracked," FBI special agent Robert Hawk said... The episode in Cleveland had to involve a fairly sophisticated laser and a system that could track the airplane as it traveled 300 mph at 8,500 to 10,000 feet, Hawk said.
Santa probably didn't leave the kids a tracking device.
Although it doesn't say it here, a similar incident in Colorado involved a green laser, or at least a green light.
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer: Agents say the green laser came from a Warrensville Heights neighborhood near Randall Park Mall as the plane traveled 300 mph at 8,500 to 10,000 feet. Pilots were not affected. The plane landed safely. The FBI refused to name the airline. But The Plain Dealer learned it was a Continental Airlines flight. A Continental representative referred calls to the FBI.
All the laser pointers and construction laser levels I've seen use red lasers. Same with laser gunsites.
No one says too much on this topic, other than who, what , where and why? Trying to find the source. Said to be punsihable up to 5 year's in prison - felony.
Posted by: ANdrea ||
12/30/2004 11:52 Comments ||
Through the power of Google, I have discovered this company and this one which sell green lasers. From the former site:
By law, a Class IIIa laser must be less than 5mW in power. While many retailers sell lasers listed as 5mW, most are significantly weaker... Jasper is guaranteed to be greater than 3.5mW in power, with most units registering well above 4.5mW.
From the latter site: Well suited for lab experiments; professional lectures; fun & games at night clubs... Yes, it might be fun to conduct a laser lab experiment at a night club, though you may risk getting a professional lecture from the law.
The Jasper site has a photo gallery of people shooting their lasers into the sky.
How far can a 3.5mW laser go before all the stuff in the atmosphere dissipates the beam? It seem to me it would be nearly impossible to point a laser pointer at an airplane traveling 300+ mph and be able to hit and track the cockpit without a computer controlled aiming device. Just my .02.
Posted by: Deacon Blues ||
12/30/2004 12:30 Comments ||
Via memepool recently, a green 100 mW laser with enough oomph to burn thru a plastic cup:
The color ( wavelength ) of a laser depends on the lasing material. Common cheap semiconductor lasers are red, CO2 lasers are infrared and colorless. Chemical x-ray lasers have been built for shooting down missles.
Warning: Do NOT stare at laser with remaining good eye
All the laser pointers and construction laser levels I've seen use red lasers. Same with laser gunsites.
Low frequency red (and infra red light) is the easiest to generate using solid state diode lasers. While there are green diode lasers, these are much more rare and costly. The most common green laser is the argon gas laser, like the 20 mW tube that I own.
Almost all laser pointers are 5 mW or less, just like the first HeNe gas laser I got back in 1978. Any laser being used to illuminate these aircraft has to be in the +100 mW power range. This is quite serious. I accidently took an eye-hit from my 20 mW argon beam and was dazzled (in that eye) for more than an hour.
While beams powerful enough to be noticed within a cockpit do not have sufficient power to damage the plane's physical structure, they could conceivably blind the pilot. Doing so in both eyes is next to impossible, but the resulting confusion could still distract the flight deck enough to endanger a craft, especially during an approach.
Anyone who owns a +100 mW laser knows very well just how dangerous it is. These acts are malicious and quite possibly terrorist in nature.
How far can a 3.5mW laser go before all the stuff in the atmosphere dissipates the beam? It seem to me it would be nearly impossible to point a laser pointer at an airplane traveling 300+ mph and be able to hit and track the cockpit without a computer controlled aiming device.
As I was mentioning above, not very far. I brought my 20 mW argon laser to an auditorium to test its "beam throw" and it was not useful for entertainment purposes. Visible (smoke intercept) beams threw all of 10-20 feet. Whoever is doing this has access to entertainment or scientific grade lasers of around 10 - 100 Wattsworth of power. Industrial machining lasers go into the 5 - 10 KILOWATT range.
Not hard a laser taped to the side of a telescope and on a tripod will follow near anything you can aim at.
But only if you have performed meticulous coaxial registration of the laser head and the telescope's tube. And extremely competent gunsmith might be able to do this, but it is beyond the scope of an amateur.
These incidents are no sort of joke or prank. Whoever is doing this has bad intentions. Sadly, it is incredibly difficult to detect the souce point of a laser beam if you are off-axis by even so much as a degree or two. I've written about this before at Rantburg and fast acting LCD laser "shutters" could be installed in cockpit windows, but only at gigantic expense. Any sort of fuselage mounted detector capable of correlating the vehicle's GPS coordinates with a laser beam's angle of incidence would be insanely exspensive to put on all craft and still intercept only 1% of all strikes.
This is not a simple problem. Fortunately the odds of a craft being brought down by this method are very low. The most obvious method would be to use a high-power CO2 machining laser. It's IR wavelength would necessitate a visible wavelength sighting laser to aim it and relative close target proximity to inflict debilitating damage to the target aircraft.
Anyone caught doing that sort of thing should be charge with the attempted murder of those in the aircraft and everyone on the ground below it. These current incidents should be linked to major prison sentences, as no teenager has easy access to the needed equipment. These are most definitely adults attempting to interfere with the safe operation of an aircraft in flight.
TWO of 22 defendants accused of involvement in a bomb attack and firefight in the Syrian capital in April were sentenced to death by the state security court today, a lawyer said.
The court, whose judgements cannot be appealed, ordered that Ahmad Shlash Hassan and Ezzo Hussein al-Hussein be hanged, the lawyer said, asking not to be named.
Two other defendants - Azzam al-Nahar and Abdel-Basset Hassida - were sentenced to forced labour for life while the rest of the accused received jail terms of between one and 20 years.
One of the two defendants sentenced to death had been paraded on state television in May confessing to his involvement in the April 27 blast in Damascus.
Hassan, a 26-year-old veterinary student, said the bombing had been "a personal act".
"I was trying to respond to the aggression against Muslims of oppressive states like Israel, the United States and all the other infidel countries," he said.
The blast in late April in a vacant building formerly used by the United Nations in Damascus's Mazzeh diplomatic district sparked a firefight with security forces in which two gunmen, a police officer and a female passer-by were killed.
It was claimed by a previously unknown militant group but some US lawmakers suggested the attack was staged by the Syrian intelligence services, a charge vigorously denied by Damascus.
The group calling itself the "Martyr Adib al-Kilani Group" said the attack was to avenge the victims of the 1982 bombing of the northern town of Hama to quell the Muslim Brotherhood.
A vacant basement of the targeted building belonged to Rifaat al-Assad, a disgraced uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who was in charge of security forces in 1982.
Syria is accused by the United States of being a "state sponsor of terrorism" over its backing of Palestinian militant groups and the Lebanese Shiite fundamentalist movement Hezbollah, and has been largely unscathed by attacks.
Three militant groups warned Iraqis against voting in Jan. 30 elections, saying Thursday that people participating in the "dirty farce" risked attack. All 700 employees of the electoral commission in Mosul reportedly resigned after being threatened. The radical Ansar al-Sunnah Army and two other insurgent groups issued a statement Thursday warning that democracy was un-Islamic. Democracy could lead to passing un-Islamic laws, such as permitting homosexual marriage, if the majority or people agreed to it, the statement said. "Democracy is a Greek word meaning the rule of the people, which means that the people do what they see fit," the statement said. "This concept is considered apostasy and defies the belief in one God Muslims' doctrine."
To quote Steve: "One turban to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them."
Ansar al-Sunnah earlier posted a manifesto on its Web site saying democracy amounts to idolizing human beings. Thursday's joint statement reiterated the threat that "anyone who accepts to take part in this dirty farce will not be safe." The statements by the Sunni Arab-dominated insurgent groups seemed aimed at countering Shiite leaders' claims that voting in the election is every Muslim's duty.
Snipped: a boat load of handwringing. The Mosul resignations are a bit worrisome, though.
The declaration is no surprise, they've been saying it for a couple of months, now. The run away response is pathetic.
I found it much easier to get along with the Shi'a in SA, they were more open minded and thoughtful than the Sunni Saudis. Probably from being the underdog there. Now as for the Persian Shi'a, well, that is a different question which is muddled by the Mad Mullah leadership. Perhaps it really has to do with whomever is in power is going to rule like assholes - regardless of what flavor of Islam they are or whether Arab or Persian. Sigh.
An Israeli drone fired a missile at Palestinian militants in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing four, witnesses said. The air strike came during a daylong Israel military raid of Khan Younis, in southern Gaza, in which troops have killed five other Palestinians, including three militants and two teenagers. The Israeli army said the raid was launched to stop a recent barrage of mortar and rocket fire at neighboring Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War.
The drone targeted militants by a building in the town a short time after Israel had sent in more troops and armored vehicles to Khan Younis, witnesses said. The Israeli army confirmed that the air force had targeted an armed group in a raid on Khan Younis and that the target was hit. Two of the militants killed belonged to an armed faction of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' mainstream Fatah, and had been involved in bombarding Jewish settlements with mortar bombs in the past two weeks, group members said. In an earlier incident, two people were hurt by flying debris when Israeli soldiers blew up a house in Khan Younis after dark, witnesses said.
troops have killed five other Palestinians, including three militants and two teenagers.
Since when can't teenagers be militants? As teenagers during WWII, my mother was a runner for the Dutch underground, and my father joined the British Army as a translator, because he was deemed too young to carry a gun.
A roadside bomb blast on Thursday wounded the top government official for the South Waziristan tribal region, officials said. South Waziristan is one of seven tribal areas located along Pakistan's northwestern border with Afghanistan that have traditionally been semiautonomous. The political agent in each territory is its main government administrator, extending the writ of authorities in Islamabad over the fiercely independent tribal inhabitants.
"Fiercely independent. And very tribal."
Political agent Asmatullah Gandapur and his driver were hurt in the blast at Dabara in Tank district - just outside the lawless tribal region - where Gandapur's office is located, an official there said on condition of anonymity. He had been escorting a delegation of senators to visit a dam in region. None of the senators, who were traveling in different vehicles, were hurt. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Thursday's attack. It happened as Gandapur was returning from the visit to the Gomal dam, where the senators had been inspecting security arrangements. In October, two Chinese engineers working on the dam were kidnapped by militants. One was killed in a rescue operation by Pakistani commandos. The other survived. The self-proclaimed mastermind of the kidnapping, Abdullah Mehsud, remains at large. On Monday, the commander of forces in northwestern Pakistan threatened severe military action unless Mehsud surrenders by Jan. 15.
December 30, 2004: In Iraq, as in every war, there are certain key phrases a combat soldier has to learn in order to survive. For Iraq, the key phrases are; "Qif!" (it means "Stop" in Arabic. "Awgaaf!" will also do), "Qif te rah Armeek!" (Stop or I will shoot, "Awgaaf armeek!" will also work), "Irrfaa e dek!" ("Hands Up") and, if all else fails, "Ibka makonic!" ("Stay Back"). These phrases will not work on Kurds, who often don't speak Arabic. Kurdish is an Indo-European language. The Kurds (with the exception of a few al Qaeda fans) like Americans a lot. A disproportionate number of Iraqi police and soldiers are Kurds, partly because the Kurds are better fighters, partly because they are more trustworthy. Arabs (or Kurds) who have lost family members to Saddams killers also make good fighters, although they can get carried away at times.
The U.S. Marines have revived a tactic they used in Vietnam, where they assign an Iraqi combat unit to a marine outfit, with the idea that the marine and Iraqi troops will get to know each other, and thus be able to work together better when the shooting starts. The marines have also found that they get to know which Iraqi troops really haven't the training, or stomach, for combat. This is good to know, as you can leave these fellows behind, to guard things, when you go off to fight. It's safer for everyone that way. Unlike in Vietnam, the army is also adopting the marine "combined forces" technique in Iraq, and having soldiers from both armies get to know one another (by training together) before combat. The U.S. Army Special Forces always believed in this sort of thing, but in Vietnam, most of the army brass thought the marines were wasting their time. They weren't.
U.S.-led forces in Iraq have captured a senior member of the al Qaeda-linked network led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a raid in Baghdad, the Iraqi government said on Thursday. It said Fadil Hussain Ahmed al-Kurdi was captured along with two other suspected insurgents. It said Kurdi, a 26-year-old Iraqi Kurd also known as Ridha, was the brother of Umar Baziyani, a Zarqawi lieutenant captured in May. "Ridha was responsible for facilitating communications between al Qaeda and the Zarqawi terror networks as well as coordinating the movement of terrorists in and out of Iraq," a government statement said. "Both Ridha and Umar Baziyani remain in detention and are being question by Iraqi and coalition forces." The government did not say when the arrests were made. U.S. forces said three weeks ago they had seized unidentified "transnational terrorists" in Baghdad.
Most likely that would be them.
On Monday, an audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden endorsed Zarqawi as al Qaeda's leader in Iraq and called for holy war against foreign troops and Iraqi forces attempting to secure Iraq's elections scheduled for Jan. 30. The government said this week another senior member of Zarqawi's network was captured in Mosul.
Good thing these particular panties are white, then, Raptor! The vision of a killer bird with nipples akimbo is not one I care to contemplate long. The Japanese seem to have a thing about panties, anyway, I once read that you can buy used schoolgirl underthingies from cigarette/candy/soda machines. One of the little necessities of life for the urban commuter, donchaknow.
From Jihad Unspun Mafkarat al-Islam reported on Wednesday that Iraqi puppet police stormed into a house in the al-Ghazaliyah neighborhood of southern Baghdad at 10:30pm Tuesday night after they had received a tip that fraternal Arab Resistance fighters were inside. Eyewitnesses told Mafkarat al-Islam that the puppet police used loudspeakers to call out to those inside the house to come out. When nothing happened, they attempted to storm the home from four sides at once. At that point the Resistance fighters blew up the building with themselves inside, completely destroying the house and four other neighboring houses as well. Yet another four houses were severely damaged by the force of the enormous blast. Local residents said that the home was being rented by three Sudanese and two Syrians, all reportedly killed in the attack, along with 30 others, including nine puppet police and the rest members of the neighboring families.
Posted by: Mike Sylwester ||
12/30/2004 8:46:14 AM ||
Top|| File under:
The police chief in Najaf said that the commander of three terrorists arrested on Sunday in connection with a car bomb that exploded in the holy city, had extensive connections to Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). He said that intelligence for when and where to attack was given by an MOIS agent to the terrorist cells. "Iraqi security forces had received information regarding a possible attack. The chaotic security situation, due to the burial ceremony of Sheikh Hatam al-Hassan however, enabled the terrorists to use the opportunity to carry out their attack", he said. One of the three Iraqis, arrested whilst taking photos of the scene minutes before the explosions, was a resident of Najaf, while his two accomplices were both from Basra. He added that Iran closed its border with Iraq following the attacks to limit any intelligence leaks.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/30/2004 1:29:09 AM ||
Top|| File under:
the iranians tried to off Hakim? This requires explanation, i think.
Pitched battles between US troops and Iraqi insurgents in strife-torn Mosul left 25 dead and another 30 people were killed when a Baghdad house rigged with explosives blew up during a police raid. Despite the volatile security situation, US President George W. Bush insisted Iraq's landmark national elections must go ahead, while a hardline Islamist militant group reiterated its intention to cause bloodshed on the January 30 polling day.
In Mosul, insurgents detonated car bombs against a US patrol and a combat outpost and then about 50 fighters launched an assault on the outpost, firing small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, the military said. US forces called in air strikes and at least 25 insurgents were killed, said Lieutenant Colonel Paul Hastings. Masked gunmen were seen running down Mosul's deserted streets, firing off guns and rocket-propelled grenades, as a column of smoke shot up into the sky, an AFP correspondent reported. Violence has paralysed the city of 1.5 million people, where US forces are expected to increase their numbers ahead of the January 30 elections for an Iraqi national parliament. As the clock ticks down to the election, doubts loom over whether US and Iraqi forces can pacify cities like Mosul, a bastion of the Sunni Muslim minority whose alienation from the US-backed political order is fueling the lethal insurgency.
Apparently lured into a trap, police raided a home in Baghdad's squalid western Ghazaliya district late Tuesday, and were still inside when a massive blast leveled the house, an interior ministry official said. Thirty people died, six of them police, the ministry said. Another 25 were wounded, including four policemen, and four police were listed as missing. Officials said a Sudanese drew them towards the house by firing at neighbours. However, a witness said the man had actually threatened to blow up the home if police entered. Neighbor Mohammed Ali Hassan Awad, 21, said the Sudanese man "climbed to the roof and threatened to blow up the house if they entered", suggesting the Iraqi police were aware of the danger.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/30/2004 1:33:00 AM ||
Top|| File under:
Algerian militants believed to belong to an al Qaeda-inspired group shot dead three members of the same family near the capital Algiers, security sources said on Wednesday. The rebels, believed to be members of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), carried out the attack in the small town of Khraissia late on Tuesday night, 15 km (9 miles) west of Algiers. Initial reports said seven civilians had been killed. "The terrorists killed the father and his two daughters. The third daughter, a two-year-old baby, was injured but she is still alive," one source said.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/30/2004 1:53:25 AM ||
Top|| File under:
Algerian militants believed to belong to an al Qaeda-inspired group shot dead seven civilians near the capital Algiers, security sources said on Wednesday. The rebels, believed to be members of the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), carried out the attack in the small town of Khraissia on Tuesday night. No details were immediately available on the circumstances of the incident. National police chief Ali Tounsi said recently the government would boost security forces by 30 percent to 180,000 and set up surveillance cameras in main cities to cope with rebel attacks and criminality over the next five years.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/30/2004 12:23:41 AM ||
Top|| File under:
A Pakistani tribal politician with close links to Afghan President Hamid Karzai was shot dead in a drive-by attack by suspected Al Qaeda militants Wednesday, officials said. Shahlam Khan, 50, whose brother is Pakistan's ambassador to Qatar, was blasted by masked gunmen from a moving car in Wana, the main town of the turbulent South Waziristan tribal zone on the Afghan border. Bullets struck Khan, the leader of an ethnic Pashtun party, in his chest and shoulder and he died on the way to hospital in the northwestern city of Peshawar, a senior administration official told AFP.
Authorities were investigating whether Al Qaeda-linked insurgents were behind the attack. Khan had been receiving threatening letters from them, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity. Khan's Pushtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party is known for its stance against Taleban and other militants who sneaked into Pakistan's tribal areas after the Islamic regime was ousted by a US-led invasion in late 2001. He was also known for his friendship with Karzai, who is from the same ethnic group. "Khan had close ties with Karzai and had received threatening letters from militants earlier," tribal elder Malik Behram said. Khan's brother, Ayaz Khan, is serving as Pakistan's Ambassador to Qatar, he told AFP. The murder comes six days after another deadly incident involving a pro-government tribesman in northwest Pakistan. On Thursday a tribal leader's son was killed by a bomb blast a month after the elder handed over two young Uzbek militants to authorities in volatile Makeen region, near Wana.
Posted by: Dan Darling ||
12/30/2004 12:24:56 AM ||
Top|| File under:
American troops and warplanes killed at least 25 insurgents as they attacked a U.S. outpost in Mosul with a car bomb and explosives, the military said Thursday. One U.S. soldier died in hospital after the firefight. The clash occurred late Wednesday after rebels detonated a car bomb near a U.S. outpost in the restive northern Iraqi city. As reinforcements arrived, they came under fire by guerrillas using automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, military spokesman Staff Sgt. Don Dees said. The Americans then called in an airstrike by warplanes which attacked some 50 insurgents at the Yarmouk traffic circle, Dees said. More details from NYT:
The attack today began about 3:45 p.m., when insurgents armed with a car bomb tried to blow down the concrete barriers of the combat outpost, which is manned by a small force of soldiers. Insurgents then ambushed an armored military vehicle as it sped to the outpost. The armored vehicle "found itself pretty much in the middle of a bunch of I.E.D.'s and V.B.I.E.D.'s," said Lt. Col. Paul Hastings, a military spokesman in Mosul, using military acronyms for improvised roadside bombs and car bombs. The armored vehicle, he said, fired its .50-caliber machine gun to explode or disable the bombs, and proceeded to the outpost. There, the troops were attacked by a coordinated force of about 50 insurgents who fired rocket-propelled grenades and semi-automatic weapons. At that point, two F-18 and two F-14 military jets swooped down on strafing runs and firing Maverick missiles, wiping out much of the insurgent force. "That's when the close-air support came in and did a job on them," he said. "Initial estimates indicate that there were 25 (insurgents) killed," Dees said. Fifteen U.S. soldiers were wounded. why "insurgents"? what was wrong with whatever term Dees used?
Nine people, including a pro-India politician and two Muslim women, died in fresh violence in insurgency-racked Indian Kashmir, police said yesterday. Kashmiri rebels shot Farooq Zargar, a senior opposition National Conference party leader, in downtown Srinagar. He died two hours later in hospital. "Zargar was shot at close range at a relative's residence" where he had gone to mourn a family member's death, a police spokesman said. There has been a series of attacks in recent months on leaders and activists of the National Conference, Kashmir's main opposition party, which ruled the state for most of its history since India's independence from Britain in 1947.
In other violence, a soldier and a militant died in a shootout while two Muslim women and a civilian were killed in crossfire near southern Tral town, 40 kilometres south of Srinagar. In northern Sopore town, rebels killed a soldier in an ambush. Kashmir's key rebel group Hizbul Mujahedin claimed responsibility for that attack in telephone calls to local media. Indian troops shot dead two more rebels in southern districts of Doda and Udhampur on Tuesday night and yesterday.
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/30/2004 12:03:41 AM ||
Top|| File under:
GAZA CITY -Three terrorists militants from the armed branch of the Palestinian group Hamas were killed overnight Wednesday by Israeli army fire during an incursion in the southern Gaza Strip, a Hamas spokesman said.
There's more than one branch?
The three terroristsYahya Abou Bakra, 32, Chadi Abou Houda, 21, and Amar a-Ram, 20, were killed by Israeli missiles, the official told AFP. Earlier witnesses and sources at the hospital had said that two of the Palestinians had been killed by Israeli automatic fire and shells in the western part of the Khan Younis refugee camp. The spokesman said another Hamas terrorist militant had been seriously injured during the incursion. Witnesses said the Israeli soldiers entered the camp in around 20 armoured vehicles, ordering the inhabitants of several of the camp's houses to come outside and assemble in a school. An Israeli military source told AFP that the troops had entered the Khan Younis camp in a bid to stop terrorists militants firing rockets and mortars towards Israeli targets in a settlement in the Gaza Strip. "Last week these areas came under mortar or rocket fire 55 times from the northern part of the Khan Younis camp," he said, describing the area as a "Hamas stronghold".
Posted by: Steve White ||
12/30/2004 12:00:00 AM ||
Top|| File under:
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the army to show zero tolerance towards troops who refuse to evacuate Jewish settlers from the occupied Gaza Strip, officials said on Wednesday. Sharon met with the military's top officials on Wednesday, including Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and army chief of staff Moshe Yaalon. The Prime Minister stressed that the army "must make no concessions and demonstrate a firm resolve" regarding the growing disobedience calls for Israeli soldiers. "The army is there to carry out the orders it is given," Sharon added. However, he demanded the army to show "sensitivity" during the evacuation.
According to Sharon's disengagement plan, about 8,000 settlers will be removed from all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip and four West Bank enclaves by next year. "We must show sensitivity and understand the pain of the settlers who are good citizens of Israel," Sharon said. The ultra-nationalist Rempart movement started a campaign recently to persuade over 10,000 troops to refuse any commands to carry out the evacuation. In June, rabbis representing the settler movement ruled that Sharon's plan violates Jewish law and said that troops should not participate in evacuating settlers.
The Heroic Mujahidin also reported that in addition
to all the above activities another heroic act was performed by a special unit composed of 15 volunteers carefully selected from all the brigades.
The volunteers lined up in the central Gaza Moskkkkk and farted intermittently for 20 minutes in the general direction of the Zionist forces.
No casualties were reported.
carpet bombing gaza would be virtually suicidal for Israel (can anyone say war with every neighbor, EU economic embargo, and no US support?) and wont be done. IF things go poorly with Abbas, Israel will return to targeted killings of terrorist leaders, and will continue to attempt to avoid collateral damage, though some collateral damage will happen anyway. IF things go relatively well with Abbas, Israel will NOT pursue targeted killings, but WILL kill "ticking bombs" IE cannon fodder in the process of conducting an imminent attack. IF, and only if, Abbas's security forces are BOTH willing and able to stop the ticking bombs themselves, the Israelis will cease from doing that (dont hold your breath).
AFAIK Israel has never carpet bombed any arab neighborhood anywhere. Despite all the loony propaganda out there. Do we really want to debate that?
I'm all for big-time counter-battery for the Qassam launches - from wherever they launch. If it takes out a block of "civilians", so be it. The Paleos make the causes here, effects are their's also
Posted by: Frank G ||
12/30/2004 11:44 Comments ||
LH, "carpet bombing gaza would be virtually suicidal for Israel (can anyone say war with every neighbor, EU economic embargo, and no KerryUS support?
No offense but, Blah! Blah! Blah! I heard the same things before we went into Iraq.
Israel can't financially sustain targeted killings forever. If the terrs know that Israel won't stoop to their level, then they will never stop. Either Israel can do surgery after surgery after surgery to get rid of the cancer or Israel can do a couple of surgeries and get rid of the whole thing. If more props up, then keep cutting. I agree with Bomb-a-rama's anger about this situation. Enough is enough. I would like a start off with a small appetizer, as Frank states, taking out blocks.
I know, I know. You are going to rebuttle me with a novel sized reply, but the terrs must be killed. If the terrs supportersinnocent civilians don't want to be accidentally killed, then leave. If there is no place to go, then leave anyway.
I dont know how to tell you this, but the US is bigger and stronger than Israel. Kerry isnt important to US policy the way the US is important to Israel. And if you think the response to CARPET BOMBING Gaza would be no greater on the part of the EU or the Arabs than to the US invasion of Iraq, well, Im not sure I can convince you.
As for the cost of targeted assasinations, what is that? Theyre gonna have the air assets, the Sayeret units, etc anyway. A few bombs, some jet fuel, some overtime. Trivial. They spend more on the Shas school system. Israels financial situation is quite sustainable.
what about limited anti-battery as I noted above, LH? your thoughts?
Posted by: Frank G ||
12/30/2004 14:14 Comments ||
Anyone else regurgitate when they hear "military wing" of Hamas? When do we and our "allies" stop treating political parties with "military wings" as other than what they are: terrorist organizations?
not unreasonable, frank. depends on context. As long as the terrs keep missing, for the most part, its probably not worth it. I can see circumstances where it would be tried, though. Look, the jihadi idiots are tossing missiles at settlements that the Israelis are about to abandon, for chrissakes (pardon the expression) This isnt an existential assault, its a political maneuver. To make it look like Israel is withdrawing under fire (see South Lebanon) The main point is to hit back hard enough to show Sharon isnt Barak, without derailing Sharons political initiatives.
Look, a US-Egypt-Israel free trade initiative just passed. Israel is talking with Tunisia about reestablishing relations. Israelis went to help out Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, which only just recognized Israel in 2000. The various EU boycotts are dead in the water. Blair revised the agenda of his conference to meet Israels wishes. Despite the tendency to think that the political process never buys Israel anything, it in fact does. So there is a real strategic tradeoff to playing rougher (I happen also to think that the IDF is motivated by more than just strategic considerations, but thats another thing) AFAICT counter battery fire like you describe would have a much higher collateral damage (and thus political damage) to dead terrorists ratio than targeted killings and other acts the IDF does. As long as things are more or less working, I cant see them doing it.
LH, "Israelis went to help out Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, which only just recognized Israel in 2000
When the Israeli's went to help Sri Lanka, the help was REJECTED.---Us Mooselimbs, don't need no steeekin' Jooooos helping us---
Please don't get too optimistic about the sudden change in color towards Israel, from the governments mentioned above(Sri Lanka, Egypt, Tunisia, etc. The citizens that these governments belong to, will always HATE Jews. It doesn't matter how many opportunistic sweetheart deals these governments make with Israel, as long as its citizens hate Jews. The only reason the U.S. Govt. (excluding Bush, Rummy, Cheney, Rice-where they naturally support Israel) doesn't side with the U.N/EU is because the majority U.S. citizens will NOT allow it.
Bottomline, its the Heart of the Citizens that matter, not the Government.
Tunisians don't hate Jews. They've lived together in peace with their own for millenia. Egyptians do hate, but then there aren't any left there -- after 1948 it became increasingly illegal to be Jewish, so they all went to Israel or the West (a friend of mine went first to France, then came here, and now is happily retired in Florida). AFAIK, the Berber countries have had some level of unofficial contact with Israel for quite some time now, just as Jordan has since Golda Meir went across the border in a burka to meet with King Abdullah's grandfather. Much as they would like us to think so, the Arab League (and the Muslim world overall) are not of a single opinion on a national level, let alone with regard to individual smugglers who can easily sell quality Israeli goods -- so long as the customers can see where the labels were cut off.
U.S. forces launched a new offensive Wednesday against insurgents in an area south of the capital dubbed the "triangle of death," while militants ambushed an elite Iraqi police unit in a Baghdad neighborhood known for its loyalty to ousted dictator Saddam Hussein, killing 29 people, most of them civilians. The militants set off a huge explosion in the staunchly Baathist neighborhood of Ghaziliya as a contingent of special police and national guards were about to raid a house late Tuesday after receiving an anonymous tip. The blast killed 22 civilians and seven officers, and damaged a dozen nearby homes, a police spokesman said.
Between 1,700 to 1,800 pounds of explosives were used in the blast, a U.S. military statement said. American and Iraqi troops searched the rubble for survivors through the night and rescued one civilian. It was not immediately clear whether any of the casualties were guerrillas who appeared to have lured the police into the building. The area is a predominantly Sunni Muslim neighborhood where support for Saddam has traditionally been strong.
They still haven't gotten the message. Make Ghaziliya Fallujah II - and bounce the fucking rubble a few times. There just is no substitute for brute power with the Sunnis in general and the Ba'athists in particular. I can hear the opposition before I even hit submit, but they have absolutely no evidence that their approach (winning hearts 'n minds) works with these people. None. Zero. Zilch. Even in Fallujah we gave them so much notice that it was rediculous. That shit doesn't work. Try the hardass way a couple of times - live and learn, Allawi. My frustration level is maxxed out. I've been excoriated for it numerous times, but I'm saying it again: only one thing will register with these people and that's raw brute overwhelming force - and sans the 2 week heads-up, next time, dumbasses.
.com: I've been excoriated for it numerous times, but I'm saying it again: only one thing will register with these people and that's raw brute overwhelming force - and sans the 2 week heads-up, next time, dumbasses.
The way I look at it - the Iraqis themselves have to be psychologically prepared for GI's slaughtering jihadis - who are, after all, Muslims - in heaps. After the recent mayhem, I think they are. Some of them are maybe ready to jump in themselves to kill these Islamic religious warriors.
Reluctantly, I agree PD. I only wish it were different, but reality says you whip the cur and reward the stalwart. Cause and effect are great operant conditioners. How do the Marines put it? âNo greater friend, no worse enemy.â
ZF / cin - It may be the only thing that always works - as the Marines would likely say without hesitation.
As for Arabs, if you are not dealing from a position of strength obvious to all parties, then you can expect games and stupid haggling crap - nothing substantive will transpire.
I learned a simple lesson shopping in SA back in '92. Go into a shop and pick out what you want. Put the price you're willing to pay, counted out, in a separate pocket from your other money. Go into any shop with that item. When approached - ask how much. Tell the guy what you are willing to pay. He sez no. Show him the money you're willing to pay, repeat your offer. He sez no. Turn to leave. 90% of the time he will call you back and do the deal. Once he's seen the money, if the deal is doable, it will be accepted.
If you ever compromise - a gesture of good will (such as Israel releasing prisoners - by now they should know better - in spades, it just boggles) - it will be snapped up and THAT will become the new starting point of negotiations. No goodwill is reciprocated - ever. You have merely demonstrated you are weak and they pocket it. Period. Then they press for more. Israel's actions regards prisoners must be based on the fact that they're eunuchs or turned double-agents or something. Even an idiot expat knows better than what I've seen Israel do, sans some really terrific explanation.
There is a world of learning in these 2 tiny little lessons regards Arabs. Make your offer clear. Make it clear no other will do. Never offer a goodwill gesture. Do what you say you are going to do - that will shock them out of their shoes - recall the "mountains of bodies and rivers of blood" BS from Saddam, Gulf War I. Exaggeration and stupid mustache cursing shows are their game. Show them you are a different breed - and you'll put them off their game. Say it. Do it. Show nothing but strength. That's the only way. They will get it quickly if you don't fold or go soft.
A consistent ruthless demonstration of power will earn you the status, the "honor", you need to change behavior. Then, with the status acknowledged, you can show mercy without being seen as weak.
Look at Zarqawi's actions, their response, and think about it. Obviously, he knows how it works. So does Al Jizz, et al - read their stuff and look at what they are attempting to undermine - they portray us as soft and decadent, yet murderous and indiscriminate about it (baby ducks, et al) - this is to deny us the Arab version of honor. Only ruthless hardcore hard boyz are honored. I keep waiting for Allawi - or somebody - to make this policy, not just an occasional thing.
Great picture - I assume it is from the Philippines campaign.
Is that the laziest dumb-ass stance on the guy in front, or what ? How is his sergeant letting him get away with that ?
Posted by: Carl in N.H. ||
12/30/2004 8:35 Comments ||
#4 ..a gesture of good will (such as Israel releasing prisoners - by now they should know better - in spades, it just boggles) - it will be snapped up and THAT will become the new starting point of negotiations
Basically those gestures from the Israeli side are to Foggy Bottom's pointed bayonet!
israels had 40% less deaths from terror in 2004 than in 2003, and had less in 2003 than in 2002. The wall IS going up, and relations with arab states (Egypt, Tunisia) are improving. The bans and boycotts in the EU and elsewhere that were stirring in 2002 are history. Sharon needs no advice from anyone here, I daresay.
Re: Iraq. According to a post here, a Zarqawi aide was caught the other today in Mosul with a tip from an Iraqi. and in mosul it would probably have been a Sunni Arab (doubt Zarqs aides hang out on the Kurdish side of town) Another Zarq aide caught today. Every denial that we need more troops says what we really need is better intel. Most reports from the field indicate intel has dried up cause the Sunni Arabs (which is where the intel gotta come from) either A. Are afraid of the insurgents or B. Resent our hardball tactics (immediate response - aint nuttin we done that they havent done to each other a hundred times worse - absolutely true, and absolutely DONT matter - WE are the outsiders - and so, too are Shiites - bigoted thought that distinction may be) How much A, and how much B - take your pick - the softer headed types in the MSM say its all B. Almost everyone here will say. I think its both.
Which means - you gotta be hard as hell as the insurgents - BUT - collective punishment - EVERYBODY in a proinsurgent neighborhood gets it, period - WONT improve anything.
BUT - getting the bad guys, without hurting the fencesitters, and even the enablers, is damned hard. And MAY require more troops.
Yes, I haven't contributed anything to the thread, other than responses to Frank's constant baiting and obsession.
But no worries, I'll be now emailing a request to Fred. He decides how this will end -- either with Frank, Tom and the rest ceasing their trollery, or with me leaving the forum for good. I've no more time to devote any more in dealing with the spoiled brats and random buffoons that think themselves smart in repeating the various oh-so-very-original homophobic innuendos.
LH: Every denial that we need more troops says what we really need is better intel
That's always been our achilles' heel, and unless we can fix this failing, we're unlikely to succeed. Gerecht in Weekly Standard agrees. If I recall right he implied recently that the Iraqi forces have been thoroughly penetrated with ba'athist informants, which would underscore the idiocy of the Beinart-libhawk thesis that dismantling Saddam's army was a catastrophic error.
The shi'a are our best friends. I'm not sure that even Allawi is much help to us at this point. Time to (discreetly) hug Sistani and his people.
And Frank -- just like .com yesterday, you are hiding behind your finger, thinking I'm too dim to notice your meaning, thinking that anyone is too dim to be misled by such innuendos. Peekaboo games you should have outgrown at the age of 2.
If only Sistani was huggable, in any sense of the word I can see. Sigh. Better a semi-neutral rather than an active enemy - that's the best I can say for him, in particular. The regular Iraqi Shi'a, however, seem to be a tiny bit more open - just unwilling to do much about the bad guys. The trap laid yesterday for the Iraqi police is a classic example. After it happened, the bystanders told the reporter that they knew insurgents terrorists were staying there. And said nothing. So 6 policemen and, what, 17 (?) of their neighbors died. Will they get it now? Probably not.
And then there are the Kurds, long-suffering, stalwart, gutsy, fiesty, and ready for the future... I admire the hell out of them, heh.
If I recall right he implied recently that the Iraqi forces have been thoroughly penetrated with ba'athist informants, which would underscore the idiocy of the Beinart-libhawk thesis that dismantling Saddam's army was a catastrophic error.
Im not absolutely convinced that just cause we've rushed Iraqi forces without proper vetting, that we couldnt have used some army units. Think about it. Most Saddam reliables were in Rep Guard, SRG, Fedayeen Saddam, etc as of March 1, 2003. I mean they could have planted reliables throughout the regular army units, but that would have meant both expecting to lose and counting on the US to keep the army intact. No evidence I know they did so. Since then, OTOH, as weve built Iraqi forces, theyve had every reason to, and time to, infiltrate people among the new recruits. So its at least POSSIBLE that regular Iraqi army units in March 2003 would have been LESS infiltrated than Iraqi Forces are now.
Secondly, what we needed the Iraqi Regulars for in April 2003 was quite different than what we need the Iraqi forces for now. Now we are fighting a bitter, complex, intell intensive counter insurgency campaign. Despite what the MSM may claim, no such insurgency existed in April 2003 - the insurgency isnt a spontaneous uprising, but something thats taken a long time to build. In April 2003 what we mainly needed was to stop looting, reduce street crime, and keep sufficient order to make the transition to CPA rule go more smoothly. Which, it is alleged, would have had a positive snowball effect. Its not clear to me that for those tasks a few infiltrators would have mattered all that much.
That said, let me point out that I have NOT previously suggested that the Iraqi army should have been kept intact. I have suggested we should have used more American troops (and weve already debated where they would have come from, so lets not start that again) Its amazing how so many theses are attached to me.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.