January 21, 2008

Everything Old Is New Again

This article was fascinating: The Fallacy of Grievance-based Terrorism . Written by a currently serving Naval captain.

A snippet:

.... The roots of jihadism and its opposition to the United States as part of the non-Muslim West were cast long before World War I erupted. The interaction between the United States and Muslim states and societies dates back to American independence. Contemporary jihadism is not the result of accumulated grievance; rather it has for cultural reasons been an integral factor in Islamic societies' interaction with the United States.
Posted by Ith at 4:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 5, 2007

Inner Woman

This from Michael Ledeen on the penchant for terrorists to dress like women to escape.

You may have noticed that some of the hardliners in Iran are demanding death for former president Khatami, because he shook hands with a woman-not-his-wife. But I rather wonder if these same tough guys will wrap themselves in burqas and chadors when their moment comes. It's a delicious practice, isn't it? These vile misanthropes who delight in having women stoned or hanged or flogged, sneaking around in drag rather than facing their Maker. Or the Marines, for that matter, who are firmly committed to arranging the meeting.
Posted by Ith at 8:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 3, 2007

The Targets Were Women

Don't Mince Words: The London car-bomb plot was designed to kill women. By Christopher Hitchens

A few excerpts:

.... Only at the tail end of the coverage was it admitted that a car bomb might have been parked outside a club in Piccadilly because it was "ladies night" and that this explosion might have been designed to lure people into to the street, the better to be burned and shredded by the succeeding explosion from the second car-borne cargo of gasoline and nails. Since we have known since 2004 that a near-identical attack on a club called the Ministry of Sound was proposed in just these terms, on the grounds that dead "slags" or "sluts" would be regretted by nobody, a certain amount of trouble might have been saved by assuming the obvious. The murderers did not just want body parts in general but female body parts in particular.

[....]

.... The most noticeable thing about all theocracies is their sexual repression and their directly related determination to exert absolute control over women. In Britain, in the 21st century, there are now honor killings, forced marriages, clerically mandated wife-beatings, incest in all but name, and the adoption of apparel for females that one cannot be sure is chosen by them but which is claimed as an issue of (of all things) free expression. This would be bad enough on its own and if it were confined to the Muslim "community" alone. But, of course, such a toxin cannot be confined, and the votaries of theocracy now claim the God-given right to slaughter females at random for nothing more than their perceived immodesty. The least we can do, confronted by such radical evil, is to look it in the eye (something it strives to avoid) and call it by its right name. For a start, it is the female victims of this tyranny who are "disenfranchised," while something rather worse than "disenfranchisement" awaits those who dare to disagree.
Posted by Ith at 2:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 30, 2007

Are We Surprised?

They're talking to a Scottish reporter on the scene in Glasgow on FNC right now, and she's reporting that the bombers were yelling 'Allah!' as they tried to get away. And the airport worker she's interviewing is confirming that. He was one of the people who helped subdue the suspects.

And she's reporting that all the passengers in the area of the terminal are being told they can't leave the country/area till they're interviewed by police.

New: security alert being raised to critical in the UK which SKY News is interpreting is that the UK officials think another attack is imminent.

Posted by Ith at 12:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 16, 2007

Time To Choose

Excerpt from a speech Joe Lieberman gave today. Full text here.


Now is not the time for reflexive partisanship and pandering to public opinion. Now is the time for the kind of patriotism and principle America’s voters have always honored.

I ask you to plead with every member of Congress you can in the days and weeks ahead —

Do not surrender to hopelessness.

Do not succumb to defeat.

Do not give in to fear.

Rise above the political pressures of the moment to do what is right for America.

Posted by Ith at 1:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 12, 2007

Something Has Changed

Check out this report from the 6th Marines.

Posted by Ith at 12:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 8, 2007

We Win, They Lose

Posted by Ith at 4:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 7, 2007

Even Al Jazeera?

Found this article over at some-day-soling's.

Even Al Jazeera Sees Improvement in Baghdad Situation

Posted by Ith at 7:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 11, 2006

Technical Tips and Tricks

The title and category may give some people pause. The War Front category is rather appropriate as such due to the unceasing cyber war that is going on silently all around us. I refer of course, to the barrage of viruses, trojans, malware and spyware plus other as yet unknown attackers that everyone's computer faces whilst connected to the internet.

Hi, I'm one of Ith's guest bloggers and today I would like to introduce you to some tips and tricks which will make your life a little bit easier and the attacker's just a little bit harder.

This is primarly for Windows users, if you are using a different operating system, such as Linux, FreeBSD, or another Unix variant you may not find anything useful in this article. With that said, let us start out by debunking several myths that increase the chance of being compromised. Just to be clear, compromised means hacked and your computer turned into a zombie machine, or at least a machine that an attacker can control at will.

Myth 1:
Leaving your computer running all the time is better that constantly turning it off and on.

Somehow and someway this has survived from the late '70s. Back then computers were left on so that the power supply would last longer among other things. Today's Power supplies have almost unlimited service time so unless you are running a web server, this is just a wonderful way to increase your electric costs and annoy one's significant other who must deal with the noise of fans spinning in the machine.

Indeed, by leaving a windows computer running all the time you open yourself up to attackers who have a nice target that they can practice against 24/7. Even in sleep mode a computer is vulnerable from attacks via the internet. So at the end of the day, when you are ready to retire for the night, click on start...choose shutdown and click ok.

Myth 2
My computer came with Antivirus software installed, so I have nothing to worry about.

Not Quite.
As long as you update it at least weekly and then renew it when it expires it will help. Unfortunately, most people never do. Never do updating and never renew. Nowadays, you don't even get a subscription to an Anti-virus (AV) program when you buy a computer, it is just a free trial, which for the reasons I have stated above, is almost worse than useless ( since it is only a free trial it also does not last as long as a regular subscription to begin with) As an example, a fully patched Windows XP machine with Service Pack 2 without any antivirus programs or any security on it, lasts about 3 minutes on the internet before it gets infected. Combine that with leaving the computer on all the time and you might begin to see how a problem could develop.

Myth 3
My computer has gotten a lot slower after I bought it, but that's normal right, 'cuz of all the software I installed on it.

Yes, I have actually heard that one many times. Unfortunately, no. This is not normal at all. If you have installed several security programs that start as the computer starts, then it might be a little slower. If it is a LOT slower, then take a look at how many services are running. To do so: Hit the three keys marked Ctrl, Alt and Delete (CTRL-ALT-DEL) at the same time and then on the screen that has popped up click on Processes. Now look at the bottom left corner of the window and you should see a number. This number tells you how many are running. If you are running over 35 and you don't have many devices hooked up to your computer you may be the victim of a virus or spyware or both.

With the last myth I must add some explanation. If YOU installed a lot of software on your system and indicated during the install process for it to start as the computer starts, then yes, the computer could run much slower indeed. That situation is not what I am referring to. What I am referring to is the machine getting slower over time, without any clear explanation as to why.

Well that takes care of the myths for this article. What I will focus on next is some tips to prevent prevent spyware and other nasty things taking up residence within your computer. The security programs that I suggest are currently all free. That is of course, subject to change.

Tip 1.

Install an antivirus program on your computer. There is a very good free one out there called AVG antivirus.http://free.grisoft.com/doc/20/lng/us/tpl/v5

Tip 2.

Install a firewall program. The best free one I have used is Zone Alarm's Free edition. http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp

Tip 3.

Install an antiTrojan program. The one I suggest is AVG's antispyware program. This scans for spyware and trojans. http://www.ewido.net/en/download/

Tip 4.

Install an adware scanner. My favorite is Lavasoft's Ad-aware.
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/


NONE of these programs will cost you a dime, so if it seems you have to end up paying a fee for them you have the wrong program or the wrong site.

Once you have these programs installed, update them ( they will tell you how to do that ) and then run a scan. You might be very surprised at what you find. After removing everything that these programs do find, you'll notice that your computer is a little bit snappier and faster. At least it should be.

The next article will cover some other tricks, like shutting down unneeded services to speed up your system etc.

Posted by Bob at 8:05 PM

August 11, 2006

Five Minutes To Midnight

I haven't been doing much serious blogging lately. It gets to the point where you're saying the same things over and over again, and nothing changes. I've felt for awhile that this must be what it was like to live in the 1930s and to feel like you're screaming the danger from the rooftops and no one hears. How else can you explain history that seems intent on repeating itself over and over? When the party in opposition can't wait to take back a majority in November so they can start impeachment proceedings? Do they genuinely not see the danger? Or are they too enamored of power that they don't care about the danger their actions put us in? How else do you explain our elected officials who would shackle the ability of the NSA to listen in on those who would murder us, our families, our children? The war isn't coming -- it's here, right now. And before it's over many of us will have died at the hands of fanatical apocalyptic butchers who's warped and evil ideology demands they murder in the name of their god. The bell is tolling and time's about to run out.

If you want to read something that perfectly illustrates my mind set these days, please read this. It's one of those rare articles that I'm saying you really must read.

An excerpt:

Observing the events of todaythe hesitation and uncertainty, the stubborn clinging to the fantasy that the enemy can be appeased if we just keep talking and find the right diplomatic solutionI now feel that, for the first time, I really understand the leaders of the 1930s. Their illusion that Hitler could be appeased has always seemed, in historical hindsight, to be such a willful evasion of the facts that I have never grasped how it was possible for those men to deceive themselves. But I can now see how they clung to their evasions because they could not imagine anything worse than a return to the mass slaughter of the First World War. They wanted to believe that something, anything could prevent a return to war. What they refused to imagine is that, in trying to avoid the horrors of the previous war, they were allowing Hitler to unleash the much greater horrors of a new war.

Today's leaders and commentators have less excuse. The "horror" they are afraid of repeating is the insurgency we're fighting in Iraqa war whose cost in lives, dollars, and resolve is among the smallest America has ever had to pay. And it takes no great feat of imagination to project how much more horrible the coming conflict will be if we wait on events long enough for Iran to arm itself with nuclear technology. Among the horrific consequences is the specter of a new Holocaust, courtesy of an Iranian nuclear bomb.

So while you may not see as many blog posts from me, I'm still around and still as totally pessimistic as I've always been.

Posted by Ith at 10:22 AM | Comments (4)

May 11, 2006

The Time Traveler & the Century War

I found this via Peter Sean. A story from the future by Dan Simmons (who is one of my favourite authours). If you thought I had a dark outlook on what awaits us, he beats me in spades. I don't usually say, 'must read!', but I'm making an exception for this.

A small exceprt:

....I tried to relax. What do you want to talk about? I said.

The Century War, said the Time Traveler.

I blinked and tried to remember some history. You mean the Hundred Year War? Fifteenth Century? Fourteenth? Sometime around there. Between . . . France and England? Henry V? Kenneth Branagh? Or was it . . .

I mean the Century War with Islam, interrupted the Time Traveler. Your future. Everyones. He was no longer smiling. Without asking, or offering to pour me any, he stood, refilled his Scotch glass, and sat again. He said, It was important to me to come back to this time early on in the struggle. Even if only to remind myself of how unspeakably blind you all were.

You mean the War on Terrorism, I said.

I mean the Long War with Islam, he said. The Century War. And its not over yet where I come from. Not close to being over.

You cant have a war with Islam, I said. You cant go to war against a religion. Radical Islam, maybe. Jihadism. Some extremists. But not a . . . the . . . religion itself. The vast majority of Muslims in the world are peaceloving people who wish us no harm. I mean . . . I mean . . . the very word Islam means Peace.

So you kept telling yourselves, said the Time Traveler. His voice was very low but there was a strange and almost frightening edge to it. But the peace in Islam means Submission. Youll find that out soon enough

Posted by Ith at 1:19 PM | Comments (4)

About That Letter


Iran Declares War

President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush, widely interpreted as a peaceful overture, is in fact a declaration of war. The key sentence in the letter is the closing salutation. In an eight-page text of the letter being circulated by the Council on Foreign Relations, it is left untranslated and rendered as "Vasalam Ala Man Ataba'al hoda." What this means is "Peace only unto those who follow the true path."

It is a phrase with historical significance in Islam, for, according to Islamic tradition, in year six of the Hejira - the late 620s - the prophet Mohammad sent letters to the Byzantine emperor and the Sassanid emperor telling them to convert to the true faith of Islam or be conquered. The letters included the same phrase that President Ahmadinejad used to conclude his letter to Mr. Bush. For Mohammad, the letters were a prelude to a Muslim offensive, a war launched for the purpose of imposing Islamic rule over infidels.

And more here.

'THE whole world is mov ing towards God," Ira nian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written to his American counterpart, George W. Bush. "Would Your Excellency not wish to join?"

In Tehran, the Persian text of the letter has become a favorite topic at dinner table conversations and is often the source of much mirth because of its flowery style, its numerous spelling and grammatical errors and, above all, the insight it offers into the mind of a man who clearly sees himself as an agent of the Hidden Imam in hastening the end of the "Infidel" domination of the world.

Initially, the letter was supposed to be a private message from the Islamic Republic to the Bush administration. But once Washington had dismissed it as irrelevant to the issues on hand, its text was leaked to reporters in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad's epistolary exercise seem merely another of his quirks. But it must be seen as yet another sign that the new leadership in Tehran is determined to provoke a direct confrontation with the United States in the hope that, plagued by internal problems, the Americans will either back away or be humiliated.

Posted by Ith at 12:34 PM

May 9, 2006

Interesting Read

WSJ Op-Ed on the state of the CIA.

Via The Corner

(I'm posting today!)

Posted by Ith at 1:10 PM

February 16, 2006

Cracker Jack

No, not Cracker Jacks of [insert your religous figure here], but another Cracker Jack article by Jane at Armies of Liberation: Al-Qaeda Escape in Yemen: Facts, Theories and Rumors

Posted by Ith at 5:46 PM | Comments (1)

November 11, 2005

The McCain Amendment

Excellent post here on the subject. Obviously, I'm not a lawyer, but it certainly seems like a pretty idiotic idea to grant terrorists Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment protections.

Posted by Ith at 10:55 AM | Comments (3)

September 7, 2005

What Great News!

Roy Hallums Rescued in Iraq.

Posted by Ith at 11:04 AM

August 15, 2005

August 11, 2005

Very Interesting

I was listening to the news before work this morning, and they were talking about "Able Danger". From what I understand, a military intelligence group claims they had intelligence on Mohammed Atta more than a year before 9/11, but were prevented from passing it on to civilian law enforcement due to that "wall" law. They say that they told the 9/11 Commission about this twice, but their information never made it into the report. So, if this is true, my first thought was that this must have something to do with Jamie Gorelick, who was one of members of the 9/11 Commission, but to my mind should have been a witness since she's the one for creating the "wall" law in the first place. Now I believe that even more than I did at the time. My second thought is Sandy Burglar, err, Berger. Just what was in those documents he destroyed? Yeah, there's probably no connection, but I'm a suspicious sort to begin with, so I wonder.

I haven't had time to look up anything in print on this, so if anyone has any good links on the subject, whether media or blog, I'd appreciate it. I'm very interested in finding out more about this.

A bit later: thanks to CTG for this link to My Pet Jawa that has a pretty extensive post with lots of links. Hopefully, I'll get a chance at some point today to read it more fully.

Cassandra has more hereThe Anchoress and Juliette.

Posted by Ith at 9:21 AM | Comments (4)

July 27, 2005

NYPD In Canada

The New York Police Department has taken the fight against terrorism into Canada. It's part of a NYPD plan to improve intelligence gathering and Intel sharing around the world. Currently there are NYPD detectives based in Toronto and Montreal in a counter terrorism cooperative effort.

NYPD Police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne told Canada Free Press, "Toronto and Montreal were obvious candidates because they have very good law enforcement and a nexus to Islamic terrorism."

The program was put into place after September 11, 2001, shortly after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was sworn into office. Top cop, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, appointed by Mayor Bloomberg, created the liaison program. Commissioner Kelly is accredited for transforming the existing New York intelligence division whose prior primary mission focused on coordinating security for visiting dignitaries and diplomats into a division dedicated to intelligence gathering and analysis with a global reach in the fight against terrorism.

Taking an untraditional route Commissioner Kelly persuaded and recruited former CIA Director of Operations, David Cohen, out of public life and charged him with task of heading up the massive restructuring of the New York City intelligence department. Cohen, now New York's Deputy Director of Intelligence, garnered thirty-one years of experience at the CIA specializing in analysis and intelligence.

Since it's inception almost four years ago the program has grown. In addition to detectives based in Canada there are NYPD liaisons assigned in London working with Scotland Yard, in Lyons working out of Interpol headquarters, Singapore and Tel Aviv with hopes to increase their presence in the Middle East. Canada Free Press has learned that an expected agreement with Jordan is due to be announced in the near future.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Ith at 1:32 PM

July 21, 2005

A Picture Is Worth A 1000 Words

The Anchoress has prepared a visual aid illustrating what came before the Iraq war.

Posted by Ith at 12:07 PM | Comments (6)

Waking Up To Bad News

Sometimes I dread turning the TV on after I get up in the morning. Yet again, I woke up to more bad news with more bombings in London. I'm very glad to read there doesn't appear to be any deaths this time.

Posted by Ith at 11:09 AM

July 11, 2005

"They Can Grieve Later."

Found this over at David Frum's Diary on NRO. It's an email from a reader in London:

"It is simply ridiculous to state the one of the most important things to do is to grieve. Give me a break. People are free to grieve privately if they wish, but spare me the candle lit marches. I don't care why these people do things like this, they are going to lose. My kids were in school this morning on time, I was on the subway during rush hour, and everyone in my office was here on time, even though we're a stone's throw away from bombs. The Brits whine incessantly about health and safety, but they handle bombers well."

"On September 11 I told my sons that the day they wrap my daughters in burkas every single male member of our family had better be dead. I stand by that today. They can grieve later."

Posted by Ith at 11:16 AM

July 10, 2005

Truth

We all know who was to blame for Thursday's murders... and it wasn't Bush and Blair


.... Islamism stops being an ideology intent on building an empire from Andalusia to Indonesia, destroying democracy and subjugating women and becomes, by the magic of parochial reasoning, a protest movement on a par with Make Poverty History or the TUC.

Again, I understand the appeal. Whether you are brown or white, Muslim, Christian, Jew or atheist, it is uncomfortable to face the fact that there is a messianic cult of death which, like European fascism and communism before it, will send you to your grave whatever you do. But I'm afraid that's what the record shows.

The only plausible excuse for 11 September was that it was a protest against America's support for Israel. Unfortunately, Osama bin Laden's statements revealed that he was obsessed with the American troops defending Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein and had barely said a word about Palestine.

After the Bali bombings, the conventional wisdom was that the Australians had been blown to pieces as a punishment for their government's support for Bush. No one thought for a moment about the Australian forces which stopped Indonesian militias rampaging through East Timor, a small country Indonesia had invaded in 1975 with the backing of the US. Yet when bin Laden spoke, he said it was Australia's anti-imperialist intervention to free a largely Catholic population from a largely Muslim occupying power which had bugged him.

East Timor was a great cause of the left until the Australians made it an embarrassment. So, too, was the suffering of the victims of Saddam, until the tyrant made the mistake of invading Kuwait and becoming America's enemy. In the past two years in Iraq, UN and Red Cross workers have been massacred, trade unionists assassinated, school children and aid workers kidnapped and decapitated and countless people who happened to be on the wrong bus or on the wrong street at the wrong time paid for their mistake with their lives.

What can the survivors do? Not a lot according to a Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. He told bin Laden that the northern Kurds may be Sunni but 'Islam's voice has died out among them' and they'd been infiltrated by Jews. The southern Shia were 'a sect of treachery' while any Arab, Kurd, Shia or Sunni who believed in a democratic Iraq was a heretic.

Our options are as limited When Abu Bakr Bashir was arrested for the Bali bombings, he was asked how the families of the dead could avoid the fate of their relatives. 'Please convert to Islam,' he replied. But as the past 40 years have shown, Islamism is mainly concerned with killing and oppressing Muslims.

Posted by Ith at 12:20 PM

Terror, Home-Grown

Home-grown Jihad in Britian

.... The exporting of home-grown jihadis and their fanaticism was confirmed in Iraq last month by a senior insurgent commander, Abu Ahmad, who revealed that about 70 volunteers had arrived from Britain. Two had been killed fighting alongside him against American troops.

One of these, a 22-year-old known as Abu Hareth, had been born in Britain of Iraqi parents. He was killed in fighting in Falluja in April last year.

When the battle intensified and due to his lack of military experience I asked him to take shelter in a basement. He refused my advice and told me off for asking him to hide and he said, I will hold this against you when the day of reckoning comes for you tried to prevent me from attaining martyrdom, Abu Ahmad said.

Two brothers Ammar, 22, and Yasser, 18 arrived in Iraq from Britain after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003: They could not wait to go out and fight and kept on asking when they will go into battle.

After about a month, Ammar was killed fighting American troops: His younger brother Yasser, who witnessed Ammars death, surprised us by shedding tears of joy and praising Allah for his brothers martyrdom.

The commander continued: When we returned to our base we asked Yasser to return home, telling him it was enough that his family had lost one son; it would not be right if the second son was also killed and that there were others who would fight on his behalf here.

But he refused and told us: What would I tell my mother? She will not accept me in the house for when she bid us farewell she told us either to return victorious or to achieve martyrdom. I cannot return. I have to finish off what Ammar my brother started here, and anyway I do not want to leave my brother all alone in this land. I want to be buried with him. And he began to cry.

Abu Ahmad said that having been ordered home, Yasser wrote a letter revealing that when he had arrived in Britain his mother had celebrated on hearing about Ammars death ululating with happiness and calling her friends and relatives to tell them the good news. She distributed sweets and juices in celebration to all those that came to pay their respect.

[....]

THE ROOT of the problem in the eyes of many foreign security operatives remains Londons reputation as a haven for extremists.

It may not be the moment to say it, said a defence ministry official in Paris, but London is paying for its mistakes, for allowing all those radical organisations from Saudis to Pakistanis to set up shop in London, put out newsletters, make recruits and gather funds to finance their activities.

Young men from Algeria and Morocco, including members of Islamist armed organisations, came to Britain in the early 1990s to escape persecution by the security forces in their home countries. They were granted asylum and some have since lived on welfare. Supporters of the Armed Islamic Group, known then as the GIA, used mosques such as Finsbury Park and Brixton, in south London, to raise funds to buy guns and bankroll a terror campaign that cost tens of thousands of lives in Algeria. They engaged in blackmail, drug dealing and credit card fraud to support their fundraising in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

In April 1994, after raids on GIA suspects in Paris, police found documents said to be GIA communiqus sanctioning the murder of Algerian police officers. Fax numbers were traced to London addresses in Southall, Mile End, Brixton, Finsbury Park and Richmond. A French investigating magistrate came to London to try to interview eight of those linked to the documents. But he was apparently blocked by the British authorities.

The French were so concerned about the role of the GIA and other groups in London that they authorised illegal spying operations against them in London without telling the British.

Reda Hassaine, an Algerian journalist who came to Britain in the early 1990s, ended up working for MI5 and French intelligence, reporting on radicals inside the Muslim community. But Hassaine believes that despite huge efforts, the government and the security forces have been been far too complacent in dealing with the threat.

For more than a decade, Hassaine says, Britain has been a soft touch for Islamist radicals who used it as a fundraising and propaganda base to launch attacks in Algeria and elsewhere: The groups here now are much more independent of each other. There are plenty of them and theyve been here in London for a long time.

One former Algerian jihadi may hold the answer to the terrorist threat. When he was 24, Abdullah Anas reached a turning point in his life. A member of the Muslim Brotherhood and an imam, he had been brought up on stories of the long war for Algerias independence from France. Now he decided it was his turn to take up the gun for a cause: in his case, jihad.

Anas travelled to Peshawar in Pakistan and then walked for 40 days to northern Afghanistan. He lost most of his toenails, but I felt I was reborn when I first got there . . . Even though I was sick for 10 days, I was so happy to be walking along with my Kalashnikov and with my brothers.

He fought there for eight years, becoming close to Bin Laden. But he was eventually disillusioned. I am proud God chose me to be part of that holy war. I went there prepared to become a martyr. But it was very sad for me to see that once they had liberated their own land, they were unable to build their country. It was a big lesson for me, he said last week.

I realised that Muslims can win the battle, but cant stabilise afterwards and win the peace. I saw it with my own eyes. I saw the same in Algeria, where my father and grandfather fought for freedom from the French, but once we had it, it fell to pieces. The Muslim fighters know how to die, but not how to live.

Anas was among the wave of Algerians receiving asylum in Britain. He learnt English and now works as a company secretary and teaches Arabic and Koranic studies. The board of trustees running Finsbury Park mosque since the overthrow of its radical regime regularly invites him to preach to congregations of 1,000.

His message is both outspokenly Muslim and adamantly against violence. London is a safe haven for Muslims, he says: In some ways London is the closest thing we can get to the society described by the Koran. God said, I created you as many nations, tribes and languages. That is what we have here. None of us should seek to impose our views or values on the other.

He says this way of relating to life in London, as set down by the Prophet, is not simply a choice: It is an obligation. We are part of this society and I tell my congregations that this is why I want them to know what the Prophet himself did.

Anyone targeting this society is my enemy. They are targeting me and my family as much as anyone else, no matter who they are.

Posted by Ith at 11:58 AM

July 8, 2005

7/7 Links

Good roundup here of BFL members thoughts on the events of yesterday in London.

Also wanted to pass on that I heard from my cousin in London and he and his family are safe.

Later: Charmaine, a Cotillion member, was on the ground yesterday. She's been blogging from the G8 all week

Posted by Ith at 12:22 PM

June 15, 2005

Reality Check

Robert Spencer on revisionist history and revisionist now.

.... And as for the treatment of Christians in Palestine in the decades just before the First Crusade, I discuss it at some length in my forthcoming book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (coming August 8 from Regnery). What was life like for the Christians in Palestine in the years leading up to the Crusades? Let's see: In 1004, the sixth Fatimid Caliph, Abu Ali al-Mansur al-Hakim (985-1021) turned violently against the faith of his Christian mother and uncles (two of whom were Patriarchs) and ordered the destruction of churches, the burning of crosses, and the seizure of church property. He moved against the Jews with similar ferocity. Over the next ten years thirty thousand churches were destroyed, and untold numbers of Christians converted to Islam simply to save their lives. In 1009, al-Hakim commanded that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem be destroyed, along with several other churches (including the Church of the Resurrection). The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, rebuilt by the Byzantines in the seventh century after the Persians burned an earlier version, marks the traditional site of Christs burial. Al-Hakim piled on other humiliating decrees, culminating in the order that Christians and Jews accept Islam or leave his dominions.

He ultimately relaxed these decrees, and in 1027 the Byzantines were allowed to rebuild the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Nevertheless, Christians were in a precarious position and pilgrims remained under threat. In 1056, the Muslims expelled three hundred Christians from Jerusalem and forbade European Christians from entering the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. When the Seljuk Turks swept down from Central Asia, they enforced a new Islamic rigor, making life difficult for both native Christians and pilgrims (whose pilgrimages they blocked). After they crushed the Byzantines at Manzikert in 1071 and took the Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes prisoner, all of Asia Minor was open to them and their advance was virtually unstoppable. In 1076, they conquered Syria; in 1077, Jerusalem. The Seljuk Emir Atsiz bin Uwaq promised not to harm the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but once his men had entered the city, they murdered 3,000 people. But I guess Carroll would say they all committed suicide.

Carrolls coup de grace is meant to fill his readers with foreboding about the contemporary situation: Europes initiating holy war with Islamwas based on flawed intelligence, propaganda, and threat exaggeration. If Carroll had filmed Ridley Scotts recent dhimmi Crusades flop, Kingdom of Heaven, he would have cast George W. Bush as the evil Crusader Guy of Lusignan. He ascribes the political fanaticism that has lately seized the Arab Islamic religious imagination (exemplified in Osama bin Laden) to a defensive fending off of assault from the West than in anything intrinsic to Islam. Yet acceptance of his thesis here depends on the readers ignorance of the 450 years of jihadist aggression that preceded the Crusades and obliterated the Christian cultures of the Middle East and North Africa -- and which todays jihadists consider to be the direct antecedent of their own efforts. Against what were the initial conquerors of Syria, Egypt, Constantinople, Spain and all the rest defending? What is the significance of the fact that todays jihad terrorists hold to the same ideological and religious imperatives? You wont get the answers from James Carroll.

Posted by Ith at 11:28 AM

June 14, 2005

Oriana Fallaci: Muslim Target

Robert Spencer on Oriana Fallaci, and her upcoming trial for "defaming Islam" in Italy. The entire article really is a must read. It details the eighteen "outrages" in the suit against Fallaci and contains background on how Muslim groups operate in Western democracies.

A few of the eighteen:

1. Fallaci asserts that when jihad warriors occupied the Abbey of Montecassino in Italy in 883, the Muslims amused themselves by sacrificing each night the virginity of a nun. Do you know where? On the altar of the cathedral.[9] I have been unable to find historical corroboration of this without unduly delaying the completion of this article; Fallaci, who is not a historian, does not footnote her work. It is, however, well established that the invading jihadists sacked and burned the Abbey, killing its abbot, St. Bertarius.

Would they have stopped short of raping nuns and defiling the cathedral altar? Islamic law suggests otherwise. The Quran permits Muslim men to have intercourse with their wives and their slave girls: Forbidden to you are ... married women, except those whom you own as slaves (Sura 4:23-24). The slave girls are understood to be the wives of men slain in battle by the warriors of jihad. The Islamic legal manual Umdat al-Salik, which carries the endorsement of Al-Azhar University, the most respected authority in Sunni Islam, stipulates: When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the womans previous marriage is immediately annulled.[10] Why? So that they are free to become the concubines of their captors.

The Prophet Muhammad originated such legislation. After one successful battle, he told his men, Go and take any slave girl. He took one for himself also. One well-attested Islamic tradition records that the Prophet had suddenly attacked Bani Mustaliq without warning while they were heedless and their cattle were being watered at the places of water. Their fighting men were killed and their women and children were taken as captives; the Prophet got Juwairiya on that day.[11] Juwairiya bint Harith became the Prophets seventh wife.

After his notorious massacre of the Jewish Qurayzah tribe, he did it again. According to his earliest biographer, Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad went out to the market of Medina (which is still its market today) and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for [the men of Banu Qurayza] and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. After killing 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900, the Prophet of Islam took a woman whom he had just widowed, Rayhana bint Amr, as another concubine.[12] There is no tradition recording the consent of either Juwairiya or Rayhana.

According to a generally accepted Islamic tradition, when Muhammads men emerged victorious in another battle, they presented him with an ethical question: We took women captives, and we wanted to do azl [coitus interruptus] with them. Muhammad told them: It is better that you should not do it, for Allah has written whom He is going to create till the Day of Resurrection.[13] When Muhammad said it is better that you should not do it, he was referring to coitus interruptus, not to raping their captives. He took that for granted.

[....]

4. Fallaci declares: In the dream that the sons of Allah have been nurturing for years, the dream of blowing up Giottos Tower or the Tower of Pisa or the cupola of St. Peters or the Eiffel Tower or Westminster Abbey or the cathedral of Cologne and so on... This element of Smiths complaint seems predicated on the world forgetting that 9/11 ever happened. Smith evidently is banking on Italian officials also forgetting the numerous jihad terrorists who have been arrested in Europe notably the Algerian jihadists who were arrested in February before they could carry out their plan to blow up the Eiffel Tower.[21]

[....]

6. In France, says Fallaci, Islamic racism, that is the hatred of the infidel-dogs, reigns supreme and is never put on trial, never punished. Where the Muslims declare openly: We must take advantage of the democratic space that France offers us, we must exploit democracy, that is, make use of it to occupy territory. Where not a few of them add: In Europe the Nazi position was not understood. Or not by all. It was judged a vehicle of homicidal folly, when actually Hitler was a great man.

Why, what Muslim would have said such a thing in France? Hmm. Maybe Rabah Zehani, who in Lyon pelted his Jewish neighbors with a stone while shouting, Dirty Jew, Hitler didnt finish the job? Or the Muslim schoolchildren who scrawled Death to the Jews on their school walls outside Paris?[22]

[....]

15. Fallaci decries the mutilation that the Muslims force on little girls to prevent them, once they are grown...from enjoying the sexual act. It is a female castration that the Muslims practice in twenty-eight countries of Islamic Africa and because of which two million persons die each year from sepsis or loss of blood... Would Smith have us believe that Fallaci invented this? When Norways Parliament, faced with ever-increasing evidence of the practice among Muslim immigrants, just this week introduced legislation to make examinations for female genital mutilation mandatory?[29]

Fallaci remains defiant: This trial is not against me. Nor is it a trial brought by a judge in search of publicity. It is a trial aimed at creating a Precedent, the Fallaci Case. I will not deign to honor them with my presence. This lawsuit is unacceptable, unpardonable. To distort a persons thought, pick at a word here and another there, sew it all together with little dots, is illegitimate. Illicit. Illegal. Criminal. Contrary to every moral and intellectual decency. For shame![35]

During a speech in Washington in 2002, Fallaci said: The hate for the West swells like a fire fed by the wind. The clash between us and them is not a military one. It is a cultural one, a religious one, and the worst is still to come. The suit against her is just one hint of that terrible denouement.

Go read the entire article.

Posted by Ith at 9:35 AM

June 8, 2005

Small Town Terrorists

The Jawa Report is all over the arrest of terror suspects in Lodi, along with links to other reports.

One of the blog posts he links to is California Conservative who says:

In many ways, Lodi is the perfect location. Its a very small town and out-of-the-way, yet close enough to major airports and big cities like San Francisco and Sacramento, Californias capitol.

I've had similar thoughts here in Monterey. And while I certainly don't think every Muslim living here is a terrorist, there are occasionally brief moments when my Muslim business neighbours wave at me when I walk home, that I worry a little, and then feel guilty, as I smile and wave back.

(reminds me that I should post about my experience working with a bunch of Muslim men one of these days)

Later the next day: the original post over at My Pet Jawa has been updated, along with more here.

Posted by Ith at 11:27 AM | Comments (2)

April 29, 2005

Death

Akbar gets death in 2003 attack

A military jury has sentenced Sgt. Hasan Akbar to death for the 2003 murders of two officers in a grenade and rifle attack at a military camp in Kuwait. Akbar, who gave a brief, barely audible apology hours earlier, stood at attention yesterday between his lawyers as the verdict was delivered. He showed no emotion. He could have been sentenced to life in prison with or without parole for the attack, which also wounded 14 fellow members of the Army's 101st Airborne Division at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait. The 15-person military jury, which last week took just 21/2 hours to convict Akbar of premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder, deliberated for about seven hours in the sentencing phase. After jurors reached a verdict, they voted on whether to reconsider the decision after one juror asked that they do so.
Posted by Ith at 8:54 AM

November 23, 2004

It'll Be A Long Wait

I read this yesterday over on The Corner and made a note to post about it, but spaced on it.

.... my little brother is an enlisted Marine (a sniper with 1-3) in Fallujah. This weekend he called for the first time since the battle began. He informed us that a large number of the residents of Fallujah, before fleeing the battle, left blankets and bedding for the Marines and Soldiers along with notes thanking the Americans for liberating their city from the terrorists, as well as invitations to the Marines and Soldiers to sleep in their houses.

Call it a hunch, but I don't think we'll be hearing about this from the MSM any time soon. But that's just me.

Posted by Ith at 9:00 AM | Comments (4)

September 23, 2004

Are We Safer?

This article says that question misses the point.

.... Media types, candidates, partisans all appear to believe these are meaningful questions. They are not. They miss this point: Wars cannot be won by pursuing safety. They can be won only by accepting risks. A little history may help to illustrate.

In 1940, the future of freedom looked bleak. The Nazi military machine had easily and swiftly cut down the armed forces of France and Belgium. British troops had to be evacuated from the continent at Dunkirk.

Key advisors to Winston Churchill counseled him to seek terms from Hitler. And, uncharacteristically, Churchill considered that option. Finding an exit strategy certainly would have made Britain safer.

But, Churchill decided against safety. He decided instead to fight an all-out war against totalitarian extremism. He understood how perilous that would be.

If this long island story of ours is to end at last, he said, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground. (emphasis mine)

Posted by Ith at 10:27 AM | Comments (1)

August 5, 2004

U.K. Arrests Update

Turns out the sweeps and terror arrests in Britain stemmed from information gathered in Pakistan from the same source as the informtion that led to the alerts here in the U.S.

A SENIOR al-Qaeda agent was among 12 men arrested in anti-terror swoops across England two days ago, according to reports that emerged last night.

The man was arrested as a result of intelligence gathered after a raid in Pakistan last month, according to newspaper and television reports.

It was also reported that al-Qaeda operatives held in Pakistan had recently made contact with six possible conspirators in the United States, fuelling fears that the terror group is in the final stages of plans for a new attack.

The raid in Pakistan led to the discovery of computer files which suggested that British and US targets had been identified for attacks. The blueprints included a plot to bomb the QE2 passenger liner.

Pakistani officials reportedly said the arrests that took place across Britain on Tuesday were a result of the intelligence they had gathered.

Among those detained in the British raids was the senior al-Qaeda figure, they said. One report said he had planned an attack on Heathrow Airport.

You can read the whole article yourself, but I must share the kicker at the end.

Meanwhile, a House of Lords report yesterday criticised the government for discriminating against Britain's Muslim community.
Posted by Ith at 4:15 PM

August 3, 2004

Britain: 13 Arrested In Terror Raids

Tuesday, 3 August, 2004, 22:03 GMT 23:03 UK

Thirteen men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 after raids in London and three English counties.

The arrests were made in north-west London, Hertfordshire, Luton in Bedfordshire and Blackburn, Lancashire.

Police said the men, aged in their 20s and 30s, were suspected of involvement in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.

Officers from the Met's Anti-Terrorist branch were backed by local forces in the "intelligence-led, pre-planned" operation.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said the suspects would be brought to a central London police station for questioning.

Officers are continuing to search "residential premises" in London, Luton, Blackburn and Bushey, Hertfordshire.

A statement said: "Today's operation is part of continuing and extensive inquiries by police and the security service into alleged international terrorism."

More at the BBC.

Posted by Ith at 3:13 PM

July 15, 2004

Rumours

Listening to Rush and he's talking about rumours and scuttlebut: Libyan nuke scientists were working in Iraq for Saddam.

Posted by Ith at 10:30 AM | Comments (5)

July 6, 2004

Back With The Bad Guys

Several detainees released by the U.S. military from the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have rejoined their former comrades-in-arms and taken part in fresh attacks on American troops, according to Defense Department officials and a senior Republican lawmaker.

A hearty "AVAST!" to QandO for the link.

Posted by Ith at 5:03 PM | Comments (1)

July 5, 2004

Psychologically Reassuring

Another email list conversation I have going. This time on the election and the public's need for psychological reassurance. These two articles touch upon something I've believed for a while, that rather than face reality, many people would rather believe someone like Moore. Look at how Churchill was vilified in the years prior to WWII when he tried to warn of the danger. I think it's human nature, and a dangerous aspect of it at that. But no matter what fantasy Moore spins, the facts are that we live in very dangerous times, it's going to be a long war, and a lot more of us are going to be killed. And yes, I fervently hope I'm wrong time. But like 9/11, for me, the writing is on the wall.

The first was an article in the Telegraph:

.... Moore is the most powerful spokesman of the myth that gripped the Spanish people when they elected Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero as their Prime Minister in the wake of the Madrid bombing: namely, that if we oust specific politicians from office - replace Bush with Kerry, Blair with Brown - the Islamic fundamentalists will leave us alone. It is, of course, psychologically reassuring for voters to be told that they have this power, that there is something quick and clean they can do about their collective predicament. But it is also a fantasy. The theocratic guerrillas of al-Qaeda and its associates who, it emerged last week, were planning to bomb a British primary school in Madrid and, on Friday, promised fresh attacks in Europe, will not be appeased by any number of political scalps. Their ambitions for the world are much greater and more terrifying.

And Peggy Noonan's latest:

.... But let me share a thought I've been having that is not so jolly. It has to do with Mr. Bush's re-election prospects and a worry I have. History has been too dramatic the past 3 1/2 years. It has been too exciting. Economic recession, 9/11, war, Afghanistan, Iraq, fighting with Europe. fighting with the U.N., boys going off to fight, Pat Tillman, beheadings. It has been so exciting. And my general sense of Americans is that we like things to be boring. Or rather we like history to be boring; we like our lives to be exciting. We like history to be like something Calvin Coolidge dreamed: dull, dull. dull. And then we complain about the dullness, and invent excitements that are the kind we really like: moon shots, spaceships, curing diseases. Big tax cuts that encourage big growth that creates lots of jobs for young people just out of school.

No, I am not suggesting all our recent excitement is Mr. Bush's fault. History handed him what it handed him. And no, I am not saying the decisions he took were wrong or right or some degree of either. I'm saying it's all for whatever reasons been more dramatic than Americans in general like history to be.

Here is my fear: that the American people, liking and respecting President Bush, and knowing he's a straight shooter with guts, will still feel a great temptation to turn to the boring and disingenuous John Kerry. He'll never do anything exciting. He doesn't have the guts to be exciting. And as he doesn't stand for anything, he won't have to take hard stands. He'll do things like go to France and talk French and they'll love it. He'll say he's the man who accompanied Teresa Heinz to Paris, only this time he'll say it in French and perfectly accented and they'll all go "ooh la la!"

The American people may come to feel that George W. Bush did the job history sent him to do. He handled 9/11, turned the economy around, went into Afghanistan, captured and removed Saddam Hussein. And now let's hire someone who'll just by his presence function as an emollient. A big greasy one but an emollient nonetheless.

I just have a feeling this sort of thing may have some impact this year. "A return to normalcy," with Mr. Kerry as the normal guy.

Posted by Ith at 6:55 PM | Comments (1)

June 29, 2004

Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud

This post is required reading. A subject I've been pondering that Michele nails.

And this is the other bit of required reading today. I read it yesterday, but ended up not blogging at all (I was oh so sick yesterday) so I pass it on a day late.

Later: Add this to the list.

Posted by Ith at 9:09 AM

June 23, 2004

Al Qaeda & Russian Nukes

Rush's guest host is currently going over things in the 9/11 Commission Staff Report that he thinks most of us haven't heard about. One real eye opener is that Al Qaeda had plans to take over a Russian missile site and force the crew there to launch a nuclear missile at us.

I don't know, but I'd say that would be something that the media would have wanted to inform us all about. But I guess they're too busy lying about what the report said to actually report on something significant.

But that's just me.

Posted by Ith at 11:32 AM | Comments (2)

June 18, 2004

We Have An Enemy

As is her habit, Debbye cuts right through the crap:

We have an enemy. It's name is al Qaeda. It has condemned all of us to death. And how do we respond? By holding partisan-driven commissions to find some way of blaming our government for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. By asking why do they hate us, which rather ignores that anyone who hates "us" so much that they personally inflict horrific deaths upon Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, and Paul Johnson are psychopaths.

A church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed in 1963 and four little girls were killed. The country didn't ask "Why do they hate Negroes" but joined together to condemn the hatred that killed those children and to renew efforts in the Civil Rights Movement.

Did people ask why Clifford Olson hated children?

Did people ask why Marc Lepine hated women after he went on a rampage at an Engineering School or did they confront the hatred and condemn it?

Of course there was countless speculation as to their deranged reasons, but no one credible concluded that the Klan, Olson and Lepine had good reasons to hate their victims and urged black Americans, women and children to mend their wicked, wicked ways.

Canadians didn't conclude that those women and children deserved to die for the sins of other women and children.

Moral equivalence is not moral. It's not even rational.

Posted by Ith at 4:47 PM | Comments (1)

Just Too Nice

This was over on The Corner this morning:

.... Here, for example, is what former Iraqi Governing Council member Younadem Kana, an Assyrian Christian, told NROs Meghan Clyne a few weeks ago: If Iraqis are upset with the American troops, it's mostly because they are very nice too nice with these criminals, dealing with them as prisoners of war. But they are not prisoners of war, they are criminals; they are killers. But Geneva Convention rules put pressure on the Americans to be nice, and to take good care of them.

Sing it, brother!

Posted by Ith at 4:16 PM

Japan Was Target Of al-Qaeda

Al-Qaeda terrorists in 1999 planned to carry out large-scale attacks in Japan, South Korea and Singapore, according to a report released Wednesday by an independent panel investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The plot to hijack commercial planes and crash them into U.S. targets in these countries represented an alternate to a plan to hijack commercial U.S. airliners on Pacific routes from Southeast Asia and blow them up in midair.

"By April or May 2000, however, (Osama) bin Laden had decided to cancel the Southeast Asia part of the planes operation because he believed it would be too difficult to synchronize the hijacking and crashing of flights on opposite sides of the globe," observes the staff report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States.

The report specifies no exact targets in the three countries, though they are believed to have included U.S. military bases in Japan.

The rest here.

Posted by Ith at 11:33 AM

June 17, 2004

Nope, Nothing To See Here

Move along, move along.

Posted by Ith at 10:38 AM

June 15, 2004

Iran Massing Troops On Iraq Border

At least according to this UPI report.

Posted by Ith at 4:13 PM | Comments (1)

June 9, 2004

It's My Mood Tonight

Anyone else see this headline "Lawyer says Saddam subjected to torture...", and think what I thought?

Posted by Ith at 6:14 PM | Comments (4)

May 27, 2004

Al-Qaeda Related Arrests In Japan


Police on Wednesday arrested five men suspected of violating immigration and other laws as part of an investigation into an alleged senior member of the al-Qaeda terrorist network who spent time in Japan.

Arrested were Islam Mohamed Himu, 33, a Bangladeshi residing in Toda, Saitama Prefecture; Bangladeshi Ahmed Faishal, 26, of Kawaguchi; Kane Yaya, 41, a Mali national living in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward; construction worker Syed Naseer Syed Gaffar, 32, an Indian national living in the village of Higashi, Gunma Prefecture; and Md Muktar Hossain, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi living in Kawaguchi.

The arrests were made during searches of more than 10 locations in Tokyo, Saitama, Kanagawa, Gunma and Niigata prefectures that included the homes and offices of foreign Muslims living in Japan.

It was recently learned that Lionel Dumont, 33, a French national of Algerian descent believed to be a senior al-Qaeda member, lived in Japan until September. He made telephone calls to these locations after he left Japan and before his arrest in Germany in December.

It is the first time that Japanese authorities have arrested people believed to be tied to key al-Qaeda members.

The rest of the article here.

Posted by Ith at 12:36 PM

May 20, 2004

When, Not If

FBI BULLETIN: LOOKOUT FOR SUICIDE BOMBERS INSIDE THE U.S.

No, not a surprise, I know.

New York - The FBI has disseminated to 18,000 law enforcement agencies an intelligence bulletin advising police officials to be on the lookout for suicide bombers attempting to strike inside the US, TIME's Elaine Shannon reports today on TIME.com. The lightly classsified bulletin, headlined "Possible suicide bomber indicators," and circulated earlier today (May 20) via the FBO's secure Law Enforcement Online (LEO) Intranet, warns local badge-carriers to look for obvious signs of trouble - people wearing heavy, bulky jackets on warm days, smelling of chemicals, trailing wires from their jackets - and, as well, more subtle ones, such as tightly clenched fists. Someone who never shows his palms could be gripping a detonator rigged to go off when a button is released. "If you shoot him, you're still not safe because his hands relax and the bomb explodes," says a counter-terrorism official, TIME reports.

The FBI bulletin also notes that suicide bombers may disguise themselves in stolen military, police or firefighter's garb or as pregnant women, TIME reports.

Posted by Ith at 7:19 PM

May 19, 2004

A Letter To The Folks Back Home

This is from our local Carmel paper, the "Pine Cone":

Editors note: There are more than 120,000 American soldiers in Iraq. To the big city news media, however, only a handful of soldiers are newsworthy the ones who had something horrible happen to them, and the ones who did something bad to somebody else. In an effort to give a voice to the vast majority of the troops on the front lines, we have asked several local soldiers to send us essays about their experiences in the Iraq War. The first comes from a soldier serving in south Baghdad.

Dear readers of The Carmel Pine Cone,

My name is Captain Kevin M. Polosky and I am currently the Company Commander for A Company, 515th Forward Support Battalion. We are part of the 1st Cavalry Division, stationed out of Ft. Hood, Texas. I am a California native, having grown up in the Bay Area, and currently both my parents and grandparents are residents of Carmel. My company is deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and we are stationed in southern Baghdad.

My company is unique in that we were set up with the sole purpose of deploying to Iraq and providing logistical support to units of the 5th Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. We were formed on 14 January 2004 and began putting vehicles on a ship on 23 January. I received around 200 soldiers from various units within the Division, all with specific jobs that will help provide the support the units in Baghdad need. We were forced to quickly come together as a unit, and my soldiers responded. They immediately began bonding and are now as close as any unit I have ever been affiliated with.

For the rest, click on "MORE"

We deployed to Southwest Asia on 10 March, and spent about two weeks in Kuwait preparing for the long move up to Baghdad. On 23 March we got the call to move forward and start the convoy up. Crossing into Iraq was a surreal experience. The border is nothing special, a small U.S.-presence, a couple of buildings and some barricades. There is no difference at that point in the terrain between Iraq and Kuwait, but when we crossed that border I knew things were different. A feeling came over me where I knew that we were in a totally different environment, and we had to be prepared for anything.

The convoy itself was a difficult mission. I led about 90 troops and their vehicles on that long march from Kuwait to Iraq. We spent most of the time on highways and I was amazed at how normal things looked. I was expecting to see just complete chaos; instead I saw what seemed to be everyday life. Vehicles driving up and down the roads with locals taking themselves to where they needed to go. There are military checkpoints along the route that served as welcome refueling and rest stops.

The convoy took about two days, but thankfully we all arrived safely.

Once we arrived, we immediately began work. As stated earlier, my companys main mission is support, and we started setting up all the things that we needed to support the troops. We established a retail fuel point, basically a gas station. However, instead of Fords and Chevys, we fill up tanks and Humvees. We established a water point, and began producing water. We basically have what would equate to a giant Brita, which turns dirty water clean. That way the water that gets used is fit for American soldiers. We set up a warehouse which is like the Armys Wal-Mart. Units order parts, and they are all received in my warehouse. My soldiers then inventory them, sort them and issue them to the units. I also have about 100 mechanics in my company and they began fixing anything they could get their hands on. We can fix just about anything in the Army inventory, ranging from an M16 to a tank.

All of my soldiers have a second mission, which is convoy operations. We go out everyday in search of supplies that will help us better support the soldiers with whom we are stationed. Convoy operations are without a doubt the most dangerous thing we do, and we take it very seriously. Driving in Iraq is crazy. Unlike the highways, the roads in the towns have no lines. Vehicles make their own way with little to no concern for those around them. Our convoys end up turning into mini-Nascar races, but the professionalism of our soldiers ensures that the highest safety standards are always maintained.

My soldiers lives in Baghdad are definitely different then what they left in the States. They work hard, most of them pulling 16- to 18-hour days. There is a constant fear of attack, but at the same time a calming knowledge that we are prepared.

The conditions in our camp are great. My soldiers have a gym, a great chow hall and access to internet and phones. The lines are sometimes long, but most soldiers are able to contact home a couple times a week. We live in barracks that have power and running water, and most soldiers are able to watch DVDs in their room in their limited off time. The happiest time around here is mail call. We get mail about four times a week and receiving mail is without a doubt the event that lifts my soldiers spirits the most.

Whether its a care package or just a card, mail has a tremendous effect on my soldiers. So if you are asking yourself what can you do to show your support, sending some mail is the best way. If you would like to write to my soldiers, you can send letters or packages to:

Any Soldier,
A Company, 515th FSB
Camp Huggins
APO AE, 09310

Finally I just want to thank the American people for their support. No matter what your personal opinions are on the war, remember that we have soldiers over here everyday fighting for your freedom. These soldiers are making great sacrifices for their country everyday, so please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. And like the Toby Keith song says, sleep in peace tonight, knowing that my soldiers are over here, and will never quit until our mission is complete.

-- Captain Kevin M. Polosky, Baghdad

Posted by Ith at 1:41 PM | Comments (2)

May 13, 2004

A Question

Zombyboy has a question.

Posted by Ith at 4:02 PM

Three Letters

Citizen Smash has links to three messages from Iraq that you should read.

Posted by Ith at 11:11 AM

A List Of Three

Debbye's blog is one you should have on your daily read list, you really should. I always find news and insight there I don't find anywhere else. But if you aren't reading her regularly, may I suggest you read these three posts:

Nick Berg II

Internet a Training Camp for al Qaeda

Saddam Sues Britain in ICC

Posted by Ith at 11:02 AM

May 11, 2004

This Is What It's About

I found this post at INDC Journal via Willow, and this section in particular I found to be very powerful:

If you were horrified by what that small group of men did with a knife and a video camera, ponder what they yearn to do with highly efficient chemical agents, nuclear material or future nanotechnology. There is no exit strategy in Iraq, merely victory or defeat in the first or second round of a lifelong, messy epic battle - civilization vs. those that wish to destroy it. It's going to be ugly, it's going to involve defeats and it will not be politically expedient. Pick sides and fight, feel free to examine and question tactics, but don't for a second think that ignoring the war or withdrawing from individual battles will make its consequences disappear.
Posted by Ith at 5:49 PM | Comments (1)

May 7, 2004

Can I Just Say...

God Bless Joe Leiberman.

Posted by Ith at 10:41 AM | Comments (4)

Black Hearts

.... Lets get something straight: we will not win the hearts and minds of the Muslim world. From what I can see a significant number of them have black hearts and minds rotten with inherited centuries of Jew-hatred and resentment of the way the rest of the world has passed them by in their self-imposed cultural and spiritual prison.

Read all of "Abyss"

Posted by Ith at 10:21 AM | Comments (3)

May 6, 2004

A Letter From Iraq

This was written by a Marine Naval reservist who is a good friend of my longtime buddy Carolyn.

The marines, as you have no doubt heard on the popular press back home, have changed their posture within the town of Falluja. The press is characterizing it as a withdrawl, or even in some cases as a retreat, never failing to mention the number of dead in the area over some time period or other.

The mood out here is good, and the morale at Al Taquaddam (TQ for short) is upbeat. To a Marine, the words withdrawl or retreat are considered dirty words, not to be spoken aloud. I have the benefit from where I'm at to read the various intel briefs and the commanders brief, and I can honestly say that there is no withdrawl from Falluja of any kind. What has happened in the last few days could almost be seen as a breakthrough in our relations with the local population here at Falluja.

A former Army officer came to the Marine forces and offered his help. His idea was this-- to form a new branch of the Iraqi army, under the control of the Marine Expiditionary Force in charge of the region, and use this force to police Falluja on their own. He has and is actively recruiting former army officers and enlisted that were under his command, and has pledged his forces to route the same insurgents that are destabilizing he region that we have been fighting.

We've turned over a portion of the city to them, under our watch and very closely monitored to start, to see if it works out well. This has the benefit of beginning a stabilization process that could provide the means by which Iraq could become the self-governing democracy we envision for them. If this force can provide stabilization to the region, we can use our forces to get on to the business of building a country instead of fighting insurgents.

So it's certainly not as the press is characterizing it, but is rather a return to what we should have been doing all along, before the insurgents took the city. I think the bad guys will have a very unpleasant surprise when they challenge the new army. I also hope that the mistrust the people here have for the marines will be soothed once they discover that they do indeed have a say in their destiny.

Posted by Ith at 5:29 PM | Comments (3)

April 15, 2004

PC Really Does Kill

This article is quite the eye opener. I can't believe I haven't heard about it before:

Richard Ben-Veniste and Bob Kerrey received the lion's share of media attention paid to last week's 9/11 Commission hearing with Condoleezza Rice, thanks to their generally intemperate questioning style. But while Ben-Veniste and Kerrey played to the cameras, it was their colleague, John Lehman, who was breaking new ground with the national-security adviser, but few noticed.

[....]

Among Lehman's questions was this: "Were you aware that it was the policy...to fine airlines if they have more than two young Arab males in secondary questioning because that's discriminatory?"

[....]

"We had testimony a couple of months ago from the past president of United, and current president of American Airlines that kind of shocked us all," Lehman told me. "They said under oath that indeed the Department of Transportation continued to fine any airline that was caught having more than two people of the same ethnic persuasion in a secondary line for line for questioning, including and especially, two Arabs."

Wait a minute. So if airline security had three suspicious Arab guys they had had to let one go because they'd reached a quota?

[....]

.... The fact is that our enemy is the violent Islamic extremism and the overwhelming number of people that one need to worry about are young Arab males, and to ask them a couple of extra questions seems to me to be common sense, yet if an airline does that in numbers that are more than proportionate to their number in particular line, then they get fined and that is why you see so many blue haired old ladies and people that are clearly not of Middle Eastern extraction being hauled out in such numbers because otherwise they get fined."

Read it all.

Posted by Ith at 1:06 PM | Comments (2)

April 4, 2004

U.S. MI5?

According to this article, the 9/11 may reccomend creating an MI5 like agency to hunt terrorists in the country:

.... The FBI lapses have led some commissioners to consider recommending an overhaul of U.S. intelligence in their final report, due July 26. That could include a proposal to break up the FBI and create a new domestic spy agency, similar to Britain's MI5, to hunt terrorists inside the country. "This is perhaps our most difficult choice," Kean tells Newsweek. FBI Director Robert Mueller is fighting the idea. A possible compromise: a semi-independent anti- terrorist unit inside the FBI.

Do we need a whole new agency, or will restructuring existing parts of the FBI be sufficient?

Posted by Ith at 3:39 PM | Comments (1)

April 3, 2004

Jihad Next Door?

Via Nick, this link to a map that purports to show active Islamic terror cells in the U.S.

Posted by Ith at 1:54 PM

March 31, 2004

An Apt Analogy

What I thought was a good analogy on the radio this morning: that what happened, and has been happening, in Fallujah is comparable to the situation in Germany after WWII when hold out Nazis would attack our troops.

Fallujah was a Ba'ath party stronghold, and the holdouts there have the most to lose with freedom coming to Iraq since they were part of the apparatus that kept their country in a stranglehold of fear and death.

Posted by Ith at 12:03 PM

March 18, 2004

Taking Care Of Business

Citizen Smash points out this heartening news about the latest actions taken by the citizens of Basra:

In Basra, a city in southern Iraq that is patrolled by British military forces, a man suspected of being involved in the bombing got out of the vehicle shortly before the blast but was caught by passers-by and stabbed to death, Lt. Col. Ali Kazem of the Iraqi police said. Two others also spotted getting out of the vehicle before the explosion were caught by members of the public and later arrested.
Posted by Ith at 5:42 PM | Comments (1)

March 15, 2004

The Dane-geld

Two items of interest from the Corner today.

First, this poem by Rudyard Kipling, titled "The Dane-geld". Second, this excerpt from The London Guardian:

"An international conference, to bridge the divide between Muslim and Christian communities, should be one first step. But there are many others. We need to take the fight against terror out of America's hands. We need to get beyond the them and us, the good guys and the bad guys, and seek a genuinely collective response. Europe should seize the moment that America failed to grasp. "

See? I've always said the left thinks that a big ol' group hug and some folk songs would solve everything. This only reinforces that belief.

Maroons.

Posted by Ith at 5:40 PM

Score One For The Bad Guys

Trying to catch up after being news free most of the weekend. I was saddened by the results of the election in Spain, I really was. It was a win for the terrorists as far as I can see. So who's next? Italy? Britain? Australia (again) Us? Any or all of the above wouldn't surprise me. I wish I could believe that hunkering down and trying to make sure the terrorists won't notice us so they'll leave us alone was a notion with any sort of basis in reality, but it isn't. History has proved that again and again. If we back down, all that will happen is that the terrorists will use the respite to work on even more deadly weapons, and one day, they'll use them. And they'll do so happily, praising their god that the infidels were friggin morons.

The other aspect of all this is the left, right on cue, is spinning this fast enough to make your head whirl around uncontrollably. Let me get this right: first, none of the allies we had going into Iraq were "real" allies. In other words, they weren't France and Germany. But now, Spain was our staunchest of allies, and we brought this down on them. Two, Al-Qaeda had nothing to with Iraq, there's no proof of any connection between the two. It was all a "Bush Lied!!". But now we're told that -- assuming it was Al-Qaeda - that the attack happened because Spain was an ally in the Iraq war. That sound about right? Did I miss anything?

Dangerous times we're living in. Dangerous times.

For an explanation of the election in Spain with a breakdown and some much needed context, check out this post at Paul's. He's been all over this situation in Spain, and if you haven't been reading his posts on the subject, you really should.

Posted by Ith at 7:45 AM | Comments (2)

March 11, 2004

And At Debbye's

Debbye is keeping up with the Madrid situation on her blog, so that can be another regular visit for you today.

My lunch is almost over, so this will probably be it for me.

Posted by Ith at 1:40 PM

Spain Terror Update

For those wanting on the ground information of this morning's terror attack in Spain, Paul is translating articles from Spanish news services as he gets them and posting them on his blog.

Posted by Ith at 1:12 PM

More Bad News In The Morning

Seems like I always wake up to bad news. This time the terror attack in Spain. The last I heard as I was turning off the TV was 186 dead with that number expected to rise.

My prayers are with the vicitms and their families this day.

Update: this from The Corner Ana Palacio, Spain's foreign minister, was just on CNN by phone. She yelled at anchor Carol Costello for calling ETA, a Basque terror group, a separatist group. (ETA's believed to be behind the attack this morning.) Someone should sic Palacio on the U.S. wire services. I did note that the FNC reporter called ETA a "terrorist group".

Update: Also from the Corner AL QAEDA STATEMENT, CIRCA OCT 2003: "Let the unjust ones know that we maintain our right to reply, at the appropriate time and place, to all the states that are taking part in this unjust war, particularly Britain, Spain, Australia, Poland, Japan, and Italy."

Posted by Ith at 7:55 AM | Comments (1)

December 21, 2003

Raised

The terror alert has been raised, partly it seems , based on those reports from Friday.

Accorsing to Tom Ridge: "These credible sources suggest the possibility of attacks against the homeland around the holiday season and beyond," he said. "These strategic indicators, including Al Qaeda's continued desire to carry out attacks against our homeland, are perhaps greater now than at any point since Sept. 11."

Everyone take care out there.

Posted by Ith at 12:00 PM

December 19, 2003

Terror Threat to New York?

Michele is reporting this news story:
U.S. Intelligence Learn of Terror Threats to New York and Other Cities

There are some additional details in the comments of her post as well.

Something I was going to mention in my RotK report when I got to it, was the presence of security guards in the theater Wednesday. Never had that happen before. Oddly enough, I had a discussion with Jen before we went to the theater that I try and be aware of my surroundings and the people around me when I'm in a theater or crowded public place because I figure it's only a matter of time before we're hit with homicide bombings.

Posted by Ith at 9:48 AM | Comments (1)

December 15, 2003

How?

I've seen revolving headlines all day about what Saddam is supposedly telling interrogators. My question: how do they know? Shouldn't something like this be done at the highest levels of security?

Posted by Ith at 5:42 PM | Comments (3)

What Does He Know?

Here's a bit of an update to my post of Saturday afternoon on the Atta-Nidal-Saddam connection.

On the Interrogation List

.... Abu Nidal's appearance in this memo is intriguing. The perpetrator of attacks that killed at least 275 people and injured some 625 others moved to Baghdad in 1999 where he lived under Hussein's protection. But on August 16, 2002, Nidal committed suicide, Baathist officials claimed. What they could not explain, however, is how Nidal killed himself with four bullets to the head.

Did Saddam Hussein, fearing an impending U.S. invasion, eliminate Nidal as Mohammed Atta's former tutor? Remember: Hussein's Salman Pak terrorist training camp 15 miles from Baghdad housed an airline fuselage in which Islamic extremists reportedly learned to commandeer jets with in-flight cutlery.

As for that memo, a leading member of Iraq's governing council told Coughlin: "There are people who are working with us who used to work with Habbush who are convinced that it is his handwriting and signature. We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's dealings with al-Qaeda, and this document shows the extent of the old regime's involvement with the international terrorist network."

Posted by Ith at 7:55 AM

December 14, 2003

Late To The Party

But I've been reading and emaiing about the great news. Now, finally, I get to blogging!

Saddam Captured!!

There's much good bloggage on the subject, most that you've probably read. So the only suggestion I'd make, is if you haven't already, check out The Corner. They have some good snippets of TV media reaction to the news. About what you'd expect, but illuminating nonetheless!

Other than that, enjoy this day! And I hope this is the start of a new era for all Iraqis!

Posted by Ith at 12:43 PM

December 13, 2003

Atta, Nidal, & Saddam

Terrorist behind September 11 strike was trained by Saddam

Iraq's coalition government claims that it has uncovered documentary proof that Mohammed Atta, the al-Qaeda mastermind of the September 11 attacks against the US, was trained in Baghdad by Abu Nidal, the notorious Palestinian terrorist.

Details of Atta's visit to the Iraqi capital in the summer of 2001, just weeks before he launched the most devastating terrorist attack in US history, are contained in a top secret memo written to Saddam Hussein, the then Iraqi president, by Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti, the former head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service.

The handwritten memo, a copy of which has been obtained exclusively by the Telegraph, is dated July 1, 2001 and provides a short resume of a three-day "work programme" Atta had undertaken at Abu Nidal's base in Baghdad.

In the memo, Habbush reports that Atta "displayed extraordinary effort" and demonstrated his ability to lead the team that would be "responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy".

Read it all.

Posted by Ith at 5:50 PM | Comments (7)

November 14, 2003

Osama & Saddam

My head hurts too much right now to fully digest this, but that doesn't mean you can't!

Case Closed From the November 24, 2003 issue: The U.S. government's secret memo detailing cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. by Stephen F. Hayes

11/24/2003, Volume 009, Issue 11

OSAMA BIN LADEN and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003 that involved training in explosives and weapons of mass destruction, logistical support for terrorist attacks, al Qaeda training camps and safe haven in Iraq, and Iraqi financial support for al Qaeda--perhaps even for Mohamed Atta--according to a top secret U.S. government memorandum obtained by THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

The memo, dated October 27, 2003, was sent from Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith to Senators Pat Roberts and Jay Rockefeller, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was written in response to a request from the committee as part of its investigation into prewar intelligence claims made by the administration. Intelligence reporting included in the 16-page memo comes from a variety of domestic and foreign agencies, including the FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency. Much of the evidence is detailed, conclusive, and corroborated by multiple sources. Some of it is new information obtained in custodial interviews with high-level al Qaeda terrorists and Iraqi officials, and some of it is more than a decade old. The picture that emerges is one of a history of collaboration between two of America's most determined and dangerous enemies.

According to the memo--which lays out the intelligence in 50 numbered points--Iraq-al Qaeda contacts began in 1990 and continued through mid-March 2003, days before the Iraq War began. Most of the numbered passages contain straight, fact-based intelligence reporting, which in
some cases includes an evaluation of the credibility of the source. This reporting is often followed by commentary and analysis.

There's lots of detail after this -- the parts I'll have to leave till I'm more with it.

Posted by Ith at 5:46 PM

October 23, 2003

Friends List

Via USS Clueless, a list of what countries are helping out in Iraq. It makes for some interesting reading. And worth remembering when your liberal friends insist the entire world is against us. Well, I have friends like that. Don't know about you all :)

Posted by Ith at 5:39 PM | Comments (7)

October 20, 2003

Looking Into It

It appears that the Pentagon is looking into the report of troops languishing without medical care that I posted about last week.

Posted by Ith at 6:15 AM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2003

Remember

It's the one year aniversary of the terrorist bombing in Bali. There were 202 victims, 88 of which were Australians on holiday.

....In Sydney, on a wind-swept headland, several thousand mourners gathered to dedicate to the victims and survivors a 13-foot-high bronze sculpture of three tall figures leaning on each other in grief, anger and hope.

The memorial overlooks the ocean at Dolphins Point, recently renamed to honor six young men from the Coogee Beach Dolphins rugby league club who lost their lives in the blasts.

"You have to remember the great things and the wonderful times you had with everyone who died," said David Byron, who lost his 15-year-old daughter, Chloe, in the attack.

Despite foreign ministry warnings to avoid Indonesia because of the risk of more terror attacks, about 1,600 Australians also attended a memorial service in Bali.

"We haven't forgotten you; we never will," Prime Minister John Howard said at the Bali service after the names of the victims were read to the mourners. "Australia will never forget Oct. 12, 2002."

Posted by Ith at 12:51 PM

October 6, 2003

What's The Problem?

I saw this headline:

Egypt says Arafat removal would be 'terrorist act'...

And I thought, a terrorist act? Egypt has always been down with that, so what are they whining about?

Oh, right! They're only into terror acts their buds commit, aren't they?

I think it's long past time Israel took Arafat out. We certainly wouldn't put up with it, why should Israel?

Posted by Ith at 7:59 AM | Comments (1)

October 5, 2003

See?

I wake up, check the news, and see Israel attacked a camp in Syria (a good thing), and that the UN is calling an emergency meeting.

Posted by Ith at 11:02 AM | Comments (3)

October 1, 2003

Bears Watching

Kuwait foils smuggling of chemicals, bio warheads from Iraq Associated Press

Kuwait City, October 2 Kuwaiti security authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle $60 million worth of chemical weapons and biological warheads from Iraq to an unnamed European country, a Kuwaiti newspaper said on Wednesday.

The pro-Government Al-Siyassah, quoting an unnamed security source, said the suspects had been watched by security since they arrived in Kuwait and were arrested "in due time." It did not say when or how the smugglers entered Kuwait or when they were arrested.

The paper said the smugglers might have had accomplices inside Kuwait. It said Interior Minister Sheik Nawwaf Al Ahmed Al Sabah would hand over the smuggled weapons to an FBI agent at a news conference, but did not say when.

Government officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Iraqi Interior Minister Nouri Al-Badran met on Tuesday with Sheik Nawwaf and discussed cooperation between the two countries in security matters. His visit is the first by an Iraqi interior minister to Kuwait since 1990.

Posted by Ith at 5:41 PM

September 24, 2003

The Big Lie

Interesting article over on FNC that refutes the belief that the CIA funded Bin Laden.

It is time to lay to rest the nagging doubt held by many Americans that our government was somehow responsible for fostering bin Laden. It's not true and it leaves the false impression that we brought the Sept. 11 attacks down on ourselves. While it is impossible to prove a negative, all available evidence suggests that bin Laden (search) was never funded, trained or armed by the CIA.

[....]

Why is this myth of CIA support for bin Laden so persistent? Some find the myth persuasive because they do not know that America and Saudi Arabia funded two different sets of anti-Soviet fighters. Others on the anti-American left and right, in both Europe and America, find it oddly comforting. It gives solace to those who want to think the worst of us. The CIA-funding myth allows them to return to a familiar pattern, to blame America first. Whatever the cause, this myth weakens Americas case for the war on terror by setting up a moral equivalency between America and Al Qaeda (search). This animates protests at home and makes it harder to win allies abroad.

When former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (search) learned that a Saudi prince had blamed U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 atrocity, he famously turned down the prince's $10 million donation. His words at the time could be applied to the myth of CIA support for bin Laden: There is no moral equivalent for this attack, he said. Not only are these statements wrong, they're part of the problem.

Posted by Ith at 7:40 AM

August 26, 2003

Why

Rachel has a post up that echoes a sentiment I'm seeing all over the last few days:

Let me get this straight - I have to be subjected to hundreds of hours of programming about Laci friggin' Peterson over the last nine months, on regular news, breaking news, news magazines, even some A&E program - but "nothing special" about 9/11 on its second anniversary? That's just one example. The news people spend completely obnoxious amounts of time on "special" programming for all manner of utter and complete crap, but only TWO YEARS after the worst day in America's history, they're not going to bother devoting primetime air to commemorate that catastrophe?

I don't get it. I don't get it. I. Do. Not. Get. It.

John Derbyshire at NRO says:

Yesterday, waiting for a train in Penn Station, I was browsing a magazine in one of the newsstands. Suddenly I came across a 9/11 picture--one showing people jumping to their deaths from the burning World Trade Center. Looking at it, I felt that anger all over again, as hot and fierce as ever. We should all feel it, much more often than (I think) we do. Never, never forget what these swine did to us. Never let up on them, never let our government let up on them, until the last rat has been hunted down to the last rat-hole and killed stone dead. And the people who finance them, and help them, and cheer them on--they have it coming, too.

And if you have to be reminded why we feel this way, check out this excerpt of a press release of an Islamic extremist group based in the UK:

Two years on then, it seems that during their customary 1 minutes silence in NewYork and elsewhere on September the 11th 2003, Muslims worldwide will again be watching replays of the collapse of the Twin Towers, praying to Allah (SWT) to grant those magnificent 19, Paradise. They will also be praying for the reverberations to continue until the eradication of all man-made law and the implementation of divine law in the form of the Khilafah - carrying the message of Islam to the world and striving for Izhar ud-Deen i.e. the total domination of the world by Islam.

And this one (links and commentary on the following are here):

One of the many benefits of 9/11 was that it clearly delineated the two camps of Islam and Kufr (non-Islam), the camp of Haq (truth) and that of Batil (falsehood), the camp of sovereignty and supremacy for God as opposed to sovereignty and supremacy for man made law. Verily Muslims have no choice but to reject all alliances apart from those with Muslims. This means rejecting the UN and any organisation or body propagating man made law. As Allah (SWT) says in the Qur'an:

'O believers do not take the Jews and Christians as friends and protectors. They are just supporters of and love each other alone. And whoever does turn to them is one of them. Verily Allah does not guide the oppressors' [EMQ 5:51]

And 'The believers are a single brotherhood' [EMQ 49:10]

Let it be known therefore that all regimes, governments and bodies (implementing man made law) in the world today are rejected by Muslims and that the only legitimate authority, recognised in Islam on the state level, is that of the Islamic State i.e. Al-Khilafah, which must be established by Muslims and which will carry the message of Islam to the world - striving for Izhar ud-Deen i.e. the total domination of the world by Islam, through its divine foreign policy of Jihad.

That clear enough for all of us?

As the President said today:

"No nation can be neutral in the struggle between civilization and chaos. Every nation that stands on the side of freedom and the value of human life must act against the few who would destroy the hopes of many,"

What he said.

Posted by Ith at 5:29 PM | Comments (4)

August 21, 2003

Last Words

"I'm just going to the wedding, to the Wailing Wall and I'm coming right back home," she told friends.

The entire tragic story and a prayer from Huw are here.

Posted by Ith at 5:24 PM | Comments (3)

August 14, 2003

A Monumental Blow

From the New York Times via The Corner:

Iraq is the nexus where many issues are coming together Islam versus democracy, the West versus the axis of evil, Arab nationalism versus some different types of political culture," said Barham Saleh, the prime minister of this Kurdish-controlled part of northern Iraq. "If the Americans succeed here, this will be a monumental blow to everything the terrorists stand for."
Posted by Ith at 7:41 AM

August 12, 2003

25th Hijacker?

Interesting article over at the WSJ. Here's some of it:

New information about Zacarias Moussaoui's alleged role in the Sept. 11 attacks should give pause to the Bush administration's critics. This information underscores not only the high stakes in the drama now playing out in an Alexandria, Va., courtroom, but also the necessity for aggressiveness in combating terrorism inside the U.S.

The bombshell is in court documents unsealed late last week by Judge Leonie Brinkema, who is presiding over the Moussaoui trial. Judge Brinkema may dismiss conspiracy charges against Moussaoui because prosecutors are defying her orders to allow Moussaoui (who is acting as his own lawyer) to depose top al Qaeda operatives Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who are in U.S. custody.

Federal authorities, we learned last week, have also intercepted a letter between Moussaoui and "shoe bomber" Richard Reid, now serving a life sentence for trying to blow up a plane over the Atlantic. The authorities believe the letter contains coded messages.

If Judge Brinkema dismisses the charges, the government is likely to try Moussaoui before a military tribunal instead. That would inevitably give the administration's critics more ammunition. But, it's clear why federal authorities are reluctant to allow Moussaoui to talk to known terrorists or to let him walk free. The newly released court documents reveal what federal authorities believe he was planning to do--hijack a plane and ram it into the White House. They think he was possibly planning to grab a fifth plane before he was nabbed when instructors at a Minnesota flight school grew suspicious of him shortly before Sept. 11.

Federal authorities say Moussaoui has been tied to Flight 93 by a phone number found on a business card carried by one of the terrorists aboard the plane, which went down in Pennsylvania. They claim Moussaoui had called that same number. If prosecutors are right, Moussaoui shouldn't be thought of as the "20th hijacker" and the would-be fifth terrorist on Flight 93. Instead, he may have been one of 25 terrorists who'd planned to crash planes into U.S. targets.

It is impossible to know for sure, of course. Officials released evidence last week that they think proves the Flight 93 terrorists crashed the plane after the passengers rebelled, so as not to be taken alive. Previously it had been thought that the passengers managed to wrest control away from the terrorists.

Posted by Ith at 5:32 PM

August 9, 2003

On The WMD Front

Two links:

Britain to produce new evidence on Iraqi WMD: report

WMD finds to be revealed to the public in mid-September

Update: InstaPundit has a link to this article that "a high-ranking al-Qaeda operative in custody disclosed that Iraq supplied the Islamist militant group with material to build chemical and biological weapons".

Posted by Ith at 4:25 PM

July 29, 2003

Another Must Read

I saw a bit of this before, but Mickey has the whole thing over at her blog.

A Note Of Thanks To Those Who Serve

.... Looking into that sea of khaki gave me chills even in that blistering heat. To me, those troops were there to avenge the murder of my husband and 3,000 others. When I got to the microphone I told them we had not made this journey for condolences but to thank them and to tell them that the families of 9/11 think of them every day. They lift our hearts. The crowd interrupted me with chants of "USA, USA, USA." Many wept.

What happened next left no doubt that the troops drew inspiration from our tragedies. When I was first asked to speak to thousands of troops in Qatar, after Iraq, I wondered if it would feel like a "grief for sale" spectacle.

But this time I was shaking because I was to present the recovered WTC steel to Gen. Tommy Franks (U.S. Central Command commander). I quivered as I handed him the icy gray block of steel. His great craggy eyes welled up with tears. The sea of khaki fell silent. Then the proud four-star general was unable to hold back the tears which streamed down his face on center stage before 4,000 troops. As this mighty man turned from the spotlight to regain his composure I comforted him with a hug.

Posted by Ith at 5:59 PM

July 12, 2003

The Gun Smoke?

Meant to blog about this yesterday, but better late than never!

If you haven't already, go take a look at this post on Instapundit about what may be a big discovery in Iraq as it pertains to connecting Saddam to Osama.

Interesting stuff.

Posted by Ith at 10:27 PM

July 9, 2003

GMTA

Another great read over at LGF.

This is exactly on the same wavelength with a conversation I had with April last night after watching an interview with Victor Davis Hanson. If we don't stop with the "every culture is worthy" and "our culture is no better than anyone else's" we're going to be in major trouble.

No, not every culture is worthy. I refuse to play that game. If they were, then we'd be selling human skin, hacking people up with machetes, and letting little girls burn in school because they didn't have their heads covered. Is that what we want? If not, get off the fence, because this is a war and I damn well want to win it!

Posted by Ith at 2:38 PM

NATO in Iraq?

According to this article, there's talk of bringing NATO into Iraq.

Posted by Ith at 2:24 PM

July 8, 2003

They All Hate Us, Right?

capt.1057606709.iraq_xmm108.jpg

An Iraqi motorist flashes a thumbs up sign and a smile while displaying a photo of President Bush at the U.S. military police check point Monday July 7, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

Posted by Ith at 12:06 PM | Comments (1)

July 3, 2003

A Soldier's Story

Tonight I watched the sun set on the glowing Tigris River, and as I smelled the marshland water in the cool breeze that washed over me, I wondered if a few months ago, Saddam Hussein himself wasn't watching the same scene -- I am sitting on his balcony, after all.

After months of vehicle hoods, tents and foxholes, the ground and concrete schoolhouse floors, nasty critters, stray dogs and sandstorms, I'm sleeping in a palace tonight overlooking the lights of Mosul. It's incredible to look back.

We've accomplished much in the past month of fighting. We've liberated a country, broken the back of a firmly established totalitarian regime, begun to provide for the masses and are teaching a nation how to stand on its feet. I've had so many experiences, seen and done so many exciting, strange and sometimes crazy things; I cannot begin to describe them.

Some might say we had a little luck; others would say the campaign was simply well planned. I couldn't say whether luck was a factor, but looking back, I see many things I am thankful for having happened:

Read it all here.

Posted by Ith at 6:23 PM

June 27, 2003

What A Surprise!

The FBI arrests more suspected terrorists, and guess what? Are they Lutheran? No. Are they Amish? No. Are they even Unitarian? Heck no!

I'm sure it will come as a surprise that they are all followers of the "Religion of Peace".

Posted by Ith at 8:59 AM

June 14, 2003

Excellent News

U.S. Forces Seize Saddam's Air Force Chief

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. forces in Iraq have taken into custody the commander of the Iraqi air force under the rule of Saddam Hussein, the U.S. military said Saturday.

Hamid Raja Shalah al-Tikriti was number 17 of the U.S. list of 55 most wanted Iraqis Washington wants detained, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement. It gave no further details.

One down, twenty-four more to go...

Posted by at 5:14 PM

June 13, 2003

One Week, And Counting...

'Harassed' Mugabe rival in jail

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is to spend the weekend in custody after a judge said she would need time to consider his bail application.

How many more weeks would you like, M'Lady? Take your time, no big rush, I mean what with Morgan being such an evil man and all for being willing to stand up to that bloody-minded bastard Mugabe...

I wonder if one could file a writ of Habeas Corpus because the court is unwilling to decide on bail one way or the other for such a length of time?

Then again, I'd need to see whether the Zimbabwean constitution recognises such a principle as Habeas Corpus.

He has been charged with two counts of treason and the state opposes bail, saying he might commit a "similar offence" if freed.

Never forget just how easy our lives are, and never cease cherishing the freedoms that we have, because you can be damned sure that no civilised government would lock you up on a treason charge for organising a proper opposition movement.

Posted by at 4:15 PM

June 10, 2003

Soon, Rantissi, Soon...

Israeli gunships fire at vehicle in Gaza

GAZA CITY (CNN) -- Israeli helicopter gunships launched missiles Tuesday at a vehicle in Gaza City, apparently targeting a Hamas official who this past weekend had declared that the militant group would continue attacks against Israel.

Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi was injured in the strike, Palestinian sources said. Two people were reported killed when the missiles blasted at least one vehicle, leaving it a mangled, blazing hulk. More than 20 people were injured.

Al-Rantissi had said Sunday that Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups would continue to strike Israelis, despite last week's summit in Aqaba, Jordan, at which Israeli and Palestinian officials had pledged to follow the so-called "road map" to Middle East peace.

Here's to hoping that the Israelis blow him up properly next time around.

Posted by at 5:30 AM

June 9, 2003

And There Will Be Much Wailing & Gnashing Of Teeth...

US threatens mass expulsions

More than 13,000 Arab and Muslim men in the US are facing deportation after co-operating with post-11 September anti-terror measures, it has been revealed.

They are among 82,000 adult males who obeyed a government demand to register with the immigration service earlier this year, on the grounds they come from 25 mainly Muslim countries said to harbour terror groups.

I can only speak for myself, but, I fail to see why this would be a problem. If you're in the country illegally, you should be deported; however, I'm sure that the usual suspects will spend all sorts of time bleating about what an awful injustice enforcement of immigration laws can be...

Posted by at 6:29 PM | Comments (1)

June 1, 2003

Blair In Iraq

capt.1054216910.topix_iraq_blair_lon806.jpg


capt.sge.ogn34.300503093843.photo02.default-384x267.jpg

Blair Says Iraq Weapons Secrets Will Be Publicized

"Over the coming weeks and months we will assemble this evidence and then we will give it to people," he said. "I have no doubt whatever that the evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction will be there."

Posted by Ith at 2:39 PM | Comments (2)

May 25, 2003

War Crimes?

Here's some background on the "war crimes" charges against Lt Col Tim Collins of the Royal Irish Regiment.

Posted by Ith at 2:57 PM

May 15, 2003

They Report, They Decide?

The BBC is claiming that pretty much everything we've been told about Jessica Lynch's capture and rescue is not true. Sure, I suppose it's possible, but the BBC has not bee known for unbiased reporting in this war, and what are the motivations of the people they purportedly interviewed? They don't want to be charged with war crimes, so they have every motivation to spin the story more to their favour.

I think I'm going to take this report with several grains of salt, until I'm shown more compelling evidence. Just my suspicious nature.

Posted by Ith at 10:16 AM

May 4, 2003

WMD Thoughts

Andrea has a good take on Iraq and WMDs

Posted by Ith at 1:56 PM

April 28, 2003

Just The Beginning?

Egyptian Sailor Dies in Brazil From Anthrax-Police

BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) - A crew member of an Egyptian merchant ship has died in northern Brazil, almost certainly from anthrax, after opening a suitcase suspected of containing the substance which he was taking to Canada.

A spokesman for Brazilian (news - web sites) federal police in the Amazon state of Para said on Monday an autopsy of the Egyptian man, whom he named as Ibrahim Saved Soliman Ibrahim, showed that he had died after vomiting, internal bleeding and multiple organ failure.

"He was the victim of anthrax," said Fernando Sergio Castro, adding that police were 90 percent certain that Ibrahim had died of anthrax.

Ibrahim died in the hotel were he was staying on April 11. Several health workers who found his body were taken to a hospital after becoming ill but are now out of danger.

Ibrahim had traveled to Brazil from Cairo to join his ship, the Wabi Alaras, which loaded bauxite in the Amazon to take to Canada.

"We imagine that this is about bioterrorism and Brazil was just used as a point of transfer," said Castro.

Ibrahim died before his ship sailed to Canada, where it was quarantined by authorities last week.

The fact he was headed for Canada is just too ironic. Now, granted, he could have been planning to cross the border before letting loose his bioweapon, but what if he wasn't?

I'm also wondering how many others like Ibrahim are out there that didn't get sick and are still on target to unleash these weapons on us.

Posted by Ith at 5:42 PM | Comments (2)

April 16, 2003

More Horror

I saw this over at Rachel's

Marines free 123 from Iraq hellhole

FOR three days, American tanks have been shelling a military intelligence building in the posh Al-Khathamia area in west Baghdad.

The dozen or so tanks are not here to pound intransigent fighters but to break down concrete beams and steel, to reach bunkers deep underground at the Al-Istikhbarat Al-'Askariya facility.
Advertisement

The Marines found 123 prisoners, including five women, barely alive in an underground warren of cells and torture chambers.

Being trapped underground probably kept them safe from the bombing of Baghdad by the coalition.

Severely emaciated, some had survived by eating the scabs off their sores. All the men had beards down to their waists, said onlookers.

Most looked absolutely dazed when they emerged, said Mr Sadoun Mohamed, 37, who lives in the area.

'They had not seen sunlight for a long time,' he said. 'They kept blinking and covering their faces.' He said they were taken to the Saddam Hospital for treatment.

Their names were posted on the walls of the Al-Hajabehia Mosque in west Baghdad, as were names of some 40 others known to have been executed or murdered in prison.

Hundreds of anxious locals wait for word of their family, relatives and friends, some of whom were taken away more than 10 years ago.

Outside Al-Istikhbarat Al-'Askariya, Mr Sadeq Al Saeed, 24, a construction worker, has been waiting sleepless for the last 36 hours. He said he had heard the facility had five levels below ground.

He said his father, an Iraqi army captain, was killed in 1991 during the first Gulf War, and his cousins Amer and Jasem and some 50 others were picked out by the secret police for chanting anti-Saddam slogans during the funeral procession.

'That was the last I saw of them,' he said.

'In the night, people raided their houses, blindfolded them and took them away.'

He hopes against hope that the Marines will be able to find his cousins, who were brought here to be interrogated.

This hellhole is believed to be one of many for Iraq's political prisoners. Thousands may still be behind bars though the regime released many criminals from prisons before the war.

Posted by Ith at 7:28 AM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2003

One More Down

Palestine fugitive found in Baghdad

A wanted Palestinian fugitive, Abu Abbas, has been detained by US forces in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.

He led the Palestinian Liberation Front, which hijacked a US cruise ship,
the Achille Lauro, in 1985.

During the hijack, an elderly American passenger died.

Abu Abbas had been mentioned by US President George W Bush as an example of the kind of figure given refuge by Saddam Hussein's government.


First off, YES! Another terrorist off the streets. Second, this article is
from the BBC, and there are several things they've "Reutered" but I'll just pick the one that bugs me most: During the hijack, an elderly American
passenger died.

Died?? Why not try "murdered"? And his name was Leon Klinghoffer, not "elderly American passenger". They make it sound like the poor old guy just
died in his sleep during the hijacking instead of being brutally murdered by the
terrorists.

ArghGrrr!

Posted by Ith at 3:24 PM | Comments (4)

April 13, 2003

"No Loving Or Kindness"

Mythical Garden of Eden now a wasteland

It is believed to be the Garden of Eden, the mythic place where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers join, the cradle of mankind where Adam came to pray to God.

Today it is a desolate wasteland of excrement, cracked paving stones and bullet holes. The eucalyptus known as Adam's tree, a place of holy pilgrimage for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike, stands bleached and dead.

"Once we believed it to be a little parcel of paradise on earth," said Qassem Khalif, an English teacher.

"Every generation was taught that this was the true Garden of Eden and this was Adam's tree, the place where he first spoke to God. Now, as you can see for yourself, it is ruined, there is no respect, no humanity, no..."

He struggled for the words. "No loving or kindness."

......In the wake of the last Gulf War, Saddam made the region a victim of his scorched earth policy, punishment for the southern support of British and American forces and the failed uprising against him.

The ruling Baath drained the water and destroyed the life of the indigenous Marsh Arabs, descendants of the ancient people of Sumeria and Babylon.

It was rudely disguised as a feat of civil engineering designed to turn the salty marshes into cultivable farmland but the world saw it as no more than revenge.

Now after another war, British troops from the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment are greeted with waves and applause. They covered the army vehicles with pink frangipani and vibrant orange marigolds.

Ragged children ran from their fields, often with bundles of wood or tin pails of water on their heads while village elders waited on the corners to applaud the convoys.

Some homes, standing on emerald-green inlets and bounded by fragile fences of plaited rush, flew the white flag of surrender but it was unnecessary.

Children followed the troops carnival fashion and asked them to enter the Garden but they declined.

Major Mike Murdoch, the Royal Irish officer who took control of Al Qurna in the immediate hours after Saddam's rule here was ended, said: "It is no place for uniforms and weapons, it should never have been and it will not be now."

Posted by Ith at 12:41 PM | Comments (6)

Waking up to something good--

Seven POWs have been found.

Happy Sunday!

Kel

Posted by at 6:47 AM

April 12, 2003

Bullets From The Smoking Gun

This is part of an article by Monsoor Ijaz. Those of you who watch FOX News
will recognize the name from his stints there as an analyst. I'm just
posting the part that deals specifically with our NBC finds and terror link
finds. The last bit talks about Salman Pak which I've posted about here
before. It's fascinating reading. The entire thing is here.

(Click "MORE" below to read the rest.)

The evidence of Saddam's maniacal plans becomes clearer by the hour, but a
few findings merit discussion now because the naysayers continue to bluster
about the rationale behind America's decision to proceed.

1. Weapons-grade plutonium. At the Al Tuwaitha nuclear complex, which
Mohammed El Baradei's International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors
declared free of unsecured nuclear materials late last year, an embedded
journalist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Thursday that
Marine battalions had detected weapons-grade plutonium. Al Tuwaitha was an
Iraqi government-controlled facility run by Saddam's Atomic Energy
Commission. A maze of belowground hallways leading to labs and storage
facilities underscored the lengths to which Saddam's scientists had gone in
order to hide their clandestine activities. And not one or two buildings,
but fourteen count them, 14 buildings had abnormally high radiation
levels, according to the US 1st Marine Division's nuclear and intelligence
experts unearthing the secrets. If it is confirmed that weapons-grade
plutonium exists at Tuwaitha, those who gave Saddam either the reactor
technology and chemicals to reprocess spent uranium or transferred
weapons-grade plutonium directly to Iraq will have a lot to answer for.

2. Biological weapons. Fox News' embedded reporter, Rick Leventhal,
downloaded incredible video of what may be the first of Saddam's bioweapons
labs on wheels. He reported that in a U-Haul-sized truck disguised as a
radar facility for mobile surface-to-air missiles, a false panel revealed
electronic pulleys, winches, storage bins, and refrigerators which could
easily be used to store biological-weapons stashes (refrigeration being the
key identifier because you certainly don't need refrigerators to freeze the
rocket launcher). Tests will determine definitively whether there are any
biological residues or not. But when a truck is found at a construction
site hidden amid other trucks and construction equipment, and then tries to
high tail it out of camp before it gets found out and then shot out by
alert U.S. Marines, it is a sure sign that someone powerful wanted to hide
this truck, and maybe its sisters, at all cost.

3. Chemical warheads. The 1st Marine Division with the 101st Airborne
reports the seizure of 20 medium-range rockets armed with sarin and mustard
gas that were ready to fire not stored away, not unassembled, but ready
to fire. And the amounts of chemicals found in the warheads of the BM-21
missiles left no doubt about their intended use to kill masses of
Coalition troops. These were not trace amounts.

4. Al Qaeda links. In the north, Coalition troops found paperwork early in
the campaign after bombing the Sargat camp that indisputably tied the
terrorists of Ansar al-Islam, a terrorist outfit funded in part by Saddam's
Mukhabarat intelligence directorate and in part by Iran's SAVAK
intelligence services, to al Qaeda. Sargat was operated by Abu Musab al
Zarqawi, a known close associate of Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and was
residence to over 700 terrorists, about a fourth of whom trained in bin
Laden's Afghani terror camps. Zarqawi and his henchmen are now believed to
be hiding in Ansar camps just on the Iranian side of the border.

5. Terror toxins. The paper trail may only be the tip of the iceberg.
Mobile-lab tests conducted on boots and running shoes found in the bombed
Sargat camp showed meaningful traces of Ricin and botulinum toxins. Similar
trace amounts of chemical agents allegedly found in soil samples were used
to justify the Clinton administration's August 1998 decision to launch
cruise missile attacks on Sudan's al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant. Traces of
Ricin, it might be recalled, were found in terrorist hideouts in London and
Paris, and then later in Barcelona and Milan, where Algerian terrorists
tied to al Qaeda and answering to Zarqawi were readying retaliation strikes
against Europe's civilian populations. Ingesting miniscule amounts of
Ricin, which induces respiratory failure, can kill within 72 hours. There
is no known cure.

6. Salman Pak. Media outlets and U.S. officials who once had responsibility
for America's national security have long ridiculed claims that Saddam had
any ties to the hijackers of September 11, or that his secular identity
could ever commingle with radical Islamists like bin Laden. The paperwork
and presence of recipe books to mix Ricin and other toxic nerve agents, as
well as traces of the agents themselves, at the Sargat camp in northern
Iraq lay to rest the Saddam-bin Laden commingling issue. So did the capture
of Sudanese, Egyptian, Yemeni, Syrian, and other Arabs with ties to al
Qaeda fighting along Saddam's Fedayeen kamikaze forces. But the hijackers
were another matter until this weekend, when Coalition forces destroyed
the Salman Pak terror camp on Sunday morning. They found an airplane shell
at the Salman Pak terror camps, just like former CIA Director James Woolsey
and ex-Clinton aide Laurie Mylroie had postulated repeatedly since the
mid-1990s there was. Interviews conducted by PBS's Frontline in June 2002
of Sabah Khodada, a captain in the Iraqi army, indicate that he personally
witnessed men of Arab descent, mainly Yemeni, with long beards training in
the hull of the 707 aircraft, and on trains and buses in the same fields
specifically for hijacking missions using knives and other common utensils.

***********

Here's a follow up from Monsoor that he made on The Corner:

A NOTE [Mansoor Ijaz]
I have received a number of mails today from readers (mostly the naysayer
crowd) citing the Associated Press report that says U.S. troops may have
inadvertently broken seals on IAEA-inspected drums of low-grade uranium ore
at the Tuwaitha facility. This, says AP, was the cause for abnormal
radiation readings. Maybe...

But the U.S. Marines responsible for uncovering Saddam's weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq are not a bunch of school boys. These are some of the
most highly trained and sophisticated nuclear engineers this country has.
They had maps, blueprints of the buildings, detailed sketches from IAEA
inspections and precise locations of where old low-grade uranium had been
sealed and stored in drums when the IAEA was last there.

In any event, the readings picked up by sophisticated radiation detectors
at the Tuwaitha facility initially indicated presence of Plutonium-239
(PL-239). Why PL-239? Because when PL-239 decays naturally, it emits alpha
particles almost exclusively. These are in the form of positively charged
Helium nuclei. Uranium, on the other hand, emits beta particles (electrons)
and gamma rays, as well as alpha particles.
Alpha particles normally cannot penetrate clothes or human skin, whereas
beta and gamma radiation certainly can. Reports filed by our troops at
Tuwaitha indicated very high levels of radiation, consistent with what
plutonium would show. Yet there were thus far no reported casualties, or
even serious signs of sickness or other health problems in our battalions.

All of which indicates that most of the radiation is probably not beta or
gamma radiation, but alpha radiation -- the signature sign of PL-239. Since
the nuclear engineers and physicists who discovered the abnormal radiation
levels at Tuwaitha have reported no health problems, the plutonium is most
likely a pure version and therefore deployable in a weapons form.

There are no known naturally occurring plutonium isotopes. Which implies
either very sophisticated reprocessing facilities would have to be present
(and one wonders where that technology could have come from) to make it
inside Iraq from uranium fuel sources, or there would have to be some
serious breach of international law in the sale and transfer of
weapons-grade plutonium to Iraq (Russia, North Korea and China come
immediately to mind).

Whatever the Marines found there, and none of us know for sure until
CentCom confirms what it was, it was dangerous beyond the limits Iraq was
compelled to remain within by the United Nations and the IAEA. Saddam's
last acts have always been formulated by the "if I can't have it, you can't
have it either..." thesis. Let us hope he didn't break the seals at
Tuwaitha, and in a last ditch act of terror, decide to take enough uranium
to make multiple dirty bombs, deploy them in Iraqi cities for later
detonation once civilian life returns to normal.

As you can all see, this was an op-ed topic by itself, and therefore my
reasoning for not including so much detail in the original piece. But since
we have naysayers that never seem to get it, I thought it prudent to lay
out the full argument.
Posted at 07:03 PM

Posted by Ith at 11:12 AM

April 11, 2003

Random WMD Thoughts

The following was an email I wrote for a current events list I run. One of the posters had heard on CNN that we hadn't found WMDs yet, and she wasn't happy about it. I wrote the reply in bits of pieces through the day as I had time. In another email, I provided links to stories on the suspected plutonium find and the mobile bio labs.

Iraq is the size of California, with several large cities and a big
population. They've had something like 12 years to hide stuff. We've been
there a few weeks and are still fighting a war. They're finding regular
weapons in places like mosques, schools and hospitals, in suburban houses.

Many things, like nerve agents are basically human pesticide, so it makes
it a lot harder to decipher finds. Lots of the stuff used to make nerve
agents start out as stuff that could also be used to make pesticides. The
factory that makes antibiotics can just as well be making bio weapons on
the side.

Somewhere, I read a comment that was along the lines of: I live in Los
Angeles and I've hidden something and you have two weeks to find it. In
other words the finding is an enormous task. Rumsfeld said yesterday that
you have to consider the potential sites they've found like crime scenes
and all that is involved in processing a crime scene. It takes time, and
we're not going to say anything until we know for sure what we've found.

A lot of stuff we're finding of a more conventual nature has been found
because Iraqi civilians have led our troops to it. More of that will happen
as we get more control over the country. We're still fighting for control
of the north, and their are big fights happening near the Syrian border.
That we're not hearing as much about because there are no embeds with those
troops.

Think of a city the size of Baghdad, and the surrounding area. I guess it
would correspond with L.A. How many millions of people and houses, and
buildings, and warehouses are there in the Los Angeles area? How long would
it take to search the entire city and all around it. To enter every house,
every office, every warehouse? How many troops do we have on the ground?
And how long have we been there? And that's just one city. Add in San
Francisco, Santa Barbara, heck even a place the size on Monterey. All
those cities, a finite number of troops, not to mention the specialists who
process the "crime scene", all the while you still have homicide bombers,
people shooting at you, trying not to appears as uncaring conquerors,
trying to get food and medical aid in, keeping the Red Cross workers safe,
keeping the power on and the water running. The list is endless.

I wouldn't even expect any definitive WMD information for a long time yet.
Never did. It would be unrealistic. If we find something sooner, then
great. If it takes months, so be it. I'd rather be sure than jump the gun
and announce something I wasn't sure of.

Posted by Ith at 6:11 PM | Comments (1)

April 10, 2003

Where Do You Think He Is?

So, I've been pondering where Saddam is...

Where do you think he is?

I think he's bunking up with Osama, and they're wearing out their tape of the latest Cher concert.

Perhaps he's in his secret, 'everything a supervillian could ever want including rabid shark tank' class submarine...

(Can a shark even become rabid??)

Posted by Ninjababe at 9:55 PM | Comments (5)

Ninjababe's Stupid Question of the Day

OK... I'm going to go out on a limb and ask my 'stupid' question of the day.

What the heck does 'Baath' stand for? Is it an Arabic word that means something? Acronym?

It's starting to bug me, not knowing...

Posted by Ninjababe at 4:04 PM | Comments (3)

April 7, 2003

Comments

Well, I've been told that if I can spend my time having conversations over on Command Post, I can make posts here...

So, I'll just post the comments I make over there! [beam]

Watching news channel coverage of Abu Dhabi TV's live footage of a firefight...

The music that's playing in the background (In the compound? Abu Dhabi TV? In the background of the guy in Kuwait on Fox News?) is starting to really annoy me.

And, the Iraqis repelled the attack?! (Abu Dhabi TV just stated that)

We haven't even started!!

Gah! Fox News just replayed the explosion and I thought it was another explosion. Scared me (And the anchor...)

A 90cm sat photo of the area. north is up. Via CERDIP in comments on Command Post.

But, here is an awesome map. Requires Adobe Acrbat Reader, but wow! You can zoom in to see detail. Again, via comments on Command Post. This one by "Anonymous Coward". Map is from 1990, from before Ministry of Information, but still... one of the things I was looking for...

Ok... It doesn't look like Minister of Silly Talks is coming on soon, so I'm going to bed... Tempted to tape Fox News to see if he does come on later though... He's just so entertaining!

Posted by Ninjababe at 10:53 PM

3 CIA Assets Killed In Baghdad

Three Iraqis who aided the CIA in the March 20 attempt by the United States to kill Iraqi President Saddam Hussein were executed this week by Iraqi counterintelligence, former and serving U.S. officials told United Press International.

A super-secret U.S. intelligence operation, working in Baghdad for weeks before the war, provided the crucial targeting data for the attack on Saddam and his sons, launched in an effort to pre-empt a full-scale war, these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The war had been scheduled to start Friday, March 21, U.S. officials told UPI. But -- after getting intelligence that a brief target opportunity presented itself to decapitate the Iraqi leadership -- President George W. Bush instead announced at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 19 -- 6:15 a.m. March 20 Baghdad time -- that hostilities had begun.

Delta and Special Forces units in the country had help from three Iraqi agents recruited by the CIA some time after June 2000, when the first CIA paramilitary teams secretly entered Baghdad to do reconnaissance and recruitment.

Sources told UPI that Iraqi counterintelligence killed the three, shooting two and cutting out the tongue of a third, who bled to death. They said U.S. intelligence had learned this from their forces on the ground in Iraq.

The rest of the article here.

Link via Judicious Asininity

Posted by Ith at 6:16 PM

Smile

capt.1049733792.iraq_us_war_xits101.jpg

(Pic via Drudge Report)

I think this photo speaks for itself.

Posted by Ith at 11:47 AM | Comments (2)

April 5, 2003

It Affects Net Access

and look at when the last post was.

Kel

Posted by at 4:24 PM

April 4, 2003

Random Thoughts, pt 2!

Well, my non-war tv watching is over (Have to take a break), so here's some more!

There's a tank with a big red cross painted on it. Is that the medical 'tank'?

Bwahahahahahaha! they just did a close up of one of the tanks armament. The barrel said "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue". Ith commented that someone is a Toby Keith fan!

On CNN Headline News, they've got a large bar across the bottom as well. On close-ups, it's covereing up half of the person's mouth!

Man, I knew most dictators are narsasissic, but the sheer amount of murals and posters of Saddam is too much. He's everywhere!

"If you are a Iraqi commander protecting Saddam, what are you doing right now?"
"Filling toilets." -- Allison (anchor) and Col David Hunt

ROTFL! That's hilarious!

[snort]: British Tornados add flying lumps of concrete to hi-tech arsenal. Now, that is ingenious.

Wow! According to AP, Some troops are actually in the center of Baghdad! That's just... wow!

Again, this is Ninjababe's train of conciousness. Refreshments, including cookies, are available in the caboose.

Posted by Ninjababe at 9:03 PM | Comments (1)

Porcine Occurrences

"Shep we really shouldn't speculate." -- Major Garrett, Fox News

A reporter saying we shouldn't speculate. My God, outside my window there are pigs flying!

Posted by Ith at 8:14 PM | Comments (1)

Random Thoughts

I'm just typing things in as I watch tv, blog, etc...

Sheppard Smith just said on Fox News: 10,000 Special Ops reportedly in Iraq. That's a lot of highly trained individuals. The US military itself is highly trained, but Special Ops? That's... wow!

16 days after war began, and we're in Bagdad! That's amazing!

They just did a split screen four ways with Shep and three others... My first thought "It's the Brady Bunch... the Brady Bunch..."

Ith and I are debating how Shep can be so hyper. IV of caffeine? A coffee cup full of Jolt cola? Ingesting pure caffeine during commercial breaks.

I just now noticed that there are commercial breaks on Fox News! (Ith says they've been there all week). I've been watching this channel off and on all week and didn't notice them till now!

Personally, I think Saddam is dead or in a coma / ICU. Until I see a broadcast with a date mentioned, I won't believe otherwise.

Saddam is getting his tactics from Black Hawk Down? Freaky!

Bwahahahaha! CNN is saying 'US Military Sources' say that there are troops in Baghdad. Fox scooped them! Hah!

Flipping through channels, saw a press conference with an anti-war protester. After hearing her for a few moments, I just had to say my favorite response, even though it isn't intelligent, it isn't well thought out... "Bite me!"

The War Alert bar and ticker on Fox News are getting taller and taller. Now, there's a time in Baghdad bar!

Wow! We're watching live video feed along the highway to Baghdad... This is just amazing on how much media coverage there is. The Military made a brilliant move by embedding so many reporters with the coalition forces.

Watching all the footage of Greg Kelly's video is mesmerizing. Even if it is just watching a line of tanks drive down a highway, it's still mesmerizing.

Whew... I think that's enough for now.

Thank you for riding the Ninjababe Train of Consciousness. Snacks are available in the caboose. Cookies!

Posted by Ninjababe at 8:06 PM | Comments (1)

Technology...

I think the two most used pieces of technology by the media during this war is the screenwriter and the webcam.

Just a thought...

Posted by Ninjababe at 7:53 PM

April 3, 2003

Add Another Hero To The List

I just heard this story told on FOX News a bit ago, and on my last blog-go-round before bed, I found a post on it by John Hawkins. Go read all about an Iraqi man who risked everything to help Pvt. Lynch.

...But Mohammed's tale is one of a man who didn't like what he saw when he walked into the Saddam Hospital last Friday to visit his wife and was told by a doctor friend that an American woman POW was in the emergency ward.

The friend walked him to the ground-floor ward, taken over by the feared Saddam Fedayeen at the start of the war, and past a window where he saw Lynch, an Army private first class captured after her convoy became lost near Nasiriyah in the opening days of the war.

Her head was bandaged, her right arm was in a sling over a white blanket and she had what Mohammed thought was a gunshot wound to a leg. But her real problem then was the black-uniformed Fedayeen commander who everyone addressed as "colonel."

The man slapped her, Mohammed said. "One, two," he added, making single slapping and back slap motions with his right hand. She was very brave, he recalled.

"My heart cut," Mohammed added, meaning stopped, putting his hand over his chest and grimacing. "There, I have decided to go to Americans to give them important information about the woman prisoner."

He walked into her room with his doctor friend. "I said 'Good morning.' She thought I was a doctor. I say, 'Don't worry.' She smiled," he recalled.

Doctors treating Lynch wanted to amputate her leg, Mohammed said, but his doctor friend persuaded them not to. His friend, he said, "hates Saddam Hussein and hates security of Saddam Hussein."

Mohammed said he told his wife to take their daughter to his father's house for safety, and then set off on foot to find the American troops he had heard were occupying the edges of Nasiriyah.

There's much more to the story here.

Posted by Ith at 10:30 PM | Comments (3)

Liar, Liar!

(let's hope his pants are on fire)

From the Corner this story from The Sun:

"Meanwhile, north-west of Safwan in Al Zubayr, British troops found thousands of boxes of medical supplies hidden by Saddams regime.

The tyrant claimed for years that sick children were dying in hospitals from a lack of medicines because of tough UN sanctions against Iraq.

But yesterday soldiers of the 1st Battalion Black Watch exposed his lies after raiding a Baath Party HQ. They found enough medicine for 10,000 kids, including vital antibiotics and pneumonia and tapeworm treatments, in a locked storeroom.

The supplies have now been handed to Army doctors to treat local patients properly for the first time in months."

Posted by Ith at 3:38 PM

April 2, 2003

What the Troops Need

Rick is reporting ("It's Rick!") on Fox News and doing on the spot interviews with troops around him about what is the top of their list for items from home.

Baby wipes

A lot of troops are smokers and tobacco chewers after dark (can't light up and give away your position.), and they're running out (Pack of cigarettes are selling for $20). So Sheppard Smith and Rick thought that would be high on the list.

But, no. One of the two soldiers they interviewed said that it was just something to do. He wants baby wipes and homemade fudge. The other soldier wants a shower [g].

(And, yes, I did squeal "It's Rick!" when he came on)

Posted by Ninjababe at 8:34 PM

Oh, Please!

Russia wants Iraq back on UN agenda – Putin

"Russia is not interested in the United States' defeat in Iraq for political and economic reasons. We want the Iraq issue to be brought back into diplomatic channels," Putin told journalists after a session of the State Council's board in Tambov on Wednesday.

My reply?

Sheeyah, right!

It's too late for diplomatic channels. We've gone past it.

Via The Command Post

Posted by Ninjababe at 4:41 PM

I'd Wondered

if this was how we knew exactly where Private Lynch was:

In a twist right out of a Hollywood movie, U.S. intelligence may have pinpointed her exact whereabouts thanks to an Iraqi citizen - who passed a note, apparently written in English by a woman, to a Marine in the area yesterday, NBC reported.

"She's still alive. She's in room [deleted]," the note said, according to the network.

An NBC reporter also said he was approached the same day by an Iraqi who told him in English: "There's a woman in the Saddam Hospital who's an American soldier. Please make sure the people in charge know."

Via The Corner

Posted by Ith at 2:20 PM

Here To Stay

This was going to a short comment on Kel's post below, but it grew! I'm home sick, I feel awful, so the following may not be as readable as I would have hoped.


I'm not against women in the military the way Kel is, but neither am I for putting women in every single position in the military to sooth some PC demigod. But times are indeed a changing. Technology changes what is and isn't a 'combat position'. Women are integral to the functioning of today's all volunteer force. The lines blur, and as usual, the upheaval of new roles and attitudes is being played out during war time. These sorts of things never seem to be solved when we have time to think about it. Probably because we try and avoid dealing with the uncomfortable things, think it will all work itself out. Well, it does, but never quite the way we think.

Take Private Lynch. She was a supply clerk in a maintenance company. She wasn't supposed to be in harms way, but war doesn't play by the rules. How is she different from military nurses that were taken prisoner in the Pacific? Those nurses were needed, but should female nurses have been totally removed from the theater of war? What about medical staff in Vietnam? Where do you draw that line? And how long can we keep drawing it?

If we have women in the military, there will be times when those women will be in danger no matter what we deem to be non-combat or combat roles. And women have every right to choose to serve and sacrifice no different from men. We can't turn back the clock, nor would I want to. Women in the military are here to stay. And other than being in jobs that are physically beyond them, I don't see why women aren't just as able to accept the dangers, and the rewards, of serving their country. I think that we as a country are the ones that need to do the accepting right now. Our women in uniform are already there.

Posted by Ith at 2:00 PM | Comments (5)

At The Risk Of Getting My Ass Chewed On For This Post

I'm posting it anyway. The young lady who was rescued has been called a 'hero' in several different venues. I beg to differ on the matter.

The real heroes are the men who went after her. They are the true heroes in the entire situation.

The young lady was not killed for a reason--we all know what that was, I do believe. The thing is, she had the good fortune not to die. She lived, however that does not a hero make.

This also proves that women should not be in combat situations or in potentially combative situations.

Were I in the military, which would have only possibly happened had I not gotten married and had children, and were I given orders to go into combat, I would follow those orders without question because that was what I was trained to do. However, there are just some places women do not belong.

What will the long lasting repercussions be for this young lady? Probably unpleasant ones for a long time to come. I hope that is not the case, but common sense speaks otherwise. I wish her all the best in her recovery.

But to me, the real, true heroes are the men who went after her.

Just a thought--
Kel

Posted by at 6:25 AM | Comments (18)

April 1, 2003

Good News

I know it's all over the news, but good news is good news! I am so happy they rescued Jessica Lynch, and I hope it's only the first many rescues to come. When I saw the news earlier, I shouted it across the office!

Posted by Ith at 5:52 PM

March 31, 2003

New term to hate...

Now, I'm starting to dislike the term 'Worst night of bombing'. It seems each night of bombing is worse than the last. We get it! Use a new term!

(At least 'shock and awe' is over... I'm in total shock and awe over that!)

Posted by Ninjababe at 10:19 PM | Comments (2)

Surprised?

Raid Finds al-Qaida Tie to Iraq Militants

Using airstrikes and ground forces, Kurdish soldiers and U.S. troops have cooperated in the past week to dislodge and crush Ansar militants in 18 villages surrounding the Iraqi city of Halabja about 160 miles northeast of Baghdad.

"We actually believe we destroyed a significant portion of the Ansar al-Islam force there," Maj. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, vice director of operations on the Pentagon's Joint Staff, said Monday. He said forces were investigating the finds.

Among a trove of evidence found inside Ansar compounds were passports and identity papers of Ansar activists indicating that up to 150 of them were foreigners, including Yemenis, Turks, Palestinians, Pakistanis, Algerians and Iranians.

Coalition forces also found a phone book containing numbers of alleged Islamic activists based in the United States and Europe as well as the number of a Kuwaiti cleric and a letter from Yemen's minister of religion. The names and numbers were not released.

"What we've discovered in Biyare is a very sophisticated operation," said Barham Salih, prime minister of the Kurdish regional government.

Seized computer disks contained evidence showing meetings between Ansar and al-Qaida activists, according to Mahdi Saeed Ali, a military commander.

Posted by Ith at 5:32 PM

March 30, 2003

Letter From A Marine

A letter to Jonah Goldberg from a Marine:

I'm pretty insulated from most of the news coverage out here. Frankly, Marines only watch Fox News anyhow. Nevertheless, I've received multiple e-mails from concerned friends and family asking me if I'm OK and their concern that things were not going very well. You essentially said, more eloquently, what I repeatedly tell them: We're on the skirts of Baghdad in 5 days. We've secured the southern oil fields and we've gotten across the Euphrates and Tigris with bridges intact! We expected much worse.

and

The successes the Iraqis have achieved are largely non-conventional. They are acting in the most cowardly and animalistic fashion. Were we to stoop to their level of depravity we could certainly protect ourselves from their limited successes. We are more noble and our consciences cannot withstand indiscriminate slaughter in contrast to the adherents of the "religion of peace." Nevertheless, while the capture of a dozen or so POW's and the public display of dead bodies does little to affect our combat power, it has had its affect in deflating the early euphoria created that this might be a complete rout and maybe Saddam is dead after all. I have to admit that I, and many others, had to come down fromt that same high as we wanted this to end quickly and with little bloodshed. The American public is also naturally worried about its sons & husbands (as my mom and wife are).
Posted by Ith at 1:35 PM

March 29, 2003

From The Comments

Gaggle reader, Christina, left the link to this story in Nin's M.R.E. post. It's about Iraqi civilians sharing their food with our troops.

It was heartwarming, so I thought I'd share it here.

Corpsman Tony Garcia said the food donation was an act of appreciation for the American effort to topple the brutal regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"They gave us eggs and potatoes to feed our marines and corpsmen. I feel the local population are grateful and they want to see an end to Saddam Hussein," he said.

"It was a lovely, beautiful gesture."

Khairi Ilrekibi, 35, a passenger on one of the buses, which broke down near the marine position, said he could speak for the 20 others on board.

In broken English he told a correspondent travelling with the marines: "We like Americans," adding that no one liked Saddam Hussein because "he was not kind."

Posted by Ith at 4:05 PM

March 28, 2003

Fate Of Capt. Scott Speicher?

Citing unspecified reports, a U.S. senator said Friday that an American pilot missing since the 1991 Gulf War may have been seen alive and in the custody of Iraqi authorities in the past month.

Sen. Bill Nelson mentioned the reports while releasing an unclassified summary on the fate of Capt. Scott Speicher, who was shot down over Iraq on the first night of the Gulf War and has been unaccounted for ever since. Nelson did not elaborate on the recent reports.

"I believe he is still alive," Nelson said. "The question is: Can we find him and bring him home alive?"

Posted by Ith at 5:18 PM | Comments (1)

A Man's Job?

Mickey and I have had some good conversations about women in combat positions and in the military in general. If it's a subject that interests you, there are some great discussions on the subject happening over at Misha's place, and here at Curmudgeonly & Skeptical. The starting off point for these posts was the capture and possible death of Jessica Lynch in Iraq.

Posted by Ith at 7:46 AM

March 27, 2003

Hope In War

I just got finished reading this post on Right Wing News. I don't know how you could read the words and not be moved.

It's an excerpt from this editorial, written by a peace activist who visited Iraq and changed his mind.

Here's an excerpt from that editorial, which is only a small piece of a much longer article:

What emerged was something so awful that it is difficult even now to write about it. Discussing with the head of our tribe what I should do as I wanted to stay in Baghdad with our people during their time of trial I was told that I could most help the Assyrian cause by going out and telling the story to the outside world.

Simply put, those living in Iraq, the common, regular people are in a living nightmare. From the terror that would come across the faces of my family at a unknown visitor, telephone call, knock at the door I began to realize the horror they lived with every day.

Over and over I questioned them `Why could you want war? Why could any human being desire war?` They're answer was quiet and measured. `Look at our lives!`We are living like animals. No food, no car, no telephone, no job and most of all no hope.`

I would marvel as my family went around their daily routine as normal as could be. Baghdad was completely serene without even a hint of war. Father would get up, have his breakfast and go off to work. The children to school, the old people - ten in the household to their daily chores.

`You can not imagine what it is to live with war for 20, 30 years. We have to keep up our routine or we would lose our minds`

Then I began to see around me those seemingly in every household who had lost their minds. It seemed in every household there was one or more people who in any other society would be in a Mental Hospital and the ever present picture of a family member killed in one of the many wars.

Having been born and raised in Japan where in spite of 50 years of democracy still retains vestiges of the 400 year old police state I quickly began to catch the subtle nuances of a full blown, modern police state.

I wept with family members as I shared their pain and with great difficulty and deep soul searching began little by little to understand their desire for war to finally rid them of the nightmare they were living in.

The terrible price paid in simple, down to earth ways - the family member with a son who just screams all the time, the family member who lost his wife who left unable to cope anymore, the family member going to a daily job with nothing to do, the family member with a son lost to the war, a husband lost to alcoholism the daily, difficult to perceive slow death of people for whom all hope is lost.

The pictures of Sadaam Hussein whom people hailed in the beginning with great hope everywhere. Sadaam Hussein with his hand outstretched. Sadaam Hussein firing his rifle. Sadaam Hussein in his Arab Headdress. Sadaam Hussein in his classic 30 year old picture - one or more of these four pictures seemed to be everywhere on walls, in the middle of the road, in homes, as statues - he was everywhere!

All seeing, all knowing, all encompassing.

`Life is hell. We have no hope. But everything will be ok once the war is over.` The bizarre desire for a war that would rid them of the hopelessness was at best hard to understand.

`Look at it this way. No matter how bad it is we will not all die. We have hoped for some other way but nothing has worked. 12 years ago it went almost all the way but failed. We cannot wait anymore. We want the war and we want it now`

There's so much more. Please read it all if you can.

Posted by Ith at 6:02 PM

March 26, 2003

Now, This I Like...

tank.jpeg

From Yahoo!News:

A British Warrior armored combat vehicle drives into a picture of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) in the city of Basra, March 24, 2003. British forces south of Basra have blocked an attempted breakout by up to 50 Iraqi tanks seeking to press southward from the edge of the city, a British naval commander said on Tuesday. Photo by Pool/Reuters

Posted by Ninjababe at 5:58 PM | Comments (5)

What We Can Do To Help

Last night, the husband made a comment--he wanted us to put together a box to send to Iraq for some of the military folks over there. I said that was fine and he asked me if I could find out where to get it to for it to be sent over there. I told him I would.

Well, it's escalated just a bit. *g* I called a radio station that is across the bay that I listen to. Turns out, they're taking in boxes to be sent over there, which was a good thing. So I thought to myself that if I was going to make a trip over there to take our box, why not call the schools and see if they're putting together stuff to send. One of the schools here is definitely and the other isn't sure yet.

When I was asked when I was going, I told her I would make as many trips as it took and if I had to go over there a few times a week until the end of school, that I was more than willing to do it.

I feel like I've done a good thing today.

Kel

Posted by at 8:16 AM | Comments (2)

March 25, 2003

Tidbit...

Not really feeling like blogging much right now, but I do have this tidbit. I heard on Fox News, while in the hotel room a few days ago...

The person responsible for the most muslim deaths in the world?

Saddam Hussein.

Interesting, neh?

Posted by Ninjababe at 8:19 PM

Wanted

it doesn't have to be their full name, but just a first name will do, of military people that don't have anyone to do something like light a candle for them. It can be a friend of a family member who's in the military that you know doesn't have any family or whatever.

It doesn't even have to be someone on the front line. Just someone that doesn't have anyone is all. I'd like to keep a notebook of names and another candle going for these folks.

It's the least I can do.

Kel

Posted by at 8:42 AM

March 21, 2003

What I'm Seeing

I'm seeing happy Iraqi people. I've seen them dancing in the streets several times today. I've seen them tearing down pics of Hussein side by side with our military guys. It's a damn good feeling!

Kel

Posted by at 2:17 PM | Comments (1)

We've Got To Do It Right This Time

An article on the liberation of Sawfan. The majority of the article is hopeful and good news. But this little bit brought tears to my eyes:

An old woman shrouded in black -- one of the very few women outside -- knelt toward the feet of Americans, embracing an American woman. A younger man with her pulled her away, giving her a warning sign by sliding his finger across his throat.

In 1991, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died after prematurely celebrating what they believed was their liberation from Saddam after the Gulf War. Some even pulled down a few pictures of Saddam then -- only to be killed by Iraqi forces.

Gurfein playfully traded pats with a disabled man and turned down a dinner invitation from townspeople.

"Friend, friend," he told them in Arabic learned in the first Gulf War.

"We stopped in Kuwait that time," he said. "We were all ready to come up there then, and we never did."

We have to make sure we stay for the duration this time. We can't abandon these people this time.

Posted by Ith at 11:14 AM

The Turks

Here's a post from Rich Lowry about a phone call he just had. Seems like the Turks are already crossing over into Northern Iraq.

Just had a very worried call from David Pryce-Jones. This is a rough transcript of what he had to say (all tentative and speculative, of course):

"The Turks have moved their forces to the border, and there are the first reports that they've crossed the border. They've claimed it is a humitarian mission. The Kurds will fire on them, and certianly lose. Then we will have found a Turkish occupation of the north, which will be very difficult for the administration to confront. We'll have very little leverage to get them out. It could be a very nasty situation indeed. We'll have hideous fighting with very leverage to control it. This could throw the whole plan out. It ceases to be a liberation of Iraq. It becomes a cannibilization of it. The rumour that I'm catching--which is only a rumour--is that there is a blazing row between Colin Powell and the Turks, because he feels he's been lied to and cheated. That they always intedned to occupy Norhtern Iraq."

Posted by Ith at 10:03 AM

March 20, 2003

Finally...

Now that I'm off work, I can make the posts I've been saving up all day...

I saw lots of news articles this morning with headlines along the lines of "US Starts War with Surprise Missile Attack".

Personally, I wasn't surprised. We gave an ultimatum. It wasn't met. Of course, we're going to follow through on our promise. Did the world really think that after the 48 hours, the President would say "Oh, ok... That didn't go well... We'll give you another week." or "Oh, never mind. We were bluffing!"?

That, and why wouldn't it start with a missile attack? Precision missile attacks are the best way to disrupt communications. And, these days, split second communication is the only way to win a war.

Posted by Ninjababe at 7:44 PM

CENTCOM

United States Central Command -- the website.

Posted by Ith at 10:32 AM | Comments (2)

March 19, 2003

Already There

Delta Force on urgent mission to kill Saddam

ELITE teams of US Delta Force commandos have been inside Iraq for weeks and are preparing to descend on Baghdad with the objective of capturing or killing President Saddam Hussein, US defence officials said yesterday.

Small, highly mobile units picked from the US Armys most revered and secretive fighting force have been assigned a key mission of the war: to hunt down Saddam, his two sons and at least a dirty dozen of Iraqs top military and civilian leaders.

The Delta Force, the US equivalent of the British SAS, has 306 men. It has been training for several years with the CIA for the specific mission of hunting down the Iraqi leader, officials said.

Last night they were being mobilised to infiltrate Baghdad and Saddams home city of Tikrit to begin the hunt.

As plans were revealed to drop the commandos from Black Hawk helicopters to sites outside Baghdad, it became clear that, if US forces locate Saddam, the likelihood is that they will kill him and his closest henchmen rather than capture them.

The expectation is to kill him within days (of the start of the war), a Pentagon official said.Its what Delta has been training 24/7 to do.

Posted by Ith at 6:18 PM | Comments (2)

WMD Sites

US military lists 300 suspected sites

The US military has drawn up a list of more than 300 suspected sites of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that it will be investigating, a US military official said this week.

The sites are concentrated mostly in and around Baghdad, though a few are located as far south as the town of Samawa, the official said.

Thomas Donnelly, a military analyst with the American Enterprise Institute, said President Saddam Hussein based many of his chemical and biological weapons sites in and around Baghdad so the regime could keep control of it.

Posted by Ith at 5:59 PM | Comments (1)

News?

I'm stuck at work for at least another hour and have no TV access. So, is the President actually going to speak at 6pm? I'd heard he was, then I heard it was just a rumour. Our local news talk station only has it's local regularly scheduled chat on right now. I'll put on the radio at 6pm, but I'm curious as to whether it's happening or not.

Posted by Ith at 5:31 PM

Pondering

So many people are posting updates on the war, and I'm at work, so can't really post (I'm on a lunch break right now), so I've been thinking about what I should post when I get off work. Heck if I know. Like Rachel, I'm feeling a little antsy and don't quite know what to do about it.

So I'll keep thinking through the day, and well see what 5pm brings.

Here's one war related link you may want to check out. Mickey passed it on to me today. It's the web journal of a journalist & photagrapher currenty in Northern Iraq. It has up to date photos and commentary. Worth checking out.

Posted by Ith at 1:09 PM

March 18, 2003

First Shots Fired

From The Times Online:

THE first shots of the war have been fired, killing at least one Iraqi during a suspected operation to mine the waters off Kuwait. But that opening skirmish is about to be dwarfed by the most formidable military assault in modern warfare: 250,000 British and American troops backed by more than 1,000 aircraft, 400 tanks and a 110-strong armada are poised to unleash their awesome power on Saddam Husseins Iraq the moment the order is given.

The first clash occurred in the mouth of the Khawr al-Zubayr river, a few miles south of the port of Umm Qasr, when a Kuwaiti gunboat challenged a flotilla of about 25 Iraqi dhows. The boats failed to respond and the Kuwaitis opened fire. It was unclear whether the dhows had laid any mines.

The Royal Navy has four mine counter-measure vessels in the Gulf which were searching the waterway last night.

Tensions in the waters off Iraq are running high and coalition ships are alert to the threat of mines and terrorist strikes. A British ship escorting Royal Navy and US minesweepers was threatened yesterday while at anchor in the northern Gulf. A cargo vessel, feared to be on an al-Qaeda suicide mission, came within 800 yards of RFA Sir Bedivere during a tense hour-long stand-off. Crew members trained two machineguns on the 500-tonne ship, The stand-off ended only when it was driven away by the heavily armed USS Ardent.

Posted by Ith at 5:58 PM | Comments (1)