Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The News from Iraq, As We Like to Report It: archive

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WSJ: "Victory in Anbar"

Two years ago, on September 11, 2006, the Washington Post stirred an election-year uproar with this chilling dispatch: "the prospects for securing (...) western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there . . ." But there was something we could do: Pursue a different counterinsurgency strategy and commit more troops. And on Monday, U.S. forces formally handed control of a now largely peaceful Anbar to the Iraqi military. (...) the stunning progress in Anbar owes a great deal to the Awakening Councils of Sunni tribesmen who broke with al Qaeda terrorists and allied with U.S. forces. But those Sunni leaders would never have had the confidence to risk their lives in that way without knowing the U.S. wasn't going to cut and run. The U.S. committed some 4,000 additional troops to Anbar as part of the 2007 "surge," along with thousands more Iraqi troops. (...) The result has been the most significant military and ideological defeat for al Qaeda since the Taliban was driven from Kabul in 2001. (...)

For Iraqi politics, the Anbar handover is especially meaningful because the Shiite-dominated Iraq military will now provide security in a largely Sunni province. Anbar is the 11th of 18 provinces that the coalition has turned over to Iraq control, but the first Sunni province. (...) For U.S. politics, it is worth recalling that that 2006 Washington Post story became part of a Beltway consensus that defeat in Iraq was inevitable. (...) The Anbar handover is above all a tribute to the hundreds of Americans who have fought and died in places like Fallujah, Ramadi and Hit over these last five years. (...) What mattered is that our troops, and our country, had the determination to fight to an ultimate victory. So it is with the heroes of Anbar. >>>
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Telegraph: "SAS kills hundreds of terrorists in 'secret war' against al-Qaeda in Iraq"

Hundreds of terrorists have been killed by the SAS waging a "secret war" against al-Qaeda in Iraq, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose. More than 3,500 insurgents have been "taken off the streets of Baghdad" by the elite British force in a series of audacious "Black Ops" over the past two years. (...) mainly members of the organisation known as "al-Qa'eda in Iraq" (...) SAS is part of a highly secretive unit called "Task Force Black" which also includes Delta Force, the US equivalent of the SAS.

The prime targets have been those intent on joining the wave of suicide car bombers that claimed around 3,000 lives a month in Baghdad at the height of the terrorist campaign in 2006 (...) Task Force Black has nearly broken the back of the terrorist network (...) at a price – six members of the SAS were killed and more than 30 were injured. Delta Force has suffered in the region of 20 per cent casualties.(...) The attrition rate is equivalen(...) Gen David Petraeus, the head of the US forces in Iraq, who is due to leave his post shortly, has praised the courage of the SAS. (...) In one incident, SAS troops rented a pink pick-up truck, removed their body armour to blend in with locals, and drove through the traffic to catch a key target. “It was brilliant, actually,” Gen Petraeus said. (...) >>>

Updated: 2nd Sep 2008
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World Net Daily: "U.S. official: Iraqis told me WMDs sent to Syria," by Ryan Mauro

A former American overseer of Iraqi prisons says several dozen inmates who were members of Saddam Hussein's military and intelligence forces boasted of helping transport weapons of mass destruction to Syria and Lebanon in the three months prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Don Bordenkircher – who served two years as national director of prison and jail operations in Iraq– told WND that about 40 prisoners he spoke with "boasted of being involved in the transport of WMD warheads to Syria. A smaller number of prisoners, he said, claimed "they knew the locations of the missile hulls buried in Iraq." Some of the inmates, Bordenkircher said, "wanted to trade their information for a release from prison and were amenable to showing the locations." (...) Other Iraqi military personnel, including former top Saddam associates, have made the same claim.

In early 2006, Saddam's No. 2 Air Force officer, Georges Sada, told the New York Sun Iraq's WMDs were moved into Syria six weeks before the war started. WND also reported in 2006 a former general and friend of Saddam who defected alleged WMDs were hidden in Syria (...) Saddam knew the U.S. eventually would come for the weapons, Al-Tikriti said at the time, and had "wanted since he took power to embarrass the West, and this was the perfect opportunity to do so." So he denied they existed and made sure they were moved into hiding, the former general said. Among other claims, WND also reported a former U.S. federal agent and counter-terrorism specialist deployed to Iraq before the war said he waged a three-year, unsuccessful battle to get officials to search four sites where he believed the former Saddam regime buried weapons of mass destruction. (...) Iraqis under the command of Uday Hussein, one of Saddam Hussein's sons, supported the al-Qaida elements in the country with training and providing safe harbor, they said. (...) >>>

Updated: 31st July 2008
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Townhall: "Maliki's Sophistication and Cunning," by Charles Krauthammer

In a stunning upset, Barack Obama this week won the Iraq primary. When Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki not once but several times expressed support for a U.S. troop withdrawal on a timetable that accorded roughly with Obama's 16-month proposal, he not only legitimized the plan. He relieved Obama of a major political liability by blunting the charge that, in order to appease the MoveOn left, Obama was willing to jeopardize the astonishing success of the surge and risk losing a war that is finally being won. Maliki's endorsement left the McCain campaign and the Bush administration deeply discomfited. They underestimated Maliki's sophistication and cunning. What is Maliki thinking? (...) So Maliki is looking ahead, beyond the withdrawal of major U.S. combat forces, and toward the next stage: the long-term relationship between America and Iraq. With whom does he prefer to negotiate the status-of-forces agreement (...) Any Iraqi leader would prefer a more pliant American negotiator because all countries -- we've seen this in Germany, Japan and South Korea -- want to maximize their own sovereign freedom of action while still retaining American protection. It is no mystery who would be the more pliant U.S. negotiator. (...) >>>

Updated: 25th July 2008
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Heritage Foundation: "Morning Bell: Costs and Benefits in Iraq"

Yesterday the Associated Press reported that the last major remnants of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program had been dismantled in Iraq. This Saturday marked the end of a top secret two-week airlift of 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium from Baghdad to a Canadian uranium producer. Also removed earlier this year from the Tuwaitha nuclear complex 12 miles south of Baghdad were four radiation-exposure devices that experts say could be used in a nuclear weapon. The success of this operation and news from both Baghdad and Mosul that al Qaeda is being chased out of Iraq underscore just some of the major accomplishments U.S. forces have achieved.

Unfortunately, far too many analysts completely ignore all the gains our troops have made when they assess U.S. policy. The worst offender is economist Joseph Stiglitz, who claims the decision to remove Saddam from power has cost the U.S. $3 trillion. Leaving aside the fact that even Stiglitz admits his numbers may be off by as much as $2 trillion, few respected economists believe the assumptions underlying his numbers have any relation to reality at all. (...) >>>

Updated: 7th July 2008
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Pajamas: "Remember Those Iraqi Benchmarks? Well, Guess What… ," by Abe Greenwald

Way back in the dark days of 2007, when the only popular question about the Iraq war concerned the degree of tragedy, Congress’s Iraq “benchmarks” were all the rage among Democrats. Every argument against a continued U.S. presence in Iraq was constructed around the Maliki administration’s apparent inability to meet the political and security-based milestones as outlined by America’s Democratic-majority Congress.

Then something happened. The gains of the troop surge allowed the Iraqi government and citizenry to implement the security measures and legislative acts called for by the U.S. The benchmark line of argument quietly died. Here, then, is the brief life and glorious death of the great benchmark trope.

In mid-May 2007, Congress passed bill H.R. 2206, which (...) >>>

Updated: 18th June 2008
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CNN: "Papers give peek inside al Qaeda in Iraq" (includes video material)

A vast haul of al Qaeda in Iraq documents exclusively obtained by CNN reveals a comprehensive and chilling snapshot of the terror organization's command structure and methods at the height of its campaign against coalition and Iraqi forces. (...) in all, these Anbar files form the largest collection of al Qaeda in Iraq materials to ever fall into civilian hands, giving an insight into the organization that few but its members or Western intelligence agents have ever seen. (...) al Qaeda in Iraq is nothing if not bureaucratic. Included (...) are bundles of pay sheets for entire brigades, hundreds of men carved into infantry battalions and a fire support -- or rocket and mortar -- battalion. To join those ranks, recruits had to complete membership forms. (...) >>>

Updated: 12 th June 2008
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... historical archive material ... read it all!

Front Page Magazine: "The Party of Defeat's Top Five Lies About Iraq," by Ben Johnson

FROM THE BEGINNING, THE WAR HAS BEEN BASED ON LIES, DECEPTION, AND PROPAGANDA: the war against President Bush, that is. Beginning five years ago next month, the Party of Defeat's attempts to discredit the commander-in-chief in the midst of a war have continued without quarter, undeterred by factual refutation, rational discourse, measurable progress in Iraq, or palpable damage to the morale of American soldiers in a very hostile part of the world. The Left's campaign against the very war many of its banner-wavers voted to authorize has been built upon a tissues of lies layered upon one another, big and small, consequential and unspeakably petty, political and military, and aimed at the war's rationale and prosecution -- and those implementing both. Of the scores of such fabrications, it would be difficult to quantify the most damaging or widely held. However, here is in an attempt at recounting some of the most commonly parroted lies of the antiwar echo chamber. (...) >>>

Updated: 11th June 2008

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Atlas Shrugs: "ROCKEFELLER AND CO: INCAPABLE OF INTELLIGENCE"

First off, must read editorial in The NY SUN: "These are inconvenient facts for Democrats that decided some time in 2004 that they could wash their hands of the war for Iraq by claiming they were duped by the president and his conservative backers. It turns out that even their own investigation mocks their claim." (...) >>>

Updated: 9th June 2008
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American Thinker: "Iraqi Army Interdicting Iranian Operations"

Following up on their success in Basra, the Iraqi army has now moved to begin to disrupt operations of the Iranian Qods force that has been operating inside Iraq. This is according to Bill Roggio who is recently back from Iraq: (...) >>>

Updated: 2nd June 2008
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Pajamas Media: "Iraq Hunts Al Qaeda in Its Last Urban Stronghold," by Mohamed Fadhil

Operations are now underway in Mosul to rid the city of al-Qaeda. The streets are calm, indicating that the terrorists realize they are too weak to fight. (...) the arrival of Maliki and his defense and interior ministers in the city leaves no room for doubt about the seriousness of the government in seeing to the plan’s success. (...)

In addition to the parliamentary approval, the operation won public support represented by the tribes’ willingness to take part in the operation. (...) Initial results of the operation included the capture of 1,100 suspects and wanted individuals, according to the spokesman of the defense ministry, Mohammed Askari.

Most of those are officers in the former army and members of the military bureau of the Ba’ath Party, along with a bunch of al-Qaeda emirs; yet to be named, three of them are described as being among the most dangerous in Mosul. (...) al-Qaeda now knows that it cannot afford to confront the security forces anymore. Now, instead of digging in and fighting “glorious battles” in Fallujah or elsewhere, al-Qaeda is more inclined to run away than fight. This is a true sign of al-Qaeda’s weakening and of their ultimate defeat.

Last but not least, I was surprised to see the leading opposition newspaper Azzaman, which had always been skeptical of everything the government does, praise the operation. To see a headline on Azzaman that says “Al-Qaeda Is Limping, Its Leaders Flee Mosul” means a lot to anyone familiar with Iraqi affairs. >>>

Updated: 21st May 2008
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Pajamas: "In Focus: Saddam's Ties to Global Terrorism", by Michael Weiss

The most important findings of the new Pentagon report on Iraq’s prewar sponsorship of jihadism have gone unnoticed by the MSM, says Michael Weiss. Here’s what you should know. (...) The most important findings of the new Pentagon report on Iraq’s prewar sponsorship of jihadism have gone unnoticed by the MSM, says Michael Weiss. Here’s what you should know (...) Still we hear the conventional refrain that Al-Qaeda had no “presence” in prewar Iraq, which is like arguing that a virus did not exist until it was named by epidemiologists. (...) Also substantiated by the Pentagon study is what the regime had planned for the near future before its overdue demise. (...) But wait — wasn’t Saddam “secular”? Why would he deign to make common cause with jihadists? (...) The New York Sun’s national security reporter Eli Lake has culled other provocative tidbits (...) And Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reminds readers: “[O]ne has to remember the purpose and structure of al-Qaeda. It is not a top-down hierarchical organization like the PLO. Rather, it serves as a framework for a web of affiliated terrorist organizations, both for funding and for inspiration. AQ’s leadership structure maintains communications and coordination with these groups, which often merge with and split into other organizations.” >>> .... yeah, it's a franchise ...

Updated: 15th Mar 2008
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New York Times: "Violence Leaves Young Iraqis Doubting Clerics"

After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach. (...) In two months of interviews with 40 young people in five Iraqi cities, a pattern of disenchantment emerged, in which young Iraqis, both poor and m iddle class, blamed clerics for the violence and the restrictions that have narrowed their lives. (...) >>>

Updated: 10th Mar 2008
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American Thinker: "Control the information from the battlefield and win", by Clarice Feldman

A US report shows how the enemy controlled the information on the battlefield in Fallujah and used this to force the US and Iraqi forces out, in the first battle there. The Belmont Club points out UPI coverage of the report by Shaun Waterman. Here is how the enemy worked: First they kidnapped reporters from major Western news sources, driving them out of the city, and leaving only Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and local stringers controlled by the enemy as the sole sources of news. When the US returned with many embedded journalists and cut the enemy's information monopoly we won. >>>

Updated: 3rd Jan. 20008
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Fox News: "The News from Iraq Is, that There's No News from Iraq"

... video interview with the Man of the Year 2007 ... General David Petraeus ... all nasty figures down by sixty percent! See the interview here >>>

Dated: 23rd Dec. 2007
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... Well, Yahoo!News prefer to report it like this:
"Bomber kills 14, including 1 US soldier" : A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a city council ... et cetera, et cetera. ...

Half way down the page, burried within this mind-numbing reporting we get the actual news ...

Meanwhile, U.S. soldiers carrying out operations (...) found mass graves >>> ... here's more ...

Fox News: "Exclusive video taken by coalition forces of Iraqi torture chamber house"

Updated: 20th Dec. 2007
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Yahoo!News: "6,000 Sunnis join pact with US in Iraq"
Nearly 6,000 Sunni Arab residents joined a security pact with American forces Wednesday in what (...) >>>

Updated: 29th Nov. 2007
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American Thinker: "US Deaths in Iraq Lowest Since March, 2006"

All American Blogger: “Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated”
(Updated: 1st Nov. 2007)

Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group: "VI Day?"
(Updated: 31st Oct. 2007)

Politeia: "Update Iraq: Grim as Ever ... only Kidding!"
(Updated: 23rd Oct. 2007)

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