Feb 27 2009

Obama announces how long terrorists should hide

Category: Iraq,Islam,Obama,terrorismharmonicminer @ 4:04 pm

Obama sets firm withdrawal timetable for Iraq

President Barack Obama consigned the Iraq war to history Friday, declaring he will end combat operations within 18 months and open a new era of diplomacy in the Middle East. “Let me say this as plainly as I can: By August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end,” Obama told Marines who are about to deploy by the thousands to the other war front, Afghanistan.

Just bide your time, boys, bide your time. Store ammo and explosives. Recruit mentally ill and developmentally disabled “bomb mules.” Rest up. Memorize some more hadith.  Take a vacation in Iran for explosives training. 

It really isn’t that long, and you’ll be able to do whatever you want without US interference.

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Feb 17 2009

There are “extremist fundamentalists” and then there are “extremist fundamentalists”

Category: Iraq,Islamharmonicminer @ 11:19 am

The next time you hear some over-educated clown pontificating about the dangers of “religious extremism” and suggesting that there is any kind of parallel at all between “Islamic fundamentalists” and “Christian fundamentalists”, you have my permission to call that person a fool or a liar…. or both. When, exactly, was the last time you heard of one Christian sect killing members of another, just for being there?  It appears that Sunni extremists are killing Shiites (and the reverse has happened in the last years as well…  or the last centuries, for that matter) who are simply on religious pilgrimage.

Iraqi police: Female suicide bomber kills 40

The attacks against the pilgrims appear to be part a Sunni extremist campaign to rekindle the sectarian conflict that nearly plunged the country into full-scale civil war two years ago.

On Thursday, a suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt packed with nails among Shiite worshippers in Karbala near the revered Imam Hussein shrine, killing eight pilgrims and wounding more than 50.

A day earlier, at least 12 people were killed and more than 40 wounded in bombings in Baghdad that targeted Shiite pilgrims traveling to Karbala, 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the south.

Iraqi officials have mounted an extensive security operation to protect the pilgrims, who will be celebrating Monday’s end of 40 days of mourning that follow Ashoura, the anniversary of the seventh-century death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson Hussein.

He was killed in a battle near Karbala for the leadership of the nascent Muslim nation following Muhammad’s death in 632. His death contributed to the split between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

About 40,000 Iraqi troops have been deployed along major routes to Karbala, and officials say security cameras have been installed near the Imam Hussein shrine to keep a lookout for possible threats.

Despite strict security, al-Qaida and other extremist groups have frequently targeted Shiite pilgrims during religious commemorations, which were severely curtailed under Saddam Hussein’s Sunni-dominated regime.

This appears to be work of raw hatred of “the other.” No Christians do this, anywhere in the world, nor have they done for centuries.

Do fundamentalist Christians make you fell physically threatened? I didn’t think so.

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Feb 04 2009

The Iraq elections

Category: Iraqharmonicminer @ 10:31 am

Thanks, President Bush and all the brave military personnel who sacrificed for this.  Obama’s mid-east options are greatly expanded due to Bush’s action, though he’ll never admit it.  And the seed planted in Iraq may flower incredibly over the next decades.

BLACKFIVE: Democracy in Iraq

Fifteen million Iraqis are voting today. Because of the strong turnout, the voting time was extended. And I saw a stat on one of the cable channels that there are over 400 women running for office in this election.

More at the link, including a roundup of media coverage.


Dec 19 2008

A hero for heroes

Category: Iraq,society,terrorismharmonicminer @ 10:22 am

Sinise: A man for all services

Since war became a geographically distant but very real way of life after Sept. 11, 2001, no Hollywood star has stepped up to support active duty U.S. military personnel and wounded veterans like Gary Sinise. There is no close second. And quietly, as is in his nature, he is becoming something akin to this generation´s Bob Hope.

One step in conferring this worthy title on the award-winning actor, director and producer occurred last week when President Bush bestowed on him the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation.

Continue reading “A hero for heroes”

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Dec 05 2008

The Iraq War is essentially won: now we just stay long enough to stabilize

Category: Iraq,Obamaharmonicminer @ 10:32 am

Presidency Council Ratifies U.S.-Iraq Security Pact

The new U.S.-Iraq security pact that was approved by Iraqi lawmakers Nov. 27 was ratified by Iraq’s Presidency Council today, senior U.S. officials said.

Continue reading “The Iraq War is essentially won: now we just stay long enough to stabilize”

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Sep 27 2008

The threats our new President will face for us

Thnk the ability to debate is seriously important?  Think it matters more than good judgment, clear understanding of the world, and commitment to the welfare of America above party?

The threats, and some unfortunate connections, are made clear here.  These are serious people, with seriously bad intentions, who aren’t impressed by debate tactics, smooth talk or stage presence.  They will not be “negotiated with” in the normal sense of the term, because we have nothing they want that they aren’t going to get from us anyway.  We cannot give them enough to remove their bad intentions, and they have the capabilities, by and large, to act on those intentions, if we give them time and opportunity.  All of them have proved that.

Who is the very serious person you want as President of the USA to deal with these people?  Who, among the candidates we have, has sufficient wisdom, experience, clarity and toughness to represent us, and make decisions critical to our security?  Who has proved that he will put us first, regardless of his own self-interest, regardless of political fallout?   Who, among the candidates we have, will these people take seriously?   I think you know.

The old standbys, also hip deep in bad plans for the USA, and freedom around the world.

And then, there are our “friends”.

Whose vested interest is keeping us waiting in line for their largess.

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Jul 25 2008

Obama can run from the facts: McCain won’t let him hide

Category: election 2008,Iraq,McCain,media,politics,terrorismharmonicminer @ 4:27 pm

Power Line: McCain Hits Hard

Before a military audience in Denver today, John McCain launched his strongest attack yet against Barack Obama. The attack was devastating because it is true. Here are some excerpts; McCain began by recalling the beginning of the surge:

Senator Obama and I also faced a decision, which amounted to a real-time test for a future commander-in-chief. America passed that test. I believe my judgment passed that test. And I believe Senator Obama’s failed.

We both knew the politically safe choice was to support some form of retreat. All the polls said the “surge” was unpopular. Many pundits, experts and policymakers opposed it and advocated withdrawing our troops and accepting the consequences. I chose to support the new counterinsurgency strategy backed by additional troops — which I had advocated since 2003, after my first trip to Iraq. Many observers said my position would end my hopes of becoming president. I said I would rather lose a campaign than see America lose a war. My choice was not smart politics. It didn’t test well in focus groups. It ignored all the polls. It also didn’t matter. The country I love had one final chance to succeed in Iraq. The new strategy was it. So I supported it. Today, the effects of the new strategy are obvious. The surge has succeeded, and we are, at long last, finally winning this war.

Continue reading “Obama can run from the facts: McCain won’t let him hide”

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Jun 29 2008

NYTimes admits oil shortage! Sing hallelujah!

Category: Iraq,oil pricesharmonicminer @ 10:37 pm

The New York Times has admitted that there is an international oil shortage! Really. Twice in one article!

Continue reading “NYTimes admits oil shortage! Sing hallelujah!”

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Jun 28 2008

Only in an open society: the Army shares its self-study

Category: Iraqharmonicminer @ 9:29 pm

In the sort of move that never happens (at least publicly) in the kinds of nations who oppose the USA, the US Army is about to release a comprehensive self-study on problems with the occupation and rebuilding of Iraq.

The Left would have us believe that the Iraq war and the aftermath have been uniquely bad in US history. While it’s true that the military and civilian authorities underestimated the problems, and misjudged their options (see previous post on groupthink), it’s also true that this has happened in pretty much every war that was ever fought. The truism that “generals always prepare to fight the last war” was not invented last year. By definition, wars are almost always fought badly, and end worse, cost more, and are more complicated to get finished with than anyone hopes.

Continue reading “Only in an open society: the Army shares its self-study”


Jun 28 2008

Throwing away victory: giving up too soon is the way

Category: Iraq,Obamaharmonicminer @ 1:41 pm

Just to begin with the usual disclaimer in this discussion: even if you think the war in Iraq was an error from the beginning, you still must deal with the reality we face now. We’re there. After very hard times, some of which could certainly have been avoided, things are looking up.

Grown-ups don’t make policy based on woulda/coulda/shoulda and “let’s pull out and show those darn neo-cons what a disaster they’ve created”. Grown-ups look with clear eyes at the situation as it is and say, “What do we do now?”

Maybe we shouldn’t have bought this particular property on an adjustable rate mortgage, and the monthly bill has been higher than we hoped, but do we declare bankruptcy? Or do some creative financing and restructuring? Or just stick with it, since the worst times seem to be over, and rates are coming down?

Max Boot, writing in Commentary on the complaints of Andrew Sullivan, Josh Marshall and others about Boot’s comparison of Germany, Japan, etc., to Iraq, with regard to how long we’ll have to keep troops there after major fighting is done:

Lots of people couldn’t imagine when we first intervened in the former Yugoslavia that our troops would stay there for years and that they would not be violently contested. But that is, in fact, what’s happened. Obviously there are major differences between the Balkans and Iraq, which Sullivan and Marshall can no doubt cite ad nauseam. But those deployments also show the kind of long-term role that U.S. troops can play.

The broader point is that the success of American military interventions has usually been closely related to their length. The longer we stay, the more successful we are. When we get out too quickly–as we did in Haiti in the 1990’s–the situation often goes to hell. So if we want to secure a lasting victory in Iraq we need to stay around for a good long while.

But I get the sense that Marshall and Sullivan, like many of their antiwar compatriots, don’t really care about whether we win or lose in Iraq. They simply want to get out, and damn the consequences. That brings up another historical analogy that I’m sure they would rather forget: the way we pulled out of South Vietnam after the defeat of the North’s Tet and Easter Offensives when a decent outcome (namely the long-term preservation of South Vietnam’s independence) was within our grasp. A lot of antiwar voices back then said it would actually be good for the locals if we left, just as they now say it would be good for Iraq if we skedaddled. Tell it to the Vietnamese boat people or the victims of the Cambodian killing fields.

It’s worth reading all of it, and reading Boot’s original thoughts as well.

Obama can claim his righteous foresight and ideological purity about the Iraq war all he wants, but that still doesn’t make him the person to manage our current situation. He seems more interested in acting out on his righteous indignation than making sound policy based on the realities we face. We can only hope that, if he wins, his advisers will gradually move him away from extreme, preemptive withdrawal that will throw away everything the surge has gained.

I hope his policy, if elected, will be something more than a childish, “I TOLD you so, and now I’m going to show YOU!”

President TrainingWheels, indeed, if that is the case.

I hope he reads Michael Yon’s book.

hat tip: Powerline

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