Target Centermass

11/13/2006

Marine’s Sacrifice Earns Medal of Honor

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:47 pm

Corporal Jason L. Dunham has been named as the second recipient from the Iraqi theater of our nation’s highest honor for an act of bravery that cost his life but saved those of his comrades.

The Marine who President Bush said would receive the Medal of Honor died after he jumped on a grenade in Iraq and saved the lives of two comrades.

Cpl. Jason Dunham of Scio, N.Y., died on April 22, 2004, of wounds he sustained when his patrol was ambushed at Husaybah, in Anbar province near the Syrian border.

“He and his men stopped a convoy of cars that were trying to make an escape,” Bush said. “As he moved to search one of the vehicles, an insurgent jumped out and grabbed the corporal by the throat.”

During hand-to-hand combat with the insurgent, Dunham called out to his fellow Marines: “No, no, no. Watch his hand!”

“Moments later, an enemy grenade rolled out,” Bush said. “Cpl. Dunham did not hesitate. He jumped on the grenade to protect his fellow Marines. He used his helmet and his body to absorb the blast.”

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Michael Hagee presented Dunham with the Purple Heart at his bedside shortly before he died at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland with his parents at his side. His death occurred eight days after he was wounded.

The president told Dunham’s mother and father during the ceremony at Quantico, Va.: “You might say that he was born to be a Marine.”

The following has more details of Cpl. Dunham’s service and ultimate sacrifice.

Dunham was on his second tour in Iraq. He could have left the Marines and returned to his hometown in western New York to pursue his dream of becoming a state trooper, but he extended his tour to stay as a machine gunner with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

“We told him he was crazy for coming out here,” said Lance Cpl. Marke Dean, 22, of Owasso, Okla., who served with Dunham.

“I want to make sure everyone makes it home alive,” Dean said Dunham told him. “I want to be sure you go home to your wife alive.”

On the day he was wounded, Dunham was in charge of a traffic checkpoint set up after the ambush of a convoy. A man leaped out of a vehicle Dunham was searching and grabbed him by the throat. Dunham kneed the man in the chest to break the grip and tackled him as he tried to flee, according to Marine dispatches and “The Gift of Valor” by Michael Phillips.

Three other Marines rushed to help but Dunham shouted, “No! No! No! Watch his hand!” A grenade fell from the man’s hand to the ground.

Dunham ripped off his Kevlar helmet and slammed it on top of the grenade and then dropped facedown on top of the helmet to smother the blast with his body and chest armor.

“If it was not for him, none of us would be here. He took the impact of the explosion,” said Pfc. Kelly Miller, 21.

Much, much more on this fine American can be found at his memorial page.

Thank you, Corporal Jason L. Dunham.

This would also be an appropriate time to remember the first Medal of Honor recipient from the Iraqi theater, Sergeant First Class Paul Smith.

May our nation treasure their memories and sacrifices always.

10/26/2006

More about CNN’s Terrorist Sniper Video

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:35 pm

I called CNN’s willingness to show a propaganda snuff film, filled with the deeds of our enemies on the ground and co-starring our brave troops as victims, “simply disgusting” and a “new but unsurprising low” as I reached the following conclusion:

Okay, it is clear that “our” media is not on our side in our current engagements, whether it be through their willingness to present enemy propaganda unquestioned or their refusal to present stories of our progress.

As it turns out, I may have given CNN too much credit. At question now is not their willingness to be a conduit for the propaganda efforts of our enemies, but rather their actual efforts and desire to do so. Apparently, CNN was the initiator of this contact that resulted in the hideous broadcasting, all in the name of giving a fair shake to our enemies [hat tip to LGF].

According to CNN, the video was provided after a producer for CNN sent the group an email asking about its activities.

“I think the American public would be interested in exactly what the email contained, at least from the CNN side of things,” says a producer for a rival news network, who was made aware of the video’s existence before it aired. “My understanding is that email sent by CNN could not be construed any other way than as supportive of the Islamic militants’ position in Iraq. There are people inside CNN who are disgusted by their colleagues’ activities in Iraq and here in the United States in covering the war.”

Attempts to get a copy of the email were unsuccessful. But one CNN source familiar with the techniques employed by network producers to get the Islamic extremist perspective says that it’s common for producers to use Iraqi or Muslim contract employees to get information and access to the terrorists, and they do so by claiming sympathy or support for what the terrorists are doing.

“Anti-Americanism pays off for us over there, no doubt about it,” says the CNN employee. “Questions were raised about this video and the way we got it. Once it was confirmed that it was real, the next question was how did we get it. And the answer was, we promised to give the terrorists a fair shake. I know that we are saying there was soul-searching here about running the tape. But I didn’t see much of that. There were somber people here, but there was also a segment of people on staff, once the tape had run and created a firestorm, that celebrated. They thought they were so courageous.”

I thought their broadcast was simply disgusting?!! I’m at an effin’ loss for words now. Imagine Edward R. Murrow seeking out and conveying Nazi propaganda during the London Blitz. Imagine a western media source signing on for an enemy ride-along program in a Panzer. If that last example sounds ridiculous, please understand that the BBC now has a reporter venturing forth with the Taliban … while British troops are engaged in bloody conflict with same Taliban.

“Our” media — when slanting the news just isn’t working fast enough, they’re willing to hunt down our enemies and force good publicity upon them. Alternative slogan: “Our” media — speaking “truth” to power that actually protects their ability to speak on behalf of the terrorist bastards who would behead them were these so-called journalists not such useful tools.

10/20/2006

CNN Video Shows Terrorist Snipers’ Work in Iraq

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:27 am

In a new but unsurprising low for “our” media, CNN has decided to bring our enemies’ propaganda directly to the public in the form of a snuff film with American troops as the victims. This is disgusting but, as I said, unsurprising. OpFor‘s John Noonan points out the obvious [emphasis in original]:

CNN, by their own admission, understands that this video’s purpose is to serve as a propaganda tool for the insurgency, yet they still chose to give it a national TV audience. That type of advertising usually costs millions.

Matt at Blackfive responds with some viewpoints of American military personnel and veterans through a published email and a wealth of comments. Key among these are the words of commenter SGT Torgersen:

It basically comes down to two things: 1) many in the MSM, maybe even most, long ago bought into the idea that war is NEVER necessary, especially long-term warfare like the kind required to win the GWOT, and 2) anything that happens on Bush’s watch must be portrayed as negatively as possible because the MSM is determined to write the “history” of this Administration as negatively as possible.

[…]

From the Left’s point of view, the GWOT has become 100% politicized. They have divorced themselves utterly from the seriousness and gravity of the situation, at least in terms of realizing that there is an Islamist enemy out there determined to kill ALL of us, not just Republicans and conservatives, and they treat Iraq coverage like it’s a game: score points against the “enemy” whenever possible, regardless of how it helps or hinders Coalition forces.

I’d suggest reading them all while keeping in mind that many of the commenters could have very well found themselves in the same position as the video’s victims.

Meanwhile, Chad Evans at In the Bullpen, one of the best sites for information on such matters because of Chad’s willingness to delve for enemy propaganda on Islamist web sites, brings forth some questions on CNN’s examination and understanding of the video before publication. Basically, he convincingly demonstrates their compliant choice to unquestionably carry the water for our enemies:

It’s clearly propoganda, to which CNN agrees, but I do believe we have the right to see what is going on inside Iraq. Why then are there no CNN front-page reports showing the blood-splattered streets holding children’s blood? Where are the beheaded bodies of Iraqi policemen or soldiers shown side-by-side the constant flood of recruits as Iraqis enlist to fight against the very terrorist group CNN provided a forum for?

There are no time-stamps on any of the clips spliced together by the Islamic Army of Iraq, and that’s by design. We are led to believe these attacks happened within a mere days of each other, but a perusal of the video hosted by CNN tells me that isn’t the case. At least one of those is over two years old. In two years that’s all the Islamic Army of Iraq could come up with? CNN though doesn’t bother telling you that, perhaps because they simply don’t know.

CNN could have easily turned the Islamic Army of Iraq propoganda against them, highlighting the fact snipers in Iraq have killed far more innocent Iraqi civilians than anyone else. During a Shia religious ceremony one month ago, insurgent snipers shot women as they traveled. Kids have been sniped at schools.

Okay, it is clear that “our” media is not on our side in our current engagements, whether it be through their willingness to present enemy propaganda unquestioned or their refusal to present stories of our progress. Long ago and often since, I predicted that our enemies were aiming for a victory based upon the model of the Tet offensive, a victory not of a military nature but of a shaping of public perception.

By practically any historical combat standards, so far October ’06 has been a month of extremely low casualties. Now, again unsurprisingly, the whispers of Tet have crept into the language of the media. However, the media won’t present any numerical contrast to conflicts of the past because that would demonstrate that our losses, while each and every one a tragedy, are small in comparison and would show that all coverage to date has deprived the public of any historical perspective. Yes, October ’06 has been bloody for Americans by the standards of the Iraqi theater, but don’t expect the media to even provide context while they speak of Tet. They will not tell you that the number of Americans killed in action (1,536) in the less than six months of the Tet offensive, including the entirety of the siege of Khe Sanh, were well more than half the total Americans in the three and a half years of the Iraqi campaign. They also will not tell you that the estimated enemy losses in Tet range from 25,000 to 45,000 dead. In fact, the key thing they will not tell you is why Tet, a huge and dramatic American military victory that essentially ended the Viet Cong as a cohesive force and turned the Viet Nam war into an invasion from the north rather than an insurgency, is now viewed as a defeat — “our” media presented it as such to the American public and sadly closed the deal.

No, this is not Tet II, but the media may yet turn it into such. Please don’t be surprised that the terrorists have kicked up their efforts immediately prior to the mid-term U.S. elections, as they have a lot hanging on the November congressional election results. Also, don’t be amazed that CNN and the bulk of the mainstream media are willing to assist our enemies in an attempt for an October surprise.

Disgusting. Simply disgusting and irresponsible.

10/12/2006

U.S. Files First Treason Charges in 50 Years

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:04 am

Why, yes, I do question his patriotism.

U.S. prosecutors have filed treason charges against an American citizen for the first time in 50 years.

The Justice Department accuses 28-year-old alleged al-Qaida member Adam Gadahn of treason, which carries a maximum penalty of death. He also is charged with providing material support to a terrorist group.

Prosecutors say Gadahn is a California-born convert to Islam who appears in several al-Qaida propaganda videos. Some of those videos have threatened attacks against the United States and have contained messages from top al-Qaida official Ayman al-Zawahri.

Gadahn is believed to be living in Pakistan and has been sought by the FBI for questioning since May 2004. His parents say he converted in Islam in his late teens in the 1990s and later moved to Pakistan.

Look, it’s going to be a long war between our civilization and our happily and bloodily mired-in-the-past enemies. Not all of their faces will fit the profile. As Gadahn demonstrates, some will even look like they were banished for being too dorky for even the Dungeons and Dragons club.

Unfortunately, I’m not optimistic on the chances that Gadahn will be captured and brought to trial. ‘Tis a shame, as I’m sure it would be an entertaining procedure and quite the media circus.

10/11/2006

Army Plans to Maintain Current Troop Levels in Iraq

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:44 pm

This is a beautiful example of an entirely accurate but extremely misleading headline.

The Army is making plans to keep its current troop levels in Iraq through 2010 if they’re needed, the Army’s chief of staff said Wednesday.

But Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker cautioned against putting too much emphasis on the Army’s plans, saying that conditions in Iraq would dictate force levels. He said it would be easier to pull troops “off the table” or shorten their tours in Iraq rather than to add more forces later on.

“This is the way you’d expect us to operate,” Schoomaker said, speaking to reporters. “This is not a prediction that things are going poorly or better; it’s just that I have to have enough ammo in the magazine (so) that I can continue to shoot as long as they want us to shoot.”

The general’s remarks came as sectarian violence in Iraq between Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias showed no signs of relenting. U.S. casualties have risen sharply while domestic political support for the war continues to slide.

There are currently about 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, with the overwhelming majority from the Army. Schoomaker said Army troop rotation plans for 2008-2010 call for keeping the current level of 15 combat brigades in the country.

But the general said that in order to sustain current levels, the Army would have to continue to rely on the National Guard and the Army Reserve.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld slammed the notion that Schoomaker’s remarks meant U.S. troops would be in Iraq in 2010.

“Schoomaker did not, of course, say anything like that, and it’s unfortunate that stories go out mischaracterizing what people say,” he said at a Pentagon press conference.

Of course we are planning for such a stay at such a level. Actually, I’m quite certain numbers are being crunched for increased and decreased deployments as well.

Unfortunately, not too much can be done about the headline, and that’s just about all that people will see. Luckily, that is one of the better headlines to be found above this story when compared to other versions. Currently, above this version of a similarly-hedged article is the following decisive but completely erroneous heading:

Army: Troops to Stay in Iraq Until 2010

Jeez, that is only close to the content of the story in that the Army and 2010 were involved.

Mixed Reviews of Iraq Death Toll Study

Filed under: — Gunner @ 10:47 pm

655,000, give or take hundreds and hundreds of thousands. Needless to say, but I’m very skeptical.

President Bush says he doesn’t believe it. Some experts have a problem with it. But several others say it seems sound.

Such was the varied reception for a controversial new study that estimated the Iraq war has led to the deaths of nearly 655,000 Iraqis as of July.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad derived that estimate from a door-to-door survey, conducted by doctors, of 1,849 households in Iraq. Taking the number of deaths reported by household residents, they extrapolated to a nationwide figure.

The researchers, reflecting the inherent uncertainties in such extrapolations, said they were 95 percent certain that the real number lay somewhere between 392,979 and 942,636 deaths.

That is quite a range of uncertainty, and does not speak well for any confidence in the work.

Even the smaller figure is almost eight times the estimate some others have derived.

The new study – which attributes roughly 600,000 of the deaths directly to violence and 55,000 more to other war-related causes – was released Wednesday on the Web site of The Lancet, a respected medical journal. But just how good is its conclusions?

“I don’t consider it a credible report,” President Bush said Wednesday.

Neither does Gen. George W. Casey, the top American military commander in Iraq.

“That 650,000 number seems way, way beyond any number that I have seen,” Casey said. “I’ve not seen a number higher than 50,000. And so I don’t give it that much credibility at all.”

And neither does Michael E. O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution, which also tracks Iraqi deaths.

“I do not believe the new numbers. I think they’re way off,” he said.

Other research methods on the ground, like body counts, forensic analysis and taking eyewitness reports, have produced numbers only about one-tenth as high, he said. “I have a hard time seeing how all the direct evidence could be that far off … therefore I think the survey data is probably what’s wrong.”

[…]

Donald Berry, chairman of the statistics department at the University of Texas’ M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said he believes the study was done “in a reasonable way.” But he said the range of uncertainty given for the estimates was much too narrow, because of potential statistical biases in the survey.

While it’s impossible to calculate a better range that accounts for that, he said, it wouldn’t be surprising if the low end dropped about four-fold to 100,000 deaths. A wider range of uncertainty would make the 655,000 figure less meaningful, he said.

Even the latter, somewhat supportive statement recommends even greater uncertainty.

For it’s part, the Iraqi government has politely called the numbers exaggerated.

Meanwhile, LGF questions the timing of what could be a wildly inaccurate political hit masquerading as a study based on the fact that, well, it is right before an election and these same people put out a similarly questioned “study” right before a previous election.

10/4/2006

Al-Qaida’s Narrative of Doubt

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:22 pm

Austin Bay examines a recently released piece of captured intel and shows how it demonstrates growing doubts about success in Iraq, but these are not the kind of doubts that have been repeatedly trumpeted from the mainstream media and Congressman John Murtha (D-IsForDefeat).

Several declassified al-Qaida documents — one discovered after the June 2006 air strike that killed al-Qaida’s Iraqi emir, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — strongly suggest al-Qaida’s leaders fear they are losing the War on Terror.

On Sept. 18, Iraqi National Security Advisor Muwaffaq al-Rabi released a letter from al-Qaida commander “Atiyah” (a pseudonym) to Zarqawi. West Point’s Counter Terrorism Center (ctc.usma.edu) has the letter archived online.

The letter features al-Qaida’s usual religious panegyrics, but also contains strong evidence of fear, doubt and impending defeat. It seems five years of continual defeat (and that is what the record is) have shaken the 9-11 certitude of al-Qaida’s senior fanatics.

Let’s establish the broader context of Atiyah’s letter.

Accurate insight into an enemy’s assessment of an ongoing war is immensely valuable to political leaders and military commanders. With notable exceptions, such “mid-conflict” insight is also quite rare.

[…]

That’s why the National Security Agency and other present-day spy shops release captured al-Qaida communications with great reluctance.

They should be less reluctant. Here’s why. Information Age media — swamped with ideological and political Sturm und Drang — are a key battlefield in this war.

In America’s open society, people constantly take public counsel of the fears. Sowing doubt about current leadership is a fundamental opposition tactic in every democratic election.

Thus America’s “narrative of doubt” tends to dominate the global media — with a corrosive effect on America’s ability to wage ideological and political war.

[…]

Which is why the rare glimpse, like Atiyah’s letter to Zarqawi, is truly big news.

“The path is long and difficult,” Atiyah writes, “and the enemy isn’t easy, for he is great and numerous, and he can take quite a bit of punishment, as well.” Atiyah’s assessment seems to be a major change in tune and tone. Previous al-Qaida documents touted the Clinton administration’s withdrawal from Somalia as the template for American action.

Atiyah adds that al-Qaida’s leaders “wish that they had a way to talk to you (Zarqawi) … however, they too are occupied with vicious enemies here (presumably in Pakistan). They are also weak, and we ask God that He strengthen them and mend their fractures.”

[…]

Al-Qaida’s leaders also fear they are losing the war for hearts and minds. Atiyah senses a souring of “the hearts of the people toward us.”

Hat tip to Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette, who earlier provided his thoughts on the captured letter.

10/3/2006

Tonight’s Good Reads and a Video

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:41 pm

Just a little link dump on what I feel I should recommend among my readings and watchings today.

97 Reasons Democrats Are Weak On Defense And Can’t Be Trusted To Govern In Wartime

Today’s Democrats are nothing like Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy, who with courage and decisive action kept on top of their jobs and aggressively confronted one national defense crisis after another.

Jimmy Carter, elected during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and (1) believing Americans had an inordinate fear of communism, (2) lifted U.S. citizens’ travel bans to Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia and (3) pardoned draft evaders.

Only 94 more to go as the column begins chronicling the ways in which the modern Democrats suffer in comparison to their historical predecessors, fine figures that I may have had domestic disagreements with but showed major spine on the international stage on our country’s behalf. Hat tip to Hyscience.

Big differences seen in party views on patriotism

There is no doubt about Americans’ patriotism. We consistently score higher than other countries on polls gauging how patriotic citizens are. We see this every Fourth of July as Americans proudly display the flag and sing the national anthem and watch fireworks.

However, there are some who are weary of our patriotism and they are not shy about telling us so. Howard Zinn, the leftist historian, advised us on the Fourth to “put away our flags” and to renounce “nationalism.” Mark Kurlansky, a popular historian, wrote how he was sick and tired of the Founding Fathers. Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks opined that she just didn’t “understand the necessity for patriotism.”

I myself have no discomfort in questioning the patriotism — or wisdom and common sense, for that matter — of many of my fellow Americans on the far left. Hat tip to Wizbang!‘s Lorie Byrd, who receives a prominent plug in the piece.

The New Detainee Law Does Not Deny Habeas Corpus

There are innumerable positives in the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the new law on the treatment of enemy combatants that President Bush will soon sign. Among the best is Congress’s refusal to grant habeas-corpus rights to alien terrorists. After all, the terrorists already have them.

That the critique on this entirely appropriate measure has been dead wrong is given away by its full-throated hysteria. Typical was Richard Epstein, a distinguished constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago, who admonished the Senate Judiciary Committee that the Bush administration and a compliant Republican Congress were unconstitutionally “suspend[ing]” the great writ. The New York Times editorial board, in its signature hyperbole, railed that “[d]etainees in U.S. military prisons would lose the basic right to challenge their imprisonment.” What bunkum.

First, Congress cannot “suspend” habeas corpus by denying it to people who have no right to it in the first place.

Quite right. It should also be noted that the overwhelming bulk of the detainees in question should not legally fall under the domain of any protections based upon the Geneva accords to which the United States is actually a signatory. In other words, both under domestic and international law, screw ’em. Hat tip to Raven at And Rightly So.

Traitors to the Enlightenment

The first Western Enlightenment of the Greek fifth-century B.C. sought to explain natural phenomena through reason rather than superstition alone. Ethics were to be discussed in the realm of logic as well as religion. Much of what Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and the Sophists thought may today seem self-evident, if not at times nonsensical. But that century was the beginning of the uniquely Western attempt to bring to the human experience empiricism, self-criticism, irony, and tolerance in thinking.

The second European Enlightenment of the late 18th century followed from the earlier spirit of the Renaissance. For all the excesses and arrogance in its thinking that pure reason might itself dethrone religion — as if science could explain all the mysteries of the human condition — the Enlightenment nevertheless established the Western blueprint for a humane and ordered society.

But now all that hard-won effort of some 2,500 years is at risk. The new enemies of Reason are not the enraged democrats who executed Socrates, the Christian zealots who persecuted philosophers of heliocentricity, or the Nazis who burned books. No, they are a pampered and scared Western public that caves to barbarism — dwarves who sit on the shoulders of dead giants, and believe that their present exalted position is somehow related to their own cowardly sense of accommodation.

What would a Socrates, Galileo, Descartes, or Locke believe of the present decay in Europe — that all their bold and courageous thinking, won at such a great cost, would have devolved into such cheap surrender to fanaticism?

Victor Davis Hanson is greatness once again, this time turning his guns on the Euro left and their current betrayal of the virtues of historical liberalism. Hat tip to Rightwingsparkle.

Video: “No Excuses For Terror”

Dovetailing nicely with the above VDH piece is a video in four parts from Britain’s Channel Five. So far I’ve only watched the first part but will catch the rest shortly. Already the piece does an excellent job of pointing out pointing out a wealth of historical hypocrisy coming from the Euro and global left, and I feel I can already label it as a must-see. Maybe it’s not a case of “know thy enemy,” but it certainly appears to be a case of “know those among you who play quite useful idiots for thy enemy.”

On Frist, Afghanistan and Hedged Defeatism

Filed under: — Gunner @ 12:59 am

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist either leapt into the defeatist camp or was slightly misquoted when discussing our prospects in Afghanistan. Either way, I’m already quite fed up ith Frist for the night (see here).

The Jawa Report‘s Dr. Rusty opines on the matter, and I can’t say that there’s much I disagree with in his words and I recommend that the reader peruse them all. In fact, I have previously stated many of his thoughts already, chief among these being that a large portion of our current problems in Iraq and Afghanistan stem from the fact that we never mercilessly made it clear to our enemies that they were beaten — at least not in a language that they would understand.

My one withholding of agreement comes from the following from the good Dr. Rusty:

If democracy in the Middle East is a grand experiment, then the null hypothesis has been disproven. No, the majority of Muslim nations are not yet ready for democracy. Give them another hundred years and we’ll run this experiment again.

It was and still remains a noble experiment, one that may indeed save countless thousands — realistically even millions or billions — of lives, so I’m not as quick to jump ship on the idea. The Bush administration spoke of a period of many years, possibly decades, and the American people were on board; then the period of political sniping and media undermining, coupled with an MTv-type attention span by the American public, undercut the viability of a long-war effort. Unfortunately, the Long War remains to be fought and none of those who have hampered our efforts have provided legitimate alternatives.

I have yet to give up hope on the possible seedings of democracy in our current theaters of operations. Still, I am willing to acknowledge the two alternatives that always stood off-stage ready to enter on cue: surrender, retreat and eventually sacrifice our hopes for our grandchildren’s world , or brutally move forward in a barbaric way that the U.N. and our overly-sensitive Euro “allies” will hate but has historically proven to be the language understood by enemies. The latter is especially valid when we are talking about a culture that seems often to only understand violence. Should our current efforts — grandiose, hopeful for the human spirit and self-limiting in their violent nature — fail upon the rocks of a reality presented us by our enemies and those who refuse to stand against them, then I will return to my initial reaction after 9/11. I will again want blood, and I mean blood in mass quantities. This time around, though, that want will stem from a calmer notion than revenge; instead it will stem from a rational approach toward the only remaining means for the survivability of Western civilization as we know and love it.

I just haven’t thrown in the towel on the nice approach yet. After that, should it truly fail, then cry havoc and unleash all that phrase bloodily entails.

There should be nothing agreeable about warfare. God forbid that I should recommend brutality, but we face facts like men. It is not a trade for a philosopher.

—Prince de Linge, of Austria

9/28/2006

Al Qaeda in Iraq Leader Speaks, Calls for Help

Filed under: — Gunner @ 11:24 pm

4000 foreign fighters slain

More than 4000 foreign fighters have been killed in Iraq while fighting US-led forces and the American-backed government, al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq said in an audio tape issued on the internet today.

“More than 4000 muhajir (foreign fighters) and many more of the supporters of righteousness (Iraqi fighters) have given their blood to Iraq,” said the speaker, identified as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir.

Iraqi al-Qaida chief calls for kidnapping foreigners

Abu Ayyub al-Masri, chief of the al-Qaida in Iraq, called on his followers to capture foreigners in a bid to free a Muslim cleric jailed in the United States, said an audio tape issued on Internet Thursday.

“I call on every holy fighter in Iraq to strive during this holy month (of Ramadan) … to capture some Western Christians to exchange them for our imprisoned sheikh,” al-Masri said in the tape whose authenticity could not be verified.

He was referring to the Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel-Rahman, who was jailed in the United States since 1995 over charges linked to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York.

Al-Masri also urged Muslims to make the holy month of Ramadan a “month of holy war”. Ramadan began last weekend across the Muslim world.

Al-Qaida seeks to recruit nuclear scientists

The new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, in an audio message posted on a website yesterday, called for explosives experts and nuclear scientists to join his group’s holy war against the West.

“The field of jihad (holy war) can satisfy your scientific ambitions, and the large American bases (in Iraq) are good places to test your unconventional weapons, whether biological or dirty, as they call them,” said the man, who identified himself as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir — also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri — the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq.

They are bleeding, and rather badly at that, but they are desperate and dangerous and always looking to up the stakes.

In the Bullpen‘s Chad Evans has a good bit more analysis on the tape and also looks at an apparent splintering in Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi “army.”

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