War on Terror

Posts filed under War on Terror

Absolutely Fascinating

Filed in PoliticsTags: Missouri, Saint Louis, War on Terror

Samir with captured dictator Saddam HusseinWhile I don't often agree with their politics, I generally enjoy reading the sub-/counter-culture weekly Riverfront Times. It usually has well-written articles of local interest, like this one, which ConservativeDialysis found and wrote about. (Ditto the caveat: RFT doesn't fall under "family-friendly" in the language department.)

Some choice nuggets:

Samir says a soldier fired several blank rounds into the bunker's exposed opening, and a man's voice cried out from the spider hole, pleading for his life.

"He said, 'Don't shoot. Don't kill me,'" recounts Samir.

How appropriate. The last, defiant words uttered in freedom by the murderous tyrant were a plea for mercy. Mercy, I might add, he would never have dreamed of giving anyone.

Later, when the world's most wanted man was whisked onto an awaiting helicopter, Samir remembers Saddam muttering to himself in English, asking the same question again and again: "America, why? America, why?"

And the cries continue to rise from the mass graves, filled with those killed by the Saddam regime, the silent din crying out in unison: "Why, Saddam?", "Why, Saddam?"

Samir was a twenty-year-old college student living in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah when he joined a civilian uprising against Saddam. It was 1991, and U.S. and coalition fighters had just declared a ceasefire after liberating Kuwait.

Encouraged by the Republican Guard's swift defeat, Samir grabbed the family AK-47 and joined thousands of southern Shiites organizing a massive rebellion. In hindsight, Samir says, the revolution was doomed from the start.

The ceasefire allowed Saddam to regroup and launch a counterattack against his own people. It soon became clear that the United States never planned to assist the Shiites with any tactical support. The failure of the U.S. government to provide military assistance during the uprising still strikes a sour chord with Samir and countless other Shiites.

"We were defenseless," fumes Samir. "Saddam began a retaliation campaign with tanks and helicopters. Our guns were useless."

George Bush Senior's worst mistake: not finishing what he started. How long did it take Coalition forces to rebuild the trust lost by this perceived betrayal?

The next morning Samir hopped on a Humvee for the half-hour drive to his parents' home. The entire neighborhood, some 700 residents, poured into the streets to greet him."It was an awesome feeling," he says. "I felt like I was coming with the U.S. forces to free my family. It was the best feeling of my life."

Not a bad homecoming, for someone who left in fear for his life - returning like the conquering hero from the Hollywood westerns he loved as a child.

Samir is quick to anger when people dismiss the necessity of the U.S. invasion of Iraq -- or, even worse, when they question the validity of Saddam's capture.

Not that they elaborated on this point, but kudos to RFT for even writing it; it pretty well flies in the face of the beliefs of most of their readership.

Late last month Samir returned to Iraq for the third time since the fall of Saddam's regime. This time he's working not as a interpreter but as a political and cultural consultant in the U.S. government's rebuilding efforts. The job can earn Samir in excess of $100,000 a year, though he says he'd do it for half as much.

As to the risks of arbitrary suicide bombings, Samir says he'd rather die in Iraq than here in a car accident or from a heart attack.

"Everyone dies one day," he muses. "Dying with honor is better than dying with nothing. At least you're going to be remembered."

And this man will be remembered well, of that I am quite sure.

If This Isn’t Terrorism, What Is?

Filed in PoliticsTags: Media Bias, War on Terror

Michelle Malkin comments on yesterday's atrocity in Iraq, in which a civilian helicoptor was shot down, and then a survivor murdered.

The Islamic Army in Iraq has claimed responsibility and posted video it claims is of the wreckage. Shocking footage of the terrorists shows them discovering a survivor of the crash (whom analysts say is one of the Bulgarians); helping him to his feet; and then shooting and murdering him.

Let us take a survey of how the MSM describes those who perpetrated this atrocity:

The New York Times, "A Private Copter Crashes in Iraq; 6 Americans Die"

Eleven people, including six Americans from the security firm Blackwater USA working for the United States military, were killed Thursday when a commercial helicopter crashed near the capital, according to officials from Blackwater and the company that chartered the aircraft.

Several officials said the helicopter appeared to have been brought down by hostile fire but there was no official confirmation of the cause of the crash.

The Washington Post, "Insurgents Down Civilian Helicopter Near Iraqi Capital"

Insurgents shot down a helicopter with a heat-seeking missile north of the Iraqi capital Thursday, killing all six American security contractors and five others on board, according to U.S. officials and insurgents.

The attack marked the first time in the two years of the U.S.-led occupation that fighters in Iraq have succeeded in bringing down an aircraft contracted for transporting civilians. Planes and helicopters are being used increasingly around the country as attacks make road travel on vital routes deadly for Iraqis and foreigners alike.

Reuters, "Commercial Helicopter Shot Down in Iraq, 11 Dead"

Guerrillas shot down a Bulgarian commercial helicopter in Iraq Thursday, killing all 11 on board including six Americans, as hopes of forming a new government were dashed by last-minute disagreements.

Times (UK) "11 killed as guerillas shoot down helicopter"

GUERRILLAS killed 11 international workers in Iraq yesterday when they shot down a civilian helicopter 20 miles north of Baghdad.

Six American contractors working for the Blackwater security company, two Fijians and three Bulgarian crew died after their Mi-8 helicopter was apparently struck by a missile.

The Islamic Army in Iraq, a militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack. If confirmed, it would be the first shooting-down of a civilian aircraft in Iraq.

So we have the usual suspects: "insurgents", "guerillas", "militants", "rebels", and of course, the Gray Lady refuses to say the helicopter was shot down at all, though admitting that "hostile fire" alegedly brought down the aircraft.

Now my question is this: had this attack taken place at any other time in history, in any other place - especially right here in the US - by adherents of any other ideology, how would it have been covered? Just as a reminder, let's take a look at some commonly accepted definitions of terrorism:

Dictionary.com aggregates several definitions, as summarized by this one from the American Heritage Dictionary:

The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

The Council on Foreign Relations gives the following criteria:

In another useful attempt to produce a definition, Paul Pillar, a former deputy chief of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, argues that there are four key elements of terrorism:

  1. It is premeditated—planned in advance, rather than an impulsive act of rage.
  2. It is political—not criminal, like the violence that groups such as the mafia use to get money, but designed to change the existing political order.
  3. It is aimed at civilians—not at military targets or combat-ready troops.
  4. It is carried out by subnational groups—not by the army of a country.

Clearly, yesterday's attack meets both the dictionary definition of as well as the criteria for classification as terrorism. Yet the MSM, once again blinded by their own ideology, will fail to report this attack accurately as an act of terrorism (as with all the other acts of terrorism carried out in Iraq). The MSM have no problem referring to the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing a terrorist attack, especially, as exemplified by ABC, when such attacks can be labeled as "right-wing".

And as the MSM continue to refuse to separate themselves from their own ideology, they continue to separate themselves from all remnants of relevance and usefulness in a post-9/11 world.

Iraqi Parliament Elects a “Kurdish” President

Filed in PoliticsTags: War on Terror

Gateway Pundit cheers the continuing successes of the nascent Iraqi democracy:

Wow... I thought that this was a country divided among warring minority factions? That's what the MSM has been saying since they were dragging that metal statue head of Saddam through the streets of Baghdad. But, now we here news that the newly elected parliament (you may recall that January 30th election?) just elected a Kurdish President!

Granted, the power-sharing structure was pre-determined, such that Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish factions would each hold one of the elected offices of Prime Minister, Speaker, and President (if I recall correctly); but having the General Assembly accomplish these elections peacefully certainly represents a watershed moment for the new government. (Which means the MSM will probably bury the story - or, at the very least, its signifigance.

IRAQ THE MODEL

Filed in PoliticsTags: War on Terror

Just a link tip tonight: IRAQ THE MODEL is one of the best Iraqi blogs I have found. The contributors:

-Mohammed: 35 years old dentist/single/graduated from Baghdad university in 1995. Left his job 6 years ago because he refused to serve in Saddam's army, and now back to work in Samawa City in the southwest part of Iraq. Interests: poetry, reading (history, religions, philosophy and politics).

-Omar (I'm the one responsible for the publishing and internet work): 24 years old dentist/single/graduated from Baghdad university in 2002. Saved from the military service only by God and the coalition. Now working in Basra. Interests: music, sports (martial arts), reading (novels) and now blogging. We were all born in Baghdad and still living here.

Great commentary on Iraq, from the Iraqi perspective.

After Action Report – Raven 42 Ambushed!

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Military, War on Terror

9 MPs and a Medic rescue a convoy ambushed by 40-50 terrorists... MPs/Medics:1 - AIF: 0:

About this time, three armored Hummers that formed the MP Squad under call sign Raven 42, 617th MP Co, Kentucky National Guard, assigned to the 503rd MP Bn (Fort Bragg), 18th MP Bde, arrived on the scene like the cavalry. The squad had been shadowing the convoy from a distance behind the last vehicle, and when the convoy trucks stopped and became backed up from the initial attack, the squad sped up, paralleled the convoy up the shoulder of the road, and moved to the sound of gunfire.

Great read...