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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

France And Italy: Thanks For Paying Those Ransoms

I saw this in the New York Times this morning, and I'm a little ticked. I'll explain in a moment:

The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded.

The report, obtained by The New York Times, estimates that groups responsible for many insurgent and terrorist attacks are raising $70 million to $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says $25 million to $100 million of that comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry, aided by “corrupt and complicit” Iraqi officials.

As much as $36 million a year comes from ransoms paid for hundreds of kidnap victims, the report says. It estimates that unnamed foreign governments — previously identified by American officials as including France and Italy — paid $30 million in ransom last year.

A copy of the seven-page report was made available to The Times by American officials who said the findings could improve understanding of the challenges the United States faces in Iraq.

The report offers little hope that much can be done, at least soon, to choke off insurgent revenues. For one thing, it acknowledges how little the American authorities in Iraq know — three and a half years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein — about crucial aspects of insurgent operations. For another, it paints an almost despairing picture of the Iraqi government’s ability, or willingness, to take steps to tamp down the insurgency’s financing.

Here's just a few reasons why I'm upset with this story--

The Times, once again, goes to great lengths to blow a classified report. This has got to stop, and someone in Justice had better find their kishkas regarding the press's blatant disregard for anything that is classified by the government. BECAUSE these yay-hoos haven't been taken down a peg or two over their criminal behavior, they're just as emboldened as the terrorists when appeased. Let me make this perfectly, crystal clear for our readers. The news outlets CAN BE PROSECUTED for revealing classified material. They're not above the law, and have no First Amendment protections shielding them from such. Would Justice and the administration have the same opinion of the Times if they out-and-out revealed the identity of a clandestine intelligence officer that had infiltrated a terrorist cell? I doubt that, very much, so what makes these revelations any different?

France, Italy, Japan, and Germany have all paid ransoms to these animals, and that has to stop. Giving our enemies money is like handing them the bombs to blow themselves up with. If these nations are so afraid that their civilians are in danger, then get them the Hell out of the warzone! Either that, or take the steps we have. The Kossacks call them mercenaries, but they aren't. The private security firms working in Iraq are there to protect civilians, and VIPs that come to Iraq that don't have the benefit of the military or Secret Service protection. Those would be the people working to rebuild that country, and the suits that come to oversee their firm's investment. But I would honestly state to my citizens that if you go to Iraq, you had better observe the rules there, stay within the Green Zone or your work area, and don't go wandering off without an escort. The nations that have civilians over there should stress to them that if they do break the rules, if they go wandering off, they're on their own. There will be no more ransoms paid, and I don't care if that's a lowly worker, or a CEO who thought he knew better.

Third, It's time that we target these Islmaic charities and shut them down. Period. Cut the funds off this way, and start working towards the seizure of their funds if they are engaging in the support of terrorism. I don't care if it's Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, or panty-waists for bin Laden. If the charity works to finance terrorism, it's done. It'll never work here, or anywhere amongst our ally nations again. The money's gone, and if any of them are operating here (which I'm sure they are) then someone's going to prison. They may not like it. CAIR may throw a tizzy, but they're going to jail and the money's going bye-bye; never reaching its intended target.

Fourth, if the government in Iraq has a problem with doing what's necessary to stabilize their nation--including engaging the enemy on the ground, or on the 'Net by strangling the financing--then maybe it is time to pull out. We can't keep pushing them towards freedom and democracy if they're not willing to help themselves. We watched during the fights for Najaf, Basra, and Sadr city that Moqtada al-Sadr was a danger in the country, but the Iraqis tried to treat him with kid gloves. They still are, despite orders being given for his arrest. His brief appearances with the new Iraqi president, Talabani, in October of this year throw those orders into question. Are they really being serious, or paying lip service to us. We're not staying there indefinitely to let them shoot at our troops while the government there does nothing to curtail these attacks, and enforce their sovereign power.

I curse the Times in the same breath that I praise them. This report should never have been handed over to them, but it's important for people to understand that there are more problems over there than what anyone, except a choice few amidst the blogosphere, really knows. If the US government is dragging its feet in this area (which might be the case, eithaer that or our enemy is moving much faster than we can adapt to) then someone needs to give those in the know a swift kick in the @$$.

You go to war with what you have, and unleash everything you have for victory. If you're not doing that, then you're not fighting to win, and that's a s**t thing to do to the troops. THEY support the mission at hand, and will do their jobs unwaveringly. But they newed the support from back home in more ways than just the civilian populace. They need the help from the DoD, Pentagon, and White House. They need to know we're fighting to win over there, and not playing games. You destroy the enemy. You don't play patty-cake with them, or hold their hands. If the Iraqis won't do it, then maybe it's time we do it ourselves, and show our enemy what "shock and awe" really is.

Publius II


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