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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, April 22, 2007

Iraqis Take Down Bomb Factory

The New York Times is playing the spin game again today as it reports good news. Why is it that the media always seems to find bad news wrapped in good news, but they never seem to find good news all by it's lonesome? Hmmm. Something to ponder:

Out here in what the soldiers call Baghdad’s wild west, sometimes the choices are all bad.

In one of the new joint American-Iraqi security stations in the capital this month, in the volatile Ghazaliya neighborhood, Capt. Darren Fowler was heaping praise on his Iraqi counterparts for helping capture three insurgent suspects who had provided information he believed would save American lives.

“The detainee gave us names from the highest to the lowest,” Captain Fowler told the Iraqi soldiers. “He showed us their safe houses, where they store weapons and I.E.D.’s and where they keep kidnap victims, how they get weapons, where weapons come from, how they place I.E.D.’s, attack us and go away. Because you detained this guy this is the first intelligence linking everything together. Good job. Very good job.”

The Iraqi officers beamed. What the Americans did not know and what the Iraqis had not told them was that before handing over the detainees to the Americans, the Iraqi soldiers had beaten one of them in front of the other two, the Iraqis said. The stripes on the detainee’s back, which appeared to be the product of a whipping with electrical cables, were later shown briefly to a photographer, who was not allowed to take a picture.

To the Iraqi soldiers, the treatment was normal and necessary. They were proud of their technique and proud to have helped the Americans.

“I prepared him for the Americans and let them take his confession,” Capt. Bassim Hassan said through an interpreter. “We know how to make them talk. We know their back streets. We beat them. I don’t beat them that much, but enough so he feels the pain and it makes him desperate.”

As American and Iraqi troops set up these outposts in dangerous neighborhoods to take on the insurgents block by block, they find themselves continually facing lethal attacks. In practice, the Americans and Iraqis seem to have different answers about what tactics are acceptable in response.

The insurgent in question then pointed out where they make the bombs being set for the troops in Iraq:

The Iraqi soldiers have their own network of informants, and they picked up the detainee who was later beaten, Mustafa Subhi Jassam, after seeing him loitering around a main patrol route twice in the same day. The other two insurgent suspects were picked up separately.

After interrogating Mr. Jassam, a thin young man wearing a blue and red warm-up outfit, for much of the night, the Americans took him to point out one of the houses where the Qaeda militants made bombs. When the Americans arrived, a half-eaten lunch was on the table next to a couple of detonators and some blasting wire. The insurgents appeared to have been gnawing on chicken and flat bread while making fuses for I.E.D.’s, improvised explosive devices, the military’s term for the roadside bombs found here.

On the table and in bags on the floor were mountains of soap, which can be used in homemade explosives. Blasting wire lay in coils. Buried in the garden were two large antiaircraft guns known as Duskas, three propane tanks, and an oxygen tank that was partly cut in preparation for being turned into a huge bomb, probably similar to the one that killed the four soldiers. On the roof a large pile of homemade explosives was drying in the sun.

The Iraqi soldiers were ecstatic. They had delivered. They snapped photos of each other in front of the cache with the blasting cords in their mouths, grinning. The Americans were nervous. “One spark will blow this place up,” said First Lt. Michael Obal as an Iraqi soldier flicked a lighted cigarette butt within inches of one cache of explosives. “It’s highly unstable TNT.”

Later, the Americans plotted into their computers the location of each of the Qaeda safe houses that Mr. Jassam had pointed out. “He was singing like a songbird,” said First Lt. Sean Henley, 24.

After the prisoner was returned to the Iraqis, Captain Fowler was asked whether the Americans realized that the information was given only after the Iraqis had beaten Mr. Jassam. “They are not supposed to do that,” he said. “What I don’t see, I don’t know, and I can’t stop. The detainees are deathly afraid of being sent to the Iraqi justice system, because this is the kind of thing they do. But this is their culture.”

While the Times may cry and wail over how these people are treated. Captain Fowler is correct. Indeed, this is the Iraqi's culture. No, they are not supposed to do that, and while the idea may seem deplorable to the "nuanced" editors in media outlets, or the elites that click their tongues at such things, they are not on the ground. They do not understand -- nor could they comprehend -- the fight going on in the surge. It is not pretty, and each day brings danger and death to the doorsteps of those fighting the animals in Iraq. We would prefer the media keep their opinions to the op-ed page rather than in a genuine news story.

And the story today is that through the hard work and diligence of troops on the ground, the insurgents have been gravely wounded. A message is being sent daily by US, Iraqi, and coalition forces: Iraq belongs to the Iraqis, and death-loving terrorists are not welcome there. The terrorists can do one of two things. They can leave of their own volition, or they can leave via a body bag. Either way, they will leave.


ADDENDUM: I picked this up from Weekly Standard writer Reuel Marc Gerecht. It is invaluable in the information it passes along to people paying attention to the ground game in Iraq:

Honest Democrats should admit that they are in a predicament: The electoral interests of their party are at odds with the interests of the country in Iraq. If the surge fails, the Democrats stand to gain enormously in 2008. A Republican could try to depict himself as the candidate best able to manage retreat from Mesopotamia, but such a Nixonian approach, given how lamely the Bush administration has handled much of the war, doesn't seem compelling. On the other hand, if the surge works, and the Sunni insurgency and sectarian strife no longer convulse Iraqi society, the odds of Senator John McCain--or another Republican--succeeding George W. Bush go up considerably. The entire Democratic field, however, could end up looking wrong, faint-hearted, and politically reckless. ...

And politically, Iraq is coming alive again. A Shiite-led Iraqi democracy is taking root--an astonishing achievement given the concerted efforts
of the Iraqi Sunnis, and the surrounding Sunni Arab states, to attack and delegitimize the new Iraq. The country's obstreperous, stubborn, highly nationalist, Shiite prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, appears increasingly to be a man of mettle and courage. Slowly but surely, he is distancing himself from the clerical scion, Moktada al-Sadr, the overlord of the Sunni-shooting Mahdi Army. Maliki is so far holding his ground after the resignation of Sadr's men in his government.

This distancing was inevitable once the Americans reversed the disastrous tactics of former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld and General John Abizaid, which had allowed Sadr and his allies to become the only defenders of Baghdad's Shiites against the Sunni insurgents and holy warriors. Maliki and Sadr are not natural allies intellectually or temperamentally; Maliki's diverse and fractious Dawa party is of a different social milieu from the uneducated young men who give Sadr power. Although Sadr will surely continue to have a significant political following (his family name alone ensures that), his base of support even within Baghdad's Shiite slum, Sadr City, is not guaranteed, provided the central government can bring security and minimal economic opportunity. There are many reasons Sadr has not rallied his men against the American surge, which has already penetrated deeply into Sadr City with minimal resistance. One of those reasons is that Sadr would not be popular with many of the area's denizens if he did.

While it would take a miracle of biblical proportions for John McCain to win the nomination for the GOP, the point of the article is that the surge is working, and it does not show signs of faltering as past strategies have. We are in constant communication with Prime Minister al-Maliki, and he understood what the president told him in January about winning. We want to win this fight, and come home. The only way we can do this is to work together in putting a shattered nation back together. It is not easy; it is vaguely reminiscent of assembling a puzzle with no picture to work with.

The Democrats have an obligation to the troops and to the nation to make sure we win. People are not stupid, and they see that the Democrats have placed all hope in defeating America on the battlefield. They are invested in defeat, and it is showing in people's opinions lately. No one we know of -- be they Republican or Democrat -- approved of Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria. And while opinions differ on the war supplemental the Democrats are sitting on, everyone agrees that the troops need the funding to finish their job.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


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Public Affairs

7:28 AM  

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