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March 25, 2010

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bgates

His tactics as commander of the Fourth Infantry Division in Salahuddin in the months after the invasion in 2003, which were criticized as overly aggressive, created a public impression of him

If his actions by themselves are enough to create a public impression, what the f*ck do we need the Times for?

The feeling in the corridors of the White House is that the general is asking the right questions, but a bit clumsily

Well, you can't expect his questions to be "withering", right?

narciso

I'm been struck about how insane, or cynical Ricks, has become when a left wing reporter
who had supported the insurgents was more optimistic on the Iraqi elections. But when you're signature book was Fiasco, followed up by Gamble, and next will "Oops, Nevermind"
that isn't so surprising

Porchlight

How in the hell would people in this White House know which questions are "right" and which aren't wrt to anything related to the military? Especially in Feb. 2009. They probably hadn't even gotten over their inaugural hangovers yet.

Ignatz

Jeepers what a brute.
Imagine kicking in doors in a war.
Perhaps we should go back to the finesse of incendiary raids on entire cities.

trentk269

You mean a left wing paper is selectively quoting a left wing reporter to make US commander look bad? The hell, you say!

(Another) Barbara

Thanks to all for your warm welcome on the previous threads. Today I'll be moving a sleeping bag and other camping gear into my computer office. Might as well, since even as a silent observer I have recently clocked about five comforting hours per day on JOM. I feel all sanctified by your friendly greetings and will remain here on standby until it's time to take my poverty, chastity and obedience vows. Can't wait! The first two are a cinch.

Carol Herman

Two facts you haven't heard: Maliki was the victim of a car bomb, and hasn't been seen since he was taken to an emergency hospital, which is an American facility. Secret as to even where he got hurt. But having a suicide bomber actually get through to you, while you're sitting in an armored car, leaves me to wonder? Why the silence?

Oh, yeah. Silence in germany, too! Hosni Mubarak went to germany (because he has cancer). They said they "did gallbladder surgery.)" But he never got better. He's either under refrigeration. Or on life supports.

No news? The facts are still there. And, this Mideast crap? About as unpopular as the new health care. But we don't vote. (Or when we vote it's way too late.)

Meanwhile, I've yet to read one report from a returning American who said anything nice about irak, or afghanistan. It's an armpit there. And, we seem stuck. We just can't figure how to get out.

narciso

Carol, we've been hearing about Maliki asking for a recount, for the better part of a week
now, where are you getting this, Now Hosni I'd
possibly buy that he might be the "Norwegian
blue" parrot, then again we've heard these reports about Fidel

Motus

Obama is asking the same for Canadians in Afghanistan. The PM wants to keep his job.

The only reason he's excited about health is the trips he had to cancel cause he was scared; like all those in Afghanistan and Iraq and Indonesia, etc.

Sandy Daze

25 March 2010
Baghdad

Hard to believe three months have already passed since Christmas. My younger daughter's birthday is only two months away--we mark her birthday by months before or after Christmas. But, I digress.

Am wondering about all of this hand-wringing over Iraq. Sure General Odierno has spent a lot of time here, so have I; approximately 48 out of the last 72 months--which includes leave, not including leave, I've been here 64 of 72 months. So, what of it?

Odierno set a reputation as being overly heavy handed on his first tour, and the choice to replace GENERAL Petraeus with Odierno raised many eyebrows. Mine included.

But you know what--?--GENERAL Odiero is making it happen. America kicked ass in Iraq when needed, used a velvet fist when needed, and was a nurse-maid when needed.

General Odierno deserves a lot of credit.

But CWCD, so do the TREMENDOUS contributions of the special operations teams. There have been a number, but a woefully short number, of media articles about their critical and consequential effort in this campaign.

The most recent is here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/7506932/Gen-Stanley-McChrystal-pays-tribute-to-courage-of-British-special-forces.html

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to have known some of those that have done the heavy lifting. I stand in their shadow.

We all do.

Take good care,
Sandy

SWarren

Sandy,
Thank you for that affirmation of General Odierno who I greatly respect. Given the unstable situation and violence our troops faced at that time, you betcha kicking in doors was the mode of operation.

Also bothering me today is reading an article at American Thinker this morning calling another great man--"Petraeus of Arabia" saying that Petraeus sides with the Arabs over Israel. Sheesh!
Anyway, I appreciate your posting and your service. Stay safe.

daddy

Sandy,

Thanks for the service of you and our Troops.

Was in a bar last night in Itaewon, Korea, (LUN) heavily frequented by our Soldiers. It was Trivia contest night, and when the papers to write your answers on were initially passed out to the various teams jam-packing the place, the reverse side (worth 10 points if you got them all) was 10 pictures of the usual suspects: Pelosi, Reid, Ben Afleck, Sean Penn, Bill Maher, etc. It was a big hoot because you could write in their names, but the angry conservative question guy was open to "nick-names" for the gang of 10, ie "Dingy- Harry," etc. The clientele definitely approved.

There were questions about Ann Coulter being harrassed in Canada, and in round 4 the 1st question was "Who just promised to move to Costa Rica if Health Care was passed?" A shout went out that he didn't promise to move to Costa Rica, he promised to go to Costa Rica for his personal Health Care. Questioner immediately admitted his error to big laughter but let the gist of the question stand, and moved along.

My overall point being that it was impressive watching our overseas troops paying attention to whats going on in America. This stuff is definitely on their radar screen.
There may be legions of ignorant MSNBC watchers or NPR listeners or Times/WaPO readers back home, but these young folks in Uniform were anything but oblivious of current events, and it was good to see that first hand.

Thank you for your service and keep safe.

If anyone cares, The "B. Franklin's" (my team) did decent, but among other things we blew it on where the World Ice Skating Championships are currently going on, and screwed up on on the Title of the Second Album by Billy Ray Cyrus. (I suck at Country music). Worst of all, our team missed out on free shots of Jaegermeister, because we didn't know Ronald Reagan's Birthyear. Arggggh! Bummer.

JeanD

Sandy, a heartfelt thank you to you and yours. Stay safe and remember that you have a huge fan club at home.

And, daddy, you are a peach, even if you need a brush up on skating trivia.

peter

What a petty man. LUN

Thomas Collins

See LUN for a post from The Volokh Conspiracy (Kenneth Anderson was the poster) on a Harold Koh talk which included a discussion of the Obama Administration's view on the legality of targeting specific terrorists. Koh was quoted as stating the following:

"[a] state that is engaged in armed conflict or in legitimate self-defense is not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force."

With respect to "armed conflict," Koh is quoted as having stated earlier in the talk that:

“…[I]t is the considered view of this administration…that targeting practices, including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), comply with all applicable law, including the laws of war….As recent events have shown, Al Qaeda has not abandoned its intent to attack the United States, and indeed continues to attack us. Thus, in this ongoing armed conflict, the United States has the authority under international law, and the responsibility to its citizens, to use force, including lethal force, to defend itself, including by targeting persons such as high-level al Qaeda leaders who are planning attacks... ."

Koh also specifically addresses and refutes the argument that the use of drones is illegal. This is an interesting post on the Adminstration's current thinking on targeted killings. It appears a smidgeon of common sense has crept into this thinking. If only the case were the case with respect to keeping our nuclear arsenal in tip top shape.

Thomas Collins

Make that "if only this were the case" in the next to last line of my 3/26/10 8:59 AM post.

Thomas Collins

Apparently common sense still doesn't prevail with respect to Obama's treatment of Netanyahu. See http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/03/obama-refuses-to-dine-with-jewish-leader/
for a description of how Obama left a meeting with Netanyahu to have dinner (without inviting Netanyahu for dinner).

anduril

So what IS going on in Iraq these days? Well, here's one angle: Muqtada's star on the rise again. The roly poly holy boy is making a comeback:

The movement led by anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is poised to make a dramatic return to the forefront of Iraq's Shi'ite politics, combining its success in recent elections with the anticipated elevation of its leader's religious status.

The Sadrists are the main faction in the Iraqi National Alliance, which is projected to have won 68 seats in the new parliament. The bloc was the main challenger for the Shi'ite vote against Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who has been regarded with suspicion by the Sadrists since the Iraqi military led a crackdown on their militia in 2008.

Full results from the elections were due late Friday. After 95% of votes were counted ex-premier Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya bloc and


Maliki's State of Law Alliance were on course to win 91 seats each, with protracted coalition building the likely outcome.

Alongside growing leverage over their political rivals, the Sadrists are expected to enjoy greater spiritual authority among their supporters as Muqtada continues his studies to become an eminent Shi'ite scholar, or ayatollah.

Officials close to the 36-year-old cleric say he is making swift progress in his schooling at a seminary in the Iranian holy city of Qom. It is unclear whether he will graduate soon, as most ayatollahs spend several decades attaining the rank.

It is also as yet unclear whether the Sadrists will enter government or form an opposition. Whatever they decide, analysts say the Sadrists will be impossible to ignore in the new parliament.

"They will have their word in every decision,"
Abdullah Jaafar, a retired professor of political sciences in Baghdad, said.

As the most blatantly anti-American of the Shi'ite political groups, Muqtada's movement is particularly well-placed to capitalize on the planned withdrawal of most United States military forces from Iraq later this year.

"If the Americans withdraw at the expected time, the Sadrists will tell their followers that they kicked the troops out," Jaafar said. He added that the Sadrists would oppose any attempt to extend the Americans' stay in Iraq.

And, of course, there's lots more.

Prediction: once Moqtada graduates from ayatollah school and returns to Iraq he will sever all ties to Iran and disband his militia in favor of a movement of spiritual contemplation. This will be seen as another huge victory for The Surge strategy.

anduril

I always like this guy's stuff: China wary of US-Russia nuclear embrace.

JM Hanes

anduril:

"This will be seen as another huge victory for The Surge strategy."

Prediction: Obama will claim that success and welcome the stabilizing effect of al-Sadr's newfound pacifism and charitable good works.

"China wary of US-Russia nuclear embrace."

Odd headline for the story that follows. If Obama had any feel for foreign policy, the U.S. would be very worried about the Sino-Soviet rapprochement Bhadrakumar describes, along with the growing assertiveness of the BRIC block, which is just one of the new alignments which overtly exclude the U.S.

M. Report

The purpose of the military is
to break things and kill people;
If you want a Constabulary, raise
and train one.

If the US wishes to retain some control
over the actions of the factions in Iraq,
without paying in blood, it should supply
real-time intelligence on the activities
of our enemies to our friends; Military
and political leaders in conflict both
want the same thing: To know what is
waiting for them over the next hill.

anduril

Hmmmmm. Poland Finds Nuke Material Behind Sofa.

narciso

So it seems Allawi's in the lead now, well that could never have happened

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Wilson/Plame