Is Virginia As Lost As Anbar?

Sometimes, it’s too easy.

What kind of idiot protests that the surge is working? “AJStrata,” for one, who wrote this charming piece of tripe which I cannot help but “fisk.” So, let’s get into it:

The signs abound that Iraq is stabilizing. The massacres of Muslims that al-Qaeda and the Mahdi Malitia [sic] inflict are because Iraq is the primary front in the global war against Islamo Fascism.

Point for AJStrata—the latest NIE has, in fact, identified 8 signs that Iraq is making progress toward stabilization. Unfortunately, it also cited 10 signs that Iraq is worsening. 4 out of 9 isn’t a great ratio, though.

The mass killings of Muslims would be going on whether we were there or not, just as they did in Jordan and Egypt.

Interesting—which mass killings of Muslims is he talking about? Perhaps the triple bombings in Amman in 2005? Nope, can’t be, because Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for that bombing.

Now, al-Qaeda did have a failed plot to blow up similar targets on New Years’ Eve 2000, but all three worldwide plots were stopped by US and Jordanian intelligence. But then again, that was back in the Clinton administration, so we all know it doesn’t count for the purposes of this post.

As for Egypt, it turns out that all the major terrorist attacks (2004, 2005, 2005, 2006) since the 1997 Luxor massacre targeted tourists rather than Egyptians, although of course more Egyptians were killed by Egyptian terrorists than any other nationality.

So… no, there was not, and would not have been the same mass killings of Muslims had the United States not invaded Iraq.

The Islamo Fascists only know base brutality as their form of political expression.

It’s funny you should mention that in such close proximity to the words “Egypt” and “Mahdi.” Across the Islamic world, democratization has consistently been followed by attempts by Islamist parties to gain representation in government. We need only look to the spectacular electoral success of Mahdi-backed Shiite theocrats in Iraq, or the Palestinian victory of Hamas at the polls to see this in action. Egypt, on the other hand, is consistently cited for human rights abuses and authoritarian defects in its own democracy. But much of the political repression in Egypt is directed at the Muslim Brotherhood and other ‘Islamofascist’ parties, who have been barred from running for office.

Look at al-Qaeda’s current ’strategy’ – kill as many Muslims as they can so as to cower the country back into submission.

This troglodyte clearly doesn’t know very much about al-Qaeda or Iraq.

The brutality of al-Qaeda did something in the Middle East most predicted was impossible – they caused the Muslim street to rise up and ally with America. Take yesterday’s brutal bombings:

Bombings killed at least 76 people in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk on Monday, police said, the worst such violence there in recent memory. Ethnic tensions have been building in Kirkuk, a city with a mixed population of Turkmens, Sunni and Shiite Arabs, and Kurds, as it approaches a referendum on its future required by the Iraqi Constitution.

No one claimed responsibility for the bombings, but some residents and observers blamed militants linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq who are attempting to sabotage the political process by bringing sectarian tensions to a boil.

Sorry, I didn’t catch the part in the article where the Arab street rose up and allied itself with America. Where was that again?

This incident is in addition to two schools being destroyed in Iraq and terrorists in Iraqi Army uniforms killing 29 in Dilaya[sic] Province. More killing of Muslim women and children here.

Still not seeing it.

Yet the SurrenderMedia refuses to recognize that this is not Muslim sectarian violence but a deliberate and bloody effort by al-Qaeda to create civil war in the absence of one.

How quickly we forget that the sectarian militias (like the above-cited Mahdi army) are the actual Islamofascists—killing people with impunity and discriminate violence. These are the people who have a reasonable shot at establishing an actual sharia-based government. Al-Qaeda, on the other hand, are about as good at statebuilding as we are; my criticism of the U.S. Army’s constructive capacities applies pretty well to Al-Qaeda, too, now that I think about it.

Why does the media continue to admit they are wrong?


Armchair ‘experts’ with large audiences seem to always feel their success equates to their omnipotence.

Ignorant ‘chicken-hawks’ with chromosomal deficiencies seldom use English grammar and vocabulary correctly. Hey, AJStrata, where did you study Middle Eastern politics? Lemme guess… Fox News?

But it is a fragile arrogance it seems, one where admitting a mistake is not possible.

Good thing 9/11 killed irony, or that statement would have been hilarious.

It is clear what impact these attacks are having on the people of Iraq. They are shunning al-Qaeda and turning them into authorities every chance they get.

You know, when they’re not planting IEDs for food money. Every other chance.

More and more we see stories like this one, where tips led to the capture of Islamo Fascists preparing to kill more Iraqis:

Soldiers of 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., and 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, joined forces to clear the villages near al-Owesat and al-Thobat, Iraq, July 14. During Polar Tempest, tipsters gave the Coalition Forces viable information.

The night began with Soldiers clearing houses, when an Iraqi man who claimed to know where several terrorists lived in the area led them to various places.

The Iraqi man guiding the Soldiers said he believed they had encountered the lead element of a larger group of anti-Iraqi forces. As the U.S. and IA forces continued clearing houses in the area, the man pointed out one of the residents as a terrorist. In another house a male claimed to know where a high-value target lived. As Coalition Forces followed him, several local residents began to flee in vehicles. They were stopped and detained.

When citizens are swarming to turn in the brutal animals living amongst them this is not sectarian violence – this is moderate Muslims battling the Islamo Fascists. In fact, the fascists are so bad that former allies who once dreamed of Jihad turned on al-Qaeda when faced with it in all its cruel reality:

In the pursuit of an elusive enemy the US loosely labels AQI (Al Qaeda in Iraq), US Green Berets and soldiers in this remote corner of Iraq have enlisted the help of a new ally that they have christened LRF, the “Legitimate Resistance Force.” It includes ex-insurgents, police dropouts with checkered backgrounds, and former Al Qaeda-linked fighters – all united by a desire to rid Diyala Province of the network’s influence, say US officers.

“A lot of them are former Al Qaeda operatives … but when they saw the stealing, murder, and terrorism, they realized it was not the way forward for Iraq,” says Maj. John Woodward of San Antonio.

That’s great, until notice who make up the “LRF”—sounds like they want a piece of the action, not so much to launch a moral crusade. If these are the people we are touting s our new coalition partners, it makes you wonder why we’ve attracted these lowlifes in the first place. AQI is a gang, basically, with political and ideological cover provided by the occupation. The LRF is another gang who wants AQI’s territory.

The SurrenderMedia continues on in this story to create fictional alternatives as opposed to simply admitting the brutality of al-Qaeda is too much for many who once dreamed of Muslim glory – not of killing Muslim women and children.

The problem is this—al-Qaeda doesn’t really need the support of the “Arab street.” They just need enough to supply a steady stream of suicide bombers, preferably women and children.

It seems the only ones who can still stomach al-Qaeda is the news media. Just about everyone else has seen them as the animals they are and provide them little to no credibility as an ‘alternative’ life style.

Did anyone else just get a visual of Bin Laden in a leather outfit at the Gay Pride parade? Just me? Never mind.

The Iraqi people, in combination with our military’s own amazing efforts, have turned the tide in Iraq. Jack Kelley notes how our forces are actually not engaging much at all with the enemy in Anbar – once the capitol of al-Qaeda’s operations in Iraq and its center of the modern caliphate they planned to create.

One call was from “Bruce in Upland,” whose son is a soldier currently serving in Iraq. “I will speak for my son who right now is bored out of his mind in Ramadi, because he hasn’t heard a shot fired in combat now in about six or seven weeks,” Bruce said.

There were about 22 enemy incidents per week in Ramadi in April, said Marine Major Jeff Pool. That’s declined to “about two per week.” (An enemy incident is any type of direct or indirect fire, from a sniper to a mortar or an IED attack.) Throughout Anbar province, the number of “incidents” has dropped from about 400 last December to 155 last week, said Maj. Pool, the public affairs chief for U.S. forces in western Iraq.

“Though these numbers are a substantial drop, I believe them to be artificially high,” Maj. Pool said. The increased operational tempo resulting from the troop surge has increased exposure to the enemy as it has increased the number of al Qaida operatives killed or captured, he said.

“Anbar is returning to a state of normalcy, so I consider the soldier in Ramadi being bored a true measure of progress,” he said.

The Surge is working. Anyone but a stubborn fool can see that. I like to find comparisons so I can gauge things against a known example. So I decided to look at NY City’s violent crime statistics and see how things compare. Here is what I found. In 2003 (a low crime year after 9-11) NY City suffered 597 murders and 31,253 aggravated assaults. No, they did not suffer any car bombs (though they have had one in their past and who can forget 9-11). But NY City is, thankfully, a ways away from the front in the war with Islamo Fascism. But if we combine these numbers and divide by 12 we find NY City is quite violent when compared to Anbar. The number of ‘incidents’ per month in NY City (and this is NOT counting rapes, robberies and theft) is 2,654. Anbar is 155. Anbar is smaller in population and the 155 incidents include a lot of deaths. More than NY City’s 50 per month – but not a lot more. (note: here is other data with slightly lower numbers from NY City itself)

So as Anbar settles down into a state of violence that is not too far away from that in one of our largest city (and I would wager similar to many large cities in the world, including Moscow and others) are we really going to continue to pretend Iraq is not turning the tide? Are we going to continue to pretend al-Qaeda’s bloodlust is what is behind all the Muslim killings? Are we going to pretend and the Muslim street is NOT turning against al-Qaeda?

Now, a whole bunch of commenters got to this before I could finish this post, but here are some numbers:

Population of New York City:  8,213,839
Population of Anbar province: 1,170,178
Est. Police officers in NYC:     37,838 (217:1)
Est. U.S. troops in Anbar:       38,000 (31:1)
Attacks on US Troops/month, Anbar:  155 (1 in 245)
Attacks on civilians/month. NYC:  2,654 (1 in 3,094)

(No data on attacks on NYPD available, but 2 cops were killed in the line of duty in 2006).

Just for kicks, let’s follow this moron’s line of reasoning: an incident is defined by the army spokesman as “An enemy incident is any type of direct or indirect fire, from a sniper to a mortar or an IED attack.” Now, neither the U.S. government nor the Iraqi government releases comprehensive crime statistics for the provinces, so we’ll have to assume that these attacks are being made on U.S. soldiers. The Iraqi army may be included in the statistic as well, but Major Pool’s comments don’t lead me to believe that they are.

If my hometown was beseiged by 155 mortar, sniper and IED attacks on the NYPD a month, it would be a very different place, trust me. But then again, there are seven times as many people here. If the Canadians invaded and had to occupy New York at similar soldier to civilian rates as our occupation in Anbar, they’d need about 480,000 troops and we’d be attacking them at the rate of about 2,000 ‘incidents’ per month, keeping to the Anbar ratios.

At any rate, I wouldn’t be posting this if there wasn’t a larger point illustrated by this person’s stupidity.

The fact that for AJStrata the Iraq war is viewed in terms of American casualties reveals that he doesn’t give a shit about Iraqi civilians and probably never has. As I wrote before about the multimillion dollar search for three missing soldiers, our priorities in Iraq are SNAFU, which is army slang for “Situation Normal, All Fucked Up.”

Here, I’ll quote myself:

“If we went through the same thing for every missing Iraqi, we’d have something—a police force. But we’re not going to do that, and neither should we have to. As I’ve pointed out before, only a government which is sustained by its own troops and police can be legitimate, and therefore effective.”

It seems that our primary mission in Iraq isn’t nation-building or global counter-terrorism (since we’ve been doing a remarkably poor job at both), but force-protection. Even many of the peace camp cite the number of U.S. troop deaths instead of Iraqi civilian deaths as the reason to pull the plug. We only give a shit about our troops, and basically the army is there to fight an enemy of their own creation. The problem is they’re playing defense in a strange land, which seldom works out well.

As long as CYA is our primary goal, we’ll never be able to stabilize the country. Al-Qaeda in Iraq knows this, which is why their strategy is in fact to prolong the U.S. occupation for as long as possible, in order to bleed us to death. This is the strategy which the jihadists seem to believe (although it isn’t true) brought down the atheistic USSR. Our presence is the only justification for theirs; as soon as we leave, they’ll be fighting to create a Sunni theocracy to which the largely secularized Iraqi Kurds and Sunnis would never submit. Even Iraq’s Sunni tribesmen aren’t that religious. But as long as they’re fighting the American occupiers, AQI will find friends in Iraq and abroad.

We spent decades building up a formidable army, but with that power comes the upkeep. Most of the service people in Iraq are either private contractors or supply personnel; as the New York Times wrote last year,

On any given day, according to military officers in Baghdad, only about 11 percent of the Army and Marine Corps personnel in Iraq are carrying out purely offensive operations. Even counting others, whose main job is defensive or who perform security missions to stabilize the country for economic reconstruction and political development, only half of the American force might be considered combat troops.

The fact that our army, even after (and in part, because of) the modernization drive initiated by former Sec. Def. Rumsfeld, is so expensive to maintain so far from home is no deterrent who say that we must “project power” across the world at all times. It seems that our army needs to be able to handle every international crisis if we are going to base our diplomatic efforts on “strength,” but let’s be serious—that kind of capacity would require a draft.

As a consequence, our army and its neocon commanders leave themselves open to the kind of guerilla insurgency Iran could fund for years for a few days’ worth of oil revenues (which we are hell-bent on making as high as possible for all oil producers—quite ecumenical of us, really).

Fighting a war of attrition against the Soviet Union (which is what our army had been built to do) and fighting an occupational war of attrition are two different things. The whole point of such a war is to outlast the other army with superior productive and offensive power; but if the other side isn’t spending the same amount of money as we are, the calculus of such prolonged war radically changes.

During the war in Afghanistan, I warned that initiating a state-to-state conflict in response to a terrorist incident was 20th century thinking and that it was a totally inappropriate response. Besides killing more Afghan civilians than Al Qaeda did within a few short weeks of the start of bombing, I knew that this wasn’t going to be the end of it, either.

In conclusion, if you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, beware of people who do know what you’re talking about.


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