September 10, 2007

Web Reconnaissance for 09/11/2007

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
Petraeus Says Objectives in Iraq Can Be Achieved - The top U.S. commander in Iraq told Congress today that the military objectives of the Bush administration's troop increase strategy in Iraq "are in large measure being met," and he forecast a reduction of U.S. forces "to pre-surge levels" without jeopardizing gains in the months ahead. (READ MORE)

Sharif Deported From Pakistan - Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was deported from Pakistan Monday, just hours after he ended seven years of exile and returned to the country determined to take on his nemesis, the embattled president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Government officials said he was being flown to Saudi Arabia. (READ MORE)

al-Qaida Says 2nd Bin Laden Video Coming - Osama bin Laden will appear for the second time in a week in a new video to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, presenting the last will and testament of one of the suicide hijackers, al-Qaida announced Monday. (READ MORE)

Sen. Hagel Leaving Congress After '08 - Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, a thorn in his own party's side when it comes to Iraq, announced Monday he would retire from the Senate and not seek any elected office in 2008. "I said after I was elected in 1996 that 12 years in the Senate would probably be enough, and it is," Hagel said. (READ MORE)

Maliki Says U.S. forces Still Needed - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told lawmakers today that Iraqi forces were not ready to take over security from the U.S. military across the country. (READ MORE)

Democrats Court Hispanic Vote - The Democrats running for president pledged last night to tackle immigration reform their first year in office, courting Hispanic voters in a live forum that offered little new substance. (READ MORE)

English-Requirement Proposal Debated - Non-English-speaking students would be allowed to test in their native language for up to seven years under a draft of proposed changes to the No Child Left Behind law. (READ MORE)

From the Front:
Badger 6: Safe Arrival - Mrs. Badger 6 here. I just wanted to let you all know that Badger 6 has arrived safely at his new assignment. He has limited civilian Internet access and he is choosing to IM with me instead of posting. Go figure! He is working on getting civilian Internet access in his room and hopefully will be back to regale you all with fabulous tales of his adventures and the dramatic differences between Camp Ramadi and the new post. As just a teaser, he can walk off post to a local market and to visit archaeological sites. I believe the word he used to describe the difference was "crazy." (READ MORE)

Bill Ardolino: Operation Alljah: The Swarm - Commenced on May 29 and ending last week, Operation Alljah was the latest and most successful bid to achieve security in the former insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, marrying projection of force with aggressive civil affairs outreach. During the operation, the city was subdivided into 10 neighborhoods in efforts dubbed "the swarm," a coordinated series of counterinsurgency components: (READ MORE)

Calvey in Iraq: Bracing for the Storm - Sandstorms this week. Not very bad here in Baghdad- just haze in the air and a little cooler from blocking out the sun. I am bracing for another kind of storm. A rocket storm. I hope it won’t happen, but I have a feeling we will get attacked quite a bit in the near future. (READ MORE)

Desert Flier: Anbar, meet the Ospreys - Loitering in the chow hall last night, I was sitting with the CASEVAC (casualty evacuation) corpsmen stationed here in Taquaddum. Having worked with them over the past seven months, I've never had the opportunity to sit and actually hold down a conversation until tonight. Flying missions with them was always a rushed affair filled with yelling report over the roar of prop wash and vague hand signals in the helo while we transported critically ill patients to Level III hospitals. (READ MORE)

Fightin' 6th Marines: Cockroaches & Cinderblocks: Keeping an eye out for the out-of-place - It was late morning when Pfc. Andrew D. Bear noticed the lone cinderblock in the middle of a field. There were no houses, no cement facilities, and no structures of any kind for hundreds of feet. It was just dirt, mud, weeds and the Marines of Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, accompanied by local Iraqi policemen. To the Yorba-Linda, Calif., native, the cinderblock, sitting in the sun-baked mud, stuck out like a cockroach in a spoonful of oatmeal. (READ MORE)

Outlaw 13: An Army of...Dude Give Me A Break - I was surfing around the internets the other day and noticed on the Danger Room a little post that said Army of Dude was leaving Iraq. For those who don't know Danger Room is a little skeptical of our efforts over here in the cradle of civilization, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that the soldier who's blog they link would feel similarly...but what the hell... So to see what was up with this guy, I clicked on over there. (READ MORE)

Bill Ardolino: Wish You Were Here! (& Caveat) - I'm holding a Russian shoulder-fired surface-to-air-missile (SAM), part of a weapons cache found by IPs and brought back to Fallujah Police Headquarters today. At my feet are fuses, detonators, an anti-personnel mine and a French anti-tank missile launcher. Out back were mortars and other artillery rounds of all shapes and sizes, often used for IEDs. One IP casually strolled into the station carrying an immense, fused artillery shell. The Marines yelled at him to "get it the hell outside," though I was already high-tailing it up the stairs before they could finish the instruction. (READ MORE)

Mohammed: Islam, The Solution..!? (Part II) The Bin Laden Video - It looks like Bin Laden didn't read my last post about Islam being the solution so I will repeat the question to him. First of all what form of Islam are you inviting America to endorse? If it's Sunni Islam then do you reccomend the Hanafi, Shafi'i or Salafi doctrine? And if it's Shi Islam, which hierarchy would you recommend? The Iranianone of Khamenai, the Iraqi with its four great Ayatollahs, or the Lebanese represented by Hussein Fadhlallah? Or maybe sheik Bin Laden is going to graciously leave America to choose its new faith freely!? (READ MORE)

IraqPundit: Hey Osama! - Long time no see! Caught your latest video, man. You know, we really need to talk, one Muslim to another. Let me tell you something, Osama. It's really strange to hear you calling on people to convert to Islam, since al-Qaeda's specialty is butchering Muslims. Look at Iraq, where your brave followers show up with car bombs at schools, markets, and funerals to murder entirely innocent Muslim men, women, and children. (READ MORE)

Jack Army: The Reporter - Several months ago, a full-fledged, real-live reporter visited our FOB. I found out who she was before she got here and Googled her. I read some of her articles, there weren't many on the war or Iraq. She had become a freelancer previous to coming to Iraq, apparently there were some issues between her and the newspaper though she didn't tell me what they were. When she arrived at the FOB, I asked her if she still worked for the Blah Blah paper and got a grouchy look and told no. There may have been an expletive or two, but I can't remember for sure. (READ MORE)

Matt Sanchez: Marines trade bullets for compassion - The Anbar Awakening, for some, is a cliche easily dismissed as an Iraqi fluke in a quagmire of military missteps shuffling to the tune of opportunities lost. Gunner Terry Walker, a 30-year plus veteran of the military and senior gunner of the United States Marine Corps, said, "The pre-packaged concept of an 'awakening' is absolutely absurd. These sheiks didn't just get up one day and declare their allegiance to Coalition Forces. What you see throughout Anbar Province is the fruit of five years of concerted COIN (counter-insurgency) operations." Whether you believe in spontaneous epiphanies or effective military small-war strategies, the fact remains that waking up was just one point in the Sunni Triangle conversion from the Wild, Wild West to Mayberry. (READ MORE)

Michael Totten: Anbar Awakens Part I: The Battle of Ramadi - After spending some time in and around Baghdad with the United States military I visited the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s notoriously convulsive and violent Anbar Province, and breathed an unlikely sigh of relief. Only a few months ago Ramadi was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. It was another “Fallujah,” and certainly the most dangerous place in Iraq. Today, to the astonishment of everyone – especially the United States Army and Marines – it is perhaps the safest city in all of Iraq outside of Kurdistan. (READ MORE)

Northern Disclosure: Leadership not Likership! - I try not to get on my high horse to often but there are times when I just can't help myself. The reason the United States Army has been so successful is LEADERSHIP. Our enemies have known for several centuries that we train, mentor and empower leaders at all levels so that if a leader faulters there is another ready to take his place instantly. I try to place the mantle of leadership on my subodinates as much as possible. Like my father taught me to swim by letting go in the deep end I try to do the same. (READ MORE)

Ranger Sid: Back In Paradise... - I've returned from my little trip home...Command felt it unnecessary to grant me the small extension I had requested regarding the nature of my grandfathers passing...Though I should be greatful considering the huge "favor" they did for me by letting me go home at all. The promotion has finally happened..though I was not pinned by the person who I had wanted, and was pinned by the probably the last person on earth that I wanted to be pinned by... (READ MORE)

On the Web:
The Shield of Achilles: Profiles in Shame: William Scott Ritter, Jr. - This is a column I've been waiting to write for a long time, and finally got an excuse to do it: former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter made an appearance on C-Span last weekend, plugging his new book "Waging Peace", which claims to provide a strategy plan for the peace movement. He is scheduled to appear again tomorrow, Sept 9 (I don't know if it is a different program, or a repeat of the first one) "Crooks and Liars" are all over this, and some of their comments have to be seen to be believed. This man is a god to the peace movement. (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Dumpster Diving For Hidden Treasures - Fascinating new NYT/CBS pile finds Americans trust the military more than Bush or Congress to bring the war to a successful end. There are a lot of jokes in there. Readers are encouraged to poke around, find their own, post them in comments. But here’s one that isn’t a joke at all. NYT/CBS sanitation engineers apparently had the good sense not to ask Americans what they think about the ability of NYT and CBS to bring the war to a successful end. (READ MORE)

Bryan Preston: Breaking: New bin Laden tape on the way? - That’s what the AP is reporting: “Al-Qaida announces it will release a new video of Osama bin Laden presenting the last testament of one of the Sept. 11 suicide hijackers.” Whose testament will it be? We’ve already seen Mohammad Atta and Ziad Jarrah laughing through their martyrdom videos, which were made about a year before 9-11. (READ MORE)

Allahpundit: NYT poll: Vast majority trusts military’s Iraq judgment over that of Bush and Congress - Good news for Petraeus, bad news for American democracy. Hard to imagine how much deeper the crisis of confidence in the country’s political leadership can get if we’re seeing numbers like these when we know that the public doesn’t much trust the generals either: (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Osama And The Democrats - Osama Bin Laden's latest tape sounds like a new commercial for, chastising Democrats for not ending the war in Iraq like they were elected to do. (Looking at his pictures, one wonders if George Soros paid for a beard dye job. Or maybe John Edwards barber made a trip to the cave, for $1200, to give him a touch up.) I don't normally give MSNBC credit for anything (who'd notice, their six viewers?), but Tim Curry, on their website, gets his analysis of the political reality for Democrats and Iraq correct, and even slaps for their idea of attacking House Democrats who voted for funding. (READ MORE)

Don Surber: Dems are dumb in 2 languages - The Democrats held the first Spanish language debate last night — and barred New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson from answering questions in Spanish. From Nedra Pickler’s story for the AP: “Richardson, one of two candidates who speak fluent Spanish, objected to the debate rules that required all candidates to answer in English.” (READ MORE)

Cassandra: America At War - In the comments section of this post over at Grim's Hall, the subject of national service came up: “I have to say that the ability of the connected to avoid answering the call of the selective service boards was not discovered or abused to a greater degree during Vietnam than during any other war/police action.” My question to you today is, how do we go about instilling a sense of duty in America's young? How do we instill a sense of civic duty in our citizenry at large? (READ MORE)

Jonathan Adler: Have We Learned to Fight Terrorism? - Six years after 9-11, have we learned how to prevent terrorism? Perhaps, as there has not been a successful attack in the U.S. since then. On the other hand, it is hard to defend our current approach to airport security. After watching the TSA subject a three-year-old to the explosives-sniffing "blower" at an airport, my friend Amos Guiora, formerly a counter-terrorism specialist with the Israeli Defense Forces, wonders "where are we?" (READ MORE)

Wolf Pangloss: Where did the democratic movements go? - Where did the democratic movements go? In the Middle East the momentum towards democracy has slowed. The Saudis have stopped after their first round of municipal elections. Mubarak’s dictatorship has retrenched and renewed its campaign against Egyptian bloggers and democracy activists. Iraq’s government is caught up in Shiite politics. Iran is a horror show. (READ MORE)

Lorie Byrd: David Schippers Tells of Burglary Similar to Kathleen Willey's - David Schippers tells World Net Daily that the manuscript for his book was stolen from his home, similar to Kathleen Wiley's experience. “After reading WND's report of Kathleen Willey's stolen manuscript, David Schippers - the chief counsel for the 1998 impeachment trial of President Clinton - told Willey he had a remarkably similar experience prior to publication of his best-selling book and believes the Clintons also were behind it.” (READ MORE)

Jay Tea: I Question The Timing - Last November, as part of the Democrats' overall victory at the election, New Hampshire voters turned out our two Republican Representatives and replaced them with a couple of Democrats. Carol Shea-Porter, a full-blown moonbat, has garnered most of the attention, while her colleague, Paul Hodes, has been quieter. (Although both have been quietly working on their own "earmarks" as part of their commitment to ending the Culture Of Corruption and being part of the Most Ethical And Transparent Congress In History.) (READ MORE)

A Soldier's Mind: “Squatter’s Alley” - One thing we don’t often hear in our afternoon programs on the news is about how our troops are lending a hand to communities in Iraq that are in need of help with whatever predicament they find themselves in. Some may call this a quagmire, but we just hear about what the insurgents blow up. We rarely see in depth, what our soldiers are doing to turn the public there against the insurgents who are destroying their communities and toward our side of the fight. Sometimes, our soldiers help fight the enemies of a town(village, city, tribe, etc.) which include organizations and gangs that participate in terror, or in catching street criminals who wreak havoc on the streets like as we see on the news broadcasts. Sometimes the troops rebuild the broken buildings, and deliver supplies to communities that may be short on necessities. Well, the one I am going what to write about in this post is going to be on giving medical treatment to the impoverished people of Qadisiyah, Iraq in a place called “Squatter’s Alley”. (READ MORE)

Pamela Geller: Dr. Paul Williams: Media Alters Bin Laden's Message - When I read the transcript, I thought this is a call to war. Bin Laden said in no uncertain words, convert or die. And I wasn't the only one in the blogosphere. The media is talking about bad dye jobs but there is a serious message here. Here is an Atlas exclusive written by Dr. Paul Williams outlining the media deceit, taqiya. For those 'doubters' of the tape, here's the truth from the enemy... (READ MORE)

American Soldier: Now my husband is a burden? - So I was reading the news this afternoon and came across an article on TBI, Traumatic Brain Injury. This is one of the issues that AS deals with. This was one of the reasons we went to Walter Reed in the spring. It is becoming a more recognized and real after effect of the war. Well, this article had some rather offensive, at lest to me, things to say in regards to soldiers who are suffering from TBI. Here is what it says: (READ MORE)

Big Dog: Another Sign We Need English as the Official Language - The Democrats held a debate in Spanish at the University of Miami. The Spanish language television station sponsored it and translated questions from people who do not mind coming to America and benefiting from the kindness of its citizens and its opportunities but who do not have enough courtesy to learn the language. Of course it is difficult for people to learn our language because there is no incentive to do so. We spend a lot of money printing every damned thing in English and Spanish and making sure that we do not inconvenience these poor folks who must think the world owes them something. (READ MORE)

The Belmont Club: Iran - Daniel Drezner has a long post examining whether the Bush Administration is planning to "to roll out a campaign for war with Iran in the week after Labor Day". Drezner quotes Barnett Rubin as saying: “Today I received a message from a friend who has excellent connections in Washington and whose information has often been prescient. According to this report, as in 2002, the rollout will start after Labor Day, with a big kickoff on September 11. My friend had spoken to someone in one of the leading neo-conservative institutions.” (READ MORE)

Sachi: The Surge That Never Was - the Setback That Was Never Set - The scare headline in the New York Times: Afghan Police Suffer Setbacks as Taliban Adapt. “Over the past six weeks, the Taliban have driven government forces out of roughly half of a strategic area in southern Afghanistan that American and NATO officials declared a success story last fall in their campaign to clear out insurgents and make way for development programs, Afghan officials say.” Curious about this bizarre claim -- everyone else says the Taliban have been thwarted in their attempt to "surge" this summer -- I pored over the story; and I was not shocked to discover it to be one of those articles where good news is disguised as bad. (READ MORE)

War Historian: A Long Way from the Goal Line - In a letter to service and civilian personnel of Multi-National Force-Iraq, GEN David Petraeus offers a heads up concerning the report that he and Ambassador Ryan Crocker will shortly be making to Congress: “Up front, my sense is that we have achieved tactical momentum and wrested the initiative from our enemies in a number of areas of Iraq. The result has been progress in the security arena, although it has, as you know, been uneven. Additionally, as you all appreciate very well, innumerable tasks remain and much hard work lies ahead. We are, in short, a long way from the goal line, but we do have the ball and we are driving down the field.” Petraeus goes on to sketch the good, the bad, and the ugly of the current situation. (READ MORE)

Blue Crab Boulevard: Bundles Of Cash - John Fund asks why the major Democratic candidates will not reveal the names of the donors who contributed to the bundles of cash Norman Hsu funneled to them. So far all the various candidates have done is promise to donate direct contributions from Hsu to charity - but have elected to keep all the other money he funneled to them. (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: The History of The Surge, The Insider's Edition - The Washington Post tells the story of the surge from inside the Bush administration in a lengthy and intriguing article. Headlined as "Among Top Officials, 'Surge' Has Sparked Dissent, Infighting," the compendium from the Post's reporters actually tells quite a different story. While the surge initially produced dissent -- even within the military command -- the results have united the administration and the military more than at any time over the last eight months. In the beginning, Republicans outside the administration objected to the new initiative and the Pentagon's new chief, Robert Gates, wanted to start drawing down troops. Having just lost an election with Iraq as a significantly contributing factor, the GOP wanted to see an exit strategy by 2008. (READ MORE)

Chickenhawk Express: Anti-War Leaders: Winning By Losing is the Name of the Game - The media has reported about the connections and teleconference consultations between the Democrats in Congress and the anti-war crowd. But rarely have we gotten a view of a strategic planning session between various factions of the "anti's". Until now: The National Council of Spiritual Progressives held a conference call with their comrades posted a transcript of the call on the Spiritual Progressive website. Participants included Medea Benjamin (Code Pink), Leslie Cagan (avowed Socialist and founder United for Peace & Justice), Rep Lynn Woolsey (Socialist - I mean Member of Progressive Caucus), Rep Jim Moran (anti-American BFF of John Murtha), Tim Carpenter (Progressive Socialists - oops Democrats of America) and various other Anti-War, Anti-American "leaders". (READ MORE)

Victor Comras: A New International Counter-terrorism Organization Makes Good Sense - John Edwards’ proposal for a new international Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization (CITO) deserve serious consideration. Edwards has put his finger on the single most important shortcoming in the war on terrorism – the serious lack of international cooperation and coordination in efforts to grapple with terrorism on a world wide scale. The United Nations, and the various terrorism related committees established by the Security Council, have simply failed to carry out this important function. (see my numerous blogs on this topic: (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) here, ). This has left a void that the United States and certain other countries have sought to fill by establishing various ad hoc bilateral arrangements, and this process has produced only limited, and very uneven, success. (READ MORE)

The Foxhole: Bin Laden to Dems: It’s your fault - Osama Bin Laden, head Isalmofascist turd, is purported to have released a new tape with his usual ramblings about the “Great Satan” and claims of “no kidding, I’m going to attack you again”, but this time with an added bonus. He’s pissed off that his Democratic supporters haven’t been able to stop the royal ass kicking he’s getting in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also has reading assignments for his worldwide sychophants and advice for the Jews, to boot: The tape contains no specific threat… (READ MORE)

Freedom Eden: MoveOn Attacks Petraeus - Did you ever doubt the patriotism of the crowd? Hesitate to say that they act as if they're hoping for America under President George Bush to fail, whether in war or peace? There's no reason to hesitate. Those people don't hesitate to lie, mercilessly bashing General David Petraeus. Pete Hegseth writes: (READ MORE)

La Shawn Barber: Activist Judges With Political Axes - Grinding, grinding, grinding… As long as I live, I will never understand why more blacks aren’t spitting mad about race preferences. In their minds, I suppose, it’s not a preference; it’s “affirmative action.” The confusion stems from not defining terms. In its purest form, affirmative action is simply taking positive steps toward including more historically excluded people — blacks and women — in a hiring or admissions pool. Their inclusion presumes they’re as qualified as other applicants. But somewhere along the way, affirmative action turned into a quota system, whereby a certain percentage of women or blacks, even the less qualified, had to be hired in order to meet some arbitrary balance. (READ MORE)

Libertarian Leanings: Determined to lose - Yesterday on the Sunday talk show circuit leading Democrats disputed reports due today from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. With a New York Times/CBS News poll finding only a modest increase in the number of Americans who are aware that the surge has dramatically improved the situation in Iraq, leading Democrats have put all of their chips on a political strategy that seeks to fill the void with their own version of events in Iraq. "WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 — Leading Democrats today pre-emptively assailed the expected findings on Iraq due this week from Gen. David H. Petraeus as “dead, flat wrong” and said President Bush’s likely call for continued patience in the war would simply extend an “unconscionable” and “completely unacceptable” policy. (READ MORE)

Paul Mirengoff: Gripped by fear - John D. Hutson is the president and dean of the Franklin Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire. He was a career Navy lawyer who rose to the rank of Rear Admiral and served during President Clinton's second term as the Navy's Judge Advocate General. Hutson currently is on the board of directors of Human Rights First, and has been a leading critic of interrogation tactics such as waterboarding that, according to George Tenet and others, have been quite effective in obtaining useful information from terrorists. Hutson was offended by the answers given by most Republican presidential candidates last week in response to questions about the interrogation of terrorists. He therefore issued the following statement: (READ MORE)

Protein Wisdom: The Useful Idiot’s Guide to Useful Idiocy [Karl] - The Leftosphere had a collective hissy fit over the suggestion that Osama bin Laden sounded like a member of the Leftist nutroots in his latest video. What the complainers want to ignore is that OBL has always sounded like them. OBL has been complaining about global warming since his 2002 “letter to the American people,” perhaps earlier. Many elements in the ideology of al Qaeda — set forth most clearly in OBL’s 1996 “Declaration of War Against America” — derive from a mix of Isalmism and postmodern Leftist thought. Bin Laden’s primary inspiration was the writings of Sayyid Qutb, whose thought has many parallels with Marxism. (READ MORE)

Pros and Cons: More “torture” allegations about Gitmo - The Lancet used to be a legitimate and respected medical journal, and my father was once thrilled to have published there, but it has gone way, way downhill, being embarrased on second hand smoke articles that didn’t stand up to peer review and veering far off the rails into issues like gun control and, now, “torture” by les hyperpuissance (that’s be the USA). Here is the latest deliberately misleading tripe complaining that we do not allow priponers at Guantanmo Bay to kill themselves. (The U.N. and Red Cross once complained that we supplied them with udner-inflated beach balls, so this is par for the course). (READ MORE)

The Redhunter: Democrats Behaving Disgracefully III - Via Redstate we have Senator Harry Reid joining Senators Durban and Schumer in an unparalleled showing of disgraceful behavior. ABC News reports this: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in his party's weekly radio address today that he expects the Petraeus report to be nothing more than the Bush administration's selective take on the surge. "Before the report arrives in Congress, it will pass through the White House spin machine, where facts are often ignored or twisted, and intelligence is cherry-picked," said Reid. On Friday, Reid went so far as to question not only the true source of the report but also the four-star general's honesty.” (READ MORE)

The Torch: Hindsight on Medusa - I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak with BGen David Fraser, former Commander of Regional Command South in Afghanistan, and currently Commandant of the Canadian Forces College in Toronto, this past Friday afternoon. I received a call from his PAffO subsequent to this post, and set up the interview. Before speaking with the general, I talked and corresponded with people who had served under him in Afghanistan. I heard two main things from them: that Fraser took each casualty on his watch very personally, so the idea that he would risk troops lives recklessly would be laughable if it wasn't such a serious matter; and that he has big shoulders, so he won't be pointing any fingers at anyone else. On the first point, I'll have to take their word. On the second, he proved true to their assessment. (READ MORE)

Texas Rainmaker: Yes, Democrats, I’m Questioning Your Patriotism… - They can continue to claim they’re simply disagreeing with policies of the Bush administration, but listen to their words and you’ll see it’s much more than a simple disagreement. And it’s downright disgusting. Senator Harry Reid is trying to preempt the report General David Petraeus is to give to Congress tomorrow… by calling the four-star general a liar. “‘Before the report arrives in Congress, it will pass through the White House spin machine, where facts are often ignored or twisted, and intelligence is cherry-picked,’ said Reid. On Friday, Reid went so far as to question not only the true source of the report but also the four-star general’s honesty. ‘He has made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual,’ Reid said. (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Future of the Long War: Winning by Losing and Winning by Winning - As Washington awaits General Petraeus's report on 9/11, and the late, unlamented Osama bin Laden promises a new video as part of al Qaeda's psychological war against the West, several lessons are becoming clear about the Long War. Most importantly, lessons from Iraq and the Palestinian Territories (especially Gazastan), reveal the intimate relationship between the Islamists and the West that can either marginalize or nurture them. In every front in this war, Jihad exhibits a profound and dynamic dependency on the Western world that is determinative. The lesson may be clearest in Iraq, specifically in Anbar province. (READ MORE)

Steve Schippert: About That Iraqi Civil War... - It seems the only people talking about an Iraqi Sunni-Shi'a civil war are DC-anchored politicians opposed to the deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq. If they really want to consider and discuss a potential Iraqi civil war, they might be quite surprised that it's Shi'a v. Shi'a in nature and not the Sunni v. Shi'a variety that al-Qaeda has so desperately sought to foment since the February 2006 bombing of the al-Askaria mosque in Samarar. (READ MORE)

ROFASix: Damned if You Do or Don't in Iraq? - The last couple of week Gen Petraeus has had to entertain the likes of Katie Couric as well as hordes from Congress and the Senate. In his spare time I suppose he is suppose to be managing a war in Iraq while trying to figure out how to put a positive spin on his eagerly awaited report on 'benchmarks in Iraq.' He is enough of a realist to know that he is probably wasting his time. The media and 'experts' have already declared not only the 'surge' but Petraeus a failure despite what you may read from those who are actually on the ground in Iraq. It is ironic that the DoD has turned off the spigot on milbloggers since now one has to depend on 'official media', the few embedded reporters, and 'experts' to get a sensing for what is happening in Iraq. (READ MORE)

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