Thursday, June 22, 2006

Iraq and The War and Terror - A Roundup

  • The New Band of Brothers With the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division in Ramadi, by Michael Fumento. The Weekly Standard, June 19, 2006

  • Marine Sniper takes out Insurgent Sniper - Part I | Part II. On June 21st, 2004, a four man sniper team was over-run and killed on a rooftop in Ramadi. It was a very tough loss. One of the snipers' rifles was taken. On June 16, 2006, Sgt. Kevin Homestead, a 26-year-old squad leader for K Company, dispatched an insurgent sniper and recovered the rifle. Blackfive has the two-part story.

  • Michael Fey: "My Truth" - Moved by the kidnapping, torture and murder of two American servicemen, combat artist Michael Fey (Fire & Ice) -- " someone who formerly identified himself strongly as a left leaning progressive" -- examines where he stands in relation to Iraq, the WOT, and the Democratic Party.

  • "I Met The President!" - "I can personally verify that the President of the United States is in Baghdad, Iraq! Shortly after finishing the speach that FoxNews is broadcasting, he made the rounds shaking hands and I managed to work my way to the front and shake his hand." A U.S. soldier stationed in Iraq witnessed the President's suprise visit.

  • Revisionist History: Antiwar myths about Iraq, debunked, by Peter Wehner. Wall Street Journal May 23, 2006:
    Iraqis can participate in three historic elections, pass the most liberal constitution in the Arab world, and form a unity government despite terrorist attacks and provocations. Yet for some critics of the president, these are minor matters. Like swallows to Capistrano, they keep returning to the same allegations--the president misled the country in order to justify the Iraq war; his administration pressured intelligence agencies to bias their judgments; Saddam Hussein turned out to be no threat since he didn't possess weapons of mass destruction; and helping democracy take root in the Middle East was a postwar rationalization. The problem with these charges is that they are false and can be shown to be so--and yet people continue to believe, and spread, them. Let me examine each in turn: . . .
  • Apologizing for Iraq. National Review columnist John Derbyshire says "Allow me to eat crow." Rod Dreher agrees -- sounding a note of disagreement in "a response to Messrs. Buckley, Will and Fukuyama", The Wrong Time to Lose Our Nerve. Wall Street Journal April 4, 2006. See also An Iraqi Optimist's Tale: From horror under Saddam to uncertainty today, by Brett Stephens. Wall Street Journal May 28, 2006.

  • The "Bad Body Armor" Lie - Howdy's blog. Sept. 29, 2005. A U.S. soldier refutes a liberal slander.

  • Myths of Iraq, by Ralph Peters. Real Clear Politics March 14, 2006:
    During a recent visit to Baghdad, I saw an enormous failure. On the part of our media. The reality in the streets, day after day, bore little resemblance to the sensational claims of civil war and disaster in the headlines.

    No one with first-hand experience of Iraq would claim the country's in rosy condition, but the situation on the ground is considerably more promising than the American public has been led to believe. Lurid exaggerations and instant myths obscure real, if difficult, progress. . . .

  • In a guest editorial on Winds of Change, Thomas Holsinger makes The Case for Invading Iran January 19, 2006.

  • Sectarianism, Violence, and the Future of Iraq - Threatswatch. Daniel Darling asks, "Does sectarian violence constitute civil war in Iraq?"

  • "8,000 desert during the Iraqi War" screams the headline of the USA Today article (and will likely be trumpeted by anti-war websites around the world). Buried in the story, however, is the news that Desertion numbers have dropped since 9/11:
    Opposition to the war prompts a small fraction of desertions, says Army spokeswoman Maj. Elizabeth Robbins. "People always desert, and most do it because they don't adapt well to the military," she says. The vast majority of desertions happen inside the USA, Robbins says. There is only one known case of desertion in Iraq.
  • Foiled Attacks Can Lull Public -- "In looking at the linked articles," says Michael B. Kraft at The Counterterrorism Blog, I was struck by the number of attempted major terrorist attacks in different parts of the world that were foiled and thus unlikely to register in the public consciousness.

  • Back to Iraq Part IV - From Zakho to Dohok, by Michael Totten. April 13, 2006 (This is the fourth installment in a Back to Iraq series which is basically a single long essay. Don’t miss Part One, Part Two, and Part Three).

  • April 9, 2003 was Iraqi Liberation Day. Judith Weiss of Keshertalk revisits the day Saddam Toppled.

  • A New Abu Ghraib? - Photos of American "Water Torture" at the hands of a U.S. Marine and Iraqi Babies Abused by U.S. Soldiers, courtesy of milblogger Blackfive.

  • "I have seen the enemy . . .", by Franklin Raff. Worldnet Daily April 14, 2006:
    Non-English speaking Iraqis are distressed and disheartened by American media bias. Many feel personally offended by what they read in translation and hear of in the foreign press. I am not talking about press information and public affairs officers. I am not talking about coalition soldiers (though every one I spoke with on the subject was equally frustrated.) I am talking about Arabic-speaking Iraqis. They see a difference between what we're seeing and what we're saying. What does that tell you about the extent of our problem?
  • (A post from last year, dated but worth reading, demonstrating the character of our troops):Little Girl, by Michael Yon. May 14th, 2005:
    Major Mark Bieger found this little girl after the car bomb that attacked our guys while kids were crowding around. The soldiers here have been angry and sad for two days. They are angry because the terrorists could just as easily have waited a block or two and attacked the patrol away from the kids. Instead, the suicide bomber drove his car and hit the Stryker when about twenty children were jumping up and down and waving at the soldiers. . . .

Stories of American Heroes

  • interviews SSG David Bellavia, Iraqi war veteran and veteran's rights advocate. Februrary 6, 2006.

  • A letter from the Mayor of Tall 'Afar, Iraq to the men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and their families. February 16, 2006. (Members of the Regiment are now returning home to Ft Carson, Colorado).

  • In Iraq, brave troops and a noble cause Major Kevin Kelly, F-16 pilot with the New Jersey Air National Guard, is currently deloyed in Iraq. He describes his experiences as "incredible" in an editorial for the Philadelphia Enquirer. (Via MarineCorpsMoms).

  • Captain Furat: "One More Reason For Hope", by Michael Yon. "An Iraqi Warrior is fighting for new life in America after an assassination ambush by insurgents riddled his body with a dozen bullets but failed to extinguish this soldier’s force of life. . . ."

  • Common Name, Uncommon Valor: The Story of Paul Smith, the Iraq War's only Medal of Honor recipient so far. Ralph Kinney Bennet profiles the American hero for the Wall Street Journal March 29, 2006.

  • Soldier With A Pen, by David Paulin.
    Steven Vincent, a freelance journalist who brought elegant writing and passionate moral clarity to his magazine articles, was kidnapped and murdered in Basra, Iraq, eight months ago. Like Jill Carroll, Vincent freelanced for several publications - including The Christian Science Monitor. Unlike Carroll and most journalists in Iraq, Vincent broke out of mainstream journalistic formulas and biases that have provided a distorted picture of this war. On the third anniversary of Iraq’s April 7th liberation, Vincent’s legacy is worth remembering as questions about the war’s progress inevitably provoke questions about the fairness of the media’s war reporting.

    Steven Vincent’s book: In the Red Zone: A Journey Into the Soul of Iraq is available from Spence Publishing for $10 - an online special more than one half off the regular retail price. It is well worth reading.

    The Steven Vincent Foundation: Established by Steven’s widow, Lisa Ramaci-Vincent, the foundation provides financial aid to families of murdered freelance journalists, photographers, translators and other media workers. Funds also are provided to improve the conditions of women in the Islamic world, an issue that was close to Steven’s heart. As of April, 2006, the foundation had distributed several thousand dollars to people in Iraq, Iran, and Bangladesh. Checks should be made out to “The Steven Vincent Foundation” and mailed to: The Steven Vincent Foundation, 534 East 11th Street, Suite 17-18, New York, NY, 10009. Donations via Paypal ( should be e-mailed to: On April 30, 2006, Lisa Ramaci-Vincent spoke about the Stephen Vincent Foundation.

A Touch of Humor . . .

9/11 Revisited

  • Germany says 9/11 hijackers called Syria, Saudi Arabia - according to the Chicago Tribune: "The Sept. 11 hijackers made dozens of telephone calls to Saudi Arabia and Syria in the months before the attacks."

  • On tape, Hussein talks of WMDs CNN February 19, 2006: "Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein told his Cabinet in the mid-1990s that the U.S. would fall victim to terrorists possessing weapons of mass destruction but that Iraq would not be involved."

The Case for War Revisited

Abu Ghraib Revisited