American Entropy is dedicated to the disruption and discrediting of neoconservative actions and the extreme ideals of the religious right.
This isn't good
Full text here
. Let's wait b-4 we overreact. Another source here
TEXT: 1. (C/PR) MAKIDJ REPORTS A PSD TEAM WORKING FOR TRIPLE CANOPY, INC. DEPARTED RAMADI EARLY DECEMBER VIA MAIN HIGHWAY TO JORDAN. TEAM CHOSE OVERLAND DEPARTURE DUE TO BIA CLOSURE AT THE TIME. A FEW MILES FROM BORDER CROSSING TEAM ENCOUNTERED TWO IRAQI TRUCKS (W/DRIVERS) ACTING "ERRATIC". PSD TEAM DECIDED DA WAS NEEDED AND ENGAGED THE TWO VEHICLES WITH OVER 200 ROUNDS OF 5.56, KILLING TWO UNARMED IRAQI MALES. TEAM STOPPED AND TOOK PHOTOGRAPHS, THEN CONTINUED ENROUTE JORDAN BORDER.
2. (C/PR) TEAM WAS STOPPED ON IRAQI SIDE OF BORDER BY ENGLISH-SPEAKING IRAQI CUSTOMS OFFICER. CUSTOMS OFFICER ASKED IF THE TEAM HAD ENCOUNTERED ANY TROUBLE ON THE HIGHWAY. TEAM MEMBERS RESPONDED IN THE NEGATIVE, INDICATING THEY HAD ENCOUNTERED NO PROBLEMS. CUSTOMS OFFICER FURTHER INQUIRED AS TO WHY THERE WAS OVER 100 ROUNDS EXPENDED 5.56 BRASS FOUND AT THE SITE OF A REPORTED "INCIDENT" WHERE TWO IRAQI TRUCK DRIVERS WERE FOUND SPRAWLED ON THE GROUND WITH THEIR HEADS "BLOWN OFF" BY WHAT IS DESCRIBED AS CONTACT WOUNDS TO THE FACE.
3. (U) TEAM WAS HELD AT THE BORDER FOR 9 HOURS WHILE VEHICLES AND GEAR WERE FULLY SEARCHED. NO FURTHER DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE ON WHAT ELSE TRANSPIRED DURING THE SEARCH. APPARENTLY IT WAS RESOLVED IN SOME MANNER AND THE TEAM WAS ALLOWED TO PROCEED ON ITS WAY.
COMMENTS: 1. (C/PR) MAKIDJ DESCRIBES AT LEAST ONE TRIPLE CANOPY, INC. PSD TEAM MEMBER AS "AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAD A SHORT 3 YEAR TOUR IN CONVENTIONAL ARMY AND THEN WENT INTO LAW ENFORCEMENT, UNTIL THIS BIG COWBOY CONTRACTOR OPPORTUNITY CAME ABOUT."
2. (C) MAKIDJ EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERN THAT "THESE GUYS WERE ON THE WAY HOME AND DECIDED THAT THEY NEEDED TO KILL A FEW IRAQIS JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT---COWBOYS AND MURDERERS LIKE THESE [EXPLETIVE DELETED] ARE GOING TO UNDERMINE THE ENTIRE EFFORT IN IRAQ. THEY HAVE STAINED THE NAMES OF THE US MILITARY PERSONNEL WHO HAVE BEEN KIA OR WIA IN IRAQ. IF I WAS [IRAQI] I'D BE TRYING TO KILL THESE [EXPLETIVE DELETED] 'CONTRACTORS', TOO!"
posted by Geoff, bitch!
I find this troubling
In regards to the Israelis, they have excellent intelligence. Far exceeding ours in the Middle East for sure. They knew about 9/11 (or at least it has been rumored), they were warned of the recent attacks in Jordan and they have been dealing in and with terrorism since the early 1900s. Last week two separate stories came to my attention, neither has a good prognosis for the Middle East region. The first
is a report from a meeting between US and Israeli officials
. The backbone of this meeting was 'back off the democracy based war mongering in the Middle East or else!..'
Israel laid out for the United States three scenarios if Bashar Assad [Syria] is toppled: chaos, an Islamist regime or another strongman from Assad's minority Alawite sect. Israel fears all those options, saying Assad provides a measure of stability.
So, IMHO, if the Israelis are against it then it isn't a good idea for the region. I think the threat
of Syria is severly overrated. Assad is easily comparable to the strong man in Egypt for example. It is all deflection when the military fingers Syria for all its problems. IMO.
Next, and more troubling, is the account of noted scholar, Martin van Creveld. He is an brilliant military thinker out of Israel who currently is the only foerign author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers. I've used his works extensivly in my reasearch here at the CofC and elsewhere. Research which has focused on the state of Israel and Palestine. He is a man I have a termendous amount of respect for, and his opinion should be noted. This is my edit but do read the entire peice. This is what I'm talking about
What had to come, has come. The question is no longer if American forces will be withdrawn, but how soon - and at what cost.
...simply abandoning equipment or handing it over to the Iraqis, as was done in Vietnam, is simply not an option.
Handing over their [the US] bases or demolishing them if necessary, American forces will have to fall back on Baghdad. From Baghdad they will have to make their way to the southern port city of Basra, and from there back to Kuwait, where the whole misguided adventure began. When Prime Minister Ehud Barak pulled Israel out of Lebanon in 2000, the military was able to carry out the operation in a single night without incurring any casualties. That, however, is not how things will happen in Iraq.
Not only are American forces perhaps 30 times larger, but so is the country they have to traverse. A withdrawal probably will require several months and incur a sizable number of casualties. As the pullout proceeds, Iraq almost certainly will sink into an all-out civil war from which it will take the country a long time to emerge Â if, indeed, it can do so at all. All this is inevitable and will take place whether George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice like it or not.
but, and we all know this, this is what this was all about,
...a complete American withdrawal is not an option; the region, with its vast oil reserves, is simply too important for that. A continued military presence, made up of air, sea and a moderate number of ground forces, will be needed.
They will be need to fend off the Iranians who, as van Creveld writes... "Tehran is certain to emerge as the biggest winner from the war. (...) Now that Iraq is gone, it is hard to see how anybody except the United States can keep the Gulf States, and their oil, out of the mullahs' clutches."
van Creveld continues, stating that the US must stay to ensure that the 'hornets' nest' that will develop in the Iraqi vacume won't "spread all over the Middle East, conducting acts of sabotage and seeking to overthrow governments in Allah's name."
van Creveld concludes...
Maintaining an American security presence in the region, not to mention withdrawing forces from Iraq, will involve many complicated problems, military as well as political. Such an endeavor, one would hope, will be handled by a team different from - and more competent than - the one presently in charge of the White House and Pentagon.
For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.
This is required reading for the US military scholars, he has been required rerading in several of my calsses.
Now I've been against the calls from the Republicans for immediate withdrawl and against (to a lesser extent) the call for withdrawl from Rep. Murtha. However, I don't know what to do in the alternative. How does this end?
Posted by Geoff
Friday news dump: More US propaganda
I've writing a term paper and preparing for finals next week so I've missed some things recently. I'll begin to address them below
- 10 US Marines have been killed in an insurgent attack in the still hot and not pacified (as stated by some) city of Fallujah. Kos nails this one
I have a Marine family member over there right now. My heart skips a beat every time a Marine gets killed. Not a problem for Wittmann, Lieberman, or Bush. Their social and family circles doesn't bother themselves with such niceties as "national service".
In the article I noticed this paragraph
In Baghdad, some Shiites joined hundreds of Sunni Muslims to denounce widespread arrests of suspected insurgents. They prayed together before a joint demonstration in a show of unity ahead of the potentially divisive elections.
First off, the coming together of disparate Islamic religions is promising. However, the common assertion that the coming election may bring peace to Iraq at long last is totally utopian. As laid out here, Iraq is split. An insurgent state may and often exists within government, even strong and oppressive ones. The election will not change anything in the short- to mid-term except make the stakes that much higher.
- It was revealed this week that the US Military has been paying for and planting favorable stories in the Iraqi press. This is part of war I guess, though I'd say it is a little later in the game for forced propaganda. It also says a lot about the freedom of Iraq as maintained by the administration. If the Iraqis really believed that "[t]he Sands Are Blowing Toward a Democratic Iraq," they would write about it.
- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace said that the military hasn't done a good enough job of explaining to the American people what is going on in Iraq and the political and military progress there. So I guess we'll be seeing a lot of propaganda directed at us in the coming week or so to support the Presidents attempt to increase support for Iraq with PowerPoint presentations and speeches, and short fluff pieces hinting at a plan. On the topic of propaganda, in the speech earlier this week (the first of four to plead for public support), Bush has been caught in a lie of sorts re. the recent operations in Tal Afar and the performance of the Iraqi military.
- Corruption seems to be the way Washington operates recently; I know there is always corruption but I'm young and it is the worst I've seen it. Most of this falls into the hands of the Republicans, but the Dems are participating as well. It needs to stop.
- When will the second phase of the Intelligence CommitteeÂs investigation into pre-war intelligence on Iraq start?
- Treason Gate continues, could Rove's lawyer be next?
- NYT writes about some (totaling 100) of the insurgent/irredentist/terrorist groups in Iraq.
- Another ally of ours has questionable democratic practices.
The leading opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, won no seats in the final round of Egypt's parliamentary elections after police barred thousands of its supporters from casting ballots, according to official results announced today.
no surprise there.
- Two members of the coalition of the coerced are leaving Iraq. More may bontont the way. I guess we'll all be pulling out together. Of course it can't affect US elections.
- I'll let Dr. Cole take this last one
The US military said that suicide bombings fell to their lowest level in seven months in November and pointed to this statistic as a sign of progress in the war.
But November saw 87 US troops killed, among the highest death tolls for a 30-day period since the war began, and one wonders about the rate of severely wounded. Moreover, in one two-week period in November, bombers (suiciders or not) killed hundreds of Iraqis, spreading insecurity, fear and anger.
It raises the question of whether the guerrillas are depending more heavily on roadside bombs and remotely detonated bombs rather than on kamikazes. Whatever the case, the mere decline in the latter seems to have little or nothing to do with the level of security in the country, which is generally poor, and, indeed, among the worst of any country in the world.
That's it for now.
Posted by Geoff
Bush (finally) admits the insurgency is local
I haven't suffered through the speech yet, and since no one takes the president seriously anymore I may ignore it [UPDATE] David Corn
on the speech that meant nothing. However, Col. Lang watched it and has some points to highlight
. First, the president has finally admitted that the insurgency is much more complex than their propaganda over the last year or so has implied.
1-The "Rejectionists." Read "ordinary Iraqis" for that "Mostly Sunni Arabs," (his words) He says that these are people who want to restore their previously dominant role in Iraqi society. Absolutely.
2- Baathist hold-outs for a Restoration. (This would be nothing like Charles the 2nd's return from France, trust me.) Presumably, these guys have the money.
3-Jihadi religious fanatics, some local, some foreign. Not more than 10% of total but responsible for most suicidal activity. No problem there, either.
He did not mention the awkward implication of (1) above that there are a hell of a lot of supporters maintaining this force in existence, but based on the speed with which the administration acknowledges the truth, we should see an admission of that in a year or so.
Is this important? You bet it is! Up until this morning, the "Zarqawi Madness" insisted on by the government was a straitjacket within which the intelligence people and the command in the field had to operate.
What are the pundits going to do now?
Posted by Geoff
Mr. Rumsfeld, Iraq is an insurgent state. Got it?!
I don't know if he was kidding around or just ranting but yesterday Don Rumsfeld said that the Iraqi insurgency doesn't "... merit the word 'insurgency.'" He added "I think" on the end there. This additional "I think" is important because the Sec. of Defense is wrong. Iraq meets the seven attributes listed by Robert McColl in his timeless paper The Insurgent State: Territorial Bases of Revolution. Rummy went on to say that the insurgency has no "legitimate gripe."
So what's going on here? Do we have a Sec of State that doesn't know the definition of insurgency?
Although McColl's paper is quite extensive, the meat of his analysis can be summed up with seven attributes that an ideal insurgent state should have
- The region should have a history of revolution or opposition to central government;
- the region should be located on or near military and political objectives;
- political stability should be weak at best;
- political or ethnic boundaries provide excellent locations for insurgencies;
- favorable terrain for military operations and security should be used;
- the area should be economic self-sufficient;
- the insurgent base area should not be abandoned (McColl, 1969, p. 617-8).
Starting from the bottom.
Have insurgent bases been successfully eliminated? No.
I don't know of any city that has been completely pacified. They've been cleared out, leveled, et cetera, but no city has been completely abandoned by the insurgency, especially in the Sunni heartland.
[UPDATE2] Samarra is a good example
Perhaps someone can provide some proof here. I don’t see any signs that economic problems are inhibiting the insurgency, but what do I know I'm in SC not Baghdad. I'd imagine this attribute would be satisfied in the case of Iraq. If not, missing one would do little to weaken the argument.
[UPDATE] Oil is one avenue of funding.
First off, it is their home and the urban centers of Iraq offer excellent cover for the guerrilla. We may bristle with weaponry but the home field advantage is, well, priceless.
Ethnic boundaries and insurgencies...
Anyone ever seen the tribal map of Arabia? Look here. Pretty complex, huh? Let's move on.
You can argue that the stability is on the way, perhaps next month. I'd say your incorrect, but what you can't argue is that the political situation is or has been stable at any point. On top of the waning Iraqi government, the occupation is bunkered down in the green-zone's and barrack's spread throughout the region. We've been caught torturing and killing prisoners, using chemical weapons, targeting journalist, and forcing war based on systematic manipulations of bad intel and repeated mistruths by party operatives. That is not a good foundation for stability and Iraq isn't a stable political state.
Proximity to prime objectives
Well Baghdad is one. The entire region is immersed in religious and cultural traditions. Some of the holiest Shi'a shrines and such are in Iraq. In a similar fashion a large section of Iraq is floating on black gold. The 'Sunni triangle' is sliced by the Euphrates River. Water and oil, we've seen it in the Sudan, wars are fought over these resources and I suspect we'll see the same in Iraq for a long time.
History of conflict
I've saved perhaps the most apparent trait of the insurgent state for last. Any freshman history book would be a disgrace if it did not paint Mesopotamia as a region of historical conflict. So what is happening at the Pentagon? Was Rummy kidding or is he guilty of a little revisionism of his own? Does our Sec. of Defense not know the standard definition of the insurgent state? Why hasn't anyone in the military gone over this with him at some point in the past two years? If he is willing to stand by his statement, then why is he still Sec of State?
McColl, Robert W. 1969. "The Insurgent State: Territorial Bases of Revolution." ANNALS of the Association of American Geographers. 59:613-631.
Posted by Geoff
Bush Repub Calls Cheney a war criminal
Ex-Powell CoS at the State Dept., Col Lawrence Wilkerson, has been everywhere trashing Cheney and Rumsfeld the last few days. On Democracy Now!
the other day he was at it, but he is interesting. He openly stated he was a Repub and voted twice for 'W'. He disagreed with the typical liberal or even Democratic viewpoints brought on other topics by Amy Goodman such as Haiti.
But the BBC must have got him
after some Wheaties or something
Asked by the BBC's Today if Mr Cheney could be accused of war crimes, he said: "It's an interesting question."
"Certainly it is a domestic crime to advocate terror," he added.
"And I would suspect, for whatever it's worth, it's an international crime as well." ...
"What I'm saying is that, under the vice-president's protection, the secretary of defence [Donald Rumsfeld] moved out to do what they wanted in the first place, even though the president had made a decision that was clearly a compromise," Col Wilkerson said.
He said that he laid the blame on the issue of prisoner abuse and post-war planning for Iraq "pretty fairly and squarely" at Mr Cheney's feet.
"I look at the relationship between Mr Cheney and Mr Rumsfeld as being one that produced these two failures in particular, and I see that the president is not holding either of them accountable... so I have to lay some blame at his feet too," he went on.
This guy is well connected and should be taken seriously. But it is interesting still: Is this Powell talking?
interview text here
Posted by Geoff
Brilliant! Bush says
You know, I just recently came off a trip to the Far East. By the way, representing the United States of America around the world is one of the great experiences of the presidency. And it struck me that I was in a region of the world where there -- where wars had started.
I'm starting to question his compotence.
Posted by Geoff
Bush had no exit strategy for Iraq
He barely had a plan.
Tomorrow Mr. Bush will unveil a new strategy for winning Iraq according to several news agencies
Great! Can't wait to hear it, but I bet it will be more of the same. I'm puzzled though, shouldn't we have had one 2 years ago? Seriously.
Posted by Geoff