War Archives

Chaos? No. Struggle? Yes. Hope? Definitely!

Dean Esmay highlights some of the interview answers the President of Iraq. (Full story here.) Check his list out regarding the President’s view of what some call the “chaos” in his country.

I’d like to highlight a couple of other quotes.

When should the U.S. troops leave?

In seven provinces, the American army has withdrawn. The Iraqi army is replacing American forces in many cities. We hope that at the end of this year we will be able to control 12 provinces. We will remain in need of the American and coalition forces until we’ve trained our army and will be able to face terrorism and defeat it.

How long will that be?

I think within two years we will be able to train our army and have the capacity to face terrorism. . . . The presence of American forces — even a symbolic one — will frighten those who are trying to interfere in our affairs.

Not all, I imagine, but enough to make a difference, I’m sure. Seems the Murtha wing of the Democratic Party needs to consider the positive effect our troops are having there.

Now, one of the parties this is supposed to frighten is Iran, and the President says he got “real and serious promises” from them to not meddle in Iraq’s affairs. I’ve got a hefty bit of skepticism there, to be sure. However, there’s no doubt that Iran would consider it open season on Iraq were we to leave completely. Not even President Talabani wants that.

Would you welcome U.S. bases in Kurdistan?

Yes, they are welcome. Kurdistan wants the Americans to stay. In some places Sunnis want the Americans to stay — Sunnis think the main danger is coming from Iran now. There is a change in the mind of the Sunnis. The Sunnis are for having good relations with America. The [Shiites] have started to think that.

Will the U.S. put bases in Kurdistan?

I think we will be in need of American forces for a long time — even two military bases to prevent foreign interference. I don’t ask to have 100,000 American soldiers — 10,000 soldiers and two air bases would be enough. This will be [in] the interest of the Iraqi people and of peace in the Middle East.

Imagine that. Here’s a middle eastern President suggesting that an American presence will promote peace in the region. And which party isn’t willing to do that?

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The Captain At Bat

Captain Ed participated in a forum at Macalester College on the Iraq War last night. He posted his opening remarks on his blog, and I think it’s a great overall view of why the war was the right thing to do in general, even if, as happens in most wars, the execution wasn’t and isn’t letter-perfect.

He has a follow-up post this morning on how it all went.

There She Stands

by Michael W. Smith.


Five years later, I fear we’ve forgotten the reason we came together those weeks and months after 9/11. It’s not the flag, but the flag reminds us of the reason. We are a diverse nation that can come together as we have done so many times in the past. It can still happen, if we remember why we fight and what’s at stake.

The first response to the attacks in September, 2001 was on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania. It would be a pity if we’ve already forgotten why they fought. They had a clarity we’re losing. They had a purpose that’s getting foggy in the minds of too many Americans.

We were united. We can still be. Remember why.

Previous 9/11 posts:


Tough Questions for the Associated Press

What did they know and when did they know it? Mark Tapscott would like to know.

Saddam Hussein had a very trusted source inside AP, according to the translation of another of the thousands of documents captured by U.S. forces that are only slowing being made public. In this particular document, the source inside AP tells Hussein about the formation of UNMOVIC, the UN weapons inspection team.

So if Hussein had a credible source working for him within AP, was it a stringer in a Middle Eastern nation, an Iraqi “dissident” who had become a full-time employee or consultant to AP or a regular AP employee whose decades of agreement with the “Blame America First” school of foreign policy led to a decision to aid one of America’s enemies?

Is this individual still employed by AP? Has this individual gone on to work for another U.S. media organization like The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc.?

And I would add my own questions. Is this a one-off, an isolated incident, or could there be more? Do the well-documented politics of journalists make this sort of thing easier for those who can blend in with those sympathies? This should become a top priority in media circles, to root out this sort of infiltration. Reuters may have a contribution to make in this area. Certainly they should have learned a little bit on how to discover a fauxtographer.

For a counter-point, check with the Captain. Given the timing of the memo, he doesn’t see this as being a big deal, and the memo doesn’t describe the nature of the source. This is all well and good, but effort should still go into finding out whether it was a reporter or just a desk clerk. It matters.
This, as well as other documents, have uncovered a lot of information about what was really going on in Iraq, including knowledge of weapons programs. Given what’s still untranslated, Mark notes:

And one more thought: There remain thousands of untranslated documents. We still do not know with any certainty whether in fact Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

Emphasis his, and rightly so. We do know that we’ve recovered approximately 700 shells that contained or were designed to contain chemical weapons. Before people consider our current level of knowledge settled, understand that the fat lady hasn’t sung just yet.

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Peace For Me, But Not For Thee

Who wishes she had a time machine so she could go back and kill George W. Bush as a child? Why, the “peace” mom, of course! Tammy Bruce ponders, if Cindy Sheehan was going to go back in time and kill someone, why she wouldn’t choose another target.

Oddly, she focuses on the infant Bush, as opposed to, let’s say, bin Laden when he was a playboy making the rounds of American nightclubs. That would have stopped all of this from happening, including the need to invade Iraq. But it seems stopping 9/11 isn’t much on the top of our Time Traveler Mom’s list.

Yup, Bush is the real terrorist in the mind of the 21st century peaceniks. If he wasn’t alive, 9/11 would’ve never happened.

Yeah. Right. Peace, dude.

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Applying the Geneva Convention to Non-Signatories

Michelle Malkin has the (illustrated) transcript of President Bush’s speech about the status of CIA-held terrorists. Turns out they’re going to get Geneva Convention treatment. The reason I find this wrong on its face can be found in the President’s speech.

The terrorists who declared war on America belong to no nation, wear no uniform. They operate in the shadows of society.

But that’s precisely who the Geneva Convention is not written to protect! It’s designed to foster the rules of warfare, in that the armies are of a particular, signatory nation, wear an identifiable uniform, and don’t hide among civilians. This is precisely why they shouldn’t get the Geneva treatment. Doing so thusly confers no benefit on those who bother to fight by the agreement. If there’s no personal benefit to fighting in a way that, for example, minimized civilian casualties (e.g. the wearing of identifiable uniforms, not hiding among the populace), there are plenty of terrorists and rogue nations out there that simply won’t do it. For them, there’s no downside. By supposedly being magnanimous now, we’re sacrificing civilians down the road.

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