Friday, January 26, 2007

Troops Died After, Not In, Sneak Attack -- you can bet Iran is involved

From a story copied at bottom on how an organized attack kidnapped 4 American soldiers and executed them the other day:
"The brazen assault, 50 miles south of Baghdad on Jan. 20, was conducted by nine to 12 militants posing as an American security team. They traveled in black GMC Suburban vehicles -- the type used by U.S. government convoys -- had American
weapons, wore new U.S. military combat fatigues and spoke English."
Here is one small consequence of Bush's failing to be willing to directly attack Iran (as I discussed in my last note), because you can bet your bottom rial that the Iranians are behind it. How else do you get black GMC Suburbans and American weapons and uniforms, details of the compound, and English speakers? Way too well organized and planned for the common "insurgent".

I read this and my disgust level for Bush reached new lows. How do you respect a guy who mouths the platitudes of "protecting our folks" (is it just me or do any of the rest of you despise the use of the homey word "folks" as much as I do when referring to something so serious?) and yet lacks even a shred of backbone to actually do something substantial about it -- he can't even stand up to the broken-left-wing flightless birds in the State Department, who are *always* behind the "restrained" Rodney King can't-we-all-just-get-along approach?

Well, maybe I shouldn't put so much blame on State -- the neo-cons are pretty pathetic with their kinder, gentler altruistic approach to warfighting. (You know, like Bush's recently proposed $100 billion dollar jobs program for Iraqis, or his request for a few hundred millions of our dollars for commanders on the ground to just dole out to build harmony with the Iraqi people, or -- you get the message; it's a real litany. Altruism run amuck in a military effort that now regards "winning the peace" as more important than winning the war.)

You must concede, there is a remarkable consistency to American foreign policy since the Korean War, which I can only explain by blaming the murky denizens of Foggy Bottom, given the many administrations, Republican or Democrat, who have come and gone.

(That is, at the level of policy; of course the deeper explanation is the false philosophies embraced by both sides, which Ayn Rand has brilliantly explained in terms of general philsophic principles, and which Yaron Brook of ARI recently analyzed so well in terms of the "Just War Theory" infecting our leadership -- see --
or John Lewis's analysis of the requirements for real lasting victory -- .)

Now, having said that, I'll give the counterpoint to my nattering negativism:
"Richard Perle, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former member of the Defense Policy Board, said President Bush would not allow a nuclear Iran. Perle, who for years was regarded as a voice of conservative strategists within the Bush administration, said the president would be prepared to help an Israeli operation to destroy Iran's nuclear

"The U.S. position is that if there is going to be
action against Iran's nuclear infrastructure, it is vital that it succeed," Perle said. "The worst is a failed military action that leaves Iran with a nuclear capability or close to a nuclear capability. I have very little doubt that this president would order the necessary military action," he said.
Well that's for damn sure, but you'll get an embolism in your lung if you hold your breath waiting for it. In a second story,
"A former U.S. intelligence analyst has asserted that the Bush administration has prepared options for a major strike against Teheran. The analyst said the plans included a full-fledged war against Iran."
Blah-blah-blah. More of the same. Has anyone ever heard of the phrase "all talk, no action"?

(both at )

Where is this stuff coming from? I mean, the U.S. government hasn't done a thing to stop Iran in 28 years, despite being the State Department's own "leading state sponsor of terrorism" that entire time. After 3000+ American have died in Iraq, virtually all of whom would be alive today if not for Bush's failure to attack Iran, why would he start doing something against Iran now? Did he finally get tired of shedding tears when he meets with crippled soldies and families of the dead?

(For those who might be thinking it, I always say, overthrow Iraq first or Iran first, it's irrelevent; with any proper warfighting strategy the difference is a matter of days or weeks. That is, following the Patton strategy of going through them all like crap through a goose.)

At every single opportunity Bush has practiced the Christian virtue of turning the other cheek -- he's waffled, vacillated, conciliated, moderated, placated, held back, compromised and done everything in his power to telegraph to the Iranians that we are a tissue paper tiger who believe in love, not war, kindness, not resolve. Both of Bush's choices for Secretary of State have embraced the foreign policy status quo of the Neville Chamberlain approach, and like tolerant liberal parents, the Administration has tut-tutted and "threatened" the Iranians so many times (literally *dozens*) without ever doing something about it other than amuse them with the prospect of being grounded in their Persian bedroom, that, I submit, he has done more to embolden Islamic totalitarians the world over than AlQaeda's 9/11 attack ever did.

Now the conservatives (neo, paleo or otherwise) are pinning their hopes on Bush having recently sent a second carrier to the Gulf. Give me a break. There ought to be 4 carriers in the Gulf if we are really serious. There ought to be twice as many troops in the region. They ought to have been there 6 years ago, in which case there wouldn't be any there today and the national debt would be a trillion dollars less.

Will he do something? The possibility may exist, but I wouldn't bet my bottom dollar on it. I suspect that as long as the Iranians practice "democracy" he'll regard them as a foreign policy success.

Troops Died After, Not In, Sneak Attack
Published: January 26, 2007Filed at 12:16 p.m. ET
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) --

Contrary to public statements by the U.S. military,four U.S. soldiers did not die repelling a sneak attack at the governor'soffice in the Shiite holy city of Karbala last week. New informationobtained by The Associated Press shows they were abducted and found dead ordying as far as 25 miles away.

The brazen assault, 50 miles south of Baghdad on Jan. 20, was conducted bynine to 12 militants posing as an American security team. They traveled inblack GMC Suburban vehicles -- the type used by U.S. government convoys --had American weapons, wore new U.S. military combat fatigues and spokeEnglish.

In a written statement, the U.S. command reported at the time that fivesoldiers were killed while ''repelling the attack.'' Now, two senior U.S.military officials as well as Iraqi officials say four of the five werecaptured and taken from the governor's compound alive. Three of them werefound dead and one mortally wounded later that evening in locations as faras 25 miles east of the governor's office.

The U.S. officials said they could not be sure where the soldiers were shotafter being captured at the compound. Iraqi officials said they believe themen were killed just before the Suburbans were abandoned.

The daring commando team also took an unclassified U.S. computer with themas they fled with the four soldiers and left behind an American M-4automatic rifle, senior U.S. military officials said.

The new information has emerged after nearly a week of inquiries. The U.S.military in Baghdad repeatedly declined comment on reports that beganemerging from Iraqi government and military officials which suggested amajor breakdown in security at Karbala site.

The two senior American military officials now confirm the reports, gatheredby The Associated Press from five senior Iraqi government, military andreligious leaders. The U.S. military also has provided additional detailsfrom internal military accounts.

None of the American or Iraqi officials would allow use of their namesbecause of the sensitive nature of the information.

The Karbala raid, as explained by the Iraqi and American officials, beganafter nightfall at about 6 p.m. on Jan. 20, while American military officerswere meeting with their Iraqi counterparts on the main floor of theProvisional Joint Coordination Center (PJCC) in Karbala.

The first U.S. military statement on the raid, which reported five soldierskilled and three wounded, said the ''the PJCC is a coordination center wherelocal Iraqi officials, Iraqi security forces and coalition forces stationedwithin the center meet to address the security needs of the population.''

Iraqi officials said the approaching convoy of black GMC Suburbans was wavedthrough an Iraqi checkpoint at the edge of Karbala. The Iraqi soldiersbelieved it to be American because of the type of vehicles, the distinctivecamouflage American uniforms and the fact that they spoke English. One Iraqiofficial said the leader of the assault team was blond, but no otherofficial confirmed that.

A top Iraqi security official for Karbala province told the AP that theIraqi guards at the checkpoint radioed ahead to their compatriots at thePJCC to alert them that the convoy was on its way.

Iraqi officials said the attackers' convoy divided upon arrival, with somevehicles parking at the back of the main building where the meeting wastaking place, others parked in front.

The U.S. military in Baghdad received a first report of the attack about6:15 p.m., the senior U.S. military officials said.

The attackers threw a grenade and opened fire with automatic rifles as theygrabbed two soldiers inside the compound. Then the guerrilla assault teamjumped on top of an armored U.S. Humvee and captured two more soldiers, theU.S. military officials said.

One U.S. soldier was killed in the melee at the compound, and three werewounded.

All the officials agreed the four abducted soldiers did not die in thefighting at the compound in Karbala, but it was unclear where they werekilled.

The attackers fled with the four and the computer and headed east towardMahwil, in neighboring Babil province, about 25 miles away, the U.S.military officials said.

The U.S. accounts did not say where the soldiers were killed. Iraqiofficials said the four were captured alive and shot just before thevehicles were abandoned.

Iraqi officials said the U.S. military found the four U.S. soldiers militaryin the Suburbans near Bu-Alwan, a village near Mahawil.

The U.S. officials, who had seen incident reports of the assault, said thedocuments indicated two of the soldiers were found in one of the Suburbansat one location and two others in a second Suburban elsewhere. The exactlocations were not specified, they said.

Both sides agreed that -- when found -- three soldiers were dead and one waswounded and died as U.S. troops rushed the service member away fortreatment.

Three days after the attack, the U.S. military in Baghdad announced thearrest of four suspects in the attack and said they had been detained on atip from a Karbala resident. No further information was released about thesuspects.

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