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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Posts Tagged ‘War on Terror’

An Interview With Max Boot And A Rant With Alan Dershowitz

Posted by Atilla89 on December 8, 2007

LGF just posted an interesting video from Commentary Magazine called An Interview with Max Boot. For those that don’t know, Max Boot is a pretty much a writer and a historian who currently works as a foreign policy adviser to Senator John McCain (so he has a lot of insight and knowledge about what he is talking about). The video is about Max Boot’s ‘his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, the NIE, and the progress we’re making in Iraq.’ I’ve posted a video with Max Boot previously, where he talked about similar issues, which you can see here.

Max Boot makes some interesting points about the NIE Report in which he says that people shouldn’t put that much faith in, because (paraphrasing) that there is not enough evidence to be able to say for sure that what the NIE Report says is completely accurate. Indeed in my previous post about the NIE, which you can see here, I mentioned (according to Bolton) the 5 points to keep in mind when reading or talking about the NIE Report.

Keeping this in mind, I also want to talk about what other people think about the NIE Report, namely one of my favourite academics, Alan Dershowitz. Now he believes that the NIE Report, to put it bluntly, is a load of crap.

The tactic is obvious and well-known to all intelligence officials with an IQ above room temperature. It goes like this: There are two tracks to making nuclear weapons: One is to conduct research and develop technology directly related to military use. That is what the United States did when it developed the atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project. The second track is to develop nuclear technology for civilian use and then to use the civilian technology for military purposes.

What every intelligence agency knows is that the most difficult part of developing weapons corresponds precisely to the second track, namely civilian use. In other words, it is relatively simple to move from track 2 to track 1 in a short period of time. As Valerie Lincy and Gary Milhollin, both experts on nuclear arms control, put it in a New York Times Op Ed on December 6, 2007:

“During the past year, a period when Iran’s weapons program was supposedly halted, the government has been busy installing some 3,000 gas centrifuges at its plant at Natanz. These machines could, if operated continuously for about a year, create enough enriched uranium to provide fuel for a bomb. In addition, they have no plausible purpose in Iran’s civilian nuclear effort. All of Iran’s needs for enriched uranium for its energy programs are covered by a contract with Russia.

I just want to add something to this, considering the huge oil reserves that Iran has, why would they need additional nuclear power? The answer should be obvious to even the most dim witted person in politics. Dershowitz continues to prove my point:

“Iran is also building a heavy water reactor at its research centre at Arak. This reactor is ideal for producing plutonium for nuclear bombs, but is of little use in an energy program like Iran’s, which does not use plutonium for reactor fuel. India, Israel and Pakistan have all built similar reactors-all with the purpose of fueling nuclear weapons. And why, by the way, does Iran even want a nuclear energy program, when it is sitting on an enormous pool of oil that is now skyrocketing in value? And why is Iran developing long-range Shahab missiles, which make no military sense without nuclear warheads to put on them?

Read the rest of this at FrontPage here.

Hat tip to LGF


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Bolton: The Flaws In the Iran Report (NIE)

Posted by Atilla89 on December 7, 2007

I am sure everyone has now heard about the NIE Report about Iran. Of course, Ahmadinejad is labelling this as a victory for Iran (I honestly have no idea how he figured that…). The report is being used by many anti-war activists to say that Iran is not a problem in the nuclear sense. However, John Bolton, the former U.S. Ambassador to the UN (and in my opinion, probably one of the best), has written a report called The Flaws In The Iran Report. Its a very interesting read and can be basically summed down to 5 points.

  1. The headline of the report is written in a way that ‘guarantees the totality of the conclusions will be misread.’
  2. The NIE is ‘internally contradictory and insufficiently supported’. This is important because it implies that diplomacy has worked in Iran, yet the only thing that would have made Iran stop trying to get nukes is the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. in the search of WMD’s.
  3. The risks of disinformation by Iran are real and this is important because the U.S. ‘have lost many fruitful sources inside Iraq in recent years because of increased security and intelligence tradecraft by Iran. The sudden appearance of new sources should be taken with more than a little scepticism.
  4. The NIE suffers from a common problem in government: the overvaluation of the most recent piece of data. Now this means that the bias toward the new appears to have exerted a disproportionate effect on other intelligence analysis of Iran.
  5. Many involved in drafting and approving the NIE were not intelligence professionals but refugees from the State Department, brought into the new central bureaucracy of the director of national intelligence.

You can read the full article here, hat tip to LGF.

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The 2nd Annual Worst Quotes From The Daily Kos (2007 Edition)

Posted by Atilla89 on December 5, 2007

I am sure that everyone reading this would know about the blog, Daily Kos; for those that don’t it is a left wing blog in America and is argueably the most influential. Just to underscore this point, “Democratic members of Congress post on the blog, Democratic presidential contenders cater to them, and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas is considered to be a mainstream figure amongst Democrats. Keep all of that in mind as you read these excerpts and quotes, all of which come from the Daily Kos writers, not from commenters on the blog.” Well, LGF has got a post by John Hawkins that shows the very worst of Daily Kos, here’s a few, now go read the rest, enjoy!

10) “I wrote a diary a short time ago about how the Bush administration helped ruin my marriage. It wasn’t because my husband was a Bush supporter or anything…it was because of all the stresses from job loses, living without health insurance and getting sick, to my husband being forced to take a job where he wasn’t home much that helped ruin my marriage.” — angrybird

9) Islamic Countries Can Suck Jesus’s Chocolate Covered C***…Meanwhile, over here in this part of never, never land, the Catholic crazies are all freaked out over a chocolate Jesus. So what????????

I just don’t get it. I’m being literal. I don’t understand what’s offensive about a chocolate Jesus. Maybe I didn’t read the part of the Bible that talks about not making graven images of the Lord in chocolate (and it’s possible, since the Bible has so many other things that are institutionally nuts I wouldn’t rule it out). Why does anyone care that it’s in chocolate?

…The other part of this so-called chocolate Jesus controversy is his c*ck. Apparently he has one. Someone hide the children. It turns out humans have d*cks. No, you don’t say.

My guess is that if Jesus actually existed he would get a good belly laugh out of people being offended that he had a penis. Yeah, don’t worry about feeding the poor or anything. Just obsess over Jesus’s chocolate covered penis. I’m sure that’s what the good Lord would have wanted.

So, is the argument that Jesus didn’t have a d*ck?” — Cenk Uygur

8) “I know I’m a Jewish lesbian and (Ahmadinejad would) probably have me killed. But still, the guy speaks some blunt truths about the Bush Administration that make me swoon…Okay, I admit it. Part of it is that he just looks cuddly. Possibly cuddly enough to turn me straight. I think he kind of looks like Kermit the Frog. Sort of. With smaller eyes. But that’s not all…

I want to be very clear. There are certainly many things about Ahmadinejad that I abhor — locking up dissidents, executing of gay folks, denying the fact of the Holocaust, potentially adding another dangerous nuclear power to the world and, in general, stifling democracy. Even still, I can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush Administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy preceding.” — sallykohn

I would just like add that I wish Alex Horton good luck as he has now left the U.S. Army (and Iraq). His blog, Army of Dude, is pretty much a soldiers account of the war in Iraq, it is very good and I really recommend reading it.

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Iraq Is A Quagmire, But For Who?

Posted by Atilla89 on November 19, 2007

I’ve decided to post this because many people believe that the Iraq war is a quagmire. But for who? To me, after reading Michael Totten and Michael Yon it has become obvious that it is Al-Qaida who are the one’s who are really suffering. It is them who the ‘natives’ don’t trust, it is them who are murdering and torturing everyone who does not agree with their ideology. I find it hard to believe that many of the Democrats in the U.S. have trouble believing this. Anyway, you can read the whole article here.

We’re floundering in a quagmire in Iraq. Our strategy is flawed, and it’s too late to change it. Our resources have been squandered, our best people killed, we’re hated by the natives and our reputation around the world is circling the drain. We must withdraw.

No, I’m not channeling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. I’m channeling Osama bin Laden, for whom the war in Iraq has been a catastrophe. Al-Qaida had little presence in Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein. But once he was toppled, al-Qaida’s chieftains decided to make Iraq the central front in the global jihad against the Great Satan (edit: America).

Jihadis, money and weapons were poured into Iraq. All for naught. Al-Qaida has been driven from every neighbourhood in Baghdad, Maj. Gen. Joseph Fil, the U.S. commander there, said Nov. 7. This follows the expulsion of al-Qaida from two previous “capitals” of its Islamic Republic of Iraq, Ramadi and Baquba.

Al-Qaida is evacuating populated areas and is trying to establish hideouts in the Hamrin mountains in northern Iraq, with U.S. and Iraqi security forces, and former insurgent allies who have turned on them, in hot pursuit. Forty-five al-Qaida leaders were killed or captured in October alone.

Al-Qaida’s support in the Muslim world has plummeted, partly because of the terror group’s lack of success in Iraq, more because al-Qaida’s attacks have mostly killed Muslim civilians.

This is a slap in the face to those that believe the ‘evil’ American just went into Iraq to kill Muslims and take their oil. I may need to remind people what the word ‘sectarian’ means. It refers to religious denominations of the same tradition, in this case, Islam.

“Iraq has proved to be the graveyard, not just of many al-Qaida operatives, but of the organization’s reputation as a defender of Islam,” said StrategyPage.

…Richard Benedetto was for many years the White House correspondent for USA Today. Now retired, he teaches journalism at American University in Washington, D.C.

When U.S. troop deaths hit a monthly high in April, that was front-page news in most major newspapers, Mr. Benedetto noted. But when U.S. troop deaths fell in October to their lowest levels in 17 months, that news was buried on page A-14 of The Washington Post and mentioned on Page A-12 in The New York Times. (The Post-Gazette put the story on the front page.)

I love the hypocrisy that goes with most of the media, we don’t support the war, however we support the troops. However, as you have read above, it is a completely different story.

“I asked the class if burying or ignoring the story indicated an anti-war bias on the part of the editors or their papers,” Mr. Benedetto said. “While some students said yes … most attributed the decision to poor news judgement. They were being generous.”

‘Poor news judgement?’ You have to be kidding. The editors knew damn well what they were doing. They must have ‘conveniently’ forgotten that lowering deaths of Coalition forces in Iraq is a good thing!

Mr. Peters suspects the paucity of news coverage from Iraq these days is because “things are going annoyingly well.”

That’s what I believe as well.

Rich Lowry agrees. “The United States may be the only country in world history that reverse-propagandizes itself, magnifying its setbacks and ignoring its successes so that nothing can disturb what Sen. Joe Lieberman calls the ‘narrative of defeat,’ ” he wrote in National Review.

If what Mr. Peters, Mr. Benedetto and Mr. Lowry suspect is true, it must have pained The Associated Press to see a correspondent write Wednesday: “The trend toward better security is indisputable.” It’ll be interesting to see which newspapers run the AP story, and where in the paper they place it.

“We’ve won the war in the real Iraq, but few people in America are familiar with anything other than its make-believe version,” said the Mudville Gazette’s “Greyhawk,” a soldier currently serving his second tour in Iraq.

So damn true.

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Shattering Conventional Wisdom About Saddam’s WMD’s

Posted by Atilla89 on November 18, 2007

This is a must read! Remember those slogans going around the world of ‘Bush lied, people died’ in regards to the alleged WMD’s in Iraq? Who could forget Bush making that fateful speech about WMD’s and then not finding any? Well this article appears to clear a lot of this up. The gist of it goes along the lines of:

“Roughly one quarter of Saddam’s WMD was destroyed under UN pressure during the early to mid 1990’s. Saddam sold approximately another quarter of his weapons stockpile to his Arab neighbours during the mid to late 1990’s. The Russians insisted on removing another quarter in the last few months before the war. The last remaining WMD, the contents of Saddam’s nuclear weapons labs, were still inside Iraq on the day when the coalition forces arrived in 2003. His nuclear weapons equipment was hidden in enormous underwater warehouses beneath the Euphrates River. Saddam’s entire nuclear inventory was later stolen from these warehouses right out from under the Americans’ noses.”

Pretty much the Israelis believed that Syria got the rest and along with North Korea providing plutonium tried to create a nuclear reactor for the purpose of making nuclear weapons, of course this was destroyed by Israel a few weeks ago.

Now you are probably saying this is all crap, how can you have evidence of Saddam having nukes after the 1990’s? Well:

Moreover, many of Saddam’s own tapes and documents concerning chemical and biological weapons are ambiguous. When read together as a mosaic whole, Saddam’s secret files certainly make a persuasive case of massive WMD acquisition right up to a few months before the war. Not only was he buying banned precursors for nerve gas, he was ordering the chemicals to make Zyklon B, the Nazis favorite gas at Auschwitz. However odious and well documented his purchases in 2002, there is no direct evidence of any CW or BW actually remaining inside Iraq on the day the war started in 2003. As stated in more detail in my full report, the British, Ukrainian and American secret services all believed that the Russians had organized a last minute evacuation of CW and BW stockpiles from Baghdad to Syria.

We know from Saddam’s documents that huge quantities of CW and BW were in fact produced, and there is no record of their destruction. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Therefore, at least as to chemical and biological weapons, the evidence is compelling, but not conclusive. There is no one individual document or audiotape that contains a smoking gun.

Now the next reasonable question that you should be asking is, what about this whole underwater facility, if it exists, how could the American’s not know about it?

If Saddam had nuclear weapons facilities, where was he hiding them? Iraqi informants showed US investigators where Saddam had constructed huge underwater storage facilities beneath the Euphrates River. The tunnel entrances were still sealed with tons of concrete. The US investigators who approached the sealed entrances were later determined to have been exposed to radiation. Incredibly, their reports were lost in the postwar confusion, and Saddam’s underground nuclear storage sites were left unguarded for the next three years. Still, the eyewitness testimony about the sealed underwater warehouses matched with radiation exposure is strong circumstantial evidence that some amount of radioactive material was still present in Iraq on the day the war began.

I just want to leave you with one last fact, that I didn’t actually now myself. In the mess of Iraq, ninety percent of the Saddam files have never been read, let alone translated. The whole article is in the ‘more’ section however if you want to see it on FrontPage, hit the link at the top.

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Why We Are Winning In Iraq

Posted by Atilla89 on November 14, 2007

I believe personally that we are winning in Iraq, the statistics agree with me, however, I never fully believe them. But this article here, goes through the different reasons of why we are winning in Iraq.

The Jawa Report also has some interesting commentary, Dr Rusty Shackleford (an alias) believes that “al Qaeda is ramping down it’s efforts in Iraq. They now know it’s a losing battle. They’re not going to just pack up and leave, but I expect that we will see less and less of al Qaeda’s time, money, and steady stream of jihadis (like a ‘caravan of martyrs’) going to Iraq. So, where are those resources going? Africa. Mark my words and keep an eye on it. Places like Somalia & Eritrea will be in the news once again very soon.

The whole article is in the ‘more’ section. Its an easy read, so enjoy. Hat tip to The Jawa Report

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Nobel Peace laureate: Iran has a ‘right’ to Nukes

Posted by Atilla89 on November 13, 2007

Firstly, what the hell? Then a second thought comes to mind, it was the Nobel Prize people who picked Al Gore for a prize, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. Anyway, Tad Daley, a writing fellow with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, has a piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer arguing that Iran has a right to seek nuclear weapons. Pieces likes these speak volumes about peace activists and their nativity. I mean honestly, Iran has already said they want to destroy Israel, they hate any sort of country that doesn’t support them or follow their brand of Islam. They openly supply terrorist organisations, need I go on? You only have to look at lines such as this:

Some call it “the nuclear double standard;” others, “nuclear apartheid;” still others, “America’s nuclear hypocrisy.”

And figure that the guy is desperately trying to draw the attention to the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons and no one gives a damn without saying it out right. The strange thing about this guy is that he does think that Iran MAY be trying to get nukes but then dismisses it because of his hatred of Cheney and Bush.

It may well be that Tehran does ultimately aspire to produce not just nuclear electricity, but also a few nuclear weapons to deter the aggression that others keep threatening to launch. But no one claims that it is doing so now. Indeed, the day before Khalilzad and Casey spoke, IAEA head Mohammed ElBaradei told CNN: “Have we seen Iran having the nuclear material that can readily be used into a weapon? No. Have we seen an active weaponization program? No.”

Haha, now he is trying to persuade the read er of the IAEA’s authority in these matters. We all know their track record of discovering nukes, hint: think Syria and Iraq during the 80’s.

So, contrary to Casey’s declaration, the U.S. government is hardly conceding that “any country” meeting his stated criteria is acting in a manner “perfectly acceptable to us.” The Bush administration, instead, subjectively and unilaterally, is assessing the “record, rhetoric, policies and connections” of both Egypt and Iran, and pronouncing, in our wisdom, that the one may proceed down the nuclear road while the other may not.

No other possible conclusion can be drawn, since Iran, in pursuing, so far at least, merely a nuclear “capability,” is in fact in accord with its obligations under the NPT.

They’re fully within their rights to go that way.

Um, not really. Like I have said before, rogue states that support terrorism lose certain ‘rights’. Unless the author is blind to what is happening in the world, he is a complete and utter fool. Hat tip to LGF

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Listen To Your Brother, Musharraf

Posted by Atilla89 on November 12, 2007

As you know, I have been following the situation in Pakistan, you can check out some of me other posts here, here and here.

An interesting perspective on the situation in Pakistan from an unlikely source, Musharraf’s younger brother living in America. The article goes on to talk about how Musharraf was only interested in signing up on the War on Terror because of “self-interest and self preservation.” As you read further, it becomes clear just how true that is. For example, Musharraf helped to sponsor the Taliban prior to 9/11, he has also done deals with the Islamic militants (mostly Islamists) that exist on the tribal area of Pakistan. As well as this, and I believe this to be one of the worst, he has freed important al-Qaida targets which the U.S. helped him to catch! He has also allowed al-Qaida to take refuge in a large portion of Pakistan and then decided that the U.S. authorities and NATO were not allowed to go into that area to take these terrorists down. For some reason America and NATO has respected that (heaven knows why).

This is one of the reasons why I support Bhutto, simply for the fact that she stands for democracy and is also very much on the right side for the War on Terror. In my view, Musharraf can’t get out of power fast enough. Most of the stuff in the ‘more’ section is what I’ve just said, anyway read it for yourself. Hat tip to FrontPage.

Dr. Naved Musharraf warned his older brother years ago not to follow in the footsteps of other Pakistani strongmen who ruled with an iron fist and became corrupted by power.

“Look, don’t overstay and end up like previous martial law governments,” Musharraf, a U.S. citizen, advised his brother after he seized control of Islamabad in a 1999 coup. “They were thrown out by the people.”

But Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has snubbed his advice, launching his second military crackdown in eight years, a kind of coup against his own government. Over the weekend, the general, who refuses to remove his uniform and govern as a civilian leader as promised, suspended the constitution and declared martial law.

In Musharraf’s latest power grab, more than 3,500 civilians have been rounded up and detained, most of them lawyers, judges and political opponents. Pakistan’s leader, viewed by the Bush administration as an ally in the war on terror, has ordered his troops to seize the supreme court, police stations and media outlets. They’ve also cut telephone lines and censored the press.

In 2002, Musharraf enacted the Legal Framework Order, or LFO, giving himself the absolute power to sack the prime minister and dissolve parliament, while formalizing his position as both head of the army and state.

Under pressure from the West, Musharraf made a public commitment to retire from the army and remove his uniform by Dec. 31, 2004. But he soon changed his mind.

“I thought that removing my uniform would dilute my authority and command at a time when both were required most,” he said in his recently published memoir. “Therefore, much against my habit and character, I decided to go against my word. I decided not to give up my uniform.”

The Pakistani supreme court recently challenged that decision, however, leading to Musharraf’s purging of its justices. The draconian move made it clear to critics that his main motive in the crackdown is not to protect the government from terrorism, as he claims, but to save his job and consolidate power.

“This is consistent with who he is. He wants all power all the time,” said Talat Masood, a retired general and political analyst. “He’s not prepared to share power with anyone” — including former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was away in Dubai when Musharraf ordered martial law.

Dr. Musharraf, a Chicago anesthesiologist who moved to America in 1974, says his older brother does have a authoritarian streak, and can be a bully.

“He used to impose his will on me,” he told the New York Times in a 1999 interview. “He’d get angry with me.”

He said he hoped his brother would keep his promise to the people of Pakistan and return to democracy.

“If he carries out his promises he’s given, I’ll be happy,” Dr. Musharraf said. “If he becomes corrupted by power, I’ll be uncomfortable. I hope he does his job, holds elections and gets out.”

Even before the latest crackdown, Musharraf’s public approval ratings had sunk to 21 percent in Pakistan.

Both Washington and London had been pushing Musharraf toward democratic reforms with little success. Now, in the wake of his emergency rule, they are demanding he restore the constitution, step down as army chief and hold free elections now.
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Leftist Lies About The Deaths In The Iraq War

Posted by Atilla89 on November 9, 2007

Continuing on what I was saying in this post, about how people ignore the causalities of Iraqis under Saddam is this post from FrontPage by Glen Reinsford. It pretty much deals with how many American leftist organisations were only interested in the deaths of Iraqis once the American’s became involved. As always, from the point of view from these organisations, any attempt to put the full blame on America is welcome, even if the stats themselves are wrong. Make sure you read the whole thing including the ‘more’ part as it is worthwhile.

Counting bodies in Iraq has become quite the fashion these days. Most major news organizations, from CNN to the New York Times, keep an up-to-the-minute running total of the number of U.S. troops killed there. Critics note that if demoralization of the war effort is not the key motive then it is certainly odd that the number of dead terrorists is so rarely, if ever, provided as well.

Dead Iraqis are extremely popular with anti-war groups, particularly IraqBodyCount (IBC), which meticulously compiles a database of deadly incidents in Iraq based on news and morgue reports. The organization’s “counter” of civilian casualties was once found on the sidebar of most anti-war blogs – before bloggers were seduced by the wildly insane Lancet survey estimates, which exceed IBC’s numbers by a factor of 10.

To its credit, IBC relies on actual news reports, morgue and hospital statistics. Although not as popular with the anti-war Left as it once was, the organization gained some measure of general credibility by taking the Lancet to task for shoddy research practices. (Even the Lancet has now been outdone by a recent ORB survey which states that 1 out of every 20 Iraqis have been killed in the last four and a half years).

Of course, no one seemed at all concerned about mortality statistics back in the Saddam era, when they were climbing at a faster rate. The government executions and militia massacres were private affairs then, with the victims surreptitiously disposed of in unmarked mass graves well away from media attention.

It was not until the Americans became involved in Iraq that a sudden interest in dead Iraqis developed, along with the hope that their condition could be blamed on America itself. It was in those heady days of ground combat operations and rumored cluster bomb attacks on helpless neighborhoods that IBC began keeping track of civilian deaths caused by “US-led Coalition forces.”

Unfortunately for IBC, major combat operations came to an end after a few months and the effort turned toward establishing a democratic government. Iraqis were no longer dying from war, but from the efforts of Islamic terrorists, who showed increasing disregard for the future of the country and the welfare of its citizens.

IBC had a decision to make. Would it count the victims of terror as victims of terror, or would it continue to call them “war” casualties of the original US-led operation when, in fact, Americans were spilling their own blood to protect Iraqis?

IBC decided to blame Americans for the very sectarian violence that their soldiers are trying to stop, in a shameful leap of logic that actually perpetuates the bloody cycle. Radical groups like al-Qaeda recruit young Muslims by convincing them that Iraqi civilians are under attack by the American forces in Iraq. It is this terror pipeline of suicide bombers and other architects of violence which (ironically enough) constitutes the only real threat to Iraqi security and self-reliance.

The grain of truth in the propaganda is that a number of Iraqi civilians do die each year from the collateral damage of American bombs and bullets intended for terrorists. The Arab and Muslim media do an impressive job of exaggerating the number of victims by providing inordinate attention to the portion of the violence to which Americans are held responsible. As a result, the Arab street opposes “U.S. policy in Iraq” and talks as if the Americans are largely behind the 75,000 or so civilian deaths that are reported by IBC and various news agencies.

But this isn’t true. The percentage of Iraqi civilian deaths killed by collateral damage from American attacks is currently running between 1 and 2% of the overall number. This means that the vast majority of civilians killed are dying at the hands of Islamic terrorists recruited to “save” their fellow Muslims from the “occupation.”

This number isn’t easy to find – even in IBC’s database. Despite recording such precise details as the time of day that an attack occurred and the demographic information of the victims, IBC does not keep track of the perpetrators. This information can only be gleaned by manually analyzing each incident, which is what my own website, (TROP), did in February of 2007.

A few months after TROP posted its informal findings (that just over 1% of Iraqis were dying from American collateral damage, according to IraqBodyCount’s own database) IBC increased its estimate of overall civilian deaths in 2006 by 11% and its estimate of those caused by coalition troops by a whopping 38%!

Although curious about these convenient new numbers, TROP opted not to reanalyze the new data, but to instead keep a close eye on the IBC list of 2007 incidents, particularly after the entire first half of the year was posted in August. An analysis of this data reveals the somewhat duplicitous methods that IBC employs to exaggerate US-related violence, while minimizing the role of the terrorists.

First, the facts. According to IBC, approximately 12,142 Iraqi civilians died in 2294 “incidents” in the first half of 2007. Of these, Americans were held directly responsible for 298 deaths, or about 1 in 40 (as we shall see, however, this number is highly questionable). 122 of these occurred in air strikes (meaning missiles or dropped bombs) while the remainder were mostly from helicopter or ground fire. By IBC’s admission, the parties responsible for at least 42 of these 298 deaths are ambiguous, often meaning that they were civilians caught in crossfire.

At first glance, it would appear that civilians are dying from American weapons at a rate that is a little over twice that of the TROP study from the year before. But as these incidents were analyzed, certain trends were discovered that call into question the integrity with which IBC compiles and presents its data.

In the first place, the journalistic standards for identifying US-related incidents are considerably lower. In fact, US incidents were about twice as likely to rely on one of two articles from the Washington Post that are identified as “WP 06 Jul (MoH)” and “WP 04 Apr (MoH).” A casual observer might assume that these are listings of individual incidents published by the Washington Post, since the articles are listed as an independent source of confirmation for 30% of US-related events.

However, these articles are actually just a few paragraphs each that present high-level mortality statistics by month according to unpublished Ministry of Health statistics. In fact, the focus of both stories is the unidentified victims of sectarian violence. Neither of these articles is a legitimate source for confirming the occurrence of any individual incident, much less whether or not the Americans were involved.
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How to deal with Iran with the problem of Iraq

Posted by Atilla89 on November 7, 2007

First I would like to say that I can now return to regular posts because of the end of an important series of exam. The relief I felt when finishing these exams was huge. Anyway, this is a very interesting blog entry from Daniel Hannan’s blog which basically outlines how the UK and US should deal with Iran in regards to a lack of confidence with Bush and a stretch UK/US military.

One of the many tragic consequences of the Iraq war is that it has made it harder to act against Iran. The geographical and alphabetical proximity of the two countries tempts us into false comparisons. Look at the mess the neo-cons made in Iraq, we think. We surely can’t let those clots try the same failed strategy against Iran. Nor do you hear this argument only from tousled students.

As I was saying earlier, there is a lack of support to deal with Iran. More importantly this is not only a problem in countries like the UK, but major organisations like the EU and the UN are also showing a lack of resolve (who would have guessed?).

Mohammed El-Baradei, who heads the International Atomic Energy Agency, says that Iraq should serve as a warning to those who want a forward policy against Teheran.

Then again he is the guy that did not know anything about the secret nuclear reactor in Syria (a country that exports terrorism and supplies terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah) and CRITICIZED Israel when they destroyed.

Well, I am no neo-con. I was the only leader writer on this newspaper who argued against the Iraq war. I opposed the invasion because I didn’t believe that Saddam had a weapons programme. When it comes to Iran, though, there can be no doubt that the regime is developing a nuclear capability, and that it has the delivery mechanism: Shahhab-3 missiles, with a range of 1,500 miles.

Nor can there be much doubt that the reason the ayatollahs want the Bomb is so that they can use it. Look, after all, at what they are already doing. They have armed militias as far afield as the Balkans, the Caucasus and the old Silk Road Khanates.

This is why I have never understood why China have not backed the UN Resolutions (they have the power to Veto which is why their vote is so important), Iran is on the doorstep!

They have supplied their Lebanese proxy, Hizbollah, with rockets. They have been implicated in the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Argentina. Can we really be certain that, if they had the technology, they wouldn’t tip some of these bombs with nuclear warheads?

Of course we can’t and judging be their past history, it really wouldn’t come as a surprise.

It’s the Buenos Aires bomb that I find most interesting. What possible strategic interest can the mullahs have had in Argentina? The answer, surely, is that the very remoteness of the target made it attractive: Teheran was flaunting its ability to strike wherever it wanted. That is what makes an Iranian bomb so frightening: we are not dealing, as we were in the Cold War, with a regime pursuing rational aims. The ayatollahs play by different rules.

They advertised this with the very first act of their revolution: the seizure of the US embassy. The sanctity of diplomatic personnel is the basis of all international relations. Even during the Second World War, when mutually antagonistic ideologies struggled to obliterate each other, legation staff were peacefully evacuated through neutral states. By violating this principle, the mullahs were sending out a deliberate signal: your notions of territorial jurisdiction mean nothing to us; we recognise a higher authority than yours.

They got away with it, too. Even while the US embassy staff were being held hostage, the Iranian mission in London was seized. We [The UK] sent in the SAS, recovered the building, and handed it back to Teheran with a cheque to cover the breakages.

The ayatollahs concluded that they could have it both ways, being accorded the privileges of a sovereign state without having to reciprocate. That set the pattern for what was to follow. Iran has never shown much respect for state sovereignty.

Like all revolutionary regimes, it has spilled out from behind its borders, seeking to replicate itself elsewhere. It has sought, in particular, to radicalise its co-religionists in the Arab world, prompting King Abdullah of Jordan to warn against a “Shia crescent” arcing from the Lebanon through Syria, Turkey and Iran to the Gulf monarchies.

Yet our response – and by “our”, I mean the EU’s – has been to pursue a policy of “constructive engagement” in the hope of jollying the mullahs out of their nuclear ambitions. To his credit, even Jack Straw, who was the most visible agent of that policy, and who for a while seemed to be in Teheran every other week, now accepts that it has failed.

What, though, is the alternative? Well, in between the current policy of trying to wheedle the Chinese into letting us pass UN resolutions, and the option of direct military action, there are several escalating steps. First, there is economic isolation.
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