The Fog Of War

Ralph Peters has a brilliant and honest piece in The New York Post on the myths surrounding the rebuilding of Iraq.

One of the biggest myths is that the war in Iraq has made us less safe. The great untold story of the Iraqi conflict is how many terrorists don’t get the chance to attack. Hundreds of terrorists have been rounded up in Iraq, weapons caches have been uncovered and destroyed, and many jihadis have been killed in anti-terrorist actions by US soldiers. There is much left to be done, but much more progress has been made than is being reported by the dishonest and slanted media.

Also, we have a choice in this war. We fight the terrorists in the Middle East or we can fight them on our shores. It’s either the Marines in Baghdad or the FDNY in New York. It’s either a 40 dead in a series of Iraqi suicide bombings or 400,000 dead wen suicide bombers engage in targeting major American population centers.

Peters has it exactly right when he states:

There is only one way in which the situation in Iraq resembles Vietnam: Our enemies realize that they can’t win militarily. This is a contest of wills much more than a contest of weapons. The terrorists intend to wear us down.

Our enemies are employing media-genic bombings to leap over our soldiers and influence our political leaders and our elections – just as the Vietnamese did. The suicide bombers themselves are deluded madmen, but the men behind the terror campaign calculate that, if they can just maintain a sufficient level of camera-friendly attacks, our military successes and all the progress of our reconstruction efforts will be eclipsed by a mood of dejection in Washington.

If the terrorists turn out to be right, the butcher’s bill in the coming years and decades will be vastly higher than the casualty count in Iraq.

The fact is that the left and the media are doing much of the terrorists work for them. By breathlessly playing up the “failures” in Iraq and pushing the nation towards surrendering to terror, these groups are proving Osama bin Laden’s view of American weakness true. The terrorists want to see Bush out of office and see a President that won’t complete this war – that gives them the time they need to regroup and hit us harder than we’ve ever been hit before.

It is absolutely critical that we do not surrender, we do not pull back, and we spare absolutely no quarter for these terrorists. If we do so, we will have lost the war on terrorism.

4 thoughts on “The Fog Of War

  1. Okay, your incoherent and months-ago refuted posts on the subject aside:

    “It is absolutely critical that we do not surrender, we do not pull back, and we spare absolutely no quarter for these terrorists. If we do so, we will have lost the war on terrorism.”


    For the last time, al Qaeda is the group we should have been targeting all along, not their POTENTIAL allies at some future date providing a whole lot of unlikely stuff happens (i.e. Saddam suddenly decides that those guys with beards that have been trying to kill/oust him for decades are “really not so bad.”)

    You’re flogging a dead horse to equate the war on Iraq with the War on Terror. They are two separate and, reports are increasingly showing, mutually-exclusive fights.


    Well, other than Ansar-i-Islam, Hizb’Allah, members of al-Qaeda, Abu Abbas, as well as others.

    Saddam’s support of terrorist cells worldwide has been well documented over the years. I suggest reading Youssef Bodansky’s The High Cost of Peace which goes into exceptional detail in showing the Ba’athist connection to terror groups worldwide. Remember also that Iraqi intelligence agents had sat in on the initial planning meetings for September 11 in Kuala Lumpur and also had connections to the first al-Qaeda bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

  3. Okay, so without the aid of air support, you wanted the Iraqi military to try and root out these camps in the northern part of the country that the US apparently knew so little about we only had detailed maps and satellite imagery? Or, how’s about this, why don’t we find out why these “known terrorist camps” weren’t destroyed by the US Air Force, which has been the dominant air power in Iraq since 1991?

    And, addressing the claim that Iraq was a strong enough sponsor of terror to warrant an invasion (not my original claim, granted, a more apt initial claim would have included the word “significant”–as in “there are anti-American terrorists operating inside the UK, but not a significant enough number to warrant an invasion”):

    from the AP, April 7:
    “…Experts say Muslim discontent over the war in Iraq could spawn the next generation of global terrorists.
    ‘The current al-Qaida leaders are all known now but the war is going to create new faces unknown to the rest of the world, and they will become tomorrow’s leaders of the groups that will never stop battling America,’ said Mohammed Salah, a Cairo-based journalist who has covered Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida and other militant groups for more than a decade for the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.
    In each case, the information and images bolster the idea that Iraq’s fight and al-Qaida’s cause are one and the same — a drastic shift from the days when Islamic fundamentalists reviled Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s secular regime.
    Over the weekend, Marines at the southern outskirts of Baghdad engaged in close-quarters fighting with pro-Saddam volunteers from Jordan, Egypt, Sudan and elsewhere, according to Lt. Col. B.P. McCoy of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines.

    from “Whiter Victory?”, published by the CATO Institute, May 14:
    So if weapons of mass destruction were largely much ado about nothing, what about the president’s claim that “we have removed an ally of al Qaeda”? To be sure, bases used by Ansar al-Islam — a radical Islamic group accused by the administration of having ties to al Qaeda — were destroyed in northern Iraq. But those bases could have been destroyed without a full-scale war. They were in Kurdish-controlled territory and could have been bombed with precision weaponry as part of U.S.-led no-fly zone operations.

    And the terrorist Abul Abbas, who killed an American in the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985, was caught. But it does not establish an Iraqi-al Qaeda linkage. Rather, it shows Iraq was affiliated with Palestinian terror groups that direct their violence primarily against Israel, not the United States.

    This much seems clear: Iraq was not a hotbed for al Qaeda operations as was Afghanistan under the Taliban regime.

    This war was a brilliant military victory that demonstrated unrivalled U.S. capabilities. And the Iraqi people were liberated from a brutal dictator. But the hard truth is that victory in Iraq has little to do with winning the war on terrorism. In fact, it might even make the problem worse. It’s not reassuring that in the wake of U.S. military action in Iraq that the State Department issued a worldwide caution that “the recent events in Iraq may increase the potential threat to U.S. citizens and interests abroad, including by terrorist groups.”

    from The Mirror, Sept 12 (a little lengthy):
    Senior MPs said in a report spy chiefs believed “al-Qaeda and associated groups continued to represent by far the greatest threat to Western interests, and that threat would be heightened by military action against Iraq.”

    Mr Blair led Britain to believe Iraq had large quantities of chemical and biological agents – some of which could be mobilised in 45 minutes – and could arm Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda.

    But, it was disclosed, he ignored information from the powerful Joint Intelligence Committee that:

    A STRIKE on Saddam could dramatically increase the risk of terrorists obtaining WMD.

    SPY chiefs had virtually no intelligence about alleged quantities of chemical or biological agents held by Iraq.

    THERE was no evidence Iraq provided terror agents to al-Qaeda.

    The Government also failed to mention that the claim Saddam could mobilise weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes referred only to battlefield rockets and shells, not strategic missiles.

    Mr Blair never admitted the spies’ concerns. Instead he released a controversial intelligence dossier, questioned by defence experts, making the case for war.

    Last night furious critics of the conflict demanded a full explanation.

    Calling for a judicial inquiry into the intelligence against Saddam, Labour MP Alice Mahon said: “As every week passes, more and more evidence emerges of the extent to which the country was misled. This is another example of the misinformation pumped out from No10.”

    Yesterday’s damning disclosures came in a report of evidence to the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee inquiry into Iraqi WMD.

    The ISC, which took evidence from the heads of the JIC and MI6, said: “In their assessment dated February 10, 2003, the JIC reported there was no intelligence Iraq had provided chemical and biological (CB) materials to al-Qaeda, or of Iraqi intentions to conduct CB attacks using Iraqi intelligence officials or their agents.

    “However, it judged that in the event of imminent regime collapse there would be a risk of transfer of such material, whether or not as a deliberate Iraqi regime policy.

    “The JIC assessed that any collapse of the Iraqi regime would increase the risk of chemical and biological warfare technology or agents finding their way into the hands of terrorists.”

    And just because that whole “the media is making it seem worse than it really is” thing is really annoying, I give you UPI, July 1:
    Reports of daily incidents, a partial list of which were obtained by UPI from former U.S. intelligence officials, are chilling to read:

    “29JUN03 General: Looting and unrest making expansion of port operations difficult.

    “29JUN03 1130 hrs: Coalition mounted patrol was fired on by passing vehicle near U.N. compound.

    “29JUN03 0230 hours: Two RPGs fired at al-Rasheed Hotel, no damage reported.

    “28JUN03 2144 hrs: Karkh: RPG fired against static coalition position.

    “28JUN03 2200 hrs: Ahmad Ghajar: Mortar rounds impacted in area, specific target unknown.

    “28JUN03 2100 hrs: Tikrit: Coalition convoy ambushed near bridge, vehicle struck by RPG.

    “28JUN03 1900 hrs. Al-Hilla: Grenade attack against Iraqi police station.

    “28JUN03 1800 hrs: Mahmudian: Coalition convey ambushed, vehicle(s) targeted with RPG and small arms fire.

    “28JUN03: 1200 hrs: Mosul: Coalition patrol received pistol fire from passing vehicle.

    “28JUN203: Daytime: N-NW Baghdad: Coalition contractor shot and killed at point blank range, one round to the head, one in the back.

    “28JUN03: 0800 hrs: SW Baghdad: Coalition convoy ambushed, targeted by IED (individual explosive device).

    “28JUN03: 0600 hrs: Al-Kut: IED (improvised explosive device) attack against Iraq police sub-station,” and so on.

    There are a total of 11 attacks either on coalition forces or Iraqi police cooperating with U.S. forces, nine attacks on June 28 alone, most of these not reported in the U.S. media.

  4. Sorry, but if you think we’ve captured more than we’ve created, I’d say you need to take your head out of the sand (pun slighly intended).

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