March 29, 2003


The JunkYard Blog is barking at some suspicious activity in the CENTCOM briefing room. Check out the repeated subject pattern of these questions I pulled from the briefing transcripts:

Q (Inaudible) -- from the Xinghua News Agency of China. The pictures of Al Jazeera's TV showed badly killed U.S. troops, servicemen. Do you think these pictures will badly influence the morality (sic) of U.S. troops or the psychology of American people?

Q Yes. Kathy Chen (?) from -- (inaudible) -- Satellite TV in Hong Kong. In a time like this, morale is very important. I am wondering if you are aware of the morale of the American troops? And could you do anything to prevent something like 101 Airborne Division incident from happening again?

Q Hi. (Inaudible) -- Phoenix Satellite TV in Hong Kong. This war (talks about?) humanity a lot. And according to a Russian radio station, the U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Elizabeth is on her way to Baghdad to join an anti-war group [DISINFORMATION ALERT] who use themselves as human shields to defend further aggression from coalition. What do you have to say to the innocent civilian people who are willing to risk their own lives in hopes to stop this war? Thank you.

Q My name's Niebao (sp). I'm from the Xinhua News Agency of China. From the reports of CNN, BBC, people know the Iraqi people are more united than before. For example, the farmers shot down two helicopters. Meanwhile, the Iraqi forces are more strong than expected, because the number of casualties of British and American troops is on rise. Do you think the days ahead will be more tough or more -- mean more casualties for America and Britain?

Q Kathy Chin (ph) from Phoenix Satellite TV in Hong Kong. Yesterday the Iraqi information minister vowed for more dark days to come for the British and U.S. troops. So I wonder how -- has the coalition force encountered the so-called dark days yet?

Q (Off mike) -- Xinhua News Agency of China. General, as we know, 47 U.S. and British military personnel have been confirmed killed since the war began. And there are many persons still missing. Some American reports say if coalition casualties exceed 150, that's the number in the Gulf War in 1991, the U.S. government will face a big problem. Could you give some comment about that? And when do you think this war is going to end?

Q Kathy Shin (ph) from Phoenix Satellite TV in Hong Kong. General, you mentioned many, many times in today's briefings there's no pause in the operation. However, yesterday Lieutenant (General) Wallace told the Washington Post that overextended supply lines, combined with unconventional Iraqi tactics make a longer war look likely. And the other day President Bush just said that there is no time table for this war. My question is: Would you be surprised if this war turned into -- the duration of this war turned into another Vietnam War?

It's time to kick these Chinese government "reporters" out of CENTCOM. It's bad enough that our Generals are interrogated by pro-Saddam liberals and other clueless reporters who have been parroting the same Communist and Baath Party lines. It's well known that the Communist Party worldwide has been behind all the anti-war protests and propagandistic talking points. Why should we now allow Communist "free press" stooges an official role to question our Generals and shape the media debate? Why do we have to answer to them during a war when China has illegally assisted Iraq militarily? Make no mistake, this activity is designed to probe for weakness, soften up American public opinion for the war, demoralize the military, and (they hope) keep us from properly defending the people of Iraq, Taiwan and South Korea.


Compare also to this Communist People's Daily article via

War Situation Impacts Psychology of Americans

Along with the quickening of the process of war, the Americans will see the real facts about the war with increasing clarity through the frontline reports continuously dispatched by correspondents accompanying the troops, and so they would sustain ever-larger psychological impacts.

In the face of the stubborn resistance put up by Iraqi people, US huge troops obviously do not have adequate mental preparation. The "zero casualty" concept affects not only the ordinary people, but also a new generation of soldiers.

Three different Chicom newspapers pounding the exact same story angle for a week, all probing the psychology of American troops and citizens. This is what's called a psychological warfare operation for both domestic and, thanks to CENTCOM public affairs, international consumption. You may as well have the People's Liberation Army psyops commanders interrogating our generals in front of the worldwide audience that watches these briefings. Time to pull the press passes and your heads out CENTCOM. People are already questioning our psywar competence as they watch daily propaganda from Baghdad driving public perceptions throughout the world.
Posted by Chris Regan at 09:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Larry Klayman is attempting to be more relevant and serious after going through a Michael Moore phase. This legal complaint has a chance to expose Interpol and Europol too if they protect Chirac.

Judicial Watch has filed legal complaints against the French chief executive with both Interpol and European Police Office (Europol), and is demanding an investigation of the blockbuster charges of massive corruption.

Judicial Watch said it had filed complaints "for the unlawful proliferation of nuclear technology, the unlawful trafficking of arms and military technology, and the violation of UN trade sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf War, as well as additional UN sanctions relating to the so-called 'oil-for-food' program."

In a statement the group said that it particularly wanted an investigation of "financial contacts and dealings" between Chirac's Rally for the Republic party and other parties, and government officials and corporations.

"These unlawful activities involve private persons from France, Iraq, the People's Republic of China and Syria.

Let's hope for a peaceful regime change in France. Just like Saddam, Chirac is well-connected and will probably request some assistance from those terrorist state friends in an attempt to maintain power. I would only be half-joking if I said Judicial Watch better watch out for a car bomb outside their offices. Chirac remaining in power is important to some very dangerous people who control massive state intelligence agencies.

UPDATE: Speaking of friends of Chirac and terrorist attacks in the U.S., Larry Klayman is also slapping a subpoena on the Iraqi Ambassador to the UN for evidence in the OKC and WTC bombings. You have to give the guy credit for being fearless.
Posted by Chris Regan at 08:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Russian intelligence agents are holding daily meetings with Iraqi officials in Baghdad, and may be interested in gaining control of Iraqi secret service archives if Saddam Hussein's regime falls, the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported Friday.

The newspaper said the archives could be highly valuable to Russia in three major areas: in protecting Russian interests that remain in a postwar Iraq; in determining to what extent the Saddam regime may have financed Russian political parties and movements; and in providing Russia access to intelligence that Iraqi agents conducted in other countries.

...The report speculated that the archives were a key topic of discussion when Russian President Vladimir Putin sent Yevgeny Primakov to Baghdad last month to meet with Saddam.

Primakov, a Middle East expert, once headed the foreign intelligence service in the Soviet era. Later, as Soviet foreign minister, he attempted to negotiate an agreement to avoid the 1991 Gulf War.

His meeting with Saddam in February was given little publicity, with the Foreign Ministry issuing only a brief statement saying he had received Saddam's promise to cooperate with United Nations resolutions, and the trip has remained cloaked in mystery and speculation.

The other purpose of this ongoing operation is to ensure the most damning documents showing Russia's involvement in supporting Saddam's regime are shredded. France was reported during the UN inspections to have agents in Baghdad making sure invoices from French chemical companies were shredded. The Russians will have to destroy most sensitive documents now because our Special Forces will try to intercept them if they move archives north or west, and the CIA along with free Iraqis will spend years trying to find anything hidden in the city. What I worry about is operational computers and power in the middle of a war. The Russians can seriously encrypt anything they want to keep out of our hands. Depending on how powerfully encrypted, and the volume, the NSA won't have much chance to decode it all.
Posted by Chris Regan at 07:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Saddam reportedly tried to send infiltrators into Texas from Mexico. Their destination--a certain ranch in Crawford, TX.

An Iraqi terror team armed with millions of dollars tried to get smuggled into the U.S. through Mexico to Crawford, Tex. - the site of President Bush's ranch, a law enforcement source said yesterday.
The alarming attempt to infiltrate the country occurred this month, the source said.

It is not known what the Iraqis planned to do in Crawford, but Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein tried to assassinate Bush's father, the former President George Bush, in 1993.

The unidentified Iraqis wanted to hire smugglers to sneak them into the U.S. because they "wanted to get to the Crawford ranch," according to the well-placed law enforcement source. They also asked a Mexican doctor and a lawyer named Claudio to change about $100 million in Iraqi dinars into U.S. currency - about $325 million.

Secret Service officials would not comment yesterday about the possible threat or the suspects' whereabouts.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Osama bin Laden may be the best thing that ever happened to the downtrodden people of Iraq.

Shortly after allied forces secured the port city of Umm Qasr, and even before its harbor had been fully cleared of Saddam’s mines, the US sent in the first wave of humanitarian supply. Soon water and food were flowing from trucks to the hands of needy Iraqi citizens, and judging from the pictures of the scene, both had been in short supply for some time. Long before the US-led force arrived to end Saddam Hussein’s long dark reign, the tyrant had waged a war of terror and deprivation against his own people.

A hundred or so miles up river, US Marines engaged in firefights with a column of Iraqi Republican Guard armor. Reports indicate that America’s close-air support capabilities, its high-flying bombers and the troops on the ground, combined to deliver a sound thrashing to the Iraqi force streaming along the highway. Hundreds of Iraq’s most elite force fell, without so much as scratching any allied personnel.

Back in Umm Qasr, a local man approached a CBS reporter to thank America for waging war on his country. Fearing that “detectives” from Saddam’s secret police remained around every corner, the man refused to appear on camera but said that he was glad that the US had led a massive army into Iraq, and that he believed freedom would be the result. He said this as he accepted food aid from the American trucks, and while American planes bashed his countrymen on that highway near Baghdad.

If this is a “crusade,” it bears more resemblance to one led by Billy Graham than to any led by Boniface.

What other country does this? Who else, anywhere at anytime in history, will with one hand comfort and the other hand conquer the same country? Who has had the flexibility to go from battle to bread in the span of a few hours? Who else has had the ethics or regard for human life to even consider it? Asked his opinion of the humanitarian side of the war, one Marine in full combat gear smiled and said “That’s why we’re here.” This from a Marine, a devil dog of the US war machine, wearing at that moment a Kevlar helmet meant to protect his skull from Iraqi bullets.

Cynics will charge that the humanitarian effort now getting started in Umm Qasr is but a part of the American strategic framework, that it has no deep meaning. And to an extent they’re right. It serves our interests to kill off Saddam and his regime, but not the people he has abused for a quarter century. But consider the alternative strategies we could have adopted. Our overwhelming military and economic superiority over the rest of the world could have led to arrogance and violence. We could have charged in and rounded up all the men and boys of fighting age and shot them. That’s what the Serbs did in Kosovo. We could have simply nuked Iraq, and turned its desert sand into a gigantic mirror. Who could stop us?

But instead, we’re feeding while we fight. Our warriors can turn from killing enemy troops to feeding their relatives on a dime, while Saddam’s have turned into terrorists at the first opportunity. We feed and protect prisoners of war; Saddam’s men execute them. Our officers provide valuable input into the progress of the battle; Saddam’s officers fight with a gun in their back. There is a vast difference between the combatants here that seems lost on the world.

America’s critics can say what they will, but a nation that will even consider employing such a humanitarian war strategy is worthy of good men’s support. America is by no means perfect, but in times like these shows a heart and—dare I say it—a Christian understanding of the world. All life has value. The sword is meant for the lawbreaker, but not for the innocent.

The days ahead may get dark, and as Iraqi fighters continue to engage in the tactics of terrorists, our troops may yet have to meet those tactics with increased violence and less regard for Iraq’s civilians. But should circumstances force such a turn, we should never forget that America’s initial intention, and its first battlefield strategy, included binding up the wounds of the nation it conquers, and giving food to its starving people. Our first impulse was to win quickly and heal the vanquished. The nation so shocked by a vicious attack on its own soil wages war humbly, with a mind for kindness in its wake.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 28, 2003


Here's the Iraq attack on Kuwait story:

The ''Silkworm'' believed to be the missile that exploded near a major shopping mall in Kuwait City early Saturday is a Chinese-made version of the Soviet Styx, a crude but sometimes effective anti-ship missile.

The Silkworm has a 1-ton explosive warhead and a range of about 50 miles. It flies a sea-skimming horizontal course, using an on-board radar guidance system that homes in randomly on the first or biggest major ship, building or other target that it picks up.

We tried to remove the threat back on Sept 9th, 2002: US Air Force aircraft attacked an Iraqi Silkworm anti-ship missile site near Basra. Looks like we need to wrap things up down in Umm Qasr still.

Also, it's no surprise that in 1994, within months of the Clinton Administration approving a national security related export to China, U.S. officials learned that the sensitive machine tools had been diverted for use to produce Silkworm missiles that Beijing has provided to rogue nations. I blogged this article last week. It's the one that covers how our advanced smart-bomb parts will soon be controlled by China if we allow it.

Here's the Silkworm-related missile terror threat, courtesy of Charles R. Smith, which shows more about why Bush was rightly concerned about Iraq.

The Bush administration is concerned that the U.S. homeland may come under attack from a ship-based short-range missile in the very near future...

Ballistic missiles are not the only threat to U.S. coastal cities that could easily be hidden on commercial shipping. Several rogue states such as Iran, Libya, North Korea and Iraq have also purchased advanced airborne cruise missiles.

Defense Undersecretary Wolfowitz noted that it is not "far fetched" that such weapons could be used by a rogue nation or a proxy terrorist group to attack the U.S. from platforms close to the American shores.

China has exported several types of cruise missile systems to Iran, Iraq and Libya, including long-range C-802 Silkworm missiles and shorter-range C-801 Sardine missiles...

Airborne cruise missiles such as the Silkworm or Exocet can be fired from shipboard launcher systems. The cruise missiles and launchers could easily be hidden inside a cargo vessel until just prior to firing.

Unlike the SCUD, No Dong or DF-11 ballistic missile threats, a cruise missile attack would provide little warning before a strike. Airborne cruise missiles such as Silkworm and Exocet are designed to fly at sea-skimming levels only a few feet above the surface in order to avoid radar contact.

The French-made Exocet and Chinese-made Sardine cruise missiles are unlikely to be armed with nuclear weapons. Both anti-ship missiles are normally armed with small, lightweight high-explosive warheads. Yet both missiles could be equipped with chemical or biological agents.

UPDATE:The Kuwait attack culprit was just identified as a Seersucker, which is the antiship missile the media calls a Silkworm because it's basically the same missile with more fuel. Here's the history and details. We'll be seeing more Silkworms in any conflict with Iran, North Korea, Libya or China.
Posted by Chris Regan at 09:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


From Geostrategy-Direct:

China is building a new destroyer in Shanghai that could be a copy of the U.S. Aegis-equipped missile ship. It is the third of four new ships.

The first two ships were built for anti-submarine warfare and general purpose combat. The third ship, according to intelligence sources, will be the first People's Liberation Army Navy destroyer dedicated to anti-aircraft warfare.

The ship will have a displacement of about 8,500 tons and is expected to be equipped with a high powered phased array radar — the key element in U.S. Aegis ships. U.S. officials suspect the Chinese may have obtained classified U.S. radar technology on the SPY-1 radar. Like the Aegis, the Chinese ship will have four panels on its radar.

More about China attempting to gain control over our "shock and awe" capability.
Posted by Chris Regan at 04:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Walking and chewing gum at the same time--there's a new anti-Osama effort underway in Afghanistan.
Posted by B. Preston at 03:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Congress still has that old time religion. I'm heartened that there are still enough remnants of faith in this country for our leaders to publicly acknowledge God once in a while.

Canadians are, if belatedly, rallying to America's side in the war. Ghost of a Flea has details. Canada's problem in this war hasn't been its people so much as its cretin-led government. Of course, somebody had to put those people in office, but we won't go there. It's time for unity. The pro-America rally looks like a grand celebration of our North American family. It's set for April 4.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Rep. Charlie Rangel called US troops child killers on Fox last night. The class of '68 rears its very ugly head.

Iraq isn't Vietnam; this war isn't against pajama-wearing Viet Cong guerillas. It's against terror states that send killers to American soil to kill our citizens right in front of us. This war isn't Vietnam, but it's becoming clear just how much some people want it to be.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:50 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Michael Ledeen has a way of scaring the pants off you without sounding like a frightened schoolgirl. His latest column deals with the situation we may face in post-Saddam Iraq. According stories in the Italian press, which Ledeen has distilled into English, there's a reason we haven't found chemical weapons caches in Iraq, and there's a reason we haven't run across many Iraqi scientists turned dissident in country--they're not in country:

According to this account, Saddam decided two months ago to secure some of his most dangerous technologies, along with some of his most skilled scientists.

To that end, Iraq and Syria signed a joint agreement on nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in Damascus on Jan. 17. As a sign of good will, Saddam sent Bashar Assad some samples: three CDs with mathematical formulae dealing with nuclear explosions; three test tubes loaded with anthrax and botulinum spores, and detailed analyses of tests carried out with these poisons on human subjects in Iraqi prisons.

The secret agreement provided for the transfer of Iraqi scientists and technicians to Syria, so that, along with the technology, crucial know-how would be preserved for the ongoing jihad against Israel and the United States. Three microbiologists and a small group of technicians, along with their families, entered Syria in the second half of February, and a top nuclear physicist and members of his team sneaked across the border early in March.

In addition, much of Saddam's supply of weapons of mass destruction was moved to Syria for hiding and safekeeping over the past few months, both to evade detection and to create a murderous legacy for the Iraqi dictator. According to other sources, Saddam has agreed to "be disappeared" into Syria, as Osama bin Laden vanished into Iran in the first days of the Afghanistan campaign.

Ledeen goes on to discuss Iranian and Syrian plans to harass allied troops as we rebuild Iraq, and to create a second Lebanon from which a chastened US would eventually retreat. It's a sobering read, and if true means the end of Saddam is but the beginning of the effort to destroy the Middle East's transnational terror aparatus.
Posted by B. Preston at 09:02 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


If you didn't catch the press conference with the three soldiers on the tube yesterday, read about it here. It was riveting to actually listen to the guys tell their stories too, so keep an eye out for a rerun. The tone of the event wasn't depressing at all.

As the convoy of five vehicles crept across the bridge, Villafane peered through his windshield at several men standing in a trench off to the side. He worried that some were hiding guns under their robes. The last thing he recalls was a frantic cry from Horgan, "RPG!" as the sergeant spotted what he believed to be a rocket-propelled grenade bearing down on their Humvee.

The impact blew Villafane out of the truck, leaving him on the ground, dazed and bloodied. Horgan was catapulted out of his gun turret onto the roof of the Humvee, his foot nearly blown off. The truck had been hit by a wire-guided missile fired by a man on the far side of the bridge. Villafane said he regained consciousness in time to see another missile streaking toward him. He threw himself out of its path, hearing it whistle, as it plowed into a second Humvee. By then, the air was thick with smoke from the burning trucks, and gunfire from across and beneath the bridge. As he collected himself, Villafane's first thought was that his men were surrounded.

To be continued....
Posted by Chris Regan at 01:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2003


When you boil down the media's criticism of the war in Iraq, it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. From non-military types--indeed, from people who've never paid a second thought about the military other than its role in propping up American colonialism and cultural imperialism--we're now hearing the strains of Vietnam-era criticism. "Quagmire." "Poorly-conceived strategy." Truth is, in part this war is this media generation's Vietnam. It's a big affair, its origins (to them) murky, and has raised the ire of their continental favorite France. If the French are against it, it must be bad. As much as they'll deny it, I believe many in the media are really hoping that our troops get bogged down in the desert, if only so they have this big story to keep reporting about. But they also hate George W. Bush (remember, about 90% of the media surveyed very liberal a few years back) and don't particularly want to see his approval numbers floating ever higher. They don't necessarily want to see any US troops die, but they won't mind the war going just badly enough to discredit the hawks and do damage to Mr. Bush's political fortunes.

But back to the specific criticism. On any given day, you're likely to read or hear a pundit say that our initial "shock and awe" sweep into the desert was too swift, too soon. Our supply lines can't keep up. We're getting harassed in the rear by those cursed fedayeen, and we're getting confused between our head end and our hind end on the battlefield. In short, we moved in too fast.

Then, these same media types will turn and say, basically, what's taking so long? You military warmonger types told us this would be easy, and would be over quickly, but we're still there, Iraq's troops are still fighting back, and it's starting to look like a quagmire. Of course, the military never promised the proverbial cakewalk. That idea came from a bunch of retired generals who are still thinking in the military way of 15 or 20 years ago, but since they're former generals and they're criticizing the military, the media laps them up like thirsty pups.

So on the one hand, we invaded too fast. On the other hand, it's taking too long to win. Slow down, you're not winning fast enough. They're like kids on the long drive to Grandma's house, only worse--slow down Dadday, we're going to get a speeding ticket, are we there yet? Why aren't we there yet? How does one reason with people who can sit there under fresnel lights in front of big teevee cameras and utter both criticisms with a straight, even serious, face? With their brows furrowed just to make themselves look concerned. How does one confront such cognitive dissonance emanating from the most august organs of the fifth estate?

With facts. To date, our aircraft have flown several thousand combat missions over Iraq. To date, not a single Iraqi aircraft has risen to challenge ours. We own the skies of a country on the other side of the world, and can come and go as we please. My partner in crime, Chris Regan, and I were talking about this fact a while ago. I postulated to him that we'll know when we really own Iraq's skies when the AC-130 starts making appearances. The AC-130 Spectre gunship is a nasty brute if you happen to be on its bad side. It's basically a modified four-prop cargo craft, but instead of carrying butter this thing carries an array of guns. Legend says that you could put a silver dollar in anywhere on a football field, then train an AC-130's guns on that field, and you're guaranteed that you'll find that coin with a big hole bitten out of it when you're done. The Spectre delivers a wall of lead on enemy infantry and light armor positions from very close range, and flies slow enough that it can be very thorough. For those reasons--low flight and slow movement--the Spectre is seldom used when there's a chance that the enemy will pop off anti-aircraft fire that can down it. We usually wait to spring the Spectre on an enemy when he has proven stubborn but otherwise unable to resist air power.

Well, the Spectre is now in limited use in Iraq. We own the airspace. Lock, stock and barrel. And when you dominate the air the way we do now, the enemy hasn't a chance outside some catastrophic event or the use of some truly cataclysmic weapon. Or the weakening of war support here at home. But no one, and I mean no one, mentions our air dominance on the cable yack fests. Why do you suppose retired generals fail to mention this?

Here's a guess: They don't know what they're talking about. This may shock a lot of people, but along with many fine generals, we have incompetent generals too. And we have retired generals who have been out of the service long enough, and away from the gadgetry long enough, to be as clueless as a caveman when it comes to figuring out what today's military is capable of. We have generals who are more creatures of politics than of the art of war. And we have generals of one service who know little about, but are publicly commenting on, the doctrines of another service. Ground-pounder army types know how to use terrain, artillery barrages, and an array of firefight tactics to eliminate enemy positions, and they also know quite a bit about using close-air support to shatter enemy convoys and entrenchments. But they often know little about strategic bombing, and the longer they have been away from active duty, the less they'll know about how the military uses its air power today. Some Air Force and Navy flags dismiss the terrestrial branch as a holdover from Napoleon, never mind how impossible it is to hold terrain without a solid mechanized division on the ground. Such retirees should just shut up and stay out for another 9 holes, but the cable nets are hiring every former general in sight, whether they spring from combat or KP duty, because there are 24 hours in a day and they must talk about the war and how it's going and why it's not over yet every second they're on. It's enough to drive sensible people to blogs, where at least you'll hear from a former enlisted grunt who saw a serious cross-section of every branch of the military and who isn't being paid by some cable suit to say dumb things about the war. If I say dumb things about the war, at least I'm saying them for free. Which is probably why I never made general.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:50 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


Saddam Hussein has been shown on Iraqi TV again, this time in the company of a woman. His wife and daughters are reportedly relaxing in Syria. So who's the chick?

According to US intel, she's Huda Salih Mahdi Ammash--Iraq's top chemical weapons scientist. But who knows when the tape in question was made? There doesn't seem to be anything about it that definitively dates it.

But Ms. Ammash's story brings up an interesting point about Iraq's weapons programs. Here's a little fact that the AP buried:

She played a role in organizing Baath activities in Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen, officials said.

Her father was a high-level party revolutionary who was believed to have been ordered killed by Saddam, officials said.

This kind of thing is probably the #1 reason Saddam doesn't have the bomb yet. He's had smart scientists around him for decades, and he's had French help to build a reactor. Yes, he had Israeli help in "renovating" said reactor, but he may have had some scientists hide the fissile material before the 1981 raid on Osirak. But his own scientists have no real love for the man. He has probably killed their family members as a way to motivate progress, and keeps a gun at their backs while they're working. Many scientists have fled Iraq fearing execution, leading to a brain drain in his most critical programs.

It's a tyrant's dilemma: How much violence and intimidation, and murder and mayhem, is enough to keep the people in line, and how much is too much? Saddam doesn't have the bomb, though he may have had the necessary uranium for a couple of decades. It's safe to say from this and other evidence that he has erred on the side of excess.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Notice how quiet the naysayers are these days about chemical weapons and al Qaeda in Iraq.

Near Basra, Iraq: British military interrogators claim captured Iraqi soldiers have told them that al-Qaeda terrorists are fighting on the side of Saddam Hussein's forces against allied troops near Basra.

At least a dozen members of Osama bin Laden's network are in the town of Az Zubayr where they are coordinating grenade and gun attacks on coalition positions, according to the Iraqi prisoners of war.

It was believed that last night (Thursday) British forces were preparing a military strike on the base where the al-Qaeda unit was understood to be holed up.

A senior British military source inside Iraq said: "The information we have received from PoWs today is that an al-Qaeda cell may be operating in Az Zubayr. There are possibly around a dozen of them and that is obviously a matter of concern to us."

I cut the excerpt right before it incorrectly mentioned it would be the first proof of a direct link. It would simply be a final piece of straw on the mountain of evidence about to break that camel's back. There will be even more proof piled on after that, along with all the chemical weapons evidence now being collected.

Here's the al Qaeda-as-mercenary-Fedayeen evidence summary.

UPDATE: More on the Al Qaeda mercenaries:(subscription site)

The influx of Al Qaida and Taliban insurgents results from an agreement between the leaderships of those organizations and the regime of President Saddam Hussein. The sources said Saddam's son, Uday, helped arrange the Islamic volunteers' arrival and sent an aide to Lebanon to discuss the issue.

The sources said the influx of Al Qaida and Taliban insurgents began in October 2002, with volunteers coming from Iran, Jordan and Syria.

At least 2,500 Lebanese nationals have been training in a camp run by the Iraqi Amn Khass, or Special Security Organization, the sources said.

The next largest group is composed of Algerian nationals. About 700 Algerians have been training in Iraqi military camps for suicide and other missions. The sources identified them as members of the Salafist Brigade for Combat and Call, regarded as one of the closest allies of Al Qaida.

...Na'aman Bin Othman, an expert on Islamic movements, said the agreement with Saddam provides the Al Qaida and Taliban insurgents freedom of action against U.S. forces. Othman told the London-based A-Sharq Al Awsat daily on March 20 that the volunteers refused to be placed under the supervision of any secular group, such as the Iraqi ruling Baath Party.
Posted by Chris Regan at 06:54 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


StrategyPage's summary is a must-read. For all the defeatist talk you hear in the media every time a Marine gets a hangnail, the coalition troops are doing very well. And it sounds like Britain's troops are kicking in a tremendous contribution, thanks to their extensive experience with urban warfare in Northern Ireland.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


They're still playing what they see as a game:

...asked by The Telegraph whether he hoped American and British forces would win the military campaign to remove Saddam Hussein, he replied angrily: "I'm not going to answer. You have not been listening carefully to what I said before. You already have the answer."

M de Villepin had come to London to mend fences after the bitter disputes over the failed attempt to secure a UN resolution authorising war, saying: "We must rebuild the world order shattered by the Iraq crisis."

But his apparent reluctance to choose sides will have done serious damage to his charm offensive. Senior British officials said they were "stunned".

...He spoke more about the "destabilising" effect of America's resort to force than the destabilising impact of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of rogue states.

...In his address, M de Villepin said France was ready to re-establish a "close and trusting relationship with the United States".

Don't count on it. Michael Ledeen explains why:

The French and German governments informed the Turkish opposition parties that if they voted to help the Coalition war effort, Turkey would be locked out of Europe for a generation. As one Turkish leader put it, "there were no promises, only threats." One can describe this behavior on the part of our erstwhile Old Europe allies only as a deliberate act of sabotage against America in time of war.

...It is of a piece with the exertions of French diplomats to "convince"African countries to vote against us in the U.N. I think that when the events of the past few months are sorted out, we will find that French actions constitute the diplomatic equivalent of chemical and biological warfare.

Monsieur Chirac has stopped at nothing to try to prevent the defeat of Saddam Hussein, no matter how many American lives it cost. And, more often than not, the Germans tagged along for the ride. It is hard to imagine that such actions were solely the result of greed, whether personal or national. To take such action, Mr. Chirac must have conceived of a French future not only independent of the United States, but in open opposition to us.

...To blame a transformation of such magnitude on the diplomatic style of this administration, as so many of President George W. Bush’s critics do, is to personalize, and thereby trivialize a world-historical event.

Read the whole thing, and check out the large war photo. It's one of my favorites...very reminiscent of WWII.

The situation with France was, and still is, much more dangerous than most realize. They clearly will have American and British soldiers' blood on their hands for their meddling with Turkey. Due to that perfidy, their open attempt to politically destroy Bush and Blair, plus their previous nuclear assistance -- and recent military support -- for Saddam's regime, we should have declared them a potential belligerent power, allied with Saddam Hussein, to be closely monitored for the duration of any hostilities in Iraq. If Bush had pursued the valid national security reason for the war, instead of the equally valid UN disarmament reason, Chirac might have been threatened with serious consequences and been warned to keep French air and naval forces at home. I'm not kidding. We could have done that if we didn't care about their UN vote.

Exposing the French and beating them back down diplomatically would have allowed Turkey the breathing room they needed to assist the U.S. and ultimately themselves. By not doing so, we gave the Turks the impression that France was still a powerful nation that had control over Turkish destiny. In other words, while Ledeen describes France as using the diplomatic equivalent of a biochemical attack on the still budding coalition, what he failed to add is that the proper response is a diplomatic nuke. In our effort to preserve a UN and NATO that includes France in a position of power, we've hurt ourselves and our real allies.
Posted by Chris Regan at 04:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


This is a terrorist state that treads a thin line and may now be crossing it. We bombed that bridge to cut off Syria for a good reason. They're still allowing the smuggling of night-vision goggles and other military hardware into Iraq, and their President Assad is now talking trash:

Syrian President Bashar Assad was quoted in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir Thursday as hinting that Syria expects to be the next target of coalition forces. "We will not wait until we become the next target," Assad was quoted as saying.

This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. He knows more about why he might be next than we do. And since Iran will likely fall on their own, I think we ought to make his day.

In addition, Assad criticized Arab countries that are trying to stop the violence between Israel and the Palestinians, saying, "There are Arab nations that contribute to the suppression of the intifada even more than Israel itself does."

"The United States and Britain will not be able to control all of Iraq. There will be much tougher resistance," Assad said. "But if the American-British designs succeed - and we hope they do not succeed and we doubt that they will succeed - there will be Arab popular resistance anyway, and this has begun."

Part of that resistance seems to be planned suicide operations from Syria.

Sheikh Ahmed Kaftaro, Syria's Mufti and highest Muslim religious authority called on Muslims Thursday to resort to "martyrdom operations" against coalition forces waging war on Iraq.

Mufti Kaftaro said in a statement that Muslims should use "all possible means to defeat the aggression, including martyrdom (suicide) operations against the invading combatants."

Advantage Junkyard Blog:

SecDef Rumsfeld just warned Syria like we should have warned France, "These deliveries pose a direct threat to the lives of Coalition Forces. We consider such trafficking as hostile acts and will hold the Syrian government accountable for such shipments."

Saddam may also try to flee to Syria where he seems to have pre-positioned his tools of terror. After reading the Ledeen article with Rumsfeld's quote you'll understand why we may soon threaten an attack on Syria "at a time and place of our choosing."
Posted by Chris Regan at 03:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


They've released the method our troops use to distinguish the Iraqis wearing U.S. uniforms. I suppose the enemy can't do anything about it now so it's not that big of a deal. The Iraqi forces forgot to make, or buy, the bulky chemical pants our troops wear. Also, to distinguish the soldiers in civilian clothes from true civilians when they make a POW capture they look at their arms. Soldiers generally have built-up triceps.
Posted by Chris Regan at 03:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Saddam never gave them the chance.

(thanks to Dave)

UPDATE: Why haven't more Iraqi troops surrendered?

The remaining officers never gave them the chance.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A JYB reader writes the following:

If you look at the "Republican Guard" and their tactics, it reminds me alot
of Democrats:

1) They hide behind women and children,
2) They shoot those unwilling to stay on the front lines,
3) They swear alleigence to anything that looks "civil" and respectible, yet
their behaviour is anything but civil or respectible, and,
4) They think the UN is a more prestigious body than the American
Administration and its unilateral policies.

This all begs the question: So why are they called the "Republican"

Posted by B. Preston at 08:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Iraqis are now giving guns to their children and sending them to their deaths. At least they aren't strapping dynamite to children...yet.

Garvin said some of the Iraqi fighters were using women as shields and had given guns to children.

"Unfortunately some of the children have been firing at our Marines and our Marines have been forced to defend themselves," he said.

The Pentagon's second highest ranking general has also confirmed they've most likely executed our POWs.

Defense officials who have viewed the tape have said privately that several of the bodies had execution-style gunshot wounds to their heads.

Intelligence officials have received one uncorroborated report indicating that at least some of the dead soldiers had been captured alive and executed in public, a senior Pentagon official said today on condition of anonymity. The information - which did not come from an intercepted communication, as the New York Times reported today - is of undetermined reliablility, the official said.

Pace, interviewed on CNN television, said Iraqis had engaged in many atrocities in the six days since the war began.

"They have executed prisoners of war. ... They have used women and children as human shields and they have pretended to surrender and then opened fire," Pace said. "I've never seen anything like this. It's disgusting."
Posted by Chris Regan at 12:31 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 26, 2003


An Iraqi military building in Nasiriyah has a wall mural depicting what appears to be an Iraqi airliner crashing into buildings resembling the World Trade Center.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:35 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


It's strange, but also nice, to see Saddam sending columns of armor out of the cities today. It will make our job much easier. I wonder, does Saddam ever listen to Western music? He might at least want to check out this review of And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead:

Of course, it's all a trap [Saddam]. Just as you begin to lose yourself [in thinking America is soft], you become vaguely aware that the sound that soothingly beckoned you [to disarm] has now transformed into something vastly different-- something powerful, dangerous, and merciless. What was so beautiful at a safe distance is still beautiful, but what was once tranquil and peaceful has metamorphosed into a vicious, violent glory. Before you can even respond, you're flat on your back, pulverized by its sheer force.

Sounds like America...moving from peaceful negotiation to all-out war. It may be hellish to inflict war on the enemy, but victory for the sake of freedom is also glorious.

It happened once before to Saddam, and politicians panicked at the trail of dead, leading to a premature halt before anyone even planned what we should demand in the surrender terms. Now we must take care of business once again: U.S. Marines Leave Trail of Death on Road North. For these brave men being attacked by "civilian" terrorists, heading toward a probable chemical or biological attack, and willing to risk their lives to protect true civilians in Iraq and around the world, this is a road to glory. Unlike our enemies, they don't live to kill; they kill so others may live. The Air Force will join in the destruction on the road to Baghdad tonight -- and this time nothing will stop us.

We should never apologize to America-haters for honest mistakes in a just war, while the same allies of Saddam ignore the continuing horror of his daily war crimes. No one should be shy about the destruction of a regime run by a mass-murdering cult leader with heavily-armed suicidal terrorist followers. It's unfortunate, but that's what happens when the nations of the world look the other way and allow murderous cult leaders to brainwash millions and pursue nuclear weapons. North Korea is next. We probably will have no choice. We should prepare ourselves for the massive destruction it may take to protect the citizens of Seoul, Tokyo, Honolulu and Los Angeles. No one else on earth has the capability or the will to draw the line on evil. Americans at home should keep their chins up and, with pride, watch their proxy heroes work. When they come home, throw parades for them, and help drown out the American Fedayeen "peace" protesters who will spit on their honor and try to harm them -- both psychologically and physically.

UPDATE These columns coming from around Baghdad were destroyed, but the giant column everyone was anticipating never materialized. British forces also destroyed a column of Iraqi armor Wednesday as it headed out of Basra.
Posted by Chris Regan at 08:06 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


John Keegan covers it well and has one of the better Iraq infographics I've seen lately. It's amazing how uninformative most maps of the war have been.

UPDATE:Here's a nice detailed map of the battlefield too.
Posted by Chris Regan at 07:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


While televised war is amazing, the simultaneous trance-inducing effect dulls the senses. So if you've only seen the war on TV, you haven't really seen it all. Check out the incredible still photos of war from Associated Press here. (via

Feel free to post other great slideshows in the comments.
Posted by Chris Regan at 06:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Midwest Conservative Journal links to a story reporting the discovery of a cache of Russian-made chemical weapons shells found formerly in the possession of front-line Iraqi troops. Unconfirmed like just about everything else that gets reported, but should it prove true this story will be a big one.
Posted by B. Preston at 06:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


When the Israelis destroyed the Iraqis' Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, they intended to wipe out Iraq's nuclear weapons program. Key to that was destroying any weapons-grade material the Iraqi scientists had already produced, in addition to the obvious task of knocking out the reactor itself. According to a former Iraqi scientist who worked at Osirak, Saddam's bombmakers squirreled the uranium rods away in a pool about a mile from Osirak. They then worked to trick IAEA inspectors into thinking that the rods had gone up with the reactor:

A former Iraqi scientist says Iraq is hiding materials that could be used to make nuclear weapons. He knows this because he helped hide some of the materials more than 20 years ago.

Gazi George, who lives near Detroit, Mich., and does consulting work in Quincy, fled Iraq in 1981 after helping to hide 39 rods of enriched uranium — enough to build two nuclear bombs.
He was assigned to the Osirak nuclear power plant at Tuweitha when the commission received intelligence that the plant was being targeted by enemy forces during the Iraq-Iran War, which was then about a year old.

In an interview this morning with The Quincy Herald-Whig, George told how he devised a plan to remove the uranium from the nuclear plant’s reactor and hide it in a specially built swimming pool about a mile from the plant.

The plant was subsequently destroyed by Israeli fighter jets, and the uranium was never discovered.
“Until today, I don’t think it’s accounted for,” George said.

George, now an American citizen, said he decided now to speak out about his experiences because he wants to show support for the U.S. military efforts in Iraq.

“I wanted to tell this story to anybody to let them know they are living in the best country in the world,” he said. “It’s the fairest country where you can speak, and freedom is guaranteed to you. In my case, I had to fight for my freedom. And they finally decided to kill me because I was fighting for it too hard.”

George said an international inspector was dispatched to the bombed site in 1981 to check for radiation. George said he was ordered to contaminate the grounds with a dusting of alpha emitters — a material that mimics a uranium spill — and the inspector went away satisfied that the plant’s nuclear material had been destroyed.

“The whole thing was faked,” he said.

What does he think about the war?

George believes the United States is justified in its military action against Saddam Hussein.

“This is not a war. This is the liberation of the Iraqi people from tyranny and dictatorship,” he said. “Saddam Hussein is a master of denial and deception. I hate to see war happen, but force is the only language that Saddam understands.”

George said he supports President Bush “100 percent” in his quest to liberate Iraq.

“The president is trying to restore the pride of the Iraqi people,” he said. “He’s trying to restore democracy to an area that needs it.”

I'm no authority on nuclear material, but 20 years hardly seems long enough for enriched uranium to lose its potency. If George's story is true, Saddam has long had the fissile material he needs to make a bomb.
Posted by B. Preston at 06:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Posted by B. Preston at 05:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


As I predicted earlier, Asan Akbar pre-planned his terrorist attack on U.S. forces while he was still in the United States. MSNBC is now reporting from Ft. Campbell, KY that he talked to other soldiers before his deployment about staging a "friendly-fire" attack using grenades. It was passed off as a joke at the time. [I'll link the story when it appears online]

Since the JYB has been all over this story, beating even the alternative media to the punch at every turn, I think we should have the first shot at naming and shaming our own enemy soldier in U.S. Army BDUs (sound familiar?) It would be nice if the newsmagazines and tabloids appropriated the term, American Fedayeen, from here on out. Oh, and with the rules of the UCMJ, he's considered guilty unless he can somehow show he's innocent. So the legal division of the Junkyard Blog has approved it for liberal use. Speaking of "liberal" use, the anti-American saboteurs in our cities might be considered American Fedayeen in training.
Posted by Chris Regan at 05:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Jonah Goldberg's been digging up some great stuff today. This photo says all we really need to know about who's behind the "peace" movement. To paraphrase Roger Ebert's review of Gods and Generals, here's a poster that Sen Robert Byrd might enjoy. The rest of the show starts here.
Posted by B. Preston at 02:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


When their mouth is moving. I know, old joke, but here's what prompted it: The wife of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) is a raving loon:

"Baghdad is where the beginning of civilization occurred, literally where the wheel was invented, where the very first city was built, where writing began, and it has a very deep and profoundly beautiful history -- which we should never take lightly, no matter who the existing president is."

Even if it's Saddam? "I think he is very proud of the history of his country. I think it's we Americans who don't know the facts about what anthropologists call 'the cradle of civilization.' When we watch the bombing on television, we really don't seem to understand or appreciate that some of these places are sacred. . . . I disagree with those who say that Saddam Hussein doesn't think about this. He cares about these places and their people."

When you care enough to slaughter, imprison, maim and torture your very best, you can still find support and sympathy among America's left. Not to be outdone, a reader and longtime JYB amigo sends in a piece from the Greenville, TX Herald Banner (or the Blunder, as we used to call it in the KGVL newsroom)--it's not online, so I'll have to just quote it--highlighting the comments of Rep. Max Sandlin (D-TX) at the offices of a local defense contractor. After going into too much detail about what that contractor provides our military, comments which were picked up in the local paper verbatim and which I won't repeat here, Sandlin observed that L-3 (the contractor) might therefore be a terrorist target:

Unfortunately, he explained that same level of technology makes L- 3 a prime potential target for terrorist attacks.

"Certainly we are not immune from the possibility of attack or terrorist activity," Sandlin said. "I believe our local officials are doing a good job in maintaining protection. I feel as good as we can. I wish there was someway to make guarantees, but there is just not."

A spokesman for L-3 Integrated Systems thanked Sandlin for his remarks Thursday, but otherwise declined comment.

Rep. Sandlin had already said quite enough. Haven't the Dems ever heard of operational security, loose ships sinking ships, etc?

UPDATE: Apparently some Dems want loose lips to sink our ships.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:59 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The JYB's coalition of the blogging hits National Review Online.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Let's not forget why he's using the terrorist tactics, and how the "peace-loving" protesters have helped him make his decision not to flee Iraq:

Saddam had tailors stitch up 15,000 British and American uniforms so that disguised Iraqi troops could attack Iraqi civilians, allowing Saddam to blame the allies. The enormous antiwar demonstrations in the West prior to the fighting may have emboldened Saddam into thinking the Americans could be made to fold.

I've also heard too many reports lately of Saddam's suicidal hordes running without cover like madmen into the spray of 50 cal bullets. I'm sure bullets are being shot at their back as well to make them run forward. Looks like Saddam is contemplating Hitler's endgame. He may yet attempt to turn Baghdad into a chemical-biological soup.

Hussein intends to take shelter behind a mountain of Iraqi dead. But what makes this situation extremely dangerous is that scorched earth is not just tactics with this dictator.

Both Bushes have compared Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler. Such analogies are always imperfect. But in Iraq, U.S. policymakers should keep in mind Hitler's endgame. In March 1945, Hitler "condemned Germany to national death," according to historian Sebastian Haffner's "The Meaning of Hitler," because, in Hitler's words, "this nation has shown itself the weaker. ... What remains after this struggle are only the inferior, for the good have died in battle."
Posted by Chris Regan at 02:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


If you thought criticism of our reluctant war on Saddam's psycho-terrorist-suicide-soldiers was bad, wait until the post-war power grab begins and the UN moralists start throwing around accusations disguised as concern. Kofi Annan and Russia's Putin are already implying we're not concerned enough about the people of Basra. Let's airdrop both of them into the middle of the revolt to talk about peace. Putin can bring his GPS jammer and night-vision goggles.

Earlier, I covered the the problem with appointing Barbara Bodine queen of Baghdad. She's mentioned here, without comment on her controversial baggage, by the NY Times in an article about the U.S. maintaining sole control for several months before possibly relinquishing it to the U.N.

Meanwhile we have Tony Blair pushing for a formal UN role:

Despite Mr Blair's hopes, British officials privately admit that many in the US administration have no stomach left for a UN role beyond providing humanitarian aid. "There is a ferocious debate going on inside the administration about all this," said one British official. "Things may not be moving in the direction that we would wish. The prime minister must get Bush to buy into into this idea of a UN role and fight for it."

Even if Mr Bush backs a UN resolution giving it such a role, some UK officials believe questions could arise over whether France would back it, knowing that it legitimises the US-UK military occupation of Iraq.

Sounds like Tony Blair still wants the same stamp of approval he begged for in the "second" resolution that never materialized. Anyone for more kissing up to France, Russia and China? Those are the nations that sent Saddam the tools he needed to continue his reign of repression, terror and death. Now they want cheap moral cover as humanitarians, while we pay with our lives. They're shameless. We need to deny them any unearned role, just as Iraqis will deny them their bloody oil contracts.
Posted by Chris Regan at 02:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Kevin McGehee pointed me to this noxious bit of bile from Craig Rosebraugh, a radical anti-war activist disposed to engaging in terrorist activity here at home to stop the war in Iraq. This stuff must be read to be believed--it's as audacious as it is disgusting, a real horror. Rosebraugh, who should be in jail for inciting riots, lays out seven strategies that he thinks would end the war. I'll render the highlights; see if you can figure out who his strategy seems to mirror:

1. Attack the financial centers of the country.
2. Large scale urban rioting.
3. Attack the media centers of the country.
4. Spread the battle to the individuals responsible for the war and destruction of life – the very heads of government and U.S. corporations.
5. Make it known publicly that this movement DOES NOT support U.S. troops as long as they are serving an unjust and horrifying political regime.
6. Actively target U.S. military establishments within the United States.
7. When engaging in the above six activities, strike hard and fast and retreat in anonymity.

Strategies 1, 4, and 6 were used against the US on September 11, 2001; suggesting strategy 2 is illegal by itself; strategy 7 appears in al Qaeda training manuals. Strategy 3 looks like the anthrax attacks of 2001, while strategy 5 appeared in the form of a sign stating "We Support Our Troops When They Shoot Their Officers" in a recent protest. Whether he has formally entered into alliance al Qaeda or not, Craig Rosebraugh has aligned himself with the goals of Osama bin Laden. He belongs in jail as an enemy combatant, or will deserve such if he follows even one of his own strategies or persuades anyone else to.

Not incidentally, Rosebraugh has been affiliated with a group called Earth Liberation Front. I've warned readers about the ELF since July of last year. They are terrorists and should be treated as such. And what I said in that original post about lefty Dems quietly supporting ELF and similar groups when they think no one is looking is still true. I've heard it with my own ears.
Posted by B. Preston at 12:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 25, 2003


Everyone and his brother is wondering why US forces haven't knocked Saddam's newsboys off the air yet. It's not like we have to take it out from the air--reports here and there indicate we already have US and possibly Polish commandos on the ground in and around Baghdad. With a couple of snips or a well-placed explosive these guys could presumably take the Iraqi megaphone off the air for a while, if not permanently. Further, while knocking the Iraqi state-run TV channels off the air today might make it necessary to rebuild it, and quickly, later, I don't think this is a factor either. US armed forces have as one of its many capabilities the technology for moving quickly into an area and setting up television and radio broadcasting operations. That's actually a component of the Armed Forced Radio and Television Service's mission--set up broadcast operations in combat zones to help keep the troops informed and, when off duty, entertained to whatever extent is possible and practical. Futher, with satellite technology and knowledge of the broadcast frequencies the Iraqi stations use, it seems reasonable that we could knock the local boys off the air and have our own signal running on their channels quite quickly. We might even be able to broadcast from ships anchored nearby, though that's purely speculation on my part.

So with all this capability to rapidly turn the signals around, why are we continuing to let Saddam's loudmouths keep ranting? It does presumably give the Iraqi people the impression that their "leaders" still lead, and it does give Saddam (if he's even coherent these days, a big "if") an outlet to Al-Jazeera and thereby to the much-discussed Arab street.

Here's my guess: A) We know what he'll do with his airtime. And B) because it gives our side another window into the status of the principles on their side. Part A--his use of airtime--has already proven useful to our cause. Once Iraqi troops captured the first American prisoners, they seem to have immediately executed a few and then paraded the survivors on television, which are both clear violations of the laws of warfare. Such action has served to galvanize the American public in favor of the war, while thoroughly enraging our troops on the ground in theatre who have seen or heard of Iraq's atrocities. Saddam or his henchmen clearly believed such an airing would cause Americans to lose heart, and this was a gross miscalculation. Part B has also proven useful. By trying to make it appear, via some ham-handed editing of obviously dated footage, that Saddam is alive and in charge, the Iraqis have managed to tell our war leaders the opposite--that the opening salvo was at least partially successful, else Saddam would have been on the air or would have made uncontrovertibly recent remarks for video tape by now. He hasn't, therefore he's injured, dead or too scared to step in front of a camera. At this point, any of the three possibilities is acceptable.

So that's why I think Iraqi TV is still broadcasting material it believes is useful to its cause--our side believes those same broadcasts serve some use to our cause too.

UPDATE: Of course, we could also have left Iraqi TV on the air because we were still readying an experimental e-bomb to drop on it.

UPDATE: My old military thinking paid off--from a CNN story about Saddam's on-again-off-again TV nets:

A senior U.S. official in Washington said Iraq's state-run television "was not taken out on Day One for a reason ... We learn from it."

Advantage JunkYardBlog!

UPDATE: The Brits have reportedly turned the signals around and are know using Iraq's own frequencies to broadcast to the people of Basra.
Posted by B. Preston at 06:19 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


France's arrogance never ceases to amaze. Now the Frogs are apparently angling to scarf some big post-war business in Iraq, once our blood and the blood of our allies has been shed to secure Iraq's freedom from a regime Chirac tried desperately to save. From us. Of all the offensive, incendiary things in the linked story, this quote from a French official stood out as particarly noxious:

"I don't see how American executives can work when their lives will be at risk," he said. "There will be such hatred toward Americans."

This guy might want to hold off on that assessment. As I write this, US and British troops are assisting a popular uprising against Saddam in Basra. As I write this, the millions of Iraqis who have suffered under Saddam's murderous yoke since 1979 are slowly but grindindly being liberated by Americans and our allies. The face of Iraq's liberator will be that of a young Marine sporting an expert marksman's insignia and proudly displaying Old Glory while demolishing Saddam's monuments to his own ego. That face will speak English, and offer much-needed food and comfort to a population emerging from a concentration camp the size of California. Because of Chirac's insane intransigence and continued hostility to America, French speakers in post-war Iraq will probably find great resistance to anything they want to do. And hopefully the Bush administration will see fit to keep the French influence out of Iraq for as long as possible. We don't need another Algeria.

France's over-reach in the weeks leading up to the war will reverberate in Iraq, in Europe and much of the world for decades to come. Chirac has probably led his country over a diplomatic cliff.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:51 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Reuters "news agency" used photos to manipulate the world's impression of "peace" activist Rachel Corrie's death in Gaza.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


It started out as a good news report, but Sky News is now reporting Iraqi forces are using superior firepower and beginning to kill the hungry and thirsty civilians. British troops are trying to take out Saddam's Baath Party irregulars who are firing mortars at the people, but they supposedly can't go in full force for 8 more hours due to the chaos in the dark. These are the same civilians we let down after the last Gulf War. I hope to God we can find a way to support them fast. Tommy Franks may need to jump on this ASAP with some special forces.

UPDATE: A contributor to NRO is apparently leading the anti-Saddam revolt.
Posted by Chris Regan at 12:44 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Martin Kramer offers up the predictions of four leading Middle East studies scholars looking ahead to post-war Iraq. Not terribly surprisingly, he catches Edward Said in a lie. Worth a read. In fact Kramer's site, Sandstorm, is always worth a read.
Posted by B. Preston at 11:58 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 24, 2003


Read it and weep -- for America, not Iraq.

“Brothers and sisters in the Military: Refuse to Fight, Refuse to Kill. You are being ordered to war by a President who was never elected...You are being ordered to war by a nation whose self-acknowledged posture is that of world domination, mastery, and control....We bring our plea to you, sisters and brothers, in the armed forces. Refuse to kill. Refuse the order to go to war. Leave the military before it is too late...If you choose to leave the military, please know that our homes are open to you.”

The [Ithaca, NY] Catholics who signed this statement acknowledge that their actions are in violation of federal law: “We knowingly and willingly make this plea to you in violation of 18 United States Code (USC) Sec. 1381 and 2387.”

18 USC Section 1381 involves “enticing desertion and harboring deserters” and 18 USC Section 2387 pertains to those who “interfere with, impair, or influence the loyalty, morale, or discipline of the military or naval forces of the United States.”

Violation of Section 1381 entails “fines under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.” Those that violate Section 2387 “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.”

Mr President, your oath of office is still calling you. Time to grab Ashcroft by the collar and fight on behalf of your troops in battle. The men under your command are being urged to kill their officers -- and some are now following through -- during a war. Wake up and smell the gunpowder, gasoline and anarchy. Listen to what the radical American street is saying, because it's clear you're next on their hit list. Stop counting the political cost of a crackdown on illegal speech. This is absolutely not the type of speech our soldiers are fighting for. A Second Front in the war has been opened up, but the battle has only been joined with half-measures:

It took the anti-Vietnam movement five years to reach the levels of these anti-American demonstrations and another two to initiate real violence. When that line was crossed, there were more than a thousand domestic bombings, and at least one terrorist cult was launched. The current movement is potentially far more dangerous. Unlike its anti-Vietnam predecessor, it is allied with terrorist solidarity groups and radical Muslim organizations active on college campuses. This increases the likelihood that its violent tendencies will intensify as the war against terror abroad continues. The prospect that it will develop its own terrorist offshoots is real.

Unlike the anti-Vietnam efforts, the current movement is driven almost entirely by hate for American institutions policies and purposes...In its core, the left has always been a nihilistic and reactionary revolt against the modern world (capitalism, individualism, liberty), which is why it can ally itself so easily now with Islamo-fascists.

This means that the present leftist revival will not be deterred by an American victory in the current war. Its ranks are likely to grow and its tactics become more radical as the general war on terror proceeds

UPDATE: I used the title of the first article, Treason in Ithaca, for the headline, but it does deserve a question mark. Whether treason or sedition, neither should be considered outdated laws like sodomy or whatever. One could easily get the impression that's what they are to the Justice Dept. We need to charge people that we can fit into each category and let them mount a defense. "Treason Lite" is one option for America's domestic enemies.
Posted by Chris Regan at 10:31 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


Don't listen to the Pentagon saying this is just an alleged criminal act by a disgruntled employee. If he's the culprit, it's more properly seen as premeditated terrorism and treason. He even warned his mother that his Muslim faith would lead to his arrest during the war:

Outside the charred and blood-splattered tents yesterday afternoon, soldiers recalled hearing the suspect say as he was being led away by armed soldiers: ''You guys are coming into our countries, and you're going to rape our women and kill our children.''

...A woman who said she is Akbar's mother, Quran Bilal, told the Tennessean of Nashville that her son told her he feared persecution because he is a Muslim, the Associated Press reported.

''He said, `Mama, when I get over there, I have the feeling they are going to arrest me just because of the name that I have carried,' '' Bilal told the newspaper for a story published on its website last night.

Why tell mom you're going to be arrested as you're headed off to war, then follow that by telling her it will be related to your new Muslim name? Sounds like he knew exactly what he was planning to do, and he wanted to warn mom while assuring her "the fix is in" to make it easier on her.

Here's the original post comparing Akbar's M.O. to terrorist-sniper John Muhammed's attack. Maybe Rumsfeld was thinking of Muhammad when he told Tim Russert the attack was probably just "the kind of an incident that occurs in cities and towns from time to time."

The Pentagon should be ashamed they're treating attempted mass murder of fellow soldiers during wartime so cavalierly. He's a potential American Taliban in U.S. Army BDU's, and that makes him much more destructive to our forces, and their morale, than if he actually had the courage of his convictions. He would be a bigger man to defect, relinquish his citizenship, and overtly join up with enemy forces. A traitor is much worse, and the Army needs to send a serious message. Investigators need to find out if he ever defended the D.C. sniper or was aware of press accounts of Muhammad's own grenade attack on soldiers preparing to attack Iraq in '91.

UPDATE: Our suspect "homicide bomber's" mosque was entirely funded by the Saudis.

King Fahd of Saudi pledged as much as $8 million to build a new mosque at the site of the Masjid Bilal Islamic Center, the large black mosque in South Central Los Angeles. Last year, Saudi's Islamic Development Bank committed an additional $295,000 for the construction of the Bilal Islamic Primary and Secondary School.

Bilal is just one of many black mosques funded by Saudi. Most of them, including Bilal, are associated with Imam W. Deen Mohammed, head of the Chicago-based Muslim American Society, or MAS...

Though he expressed "shock" at the Sept. 11 terrorism, W. Deen Mohammed didn't categorically condemn the attacks in a statement to MAS members.
Posted by Chris Regan at 12:33 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

March 23, 2003


Despite the Turks' refusal to allow US troop basing on its soil, our guys and gals are gearing up for a northern front against Saddam anyway. It's called "global reach, global power," it's Air Force doctrine, and the world had better get used to it. Give us an airstrip, and we'll bring you an army.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


TIME has published the best war summary to date. Its description of events leading up the initial strikes aimed at eliminating Saddam deserves attention:

Sooner than anyone expected, Bush was back. On Wednesday afternoon cia Director George Tenet received an astonishing report, transmitted over the cia's classified communications network: U.S. intelligence sources had pinpointed the whereabouts of Saddam and his top military leaders in Baghdad; Administration officials told Time that the intelligence was gleaned from multiple sources, including electronic eavesdropping and reports from a single Iraqi official who had recently turned on Saddam. A senior Jordanian official says tips were also passed to the U.S. by a Jordanian diplomat and Egyptian intelligence agents, who claimed they had identified Saddam's exact location. For days, a senior White House aide says, the CIA had been conducting an all-sources operation to try to track Saddam's movements. On Wednesday they hit pay dirt. According to the aide, at least one CIA source gave the agency what it thought was "a positive ID" for Saddam. "It was very specific: This is where he is, this is where he's going, this is the possible location." If the U.S. military acted fast enough, it could kill Saddam while he slept. cia Tenet rushed to the Pentagon and briefed Rumsfeld on the report; the two called the White House to request a meeting with the President. An hour later Bush met with Tenet, Rumsfeld, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Air Force General Richard Myers and the other members of the war council—including Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Cheney and White House chief of staff Andrew Card. From his headquarters in Qatar, Franks dialed in over a secure line. The rest of the group spent the next three hours shuttling in and out of the Oval Office, discussing what to do with the intelligence on Saddam, running through scenarios and calling for more information. Fresh reports detailing the dimensions and coordinates of Saddam's bunker streamed in from the CIA.

Typically, meetings of a group like this are exercises in official decorum, with Cabinet members presenting the President with lists of options and no one speaking out of turn; White House officials say that on Wednesday the Oval Office was a swirl of activity. Chairs were dragged in from the hallway; the President's advisers leaned over one another and volunteered their assessments as more raw intelligence reports flowed in. Bush asked whether the weather might impede an attack on Saddam, how quickly U.S. forces could carry out the mission and how an early strike could affect the rest of the battle plan. Racing against the clock and unable to confirm much of what it was hearing, the U.S. ran the risk of making a costly opening-night bombing mistake that could embolden Saddam and his forces. Franks said he needed a decision by 7:15 p.m. E.T. At 7:12 Bush asked the members of his team for their recommendations; all of them argued for a strike to decapitate the Baghdad regime. Bush didn't need much convincing. "Let's go," he said.

Note the words I've put in bold--Jordanian, Egyptian. For a war opposed by "all Arabs," we sure have some interesting Arab support. They're trying to help us bump off Saddam. And for a war that Tom Freidman keeps insisting is "unilateral," it sure looks multilateral to me.
Posted by B. Preston at 10:27 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


From the UK's Sun:

SADDAM Hussein’s henchmen last night pleaded with Russia to find them a top surgeon to save the tyrant’s life.

They sent an SOS to Moscow as their leader lay badly wounded at a secret hideaway in Baghdad.

Saddam is believed to have suffered abdominal injuries when cruise missiles scored a direct hit on his bunker on Day One of the war last Thursday.

British intelligence chiefs say that he was hauled from the rubble and whisked away in an ambulance hours after the sudden strike that launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.

They are convinced he underwent a major operation and a blood transfusion. And at one stage thought he may be dead.

But last night experts at GCHQ listening station in Cheltenham intercepted a message which suggests he is still alive — but in need of treatment the Iraqis cannot provide.

A senior government source told The Sun: “They requested urgent medical assistance for a senior government official who was injured.

“Saddam’s name was not mentioned during the conversation — but there is little doubt it was him they were talking about.

“They said he was not critically injured but demanded urgent treatment because he had lost blood and could get worse. This regime wouldn’t go to that trouble for anybody else — including members of his family.”

We need to make sure Jimmy Carter and Jacques Chirac don't see this story, or they'll send some surgeons for sure.

(thanks to Dave)
Posted by B. Preston at 09:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Why has there not been more public pressure on the Russians, French and Chinese to stop proliferation to the Axis of Evil? Because we needed to buy their UN Security Council votes by looking the other way. Yet another reason to get out of the UN immediately. The process corrupts us, and forces us to adopt a schizophrenic foreign policy.

a Russian company is helping the Iraqi military deploy global-positioning system jammers to Baghdad. Two other companies have sold anti-tank missiles and thousands of night-vision goggles in violation of U.N. sanctions...

Fox News confirmed that Russians were in fact selling the equipment to Baghdad and that Russian technicians were in the Iraqi capital this week, instructing Iraqis on how to use the devices. Russians were in Baghdad as of Friday but it's not known whether they have left...

"The stuff's there, it's on the ground and they're trying to use it against us," a U.S. official told the Post. Of the Russians, the official said: "This is a disregard for human life. It sickens my stomach."

It's not just the overt support of Saddam, and the attempt to lengthen the war and kill Americans that sickens. One goal of the GPS jammers is to try to send our 2000 lb JDAMs into apartment buildings instead of specific military targets in Baghdad.

New Russian long-range anti-ship cruise missiles have also been uncovered near Basra. Nuclear weapons for Iran must be stopped next, but Russian contractors are still in full construction mode.
Posted by Chris Regan at 08:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


This is the POW Saddam has hidden for the last 12 years:

Creating the special unit comes as U.S. intelligence agencies reported last week that an American pilot believed to be Capt. Speicher was spotted alive in Baghdad earlier this month. A classified intelligence report circulated to officials March 14 stated that Capt. Speicher was seen as he was being moved in Baghdad, although officials said the sighting could not be confirmed.

Saddam has admitted holding some POWs for decades. On Tuesday, Iran and Iraq exchanged about 200 prisoners captured by each side during their eight-year war in the 1980s, according to reports from official Iranian and Iraqi news services. The Washington Times disclosed in March 2002 that U.S. intelligence agencies had new information indicating that Baghdad was holding an American pilot believed to be Capt. Speicher. A U.S. intelligence report produced in March 2001 stated that "we assess that Iraq can account for Capt. Speicher, but that Baghdad is concealing information about his fate."

In memory of today's tortured POWs as well, Baghdad here we come.
Posted by Chris Regan at 07:56 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I've been wondering for days now why the Iraqis hadn't resorted to using their WMDs yet. We know they have them--they know we know they have them. It turns out that special forces were inserted early to take out Iraqi outposts believed to have operational control of Saddam's WMDs. US and Australian special forces troops are conducting these dangerous mission deep in Iraq's interior.
Posted by B. Preston at 05:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


The JunkYardBlog is "inaccessible" to readers in China. If you have a site, you can test its accessibility here.

(thanks to Michael Parker)
Posted by B. Preston at 05:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


If you're anti-war, you owe it to yourself to read this immediately. It's the story of a human shield's confrontation with reality:

Perhaps the most crushing thing we learned was that most ordinary Iraqis thought Saddam Hussein had paid us to come to protest in Iraq. Although we explained that this was categorically not the case, I don't think he believed us. Later he asked me: "Really, how much did Saddam pay you to come?"

It hit me on visceral and emotional levels: this was a real portrayal of Iraq life. After the first conversation, I completely rethought my view of the Iraqi situation. My understanding changed on intellectual, emotional, psychological levels. I remembered the experience of seeing Saddam's egomaniacal portraits everywhere for the past two weeks and tried to place myself in the shoes of someone who had been subjected to seeing them every day for the last 20 or so years.

Last Thursday night I went to photograph the anti-war rally in Parliament Square. Thousands of people were shouting "No war" but without thinking about the implications for Iraqis. Some of them were drinking, dancing to Samba music and sparring with the police. It was as if the protesters were talking about a different country where the ruling government is perfectly acceptable. It really upset me.

Anyone with half a brain must see that Saddam has to be taken out. It is extraordinarily ironic that the anti-war protesters are marching to defend a government which stops its people exercising that freedom.

Extraodinary indeed. But given the far-left anti-American ideology of most of this war's opponents, hardly surprising.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


US troops have captured a plant reportedly used to manufacture chemical weapons in An Najaf, Iraq. Between that and the SCUDs Iraq has already launched at our troops, I'd say the banned-weapons case against Saddam has been confirmed beyond doubt.

Additionally, Iraq has already violated the Geneva Convention in televising images of captured and killed US soldiers. In today's battles, the Iraqis have also apparently faked surrenders and donned civilian clothing while engaging allied troops--two more clear violations of the GC.

UPDATE: This story has gone from being a lock-sure thing to a false hope, to now a mystery again. Our investigators are still sorting the whole thing out.

As an aside, this site is using this story as a bias detector in weblogs. It's an interesting way to approach the topic, and one that reminded me of the need to post updates on stories like this.
Posted by B. Preston at 04:08 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Well, some of them are. I've blogged before about the Traprock Peace Center--they're the ones who recently called for the French, Germans and Russians to insert troops into Iraq to oppose ours. That's hardly a call for peace--it's a call for a much larger and more dangerous war between at least four nuclear-armed states (counting the British). Obviously that call went unanswered by their European heroes.

Today's missive from the Traprock groups strikes a decidedly milder tone. They seem to understand that their stridency, and their endless and factless comparisons of Bush to Hitler, aren't gaining them any traction with the majority of Americans. So they're calling for a milder demonstration next month:

We recently held a national conference in Chicago, in which 138 schools came together to plan a nation-wide student-led day of action on April 5th. Our festival will be held in conjunction with massive actions in both Chicago and Oakland. To find out more about CAN, please visit April 5th information for DC, Chicago and San Francisco is found at

The festival, which will include a host of different groups and a range of activities, will hopefully be a welcome break from the old, march and rally style protests that we have all become accustomed to. We wish to bring in as many groups and ideas as possible, so as to create an atmosphere fit for the celebration of life and peace. We feel that this would portray another side of the antiwar movement. Perhaps we do not always need to march and scream to make our point. Perhaps the best way to work towards peace is to demonstrate it ourselves. We believe that it is imperative that the peace movement be portrayed as the diverse and multi-faceted movement that it is. We hope to abolish the stereotype that we are more about protesting than we are about peace. (emphasis mine)

Go figure--a peaceful demonstration for peace. Interesting. But I expect that the radicals will still manage to turn even a mild anti-war event into a scene of anarchy.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Citing "espionage," the Jordanian government today became the first Arab state to expel Iraqi diplomats. This is a bold stroke for Jordan, which as the linked story points out gets nearly all of its oil from Iraq. Of course, Jordan will likely get even more Iraqi oil, and at a better price, once Saddam is gone.

I see two things in this story. First, Jordan seems to have learned the lesson of the first Gulf War. In that war Jordan sided first with Saddam and then adopted a quiet neutrality, and thus harmed its relations with the US. This time around, it's obvious that Saddam won't stay in power so Jordan has no reason to help him. By expelling Saddam's diplomats today, Jordan is signaling that it is welcoming the Iraq that will emerge from the current Gulf War, and that it places high importance on friendly relations with us. Second, Iraq's diplomatic corps is well-known to function as the arteries of Saddam's international terror network. Jordan just cut off one that system's limbs.
Posted by B. Preston at 01:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack