1. #1
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    Default Oh no what are the libs gonna say ?

    Surge is working and al-qaeda is loosing more of a foothold?


    large numbers of al-qaeda in iraq defecting from group to work with America

    Al-Qaeda faces rebellion from the ranks


    Sickened by the group’s barbarity, Iraqi insurgents are giving information to coalition forces

    Fed up with being part of a group that cuts off a person’s face with piano wire to teach others a lesson, dozens of low-level members of al-Qaeda in Iraq are daring to become informants for the US military in a hostile Baghdad neighbourhood.

    The ground-breaking move in Doura is part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.

    “They are turning. We are talking to people who we believe have worked for al-Qaeda in Iraq and want to reconcile and have peace,” said Colonel Ricky Gibbs, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, which oversees the area.

    The sewage-filled streets of Doura, a Sunni Arab enclave in south Baghdad, provide an ugly setting for what US commanders say is al-Qaeda’s last stronghold in the city. The secretive group, however, appears to be losing its grip as a “surge” of US troops in the neighbourhood – part of the latest effort by President Bush to end the chaos in Iraq – has resulted in scores of fighters being killed, captured or forced to flee

    Al-Qaeda’s days are numbered and right now he is scrambling,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Stephen Michael, who commands a battalion of 700 troops in Doura.

    A key factor is that local people and members of al-Qaeda itself have become sickened by the violence and are starting to rebel, Lieutenant-Colonel Michael said. “The people have got to deny them sanctuary and that is exactly what is happening.”

    Al-Qaeda informants comprise largely members of the Doura network who found themselves either working with the group after the US-led invasion in March 2003, or signed up to earn extra cash because there were no other jobs going. Disgusted at the attacks and intimidation techniques used on friends, neighbours and even relatives, they are now increasingly looking for a way out, US officers say.

    “It is only after al-Qaeda has become truly barbaric and done things like, to teach lessons to people, cut their face off with piano wire in front of their family and then murdered everybody except one child who told the tale afterwards . . . that people realise how much of a mess they are in,” Lieutenant James Danly, 31, who works on military intelligence in Doura, said.

    It is impossible to corroborate the claims, but he said that scores of junior al-Qaeda in Iraq members there had become informants since May, including one low-level cell leader who gave vital information after his arrest.

    “He gave us dates, places and names and who did what,” Lieutenant Danly said. When asked why he was being so forthcoming, the man said: “Because I am sick of it and I hate them, and I am done.”

    Working with insurgents – even those who claim to have switched sides – is a leap of faith for both sides. Every informant who visits Forward Operating Base Falcon, a vast military camp on the southern outskirts of Baghdad, is blindfolded when brought in and out to avoid gleaning any information about his surroundings.

    The risk sometimes pays off. A recent tip-off led to the fatal shooting of Abu Kaldoun, one of three senior al-Qaeda leaders in Doura, during a US raid last week. “He was turned in by one of his own,” Colonel Michael said.

    Progress with making contacts and gathering actionable information is slow because al-Qaeda has persuasive methods of keeping people quiet. This month it beheaded two men in the street and pinned a note on to their corpses giving warning that anyone who cooperated with US troops would meet the same fate.

    The increased presence of US forces in Doura, however, is encouraging insiders to overcome their fear and divulge what they know. Convoys of US soldiers are working the rubble-strewn streets day and night, knocking on doors, speaking to locals and following up leads on possible insurgent hideouts.

    “People in al-Qaeda come to us and give us information,” said Lieutenant Scott Flanigan, as he drove past a line of fruit and vegetable stalls near a shabby shopping street in Doura, where people were buying bread and other groceries.

    The informants were not seeking an amnesty for crimes that they had committed. “They just do not want to be killed,” Lieutenant Flanigan said.

    Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi – who was killed in a US raid last year – established the Iraqi al-Qaeda network in 2004, but opinions differ on its compilation, size and capabilities. Some military experts believe that the group is a cell-based network of chapters who are loosely linked to an overall leader by go-between operatives.

    Others, however, describe al-Qaeda in Iraq as a sort of franchise, with separate cells around the country that use the brand – made infamous by Osama bin Laden – and cultural ideology but do not work closely with each other or for one overriding leader.

    Despite the uncertainties one thing seems guaranteed. A hardcore of people calling themselves al-Qaeda in Iraq remains devoted to the extremist cause and is determined to fight on whatever the cost.


    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle2121006.ece
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    This lib is going to say, "let's get the hell out and turn the shootin' match (no pun intended) over to the Iraqis."
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    This lib is going to say, "let's get the hell out and turn the shootin' match (no pun intended) over to the Iraqis."
    kind of figured when things start going better you just want to cut and run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    kind of figured when things start going better you just want to cut and run.
    I'm just following the example of Ronald Reagan when he bugged out of Lebanon.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Seems to me we need to get out of all the forign countries in order of invasion. So once we have left Europe, Africa, South America, we can then work on Asia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    Seems to me we need to get out of all the forign countries in order of invasion. So once we have left Europe, Africa, South America, we can then work on Asia.
    Actually, you would want to leave Africa first given our invasion of some of those lands BEFORE Europe. Then Asia since we also invaded Pacific Islands (Guadalcanal) LONG before great men landed at Normandy.


    What has irritated me this week is the people saying that we will now have to wait until November (after being told September) to see how the surge is really working.

    Pick a time and stick to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie View Post
    Actually, you would want to leave Africa first given our invasion of some of those lands BEFORE Europe. Then Asia since we also invaded Pacific Islands (Guadalcanal) LONG before great men landed at Normandy.


    What has irritated me this week is the people saying that we will now have to wait until November (after being told September) to see how the surge is really working.

    Pick a time and stick to it.
    Here is a good article on the surge and how its working.



    Pace Walks Ramadi’s Streets, Notes Progress
    This Anbar province city was once held up as a symbol of U.S. failure in Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq controlled Ramadi. It was enemy territory, and American service members called it the Wild West of Iraq.

    Just a few months ago, the idea that Americans could walk around the center of the city would have been unthinkable. U.S. personnel could not move from one heavily fortified area to another without receiving small-arms fire or an improvised explosive device attack.

    Times change. A striking illustration of the changing fortunes of Ramadi took place today, when Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took a walk around downtown.

    “This is incredible,” Pace said as he stood in the middle of a street that doubles as a bazaar.

    “In April, we could not have done this,” said Marine Maj. Gen. Walter Gaskins, commander of Multinational Force West. “That’s how quick things have turned around.”

    This wasn’t some staged event highlighting the changed security situation in the Sunni city. It was a spur-of-the-moment visit occasioned by a dust storm that shut down flying in the province.

    Pace is on a visit to the U.S. Central Command area of operations. He flew to Ramadi and visited with servicemembers based there. He was supposed to fly on to Tikrit, but the dust storms grounded his helicopters.

    Army Col. John Charlton, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, invited Pace to see for himself what it was like downtown. Pace and his party left the compound, drove over the Euphrates River bridge and visited with Ramadi Mayor Latief Eyada at the newly renovated government offices.

    “The security situation is much, much better now,” Eyada told Pace through an interpreter. “People were jailed in their houses by the violence of the terrorists. Now we are out. We can meet friends and relatives. We can build again. We are all after the terrorists.”

    The chairman and his party left the government center and drove to the center of town. Pace got out of his vehicle and walked along into a market. Children and adults came to see who was in the street. He spoke to the owners of a watch store and a grocery store. He spoke with children and their parents who came out to see what all the commotion was about.

    “This is typical,” said Kristin Hagerstolm, chief of the brigade’s provincial reconstruction team. “We are able to go into every part of the city. We are able to work with the department heads and make some real progress. This has become a permissive environment, and we are able to interact with all levels of citizens in the city.”

    Hagerstolm, a State Department consular officer, volunteered for the assignment and arrived in the city in April. “It was still very much an armed and distrustful area then, but changes were happening,” she said.

    She traces the change to the rescue from al Qaeda of a local tribal sheikh.

    “The rescue showed the Iraqis that we were the ‘good guys’ in this area,” Hagerstolm said. The people of Ramadi suffered terribly at the hands of al Qaeda. She said there were instances of al Qaeda raping and killing and chopping off the heads of teenage girls to intimidate the population. For a while, it worked.

    The change is dramatic, but it didn’t happen overnight, Gaskins noted. “We’re building on the groundwork that our predecessors laid,” he said. “None of this would have been possible without the contributions and sacrifices of the units that fought in this area before us.”

    But the change is not irreversible, Charlton said. Al Qaeda has been humiliated and kicked out of the city, but they want to come back. The soldiers and Marines of the unit continually patrol the city. They are working with the Iraqi police and with Iraqi soldiers. Last month, they had a pitched battle against al Qaeda terrorists who were trying to re-infiltrate into the city. The unit killed all but three, who were detained, Charlton said.

    Pace visited with Marines and Iraqis manning a combat outpost in the city and in a Joint Security Station. At the combat outpost, he met Marine Sgt. Kurt Bellmont. The 25-year-old noncommissioned officer is serving his fourth tour in Iraq – his third in Ramadi. The rifle platoon Marine saw the worst of times in the city and is enthusiastic about the changes.

    “If you don’t come down here for two weeks, you don’t recognize the place,” he said. “The changes are happening that fast. The Iraqi police are helping us with intelligence, and we’re learning also. Ramadi is a big city, but you learn the families and learn who is out of place.”

    Pace has been talking about what the Iraqi sheikhs call the “Anbar Awakening” for months. He got the opportunity to see what it means on the ground with the young men and women who must make it happen. Surrounded by Iraqi children, the chairman threw back his head and laughed.

    “It is amazing,” the chairman said afterward. “This is an example of what can happen when the coalition and the Iraqi government gain the trust of the people.”

    The changes must be nurtured. “We are all worried that we won’t be given the time to see these (efforts) through,” Gaskins said. “After all the Iraqi people have been through – the terror of Saddam, the vicious attacks of al Qaeda – it would be a shame to end this.”

    http://www.familysecuritymatters.org...php?id=1166994
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    Smile

    The plan for Iraq is working, but Americans it seems want a 30 minute war, all clean and tidy...and over quickly like a sit com.

    Forging a nation takes time.

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    I did not say it was or was not working. I said that the timetable was changed.


    Interesting picture though. Note that General Pace is surrounded by at least 7 people who are protecting him (not the 3 immediately talking to him) as he walks through that market.

    "Safe" is relative.

    I support the actions in Iraq, don't think that I do not. However, I am rapidly losing faith in the twits in Washington to get the job done. Let the boots on the ground run it as it needs to be run, not run it for the press coverage.
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    Interesting picture though. Note that General Pace is surrounded by at least 7 people who are protecting him (not the 3 immediately talking to him) as he walks through that market.
    He was surrounded by a hell of a lot more than that.
    The "surge" is a joke.
    Forging a nation takes time.
    You mean propping up puppet governments that will do our bidding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    He was surrounded by a hell of a lot more than that.
    The "surge" is a joke.

    You mean propping up puppet governments that will do our bidding?


    Expected nothing less of a comment like that from you. Please move out of the country.

    I am glad you think our troops are a joke. Did you actually read the article?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    Expected nothing less of a comment like that from you. Please move out of the country.
    Why should we? I didn't ask conservatives to move out of the country when they were critical of Clinton during the Balkan's campaign. I love the double standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    I am glad you think our troops are a joke. Did you actually read the article?
    How was the comment critical of the troops? I'd like to see your logic.

    I agree with Sharkie. We'll never get out of Iraq as long as the Bushbots keep moving the goal line.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Expected nothing less of a comment like that from you. Please move out of the country.
    If one chooses to play your little game, I think it's guys like you who need to hit the road. The majority of America is sick of your crap.
    How was the comment critical of the troops? I'd like to see your logic.
    There is no logic to his remarks...just the same tired old rhetoric and character assassination. He sends people to die for nothing, yet we are the ones that don't support the troops?? Nice.
    I agree with Sharkie. We'll never get out of Iraq as long as the Bushbots keep moving the goal line.
    And the majority of them are too weakminded to know when they've been had, too. Bush's neverending war of imperialism. What a sad legacy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    He was surrounded by a hell of a lot more than that.
    You are right. I meant to post that there were likely A LOT more not visible in the pic, but I was very rushed this morning almost leaving late for work.

    You only see 7 armed Warriors in the picture that appear to have the express purpose of protecting the Chairman. Likely a platoon of Marines around the General plus a few helos above or "nearby" with a Medevac designated specifically to the mission as well as the troops in the convoy.

    Not exactly what every troop on the ground has.....let alone every Iraqi.


    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    The "surge" is a joke.
    True. Asked for 20,000 and there have been closer to 30,000 additional deployed when one includes the additional support troops. Equivalent to a division-and-a-half of troops.

    If you want the faith and trust of the people, be honest.
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    I meant to post this last week when I heard it. I am disgusted when politicians of ANY party say that troops should be paid better and then take any chance they get to shaft them.

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2007/0...ehouse_070516/

    White House: 3.5 percent pay hike unnecessary

    By Rick Maze - Staff writer
    Posted : Wednesday May 16, 2007 17:34:13 EDT

    Troops don’t need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill.

    The Bush administration had asked for a 3 percent military raise for Jan. 1, 2008, enough to match last year’s average pay increase in the private sector. The House Armed Services Committee recommends a 3.5 percent pay increase for 2008, and increases in 2009 through 2012 that also are 0.5 percentage point greater than private-sector pay raises.

    The slightly bigger military raises are intended to reduce the gap between military and civilian pay that stands at about 3.9 percent today. Under the bill, HR 1585, the pay gap would be reduced to 1.4 percent after the Jan. 1, 2012, pay increase.

    Bush budget officials said the administration “strongly opposes” both the 3.5 percent raise for 2008 and the follow-on increases, calling extra pay increases “unnecessary.”

    “When combined with the overall military benefit package, the president’s proposal provides a good quality of life for service members and their families,” the policy statement says. “While we agree military pay must be kept competitive, the 3 percent raise, equal to the increase in the Employment Cost Index, will do that.”

    The House of Representatives plans on passing the bill tomorrow. The Senate Armed Services Committee has announced it will start writing its version of the bill next week.

    Two items in the House defense bill could lead to a veto, the policy statement warns. One is a change in the National Security Personnel system that would back away from the pay-for-performance initiative pushed by the Bush administration and reverse some of the flexibility provided in current law. The second issue that could prompt a veto are Buy America provisions in the bill that White House officials said “would impose unrealistically arduous requirements.”

    In addition to the pay raise, there are other personnel initiatives in the bill that the White House opposes.

    A prohibition on converting medical jobs held by military members into civilian positions drew opposition. “This will eliminate the flexibility of the Secretary of Defense to use civilian medical personnel for jobs away from the battlefield and at the same time use the converted military billets to enhance the strength of operating units,” the policy statement says.

    A death gratuity for federal civilian employees who die in support of military operations, and new benefits for disabled retirees and the survivors of military retirees also drew complaints.

    This includes the transfer of the GI Bill benefits program for reservists from the Department of Defense to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a step that GI Bill supporters said is needed to set the stage for increases in reserve benefits that have been kept low by the military because it views the program as a retention incentive rather than a post-service education program.

    Refusal by lawmakers to approve Tricare fees for beneficiaries, something administration officials view as an important step in holding down health care cost, also drew opposition, along with a provision imposing price controls on prescription drugs dispensed to Tricare users.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    If one chooses to play your little game, I think it's guys like you who need to hit the road. The majority of America is sick of your crap.
    You have to love the "Love it or Leave it" crowd demanding blind obedience to the president because he troops in harms way. This same group had no problem impeaching the previous president under similar circumstances. I guess they believe we forgot about that.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaSharkie View Post
    I did not say it was or was not working. I said that the timetable was changed.


    Interesting picture though. Note that General Pace is surrounded by at least 7 people who are protecting him (not the 3 immediately talking to him) as he walks through that market.

    "Safe" is relative.

    I support the actions in Iraq, don't think that I do not. However, I am rapidly losing faith in the twits in Washington to get the job done. Let the boots on the ground run it as it needs to be run, not run it for the press coverage.
    It shouldn't be up to the folks in Washington, we learned that lesson in Nam. Washington merely needs t oprovide the funding and toold to the Generals in the field and let them do their jobs. To politicize the war means definite failure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Why should we? I didn't ask conservatives to move out of the country when they were critical of Clinton during the Balkan's campaign. I love the double standard.


    How was the comment critical of the troops? I'd like to see your logic.

    I agree with Sharkie. We'll never get out of Iraq as long as the Bushbots keep moving the goal line.
    As well you should love the double standard. You are an expert at it..

    But it wasn't the Bush folks that moved the timeline around, it was the Generals in the field. By the way, I saw that one of the Generals has said we need to stay the course until 2009.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HotTrotter View Post
    It shouldn't be up to the folks in Washington, we learned that lesson in Nam. Washington merely needs t oprovide the funding and toold to the Generals in the field and let them do their jobs. To politicize the war means definite failure.
    Great. Let them pay for it. How many of those generals are on the front lines leading patrols?

    As well you should love the double standard. You are an expert at it..
    Are you going to dazzle us with more of "all I know" comments that are wrong?
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    20 or 30 thousand is not much of a troop surge when you consider we had over 600 thousand troops in the 1st gulf war.
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    If the progress report on the surge is due in September, why are Democrats calling it a failure now? I thought September had been agreed to already by both parties. I guess one feels like they need the headlines.

    Why is Murtha trying to legislate a 2-month pullout that's logistically impossible? I thought the days of LBJ plotting airstrike routes from the Oval Office were over. I guess not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emt161 View Post
    If the progress report on the surge is due in September, why are Democrats calling it a failure now? I thought September had been agreed to already by both parties. I guess one feels like they need the headlines.

    Why is Murtha trying to legislate a 2-month pullout that's logistically impossible? I thought the days of LBJ plotting airstrike routes from the Oval Office were over. I guess not.

    Its called using our troops for dirty politics because elections are coming up soon. They want us to fail so they can say we told you so and they can use that as there running platform.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    20 or 30 thousand is not much of a troop surge when you consider we had over 600 thousand troops in the 1st gulf war.
    I don't care. Don't tell me 20,000 when you know it will take 30,000.

    Don't tell me September when you know it will be November or later.

    Don't lie to me and expect me to jus tswallow it and not call you on the carpet for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    20 or 30 thousand is not much of a troop surge when you consider we had over 600 thousand troops in the 1st gulf war.
    I don't care. Don't tell me 20,000 when you know it will take 30,000.

    Don't tell me September when you know it will be November or later.

    Don't lie to me and expect me to just swallow it and not call you on the carpet for it.
    "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like." Will Rogers

    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7 - Debt free since 10/5/2009.

    "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session." - New York Judge Gideon Tucker

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by BFDNJFF View Post
    Its called using our troops for dirty politics because elections are coming up soon. They want us to fail so they can say we told you so and they can use that as there running platform.
    Or it could be they are expressing the desires of the voters.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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