Sunday, February 28, 2010

"Forbidden Thoughts" Burst Out...Let the Shi--"Chips"--Fall where It May!

Comment by Fjordman at "Gates of Vienna"

Fjordman's THIRD Comment there, where he quotes

Lawrence Auster:

"I think it's reasonable to say that Obama's paramount objective in the health care bill and his other initiatives is to bring down white America, by punitively taxing middle class whites in the health care bill and transferring their money to nonwhites and illegal aliens; by siding with Islam against the United States ('I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear'); by sending U.S. soldiers to die for the sake of Afghans who are not our friends (see Diana West on this); by appointing the blatantly anti-white Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous anti-whites to posts in his administration; by supporting vastly expanded nonwhite immigration and amnesty (though he may not move forward with that this year); and by declaring, in his March 2008 race speech, that whites deserve to be hated by blacks with Jeremiah Wright type hatred until they make blacks equal to themselves in all outcomes and goods. He said this very clearly in that speech, as I've explained, but your typical conservatives were so awed by his criticisms of blacks and his nuance and his 'thoughtfulness' that they didn't notice it."


Later on, in this SAME Comment, after making the same case for "Eurabia," Fjordman finishes with:

"I suspect that future historians will refer to the early twenty-first century as a low point in the history of the white race, when hostile outsiders such as Muslims can abuse us in our own countries with impunity. We can probably get a little bit lower still, unfortunately, but we are approaching a low point. And a turning point, too?"

Lawrence Auster, in the cited article, also makes the following statement:

"The health care bill is the main initiative of his presidency. Since it would be financially ruinous to the white, wealth producing, independent part of America for the sake of the nonwhite, non-wealth producing, dependent (and illegal alien) part, while also subjecting free Americans to a paralyzing bureaucracy from which they could never escape, it is his main way of breaking the back, crushing the independent spirit, of white America, of slaying the White Whale. That's why he must succeed and cannot compromise or accept defeat."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Marching Toward Martial Law

Obama is quietly building a coalition of forces within the U. S. A. (06:14)


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Two ways of looking at counterinsurgency warfare:

From Islamabad Boys

During his December visit to Afghanistan, Mullen*--who strongly supports Obama’s troop surge--held a shura with a group of local elders on a U.S. base in Kandahar. "I would rather listen than speak," said the admiral, who wore a tan desert camouflage uniform. "Tell me what you think I need to understand that I may not understand." Mullen sat patiently as the men, grizzled under their turbans and dusty robes, bombarded him with rambling complaints about corruption and unemployment. He didn’t flinch when one tribal elder, upset that some Taliban detainees were being released by corrupt Afghan security forces, made a suggestion: In the future, he said, "just kill them on the ground. Do not turn them over to the Afghan forces." At the session’s end, Mullen assured the men that he’d heard their concerns, especially on corruption. Of the detainees, he added diplomatically, "The solution to just kill them on the street probably won’t work for us."

Whose way is better? Who's to say?
*Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting Away With Murder - the Saudi Relation with the United States

by Hugh Fitzgerald
from his "66 Suitcases"
at The Iconoclast
Saudi Arabia is not and never has been, and never could be, a "close ally" or an "ally" or a "friend" or anything at all except a mortal enemy, of the United States, as the most powerful of Infidel countries. Occasionally the Saudis find that their interests, and those of the Americans, may overlap -- the Saudis wanted the Red Army defeated in Afghanistan, because it was an army of Infidels suppressing Muslims, and the Americans wanted the Red Army defeated in Afghanistan because it wanted the Soviet Union defeated everywhere it chose to project its military power. The Americans wanted to push Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait because they feared the aggressive nature of his regime and his pretense of becoming King of the Arabs; the Saudis wanted to push Saddam Hussei out of Kuwait because they feared his designs on Saudi Arabia and the appeal of any rhetorical attacks by his regime on the corrupt Al-Saud.
[see my footnote regarding this. lw]

Saudi Arabia has spent nearly $100 billion over the past three decades on the Jihad to spread Islam. That money has paid for mosques, both buildings and maintenance, and madrasas, and propaganda disseminated in those mosques and madrasas that preach hatred and violence toward all Infidels; that money has paid for a vast army of Western hirelings, deployed in the capitals of the West to present Saudi Arabia as, precisely, a "close ally," with the real Saudi Arabia, the one described by J. B. Kelly in his essay "Of Valuable Oil and Worthless Policies," hidden from view -- as for decades it was hidden from American view by incessant Aramco propaganda. That money has also been used to buy influence to prevent any sensible energy plan that might diminish reliance on oil from being adopted by the government.

Saudi Arabia (and Kuwait and the Emirates as well) needs to be read the riot act. Its rulers should be told they can no longer send money to this country to spread hatred through the kind of propaganda disseminated in the mosques it pays for -- or at least, not without severe consequences. They can no longer be allowed to send money to pay for campaigns of Da'wa, targetted at the most vulnerable citizens in this country (if Muslims want to conduct missionary work, local Muslims will have to do it, not as part of a geopolitical campaign by Saudi or other rich Arabs). Any monies that come from Saudi Arabia should be carefully monitored, and those who receive those monies publicized -- so that all those influence-peddlers, those writers of Op/Ed articles and deliverers of lectures about "our friends the Saudis" and "America's real interests in the Middle East" -- given by those who cash their Saudi-generated checks even as they mutter darkly about "the Israeli lobby" -- and of course those who pay, directly or indirectly, for such groups as the "Council on the National Interest" -- which "National Interest" seems to be defined in one way only. Any such monies will be monitored, and the sums given public attention, or if a way can be found to do it, seized. There is no sense in regarding Saudi Arabia as anything other than an enemy, the chief provider of the Money Weapon for the world-wide Jihad. pay for these mosques, madrasas, or to such groups as do their bidding in lobbying the government. There is nothing that the Saudis can do to us. But the Al-Saud depend on us, in the end, for their own family's security. They depend on the West for petroleum engineers, and doctors, and every sort of expert to run their country. They depend on the West for medical care, education or at least the receipt of plausible-sounding degrees (a different thing), for the children of the ruling family's princes and princelings and even, here and there, possibly a princelette or two, and also for the children of the courtiers and middlemen and fixers who have made money from their connections to the Al-Saud, all essentially creatures of the oil bonanza, that is to say, of unstoppable torrents of money, where once there were only seasonal rivulets from wadis, that are the result only of an accident of geology.

Saudi Arabia depends entirely on the Western world for that medical care, that access to education, that fun-fair-cum-brothel-cum-gambling-den that Monte Carlo, and Las Vegas, and Marbella, and London, and even McLean, Virginia, and Aspen, Colorado (see that conduit for BAE bribes, Prince Bandar). The Al-Saud think they are above the law, and the British government, in choosing not to follow through on the BAE investigation’s results, has shown that at least they are above British law. Now we shall see if the scandal of the 66 suitcases, stuffed with heroin (or was it cocaine?) and brought into France, on a plane owned by a Saudi prince who now claims diplomatic immunity, will be dropped, which means that the Al-Saud would also be above French law.

And the final question remains: will the Al-Saud continue to get away with murder, that is to say with funding those who are hostile to, and who wish to undermine in every way, our own legal and political institutions because these institutions flatly contradict both the letter and spirit of Islam?

When will Saudi Arabia be re-dimensioned? When it will be seen as the primitive kingdom, ruled by Johnny-jump-ups who happen to have driven out the Hashemites, and to have defeated the Shammar tribe, and rule because they stand by the mutawwa, stand by the worst Wahhabis who, in turn, provide them, despite their enormous corruption and theft of national wealth, with the legitimacy that so far has allowed them not only to stay in power, but also not merely to dare to bully, but also to hire Western hirelings who help mislead the American public as to the supposed power of Saudi Arabia.

Cut it down to size, but begin by calling in Adel Jubeir and telling him not only that the “ally” business is long over, but the Saudi Arabian rulers, and Saudi “stability,” are dispensable as far as the American government and people are concerned. After all, in the end, if the oil wells of al-Hasa were to fall to those who are even worse, even more open, about their Islam-inculcated hatred of Infidels, we can – and would – seize those oil wells. And if the Saudis reply, as they will, with some blague about how they have “mined” the oilfields, don’t believe it. And if they further allude to all the money they can pull out of the American market, then they can be told that a great deal of Saudi wealth, especially of individuals, can be located and seized; that the corrupt behavior of Saudi princes can be easily tracked, filmed, and put on the Internet which would not make the lives of those princes any easier at home, and that there is a great deal more that can be done –unless they stop funding campaigns of Da’wa, not only here but elsewhere.

Posted on 01/31/2008 1:07 PM
Ever wonder why George W. Bush chose to attack Iraq--after he attacked Afghanistan, the seat of bin Laden and the Al Qaeda leadership that planned and executed 9-11)? G.W. attacked Iraq, which was not the source of Al Qaeda and the 19 who crashed planes into U.S. buildings and one pasture, to divert our attention from Saudi Arabia, from whence came the financing for 9-11. Saudi should have been punished for 9-11, its oil fields taken from it, and its incursion of Islamic propaganda and literature into the U.S. stopped. As G.W. had connections to the Saudi "royals," he directed all attention to their rival Saddam and Iraq. --lw

The "Goldstone Factor" in Modern Warfare

Fight a "just" war against those who have attacked and threaten to attack you again until you are destroyed, and you run the risk of raising the spectre of "Goldstone."

Yaakov Kirschen of Dry Bones hit a bullseye with that one:

To clarify, I'll let "Bones" explain:

the latest from Canada's Globe and Mail:

NATO strikes kill 12 civilians in Afghanistan "NATO rockets missed their target and killed 12 civilians in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, as NATO and Afghan forces continued a massive attack on two Taliban-held regions.

U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, apologized to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the accident.

In a statement released by NATO, Gen. McChrystal said he regrets that innocent lives were lost in Nad Ali district.

Mr. Karzai issued a statement minutes earlier saying 10 members of the same family died when a rocket hit a house. Before the offensive began, Mr. Karzai pleaded with Afghan and foreign military leaders to be extra careful to avoid civilian casualties.

About 15,000 coalition troops are involved in Operation Moshtarak, named for a Dari word meaning "together" and launched before dawn Saturday. It’s one of the West’s biggest attacks since the start of the war in 2001." -more

So what's with the "Goldstone Factor?"

Caroline Glick explains:

"Late last week, the Zionist student movement Im Tirtzu published a detailed report demonstrating that 16 anti-Zionist NGOs funded by the post-Zionist New Israel Fund worked hand in glove with the UN Human Rights Council and Richard Goldstone to bring about the establishment of the Goldstone committee and give credibility to its allegations that Israel committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead.[*] According to the Im Tirtzu report, 92 percent of Israeli allegations that Israel committed war crimes in its campaign against Hamas came from these 16 NIF-funded organizations." -more

[emphasis and color mine. lw]
*Israel's operation in Gaza

Monday, February 15, 2010

Troops Held Back by Rules of Engagement

Pier Paolo Cito / The Associated Press

U.S. soldiers and an Afghan soldier exchange fire with insurgents during a patrol in the Badula Qulp area, west of Lashkar Gah in Helmand province, on Feb. 14. In the fight, one soldier was wounded and at least one insurgent was killed. The soldiers are operating in support of a Marine offensive against the Taliban in the Marjah area.

Troops: Strict war rules slow Marjah offensive

By Alfred de Montesquiou and Deb Riechmann - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Feb 15, 2010 15:08:51 EST

MARJAH, Afghanistan — Some American and Afghan troops say they’re fighting the latest offensive in Afghanistan with a handicap — strict rules that routinely force them to hold their fire.

Although details of the new guidelines are classified to keep insurgents from reading them, U.S. troops say the Taliban are keenly aware of the restrictions.

“I understand the reason behind it, but it’s so hard to fight a war like this,” said [a] Marine Lance Cpl. . . . . “They’re using our rules of engagement against us,” he said, adding that his platoon had repeatedly seen men drop their guns into ditches and walk away to blend in with civilians.

If a man emerges from a Taliban hideout after shooting erupts, U.S. troops say they cannot fire at him if he is not seen carrying a weapon — or if they did not personally watch him drop one.

What this means, some contend, is that a militant can fire at them, then set aside his weapon and walk freely out of a compound, possibly toward a weapons cache in another location. It was unclear how often this has happened. In another example, Marines pinned down by a barrage of insurgent bullets say they can’t count on quick air support because it takes time to positively identify shooters.

“This is difficult,” [another] Lance Cpl. . . . said Monday. “We are trained like when we see something, we obliterate it. But here, we have to see them and when we do, they don’t have guns.”

NATO and Afghan military officials say killing militants is not the goal of a 3-day-old attack to take control of this Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. More important is to win public support.

They acknowledge that the rules entail risk to its troops, but maintain that civilian casualties or destruction of property can alienate the population and lead to more insurgent recruits, more homemade bombs and a prolonged conflict.

But troops complain that strict rules of engagement — imposed to spare civilian casualties — are slowing their advance into the town of Marjah in Helmand province, the focal point of the operation involving 15,000 troops.

“The problem is isolating where the enemy is,” said . . . . a Marine company commander from Stillwater, Okla. “We are not going to drop ordnance out in the open.”

That’s a marked change from the battle of Fallujah, Iraq, in November 2004. When Marines there encountered snipers holed up in a building, they routinely called in airstrikes. In Marjah, fighter jets are flying at low altitude in a show of force, but are not firing missiles.

Politically, it’s not the best time to campaign for relaxing the rules in Afghanistan. On Sunday, two U.S. rockets struck a house and killed 12 Afghan civilians during the offensive in Marjah, NATO said. On Monday, a NATO airstrike accidentally killed five civilians and wounded two in neighboring Kandahar province.

It was public outrage in Afghanistan over civilian deaths that prompted the top NATO commander, U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, last year to tighten the rules, including the use of airstrikes and other weaponry if civilians are at risk.

Afghan civilian deaths soared to 2,412 civilians last year — the highest number in any year of the 8-year-old war, according to a U.N. report. But the deaths attributed to allied troops dropped nearly 30 percent as a result of McChrystal’s new rules, according to the report.

Under the current rules of engagement, troops retain the right to use lethal force in self defense, said U.S. Col. Wayne Shanks, a spokesman for the international force.

The rules seek to put the troops in the “right frame of mind to exercise that right,” Shanks said. They require troops to ask a few fundamental questions:

• Even if someone has shot in my general direction, am I still in danger?

• Will I make more enemies than I’ll kill by destroying property, or harming innocent civilians?

• What are my other options to resolve this without escalating the violence?

On Monday, Marines in the northern part of Marjah followed the rules of engagement, but a civilian still ended up dead.

As troops fought teams of insurgent snipers throughout the day in heavy gunfights, a young Afghan man ran toward the Marines. More than once, the troops warned him to stop, but he kept running.

Following the rules, the Marines uttered a verbal warning, and fired a flare and a warning shot overhead. Still the man didn’t stop. Marines shot him dead.

Afterward, Marine officers said the victim appeared to be a mentally ill man who had panicked during the gun battle.

“Sadly, everything was done right,” said Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. “The family understood.”

Christmas said his troops might be frustrated, but understand the reasons behind the strict rules. As he spoke, Cobra attack helicopters fired Hellfire missiles nearby. Ground forces under intense fire had requested the air support 90 minutes earlier, but it took that long to positively identify the militants who were shooting at the allied forces.

“We didn’t come to Marjah to destroy it, or to hurt civilians,” Christmas said.

That message was drilled into the troops in the run-up to the offensive.

“What are we here for?” Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson, the top Marine commander in Afghanistan, would shout to his troops.

“The people!” was the troops’ refrain.

Afghan forces cite examples of the restrictions too.

Col. Shrin Shah Kohbandi, commander of the new Afghan army corps in Helmand province, told reporters that his troops saw militants running away from the battlefield toward a village in Nad Ali district where they disappeared among villagers. “They hid their weapons so they became ‘civilians,’ ” under the rules, he said. “We didn’t kill them and we weren’t able to arrest them.”

Khan Mohammad Khan, a former Afghan National Army commander in neighboring Kandahar province, said being able to use heavy weapons and conduct air strikes only in selective situations has hamstrung troops in Marjah.

But Brig. Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai, commander of Afghan troops in the south, said there is no plan to revise the rules.

“The aim of the operation is not to kill militants,” he said. “The aim is to protect civilians and bring in development.”


Associated Press writers Rahim Faiez in Helmand province, and Heidi Vogt and Amir Shah in Kabul contributed to this report.

All content © 2010, Army Times Publishing Company

SEE Fighting a War With Our Hands Tied--Once Again!

Taliban Attack Troops in Marjah

Taliban steps up attacks on troops in Marjah

By Alfred de Montesquiou - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Feb 15, 2010 15:09:26 EST

MARJAH, Afghanistan — Taliban fighters stepped up counterattacks Monday against U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers in the militant stronghold of Marjah, slowing the allied advance to a crawl despite Afghan government claims that the insurgents are broken and on the run.

Taliban fighters appeared to be slipping under the cover of darkness into compounds already deemed free of weapons and explosives, then opening fire on the Marines from behind U.S. lines.

Also Monday, NATO said five civilians were accidentally killed and two wounded by an airstrike when they were mistakenly believed to have been planting roadside bombs in Kandahar province, east of the Marjah offensive.

The airstrike happened one day after 12 people, half of them children, were killed by two U.S. missiles that struck a house on the outskirts of Marjah. Afghan officials said Monday that three Taliban fighters were in the house at the time of the attack.

On the third day of the main attack on Marjah, Afghan commanders spoke optimistically about progress in the town of about 80,000 people, the linchpin of the Taliban logistical and opium poppy smuggling network in the militant-influenced south.

Brig. Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai, commander of Afghan troops in the south, told reporters in nearby Lashkar Gah that there had been “low resistance” in the town, adding “soon we will have Marjah cleared of enemies.”

Interior Minister Hanif Atmar said many insurgent fighters had already fled Marjah, possibly heading for Pakistan.

In Marjah, however, there was little sign the Taliban were broken. Instead, small, mobile teams of insurgents repeatedly attacked U.S. and Afghan troops with rocket, rifle and rocket-propelled grenade fire. Insurgents moved close enough to the main road to fire repeatedly at columns of mine-clearing vehicles.

At midday at least six large gunbattles were raging across the town, and helicopter gunships couldn’t cover all the different fighting locations.

Allied officials have reported only two coalition deaths so far — one American and one Briton killed Saturday. There have been no reports of wounded. Afghan officials said at least 27 insurgents have been killed so far in the offensive.

Nonetheless, the harassment tactics and the huge number of roadside bombs, mines and booby traps planted throughout Marjah have succeeded in slowing the movement of allied forces through the town. After daylong skirmishes, some Marine units had barely advanced at all by sundown.

As long as the town remains unstable, NATO officials cannot move to the second phase — restoring Afghan government control and rushing in aid and public services to win over inhabitants who have been living under Taliban rule for years.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai approved the assault on Marjah only after instructing NATO and Afghan commanders to be careful about harming civilians. “This operation has been done with that in mind,” the top NATO commander, U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said Monday.

Despite those instructions, NATO said two U.S. rockets veered off target by up to 600 yards and slammed into a home Sunday outside Marjah, killing 12 people. Six children were among the dead, a NATO military official confirmed Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information had not been formally released.

In London, Britain’s top military officer, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, called the missile strike a “very serious setback” to efforts to win the support of local communities, who are from the same Pashtun ethnic group as the Taliban.

“This operation ... is not about battling the Taliban. It is about protecting the local population, and you don’t protect them when you kill them,” he said in an interview with the BBC.

NATO said the Kandahar airstrike was ordered Monday after a joint NATO-Afghan patrol saw people digging along a path “and believed that the individuals” were planting a roadside bomb. When they realized their mistake, troops flew the wounded to a NATO hospital, the statement said.

“We regret this tragic accident and offer our sympathies to the families of those killed and injured,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Regner, the NATO command’s deputy chief of staff for joint operations. “Our combined forces take every precaution to minimize civilian casualties, and we will investigate this incident to determine how this happened.”

About 15,000 U.S., Afghan and British troops are taking part in the massive offensive around Marjah area — the largest southern town under Taliban control. The offensive is the biggest joint operation since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

The main attack began before dawn Saturday when dozens of helicopters dropped hundreds of Marines and Afghan soldiers into the heart of the city. Ground troops began moving just before sunrise, using makeshift bridges to cross the irrigation canals ringing the town because the main bridge was so heavily mined.

Although there was only scattered resistance on the first day, Taliban fighters seem to have regrouped, using hit-and-run tactics to try to prevent the Americans and their Afghan allies from gaining full control of the area.

The Taliban snipers appeared highly skilled at concealing themselves.

“I haven’t seen anything, not one person, not a muzzle flash,” said . . . a former Marine and retired police officer embedded with the Marines as a law enforcement professional. “And I’ve been looking a lot.”


Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez contributed to this report from Lashkar Gah.

All content © 2010, Army Times Publishing Company

Troops Moving into Marjah Engage in Firefights

U.S., Afghan forces push deeper into Marjah

By Alfred de Montesquiou - The Associated Press
Posted : Monday Feb 15, 2010 10:36:41 EST

MARJAH, Afghanistan — Sniper teams attacked U.S. Marines and Afghan troops across the Taliban haven of Marjah, as several gun battles erupted Monday on the third day of a major offensive to seize the extremists’ southern heartland.

Multiple firefights broke out in different neighborhoods as American and Afghan forces worked to clear out pockets of insurgents and push slowly beyond parts of the town they have claimed. With gunfire coming from several directions all day long, troops managed to advance only 500 yards deeper as they fought off small squads of Taliban snipers.

“There’s still a good bit of the land still to be cleared,” said . . . a Marine spokesman. “We’re moving at a very deliberative pace.”

The massive offensive in the Marjah area — the largest Taliban stronghold and a key opium trafficking hub — involves about 15,000 U.S., Afghan and British troops and is the biggest joint operation since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

On Monday, Afghan military officials gave a more optimistic view of the progress being made, with Brig. Gen. Sher Mohammad Zazai saying Afghan and NATO forces have largely contained the insurgents and succeeded in gaining trust from residents, who have pointed out mine locations.

“Today there is no major movement of the enemy. South of Marjah they are very weak. There has been low resistance. Soon we will have Marjah cleared of enemies,” Zazai said at a briefing in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand province. He added that only three Afghan troops had been injured.

Interior Minister Hanif Atmar said he expected some insurgent fighters had already fled the area in advance of the offensive, possibly heading to the Pakistan border.

The enemy “had ample time to flee. Our intention was known to both our public and the enemy,” he said.

However, the mission faced a setback on Sunday when two U.S. rockets slammed into a home outside Marjah, killing 12 civilians. NATO said Monday that the rockets missed their target by about 600 meters, or about a third of a mile. NATO had earlier said the rockets missed their target by just 300 meters.

Six children were among the dead from the rocket strike, a NATO military official confirmed Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information had not been formally released.

British Chief of the Defense Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup called the off-target strike a “very serious setback” in efforts to win the support of local communities.

“This operation ... is not about battling the Taliban. It is about protecting the local population and you don’t protect them when you kill them,” he said in an interview with the BBC.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who had pleaded with NATO and Afghan forces to be cautious about civilian casualties ahead of the offensive, has called for a thorough investigation into the airstrike.

Differing accounts have emerged about the details. On Monday, Afghan Interior Minister Atmar said at the briefing in Lashkar Gah that nine civilians and two or three insurgents were among those killed, suggesting that insurgents were firing at troops from a civilian home.

“The reality is this ... the enemy did capture some civilians in their house and they were firing at our forces from this house. Unfortunately our forces didn’t know that civilians were living in that house,” he said.

The top NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, apologized for “this tragic loss of life” and suspended use of the sophisticated rocket system pending a thorough review.

The rockets were fired by the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, or HIMARS, at insurgents who had attacked U.S. and Afghan forces, wounding one American and one Afghan, NATO said. However, the projectiles veered off target and blasted the home in northern Nad Ali district, which includes Marjah, NATO added.

Karzai spokesman Waheed Omar said the president “is very upset about what happened” and has been “very seriously conveying his message” of restraint “again and again.”

Inside Marjah, sporadic firefights increased by midday. One armored column came under fire from at least three separate sniper teams, slowing its progress. One of the teams came within 155 feet and started firing.

“It’s a pretty busy day but we expected that because we are penetrating,” said Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, commander of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, referring to a half-dozen major gun battles throughout town.

Marines said their ability to fight back has been tightly constrained by strict new rules of engagement that make their job more difficult and dangerous. Under the rules, troops cannot fire at people unless they commit a hostile act or show hostile intent.

“I understand the reason behind it, but it’s so hard to fight a war like this,” said [a] Lance Cpl. . . . “They’re using our rules of engagement against us,” he said, stating that his platoon had repeatedly seen men dropping their guns into ditches before walking away to melt among civilians.

Allied officials have reported two coalition deaths so far — one American and one Briton killed Saturday. Afghan officials said at least 27 insurgents have been killed in the offensive.

Separately in southern Afghanistan, NATO said two service members died Sunday — one from small-arms fire and the other from a roadside bomb explosion. Both were British, according to the British government.

All content © 2010, Army Times Publishing Company

Marines in Marjah - and how about the Afghan National Army?

At his "The Captain's Journal," Herschel Smith has quite another view of what is happening than the news being leaked from official sources.

Writing about "The Battle for Marjah", Mr. Smith asks what is the ANA (Afghan National Army) really doing? And answers his question with “As Marines unloaded equipment needed to build an outpost at Five Points [and] others manned 'fighting holes' [foxholes]," the Afghan soldiers stayed in their trucks, with engines running, and heaters "at full blast.”

About the dozen noncombatants killed, Herschel Smith says, "Predictably, McChrystal has prostrated himself before Karzai. To be sure, we should pay the family, Marine officers should sit with surviving kin, and so on and so forth." This public posturing, however, he considers a "silly overreach, as if we are attempting to convince the American or Afghan public that there is any such thing as riskless war – war conducted in laboratories by men wearing white coats, where mistakes are mere failures to follow procedure and can be fixed by retraining men and retooling paperwork."

He concludes his analysis with, "It’s all a lie. The noncombatant deaths aren’t a mistake in procedure or protocol. They are a tragedy of war, a tragedy that can only be avoided by losing the campaign or losing our own warriors."

COMMENT: The point is, where do we want the casualties? Do we want to sacrifice our own troops to spare the civilians (who supposedly were given advance warning to get the hell out of Marjah until it had been secured)?

And then of course there is the very iffy Afghan National Army (ANA), that is apparently sparing itself from sustaining casualties.

If we can't depend on the Afghans to stand up to the Taliban--the same Afghans who are supposed to protect the civilians from the Islamic extremists (the civilians are also Moslems) when we pull out--then what in blazes are we accomplishing?

(a rhetorical question)


See Fighting a War With Our Hands Tied--Once Again!

and Marines Under Fire Ahead of Assault
Continuation of the foregoing post: Fighting a War With Our Hands Tied--Once Again!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

British Troops in Operation 'Moshtarak' near Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan

"In this photo released by Britain's Ministry of Defense, members of the F Company (Fire Support) 1 Royal Welsh take position during operation 'Moshtarak' Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, near Marjah, in Afghanistan's Helmand province. British troops are among the thousands of NATO and Afghan soldiers who stormed the Taliban stronghold of Marjah by air and ground Saturday. AP"

Bombs, Booby-Traps Slow US Advance In Afghan Town

By Alfred De Montesquiou

MARJAH: AP – Bombs and booby-traps slowed the advance of thousands of U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers moving through the Taliban-controlled town of Marjah — NATO’s most ambitious effort yet to break the militants’ grip over their southern heartland.

NATO said Saturday it hoped to secure the area in days, set up a local government and rush in development aid in a first test of the new U.S. strategy for turning the tide of the eight-year war. The offensive is the largest since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.

The Taliban appeared to have scattered in the face of overwhelming force, possibly waiting to regroup and stage attacks later to foil the alliance’s plan to stabilize the area and expand Afghan government control in the volatile south.

NATO said two of its soldiers were killed in the first day of the operation — one American and one Briton, according to military officials in their countries. Afghan authorities said at least 20 insurgents were killed.

More than 30 transport helicopters ferried troops into the heart of Marjah before dawn Saturday, while British, Afghan and U.S. troops fanned out across the Nad Ali district to the north of the mud-brick town, long a stronghold of the Taliban.

Maj. Gen. Gordon Messenger told reporters in London that British forces "have successfully secured the area militarily" with only sporadic resistance from Taliban forces. A Taliban spokesman insisted their forces still controlled the town. President Barack Obama was keeping a close watch on combat operations, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

The president will get an update from his national security adviser, Gen. Jim Jones, later Saturday. Vietor said Defense Secretary Robert Gates will also have the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, brief Obama on Sunday morning.

In Marjah, Marines and Afghan troops faced little armed resistance. But their advance through the town was impeded by countless land mines, homemade bombs and booby-traps littering the area. Throughout the day, Marine ordnance teams blew up bombs where they were found, setting off huge explosions that reverberated through the dusty streets.

The bridge over the canal into Marjah from the north was rigged with so many explosives that Marines erected temporary bridges to cross into the town. "It’s just got to be a very slow and deliberate process," said Capt. Joshua Winfrey of Stillwater, Okla., a Marine company commander.

Lt. Col. Brian Christmas, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, said U.S. troops fought gunbattles in at least four areas of the town and faced "some intense fighting."

To the east, the battalion’s Kilo Company was inserted into the town by helicopter without meeting resistance but was then "significantly engaged" as the Marines fanned out from the landing zone, Christmas said.

Marine commanders had said they expected between 400 and 1,000 insurgents — including more than 100 foreign fighters — to be holed up in Marjah, a town of 80,000 people that is the linchpin of the militants’ logistical and opium-smuggling network in the south.

Saturday’s ground assault followed several hours after the first wave of helicopters flew troops over the mine fields into the center of town before dawn. Helicopter gunships fired missiles at Taliban tunnels and bunkers while flares illuminated the night sky so pilots could see their landing zones.

The offensive, code-named "Moshtarak," or "Together," was described as the biggest joint operation of the Afghan war, with 15,000 troops involved, including some 7,500 in Marjah itself. The government says Afghan soldiers make up at least half of the offensive’s force.

Once Marjah is secured, NATO hopes to quickly deliver aid and provide public services in a bid to win support among the estimated 125,000 people who live in the town and surrounding villages. The Afghans’ ability to restore those services is crucial to the success of the operation and in preventing the Taliban from returning.
[Article and photo thanks to Muslim World Today, founded by Tashbih Sayyed* ONE WHO STOOD UP AGAINST THE JIHAD]

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*Tashbih Sayyed (1941–2007) was a Pakistani-American scholar, journalist, and author and was the Editor in Chief of Our Times, Pakistan Today, and In Review. Tashbih Sayyed worked from 1967-1980 for the Pakistan Television Corporation. In 1981, he emigrated to the United States. As a regular columnist for newspapers in the US, Pakistan, Germany and India, Sayyed wrote about what he perceived as the Islamist threat to the US. He is featured in the documentaries, Relentless: The Struggle for Peace in Israel and Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West.
from wikipedia

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Army to Punish at Least 6 in Hasan Case

[Hasan, murderer
in the name of Islam. lw]

February 12, 2010
Stars and Stripes

The Army will punish at least six officers for failing to properly supervise or take action against the accused Fort Hood shooter in the years leading up to the attack, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Senior Army officials told the newspaper this week that the move reflects investigators’ belief that the November attack at the Texas base, in which 13 people were killed, could have been prevented if supervisors had reacted to the suspicious and erratic behavior of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.

Colleagues say Hasan, an Army psychiatrist and practicing Muslim, often inappropriately interjected faith into workplace situations, even on occasion evangelizing to patients. Despite knowledge of those actions, Hasan was not reprimanded and was even promoted over the years.

The Journal reports that most of the officers facing punishment are stationed at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where Hasan worked for six years. The punishments will be detailed in an “accountability review” to be delivered to top Army officials as early as today.

A senior Army official told the newspaper that the investigation found military doctors at Walter Reed were so focused on teaching and clinical work that they failed to adequately supervise Hasan or alert authorities when he began to express extremist religious views.

The recommended punishments include a letter of reprimand, which would effectively end the officers’ military careers.

Sources told the Journal that as many as eight officers could end up facing punishment as a result of the investigation.

Separate White House and Pentagon reviews of the shooting found breakdowns in communication between Hasan’s colleagues, military units and even outside law enforcement agencies about Hasan’s radical Islamic beliefs.

Following the release of his department’s report, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said investigators found the military isn’t prepared to prevent similar attacks in the future, because commanders are unsure how to intervene if they think someone within the ranks is a threat. Military leaders were instructed to review policies and procedures to change that.


This article is provided courtesy of Stars & Stripes, which got its start as a newspaper for Union troops during the Civil War, and has been published continuously since 1942 in Europe and 1945 in the Pacific. Stripes reporters have been in the field with American soldiers, sailors and airmen in World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia and Kosovo, and are now on assignment in the Middle East.Stars and Stripes has one of the widest distribution ranges of any newspaper in the world. Between the Pacific and European editions, Stars & Stripes services over 50 countries where there are bases, posts, service members, ships, or embassies.
Stars & Stripes Website
© 2009

Defeating IEDs in Operation Moshtarak in Marjah, Afghanistan


Afghanistan - In comes "The Joker."

That's the nickname given by the crew to one of the 72-ton, 40-foot-long Assault Breacher Vehicles. Fitted with a plow and nearly 7,000 pounds of explosives, the Breachers, as they are commonly known, are the Marine Corps' answer to the deadliest threat facing NATO troops in Afghanistan: thousands of land mines and roadside bombs, or improvised explosive devices, that litter the Afghan landscape.

The Breachers, metal monsters that look like a tank with a cannon, carry a 15-foot-wide plow supported by metallic skis that glide on the dirt, digging a safety lane through the numerous minefields laid by the Taliban.

If there are too many mines, the Breachers can fire rockets carrying high-grade C-4 explosive up to 150 yards forward, detonating the hidden bombs at a safe distance so that troops and vehicles can pass through safely.

The detonations - over 1,700 pounds of Mine Clearing Line Charges - send a sheet fire into the air and shock waves rippling through the desert in all directions.


Several Breachers - including "The Joker" and its twin "Iceman" - will be used in the Marjah assault. Commanders hope they will make a huge difference as troops pierce through layer after layer of minefields circling the town.

"I consider it to be a truly lifesaving weapon," said Gunnery Sgt. Steven Sanchez, 38, leader of a platoon from the 2nd Marines Combat Engineers Battalion.

A cross between a bulldozer and Abrams tank with a 1,500-horsepower turbine engine, Breachers are so valuable that they only travel outside bases along with a tank retrieval vehicle to drag them to safety if they are damaged.

Sanchez's platoon drove Breachers in their first combat operation in December, when Marines reclaimed a section of the heavily mined Now Zad valley farther north in Helmand province. "We made history, and the Breacher did well," says Sanchez, of Palm Desert, Calif.


Bulldozer-tank hybrid takes out minefields

. . . the U.S. Marines – as they move on the Taliban in the Marjah district of Helmand province – are giving thanks for "the Breacher," the latest generation of mine clearance vehicles. Its full name is the Assault Breacher Vehicle and it looks like a cross between a bulldozer and a tank with a set of deadly steel teeth. Which it is: its frame is based on the A1M1 Abrams battle tank, while its plow was developed by a British company and can tear up the dirt to a depth of 14 inches.

The Breacher weighs some 70 tons and yet can travel at speeds of up to 45 mph. In development since the 1990s, it has arrived just in time for a stiff test of its capabilities.
The Taliban have had weeks to place hundreds of IEDs around Marjah, and the early going in the offensive suggests they have certainly slowed down the movement of some allied units. The Taliban are also planting much more powerful and sophisticated devices than they were a year ago. A recent NATO briefing showed that whereas 18 months ago the charge in most IEDs weighed less than 25 pounds, now about three-quarters weigh more than that.
When it hits and detonates a mine or IED, the Breacher hardly shudders. (Watch Marine Corps video of the Breacher in action)

But its greatest asset is the ability to fire rockets with high explosives into a minefield from a distance of some 150 yards. The rockets carry 1,700 pounds of C4 on a line charge – almost like a lasso. When the line lands, it's detonated from within the Breacher and shock waves set off many of the mines. The line can also be used to breach fortifications.

The Marines are probably pretty happy that they persevered with the Breacher after the U.S. Army cancelled a similar program back in 2001 to build a breed of mine clearance vehicles called the Grizzly. There are only a handful of Breachers in service in Afghanistan now, but the Marines hope to have about 50 operational by 2012. And the U.S. Army is now also ordering them. Perhaps that's why one Breacher crew calls their vehicle "the Joker."


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Marines Under Fire Ahead of Assault

Continuation of the foregoing post: Fighting a War With Our Hands Tied--Once Again!

Marines Under Fire Ahead of Assault
U.S. Marines came under attack from insurgents armed with sniper guns and rocket-propelled grenades as they geared up Wednesday to overwhelm a Taliban bastion in Afghanistan.

Thousands of Marines along with foreign and Afghan soldiers are taking up position around the town of Marjah in Helmand, which officials say is one of the last areas of the southern province under Taliban control.

The flow of residents fleeing the imminent offensive has slowed, provincial officials said, after loaded-down cars, trucks, tractors and buses clogged roads from Marjah to provincial capital Lashkah Gar for days.

"We have announced and told people in Marjah not to leave their houses as our operation is well planned and designed to target the enemy," said Daud Ahmadi, spokesman for Helmand Governor Mohammad Gulab Mangal.

"Civilians will not be harmed," he said. Another 75 families had left Marjah, on top of 164 families who left earlier, the spokesman said. Other officials have said more than 400 families have fled.


It is seen as a key test of a comprehensive counter-insurgency strategy that aims to follow up what officials predict will be a decisive military victory by establishing Afghan government control.

But Taliban fighters appear defiant in the face of the enormous fire power being amassed in the region, where they have held sway for years in tandem with drug traffickers.

On the northeastern edge of Marjah, an AFP photographer said U.S. Marines arrived by helicopter at a deserted junction and immediately came under sniper fire from insurgents.

The Marines' encampment, reinforced with sandbags, also came under rocket fire. U.S. Cobra helicopters were called in to attack Taliban positions, the photographer said.

More--Read it all


Marines Wait in Cold for Afghan Offensive
Mine-Busting ‘Breachers’ Join Marjah Assault
US Faults Command Over Deadly Afghan Ambush
Marine Deaths Underscore US Struggle The incident, deadly and tragic as it was, rated only one short sentence on the official NATO website. The violent deaths of Marine Sgt. Daniel Angus, 28, and Lance Cpl. Zachary Smith, 19, underscore how quickly things can go from bad to worse in the frontline battle against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan....More
Marine Deaths Underscore US Struggle
US, Allies Tell Taliban About Offensive
Marines Under Fire Ahead of Assault
Al-Qaida Deputy Surfaces After Airstrike
McChrystal Orders AAFES Scaled Back
Video: Cobra Gun has no Mercy
Kit Up!: Stryker Pros and Cons

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fighting a War With Our Hands Tied--Once Again!

The lessons that should have been learned in Vietnam and Korea appear to have been forgotten--by the military--can't expect them to be remembered by the nincompoop that poses and postures as their "Commander-in-Chief." I'm talking about restrictions on where troops are allowed to pursue the enemy--"de-militarized zones," parallels that cannot be crossed by our troops to pursue and destroy the enemy that is killing them, etc.

Comment at NAVY INSIDER:

I was in the navy in the vietnam fiasco. What we are in now is the same bull shit except at a grander scale.Our pilots were briefed to what they could bomb . No towns,no airports, no train stations,no fuel depots. They could bomb rice patties, foot bridges across a rice patty, water buffalo. . . .
Posted by: Barry Clark February 02, 2010 at 06:57 PM

Now with the a$$-clown ensconced in our White House and Gen. McChrystal, the latest expert on counter-insurgent warfare forcing impossible Rules of Engagement (ROEs) on our troops, we stand to lose another war.

Of course we DO NOT WANT VICTORY: the "Commander-in-Chief" declared that bluntly, it does not sit well with him, as he remembers (falsely) Hirohito (Jap. emperor during WWII) coming down to the USS Missouri to sign the unconditional surrender document. Of course his memory about WWII is sadly deficient when he remembers his uncle freeing concentration camps.

But back to Afghanistan, the war he wants to end, but not win.

Looking at Afghanistan today:

"The enemy IS their population. Can't we all just read the Koran?"

When townsfolk can pelt the Marines with rocks and Taliban fighters can run amok in the crowds, U.S. forces are not respected. It’s an ominous sign – that the most feared fighting force on earth, the 911 forces of America, the most deadly, rapid and mobile strike forces of any nation anywhere, can be pelted with rocks and hit with sticks without any fear whatsoever. This isn’t likely to ensure belief by the population that they will be "protected" by our forces.


Troops Feel Growing Rage in Afghanistan
Troops Feel Growing Rage in Afghanistan Anger, frustration and a hunger for revenge are running high among U.S. Marines as casualties mount on the frontline of the battle against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. Outside a tent housing the Marine unit responsible for firing mortars stands an improvised cross bearing the inscription: "Here lies the 81st, death by stand down."...More

New US Air Strategy in Afghanistan
Six months after Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S commander in Afghanistan, issued a tactical directive urging troops to walk away from a fight rather than risk killing civilians, the Air Force is engaging in a campaign of restraint. Instead of airstrikes, Airmen are increasingly searching for places they can drop bombs that can be heard and felt, but where they're unlikely to damage buildings or hurt people....More

Are the rules of engagement making any difference?
BY Herschel Smith

In order to believe that the ROE is beneficial, one must believe that the higher casualties suffered now will redound to less in the future. But this is unproven doctrine, with the ROE is Iraq more robust than it has been thus far in Afghanistan.

… the Taliban feel utterly protected by being amidst the population. While it may be backed with all of the nice intentions mankind can muster, the unintended consequences of less robust rules of engagement are that more noncombatants die. Many, if not most, of these townsfolk would never have been there if they had believed that they were in mortal danger, and the Taliban wouldn’t have been there to instigate the event(s) if we were giving chase to them and they were running for their lives.

Enlisted Marines on the Rules of Engagement
By Herschel Smith

Based on recent communications with enlisted Marines (of various ranks), a perspective is developing around the current rules of engagement for Afghanistan. There is no such thing as air or artillery support any more. The ROE General McChrystal has set in place is killing Marines. Sure, there was the ROE in Iraq, but Marines were genuinely encouraged to think for themselves, assess the situation, and ascertain the best course of action independently. This is not being done in Afghanistan, where rules are micromanaging the tactical situation. Many Marines with combat experience in Iraq are leaving the Corps for various reasons, but at least one reason for the exit can be traced to a lack of willingness to deploy to Afghanistan under the current circumstances. Deploying Marines to Afghanistan are mostly inexperienced.

Stryker Network Fail in Afghanistan?
Roadside bombs and military grade land mines continue to cause the largest number of U.S. casualties Afganistan. If there are new tactics or pieces of equipment that can aid in the counter-IED fight we want to know about it....More

Announcing the Marja Offensive
BY Herschel Smith
From the WSJ

Getty Images
Marines take cover after hearing shots during a patrol in the outskirts of Marjah in Afghanistan's Helmand province on Jan. 19.
Photo from The Wall Street Journal


From COMMENTS at Stryker Network Fail in Afghanistan?

I am impressed by the intellectual depth of the 3 and 4 star politician generals. Converting our killing machine to Agency for international Developement is a formula for dissolution of the killing machine and the fullfilment of the dream of our adversaries.(break us financially and psychologically). Long engagement cannot be supported in domestic politics. All Vol Force will break, American people's will will break. These adversaries think in centuries, not presidential 4 yr term.
Posted by: Robert C Brenzel, Sr February 02, 2010 at 07:20 AM
Why is there no defined mission in Afghanistan? Just a vague "War on Terror". Afghans will fight any outsider who is in their country just because they have nothing better to do. We are trying to win over the populus by being friendly now. Offering to pay insurgents who "change their ways". The only thing these people understand is violence.This is ridiculous to a soldier who was trained to kill, but now has to write down and try to address every stupid grievance these people have. The same people that are waiting for my to turn my back so they can throw a grenade at it.
Posted by: Confused Soldier February 02, 2010 at 07:50 AM

Comment to Troops Feel Growing Rage in Afghanistan

Feb 1, 2010 2:13:43 PM

The enemy IS their population. Can't we all just read the Koran?


First thought that pops into one's mind: "But we do have Islamic countries as allies, don't we?"

I mean, look at Saudi Arabia. Hand-holding and kissing buddies (only "royals" though) of George W. Bush, sells us their oil (which we discovered for them), buys armaments from us, and was on our side against Saddam Hussain.

. . . yes, sure, and all the while planting their poison (koran, madrassas, mosques) on our soil with the ultimate aim of making the United States into one of their vile "Islamic Republics."

Okay on that--maybe--but what about Jordan? Wasn't that a Jordanian that was "helping" the CIA people at that forward CIA base in Afghanis/Pakis-tan?

Yes, indeed, he was in fact the one who blew himself up and took nine Americans with him. Some "friend" and "ally."

Can Karzai be trusted?

As far as I could throw Michael Moore (if I wanted to get that close to the slob).

The enemy IS their population. Can't we all just read the Koran?
--1387FURF Comment to

And Gen. McChrystal's "Rules of Engagement?"

They are killing our Marines and Soldiers. See Covering for the Rules of Engagement? by Herschel Smith at The Captain's Journal.

(NOTE: . . . that Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s vaunted new Afghanistan strategy — including his call more a troop surge — is not substantially different from the strategy Gen. David McKiernan advocated, but never got the resources to fully implement. From Off With Their Heads!)


Associated Press - Marines Wait in the Cold for Afghan Offensive, by Alfred de Montesquiou

Times Online - Refugees Flee to Capital of Helmand to Avoid Huge NATO Afghan Offensive, by Jerome Starkey and Tom Coghlan

LA Times - Marines Focus on Civilian Safety in Afghanistan, by Tony Perrry and Laura King



Obama understands that he has to extract American troops from Afghanistan before Taliban takes over the country, but the fundamentalist group refuses to negotiate. The Americans, therefore, decided to turn heat on Taliban with an assault on a town of Marjah in a backwater Helmand province.

The assumption is wrong. Taliban won’t take the defeat at Marjah as a problem. Unlike elected presidents, they think long-term and know that the Americans will withdraw, Marjah or no Marjah.

The real question is, what does it take for American soldiers to risk their lives for no cause?

This post continued at Marines Under Fire Ahead of Assault