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b95000
 
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Quote b95000 Replybullet Topic: On the ground in Mosul, Iraq
    Posted: 30 August 2005 at 11:23pm
From Michael Yon on the ground in Mosul, Iraq:
Thursday night, a revised plan had me following some Deuce Four soldiers on a midnight raid.  
They had night vision gear, so they moved quickly. I had only moonlight, so I nearly broke my leg keeping up. Sleeking around Mosul under moonlight, we prowled through the pale glow until we came upon a pond near a farmhouse. Recon platoon had already raided one house and snagged some suspects, then crept away in the darkness to another target close by.

Five soldiers from Recon—Holt, Ferguson, Yates, Welch and Ross—were moving through moon-cast shadows when an Iraqi man came out from a farmhouse, his AK-47 rifle hanging by his side. Suddenly encircled by the rifles, lights and lasers of four soldiers, the man was quickly disarmed. A fifth soldier radioed for the interpreter and together they sorted out that he was a farmer who thought the soldiers were thieves skulking around his property. Recon returned the man his rifle, and started making their way back, umbral and silent across the ploughed fields...

Enemy Forces

In Mosul, the enemy has two main faces: The Former Regime Elements (FRE), and the extremists. The extremists here in Mosul can be divided into five groups—more or less—one of which would be the local chapter claiming affiliation with the so-called Al-Queda gang.

The goals of the FRE and the extremist gangs are at stunning variance. In fact, they mostly hate each other, often kill one another, and work together only as needed. If the Coalition and new Iraqi government were not here, conveniently located as a central target, the FRE and other terrorists would almost certainly be at war with each other.

The main goal of the FRE is simple: Under the former regime, they were in charge. They want to be in charge again. In Saddam Hussein's regime, the Cynic's Golden Rule—"He who has the gold, makes the rules"—worked both ways: "He who makes the rules gets all the gold." The FRE bandits made the rules and controlled the gold. They have an understandable nostalgia for the good old days. They liked being in charge. They despise the prospect of people they once persecuted, such as the Kurds, suddenly acquiring any voice whatsoever. It’s not as if the FRE are totally disenfranchised, but more that they are no longer in complete control.

Whether or not someone might agree with the FRE, there is little dispute that these people have rational goals. Yet rational does not imply tenable in a newly democratic Iraq. This situation is not burdened with nagging grey areas where battle-scarred former combatants can work to some diplomatic compromise. This is an either/or situation. If the new democratic system takes hold, mathematics dictates that the FRE are not going to be in charge; they are outnumbered two to one. The FRE are Sunni Ba’athists while the majority of Iraq is Shia. The FRE is trying to destabilize the new government while simultaneously leveraging their position. Their primary strategy for both is to use violence against government officials and the civilians who elect them.

The FRE—being essentially rational but also essentially brutal—are simple to understand. They are serious, often deadly, but are not fanatical in the degree of their personal commitment to the cause. If they die, they will not regain control. It's a fact here on the Iraqi battleground—though seldom mentioned—that the majority of FRE insurgents are climate-sensitive. They almost never attack when it’s cold, raining or even muddy. As a rule, if conditions are such that the Little League baseball game back home would be canceled due to inclement weather, these FRE insurgents will stay home and wait for the skies to clear.

Of the two groups, the more intractable and irrational enemy wraps their rebellion in a flag of fundamentalist fervor. Although the press routinely lumps all of these similar groups under the banner "Al-Queda" (whatever that really is) there are actually five main extremist groups operating in Mosul. They have common ground. Some members seek fulfillment in apocalyptic visions of a world at war, wherein everybody except them—or even including them—dies. In other cases they see the war shaping a new world, one that is entirely Islamic. The word "extremist" is not an overstatement for them.

These extremists are irrational, dangerous, often highly emotional, and cannot be trusted with large weapons. Every day, they kill innocent people in Iraq. The FRE and most of the Iraqis tend to hate the extremists, realizing that if the Coalition were to leave, they would face the full wrath of these fanatics alone.

Friendly Forces

The friendly forces in Iraq are also an amalgamation. In Iraq as a whole, the Coalition is comprised of soldiers from many countries. But here in Mosul, the "Coalition" is almost entirely US, charged with building the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), while simultaneously keeping the insurgents at bay until the ISF can take over. Building the ISF is part of a larger plan that will allow our people to come home, without leaving a wounded Iraq victim to septic fundamentalism from within, or invasion from opportunistic neighbors.

Some definitions: The ISF includes the Iraqi Police (IP), Iraqi Army (IA), Iraqi National Guard (ING), Border Patrol (BP), and sundry other groups, each with their own initials. Every month, the ISF becomes a greater and more proximate threat to FRE and extremists groups throughout Iraq. This is borne out in a most ironic fashion; evidence of the growing competence and capability of ISF shouts from the headlines as the Iraqi government itself becomes the primary focus of insurgent attacks.


Gone are the days when the FREs and extremists in Mosul chased police from their stations and ravaged entire neighborhoods at will. Today, the ISF kills and captures enemy every day in Mosul, something that seldom makes news.

In my own dispatches I rarely mention these successes, yet I see or hear about small operations every day, collecting in ever larger pools of confidence and stability. There's no time to write about each event; this would be like trying to describe every raindrop that hits the windshield while keeping up with a fast moving storm. Eventually, a competent witness must stop taking notes, and step back to see the storm for what it is.



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Bruce
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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 31 August 2005 at 6:19am
How many on this board would believe that posting this Joe Blogg here suddenly turn the war to be legal?
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Quote b95000 Replybullet Posted: 01 September 2005 at 10:59am
How many on this board believe that because 'Sahsa' says the war is illegal that the war is illegal...hmmm...let's take a poll in Iraq - oh, they have?  And 9 million people voted for legitimacy?  And more will in October and more will after that in December?  Hmmm...who are we to believe on the question of legitimacy - those millions of people or one, Sasha, the anti anti wonk?

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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 01 September 2005 at 2:10pm

Did they vote to legitimise the war? This war + occupation will stay illegal however hard you or, for that matter all the 243 million Americans, shout.

The day the dim witted Americans understand that election is no stamp of legality specially held in captivity that day the world will start calling them by some other names.



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Quote nico Replybullet Posted: 01 September 2005 at 2:25pm
Show us how this war was legal...please I need a laugh.
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Quote b95000 Replybullet Posted: 12 September 2005 at 12:19am
Originally posted by nico

Show us how this war was legal...please I need a laugh.


16 Chapter 7 UN Security Council Resolutions were violated.  These are the most serious, force attached, resolutions.  What did you (and Saddam) think was going on?  A game?  The dispute was only over timing - not over whether Saddam deserved to be ousted..he clearly did..
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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 13 September 2005 at 11:54pm

Nico, sometimes I feel so sad for such obsessive denial condition. It's almost like a disability or some serious illness. Afghan public is also now alienated beyond repair because these ultra right wing death cultists denial specialists(who now control every single aspect of US apparatus) only project what some Krazai or Jaffery has said.

And, then they will blame Islam for any attacks that may happen for their mental disability or sheer disregard for Public Perceptions, Human Rights or general opinions across the world. I have read this man's posts, the message is simple and clear - the world must run only by what I think!!

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Quote b95000 Replybullet Posted: 14 September 2005 at 2:13pm
Originally posted by Whisper

Nico, sometimes I feel so sad for such obsessive denial condition. It's almost like a disability or some serious illness.

B: Personal ad hominem attacks don't eviscerate facts - you must accept that as part of reality.  Saddam was a mass murderer and you wanted to leave him be.  Sad that..Who is suffering from illness and disability between our two positions and recognizing reality and facts?

Afghan public is also now alienated beyond repair because these ultra right wing death cultists denial specialists

B: Apparently they were fine when people were shooting women in the head in soccer stadiums and chopping off fingers and hands and tongues...but now they're REALLY offended, huh Sasha?  Is that the bill of goods you're trying to sell us?

And, then they will blame Islam for any attacks that may happen for their mental disability or sheer disregard for Public Perceptions, Human Rights or general opinions across the world.

B: Sasha, as a non-Muslim, you certainly enjoy stirring up strife and trying to talk about desecrations and Muslim issues et al.  I've come here to talk about the issues and facts, but you want to stir up strife...that is your 'game' - sad that..

I have read this man's posts, the message is simple and clear - the world must run only by what I think!!


B: I've never said that ever - let's just stick to the facts - is that really sooo difficult for you sir?  I know, it's not how the communists 'run' things..
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