Welcome! Our goal is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. Our Winds of War global coverage of the War on Terror is a separate briefing today, and both are brought to you by Dan Darling of Regnum Crucis. Top Topics * Iraqi Shi'ite leader Moqtada al-Sadr has executed an apparent 180 degree ideological shift away from opposition to the American military presence in Iraq, referring to the American military as peace-loving people and guests and calling upon Iraqis to focus on the real enemy - the Baathist remnants of Saddam Hussein's government. * Former Iraqi Vice President Tariq Aziz has told the US that Saddam Hussein refused to order a counter-attack because his Franco-Russian contacts informed him that the US invasion was a ruse or a feint. Aziz also sheds some light on the lack of planning or the Iraqi side as well as some of the statements made before the war on the alleged "red line" perimeter that existed around Baghdad. Other Topics Today Include: CIA gets the Mukhabarat stash; Iraqi judges assassinated in An Najaf and Mosul; Iraqi Neighborhood Council member killed; al-Douri connection to the Chinook attack; European Muslims traveling to Iraq; and Saddam Hussein's plans for long-range missiles.
REPORTS FROM THE FIELD * The CIA has seized what looks like the mother lode of files from the old Iraqi Mukhabarat archives. The files cover everything from the names of every serving Mukhabarat operative and their paid agents to documentation of pay-offs to win support for the Iraqi government in the Arab world and elsewhere. * Muhan Jabr al-Shuwaili, the top judge of the Najaf governorate, has been kidnapped and murdered by Baathist agents. Al-Shuwaili headed up the Baath Investigative Commission that sought to probe complaints against former regime officials. Also assassinated was Ismail Yussef Saddek, who was gunned down in Mosul in front of his house. * Iraqi blogger Zeyad has his own thoughts on all of the "spontaneous demonstrations" of the Saddam era as well as the American reaction to the cheering Iraqi villagers in Baisa. * Mustafa Zaidan al-Khaleefa, the head of the Karkh Neighborhood Council in Baghad, was killed in a drive-by while heading towards his home in central Baghdad. * Middle East Newsline reports that Sunni guerrillas are being trained in the use of SA-7 missiles by Baathists loyal to Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri. This is significant because the US has identified al-Douri as the connection between the Baathists and Ansar al-Islam and an al-Qaeda website posted a claim of responsibility for the recent downing of a US Chinook helicopter. * The US has captured two former Iraqi generals in Fallujah along with a huge ammunition cache. THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE * European Muslims appear to be answering bin Laden's call to arms and heading to Iraq to fight coalition forces there. The UK Times via Rantburg also suggests that those jihadis recruited in Britain are fighting as an organized group, a probable indication that al-Qaeda UK is likely involved here. * JK: Meanwhile, back in the USA, the leaked Democratic Party Intelligence Committee memo is raising a stir. Instapundit has links to some important aspects of the memo missing from the media coverage. * JK: Fawaz Turki, a columnist in the Saudi Arabian paper Arab News, has published "Revisionist Thoughts on the War in Iraq." He now says that he was wrong to oppose the war, and cites some pretty compelling reasons why. WMD HUNT * US investigators shifting through Saddam Hussein's files have learned that he sought to acquire long-range missiles with assistance from Serbia and North Korea. ETCETERA * Which "cards" have we captured so far? The CENTCOM list. And the visual version of "Ba'ath Poker." * The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops. American, British and Australian. Anyone out there with more information, incl. the Poles and Czechs? [updated Nov. 2, 2003] * And don't forget the "Toys for Iraq" campaign!