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Dan's Winds of War: 2004-12-04

| 15 Comments | 9 TrackBacks

Welcome! Our goal is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from the global War on Terror that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday & Thursday. Today's "Winds of War" is brought to you by Dan Darling. of Regnum Crucis.

TOP TOPICS

  • Was the Sadr Revolt plotted in London? The Sunday Herald says claims that last month representative of the Mahdi Army, the Islamic Path Party, and Hezbollah met in London with Syrian and Saudi Islamists to add a Shi'ite component to the insurgency.
  • Speaking of Sadr, BBC Monitoring has a translation of an al-Sharq al-Awsat article claiming that he is considering political assylum in Iran. Perhaps he's fleeing the quagmire ...
  • Why did Pakistan put a premature end to military operations in Waziristan? Asia Times suggests that it has to do with the number of troops lost during the operation, which the newspaper places at 800 in contrast to the official figures cited by the Pakistani government. If true, this would mean that Pakistani casualties in a single military engagement now exceed the total number of US forces KIA in both Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11.

Other Topics Today Include: Iraq Briefing; Iran Reports; order restored in Faryab; Abu Sayyaf leader dead; Abu Sayyaf jailbreak; Spanish al-Qaeda cell targeted major shopping mall; top European al-Qaeda leader tied to 3/11; Hungarian al-Qaeda letter offers cash in return for withdrawl from Iraq; al-Qaeda funding Chechen jihad; recent violence in Tashkent due to foreign instigators; Nek Mohammed sez he ain't gonna surrender; Muslim extremist leader arrested in Zanzibar; and the ultimate neocon T-Shirt.

IRAQ BRIEFING

  • As I have noted before, the Sadr Revolt is hardly a popular Shi'ite rebellion. Wael al-Rukadi, the Vice Secretary-General of the Council of Iraqi Tribes, seems to concur in this regard.
  • The US contractors whose bodies were mutilated in Fallujah were lured into an ambush by people they thought were members of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps.
  • Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi is visiting Italian troops in Iraq, most of which are stationed in the Shi'ite city of Nassiriyah.
  • Knight-Ridder has a fairly good round-up of today's events in Iraq, though as I noted on my blog some of it doesn't jive with what I've heard from people here on base, particularly with regard to Karbala.

IRAN REPORTS

  • Iran has reportedly dumped $80,000,000 into funding the Sadr Revolt, which would at the very least explain where Sadr is getting all of his money.
  • Rafsanjani is praising Sadr's actions, while noted dissident Grand Ayatollah Montazeri isn't too thrilled with the Mahdi Army.
  • Khatami, by contrast, is distancing himself from Sadr. Given the nature of Iranian politics, it is not entirely surprising to have Rafsanjani supporting Sadr and Khatami opposing him. It is also useful to recognize the split within the Iranian leadership with regard to how to deal with the US in Iraq.

THE WIDER WAR

  • Top Abu Sayyaf leader Hamsiraj Sali has been killed with 5 followers in a clash with the Filippino military.
  • A message purportedly from the Hungarian branch of al-Qaeda is offering cash in return for the withdrawl of Hungarian troops from Iraq.
  • Uzbek authorities say that the architects of the recent violence in Tashkent were trained by Arab instructors and took their orders from a "Great Amir" from abroad. The Uzbeks are also citing Pakistan as one of the places where the terrorists were trained, which fits with other published reports of
  • Wanted Pakistani tribal leader Nek Mohammed is refusing to surrender to the authorities despite the new April 20 deadline from the Pakistani government.
  • Police in Zanzibar have arrested the leader of UAMSHO, a radical Islamic group tied to a series of firebombings against churches, moderate Islamic leaders, and government buildings.
  • We try to end on a lighter note if possible. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we have found the perfect neocon T-Shirt, with a gracious tip of the hat to growler over at Rantburg.

9 TrackBacks

Tracked: April 12, 2004 2:54 PM
Whatsd up With That? from porphyrogenitus.net
Excerpt: Ok, so my general principle is to not criticize military decisions that I don't know enough about. But sometimes, one is just left befuddled. I don't think enough has been made of our attempts to get a cease fire in
Tracked: April 12, 2004 6:17 PM
Excerpt: Any serious War on Terror can not be won - indeed, it can not even be said at such as war is seriously being fought - until we take on the Mad Mullahs of Iran. The good news: that's starting...
Tracked: April 12, 2004 6:23 PM
Excerpt: Any serious War on Terror can not be won - indeed, it can not even be said at such as war is seriously being fought - until we take on the Mad Mullahs of Iran. The good news: that's starting...
Tracked: April 12, 2004 6:40 PM
Byline By Dan Darling from Funmurphys: the Blog
Excerpt: A couple of interesting and under-reported items: Islamic terrorists are much further along in planning chemical attacks in Europe than anticipated. Found on Regnum Crucis where Dan Darling also provides some great commentary to the article. Iraqi spec...
Tracked: April 12, 2004 8:11 PM
Beyond Iraq's Borders from Dust in the Light
Excerpt: Perusing Dan Darling's rundown of events and revelations having to do with the War on Terror brings home the folly of restricting one's view of John Kerry's national defense viability to his (ostensible) ability to move forward with nationbuilding. Bol...
Tracked: April 13, 2004 1:39 AM
On the violence in Iraq from Right Side of the Rainbow
Excerpt: “It is becoming increasingly evident from all the violence we have witnessed over the last year, that a proxy war is being waged against the US on Iraqi soil by several countries and powers with Iraqis as the fuel and...
Tracked: April 13, 2004 7:52 AM
items of interest from andunie.net
Excerpt: In ten days I will defend my dissertation proposal. Preparations for that appointment—along with my teaching duties as the semester wraps up—are not sparing much time or energy for the posting of original material. But time waits for no man...
Tracked: April 13, 2004 8:04 AM
on many fronts from andunie.net
Excerpt: But time waits for no man, and right now there is oh so much happening, both in Iraq and in the broader war. The links below should keep you busy for a while.
Tracked: April 14, 2004 4:34 AM
Thanks Guys from Wizblog
Excerpt: It has long since become my habit to check out the terrific "Winds of War" summaries assembled by Joe Katzman and the rest of the group at Winds of Change, which are posted each Monday and Thursday. The 4/12 version...

15 Comments

Well Sadr is going down, the only question being can we take him out without messing up Iraq too much. Sistani has not given up on peace yet, but I would warn those who applaud the status quo that this was truly a crisis - a crisis defused only because Sistani and the tribal leadership is not sick enough yet of American administration to throw up their hands in defeat.

This is not to say that they aren't increasingly tired of American bungling, as are an increasing number of American conservatives. I would say that America has one more chance to get this right, and if we bungle it again that next time Sistani might not decide to bail out our butts.

Anyone who thinks that it was sheer American force that quieted this unrest needs to be put on Thorazine. We decided to back down a little, Sistani decided to cut us some slack, and Sadr decided that maytrdom rhetoric aside he wanted to save his precious skin. If we make the mistake of pushing this to a violent conclusion, that could all unravel.

To the above let's add the latest news from the Berkley Soviet: A call for an Intifada on US soil?

Before anyone says that is crazy? Recall it took them two different tries to bring down the WTC.

http://users.lmi.net/zombie/sf_rally_april_10_2004/movies/

Click to see and hear U.C. Berkeley Lecturer Hatem Bazian call for an intifada in the United States: (13mb)

"Are you angry? [Yeah!] Are you angry? [Yeah!] Are you angry? [Yeah!] Well, we've been watching intifada in Palestine, we've been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is that what are we doing? How come we don't have an intifada in this country? Because it seem[s] to me, that we are comfortable in where we are, watching CNN, ABC, NBC, Fox, and all these mainstream... giving us a window to the world while the world is being managed from Washington, from New York, from every other place in here in San Francisco: Chevron, Bechtel, [Carlyle?] Group, Halliburton; every one of those lying, cheating, stealing, deceiving individuals are in our country and we're sitting here and watching the world pass by, people being bombed, and it's about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here. And we know every-- They're gonna say some Palestinian being too radical -- well, you haven't seen radicalism yet!"

Oldman, I agree that the politics of the Shi'ites have a lot to do with the defusing of al-Sadr. However, so far he and his militia are still at large. Now, if he skadadles back to Iran is anyone further ahead?

In this case, once the pilgrims have cleared the area, the direct application of a fair bit of force - perhaps to make it clear that al-Sadr is not dictating the terms of his own exile - would be a sound tactical option.

It is a message which non-fundamentalist Iraqi Shi'ites need to hear. But it is also a message which the rabidly anti-American faction in Iran needs to hear even more loudly.

Chasing, but not catching, al-Sadr all the way to Qom might save a fair number of American, coalition and Iraqi lives in the medium run.

Well, Hakim of SCIRI has already begun negotiations on our behalf. So we'll just have to see what happens, eh?

Thanks, Dan, for yet another incredible run-down.

Do you think we can force Big Media to start taking the Iran connection to the "Iraq insurgency" seriously? There seems to be a full court press on the, well, press going on in the blogosphere:

Roger L. Simon
The Belmont Club
Your obedient servant

Oldman: American “bungling” is an incorrect term -- because the standard of measurement is not perfection, which we obviously can’t meet.

The standard is the actual alternative, which is Saddam, Sadr, the Iranians, or their ilk.

Iraqis who may have forgotten that have now been reminded of it – as have others.

The smart ones will be ready to cut us a little more slack as a result.

Dan Darling - great report as usual

Dan Kauffman - Excellent find. As long as he stays in Berkeley, I don't care, it might change a few minds.

I still have to say that I worry about the sanity Muslims in this country who say these sorts of things - they obviously know nothing about events here during WW2. And the Japanese internments were managed in part by Earl Warren, not the most conservative SCJ in recent memory.

Dan,

I do have a question about the Japanese hostages, I have read in some comments on Emperoro Misha's site that some folks in Japan think the hostages are in it with the terrorists. Have you seen anything on that??

Oscar:

I've seen speculation to that effect as well, though I'm agnostic until more information is received. Certainly I don't expect either Shi'ite or Sunni extremists to differentiate between our wonderful little pro/anti-war positions except as a tactical move. If they are found to be in cahoots with the insurgents, they should be prosecuted either in Iraq or back in Japan for their actions.

In a news item this morning one of the Japanese hostage's father said his son, 18, was a recent graduate of high school working with a group in Iraq to "raise awareness" of the dangers to children of depleted uranium in spent ammunition. Make of that what you will. My immediate reaction is "at age 18"?

Another recent item says the Japanese hostages have now been released.

Well the comments I read said that there was a bunch of discussion on some Japanese sites that the thing might be a setup because of the avowed political leanings of the hostages involved. Since I don't read Japanese, I had to take it with a grain of salt, but this does seem to support that view to some extent

The insurgents are of no threat to the overall US admin of Iraq or its in-country milfors - there's only one reason to kidnap Chinese and Russians and thats to induce Chicom and Russian geopol pressure against Bush, perhaps even [premature]Sino-Russiance military intervention in order to also influence the November POTUS elections. The only thing contemporary failed Leftism/Leftism-Socialism stands for state-specific INTERNAL GOVERNANCE, GOVERNMENT, POLITICS, and BUREAUCRATISM etc. ie despotic STATE CENTRALISM - for now they want to CONTROL the USA, not destroy her lest they be forced to tolerate or accept internal non-Leftist ideological competition, power-sharing, genuine geopol/global confederatism, and being permanent "minor" states under confederatism instead of being pan-global subjugated states in alleged" PC "equalism" under Global Socialism, read COMMUNISM! Officially, of course, as verified by the "truth-in-jounalism" US Leftmedias, Leftperts, Clintonian Left/Republican-istas/Rightistas/Federalistas, NEOCONS, National Liberals-Unitarians and US DemLibs any worsening local Iraqi Muslim insurgency has no relation to any parallel worsening geopol situation involving Iran, North Korea-Taiwan, etc., or region-based local threats of war or resistance against the USA, which in turn also has no Lefty alteriorist relation for intensified anti-American criticisms by the UNO or to speculative, surreal, anti-American comments by American DemLib politicians themselves, as "HONEST INJUN" as POTUS BILL had a "real" or "brilliant" plan against terror; as like the 9-11 Commission comprises 5 Dems or DemLibs and 5 "Democrat-Republicans", aka politically deniable "ANTI-/NON-UNITARIAN" UNITARIANS, and as honest injun as any DemLib effort to subvere or subjugate the USA to anti-sovereign UN control is NOT treason, as honest injun as iff America's GDP goes DOWN to circa US$35.0+Trillion by 2050, the quality of life and freedoms for ordinary Americans will NOT change or be grotesquely negatively affected, espec iff Russia and China attack NORAM and send Americans off to the slave camps in Asia - see, your quality of life in America won't change because you'll be either dead or enslaved overseas; Americans will all be Communist citizens by then, read PERMANENTLY POOR BUT OPTIMISTIC [ see PRAVDA]; and as honest injun as the anti-American UNO will NOT politicize Saddam Hussein by making sure he's found NOT GUILTY or GETS TO RETURN TO IRAQ WITHOUT FEAR OF PROSECUTION OR EXECUTION,............etc., you betcha!? ALL TOGETHER NOW, MEN, LIKE BRITNEY SPEARS - "OOPS, THEY DID IT AGAIN..."!? * OOPS, howzabout like ROBIN WILLIAMS on HBO -"CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC........................etc. [pol C-orrectness], as per your best pet snake, or in the alt GIJoe's COBRA COMMANDER!? SHOW 'EM WHITE TEETH, LET THAT SPIT FLY!

Glenn,

Sometimes there are absolute standards and unfortunately war is one of them. There is no such thing in war as "alternative action", there's only getting the job done or not.

Now as Jay mentioned we can apply enough force to make Sadr run scared- and that's what I endorse myself. We must display enough force to make him skedaddle or submit publicly to our might, and if he waxes belligerant selectively crush him.

However we are not going to do that by listening to silly nonsense like the alternative to the present is Saddam. The alternative of the present muddling is to do it better. That is the correct course of action.

Iran needs to be dealt with, but I don't think on the same way as Ledeen says. No military campaign. I have an extensive article about it on my blog. I think there is a struggle going on between Khamenei and Sistani and that Al Sadr is a proxy for Khamenei. I think if we manage to help Sistani win the struggle over the supremacy within Shia Islam, the ayatollahs in Iran would lose a great deal of influence and the democratic forces in Iran might gain ground. Check out the game plan on my blog.

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