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Ash Faulkner

A "9-10 Forum" is the absolute perfect summary of all the left is about on this issue: ignoring the facts, unwilling to face the truth, noncommital and short sighted. Let's just do things how they were done before, because *that* worked.

What they fail to realise is that the world didn't change on 9/11 - we just opened our eyes to what it was really like. Sadly, many people closed their eyes a few months later...and we don't need a blind man (or woman) in the White House.

Steevo

If the Democrats had been in power from 9/11 till now they'd be fighting radical Islamists and probably call it a war or imply similar without a second thought. They wouldn't have gone into Iraq and may not have flushed out the Talaban in Afghanistan. They would be fighting terrorism abroad and at home but with EU, UN and our left-wing media approval. I also believe we probably would have been attacked again on our soil in a very serious way(s).

They're doing all they can now to downplay the threat and consequences of withdrawal from Iraq because its in opposition to the stance Bush and conservative Republicans have. Simply put they're willing to dilute our efforts and encourage our enemy for the sake of their hopes at taking over.

Ultimately they don't have a conscience. They don't care about our security nor the fate of humanity (Iraqi genocide). They will seek any means possible if its popular and/or get votes, and continue in the same vein to hold on to control. They are the enemy born and bred in America.

James

Most educated analysts would conclude - as Ron Paul has - that getting further entangled in Middle Eastern wars will only encourage further acts of terrorism against the U.S. and Britain. Put it at its most basic: if France stationed large military bases on the soil of southern England would the English resent it? If Mexico (in some bizarre parallel universe) had the wealth and military capability to harbour a large military presence in America, what would Americans think?

Read bin Laden. His numero uno reason for jihad against America was the garrisoning of 'infidel' American troops on holy Saudi soil. To more secular societies this would be a provocation; add the Islamic element and you've got a recipe for major hostility towards America ever since that fateful decision of George H. W. Bush's back in 1990.

Some wars - such as Afghanistan - are neccesary. Others - such as Iraq - aren't. Both will increase Islamic terrorist activity against the West. It's just a shame that on occasions (Iraq) we choose willfully to increase the threat against ourselves for no good reason.

mamapajamas

James: re: "Read bin Laden. His numero uno reason for jihad against America was the garrisoning of 'infidel' American troops on holy Saudi soil."

Read a little MORE bin Laden. In order to establish peace with Al Qaeda, all we have to do is kill all of our elected officials (not just Federal, but also local), establish Sha'aria Law, and convert to his twisted version of Islam.

Do you think it's worth it to establish peace?

That's all. And that's been his plan all along.

That's what he said in a letter to The Guardian a couple of years back, mixed in with boring, flowery, nonsense prose. This is about re-establishing the Ottoman Empire, with himself in charge.

That's also what Saddam was about... re-establishing the Ottoman Empire with himself in charge. That's the REAL reason Saddam was invading his neighbors, despite excuses given by the news media. He SAID SO in numerous speeches. I heard him. I was working midnight shifts during the buildup to the Gulf War, and got home in time to listen to every one of those long-winded speeches he gave. The news media recaps of "what Saddam said" failed to mention the reunification theme that ran through ALL of his speeches.

My reaction to Saddam's speeches was, "OMG... that man thinks he's Saladin!"

James

mamapajamas,

I don't really care whether you were working midnight shifts in the run up to the Gulf War. Do you really think that Saddam was in a position circa 2003 to go about establishing a second Ottoman Empire? With all those WMDs of his and that fantastic military?! We should all be glad that the first Gulf War was such a cake-walk for us, for it robbed him once and for all of any pretensions to a latter day Saladin. Hence the reason he was no global threat twelve years later.

As for bin Laden, well, I don't dispute that he and many other jihadists would still hate Western values and society even if every American troop in the region withdrew tommorrow leaving nothing more than a two buck tip. But the basis of his regrettable success past, present, and future is his ability to incite other Muslims to join his cause. Without a sizeable American military presence in the Middle East a large chunk of his appeal would evaporate overnight. I'm also curious why bin Laden and the mujahideen didn't follow the Russians home following their withdrawal from Afghanistan; presumable his desire to impose his values on the rest of the world was just as strong then as it is now.

Do you think it a coincidence that fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudis? A resented occupation breeds suicide bombers.

mamapajamas

James, I suggest to you that you have forgotten what the news media was saying before the Gulf War, about how the Coalition was going to be destroyed by Saddam's "battle-hardened" troops.

I don't care what your personal view is of Saddam's intentions... I am simply reporting what he actually SAID.

15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, but they were NOT in any way associated with the government of SA. Bin Laden tried to foment a revolution in SA, and the US troops there were putting a cramp in his style. The fact that there are Saudis in Al Qaeda is no surprise to anyone... these fascist nuts have been trying to take over the ME for decades.

James

And we know now that the news media was talking bullshit in relation to Saddam's "battle-hardened" troops. They couldn't even win a war against Iran - a country racked by instability and turmoil when Saddam decided to invoke his 'Saladin' role and invade in 1980. Quite how he could have dominated the Middle East is anyones guess. So what if he threatened to rule the world? Neither he - nor bin Laden, or any other trumped up Middle Eastern bogeyman - currently has anything like the capability to threaten Britain or America's national existence, or our freedoms.

My point about the Saudi hijackers has nothing to do with any link to the Saudi government. I was merely pointing out that they are an example of a product of occupation - anger against the perceived occupier (in this case, America.)

You've got it the wrong way round: American troops didn't arrive in the Arabian peninsula until 1990; certainly not with the mission of quelling a jihadist uprising. Bin Laden only started ranting against the U.S. and the Saudi royal family in the mid-nineties, AFTER the U.S. military had established itself there.

This isn't to justify any of his horrific actions; but to try an explain why America is a target, and how this can end.

webstar

Hey things could be worse...this could be happening in the USA...Thank God its not.
http://timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1890354.ece

Steevo

"My point about the Saudi hijackers has nothing to do with any link to the Saudi government. I was merely pointing out that they are an example of a product of occupation - anger against the perceived occupier (in this case, America.)"

Just about all militant websites in the recent past and present advocate jihad in non-Western frontiers as well as the West. Chechnya, the Philippines island of Mindanao, Bosnia, Kashmir, Thailand, Suddan, Pakistan, Malaysia and... where else? Where is the counter-argument to the insanity of jihadic rhetoric here? One cannot escape the history of violence of radical Islam with the politics of denial and scapegoatism. They certainly can't blame America or the Jew.

Our blame-America-crowd needs to wake up that Islam does indeed need reform and finds a way to do it internally because the modern world (basically, the West) is under a grave threat to its continued existence as free and democratic societies. Until that happens this will be war, whether we take it outside our borders or they take it inside.

JF

James,

You've got it the wrong way round: American troops didn't arrive in the Arabian peninsula until 1990; certainly not with the mission of quelling a jihadist uprising. Bin Laden only started ranting against the U.S. and the Saudi royal family in the mid-nineties, AFTER the U.S. military had established itself there.

Why does the anti-American camp always reverse history? Saddam invaded Kuwait and then SA asked us to protect it, so we used it as a staging area for the Iraq invasion and stayed afterwards to protect against further aggression from Saddam. Bin Laden and al Qaeda attacked us as a result of our willingness to protect SA. To be clear: al Qaeda attacked us first, and then we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq (for the second time).

James

Steevo,

Nope, they certainly can't blame America, but the examples you cite are local disputes over the role of Islam in societies and land. They aren't part of some centrally directed al Qaeda plot to establish a new Caliphate. Islam does have a problem coexisting with a plethora of other cultures; and your right, not all fighters from those conflicts aren't likely to kick thier feet up and relax when the shooting stops. Some of them at least are highly likely to migrate to other conflicts and causes.

So why does it make sense to give them other conflicts and causes? My main point is that the U.S. military presence in the Middle East provokes terrorism. I'm not justifying that terrorism. But I am saying if you look at the history of Islamic terrorism against American targets, most of it has occured because the U.S. has been a perceived by various PLO factions as a strong supporter of Israel, or since the U.S. chose to become a military presence inside the region - as in Lebanon in the mid-80s, and in Saudi Arabia post 1990. You might view support of Israel - as I do - as the right thing. You might even justify the huge military bases on Saudi soil. But don't pretend that these policy choices don't have negative consequences.

JF, I don't see how I'm reversing history; and your right, bin Laden and co did attack America because of our willingness to protect Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden and al Qeada attacked America specifically throughout the 1990s and on 9/11 for a reason - amongst other things (such as support for Israel) that reason was the 'infidel' presence on Holy soil.

Dennis

James, you have it exactly right. It is not appeasment or capitulation to understand that our(UK & US) actions do have consequences.
Why should we arrogantly imagine that we can base troops in Muslim countries and have no reaction from the radical elements in the Middle East?
As you rightly point out, if any foreign power was to attempt to occupy either of our mainlands we would fight tooth and nail to regain our freedom and independence.
I also doubt we would call our heroes insurgents, anything less than freedom fighters would be perceived as denigrating their memories and sacrifices.
I feel immense pain everytime we lose a single soldier, however I also understand that the people who are taking the lives of our troops have the right to have freedom from us.

As for Bin Laden, his strength lies in the message that Muslims are being oppresed and occupied by US & UK forces, unfortunately our actions do not contradict him in our never-ending quest to control the Middle East and it's oil reserves.

Why may I ask does the US require the vast 104 acre embassy compound currently under construction in Baghdad?
The general viewpoint espoused by the US adminstration is that they want to stay until the Iraqi security forces are sufficiently manned, trained and armed to take control of their country.
However the reality is that the Embassy will act as a de facto government pulling the strings of the puppet government we installed and protect from their own populace.
The embassy shall also act as a staging post for the interference in the affairs of Iraq by our clandestine agencies.
If our forces were to completely withdraw, the current Iraqi government would be massacared by their population for their Vichy-like collusion & collaboration in the occupation of their country.

Iraq is an occupied country and shall remain so until we withdraw. Occupied people have a right to fight their occupiers.
In concliusion, violence in the Middle East shall reign supreme until we stop using military campaigns as a means to achieve our goals.
However there is precious little diplomatic imagination and innovation, so we are guaranteed to have terrorism exported to our shores at some stage or visited upon our citizens abroad in the future regardless of how vigilant our security services are.

Dennis

Webstar- what's your point?
Muslims naming their children after their prophet.
Whats so radical about that and what are you insinuating by offering that link?
I suppose your answer would be to compel British Muslim families to give their offspring Christian names or even better stop them having children at all through forced steralisations!!!!

Regarding the Islamic radicals desire for a wider Muslim caliphate.
I think even the most deluded of muslims would acknowledge that it is simply a 'pipe dream'.

I do not profess to be an expert on the views of Al-Qaeda or Bin-Laden, however even the most obtuse of analysts should recogonise and acknowledge that his motivation & mass appeal within the Muslim world was greatly increased by the siting of US troops in close proximity to Islam's holiest shrine.

JF

Dennis,

Why should we arrogantly imagine that we can base troops in Muslim countries and have no reaction from the radical elements in the Middle East?
As you rightly point out, if any foreign power was to attempt to occupy either of our mainlands we would fight tooth and nail to regain our freedom and independence.

We were invited into SA. If SA wants us to leave, it can ask us to leave and we will surely comply. Should we refuse to sell the JSF to the UK for fear of the possible reaction from the terrorists in Londonistan? Of course not. We deal with the sovereign government of our allies, not the local insurgents. Just so, if our elected government invited a foreign power to station itself on our mainland (constitutionally impossible in any case), why would we then fight that foreign power?

I feel immense pain everytime we lose a single soldier, however I also understand that the people who are taking the lives of our troops have the right to have freedom from us.

Typical terrorist propaganda. If the Iraqi government wants us to leave, it should ask us to leave. So far, they have asked us to stay. How are we denying them freedom, after having provided them the freedom of democracy?

Why may I ask does the US require the vast 104 acre embassy compound currently under construction in Baghdad? [snip]
However the reality is that the Embassy will act as a de facto government pulling the strings of the puppet government we installed and protect from their own populace.

We need a heavily fortified compound because, you may not realize, Baghdad is one of the most dangerous cities in the world today. I know that in Muslim countries, death is celebrated, but we in the US prefer to preserve the lives of our diplomats. And if you believe we are pulling the strings of the Iraqi government, why haven't we replaced al Maliki, who by all accounts is in bed with Muqtada al Sadr? It's clear you've been watching too much al Jazeera; you have unquestioningly swallowed the Arab propaganda whole.

Iraq is an occupied country and shall remain so until we withdraw. Occupied people have a right to fight their occupiers.

Do you deny that Iraq has a democratically elected government? We are occupiers in Iraq no more than we are occupiers in Germany. If we are asked to leave by the government, we will leave. You realize, of course, that only two groups are calling for the US to leave: the terrorists, and leftists like you. That makes you an enabler and sympathizer of terrorists, congratulations.

In concliusion, violence in the Middle East shall reign supreme until we stop using military campaigns as a means to achieve our goals.

Kids, stay in school. The consequences of not graduating have been clearly demonstrated by Dennis.

Steevo

"Iraq is an occupied country and shall remain so until we withdraw. Occupied people have a right to fight their occupiers."

Dennis you don't care what the majority of Iraqis at present, who desire peace and some form of democracy to succeed, want. You don't care to know the growing sentiment toward US troops, as opposed to al-Queda. You, like a small percentage of terrorists and thugs there keep calling us "occupiers" as if we are the problem. You want it perceived just like al-Queda does giving them cause.

We are the ones fighting to establish freedom, not the terrorists as you've claimed. You would unquestionably reap mass horror upon the good Iraqis by demanding our troops leave. You don't speak for the Kurds up north, the growing majority of both Shia and Sunni throughout central Iraq and the majority of Shia in the south. You can't claim any sense of humaneness toward the people of Iraq. You hate American power and presence, on the opposite side of the world at that and at the expense of genocide. Again do you want me to post what you've already stated in past posting?

"Nope, they certainly can't blame America, but the examples you cite are local disputes over the role of Islam in societies and land." James, this is going well beyond tribal conflict or "local dispute". It is increasingly a world-wide phenomena seeking to impose some form of Sharia rule. Muslim fanatics, intolerant with a religious racist hatred.

Anything will give them cause. From cartoons to threatening French leadership for allowing Jews status. Bin Laden's gripes began when he was younger than 14 and didn't like how his mother lived with Western influence. Everything about the West was contrary to this wannabe-shiek, 'god-fearing' mass murderer and perpetual liar. Like Egypt's Hosni Mubarak said, he never mentioned Israel until it began to serve his ultimate goal of gathering followers.

You think they will stop if we get out. I think if we do it will be exploited in their sick pride, and in their racist utterly intolerant hatred of the non-Muslim decadent West they'll be doing all they can to inflict mass horror and destruction here.

James

JF,

So what if America was invited to Saudi Arabia? If it's bad policy it doesn't matter whether it was the King or the rug salesman on the street corner who invited America in. Fact: the U.S. military presence there incites Muslims to terrorist causes; you can bitch all you want about this reality, but it's the truth.

You might say that oh well, we have an interest in being there, in which case fair enough. Just don't go around spouting the usual cant about them hating us for our "freedom" our "democracy" and us allowing a woman the right to choose. (I'd love to see Giuliani use that line at a GOP convention.)

You say why would Americans fight a foreign power who were hypothetically stationed on U.S. soil. Isn't that a violation of sovereignty - the basis of nationhood? I'd be more surprised (and dismayed) if Americans sat back and did nothing. With the Saudis we have the added religious issues, which makes the issue an even greater source of resentment.

Simon Newman

"Not a single candidate contemplated the consequences of failure in Iraq—what the triumph of al Qaeda and Islamic radicalism, with access to immense oil reserves, might mean for America’s national security"

The best person to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq is Al Sadr & his Mahdi Army! Second best are the non-Qaeda Sunni insurgent forces (and to its credit the US military has begun some coorperation with them.

Of course this US administration has never shown any real interest in defeating Al Qaeda, and if that were a priority they wouldn't have invaded Iraq in the first place.

Steevo

James, in your response to JF you're talking about a fraction in society of fanatical racist murderers. You're giving their hatred legitimate voice?

Steevo

Simon the US military is causing the Madhdi Army to splinter: those elements disillusioned with Sadr and show a willingness to accept the government and incorporate. Sadr is a rogue seeking his own power through sectarian conflict. He was a big reason in the past for the threat of civil war.

US Army and Marines, along with Iraqi forces hunt al-Queda relentlessly. They are killing and capturing them en masse. You have no clue. Where do you get your info?

Dennis

Do you deny that Iraq has a democratically elected government? We are occupiers in Iraq no more than we are occupiers in Germany.

You talk about democracy without the faintest irony considering Iraq is under military occupation..
The distinction between Germany and Iraq could not be clearer.
Adolf Hitler instigated a war of aggression & occupation against the countries bordering Germany, a global alliance was fomed to fight his well trained & well armed army, following their defeat after nearly 6 years of war Germany was occupied.
In Iraq our leaders connived to attack a country on it's knees after 12 years of sanctions, boasting a sub-standard army, no Airforce & occupied it under a completely false pretext.
Can you see any distinction or are you blinded by your zeal?

JF - If the Iraqi government wants us to leave, it should ask us to leave. So far,
they have asked us to stay.

They have asked us to stay precisely because they are our puppets and know their citizens would lynch them as collaborators the moment we left.

JF - How are we denying them freedom, after having provided them the freedom of democracy

You contradict yourself all the time. how can you say we have provided them freedom yet in the same piece of writing state that
'...you may not realize, Baghdad is one of the most dangerous cities in the world today.'
If what is going on in Iraq today is your idea of freedom & democracy then I think the Iraqi's would rather we left them alive under a dictatorship.

May I add that if the University you attended imbued you with the zealous, insular idiocy you regularly spout then I would recommend that you and your fellow alumni take up a class action lawsuit.

JF

James,

So what if America was invited to Saudi Arabia?

...

You might say that oh well, we have an interest in being there, in which case fair enough.

It is as you said, we have an interest there. We are SA's ally, and SA is our ally. Leaving aside whether or not this is a good alliance, the United States takes these responsibilities seriously, as does the UK (in contrast to the fools in Europe). The continental Europeans do not take these responsibilities seriously, which is the reason why we are speculating now not about the future of Europe, but rather whether it is the Muslims or Russia which will dominate Europe, and when. As the saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed, and Europe has not shown itself to be a friend. SA has proven itself in its own way, believe it or not, by supplying cheap oil to us. Yes, the majority of September 11 hijackers were Saudi. Shall we also hold Britain on the whole as an enemy because of the terrorists you spawned in Londonistan?

Just don't go around spouting the usual cant about them hating us for our "freedom" our "democracy" and us allowing a woman the right to choose. (I'd love to see Giuliani use that line at a GOP convention.)

Show me where I have done this; otherwise, you are wasting everyone's time in setting up this strawman. I don't believe they hate us for our freedom and our democracy. I believe they hate us because they are subhumans who believe in a degenerate creed which embraces death, and we embrace life. They hate us; I hate them. It's as simple as that, and we can never be reconciled and will fight until one of us is defeated.

You say why would Americans fight a foreign power who were hypothetically stationed on U.S. soil.

Nice try, but that's not what I said. What you think you read and what I actually wrote are not the same thing. I said, "Just so, if our elected government invited a foreign power to station itself on our mainland (constitutionally impossible in any case), why would we then fight that foreign power?" That is a wholly different matter. If we invite a power to install itself in our homeland, why would we then fight that power? We wouldn't, as logic would dictate.

Isn't that a violation of sovereignty - the basis of nationhood?

James, what are you playing at? You didn't even pretend to read what I wrote. Let me show you again:

if our elected government invited a foreign power to station itself on our mainland (constitutionally impossible in any case)

No power in the United States can legally allow a foreign military power to station itself in our homeland. I clearly stated that, yet you are still trying to pick a fight. Please, do try harder.

Simon Newman

Steevo:
"You have no clue. Where do you get your info?"

The most reliable info comes from inside the US military.

Defense & the National Interest is good:

See:
http://d-n-i.net/

Bill Lind, one of the greatest military theoreticians in the USA, has many useful insights:
http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_archive.htm

This recent article on Sadr is interesting:
http://www.d-n-i.net/lind/lind_6_01_07.htm

I suspect you're not interested in facts getting in the way of opinion, though.


JF

Dennis,

You talk about democracy without the faintest irony considering Iraq is under military occupation..

Iraq held elections. The government was formed based on those elections. The government chose a prime minister independent of the US. Indeed, they chose a figure that is inimical to our interests there, a figure who has allied himself with Shia terrorists and has exempted them from our policing work. There is no irony in this--that is the price of democracy. You seem to believe that Paul Bremer is still the proconsul in Baghdad, which is not the case. Open your eyes.

Adolf Hitler instigated a war of aggression & occupation against the countries bordering Germany...

In Iraq our leaders connived to attack a country on it's knees after 12 years of sanctions...

Can you see any distinction or are you blinded by your zeal?

Shock! You mean Nazi Germany and Baathist Iraq were different? I had no idea!

In all seriousness, of course they are different. Bosnia wasn't Nazi Germany, either, but we intervened there for the good of the Bosnians. Korea wasn't Nazi Germany, but we intervened there for the good of the Koreans. And hopefully I don't have to remind you, but the UK wasn't Nazi Germany, but we intervened in WWII for the good of the people there, even though our conflict was technically only with the Japanese. You act as though you were born yesterday and had no knowledge of past benevolent military interventions by the US.

They have asked us to stay precisely because they are our puppets and know their citizens would lynch them as collaborators the moment we left.

So what is your point? Should we stay, since we are the secret overlords there and have responsibility for our puppets? Or should we leave and let the genocide happen, because allowing a genocide will, per your prescription, stop the hatred of the West? Sure, that makes sense.

If what is going on in Iraq today is your idea of freedom & democracy then I think the Iraqi's would rather we left them alive under a dictatorship.

Who cares what you think? I'm trying to tell you that it only matters what the Iraqis think.

May I add that if the University you attended imbued you with the zealous, insular idiocy you regularly spout then I would recommend that you and your fellow alumni take up a class action lawsuit.

I'm a true neoconservative. I went to one of the most left-wing universities in existence, and my eyes were opened by the events that unfolded since the turn of the millennium. As for you, Dennis... It's unclear if you even attended a university, however, given the unbelievably weak and contradictory arguments you have put forward. The world is not a nice place. There are people out there who want to kill us simply because we don't share their religious beliefs, no matter where we may be located in the world. If you listened to them, isntead of presuming to speak for them, you would realize this. It's time you embraced reality instead of the fantasy you've been living in.

James

JF,

"No power in the United States can legally allow a foreign military power to station itself in our homeland. I clearly stated that, yet you are still trying to pick a fight. Please, do try harder."

Well, I'm game. My point is that if this scenario DID happen, even via an elected government (even if it is constitutionally illegal) Americans would resent it, possibly resorting to violence. Hell, the likes of Tim McVeigh resorted to violence against their own government; I doubt his type would sit back and passively accept foreign troops on U.S. soil. He would resent it just as Islamic fundamentalists in Saudi Arabia resent the U.S. presence there. Why is this so difficult to understand?

No you didn't specifically say they hate us for our freedom, but to act like they target America for wholly irrational reasons is crap. They target America because we base troops on Holy soil and support Israel. If they hated the West for our progressive nature then Sweden would be under constant bombardment - something bin Laden himself actually stated.

"SA has proven itself in its own way, believe it or not, by supplying cheap oil to us."

Good though this is, why do we need troops there for them to sell us oil? They need to sell as much as we need to buy; withdrawing troops from there would hardly change this economic dynamic. A better assessment of U.S. foreign policy interests would have concluded that the costs outweighed the rewards on this issue.

No we shouldn't treat the Saudis or their government as enemies; read what I say. Our presence their furnishes Al Qaeda and other such groups with numerous recruits - the fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers an example of this phenomenon. This isn't the same as saying we should as a result, treat the whole country as an enemy. It's about understanding the dynamics that underpin Islamic terror, and where possible, making better foreign policy choices in the future. I don't doubt that bin Laden and other hard core Islamists might fight us regardless of whether we supported Israel, or stationed troops on Islamic Holy soil. But Al Qaeda is only as potent as the number of followers it can muster; and in this respect we only add to our woes by getting involved in unneccesary Middle Eastern wars and occupations which only add to the ranks of jihadists.

Steevo

Simon,

As far as what's happening in Iraq I'm talking about on-the-ground witness and reporting . Facts every single day. Not theorists, philosophers and book writers.

Here's a brief for June 5:

> Today's raids against al Qaeda in Iraq operatives in Taji, Mosul, and Fallujah resulted in the capture of 18 terrorists. The Taji raid led to the capture of a "key leader in the Rusafa [Baghdad] vehicle-borne improvised explosive device network." Monday's raids in Mosul and Karma resulted in the capture of 14 operatives, including the "senior terrorist leader in Mosul connected to the al-Qaeda in Iraq network" and "12 suspected terrorists tied to the al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leader network in Karmah

Every single day al Qaeda is being hunted, killed and captured.

There are a number a sites with first and second hand accounts. Go here http://billroggio.com/ and start reading the "Daily Iraq Report."

Your statement: "Of course this US administration has never shown any real interest in defeating Al Qaeda, and if that were a priority they wouldn't have invaded Iraq in the first place." is totally contrary to what we ARE doing, in Iraq itself and the front line for al-Qaeda's war.

In March 2007:

> All the while, the U..S has refused to label the Mahdi Army as a whole and enemy organization. Instead, it called the killed and capture Mahdi fighters 'rogue elements,' 'criminals,' 'thugs' and 'gangs.' By taking this tact, the Coalition attacked the worst elements of the Mahdi Army and targeted his key lieutenants, while giving the other members of the group the opportunity to break away from Sadr when the timing was right.

> The current negotiations are the culmination of the yearlong strategy to dismantle Sadr's militia. Multinational Force Iraq admitted at the end of February that serious negotiations are underway with elements of the Mahdi Army.

> These negotiations represent a serious threat to his power. Sadr is clearly worried about these negotiations.

>The signs that Sadr's Mahdi Army and Sadr himself continue to be targeted. Sadr's network in Basra took another blow. A "leading figure" in Sadr's Mahdi Army (or Jaysh al Mahdi) in Basra was murdered in a drive by shooting, according to Voices of Iraq.

> The U.S. and Iraqi government are maintaining the pressure on the Mahdi Army while attempting to woo elements to cooperate with the security plan. Carrots and sticks. Keeping Sadr out of Iraq will be vital in making this work.

This is just some of the early info. There has been much more since. You know nothing at all about Sadre's significance and the role of his army as coalition forces continue on planned strategy.

And your "interesting" article on bin Laden has nothing to do with the facts I stated.

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