Enter Operation River Gate

The Anbar Campaign intensifies and Zarqawi's "Islamic Republic of Haditha" is in jeopardy. The Coalition - including Iraqi Army units - have launched Operation Bawwabatu Annaher (River Gate) and are taking the fight to Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana. This operation is being conducted in conjunction with Operation Iron Fist in the Qaim region, and Operation Hiba (Mountaineers) in Ramadi (which we discussed last night).

Approximately 2,500 Marines, Soldiers and Sailors from Regimental Combat Team - 2 and Iraqi Security Force soldiers are participating in the operation, making it the largest operation in the Al Anbar province this year.

The operation's goal is to deny Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) the ability to operate in the three Euphrates River Valley cities and to free the local citizens from the insurgents' campaign of murder and intimidation of innocent women, children and men.

Haditha is an important crossroads for AQI's smuggling activities from the Syrian border. Once in Haditha, smugglers can go north to Mosul or continue on to Ar Ramadi, Fallujah or Baghdad. The city is home to approximately 75,000 Iraqis, a vital hydro-electric power plant, and 28 schools.

Coalition and Iraqi Forces located in western Al Anbar province have seen a recent increase of AQI violence in Haditha. Last Spring, insurgents attacked Haditha General Hospital, the largest in western Al Anbar, with a suicide car bomb, destroying more than half of the building with the explosion and ensuing fire. Insurgents also established fortified firing positions inside the hospital and used patients and staff as human shields as they attacked Marines from the hospital and later retreated from the Marine counterattack.

The fighting will likely be tough. Two Marines and one soldier have been killed in combat outside Haqlaniyah.

The Coalition has increased the scope and tempo of operations along the Euphrates River. Operation River Gate is very likely a subordinate operation to Operation Hunter, as is Iron Fist and Mountaineers. The scope and timing of the operations indicates the Coalition has planned well in advance, and husbanded its forces to conduct the strikes. The Coalition is conducting multi-battalion operations from Qaim to Haiditha to Ramdi - over a distance of over almost one two miles along the Euphrates.

In a press release related to Operation Iron Fist, Captain Jeffery Pool took the media to task for not understanding the scope of the operation.

I have seen an article or two about how clearing operations are 'ineffective'. My answer to that claim is that during the recent Operations of Sword in Hit and Southern Fire in Amiriyah and Ferris, Marines and Iraqi Security Forces established a joint permanent presence in those cities. These cities are added to Fallujah and Ramadi that have a substantial ISF presence.

Note how Captain Pool compares Iron Fist in terms of successful clear and hold operations, not in terms of previous search and destroy operations in the Qaim region such as Matador or Spear. He is telling us that the ultimate goal of Iron Fist will be to hold the terrain in the Qaim region. No doubt the same holds true for Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Barwana.

Notes: I am receiving press reports from the II MEF directly, hence the lack of links. I will update the map with Haqlaniyah and Barwana later this morning.


READER COMMENTS: "Enter Operation River Gate"

Posted by Soldier's Dad at October 4, 2005 5:52 AM ET:

I note the presence of ISF.

Posted by Soldier's Dad at October 4, 2005 6:35 AM ET:

Barwana and Haqlaniyah are between Jadidah and Haditha on the map,pretty much on either side of the train tracks crossing the Euprhates.

Posted by TallDave at October 4, 2005 6:58 AM ET:

I think it's interesting they haven't really gone after Ramadi yet (I believe they were given a one-month deadline a couple weeks ago). I also haven't heard much about Samarra. IIRC, those are both larger towns than those currently being engaged, and do not have an ISF presence (yet).

I'm assuimg Ramadi and Samarrah will be taken before the December elections. Could that be their last stand in Iraq? There aren't many places left to run.

Posted by ike at October 4, 2005 7:02 AM ET:

Not sure what this means, but I saw that al Qaeda members in Palestine had a message sent to Zarqawi that was intercepted demanding that he go after al Sadr.
It was on www.siteinstitute.com

Posted by vucommodore at October 4, 2005 7:06 AM ET:

What is this Jaafari idiot doing? He gets elected and now he is trying to take away the voting power of the Sunni minority and push the elected Kurds in the government to the side. If the Sunnis boycott the election, the insurgency will never end. Moderate Sunnis who were originally part of the process are getting very upset at the government and are thinking of\ abandoning the idea of democracy. If Jaafari doesn't give them a fair chance to reject the constitution, the Sunnis who favor democracy will never gain popularity on the Sunni street.

The insurgents/terrorists, etc. have never been able to hold any territory the whole time this War has been going on. They held Fallujah because we didn't want to intervene. The big question is where will they pop up next. If they don't pop up anywhere, that's a big victory. However, it seems that every operation in one spot leads to an increase in trouble in another.

Iraq is about to make a very big mistake. I don't possibly see how this thing could turn out well politically. What is the best case scenario here? Forcing the constitution down the Sunnis throats is not what is going to make them want to join the political process. If they have an opportunity to reject it, Iraq can end up no worse than it is today. If it is forced down their throats, Iraq could get much worse. Jaafari is starting to behave like the elected Saddam Hussein of Iraq.

Posted by Justin Capone at October 4, 2005 7:11 AM ET:


Jaafari is worthless, he sits around and does nothing our real problem behind the religious parties is Harkim and others.

But, no it doesn't matter if the Sunnis boycott the Constitution or not all that matters is they vote in December.

The Shia Islamic parties have been trying to run Iraq like Iran with their religion and their militas in the south of the country and according to the polls there is going to be a big backlash against it in December as long as the Sunnis vote.

Posted by Bill Roggio at October 4, 2005 7:13 AM ET:

I just updated this post and the one on Ramadi last night, and modified a few paragraphs. The fighting in Ramadi that I posted on is Operation Mountaineers.

That should answer the question on Ramadi.

Posted by Jamison1 at October 4, 2005 7:15 AM ET:


Has some resources up.

Posted by vucommodore at October 4, 2005 7:26 AM ET:

Yes, Justin

A Secular coalition party of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds should be put together for the December election. There's a good chance it would win because many Sunnis and Kurds (who are mostly secular) would support it and it would get some Shia support too from the more modern and moderate Shiites in the country. It should be done something like on the Lebanon model where the parties have to have some Christians, some Sunnis and some Shiites. I think you're right that Allawi is starting to seem like the lesser of two evils now. He may win with Sunni support.

I think the constitution vote does matter though. After the constitution is passed, it will be difficult for the new government to change it. If I am not mistaken, I think they would have to call another election to change the constitution.

Posted by desert rat at October 4, 2005 7:35 AM ET:

The Sunnis never had a real chance to veto the Constitution. The demographics of the country, being what they are, do not give the Sunnis a 2/3's majority in three Provinces. The game was rigged, against them vetoing, from the get go.

Jaafari and his ilk all seem to come right out of Central Casting, hired for a bad B movie. They cannot stand the idea of any opposition, loyal or not. Ah well, we voted Clinton into the US Presidency, twice.

Whether of not the Sunnis participate in December is important. If they do the Iraqi Civil War will be over, sooner. If they do not, there will be an extended fight, ending in the subjugation of the Sunni population in Iraq. There may finally be the refugees we were worried about at the time of the Invasion. There could even be massed migration of some Sunnis to Syria, following their Leaders, as it were.

No telling, that may be just what Jaafari and his team want. Their Goals not being the same as ours.

Posted by Soldier's Dad at October 4, 2005 7:47 AM ET:


The last time Sammarra was cleaned, it was primarily an Iraqi Special Police operation.

No reason to believe it won't be a Special Police Operation again.

Posted by Bill Roggio at October 4, 2005 8:46 AM ET:

I also updated the map.

Posted by Justin Capone at October 4, 2005 8:50 AM ET:


The government that comes to power after December gets to decided alot of the issues when it comes to federalism and resources. Also, they will have the power to selectively enforce and not enforce parts of the Constitution they don't like as the UIA totally ignores parts of the TAL they don't like.

But, yes the current religious parties in Iraq have no idea how to govern the country and are leading the nation over a cliff. The best thing Bremer ever did was to have two elections so close together.

Shia voters went into the polls the first time around and voted for a group of idiots simply because Sistani told them to and the Sunnis didn't vote. Hopefully, both the Shia and Sunnis have learned their lesson. Sistani refused to endorse the UIA this time around because they have been so bad. And, the Sunnis are mobilizing for December. The goal is to keep things going in the right direction regrardless of what idiots do.

Posted by Observer at October 4, 2005 9:03 AM ET:

The "mainstream" media are the enemy.

Posted by Soldier's Dad at October 4, 2005 9:49 AM ET:

In Other News


Ansar AlSunah cell captured in Kirkuk


Task Force Baghad and Iraqi Public Order Battalion kill or capture more than 3 dozen terrorists in Southern Bagdhad

Posted by cjr at October 4, 2005 10:01 AM ET:

I dont think Operation Mountaineer is a clear and hold operation. Ramadi is a big city, larger than Fallujia and 3 times larger tan Tel Afar. A clear and hold operation will be at least a division is size.
I dont see this kind of operation happening until ISF take over responsibility for some more provinces, freeing up several US brigades. My guess is ISF first has to take over in Diyala(278th AOR, leaving in Oct), Tamim(116th AOR, leaving in Nov), and Najaf/Karbala(155th AOR, leavingt in Dec). Then the US replacements units for these AOR ( 101st division? 1/1AD? 2/1AD?, 1/1ID?) will become available for operations in Ramadi. So, my guess is that the clear and hold operation for Ramadi is 2-3 months away.

Posted by mark buehner at October 4, 2005 10:24 AM ET:

Any news on Samarra? Tigris flank seems to have quieted down lately, good work being done in Mosul is paying off I guess.

Posted by ike at October 4, 2005 10:49 AM ET:

Taliban spokesman caught. Known to have relations with bin Laden but not known how recently. He was caught in Pakistan.

Posted by Soldier's Dad at October 4, 2005 11:24 AM ET:


Mosul(pop 1.5 million) was "cleared and held" by 1 Brigade. Granted it took 8 months of concerted effort.

Ramadi and Sammara both have a US Force presence.
The problem is that without a significant Iraqi force presence, the populations "see no evil, hear no evil".

Posted by C-Low at October 4, 2005 11:40 AM ET:

What I dont understand is the Generals saying the Iraqis have only one batalion capable. What about the Karbala Najaf and the other cities that have been fully turned over to the Iraqis?? I would imagine that they need a little over a mere batalion to sustain security. I understand Bills explanation of Level one capability but why would our generals use such a high standard that most 3rd world nations cant hope to achieve (are they really that ingnorant of the PR reprecusions) in large numbers but yet we are supposed to achieve in Iraq?? Why it just sets ourselves up for failure. Iraq dont need level one troops ready to deploy across the world at the drop of a hat like our forces they need what most 3rd nations have large army with a small core group of republican guard for say of backbone for the real sticky situations. A cell of Al Queda with AK's and some RPG's can be faced with larger band of Iraqi army with AK's RPG's and maybe some APC's for heavy firepower. We arent trying to make a blitzgreg force just a heavy police force. The Generals should be talking numbers of Class 3-4 iraqi troops. Those forces are what will allow us to pull back to the bases in case the neighbors get froggy. Then we can start talking level 1 numbers.

The military needs to get thier sh*t together and realize that the gov and especially the media are not going to do the homefront cyops they used to do, at least not for america. They need to wake up to the fact the military needs some pyops here state side or they can hang up ever every being able to fight a major war again. You can have all the toys and all the tech but if you have no heart (and that requires in democracy the masses support which requires some effort from a PR stance especially when the war is on the other side of the world not down the street) no body else is going to do it if the military dont do it for themselves. Bush cant rally people the media well they have thier own agenda the military just wants to defer to the above and the masses are totally uninformed to the stakes or the status of this war. And the lead generals trying to bring a 3rd world nations military up to a Western standard is not helping anything. The Iraqis arent going to invade and occupy tehran Damascus just Ramadi, Baghdad, Quam, Mosul, ect....

Posted by exhelodrvr at October 4, 2005 11:44 AM ET:

If the media is not going to transmit the message accurately (including context) there is nothing the military can do. All the information that anyone needs is provided by them, the problem is that the media buries it/takes it out of context/ignores it.

Posted by mark buehner at October 4, 2005 12:24 PM ET:

The army is doing things they way they know how to do it, media notwithstanding. Look at it this way: if the Pentagon came out and said there were 100,000 IA troops mission capable, within weeks there would be a story in Newsweek screaming that the generals were a pack of liars because almost none of those units have independent logistics. Doing things the proper way diffuses that criticism, and doesnt raise artificial expectations (a problem earlier on when the so-called army and police ran away). I would say this is a savvy move that disarms criticism, and when the IA does perform at a high level it will be that much more impactful. Might even get some good news past the MSM filters.

Posted by cjr at October 4, 2005 12:28 PM ET:

-Per you map: "8 Iraqi bat in Fallujia AND 6-8 in Habbaniyah" Are you sure you are not double counting? As of 8/11 (yes, its old data) there were only 13 Iraqi bat in all of Anbar.

-As of 9/29, there was 1 bde from 1st IIF division and 1 bde from 7th division in western Anbar.

Posted by hamidreza at October 4, 2005 1:16 PM ET:

Thanks for the map Bill - any info on the scale?

The few hundred ISF forces participating in all of Hunter is not anywhere close to the 4 Level 2 Bn of INA that took hold of Talafar. IMO, there has got to be political reasons for the dearth of Level 2 INA. CJR suggests this is due to troop rotation.

Could it be that Hunter is more a "disrupt and presence" operation rather than a "clear and hold"?

Badkhen and Komenich according to her SFGate diary, have left Iron Fist to go to Tikrit.

If the end result of Hunter is to establish presence in Sadah, Haqlaniyah, and expand south of Ramadi, then it would be a success of some sorts. These locations are on the main road and away from the farms, and control the area traffic. IMO, farmers and landownders are not so enamoured with Zarqawi, as much as the smugglers and criminals that depend on these routes are.

Hunter would show the Islamists who believe in their own self-congratulating mythical propaganda stories that the US can establish its presence anywhere of its choosing. The disruptive effect would make it difficult for the terrorists to establish any modicum of order and organization. Also, it will act as a 'magnet', attracting VBIEDs, IEDs, and Foreign and Sunni Islamist terrorists to the Euphrates valley, and away from Baghdad and the Tigris valley.

But most of all it will be a serious demoralizing influence for the Sunni nationalists, Baathists, and opportunists, delivering them the necessary message that armed resistance is not going to pan out, and they are losing ground in their heartland - and that they should try their second best option which is to participate in the constitutional process.

It appears that we may have to leave INA clear and hold operations for another time. Hunter is a major setback to Zarqawi, and may force the nationalists to engage in dialog with the Coalition.

Posted by Eric at October 4, 2005 1:31 PM ET:

All you "MSM"-bashers: Maybe the First Amendment means nothing to you, but freedom of the press is supposed to apply in the US. Get used to it, and start your own media. Oh, you already did, ya whiners. Geez.

Posted by exhelodrvr at October 4, 2005 1:43 PM ET:

No one is denying that the MSM has the right to put out inaccurate crap; they can exercise that right just like you do. But they also have a responsibility not to do that. Not to hold them accountable when they put out crap is irresponsible of us. Which is why you get taken to task for doing that. It's one of our duties.

Posted by Justin Capone at October 4, 2005 1:48 PM ET:


Yes, the Pentagon has been worthless when it comes to promoting the war here in the states. There was an editoral in the USA Today two days ago from someone who supports the war and the mission who was agast and couldn't believe that Iraq has only one capable battalion.

And, that is the story the media has repeated non-stop for the past week that the Iraqi Army has only 700 capable soldiers in its army. And, people wonder why Americans think we are losing the war. I heard this just the other day someone say that there are "less then 1000 Iraqis troops capable of fighting". Of course it is total bull, but that is the message people are getting.

Also, the Pentagon needs to find a way to explain the stakes to the public. The average American probably knows Zarqawi's name by now in that he is the guy we are fighting in Iraq. But, they don't know anything else about him, what he wants, what he plans, anything really. How about talking up his European network and his global reach.

Posted by desert rat at October 4, 2005 2:10 PM ET:

Z's "Global Reach"?
How many combatants does he control in Europe?
Where are they operatiing from?
What countries and in what numbers?

His operational "reach" barely extends to Baghdad, let alone Europe. I think you are a victim of "over reaching". If there is SOLID evideince the Z is running combatants in Europe, I have not seen it.

There may well be Jihadist cells in Europe, but to attribute them to Z, putting him in the Command and Control of those cells is not, I think, accurate.

I do recall rumors that Z was extolled by Osama to expand Operations into Europe, I have yet to see evidence of that expanded Area of Operations. Perhaps the 1st London transit bombing was an aQ operation, perhaps not. I've yet to see any evidence that it was not an independent cell and/ or that Z was in Command of it.

Please post any link that would substantiate your claim, would love to see it.

Posted by mark buehner at October 4, 2005 2:15 PM ET:

I gotta say, im disapointed in Fox news in all of this. Seems to me they were the classic outsiders, poked fun and insults at the incumbents, but secretly envied them. As soon as success came, they slid right into their cozy shoes.
Where are the Fox reporters doing what Michael Totten, Kevin Sites, and Michael Yon do practically on their own? If Fox was bringing back daily footage of IA troops graduation, training, deploying, and victorious, tens of millions would see it with their own eyes. But instead they rely on the pool (the one next to bar at the Baghdad Hilton), the AP (Anonymous People), and Al Reuters just like the rest. The level of journalism in Iraq in general has been abysmal, but I expect it from CNN and the NYT during 'Mr Bush's' war. Fox and the other more conservative outlets should be better.

Posted by C-Low at October 4, 2005 2:23 PM ET:


I disagree thier is a lot the military could do. We have PycOps people who work all over the world. Not to mention in WW2 and previously the military had war photographers and such. If the military had thier own imbeds and photographers they would have action footage and stories the media dont have and cant get at the Hyatt in Baghdad. These stories could be presented by Officers on the media outlets live footage with a story favorible to the military would be a lot more better than todays car bomb story or some footage being explained by some media reported that has no idea of what is going on. A military rep could describe the situation and set up the scene and put it all in context. Millions of people watch the history channel stuff every major campain or battle like above should have during and after reps on the media telling the story with footage to keep the peoples attention the media would go along if it got rating going and people would watch they would watch. Hell the media could hire some advertising companies if nessecary to help with the computer graphics background music voice over cutting ect... to make it presentable and make the point the military wants. The important part the military could make the impression they want not what some media guy who dont know crap about the military or some washed up general who's been out of the game for years and who knows what agenda today making the interpertation. Military could control the image and even could use some things to make the enemy think we have capabilities we dont or that we dont have some we do ya know. The media pays X generals and such as "experts" these could be replaced by US PhyOps officers with inside info, they could appear on these talking head shows and at least play up the military side of things. The military could restrict the photos and info released so that in return our guys got some airtime on TV ect... in return the media would have to give em some time to make thier case. In WW2 the gov had lots of PR shows before movies and such to rally people the military could have such on TV it has a advertising budget and rallied people are a lot more willing to join up. The colledge idea just dont sell when you are going to war & the patriotism only goes so far when the media is 24/7 we are losing with no disagreement exept a occational Pres addres with old "stay the course". Maybe not the old "monkey Jap" movies would fly but some senerio's of what if we lose? shorts would go along way. Maybe some shorts of what we are fighting like pictures of our enemies autrocities and such how they treat people ect.... Pictures of car bombs with dead kids in Iraq with a "if we lose this will be on YOur street". Hell just some replays of the 93' World Trade, caption "we didnt react", Cole caption again, Embasies caption, 9-11 caption "we reacted" then blank screen wording "they are too busy" todays date caption "do we really want to go back to the old way, (Picture of soldgiers in uniform ect...) Our daily sacrifice is what protects us we sacrifice so the innocents dont have to we are proud we cant surrender we must fight no matter how long or how much sacrifice we must WIN we cant do it without YOUR support" , maybe a picture of Iraqi women and kids some who want freedom and caption "if we leave they die if we stay they will be our allies one day" I could go on.

I know the Pres and the Gov realy should be responsible for this but it is evident that we dont have that available. In WW2 we lost a lot in the begining and paid extreme prices if such came about today we would have no chance. The military has to adjust to what the days wars are and todays wars are faught at least 40% in the media. If the military dont learn how to deal with that it is no different than when the Napolionic days ended and machine guns, aritlery, came in, walking formations were just not feasible and any military that couldnt put thier brains around that fact were useless. The Media is a front the Military must face free press is worldwide our enemies have learned to exploit such, our military must likewise. If they cant learn to deal with this reality they are useless on the modern day battle fields and are currently useless for our protection. No tech and no amount of money will ever make war a bloodless easy adventure, war will always be dirty costly horrible and require blood from all sides involved THAT IS REALITY.

On 9-11 we lost just shy 3000 civilians. Since then we have invaded two nations, concured both, and occupied both while fighting a insurgency in both nations and a worldwide SFOF war against terrorist and not even lost more than was lost on 9-11/// a absolutley historical unthinkable that no one would have even darred dream possible. WTF If the military cant have a recruiting commercial bragging on that what, Show talking heads before Afghanistan talking thousands dead US and need for Hundreds of thousands of troops pictures and numbers of Russian loses then But then the US military arrived and bam show today them voting show the small US losses compared to the Russians ect... Then clip over to Iraq talking heads again calling that losses will be in the thousands blah blah blah show British losses Iranian loses ect... then but the US military showed up and show again voting iraqis and the US casualties in comparison to the others. then ask "US military rewrites the historical standards we are that good" "be part of the winning team and rewrite the standards" Hell even show some numbers of historical battles and campains then compare those to todays war on terror. every situation has good and bad if you allow others to decide what people know and dont what is enphasized and not then you have no power over what they believe. We need the Good to come out thier is a lot of it and if the military cant learn to bring that to the people the military cant function on todays battle field. Because the PR Media Front is absolutley critical to any campain on any of todays battle fields.

damm this was long sorry for the rant guys

Posted by Justin Capone at October 4, 2005 2:44 PM ET:

Jail terms sought in Zarqawi bomb-plot trial

DÜSSELDORF, Germany - Prosecutors yesterday demanded jail terms of up to eight years for four Arab men accused of planning to bomb Jewish targets in Germany under orders from al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Prosecutor Christian Monka said three of the men were members of a terrorist organization that planned to attack two restaurants in Düsseldorf, Germany, and a community center in Berlin. The fourth is accused of helping them.

Evidence in the long-running trial, which started in February 2004, includes wiretapped conversations in which Jordanian Zarqawi, using code words, discusses with group members the state of preparations for the attacks.


France holds 9 in anti-terror swoop

The source said the raids took place as part of an investigation into possible Islamic militant attacks in France. It was not clear whether police were acting on intelligence of a specific or imminent threat to national security.

Police believe the suspects are linked to the al Qaeda-aligned Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), Algeria's largest outlawed rebel movement, the source said.

The head of the French national police said in July the group had contacted al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, about carrying out attacks in France.


Terrorist had plans for London attacks

MOSUL, Iraq -- A terrorist captured near the Syrian border last month had a computer "thumb drive" that contained planning information about the July 7 suicide bombings in London, according to a U.S. military officer.

Col. Robert Brown, commander of the 1st Brigade 25th Infantry Division in Mosul, said that the man was captured north of Qaim in western Iraq and that authorities had connected him to the al Qaeda terrorist network.

It is the first evidence of a link between the London bombs and terrorists in Iraq, but fits with other evidence of a growing presence in Iraq by al Qaeda, which has taken responsibility for the British attacks.

The same video carried a recorded statement by one of the four British Muslims who killed themselves and 52 others in the near-simultaneous attacks. The London bomber also cited his admiration for Zarqawi.


Zarqawi is the miltiary symbol of the jihadist movement and has been for some time. That is why even groups with no affiliation with the Iraqi jihad call upon him when they are considering attacks.

And, I could find even more links then this.

Posted by exhelodrvr at October 4, 2005 2:53 PM ET:

The problem is that the MSM won't provide air time for that. There was a lot of that during the opening weeks of OIF, with the embedded reporters. Of course, that was for the most part very favorable to the military, which is (IMO) one reason why it was, for the most part, stopped. Obviously ratings, or estimates on what ratings would be, played into that, as well. The Pentagon gives briefings several times a day, on the average. Most big cities (at least those with military bases) have local military news programs that are aired on local cable channels. There are all kinds of press releases put out there. The MSM just won't use it! They are not going to put Colonel John Doe on the NBC nightly news to explain the days operations. It doesn't fit in with their viewpoint or their business model.

Posted by TallDave at October 4, 2005 2:56 PM ET:

It doesn't look like Jaafari will be in power after the December elections. Remember, Iraq really is a democracy now, with real elections and a thriving free press. Bloggers and newspapers are reporting Iraqis are very unhappy with the sectarianism and secularists are expected to make big gains -- including a big chunk of Sunnis who didn't vote last time.

The current gov't just isn't very representative of what Iraqis want. They were elected because they were all Iraq had to offer last year. This year, there will be real campaigns and real debates over the future of Iraq.

Posted by TallDave at October 4, 2005 3:03 PM ET:

The last time Sammarra was cleaned, it was primarily an Iraqi Special Police operation.

Thanks Bill, I hadn't heard that before.

Posted by C-Low at October 4, 2005 3:36 PM ET:


I dont know if the military tightened up on the briefings quit giving them and instead sent emisaries with film footage and some 1st hand info on the days events they would get some air time. I think the briefings like what Swartzkoff gave should be daily and mandatory for the media to cover. The Media maynot at first take to the idea but if they wanted info on what was going on they would have to loosen and play ball. Also I am not talking about imbeded reporters all they brought back was camera footage of them ducking or hiding in this or that corner. I am talking about full packaged stories with photos and camera footage cut to make presentable and send such with Officer to present and answer questions. The many talking heads and media people dont like X polititian but they let him come on the show and talk it pulls ratings and dont forget if they go to hard on the military reps they risk showing thier true colors to the people.

If the media still dont allow such then the military should demand air time from PBS or such or if nothing else buy the damm time and make thier own presentations either in shorts spread out like commercials or in bulk as full shows on TV or even reoccuring like regualar news shows. The military has the ability to direct the funds were nessecary and request more if needed. I would say fighting the Media front is well beyond Critically overdue. Shows for the bases and such are speaking to the quior. The military has to adjust for todays battlefield realities whatever they may be or become. Their is no excuse it is just Do What Ya Gotta Do.

Besides those commercials and shorts would go along way themselves if they just used the current time slots devoted to the recruter commercials would be alot more. Hell a commercial making the case for the war and that we arent in a hopeless cuase would go along way to the recruiting of new soldgiers if nothing else. WW2 the military rallied the people in some pretty inventive ways to fill the recruter offices. Nothing else the military needs to start at the minimum thinking about this and the future the media aspect of war is not going away it is getting more and more important as more and more of the world gets free press access and democracy or limited democracy is more and more a factor in the world. Nothing else some new officers need to be edged towards some media and advertising classes for the future. Maybe we will survive long enough to make it to that point.

One thing is for sure todays military is incapable to face todays 4th gen warefare. And even the idea of trying to face a real war like China or even Iran with the current is very very scary. If our military success is in CNN, NBC, ABC's hands and the military dont learn to control that we are screwed. What if in the future china buys heavy stock in those companies will the military then be at thier will?

Posted by desert rat at October 4, 2005 3:58 PM ET:

As I said there are Jihadists cells in Europe and while they may wish to emulate Z and look to him for guidence, there is no operational Command and Control.
The German trial began in '04, the wiretap obviously made before then. Not much of a current operation. The London attack, in your link, is an aQ operation, but not under the command of Z.
You give the guy to much credit, he is not running operations in Europe, he is not maintaining an effective force in Iraq.

Posted by serurier at October 4, 2005 9:00 PM ET:

I just found news of coaliton has taken Haqlaniyah.