Swarmer & Media Coverage


Operations Swarmer nets some results while the media coverage of the war continues to disappoint


Amid cries of an "Overblown... Potemkin Operation" which "fizzled", Operation Swarmer nets some results. Iraqi officials have disclosed further information on the objectives. While the U.S. and Iraqi intelligence disagree on the size of the insurgent contingent operating in the region (100 vs. 200), the region is believed to be an area of operations for insurgents in the Samarra region, and the targets of the raids were the group responsible for the destruction of the dome of the Alaskaria mosque in Samarra, and the murderers of Iraqiya television correspondent Atwar Bahjat and two of her partners.

Six suspects were detained in the Iraqiya TV case, as well as a ringleader of the attack in Samarra. Jaish Muhammed (or Army of Muhammed) is believed to be behind the Alaskaria mosque bombing, and a 'ringleader' is said to have been captured.

A look at the major attacks in Iraq over the past three days provides further evidence and reinforces the belief the insurgency and al Qaeda are concentrating attacks in central Iraq, in the areas around Baghdad and to the north. The air assault near Samarra is but the most recent in a series of air assaults and other operations in the region which has become the central front in Iraq.

The reporting on Operation Swarmer is a microcosm of the sub-par reporting on the Iraq war. Events are immediately placed into a political context. Commentary is often mixed in with reporting. There is little understanding of operational intent or how the military even works. Operations are viewed as individual events, and not placed in a greater context. Failure and faulty assumptions are the baseline for coverage and analysis. Success is arbitrarily determined by a reporter or editor's biases. The actions of the U.S. and Iraqi military are viewed with suspicion and even contempt.

If you don't believe me, just read the "objective" reports from Time's Brian Bennett and Christopher Allbritton. Would they have preferred a bloody battle? Should the military sought their advice in advance to determine the size and composition of the assault force?



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READER COMMENTS: "Swarmer & Media Coverage"

Posted by WilliamR at March 18, 2006 4:38 PM ET:

Media reporting cuts both ways. Have you seen the reporting of Swarmer on Fox News, delivered with the original Baghdad bombing video footage playing in the background and shots of the wreckage of WTC cut in between?

Let's face it, both sides use the news to support their points and the White House has, up until recently, been the master at it.

It is up to responsible citizens to read and watch and weigh. That is why this site is so valuable.

Posted by dj elliott at March 18, 2006 4:40 PM ET:

There are three words that apply to this article:
Good, Acurate, consise.
Now why can't the overpayed MSM do that?

Posted by Soldier's Dad at March 18, 2006 6:00 PM ET:

Bill,

Theres been a correction, Iraqiya TV, not Al Arabiya

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L18151330.htm

Posted by Andy Wagner at March 18, 2006 6:52 PM ET:

Bill,
The number one reason that I read your site is exactly what you said: the media fails to understand military operations in any greater context than the immediate headlines. I was out of town this week with no access to internet and little access to TV. My hosts reported, based on CNN, the largest attack since the warm began, but couldn't provide any greater depth than that sound bite.

Keep up the good work. I look forward to your assessment of what Swarmer means in the greater context of the weeks and months ahead.

-Andy Wagner

Posted by henry at March 18, 2006 7:52 PM ET:

It merely shows that there are at least several sides and a nymber of rationalizations to eacg story. Yours shows that even when the glass is mostly empty, you can still make it appear full.

Posted by Peter Boston at March 18, 2006 8:07 PM ET:

Shouldn't the absence of organized resistance in a supposed insurgent stronghold mean something?
There would not have been much resistance in Topeka, Kansas either. The MSM is as much the ideological enemy as the Islamists.

Posted by Michael at March 18, 2006 8:09 PM ET:

Bill,

I happend to catch you on CNN talking about the lack of correct information being broadcast. I agree on your point that the MSM has done a poor job at reporting the WHOLE story. Keep up the good work.

Posted by kathie at March 18, 2006 8:32 PM ET:

I also saw you on CNN, thanks for your reporting, I have been following you for a long time and I really appreciate your coverage. The woman, Star I think is her name, failed to admit that the networks get their information, all of it from stringers. MSM talks as if the people who are reporting are the same that got the information from the scene. They are not. None of them know first hand what is really happening. That is why you are so valuable and people like the Iraqis who are reporting. A big thank you Bill. Kathie

Posted by hamidreza at March 18, 2006 9:18 PM ET:

#6: "...all I know is that we went to war because of WMD and that was a lie."

Well, new evidence that just came out shows that Saddam's plan all along was to appear he had WMD stockpiles, while at the same time removing them to appease the UN. Saddam had a good reason to lie about his stockpiles. His regime survivability depended on that. He stockpiled chemical weapons in order to put down any mass unrest by Shiites and Kurds, and in order to forestall attacks by the Iranian Basijis and Pasdarans.

Saddam wanted to survive on both the Shiite/Iranian front and also on the UN/Western front. He would do anything for that, including appear to his internal enemies that he had chemical weapons.

Posted by GK at March 19, 2006 12:53 AM ET:

Lisa suffers from Bush derangement syndrome. No logic whatsover is applied. No evidence will change her opinion, even if Saddam openly claims he had WMDs (wait.... he DID in 2002).

Lisa pretends that lack of WMDs are the reason she opposes the war. This would imply that she supports the war if WMDs were found.

YET, Iran and Noth Korea are openly claiming to have WMDs and threatening to use them. That would mean that attacking them is fully justified by Lisa's logic, no?

Posted by Bush Puppy at March 19, 2006 4:40 AM ET:

Swarmer was a great idea after the fact. If you want to go "a searchin" then why go into Iraq to find the second in Command to the Second in Command when we should be doing this to find the "tallest man in Afghanistan"(Pakistan). And facing facts if GW doesn't find and capture the biggest enemy of them all , Osama bin-Laden, then he will be labelled a failure. catching bin-Laden is the key to success not only in the War Against Terror, but also it will help stabilizing Iraq as well. we all know bin-Laden is behind all of the unrest in some way or fashion. so why waste it all on what they call military "bluster"? Find bin-Laden with a Swarmer Operation and you cut off the head of problems in the whole area.

Posted by Marlin at March 19, 2006 6:45 AM ET:

Wretchard has a must read post about this same issue.

---------------------

If the public has ever heard of the MiTTs, the political transition process or the River War it will not be the result of their concealment. These three decisive weapons were lying in plain view from the end 2004 onwards though their significance had not been noted -- their existence hardly even acknowledged -- by the Press even until now. Ironically, this may have contributed to overall success. The enemy in reading the leading newspapers of the West remained ignorant of the doom descending upon their heads, confirmed in their eventual victory even as catastrophe overwhelmed them. Thank you MSM.

The Belmont Club: In Plain View

Posted by Marlin at March 19, 2006 11:24 AM ET:

StrategyPage weighs in with its opinion of what happened with the media and Operation Swarmer.

-------------------

The dearth of newsworthy activities in Iraq led idle journalists to jump all over a cordon-and-search operation north of Samarra last week.

StrategyPage: Iraq: The Lebanese Example

Posted by peterb at March 19, 2006 11:27 AM ET:

Iyad Allawi: "Iraq is in a civil war"

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4821618.stm

Neoconservative National Review columnist David Frum to CNN: "Going to Iraq made me more confident in the accuracy of the media's coverage of the war"

Posted by mark at March 19, 2006 11:53 AM ET:

Looks like Bill's appearance on CNN got some of their viewer's attention and some of their "Bush Lied" crowd found their way here.
Stick around people and you may learn a thing or two if you can open your mind and admit the possibility that it is YOU who may be wrong.

Posted by Jamison1 at March 19, 2006 12:35 PM ET:

While visiting British troops in Iraq on Sunday, Defense Secretary John Reid said Allawi's remarks to the BBC contradicted what the former prime minister told him during a Saturday meeting.

"Every single politician I have met here from the prime minister to the president, the defense minister and indeed Ayad Allawi himself yesterday said to me there's an increase in the sectarian killing, but there's not a civil war and we will not allow a civil war to develop," Reid said.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,188359,00.html

Allawi wouldn't be playing some kind of political game here, would he?

Posted by Soldier's Dad at March 19, 2006 12:47 PM ET:

Marlin,

"The dearth of newsworthy activities in Iraq led idle journalists to jump all over a cordon-and-search operation north of Samarra last week."

Actually, only 2 reporters could be bothered to show up for the Baghdad briefing. It was probably one of the best briefings I have seen. Usually, the reporters are limited to two questions, 12 reporters asking the same two questions with a slightly different spin is not very educational, and it shows in the reporting. But last Thursdays briefing, the two reporters that attended got to ask unlimited questions.

Personally, I'd like to see an updated map of FOB's. Between the name changes, and closings, I've lost track of what FOB's are where. I've also noted a change in nomenclature, FOB Speicher is now referred to as Contingency Operating Base Speicher.


Posted by peterb at March 19, 2006 1:27 PM ET:

An average of about 18 per day died in the Lebanon civil war in a smaller country. Adjusted to the population of Iraq, that would make about 100 dead per day in Iraq. Iraq is at about half of that at 50-60 per day. But these are 50-60 a day that we know about and the morgues have been under pressure to conceal true death tolls. A more proper terminology than "civil war" would probably be "ethnic cleansing". There seem to be examples of ethnic cleansing going on in both Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods.

Posted by Daddy Love at March 19, 2006 2:13 PM ET:

I wonder in general about someone who complains about the accuracy of news coverage and then makes assertions based on news coverage. However, the assertion that "Six suspects were detained in the Iraqiya TV case" as a result of Operation Swarmer does not seem to be supported by the linked article, in which the Iraqi official quoted refuses to supply information about when or where they were arrested.

Further, ZEENews is reporting that Iraq`s presidential security adviser Lieutenant-General Wafiq al-Samaraei is urging the Americans to loosen their security net around Samarra and complining that too many innocent young men arere being rounded up in those sweeps: "Speaking to the Arab network al-Arabiya, he called for their prompt release."
http://www.zeenews.com/znnew/articles.asp?aid=282574&sid=WOR

Too bad Bill missed that one. Those darned Iraqi government officals just seem intent on putting out the bad news.

Oh, and bill, now that I've read your site I don't beleive your CNN TV claim of impartiality.

Posted by cjr at March 19, 2006 2:50 PM ET:

#20 Lisa

"I stated the fact that we were lied to which is fact... whether it was on purpose or not."

According to my dictionary, to be a lie it has to be on purpose. Otherwise, its not a lie, its a mistake.

On the other hand, intentionally redefining a word IS a lie..... You didnt make this mistake intentionally, did you?

Posted by Charles at March 19, 2006 3:01 PM ET:

There are always differences of opinion but there is basically only one truth. I feel the following statements are true; many may diagree.
1. Bush did not lie about WMD. He had incorrect information that he passed on to us as truth and he acted on what he perceived to be true.
2. Sadam Hussein wanted to give the impression to his enemies that he did have WMD, essentially strenghtening his positon and complicating our intelligence.
3. It was reported beforehand and evident that after the removal of Hussein the 3 factions in Iraq would not get along. The Bush administration should have realized this. Is a civil war inevitable? Probably.
4. This whole conflict leading up to 9/11 is about religion, particularly Islam. OBL hated the presence of infidels(us) in Saudia Arabia during the first Gulf War; this was the driving force behind his attack on the US. Religion is what gives the suicide bomber the strength to detonate himself; the belief that somehow this unthinkable deed will assure him an eternity in heaven. Religious intolerance is what pits Arabs vs Jews, Islam vs Christianity, Islam vs Hindu, Shiite vs Sunni, Catholic vs Protestant, etc., etc. America and our culture will never be welcome in the Islamic world, our best hope is to extricate ourselves from that part of the world as soon as possible. Creating a democracy in the Islamic world is a lofty goal but the carrot is often greater than the stick.
5. The only way to extricate ourselves from that part of the world is to develop other energy sources so as not to rely on foreign oil for our energy needs. The greatest legacy for Bush or his succesor would to set a goal(like Kennedy's) of attaining energy independence within 20 years. America responds well to challenges and this one might be the salvation of our nation as we know it.
6. And finally, invading Iraq was the right thing to do but it was not the wise thing to do. Sadly, we have elected few wise politicians.

Posted by Jill at March 19, 2006 4:01 PM ET:

Everything about this war is a sham. Bush and Co. were given multiple scnarios of what to expect. They ignored those that spoke of a long occupation. They ignored those who spoke of many hundreds of thousands of troops being needed. They ignored the uniformed military. Never should our soldiers be put in harm's way for a lie and that is what has been done in Iraq.

Posted by Jill at March 19, 2006 5:19 PM ET:

Lisa...stabilizing the country is exactly what most military experts said would be impossible. We had a stabilized Iraq before the war. And before anyone shouts about the atrocities that Saddam is no longer committing, I do not think that what our soldiers are dying for is the removal of a villian. If that is the case there are far worse dictators that need to be removed and I don't see us rushing to help the other countries with heinous leaders.

Posted by peterb at March 19, 2006 5:31 PM ET:

Jill:

If the soldiers were dying to remove a villain, they would be removing Jaafari and the Shiite Interior Ministry death squads which have been killing at a faster rate than Saddam lately. Iraq was stable under Saddam and Saddam was a perfect counterbalance to Iran which is getting more powerful now by the day.

Posted by Jill at March 19, 2006 5:40 PM ET:

Peterb...the troops have no say in what their mission is. I mean literally dying, not what they would like to be doing.

Other than that you have proved my point that we and the region are not safer since the removal of Saddam.

Posted by Tim Solan at March 19, 2006 6:09 PM ET:

Lisa,

I don't have a figure. If someone has a casualty figure, I would like to take it a step further and see a breakdown that includes, but not limited to:

How many Iraqi civilians have been killed/wounded by AQIZ terrorists? This number will be high considering how AQIZ is in the habit of going to a busy marketplace, restaurant, a line of employment or a Shiite religious procession etc. and try to inflict as many casualties as possible.

How many Iraqi civilians have been killed/wounded by insurgents/Saddamists?

How many Iraqi civilians have been killed/wounded by Sadr's private militia?

All three of those groups target civilians intentionally and deliberately.

Plus, how many of the casualties are from within those three groups.

We need a breakdown similar to this to put casualty figures into context.

Posted by C.S. Scott at March 19, 2006 6:12 PM ET:

Here was my take back on 16 March, a day before the Time magazine article:

**************************************************************************

Gulf News has a story about Operation Swarmer under a headline titled "U.S. in Major Iraq Air Attack", that states in the first sentence, "the air raids came as the House of Representatives gave President George W. Bush much of what he sought in a $92 billion (Dh338 billion) measure for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

What air raids and where is the air attack? There were no missiles fired or bombs dropped by fixed wing aircraft in the operation, but from the title and initial sentence one would think the bombing of Dresden was taking place. Yes, troops were transported by helicopter (evident in the photos we posted earlier) and some helicopter gunships may have provided support, but the article leaves the impression that the operation was something it wasn't.

If you need proof that this kind of misinformation breeds ignorance, in the very same BBC article that confirms there was no air attack a reader reacts by saying "these air strikes are going to amount to hundreds of civilian casualties." Tune in next week when we describe how the Battle of Kursk was really an amphibious landing.

Source

Posted by Mark Jaeger at March 19, 2006 6:36 PM ET:

Dear Lisa, Jill, et. al.:

Important debating safety tip: stringing slogans and talking points together is a p***-poor substitute for an argument.

If you want folks to take you seriously, then you'd better get a better handle on relevant facts, figures, and historical contexts. Otherwise, I cordially suggest you stick with echo-chambers like DailyKos and DU, because you're way out of your league.

Philosophy 101: "All opinions are valid...but not all arguments are valid."

Posted by Tim Solan at March 19, 2006 6:46 PM ET:

Lisa,

War is never a good thing, but unfortunately in this imperfect world we live in, it's sometimes necessary.

Going to war against Hitler and Japan is the most prominent example.

An interesting moral question is this? Do you let genocide, with the slaughtering of hundreds of thousands or even millions of people go unabated or do we have a moral duty to intervene and protect the less fortunate, if all efforts of diplomacy and other options fail.

Lisa, you don't need to answer because I don't want to go too far off on a tangent, as this blog serves a different purpose. Just wanted you to think about it, as I still do. No easy answer.

If you intervene you may be labeled as a world policeman, imperialist or warmonger.

If you don't intervene ("not our war") you may be accused of not caring and only have your self-interests (security) in mind.

Posted by hamidreza at March 19, 2006 6:47 PM ET:

Jill, the only reason we "are not rushing" to remove other dictators is because of the reactionary fuss that the bleeding-heart selective outrage crowd created.

Do you really think that US can invade and do regime change in Iran? How about Egypt? Somalia?

In fact, it is US that is taking the lead on Sudan. Do you see South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Russia taking the lead on Sudan? Why are the Europeans so blissfully silent on Sudan?

Do you really think that US should rush to invade Sudan? After all there are a few barrels of oil somewhere in there. Wouldn't you and Lisa be the first people who would jump up and down in the streets and cry "US out of Sudan and no blood (or democracy) for oil"?

Posted by hamidreza at March 19, 2006 7:42 PM ET:

Lisa writes: "Does anyone know the accurate count of casualties of Iraqis? No news organization ever seems to mention that. "

Yes try icasualties.com, a barking moonbat site.

The best estimate is about 32,000 innocent civilians killed (this does not include anti-Iraqi Islamist and Baathist forces, but includes Iraq Police and Iraq Army). The Lancet study was not peer-reviewed and was methodolically faulty, and a political hatchet job that did not pass scientific muster.

Of these 32,000 killed, 80% are targetted and killed by Muslims on Muslims. The killers are generally Islamists, and to a lesser extent national-socialist Baathists. Islamists include Sunni Salafis, Sunni Baathists turned Salafi, Al-Qaeda and multiple offshoots, Shiite Mahdi, Shiite Badr, Shiite Hezbolla, Shiite Iranian Quds death squads, Ansar al-Islam Kurdish pro al-Qaeda Islamists backed by Iranian hardliners.

Those reactionary western leftists who only complain about the 20% civilians unintentionally killed by the US, many of them because they run checkpoints or come too close to American convoys appearing as suicide bombers - and who never complain about the 80% killed by Islamists in a program of fomenting civil war and ethnic cleansing and political power grab - are obviously not interested in the welfare of Iraqis or their human rights, despite their show of (selective) outrage. Their only interest is to combat, a self-deluded poststructural idea, that the root of all evil in the Middle East is America, and they all suffer from the idiotic delusion that if US pulls out and its 2 bases in the Persian Gulf is removed, democracy and freedom moonbat style will flourish in the Islamic world.

Being from that area myself, let me tell you - please keep your delusions to yourself and to your own kind (the western reactionary barking leftists). You and Jill and Daddy Love are welcome to do a favor to Iraqis by dropping your American citizenship and moving to Tehran or Damascus or the Gaza Strip.

Posted by JAF at March 19, 2006 7:50 PM ET:

"Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement." -Barbara Boxer
http://en.thinkexist.com/quotation/iraq_made_commitments_after_the_gulf_war_to/343543.html

I always knew that she was a lying wench.

Posted by Soldier's Dad at March 19, 2006 9:22 PM ET:

hamidreza,jill,

"the only reason we "are not rushing" to remove other dictators is because"

A fair portion of the nasty dictators in the world are 80+ years old, smoke 3 packs a day, and have bad hearts, and no heir apparent. Why "rush" to do natures work.

If Saddam had been 80, and his sons showing no signs of wanting to "take the reigns"...there would be no Iraq War. Saddams sons were more brutal than he was. That meant at least 40 more years before the "Iraq" problem was fixed.

Mubarrack of Egypt has one foot in the grave, a good portion of the Saudi Royal Family has one food in the grave, Mugabe of Zimbabwe has one foot in the Grave, Castro of Cuba has one foot in the Grave.

Belarus is a European problem, Uzbekistan,Turkmenistan and Tajikistan suffer from Russian complications. All the rest of the dirtbags border China.

Ohh yeah...the #1 customer of Sudanese Oil is China.

Not much left besides Syria and Iran.

Posted by nds at March 19, 2006 9:40 PM ET:

Regarding rushing to remove other dictators: Just because we do not have the resources to liberate all countries oppressed by dictators simultaneously does not mean that we should never liberate any country oppressed by a dictator.

Afghanistan First, Iraq second, Who's next? I would love it if it were Sudan...

Posted by Tim Solan at March 19, 2006 10:01 PM ET:

Jill you state:

"We had a stabilized Iraq before the war. And before anyone shouts about the atrocities that Saddam is no longer committing, I do not think that what our soldiers are dying for is the removal of a villian. If that is the case there are far worse dictators that need to be removed and I don't see us rushing to help the other countries with heinous leaders."

Our soldiers are dying not only for the removal of a villian, but much more.

C.S. Scott at Security Watchtower has an excellent analysis piece of what it would be like if Saddam was still in power today.

http://63.247.134.60/~pobbs/archives/002906the_third_anniversary_of_the_day_the_us_backed_down.html#more

Posted by Lisa at March 19, 2006 11:52 PM ET:

I am sorry. I won't respond again. I am not a leftest...or a rightest. I am not barking but debating the issues. I am just trying to learn more and I am sorry if I have offended anyone. I saw this on CNN and decided to try it out. I was attacked on here for my first comment so I defended myself. I voted for Bush both times...I believed that I could get some answers here. I don't understand the hatred that some of you spew...thanks to the few that did respond with honest polite comments. I guess this is not the place for me.
Best Wishes
Lisa

Posted by Bush O Matic at March 20, 2006 2:19 AM ET:

Lisa,

You are correct in saying this is not the right place for you. It's not the correct place for anyone as a matter of fact. The pre-emptive strikers here have been "whining" since Bush was re-elected. They are "sore winners" who would rather "gripe" than come up with solutions to Iraq. I will concede that there are some good things happening there, but they are way overshadowed by the violence meeted out to US Troops and Iraqi Civilians. The "problem" is that George W. Bush has allowed Osama Bin-Laden to run free on the Paki-Afghani Border. his communication network may have been detrimented but they are not out by far. Every time Bin-Laden offers up another pep talk for his "boys" via Al-Jazeera & Co. it detriments our troops not only in Iraq but world wide. We need to quit bombing civilians in Iraq and start bombing the taliban resurgency in Afghanistan. THAT is where the ROOT of the problems lay. while we are at it we can catch Mullah Omar as well. Remember Him?

Posted by Michael at March 20, 2006 3:21 AM ET:

Lisa,

You came on here writing typical leftist talking points. You're intelligent, if you want answers ask them. But you made talking points.

Jill, others followed with the usual spewing of talking points. They could care less about being accurate. How many looked at some of the military links on the right? Strategy?

Truth? We are in a war around the world right now with Islamic radicals. There are a multitude of reasons why we went into Iraq, not just WMD. The Media has just as much responsibility to report truth as you have discerning what is true. Stop complaining and grow up. The media could learn to grow up to. No one misled anyone on purpose. Remember it CIA said, its a SLAM DUNK?

Also remember that over 70% of MSM - TV is liberal and left, not just news, but Hollywood, movies, sitcoms, talk shows, you name it. The right has Fox, and radio. The left has an edge in newspaper. Left and right are about equal in blogs I'd guess. But if you truly want to get accurate news, try hanging around here and reading, or go to any links on the right. We don't want to attack anyone. But the truth is you, Jill, others came on here spewing forth leftist agenda. It does not matter if you voted for Bush or not. What you said - showed ignorance of the situation of the war. Thats not an insult btw, its the truth.

Iraq(Saddam) did the following:
1) Invaded Kuwait, ravaged, killed, pillaged, set to blaze all the oil wells.
2) Asassination attempt on Pres. Bush Sr.(an attempt on any President in office -dems or repubs- by a "foreign government" makes it open season for equal or superior response, invade)
3) Saddam paid Terrorist families up to 25K for their suicide killings of innocent women and children
4) Supported Terrorist around the world - new evidence out now with Indonesia
5) Supported known terrorist with safe houses, food, pay, shelter, medical care in Iraq
6) 1993 WTC terrorist fled USA to Jordan to Iraq and stayed there with free room and board - Why? You have questions? Can you answer this question? Why was Saddam aiding a KILLER/Murderer who killed American citizens in NYC???
7) For 12 years he broke - BROKE ALL - the signed agreements with the UN, US and Britain. Any such act - meant war would resume.
8) For 12 years he fired on our soldiers who were protecting Shia and Kurds from his death squads
9) For 12 years he soaked the UN OIL FOR FOOD SCAM while his people died
10) France, Russia and Germany along with many other nations were all for lifting the sanctions because Saddam paid them all off. If this would have happened, he would have rebuilt, rearmed, and attacked again, either by terrorist support or invasion. He was every bit as crazed as Hitler.
11) His intelligence staff met with Osama bin Laden's staff - we know this for a fact

There are many more facts such as these, to many to enumerate. The truth is after 9/11 the game plans changed with regards to our military outlook and strategy. We could no longer depend on cold war strategy. Bush had to make "tough" decisions. He had the CIA, FBI, NSA, Military all giving him input and strategic plans.

Here is what is probably obvious, but I'm sure Bill or Soldiers Dad can do better than me.
1) Invade Afghan, remove taliban, set up a new government from scratch, capture AQ and Taliban leaders
2) Gain cooperation of Pakistan(this was not easy to do and still is difficult)
3) Isolate Iran on Afghan's border, disrupt, intercept agents, learn, observe, spy, insert our intelligence, whaterver is possible - and yes they are our enemy. Since 1980's they haved called for the DEATH OF AMERICA. When a government that sponsors terrorist worldwide(Argentina bombing, Lebanon, Israel, asassinations in Germany, France, Europe), then we better take them serious.
4) Invade Iraq for multiple purposes: a) Remove one of the largest supporters of Palestinian terror, b) Remove physical link between Syria/Iraq, c) Isolate Iran and provide for more intelligence on the opposite border, d) Gain intelligence foothold in the region.

The media, frankly is ignorant or refuses to acknowledge what is happening in Iraq on a large scale basis. There is so much going on we do not see, not including our military, but psyops too.

Roggio, Soldier's Dad, get it and so does anyone in the military. We are in a LONG TERM WAR. It does not matter what talking points are thrown out. They will do us no good. If we do not fight these battles now, they will only grow larger. We have history to look at and we no what appeasement does.

Had we only invaded Afghanistan, we would have been fighting Iraqi's, Iranians and all of the Middle East there as well - guarantee it and Saddam would've supported them financially. The war in Iraq serves multiple strategic purposes. Iran, Syria know this, as does Al Queda. Why the USA media does not get it and is not supportive for our cause is beyond ignorance.

We must isolate Syria and Iran. We must allow the Persian's, the young people of that country be free - WHO VALUE AMERICA. Remember, Iranian's were one of the few countries in the Middle East to hold candle light services. Its because they're not Arab and the majority hate the Mullah's.

Finally, the sarcastic comment about Johnson was required? He was a Democrat, as was JFK the man who TOOK US INTO VIETNAM. JFK believed in liberty for the oppressed, something the far left does not value - selfish, self-absorbed, victims, and largely ignorant of outside world events having grown up in a free, open society where they can trash the government and anyone else with gusto and not be detained, tortured, or killed. JFK would be ashamed of the democrat party today, completely ashamed. He knew we had to fight communist spreading around the globe. Just as we must fight Islamic radicals spreading around the globe.

Have you ever talked to a boat person from Viet nam Lisa? I really take offense at your snide comment and then your 'woe is me, I just tried to ask a question'. If you make sarcastic remarks expect to defend them. I've had conversations with people who escaped Viet nam and they told me of the attrocities, the death and destruction, the 'education camps'. Thousands died in the boats after the Drug-Induced, Sex-is-Free, Hippie Fest Crowd along with Media won their battle. When I was young I actually believed that stuff, then I grew up, matured and took a look around. Turns out most on the left never grow up. Hundreds of thousands died after we left Viet nam - course you never here Kerry whine about that do you? Or Jane Fonda?

The same thing will happen to Iraqi's if we leave the way we did in Viet nam. That's exactly what Murtha, Kos, Pink, and far left want. Have you ever seen the Korean Communist Party protest along side the far left in San Fran? Kids, Young adults, and immature older adults, complain and complain, but can only see themselves. They cannot see the big picture and could actually care less that maybe 100,000's would die if we suddenly pull up.

Frankly, I'm sick of the ignorant comments. The people that poured onto this site from CNN tell me one thing - they are ignorant of the importance of this war and CNN is responsible in not reporting the facts. You, Jill, others came in here pounding away to make your points, not ask questions or even to get a different view.

Bill does a great job getting out very important information about war time strategy along with many others that CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, NYT and even FOX does not get out to John Q Public.

Maybe you should try going to some soldiers blogs? See what they think is happening actually in Iraq? Funny, DailyKos does not have one pro-military site, nor any military site for that matter. Wonder why Lisa? Jill? any one? Because KOS does not truly support the troops. If he did, he would open his site to them and you out of curiosity could go to their links.

But, TRUTH BE TOLD - HE DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SEE THEM. Because if you go to CentCom, you will see courage, truth, reality and troops who BELIEVE what they are doing in Iraq is important for Iraqi's future, the Region, and America's.

Maybe you want to take a look at CENTCOM?
http://www.centcom.mil/sites/uscentcom1/default.aspx

Go ahead, try it, see what our brave young men and women are doing everyday while KOS whines. Do you think KOS could even put up Soldiers Angels??? Why not?

Go, look, read, see how our soldiers are lifting the spirits of children, women, families who never had a fair chance at life prior to them being there. These people are learning from American soldiers how good America truly is. In fact they're learning they much prefer our soldiers to AQ and the Baathist. But Kos does not want you to see that. Nor CNN and the others it seems.

Why doesn't someone like KOS list military sites if he truly cares abour our soldiers?

You want to aske questions? So do I! Now, stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Posted by Bush A Loompa at March 20, 2006 3:40 AM ET:

What a big load of hot air! That mile long diatribe was so full of "talking points" you should make footnotes to your favorit talking head that said them. No matter what you say it fails to erase the following:

1)19 Men with box cutters mostly Saudis along with Yemenis (and some members of th UAE funded by banks in where?Dubai! Oh my let's let them run our ports while they market reactor pieces with who? Iran!)George W. Bush was warned a month prior but went on vacation.

2)After invading Afghanistan WITH justification George W. Bush FAILED to put enough boots on the ground there...THIS allowed OBL and Mullar Omar along with many Al-Quaida high up operatives to escape...This Administration has FAILED so far to catch Bin-Laden, his second in command, or Omar.

3) AFTER invading Iraq on "faulty intelligence" George W. Bush FAILED to find Nuclear materials or WMD. His final justification for the invasion was to DRAW Terrorists TO Iraq so we could fight them there. So Zarqawi & Co. just obliged the Bring 'Em On.and entered Iraq to support insurgents.

We could go on about CIA leaks, and Port schemes and shooting our friends with birdshot, but why bother?

Posted by Soldier's Dad at March 20, 2006 6:28 AM ET:

Nobody ever whined here, or talked about "pre-emptive" strikers before Bill went on CNN. Bill has been running a quality sight for years.

Long,long ago, he noticed a pattern in AlAnbar. He noticed that a series of isolated incidents were not in fact isolated, but part of something much broader.

So Bill started reporting "events" as part of a larger process. In much the same way someone would describe a building being built.

The MSM for the most part, never reports process. They show up for ground breakings and grand openings, reporters don't report that yet another brick has been put in place.

Posted by Karl Baby Rove at March 20, 2006 7:33 AM ET:

You tell 'em! We had a GOOD site here until Bill went and let the world what we were doing here on CNN! Now all those dirty rotten Liberal Hippies have come here and rained on OUR parade!

WAAAAH! WAAAH!

Posted by Rummy's Mom at March 20, 2006 7:38 AM ET:

You are right Karl! That 65% of the Public that are actually sick and tired of 3 years in Iraq didn't need to know about us!

WHINE! WHINE!

Posted by Patrick Chester at March 20, 2006 9:19 AM ET:

One way to tell you're blog has had an effect: tons of trolls zoom in screeching.

Posted by Jill at March 20, 2006 10:43 AM ET:

Tim Solan wrote, "...C.S. Scott at Security Watchtower has an excellent analysis piece of what it would be like if Saddam was still in power today."

How does he know? The same way Bush knew we would be greeted as liberators. The same way Bush knew it would be a cake-walk...

Take your Bush blinders off and get off your high horse. You hitched yourself to the wrong wagon.

I can see this site likes debate about as much as the Administration does.

Posted by dj elliott at March 20, 2006 11:08 AM ET:

What I find interesting is how much of what these Democrat hopefuls say is what is already in progress. One even had the class to give a nod to President Bush.

----------------------------------------------
Potential 2008 Candidates Campaign in N.H.

By ANNE SAUNDERS, Associated Press Writer
Sun Mar 19, 10:42 AM


CONCORD, N.H. - Three potential presidential candidates agreed Saturday that there's no easy way out of Iraq, but they took widely different approaches to the challenge.

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was the only one to suggest a pullout date for the American military, saying Iraqi security forces should be trained to take over by the end of this year or early next year.

"The time has come for a withdrawal," he told a group of Democrats gathered at a private home.

"Our obsession with Iraq has caused us to glaringly miss some of our real challenges," he said of Iran, North Korea and al-Qaida.

But Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaking earlier in the day, argued this is not the time to leave Iraq.

"To do so would leave the Iraqis in a setting where extreme violence could ensue and it would be irresponsible for us to change a regime, cause the collapse of their system of security, and walk away," Romney told a group of Republican women in Concord.

He also said Islamic jihadists want to destroy America's economy and its superpower status.

"Fortunately we have a president who recognizes how severe this threat is and realizes we have to wage war against such tactics and such a vision," he said.

Another possible candidate, retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, said at New England College that preventing civil war in Iraq will require America's political influence, not just its military force.

Clark, who sought the Democratic nomination for president in 2004, said the United States should be pushing Shiite Muslims to include Sunnis in the government and to ensure that the country's oil wealth is shared by all.

"It is a political problem primarily, not a military one," he said on the third anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion.

Clark opposed setting a pullout date for American military forces.

"If we pull out before there's stability in Iraq, before there's been peacemaking between the Sunnis and the Shi'as, I do think the likelihood is we'll have deeper conflict and it will become regional in scale."

Clark noted that the tensions between the two major Muslim sects extend beyond Iraq.

"That's a 1,300-year civil war within Islam that's being fought out in Iraq right now," he said.

Richardson, Romney and Clark did not speak of their own plans for 2008.
---------------------------------------------

Is it possible that they realize that we are winning, in spite of the problems?

Is it possible that they understand what a nightmare the radical left-wing adjenda would be?

I think the left-wing (politicians and propagandist) is realizing that its credibility is in trouble and that they need to reposition.

Of course, I am probably being optimistic. Most of the radical left is too dumb to realize how discredited they will be when we win the Iraqi campaign of the GWOT...

Posted by maine dad at March 20, 2006 12:51 PM ET:

there's another audience for Swarmers and that is the Iranian military. they watched us mount a joint operation, secure a specific area and sweep it for enemies.

I imagine that this caused quite a bit of conversation in teheran.

That's a good thing.

Posted by Nick at March 20, 2006 3:58 PM ET:

First off Jill, when did Bush say it was going to be a "cake walk". He (along with every other person in the admin) said it was going to be a long tough fight. They said that repeatedly.

To dj elliot: Mitt Romney is a Republican, so don't give the Dems any credit.

Posted by dj elliott at March 20, 2006 5:32 PM ET:

My bust. Should have payed closer attention.
After all, what Democrat would support a Republican President in a time of war...
As opposed to acting as the enemy's 5th column.

Posted by Tim Solan at March 20, 2006 6:01 PM ET:

Jill,

Your response says much about you. Sorry you have so much hatred in you and a closed mind.

Nobody knows exactly what it would be like if Saddam was still in power. However, I stated my opinion and C.S. Scott's piece was well thought out and sourced. I said it was an analysis, not a truth beyond discussion.

All you did was go in attack mode...sigh. No need to waste my time on you.