Attack on the Palestine Hotel

After remaining silent during the referendum on Iraq’s constitution and over one week afterwards, al Qaeda in Iraq launches a coordinated attack on the Palestine Hotel. The target choice was carefully chosen by al Qaeda for maximum media exposure as the hotel is widely used by the international media. Reuters said it best; “The bombings [occurred] at dusk in front of rolling television cameras and guaranteed global media coverage.”

The Associated Press has a timeline of the events. The attack occurred within a span of four minutes. The numbered events are marked on the accompanying map of the Palestine Hotel and its environs.

The first car successfully destroys the concrete barrier (#1), while the second car suffers from premature detonation and blows up on the other side of the traffic circle, next to a mosque (#2). Reports indicate Iraqi police stopped car #2. The cement truck lumbers through the breach made by car #1, but gets stuck and detonates after being engaged by a U.S. soldier (#3).

(#1) 5:21 p.m. A white car stops on the traffic circle just outside the concrete blast wall that protects the hotel compound. The car explodes in a huge yellow flash. As the smoke clears, a wide section of the wall is blown open.

(#2) 5:23 p.m. There is a second car bomb explosion on the other side of the traffic circle to the left of the 14th Ramadan mosque. The Ministry of Agriculture also is about 100 yards from the explosion.

5:24 p.m. A cement truck drives through the void in the concrete wall and down a road that runs between the Palestine Hotel and the Sheraton hotel, also inside the walled compound. The truck moves about 20 feet toward the hotels, when it appears to become stuck. It moves backward and forward several times, seemingly trying to get free. The truck is fired on by a U.S. soldier inside the compound.

(#3) 5:25 p.m. The cement truck explodes in a huge ball of fire.

The attack was well planned and coordinated, but not necessarily well executed. One possibility is the plan called for the the two cars were to breach the concrete barrier surrounding the hotel and any unforeseen obstacles inside the complex, while the cement mixer was to ram the hotel and unleash its payload. Another possibility is the first car was to breach the concrete barrier while the second car and the cement truck would aim at either the same building or at the Palestinian and Sheraton hotels individually. The Iraqi police may have averted a catastrophy by uncovering the second car.

Exact casualty numbers are unknown, estimates range from 5 dead and 16 wounded to 20 dead and 40 wounded. This is not the first attempt on the Palestinian Hotel; al Qaeda took a stab at the Palestine in May of 2004 in an attack that killed 29 and wounded over 50.

While al Qaeda was banking on a huge casualty count, along with the deaths of international journalists caught on film, the attack failed due to the quick reaction of the Iraqi police and the unnamed U.S. soldier. A similar multi-car bomb suicide assault was carried out by al Qaeda at Abu Ghraib prison last April. A three vehicle element – a car, pickup truck and a firetruck were launched at the prison gates. In the failed attack on Abu Ghraib, a ground element was used (and butchered) in conjunction with the suicide element. No such luxury existed for al Qaeda today.

al Qaeda must attempt project its relevance on the Iraqi scene after it failed to thwart the constitutional referendum. This attack was well planned in advance and used significant resources to execute. While al Qaeda still has the capacity to execute mass casualty assaults such as the one witnessed today, their ability to influence the political progress or the establishment of the Iraqi Security Forces diminishes over time. It is a measure of desperation when al Qaeda attacks the media, as al Qaeda depends on their promotion of jihadi violence for their survival and recruitment. In the words of Ayman al-Zawahiri to Zarqawi; “we are in a battle, and that more than half of this battle is taking place in the battlefield of the media.” Indeed it is.

No doubt al Qaeda had its own propaganda crews taping the event. The media’s reaction to viewing al Qaeda’s purposeful attack on their own is unlikely to match their fury over the accidental deaths of journalists during Operation Iraqi Freedom by U.S. forces at the very same hotel. Such is the war we fight.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Tom W. says:

    Note to mainstream media: The Iraqi cops stopped terrorists from killing maybe scores of your colleagues in this attack. This should tell you a few things:
    A) The Iraqi security forces aren’t as lousy as you claim.
    B) The terrorists aren’t your friends.
    C) Americans will risk their lives to protect you.
    D) The terrorists don’t seem to be able to pull off the same level of carnage as before, which means that
    E) The antiterrorist strategy seems to be working.
    Maybe now you can dust off all the good-news stories you’ve been sitting on, since you’ve learned (the hard way) what the rest of us knew all along, that the terrorists will kill you just as willingly as they kill everybody else. You don’t need to champion their cause anymore.

  • Lorenzo says:

    I’m going to suggest to Fox News per Brian Kilmeade to have The Fourth Rail do your war news in a weekly segment. This is regular dinamite analysis of our progress. You need to be doing this on TV!

  • hamidreza says:

    Very much true – a total act of desperation.
    Looks like the Islamists haven’t released there footage yet, as there is not much to release. Some comments posted by pro-al Qaeda posters, who normally take pride in a suicide mass killing, are attributing this action to Mossad! Obviously this was a total media disaster for them. As they say in my part of the world, “salt is used to preserve things; woe be the day that the salt rots”.
    Do western media publishers still view this action as a romantic act of anti-occupation “independence” fighting – If that hotel had collapsed with their reporters in it, I wonder if they still felt it was such an oh so heroic act of resistance?

  • Nonny says:

    Regarding comments made by Lorenzo, I would like to add three words. Amen, Amen, Amen!

  • Justin Capone says:

    I have a little more info about the Zawahiri letter, as I said before it was from the town of Yusufiya and it probably wasn’t addressed to Zarqawi specifically as much as it was likely sent to Zawahiri’s aid in Iraq as info and thoughts about the jihad in Iraq to pass down to Zarqawi or others in his network to try to influence it.
    I also did a search of Yusufiya and came up with the raid that brought us the Zawahiri letter.

  • Stormwarning says:

    At what point will the insurgency, or terrorism in the streets, or whatever people wish to call it, be taken seriously?
    I noted an article a few days ago that Zarqawi’s reach was growing and that he was becoming more important…
    Seems like Zarqawi’s terrorist network may actually be surpassing (or about to surpass) the reach of bin Laden’s al Qaeda (pretty good for a guy who was once reported mortally wounded or even dead). Zarqawi and bin Laden terror networks one and the same? Actually not, at least not to people who study counterterrorism.
    U.S.: Zarqawi’s Terror Network Growing
    U.S. intelligence officials say Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has expanded his terrorism campaign in Iraq to extremists in two dozen terror groups scattered across almost 40 countries, creating a network that rivals Osama bin Laden’s.
    In interviews, U.S. government officials said the threat to U.S. interests from al-Zarqawi compared with that from bin Laden, whom al-Zarqawi pledged his loyalty to one year ago.
    The director of the National Counterterrorism Center considers bin Laden a strategic plotter who is deep in hiding and out of regular contact with his followers, while al-Zarqawi is involved broadly in planning of scores of brutal attacks in Iraq.
    “He is very much a daily, operational threat…”[more]
    I suspect we now know what happens even if bin Laden has died in the Pakistani earthquake. A “man” like Zarqawi could be even more dangerous than bin Laden. He’s smart, keeps a low profile, and has already demonstrated his willingness to be bloodthristy. Perhaps even worse, Zawahiri has shown that he sees Zarqawi as the one to spread Islam in the Middle East…”…Al-Zawahri sees Iraq as the beginning of a campaign to set up an Islamic society in the Middle East and wants al-Zarqawi to think outside of Iraq.” Even or whether the letter itself was denounced, the implications are unsettling to those who are concerned about terrorists and counterterrorism.
    I think that we need to take what is still happening in Iraq…the daily violence a bit more seriously, and not dismiss it.

  • Justin Capone says:

    The Iraqi Constitution passed.

  • Justin Capone says:

    I have my doubts at this point that Zarqawi thinks he can actually win in Iraq. If you read anything from him he is actually a pessimist by nature.
    What he is trying to do is hold out as long as possible. I think he is mostly resigned to not being able to spark a civil war even though I suspect he will continue to try.
    His main goal right now is in my view trying to build up his global networks and the longer he can keep going in Anbar the bigger his network will get.

  • Stormwarning says:

    I guess that I am in the minority then among people writing about terrorism who believes that there is a bigger picture.
    I recently wrote:
    You see, there are a number of different interpretations regarding the subject of the War on Terror(ism), and a view of the World. Personally, I believe that recent events showing the spread of al Qaeda, Islamic-style terrorism from the Middle east to other parts of the World like Europe being carried by off-shoots of al Qaeda in Iraq supports the premise that the concept of Nation-state terrorism as the target is not the full picture, nor does it fully dimensionalize the extent of the risk. My premise that state sponsored terrorism is not the only target of the War on Terrorism, and that target of our anti-terrorism efforts is also the amorphous groups like al Qaeda. (and I guess Hamas and Hezbollah) as well as the indigenous terrorists like the FARC in Columbia.
    So let us see…
    In January 2005 an article was written titled: Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground War Created Haven, CIA Advisers Report (//
    Terrorism as Virus
    The recent flap over whether to reframe the “global war on terror” as a “global struggle against violent extremism” reflects a much deeper problem than a passing dispute over wording. Without clarity or consensus on whom or what we are up against, we are unlikely to develop a coherent long-term strategy to overcome it.
    In my opinion, this whole premise of the War on Terror being a war to be waged against nation states, not recognizing the amorphous or amoebic nature of the type of terrorism that is spreading through radical Islam, I fear will lead to additional attacks because we are underestimating the nature of the threat. Treating global terrorism like an epidemic, actually a pandemic, in my opinion will lead to a much more satisfactory result, and probably an earlier rather than later conclusion to this conflict (using that word doesn’t sound right, or do justice to what we are facing).

  • Justin Capone says:

    In leaflets distributed by masked gunmen in the western city of Ramadi, an insurgent unit affiliated with the organization Al Qaeda in Iraq asserted responsibility for the attack, saying it had struck ”the base of blasphemy, crusaders and infidels.”
    Al Qaeda in Iraq called yesterday for the killing of three prominent Sunni Arab sheiks in the insurgent stronghold of Anbar province, accusing them of working with the US military there.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Stormwarning, don’t post anything more then a paragraph or two of copywrited material.
    Also, you don’t get it Sormwarning it is only natural for the decentralized jihadist networks to unite behind a leader who is fighting in the field, which is why you are seeing growth in Zarqawi’s network overseas instead of the origional al-Qaeda network (whose leaders are hiding in the middle of nowhere).
    Its not that there are more Islamic extremists in the world it is just Zarqawi is sucking them up into his organization. However, after we win in Anbar the head of his international organization will be cut off from the body and the network will be again decentralized.

  • Soldier's Dad says:

    Let’s review –
    Al-Zawahri tells Zarqawi to stop targeting innocent Shiites. For most muslims, a muslim is a muslim. Doesn’t play well in the muslim world.
    That pretty much puts a nail in the coffin of the easy headlines of blowing up a bunch of people on a street corner. Also prety much puts an end to the dream of a Shiite-Sunni civil war in Iraq.
    Journalists are harder targets, but having them walking the streets of Baghdad saying things like “relative calm” in Baghdad pretty much hurts his recruiting efforts, while he would like Western Journalists to continue to refer to his movement as an “insurgency” or “resistance”, words like “relative calm” just can not appear in the press.
    Targeting journalists is an effective way to grab headlines, it is actually in the AlQueda training manual.
    Then Al-Zawahri goes on to say operate where the Americans aren’t.
    So Zarqawi sends two suicide bombers to Sulaimaniyah. Double bonus…maybe trigger a Kurdish/Arab civil war, also create the impression that the insurgency is spreading.
    I wonder if the folks at AP,Reuters,CNN,NY Times will wake up one day and realize that they have all broken the first rule of journalism..”Don’t become the story”. People are now being killed for no other purpose than to drive what journalists write. Journalists have become purveyors of a “made for journalists” snuff movie.

  • TallDave says:

    Memo to Eason Jordan: This is what “targeting journalists” looks like.

  • ike says:

    The press can’t say that the Iraqi constitution passed or is successful. It has to use less positive words. The word today is “adopted”. //–/s/256152/*//

  • Bill Roggio says:

    First, read the comments policy concerning excerpting from news sources. You kill the thread when you overquote like you did (particularly without deliniating your words from those of the source). I edited out the overquoted material. Do not do this again.
    I’ve focused on Iraq recently as it has become the major front in the war (by al Qaeda’s own admission, no less) and because I feel this war has not been properly covered by the media.
    I’m really not sure who you are addressing, but you obviously haven’t read this blog for very long. I’ve covered the war on terror throughout the globe, and understand the global threat of al Qaeda and its setup of the International Islamist Front which acts as a sheild for local Islamist groups. I also understand the threat radical Islam plays in the war. I recommend you take a look at my categries and get back to me.
    The fact is nation states do sponsor terrorism. Take Iran and Syria, for instance. Their support of Islamist terroists (al Qaeda , Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.) has fueled the movement, and they must be stopped. This is not an either or war, we must confront the Islamist networks AND the state sponsors of terrorism. It’s you whose views are myopic. If you focus specifically on al Qaeda, you will allow the states that succor them continue to do so. For instance, Iran harbors well over 100 al Qaeda personnell, including, by Zawahiri’s own admission, dozens of al Qaeda’s leadership.
    You’re barking up the wrong tree if you want to come over here and tell me or the majority of the readers here that we do not recognize the nature of al Qaeda and its global terrorist networks, and the threat posed by radical Islam.

  • Stormwarning says:

    I’ll be alot more careful in posting content from here on. Also, I wasn’t attempting to “bark up any tree.” Again, sorry. Yes, nation states do sponsor terorrism. My only point was that nation state sponsored terrorism isn’t all that there is.

  • belstine says:

    … after we win in al-anbar? to me that sounds like saying after we climatize mt everest…

  • desert rat says:

    Depending on one’s definition of Victory.
    Depending upon the scale of the War we’re fighting.
    Victory, by the definitions of the Authorization for Use of Force will be achieved on 16 Dec 05. A reading of the Authorization shows that there will no longer be cause, as all the whereas’s will have been dealt with. If we have killed or captured only 1,000+- “Foreigners
    ” there most not be all that many of “them” in Iraq.

  • Robert M says:

    If you go on TV do not do FOX. They will not do your work any justice.They will turn your work into the Gannon/Guckert Report. Try Scarborough on MSNBC. He is an ex Republican Congreesman from Fla. He is a straight shooter.

  • goesh says:

    I suppose Z wanted to impress upon the journalists that he is still an affective, powerful force that can’t be contained. Z probably wanted to keep them in awe by killing a few of them. Given the favorable press he gets, it is safe to conclude that he thinks the press not only holds him in awe, but in fear as well. What better way to get extra publicity then to kill a few of them? It makes sense to me.

  • Jonathan says:

    The jihadis simply got tired of 24 hour hurricane Wilma coverage on CNN so they blew up a few jihadi-bombs. A pathetic attempt at publicity you say? You are right of course. The Iraqi terror tantrum is fighting for survival. If the Iraqi Sunnis regurgitate the jihadis to a neighboring country, and the jihadis use the neighboring country as an obvious base to attack Iraq, how long before Iraq’s new and improved security forces destroy that neighboring country?

  • //

    Thomas Sowell, Us or Them John Podhoretz, Times Trashfest Mark Steyn, Never Think It Couldn’t Happen Here The Guardian, Make the punishment fit the crime Bill Roggio, al Qaeda Attack on Palestine HotelNews Roundup Winds Of Change, Winds of War…

  • PeterArgus says:

    Untitled Document
    Tom W. said in reference to the media:

    A) The Iraqi security forces aren’t as lousy as you claim.
    B) The terrorists aren’t your friends.
    C) Americans will risk their lives to protect you.
    D) The terrorists don’t seem to be able to pull off the same level of carnage
    as before, which means that
    E) The antiterrorist strategy seems to be working.

    This is logical and seems to be the current reality in Iraq. However
    this is not the "reality" our media sees or projects to its consumers
    in the West. Their logic is that:
    A) We (the media) are the most important assets in Iraq
    B) Our security has the highest priority
    C) If we are not secure then the coalition must be losing

    The media do not direct their anger at the terrorists because they consider
    them to be like tigers. A tiger kills villagers because that is its nature.
    It is useless to blame the tiger for merely following its nature free of any
    human-like notions of ethics or empathy. However if the tiger can kill villagers
    clearly those who are given the reponsibility of defending the village have

    Soldier’s Dad said:

    People are now being killed for no other purpose than to drive what journalists
    write. Journalists have become purveyors of a “made for journalists” snuff

    Right on the mark!

    The good news is that the media/terrorist alliance of convenience is becoming
    less and less relevant. Each sensational terrorist attack might knock another
    point or two off support for the war in the almost daily polls but the trend
    that matters is the growing willingless and ability of the Iraqi military to
    shoulder the burden and the growing enfranchisement and participation of Iraqis
    in the political process. This is true not because US popular sentiment will change
    but because Iraq is becoming an independent national entity. If the Cof
    C can stay the course for another 8-12 months and if the Iraqis can continue
    to edge towards engaging their disputes in the political arena rather than on
    the streets even the media will become resigned to admitting the failure of
    the insurgency (or at the very least no longer report its "growing"


  • PeterArgus says:

    That’s odd my last post looked fine in preview. I guess preview is not my friend. My apologies.

  • Kenneth says:

    I tend to agree with your basic proposition that transnational terrorist networks are an important part, & perhaps the largest part, of the enemy we face. These groups, such as AQ, Hezbollah, JI & Hamas, all get support from states such as Iran & Syria, Sudan (and until April 2003, from Iraq). They also get support from Islamist factions within states (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia) and from Islamist opposition groups in various Muslim countries (Algeria, Egypt, etc.) They also get support from Muslim immigrant communities in the West, & from criminal organizations selling drugs & weapons, & from leftist anti-western regimes such as North Korea & Venezuela.
    To take the war to the Islamist terrorists, we have to fight them in some nation or another, either with the local government’s assistance or without. Ultimately, the battlespace is blurred and complex.

  • C-Low says:

    It is true that terrorism and Radical Islam is like a disease BUT like a disease if you let the carrier run free you will never stop the disease. The disease wont kill the carrier just bread and spread ther from. The Muslim world today has a Radical Islamic sect within it of somewere between 10-20% population world wide. Now the current leadership in the Muslim world allows the Radicals to fester as long as they dont theaten them. Some like Saddam, Sudan, Syria, one time Lebanon, Palestine, Pakistan, allow the Radicals to fester and spread as a weapon against enemy X. Some like Iran, old Afghanistan were literally overran by such Radicals and fester bread freely. Of course their is many other areas were Radicals exist in rebelious form against West or Western leaning nations Cheniya, Stans, Phillipines, Colombia border region, Europe, SE. Asia, Africa ect… these areas Radicals face real threat and nations or gov trying to eliminate them or contain and shrink (these are the line of radical expansion). The point is that todays small world technology has made it possible for these historicaly sepearated groups work and learn from eachother. Now knowing this and moving to end disease Radical Islam we are left with these options
    1) containment: this is the stradegy we have been doing for the last 30+years and we see were that has gotten us. This stradegy is fighting the radicals on the edges of thier expansion were there is active gov or groups warring with the radicals currentley and we either support or openly assist those groups in holding the line.
    2) All Out War WW2 Style: this is a in my opinion a impossibility in todays world for two reasons one trying to kill 20% of a population without pissing off at least another 20% to fight you is impossible. Also I just dont think anyone in this nation has the gual or stomach to actually make war and kill millions of people spread through a huge swath of the world. Not to mention it would risk making the whole world take arm against us it would scare the hell out of them nothing else.
    3) Combination of 1&2: This is the stradegy I believe we have undertaken today. Although some of our allies and enemies the latter is good thing beleive we have taken on option 2. This stadegy involves containment supporting our allies or enemies enemy Phillipines, Colombia, Chechyna/Russia, Stans, Africa, SE Asia. Also the kicker is this, The best way to defeat a ideology is for the very people with the ideology defeat it not a outside force. This thought is what led to the Iraq gamble. Now this stradegy is form a counter ideology in the Muslim world that will counter the Radicals and through time push them into a fringe ideology that is powerless like Nazism is in the west, we crushed the germans militarily but that only was the begining, we followed that with a german gov and ideology that spread in Europe that countered and destroyed that % that was Nazism, it takes time. Now back to the Muslim world today they are a breading and festering ground for Radical Islam, we looked at that and looked for a germany to establish the new Ideology to counter Radical Islam, where ? Iraq was chosen for many reasons
    a) openly declared blood enemy with US and was openly supporting terrorist against his enemies 25K checks to suicide bombers in Isreal. Had thumbed nose at international community making him a Rogue of Rogue’s.
    b) was heavily weakened by the 91′ war and the following sanctions a rather easy conquest
    c) was extremly hated by almost all Iraqis and Muslims, even those who hate america didnt fight for saddam or come to his aid, he was universly disliked
    d) a divided population with one group 20% the Kurds established strong allies with the US at begining of war. By this I remind you that the Sunnis came to power with Otoman training British arms and they dominated the other population, you get the picture lets call the Kurds backup plan Z. Besides that you have a rather divided nation that have deep rooted old hatred so unless things really went south we are pretty sure of support on 20% it would be a matter of gaining the other either 20% Sunni or 60% Shia we got the Shia but odds were with us for one or the other. If the Shia had turned on us the Sunni would have stepped up like with the British to take the power with the Kurds (most Sunnis are fighting us are pissed about the loss of the place they held in society and the fact that on fair playing field it wont come back). Now another benifit of Iraq is it is strategic placing you in the middle of the Muslim heartland giving a base of operations to threaten, support growth of counter ideology, or move against the surrounding nations. This is shown evident by Lebanon were support of counter ideology coupled with Syria being limited by thier responce due to the threat of the US on thier rear, what could they do if they opened a possible civil war to forcibly hold onto Lebonon we may use such as an excuse to strike from our base of operation Iraq. This option would not have been available pre-Iraq, air strikes from carrier group can threaten but not like 140k heavy armour mech troops backed by land based planes and carriers. The establishment of our new ideology freedom democracy has put pressure on others to make changes even if limited to try to keep support of people at least enough to survive, Soudi Arabia (voting very limited but start), Kuwait (voting and even women allowed to participate), Egypt (voting and even establishment for presidential elections at end of term). These are all steps in the process. Our intention in Iraq is and never was to make it a colony for the Empire by the way last time I checked our empire wasnt pumping us free gas or anything, it was to defeat a muslim gov showing 2 things one we have the gaul and ability to strike at will in the muslim heart land and win win big, and then hold on long enough (while again showing we can and will fight a insurgency and win) for our new Ideology gov to take power get established and build up enough strength to take over the destruction of the 20% Radical Islam in thier nation. Why would this ideology gov fight the Radicals, easy remember the current govs allow the radicals becuase they are not a threat they take their cup of murder to the Infedel lands now it is different, the Radical Muslims never could match the US or West on the battle field hence the terrorism but when we invaded Iraq the terrorist were force to show up and fight in thier heart land if for nothing but the principle, also the terrorist cant match our military straight up so they fall back on the Iraqi police and military which after time and training now lateley even that is a no go, so thier options is what terrorism attack on civilians does great for the MM who lap up the body counts the choas the humanity, but remember back to Oklahoma City bombing when a minor ideology struck a gov building killing scores what happened? overnight they were called to be brought down at all cost and it was done, all of the militias and such out west that many common people at different levels supported the ideology of suddenly were 100% against such, this is our goal in the Muslim world and Iraq. Everytime the terrorist attack civilians killing women and children innnocent all those people have family freinds that are now the terrorist enemies everytime thier is more of those who may support radical islam at ome level or another now turn on them and want them taken down. Human nature is as long it is them it is not very bad but when it is us it is sereous. This I believe we have achieved in Iraq the people are against the Radicals and will now kill or marginalize the 20% within thier nation also at the same time this ideology will spread through the Muslim world and if you look at the recent polls in the Muslim world it shows the terrrorist are not so cool anymore. The majortiy is seeing what the Radical minority is all about killing infedels was one thing other Muslims is a whole different thing thats personal. If you question this go to AlJizz and see how big time Infedel haters now are not supporting Al Queda and Zark but trying to sell conspiracy that Zark and AQ are really working for the Infedels so they have a excuse, Zark is really dead, AQ dont really have power or exist blah blah blah even they cant defend the Radical Terrorist actions anymore just deny or somehow tie they to Big Satan or Little Satan.
    I believe we are making progress in Iraq I remeber in 03′-04′ when terrorist were overruning police stations even Iraqi army bases. I remember when they held entire cities Falluja, Mosul for awhile, Ramadi, ect…I remember when the South Sadr group and the Sunni all jumped off and things looked real bad for a second. Now I see what terrorist hiding in this or that basement being chased 24-7 by US/Iraqi troops yes I said Iraqi troops not just mopping up mosques behind the US forces but leading the attacks raids or at least side by side with US troops, I see Iraqi taking over control of swaths of territory I see terrorist that have not overran a police station in alomost a year yet they can drive to the nieghborhood market and kill 10-20 civilians is that really hard to do if you have the explosives and suicidys. Come on is it even possible to protect against that? can you have a armed guard for every civilian concrete barriers every market shaking down all civilians no travel police state to the ninth degree. Murder of civilians is going to happen you cant stop it the only ones that can are the Iraqis who over time will do to the radicals what we did to our Nazis exept they will be even more motivated and do it the muslim way which is nothing nice. Things in Iraq have improved by a factor and we are winning and making progress thier and the greater Muslim world. Are we still losing men yes but in numbers that are extremly low compared to historical comparison hell at this rate we can go for some 50+ years before we even match the losses in Vietnam, I dont think we need that much time. The only major problems I see is a weak leadership that cant or wont make the case and keep the people rallied at home. The Media is got thier own agenda and it aint the same as the US’s, the military to me personally has a responsibilty to recognize todays 4gen warefare battlefield and recognize that a large portion of that is the Media front and make a plan to make thier case and fight that battle on the front accordinly even if the LLL’s scream the military simply can nolonger rely on the poloticians or “home meida” to fight this front for them and if we give 40% of the field to our enemy with no attempt to challenge we are in bad shape and all of the F-22’s and Future Combat systems will not make us able to win a 4th gen war, war is hell it is ugly bad things happen and must happen it will never be without sacrifice of both soldgiers and innocents. We should have commerrcials military reps specials all kinds of stuff going to help the people understand who we fight, why we must win at ANY cost, what if we lose, how we will win, and unfortunate the US population even needs to be educated about but why we are the good guys and why we are great.

  • Truck Bombs In Baghdad

    The gym where I work out has a TV in the locker room which is usually tuned to something tolerable: one of the ESPN channels, or sometimes even Fox News. Yesterday however, someone left it on a local station, and…

  • C-Low says:

    Sorry for the book report guys didnt realize it was quite that long. I really need to learn to make the short sentect point, although that I guess really is the problem with this war you just cant make a one liner that explains the stradegy, goals, or reasons. It is layers upon layers upon layers on top of a layer.
    Or what did Churchill call Russia ” a riddle wrapped in a enigma” that is probley wrong but I think close.

  • leaddog2 says:

    “The good news is that the media/terrorist alliance of convenience is becoming
    less and less relevant”.
    Peter Argus,
    AGREED! However, in my opinion, the media MUST be PUNISHED severely. Many of them are losing customers and advertisers rapidly. They SHOULD BE BANKRUPTED permanently. They are already cutting their own throats, but most journalists are too stupid to see that.
    If those car bombs had eliminated all of the main stream media journalists there, I would possibly react.
    I most likely would …… YAWN and then go on to more important things.

  • exhelodrvr says:

    A lot of you seem to be missing a significant point here. American public perception really does matter. It is driven by a combination of the MSM and the Democrats putting out inaccurate, very negative viewpoints, combined with the administration/Pentagon doing a mediocre job (at best) getting the real news out. And it matters because future administrations/politicians will be watching what happens here, and will be much less likely to take aggressive steps if this administration/the Republican party lose out politically because of Iraq. That will be a larger factor in future decisions than the success or failure of what happens in Iraq. So it does matter what the MSM puts out. Unfortunately!

  • C-Low says:

    Hey guys are you watching fox, turn it on Bush is giving one his best speaches ever on the War. Of course it is only on Fox, and I really really really hope this is the begining and Bush will finally get off his a** and start going around and making the case pounding in the heads of everyone who we fight, why we fight, why we must win all cost, what if we lose. Very good speech best case I have ever seen him make freekin shame it aint a state of union were every channel must carry get wide play and talk after wards.

  • Oded says:

    C-Low, your vigor and enthusiasm are great, but could you please break up your statements into paragraphs and cut short your sentences. It makes it difficult to take it all in when it is a large block of words. Run on sentences dude! Keep up the good work though.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Most Say Bringing Troops Home Top Priority
    October 25, 2005–Fifty-three percent (53%) of Americans now say that getting U.S. soldiers home as soon as possible is more important than making sure “Iraq becomes a peaceful nation enjoying freedom and democracy.” This is the first time that a majority of Americans have held that view. The Rasmussen Reports survey also shows that just 38% insuring a peaceful and free Iraq is the top priority.
    The polls are at the tipping point. If we can’t stop the IEDs or massively slow them down we have until this Spring before there is a major uprising in Congress over Iraq.
    There isn’t much left that could possibly stop the slide and boost support for the war for a couple months other then capturing or killing Zarqawi or UBL.

  • Mike E says:

    Most say bring troops home.
    Is the American public as spineless as the Spanish electorate. If so we deserve another 9/11.

  • Justin Capone says:

    Mike E,
    The US public doesn’t know who we are fighting in Iraq. In fact they don’t know anything about what is happening, because the media doesn’t say anything about Iraq beyond ‘violence in Iraq’ and ‘Iraq had no WMDs or links to al-Qaeda’.
    The average American thinks of the War on Terror as Afghanistan and going after Bin Laden and Iraq as something entirely different and unrelated.

  • Walter E. Wallis says:

    The US public has been pounded with bring the troops home crap so it is understandable the polls reflect this.

  • desert rat says:

    It is not spinelessness, it is a lack of percieved success. No Prime time speach with maps and graphics showing success, such as it is. No publicly announced Matrix for Victory. No definition of Victory, except to say it may be decades away.
    These are PRIME examples of what is spineless, my dear Mike E. Not the great mass of folk who do not understand what the “War” is even about. They want their Soldiers home, because they do not know why they are still there, in Iraq.
    Hell, I want ’em home, I imagine Bush and Rummy do, as well. The question is how much success is enough to justify the continued price, in blood and treasure.
    Rummy floated the question about a “Matrix for Victory” years ago, now. He & Mr Bush should share the answer.

  • Stormwarning says:

    To C-Low and others. I shouldn’t be misunderstood. It is clear that nation states sponsor terrorism. But if you look at Abu Sayaff or the Chiapas Rebels in Mexico or the FARC in Columbia, these indigenous groups are terrorists fighting internal battles.
    But looking at global terrorism…take Zarqawi for example. He’s Jordanian and sponsored by whose money? He’s Jordanian and trained in Afghanistan under the Taliban. But his minions are spreading.
    Its been acknowledged that one of the results of the insurgency in Iraq is the “on-the-job training” being received by neo-terrorists. And when they leave Iraq alive, they are then going back to Europe and other parts of the world…who is funding them? It could be the local mosque, but not a nation-state.
    al Qaeda is amorphous. As I understand it, has its own sources of funding. Its also my understanding that the CIA projects that by the year 2010 (I think that’s correct) that al Qaeda will have morphed.
    Just my thoughts.

  • Mike E says:

    You are correct, the inability to see the success is foolish, not spineless

  • blert says:

    Virtually all of the Islamist funding comes from KSA or Iran. The other financiers are small potatoes and can be dealt with in traditional ways.

  • blert says:

    I believe that the attack on the MSM in Baghdad was designed to keep reporters shut in.
    The minute it appears safe enough these boys are going to start doing the Michael Yon.
    ( BTW he is shaming them.)
    As long as the MSM is ensconced in the Palestine Hotel they are dependent on the jihadi stringers – the active agents of the insurgents.
    Zark must know that his control of the narrative is in jeopardy.
    I suspect that the attack went off exactly as intended. That the grand scheme was to only look like the hotel was in jeopardy. That is why the truck inexplicably got ‘hung up.’
    The driver was under positive radio control and his VBIED was remotely detonated.
    Further, the amount of explosive that should’ve been carried by a cement truck ought to have devastated the hotels even where it blew. Instead it was just a rolling firecracker.

  • rich says:

    The American Spectator has an article saying that the AP was given advance notice of the attack.


  • blert says:

    #40 nch
    Putting it all together:
    The AP ‘stringer’is the head of the terroist cell. He detonated the VBIED exactly when the shot was perfect. The inexplicable back and forth most likely due to radio instructions while the camera was swung into focus; it had been focused on the car VBIEDs.
    The execution was perfect. The only problem is that now all of the bread crumbs lead to Mr. Stringer.

  • max says:

    I don’t see al-qaeda trying anything that complicated and likely to be misunderstood. I also don’t see the MSM being that obviously in the bag with the terrorists. They might play footsie with the Mr. Z by using some of his guys as sources. But they won’t do anything that obvious, no plausible deniability.
    The fact is the terrorists are hurting, the Iraqi’s voted in greater numbers in the face of all kinds of dire threats and the terrorists could not deliver on those threats. This makes Al-Q out to be the idiots of the week. Hence the grand slam look at me style attack. They also would not risk 3 inreasingly rare assets (large VBIEDs and drivers) on an iffy psyop causing few casualties when the opportunity was there to pull off a big foreign non-Muslim body count.
    As far as the cement truck goes looks can be deceptive, even a very large bomb detonated in the open looks less impressive. Explosives lose their strength in the open very quickly where they can expand and disperse in all directions. Next to a building the blast is concentrated. If that thing had gone off right next to the building it would have probably gutted a good portion of the lower floors.

  • Len-KC says:

    Forty-two comments so far, and every one of them making more sense than anything you will read in the morning fishwrap or see on any TV channel. This is my first visit and I am impressed with the thoughtfulness and courtesy displayed. A rare pleasure! It is my belief that things in this country would be vastly different if the public had access to timely, accurate information such as this.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram