Tag Archives: Iraq

Italian Woman III

Natasha Bita in Florence files under the headlines –Italian spy ‘kept Americans in dark’

Nicola Calipari had instructed the deputy commanding general of the multinational corps in Iraq, Italian General Mario Marioli, not to mention the purpose of the visit to his US superiors, the paper said.

General Marioli says

“I asked Calipari if I had to say something to our American ally about the operation to liberate the hostage, but the response was that the ally must not be informed in any way,”

MSM still talks of several hundred rounds hitting the car.

The bullet-ridden car will remain in Iraq for the joint

In my day, ‘Bullet- ridden meant hundreds of holes – not just one.

I noted one sceptic wanted to see a picture of the other side of the car. A couple of points. One – a car approaching a check point normally does so front on, and two – the thin metal of a car doesn’t stop a rifle or MG round. If it hits one side, it’s a good bet that it comes out the other side. Even communist bodies, thick as they may appear, don’t always stop rounds.

Don’t ask how I know, I just know.

The ‘bullet-ridden’ car

As we all know, from Chrenkoff, that Giuliana Sgrena hated Americans, then if we were to presume Calipari did as well, it might be safe to say his hatred has caused his own death. Couldn’t bring himself to let the Americans, with the checkpoints, rifles and machine guns, know that he was going to be rushing a checkpoint.


Italian Woman II

Chrenkoff has more on Giuliana Sgrena, the Italian woman ‘kidnapped’ by Islamic Army of Iraq.

“[we’re] not at the stage yet where Giuliana Sgrena’s version of events has more holes in it than her car, but it’s getting there.”

The 300 to 400 rounds supposedly fired at her car have all taken on the characteristics of the famous magic bullet that killed John Kennedy and wounded others.

Only one seems to have hit the car. All the others veered away at the last moment.

Make sure you read the translation of an article from the Dutch press written by one of Sgrena’s colleagues.


Middle East Democracy and Italian Woman

Gloom is spreading though out the Left wing community. No one hardly mentions Iraq anymore. It has all but disappeared from the headlines of the MSM and even the case of the Italian woman’s problems has failed to register on the Left’s Radar of Rage.

Even Tim at The Road to Surfdom has given the US soldiers the benefit of the doubt. On reading that, I can assure you, my ‘flabber’ was well and truly ‘gasted’

What’s going on?

Desperastely seeking the web for negative Iraq stories I turned to Niall. Good old dependable Niall has written a ‘bait’ piece to lift his hit rate.

I happily oblige.

Over at Whom Gods Destroy, Niall is in denial preparing himself mentally for the inevitable. The outbreak of democracy in the Middle East. Say it out loud, say it often enough and you can believe it. The improving situation can not possibly have anything to do with the US presence in Iraq.

If you believe only one-tenth of Howard’s postulation that any event which occurs in the Middle East, or even remotely allied to the Middle East region occurs as a direct result of the US-led coup d`etat to overthrow Saddam Hussein, then you clearly believe in the tooth fairy, santa clause and the easter bunny.

As Naill must be the only blogger in the world who actively prevents others from linking his articles you will have to scroll down to “Strawman Plucking At Straws”. While doing that you will have to scroll past a double entry entitled ‘Howardian Wallpaper’, at least until he reads this post and deletes it.

I’m not sure if it’s worth it but the offers there.

In an article in today’s Australian Neo-Con Daniel Pipes cautions readers that whereas fellow Neo-Con Charles Krauthammer, of The Washington Post, writes:

“We are at the dawn of a glorious, delicate, revolutionary moment in the Middle East.”

There is a long way to go and remember Democracy also gives voters the right to elect Islamic leaders that may not necessarily improve the situation.

I, too, welcome these developments, but more warily. Having been trained in Middle Eastern history makes me perhaps more aware of what can go wrong:

Daniel is dead right but an improvement is an improvement and time will tell.

I can’t see how anyone could deny that the elections in Afghanistan and Iraq were as a direct result of US involvement. I can’t see how it isn?t obvious to some that the timely death of Arafat hasn?t given birth to seeds of hope in Palestine and Israel. I can?t see how people could deny that the successful elections in Iraq have had a flow-on effect in the area.

As I wrote at the very beginning of the Iraq war …” a democracy in the middle of the shit-hole that is the Middle East would give birth to hope and all the Mullahs and Kings and Princes would be feeling uneasy”.

They are all feeling uneasy right now. Their people are raising their eyebrows and saying,


Back to the Italian Communist woman. Much has been made of the speed of the vehicle carrying Giuliana Sgrena. She says it was slow – the soldiers at the checkpoint say it was fast. The Blithering Bunney has good cover of the subject. Go there and read but I’ll tell you the bottom line now – time has differing aspects depending on how much adrenalin in your system at the time.

The woman is fleeing captivity and the soldier is afraid of a car bomb blowing up in his face. To him the vehicle is doing mach one; to her it is crawling. All the pre-requisites are now in place for disaster.

Tim Dunlop is right. Give the troops the benefit of the doubt and move on. Of course some loonies will accept her version that executive orders existed for the troops to kill her but most people will acknowledge she works for the Communist newspaper Il Manifesto and will think;

She would say that. Wouldn’t she?

There will be plenty more mistakes but for the first time in my life I am optimistic about the Middle East and as the saga continues it will be increasingly difficult to deny George Bush’s contribution.

More troops for Iraq

The Banshees are rallying. Howard is sending more troops to Iraq and tomorrows press is going to be a maelstrom of wailing. The ABC and SBS will be besides themselves but in spite of MSM’s fight to win the war for the terrorists the fight must go on.

Japan welcomes Aussie troop plan

Their primary task will be providing security for the Japanese engineering and support forces rebuilding roads and schools in the Al Mutthanna province of Southern Iraq.

Labor opposes troop plan

Kim Beasley, appeasing the Labour Left, made some sort of unclear statement about how Labour had said that we wouldn’t send anymore troops. He used the term ‘Australia’s position’ but I think he meant ‘The ALP’s position’.

“Australia’s position has been made, I thought, amply clear to our allies over the course of the last couple of years and that is, they have seen the upper levels of Australia’s engagement.

Why is it that people think war strategies don’t change? By definition, plans do change and this case I guess the Dutch troops just got sick of no drugs and having to wear their hair short to accomodate battle helmets.

Greens, Dems slam plan


Bob Brown, in a brief visit to Earth, just gets it all wrong.

Senator Brown said in Perth: “The reason the UK and Japan aren’t sending more (of their own) troops is because it would create an uproar in London or Tokyo.”

I would have thought it was because we actually have so few troops in theatre that just maybe the US and the UK said something along the lines of ‘Listen! The Dutch are pulling the plug. How about you help a bit?’

“John Howard never told voters he would be sending 450 more troops to Iraq, never indicated that in the election campaign,” he said.

The need hadn’t arisen then you dropkick.

PRIME Minister John Howard misled voters at the last election by letting them believe Australia’s involvement in Iraq would be scaled down, Greens Senator Bob Brown said today.

A bit of wishful think there Bob. Your life may revolve around refusing to help in the war against terror and rallying your dreadlocked troops against capitalism but others realize that situations change and when they do, so do requirements.

I look forward to tomorrow mornings ritual reading of the Australian.

Should be fun.


Interrogated, interviewed who gives a damn. We are at war and if we can’t interview/interrogate/harrass/threaten/grill/question/cross-examine/quiz/play bad music near/annoint with red textra/yell at/take stupid photos of/point at their dicks and laugh to try and stop them murdering women and kids and slitting throats of innocents then what are we allowed to do?

ABC’s Lateline program can always find some recalcitrant to critisize Howard. It’s hardly world shattering although I know some Banshees, Luvvies of the ABC and others, short of life skills and experiences, thrive on every word; the bulk of the population are more worried about wages, interest rates, kids, kid’s education and other ‘real life’ worries.

ABC see it as their role in life and that’s fine but the ALP, desperate to appear meaningful, are grabbing at straws and need to tell the Left to shutup while they try and regain some relevance in Australian politics.

Iraq at the polls

Yesterday, the SMH managed an almost total negative spin on the Iraq elections.

Today there are some positives but the emphasis is still on the bombers.

According to some areas of the press the thirty or forty people killed yesterday are more important than the millions who participated in the poll. Births are never bloodless, including the arrival of democracy and whereas the deaths of the victims is to be regretted there are more positives than negatives.

The Left and a good proportion of the MSM will now be busy rationalising the 28% who didn’t vote as representing a civil war or somehow or other representing the evil that is the US.

However if you don’t view all of life starting with a Bush/the US/Howard are evil premise then there is lots of good news.

News.com has a fairly balance article

Samir Hassan, 32 – who lost his leg in a car bomb blast last year – said as he waited to vote in Baghdad: “I would have crawled here if I had to. I don’t want terrorists to kill other Iraqis like they tried to kill me.”


Voters formed long queues, creating an almost festive atmosphere in Shiite areas and the Kurdish north, where officials said turnout was highest. Some had walked for miles, and many chanted and clapped.

The Washington Post is generally positive as is the New York Times

Al Jjazeera headlines Confusion surrounds Iraq poll turnout and Conflicting claims but does acknowledge that Chalabi (is) confident

In my mind, an altogether positive result. Another step on the road to democracy and another blow to those who would wish for more power to the clerics and it’s associated stiffling of freedom and thought.

Aussie Troops in action

From Defence Media

Australian soldiers were involved in two separate incidents earlier today at approximately 10 am Baghdad time, involving Anti-Iraq Forces.

The first incident occurred when the ADF Security Detachment (SECDET) was engaged with small arms fire in the vicinity of the Australian Embassy. Fortunately there were no Australian casualties resulting from this incident.

In another incident an ADF SECDET Australian Light Armoured Vehicle (ASLAV) patrol was engaged by a suspected vehicle borne explosive device. A number of soldiers were injured with two requiring surgery.

The next of kin of the soldiers requiring surgery have been informed.

The SECDET ASLAVs were on a routine task in Baghdad when the attack occurred.

This incident does not affect the ADF’s capability to provide security for the diplomatic staff and other members of the ADF contingent deployed in Iraq.

Violent incidents in Iraq have increased in the lead up to the election this Sunday as Anti-Iraq Forces seek to defeat the election process. Despite these hostile actions, ADF personnel remain very determined and well prepared to assist the people of Iraq in their bid for a safe, stable and secure future.

Aussie Infantry score

this just in from Defence Media

Iraq incident involving Australian Security Detachment

Australian soldiers from the Security Detachment responded to an incident yesterday where shots were fired at a man after he was observed acting suspiciously in the vicinity of the Australian Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

Prior to the shooting, the man was driving a suspicious looking vehicle. The vehicle stopped near the Security Detachment Flats and the man alighted and, despite being given repeated warnings, the driver continued to act in a suspicious manner and failed to comply with directions.

At approximately 12.20pm, shots were fired at the man. The man was injured and assisted from the scene by Iraqi authorities. His condition is unknown.

The Australian Defence Force is currently investigating the incident.

No further information is available at this time.


The guy has died and the Air Commodore Evans is sad.

Sadly, we’ve learned just recently from unconfirmed reports from Iraqi sources that he’s passed away,”

There is going to be an investigation as well.

“We are trying to confirm that and the investigation, of course, will cover that most carefully.”

The guy gave all indications he was leaving a bombed up vehicle near the digger’s accomodation, was told in Arabic to behave himself and when he still looked iffy someone topped him.

Seems reasonable to me yet the commander is ‘sad’ and we’re having an investigation.

Funny way to run a war.

Fallujah troubles

There has been debate for some time now about the US Marine who killed a wounded, unarmed terrorist during the battle for Fallujah.

Murder most foul or self defence? Predictably the Left call it murder and the right, justifiable homicide or words to that effect.

At this stage, until we hear the words and thoughts of the Marine, no one is in a position to call it either way.

No one other than the Marine knows the answer. Kevin Sites doesn’t – he just recorded an event. Commentators around the world can’t know either as there are too many factors involved.

Kevin Sites appeals to all to understand his point of view and why he submitted the film for release. His story rings true and doesn’t indicate any bias. I’m happy to accept that Kevin believes what he says

In Vietnam, when dealing with severely wounded or dead we would loop a rope around an arm, pull back out of grenade range and then turn the body over. You see, the enemy being fanatics, were known to remove the pin from a grenade as their last defiant act and secure the grenade with the lever under their body or a limb. When turned over the grenade would explode.

If they are prepared to do this as their last conscience thought do you think they won’t do the same when they have more control over their body.

They will, believe me. Romantics and novelists quote flags of truce and Geneva Conventions. The soldier sticks to reality and until he is totally in control Rule 5.56 applies.

Wounded isn’t enough. The Marine would be looking in the terrorists eyes for a hint of resignation or defiance. He would be looking for tiny body movements that might herald danger..a pistol coming up…a grenade being thrown or rolled. His limbic brain would be in control. It would be assessing the risk and preparing to fight or flee. It has already filed the fact that these terrorists, lying on the ground wounded, have previously killed Marines and it would not be prepared to give the terrorist the benefit of the doubt.

The Marine did what all soldiers have always done….assessed the situation and acted. This is not the time to cut any slack. Mistakes translate into death and hesitation itself can be a fatal mistake.

Kevin Sites doesn’t know all of this and if he thinks he does he’s wrong. Its a feeling not a sentence in a rule book. He is in Iraq filming action and has no responsibility to react in a split second to try and save lives except his own. He just records the events with a lens that in no way is wired through the brain and vision of the Marine.

Not for him the hundreds of hours Marines train to react very quickly to threats. Not for him the responsibility of the life of the man following him. He records history. It is the role of the soldier to play his part in making that history and it is no less important because that role is a small one.

The Marine didn’t go into that room prepared to fire He went in prepared not to fire if he was very quickly convinced it was safe. He has already applied first pressure to the trigger and as it is his and his mates lives at risk, and not the cameraman?s, then he gets the call.

The Marine only has to say;

Sir, I thought he was moving his hand towards a hidden weapon or rolling off an unpinned grenade or about to press a detonator or…..you get the message

and the investigating officer must clear him.

If the Marine’s perception of the circumstances was that he and his mates were under threat then he did what he was trained to do.

If, on the other hand, he went into the room, was satisfied that all inside were not a threat and then he killed one then that is murder.

That moment in battle when the ‘heat of battle’ has cooled is a very fine line that can’t be discerned by cameras or words. Initially it is a slow down of nerves, breathing, pulse and reactions – a sense of having survived and then quickly becomes a state of affairs when the tactics change to securing the scene and the prisoners.

Good commanders pick it quickly and true, some soldiers have to be told it is now over, but before you condemn anyone slow to change, measure the adrenalin in his blood and the fear in his heart and then comment.

If you can’t do either then leave it be.

In the long term I expect the matter will die. Sane and experienced men will know these things and feel all I have said.

Thankfully, the commentators aren’t the judges as well.


Picked up a post at The Green Side entitled ‘An Email from Dave – Nov 19, 04’ where Marine LtCol Dave Bellon emails his father about Fallujah.

In his opening paras he talks of Corporal Yeager’s being Chuck Yeager’s grandson and if you haven’t heard of Yeager the elder then do yourself a favour and go read of this remarkable man

It appears the gene pool held true as Dave Bellon talks of Cpl Yeager attacking the bad guys in Fallujah.

This is one acorn that hasn’t fallen too far from the tree

The first is a Marine from 3/5. His name is Corporal Yeager (Chuck Yeager’s grandson). As the Marines cleared an apartment building, they got to the top floor and the point man kicked in the door. As he did so, an enemy grenade and a burst of gunfire came out. The explosion and enemy fire took off the point man’s leg. He was then immediately shot in the arm as he lay in the doorway. Corporal Yeager tossed a grenade in the room and ran into the doorway and into the enemy fire in order to pull his buddy back to cover. As he was dragging the wounded Marine to cover, his own grenade came back through the doorway. Without pausing, he reached down and threw the grenade back through the door while he heaved his buddy to safety.

With a full head of steam up he goes back in..

The grenade went off inside the room and Cpl Yeager threw another in. He immediately entered the room following the second explosion. He gunned down three enemy all within three feet of where he stood and then let fly a third grenade as he backed out of the room to complete the evacuation of the wounded Marine. You have to understand that a grenade goes off within 5 seconds of having the pin pulled. Marines usually let them “cook off” for a second or two before tossing them in. Therefore, this entire episode took place in less than 30 seconds.

More here

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