Tuesday, October 04, 2005

GWOT Situation Report

War on Terror news…

The WaPo reports that the FBI's criminal caseload has decreased by half since 2001 as a result of its shift in focusing to counterterrorism.

One has to wonder: does that mean twice as much federal crime is going uninvestigated now, or was the FBI previously wasting twice as much time investigating it? And when exactly was terrorism committed on American soil not a federal crime that the FBI should have been investigating?


Operation "Iron Fist" continued today with U.S. troops conducting offensives in the Iraqi towns of Sadah, Karabilah and Rumana. Officials claim at least 57 militants have been killed in the operation.

More body count. Again, one has to wonder: do the military staffers putting out this information not realize that body count is not an accurate measure of effectiveness in this kind of war? Do they not remember how much trouble their Vietnam era counterparts got into by pretending that it was? Who's making the decisions to release this kind of information?


I see from the local paper's rerun of Bob Herbert's NYT Select column that on his last day in office, off going Joint Chiefs chairman Richard Myers told the Armed Services Committee that:
"I don't think this committee or the American public has ever heard me say that things are going very well in Iraq."

We didn't, General?

This from the Armed Forces Press Service (not exactly an anti-war sector of the news media):
May 29, 2005
Myers: 'Trend Lines Up in Iraq'

Iraq is making real progress on the path toward democracy and self-rule, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard Myers said today…

Myers spoke about Iraq on two televised news broadcasts: "Fox News Sunday," with Chris Wallace, and CBS's "Face the Nation," with Bob Schieffer. "I think a lot of aspects in Iraq are getting better. ... I think the trend lines are up," Myers said…

The terrorists have tried to undermine Iraq's key centers of gravity, Myers said, and "nothing is working. I think that means our strategy is working."

"We've got about 100 Iraqi security force battalions that are equipped and trained," Myers said. "About 25 percent of them can do independent operations -- or operations with little help from coalition forces. But every week that number changes and goes up."

(Note: last weekend we found out that only one battalion is capable of independent operations.)

I find it fitting that Myers' last official act as chairman was to stand before congress and lie about lying.


Sunday, al Qaeda in Iraq claimed to have captured two U.S. Marines and issued a 24 hour ultimatum for U.S. forces to release female Sunni Muslim prisoners. From Australia's Sunday Times:
A spokesman for US forces in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan, said: "I have not heard anything about any of our folks being taken. I would suspect that these are unfounded rumours, as that is what has happened in the past."

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan; where have we heard that name before? Ah, yes…

Here he is blowing smoke up Amy Goodman's skirt about lethal assaults on media workers in Iraq. And here he tells the press that "coalition" forces have killed yet another "number two" man in the Iraq al Qaeda organization. Here he says the Iraqi city of Najaf is under control. Here he explains that a helicopter gunship attack on a crowd of civilians was meant "to deter looters."

Keep an eye on this Lieutenant Colonel Steve Boylan. Given his track record for playing footsy with the truth, he's going places in this man's military!

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