“Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” - koran 9:5

A while back I was informed of this Powerline post (I'm reproducing it in total to maintain a record of it):
Iraq: A pessimistic assessment

One of our hometown heroes serving in Iraq has written to provide his assessment of the situation there. He writes by way of preface:
It's not pretty but it is reality. My job as a Human Intelligence collector provides me with uncommon situational awareness regarding, not Iraq as a whole, but much of southern Iraq. I meet with chiefs of police, I have been to the Provincial Security meetings, I have questioned terrorists of all stripes, I run sources, and collect the information to put bad guys in jail. I also read a lot of classified reporting from all over the country. What I say I don't say lightly and I say with regret. But as someone who has been separated from my wife, friends, and family for 20 months already (with four months to go thanks to the surge) and as service members continue to lose life and limb I feel that I can no longer hold my tongue.
Here is his assessment:
We want to succeed in Iraq. Because we want to succeed we continually look for ways and opportunities to contribute. This desire to succeed also spawns an eternal optimism that maybe somehow someway things will get better. Wanting to succeed though is no excuse to ignore reality, and the reality in Iraq is ugly.

The Iraqi government and security forces are so thoroughly infiltrated by the Shia militias that you could say that the militias are the government and you would not be far off. Iraqi police in Southern Iraq are not in the fight against the militias at all. Top CF targets walk the streets freely in every city. In most cases police stations are manned by JAM members in police uniforms who actively aid the terrorists. On the rare occasion that a Shia terrorist is actually arrested by an ISF unit, he must be turned over to CF immediately or he will be released by the police or courts.

In addition, politicians from the city council to the CoR, if not Maliki himself, make calls and appearances on behalf of the terrorist, often threatening the job (if not the life) of the offending ISF leader with the audacity to actually do his job. Imagine our Congress, and governorships, and police departments staffed with members of the Crips and Bloods. Imagine being a citizen, a victim of or witness to a crime committed by one of these gangs. What would you do? Where would you turn? Ignoring for the moment the systemic corruption, this is the “government” we hope to turn this country over to.

The situation on the American side is not much better. The careerists in the Army and DoD have leaned that not taking chances and reporting only good news up the chain are the ways to advance their careers. Just look at General Casey. The army is first and foremost a bureaucracy intent on taking its processes, forms, procedures and top down decision making with it wherever it goes. The Army is not flexible enough or well trained enough to win a counterinsurgency.

Then there’s the domestic political situation which I won’t rehash except to say that it’s crippling to the war effort. We’ve been in country over a year and there have been Democratic calls for timetables and withdraws the entire time. Would, should, any rational person bet his life helping CF when you’re expecting them to leave at any time?

We have mismanaged Iraq in ways too numerous to list here for four years. In order to succeed on the ground we would have to scrap everything we have done and start over....
For more, go to Nine-sixteenths and Living Intentionally.

To comment on this post, go here.
Posted by Scott at 07:44 AM
Complete with all links in the post intact. I linked nine-sixteenths on my sidebar, and for two weeks it was a fully-functional blog. Then I clicked on it one day and got something I've never seen before, Blogger's 404 page! Because the Blogger 404 page is such a rare sight, I've reproduced it here.
Blogger has (at this posting) replaced it's 404 page for Nine-sixteenths with a very generic-looking ''placeholder'' page. I have a copy of that one as well.
Living Intentionally still 404's. Both were fully-functional blogs from our fellow Americans over in ''iraq'' that suddenly disappeared. I DON'T KNOW WHY they suddenly disappeared, but that is exactly what happened.
This is only the beginning of this story (not unlike those early reports that Pat Tillman died fighting the taliban in Afghanistan). Where it leads I do not know, but I will continue to follow it.
UPDATE: More actual info about those wonderful ''iraqi people'' that we are fighting any dying for:
The problem with the central government I began to describe is that it is dominated by Shia religious parties. Where someone in Anbar doesn’t see the results of that, at least directly, they do see Sunnis who don’t buy into the political process as a result of the Shia domination but that’s a different problem. In Babil Province and across Southern Iraq we see local and provincial governments actually run by JAM [ED: Joint American Mission] and Badr [ED: Al-Sadr's Badr brigades. His personal army]. There are 30+ Sadrist CoR members. City and provincial politicians are almost always SCIRI but when they’re not they’re Sadrists. Even when a “neutral” or unaffiliated official such as a police chief is put in place, it is quickly made clear that they will play ball or they and/or their families will be killed.

I don’t think it’s well understood how significant it is that Sadr has 30+ CoR members and (I believe four) governmental ministries. When I said to imagine having Crips and Bloods in the government, I wasn’t kidding. That’s really what it’s like. How can you have JAM death squads killing and displacing Sunnis at the same time there are JAM politicians in the government? How can you have Sadr calling for attacks on Americans while he controls government mistires? How can we tell people to go to the police to report a JAM related crime when JAM controls the police? As an aside, most militia activity is directed against the population in the form of kidnappings, extortion, robberies and old fashioned intimidation.

The situation here is extremely complex and it’s impossible to address fully in anything resembling a brief fashion. Almost every paragraph above could easily spawn at least a page of explanation. I’ll try to respond elsewhere as time permits.

Mike Honeycutt
a/k/a H

Sergeant Honeycutt's observations are consistent with the pessimistic assessment provided by the soldier serving with our hometown heroes in Iraq.
UPDATE: Now when you click on 'nine-sixteenths' instead of the Blogger 404 page or that NZ rugby 'placeholder' page now Blogger spits out a weird error message:

We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

When reporting this error to Blogger Support or on the Blogger Help Group, please:

* Describe what you were doing when you got this error.
* Provide the following error code and additional information.

Additional information
uri: /blogin.g
host: www.blogger.com

This information will help us to track down your specific problem and fix it! We apologize for the inconvenience.
This whole situation is getting curiouser and curiouser...


Over at Right Wing Nuthouse Rick Moran posted ''DID “DAY BY DAY” JUST JUMP THE SHARK?'' about a comic strip there that caricatures Hillary Clinton in 'blackface'.
And yes, I do have many problems with it:
First, I DO tend to ''get technical'' at times. For me it comes with the territory, I know my blogs 'inside and out'. And that is the first thing that bothered me about Rick's post, he 'hotlinked' the strip from Chris Muir's site.
Chris Muir seems to encourage this as a way to promote ''Day by Day''.
I understand this, I have the same arrangement with Ironic Times. They allow me to 'hotlink' their ''banners'' and I give them the best ad space available here to promote their website.
The problem 'hotlinking' Chris's strip causes is that he designed it to change with each new strip he posts. This is the comic strip in question:

I saved a copy of it as a file and uploaded it to Blogger. This can also be done with other blog servers. This prevents it from changing.
When I was made aware of this kerfuffle THIS is what I saw:

Second, this has become WHY I don't support ''Day by Day''. IT'S SLEAZY. It jumps into cheap sex jokes readily.
I can actually hear the ''Junk Food Conservatives'' vomiting their nonsense now; ''Duuuh, you won't run Day by Day 'cause it's a right-wing strip''. Which if I wanted to I could easily do.
I don't publish a newspaper, but even if I did I'd tell him ''WHAT?!?! You want me to run this? AND you want to get paid for this? Forget it.''
I might run the strip on one of my blogs. IF I can be bothered to do it. But I'm in no hurry to help. But I could consider SELLING him ad space on QWIK HITZ!
And last but not least, this absolutely cowardly, craven attitude by Caucasians vis'-a-vis' non-caucasians. A cartoonist for God's sake! If we let the third world dictate what we can and cannot say and can and cannot draw ''the terrorists win''...


Vox Day recently posted 'Bringing Iraq to a town near you' noting that ''iraqi refugees'' are on their way to America. While the Washington Times article he linked to and quoted from is saying the number may likely be 25,000 some of us are indeed up to speed on this subject.
Such as myself:
I've literally been blogging extensively on this subject since the beginning of the year. As I mentioned in a comment there I know exactly what this means, the same people that are attacking Americans over there will be brought over to attack Americans over here. I've heard suggestions that ''oh, we'll screen them, we'll vet them''. I know how that will work, the screening process will be to say in broken English ''I want to refugee''. The first 25,000 who do that get a trip to America, complete with welfare, food stamps, medicaid, ect, ect. Not long after they are settled here some of them will begin to construct ''roadside bombs'' to deploy against Americans.
Here in America. And when the first IED explodes here IT WILL be our esteemed President's fault. Also sharing the blame will be his tireless cheerleaders like the Malkin family.
I'm glad Vox is now on the same page, I just wonder what took him so long.
UPDATE: Yes, I do know his real name, and if he begins to post to his blog or World Net Daily using it I will start referring to him that way. Until then I will continue to use his 'nom de plume'.
He was, after all, the guy who dubbed me ''Your Image Here''...


Vanishing American has blogged about the current food safety situation. He suggests the 'tainting' my not have been an accident. Well, the FDA is concerned that it just might be true.
Much of his post is about Orange Juice. He happens to be in luck, one of his regular readers happens to have lived in FL for the past 30 years. That of course, would be yours truly.
To put it bluntly, citrus is not all that viable a business here anymore and hasn't been for years.
When Florida's Citrus Tower opened 50 years ago you could take the elevator to the observation deck and with the exception of the City of Clermont itself all you could see in any direction were Orange groves. This was true 30 years ago as well. If you visit there today however, what you will see in every direction is no longer the tops of Orange trees but the rooftops of tract housing.
What happened were a combination of hard freezes in the mid 80's which killed off a large number of Orange trees and the skyrocketing value of FL land. Since then the old citrus farm families found themselves squeezed (no pun intended) between the rising cost to maintain their groves and competition from South America (primarily Brazil, which is where most OJ now comes from). So if that can, bottle or carton of OJ label reads ''from concentrate'' (which is typical) it's likely from Brazil.
Those who've stuck it out now grow for the fresh citrus market. That gift box of 'Oranges from Florida' were indeed grown here. If the product is labeled 'From Florida' by state law it has to actually be from Florida. And that law is enforced due to the fact that Florida still prides itself in it's citrus production. Despite the fact that both tourism and real estate development both long ago surpassed citrus as the #1 and #2 businesses here.
What were once vast Orange groves now are vast housing developments. Many old citrus families started 'to cash out' and take the large sums that developers were offering for what was once ''cheap Florida land''. Can't even blame 'em, the choice they had was either to eke out a living in the citrus industry or go into a very comfortable retirement on the value of their land.
BTW, so far I've been lucky, the dry food I feed Sam has not caused him any health problems.
But the idea of ''Cat Food russian roulette'' does indeed piss me off. The idea of playing ''russian roulette'' with food of any kind outrages me.
UPDATE: Yeah, a swear word popped up here, and I don't apologize for it. It conveys my feeling in this regard exactly. Any regular reader knows I very seldom swear here...


That would be Ted Nugent. A mounted deer head was nicknamed ''Nuge'' by Rush Limbaugh on his TV show (back when he had one).
The problem is Ted Nugent is a hardcore libertairian. A true believer in libertarianism.
The problem I have with that is the disconnect from reality that libertarianism espouses.
Just like communism, it reduces Human Beings to mere 'economic units'.
The Achilles heel of communists is Human Nature and that's the Achilles heel of libertainism as well.
In both Theologies, (which is what they both are) there is no right or wrong, human existence is reduced to Capitalism 101, purely buy and sell.
I use Michael Jackson as a perfect example. The parents of the children that Michael Jackson most likely did 'abuse' saw it as merely a way ''to cash in''.
The old joke ''will you 'sleep with me' for a million dollars, OK, will you 'sleep with me' for $20?'' comes to mind. The punchline of course is: ''Well, we already decided that, now we're merely discussing price''.
To use myself as an example, for a dollar or a billion dollars I won't 'sleep with you'. I'm ''priceless''...


Nothing like coming home to a big red lettered sign that says:
No Entre!!!

The literal translation is:
No Enter!!!
Complete with the skull and crossbones symbol.
Not to worry, I can read both English and Spanish.
The company that fumigated my home did a very professional job. Just like 2003 I waited until I was given the OK to trip the main.
Gotta give Dr. Andrix's staff credit, Sam and Whitey got TLC. A bit pricey, but worth it.
I had to live in a motel room (the microwave and empty mini fridge were at least useful).
I'm glad to be home.


After I post this I will be away from my computer for a few days. Feel free to comment but I will not see them or be able to update this until Friday evening.
I quite aware of the situation that happened at VTU. Info at this time is rather sketchy but it seems the shooter was a Korean who came to America as a child.
While it would be easy to go off on a disjointed anti-immigrant rant, I won't.I suspect what we are looking at is another Columbine. An evil, nihilistic piece of garbage who wanted to commit a spectacular suicide. I don't see race or immigration status as particularly important details in this case. East Asians who come to America (especially as children) DO tend to assimilate into modern American culture. ALL aspects of it, good and bad...


But I can't help beating it. Over at my friend and fellow blogger Vanishing American, he wrote an excellent post on ''iraq''. In it he says:
My regular readers will have noticed that I seldom -- almost never, really -- blog about Iraq and the war. I find it too frustrating.
I stand as witness to the truthfulness of that statement.
I know I tend to harp on the subject, as I too find it completely frustrating. There is a mentality among talk radio and it's listeners that claim that anything that's not positive about ''iraq'' is a grand conspiracy between 'the liberal media' and the Democrats ''to destroy Bush'' and ''to betray our troops''. A phrase I continue to use is the old saying ''Do not try to teach a pig to sing, it does not work and it only annoys the pig'' which I believe fits our situation in ''iraq'' perfectly.
This false definition of 'victory' in ''iraq'' (a unified, 'westernized' ''iraq'' that is not governed by islam and is at least somewhat pro-American) IS IMPOSSIBLE.
It doesn't matter how long ''our troops'' stay there or the effort (and lives and limbs) that are spent trying to ''get the pig to sing'' the pig will not sing. It is a pig, pigs cannot sing.
Vanishing American also notes:
Stories such as the two linked above, [NOTE: this one and this one] oddly, fail to convince some supporters of the war in Iraq that perhaps it's time to leave the people of that benighted country to their own devices. The usual knee-jerk response is that 'there is good news in Iraq, but the MSM just won't tell us about it.' Incidents like the behavior of the demonstrators in Najaf, pictured above, fail to convince these stubborn people. They insist that the media simply plays up any incident like this, because they want to turn Americans against the war, and against the President.
What turned me against this so-called ''war'' is that we plainly cannot ''fix'' the ''iraq'' we have ''broken'' and we will never be able to. There have been many surveys of 'the iraqi people' (outside of the Kurdish region) where anywhere from one-half to two-thirds of ''iraqis'' support attacks on Americans. Just HOW are we going ''to win the hearts and minds'' of these people?
One of the arguments of leaving ''iraq'' is ''but it will be a bloodbath there IF we do''. My response to that argument is ''Please use the correct word, it's not IF but WHEN''.
The D's want us out before Bush's second term ends and the R's want us out after Bush leaves office. BOTH for purely political reasons. If Hillary (or Obama) is our next President the D's get blamed ''for losing iraq'' and if one of the many Bob Dole clones is our next President HE will be blamed ''for losing faith in the Bush doctrine''.
On Sept. 20th, 2006 Rick Moran wrote:
Yes I can understand why he has not admitted past mistakes and errors. The political climate wouldn’t give him “credit” for doing so. The situation in Iraq has gone far beyond the politics of the moment and now engages the future security of the United States. If he can’t be a man and take the inevitable finger pointing and name calling, then all hope is lost and we should start bringing the troops home now. The whispers in Washington that the President wishes to simply “hang on” in Iraq and leave the denouement to his successor is possibly the most immoral, cynical thing I’ve ever heard – which leads me to believe that it is not true. But it is equally immoral to simply apply more of the same prescriptions to a war that is now clearly out of control. Drastic changes are necessary. And if the President is not willing to apply them whether out of fear of the political consequences to his presidency or the Republican party, then he doesn’t deserve to sit in the big chair.
Emphasis mine. Rick, I FULLY AGREE. IT IS ''the most immoral, cynical thing I’ve ever heard''. What outrages me is that it's also true. Rick Moran I'm completely convinced that Bush IS that immoral AND that cynical.
I cannot believe the President is SO dense that he cannot understand ''the American people'' ARE OPPOSED to ''comprehensive immigration reform''.
Even his talk radio cheerleaders are cynically saying ''I fully support President Bush except for amnesty for illegals''...


Although the Slantinel dropped the strip many years ago (Florida Today still runs it). I've always enjoyed ''B.C.'' by Johnny Hart. He passed away today.
According to Fox News; "He had a stroke," Hart's wife, Bobby, said on Sunday. "He died at his storyboard.". If that doesn't bring tears to your eyes, nothing will.
I couldn't find the Easter (April 15) 2001 strip that produced so much controversy, but I did find the Easter (April 8) 2007 one:

This might be the last. A worthy farewell...


Don't tell me that rabbit I caught this morning was - UH OH! Oops, sorry folks!!!
No, I don't think it will transcend death. Rabbits generally don't do that. Especially when they're in my belly (I'll be punished, I'll likely have nightmares of rabbits bursting out of my abdomen as in the movie Alien).
But on a lighter note, last year's official Easter Bunny has been saved!!!
I like rabbit, it just seems wrong to eat ham today...


I AM endorsing a candidate in '08. Kinda obvious who it is.
As I'm writing this I'm listening to puke pukeitt's audio feed via ''townhall.com''. Puke opened up bashing Tancredo even before he put him on the air. Once Puke put Tancredo ''on the air'' he viciously attacked him. As soon as Tom realized that he was there to be a piñata for Puke he bailed out (quite sensible).
Vanishing American suggested that Puke Pukeitt deserves the ''Junk Food Conservative'' epithet that I invented. And I don't disagree, but Puke made it clear that he supports treason...


I a previous post I mentioned that someone had noted ''Is Tony Blair a [wimp]?'' (I paraphrased due to the fact that I generally don't use that kind of language here).
Now I see that it has been suggested that Iran has achieved a victory in the situation over the captured and now released British Naval personnel. Which I agree, they did.
That would be like looking over the hands of two poker players and seeing that players ''A'' and ''B '' each have ''no pair, king high'' and ''no pair jack high'' and then looking at player ''I''s hand and seeing ''three 4's, a 10 and a 7''.
The proper strategy would be for players ''A'' and ''B'' to either fold or bluff as best as they can. In this hand player ''B'' folded and player ''A'' lamely attempted to bluff. Player ''I'' saw through that attempt to bluff and called. Player ''I'' takes the pot.
That is another drawback to having our forces in ''iraq'' in a futile attempt to 'nation-build' it. It presents about 100,000 Americans and thousands of British in a position to be attacked first by Iran's shi'ite proxies (Al-Sadr, the de facto ruler of about 60% of ''iraq'') with the ability to be quickly and easily reinforced with Iranian military if that should be necessary.
I've noticed that Iran has had little or nothing to say about our presence in ''iraq''. The reason why is Al-Maliki (the figurehead ''president of iraq'') is merely a puppet of Al-Sadr and Al-Sadr is merely a puppet of Iran's ruling council.
Let's say for the sake of argument that Bush had been able to talk Blair into likely sacrificing those 15 Britons in a missile/air strike on Iran. As soon as Iran confirmed the attack came from US/UK forces they would contact Al-Sadr and say ''We would like you to see to it that as many American and British are captured alive as possible, but if you can't capture them alive kill as many as you can''. It wouldn't matter to them ''that CNN helped them'', telescopes and trajectory alone would give them the needed information even faster than CNN could!!!
''President'' Al-Maliki will tell Bush what he wants to hear: ''The IDF is doing everything it can to get the situation under control'' while Al-Sadr's Badr Brigades are actively trying to capture or kill as many Americans and British as possible.
I do not see the sense in keeping 160,000 Americans so conveniently right where Iran wants them to be.

Do I advocate the US/UK as well as the token forces from other countries leave ''iraq''? ABSOLUTELY.
Is there ''a timetable for iraq''? Of course there is! Likely February 2009...


I've done this before. I've ''put a new set of clothes'' on Your Image Here (I've made it look exactly like The Radio Patriots).
This ''new set of clothes'' is a bit more ambitious. This is what MY OTHER BLOG looks like. My goal was to make both blogs neither look like one another or how Blogger would like them to look.
It worked.
UPDATE: April 2, back to normal...


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Living on the cutting edge...