Praise the Lord for the rescue of the 7 POW's
from the Iraqis. They were treated roughly,
but they are alive & back with US forces. It is sad that some of their fellows were
treated much worse in violation of the Geneva Convention. Even though these 7 are safe,
the lesson we should take away from this is that, when fighting a non-western country,
don't be taken alive.
The accusations against Syria are getting stronger.
President Bush joined the accusations that Syria has been helping Saddam's regime and issued
a warning. He says, "
We're hopeful we'll receive cooperation", regarding Syria's WMD & links to
Jack Straw joined the accusations.
Syria is certainly another regime that needs to be taken down. Is it next? I don't know.
Before the war on Iraq, I doubted that another regime would be "next". I thought
the US had expended its diplomatic capital and that Bush had expended his
political capital against Saddam. I thought we would not have the will to fight further.
But maybe I am wrong. The Baath Party in Syria certainly should be taken down.
The rulers in Iran should as well, though there is some real hope there that the people
can take it down themselves ... possibly with a little covert help from the US.
Apr 10, 2003
What about Chalabi?
Ahmad Chalabi, leader of the exile Iraqi National Congress, is urging that the
interim government be set up quickly. That's a good idea for several reasons. First
is the obvious issue of this not being perceived as an occupation. But I think it is
equally important for the Iraqis to use the momentum from the fall of the Baath
regime to move quickly into self-government. Most of them have always lived under
the governing regime. Merely changing that regime from an oppressor to a fair
government is good, but not good enough. The people of Iraq need to learn to govern
themselves. The community leaders in southern Iraq are already moving toward setting
up some kind of order, and the Kurds in the north have been governing themselves
for 12 years. So the Iraqis should not have too much difficulty governing themselves
regionally. Setting up the national government will be a challenge because of the
ethnic & religous factions, but perhaps not the challenge that it was/is in Afghanistan
where even regional self-government has no history.
But who is this Chalabi? It's widely reported that the leader of the Iraqi National Congress
has been convicted of fraud. So the CIA views him with suspicion. I've collected some links
to articles on him.
Yesterday was, as the President has said, a very good day for Iraqis. Saddam's Baathist
regime has symbolically fallen and it's influence has been crumbling for weeks now.
The Iraqis got US help in pulling down the statue. That really symbolized the US help
they had in liberating their country. And there are reports that there is some feeling
of shame for having needed outside help to become free.
But what oppressed people has not needed outside help to become free? In our
own fight for independence from a far less oppressive government we received aid from
two French officers and their men. The aid on land from the
Marquis de Lafayette is well known and the aid at sea from
Admiral de Grasse was critical at the Battle of Yorktown. In World War I, the British and Americans
liberated France. In World War II those countries liberated most of western Europe.
There is no shame in getting help to be free. The shame would be to continue
Apr 8, 2003
Bush & Blair in Northern Ireland
President Bush and Prime Minister Blair held a joint news conference in Ireland
today. I heard it from 6:30 AM Eastern on, so it would have been some time in the
afternoon over there.
The big discussion was over the UN's role, if any, in post-war Iraq. The President
repeated that the UN would have "a vital role". When asked what that meant, he
said it meant exactly that, "a vital role". But he did specify that most of what
that meant was providing humanitarian aid. The closest the UN will come to
governing in Iraq will be suggesting people to be part of the Interim Authority.
Even that Interim Authority will be chosen by the Iraqis, according to Bush.
I, for one, hope that what the President has stated is exactly how it happens.
The UN did nothing to help liberate Iraq. And it has no track record of
successful nation building. Further, it is not committed to freedom. The UN has no
place in Iraq, except possibly for humanitarian relief. In fact I would say that
is the only place it has left in the world. The United Nations has shown that it
does not care about the freedom of oppressed people. It does not care about enforcing
its own resolutions. For years it has been a paper tiger. Now it has been shown to
be all wet -- a sodden mass of muck.
Another "leadership target of opportunity" struck
Intelligence said Saddam & possibly his sons were meeting in a building in Baghdad.
A B1, already in the air and armed with 4 bunker busters, responded. The 5000 pound
bombs left a 60-foot deep crater. Whoever was in there is dead. DNA testing is to be
done to see if Saddam was there. One military official said last night regarding the
level of destruction at the site, "We're talking about dust."
Apr 3, 2003
Two aircraft down -- a Black Hawk and a Hornet
There's been no clarification yet of casualties on either aircraft we lost yesterday.
The UH-60 Black Hawk, of course, operates lower to the ground & flies more slowly
than the F/A-18, so it is vulnerable to AK fire. A SAM is suspected of taking out the
Hornet. Both incidents are reported to have been near Karbala, a few miles southwest of Baghdad.
More on PFC Lynch
We now understand that Private Lynch's wounds were received in a firefight she put up
"She did not want to be taken alive." Good thinking. One almost suspects that the Iraqis
respected her fighting spirit and that is the reason she was not executed like other American
Baghdad Skyline in Sight
I listened to the Centcom briefing on the commute in this morning. Some of our forces are close
enough to Baghdad to see the skyline. Military-age men are coming out en masse to surrender.
Centcom predicts more heavy fighting ahead, but it is clear the Baath regime is losing
control even in Baghdad. We could have been here sooner if the turkeys in Turkey hadn't
slowed down the northern front. Just be glad that front wasn't on France's border!
Apr 2, 2003
Push to Baghdad
The push to Baghdad appears to be on. Our forces are withing 19 miles and have crossed
the "red line". Let's remember to pray for their safety and victory.
Rescue of PFC Jessica Lynch
We are all relieved to hear of Private Lynch's rescue by US special forces. The guys
who pulled this off are some of the best of the best of the best warriors in the world.
This brings back to the table questions about women's role in combat. They're not on the
front lines, but that doesn't keep them from being captured. And in the non-Western (read
no Christian influence) countries we've been fighting the last few years and expect to be
fighting in the near future, women who are vulnerable are preyed upon. Back in 1991, Major
Rhonda Cornum was taken prisoner by the Iraqis. She did not tell the story for 4 years of the
she suffered at the hands of the Iraqis. Withholding that information played a role in a
rule change under the Clinton administration that allowed women into more dangerous situations.
Vanload of women and children revisited
Looks like the "martyrdom" operation theory was accurate.
WorldnetDaily reports that a leading Muslim cleric has said that the woman who drove the
van was told if she didn't charge the checkpoint her family would be killed. Other suicide
attackers have operated under similar threats according to this report.
Apr 1, 2003
Van full of civilians
Yesterday's tragic incident resulting in the deaths of 7 women and children at the checkpoint
near Najaf shows how tough fighting 2 wars at once in Iraq -- military and PR -- really is.
The UK's Times Online reports
both sides of this story. If the Washington Post reporter got the story straight,
the tragedy was a result of miscommunication between our soldiers. If the soldiers' story is true,
the only reasonable conclusion is that this was a "martyrdom" operation. The driver of the van
decided to make "martyrs" of all his passengers in order to damage the US/UK in the PR war.
Concerns about Syria and Iran
Is Syria supplying materiel to Iraq? Is Iran sanctioning the activities of its people who are crossing
into Iraq to fight against the Allies? If so, what should we do about it?
We can shake our fingers in the faces of those regimes and tell them they're being naughty.
We can save our breath and look the other way. Or we can give them ultimatums and if they don't
shape up expand the war.
Now that last option is not one to consider lightly. Neither should it be rejected out of
hand. If we were to escalate the war of words with Damascus and Tehran and ended up taking
military action, we would risk bringing most of the Arab world into the fight. Certainly the
radical Muslims around the world would deal themselves in. And fighting the rather large
radical wing of a group of people that numbers 1 billion is a major undertaking. But think who
we would be fighting. These radical Muslims are the ones carrying out terrorist attacks all
around the globe -- from New York to Paris to Israel to Bali to Manilla. These radical Muslims
are the ones persecuting Christians in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Indonesia and elsewhere. These
radical Muslims are the ones imposing Sha'ria law on their women and carrying out brutal
punishments of accused criminals following only a sham trial. In short, these are the people
that if we could get them all together in a single war, would be worth fighting to the last
drop of Western blood. The world would be a much better place if we drew these guys out into
the open and defeated them in battle -- as savage as that battle would be.
Feb 1, 2003
Justice demands that Saddam be removed.
There are two often-overlooked points to consider on a war with Iraq.
First, Iraq has attacked America. We all know that Timothy McVeigh didn't
drop the Murrah Building all by himself. There's good evidence of an Iraqi connection to that.
The Clinton Administration swept it under the rug b/c just nabbing McVeigh was a lot easier
than admitting we had an international problem. And there's good evidence that TWA flight 800
was taken down by a missle. (WorldNetDaily is currently pushing a book on it.) There are strong
allegations of an Iraqi connection to that too.
Second, a nation doesn't have to attack us for us to have a moral imperative to deal with it.
If I were walking down the street one night & saw a mugging taking place, I could not say, "he
didn't hit ME" and go on. I ought to intervene -- call the police, run the creep off, or something.
"Passing by on the other side" is not an option when we are confronted with the imperative of loving
our neighbors as ourselves.
If Saddam is an evil, evil man -- and we know he is -- and if his regime has done 1/5 of what
President Bush said in the State of the Union -- and we have good evidence he's done all of it --
someone needs to bring him to justice.
But why us? Why should we be the world's policeman? All men and nations have a God-given
responsibility to promote justice wherever they can. There are plenty of injustices you or I
as individuals cannot right. But we ought to right those we can. And the United States is the
strongest (secular) power for good in today's world. There are nations that can't do justice in
Iraq. But we can. And we should.
By what authority ought we to do this? What gives the US the right to pass judgement on the
leadership of another nation? We do this in the name of justice -- an absolute at which the
relativist liberals scoff. Justice is a noble end in itself. It is the chief purpose for
government -- or excercise of any power by any person or organization.
We, individually and collectively, have a duty to perform justice wherever we can. And that
includes in Iraq.