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U.S. forces launch new offensive in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - U.S. and Iraqi forces launched an offensive against al Qaeda and "Iranian-supported" Shi'ite militants across Iraq on Monday in anticipation of an expected surge in violence.


Dr. Mathews said...

You never adequately addressed this issue.

Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.

About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

...And by the way, I agree with what "left wing wacko" Ron Paul says here:

Liberals, who withhold their taxes as a protest against war, are vilified as well, especially by conservatives. Unquestioned loyalty to the state is especially demanded in times of war. Lack of support for a war policy is said to be unpatriotic. Arguments against a particular policy that endorses a war, once it is started, are always said to be endangering the troops in the field. This, they blatantly claim, is unpatriotic, and all dissent must stop. Yet, it is dissent from government policies that defines the true patriot and champion of liberty.

It is conveniently ignored that the only authentic way to best support the troops is to keep them out of dangerous undeclared no-win wars that are politically inspired. Sending troops off to war for reasons that are not truly related to national security and, for that matter, may even damage our security, is hardly a way to patriotically support the troops.

I couldn't have said it better!

Eagle said...

U.S., Iraqi forces target insurgents
Simultaneous raids across the nation net weapons and suspected high-level leaders, military says.

BAGHDAD -- Helicopter gunships attacked suspected insurgent hide-outs, and U.S. and Iraqi soldiers staged simultaneous raids across Iraq on Monday as coalition forces unleashed the full force of the American troop buildup.

The U.S.-led commando operations targeted Al Qaeda in Iraq and Shiite Muslim militants by striking at reported safe havens, weapons caches and bomb-building sites here and in other volatile areas throughout the country.

At least 17 suspected insurgent leaders were captured and dozens of improvised explosive devices were seized and disarmed, military officials said.

Eagle said...

U.S. military officials said dozens of strategists and financiers were arrested in the raids.

Eagle said...

Concerning Ron Paul, you need to understand Libertarianism to understand where he is coming from.

Libertarianism is flawed, for example, some libertarians believe that people should not be arrested for possessing illegal drugs. Some libertarians are against welfare (something you leftists just love). Usually libertarians are sort of "isolationist".

Dr. Mathews said...

I do not sympathize with all of Ron Paul's beliefs. He wants to close the borders and return all illegal immigrants to Mexico. I would argue that you cannot throw people out of a land that was taken from their ancestors and is thus theirs. These are my views and I realize you don't have to agree with them. That doesn't make me any less patriotic than you are unless you favor imposing a dictatorship on the US.

On the other hand, you keep trumpeting the propaganda this administration is pushing to justify an attack on Iran while refusing to face up to the facts in the first issue I mentioned above. By not doing so, you are proving yourself to be very unconvincing.

Dr. Mathews said...

Your ad hominem rants against the "left" discredit your arguments even further. Chuck Hagel is definitely not a lefty but I share his desire for the truth (as do most, if not all Americans):

“This is serious business,” Hagel said.

“We are in a lot of trouble in Iraq and we need to make decisions based on the best information and intelligence we have, not just for the short term, but for the long term.”


“On the same day Boehner was boldly proclaiming we were winning in Iraq, Basra was under siege by roving gangs and militias,” Hagel said.

“Shiite militias are in charge in the southern third of Iraq,” he said.

On the same day, Hagel said, as many as 500 people were killed in the north.

“All Sunni cabinet members of Nouri al-Maliki’s government are gone,” he said. “There is no functioning government in Iraq.”

Five U.S. soldiers were killed that day, Hagel said, and the Green Zone was hit by 25 mortar attacks.

“I’m not sure on what basis Boehner says the surge (of additional U.S. troops) is working,” Hagel said.

Furthermore I wouldn't call the Council on Foreign Relations a hotbed of left-wing radicals, but I think this advice is eminently reasonable (and no, I don't agree with all that is said there either):

If it hopes to tame Iran, the United States must rethink its strategy from the ground up. The Islamic Republic is not going away anytime soon, and its growing regional influence cannot be limited. Washington must eschew superficially appealing military options, the prospect of conditional talks, and its policy of containing Iran in favor of a new policy of d├ętente. In particular, it should offer pragmatists in Tehran a chance to resume diplomatic and economic relations. Thus armed with the prospect of a new relationship with the United States, the pragmatists would be in a position to sideline the radicals in Tehran and try to tip the balance of power in their own favor. The sooner Washington recognizes these truths and finally normalizes relations with its most enduring Middle Eastern foe, the better.

Eagle said...

Detente with Tehran?
April 9, 2007

At face value, such a "detente" indeed seems tempting. Engagement with the Islamic Republic, the argument goes, could compel the Iranian regime to behave better in Iraq, forswear its nuclear ambitions and roll back its support for regional radicals. In the best case, it may even lead to a thaw in the 27-year-old cold war between Washington and Tehran.
Yet there are at least three reasons why "doing a deal" with the Islamic Republic is both potentially disastrous and ultimately self-defeating.

Dr. Mathews said...

Here is a sober assessment from our people in Iraq (read the whole thing):

the most important front in the counterinsurgency, improving basic social and economic conditions, is the one on which we have failed most miserably. Two million Iraqis are in refugee camps in bordering countries. Close to two million more are internally displaced and now fill many urban slums. Cities lack regular electricity, telephone services and sanitation. “Lucky” Iraqis live in gated communities barricaded with concrete blast walls that provide them with a sense of communal claustrophobia rather than any sense of security we would consider normal.

In a lawless environment where men with guns rule the streets, engaging in the banalities of life has become a death-defying act. Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence. When the primary preoccupation of average Iraqis is when and how they are likely to be killed, we can hardly feel smug as we hand out care packages. As an Iraqi man told us a few days ago with deep resignation, “We need security, not free food.”

In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to regain dignity is to call us what we are — an army of occupation — and force our withdrawal.

Eagle said...

Full Coverage: Iraq

Guide: Armed groups in Iraq

Official Website of Multi-National Force - Iraq