Ashraf Qazi has a problem

October 5th, 2006

On September 23rd, Ashraf Qazi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, has “expressed deep concern that efforts towards ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms could be undermined” by the death penalty as administered by Iraqi courts.  

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All in a days work

October 4th, 2006

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq has conducted 1,537 trials of individuals accused of crimes against the Iraqi government and/or the Multi-National Force-Iraq.  Sentences ranging from light imprisonment to death have been meted to 1,309 defendents.

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The Media Game

October 3rd, 2006

Robert Kaplan had a great–required– reading–type article in the LA Times last week.

The key graph:

“Iran’s power structure, armed with an admirable Persian gift for subtlety and manipulation, has restricted its own domestic organs of dissent so that it is well positioned to lay siege to media and political elites elsewhere.”

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NYT Catches on–Barely

October 2nd, 2006

Al Qaeda Increasingly Reliant on Media” the New York Times headline reads–as if it were some kind of revelation, maybe to they NYT editors it is.

But for peope who actually understand terrorism, it is old news.

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What Iraqis Want

September 29th, 2006

On September 27th, the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) released a poll of Iraqi opinion – a sequel to its poll of January, 2006.  The PIPA study contains findings to hearten both partisans and opponents of the administration’s Iraq policy.  Iraqis express a strong, but qualified, rejection of the presence of U.S. troops, and a strong, but qualified, acceptance of the new order that those troops have wrought.

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NIE Makes Case for Winning In Iraq

September 28th, 2006

“Should jihadists leaving Iraq perceive themselves, and be perceived, to have failed, we judge fewer fighters will be inspired to carry on the fight.”  (Page 2, Declassified Key Judgments, National Intelligence Estimate)


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As Vulnerable as Sept. 10, 2001

September 27th, 2006

Democrats are crowing about a new National Intelligence Estimate that, somewhere in all its pages, says that the U.S. is a larger target of terrorism now, because of the war in Iraq.

Less than two weeks have passed since the five-year-anniversary of 9/11, when we were attacked by terrorists, and the liberals are pretending that September 11th, through the Spring of 2003 did not exist.

Of course, this NIE could be faulty, just like a previous NIE.

Scandal or Truism?

September 26th, 2006

As the whole world now knows, Mark Mazetti of the New York Times leaked selected findings of a classified National Intelligence Estimate (Sept. 23, 2006: “Spy Agencies Say War Worsens Terrorist Threat.”)

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So Few Embeds

September 25th, 2006

Pajamas Media is pointing out how few reporters covering Iraq are actually out in the field.

When I was embedded with a Marine infantry platoon in the Summer of 2005, I only saw a handful of reporters pass through Fallujah.

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The Moscow Effect

September 22nd, 2006

The Battle for Baghdad rages on.  Some of the indices of coalition progress are positive: 

  • Civilian casualties fell 16% from July to August.
  • The areas “cleared and held” by coalition forces, including some of Baghdad’s toughest neighborhoods, witnessed a substantial decrease in terrorist attacks and sectarian violence.
  • The revival of neighborhood advisory councils provided a valuable interface between citizens and their security forces.
  • The revival of basic services – water, sewage, trash removal – stimulated economic activities in the “cleared” neighborhoods.

Other indices were poor.

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