PDA

View Full Version : Arabian Nightmares



LawVol
11-16-2006, 03:11 PM
From Ralph Peters:

YESTERDAY, 80 terrorists in police uniforms raided an Iraqi research institute in Baghdad, rounded up 100-plus male students, loaded them into vehicles in broad daylight and drove away.

They couldn't have pulled it off without the complicity of key elements within the Iraqi security services and the government: "our guys."

The students probably will be executed and dumped somewhere. Partly for the crime of wanting to study and build a future, but primarily just to step up the level of terror yet again.

Apart from highlighting the type of regime of which both Shia and Sunni Arab extremists dream - a land of disciplined ignorance and slavish devotion - the mass kidnapping also highlights the feebleness of our attempts to overcome ruthless enemies with generosity and good manners.

With Iraqi society decomposing - or, at best, reverting to a medieval state with cell phones - the debate in Washington over whether to try to save the day by deploying more troops or withdrawing some is of secondary relevance.

What really matters is what our forces are ordered - and permitted - to do. With political correctness permeating our government and even the upper echelons of the military, we never tried the one technique that has a solid track record of defeating insurgents if applied consistently: the rigorous imposition of public order.

That means killing the bad guys. Not winning their hearts and minds, placating them or bringing them into the government. Killing them.

Full story at http://www.nypost.com/seven/11152006/postopinion/opedcolumnists/arabian_nightmares_opedcolumnists_ralph_peters.htm

Tom Odom
11-16-2006, 05:07 PM
With political correctness permeating our government and even the upper echelons of the military, we never tried the one technique that has a solid track record of defeating insurgents if applied consistently: the rigorous imposition of public order.

That means killing the bad guys. Not winning their hearts and minds, placating them or bringing them into the government. Killing them.


More Peters rant. From the same guy who 2 years ago wrote that there was no insurgency in Iraq. And again a complete misread of history on COIN with the usual labels and mudslinging sloganism he loves to use in offering simplistic "solutions" to a situation that he once denied even exists.

Tom

Stan Reber
11-16-2006, 05:24 PM
During the 2nd civil uprising in then Zšire, elements of the Zširian Military driving a tracked vehicle armed with an M2 decided to rob the Bank of Zšire. Situated directly across the street on the 7th floor was the French embassy. Manning the .50, a Zširian sergeant decided to look around and saw a white male watching from the 7th floor. The French Ambassador had no idea what would happen next and his "body guard" continued to read the morning paper, unaware his boss was standing in front of an ordinary plate glass window and less than 100 meters away was a recently fully-loaded M2.
The sergeant wheeled his 50 around and up, and unloaded nearly half the box of ammo before he was ordered to stop firing.
The Ambassador received one 700-grain round center of mass and promply died.

The French subsequently did not invaid Zšire, did not protest, did basically nothing other than remove the remains while the rest of us look on in complete confusion. Later the French government apologized !

Jeez, do any of our officials ever listen when we come back and perform a debrief ?

We wrote thousands of times....Damn, where's the info going ? Into a black hole ?

Regards, Stan

Steve Blair
11-16-2006, 07:02 PM
During the 2nd civil uprising in then Zšire, elements of the Zširian Military driving a tracked vehicle armed with an M2 decided to rob the Bank of Zšire. Situated directly across the street on the 7th floor was the French embassy. Manning the .50, a Zširian sergeant decided to look around and saw a white male watching from the 7th floor. The French Ambassador had no idea what would happen next and his "body guard" continued to read the morning paper, unaware his boss was standing in front of an ordinary plate glass window and less than 100 meters away was a recently fully-loaded M2.
The sergeant wheeled his 50 around and up, and unloaded nearly half the box of ammo before he was ordered to stop firing.
The Ambassador received one 700-grain round center of mass and promply died.

The French subsequently did not invaid Zšire, did not protest, did basically nothing other than remove the remains while the rest of us look on in complete confusion. Later the French government apologized !

Jeez, do any of our officials ever listen when we come back and perform a debrief ?

We wrote thousands of times....Damn, where's the info going ? Into a black hole ?

Regards, Stan

They go into archives, usually slapped with a high enough classification to deter investigators or researchers, and then linger there for many years. It's sad to say, but often things people don't want to read (or hear) get buried.

Stan Reber
11-16-2006, 07:48 PM
Steve,
I was and believe I am still very fortunate to have worked with then LTC Tom Odom, who had no clue how to give in or give up. I liked that. He pushed and bitched (I hung out just behind him and bit my tongue thousands of times with Clarendon on the line).

The conversation was already overclassified before we could conclude the first sentence.

Our demands for simple assistance came and went.

I can image what happened to Tom's 200 hundred plus reports since they clearly showed ignorance somewhere along the beltway.

Regards, Stan

Tom Odom
11-16-2006, 08:14 PM
Stan and Steve,

Funny story on that; I asked for an FOIA of all my reports from Zaire and Rwanda by my RO number when I started the book. They opened a case and 9-11 went down so my case has never been answered.

As a historian however I always kept notes and records that serve as memory triggers so I could recall much. In the meantime, a historian at the Joint History Office and I became friends because he was doing a study of Op Support Hope and I had asked for copies of those telephone call IIRs from Goma. He never found the phone records and he asked DIA to scrub all my reports for release--still has not happened.

Meanwhile, Stan, when you look at the official records of Op Support Hope--we were never there. We are not mentioned and everything we did was credited to the JTF. Similarly Dave Rawson--my Ambassador--is writing his book and he has had full access to his cables and mine from DIA and State. He still complements me on the reports; and he still can't get the cables released. So we talk instead; rather than him citing reports he cites our conversations.

I would not attribute any of this to anything like a coherent strategy to deny information; I would suggest it is a case of bureacracy overloaded.

best
tom

Steve Blair
11-16-2006, 08:32 PM
Tom,

Fairly typical, I'm afraid. That's usually what starts those things rolling...someone somewhere who just gets overloaded with information and gives up on some of it. There's always other considerations that come into play as well, such as things getting misfiled, accidentally destroyed (it ain't always a black helicopter conspiracy when documents go astray...;) ), or otherwise put where they shouldn't be put.

That said, there's also (in some cases) a reluctance on the part of some in power (at any time and in any place) to let things out that might make them look bad or contradict a policy direction. When you put those two things together (the general inefficiency of a large bureaucracy and the interests of those in power) it can create a massive information black hole. Unpopular reports or findings can be backburnered, which shifts them out of the light, which in turn leads to a greater chance that they'll be misfiled (not intentionally, but often simply because they're not seen as important).

Stan Reber
11-16-2006, 09:19 PM
When my last DATT was trying to get my LOM through Clarendon, the first few copies kept coming back without Goma and Rwanda. I was thinking, perhaps they needed room for those 5-dollar words and removed Goma and Rwanda to do so. Then it got better: The second sentence started with "At great personnel risk". While in Clarendon and still no LOM, I asked the SP4 to change it to "at great personal risk" and she replied "it already says that". When she went to get some more LOM blanks, I (for some reason) noticed that all the previous traffic from Estonia was right there on her desk, to include a memo from the awards department and two red lines through Goma and Rwanda.

Tom, as always, you're right. We were never even there for our LOMs !
Regards, Stan

Tom Odom
11-16-2006, 09:44 PM
Stan,

Quoting what Micky in Rwanda told me every time the phone rang from HQs:

"Tom, remember, 'We were not there. We did not do it. Deny. Deny. Deny."

Best

tom