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Terrorist Financing From Iraq

Captain Ed has an interesting post in which he ties the NYT story about Iraq insurgent financing to the need to stay in Iraq and finish the job.

The New York Times reports on the financial underpinnings of the insurgencies in Iraq, showing that they have developed well-oiled mechanisms for generating millions in funding for their operations. A significant portion of those funds come from their abduction industry, and the major donors to that program have been France and Italy:
...

First, let's acknowledge that the Times has managed to blow more classified data into the open. This time, they manage to refrain from directly exposing a clandestine operation, but this data had to come from somewhere, and the US will find it harder to get this information again if this report uncovers any of their sources. Data gets classified for very good reasons, and no one elected the Gray Lady to make declassification decisions.

Moving beyond that for now, the report shows that whether we like it or not, we have to focus more effort on Iraq as a part of the war on terror. Terrorists have become so adept at raising money that they now run surpluses that go outside of Iraq for other terrorist groups. Iraq's insurgencies have begun to spread through the region, a major reason that the Bush administration insisted that we remain engaged in Iraq until we stamped out the terrorist networks.


Comments (26)

Whether it was the original... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Whether it was the original strategy or not...in fact whether there WAS an "original strategy" or not, the FACT is that Iraq is absolutely THE major front in the war against IslamoFascism.

The fact that we may or may not have planned it this way is completly immaterial!

It IS the way it is!

Look back through history and you will find that many of the great campaigns (and individual battles) happened more by accident than intent.

You fight where the enemy is. Period.

Neither Hitler nor Stalin intended Stalingrad to be the turning point of the war in East. YET it was.

Same with Midway in the Pacific.

el Alamein in North Africa.

and so on... Iraq is where the war is being waged NOW! Pulling out because some feel we shouldn't have there to begin with is ASININE!

Justrand, let's assume you ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Justrand, let's assume you are right, and that through lack of original strategy, poor planning, and accident, Iraq is the most important front on the war on terror.

Why do you want the same people whose failed strategy, poor planning, and forseen accident caused the situation in the first place to lead the effort in solving it?

Why do you want th... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Why do you want the same people whose failed strategy, poor planning, and forseen accident caused the situation in the first place to lead the effort in solving it

Here's a small battle planning lesson:

Plan "A" never goes perfect or goes to s#*t.

Instead of standing around bitching about it, you go to plan "B".

War and battlefields are fluid, and you don't leave the field and surrender because plan "A" wasn't perfect. You adjust tactics as the enemy adjusts theirs until victory is achieved.

It's as simple as that. Hope that helps.

There is a basic misassumpt... (Below threshold)
ted:

There is a basic misassumption which underlies all of these threads about the War in Iraq and/or War on Terrorism, that is, that the Dems/MSM/Michael Moore's etc. want to avoid a chatastrophic bad result in Iraq for the current USA military and political initiatives there. That is exactly what they want -- catastrophic failure -- elsewise they will have been proven wrong. It's more important that the USA lose bad, despite the serious problems which may ensue, so long as it tarnishs Bush and the GOP -- which is goal #1!

Once you correct for the proper premise, it is plain that they WANT successful financing of the terrorists to continue and flourish, again, so they can blame Bush and the GOP.

Am I missing something here?

Justrand, you wrote;<... (Below threshold)
John:

Justrand, you wrote;

"The fact that we may or may not have planned it this way is completly immaterial!

It IS the way it is!"

Well, not entirley. We should be using metrics and lessons learned from things we are doing, and things we have done in the past, to help us decide how to procede in the future lest we keep repeating the same mistakes.

The big question is WHY is Iraq the new front in the war on terror? Why Iraq? Why now?

Thoughts?

John

John: "The big question ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

John: "The big question is WHY is Iraq the new front in the war on terror? Why Iraq? Why now?"

Because unlike Afghanistan, which offered alQueda a safe haven, but NOTHING else, Iraq offers rewards for them.

With Saddam gone, and if they can get us to flee, they can gain access to huge sums of money, and a strategic location in the Middle East.

So why remove Saddam?

Because he was an EVIL man, who hated the United States and would indeed help anyone who would help strike at us.

Look up the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact to understand how two antithetical powers can form a mutually beneficial alliance!

The big question is WHY is ... (Below threshold)
Rob:

The big question is WHY is Iraq the new front in the war on terror? Why Iraq? Why now?

Answer #1: Because we're there.

Answer #2: Because we've created a poweer vacuum in Iraq by removing, correctly, SH. The subsequent lack of a unifying leader to rise up from the Iraqis has been the biggest failure on the Iraqi part. Everyone who criticizes the war puts the blame on the American planning of post war Iraq. This is quite significant, but the larger failure and one that will persist for the forseeable future, is the failure if Iraqis to pull together for the benefit of their own collective future. This puts Iraq's future as a unified, democratic nation in serious jeopardy. No amount of Army presence will fix that, and it almost assures that the minute we leave, whether it's by Christmas or 15 years from now, that Iraq will become a failed state.

Iraq desperately needs a strong, unifying leader devoted to the principles of democracy, not the bickering functionaries that now run the "government".

Iraqis are failing in Iraq, not Americans. The chaos that failure cultivates is the ideal envirnoment for terrorists to flourish

I can assure you that much ... (Below threshold)

I can assure you that much more terrorist financing comes from petro-dollars and the opium trade in Afghanistan. In addition, there have been reports that some of the reconstruction money we have sent to Iraq has been diverted into terrorist bankrolls.

Does anyone ever wonder why we don't provide the Iraqi military with heavy weapons, night vision equipment, body armor, etc.? The reason is because it will all end up in the hands of the terrorists and the militias.

There just are no good solutions to Iraq. It seems the harder we fight the further behind we fall.

Iraqi's are the primary vic... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

Iraqi's are the primary victims of the violence.

If the US leaves Iraq, Iraqis will STILL be at risk.

If the US kills as many of the Al Sadr and other Iranian-backed 'martyrs' as possible, that'll give the Iraqi government more time to gain the confidence of the people.

Leave, and the 'killing fields' of Cambodia will look like a pre-schooler's temper tantrum.

Larkin:We are 'fur... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

Larkin:

We are 'further behind' because the MSM and the Left have drummed it into the peoples' heads that it is a failure.

The stories coming out of Iraq have been Abu Graib...Abu Graib...Abu Graib, or they have been stroreis about the opponents' views of the war.

Murtha's and Sheehan's accusations have garnered more press than a reporter actually covering the soldiers viewpoints.

Iraqi stringers who are in league with the Iraqi 'insurgency' are the source of stories, rather than actual journalists who hide within the 'Green Zone'.

This constant drumbreat of failure by the MSM has turned enough of the public against the war, and so the terrrorists in Iraq have taken comfort and know that Bin Laden was right. That enough bad press will cause the US to retreat.

Hermie,Enlighten u... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Hermie,

Enlighten us. If we're so inundated with the bad, where is the good? Are you actually hearing good things, or you just towing the right wing talking points?

Rob

Here's a small battle pl... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Here's a small battle planning lesson:
Plan "A" never goes perfect or goes to s#*t.
Instead of standing around bitching about it, you go to plan "B".

Perhaps, but when plan A goes to s#*t not by happenstance, but by poor planning and lack of foresight, you don't ask the same people who came up with plan A to also be in charge of plan B.

You don't do that with your dentist or your mechanic, so why do that with your president?

You adjust tactics as the enemy adjusts theirs until victory is achieved.

And why do you think that the same incompetents who told us that the current plan would lead to victory (and secretly admit they were shockingly wrong) should now be allowed to tell us what the new path to victory is? Why should we believe them?

It's as simple as that.

"Simplistic" is more like it.

We are 'further behind' ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

We are 'further behind' because the MSM and the Left have drummed it into the peoples' heads that it is a failure.

Oh, please. Yes, the media and the Pentagon, conspiring to fool the American people into thinking Iraq is a disaster. You may not believe everything the MSM tells you, but you shouldn't automatically believe the exact opposite just to spite them.

Perhaps, but when ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Perhaps, but when plan A goes to s#*t not by happenstance, but by poor planning and lack of foresight, you don't ask the same people who came up with plan A to also be in charge of plan B

My thought exactly, but I was thinking more along the lines of giving North Korea nuclear technology and feeding their army with tax payers dollars. That plan of sweeping things under the table went to s#*t pretty quick.

What do the Democrats want? Plan "A" again.

I was also thinking about that Democrat law enforcement approach to terrorism also. Nope, that plan "A" never got close to working. But they still think we should try it again until we get lucky I guess.

And why do you think that the same incompetents who told us that the current plan would lead to victory (and secretly admit they were shockingly wrong) should now be allowed to tell us what the new path to victory is? Why should we believe them?

To reiterate, I don't know why Democrats insist on repeating failures over and over and insist that is the path to victory. I scratch my head over that everyday.

"Simplistic" is more like it

Yet Democrats can't figure out how to open the lockbox that holds their Secret plan "B".


John wrote: "The big questi... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

John wrote: "The big question is WHY is Iraq the new front in the war on terror? Why Iraq? Why now?"

I'm sorry, but that is just wrong. Wondering "Why" in this situation, as in many (most) military situations as in life itself is a fairly useless activity compared to understanding "What".

What are my strengths, weaknesses? What are my enemies strengths, weakness? What are they doing? What do I need to do? What assets do I have? That's all pretty useful stuff.

Wondering "Why" is for politicians

Hermie said: We ar... (Below threshold)
Hermie said: We are 'further behind' because the MSM and the Left have drummed it into the peoples' heads that it is a failure.

It has to be plainly obvious at this point that we simply do not have enough troops in Iraq to: 1) eradicate Al Qaeda's presence, 2) defeat the Sunni insurgency, or 3) control the growing sectarian Sunni-Shiite violence.

The best we can do is continue to fight a "holding" action to prop up the fragile Maliki government that is growing increasingly unpopular in Iraq due to its corruption and incompetence. Our forces can't be defeated militarily in the field but if the government we are supporting collapses we will be on very thin ice indeed.

Many analysts say we don't have even the 20,000 additional forces available to try to regain the offensive in Iraq. I honestly don't think that amount of forces would make a difference anyway. To occupy and stabilize a country of 26 million people would likely require a force of 500,000 relying on standard ratios that the military has used for years.

So that option is out because we haven't got the forces and there's no political will to support it. Withdrawing could lead to a total collapse but it's not entirely clear that we can avert that even by maintaining our current force levels.

So as I said, no good options. If you've got them, I'd love to hear them.


OK, I'll give you a hint as... (Below threshold)
John:

OK, I'll give you a hint as to why Iraq is the front on the war on terror now.

Did you hear about the grandmother that blew her self up this weekend? (It's not an Iraqi story, per se, but the point is the same.) When asked why she did it, her daughter explained that they were looking for martarhood. The Grandmothers house had been destroyed. One of her grandchildren killed. Another grandchild had to have his leg amputated.

We've already killed more terrorists than were active prior to 9/11. But we seem to be dealing with an endless supply.

Now does anybody wanna guess why?

(hint - It's not because of our freedom. It's also not because they are "crazy")


Of course it's not because ... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Of course it's not because they're crazy. Strapping a bomb to yourself and blowing up pizza parlors is the sanest choice you can make. If only we had pulled our occupation forces out of Iraq in early 2001 the 9/11 attacks nev.. wha? We weren't in Iraq in 2001? Then it must be the Zionist oppression. You know, where 10 million Jews on a postage stamp sized parcel of land can somehow dictate the lives of 50 million Arabs whose land surrounds them.

Funny, but inacurate, Tim. ... (Below threshold)
John:

Funny, but inacurate, Tim.

You've also misstated the Zionist oppression case by not mentioning the Palestenian occupation.

Anybody else wanna take a guess? It's important.

You know what John? This th... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

You know what John? This thread is about terrorist financing. And you're doing your best to hijack it. If you have something that is so "important", why don't you just share it with us?

I find your behavior tiresome.

Jumpinjoe, you did an excel... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Jumpinjoe, you did an excellent job of failing to rebut any of my points. I knew that I was right on the mark, but I didn't realize that you would be so completely unable to provide any kind of relevant response. From now on, feel free to just post "you're right". It's a lot shorter.

Upset,Only one out... (Below threshold)
John:

Upset,

Only one out of the 21 posts on this thread even mention terrorist funding (which was, as you correctly state, the origional article).

As you know, you go with the thread you have, not the thread you might want or wish to have at a later time.

I'm asking this question because I want to understand how other people think. I'd like to know how you think as well.

If you find it tiresome, you're an adult. Change channels.

Jumpinjoe, you di... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Jumpinjoe, you did an excellent job of failing to rebut any of my points

Wrong Brian, I was spot on by pointing out war and battlefields are fluid situations and you adjust accordingly.

I spent 20 years as an Airborne Infantryman (Hence Jumpinjoe) and we trained using reactionary drills to change course as the situation changed.

No one fires the commander because plan "A" didn't go off as planned because of extenuating circumstances.

And I hit the bull's-eye by pointing out that Democrats are bitching that President Bush doesn't use the Clinton era bilateral talks with North Korea. Especially since it didn't work. That's why you change course. Your guy's plan "A" failed miserably yet you want us to believe it will work this time if just given the chance.

Same with me brilliantly pointing out the Democrats plan for the war on terror, which failed miserably also. (Law enforcement solution) Again why should we trust Democrats after all their failures.

Nice try Brian, but no cigar.

John, I told ... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

John,

I told you what I thought in my first post (I am assuming here that this is what you are asking, and not about the electro/chemical process involved. If it is the electro/chemical process you wish to know about, mine is no different from any other within my species).

Later you told Tim "Funny, but inacurate, Tim. You've also misstated the Zionist oppression case by not mentioning the Palestenian occupation. Anybody else wanna take a guess? It's important ", which to me doesn't sound much like you were soliciting everyone's opinion or thoughts. Actually it sounded a whole lot more like someone begging everyone else to guess what your opinion was, while you skipped around us singing, "I've got a secret and I won't tell, I won't tell, I won't tell".

Either you have difficulty expressing your thoughts in writing, or your stated interest in what everyone else thinks is just a bit disingenuous. And I'm going to leave it up to everyone else to decide for themselves which it is.

Goodbye John, I am tuning out on "your channel"

Upset,What you tol... (Below threshold)
John:

Upset,

What you told me in your first post was that you don't find much utility in asking the question "Why".

As a scientist, I find I spend most of my day asking Why. I think it's one of the most important questions we ask.

(I liked your What questions as well)

I have noticed that the right wing often has trouble with "Why". People that are comfortable with authority are not really comfortable demanding answers to "Why".

Anyway, thanks for tuning in.

Same with me brilliantly... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Same with me brilliantly pointing out the Democrats plan for the war on terror, which failed miserably also. (Law enforcement solution)

Let's see...

Military solution
or
Law enforcement solution

Which one is best suited for protecting your "brilliant" but ungrateful life?




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