Posted by: reformedmusings | July 28, 2007

A Dose of Harsh Reality

Warning: This post has nothing overtly to do with theology, but it’s something I must say. Let me also say in the interest of disclosure that politically, without naming parties, I’m slightly to the right of Atilla the Hun as we used to say years ago. I’ve sat on my hands for years on this topic, but today I put fingers to keyboard to have my say.

On one side, folks need to rethink the nit-picking blog discussions about the constitutionality of a war that Congress clearly and publicly authorized. If the liberals will go to the mat over the perfectly legal firing of a few political appointees, don’t you think that they’d be all over a legitimate constitutional issue like a wet diaper on a baby’s bottom?

On the other side, there are women wearing codepink and/or running around topless to advocate the US cutting and running from Iraq. This strikes me as beyond moronic. I hope that at least one will read this post or another like it and be ashamed of either their ignorance or cold heartedness.

I believe that the liberal anti-war arguments can best be summarized as “al Qaeda hasn’t beheaded my kids yet, so it’s none of our business.” Last I checked, the barbarian Islamist terrorists have been killing Americans, sometimes by the hundreds, with virtual impunity for over 20 years. Until 11 September 2001 when they upped the US casualties by an order of magnitude, they didn’t pay a significant price for their butchery. Even the liberals used to know that the barbarians declared war on us, so many voted for the war back then. Even just wars are expensive in dollars and precious lives, so get over it or prepare to convert to Taliban-style Islam. Got burqa?

All this pointless banter ignores or minimizes the nature of the enemy and their threat to our freedom and entire way of life. To that end, let’s take a walk through the harsh reality of what we’re facing.

Our guide on this journey and one of my favorite reporters on the war on terror is Michael Yon. A former special forces soldier financed by ordinary folks like you and I, he risks his skin every day as he goes into daily combat operations with coalition troops to cover the war from the pointy end of the stick. I respect Michael because of his courage, and because he reports the good, the bad, and the ugly, wherever that leads. He has written some of the most encouraging and compelling accounts from the war, as well as the most disturbing reports of the Islamists’ barbarian atrocities you’ll ever read on the Internet or anywhere else. These are eyewitness accounts backed up with disturbing pictures and videos that haven’t been Reuterized (Photoshopped or staged by native stringers). Of course, you’ll virtually never read the truth about the enemy in the mainstream media. Unless you frequent the conservative news blogs or watch the fair-and-balanced FoxNews, you’ve probably never heard what appears below.

Most recently, Michael was embedded with an Iraqi unit that uncovered the mass graves of 35 (initially reported as 6 and then 10-14) people from a formerly peaceful farming town which al Qaeda (AQ) ruled until our recent joint offensive with the Iraqi Army evicted the barbarians. If you want to know why we are so dedicated to this fight, and why military morale and reenlistments are so high despite the hardships, let me provide you some facts courtesy of Michael Yon. I encourage you to follow the links and read his complete articles. Also please seriously consider materially supporting his continued work. Without work like Michael’s, we’d probably never learn the truth about our troops’ and the Iraqi peoples’ courage, or our enemy’s contrasting barbarity.

First, Michael points out that like you and I, Iraqi’s love their children. The Islamists know this, and therefore “leverage” the children for their terroristic purposes, often planting bombs in the bodies of the children that they kill. In Bless the Beasts and the Children (WARNING: explicit pictures) and the Update, Michael witnessed, photographed, and videoed the excavation of 10-14 (later put at 35) civilians murdered at the al Hamari village. Particularly disturbing:

Soldiers from 5th IA said al Qaeda had cut the heads off the children. Had al Qaeda murdered the children in front of their parents? Maybe it had been the other way around: maybe they had murdered the parents in front of the children. Maybe they had forced the father to dig the graves of his children.

Even in this grim task, Michael says:

Iraqi soldiers were barely talking. All had grim looks and everybody seemed to want to be a million miles away. Yet these Iraqi soldiers helped me do my job. (my emphasis)

That’s not what you see said in the liberal press about the Iraqi Army. And unlike some of the liberal press outlets like The New Republic which prints anonymous (but recently outed!), anecdotal accusations against coalition troops without the slightest evidence, Yon provides the map coordinates, pictures, and videos as well as specific, named witnesses as proof.

That’s not the absolutely worst thing I’ve read, though. For that, we have to go to Yon’s article Baqubah Update: 05 July 2007. An Iraqi talks about how al Qaeda establishes its absolute control over an area:

At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al Qaeda directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11 years old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.

Michael simply reported what the Iraqis told him without filtering their words. He was criticized by some for relaying this report, but they missed his point. So, in Second Chances, Michael provides a reality check for the critics, which I quote in full so that you get the full impact:

As I write these words just a few miles from the graves I saw, the resulting controversy about whether what the man said was true, or whether his words should have been written if the writer couldn’t verify them, seems precious. There is no imaginary line of credulity that al Qaeda might cross should it go from beheading children to baking them.

No unnamed Iraqi stringer claimed that al Qaeda had taken over Baqubah. Al Qaeda said this through the press. I sit writing these words in Diyala Province just a short drive from where the self-proclaimed leader of al Qaeda in Iraq was killed by a bomb delivered by a US warplane. Al Qaeda: the organization that gleefully bragged about murdering roughly 3,000 people by smashing jets full of civilians into buildings and earth. Al Qaeda in Iraq: who proudly broadcast their penchant for sawing off the heads of living breathing people, and in such a manner as to ensure lots of spurting blood and gurgles of final pain, in some cases with the added flourish of the executioner raising up the severed head and squealing excitedly.

These are the same terrorists I often come face to face with: not on television or in magazines, but on bloodstained streets ablaze with human carnage. I remember the charred corpse of a small Iraqi boy. I remember the wailing Iraqi parents and countless other scenes that I am likely to see again and again. Back in 2005, terrorists here were intentionally attacking children. I shot the photo below on a day when they drove a car bomb through a crowd of children who had run out to American soldiers on patrol.

In the more than two years since that awful day in May 2005, I’ve witnessed innumerable instances of the work of terrorists of many stripes. One clear indicator of just how bad a terrorist group is, is when battle-hardened soldiers—and writers like me who travel with them—don’t find it hard to believe a story which purports that al Qaeda had baked a child and set his roasted body out as the main course at a lunch for his parents.

People at home might find it incredible, improbable, even impossible. Yet here in combat with al Qaeda, the idea is no more improbable-sounding than someone saying “The chicken crossed the road.” Maybe the chicken crossed the road. Maybe not. The veterans I’ve been talking with here have no difficulty imagining the chicken crossing the road, or al Qaeda roasting kids. Sickening, yes. Improbable, no.

I recommend that you go back and reread the above excerpt.

Get it now? This is real life unvarnished. If you have kids or know some about whom you care, go hug them. Then get on your knees and thank God Almighty that we aren’t fighting these barbarians in Arlington, Tampa, Denver, Phoenix, San Diego, Tacoma, etc., thanks to His gracious provision in President Bush and our talented, dedicated, and self-sacrificing military forces. Also praise God that we have a Second Amendment that recognizes our right to keep and bear arms with which to fight the barbarians should they get through the doors. If we don’t defeat them in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere around the world, we darned sure will be fighting them in our own streets. That’s their stated goal, which you can learn even from the liberal media. The Islamist terrorists have provided ample evidence of their intent in New York, Arlington, London, Madrid, Bali, and elsewhere. They’ve publicly stated that you, your spouse, and your children are legitimate targets, just as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Get it yet?

In this light, reconsider the kind of peace that Cindy Sheehan, codepink and the shirt-shedding old ladies would bring. Sticking your head in the sand is not a viable survival strategy. I’ve eaten ostrich in Africa, so I can personally attest that it doesn’t work for them. And if you’re naive enough to think that al Qaeda and other Islamists will go away quietly if we cut and run from Afghanistan and Iraq, read through the list of 9054 deadly terrorist attacks around the world since 9/11/2001 (as of this writing) on The Religion of Peace site (2007 list starts about 1/4 the way down the page, other years linked towards the bottom). Also consider that we weren’t in Afghanistan or Iraq on 11 September 2001.

Talk is cheap in safe, suburban America, but the innocent blood that runs in the al Qaeda-controlled streets of Iraq and the Taliban-controlled parts of Afghanistan is precious. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but reflect for a moment on the beheaded children rotting in the palm groves of Iraq. If we fail in Iraq or Afghanistan, that blood will be running down your street in the not-too-distant future. Use your imagination to guess who the source of that blood will be.



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