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5 Brits grabbed in Iraq (update)
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Somehow I'm getting the feeling this is becoming a tactic:
A British hostage-crisis team of up to 20 specialists, including SAS and police experts, is on standby in London ready to leave for Baghdad and help find the five Britons kidnapped by insurgents in a brazen daylight abduction yesterday, The Times has learnt.
The Britons in question weren't military, but instead, it seems contract security guards and a computer analyst who was working with the Finance ministry. The present search for them is centered in Sadr City.

The kidnapping was very sophisticated:
Further details of the abduction were emerging today. The kidnappers strolled up to the guards on duty at the government building and were allowed inside after politely explaining that they were with the Commission on Public Integrity, an anti-graft agency, according to one witness. “They started taking photos of the building and said ‘We have official orders’,” an unnamed building guard said.

The men had sealed off Palestine Street near the heavily fortified Green Zone, but in an area controlled by Shia militia. Witnesses suggested there was little or no violence involved, before the kidnappers left with the Britons.

“They were led by a major and a very official looking man wearing a suit,” said a shopkeeper who asked not to be named told AFP. “They went in, stayed for only 15 minutes and then left.”

Saad Mohammed, who works as a parking attendant near the building, said there was no sign of anything untoward even when the foreigners were escorted from the building and driven away, only the reaction of ministry staff revealed what had happened.

“All the civil servants and people at the building came rushing out. They were terrified and hysterical and yelling there had been a kidnapping,” he said.
So why these apparent kidnappings? Well there are a number of reasons. One is the reaction which has been observed concerning the kidnapping of the 3 US soldiers a while back. Coalition forces dropped what they were doing and mounted a massive man hunt. So one of the obvious benefits of this sort of action is a disruption in the operations tempo of coalition forces.

Another may be much worse. I don't think anyone who has an opinion about Iraq doesn't feel that the insurgents, and especially al Qaeda, is hoping to stage a "Tet offensive" in August or September just as Gen. Petraeus comes to Congress to report on the surge (and frankly, I'd expect them to do it as he leaves for the US to make his report). The express reason for doing so will be to finally and unalterably effect public opinion in the US by staging a long and bloody week (or month) in Iraq. Propaganda will also be a powerful tool in that regard, and they know that certain types of videos will be carried, or at least reported upon, by all major US news sources. Enough said.

Since the kidnapping of the 3 US soldiers, one has been found dead. The whereabouts or condition of the other two remains unknown. And, other than vague claims, not much is being said about them on terrorist websites. Unfortunately I see that as an ominous sign. Obviously I hope we'll find them and find them soon, but I think there is a purpose for what is going on and I think it may all be pointing to late summer and the probability of a very bloody push to ensure American (and British) will is finally broken.

UPDATE: Well, well, well. Mookie's back and guess what:
Iraq's most prominent Shia militia has emerged as the chief suspect in the kidnappings of five British nationals in Iraq.

Negotiations with the Mahdi Army are already under way after one of several spokesmen for the armed force under the command of the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr claimed responsibility for the kidnappings at the finance ministry in Baghdad.
Wonder when he'll figure the heat is too much and hightail it to Iran again. If he keeps doing things like this, he may end up seeing his cannon fodder, er, martyred buddies sooner than he wants too.
 
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Another may be much worse. I don’t think anyone who has an opinion about Iraq doesn’t feel that the insurgents, and especially al Qaeda, is hoping to stage a "Tet offensive" in August or September just as Gen. Petraeus comes to Congress to report on the surge
The Dems hope the same thing
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
”The Dems hope the same thing.”
Sadly, that is true. I can’t wait for the reams of “If only those terrible Republicans hadn’t forced it to come to this.” Well, the buck stops at the White House for the war in Iraq. No doubt about that.

However, is there any doubt at all about who has ignored loyalty to America and all but openly cooperated with our foes to insure a defeat in Iraq? For political purposes? Any doubt at all? For I would like to believe that we are still one country and not riven (like Iraq) into two hostile camps dedicated irretrievably to the destruction of the other.

Yes, I would like to see all liberals (well, I won’t say what I really would like to see happen to them, but for discussion purposes...) eliminated from any political power for the foreseeable future in America. Would I fellow-travel with an enemy to help bring that about? Hell no. Would I have wistful thoughts? Well... yes. Would I do it or stand for anyone to do it? Hell no.

And there you have the weakness of relative morality and multlateralism. The society that becomes infected, unless it turns away from these deadly diseases, is doomed. Idiot liberals believe that if they can overcome Conservatives, a better society will inevitably follow; not realizing that, inevitably, a society that has retained its moral values (whatever they are) will squash them like a bug and they will end up dreaming of the wonders of America, while performing their drudgery.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
"So why these apparent kidnappings?"

Hmmm. Maybe because the Brits keep paying the asking price for their hostages’ release. They’ll pay this time too. Price haggling has already begun:

"Negotiations with the Mahdi Army are already under way..."
 
Written By: Doug Purdie
URL: http://
What’s the connection to this incident with the incident with the kidnapping and killing of the US Army CA team?
 
Written By: Eric Chen
URL: http://
However, is there any doubt at all about who has ignored loyalty to America and all but openly cooperated with our foes to insure a defeat in Iraq?
Is it the guy who planned this war and has been driving its execution for the past 4 plus years? The guy who’s let it drag on and on and on? Sure he hasn’t been able to do a single thing right since February 2003 but isn’t accusing him of cooperating with our foes a little harsh?
For political purposes?
A look at any recent election makes that clear. Yep.
Any doubt at all?
I guess not.

For McQ, just what is it you think the Tet Offensive accomplished? You seem to be using it as shorthand for a PR victory not neccesarily aligned with military success. (or vice versa) Didn’t most of Tet’s effect on the US come because it revealed Johnson’s and Westmoreland’s optimism and reports of progress as baseless pollyanna-ism? I think we’re far past that point re Iraq.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
"Wonder when he’ll figure the heat is too much and hightail it to Iran again."

Hopefully not until after this happens...

"If he keeps doing things like this, he may end up seeing his cannon fodder, er, martyred buddies sooner than he wants too."

I’m starting to get the same sort of feeling as after 9-11 when I wondered why the enemy seemed to believe that waking us up was a *good* thing.

We tolerate a lot. I realize that some people think we ought to tolerate far more, but in fact we tolerate a lot. We tip-toe a lot. I realize that some people think that we barge around stomping, in fact we tip-toe.

We’ve been tip-toeing. We’ve been tolerating. And part of that has been according to a doctrine of making the smallest impact possible, the smallest offense possible. The surge is a step back from that small footprint doctrine, but the surge doctrine is really rather soft... touchy feelie in a way... connect to people in neighborhoods and all that personal contact and friendship thing.

How does kidnapping Brits seem a *good* idea? Sure, it’s not *us*, though we’ve had soldiers kidnapped, too. I understand that *voluntarily* tip-toeing about might be a hard concept for a middle eastern mindset to grasp, for the very reason that kidnapping Brits and making England back-down is a real macho power statement, but it would really do them good if they took just a moment to consider that when dealing with England and certainly with the US, they are dealing with a different culture than their own and we may very well jump in a direction they do not expect.

Does Sadr really think that we would never put him on the list that Zarqawi used to be on? Or put him on the list that Zarqawi is on today?

Maybe we should set up a Voice of America TV station and play nothing but Incredible Hulk reruns.

In the interest of cultural education.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
Didn’t most of Tet’s effect on the US come because it revealed Johnson’s and Westmoreland’s optimism and reports of progress as baseless pollyanna-ism?
In the same way that the Battle of the Bulge revealed FDR’s and Eisenhower’s optimism and reports of progress as baseless pollyanna-ism.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
It always amazed me how Walter Cronkite, that paragon of reportage and a celebrated war correspondent in WWII, seems to have missed that little skirmish. Maybe it didn’t make the news where he lived, or CBS didn’t cover it.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Does Sadr really think that we would never put him on the list that Zarqawi used to be on? Or put him on the list that Zarqawi is on today?

Sadr stays off that list because a widespread Shiite turn against the U.S. would immediately collapse our military position in Iraq. Taking out Sadr, even more so than in 2004, would lead to the collapse of the Maliki government and either a joint anti US Sadrite-Baathist coalition, for which momentum is already building and the U.S. will probably tacitly endorse, or else an explosion in sectarian carnage equivalent to the 2006 Golden Dome bombing.

And it won’t stop the forces with you associate with Sadr, either. In the Sadrist movement, Sadr is a relative moderate. Either a hard-liner will take his spot, or the movement will permanently fragment along the lines of the Sunni Baathists. Neither one will save our precarious a**, getting by outside of Anbar only because of the grudging cooperation of some Shiite politicians.



 
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