Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Keyboard Equals Kalashnikov"

The Islamists are doing a remarkable job at getting their propaganda into cyberspace. We're too busy bickering among ourselves about Paris Hilton and American Idol to mount any sort of counteroffensive. If we don't start paying attention, we're going to be screwed.

"The pen is mightier than the sword," we say. Islamists have a new mantra, which says "Keyboard equals Kalashnikov." The Cybercast News Service is reporting today that

Islamist groups have created a sophisticated online media network, complete with multi-media video and audio, to spread their message to audiences speaking English and other Western languages, several studies have shown.

According to one organization, radical groups want to go further, infiltrating mainstream, non-political, non-Islamic websites and forums to further spread their message.

The bin Laden, al Qaeda, Salafist, Wahhabist view of the world is that the world belongs to them, because it is their right to govern, and they will stop only when they have achieved that aim, regardless of what specific hatred they may have for America being in the Middle East. For what it's worth, there is an interesting corollary of this modern-day lust for power in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Former-day turncoat Ammoron, who became by intrigue the king of the Lamanite people, breathed out the following threat against his former people, the Nephites.

For behold, your fathers did wrong their brethren, insomuch that they did rob them of their right to the government when it rightly belonged unto them.
And now behold, if ye will lay down your arms, and subject yourselves to be governed by those to whom the government doth rightly belong, then will I cause that my people shall lay down their weapons and shall be at war no more.

The Islamist variety of Muslims will be at war with America so long as there are both Islamists and Americans. It is high time we realize that fact. It would redound to our good health, shall we say, to do so.

To the Islamists who have the same rage as the ancient Lamanite people did, I say "Nuts!" But most people are too busy watching Paris Hilton and American Idol to even notice.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Truth or Propaganda?

When the Iraq war is being reported, it's critical that we get our news from trustworthy sources, and not from the sources that support our political opinion about the war. It's not uncommon for US news sources to parrot untruths that originate with sources friendly to al Qaeda.

While I was serving in Iraq, it was common to wonder why the news was being reported the way it was, because it didn't seem to be a good picture of what was really happening. Sometimes it was just lazy reporting, or an attempt on the part of the reporter to report that which was most sensational. Sometimes it was fear on the part of the reporter to get outside of the Green Zone to find out what was really going on. In many cases, US news relies on news 'stringers' or local reporters that do the reporting for them. It makes me wonder if they rely on stringers more than they do the military for such reporting.

John Hughes, former editor of the Christian Science Monitor tells of one such story.

A Marine officer whose credibility I trust cites an operation of success in the Fallujah region earlier this month that was reported as a disaster by US and British media companies. His unit had established a new precinct headquarters for Iraqi police, Army troops, and US Marines to patrol and protect a dedicated area. It was well received by the local populace and almost 200 Iraqis volunteered for police recruitment. Insurgents sought to disrupt it but were routed.

Meanwhile, in a separate firefight at a makeshift suicide vehicle factory, three separate suicide bombers were killed, two suicide trucks were discovered and blown up, and foreign and other fighters were killed or captured. On the defending side, one civilian and one policeman were wounded, with no US or other casualties. "The enemy was killed in his tracks; his best weapon was discovered before it could cause any harm," says the officer, "but Western media reported no enemy killed in these operations, 28 civilians killed, and 50 civilians wounded. We are getting demolished," the Marine officer says, "by nefarious enemy media outlets … 'reporters' or 'sources' for Arab and other news agencies either on insurgent payrolls or who have known sympathies with insurgent operations, and by collective Western media that are often being manipulated by enemy elements. What incredible economy of effort the enemy is afforded when US media is their megaphone. Why spend precious resources on developing your own propaganda machine when you can make your opponent's own news outlets scream your message louder than you could ever have hoped to do independently?"

Do we think it's important to know the truth, or to propagate those ideas that most closely match our opinion of whether we should be in Iraq? I think that, regardless of what our opinion is, what's true is true. That's what should be reported.

Al Qaeda and al Jazeera are not reliable sources of news. And reliable news sources shouldn't rely on them. Even if it is more exciting than the truth.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

How Many Mistakes? Who is to Blame?

The tightrope we walk in Iraq is sometimes broken by senseless acts of American soldiers. Is this story one of them, or is it another in the long line of deaths than can be chalked up to the provocations of terrorism?

If the story is as the people in the story say, an American soldier is a murderer. It's not that easy, however. The provocations that Americans live under every day explains how something like this could happen.

If the Iraqi people really want violence to stop in their country, they have to speak out more loudly against sectarian strife, whose flames are constantly fanned by al Qaeda in the Iranians.

Making Sense of the Iranian Juggernaut

After reading The UN Exposed by Eric Shawn, I now understand how Iran can be so brazen in its efforts to further its interests by destabilizing the world.

Iraq thumbed its nose at the United States and the United Nations for a lot of years. Why? Because France, Russia, and China thumbed their noses at regulations detailed in UN Resolution 661 regarding the UN Oil for Food program, while they hopped right into bed with Saddam Hussein.

Did you ever get an idea that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said neener neener to the world just because he felt like it? Well, not really. It's because he and his mullahs understand the pattern of getting away with it. He watched Iraq do it for several years. Right now (and for the last several years--have China and Russia/Soviet Union really ever been US allies?) it's pretty hard to call the 3 stooges of the UN Security Council (Russia, France, and China) allies. With allies like these...

The Iranians support all sorts of terrorism:

  • Hamas
  • Hizballah
  • al Qaeda
  • Taliban
  • Iraqi Shiites
  • Iraqi Sunnis
  • Kuridstan Workers Party

Why? Because they know they can with impunity. They watched Saddam break all kinds of international rules, including supporting terrorism--very successfully with the help of the United Nations. Until the British and the Americans said 'Enough'.

It's simple economics for the 3 Stooges. If they can make money while destroying the American hegemon, they don't care about the long-term consequences.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What's Left of Oil is Under Revenue Sharing Now

During the Oil for Food days, Saddam had a sweetheart deal with France, Russia, and China for cheap oil. What's left of it is now being divided up under a new revenue sharing law. That sounds a little bit more fair.

Why were France, Russia, and China against attacking Saddam Hussein in 2003? Because they stood to lose a lot of money. Because they were violating the Oil-for-Food resolution with reckless abandon and making money hand over fist while doing it. I don't know what their status is now, but back then they had something of a adulterous political relationship with Saddam. It kind of gives you a better perspective on why George W. Bush went around the thugs in the United Nations, doesn't it? It makes you wonder if you can trust what the French, Chinese, and Russian governments say about the United States.

At any rate, a new revenue sharing law has been agreed to, that seems to be amenable to all parties:

...for the last month, Hawrami said, the revenue sharing has been on the front burner. Disagreements had been over how to split percentages and exactly the mechanism for collecting and redistributing the funds.

The new law would split revenue into external and internal accounts, to be divided between the regions -- Kurdistan is the only formal region currently -- and provinces, "after the deduction for the federal government's needs to do its federal duties," he said, "like defense and foreign office, the rest of it, which is according to the constitution."

"The external will capture all the oil revenue and any other revenue -- for example donations, loans and so on," Hawrami said. "All the internal taxes and customs collected on behalf or by the federal government will go to an internal account."

During the Oil for Bribes heyday, Russia got 30% of Saddam's bribes, France 15%, and China 10% (I think Halliburton was getting the other 45%). Revenue now looks like it'll be distributed more equitably.

Military Success and Political Failure in Iraq

Don't ask how bad the government is functioning in Iraq right now--not good. But the Iraq and Coalition forces are making some impressive gains right now.

There's a reason for the increased number of US casualties over the last little while in Iraq. Instead of sitting back on the FOBs (Forward Operating Bases), more of our soldiers are taking it to the terrorists. And while the Iraqi government is seen by some as on life support, the military is making great strides in securing areas of the country and of Baghdad. Here are some highlights:

* In those of Baghdad neighborhoods where terrorists held sway, Iraqi security forces, backed by U.S. troops, are establishing an effective presence, allowing a slow return to normal. Reassured by the troop presence, the inhabitants of at least one neighborhood, Amiriyah, have chased away a terror outfit entrenched there since 2003.

Reports indicate that in the last 10 weeks the various armed enemies of new Iraq have suffered their heaviest losses since the start of the conflict four years ago.

* the insurgents are suffering a significant number of defections while an unknown number are believed to have left Iraq, presumably to pursue "jihad" in other Muslim countries.

* Coalition and Iraqi forces have seized weapons from the insurgents on an unprecedented scale. More than 20 bomb-making factories have also been discovered and neutralized in and around Baghdad.

* The morale of both U.S. and Iraqi troops has been boosted by the decision by the Democrat Party to tone down its campaign against U.S. military commitment to Iraq. There is a feeling in Baghdad that the possibility of America opting for a cut-and-run strategy has decreased. That, in turn, has encouraged the Iraqi military to stop hedging its bets and enter the battle with greater resolve.

Additionally, residents in Baquba are helping the coalition forces rout out the insurgents after having been terrorized for months.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Present in Light of the UN Oil-for-Food Scandal

The tale of scandal surrounding the United Nations "Oil-for-Food" program makes an interesting backdrop for the current situation in Iraq. It also tells us why several nations did not support the United States in getting rid of Saddam Hussein--hatred mixed with a dash of greed.

The United States is regularly pilloried in the United Nations. Unfortunately, what was once sport only in the UN's unhallowed halls has spilled over into a vitriolic form of American debate. How much of the untruths behind UN hatred of America have many Americans bought? A great deal.

One of the greatest of the untruths, stage managed in great measure by Saddam Hussein himself, was the Oil-for-Food (OFF) scandal.

The total value of contracts under Oil for Food was more than $100 billion -- or $64.2 billion in oil sales and $38.7 billion in humanitarian purchases. Subtract a few billion dollars the U.N. spent in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, and you have some $100 billion worth of business that Saddam was able to steer wherever he wanted.

OFF became the seedbed for Saddam's prodigious appetite for palace building--78 in fact--while his people starved. Saddam's cronies were placed at the head of a series of "front" companies whose primary purpose was to enrich the Baath elite and to further WMD programs. He purchased armaments from 13 countries, including North Korea, China, Russia, and France.

Interestingly enough, the Clinton and Bush administrations looked the other way while a lot of oil was traded for a lot of money outside the confines of the OFF program.

Paul Volcker headed a commission to study OFF and determined that Saddam was as much as $11 billion richer as a result of the UN's ill-conceived program.

One could not work for the OFF program without Saddam's approval. Saddam's friends and family became the bulk of the 3,000 workers who were paid out of OFF proceeds to administer the program. They were also the public relations people. Usually, the United Nations accepted and gave an official stamp of approval for Iraqi lies. Dr. Rehan Mullick, originally assigned by the UN to monitor OFF in Iraq, was demoted and ultimately fired, when he brought such unseemly facts to light.

The worst of the lies was with regard to medical and food supplies for the children. Allegedly, 5,000 children per months were dying due to lack of food and medicine, according to "official reports" fed to the UN by the Hussein PR Agency. Much like the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq currently, the Hussein PR Agency was very adept at painting a picture of US and UN malfeasance, when in reality Iraq shared the bulk of the blame with the wily snakes at the UN.

As part of the OFF steal, UN allotted itself 2.2% of the proceeds, which amounted to $1.4 billion. So that's why they never 'noticed' that anything was going wrong in the program, including a faaaaaaat paycheck for Secretary General Kofi Annan--ahem--I mean, his son.

It's easy to blame America's insatiable appetite for oil. But why not blame France, Russia, and China, who benefited enormously from cheap oil during the scandal years?

The United Nations is a broken organization. It is little more than a band of criminals. Can it be saved and rebuilt? Maybe. But while George W. Bush has made a plethora of mistakes with regard to the Iraq War, going ahead without the United Nations was NOT one of them. They still haven't gotten their act together. Unseemly hatred of America spurs on several of its constituent nations in their Gadarene rush to destruction. Unslaked greed propels many of the rest of them.

Bush didn't do himself and the United States any favors by his flimsy excuse for attacking Iraq and his even more silly planning for said windmill tilt. But what dismays me even worse than that is the attitude of some Americans--they've been listening to the crooks and liars in the United Nations too much lately, and their utter hatred of Bush has become irrational.

Why are we surprised that Oil-for-Food was a scandal? It was conceived by one.

Encouraging the Younger Generation

Summary: Young Iraqis are very supportive of American service members in Iraq. But what about young Americans? Many of them are supportive as well. We need to ensure that they all know why the struggle for freedom around the world is so essential--because they are the next torchbearers.

(This was originally published April 16, 2006 while I was serving in Habbaniya, Iraq)

My father served in a civilian capacity in Vietnam before the war started. He went to Ft. Benning and became a Green Beret. After serving as a Staff Sergeant and an artillery gun chief, he became an officer. He served for nearly 30 years and retired as a colonel. So you would expect someone from his posterity to continue the tradition. Based on personality, I just would have expected it to be one of my brothers instead of me.

After looking back on my nearly 24-year military career I wonder sometimes not only how I made it this far, but how I joined in the first place. I still don’t see myself as the military type. But am I glad I have served? Absolutely. And nothing has made my service more worthwhile than having been able to participate in setting up a beachhead for liberty in the Middle East.

Some of my sons express interest in the military from time to time. Based on personality, I suspect that a couple of them will join. But I might be surprised at who it actually is when it all comes down to it. Will I encourage them to serve in the military? Absolutely. I already do. The promulgation of freedom is the noblest of endeavors.

The younger American generation, I believe, has a higher level of intelligence than my generation. A higher level of intelligence demands a higher level of respect. A higher level of intelligence is more likely to demand to know the why of things. But if it knows the why, and the why is valid, you can count on its support. Higher intelligence is also more likely to contemplate and select the best of the moral aspects of life.

This accounts for a percentage of the younger generation who perhaps don’t see the urgency of our service in Iraq—who wish we would pull up our tent stakes and come home. Many of them are asking ‘why’? But intelligent people can be persuaded to see that if we pull up tent stakes in a sandstorm, the tent and everything in it will blow away and be destroyed.

To an extent, the questioning of our purpose in Iraq makes for a healthy discussion. What is not healthy is the effect a small percentage of America’s social elite has on the perspective of the younger generation. I think it is despicable that:
  • A moviestar can consider himself and expert on foreign policy
  • A news organization can editorialize every day on its front page
  • A political party can be so bent on survival that it subscribes to the truth only when its purposes are suited
These are the odds that our younger generation is up against. And you can bet that the rest of the world knows it—especially Iran.

The ideal that was uniquely American came into being despite insurmountable odds. But liberty is no longer just an American ideal. Against insurmountable odds, liberty will continue to win. The vanguard of liberty will continue to push back fear and ignorance around the globe. That fact is already being demonstrated. Too many things—the most notable to me of which are 3 peaceful, on-schedule Iraqi elections—have happened that logically shouldn’t have. America is a choice land, and despite a few very unsightly blemishes (3 of which are bullet-listed above), we will continue to carry the torch of freedom. As those nations of the earth benighted by despots see the light of liberty they will throw off the chains that have been forged for them. To think, say, and do what one wants is a right which, once realized, is difficult to extinguish.

To you, young Americans, we prepare to pass the Torch. You are intelligent, so you can ferret out the facts from the spewage of fiction that bombards you every day. You are moral, because you value your freedom to speak and do as you choose, and you are learning that this right is important and imperative for all mankind. Do I think you’re up to such a monumental task? Absolutely.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

"A Perpetual State of War"

Of the issues on which I agree and disagree with former Vice President Al Gore in his new book The Assault on Reason, one to which I highly subscribe is the unhealthiness of being in "a perpetual state of war" with terrorism.

Sometime in late 2002 I remember hearing a radio news report wherein it was suggested that if we attacked Iraq, it would be likely that we would have to occupy it for up to 12 years. How strange, then, that it turns out that the Bush Administration did not have a post-invasion plan to undergo a successful occupation of the country.

Several members of Congress asked the Bush administration what its occupation plan was for Iraq.

...Secretary Rumsfeld said that he wasn't certain we would have any responsibility at all. "That's for the Iraqis to come together and decide," Rumsfeld said. At that very moment, we now know, he was attempting to shut down the program at the U.S. Army War College that was focused on post-invasion stabilization. (Gore, p. 190)

Others in the Bush administration said that the Iraq invasion and regime change would be a cakewalk. Surely, they knew better.

In The Assault on Reason, Al Gore makes this statement:

[If we subscribe to] the idea that we have entered a perpetual state of war, the implications of this theory stretch as far into the future as we can imagine. These claims must be rejected, and a healthy balance of power restored to our Republic. Otherwise, the fundamental nature of our democracy may well undergo a radical transformation. (p. 226)

If for no other reason than that Gore's statement is a challenge to all future presidential administrations, I find his statement very enlightening and profound. But it's more than that. It teaches (reminds?) us that we can't afford to elect establishmentarians to office. The perpetual state of increasing government--choreographed by background shadow puppeteers--in the United States makes me wonder how much differently Al Gore would have acted had he been president on 9/11. The fact that Al Gore was Vice President in an administration that gave a great deal of military and other concessions to the Chinese adds to my hypothesis, but for my current purposes, I will simply say that I agree completely with the above-quoted statement.

The fact that I opposed the Iraq invasion in the first place has been detailed in these pages. The negative ramifications of the invasion are becoming all the more apparent as the days and months go by. But regardless of whether we supported the invasion or not, the main focus of our criticism--now that we are there--is why we haven't done of better job of achieving our goals. (Sort of reminds me of a border fence that hasn't been built yet...)

Most negative ramifications of our Iraq invasion and occupation accrue due to the inelegant way the Bush administration 'planned' for the post-invasion. If plans had been made, my opinion is that the country would have been stabilized by now. But I am subscribing ever more readily now to a personal theory that 'no plan' was the plan.

How do we square the statements that we would be in Iraq for 12 years with administration statements that it will be a cakewalk, and that we don't need to plan for occupation? It can only be squared in the desire for the Bush administration to be in a perpetual state of war.

All of you who voted for president Bush were stupid. If you did it twice, you're really stupid (unless you've repented, as I know some of you have). Let's hope that the next administration turns back the tidal wave of
executive branch power accretions. Incidentally, there are several candidates for president in both major parties whom we cannot hope to expect will turn back that tide. Perhaps not surprisingly, those candidates are indicated in national polls as being the most popular candidates for their political parties. Who makes these polls? Are they accurate? Are we really still that stupid?

How perpetually unfortunate.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bush as Hitler: An Ode to Springdale Bum

It may be that people disagree with George W. Bush as regards the Iraq war. I happen to. But for anyone to make a comparison between Bush and Hitler reveals in the comparer a daftness beyond description. When one goes further by saying that since Bush is Hitler we must hate the troops, it reveals the purely unthinking essence of the cancerous anti-Bush doctrine.

When the 222nd Field Artillery was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and 2006, we were augmented by members of the 145th Field Artillery. On June 12, we returned the favor. A lot of my good friends are headed for Iraq via Ft. Bliss, Texas.

So it don't sit too good when my friends and I are compared to Adolf Hitler's storm troopers. One may disagree with George Bush's policies as regards the Iraq war, but Bush is not Hitler. Nowhere close. What an inanity then, that "Springdale Bum" says that Bush is Hitler and we are Nazi storm troopers.

A German instructor of mine at Brigham Young University knows what it was like to live in the time of Hitler. He explained to us what it meant to be forced to belong to the Hitler Jugend and how any dissent was punished by disappearance and death. Bush has made several mistakes--but Bush is no Hitler. Springdale Bum wouldn't have lasted a day in 1940's Nazi Germany.

It was with some effort to control my composure when I said goodbye to my good friend and my son's baseball coach last Thursday at his last baseball game. He won't be at the game tonight, because he's on his way to Iraq. As my wife and I walked hand in hand from the ball park to the parking lot a week ago, we knew exactly what he and his wife were going through. And in a big way, we were glad that it was not us going through that torment again.

Here's the pertinent portion of Springdale Bum's comments to the article about the departure of the 145th:

..let me put your "I support the troops but not the war" stance to a test:

I'm a German citizen living in rural Bavaria in 1939 and while I think Hitler is a warmonger and that raping Poland and setting up a puppet government there to exterminate and root out anti-German "insurgents" is very bad, maybe evil, I still support our troops! While what they're doing in that country is probably very wrong and inviting disaster upon our land, by golly they are still OUR boys after all and I SUPPORT 'EM!

My position is that I don't support illegal and unnecessary wars. If I don't support the mission I CAN'T support the troops. The only true way to support the troops is by insisting that they all come back home to our shores immediately. Anything short of that is moral cowardice.

What is moral cowardice is to use a forum that is sure to be read far and wide by family members of the deployed as a knife in the back of all of them as they try to make sense of how they will endure the worries and struggles of the next 14 months without their husbands and daddies.

No matter what you think about their leader, you cannot blame the troops for answering the call of duty. What is moral cowardice is to use such a forum to equate me and my friends with Hitler's nazi thugs.

Yep, Springdale. You are a bum.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hopefully Samarra Doesn't Explode Again

Last time the Al Askariya mosque in Samarra, Iraq was bombed, all hell broke loose. It happened again today. Hopefully this time both Shia and Sunni can work together to decry the imbecility of al Qaeda for perpetrating yet another in a long series of senseless attacks.

I was still in Iraq in February, 2006 when the al Askariya Mosque in Samarra was significantly damaged by bombing. The relative improvement in stability in Iraq up to that point was shattered by the sectarian hatred and violence that ensued. Deaths--civilian and military--which had been going down, suddenly went back up.

Today, 16, months later, it was attacked again. It appears that the damage was greater this time. However, so far there is guarded optimism that it will not incite the same bloodthirst that the 2006 attack did. Requests have been made for American troops to return to Samarra to help provide greater security.

[The Iraqi government] directly accused al-Qa'eda of efforts to "burn Iraq with the fire of sectarian strife" and added: "We call upon our Iraqi people to exercise self-restraint and not be dragged into reactions like those planned by the killers."

In his typically Jesse-Jackson-like way, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad blamed the bombings on the Bush Administration.

Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, blamed America's continued presence in Iraq for the bombings.

It's just too, much, isn't it, to blame the people who are really responsible?

Sabotage in War to Save a Life

Many people are dismayed by the deaths of more than 3,500 American soldiers in Iraq, thinking their deaths have been in vain. Considering one unused technology, which could have thwarted many of these deaths, I am starting to agree with them.

Is sabotage of one's enemy in wartime ethical? Of course. Deception is one of the best tools in the arsenal of a winning military force.

The Improvised Explosive device is the most deadly killer of American soldiers. In 2004, we could have likely greatly curbed the number of such deaths, if we had gone ahead with some sabotage technology:

The insurgents who kill our young soldiers are ruthless, but we have sometimes been cautious in our response. Take the question of targeting bomb makers: There may be an unlimited supply of explosives in Iraq, but there is not an unlimited supply of people who know how to wire the detonators. In 2004, CIA operatives in Iraq believed that they had identified the signatures of 11 bomb makers. They proposed a diabolical -- but potentially effective -- sabotage program that would have flooded Iraq with booby-trapped detonators designed to explode in the bomb makers' hands. But the CIA general counsel's office said no. The lawyers claimed that the agency lacked authority for such an operation, one source recalled.

Instead of having short-circuited one of the least discriminating killers (probably more civilians are killed than soldiers by IEDs), we spend a great deal of time defusing a plethora of bombs that might not have been placed.

A fair number of roadside bombs are placed by poor Iraqis just trying to make a buck. It's easy, it pays well, and it pays even better if your bomb disables equipment--and especially if it kills US troops. If a sudden rash of unexplained IED-setter deaths had occurred in 2004, these people would have found other sources of income.

Not only would the sabotaged IEDs have been "deactivated", there would be far fewer of them being emplaced today.

Monday, June 04, 2007

JFK Plot Just Another Episode of "Keystone Cops"?

The New York Times didn't think that the plot against John F. Kennedy Airport was important, apparently. Do you? I do. It doesn't matter if the latest attempt to attack America seemed to be just another episode of Keystone Cops.

The Times apparently put the story somewhere around page 30 in hard copy this morning, deeming it not very significant. Does it matter that the plotters were nowhere near being able to carry out their plot? Does it matter that they would very likely not have succeeded in causing nearly as much damage as they had hoped? Does it matter that there is no evidence that they were affiliated with al Qaeda?


What matters is that they are plotting against us. What matters is that they are trying to attack us.

Back in 2003, the average insurgent in Iraq couldn't shoot straight, let alone attack in any kind of formation. Back then, he couldn't camouflage his roadside bombs very well, either. Even if we didn't take the insurgency seriously in 2003 Iraq, we would be foolish not to take the budding insurgency in the United States in 2007 seriously.

They were Keystone Cops once, not being able to get hardly anything right. But they have learned. They have innovated. And they have put to use new technologies. They know how to disguised their explosive ordnance now. They know how to attack in formations. They are now very deadly.

So maybe, for now, we have Keystone Cops on American soil. But, unfortunately, it won't last. The worst thing we could do is say that because the Fort Dix Six and the JKF Four are Keystone Cops that we have nothing to worry about.

Of course we do. We must be vigilant.