So, over the past half year or so, when I've been trying to figure out why exactly war with Iraq was necessary and inevitable, I kept hearing about how it supports terrorism. While this is far from the truth (Iraq is not an Islamic state, while terrorists want an Islamic state), BBC International (I'm in Thailand at the moment, about to go back home to Japan, and most of the places showing war coverage have on BBC International) reported something the other day about Kurds fighting a group of radical muslims in the northern part of Iraq. It was fairly vague, but it sounded as if they operated completely independently from the Iraqi government, much the way the Kurds do. Is this the case? And regardless, if we were going to Iraq to fight terrorism, why did we leave that fight to the Kurds?
We haven't fought in the north because we haven't opened up a Northern Front thanks to Turkey. Until just yesterday all we had in the North was some special forces working with the Kurds. Early this morning, or late last night, we dropped in about 1000 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade to secure an airfield in Northern Iraq. Once they did that the Army started flying in members of the 1st Infantry division.
This gives us a Northern front against Saddam and will also allow us to better fight Ansar Al Islam.
these links also include reports of the Iraqi's using human shields and kidnapping children to force their fathers to fight. And they are arming kids to fight the US troops
'But if one is struck by me only a little, that is far different, the stroke is a sharp thing and suddenly lays him lifeless, and that man's wife goes with cheeks torn in lamentation, and his children are fatherless, while he, staining the soil with his red blood, rots away, and there are more birds than women swarming about him.' Diomedes, The Iliad of Homer
"America may have some problems, but it's our home. Our team. And if you don't wanna root for your team...then you should get the hell out of the stadium. Go America." --Stan Marsh, South Park
We've got troops on the ground in that region now. Resistance, I believe, is rather low.
Here's some more info on Ansar-al-Islam, the terror group in northern Iraq. They operate mostly in the largely autonomous (thanks to years of Allied no-fly-zone patrols) Kurdish regions of northern Iraq, kinda out of Saddam's control...although I think I read in Time that agents from Baghdad regularly slip in and out to assist these terrorists.
Ansar-al-Islam has ties to al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. ABC News had a report yesterday where US troops led through former Ansar-al-Islam headquarters found al-Qaeda propaganda, as well as some evidence of how to make chemical weapons. Others say these terrorists also get support from Iran (yep, the people that brought you Ayatollah Khomeini and Hezbollah.)
Maybe Dubya was onto something with this "axis of evil" bit.
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