Friday, June 30, 2006

Situation in Diwaniyah and the 16th June firefight

Latvian HMWVV armed with .50 cal - Iraq, October 2005

There is a lengthy article about the Latvians in Iraq published in the Latvian daily newspaper Diena and the web portal DELFI, including an interview with Captain Vents Lapsenbergs, veteran commander of the Latvian company in Iraq (2nd Infantry Company / 2nd Infantry battalion). The following two fragments summarize the interesting parts of the article :

Losing Diwaniyah
Lapsenbergs assesses the situation in Diwaniyah to have deteriorated lately, partly attributable to inaction by the Polish leadership. An area of Diwaniyah has become an unofficial no-go area for the coalition, and a support base for local insurgents who have repeatedly attacked Camp Echo. The Iraqi army and police appear uninterested to control the situation, and on occasion have refused to go on joint patrols in Diwaniyah. Lapsenbergs :
The local inhabitants are happy that we don't go in there. Now we are hated in Diwaniyah, seen as occupants, and this attitude has been fostered by local leaders.
- Captain V.Lapsenbergs
Diena 30.06.06
Firefight in the night of 16th June 2006.
After dark on the evening of June 16th, the 2nd platoon was on patrol mounted in HMWVVs was ordered into the "red zone", from which rockets had just been fired at Camp Echo. The platoon stopped at several Iraqi police posts who indicated the direction of the launcher. It is possible that the local police deliberately directed the Latvians into an trap which may have included more than 100 insurgents, who attacked with grenade launcher and small arm fire from the rooftops. The platoon returned fire (expending over 70% of their ammunition load) and drove out at high speed. One soldier was hit but protected by his body armor.

So, well done our brave lads, and again Latvian soldiers lead a charmed life. The June 16th attack appears to have been some manner of ambush, from which the Latvians had to shoot their way out..

Part of this is confirmed by the MND(CS), who recently held a press conference, where they stated that :
...recently the security environment in the area became unstable fueled by the anti-coalition rhetoric used by some provincial authorities.
Now Diwaniyah is a Shiite city, and that all (insurgents+police+leadership) points to a Shiite problem. I can find no reliable source, but there is this intriguing hint on pro-Muslim academic Juan Cole's website :
Monday, June 26, 2006 Fresh fighting broke out in Diwaniyah. Clashes took place in al-`Asri district, gunmen clashed with police commandos. (Just speculation, but this is probably actually a fight between Mahdi Army irregulars and Badr Corps who were recruited into the police commandos by the SCIRI-dominated Interior Ministry).
There are a number of disturbing conclusions. The Iraqi police here appear to have - at minimum - turned a blind eye to insurgent schemes, if not actually collaborating with them, or playing the coalition off against them. The local leadership is playing against coalition interests. And - unbelievably - it seems the Polish lead MND(CS) has let insurgents set up a safe area in a major city. A safe area in firing proximity to Camp Echo. An area from which Camp Echo gets hit damn near every week, and then the response is to send in Latvian troops .... unsupported.

Which all leads to two reasonable hypotheses :
  1. The insurgents are involved are local Shiite militia - and the indirect fire attacks on Camp Echo are merely the weekly hate mail and presumably far from the most the insurgents could do if they really wanted.
  2. The local police (possibly Badrists) may have deliberately sent coalition troops into a clash with their Shiite factional rivals (Sadrists = Mahdi army), who in turn were (fortunately) not really prepared for a clash with coalition soldiers.

Monday, June 26, 2006

And now, a siege begins

The popular Latvian web portal DELFI reports that Amnesty International has turned a round of criticism against Latvia for failing to pass the anti-gay discrimination law on June 21st. Notably, they don't bother with an reasoned argument, but demand implementation of the 2000/78/EK EU directive, and warn of EU sanctions. As if its their business to do so.

Maybe it shouldn't be surprising that an organisation founded by a socialist lawyer (Peter Benenson) is now deliberately pushing legislation enshrining cultural marxism. Amnesty was more worthy in the Cold War past, but now appears to being finally going completely off the rails (to the left, and then down, down, down into the deep chasm where Marx still lurks). As Wretchard writes, AI cannot bring themselves issue a statement to condemn the torture, mutilation and murder of US soldiers by terrorists, but can vigorously demand that homosexuals become a protected subclass, to the point of issuing warnings to a sovereign nation in the name of an international union of which they are not a part.

The Catholic World News reports that
Representatives from the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) are demanding that the EU reassess Latvia's membership and said it hoped that the European Commission would take legal action to ensure the law was implemented in full.
Latvia is on the correct track, making such enemies. The Brussels Journal has covered this circus, and says it well
The Latvian parliamentarians insisted on the right of private employers to turn down people whose moral behaviour they reject.
A victory for freedom - freedom of association over PC priveledges for a "protected class". Bravo again.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Weekly rocket attack on Diwaniyah, yet again.

This is getting a little too regular, MND(CS) reports that :
On 21th June 2006 at 23hrs Camp Echo in Diwaniyah was the target of unsuccessful rockets attack. Three rockets were launched in camp direction. Two of them explodes outside the base and the last exploded nearby the firing position.
No damages and injuries were reported.
As far as can be ascertained that's the fifth attempted indirect fire attack on Camp Echo in the last month (23rd and 31st May, then 5th, 16th and now 21st June). Does the Polish division have a handle on whats going down in Diwaniyah???

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Latvian parliament resists cultural marxism

The Latvian Parliament (Saeima) has passed amendments to the Labor Law, but removed those lines that banned discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.Which is in defiance of EU directives, and should be cause for celebration, but EU and PM and President have come out with criticism. PM Kalvitis :
Such intolerance as was seen in the parliament on Thursday had not been observed in Latvia so far.
So failure to pass cultural marxist "anti-discrimination" laws is intolerance, Kalvitis? Been boning up on the new marxism apparently.

The President, who previously hesitated to pass an amendment to the consitution that enshrines the primacy of the traditional family, has refused to sign the new law and returned it to the Saeima for reconsideration.

This issue brings out an unholy alliance between politically influential western Latvians (pro-Europe pro-US but horrifyingly liberal) and Russians. The Russian parties are anti-Eu, anti-US, but very leftist and in favour of every kind of anti-discrimination - against the wishes of their Russian speaking electorate. The marxism just shines through.

One can only hope the elected members hold to their guns and refuse to inject any more PC into the law. Remember this, elected memebers - its an election year, amd the Latvian voters recognize and reject crypto-communism when they see it. Do the will of the people or judgement will be forthcoming.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Weekly mortar attack and ambush on Diwaniyah, yet again.

The Latvian MoD website reports that on the night from 16th to 17th June several shots (mortars again?) were fired at the base in Diwaniyah (Camp Echo). The QRF was Latvian (from 2nd infantry company/2nd infantry battalion) and was sent to the possible firing location to track down the miscreants. They came under small arms and grenade attacks - presumably either security for the mortar or ambushes. None of the soldiers seriously hurt, one somewhat deafened by a nearby grenade blast. Terrorist casualties unknown, hopefully sufficient to ruin their day.

The MND(CS) homepage again fails to list this news, instead preferring to waffle about some irrelevant Polish air cavalry day in bad english.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The New Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - Islam, PC, Liberalism and Narcissm

Fjordman has written a excellent essay Political Correctness — The Revenge of Marxism on the Gates of Vienna, which does a really great job of popularizing William Lind's important work on the history of PC as cultural Marxism, and expanding on this and on a point repeatedly discussed at Gates of Vienna and elsewhere - that Islamism is merely an opportunistic infection of a diseased body politic.

However, Islam and political correctness/cultural Marxism is in turn part of a wider sickness in Western society. There are at least four layers to the disease :
  1. Islamism
  2. Political correctness (aka PC aka Cultural Marxism)
  3. Liberalism
  4. modernity induced Narcissm
As well as a number of enabling/aggravating factors
  1. the Mass media
  2. Globalisation / collusionsal selfinterested corporations
  3. collusionsal liberal elitist Governments
There is another layer of illness underlying PC, the illness that permits PC to flourish - the whole liberal anti-traditional anti-Christian mindset of the West. Fjordman has touched on this in the past, as has Brussels Journal's Paul Belien, but I notice commentators here and on LGF have mentioned other writers - Shelby Steele, Robert Spencer, Mark Steyn. Lawrence Auster on his excellent website , with impeccable logic and direct thinking at length demonstrates that even the aforementioned conservative writers have internalized liberal assumptions, and are in the end accordingly stumbling blindly.

The same can be said of Jyllandposten editor Flemming Rose (of Mohammed cartoon fame). Rose explains in Europe's Politics of Victimology that
Europe today finds itself trapped in a posture of moral relativism that is undermining its liberal values. An unholy three-cornered alliance between Middle East dictators, radical imams who live in Europe, and Europe's traditional left wing is enabling a politics of victimology.
So far so good, and most of the article is in the same vein. However he goes on to conclude :
What to do? Obviously, we can never return to the comfortable monocultures of old. A demographic revolution is changing the face, and look, of Europe. In an age of mass migration and the Internet, cheap air fares and cell phones everywhere, cultural pluralism is an irreversible fact, like it or not.
Irreversible ? Flemming has assumed a priori some of the liberal disease that he is writing against. He writes against the PC consciousness trap, in turn only to reveal inadvertently he is trapped in it himself.

But what of the roots of pathologic liberalism in western society? Shrinkwrapped has a reasonable explanation of the developmental roots in individual psychology that details why individuals in the modern western world are predisposed to narcisstic personality disorders, and how this translates into collective liberalism.

The main stream media? Like a mosquito carrying malaria, this is the vector that transmits PC to the vulnerable population. A population without a liberal bias would shrug off the nonsense - this is happening even today in Eastern Europe. The people there have been exposed to real Marxism, and seen hard times, and consequently have some measure of natural resistance to PC propaganda. I suspectthe MSMs predisposition to PC is also based in narcissm, but only more so than the rest of the population

However, the assault is unrelenting. In Latvia, a country awash with criminal problems, last week a man of African descent was assaulted by skinheads. No serious damage done - not even hospitalization However
the western infatuated media in Latvia has been absolutely awash with discussions/diatribes on the evil of Racism - first page news in the major papers! One assault with no harm and the media goes AWOL - ignoring very real and pressing problems of 2.3 million people to castigate the rest of the populace on their responsibilities to the 200 or so Africans in Latvia, and bemoaing the desperate lack of active anti-racism awareness in the country. Fortunatley the people are hardened by 50 years of real communism, are rightly suspicious and are not biting ... at least yet.

And the last? Collusion from unlikely sources - capatalists and liberalism infected governments. The elite of the corporate world have much to gain and little to lose from globalizatio. Perversly, the open borders and free movement of people is beloved of multiculturalism (one of PC's ugly stepchildren). The unholy alliance between corporate globalizationalists, cultural marxists (who may even campaign against globalization the rest of the time) and government shows up occasionaly, but the latest, most blatant and horrifying example of this phenomenon in the US is again shown by Lawrence Auster in the Nation Crusher .

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi wasted, now to dispose of him entirely ...

Zarqawi has finally been caught and terminated, squashed like a roach by a couple of 500 pounders. A half assed (literally) martyrdom at best for Zarqawi, no guns blazing glorious fighting end for him then (dying while fumbling with the safety on the SAW). Now remains the important process of demeaning and demystifying like was done with Saddam and sons. A nice corpse portrait in some dingy morgue etc.

Of course, I still maintain that his mortal remains should be fed to the pigs, or at least buried wrapped in pigskin with a can of cheap SPAM in his mouth and wearing American tennis shoes. At minimum, cremate the bastard - the Geneva Conventions provide no protection for the remains of terrorists. That should give wannabe true believers some pause. Theres no virgins for Zarqawi, but it should be done that they should "know" it too.

Will aceing Zarq the smalltown tryhard help in the long run? I'm not so sure, Zarqawi's radicalism went a long way to splitting the insurgency, discrediting al Quaida and alienating moderate insurgents.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Weekly mortar rocket attack on Diwaniyah, yet again.

The Latvian MoD webapge reports that
Naktī no 5. uz 6. jūniju militārās bāzes Divānijā virzienā tikai raidīti vairāki šāvieni, no kuriem divi uzsprāga bāzes teritorijā. Latvijas kontingenta karavīru vidū cietušo un ievainoto nav.
Which is to say that on the night from 5th to 6th June several shots were fired in the direction of Camp Echo in Diwaniyah, of which two exploded inside the base. No casualties.


The MND(CS)homepage states that :
2006-06-05 08:20
Terrorist attack on Camp ECHO

On 5th May 2006 about 22.20 hrs at night, rocket attack took place on Camp ECHO. There were three rocket (3) explosions outside Camp ECHO and two (2) explosions inside the base. No casualties were reported.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Weekly mortar attack on Diwaniyah, again.

MND(CS) announces that :
Mortar attack on Camp Echo
At night 31May 2006 mortar attack took place on Camp Echo. There were 4 mortar grenades lunched in Camp Echo direction. All of them exploded in distance of 700 – 1200 meters from the Camp. The possible location of the place where mortars were launched was identified very fast. The ZU-23-3 crew from east side of Camp opened fire to this direction.
There were no injured personnel reported. During this attack joint patrol of Mn Grp and 8th IADiv conducted mission outside Camp Echo. Additionally 5 Iraqi Police patrols were sent to that location but did not confirm any suspected activities on that area.

Obviously the terr aren't real good with the mortar. A simple weapon, but not simple to use well, and not hugely effective in unskilled hands.