Category Archives: Iraq

No. 1 on YouTube for a reason

Obamagirl is prettier, but if I were an undecided voter this weekend, this video would put even her out of my mind. Make absolutely sure you watch past the spoken part.

I saw this video some time back (it’s was uploaded two months ago), but according to the BBC it’s become “the most-viewed election-related video on the YouTube website” since then, racking up over 11.3 million hits as of this posting.

The most striking part about it (outside of its content) is that while the McCain campaign did make a decision early on to spend less money on TV and more on YouTube advertising, the campaign never even had a hand in this. It’s entirely homemade; filmed, edited, and uploaded by volunteers, and starring an Iraq veteran who remains nameless throughout. McCain’s most effective Internet ad didn’t cost him a dime.

UPDATE: Fox News’s Shep Smith interviewed the no-longer-unnamed soldier, Sgt. Joe Cook, during his hour-long show. It was actually a fairly good interview, with Smith pressing Sgt. Cook to explain his assertion in the video that Sen. Obama has been “disrespectful” to the troops, but doing so respectfully himself, and in a manner that evokes a civil and enlightening exchange.

As with Joe Wurzelbacher and Tito Muñoz, I hope Sgt. Cook has a minimum of skeletons in his closet, or he can expect a lot of unwanted attention in the next few days. Fortunately, this late in the game, and with the race this close, I doubt that even the most bloodthirsty oppo professional on Obama’s staff, or the most starry-eyed Obama cheerleader in the media, will be so stupid as to go through the garbage cans of a wounded Iraq veteran who served honorably.

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Murtha grasps at petty little straws UPDATE: “Oh, hey, sorry, just kidding. But not about the murder.”

Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), America’s newest “ex-Marine,” is still living in his own big fat bloated bubble of denial.

The congressman accused eight Marines in 2006 of the murder of Iraqi civilians after a firefight in Haditha, without any evidence to back it up except a sensational story in TIME Magazine.  Today, now that six of the eight have had their charges dropped, one other acquitted of all charges, the last still awaiting court-martial on reduced charges, and two of the Marines filing or preparing to file lawsuits against him for slander and defamation, he is repeating his smear to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

U.S. Rep. John Murtha stands by a controversial remark he made previously that U.S. Marines killed women and children “in cold blood” in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.

The blunt description changed how American troops engaged Iraqis and improved overall conditions in the war, Murtha, an 18-term Democrat from Johnstown, said today during a wide-ranging interview with Tribune-Review reporters and editors.

“There are all kinds of things that have happened that have made a difference, but one of the big differences is that we are not bullying our way through like we used to,” said Murtha, a former Marine and decorated Vietnam combat veteran. “The rules of engagement are clear — and it’s changed. One of the things that has made it better in Iraq is we are no longer just breaking down doors.”

“It’s my obligation to speak out. I try everything I can to get things done,” Murtha said.

Right.  He’s a real prince, that Jack Murtha.  See you in court, pal.  Here’s hoping you graduate to Citizen Murtha real quick, courtesy of the targets of your other bizarre smear:  your own constituents, whom you tarred today as racists for not uniformly supporting Barack Obama (Allahpundit and Miz Michelle have more).

Tool.

UPDATE: Murtha apologizes a day later in a media release for calling Western Pennsylvanians racists.  No apology to be found about sliming the Haditha Marines (twice now).  And Murtha’s Iraq vet opponent Bill Russell gets a neat new campaign ad out of it.

Too bad he can’t get in Murtha’s face about it now, because Murtha has suddenly cancelled their debate tonight. Reminds me of that video of Murtha running for the elevator, no?  Hopefully Russell can put together a nice little ad slamming him for that.

Army: 2nd-ranking AQI man killed in Mosul

The Associated Press reports that the Army has offed a major al Qaeda operative in Mosul:

The U.S. military says the No. 2 leader of al-Qaida in Iraq has been killed during an operation in the northern city of Mosul.

The military has identified the insurgent leader as a Moroccan known as Abu Qaswarah or Abu Sara.

Wednesday’s statement says he became the senior al-Qaida in Iraq emir of northern Iraq in June 2007 and had ties to senior al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

It also says “he was al-Qaida in Iraq’s second-in-command” behind Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who also is known as Abu Hamza al-Muhajir.

Nice to hear.

UPDATE: Captain Ed has the story, and links to a more detailed account. He points out that Abu Sara had a habit of summarily executing anyone he smuggled into Iraq for suicide bombings who had the temerity to try to go back where they came from.  Two likelihoods:  one, that whoever tipped us off about Abu Sara’s location was probably one of those would-be deserters; and two, this will probably trigger a spate of al Qaeda runaways before the number one AQI, al-Masri, has a chance to replace him.

Obama wears bracelet AGAINST family wishes?? UPDATE: Whew! Tension…fading…

(UPDATE: Reader mycowardice directs my attention to a Washington Times article quoting Tracy Jopek as saying she’s “ecstatic” about the appearance of her son’s memorial bracelet on the debate last night.  Well, that’s certainly a relief…if Sen. Obama actually had been wearing it despite her having directly asked him not to, I’d have thought he was some kind of sociopath.  Now all I’m left to puzzle over is, what’s changed since the radio interview with Brian Jopek, whose account of Tracy having been “upset” by the use of the bracelet last spring is wholly incompatible with Mrs. Jopek’s professed “ecstasy?”  [Thanks to mycowardice for the heads-up!]  Now on to the original post…)

Well, here’s a “WTF??” moment to end all “WTF??” moments.

Friday night at the debate John McCain raised his wrist and revealed a memorial bracelet bearing the name of Cpl. Matthew Stanley, a soldier killed in Iraq.  The bracelet was given to McCain by Cpl. Stanley’s grieving mother, asking the senator to make sure her son did not die in vain.

Barack Obama quickly and gamely countered this display by drawing attention to a similar bracelet of his own (though he did have to remind himself of the name on it).  His was given to him by the mother of Sgt. Ryan David Jopek (also killed in Iraq); Obama said Mrs. Jopek asked him to make sure no mother had to go through what she went through.

What Obama didn’t mention was that Sgt. Jopek’s parents, according to his father Staff Sgt. Brian Jopek in a radio interview on Wisconsin Public Radio last March, asked him months ago to stop wearing their son’s bracelet.

As told to WPR’s “Route 51” (audio link here, scroll down to March 20) by Brian Jopek, the bracelet had been intended as something between his wife Tracy and Sen. Obama alone, not as a campaign prop.  Tracy Jopek simply wanted Obama to know her son’s name.  When Obama started using that name at campaign rallies, she wrote to him asking him explicitly not to use the bracelet or her son’s name anymore.  As evidenced by Obama’s use of both Friday night, he has ignored them entirely, instead escalating the bracelet’s use to the national primetime level.  More at NewsBusters.

Ryan Jopek’s mother Tracy refused to give interviews on the subject of Obama and her son, as she is an Obama supporter and did not wish to undermine his campaign.  As she suffered in silence, Brian Jopek, an Iraq veteran himself who has served in Mosul and at Guantánamo, had apparently had enough.

I’ve never run for public office, but if I were to do so, and a fallen soldier’s parents made a request of me regarding their child, I like to think I’d cut them a little slack.  Or at least not pretend the conversation never happened.

Captain Ed weighs in.

Presidential Debate Liveblog!

OK, debate’s over, and full liveblog transcript is below the break.  Other liveblogs here, here, here (drunkblogging!), here (Part I and Part II), here, and here.  Instapundit has his own roundup here.

Overall, no “knockout punches,” which favors Obama by default, but he had to overcome the impression that he’s not a foreign-policy lightweight, which he didn’t manage to do.  McCain currently leads by double-digits in poll questions asking who’s the better Commander in Chief, and I doubt that will change after tonight.

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Finally: Murtha accountable? UPDATE: America’s newest “ex-Marine” UPDATE II: Russell Brigade

Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA) may experience a brief, long-overdue spasm of accountability.

During a press conference in 2006, Rep. Murtha accused eight U.S. Marines of murder committed during a firefight in Haditha following an IED explosion.  No trials or even official investigation had yet taken place; Murtha drew his conclusions in part from a sensational article in TIME magazine:

“[T]here was no firefight, there was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood.”

More than two years later, however, Murtha’s mouth may be catching up with him.  Now that nearly all of the accused Marines have been either granted dismissals or acquitted, one of the exonerated Marines, LCpl. Justin Sharratt, has filed suit against Murtha for slander, and the suit is going forward.

Details below the break.

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Palin Minefield: No casualties…yet

Governor Palin officially entered the foreign policy gauntlet this morning, holding meetings at the United Nations with Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Colombian president Alvaro Uribe.  (Hot Air has video.)  Further leaders she’ll be meeting today include Presidents Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia, Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine, Jalal Talabani of Iraq, Ali Asif Zardari of Pakistan, and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

OK, Governor Palin has now trod upon the sector of the campaign minefield occupied by foreign leaders.  Karzai and Uribe reported having been impressed and pleased by Palin in their respective meetings, so no tripped mines yet.  So far, as far as the campaign minefield in general is concerned, there have been nearby explosions, but nobody’s been killed or maimed to date by any of the diciest aspects of the campaign so far.

Details and minefield highlights below the break.

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