Al Qaeda: Call off the search for the missing troops, or else; Update: AQ links capture to Iraqi girl’s rape/murder (bumped)

posted at 3:32 pm on May 14, 2007 by Allahpundit

“Your soldiers are in our hands,” runs the latest Internet message (with no photographic proof). “If you want your soldiers’ safety, do not search for them.” The military concedes that AQ’s probably got them, but I wonder if they’re not dead already. An American soldier has no incentive to let himself be taken hostage by jihadist degenerates; captivity means torture, beheading, and mutilation. Unless the three missing men were wounded or separated from their weapons when the ambush was sprung, they had every reason to fight to the end. In fact, it’s long been suspected that Tucker and Menchaca were killed during the initial firefight with jihadis and their bodies were dragged away to be abused (which is why no video has ever emerged of the two being executed). The same thing might have happened here, with the attackers grabbing a few corpses and heading for the hills before reinforcements arrived.

CNN expert Peter Bergen states the obvious:

Journalist and terrorism analyst Peter Bergen, talking to Rick Sanchez on “CNN Newsroom” on Sunday night, had a dire outlook, saying the group is looking for political capital, meaning that release through negotiations is “wishful thinking” and that the military must be thinking “rescue operation.”

Even if, as expected, this episode ends badly, some good has come from the rescue attempt.

Update: CSM thinks AQ has taken to higher profile operations like this one thanks in part to the squeeze from the surge and in part to the Sunni uprising against them in Anbar. Their currency has been devalued, and bombing a bridge — or the Iraqi parliament — gives them more bang for their buck while antagonizing the Shiites to put the Sunnis’ focus back on sectarian warfare.

New York Sun reporter Eli Lake is still in Iraq and has a nice piece today on the status of the war on AQ in Anbar:

“I see what I think is becoming a national trend, especially in areas influenced by Al Qaeda, where they have made inroads, and even in places where you see other forms of religious extremism, such as Jaish al-Mahdi, you have it from the South. It’s coming, it’s there,” Lieutenant Colonel Richard Welch said in an interview…

Sheikh Hussein, as well as other sheikhs interviewed for this piece, said the turning point for the tribes was in September when Al Qaeda in Iraq declared the formation of the Islamic State of Iraq, a shadow state that in pockets of the country has established Islamic sharia courts and tried to provide some social services. The declaration was a direct challenge to the centuries-old tribal system that has prevailed in most of Iraq. As a result, the terrorists once seen as allies against the American invaders have also come to be seen as invaders…

Sheikh Hussein summed it up: “We would like America, a friend, to rebuild the country. This is what we want, what the tribes want. But to stay here as a military force indefinitely is unacceptable.” For Sheikh Hussein, however, the prospect of a speedy exit is also unacceptable. At a luncheon at a home of one of his cousins, he asked this reporter, “Please, tell the Democrats for now to stop pressuring Bush.”

The question for the military now is whether to let the Sunni tribesmen form their own local militias-slash-police-forces to challenge AQ or, lest that evolve into warlordism, to integrate them into the national police force and Iraqi army. Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Pinkerton favors the latter approach:

“I did not want to build these tribal security forces,” Colonel Pinkerton said. “The tribes want to join the Iraqi army and the Iraqi police, but they want to stay where they are and patrol their own areas.”

At a meeting with the general of the police district that oversees Abu Ghraib, the American colonel boasted that he could muster 10,000 volunteers from the once-hostile tribes to join the national police and army. To date, he has a list of 1,300 volunteers whom he is trying to get the Iraqi security forces to accept.

The feeling isn’t universal, though: a formerly pro-war Iraqi blogger, Hammorabi, is now calling for a national uprising against the U.S. military.

Update: Ah, I’ve been wondering when they were going to drop this.

An al-Qaida front group that claims it has captured American soldiers warned the United States on Monday to stop searching for them and suggested it attacked the U.S. convoy as revenge for the rape and murder of a local teenager last year…

“You should remember what you have done to our sister Abeer in the same area,” the statement said, referring to five American soldiers who were charged in the rape and killing of 14-year-old Abeer Qassim al-Janabi and the killings of her parents and her younger sister last year.

Yeah, the jihadis who mutilated Tucker and Menchaca portrayed that incident too as revenge for the rape and murder of that poor girl. Oddly enough, though, they didn’t make the revenge claim until after the girl’s murder had already gained traction in the western media; their first few messages about T&M after they were kidnapped made no mention of the girl as having provided any motivation. What they did, in other words, was leverage an unrelated atrocity for propaganda value, as an excuse for their own savagery. And naturally some on the left happily played along. They’ll play along again now if and when the fate of the three missing troops is discovered.

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It seems like our troops go into “overdrive” when someone goes missing, or we have a hunch someone big is in the area.

My thoughts are, why can’t we just go into “overdrive” every day? Don’t give these aholes one INCH.

triple on May 14, 2007 at 12:49 PM

My thoughts are, why can’t we just go into “overdrive” every day? Don’t give these aholes one INCH.

There still aren’t enough coalition and Iraqi boots on the ground.

CliffHanger on May 14, 2007 at 12:55 PM

AP makes a good point. If they did indeed have “live” solders, especially US ones, they wouldn’t take any time parading them around on camera. Still, the fact those heathens even have the bodies of our men is still to much for me to handle. Whether dead or alive, I hope these boys are found and the perpetrators face justice at the end of a barrel of a .50 caliber machine gun.

bentman78 on May 14, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Sorry, they have already proved they will cut the heads off without any provocation. If we think we know where they are…press on, and let them know that hundreds die for a few.
…but then my son is here safe in the states, and it is easy for me to say.

God bless our men and their families, I pray the only sacrifices are from the other side.

right2bright on May 14, 2007 at 12:58 PM

Perhaps they fear the search will find something they don’t want found. “Don’t snoop around here or else!” Hmmm… whatchya got there, abdul?

Privatestock on May 14, 2007 at 1:03 PM

What hostage of Al Qaeda has survived his captivity?

Any time Al Qaeda makes a threat that we should stop something, it is a sign of weakness on their part, a weakness we should massively exploit.

Tantor on May 14, 2007 at 1:21 PM

But…. that might hurt their feelings!

Privatestock on May 14, 2007 at 1:22 PM

Last year my husband was one of the ones who had to guard the remains of Pvts Menchaca & Tucker. He said that at the time the discussions were that they believed they were already dead when they took them and then did the other things later (I always wondered if it was wishful thinking on their part but I digress). Anyway, he thinks that they’re already dead (perhaps their remains were not so badly burned) and that they will do the same thing again with these Soldiers. I cannot imagine the pain their families are going through. Let us hope that if they are found that the families get the word first this time unlike last year. Didn’t catch the Spew but did big Ro mention these three? I mean, she’s so darned concerned about civil rights for terrorists but yet is mute when our brave men and women are in this type of situation. Funny, libs never have a good thing to say about situations like that do they? Too busy worrying about Abdul’s rights, right?

Catie96706 on May 14, 2007 at 1:43 PM

If I remember my Geneva Conventions, it’s expressly prohibited that the lives of prisoners be used as bargaining chips by a holding force against the opposing force.

If there’s any doubt that Al Queda and similar forces are expressly defying the Geneva Conventions, let it be removed.

Lock ’em up in Gitmo if a bullet doesn’t find them first.

My prayers go with the captured soldiers and their families.

Nethicus on May 14, 2007 at 1:54 PM

If I remember my Geneva Conventions, it’s expressly prohibited that the lives of prisoners be used as bargaining chips by a holding force against the opposing force.

What!?! Al-Qaeda not honoring the Geneva Convention? I don’t believe my eyes. Next you’ll be saying they have no intention of honoring the Hague Convention either. If only we shut down Gitmo, I’m sure they would come around….

tommy1 on May 14, 2007 at 2:17 PM

My prayers are with the families of these men. I pray they are rescued unharmed.

I hope that the military does NOT fall for AQ’s threat to harm the men unless they cease searching because as Tantor notes, Al Qaeda captives do not survive the experience.

Yesterday I openly complained that our leftist commentators here at Hot Air are either silent on this or taking pot shots at Bush using the “irony” of the situtation.

Nonfactor didn’t like that assessment of him, personally, and the others. Too bad. Not only do I stand by my accusation that liberals really HATE the troops, but that they are even celebrating their capture.

From several DU posters in a thread about the capture (language “sanitized”]:

“When will anyone in this administration learn that what goes around comes right around to hit you even harder?”

“If these soldiers are mistreated or killed, it will all come crumbling down on George Bush’s head. Believe me, it will be the tipping point.”

“You may be right about that… n/t”

“I hope you’re right but a previous instance didn’t undo B*sh.”

“I Don’t Think So. Unless their captors make sure that they are being shown the same level of treatment that was given to the prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.”

“the sick thing is if they torture our guys, we cannot complain. We torture their guys, so I guess that they are entitled to return in the same fashion. This is why we should not do it. “Moral High Ground”, remember that idea folks? We’ve lost it.”

“chances are it is an Iraqi guerrilla group that would be who the US is fighting. This al-quaeda in Iraq is bullsh*t.”

One DU-er wrote: “At least we dont behead our prisioners.” TThe immediate response was: “No, we just shove them off bridges Or rape them then murder their families for being witnesses. Yep, we really hold the moral high ground here. Wrong is wrong. PERIOD.”

Note the tone of self righteousness, of denial, of moral relativism, and hope that they can use this to undermine the President.

Then there are our “friends” at Huffington Post. CComments are from two threads on this topic.

“The US military ‘believes’ that because they just want to keep the shitforbrains at home foaming at the mouth.

Who cares who abducted them? They don’t belong there because they are invaders and occupiers.

If any other country did what the Useless States has done to Iraq, the America I once knew would be all over them. ” [More from this poster, PissedoffVietVet, below.]

“Al Qaeda, Sunnis, Shias – what f*cking difference does it make. They’re missing and probably suffering miserably.
Another Mother’s Day present from the biggest mother****** of them all – G.W.B.
May Bush suffer from a painful disease with no known cure. It’s the very least God can do for us. ”

“Now lets see 9%cheney has been in Iraq mmmmmmmmmmmm.
All of the sudden Al Qaeda is big on the news with soldiers abductions mmmmmmmmmmmm.
Our soldiers are bush/9%cheney’s toy soldiers.”

In a reply to another poster, there is this classic bt DonR equating our troops to pedophiles:

“Hey Gumby I’m a Dem.
By: wadenelson1 on May 14, 2007 at 01:28pm ”

What you are is an Assmeric*nt – why don’t you and your cousin Gumbo STFU and get your fat asses over to Iraq and go find your 3 paedophile buddies
By: DonR on May 14, 2007 at 01:39pm ”

and then there is this one, a classic by Huffie standards as it blames Bush, calls Bush an AWOL traitor, and calls for Bush’s execution is as fine an example of BDS as I’ve seen in a long time:

excuse me…..huh…..what?
is this the same al qaeda that is from 9/11?
i mean what was that, about 6 years ago?
wasn’t codpiece commander gonna get their leader osama bin laden DEAD OR ALIVE?
am i in a coma or what…what has the codpiece done to catch osama and the al qaedieans? isn’t osama and most of the 9/11 terrorist from saudi arabia?????
WHAT the f*ck do the repukes think they voted for him for? When the f*ck will the repukes wake up and try to protect our soldiers?

omg…i need to calm down and pray.

p.s. bushie is a DESERTER/TRESONOUS chicken and should be impeached and imprisoned (and maybe HUNG (HANGED BY THE NECK TILL DEAD – JUST LIKE SADDAM.)

p.s. it’s idiotdesertergoatboy, stooooopid.
p.p.s. trolls, phuc u.
By: itsbushstupid on May 14, 2007 at 11:53am

Finally, one “PissedoffVietVet” who posted several comments, (including one I cited above, wrote:

Bottom line is they are invaders in a country that never was a threat…….and whatever happens to them is punishment for that.

Imagine a couintry of 25 million where 150,000 Nazi troops are and only about ONE of TWO speak Arabic.

How has the advantage? Its their backyard and there are invaders in it. They should do whats necessary to rid the scum from their back yard.

To be fair, Huffie has some posters pointing the finger to the Democrats and the left for insisting that there are no Al Qaeda in Iraq. But once again, moral relativism, Bush-Hate, and self righteousness waft from Huffie like the maloderous air of a sewerage treatment plant.

I didn’t spend any time at KOS. Why bother? It’s all the same.

Finally, I cannot find as of now, A SINGLE DEMOCRAT RUNNING FOR THE NOMINATION MAKING A SUPPORTIVE COMMENT or expressing concern about the safety of these men. But let’s not criticize their partriotism…..

My accusation against nonfactor, and the rest of the left stand!

georgej on May 14, 2007 at 3:26 PM

If you want your soldiers’ safety, do not search for them.

And what kind of message would that send if we did?

Right now the message AQ is getting is, “You kidnap troops, we will be coming for you! And we don’t give up so easily!”

The message to the rest of the troops is, “This ever happens to you, we will be coming for you! And we don’t give up so easily!”

I can’t see anything being worse for morale than kidnapped troops, unless its sitting around doing nothing while polititians draft strongly worded, non-binding resolutions that won’t even pass.

taznar on May 14, 2007 at 3:44 PM

The Dams aand the AQ working from the same playbook.Clear and present period.

bbz123 on May 14, 2007 at 3:46 PM

pppffttt Gimme a break, a.q. rapes and murders people everyday, but we have one jackass who does that and they’re “outraged” by it? I hope our guys kill every last one of those futhermuckers!

Tony737 on May 14, 2007 at 3:54 PM

I’d give them an ‘or else’. Tomorrow you are going to wake up dead in a glass factory.

Wade on May 14, 2007 at 3:59 PM

Tony737 on May 14, 2007 at 3:54 PM


shooter on May 14, 2007 at 3:59 PM

There still aren’t enough coalition and Iraqi boots on the ground.

CliffHanger on May 14, 2007 at 12:55 PM

The problem does not lay in the number of troops it is ROE.

Wade on May 14, 2007 at 4:02 PM

Allah, why wouldn’t al Qaeda make demands before killing the soldiers, as they have in the past? I’m thinking that either the troops are dead, and were never in AQs possession, or they’re alive somewhere, not in AQs possession. The latter seems, unfortunately, less likely.

amerpundit on May 14, 2007 at 4:09 PM

“We do not negotiate with terrorists. We find them and kill them.”
— US Army

mojo on May 14, 2007 at 4:38 PM

What they did, in other words, was leverage an unrelated atrocity for propaganda value, as an excuse for their own savagery.

And the liberal media is happy to help them along with free press and global coverage.


Lawrence on May 14, 2007 at 5:03 PM

georgej on May 14, 2007 at 3:26 PM

Thanks for that report, I just can’t stand going over to those other sites. I can just imagine what they write, and then when I read the quotes, I always underestimate their anger, hatred, and stupidity.

Like you, I am waiting for a Dem to stand up for our troops. But they can’t.

Standing with you on your last sentence.

right2bright on May 14, 2007 at 5:16 PM

The blogger Hammorabi is a great example of what’s wrong in the middle east. What a pathetic and disgusting response to misery and violence.

sandberg on May 14, 2007 at 8:35 PM

I find it strange that AQ is reacting in ways to negate the surge, before the surge is in full effect.

Does anyone else find it unacceptable that our president annouces our strategy to the bad guys months before it is in full effect? Why didn’t we just tell hitler when and where we were going to invade Europe?

csdeven on May 14, 2007 at 11:13 PM

csdeven, I agree. I think too much has been said in the media on our way of *going about things*. It bugs me and I often say…geez don’t tell me that..I don’t need to know that much!

Highrise on May 14, 2007 at 11:54 PM

Nobody has compared our reaction to the kidnapping of our troops as opposed to the Brits when the Iranians.

If AQ was expecting a response like that of the Brits, they ill be fatally surprised.

georgej on May 15, 2007 at 12:18 AM