Michael's Dispatches Michael's Dispatches

Victory in Iraq - Next Stop, Afghanistan

10 March 2009

Please read my latest article by picking up a copy of Townhall Magazine.  Townhall is offering a free copy of my book "Moment of Truth in Iraq," with new subscriptions to their excellent magazine. Please keep in mind that whenever I publish in a magazine or newspaper, the editors chose the title and blurb.  The words within the articles are mine, however.  (Such as my Wall Street Journal piece last year: "Let's Surge Some More." That was not my title.)

Read more: Victory in Iraq - Next Stop, Afghanistan

Straight Talk

09 March 2009

President Obama talks straight on Afghanistan.  We are not winning.  This bit of truth has been reported clearly on this website since early 2006.  In fact, not only are we not winning, we are losing.  Pakistan is a far bigger and more important problem than Afghanistan.  On the global scale, Afghanistan is tantamount irrelevant so long as we can deny sanctuary to people who will use that land as a base to attack us.

Read more: Straight Talk

Dark Times

06 March 2009

While I work on dispatches regarding torture, it appears that some people are getting what they want; many have asked for proof that torture occurred, and that torture be defined.  These questions are fair and important.  Yet it seems that these questions often are asked with an air of smugness that the questions cannot or will not be answered.  The issue is sharply politicized and so truth will hide under the nearest rock.  My views on torture, partially shaped by battlefield experience, are apolitical.  They are merely pragmatic based on life experience.

Read more: Dark Times

On Afghanistan

05 March 2009

The mainstream media has finally fully caught up to where we were in 2006.  It is now commonly recognized that we have massive problems with AfPak, and that Pakistan is the real problem.

Read more: On Afghanistan

President Protests Criminal Charges by Committing More Crimes

05 March 2009
 
The President of Sudan is behaving like a little Saddam Hussein, who behaved like a little Stalin.  The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, and so his government responded immediately by holding its own people hostage from aid workers.  It's important to recall that Sudan was a base for al Qaeda long before 9/11, with complicity of the Sudanese government who is believed to have aided in terrorist attacks.

Read more: President Protests Criminal Charges by Committing More Crimes

TORTURE: Some Thoughts

PART I

04 March 2009
 
On 24 February 2009, President Barack Obama said during his speech: “The United States of America Does Not Torture.”
 
The President’s words were cast LIVE, around the globe, and I was literally on the other side of the world, a dozen time zones away watching it on CNN.  I made a small entry on the website with a few thoughts, unleashing a torrent of criticism, which was expected; I don’t write to please, but in an attempt to deliver truth about the war.

Anytime I deliver bad news, such as back in 2006 that we were losing the war in Afghanistan while nearly everyone “knew” we were winning, there resulted an avalanche of criticism and insults, along with a decline in readership and support.  But that’s the way it goes.  If a writer wants to make money, he should avoid truth and tell people what they want to hear.  Yet to win the war, tell the truth.

Read more: TORTURE: Some Thoughts

Tactical Success, Strategic Defeat

02 March 2009

This Washington Post story rings true with my experience from October 2008.  I was in Afghanistan, and embeds with U.S. soldiers in that particular area were hard to come by, so I endeavored to hear the other side of the story, which was much easier to accomplish.  It’s amazing that it’s easier to interview potential enemies than to embed with U.S. forces.  Anyway, I went to the area near the village of Sper Kundy, just near Sarobi, where 10 French soldiers had recently died, and interviewed two men from the village.  Interestingly, I am told, that after I went there, a journalist tried to do the same thing and got kidnapped.  Apparently he was released without harm.  I was told that the journalist had used the same interpreter, though I have no verification of this.  In any case, the interpreter disappeared.

Read more: Tactical Success, Strategic Defeat

A 'Ticking Time Bomb' Goes Off

02 March 2009
 
A deadly wave of released prisoners is likely to intrude into our future.  I was in northern Iraq when this attack occurred, but was far away and only heard through sources that the attacker had been released from Guantanamo.  It's clear that some of these prisoners should be held for life, but which ones?
 
Please read.


Islamabad's capitulation

02 March 2009

Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid is a trusted source on AfPak.  His opinions have proven amazingly prescient.  His book "Taliban" was published six months before the 9/11 attacks, and provided a stark warning.  I interviewed Mr. Rashid in 2006 after I returned from Afghanistan.

Pakistan is slipping the noose around its own neck.  Giving up Swat to the Taliban would be like us giving up Georgia to the Ku Klux Klan.

Read more: Islamabad's capitulation

"The United States of America Does Not Torture"

24 February 2009

President Barack Obama has spoken.  His words beamed around the world.  I am in Asia preparing for a long year in Afghanistan and other contended places, but stopped to listen closely to President Obama's words.  Most of the things that President Obama talked about will take years, or many years, to implement.  But one thing can happen NOW.  No more torture.

Read more: "The United States of America Does Not Torture"

The Fallen

24 February 2009
 
We may have a lot of problems at home -- and we do -- but our brothers and sisters are out there for us tonight.  We lost eight just today.  Four soldiers were killed in Iraq, and four in Afghanistan.

Read more: The Fallen

Galactic Collisions

24 February 2009
 
Want to see a time when the press and the President really clashed with the media?  When was it?  World War I?  World War II?  Korea?  Vietnam?  Iraq I?  Iraq II?  (Definitely not Afghanistan, where the press practically handed out free candy and foot massages for over five years.) 

Read more: Galactic Collisions

New Bid to Eradicate al Qaeda

23 February 2009

Iraq continues to progress, but still some fighting.  Yet these days, al Qaeda in Iraq is like a piranha fish with no scales; it's still alive and flopping around on shore, but the dwindling piranha school cannot be happy.  The villagers have been helping to net them up and scale them.

Read more: New Bid to Eradicate al Qaeda

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