Friday, May 04, 2007

Weekend Reading

"This Meditation Pyramid is designed to increase the benefits of meditation. Tests have shown that people enter the Alpha State of Consciousness faster and easier when in, or under, a pyramid."

Iraqi Foreign Minister writes in the Washington Post: "Don't Abandon Us"

"Iraqis are standing up every day, and we persevere because there is no other option. We will not surrender our country to terrorists. They have failed to cripple the elected government, and they have failed to intimidate us into submission. Iraqis reject their vision of a future whose hallmarks are bloodshed and hatred.

"Those calling for withdrawal may think it is the least painful option, but its benefits would be short-lived. The fate of the region and the world is linked with ours. Leaving a broken Iraq in the Middle East would offer international terrorism a haven and ensure a legacy of chaos for future generations.

Furthermore, the sacrifices of all the young men and women who stood up here would have been in vain."

Caesar of Pentra debates free love with Kitten:

You know why I like to try the pre-marital sex?First of all, I don't have a girl friend. Secondly, I'm 23 years old virgin. I can't marry a girl before at least 6 or 5 years from now (2 years to finish my studies and 3 or 4 years of work to establish a comfortable level of living). That if I was so lucky to accomplish all that in this period. I don't come from a wealthy family or drive my own car. I don't wanna be just like others who entertain thierselves by paying for sex.

Monte Morin at Stars & Stripes considers the enduring myth of the Juba Sniper and speculates on its origins. One theory is that the US soldiers invented him:

Skeptics held that Juba was not one, or even several snipers. Instead, he was the product of hype and fear on the part of U.S. soldiers, as well as enemy propagandists who hope to sap the troops’ morale.

“Juba the Sniper? He’s a product of the U.S. military,” said Capt. Brendan Hobbs, 31, of Tampa, Fla., commander of Company C, 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment. “We’ve built up this myth ourselves.”

Max Boot at The Weekly Standard examines General Petreaus's strategy in Anbar...suggesting the purpose of the walls in Adhamiya:

Until recently Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, was the most dangerous city in Iraq if not the world. It was run by al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which had declared it the capital of its Islamic State of Iraq. The Iraqi police presence was limited to one police station, which the police were afraid to leave. Soldiers and Marines engaged in heavy combat every day, losing hundreds of men since 2003, simply to avoid having insurgents overrun the government center and close down Route Michigan, the main street.

That began to change last year when the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Armored Division expanded the U.S. troop presence on the west side of town, losing almost 90 soldiers in the process. The 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division, which took over the city earlier this year, expanded the offensive toward the al Qaeda strongholds on the west side of town. From mid-February to the end of March, some 2,000 soldiers and Marines, along with their Iraqi allies, fought to gain control of the city. The principal operations were codenamed Murfreesboro (February 10-March 10), Okinawa March 9-20), and Call to Freedom (March 17-30). Collectively, they deserve to take their place in the annals of this long war alongside such notable clashes as the taking of Tal Afar in 2005, the two battles of Falluja in 2004, and the thunder runs through Baghdad in 2003.

Each of the Ramadi offensives began with troops staging raids into the targeted area to eliminate "high value individuals"--local al Qaeda leaders. Then the troops would place three-foot-high concrete blocks known as Jersey barriers around the targeted neighborhood to prevent insurgents from "squirting out." This would be followed by a clearing operation, with U.S. and Iraqi troops advancing from multiple directions to root out the enemy. Combat was intense. Insurgents fought back with everything from homemade bombs to AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades, and heavy machine guns. Ten American soldiers were killed and another 40 wounded.

I will probably come back to this article later in a round up of bloggers writing about the Adhamiya walls.

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