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'My Country Needs Me'
WSJ Opinion Journal ^ | November 1, 2006 | HEATHER ROBINSON

Posted on 11/01/2006 5:28:05 PM PST by RDTF

With the midterm elections fast approaching, the panic over Iraq seems more intense than ever. That country, the thinking goes, is a hopeless mess, and there could be a precipitous American withdrawal, especially if the Democrats win.

But doing so would leave the silent majority of Iraqis hostage to the most vicious extremists, abandoning those Iraqi leaders who have championed liberal democratic values. One of them is Mithal al-Alusi, a 53-year-old Sunni Arab who won a seat in parliament last December after having served as director general of the National Commission on de-Baathification. Mr. al-Alusi ran on a platform of religious pluralism, human rights, free markets and a free press. He calls for an alliance among democracies--including the U.S., Iraq, Israel and Turkey--to fight terrorism.

Not only does Mr. al-Alusi champion values many in the West hope will define the new Iraq, he has risked his life--and lost more than his life--for the cause. In September 2004 he attended a counterterrorism conference in Herzliya, Israel; after which insurgents threatened his family. The following February assassins opened fire on Mr. al-Alusi's car as it approached his Baghdad home. He wasn't in the vehicle, but his sons, 30-year-old Ayman and 22-year-old Gamal, were. Both were killed as their father watched. Still, Mr. al-Alusi was unbowed. "Even if these terrorists try to kill me again, peace is the only solution," he told reporters minutes after the attack. "Peace with Israel is the only solution for Iraq. Peace with everybody, but no peace for the terrorists."


Mithal al-Alusi could have left Iraq for a comfortable life in exile; Mr. Shays, a friend, offered to help him relocate to the U.S. But he said no: "My country needs me."

He has not given up the fight. How can we?

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 200409; 200502; alalusi; antiterrorism; assassinationplots; debaathification; democracy; iran; iraq; israel; mithalalalusi; moderatemuslims; sunni; waronterror

1 posted on 11/01/2006 5:28:08 PM PST by RDTF
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He calls for an alliance among democracies--including the U.S., Iraq, Israel and Turkey--to fight terrorism.

I hope that after Nov. 7 we are still worthy.

2 posted on 11/01/2006 6:12:34 PM PST by gotribe (It's not a religion.)
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To: gotribe

Read this article in the WSJ today and was inspired to learn about Mr. al-Alusi. I couldn't stop thinking about the contrast between Mithal al-Alusi and John Kerry. God bless those in Iraq who understand the power of democracy.

3 posted on 11/01/2006 6:55:09 PM PST by RWHI
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I like this al-Alusi guy a lot!!

4 posted on 11/01/2006 6:57:24 PM PST by phoenix0468 ( -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: RDTF; Dog Gone

I was reading all the doom and gloom reports in the magazines today. I was in the bookstore and in front of me were piles of doom and gloom books.

I'm not sure where this desperate urge to cut and run comes from. Have we suffered huge casualties? No; we lost more people in single battles in Vietnam and World War II than we have in three plus years of fighting the Iraq war. Have we spent massive amounts of money? Well, yes, but any kind of fight against the terrorists would cost us.

Stories like this need more exposure so people understand that we're fighting for the future of a people. These people have traditionally been buffetted to and fro by the winds of foreign invasions and conquest. They have had it bad, really bad, through history.

Some of them like us and some hate us but somehow they also look up to us for strong leadership.

I think the only way we can have a Middle East that can have peace with us and its neighbors is to see this story through. People unhappy with the war don't understand how awful things were before it, and how awful things would be if we left.

George W Bush and his staff are accused of going in without having full knowledge that's needed to understand the situation and fix problems.

But people like Robert Fisk, with decades of experience in the region and huge amounts of knowledge about how it works have been paralyzed against it. Was the only solution to keep Saddam in power? That seems to be what Fisk and his friends want, but at the same time they know he's an evil tyrant.

I'm glad we got rid of the tyrant. I wish things had gone more smoothly. But this is the middle east, and we're muddling through. I doubt that anyone else, knowledge or no, would have done much better.

Most of the people complaining would have kept the tyrant around. And that's why I hate the left. As al-Alusi said, at least we have a start, and hope. In the Saddam era, that was not the case.


5 posted on 11/01/2006 8:22:23 PM PST by daviddennis
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To: daviddennis

Have we suffered huge casualties?

The Ten Costliest Battles of the Civil War
Based on total casualties (killed, wounded, missing, and captured)

Battle of Gettysburg
Date: July 1-3, 1863

Location: Pennsylvania
Confederate Commander: Robert E. Lee
Union Commander: George G. Meade
Confederate Forces Engaged: 75,000
Union Forces Engaged: 82,289
Winner: Union
Casualties: 51,112 (23,049 Union and 28,063 Confederate)

Battle of Chickamauga
Date: September 19-20, 1863

Location: Georgia
Confederate Commander: Braxton Bragg
Union Commander: William Rosecrans
Confederate Forces Engaged: 66,326
Union Forces Engaged: 58,222
Winner: Confederacy
Casualties: 34,624 (16,170 Union and 18,454 Confederate)

Battle of Chancellorsville
Date: May 1-4, 1863

Location: Virginia
Confederate Commander: Robert E. Lee
Union Commander: Joseph Hooker
Confederate Forces Engaged: 60,892
Union Forces Engaged: 133,868
Winner: Confederacy
Casualties: 30,099 (17,278 Union and 12,821 Confederate)



Loss In Engagements In The Civil War Where The Total Was Five Hundred Or More On The Side Of The Union Troops

I recall reading (sorry I forget where so no source) that the Allied losses on D-Day were 1,000 an hour.

It sounds cold hearted to say but as wars go this one is pretty bloodless. And that's a good a VERY good thing.

6 posted on 11/01/2006 11:08:07 PM PST by Valin (
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To: Valin; Dog Gone

As I remember we have about 150k troops in Iraq and under 3,000 of them died in 3.5 years. This means a death rate of about 0.66% per year, which makes military work seem a lot less risky than popularly perceived.

That's a pretty impressive monument to the effectiveness of today's military and it's something we should be proud of.

Do you have similar figues for Vietnam? I think the death rate was a lot lower than in the Civil war but still much higher than the Iraq conflict.

You know, I was musing that we defeated the Nazis and that worked out better than the Iraq war but then I realized it may be little different since the Europeans are pretty bitter towards us too.

Maybe that's what happens whenever a nation is rescued.

You realize, this whole Bin Laden thing started when Iraq invaded Kuwait and the Saudis asked for US help. Osama, who was not previously resentful of America, offered to help Saudi Arabia defeat Saddam's armies without the help of America. Apparently he wanted to keep the "Two Holy Places" under Saudi control without American involvement.

The Saudis basically laughed him out of the room, considering his proposals absurd. Osama's actual experience in Afghanistan was minimal at best and his swelled ego made him think he could defeat an attacking army. (He actually did defeat the Russian army when it was retreating. They retreated, he counted it as a major victory.)

It seems strange to our minds that he would not be happy to see America help Saudi Arabia kick the Iraqis out of Kuwait. After all, he says he did hate Saddam, and since Americans did it, Saudis didn't die on the battlefield. If I were a Saudi, quite honestly I would consider that the optimal approach!

But Osama wanted glory - and, perhaps, martyrdom. The Saudi Princes had something to live for and so they didn't like his plan at all.

So they let the Americans in, an the Americans did the job and left Osama with a simmering hatred of America. All the rest - the Palastinians, the Iraqi sanctions, etc were just attempts to expand his appeal. His personal grudge is based on that moment.

I'm still trying to figure out why on earth that would make him so angry as to devote his life to Jihad, which really seems like a career option with precious little postiive to recommend it.



7 posted on 11/02/2006 7:01:33 AM PST by daviddennis
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To: daviddennis

"Do you have similar figues for Vietnam?"

Sorry I don't, but I'm sure they are out there.

"You know, I was musing that we defeated the Nazis and that worked out better than the Iraq war"

That was a conventional war, this is an unconventional war. While they are both wars, in the way you fight it's apples and oranges. (IMO) a better war to look at is the way the British fought the "Malaysian emergency" in th 50's.

"I'm still trying to figure out why on earth that would make him so angry as to devote his life to Jihad, which really seems like a career option with precious little postiive to recommend it."

Yeah but you pretty much get to set your own hours.

Osama's Inter-Cave Memo

From: Bin Laden, Osama

Sent: Monday, October 22, 2001 8:17 AM
To: Cavemates

Subject: The Cave

Hi guys. We've all been putting in long hours but we've really come together as a group and I love that. Big thanks to Omar for putting up the poster that says "There is no I in team" as well as the one that says

"Hang In There, Baby." That cat is hilarious. However, while we are fighting a jihad, we can't forget to take care of the cave. And frankly I have a few concerns.

First of all, while it's good to be concerned about cruise missiles, we should be even more concerned about the scorpions in our cave. Hey, you don't want to be stung and neither do I so we need to sweep the cave daily.

I've posted a sign up sheet near the main cave opening.

Second, it's not often I make a video address but when I do, I'm trying to scare the most powerful country on earth, okay? That means that while we're taping, please do not ride your razor scooter in the background. Just while we're taping. Thanks.

Third point, and this is a touchy one. As you know, by edict, we're not supposed to shave our beards. But I need everyone to just think hygiene, especially after mealtime. We're all in this together.

Fourth: food. I bought a box of Cheez-Its recently, clearly wrote "Osama" on the front, and put it on the top shelf. Today, my Cheez-Its were gone.

Consideration. That's all I'm saying.

Finally, we've heard that there may be American soldiers in disguise trying to infiltrate our ranks. I want to set up patrols to look for them. First patrol will be Omar, Muhammed, Abdul, Akbar, and Richard.

Death to infidels,


As to the why, I highly recommend "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright. I hate it when someone tells me this is a MUST READ, so I'll just say you'll learn a cople of things + the guy can write, it's a real page turner.

8 posted on 11/02/2006 7:31:04 AM PST by Valin (
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To: Valin

I've read The Looming Tower and also The Osama Bin Laden I know. The latter's pretty interesting as oral history. Both were illuminating but it's still leaving me a little empty as to why someone would feel such an enormous blast of anger against us.

The Americans helped the fighters that actually liberated Afghanistan from the Soviets. Of course, as you know from The Looming Tower, Osama had essentially no role in that fight. Maybe Osama's resentment started there?


9 posted on 11/02/2006 11:16:09 AM PST by daviddennis
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