Our troops are advancing faster than we’d planned, killing more of the enemy than we’d expected, losing fewer of ours than we’d feared, and might be wrapping up Fallujah more swiftly than we’d dreamed.
To sift through what bits of information manage to leak out of Fallujah, read The Command Post.
If liveblogging with on-the-fly analysis is your bag, then The Adventures of Chester is your one-stop shop.
The Belmont Club pulls some loose threads together to make educated guesses about the unfolding battle.
Want maps and satellite photos? Two words: Carnivorous Conservative.
For your inspiration, Blackfive has video of Marines singing in Fallujah.
And please … say a prayer today, OK? Froggy Ruminations has an appropriate one.
Wretchard at The Belmont Club collects some late-breaking accounts of our troops’ exploits in Fallujah. Sounds like the average life expectancy of a Fallujah jihadi is pretty doggone short.
Hat tip: Power Line
UPDATE: A NY Times article that’s a must-read; be sure to check the multimedia links on the right (like this slideshow).
… but isn’t that urban camouflage on these Marine Corps AAVs getting ready to enter Fallujah?
Original AFP photo here.
The Green Side posts e-mails from a Marine just outside Fallujah who’s girding up to go in. It’s compelling reading, and I’ll be stopping by frequently while following the coming battle in the news.
AP reports that Cpl. Hassoun is back in U.S. custody:
A U.S. Marine who was reported missing in Iraq more than two weeks ago is alive and at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, where American officials are meeting with him, authorities said Thursday.
NBC reported the Navy was investigating whether his disappearance may be part of a kidnapping hoax. A Marine spokesman confirmed the Navy investigation remains open.
“I don’t think they’re ruling that out. It would be fair to say they’re not ruling that out,” Maj. Nat Fahy said earlier Thursday.
A spokesman for the Bahrain-based U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet said the “matter is under investigation by Naval Criminal Investigative Service” and referred further questions to the service in Washington. A call to the service seeking comment was not immediately returned.
This ought to be interesting. If this guy pulled some kind of stunt or hoax, just imagine the circus that would develop. I’d bet my eyeteeth that five minutes after any negative results crop up in the NCIS investigation, the Council on American Islamic Relations will rush to Hassoun’s aid against “Muslim-bashing right-wing extremists.”
Now there are claims from the terrorists that Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is alive and has either been released or moved somewhere “safe.”
UPDATE: Reports indicate Cpl. Wassoun has reportedly been freed, is in Lebanon, and has called the U.S. Embassy there asking to be picked up.
As you’ve probably heard by now, the predictably savage muslims holding Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun have cut off his head. Backcountry Conservative has the roundup. Jeff does a fine job at a task I don’t envy.
After the Marines find and kill these vermin, it would be appropriate to find where they stayed in Iraq, leave no stone standing atop another, burn what can’t be moved, and then salt the earth.
UPDATE: Why “militants”? Can’t we at least call terrorists what they are?
UPDATE 2: Backcountry Conservative links to speculation that Corporal Hassoun might have been lured away from his post and into a honey trap.
UPDATE 3: More news is seeping out … now there are denials of Hassoun’s death, and the military has not confirmed it either.
UPDATE 4: Now the rumor is he’s alive and either “safe” or free.
Hugh Hewitt has posted an open letter from a friend in the Marines to the Islamozoid savages holding Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun. They ought to read it while they’re still exchanging oxygen.
Before the current politically correct climate enveloped our culture one of the recruiting slogans of our band of brothers was “The Marine Corps Builds Men.” You will soon find out just how true that is. You, on the other hand, are nothing but a bunch of women. If you were men you would show your faces, and take us on in a fair fight. Instead, you are cowards who hide behind masks and decapitate helpless victims. If you truly represented the interest of the Iraqi people you would not be ambushing those who come to your country to repair your power plants, or sabotage the oil pipelines which fuel the Iraqi economy. Your agenda is hate, plain and simple.
When you raise that sword over your head I want you to remember one thing. Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun is not alone as he kneels before you. Every Marine who has ever worn the uniform is there with him, and when you strike him you are striking all of us. If you think the Marines were tough on you when they were cleaning out Fallujah a few weeks ago you haven’t seen anything yet. If you want to know what it feels like to have the Wrath of God called down upon you then go ahead and do it. We are not Turkish truck drivers, or Pakistani laborers, or independent contractors hoping to find work in your country. We are the United States Marines, and we will be coming for you.
According to emerging reports, a U.S. Marine has been captured by terrorists in Iraq. His name is Wassef Ali Hassoun.
Arab television broadcast videotape Sunday of two men of Pakistani origin taken hostage by militants: a driver for an American company and a blindfolded man in military fatigues described as U.S. Marine lured from his base. Insurgents threatened to behead them both.
Al-Jazeera said the militants demanded the release of all Iraqis “in occupation jails” or the man would be killed. The group claimed it infiltrated a Marine outpost, lured the man outside and abducted him.
Earlier Sunday, the Pakistani driver was shown on a tape broadcast by a different Arab television station, Al-Arabiya. … Four masked men holding assault rifles across their chests said they would behead the Pakistani within three days unless Americans freed prisoners held at Abu Ghraib and three cities of central Iraq — Balad, Dujail and Samarra.
The [civilian] hostage, who gave his name as Amjad, urged Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to close the Pakistani Embassy in Iraq and to ban Pakistanis from coming to Iraq.
“I’m also Muslim, but despite this they didn’t release me,” he said, bowing his head. “They are going to cut the head of any person regardless of whether he is a Muslim or not.”
Haven’t these Islamofascist goons heard of the concept of “no worse enemy“? If that Marine turns up dead, which is pretty likely given recent beheadings in the Middle East, those bastards are going to get an e-ticket straight to Hell, courtesy of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.
Pray for Corporal Hassoun, and for the Pakistani man the goons grabbed. I suggest asking God to arrange for some good intel to end up in the hands of Delta Force, DEVGRU, or the SAS.
Watch Backcountry Conservative for updates.
UPDATE: The U.S. military confirms that a Marine has been missing from his unit for a week.
UPDATE 2: They’ve murdered him.
UPDATE 3: … or maybe not.
UPDATE 4: OK, now almost certainly not murdered. Perhaps even free and coming home?