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Operation Matador

Old Guy

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Looks like the Marines have boxed up the terrorists up near Syria and are busy sending them to Hell.

Only bits and pieces on the Web. As usual, one reporter managed to make it sound as if the Marines were surprised and that the operation was somewhat adhoc. In the same report the guy mentioned that an Army engineer outfit with bridging equipment was attached to the Marines.

Wait a minute, I thought. If an Army unit is attached to the Marines, the thing sounds like a planned operation. Which, of course, it is.

That's one of the main problems with mainstream media. Almost none of the reporters have ever been in the military. They all too often say things that make no sense to anyone with a military background.

Anyway, I'm wondering if any of our former Marines have heard anything via the leatherneck grapevine.

For info online, try the Belmont Club and the Adventures of Chester.


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Col. North is covering it pretty extensively on Fox News, they've been having interviews with the Marines and even showing some combat footage. From everything I saw not only was it planned but it was planned well with Marines and Army units flushing out the terrorists and killing them when they didn't run and tried to stand up and fight, on top of that there's Marine, Air Force and Navy air working over suspected enemy positions, so that sounds like a pretty tightly coordinated effort if you ask me.

One of the interesting things is that the enemy has been seen in some cases to be wearing uniforms and body armor, but when asked what sort of uniforms they were wearing they wouldn't really say. But seeing as how they're operating a few hundred yards from the Syrian border...makes you wonder. Although I don't think even Assad is dumb enough to risk giving an excuse to drop the hammer on him by allowing uniformed Syrian troops to engage US forces. Then again he was an optomotrist so maybe he needs a new pair of glasses when he's looking at a map these days.

Another interesting thing is that we're fighting them out in the boondocks more or less, they've pulled out of places like Tikrit and Fallujah and have to be content to operate in the far western desert instead of in the cities. Now there has been an upswing in car bombings in cities this week but from what the intelligence guys are saying they're more like spite or revenge attacks on the civilians for not cooperating with them anymore than real attacks on Coallition or Iraqi government forces. So while it's bad for the people killed in the attacks, and no one should be blown up by some coward who attacks civilians at random, it does seem that both the Baathists and the Jihadists have realised that they're losing the civilian population and every attack they do against them just makes more people less willing to cooperate. I mean the average Iraqi may not be 100% behind the new government yet, but the terrorists are looking less and less like an alternative since they've shown they don't stand for anything but just want to do as much damage to anyone as they can while they're still able. That's a good thing from a strategic perspective, even if it is a bad thing in the short term.

Another encouraging thing is that the Iraqi government forces are getting better at fighting. It'll take a while but they're learning, and what's even more important is that they're PO'd at the terrorists now, everytime they find some of their guys excecuted or one of their recruiting stations gets attacked they get madder and more determined; which is a big contrast to the ARVN (since some people on the news like to do a comparison with Vietnam) in that they want blood now and aren't cowed by attacks against them. Another big change is that the Iraqi Special Police are operating now, these are former Republican Guard and the like, maybe not the most savory of men but they do know how to fight and they don't accept the hardest of the hardcore Baathists so they're mostly clean. "Mostly clean" is about as good as you're going to get with anyone that chose to be in Saddam's army but they're exactly the sort of badasses you want fighting on your side in a guerilla type war.

But Matador looks like it's accomplishing its goals so far, they're trying to goad the bad guys into stand up fights and some of them are actually attempting to do it. Which is a good thing because in a stand up fight there's no way in hell they can beat a Marine unit, they want to go to Paradise and the Marines are obliging them by the bucketload.

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