When Iraq Falls...., :After years of war, Iraqis hit by frenzy of crime

When Iraq Falls.

I would love for the People of Iraq to have a country of their own. I would love to ignore history and not see the pattern of failure in setting up 'democratic' regimes in the East. I would love to see any administration keep "long term' commitments and treatise instead of being the current joke of Foreign Policy:  
How do you get America to fail?
Wait 4 years and vote for a different President, none of them keep their word.
               (attributed to Osama ben laden educating New Recruits)

Iraq will fulfill it's part in Prophecy and sometimes, we just get in the way. Like or not, God still has his day in World Events and we need only watch and wait till Iraq Falls...., ( and pray for the people for a Messiah not a Iman)

After years of war, Iraqis hit by frenzy of crime

This undated photo provided Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009 by the Muhsin family showsAP – This undated photo provided Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009 by the Muhsin family shows Muhsin Mohammed Muhsin, …
BAGHDAD – The kidnappers holding an Iraqi auto mechanic's 11-year-old son gave him just two days to come up with $100,000 in ransom. When he could not, they were just as quick to deliver their punishment: They chopped off the boy's head and hands and dumped his body in the garbage.
The boy's final words to his father came in an agonizing phone call. "Daddy, give them the money. They are beating me," Muhsin Mohammed Muhsin pleaded a day before he was killed.
As the worst of the country's sectarian bloodshed ebbs, Iraqis now face a new threat to getting on with their lives: a frenzy of violent crime.
Many of those involved are believed to be battle-experienced former insurgents unable to find legitimate work. They often bring the same brutality to their crimes that they showed in the fighting that nearly pushed the country into a Sunni-Shiite civil war in 2006 and 2007.
The result has been a wave of thefts and armed robberies, hitting homes, cars, jewelry stores, currency exchanges, pawn shops and banks.
Kidnapping, too, remains terrifyingly common, as it was during the peak of the insurgency. Now, however, the targets are increasingly children, and the kidnappers, rather than having sectarian motives, are seeking ransoms.
In southern Baghdad's Saydiyah neighborhood, photos of missing children are pasted on electricity poles and the concrete blast walls that enclose many areas of the bomb-battered capital.
There are few statistics tracking the number and kinds of crimes, in part because the government remains focused on the bombings and other insurgent attacks that continue to plague Baghdad and Iraq's north.
But in the minds of the public, crime has become at least as consuming as the violence directly related to the war. And like the lack of electricity and other services, crime is now a top complaint of Iraqis.
To cope, some businesses are hiring more guards and even taking their money out of Iraqi banks, believing it will be safer in secret locations under private guard or in banks outside the country.
Iraqi military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi said investigations found that 60 to 70 percent of the criminal activity is carried out by former insurgent groups or by gangs affiliated with them — partly explaining the brutality of some of the crimes.
"After the success our forces have achieved in tightening the noose on insurgent groups, we are seeing that some of them are turning to form well-organized criminal gangs," al-Moussawi said.
Some members of Iraq's security forces are also involved, perhaps a sign that militants are still infiltrating the security services.
In August, two gunmen in their 20s broke into a neighbor's house in Baghdad's southern Dora district, beheading a father and his 1-year-old daughter and severely injuring her mother and another child. They stole 5 million Iraqi dinars, or about $4,300, and some jewelry.
They were arrested the next day. One of them was a former soldier who left the Iraqi army seven months ago.
In one of the most high-profile crimes in recent years, several members of Iraq's presidential guards — which protect senior officials — broke into the state-run Rafidain Bank on July 28 and stole about 5.6 billion Iraqi dinars, or $4.8 million. They tied up eight guards at the bank in Baghdad's central Karradah area and shot each one execution-style.
Four of the robbers were convicted and sentenced to hang. Three others remain at large.
In another heist, four gunmen with Interior Ministry ID cards robbed a private bank on Aug. 13 after forcing employees into a side room at gunpoint. The gunmen surrendered after a shootout with police, and no one was hurt.
In April, Iraq created a military task force to battle gangland-style crime after gunmen with silencer-fitted weapons killed at least seven people during a daylight heist of jewelry stores.
Still, criminals continue to operate seemingly without fear of getting caught.
Muhsin Mohammed Muhsin, the 11-year-old, was kidnapped around noon on his way home from a neighbor's funeral on Aug. 31 in Baghdad's eastern Shiite district of Sadr City.
His father frantically searched through police and hospitals records and distributed his son's picture. The kidnappers called two days later.
"They were calling us once every eight hours for two straight days," said Mohammed Muhsin, the 39-year-old father of six. "They said, 'You are wealthy people' and asked for $100,000, but I told them I could only secure $10,000."
"The next day, the police found him dumped in the garbage ... with his head and hands chopped off. His body showed burns and marks of torture."
Muhsin is wealthy by Iraqi standards. Besides his work as a mechanic, he and his brother own a truck and two private generators that help power his neighborhood during frequent outages — a significant source of income that perhaps made him a specific target.
"He was the closest to my heart," he said of his son. "They knew whom to kidnap."
Sadr City, where he and his family live, is home to about 2.5 million Shiites and was a stronghold of the Mahdi Army militia of the anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who fought U.S. troops intermittently until he declared a unilateral cease-fire in 2007.
When it was under militia control, kidnappings there were extremely rare.
Alarmed by the crime wave, Baghdad-based businessmen Sabir Hassan, 54, and Alaa al-Moussawi, 45, have taken new precautions.
Hassan, owner of a transportation company, has hired two more guards to protect his trucks.
"The past four months have been scary with the number of criminal acts and robberies increasing, especially against cars traveling on remote highways," Hassan said.
Al-Moussawi, chairman of an export and import company, has pulled most of his capital out of the bank to keep it in a secret place.
"What feeds the fear inside us and increases our worries is that some of these gangs are members of the security forces," he said.

The War We will not Win: More troops needed for Afghan war success

  1. No Plan
  2. No Strategy
  3. No Purpose
  4. No Political gain.
  5. No Monetary gain.
Afghanistan: The War We will Not Win...........
God Morning Vietnam...We did it again.

Report: More troops needed for Afghan war success

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A soldier from the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry RegimentAP – A soldier from the U.S. Army's 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), based at Fort Richardson, …
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's top commander inAfghanistan has told him that without more troops the United States could lose the war that Obama has described as the nation's foremost military priority.
Obama must now decide whether to commit thousands of additional American forces or try to hold the line against the Taliban with the troops and strategy he has already approved. Obama made clear in television interviews Sunday that he is reassessing whether his narrowed focus on countering the Afghan insurgency is working and will not be rushed into a decision about additional troops.
"Resources will not win this war, but under-resourcing could lose it," Gen. Stanley McChrystal wrote in a five-page summary of the war as he found it upon taking command this summer.
McChrystal's confidential 66-page report, sent to Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Aug. 30, is now under review at the White House.
"Although considerable effort and sacrifice have resulted in some progress, many indicators suggest the overall effort is deteriorating," McChrystal said of the war's progress.
Obama approved 21,000 additional U.S. troops earlier this year, on the advice of Gates and other senior defense and military leaders. That will bring the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan to a record 68,000 by the end of this year, working alongside 38,000 NATO-led troops.
The question now is whether to divert troops from Iraq or make other adjustments to expand that force significantly early next year. Gates and others have repeatedly warned that too large a force would do more harm than good in a country hostile to anything it sees as foreign meddling. But Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress last week he thinks more troops are probably necessary.
Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said in a statement that the McChrystal assessment "is a classified, pre-decisional document, intended to provide President Obama and his national security team with the basis for a very important discussion about where we are now in Afghanistan and how best to get to where we want to be."
While asserting that more troops are needed, McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, also pointed out an "urgent need" to significantly revise strategy. The U.S. needs to interact better with the Afghan people, McChrystal said, and better organize its efforts with NATO allies.
"We run the risk of strategic defeat by pursuing tactical wins that cause civilian casualties or unnecessary collateral damage. The insurgents cannot defeat us militarily; but we can defeat ourselves," he wrote.
In his blunt assessment of the tenacious Taliban insurgency, McChrystal warned that unless the U.S. and its allies gain the initiative and reverse the momentum of the militants within the next year the U.S. "risks an outcome where defeating the insurgency is no longer possible."
The content of the report was first reported by The Washington Post, which said it withheld publication of portions of the document at the government's request.
Morrell confirmed the report, but said the Pentagon would not release McChrystal's assessment.
"While we would have much preferred none of this be made public at this time we appreciate the paper's willingness to edit out those passages which would likely have endangered personnel and operations in Afghanistan," Morrell said in an e-mail statement.
The Pentagon and the White House are awaiting a separate, more detailed request for additional troops and resources. Media reports Friday and Saturday said McChrystal has finished it but was told to pocket it, partly because of the charged politics surrounding the decision. McChrystal's senior spokesman, Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, told The Associated Press on Sunday the report is not complete.
On Monday, another Pentagon spokesman said he cannot predict when the request will arrive, and said McChrystal's depiction of the war is one tool the administration will use to choose its path.
"The way forward in Afghanistan ... is more complex than just the security aspect of it," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. "There are political aspects, developmental aspects, economic, a range of things you have to look at."
A spokesman for Afghanistan's Defense Ministry said Sunday the Afghan government would not second-guess international military commanders on the need for more troops, but said that the greatest need is on the other side of the Afghan-Pakistan border, where the insurgency is infiltrating Afghanistan.
In Congress, the war has taken on a highly partisan edge. Senate Republicans are demanding more forces to turn around a war that soon will enter its ninth year, while members of Obama's own Democratic Party are trying to put on the brakes. Obama said in the Sunday interviews that he will not allow politics to govern his decision.
The president said he has not asked McChrystal to sit on his request for U.S. reinforcements.
"No, no, no, no," Obama responded when asked whether he or aides had directed McChrystal to temporarily withhold a request for additional U.S. forces and other resources.
"Are we doing the right thing?" he asked during one of a series of interviews broadcast Sunday. "Are we pursuing the right strategy?"
Obama gave no deadline for making a decision about whether to send more Americans into harm's way.
"The only thing I've said to my folks is, 'A, I want an unvarnished assessment, but, B, I don't want to put the resource question before the strategy question,'" Obama said. "Because there is a natural inclination to say, 'If I get more, then I can do more.' "
Mullen told Congress last week he expected McChrystal's request for additional forces and other resources "in the very near future." The White House has remained vague about how long it would take to receive the report and act on it.
Obama spoke on CNN's "State of the Union," ABC's "This Week," NBC's "Meet the Press," and CBS' "Face the Nation."
Associated Press writer Rahim Faiez in Kabul contributed to this report.

What Could It Be? When Could it Be? Will it be........this Year?

What Could It Be?

You can feel it in the air. Even those who couldn't possibly quote John 3:16 apprehensively feel that something big is coming around the next corner. Hollywood has been banking on the tension with movies like "Knowing" and "2012." An endless parade of books and commentaries by pundits all engaging in end time speculation have filled the Barnes & Noble shelves and dominated the mainstream media outlets. Like that ominous calm before the storm, people are scanning the horizon looking for that, that... whatever. What could it be?

Eric BargerFor an answer to that question, we'll go to Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.

Do you believe we're in the season of the Lord's return, and if so, why?
I believe I could be living at the time that He'll return. I hope if I am 99 behind a pulpit on a Sunday night and the last thing I preach about is the Rapture and the Coming of the Lord. But, that's where I believe we're at now.

My expertise in dealing with cults and the occult leads me to believe that the occult and supernaturalism is on the rise. The craving for supernaturalism I think it is one of the most important sign that we may be living in the season of the Lord's Return, that and the great apostacia— the apostasy — that we see around us.

Another sign of the soon return of Jesus is Israel becoming a state again.

We have so many things that have happened that we see the signs of the times. Jesus told us we wouldn't know the day or the hour, but we'll know the times when we are in them.

Of extreme importance is Matthew 24, when Jesus gives us a long series of signs we are to be looking for. The very first one He mentions is false Christ's and false prophets, the only one He repeats two more times, even saying some of these will even do major signs to deceive people. We've just had a literal explosion of this in both America and on the world scene. America is hooked on the supernatural like the rest of the world is, but not on God's supernatural. I believe that has helped prepare the way for the Antichrist because people will be craving spiritual things that of course don't lead them to God.

A recent false prophet out of Puerto Rico who is now in south Florida is Jesús Miranda. He is claiming to be Jesus Christ in the flesh. And just like that, he's got 60 churches in the United States and people giving him everything they've got and kissing his hand and all, and he's claiming to be Jesus Christ.

It is amazing what's happening and it is happening right before our eyes. But, we should not despair. We see all these things and we have the tendency to want to run for the hills and hide for cover. Instead, tell your lost friends about Jesus. Tell people about the Lord. Don't despair in this hour. This is a great hour for the Church if we'll stand up and take advantage of it.

I want to live my life as if He is coming back in any moment, but yet plan my life as if I am going to live until I am 100. So, I want to plan my life out, but I believe Jesus could return at any time. I think as we see these signs take place the Scripture says in Luke 21:28"When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

The Quiet Warriors ~ Tony Miano

The Quiet Warriors

Every member of an evangelism team is important to the cohesion and effectiveness of the team.

Usually (but not always), the team leader is the person who probably has the most experience and who probably spends the most time on the box open-air preaching. The best teams are those that have a variety of evangelists who may specialize in different disciplines.

A team may have one or more people who preach in the open-air. They may not distribute too many tracts or engage a lot of people in conversation, but rest assured an open-air box doesn't remain empty for long when they're around.

A team may have one or more people who live for the next conversation. Every time you look for one of these team members they are talking to someone. They may never get up on the box, but they are constantly sharing the gospel.

A team may have one or more people who are affectionately referred to as "tracting machines." They will distribute hundreds of tracts every time they hit the streets. That's their niche. That's their role. There will be times when those who focus on distributing tracts will share the gospel with more people than anyone else on the team.

But no team is complete without the quiet warriors--the people who pray. Now, everyone on a team should assume this role. Every team member should pray before, during, and after time on the street heralding and sharing the gospel. Teams are truly blessed when they include the quiet warriors--those brothers and sisters in Christ who may or may not engage in as much evangelism as other team members, but can always be counted on to lift up and anchor the team in prayer.

The evangelism teams I helped to start in Burbank and Glendale are now being led by outstanding brothers in Christ. Because of my role with Living Waters, I find myself spending much of my time shepherding and encouraging evangelism team leaders, instead of directly leading a local team.

While I am out on the streets more than ever before, I don't get to spend as much time as I once did with my teams. My schedule is such that I have to hit the streets whenever the opportunity presents itself; and that makes it difficult to rally the troops to go with me. I miss being with a team. There's nothing as sweet as the fellowship of the gospel. So, I try to get out to Glendale, Burbank, or North Hollywood to be with the teams as often as possible.

But even when I hit the streets alone, I am not alone. I know there are quiet warriors literally around the world praying for me. So, in a very real sense, I mobilize a team every time I hit the streets. This is why I make use of Twitter, so I can mobilize the quiet warriors.

And if you are reading this and you are counted among the quiet warriors, thank you. Thank you for your love and your prayers. Never underestimate your importance to your team and to the the cause of Christ.

Team leaders: encourage your quiet warriors. Don't neglect this part of your team--this vitally important spiritual weapon. The quiet warriors are every bit as important to your team as a radioman is to an army on the front lines of battle.


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