ALLAH’S WAITING ROOM
In the Military Alphabet, AWR is Alpha Whiskey Romeo. In Iraq today, it’s a code term of American soldiers. Whenever they use “AWR” or “Alpha Whiskey Romeo” in their communications, everyone knows what it really stands for: Allah’s Waiting Room. That’s what our soldiers have turned Iraq into for the terrorists, and that’s why our soldiers know they are winning this war.
That’s also why our soldiers have more contempt for MSM journalists and Democrat politicians than the Jihadi terrorists – for at least the terrorists are honest about being an enemy, instead of pretending they’re on your side while stabbing you in the back.
The Democrat distortion of the War in Iraq has become flat-out deranged. Yet for all the “alternate media’s” attempts to tell the truth, Johnny and Suzie Lunchbucket still get most of their news through the MSM, which is why a majority of the Lunchbuckets, according to polls, believe “Bush lied” to get us into the war, and that it is a war we are losing.
Both are lies, which any Democrat on Capitol Hill privy to basic intel reports knows, yet the Big Lie is a proven propaganda tool, and it’s working on the American public right now.
But not among our guys on the ground in Iraq. Let’s start with two basic ways they are winning.
First is snipers. Marine snipers. Navy SEAL snipers. Army Ranger snipers. There are lots and lots of them in Iraq, they are unbelievably good at their work, which they do quietly, efficiently, and all by themselves with no press coverage. They are taking out Jihadis one by one, a silent pop from nowhere and goodbye, all over Iraq.
One single Marine sniper currently on his third tour has personally racked up well over a hundred confirmed kills. The total number of Jihadis taken down by snipers is classified, but it’s certainly many thousands by now.
Second is the fifty battalions of Iraqi soldiers who are completing their training and will soon be loosed upon the Jihadis. These folks are fighting for their own country and will be ruthless in doing so. Couple this with the increasingly good intel from Iraqis on the street, Sunnis and Shias, who are cooperating with Coalition Forces and the emerging Iraqi military because they are totally fed up with the Jihadis.
As the evidence mounts that the Jihadis are losing in Iraq, the more desperate the Democrats’ and the media’s attempts to suppress and deny the evidence.
So I thought I would provide you with some direct evidence of how things are really going in Mesopotamia. This is an unvarnished, personal SitRep – situation report – from a Marine who just spent seven months at “Camp Blue Diamond” near Ramadi, Iraq, deep in Apache country.
We’ll call him Jay. What follows is notes taken by his father while at home on leave. It’s an assessment, negative and positive, of the tactics, weapons, equipment, and overall situation of both the good guys and the bad guys. It is both chilling and thrilling.
Particularly his “Bottom Line” conclusion. The heroism of American soldiers like Jay makes an astounding contrast to the refusal of the American media to tell the truth about them. Jay has re-enlisted for another four years in the Marines and will be returning for a second tour in Iraq this coming January. He says he can hardly wait.
M-16 rifle : Thumbs down. Chronic jamming problems with the talcum powder sand. The sand is everywhere. You feel filthy 2 minutes after coming out of the shower. The M-4 carbine version is more popular because it’s lighter and shorter, but it has jamming problems also. Marines like the ability to mount the various optical gunsights and weapons lights on the picatinny rails, but the weapon itself is not great in a desert environment. Everyone hates the 5.56mm (.223) round. Poor penetration on the cinderblock structure common over there and even torso hits can’t be reliably counted on to put the enemy down.
Fun fact: Random autopsies on dead insurgents shows a high level of opiate use.
M243 SAW (squad assault weapon): .223 cal. drum-fed light machine gun. Big thumbs down. Universally considered a piece of junk. Chronic jamming problems, most of which require partial disassembly – real fun in the middle of a firefight.
M9 Beretta 9mm: Mixed bag. Good gun, performs well in desert environment; but Marines hate the 9mm cartridge. The use of handguns for self-defense is actually fairly common. Same old story on the 9mm: Bad guys hit multiple times and still in the fight.
Mossberg 12ga. military shotgun: Works well, used frequently for clearing houses to good effect.
M240 machine gun: 7.62 Nato (.308) cal. belt-fed machine gun, developed to replace the old M-60. Thumbs up. Accurate, reliable, and the 7.62 round puts ’em down. Originally developed as a vehicle-mounted weapon, more and more are being dismounted and taken into the field by infantry. The 7.62 round chews up the structure.
M2 .50 cal. heavy machine gun: Thumbs way, way up. “Ma deuce” is still worth her considerable weight in gold. The ultimate fight stopper, puts their dicks in the dirt every time. The most coveted weapon in-theater.
.45 pistol: Thumbs up. Still the best pistol round out there. Everybody authorized to carry a sidearm is trying to get their hands on one. With few exceptions, can reliably be expected to put ’em down with a torso hit. The special ops guys (who are doing most of the pistol work) use the HK military model and love it. The old government model .45’s are being re-issued en masse.
M-14: Thumbs up. They are being re-issued in bulk, mostly in a modified version to special ops guys. Modifications include lightweight Kevlar stocks and low power red dot or ACOG sights. Very reliable in the sandy environment, and welove the 7.62 round.
Barrett .50 cal. sniper rifle: Thumbs way up. Spectacular range and accuracy and hits like a freight train. Used frequently to take out vehicle suicide bombers ( we actually stop a lot of them) and barricaded enemy. Definitely here to stay.
M24 sniper rifle: Thumbs up. Mostly in .308 but some in .300 win mag. Heavily modified Remington 700’s. Great performance. Snipers have been used heavily to great effect. A Marine sniper on his third tour in Anbar province has now exceeded the famous record for confirmed kills (93 official, many more unofficial) of Long Trang (White Feather) himself, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock in Vietnam.
The new body armor: Thumbs up. Relatively light at about 6 lbs. and can reliably be expected to soak up small shrapnel and even will stop an AK-47 round. The bad news: Hot as hell to wear, almost unbearable in the summer heat (which averages over 120 degrees). Also, the enemy now goes for head shots whenever possible. All the media garbage about the “old” body armor making our guys vulnerable to the IED’s was a non-starter. The IED explosions are enormous and body armor doesn’t make any difference at all in most cases.
Night Vision and Infrared Equipment: Thumbs way up. Spectacular performance. Our guys see in the dark and own the night, period. Very little enemy action after evening prayers. More and more enemy being whacked at night during movement by our hunter-killer teams. We’ve all seen the videos.
Bad Guy Weapons
Mostly AK47’s. The entire country is an arsenal. The Kalashnikov works better in the desert than the M16 and the .308 Russian round kills reliably. PKM belt-fed light machine guns are also common and effective. Luckily, the enemy mostly shoots with undisciplined “spray and pray” type fire. However, they are using more and more precision weapons, especially sniper rifles provided by Iran.
Fun fact: Captured enemy marvel at the marksmanship of our guys and how hard they fight. They are apparently told in Jihad school that the Americans rely solely on technology, and can be easily beaten in close quarters combat for their lack of toughness. Let’s just say they know better now.
RPG, rocket-propelled grenade launcher: Probably the infantry weapon most feared by our guys. Simple, reliable and as common as AK’s. The enemy responded to our up-armored Humvees by aiming at the windshields, often at point blank range. Still killing a lot of our guys.
The IED, improvised explosive device: The biggest killer of all. Can be anything from old Soviet anti-armor mines to jerry-rigged artillery shells. A lot found in Ramadi were in abandoned cars. The enemy would take 2 or 3 155mm artillery shells and wire them together. Most were detonated by cell phone, and the explosions are enormous. You’re not safe in any vehicle, even an M1 tank.
Driving is by far the most dangerous thing our guys do. Lately, there are much more sophisticated Iran-supplied “shape charges” specifically designed to penetrate armor. Most of the ready made IED’s are now supplied by Iran, which is also providing terrorists (Hezbollah types) to train the insurgents in their use and tactics.
That’s why the attacks have been so deadly lately. Their concealment methods are ingenious, the latest being shape charges in styrofoam containers spray-painted to look like the cinderblocks that litter all Iraqi roads. We find about 40% before they detonate, and the bomb disposal guys are unsung heroes of this war.
Mortars and rockets: Very prevalent. The Soviet-era 122mm rockets (with an 18km range) are becoming more prevalent. One of my NCO’s lost a leg to one. These weapons cause a lot of damage “inside the wire” ofour bases. Mine in Ramadi was hit almost daily by mortar and rocket fire, often at night to disrupt sleep patterns and cause fatigue (which it did). More of a psychological weapon than anything else. The enemy mortar teams would jump out of vehicles, fire a few rounds, and then scoot in a matter of seconds.
Bad guy technology: Most communication is by cell and satellite phones, and also by email on laptops. They use handheld GPS units for navigation and “Google Earth” for overhead views of our positions. Their weapons are good, if not fancy, and prevalent. Their explosives and bomb technology is top of the line. Night vision is rare. They are very careless with their equipment and the GPS units and laptops are treasure troves of intel when captured.
Who Are The Bad Guys?
Most of the carnage is caused by the Zarqawi Al Qaeda group. They operate mostly in Anbar province (Fallujah and Ramadi). These are mostly “foreigners,” non-Iraqi Sunni Arab Jihadis from all over the Moslem world and Europe. Most enter Iraq through Syria with the knowledge and complicity of the Syrian government, and then travel down the “rat line” which is the trail of towns along the Euphrates River that we’ve been hitting hard for the last few months.
Some are virtually untrained young Jihadis that often end up as suicide bombers or in “sacrifice squads.” Most, however, are hard core terrorists from all the usual suspects (Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.) These are the guys running around murdering civilians en masse and cutting heads off. The Chechens are supposedly the most ruthless and the best fighters, as they have been fighting the Russians for years.
In the Baghdad area and south, most of the insurgents are Iranian inspired (and led) Iraqi Shiites. The Iranian Shiia have been very adept at infiltrating the Iraqi local governments, police forces and military. The have had a massive spy and agitator network there since the Iran-Iraq war in the early 80’s. Most of the Saddam “Baathist” loyalists were killed, captured or gave up long ago.
Bad Guy Tactics
When they are engaged on an infantry level, they get their butts kicked every time. Brave but stupid. Suicidal Banzai-type charges were very common earlier in the war and still occur. They will literally sacrifice 8-10 man teams in suicide squads by sending them screaming and firing AK’s and RPG’s directly at our bases just to probe the defenses. They get mowed down like grass every time.
Our base was hit like this often. When engaged, they have a tendency to all flee to the same building, probably for what they think will be a glorious last stand. Instead, we call in air and that’s the end of that. The building becomes another Alpha Whiskey Romeo, as we have the laser guided ground-air thing down to a science.
The fast movers, mostly Marine F-18’s, are taking an ever-increasing toll on the enemy. When caught out in the open, the helicopter gunships and AC-130 Spectre gunships cut them to ribbons with cannon and rocket fire, especially at night. Interestingly, artillery is hardly used at all.
The insurgent tactic most frustrating is their use of civilian non-combatants as cover. They know we do all we can to avoid civilian casualties and therefore schools, hospitals and (especially) mosques are locations where they meet, stage for attacks, cache weapons and ammo and flee to when engaged.
The terrorists have absolutely no regard whatsoever for civilian casualties. They will terrorize locals and murder without hesitation anyone believed to be sympathetic to the Americans or the new Iraqi government. Kidnapping of family members (especially children) is common to influence people they can’t reach, such as local officials, clerics, and tribal leaders.
The first thing we are told is “don’t get captured.” We know that if captured we will be tortured and beheaded on the Internet. Zarqawi openly offers bounties for anyone who brings him a live American serviceman. This motivates the criminal element who otherwise could care less about the war. A lot of the beheading victims were actually kidnapped by common criminals and sold to Zarqawi.
As such, for our guys, every fight is to the death. The infantry fighting is frequent, up close and brutal. No quarter is given or shown. Surrender is not an option.
The Iraqi soldiers are a mixed bag. Some fight well, others are hopeless. Most do okay with American support. Finding leaders is hard, but they are getting better. It is widely viewed that Zarqawi’s use of suicide bombers against the civilian population was a serious tactical mistake. Many Iraqis were galvanized and the caliber of recruits in the Army and the police forces went up, along with their motivation. It also led to an exponential increase in good intel because the Iraqis are sick of the insurgent attacks against civilians. The Kurds are solidly pro-American and fearless fighters.
Morale among our guys is very high. We not only believe we are winning, but that we are winning decisively.
Our guys are stunned and dismayed by what they see in the American press, whom they almost universally view as against them. The embedded reporters are despised and distrusted. We are inflicting casualties at a rate of 25-1 and then see garbage like “Are we losing in Iraq?” on TV and the print media.
For the most part, our guys are satisfied with their equipment, food and leadership. Bottom line though, and they all say this, there are not enough of us in Iraq to drive the final stake through the heart of the insurgency, primarily because there aren’t enough troops in-theater to shut down the borders with Iran and Syria. The Iranians and the Syrians just can’t stand the thought of Iraq being an American ally – with, of course, permanent US bases there.
The ultimate bottom line is the enemy death toll. So far we have killed around 50,000. From all over the Moslem world, terrorists are coming to Iraq so we can kill them. That’s why we call it Allah’s Waiting Room.