Mario Loyola tells of “the extent and tightness of the cooperation between the Americans and the local Anbaris” in text and video.
And W. Thomas Smith Jr. continues to blog from Iraq on NRO’s military blog, “The Tank” — including about how jihadists aim young:
Among the challenges now facing the Marines are that the bad guys — who have survived and are out in the remote desert areas — are the truly hardcore jihadists. There really is no reconciliation for them. We have to kill them.
Another somewhat disconcerting trend is that the MEU is hearing more “chatter” about youngsters becoming involved. Nagle tells me:
We’re learning of lookouts as young as 11-years-old, and fighters as young as 14. We’ve seen this in the past. But we seem to be looking at it again. The Jihadists recruit them [the kids] for several reasons, including perhaps a shortage of fighters, plus they know that boys that young will often be less suspicious to us.
The terrorists here are training the younger recruits to kill using ”murder intimidation techniques,” Nagle says:
Their signature piece being head-chopping.
Bodies are still being found — including three yesterday — most are shot in the head (though signs of pre-execution torture are evident). Some are found beaten to death with shovels.
The upside, says Nagle:
The Iraqi people have been through hell with this, and they seem to have no desire to take a step back [toward cooperation with the bad guys].
I hope members of Congress are reading this stuff. This is not a scene we should be walking away from right now.