On balance, Ohio voters noticed that a jihadist war is being waged against the United States and preferred President Bush to conduct its defense. That’s my take on the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of “How Bush camp won Ohio.”
Coincidentally, today’s Christian Science Monitor carries an instructive rundown on the contents of a safe house operating as an Islamic medical charity in Fallujah: “Fallujah yields up weapons, videos.” The Monitor reports:
The scale of the weapons cache discovered Wednesday by Bravo Company at the suspected Zarqawi charity was the largest found in the city so far – and stashed in such a nondescript collection of buildings that US troops passed by several times without taking a closer look.
With an estimated 1,000 pounds of explosives, it could have caused damage up to six city blocks away, if detonated all at once. “Not all this stuff was being used for Fallujah – a lot was being exported out, and used as IEDs and car bombs in Ramadi and elsewhere,” says Colonel Tucker at the downtown site, just 200 yards from the central Hadra Mohamadiya mosque. “This was the central location for planning.”
The weapons store was laid out like an office, and worked under the legal name of the “Islamic Association – Fallujah Branch.” Offices were full of documents about prosthetic limbs, and emergency medical work.
Inside, too, were photographs of staffers handing out International Committee of the Red Cross food and medical packets. Some ICRC equipment still littered the rooms, along with orders for more crutches and wheelchairs.
But also mixed up in the paperwork were pamphlets about calls to jihad, similar to those found in Al Qaeda safe houses in Kabul after the Taliban fell.
Among the documents were listed the aims of the group, which made clear that “caring for those injured on the battlefield” – insurgents – take priority.
“On the surface, it looks real, with the Red Cross,” says an Arabic speaker who went through the documentation. “But their real job is something different…. It’s like a front company. This is a medical facility to help insurgents.”
Ledgers listed big ticket, Iraqi donors. More ledgers were for those receiving cash or food. Outside, garbage sacks were full of car alarms – a favorite for rigging command-detonated car bombs and explosives. Homemade RPGs lay in the dirt, not far from scores of Iraqi-made RPGs, oiled and stacked like cordwood.
Antitank mines and mountains of rockets and mortars of every size and description choked the buildings. An initial explosion of larger ordnance – including 14 SA-7 surface-to-air missiles- – sent a cement mixer flying 120 yards through the air.
Marines used wheelchairs as wheelbarrows Thursday to empty shipping containers of ammunition, gas masks, and mines, for further destruction.
(Courtesy of Lucianne.)