December 8, 2004

FROM THE HALLS OF THE RIYADH EMBASSY:

Marines saved 'em from Qaeda (CORKY SIEMASZKO, 12/07/04, NY DAILY NEWS)

When the Jihadis burst into the U.S. Consulate in Saudi Arabia, guns blazing and screaming, "Where are the Americans!," the diplomats quickly fled to a panic room.

"I certainly was worried," Consul-General Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley said yesterday, a day after the daring daylight Al Qaeda raid that left two Americans wounded and five consular workers dead.

"It's not good to hear gunfire outside but I did have complete faith in the security of the building."

That's because the five militants who managed to shoot past the Saudi guards at the gate were no match for the Marines manning the main chancery building - where the American staff had sought sanctuary.

Witnesses said the terrorists fired on Marines from behind trees and forced several workers to serve as human shields, ordering them to yell "God is Great!" as they shot over their shoulders.

But the Marines held them off, giving Saudi special forces enough time to help repel the attack. Three of the attackers were killed, two more were wounded. And there were unconfirmed reports that one of Saudi Arabia's most-wanted militants, Saleh Al Oufi, was among the captives.

"Marines were performing heroically protecting the chancery and the citizens who were inside," Ambassador James Oberwetter said. "The chancery building was not breached."


So how many jihadis do you figure military planners estimate each Marine is worth in combat? A dozen? Maybe more?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 8, 2004 8:01 AM
Comments

God is Great. Problem for them is, allah is not God.

Posted by: M. Murcek at December 8, 2004 8:56 AM

Based on casuality figures from Iraq, I would estimate somewhere between 20 to 50.

Posted by: jd watson at December 8, 2004 9:01 AM

Question: Why do we have a consulate in Jiddah? How does this advance US interests? Also, why are we allowing a politically correct state department employee (see the hyphenated last name) run this dubious enterprise? Does anyone remember Visa Express (TM)?
I was hoping that during this so-called "Intel Reform" process they would strip State of visa responsibilities and award them to DHS. Alas...

Posted by: Leonidas at December 8, 2004 9:19 AM

Well 1600 towl-headed jihadi scum waxed in Fallujah. 55 marines tragically killed in the process.

So that's 32 to 1.

Problem is, a marine's life is incomparably valuable to his nation and community, a jihadi's life is of less worth than a cockroach. Would you trade a Pat Tillman for 32 dead cockroaches? Even 32 to 1, the 1's too many.

Posted by: Amos at December 8, 2004 6:42 PM

Wasn't Jiddah, where the Mecca duo, Al Hazmi & Al
Midhar, filed their passport applications to the
US, in 1999. Isn't that the significance of trying
to seize the passport office

Posted by: narciso at December 8, 2004 11:00 PM

Amos,

The reason our casualties are so high is our bogus concern with civilian casualties. Nuking or merely napalming Fallujah would have avoided the casualties on our side entirely.

Posted by: Bart at December 9, 2004 6:36 AM

Bart: BUFFs could have done it with sticks of 2,000 lbs. H.E. bombs.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at December 11, 2004 12:25 AM

The Marine Security Guards did not fire a shot. They didn't need to as the attackers were confined to the compound, within the walls but outside the chancery. The attackers were, in fact, taken down by the Saudi National Guard and Special Security Forces. Incidentally, the Marine House--where the MSG live--was burnt to the ground. It's located about 150 yards from the main building.

We have a consulate in Jeddah because something like 3,000 Americans live and work there. Commercial transactions through Jeddah total over $4 Billion/year for the US. Since it's all American products and services being sold, that's rather a lot of American jobs being supported.

Visa Express had nothing to do with 9/11. It provided a convenient handle for axe-grinders, after the fact, but had no bearing whatsoever on how visa applications were processed, once received. What it did was provide a way to get paperwork into the Visa Sections without big groups of people standing in lines. All security reviews were done in exactly the same manner for all applications, whether they were submitted in person or through an expedited paperhandling of Visa Express. MSM got the story wrong, utterly, on this.

Congress went through this--with every officer who issued a visa to the 9/11 attackers--and found nothing wrong with Visa Express. It found serious problems, though, with incompatible databases that prevented information from being shared. All 15 of the Saudis qualified for visas both both the law and by what information was available.

State continues to issue visas, but DHS is the final arbiter on each and every one. They now have permanent staff assigned to the Visa Sections in most embassies, including those in Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: John at December 11, 2004 5:18 AM
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