Michael's Dispatches

Holy Brothel

64 Comments

On March 2, an American Special Forces team along with Iraqi SWAT (ISWAT) moved on a terrorist cell near Tal Afar. There was specific intelligence that this cell had conducted assassinations and other attacks against Iraqis and Americans. As ISWAT and Special Forces closed in on the target, the enemy answered with bullets. Bullets ripped through an ISWAT truck, killing three police. Bullets struck a Special Forces vehicle and a tight firefight followed. The enemy was well prepared. Muzzles flashed from different locations. The fighting continued until nine enemy were killed and eight suspects captured. Three civilians were wounded along with three police wounded and three killed, for a total of a dozen people killed.

Ammunition, grenades and other weapons were captured, but after that Special Forces/ISWAT mission, attacks in the vicinity decreased. Tal Afar, formerly “Al Qaeda City,” is mostly quiet these days. Normally we have far less than a hundred soldiers in the city, but we do need money for civil affairs projects. This money truly is critical. Otherwise, the situation improves, though without investment this could be reversed.

The few remaining serious troublemakers are being hacked off and mulched in these incessant operations, which gives the enemy no rest (in the old days, when they were murdering Iraqis and Americans by the thousands, AQI used Tal Afar for training and R&R). These types of terrorists used to lay up with prostitutes in downtown Tal Afar, which isn’t so uncommon – for years brothels have been an excellent source of information against al Qaeda from Mosul to Baghdad. The al Qaeda terrorists don’t save themselves for the seventy two virgins promised to suicide bombers. They love drugs, prostitutes, and the power of the gun. The gay al Qaeda informant in Moment of Truth in Iraq is classic. Whenever his al Qaeda lovers abused him, he supplied American forces information to kill them.

Holy Brothel

The writing on his chest says “Mujahadeen Tal Afar.” American soldiers told me this image was captured in a raid. The ring and watch on his right hand and wrist indicate he is a “holy warrior,” although his beard might have been shaved as cover. Officers told me this guy was killed, but they had no ready confirmation. In any case, it would be interesting to see the faces of al Qaeda financiers in places like Saudi Arabia, if they saw how their money is being spent. And that’s the truth about al Qaeda.

Today I am in Iraq. Tomorrow Europe, and within the week, back to Texas. About a month later, I should be back in what is left of the war. There is relatively little fighting going on these days.

Please buy a copy of Moment of Truth in Iraq. The book will ship immediately if you buy here, and proceeds will help me get back to Iraq and Afghanistan. The book will arrive in stores on 23 April.

 

[Note from Webmaster]: I spoke to Michael by phone shortly after publishing this article. He was standing in an airport in Irbil, Iraq waiting to board a flight. I mentioned to him about one of the comments pointing out the photo being altered. He wanted me to convey that he was aware that the text appearing across the man's chest was not a tattoo. He also advised that the photo was as he received it, and that several Iraq men he had shown it to had also commented about the writing.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jay Blanchard · 11 years ago
    Great read and glad to hear your going to get some R&R. I too am headed to R&R soon. Much needed here as well. Keep telling the truth and helping get the word out there about what is truly happening here on the front lines. Ordered the book the other day can't wait for it to get here. Looking forward to reading it then wrapping it in plastic so one of these days in the future my grand kids can read some real history about this war as i know the historians will twist it as they do every thing else.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Rick · 11 years ago
    Hey Michael,

    Don't cheapen yourself or your story by posting obviously photo-chopped pics. All I see is a guy with a girl with obviously chopped in text across his chest...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    DennyB · 11 years ago
    Enjoy your R&R, I am buying the book today.

    What is that white thing under the guy's arm?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Josh · 11 years ago
    Thanks for giving us the real story of what is happening in Iraq. The media in America is so desperate for a Democrat to win they're completely overlooking the progress made. I'm buying the book now...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    AustenLennon · 11 years ago
    The person who accuses you of cheapening yourself really hasn't a clue. Yes the text is photoshopped across his chest! Did you think Michael wanted you to believe it was a tattoo??? Get real. I bet he is a Guardian reader.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    paula · 11 years ago
    I just found your site in the last week. Thanks for a outlet for the truth to emerge. I get so frustrated with the constant negative barrage of news the media seems insistent on delivering. If the War isn't mentioned for a few days, then I know things are going great!! God Bless You! Stay safe.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gregg · 11 years ago
    Rick, The chopped in text is a typical technique that Al Qaeda members use for recruiting. They use them like we use baseball cards. They show them to potiential recruits to intice them to the perks of Al Qaeda.

    Keep up the good work Michael. I'll see you at the awards cerimony in El Paso.

    PS: I already purchased both books. Great read.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    CMAR II · 11 years ago
    The reason they don't save themselves is because they think they get a free pass to heaven by fighting the infidel. By the same token the 9-11 attakers went to casinos and bars the night before their operation. Why hold back if you know that you can make everything okay by killing the next day.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kent Mitchell · 11 years ago
    They must not be too serious about recruiting, otherwise they would have pictured the guy with:
    a) a little boy
    b) a sheep, the ONE TRUE LOVE
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Kephas · 11 years ago
    Michael,

    My son is a U.S. Marine. I love your reports from the war. It's nice to get the truth. Yesterday, CNN ran a story supporting the Iraqi - U.S. defeat in Basera. U.S. media Propaganda from our enemys. I consider our U.S. media the Jane Fonda of our current missions of freedom.

    I'm buying the book so you return as soon as possible. My wife and I need you out there. Blessings to you and your family. I hope they understand the service you provide the parents of our defenders of freedom. I hope to hear about you going to the Taliban sweep.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dan Daly · 11 years ago
    One of my favorite quotes from Iraq is from a young lance corporal:

    "There could not possibly be 71 virgins awaiting them in heaven, because as our hymn says, 'The streets are guarded by United States Marines'."
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Dinah Lord · 11 years ago
    Is that his do-rag under his arm?


    Great stuff, Michael. Can't wait for my copy of Moment of Truth to arrive.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    rick colorado · 11 years ago
    The lettering isn't photoshopped, it's WRITTEN on the PHOTO...

    Duh...
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    Kristi · 11 years ago
    Perfect illustration of these guys - and still people won't believe it. Jeeze. Was wondering what he's got tucked under his arm and what she's holding and looking at.....Anyone have any idea? Great job, Michael.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Camille · 11 years ago
    Michael, I've been reading your updates for over a year and I just wanted to take the time to say thanks so much for reporting the truth about what's going on over there. I bought a signed copy of your book that's coming out and I can't wait to get it! Take care of yourself, God bless and be safe!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Jacob Theodore · 11 years ago
    Try not to make yourself look too ignorant. I have complete confidence in Mister Yon's journalistic integrity and it is slander to say that he was trying put over anything on his readers. The writing across the man's chest is clearly a superimposed label and nobody would think it was any sort of a tattoo as you seem to imply. Also, I think the word you meant to use was 'gullible', meaning 'easily fooled or tricked', not 'cheapen'. Finally, the current jargon (slang) for altering photographs is 'photo-shopped', not 'photo-chopped'. Perhaps you have only heard the term, rather than seen it written. For the future, please try to remember that in English, the spoken 'sheh' or 'shah' is represented by 'S' and is NOT represented as the Cyrillic 'C'. YOUR message was, in fact, a 'cheap' shot. But then, we should not be surprised, should we? Your motivations are showing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tommo · 11 years ago
    As the father of a soldier that just returned from Iraq, (with a Purple Heart) I always look forward to reading your honest reports from the front lines. Keep up the great work and be safe. I bought the book today.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Clint · 11 years ago
    Oriana Fallaciƒ??s ƒ??Rage and Prideƒ? and ƒ??The Force of Reasonƒ? will give some insights on the hypocrisy of this religion. Temporary weddings are a part of their laws and do make legal such associations. I am aware of other supporting evidence that I am not at liberty to discuss but if one will do some research they will be surprised at the contradictions they will find. Bat Yoƒ??er, Bernard Lewis and Mark Stein have written books that should be required reading. Bat Yoƒ??er
    [Note From Webmaster]: Hyperlinks removed from comment.
    Bernard Lewis
    [Note From Webmaster]: Hyperlinks removed from comment.

    Mark Steyn [Note From Webmaster]: Hyperlinks removed from comment.
    And obviously your book will provide similar valuable insights on what will only be, if we are lucky, a 100 year war ƒ?? Those Special Ops dudes in particular will for sure be busy for decades if not years.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Paul Kotik · 11 years ago
    It seems to me that the label superimposed across the dirtbag's chest says "mujahadi", in the singular, and not "mujahadeen" in the plural.

    After all, he's only one guy - or perhaps slightly less than one guy. A fraction of one guy. But certainly not more than one guy.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tyler · 11 years ago
    Michael -

    Thanks for everything. My family gave me the book for my birthday - the only thing I really, really wanted. I can't wait. I loved hearing your last few lines, "About a month later, I should be back in what is left of the war. There is relatively little fighting going on these days. " That is a relief to us all, and certainly to Iraqi's.

    God Bless you -

    Tyler
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Tony · 11 years ago
    My guess is that she is holding a remote control. The circle in the middle of the end appears to be the infrared led that transmits to the TV or maybe the camera or video camera taking the image.

    She does not look particularly happy although it might just be that she is concentrating on what she is doing.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Nancy Gee · 11 years ago
    Guy seriously needs a nose job. Even with his beard shaved, with that nose and those beady eyes, he looks like a bad guy who'd be stopped and searched at any airport or border entrance in the world.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    bour3 · 11 years ago
    Please buy a copy of Moment of Truth in Iraq.

    *snaps to salute*
    Yes, SIR!
    Done, SIR!
    Anything else? SIR!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Saad · 11 years ago
    Michael
    Interesting read, the guy looks like a typical iraqi from central or north Iraq, the words on his chest in Arabic is a plural Mujahedeen, the "n" at the end is not there in that text because of a certain arabic language grammar rule.
    I followed you excellent articles since 2004 and will continue to do so now that I'm in Iraq
    and Yes I'm definitely buying that book!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    bour3 · 11 years ago
    Please buy a copy of Moment of Truth in Iraq.

    Done.

    Thank you, Michael, for your commitment to this difficult endeavor and to your honest reporting. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

    (the most difficult to post message on the slowest loading page on the whole of the internets.)
  • This commment is unpublished.
    JDW · 11 years ago
    I love Yon. A genuine MAN among boys. But this is fauxtography at its worse. I hope I'm missing something. The pic looks photoshopped. Not just the arabic text, but the woman's bra as well. Not by Yon. But by someone. Is there some context I'm missing? Not being snarky, but I found the link from LGF where we take Fauxtography pretty serious. I don't like this pic at all and fear it will prove a minor embarassment.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Reine · 11 years ago
    I bought the book and am looking forward to getting it. Good job you've done!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Robbins Mitchell · 11 years ago
    I can't help but wonder if the pu@%$*& there is 'halal'
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Thom Stewart · 11 years ago
    Michael:

    Thanks for the job you are doing. I am looking forward to receiving my copy of your book. As an Army vet (Cold War), the father of a soldier currently in Iraq, a second son that is looking at at ROTC for college, and the son, grandson, great-grandson, etc. from a long line of American military men, I look forward to the reports that allow me to read what's happening from someone who's there, and not someone who's reporting what they wish was happening...

    Keep up the great work!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Edward · 11 years ago
    The guy is "Cliient #8".
  • This commment is unpublished.
    dave · 11 years ago
    THe white thing is a manpurse, a bag for wallet and stuff. It goes around the waist with a nylon belt with a latch on it. Seriously. You can see the big curve of the zipper on top of the bag.

    The woman is holding a cell phone, probably doing a text message. The dot on top is the on/off switch, a soft rubber button.

    The bra is real. The writing on his chest is photoshopped, that is to say it's written on his chest using a computer software program to generate the text on the photo. It isn't mean to fool anyone into thinking it's a tat. Its just a nametag, like they said, like on a baseball card.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    nobody · 11 years ago
    Couldn't you blank out the girl's face? Poor girl...
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    DANEgerus · 11 years ago
    Isn't it ironic that Prostitution stings catch (D)emocrats AND al-Qaeda?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    David Martin · 11 years ago
    Michael,
    I have been reading you sight for quite a while now and have often directed friends and family here who want to know more about what is really happening over in Iraq. Thank you so much for your efforts and risking your life to bring these stories home. You are an honor to all of us.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ron · 11 years ago
    Did Anyone Notice That The Guy Looks Like He Is Missing The Tip Of His Finger The Ring Is On ?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    anon · 11 years ago
    For Decency's sake, please blur out that poor woman's face.
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    sam kilpatrick · 11 years ago
    Still need me? Call me when you get a chance!!!...Sam
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joe Wallace · 11 years ago
    Thanks for the great reporting. I have ordered the book and can't wait to get it. My students are ready Maniac Magee for their summer reading and mine will be Moment of Truth in Iraq. Please stay safe, we care about you so much. Semper fii.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Gregmo · 11 years ago
    Heh...this guy is selling you fools a bunch of nonsense. Sure al Quaeda is a bunch hypocrites who believe they're above the law, just like Bush and his cronies. No more fighting, it's all safe? rigggghhhht. Jesus. You people DESERVE to have Hillary as President.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    corkie · 11 years ago
    Michael Yon says, "About a month later, I should be back in what is left of the war. There is relatively little fighting going on these days."

    and Gregmo, paraphrases that as, "No more fighting, it's all safe"

    Hey, Gregmo. There is a job waiting for you at the Associated Press!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    corkie · 11 years ago
    Michael Yon says, "About a month later, I should be back in what is left of the war. There is relatively little fighting going on these days."

    and Gregmo, paraphrases that as, "No more fighting, it's all safe"

    Hey, Gregmo. There is a job waiting for you at the Associated Press!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Joel D · 11 years ago
    Hi Michael, appreciate your writing & so I have bought the book
    Thanks
    JD
  • This commment is unpublished.
    @thepointyend · 11 years ago
    Michael -

    Had my wife order the book, which will be waiting for me when I return from my latest vacation in the garden spot that is Iraq. And 'little fighting' is certainly true, although it doesn't feel that way to anyone in the middle of it (as you well know). Here's hoping the year ends on a whimper for those in AQI.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Miss Ladybug · 11 years ago
    You say you'll be in Texas. Will you be doing anything the public can attend??
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Howard Veit · 11 years ago
    Been a supporter almost from the beginning. I usually save up your pieces for a month or so and then start reading from where I left off. This series along with the pictures conveys better than anything I've read the nature of the desert, the miles and miles of miles and miles nature of the view, and for the first time I realized the true nature of the terrain and how a person can just disappear into the endless flatness and sand colors. You've certainly been telling it like it is for those of us stuck with MSM.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Edward · 11 years ago
    Abuse is abuse, so rather than make some wisecrack about gays, al-Qaida, Islam, sheep, etc. -- here's hoping (assuming the guy couldn't at least get away from his abusers and had to settle for this) that the informant's abusers got theirs.

    P.S. Is it just me, or does anyone else get the sense that the target demographic of the photo (according to AQ) has a different image of "sexually desireable woman" than the average Westerner? Considering her looks...
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Denise · 11 years ago
    Hi Michael-- Glad to hear you are headed back to the US- I have read your posts faithfully, as it was sometimes the only truth to hold on to both good and bad.

    Thank you for your commitment in reporting the truth in Iraq-- I guess I am one of those silly optimists that hope and pray that the people of Iraq will take this amazing opportunity that has been given to them and continue to fight for their freedom . This freedom was hard fought, won and secured by American tenacity and blood, jointly with our allied counterparties. What an amazing story you have told. I will be ordering your book-- Be proud of what you have accomplished Michael-- Well done !
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Derek Smalls · 11 years ago
    I'm surprised that its only Al Qaeda who use prostitutes?

    Everywhere I've been in the world that has had a high number of GIs is crammed with brothels that appear to be full of rednecks with bad haircuts. Bahrain, Taiwan, Korea, Germany, etc.

    Perhaps they are just Canadian tourists?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    leo Williams · 11 years ago
    Michael, I have been an avid reader and supporter from the first article of yours that I read. Have ordered several of your newest book to hand out as loaners. Keep up the great work and be careful.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    dubya · 11 years ago
    Nicholas Guariglia has a couple of articles on familysecuritymatters.org (March 10) and aim.org (April 3) sites about the myths that Iran wouldn't help Sunni terrorists and that Saddam had no contacts or relationships with al Qaeda or bin Laden.

    The article on the Accuracy In Media site ("And Yes, Iran has Unsettling al Qaeda Connections") has a link to the Family Security Matters article.

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