Saturday, February 24, 2007

News from Iraq

I'm sure we all heard about the recent chemical attacks in Iraq. The terrorists have taken to detonating bombs attached to chlorine canisters and in some cases trucks full of chlorine to attack civilian targets. The press never fails to be the terrorists' strongest allies, giving front page space to attacks on civilians while the positive news is positively buried.

Well incase you didn't see this soon to be buried news, I'll give you chance to read it before it hits page 28A:

12 suspected Al Qaeda terrorists detained
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained 12 suspected terrorists during raids Saturday morning targeting foreign fighter facilitators and the al-Qaeda in Iraq network.

In Fallujah, Coalition Forces detained three suspected terrorists with alleged ties to a foreign fighter facilitation cell. Intelligence reports indicated the suspected terrorists were associated with senior-level foreign fighter facilitators in the local area.

Coalition Forces captured the suspected leader of an al-Qaeda in Iraq cell in Mosul. The al-Qaeda cell in Mosul reportedly facilitates financial transactions in Iraq and neighboring countries. Four others were detained during the raid.

Another raid in Mosul netted a suspected terrorist with financial ties to al-Qaeda in Iraq. During the raid Coalition Forces discovered a large amount of Egyptian and Syrian money and false passports and identification cards.

North of Amiriyah, three suspected terrorists were detained including the alleged leader of a local vehicle-borne improvised explosive device cell.

“Successful Coalition operations continue to disrupt al-Qaida in Iraq operations, restrict the flow of foreign fighters and reduce the terrorist organization’s ability to finance terrorist operations,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson.



Iraqi Army takes reins in Fallujah
FALLUJAH — The war in Iraq is changing gears and taking a new direction; the battles are now fought by Iraqi forces with Coalition assistance. Coalition forces are working on a daily basis with Iraqi Security Forces on patrols, as well as conducting operations in support of ISF.
The Iraqi Army’s 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, patrolled its area of operation recently to gather intelligence for future operations. The IA was supported by a fire team of Marines from a Military Transition Team during the patrol.

“We did a dismounted patrol and headed south to one of the major roads in Fallujah so the IA could gather intelligence,” said Cpl. Daniel P. Kennedy, a 23-year-old rifleman from Harrison, Mich. “We patrolled down an extremely dangerous street, but I was surprised by how well the (Iraqi) Soldiers patrolled. It is definitely different than patrolling with Marines, but they do a really good job. They are really squared away when they are on patrol.”

The teams charged with assisting the Iraqi Army are Military Transition Teams. A typical patrol for an MiTT team consists of only a fire team of Marines with the rest of the squad comes from the Iraqi Army. The Iraqis lead the patrols and run the show; Marines are only on the patrol to provide additional security and make suggestions for changes during debriefs once the patrol is complete.

“They are much better than I expected. Of course they have things to work on, but they are very good,” said Marine Corps Sgt. James D. Polich, a 37-year-old rifleman from St. Louis. “I think it is very good to get them out there and show their presence.”

The Iraqis are very organized, Kennedy said. One thing that struck Kennedy was the manner in which the Soldiers utilized intelligence from the field to plan and conduct their operations. Such organization is an essential element to decreasing the role Coalition forces play in the security of the region.

“The more they can get out there the better they will get, so when we eventually leave they can do the best of their abilities,” he added.

Iraqi Soldiers have an advantage over the Marines who assist them on patrols; they know the local customs and speak the language. They have the ability to set the people at ease whose home is being used as an over-watch position, or during snap-vehicle check points. They can communicate exactly what they want the driver and passengers to do.

Many of the Soldiers made a point to speak and shake hands with any citizens who ended up getting caught inside of their patrol to let the people know they are in the city to provide security for the citizens of Fallujah.

They continuously show good intentions for the city of Fallujah and its citizens. The Iraqi Army has at times run into trouble in Fallujah, mostly because Fallujah is a Sunni city while most of the 2nd Brigade Soldiers are Shia and have been viewed as a foreign force.

“The people need to see that the IA are the good guys, and they aren’t here to do bad things. They are here for the betterment of Iraq, not only Fallujah,” Kennedy said.

The IA continues to patrol the streets diligently to improve their skills and rid the city of terrorists. They have also begun to work with the Iraqi Police on various operations, either supporting the police or vice versa.


What does that look like to you? Looks like progress to me. I read the progress we are making everyday. Then I turn on the news and read a different narrative altogether.

When your hear two completely different narratives, you have to ask yourself, "why am I hearing such contrasting stories of Iraq?" I look to the motives of the different sides of the issue to determin which is more likely to be the truth.

The US government tells both sides of the story. The government tells the American people that establishing a strong Iraqi government will be long and difficult process, made more difficult by the likes of al Qaeda and Iran. They tell us despite the difficulties we face that this war is winnable and that we make more progress everyday. The motive here is to crush terrorism, liberate an oppressed people, further democracy in the world, and prevent terrorist groups from taking over weak nations. The unintended consequences are the discontent of free peoples in protracted wars, and the further polarization of our country.

The Press/Democrats tell only one side of the story. All we hear from them is that we cannot win, the war is a disaster, updated body counts, etc. They claim to want to bring the troops out of harm's way because they care about and support the troops. Reality cannot be farther from the truth. They care not for the soldier, only for their own power and profit. They talk a good game about caring for the troops, and in the same sentence call them war criminals. They claim you can "support" the troops, but not their mission illegal war.

Their true motives center around exacting political revenge upon a man they believe should have never won the White House. They wish to damage his credibility, and destroy his legacy. They want to impeach Bush in revenge for Clinton. They are also attempting to shift public opinion against the war in what can only be described a disgusting and desperate grab for power.

The unintended consequence of their actions is emboldening, encouraging, and supporting the enemy in Iraq. As Australian Prime Minister John Howard said "If I were running al Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008, and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats." While I think it better that foreign politicians not chime in on US Presidential candidates, I do not at all disagree with what Prime Minister Howard said. He is absolute right. If the Democrats take control of the White House in '08, the Terrorists in Iraq win the war. This is not because the Democrats cannot win, if in power, but because it is their stated position that they wish to leave Iraq as soon as possible, consequences be damned.

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