Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Good News from Iraq Keeps Rolling In

What I see every day in Iraq: locals turning against the insurgents

"In August, I wrote in these pages that it was too soon to judge Gen. David Petraeus' surge of troops in Iraq a success or a failure. It's not too soon anymore.

Baghdad, the most dangerous city in all of Iraq, is only half as violent as it was when I was there during the summer. And the fact that the capital is now the deadliest city is itself evidence of a tectonic shift on the ground...

The Marines and Iraqi police find caches of weapons every day, thanks to tips called in by locals. No insurgent can plant an IED without getting turned in by war-weary civilians. Recently, an Al Qaeda cell from outside of town showed up and tried to distribute propaganda DVDs. They too were turned over to the police...

Fallujah was once the backbone of the insurgency. Today, as First Lt. Barry Edwards put it, "They avoid Fallujah now like it's the plague. ... They're afraid of the Iraqis."

"Security is good now because the coalition, Iraqi Army, and Iraqi police all work together," said an Iraqi fruit stand owner. "One hand does not clap."

Another Iraqi who works as a money changer told me, "They are finished. It will be a shame on all of us if the terrorists ever come back."

U.S.-Iraqi tribal cooperation pays off

The place is named Hit, or Heet, depending on the chosen transliteration between Arabic and English. "The situation now, compared to last year, is night and day," said Lt. Col. J.J. Dill, commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, at Camp Hit. "There have been just two IED [improvised explosive device] explosions since August. Before then, at least one was found or went off every day along roads.

"The market is open, people are returning to their homes after running for safety, they're opening businesses, and children are playing on the streets...

"Hit (pronounced 'Heet') was an intermittent but intense shooting gallery following the downfall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. Al-Qaida terrorist and nationalist insurgent groups were entrenched in the city, enforcing their will on its residents and meting out their own brand of bloody, kangaroo court justice when not fighting U.S. forces. Leaders of the area's powerful al-Bu Nibr tribe, which had chosen cooperation with U.S. forces early on in the war - well before the formation of the Anbar "Awakening Council" movement of Sunni Muslim tribes – first fought al-Qaida-Iraq (AQI) with a homegrown militia, but later had to turn to U.S. forces for help. That tentative alliance of necessity has grown into a longer-term, deeper one that has helped bring peace to the tribally mixed city of 60,000, which lies between Ramadi and Haditha...

"Two groups [tribes] in Anbar went to the coalition forces," Sheik Hatem Abdel Razzaq, the leader of al-Bu Nimr tribe, told a reporter. "One was in the west and one in the east of the province. Both were attacked by terrorists and insurgents for it.

"We lost people. We gave blood. But by working with the coalition forces we saw a future … and we agreed to get together, and we've cleaned up the bad areas like Hit.

"We get respect from the coalition forces and they trust us. We have security," he said through an interpreter while sipping tea in the large, tribal meeting house on his compound outside Hit, in Zuwayyah. "They help us to make Iraq better. They make many projects here, and projects mean jobs, many jobs."

100 Iraqi Sheiks Stage Hunger Strike-Demand Al-Qaeda Be Crushed

Violence in the Diala province was lessened by 68 percent since some 300 chieftains signed an agreement to bring about peace in the province. Now the sheiks are demanding that the violence be reduced even further.

The news isn't too shabby on this side of the Atlantic, either. Nazi Pelosi gets her dues.

Public Approval Rating of both Democrats and Congress at All-Time Lows

“A paltry 11 percent rated Congress positively, beating the previous low of 14 percent in July.”

Keep on trucking, Iraq. The dogs are barking, but......


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow this is great news! Worth every penny of the $1.9 trillion. Let's pull the troops home and book our Fallujah holidays then.

December 09, 2007 12:46 pm  
Blogger Louise said...

I'm toying with not allowing anonymous comments. They are cowardly and I don't have much use for cowards. So think about that next time. All you need to do is put your handle below your remarks like this:


(See. It's easy.)

And by the way, there are already plans for "pulling the troops home". There have been for quite some time. Try and keep up.

December 09, 2007 1:08 pm  
Blogger Louise said...

Falujah today

December 10, 2007 7:55 pm  
Blogger Louise said...

More on Fallujah.

December 12, 2007 5:40 am  

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