Is this story more good news from Iraq?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by av8torntn, May 25, 2007.

  1. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

  2. SeniorGeek

    SeniorGeek Below the Line

    I do not know if that is bad or good news. When we trained and equipped the Wolf Brigade, we thought it was a good idea. Now, I get the idea that the Wolf Brigade is nothing to be proud of.
     
  3. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    Interesting I thought if anyone would have an opinion it would be you. It seems like most of this is old news anyway but they put it in a good overview of the entire country.
     
  4. toonertoo

    toonertoo Most Awesome Dog Staff Member

    It looked like good news, kind of an awakening, I thought. I doubt that thier civiziation will ever be as civil as ours, but it sounded like the less radical were taking over.
     
  5. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    Dispatches From Iraq: We Are Telling the Truth
    Friday , July 06, 2007
    By Michael Yon

    Baqubah Update: 05 July 2007

    Today marks “D +16” of Operation “Arrowhead Ripper,” the Battle for Baqubah. Arrowhead Ripper kicked off on 19 June 07. I have several dispatches in the works about the major events since that time. Although the serious fighting seems to be over, there remains a possibility for some sharp fighting in the near future. The morning of 06 July began with the sounds of American cannons firing, shells whizzing through the air, while they checked systems and aiming for combat. Apache helicopters orbited Baqubah as the orange sun crested into view.

    Media coverage went from a near monopoly (Michael Gordon from New York Times and me) to a nearly capsized boat as journalists flooded in from other parts of Iraq to see the fight. They managed to miss most of it. Today, I’m told, there are now only 3 journalists remaining, including one writer (me.)

    As with the Battle for Mosul, which I held in near monopoly for about five months during 2005, the most interesting parts of the Battle for Baqubah are unfolding after the major fighting ends. But as the guns cool, the media stops raining and starts evaporating, or begins making only short visits of a week or so.

    The big news on the streets today is that the people of Baqubah are generally ecstatic, although many hold in reserve a serious concern that we will abandon them again. For many Iraqis, we have morphed from being invaders to occupiers to members of a tribe. I call it the “al Ameriki tribe,” or “tribe America.”

    I’ve seen this kind of progression in Mosul, out in Anbar and other places, and when I ask our military leaders if they have sensed any shift, many have said, yes, they too sense that Iraqis view us differently. In the context of sectarian and tribal strife, we are the tribe that people can—more or less and with giant caveats—rely on.

    Most Iraqis I talk with acknowledge that if it was ever about the oil, it’s not now. Not mostly anyway. It clearly would have been cheaper just to buy the oil or invade somewhere easier that has more. Similarly, most Iraqis seem now to realize that we really don’t want to stay here, and that many of us can’t wait to get back home. They realize that we are not resolved to stay, but are impatient to drive down to Kuwait and sail away. And when they consider the Americans who actually deal with Iraqis every day, the Iraqis can no longer deny that we really do want them to succeed. But we want them to succeed without us. We want to see their streets are clean and safe, their grass is green, and their birds are singing. We want to see that on television. Not in person. We don’t want to be here. We tell them that every day. It finally has settled in that we are telling the truth.

    Now that all those realizations and more have settled in, the dynamics here are changing in palpable ways.

    Since my reporting of the massacre at the al Hamari village, many readers at home have asked how anyone can know that al Qaeda actually performed the massacre. The question is a very good one, and one that I posed from the first hour to Iraqis and Americans while trying to ascertain facts about the killings.

    No one can claim with certainty that it was al Qaeda, but the Iraqis here seem convinced of it. At a meeting today in Baqubah one Iraqi official I spoke with framed the al Qaeda infiltration and influence in the province. Although he spoke freely before a group of Iraqi and American commanders, including Staff Major General Abdul Kareem al Robai who commands Iraqi forces in Diyala, and LTC Fred Johnson, the deputy commander of 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the Iraqi official asked that I withhold his identity from publication. His opinion, shared by others present, is that al Qaeda came to Baqubah and united many of the otherwise independent criminal gangs.

    Speaking through an American interpreter, Lieutenant David Wallach who is a native Arabic speaker, the Iraqi official related how al Qaeda united these gangs who then became absorbed into “al Qaeda.” They recruited boys born during the years 1991, 92 and 93 who were each given weapons, including pistols, a bicycle and a phone (with phone cards paid) and a salary of $100 per month, all courtesy of al Qaeda. These boys were used for kidnapping, torturing and murdering people.

    At first, he said, they would only target Shia, but over time the new al Qaeda directed attacks against Sunni, and then anyone who thought differently. The official reported that on a couple of occasions in Baqubah, al Qaeda invited to lunch families they wanted to convert to their way of thinking. In each instance, the family had a boy, he said, who was about 11-years-old. As LT David Wallach interpreted the man’s words, I saw Wallach go blank and silent. He stopped interpreting for a moment. I asked Wallach, “What did he say?” Wallach said that at these luncheons, the families were sat down to eat. And then their boy was brought in with his mouth stuffed. The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family.

    The Deputy Governor for Diyala Province had told me on 04 July that al Qaeda burned the home of a Provincial Council leader named Abdul Jabar. Jabar, an Iraqi official who has no reservations about being named as a source, provided information about the killings I described in the dispatch “Bless the Beasts and Children.” Abdul Jabar lived in the area of the al Hamira village, which he said is properly spelled al Ahamir. Jabar agreed to a video interview, during which he said al Qaeda killed and disposed of hundreds of people in the area. He also said during the video interview that he did not believe the remains of the murder victims I saw were people from the village. Abdul Jabar believes the villagers were run out, and that the people being dug up were kidnapped from elsewhere.

    Like many things in Iraq, the question of whether or not the murderers were al Qaeda is flawed from beginning. Al Qaeda is not a union, it doesn’t issue passports. What is al Qaeda but the collection of people who claim to be al Qaeda? Those responsible for murdering and burying those bodies in al Ahamir (or al Hamira) had the markers of al Qaeda, the same al Qaeda that had boastfully installed itself as the shadow government of Baqubah. The al Qaeda who committed atrocities in Afghanistan, New York…the list is long. As for al Ahamir, the massacre “walks like a duck.” It happened in duck headquarters. The people here say the duck did it. The duck laughs.

    And so on 05 July, or D + 16, after the meeting, Iraqi leaders including the Deputy Governor of Diyala, and also Abdul Jabar, one of the Provincial chair holders, headed to some of the most dangerous areas in Baqubah on what Americans would call “a meet and greet.” At first the people seemed hesitant, but when they saw Iraqi leaders–along with members of their own press–asking citizens what they needed, each place we stopped grew into a festival of smiles.

    The people were jubilant. None of the kids–and by the end of the day there were hundreds–asked me for anything, other than to take their photos. These were not the kids-made-brats by well-meaning soldiers, but polite Iraqi kids in situ, and the cameras were like a roller coaster ride for them. The kids didn’t care much for the video; they wanted still photos taken. While the kids were trying to get me to photograph them, it was as if the roller coaster was cranking and popping up the tracks, but when I finally turned the camera on them–snap! –it was as if the rollercoaster had crested the apex and slipped into the thrill of gravity. Of course, once the ride ended, it only made some clamor for more. Iraqi kids that have not been spoiled by handouts are the funniest I have seen anywhere.
     
  6. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    American soldiers just watched, but during one of the impromptu stops, an Iraqi man who might have been 30-years-old came up and said that he’d been beaten up by soldiers from the 5th Iraqi Army. He had the marks on his face to lend initial credence. But most striking was that he hadn’t gone to the Iraqi leaders, nor did he come to the man with the camera and note pad. He did what I see Iraqis increasingly doing: he went to the local sheik of “al Ameriki tribe.” In this case, the sheik was LTC Fred Johnson. (Note: I have not heard anyone calling the American commanders sheiks, but during meetings around Iraq, American officers often preside like sheiks and with sheiks.)

    More and more Iraqis put their trust in Americans as arbiters of justice. The man said he was afraid to complain to Iraqi officials because he might get killed, but he wanted to tell LTC Johnson, who listened carefully. When the man pleaded for anonymity, Johnson said he needed written statements from witnesses. The man pointed to some witnesses, and then disappeared and came back with statements, and I can say from my own eyes that Johnson was careful with those statements, guarding them until he could get alone with an Iraqi general later on 05 July.

    On D +1 and for those first few days of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, the Iraqi leaders seemed mostly inert. But now on D+16, only about two weeks later, they are out politicking, showing their faces in public, letting the people know they are in charge. And, unlike the tired cliché of a politician in a parade, they truly have been working behind the scenes. I know because I sit in on the meetings, and listen to the progress reports as items on the lists get checked off. I hear the whining as each section of Baqubah seems to think they are the forgotten ones. “Why the Sunni getting help first?” They ask. But then in another neighborhood, “Why the Shia getting help first?” But I watch the sausage-making. LTC Johnson will say, “Mike, c’mon. It’s time to make suasage and you need to see this.” It’s messy and frustrating. But food shipments have resumed to Baqubah after 10 months of nothing. Not that Diyala Province is starving: Diyala is, after all, Iraq’s breadbasket.

    The big news on the streets today is that the people of Baqubah are generally ecstatic, although many hold in reserve a serious concern that we will abandon them again. For many Iraqis, we have morphed from being invaders to occupiers to members of a tribe. I call it the “al Ameriki tribe,” or “tribe America.”

    I’ve seen this kind of progression in Mosul, out in Anbar and other places, and when I ask our military leaders if they have sensed any shift, many have said, yes, they too sense that Iraqis view us differently. In the context of sectarian and tribal strife, we are the tribe that people can—more or less and with giant caveats—rely on.

    Most Iraqis I talk with acknowledge that if it was ever about the oil, it’s not now. Not mostly anyway. It clearly would have been cheaper just to buy the oil or invade somewhere easier that has more. Similarly, most Iraqis seem now to realize that we really don’t want to stay here, and that many of us can’t wait to get back home. They realize that we are not resolved to stay, but are impatient but to drive down to Kuwait and sail away. And when they consider the Americans who actually deal with Iraqis every day, the Iraqis can no longer deny that we really do want them to succeed. But we want them to succeed without us. We want to see their streets are clean and safe, their grass is green, and their birds are singing. We want to see that on television. Not in person. We don’t want to be here. We tell them that every day. It finally has settled in that we are telling the truth.
     
  7. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

  8. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

  9. brazenbrown

    brazenbrown New Member

    Excellent article av8tornvn!!

    Too bad the naive dissenters don't realize what we're up against!:wink:

    And if I may quote!

    "The American military can win this fight. The effort will take time, as all successful counterinsurgencies have. Whether or not our fast-food, instant-gratification culture, can demonstrate the requisite patience remains to be seen; however, without time and patience, failure is all but assured. America will stand no chance in this or any future conflicts, as those we fight will constantly have the advantage of far greater dedication and patience than we will allow ourselves to display"

    Get off the fast food and let the military do what it does best !!:wink:
     
  10. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

  11. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

    Good one! I'm sure CNN, and the rest of the news agencys that have been infected by Liberalism, would simply report that as bad news. The Liberal media just reports things as they want people to see. Not how they actually happened. They'd rather show the world a couple of G.I.s being attacked every day than show the thousand of Iraqi civilians that we help every day. It's a freakin shame. #%* DAMN LIBERALS! They'll never learn.
     
  12. Sammie

    Sammie Well-Known Member

    Originally Posted by av8torntn
    Yon's latest for those of you who liked his work.
    http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/superman.htm


    Excellent article, av8torntn. I have 4 nephews who are marines
    and I keep many of the articles they e mail me. Here's one of my favorites. The photos taken by SSG Farr in Iraq are quite
    insightful.

    http://mlub.blogspot.com/
     
  13. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

    Hey Sammie I was on an Army FIST team I dont know if that is the same as the Marines. Good luck to them.
     
  14. Overpaid Union Thug

    Overpaid Union Thug Well-Known Member

  15. av8torntn

    av8torntn Well-Known Member

  16. brazenbrown

    brazenbrown New Member

    Here's another one and it's from the N.Y Times no less!!


    A War We Just Might Win



    Look out Dems, you own defeat on the war in Iraq and if that doesn't happen then you just might own your own defeat in the 2008 election as well!!:laugh:

    Surge on brother!:thumbup1:
     
  17. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Braze,
    These guys who wrote the article are not exactly peaceniks having come to Jesus. Pollack in 2002' wrote a book making the case for the Iraq invasion that got a lot of good press including mention by Sec. Of State Powell. Here's the book.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0375509283/ref=sib_dp_pt/104-0819333-9357564#reader-link : The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq

    O' Hanlon earlier this year wrote an op-ed piece for the
    Washington Post arguing for the surge.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/12/AR2007011201950.html

    I only off this up as the other day I heard a conservative talkshow host (sorry but can't remember who, it was from a distance) making a compelling case that these guys represent the democrats in some way and suggests they are covering their bases. I do think in some respects that is true but IMO it's not through these 2 gentlemen as from your perspective, they were already ahead of the curve so to speak.

    Just thought I'd offer some background on these 2 in case you might be slightly interested.
    :lol:
     
  18. brazenbrown

    brazenbrown New Member

    Thanks for the information!

    Nonetheless both authors are very qualified to make their case.

    O' Hanlon is regarded as one of the most militaristic major national security experts in the Democratic Party!

    source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_O'Hanlon

    And Pollack, has written other books as well.

    In 2004, his third book, "The Persian Puzzle," was published. In contrast to his views on Iraq, in "The Persian Puzzle" he argued that though the threat of force is necessary in dealing with Iran, diplomacy rather than regime change by force is the best way of dealing with Iran because Iran's policy-makers are divided between pragmatists who are motivated by a desire to improve the economy and hardliners who fear US attack and so seek a nuclear deterrent, - the USA can thus exploit this divide to negotiate a favourable agreement. He also argued that the hardliners leader, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, was, unlike Saddam Hussein, rational and risk-averse and so, even if Iran did acquire a nuclear capability, Iran could be deterred in a way that Saddam Hussein could not be.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Pollack

    And as originally stated the N.Y. Times is a surprise because it basically represents the left whole heartedly!:thumbup1:
     
  19. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Brazen,

    Being the NY Times and a little bit of the fact that Pollack and O' Hanlon are democrats was what sent this talkshow host done the trail theat the democrats were caving or covering their bases or something to that effect. For some reason I want to say it was Rush but don't quote me because one of the auto shop mechanics had his radio one and with the building so quite, where I was at working on a conveyor I could slightly hear it. I know the point makes for good satirical radio but to many people on both sides take satire as gospel and run with it.

    I don't know if you are aware but yesterday there was testimony in Congress about the war and it's future.

    Have a good one!
     
  20. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Returning to Pollock and O'Hanlon and specifically Hanlon, it would appear these 2 have rattled some cages. Just ran across this piece from salon.com on Hanlon himself. To Greenwald's credit (writer of the piece) he heavily documents his claims with linked sources and most are from Hanlon himself. Just thought I'd throw it out for consideration.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/07/30/brookings/index.html