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Iraqis are al Qaeda's new enemy

Fredrick Kagan writes an important piece in the LA Times about Iraq. Here's a portion:

LAST MONTH, the Associated Press reported that residents of Amariya, one of the bastions of Al Qaeda control in Baghdad, turned on the terrorists and, with U.S. help, killed their leader and many of his followers. The fight is emblematic of a larger trend in Iraq.


The Iraqi government has long declared its determination to root out terrorists in the country, and its security forces have been fighting Al Qaeda for months. But now, ordinary Iraqis, most significantly Sunni Arabs in Al Anbar province (until now the chief supporters of the terrorists), are putting their lives on the line against Al Qaeda as well.

The story of the "Anbar Awakening" -- the uniting of the province's Sunni Arab tribes against Al Qaeda -- is relatively well known. In mid-2006, a Marine intelligence officer in Al Anbar declared the situation hopeless and the province irretrievably lost. The Iraqi government was unable to recruit Anbaris into the local or national police or into the Iraqi army. But later that year, a combination of Al Qaeda atrocities and skillful counterinsurgency techniques by U.S. forces convinced Sunni tribal leaders that enough was enough.

Today, more than 12,500 Anbari recruits, the overwhelming majority of them Sunnis, are fighting or preparing to fight Al Qaeda despite ferocious counterattacks by the terrorists against them and their families. Tribal leaders are negotiating with the Iraqi government to rebuild their war-torn province. Violence in the provincial capital has dropped precipitately, from 108 deaths a week in mid-February to seven in the second week of May. Al Anbar has gone from hopeless to a beacon of hope and a signal of the turn of Iraq's Sunnis against their erstwhile terrorist allies.

Now the movement against Al Qaeda is spreading. "Salvation councils" similar to the Anbar Awakening have been formed in mostly Sunni Salahuddin province (north of Baghdad),Shiite-Sunni mixed Diyala province (northeast of the capital) and mostly Shiite Babil province (south of Baghdad). In some cases, their coming together coincides with cease-fires between U.S. forces and non-Al Qaeda insurgent groups. All are striving to reestablish normal relations with the Iraqi government.

Read the rest. All is not lost in Iraq, as Harry Reid wants you to believe.


Comments (82)

The news being MADE in Iraq... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

The news being MADE in Iraq is so dramatically different from the news being REPORTED from Iraq that is frankly criminal!

To find out what's really happening folks need to read (and support) Michael Yon, and others. They are actually out in Iraq, versus huddled down in the Green Zone buying stories from "stringers" that are all too often bogus (in whole or in part).

It took longer than anyone anticipated, but the Iraqis ARE finally fed up with the foreign induced violence. Anbar, and other areas are evidence of this.

U.S. casualities were dramatically DOWN this week, as the Iraqi army and the Sheiks have stepped up to take on alQueda. Good news from Iraq...that's why the newspapers fed you Paris Hilton on the front (and every) page.

From Frederick Kagan, a lea... (Below threshold)
OBGyns practicing their love:

From Frederick Kagan, a leading AEI neocon?

Bwahahahahahaha...that's like going to Goebbels for a report on Third Reich progress in WWII.

The sun is rising in Iraq, ... (Below threshold)
kim:

The sun is rising in Iraq, and the Awakening spreading from Anbar elsewhere. The Sunni Arab sheltering al-Qaeda in the boonies heard that Americans protected their city cousins from Sadr's death squads.

I blame Sistani. Moderate Islam finally had to manifest itself. This may not be fundamentally a religion of peace, but it is a comfort to well over a billion people.
=============================

Bwahahahahahaha...tha... (Below threshold)

Bwahahahahahaha...that's like going to Goebbels for a report on Third Reich progress in WWII.

Stop hyperventilating....it's an opinion piece.

OB: "Bwahahahahahaha...that... (Below threshold)
Drago:

OB: "Bwahahahahahaha...that's like going to Goebbels for a report on Third Reich progress in WWII."

Uh, well gee, that only took about 2 posts before the first "Nazi" reference to one of those horrible "neocons".

If you are disinclined to believe an analysts assessment of a foreign situation, a MUCH BETTER analogy would be:

"Bwahahahahahaha...that's like going to any, ANY, lefty reporter (like Walter Duranty) for a report on any, ANY, commie progress since 1917."

BTW, despite the revelations (decades old now!!) that New York Times reporter Walter Duranty was completely in the tank for the Soviets, the NYT has yet to remove his picture and bio from its wall of fame of Pullitzer Winners in NY.

And no lefty will publicly criticize them.

The same still continues today with left-wing hero Michael Moore's trumpeting of the "fantastic" Cuban "Health Miracle", (which necessarily included frontal lobotomies for Homosexuals (another "unspeakable truth" for the left)), which is merely a continuation of Robert Scheer's fawning over North Korea throughout the 70's and 80's which he has NEVER retracted!!!

But hey, the left hates Robert Kagan.

Big whoop.

Who don't they hate?

Oh yeah, Fidel, and Kim, and Hugo, and....(you get the picture.....)

"U.S. casualities were dram... (Below threshold)
MOS 13A:

"U.S. casualities were dramatically DOWN this week, as the Iraqi army and the Sheiks have stepped up to take on alQueda. Good news from Iraq.."

Next week when the killings may very well be much higher what will that be a sign of?

More news in that 'opinion'... (Below threshold)
kim:

More news in that 'opinion' piece than in all of MSM. Hey, all those Iraqis, all that purple-fingered majesty, glow in the dawn of the Anbar Awakening.
=============================

MOS 13A: "Next week when th... (Below threshold)
Drago:

MOS 13A: "Next week when the killings may very well be much higher what will that be a sign of?"

It will be a sign that idiots who use week to week, month to month "stats" on "violence" (including casualties) instead of long-term strategic and tactical trends will be forced to backtrack on their very own criteria for "progress".

Both sides do this, as it is natural for us to try to come up with some way to validate our particular view of what strategy should be (from bugging out immediately all the way to the Hey, why don't we go all in and completely level the place to start over?)

The point is, if this is truly an important conflict, important to our long-term security, then you do whatever it takes to win.

If it is your belief that "victory" (depending on your definition) is not critical (or necessary, or even "desirable), then every single soldier/sailor/airman/marine lost, and every single penny spent, is a waste.

MOS 13A: "Next week when th... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

MOS 13A: "Next week when the killings may very well be much higher what will that be a sign of?"

That Iraq remains a dangerous place.

I was actually only pointing out that the MSM literally JUMPS on spikes in casualities...but almost NEVER notices the dips.

They (and Harry Reid, of course) see "spikes" in casualities as evidence that ALL IS LOST. But attribute dips in casualty figures as evidence of...LOOK, Paris Hilton is CRYING!!!

Two more quick points...then it's painting day at Casa De Justrand!

(1) CNN falsified and/or hid reports from Iraq!! (Eason Jordan finally admitted this). MANY of those falsified reports still live today on the Internet, and are routinely "quoted" as evidence of how good life was under Saddam!

(2) During World War II casuality figures went dramatically UP in the spring of 1942. 4 months+ AFTER Pearl Harbor. And they stayed up for the remainder of the war. That's because we were directly engaged with the enemy from early '42 on.

sorry...one MORE point, and... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

sorry...one MORE point, and another indicator of the spin the MSM tries to put on everything from Iraq.

CBS News (radio) put this as the lead of their top-of-the-hour broadcast all day long:

"After a bloody 3 days in Iraq the toll of Americans deaths continues to mount. And there is hope that it will go down anytime soon"

Unless the dead start coming back to life the toll can NEVER go down. If we went 60 days without an American dying there, but then lost ONE soldier on day 61, CBS would dramatically intone: "The death toll in Iraq continues to mount".

They'd be accurate, of course, because the total number NEVER goes down...and thus the TOLL always goes up in anything! I listened to 4 different broadcasts waiting for them to talk about the "PACE" of casualties...or the "RATE" of deaths. But nope...it was always the TOLL.

Semantics? I don't think so.

U.S. airpower droppi... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


U.S. airpower dropping bombs on Iraq at twice last year's rate
By: CHARLES J. HANLEY - Associated Press

BAGHDAD -- Four years into the war that opened with "shock and awe," U.S. warplanes have again stepped up attacks in Iraq, dropping bombs at more than twice the rate of a year ago.

[ . . . ]

http://www.nctimes.com/articles/ ...40_386_5_07.prt

oops<a href="http:... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:
Somebody thinks it's worth ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Somebody thinks it's worth winning over there. Why do think it's worth losing, AB?
=======================

U.S. airpower droppin... (Below threshold)

U.S. airpower dropping bombs on Iraq at twice last year's rate

...and that is a good thing.

kim, If your quest... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

kim,

If your question is directed towards me I don't understand it as IT DOESN'T MAKE A BIT OF SENSE -- I didn't comment on the article I posted which says that the U.S. is dropping more bombs in Iraq than last year with quotes from the military as to the justification for it.

You ask "Why do think it's worth losing, AB?" I'm assuming you mean to say "Don't you think it's worth winning?" We already won "it." The mission has been completed.

Adrian and the other idiot ... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Adrian and the other idiot trolls seem very nervous about things working out over there.

Now why is that? Oh yeah. Hatred for America.
Never forget that.

We already won "it." ... (Below threshold)

We already won "it." The mission has been completed.

When?

The mission of dumping Sadd... (Below threshold)
kim:

The mission of dumping Saddam is accomplished, which is why that warship was going home. Do you think the mission of changing the face of the Middle East is accomplished? Do you think it is worth trying?
===================================

In Iraq's four-ye... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


In Iraq's four-year looting frenzy, the allies have become the vandals

British and American collusion in the pillaging of Iraq's heritage is a scandal that will outlive any passing conflict

Simon Jenkins
Friday June 8, 2007

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2098273,00.html

Adrian Browne, if the Guard... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Adrian Browne, if the Guardian told me it was POURING RAIN outside, I would leave my umbrella at home with complete confidence!!

AdrianJenkins' his... (Below threshold)

Adrian

Jenkins' histrionics are so predictable, and so vapid:

Even the Nazis protected the Louvre

And we had the cheek to call the Taliban vandals.

The Nazi's protected to Louvre because they intended to OWN IT. And the Taliban were vandals.

News Flash: Our mission in Iraq is not to protect antiquities

Bamiyan, oh Bamiyan.... (Below threshold)
kim:

Bamiyan, oh Bamiyan.
===============

Why does Jenkins repeat the... (Below threshold)
kim:

Why does Jenkins repeat the canard about the looting of the National Museum. That's been debunked.

Why do you, you useful idiot?
=================

Read Ed Koch about the New ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Read Ed Koch about the New York Times. You sad silly sophisticated yokels.
===============

AdrianWhat Kim said.... (Below threshold)

Adrian
What Kim said...

Kim
Thanks, I was cleaning off my monitor after reading the Jenkins piece and was a slow on the take.

The "Trolls" are vested in ... (Below threshold)
Ran:

The "Trolls" are vested in defeat, that has been obvious from the very beginning.

Look, lefties, I can apprec... (Below threshold)
kim:

Look, lefties, I can appreciate your dreams; I share them. But can we stop draining the swamp long enough to slay a few alligators? They are getting nosy where I usually only allow dogs.
==============================

Yo Adrian! The Gua... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Yo Adrian!

The Guardian??!!

Bwahahahahaha......

AB:Do you really w... (Below threshold)
marc:

AB:

Do you really want to point to the Guardian for anything but it's usefulness as an ass wipe during a tissue shortage?

Come-on guy the author, Simon Jenkins, takes all of 2 paras to display his lack of objectivity by perpetuating the Iraqi national museum myth.

Not to mention he's been a contributing blogger at The Huffington Post which is hardly the last great bastion of Iraq war objectivity.

Adrian Browne:I d... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

Adrian Browne:
I didn't comment on the article I posted

Then why post it ? Did you have a point or were you hoping someone to infer a point so you could then cry, "but I didn't say that!" ?

Next time, at least preface the link with what you were thinking:
"I'm not sure what this means, but maybe it makes a point."

Ran,The "... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Ran,

The "Trolls" are vested in defeat...

I like that. A bit more general and it would be a good bumper sicker. How about "The left is vested in defeat". No, that wont do, can't have the word "left" on a bumper sticker; it will confuse some halfwit. Ok, how about

"Democrats are vested in defeat"

No, that wont do, can't... (Below threshold)
marc:

No, that wont do, can't have the word "left" on a bumper sticker

Can't have "war of terror" either, at least according to Edwards.

But I do have a suggestion, albeit it would take a large bumper:

So if the cause that has called for this act comes to an end, this act, in turn, will come to an end. So, the driving-away jihad against the US does not stop with its withdrawal from the Arabian peninsula - bin Laden.

Mac Lorry: "Democrats ar... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Mac Lorry: "Democrats are vested in defeat"

Since the Democrats are also vested in bad news for the economy, how about:

"Democrats are vested in anything NEGATIVE"

that would cover BOTH situations!! :)

I'm sure glad things are fi... (Below threshold)

I'm sure glad things are finally going well in Iraq.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/06/10/ap3806106.html

[email protected]:"Democra... (Below threshold)
irestmycase:

[email protected]:

"Democrats are vested in anything NEGATIVE"

Posted by: Justrand

Live at 9:Innocent... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Live at 9:

Innocent people are murdered at an alarming rate in Minneapolis almost every day. This city has been run by Democrats for as long as the printing press has been around. Are you happy about that? Do you even care about the 14 year old girl who was killed in the crossfire outside a BIRTHDAY PARTY?

And you have the cowardly instinct to think that incidents of suicidal maniacs in Iraq blowing themselves up is something to laugh at? You are a shithead of the highest order.

[email protected],Are you ano... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

[email protected],

Are you another person vested in defeat. The fundamental change in Iraq cited in the story at the head of this thread cannot be undone by such an act as you linked to for it was by such acts that the change was given birth. Iraqis are starting to see the unfathomable truth. That the U.S. came to destroy Saddam and in the process give them a better life and it's the insurgents who care nothing for them. It's real simple, terrorists can hide from the people and if they can't hide they can't live long. The people of Iraq want peace and prosperity the same as people everywhere. The U.S. offers that and a voice in their own government.

terrorists can't hid... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

terrorists can't hide from the people...

There's no heart under a le... (Below threshold)
kim:

There's no heart under a left's vest.
====================

[email protected] is a go... (Below threshold)

[email protected]

Here is a good example of why the news can't be trusted by your ilk:

http://theredhunter.com/2006/06/exercise_tiger_the_disaster_before_dday.php

Commanders in the field have to make REAL decisions every day that effect REAL living people and these commanders have to stay focused on the REAL goals of the mission. Meanwhile, here stateside, you trolls ridicule and disgrace their service and leadership with your snappy little snide remarks.

A soldier lies bleeding while you triumph in your idiotic self indulgement.

My post above should read:<... (Below threshold)

My post above should read:

Here is a good example of why the news can't be trusted with your ilk writing it...

The reason the Democrats ar... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The reason the Democrats are vested in defeat is they can't risk Bush being proven right in Iraq, not if they want to do well in 2008. Democrats and their allies in the MSM will do everything they can to downplay any good news coming out of Iraq and play up everything bad. We're already seeing it, but it's going to get much worse. If Iraq does finally enjoy undeniable progress Democrats will likely overplay their hand and see their strategy backfire.

As Rush always days, the de... (Below threshold)
Jo:

As Rush always days, the democrats can't allow anything to look like it's going well while a Republican is in charge.

Yep... it's all bad news ex... (Below threshold)
marc:

Yep... it's all bad news except what the MSM won't print:

Local Elections
Iraqi's practice democracy in Zafaraniya Multi-National Division -
Baghdad PAO


FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY, Iraq - The Zafaraniya community saw
democracy in action as they hosted a neighborhood advisory council member election June 1 at the Wadi Al-Ain School, which drew about 1,000
voters.

The vote was completely run by local officials. Fawzi Dawood, a council member and election center manager, said this marked the third election for Zafaraniya. The first was on May 29, 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime and again in January 2005.

The election highlighted a turning point as two muhallas, or neighborhoods, now have neighborhood council representation, Dawood said.

"This election is special for Zafaraniya as it increases the activities of the members and consequently increases the services to the
citizens of Zafaraniya in general and the Hay Al-Zafaraniya, in particular," he said. "It will increase the momentum for the members and
intensify the cooperation, the enthusiasm and the continued work of the members and the community."

Six candidates ran for two open positions and after all ballots were cast and videotaped for authenticity, the winners were Jasim Sakran
Muohmed and Muohmed Abass.

1st Lt. John Lee of the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, who arrived to give added
protection while the voting was underway, said Muohmed won with 451 votes.

. "Mr. Fawzi wished to thank the Iraqi Army and the Iraqi Police for providing security and mentioned Col. Khalid, the Zafaraniyah IP
commander by name, indicating that he was there for the entire process," Lee said of the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division. "It was a great success for everyone."

In order for voting information to get out to the people, Dawood said advertisements were placed in schools, mosques, markets and along main roads and intersections.

"In my opinion, the election went very smooth and was very good," Dawood said.

Iraqi Security Forces, along with help from sheiks, civil organizations and other community leaders, allowed voters to place their ballots in a safe environment, Dawood said. All the citizens were searched when they came in to ensure everyone's safety.

"I felt that the voters felt secure with the presence of the IA," Dawood said, stressing the help of Maj. Qasim of the 1-4-1st IA.

Support for the election was also given by the Karadah District Council chair, Dr. Muhammad and Ahmad Ulga, the Zafaraniya Neighborhood Advisory Council chairman and Lt. Col. Wayne Grieme, commander of 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, Dawood said.

Even though things went well, there is always room for improvement.

"I wish there will be completely new election for all the (neighborhood advisory councils) and the (district advisory councils), providing no entry to the militias and party members in these councils,"Dawood said. "I thank everyone who helped us in this process and taught us democracy, freedom and respect."

Local Elections

Citizens of the Zafaraniya community hosted a neighborhood advisory council member election at the Wadi Al-Ain School in eastern Baghdad June 1. The election drew in about 1,000 voters and Iraqi
officials managing the process praised the third election held in the community since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

What... a "hearts and minds... (Below threshold)
marc:

What... a "hearts and minds" project!

In the middle of a "civil war"... this can't be!

BAGHDAD - When President George W. Bush ordered troops to "surge" into
Baghdad he was not just sending Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines,
he was also sending little-known teams of reconstruction experts as
well.
One of those teams operates out of Forward Operating Base Falcon
with the 4th "Dragon" Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry
Division, in the southwestern Rashid District of the Iraqi capital.
These small teams, known as Embedded Provincial Reconstruction
Teams, are made up of workers from the U.S. military, State Department
and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Timothy Zuniga-Brown, who heads the EPRT in the Dragon Brigade,
said his team serves as advisors to the Iraqis.
"We are a small team that works at the brigade and regimental
levels," said the Carson City, Nev., native. "This gives us better
visibility and better understanding of what the Iraqi government can do
to bring peace and stability to their own country."
The team, comprised of seven people with technical expertise in
various areas such as governance, security and economics, has been on
the ground for almost two months.
"It is premature to see noticeable changes," Zuniga-Brown said.
"But we have seen changes for the better." He said the district council
holding its own meetings and the Doura Market revival are two examples
of Iraqi growth in the area.
In Dec. 2006,there were three shops open in the Doura Market,
while today there are more than 250. More than $100 million has been
spent so far on rebuilding projects throughout the Rashid District,
which the team is responsible for.
While the work was started by the military, Zuniga-Brown said
the civilian teams will eventually help the Iraqi government stand on
its own.
"Brigades have lots of knowledge and understanding at this
level, but their main task is to fight and help the Iraqis win this war
on the military side," he said. "But, it's clear in this conflict,
especially when dealing with counterinsurgency, a lot of components are
civilian - the Iraqis sending supplies to their own people, listening to
their own people and putting together the requirements for a civil
society to be stitched back together."
Currently, the team has been working with the Iraqi city
manager's office to help them deliver needed supplies.
"It's a challenge for them," he said. "Expertise was lost. We
have been able to help them through training by USAID and by bringing in
experts from the states."
Memphis, Tenn., native, Lt. Col. Tom Kurlick, deputy commander
of the team, said the team is trying to rebuild the Iraqi
infrastructure.
"We are trying to rebuild that area at the lowest levels," said
the civil affairs officer. He said the biggest help, so far, was the
brigade accepting them into the family and helping them get to Rashid
District Council meetings whenever they needed.
"(They) started to lay the groundwork," he said of the brigade
leadership. This groundwork allowed the team to integrate well with
their Iraqi counterparts.
"They were looking for partners and welcomed us," he said.
The military was there to help address the security problems,
but they needed help addressing their other problems, as well,
Zuniga-Brown added.
"We are in an advisory role, a helping role," he said. "Bottom
line - the Iraqis need to do it themselves and they understand it."

I have been in Iraq for 2 1... (Below threshold)
h:

I have been in Iraq for 2 1/2 yrs as a contractor. I am presently on a remote site. I have worked in Baghdad, Tallil, Taji and Mosul. Regardless of the occasional bits of good news, this country is a basket case, as is the entire Arab ME. There is a good reason why there are no democracies here. This entire venture has been a sick game of whack-a-mole where we stomp on one group of idiots here and a new crop of in bred dirty toed c suckers pop up over there. The fact we have done nothing, and I mean NOTHING, to let Syria and particularly Iran know that their interference will have repercussions is criminal.

My hope is we pull out of all locations in Iraq with the exception of BIAP, Anaconda, Tallil and Q West (N, S, E, W), try to secure the borders and let them (the Shia and Sunnis) kill each other.

Once they get tired of that (in another 5 yrs or so) we can go back and try to turn this nightmare of a country around.

Until then, forget it.

Sorry to be pessimistic - my rose colored glasses broke on the last IED that hit my PSD team on a "safe" desert route.

Computers? In the center of... (Below threshold)
marc:

Computers? In the center of a civil war?

Who needs'em?

BAGHDAD - Iraqi Army soldiers provided computers and other supplies for
a disabled children's elementary school in the Baghdad neighborhood of
Mansour.
Local government officials in Mansour have traditionally labeled
electricity and water treatment as the area's primary essential service
needs. Educational initiatives, such as new computers and school
technology upgrades, have been pushed aside and lost priority to other
community projects.
The 1st Battalion, 5th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, have
undertaken the task of confronting the educational problems in Mansour
by partnering with local leaders and Coalition Forces to not only
improve school buildings, but also provide the necessary equipment to
teach the future generations of Baghdad.
The soldiers from 1-5-6th IA recently established a computer lab
at the Mansour Educational Institute for Children. The Iraqi Army
battalion was able to provide four computers, a printer and numerous
tables and chairs for the institute's first computer lab. This school
provides individual instruction for children who suffer from physical
disabilities.
The lab will provide a better learning environment for these
children and give them the same educational opportunities as other
children. The 1-5-6th IA plan to build on this educational initiative,
by improving school construction, upgrading the technology of school
equipment and, possibly, providing school uniforms.

Cats, dogs and Mullahs slee... (Below threshold)
marc:

Cats, dogs and Mullahs sleeping together!

Who'd a thunk it!

TIKRIT, Iraq - The Salah ad Din government and 130 sheiks from throughout the province met in Tikrit, June 6, to formally discuss resolutions and an agreement to defend Salah ad Din against Al Qaeda and other terrorists.

The historical agreement was made in Saddam Hussien's birthplace and tribal sheiks throughout the province agreed to take a more active
role in supporting the provincial government.

Governor Hamood Shekti and his deputy governor, Abdullah Hussein Mahmood, chaired the meeting along with the Provincial Director of
Police, the deputy commanding general of the 4th Iraqi Army Division, and the chairman of the Provincial Sheik's Council.

Deputy Governor Abdullah described the role of the tribal leaders, stating that whether they are the Sheik of the tribe or a tribal elected leader, policing their own lands is critical to the
tribe's success.

"This is a great sign of security and economic forward progress," said Lt. Col. Mark Edmonds, deputy commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. "Any policing done by these tribes will be with the blessing and oversight of the police chiefs and government leaders. Unlike some other areas, there is a governance
structure in place in Salah ad Din, which maintains primary responsibility for security throughout the province."

This new council vowed to follow words with actions and the provincial leadership committed to their part in fighting terrorism. Sunni tribal successes against Al Queda in Al Anbar province are beginning to take hold in neighboring provinces.

hI have been i... (Below threshold)

h
I have been in Iraq for 2 1/2 yrs as a contractor

Our own troops provide more information than that. I'm not disputing your account. Will you give us more detailed info? Identify the the "basket cases" in Iraq. Where and why?

As to the whack a mole reference, that has been Pentagon vernacular for years. Who do you work for? Civ Contractors are posting all over the web. Dallas is a clearing house for their comments.

Hugh - I have no idea what ... (Below threshold)
h:

Hugh - I have no idea what you are asking me. Perhaps you should re-read my comments: The entire Arab ME is a basket case; I wd rather not say who I work for but it is a major construction company; In the South, where I presently am, it was very quiet for a year or more, and now with the beat down going on in Baghdad, and the return of everyone's favorite idiot Mookie Sadr, this place has turned extremely volitale - Basrah is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran; The IP is rotten with Militia idiots; The IA is ineffective; The Gov is corrupt, venal and as soon as we pull out of the IZ, they will too, to Syria, UAE and Jordan with loads of ill gotten cash.

If you have a particular question, ask it, but the bottom line is come Sept we will (I guarantee it) quietly pulling out of the center and reducing our footprint throughout the AOR.

The left is vested in defea... (Below threshold)

The left is vested in defeat because it takes one more of their poster children off their poster and it makes them that less relevent. Much like "the poor" in their own country, in order to keep the number of poor at a level worthy of their championing, they've even had to raise the bar of what denotes "poor". You never hear them praise those who have pulled themselves out of poverty nor those previously war-torn countries which have achieved successes. Instead, they raise the bar and gripe about every little nuance they can find that, for them, proves it was a failure.

Their constant criticisms is the reason some of us have to take the "glass is half full" stance - to show them that there is always good and bad. Instead, they respond with even more criticism claiming that we refuse to see the empty half of the glass. Time and time again I've heard the more optimistic people say that clearly there are still many problems to overcome, but they go on ignoring it and respond with more criticism, defeatism and cries of failure.

h,The problem "h" ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

h,

The problem "h" is that's all we know about you; your moniker. Wizbang regulars know some folks resort to socket puppets to deceive other contributors. The content and tone of your posts are suspicious, as is your use of a single letter moniker to prevent any meaningful search for your other posts. Until there's evidence to the contrary, I'll assume you're just another lefty heavily vested in defeat and using deceit to protect your vested interests. If you're for real and want to persuade others on this site then pick a unique moniker and stay with it. One of the section authors may be persuaded to check your IP address and see if it's consistent with your claim of posting from the ME.

Well "Mac" by all means do ... (Below threshold)
h:

Well "Mac" by all means do so - check my IPS address and you will see that it is a satellite. So while you can not be sure I am in Iraq, I can assure you I am.

But as I said, if you doubt anything I am saying, if my content and tone is suspicious (2 yrs 8 months in Iraq my friend and you too might have a change of tone) challenge me.

I voted for Bush twice, and while I was hopeful that this entire Iraq march up was a fake to hit Iran, I believed in the mission (and in fact I still do - however, I am thoroughly convinced that Iraq will never take this gift we have given her and do anything but squander it, as she is doing right now).

I rarely post on blogs - but I thought to on this one. I enjoy the content of this blog (and LGF, Belmont, Tigerhawk, Ace of Spades, etc) and figured I cd give my two cents from the sand box.

Take it for what it is worth.

A couple of things...... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

A couple of things...
Of course these Iraqis do not like Ai-Q..that is why those "nervous nellies" that see Iraq becoming a terrorist center after we pull out are simply wrong..

Most of the IED's are not the work of Al-Q ...they are the efforts of both Shia and Sunni...

Neither the "elected" Iraqi govt nor the Iraqi Army are standing up...or will..until we leave..

The number of contractors kill remains cloudy because their deaths are not official..partial list... http://icasualties.org/oif/Civ.aspx

Kagan was the leading cheerleader for the "surge"
that has brought us to the point where one hundred kia per month is becoming the norm..

This crap about lefty's being invested in defeat?
The left has not directed Iraq policy the last four years that everyone should admit has blundered, ill-advised...mistake after mistake...it is the Right that is responsible..when we pull out ii is the right who have failed and made a pull-out necessary...


h, I've little doubt you're... (Below threshold)
kim:

h, I've little doubt you're legit, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. You actually have one of the most difficult, least defended jobs over there, so I can appreciate your perspective. But the Sunni Arab turned against a-Q because they were savages, and because the Americans protected their Baghdad city cousins from Sadr's death squads. Sadr and the Badr Brigades have clearly moved from Iranian mullah influence back into indigenous Iraqi Shia Arab solidarity with Sistani, and gradually, with the Sunni in the boonie.

It's always darkest before Dawn, but the Anbar Awakening is emblamatic and it is spreading like morning light. Keep the faith and bon voyage.
====================

h,But as ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

h,

But as I said, if you doubt anything I am saying, if my content and tone is suspicious (2 yrs 8 months in Iraq my friend and you too might have a change of tone) challenge me.

Of course I could make a similar or superior claim, but being that nothing other than a commenter's opinion can be confirmed, such claims are meaningless. How do you think any challenge would be meaningful? Any job related terminology you could use can be gleaned from the web. If you know something that's not on the web, how would anyone verify it? The point I'm trying to make is that your posts must be backed by verifiable independent sources, not by claims of special knowledge no one can verify. Without that they are just another commenter's opinion.

Basrah is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran; The IP is rotten with Militia idiots; The IA is ineffective; The Gov is corrupt, venal and as soon as we pull out of the IZ, they will too, to Syria, UAE and Jordan with loads of ill gotten cash.

Can you cite any news reports that confirm any of this?

This crap about le... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
This crap about lefty's being invested in defeat? The left has not directed Iraq policy the last four years that everyone should admit has blundered, ill-advised...mistake after mistake...it is the Right that is responsible..when we pull out ii is the right who have failed and made a pull-out necessary...

The left has used every means at their disposal to undermine the efforts of the Bush administration. Every lefty should acknowledge that mistakes have been made in every war this nation has fought; it's to be expected. War is not scripted and there are always unknowns and unknowables. The vast majority of the criticism from the left has been petty, Monday morning quarterbacking, or hypocritical. If the U.S. is forced out of Iraq before victory is won it will be by the hand of Democrats, not the terrorists.

Nogo is lieing, and he know... (Below threshold)
Ran:

Nogo is lieing, and he knows it. A look at the lefts MSM coverage and the "Non-support" of ALL BUT Lieberman in the left's corner proves that. They supported the war until they saw a chance to use it to gain power. Supporting the troops, but not the war , is a lie that just doesn't wash. The term "You can't have it both ways" isn't in the lefts playbook. Too many of them have proven YOU CAN! They say this is a "Bad war".. hell, please name me a "Good One"! People die. The Nam playbook all over again, and we know how that turned out, millions died in the aftermath. The left has that covered tho, cuz it's Bushes war. Only two things exist for the left, defeat, and power.

It is simple...Either those... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

It is simple...Either those in charge of planning for a post invasion Iraq and those who have been in charge of discharge of policy are Lefty's..read Cheney/Bush/Rumsfield/Feith etc..or they were not...

I am not saying bad war good war...
I am saying that this administration is responsible.
To pretend the Left..or the MSM.. is to blame for what is the present day reality in Iraq is..ah..

..and please..this is no longer a war..It stopped being a war when we took over Baghdad. This is an occupation where the might of our military has been reduced to acting as police caught between warring tribal factions.. where the bad guys are everywhere..and are not an army..they are the population

The Iraqi Govt has yet to demonstrate anything that justifies our troops dying for it...

Many here see defeat as when we withdraw our troops..well what is victory?

"To pretend the Left..or th... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"To pretend the Left..or the MSM.. is to blame for what is the present day reality in Iraq is..ah.."

Who is pretending? It's the Traitor Defeatocrats that have been crying and lying for years now , Quagmire , War is Lost...

"I am saying that this administration is responsible."

Of course yo do and you stab our soldiers in the back and engage in propaganda along with the enemy you shameless fricken fraud.

It's the only way your party of criminals can get elected. Democrats can't win on merit because they can't and haven't accomplished shit. They are all talk and despicable liars.

THE DEMOCRAT PARTY ITSELF IS STINKING LIE.

Rob,Were you once mo... (Below threshold)

Rob,
Were you once molested by a Democrat? What's with all the pent up anger?

am not saying bad ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
am not saying bad war good war... I am saying that this administration is responsible. To pretend the Left..or the MSM.. is to blame for what is the present day reality in Iraq is..ah..

The Left and the MSM have crated political opposition that undermines the efforts of the administration in Iraq. The terrorists aren't ignorant of this opposite and it boosts their moral and resolve to stay at it. If Bush had enjoyed loyal opposition as was the case in WW2, Iraq would already have been won and most of our troops would have been home by now. Of course the left couldn't have that, because such success would mean Republicans would stay in power for a decade more.

..and please..this is no longer a war..It stopped being a war when we took over Baghdad. This is an occupation where the might of our military has been reduced to acting as police caught between warring tribal factions.. where the bad guys are everywhere..and are not an army..they are the population

So, what do you think we should have done after Saddam was forced from power, just put his murderous son's in power and leave? As the story at the head of this thread documents, the Iraqi population is coming over to our side. They are finally seeing the truth and figure their lives will be better if they help rid Iraq of A-Q.

I understand the urgency of the left to stop the U.S. from winning in Iraq before it's too late to prevent victory. The last thing Democrats want to see is Iraq resolved before November 2008. They know how fickle the electorate is and they might just vote out the party so vested in defeat.

Mac - Let me get this right... (Below threshold)
h:

Mac - Let me get this right - you think if I cd get links to news reports on how Basrah is a mini Teharan that wd be make you believe me? So in other words, you wd rather believe the MSM, who are hunkered down in the IZ with LN stringers over someone who works not too far way from Basrah? OK. Interesting.

In your world view there is no such thing as a conservative who is in Iraq and believes differently then you? Let me ask a very simple question: Have you ever even been to the Arab ME on a vacation for more then a few days and actually met the locals? Somehow I doubt it.

Kim - I disagree with you. Sorry. Sunni Arabs may be turning against AQ, but it is a case of the enemy of my enemy....quite simply to think that now that certain tribes of Sunnis are now against AQ, and that will last as long as it can benefit them and not a day longer, and therefore the Sunni and Shia will lay down like tiger and lamb is very wishful thinking and not realistic.

My opinion, I hope you are right, but I am not optimistic.

h, I am always wil... (Below threshold)
LAB:

h,

I am always willing to weigh things out in the balance when listening to another side of the story.

I am also sorry that you are pessimistic as to the outcome of our presence in Iraq.

Perhaps I would see things differently if I were actually stationed there for any reason, but my prayers are always with our military and hope for the best possible outcome. I must, and will always remain optimistic.

Why do you focus on the MSM? Are we limited to only that as a source of information? Smaller articles will also have there own perspective, such as here: http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/headlines/
display.var.1417480.0.life_on_the_front_line_in_iraq.php
and here: http://icperthshire.icnetwork.co.uk/perthshireadvertiser/news/
tm_headline=home-safe&method=full&objectid=19197309&siteid=
88886-name_page.html
Reality, but not quite as bleak. Sorry about the sloppy links, the whole thing is there. Just copy and paste.

Lab - I do not focus on th... (Below threshold)
h:

Lab - I do not focus on the MSM at all. 90% of what is published or stated via MSM is garbage - good and bad. I am speaking, granted pesimistically, from my POV and no one elses.

Every step forward that I see, hides two steps back.

Sorry, I gave up being optimistic quite some time ago.

My only hope is we whack Iran sooner rather then later, hard and from afar. And get the State Dept on board to make it very clear to Nancy Pelosi's friends in Syria that they are next. Of course, I hope for a couple of million to drop from the sky at my feet, but that ain't gonna happen either.

"What's with all the pent u... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"What's with all the pent up anger?"

I despise poor sports , sore losers , cry babies and lying frauds and the democrats are all the above and then some. Democrats are just like the kid who always struck out , balled his eyes out yet never showed up to practice. They cried and blamed the ball for not hitting the bat.

That is the democrat Party , incapable of hitting the ball but that is where their Partners in the MSM Media come in. Before the ball crosses the plate their partners in fraud take over and splice in what appears to be a pitch be hit out of the park.

They are phony , everyone of them. I've been around enough lowlife Criminals , con artists and crack head thieves to see right through the party of Rats.

Another reason , my 83 year old mother told me years ago to vote for Democrats , that Republicans Raise taxes. They have been lying to my mother and that pisses me off.

Me too, R; that's an outrag... (Below threshold)
kim:

Me too, R; that's an outrage.
==================

h,Mac - L... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

h,

Mac - Let me get this right - you think if I cd get links to news reports on how Basrah is a mini Teharan that wd be make you believe me? So in other words, you wd rather believe the MSM, who are hunkered down in the IZ with LN stringers over someone who works not too far way from Basrah? OK. Interesting.

Apparently you just don't get it, so I'll give it to you in a way you may understand.

You are a FAKE who is not where you say you are and not doing what you say you are doing. PROVE me wrong! If you can I'll apologize, if you can't then keep your claims of being in Iraq out of your posts.

In your world view there is no such thing as a conservative who is in Iraq and believes differently then you?

That's not the point and you know it, or should know it. Any socket puppet can claim to be anyone on the web, thus, the only thing that counts here is your logic and independent support of your opinions. Who you are, where you are, and what you are doing is meaningless because NONE of it can be verified in a thread such as this and there are fakes out there who make such claims.

Let me ask a very simple question: Have you ever even been to the Arab ME on a vacation for more then a few days and actually met the locals? Somehow I doubt it.

I could be your boss for all you know, or I could be someone with my own people working in Iraq. Being none can be verified what would be the point of claiming any of that?

If you really are in Iraq then I apologize on a personal level, but you need to learn some web rules. If you really want credibility, then you need to start your own blog and post photos from your location that can't be found anywhere else on the web. Also, pick a unique moniker. Then when you post here you can link to your blog. Then I'll be very interested in what you have to say as will other readers of wizbang. If you can't do your own blog because of security issues than you'll have to settle for being just another anonyms contributor.

Mac - You are an idiot. I t... (Below threshold)
h:

Mac - You are an idiot. I thought my comments on a thread which I am intimately aware of might be of interest. I didn't think that adding to the discussion in a rationale, intelligent fashion wd result in an ad hominem attack on me. My mistake.

Clamp your eyes shut, scream and tell me you can't hear me, because you know I am a FAKE, but that fact is everything i've said is 100% true, from my POV, and if you don't accept it, no loss.

Piss off.

Clamp your eyes sh... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Clamp your eyes shut, scream and tell me you can't hear me, because you know I am a FAKE, but that fact is everything i've said is 100% true, from my POV, and if you don't accept it, no loss. Piss off.

You asked to be challenged and when you were you failed. I explained in detail why such claims as "I'm in Iraq" can't be taken on face value, but you ignore that and pretend I'm not listening to you for other reasons. No one posting to the web is that dimwitted. Only a socket puppet would try that diversion to hid their deception.

You might get away with being a socket puppet on other blogs, but you won't find the trick so easy to pull here. You've been exposed so get off and stay off.

Mac - List your email. I wi... (Below threshold)
h:

Mac - List your email. I will send you a picture of myself, in Iraq, surrounded by Iraqis, with a sign that says " Mac is an ASSHOLE".

You didn't challenge me - you told me to open a blog. Are you serious?

So how about it? Show your balls internet tough guy.

h,List your email ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

h,

List your email and I'll send you a picture of myself on Mars surrounded by aliens with a sign that says "h is a SOCKPUPPET".

I have Photoshop too, idiot.

A sockpuppet (sometimes kno... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

A sockpuppet (sometimes known also as a socket, glove puppet, shadow puppet, mule, alias, alternate, ghostnic, or joke account) is a pejorative term for a false online identity used for purposes of deception within an Internet community. -- Wikipedia

I smelled a sockpuppet when "h" posted his second comment. "h" asked to be challenged, which I did, but not in a way they expected. Had "h" been legitimate they would have understood the reason their claims couldn't be taken on face value. Using the old "diversion" trick, however (a common tactic among liberals, by the way) in two responding posts pretty much establishes the case. "h" is either a sockpuppet or they really are that dimwitted, in which case they are not worth listening to anyway.

Am I wrong? (anyone but "h", we already know what you'll say.)

This will be my last post, ... (Below threshold)
h:

This will be my last post, because I am sure this kind of behavior is not appreciate by the host.

1) A sock puppet is someone who posts under a different name to support what he said somewhere else. Thus, calling me a sock puppet makes no sense whatsoever;

2) I am sure you are in fact a photoshop genius, but I am not - the pictures wd have been absolutely genuine proving that you are a dick and I am in Iraq, but as expected you are a ball-less wonder and went belly up. Shocking.

Have a lovely day. It is 20:50 in Iraq and I am heading to my hooch.

1) A sock puppet i... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
1) A sock puppet is someone who posts under a different name to support what he said somewhere else. Thus, calling me a sock puppet makes no sense whatsoever;

I linked to a more complete definition in my prior post, which includes deception, such as "I'm in Iraq" to add authority to your nonsense opinions. You also picked a single letter moniker, which can't be searched for to establish any context. You are either a real dimwit or you are hiding something.

2) I am sure you are in fact a photoshop genius, but I am not

And we're supposed to take your word for that. Not likely.

-the pictures wd have been absolutely genuine

And we're supposed to take your word for that. Not likely.

proving that you are a dick and I am in Iraq

Proving nothing as I have explained in detail a number of times. You expect me to believe you are really that dimwitted?

but as expected you are a ball-less wonder and went belly up. Shocking.

As expected I didn't fall for your phony photo. I noticed you didn't post your email either, otherwise I could have sent you a photo of me on Mars. By your own standards that makes you a ball-less wonder.

Have a lovely day. It is 20:50 in Iraq and I am heading to my hooch.

Well at least you got the time right. Not hard to do with web sites like worldtimezone.com

Well h, you trail off a lit... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well h, you trail off a little there in the 'friend of a friend' part about the Sunni Arab, and quit making much sense. You still sound legit, but are also sounding opinionated beyond your experience. What's this about hoping we pound Iran hard and from afar? Mac, maybe the nose knows. All that Iran is running Iraq business sounds like he's tuned into MSM.
========================

And, I'm sorry to say this,... (Below threshold)
kim:

And, I'm sorry to say this, but it does accentuate that our soldiers are underpaid: They are in it because they believe in the mission; you are in it for the money. There is a difference.
==============================

Aren't hooches cribs, now?<... (Below threshold)
kim:

Aren't hooches cribs, now?
===================

Kim,Sorry to pollu... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Kim,

Sorry to pollute your thread, but I see you were the victim of a sock-puppet yourself yesterday. Maybe I'm too sensitive to the deception and "h" could be legitimate. If so, and if he wants the credibility that comes from being were the action is, then he should blog as I have recommended, and as many other do, to establish his credentials. Otherwise, he's just another anonymous contributor, at least in my book.

He's either legit, buying t... (Below threshold)
kim:

He's either legit, buying the MSM line or a disinformational sock puppet. I'm beginning to think the latter.
==========================

Your pollution, my enrichme... (Below threshold)
kim:

Your pollution, my enrichment. Engagements like you and 'h' had are revealing.
=====================

Just to avoid a little disi... (Below threshold)
kim:

Just to avoid a little disinformation myself, there are two 'kims'. The real one, a moderator and poster, capitalizes 'Kim', is permanent, and doesn't underline. The ersatz one is lower case and double underlined, a verminous bandwidth hog, but, fortunately, transient.
======================




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