- As the director of an Iraq & Afghanistan veteran’s organization, I follow the headlines from Iraq very closely. So, it’s always news to me when there is little news from Iraq…at least from the mainstream media.
Over the last few weeks, with the exception of the unfortunate Blackwater story, headlines from Iraq have been few and far between.
Why is this the case? There must be a reason. And I believe the reason is rooted both in what has happened and what has not.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Bush lied about WMDs so we could invade Iraq and steal their oil, that is pretty much gospel here in the Mad City. The problem I always had with it was if we were lying then why didn't we plant some to be found? I realize they think W is a fool, but if you are gonna cheat the system, then plant a few chem or bio weapons and voila. Now we have a leak of a Spanish transcript from W's meeting with Aznar, which has been used to imply that W was hellbent on war no matter what. Well Jose Guardia does a full translation and it actually shows just how hard we were working to avoid war, while maintaining the realistic view that Saddam was not likely to comply. He also notes this important tidbit.
- BAGHDAD — Iraqi citizens are helping Coalition forces hunt down al Qaeda terrorists in a vast rural area south of Baghdad, a military commander said today
- BAGHDAD — Coalition forces positively identified a foreign terrorist killed in an operation Tuesday in Musayyib as a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq member.
Abu Usama al-Tunisi was in the inner leadership circle of Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq and was a likely successor to him.
Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network has purchased at least 15 ships in the last two years – creating, perhaps, the first terrorist naval force, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
- Ra’ad Hameed Al-Mula Jowad Al-Tamimi the Diyala Governor made a statement on Wednesday about the recent bombing of the Sunni and Shiite leader in Baqouba earlier this week saying that the attack, "would not weaken good people or keep them from doing their jobs."
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Kirkuk, Iraq - Despite strong public appeals by Gen. David Petraeus and President Bush this month, American views on the Iraq war remain dim. The latest Pew survey shows that 54 percent say US troops should come home as soon as possible, while 47 percent believe the US will probably or definitely fail to achieve its goals in Iraq. Many experts and politicians, meanwhile, have suggested the war can't be won.
I am a US soldier in Iraq. And I disagree. It's not too late to succeed. The stakes in Iraq are too high not to keep fighting for progress.
As a National Guardsman serving on a Provincial Reconstruction Team, I've seen what is working on the ground in Kirkuk, a city in northern Iraq.
- One of my friends is the commander of a unit in Afghanistan and they are winning hearts and minds of the locals by being compassionate and caring. They have identified a group of Afghan children who are in dire need of winter clothing. I am including his info in the hope that some of you might understand that this is how we win. When we help a child they remember and maybe, just maybe, one of these children can make a difference in the future. Please help and while these children are Muslim the clothing is a fine, fine Christmas gift. There are 43 kids lsited here. You may not be able to help them all but i am sure you can help 1.
Some days, life is good. When you have a majority of days when life is good, you know that you have it good and that things may even be getting even better.
Where I am currently, life is good and there are many signs that it is getting better for everyone here. The larger reasons are for later, but for now I wanted to share one reason life is good for Echo Company ("Team Easy"). It's good because life is getting better for the local Iraqi's.
FOB HAMMER (MNFI) — The 1st Iraqi National Police Brigade recently cleared a road connecting al-Bawi and Stiyah during a combined effort with 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, resulting in the killing of six insurgents.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki called for national reconciliation during his speech at the United Nations yesterday saying “We look at national reconciliation as a life boat, a perpetual peace project and a safe harbor for the political process and the democratic experience.” That was echoed with an historic meeting by Iraqi VP Tariq al-Hashemi and top shia cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani today
- BAGHDAD — A year ago the area to the east of Ramadi was a haven for insurgents who attacked the city. These days much has changed in the surrounding rural lands of the east.
- Samarra, Iraq
The development of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) – consisting of Iraqi Police (‘IPs,’ who are under regional control), National Police (‘NPs,’ who belong to the federal government’s Ministry of Interior), and Iraqi Army – has been both a priority and a point of frustration for the coalition forces who are trying to train them as quickly and effectively as possible to fill the role currently being served in Iraq by the U.S. military.
It's a little painful to read, in my opinion, as it's that annoying white text on black background that a lot of us have problems with. Anyway, if you're curious about it then go check out Dipnote.
- Welcome to the State Department's first-ever blog, Dipnote. As a communicator for the Department, I have the opportunity to do my fair share of talking on a daily basis. With the launch of Dipnote, we are hoping to start a dialogue with the public. More than ever, world events affect our daily lives--what we see and hear, what we do, and how we work. I hope Dipnote will provide you with a window into the work of the people responsible for our foreign policy, and will give you a chance to be active participants in a community focused on some of the great issues of our world today.
With Dipnote we are going to take you behind the scenes at the State Department and bring you closer to the personalities of the Department. We are going to try and break through some of the jargon and talk about how we operate around the world.
We invite you to participate in this community, and I am looking forward to stepping away from my podium every now and then into the blogosphere. Let the conversation begin.
PS - We're new at this. It looks like we broke our own rule and used State jargon in our blog title. "Dipnote" refers to a diplomatic note. It is one of the many way in which governments formally communicate with each other.
The dictionary definition of a diplomatic note is: "A formal communication between an ambassador and a minister (usually the foreign minister) of this host government or another ambassador."
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
If we want to evaluate who, out of our elected officials, are smarter, I think we can chalk one up for the conservatives.
From Erick at Redstate - suckers.
Pay attention lefties. The GOP really tricked you guys today and, on the bright side, at least you know who your real friend are. The GOP machinations were, objectively, well played today.
in the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mike Pence offered up an amendment to legislation that would have condemned the MoveOn.org advertisement against General Petraeus. At the very same time as the Democrats on the Committee were voting to kill Pence's bill, the GOP House Leadership was making a motion to recommit Joint Resolution 52 with an amendment doing the exact same thing.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
"The average college senior knows astoundingly little about America's history, government, international relations and market economy, earning an "F" on the American civic literacy exam with a score of 54.2%. Harvard seniors did best, but their overall average was 69.6%, a disappointing D+." Is the verdict from Intercollegiate Studies Institute after grading the results of this test.
Suicide bombers target cops in Basra, Fallujah, and Mosul, all in one day. Update: Fourth attack reported in Kut.
Nine months after the announcement of the Baghdad Security plan and the subesquent “surge “of US forces, the battle for Baghdad remains engaged. With the effort to secure Baghdad from al Qaeda in Iraq and the Mahdi Army alike, the southwestern security district of Doura has proven difficult to tame. The soldiers of the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment are currently engaged in a heated battle against al Qaeda in Iraq in a corner of Doura.
- WASHINGTON – Attacks and violent incidents in Iraq are down, but Iraqi and coalition forces still have a lot of work ahead, a top coalition spokesman in Iraq said today.
WASHINGTON – Coalition forces have killed an al Qaeda leader who orchestrated a massive bombing in an impoverished Baghdad neighborhood, a U.S. military spokesman announced today.
Army Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner conducted a televised satellite briefing at Multinational Force Iraq headquarters in Baghdad to announce the killing of Abu Yakub al-Masri.
NEWSFLASH: NO HOMOSEXUALS IN IRAN. Deranged dwarf wonders where this silly rumor got started, there is simply no man love in his country. This draws derisive laughter from gay Iranian kids and adults in audience.
Bollinger represented his sorry peers in academia better than expected, but you can't fix stupid.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Bad news for them as Multi-National Forces, Iraq reports ‘Grassroots’ will be catalyst for change in Baghdad, commander says
- BAGHDAD — The most encouraging recent development in Baghdad is the willingness of citizens to step forward and partner with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) in defeating terrorism, the U.S. commander in charge of Coalition forces in the city said today.
- SAMARRA — As the much-anticipated Iraq report was released this month, one unit is finding that they are indeed making progress.
An Iraqi teenager who was an informant for the Coalition force in Samarra was kidnapped by insurgents and held for several days. He was beaten and moved to different locations. The teen managed to escape, ignoring the death threats of his captors for talking with Coalition forces, and after his escape, he went straight to Forward Operating Base Brassfield-Mora to ask for help.
- NEW YORK Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division, said Thursday, back in the U.S. on leave at Fort Stewart, that the war in Iraq is “a winnable mission” if the the media would only cooperate.
BAGHDAD - The U.S. military on Saturday confirmed the arrests of 25 people linked to the assassination of the leader of the U.S.-backed revolt by Sunni Arab tribesmen in the western Anbar province against al-Qaida in Iraq.The suspects, who include the head of the security detail that was supposed to protect Sheik Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, killed in a bombing Sept. 13, were detained by Iraqi police, Lt. Col. Jubeir Rashid said, an Iraqi police officer in Anbar.
Friday, September 21, 2007
We had the Clinton's for 8 years and we've heard these statements from them before. Hillary's shot at Petraeus was typical. It was the body language, the "Listening to your report today well, frankly...," that were the important parts. The statement "requires the willing suspension of disbelief" in itself means pretty much nothing. That's what you would want if you were to have a conversation with someone. If they disbelieve, you'd like them to shelve that and listen to you.
Hillary stated this well thought out line to do two things. Cement her ties with moveon.org as she implies that Petraeus is a liar, and to give herself an out for the general election. Mark my words, she and her supporters will remind you in 5 or 6 months that "well, she never called him a liar, that's what the vast right wing conspiracy want you to believe. Just read her quote."
She, by her body language, and the way she made that prepared statement, only implied that he was lying. And, that was exactly what she wanted to imply. This is clintonspeak in it's normal form.
Make a note....
Thursday, September 20, 2007
- In a green valley nestled between snow-capped peaks in the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq is an armed camp of revolutionaries preparing to overthrow the Islamic Republic of Iran. Men with automatic weapons stand watch on the roofs of the houses. Party flags snap in the wind. Radio and satellite TV stations beam illegal news, commentary, and music into homes and government offices across the border.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Ahmadinejad apparently wants to visit ground zero next week when he's here as a guest of the UN. I know this gets your hackles up. It certainly did mine. After mulling it over a little though, it might not be a bad idea. Escort him down into the pit... introduce him to real American construction workers.... police line the pit.... turn their backs to face outward...
Luckily, Pat Dollard reports it ain't happening.
An advance team for the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asked earlier this month that he be allowed to lay a wreath at the World Trade Center site during the opening of the United Nations General Assembly next week, but the request was denied, New York City police officials said today.
- Jackson sharply criticized presidential hopeful and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for “acting like he’s white”
Right now he's cowering in the bedroom because, well you know.... there's a fly buzzing around the kitchen...
Guess I'll go kill the fly and see if he redevelops into a boy dog.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Not much time to blog tonight. If I understand the dog correctly, I'm to grab the fishing pole and go out back for an hour or two...
I've got a couple of good reads to pass along first though:
Jeff Emanual has Don't Abandon the Iraqis Now
- The ‘Surge’ in Iraq, and the counterinsurgency strategy that the increase in forces was designed to support, has succeeded, in a very brief span of time, far beyond what most familiar with the situation there would ever have imagined – let alone realistically expected. A large part of the reason for this is that, in many different ways, the people of Iraq have shown bravery that we can only hope that Americans, if put into the same situation, would ever dream of showing.
Michael J. Totten has Anbar Awakens Part II: Hell is Over
RAMADI, IRAQ – In early 2007 Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province, was one of the most violent war-torn cities on Earth. By late spring it was the safest major city in Iraq outside Kurdistan.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
So much for the Abu Risha Truthers at Daily Kos who were trying to claim he had been killed by rival Ramadi sheiks in order to present a chaotic picture of the Anbar Awakening:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist linked to the assassination of Sheik Sattar during an operation Sept. 15 west of Balad.
The captured individual, Fallah Khalifa Hiyas Fayyas al-Jumayli, also known as Abu Khamis, is believed to be responsible for the death of Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Resha, founder of the Anbar Awakening, a coalition of tribes in Anbar Province committed to driving al-Qaeda in Iraq out of the area. Intelligence reports indicate al-Jumayli is involved in a plot to kill key leaders in the tribal awakening. He is also reportedly responsible for car bomb and suicide vest attacks in Anbar Province, and is closely allied with senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders in the region.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Sheik Majid Tahir al-Magsousi, the leader of the Migasees tribe here in Wasit province, acknowledged tribal leaders have discussed creating a brigade of young men trained by the Americans to bolster local security as well as help patrol the border with Iran.
- A story of the savagery of al-Qaeda and the compassion of Iraqis took place two days ago in one of the southern suburbs of Baghdad.
The story began when the people of Hor Rijab, a village inhabited by mostly Sunni farmers, made up their mind that enough is enough and formed a "battalion" of local fighters to confront al-Qaeda hardly two weeks ago.
Al-Qaeda was definitely not happy with this rebellion and on Tuesday morning attacked the village, Radio Sawa has the details
Bill Roggio has a report of citizens in southern Baghdad who are similarly "Awakening". This reconciliation group consists of both Sunnis and Shiites. Bill's post is up over at The Long War Journal called Standing up the Concerned Citizens in southern Baghdad
In southern Baghdad province, the establishment of the Concerned Citizens, also referred to as Iraqi Police Volunteers, began to take hold in late spring. Initiated by tribal connections from Anbar province, the movement mimicked the rise of the Anbar Salvation Council in some respects, but differed in many ways. This bottom up process of local reconciliation consists of both Sunni and Shia tribes wishing to restore a measure of peace to the war torn regions south of Baghdad.
Several of the MilBloggers we reference were in a round table with President George W. Bush yesterday. Bill Roggio (The Long War Journal), Matthew Burden (BlackFive), Mrs. Greyhawk (Mudville Gazette), and Mohammed (Iraq The Model) were all participants. I'll point you to Steve Schippert over at The Tank as he has links to the posts by the others off his post. Meeting With President Bush On The War. All of their posts are excellent reads and I'd recommend you check them all out for their perspective on the meeting.
- It was an honor to be among the MilBloggers invited to speak with the Commander in Chief for a one-hour round table on the various theaters of the conflict at hand. This post is delayed - and brief - as I try and find the words to accurately convey the exchange - not just in content, but in what it meant both personally and historically.
From Teflon Don at Acutepolitics - A True Martyr
- His death is a grievous loss to all who long to see a free Iraq. He provided vision, determination, and stubborn perseverance in his leadership of the sons of Anbar.
- On Thursday, W. Thomas Smith Jr. noted the tragic death of Abdul Sattar al-Rishawi. Al-Rishawi was a critical U.S. ally who led the Anbar Salvation Front, a collection of Sunni tribesmen, Iraqi nationalists, ex-Baathists, and others who are united by the common goal of driving al-Qaeda from their country.
American commanders in southern Iraq say Shiite sheiks are showing interest in joining forces with the U.S. military against extremists, in much the same way that Sunni clansmen in the western part of the country have worked with American forces against al-Qaida.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I'm certainly looking forward to that six A.M. dog, standing on the bed, staring me down because some muscle moved the slightest bit and he thinks that means that I'm ready to get up and start waiting on his every need...
Links from others who are much more knowledgeable of Sheik Sattar:
Bill Roggio over at The Long War Journal -Sheikh Sattar, leader of the Anbar Awakening, killed in bombing
W. Thomas Smith Jr. over at The Tank - Thoughts on the Murder of Sheik Abdul Sattar
And, Multi-National Forces - Iraq has Joint statement Regarding the Assassination of Sheikh Abdul Sattar Bezia al-Rishawi
From Pat Dollard - Breaking: Leader Of Anbar Awakening Killed - Petraeus: “A Tragic Loss”
BAGHDAD (AP) - The most prominent figure in a revolt of Sunni sheiks against al-Qaida in Iraq was killed Thursday in an explosion near his home in Anbar province, police said.
Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha was leader of the Anbar Salvation Council, also known as the Anbar Awakening—an alliance of clans backing the Iraqi government and U.S. forces.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Successes are occurring, and accruing, in Iraq. Al Qaeda is still a powerful enemy, but they cannot be happy with their Iraqi franchise this summer.
Readers of my dispatches have gotten first hand reports of the kinds of positive indicators that General David Petraeus described in his progress report.
The atmosphere is changing in Iraq and I've been posting dispatches and videos that illustrate just how profound this change is in some cases.
I was the first to say Iraq was in civil war, and many readers were angry to hear me say it. Well, I'll be the first to say that I predict some sort of milestone for the war in Iraq will occur early in the next year. It's dangerous to predict like this, but something fundamental has changed in Iraq.
There is one important qualifier: this will only happen if General David Petraeus is supported by our elected officials to implement his proposed plan, without meddling from those same elected officials. Oversight and accountability are not the same thing as backseat driving after siphoning out half of the gas tank.
Please read: Hunting Al Qaeda
On to more lighter reading. Kathryn Jean Lopez over at The Tank has Dem Complaints about Petraeus. It's a quick top ten list read.
Also from the Tank, W. Thomas Smith Jr. has The Big Lie that Continues About Iraq.
Why does everyone continue this bit about our invasion of Iraq being "based on a lie?" That in and of itself is a lie.
“Our hope a year ago was to establish very basic inroads down here,” Kershaw said. “We thought the insurgency was far too deep for us to be able to effectively root it out and develop the relationship with the locals.”
As happened in Anbar province to the west, local Sunni leaders from this town south of Baghdad finally turned on the al Qaeda extremists in their midst when the death and destruction became too much to bear.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Pat Dollard has God Bless The USA
And could someone please try and figure out what the heck Uncle Jimbo at Black Five is delicately trying to say, in his normal, dance around the point kind of way with Guilty of Contempt of Congress
I think they took up the wrong fight, though. Don't get me wrong. I'm glad they took up the wrong fight, but they're missing the real deal. And, that is...
The Crocker report. The decision on whether we stay or leave should hinge on this one. If Petreaus is bringing security to Iraq, and it certainly seems indisputable that he is, then will that bring any political gains? I've reread the Crocker report to see if there's an answer there. To summarize what he says as best I can:
The major issues holding up legislation from the central government is Federalism and States rights. Something we all understand. We are witness to what it takes for Iraq to figure out what Iraq is going to be. The Iraqi's are the only one's who can sort this part out. Until they do though, legislation from a central government will be real difficult. Progress is being made here though as, without legislation in place, revenue sharing is happening. Also, without legislation, amnesty is happening. These are two major issues that lead to nationalism. Benchmarks are being met without the legislation being even written or put into law yet. Our Congress wants to call this a failure.
Crocker explains this well on his observation of Al Anbar province. The largest gains politically have come there. Gee, the largest gains in security had just happened there too.
All isn't a bed of roses. There are major hurdles for the Iraqi people to overcome. Crocker believes that a peaceful Iraq that's at peace with it's neighbors is attainable. Iran and Syria need to be addressed though. But, all in all, looking at this report, it would be real hard to say the right way forward is to pull all of our troops out.
Someone tell the anti-war surrender monkeys to go spend their energies on getting us out of Okinawa or Germany. Haven't we finished up those two operations yet?
Monday, September 10, 2007
Michael Yon over at The Tank with The Times Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.
- General David Petraeus's first day of testimony was completely accurate, and consistent with my recent experiences around Iraq. Everything he said during the public hearing on Monday was measured, cogent, and demonstrably accurate. That his reputation was attacked in an entirely inaccurate full-page advertisement in the New York Times is a smear on the reputation of the New York Times.
Uncle Jimbo at Black Five offers up his opinion.
Today the sorriest of the sorry groups on the left, George Soros' Move0n placed a full page ad in the NYT asking
Gen. Petraeus or Gen. Betray us
Pat Dollard has The Ad The Dems Are Running From - What Dems Are Really Behind It?
MoveOn.org has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership –as an article in today’s Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday’s Politico: “‘No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,’ noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. ‘The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.’
- Not surprisingly, Petraeus performed smoothly in his testimony to Congress. But an internal Pentagon report is expected to ‘differ substantially’ from his recommendations on withdrawal from
, NEWSWEEK has learned. Iraq
( Newsweek is doing some serious sleight of hand...
Patreaus's slides (via Pat Dollard)
The transcript of the Crocker opening statement to Congress is here.
The Petraeus statement is pretty much conformation of what we've been tracking militarily since the surge started. I didn't see much that would be new to anyone who's been following along. You know about Anbar Province and the fact that other provinces are following that model. Here's a press release from today from MNF-I on another citizen group turning called In 24-hr battle, Hawr Rajab turns on al-Qaeda. It's a short read, so check it out.
The Crocker opening statement is excellent. That's the one to read if you can only get to one of them. The questions we need answers to are on the political and economic sides, and Crocker does a great job of laying it out.
- My intention today is to give you an assessment of political, economic, and diplomatic developments in Iraq. In doing so, I will not minimize the enormity of the challenges faced by Iraqis, nor the complexity of the situation. Yet at the same time, I intend to demonstrate that it is possible for the United States to see its goals realized in Iraq and that Iraqis are capable of tackling and addressing the problems confronting them today. A secure, stable democratic Iraq at peace with its neighbors is attainable.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
"Praise Allah" as Osama opens up the box that contains the DVD "Inconvenient Truth".....
Hey, maybe we're better at this propaganda war than I thought we were...
Friday, September 7, 2007
Senator Fred Thompson made the following remarks while campaigning at the Music Man Square in Mason City, IA:
“Apparently, Osama bin Laden has crawled out of his cave long enough to send another video, and he is getting a lot of attention and ought to be caught and killed.
“We also need to understand that when he is caught and killed, somebody will replace him.
“We like to personalize things in this country, sometimes a little too much. Somebody will replace him. He represents the fact that we are in a global conflict and are going to be for some time.
“The most important part of how we deal with that has to deal with the resolution of the American people and political leaders.”
Bill Roggio over at The Long War Journal has more.
The latest operation follows August's Operation Lightning Hammer that focused on al Qaeda’s presence in the Diyala River Valley north of the provincial capital Baqubah. Baqubah itself was cleared of al Qaeda during Operation Arrowhead Ripper, which was launched in June. The Baghdad Security Plan and Phantom Thunder and Phantom Strike operations -- which focused on al Qaeda and the Shia extremist cells in the Baghdad Belts -- have pushed al Qaeda operations into regions in Ninewa, Kirkuk, Salahadin, and Diyala provinces. This rolling series of operations is designed to keep al Qaeda off balance, prevent the terrorists from reorganizing safe havens in new regions, and expanding the security perimeter beyond Baghdad.
Well, there ya go....
On the rest of it I'll have to agree with most of the other reviews I've read. It's a message to the American people. Well, that's the premise anyway. The only message to the American people I can make out is "Vote Democrat". The main point seems to be to Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, and that bunch. Apparently, his boys are getting whacked big time in Iraq by the American military and he's losing his patience waiting for his allies in our government to bring about an American surrender there.
So, Bin Laden speaks. Now we watch to see how high Reid, Pelosi, and Murtha jump.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Chuck Schumer's comments about the Anbar tribes turning on Al Qaeda happening in spite of the surge is really starting to stick in my craw. It's not just me either, you'll see it on most of the milblogs. Chucky just proves that, as soon as you think Al Qaeda's allies in our government have sunk as low as they can go, they grab shovels and dig deeper. This has to be the lowest, cheapest, and dirtiest tactic ever employed by someone in our government to be used in a time of war. In my opinion, if you go this low in an attempt to gain some political power, then you've now achieved a status beneath the lowliest slug. You slide under the slime you're so low.
Wonder why Chucky doesn't know about Captain Patriquin? You all remember him. A refresher from Captain's Quarters:
The Iraqis aren't fooled. They named the police station after the man who masterminded the liberation of Ramadi from al-Qaeda. They named it after US Army Captain Travis Patriquin.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
You'll need to sit down for this one though. From spree over at Wake up America - Katie Couric Touts Real Progress In Iraq.
Short and sweet. After traveling to Iraq, Katie Couric repors on the progress being seen in Iraq.
Kudos to her for actually going there and seeing for herself after all the "reporting" from afar, it is good to see that she put her money where her mouth is and traveled to Iraq to see things for herself.
(CBS) BAGHDAD, Iraq One week before Gen. David Petraeus is expected to give his report on U.S. progress in Iraq, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric says she has already seen dramatic improvements in the country.
"We hear so much about things going bad, but real progress has been made there in terms of security and stability," Couric said Tuesday. "I mean, obviously, infrastructure problems abound, but Sunnis and U.S. forces are working together. They banded together because they had a common enemy: al Qaeda."
Grim over at Blackfive has a post up about another major milestone that just happened today. I'm betting it probably won't make any newspapers though. It's called COIN: Iraqi Police take over in Fallujah.
The Fighting 6th Marines are celebrating today, as a major -- oh, let's call it a "benchmark" -- is reached:
The last battalion of Iraqi soldiers with 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, withdrew from the Anbar Province city of Fallujah, Sept. 1, leaving the city’s security and stability in the hands of the local police and government.
Brig. Gen. Ali al-Hashemi, the brigade’s commander, said the time had come when Iraqi Police alone could handle law enforcement in the city.
You can tell our Marines are proud to see their AO blossom, but a great deal of credit belongs to the Iraqis of Anbar as well.
Tough call there given the competition, I mean Teddy, Reid, Larry Craig but Chuck Schumer is just so consistently low and mean. Plus he is so ruthless in getting in front of a camera, there is plenty of ammo. Today was just a little soliloquizing on the Senate floor.
I feel his pain, it is hard to stand there all pompous ass-like and try to make the case that even though the surge is working, neither W nor the troops deserve any credit. Now that is a stretch, and poor Chuck face planted.
- The September 2007 updates to the Iraqi Security Forces Order of Battle are now available at the ISF OOB Page. Significant changes include a shift in focus to re-enforce Basrah, the establishment of three more "Operational Commands," the expansion and development of the Iraqi Air Force, and the potential reduction of the Iraqi National Police for lack of available competent and trustworthy leadership. The significant changes to the Order of Battle are summarized below.
Baghdad, Sept 5, (VOI)- The spokesman for the Multi-National forces in Iraq Brigadier General Kevin Bergner said on Wednesday that cells from the Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army did not obey the Sadr’s order to freeze their activities, accusing them of “practicing armed activities.”
America will be making enormously important decisions in the coming days and weeks about the war in Iraq, decisions that will affect this country and the Middle East for years, if not decades. None of the decisions will be easy. The future implications are hard to decipher.
President Bush, Congress, and U.S. generals will be responsible for making specific policy choices. But the ultimate direction of the war will be decided -- as it should be in a democracy -- by the American people. So it's exceptionally important that the people understand what's really going on in Iraq, and there's ample evidence to suggest we don't. One can argue that the passion and demagoguery infusing the war debate have sowed more ignorance than enlightenment.
Also, there's another Redstate blog by a Mike Volpe that describes a two hour debate between a liberal (anti-Iraq war) and a conservative (for winning in Iraq). If you've ever found yourself in one of these, the liberal talking points are all there. Mike has the answers the liberals don't want to hear. The blog is called My Trip To Minnesota.
This weekend I attended a wedding for a friend of mine from college in Minnesota. I hitched a ride from Chicago with another buddy who was also attending. My buddy is among the smartest people I know. He scored nearly perfect on his ACT's back in high school and he currently works as a researcher in the Department of Molecular Biology at Northwestern University studying the HIV virus. He has been known to be a sort of ringer in any game of trivial pursuit. He is what I would describe as cerebral and his interests run many topics including of course, politics.
Monday, September 3, 2007
- President George W. Bush landed in Al Anbar with Secretary of State Condoleez Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Al Anbar, which accounts for roughly half the country, had degenerated into a private terrorist state run by Al Qaeda, has been turned around by an alliance between the US military and local iraqis who had finally stood up to the terrorist invaders
WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 — President Bush, marshaling his arguments to maintain current troop levels in Iraq, has approved the acceleration of a new program to intensify economic assistance directly to Sunni Arab regions where former insurgents have joined American forces in fighting extremist Sunni groups, senior American officials say.
Al Anbar province is a great place for the President to visit right now, in my opinion. Hopefully he can shake some hands of The Anbar Salvation Council while he's there.