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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Iraq Update September 13, 2007

I am still reading and reviewing all the data from various sources. Of course I am 100% behind the recommendation of General Petraeus. I just received an Email from Michael Yon Online. I like what Michael has to say and I respect his opinions. I hope you will read his link and spread the word.

By M. Yon

Greetings:

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

v/r
Michael

I still say Mr. Yon is incorrect in calling it a civil war in Iraq. I see the sectarian violence as being more like gang wars. Many Iraqis I have spoken to agree that it is more like gang wars. The people leading these militant groups use terror to force people to bend to their wills in a struggle for local or regional power. Many of the militant groups have learned that they were once the hunters, they are now the hunted. I look at how many militant groups are now focused on getting al-Qaeda out of Iraq and the fact that groups (who up to 6 months ago were killing American Soldiers), are now working with the coalition forces and the Iraqi Army to kick al-Qaeda out of Iraq. One of the biggest changes is how much different our military operates and now are very hands on in getting local government working again in areas that we clear of terrorists. To get the food, water and local government working in areas that had been lawless and more like the Wild West than modern cities. Let me make one thing very clear. The backward views and life style of al Qaeda does not sit well with the Iraqi citizens. They have seen the brutality of al Qaeda and the split from al Qaeda by many militant groups is a clear sign that Iraqis want to decide their future and that they do not want to be a pawn of al Qaeda or Iran.

As security of the nation becomes more stable it will enable the good kind silent man to stand up and let his voice be heard without fear of reprisal. Only then will we see the National government change in a productive manner. One thing the Democrats and Liberals seem to forget is the words of wisdom by people such as Winston Churchill and Lawrence of Arabia. Both talked extensively about the slow pace of change within the Muslim world. [note - I understand that these 2 people fought in wars on Muslim lands. I address this further in comments]

If we do not stand fast and continue to help Iraq repair and mend it will sink back into the hands of terrorists and anarchists. If we pulled out now the region would fall into the grip of war and we will embolden our enemies, and the enemies of Iraq’s citizens.

One thing most people do not think of when they think of War is that often times we make new advances in the medical field, government, police tactics, and new military tactics. The war in Iraq has ousted Saddam Hussein from power, seen our military learn and adapt more in the past decade, than in the previous century. Our military has changed so much the way we wage war that it will take at least another decade before the changes reach every nook and cranny of our military. Our military training institutions now look at applying the lessons learned and to look for additional methods and areas to improve. Learning, adapting, and implementing change is now seen as a necessity by our military. The Medical Field has made extensive changes in how we treat head wombs and brain injuries. Another area of improvement in the medical field has been the treatment of people who suffer pain. Battle fatigue and Post traumatic stress has also made improvements. Many of the medical improvements will take time till the changes affect our civilian sector and doctors. Improvements in dealing with gangs are something that we should see take roots in our police forces within the next decade. Our military for the first time now has embraced the ideals that re-establishment of local government is of prime importance and is a necessity. [more in comments]

I will be linking the actual documents/reports by General Petraeus and others. One thing I have seen a lot on YouTube is democrats asking questions to Gen. Petraeus and then they don’t show his response. Shame on them.

In The News
http://www.army.mil/-links/2007/08/17/4477-gen-petraeus-interview/

The Strength Within: One NCO's Experience with Suicide and PTSD

In the face of rising suicide rates among Soldiers, the Army is making a renewed effort to help Soldiers at risk and educate Soldiers and leaders about the signs to look for in their battle buddies

In the News