Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Locals Join American Forces, Purge City of Terrorists

You probably hadn't read that in the news.

But it happened.

Michael Totten, an independent journalist, has had quite a bit to say about the situation in Iraq.

I strongly suggest reading his "Middle East Journal." It's on-the-ground information from the Middle East that you're not likely to find in your paper or on the evening news.

(Excerpts from " Front-line lessons from the Iraq surge")

"In some places, the surge is working remarkably well. In others, it is not. And the only way we will know for sure whether the tide can be turned is to continue the policy and wait.

"I know that's not what many Americans and politicians want to hear, but it's the truth."

"IProgress in Baghdad is real, but it is not, or not yet anyway, the kind of peace that can last.

"It's worse in Mushadah just north of Baghdad, where I also went with American soldiers who are training Iraqi police forces - which have been infiltrated by Al Qaeda. The area is so dangerous that the police refused to leave their station until an American woman, Capt. Maryanne Naro from upstate Fort Drum, showed up and shamed them by going out herself."

"... Elsewhere in Iraq, though, progress is extraordinary and unambiguous. I spent a week in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, which just four months ago was the most violent place in Iraq. Al Qaeda had taken over and ruled the city through a massive murder and intimidation campaign. Even the Marine Corps, arguably the least defeatist institution in America, wrote off Ramadi as irretrievably lost last August.

"Then, local tribal leaders and civilians joined the Americans - and helped purge the city of every last terrorist cell. Violence has dropped to near zero. I have photographs of Iraqis hugging American soldiers and of children greeting us with ecstatic joy, as though they had been rescued from Nazis. The Marines are even considering going on patrols without body armor."

No, I suppose that many politicians would be horrified if news like this leaked out. The masses in America might start thinking that our efforts in Iraq could succeed.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.