Friday, October 26, 2007

No Casualties in Anbar - Violence Down in Iraq

Good news from Iraq.

Yesterday, for the first time since March of 2003, there were no military casualties in Anbar.

No American casualties, No Iraqi casualties.

None, zero, zip.

Joint Chiefs spokesman Major General Richard Sherlock made that statement Wednesday.

This looks impressive:
Violence in and around Baghdaddown 59 %
Car bombsdown 65 %
Casualties from car bombs and roadside bombsdown 80 %
Casualties from enemy attacksdown 77 %
Operations against Iraqi security forcesdown 62 %
Assassination attempts for sectarian reasonsdown 72 %

I may be over-simplifying, or being naive, but this really does look like good news. For America and Iraq, at least.

Two things happened in Iraq this year:
  • The Anbar Awakening - sheiks decided that Al Qaeda in Iraq wasn't good for Iraq.
    (They were thinking about it before September, when Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha's assassination helped make up their minds.)
  • The troop surge that peaked in June, 2007.
At the risk of being simplistic, I think that talking with the sheiks in Iraq, while making a determined effort to weed out terrorists who were beheading and blowing up Iraqis, may have resulted in today's good news.

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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.