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A slice of Baghdad
Posted by: mcq on Monday, September 10, 2007

I mentioned this site on the podcast last night and thought it worth highlighting today. Given that the NY Times featured the thoughts of 7 soldiers and NCOs from the 82nd who felt the Surge wasn't working, I thought I'd point you to the blog entry of another 82nd soldier who is seeing quite a difference in his "slice" of Baghdad:
Now granted I dont have a full view of the entire Iraq situation, and I dont even see a lot of what goes on in Baghdad. But what I see in my slice as well as what I hear in the areas in and around where the rest of my unit operates, it is very clear that the level of troops now present in this volitile city, have drastically changed the current situation here. A few months ago there were attacks by suicide car bombers against the local markets and Mosques constantly, causing unbelievable destruction and loss of life. There were snipers that would set up and shoot in to the markets and at the Iraqi Army (IA) checkpoints, killing and wounding scores of people. The retaliation of these acts carried out by Sunni against the Shiite markets and mosques, came in the form of Extra Judicial Killings (EJKs) where Sunni civilians would be found bound and executed and dumped in the streets in groups. Fighting was taking place between the Sunni and Shiite militias constantly as well as fierce firefights with American and Iraqi forces.

Now, the markets are bustling with people, who after a long period of no attacks have regained confidence in their protection and safety. The markets are overflowing with people getting back to the every day tasks of life. I can't remeber the last time I saw people running across the street at the end of the market and the occasional shot of a hidden assasin tucked away in the safety of a building within the concrete jungle we operate these days. The almost weekly car bombs have trickled down to the occasional pathetic attempt instead of constant massive attacks. The same has to be said about the EJKs. I wish I could say they have stopped, but they have definately become few and far between. The biggest difference I believe is the lack of engagements with the militias. I remember when hearing gun battles were an almost daily occurance. Now its almost something that I forget how it sounds. Another example of this is that the number of IED attacks in our sector have declined, I believe in part to the locals feeling that the US troops have improved their living conditions and the lack of desire to what that to change.

All in all the situation is much different here today. I can honestly say that my job lately has been pretty boring. There isn't much for us to do in the form of what my military job is.
As you might imagine, I'm glad his job lately has been pretty boring. And I think his observation about the "regained confidence" of the Iraqis in his sector and how that's manifesting itself. At a local level, that is the point and purpose of the tactics of the counter-insurgency strategy. After the locals see what life can be like without the terrorists or the stife, they're much less likely to tolerate them attempting to reenter the area. And the longer the peaceful and secure situation continues, the less tolerant they become.

Yes, this is anecdotal. Yes, this is only one portion of Baghdad. But regardless, it proves the point of the COIN doctrine in at least that area. Go look at the pics. Note the blogger says what everyone understands - until the central government gets its act together, this stands as only partial success. Also note he says the IA and IP are getting better and better but still have a way to go.

That's essentially what you're going to hear from Petraeus in his testimony. And as hard as they try, Dems are going to have a hard time disputing progress such as that this soldier reports.

However, what is interesting is that so much attention has been focused on Petraeus when it is Ambassador Ryan Crocker who will be giving the most important testimony as it pertains to Iraq. And considering the truth of that, it makes one wonder why the determined focus by many on the left at discrediting Petraeus while essentially ignoring Crocker.
 
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It’s because of the "listen to the Generals" filth-meme that the left-fascists vomited out and now have to take back. The General will be even-handed and professional in his testimony, of course.
 
Written By: E. Brown
URL: http://
I was wondering about that myself (trashing Petraeus instead of Crocker) but I thought maybe if I didn’t bring it up, the disloyal opposition wouldn’t think of it.
 
Written By: Paden Cash
URL: http://
Because Petreaus is the one who everyone knows, who is going to get the press.

And because they can make a cute nickname like Betray-us from Petreaus and Crocker doesn’t have one that rolls off the tongue
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Crocker would morph into a term suggestive of crock of s***. Nor is Petreaus getting any undeserved criticism. If he doesn’t want to appear to be an administration mouthpiece, he shouldn’t act like one. Instead of going on Fox, where he will at best be preaching to the converted, he should be going on CNN, where he can evangelize the masses.

Also, Crocker has no real good news to deliver. The central government, if it qualifies as a government, has not gotten its act together, and shows no signs of getting its act together, and the American-sponsored training for sectarian militia, aka Iraqi army and police, is not an instrument for containing violence.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
Crocker would morph into a term suggestive of crock of s***. Nor is Petreaus getting any undeserved criticism. If he doesn’t want to appear to be an administration mouthpiece, he shouldn’t act like one. Instead of going on Fox, where he will at best be preaching to the converted, he should be going on CNN, where he can evangelize the masses.

Also, Crocker has no real good news to deliver. The central government, if it qualifies as a government, has not gotten its act together, and shows no signs of getting its act together, and the American-sponsored training for sectarian militia, aka Iraqi army and police, is not an instrument for containing violence.
McQ, do you need any further evidence? It doesn’t matter who is reporting the status. It doesn’t matter who is reporting to Congress. It doesn’t matter what network any interview will be given on or if all the networks in the world were participating in the broadcast. None of that matters. So long as any report from any one or more persons says anything but GET OUT NOW, it is a lie and a waste of your time and mine. So says the left and who are we to quesion their grasp of reality? Who are we to question their veracity? Who are we to question their patriotism?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Also, Crocker has no real good news to deliver. The central government, if it qualifies as a government, has not gotten its act together, and shows no signs of getting its act together, and the American-sponsored training for sectarian militia, aka Iraqi army and police, is not an instrument for containing violence.
...as the left now moves the goalposts for success yet again....
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
SShiell—did you notice that you’re now attacking the messenger and not the message?
Shark—the goalposts are those established by the administration. I’m simply noticing that the Iraqi government is, so to speak, nowhere near field goal range, much less touchdown territory. Of course, I suppose I’m being silly, in actually paying attention to the facts.
The surge is a like a tourniquet. As long as it’s in place the patient won’t bleed to death. But unless something is done to stop the reason for the bleeding, the patient will bleed to death when the tourniquet comes off. As of now, nothing is actually happening to stop the reason for the bleeding. Do you propose to keep the tourniquet on forever?
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
SShiell—did you notice that you’re now attacking the messenger and not the message?
If the shoe fits then wear it, sh*theel!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
SShiell—did you notice that you’re now attacking the messenger and not the message?
And this comes from someone who attacked the messengers in both situations prior to there even being a message. Again, sh*theel, wear that shoe, it fits you so well!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Goalposts don’t get moved and imply a fixed amount of time to complete a task (ie a football game.)

Benchmarks are "A standard by which something can be measured or judged."

So the Iraqi’s have not yet measured up to the benchmarks. The Congress has placed primary importance on the benchmarks. Certainly they appeared in speeches, both by our administration and Iraq. Gee, politicians promise things and are slow to deliver. Sound familiar.

What time frame are we talking about? Who has ever said that 9 months was sufficient time to complete all the benchmarks?

January they hadn’t met any of the goals.

August/Sept - they’ve met 3, partially met 4 others.

That is called, measurable progress.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Gee, before the surge it was all about body counts, etc

Now suddenly it is "political progress"

But if there was political progress, and the body count was still too high, guess what we’d be hearing about?

Look, why are we bothering with all this prattling on? Bush is gonna get his way, the Dems have completely surrendered on this issue (and THEY’RE the ones who are gonna get blamed)
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Kathy assures me that the body count has gone down because all the Sunni’s have left Baghdad.
She got that from MoveOn of course.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

 
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