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SecaucusFats
01-01-2005, 11:51 PM
Progress in Iraq you may not have heard about - (Unreported by NY Times et al)

POWERLINEBLOG.COM ^ | JANUARY 1, 2005 | Ray Reynolds, SFC Iowa Army National Guard 234th Signal Battalion

(Ray is completing his tour in Iraq. He offers this summary of what's been accomplished there):

Over 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.

School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.

Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of the weapons stored there so education can occur.

The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster.

The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August.

Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq.

The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did before the war.

100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35% before the war.

Elections are taking place in every major city, and city councils are in place.

Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.

Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.

Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.

Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with US soldiers.

Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.

Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.

An interim constitution has been signed.

Girls are allowed to attend school.

He concludes:

Don't believe for one second that these people do not want us there. I have met many, many people from Iraq that want us there, and in a bad way. They say they will never see the freedoms we talk about but they hope their children will [a sobering assessment - ed]. We are doing a good job in Iraq and I challenge anyone, anywhere to dispute me on these facts. Posted by deacon at powerlineblog.com

SF

PQQLK9
01-02-2005, 09:26 PM
Georgie Anne Geyer: The Maginot Line around the American mind

Think we can't lose in Iraq? France was just as arrogant in 1940

05:43 PM CST on Sunday, January 2, 2005

By GEORGIE ANNE GEYER

On the eve of World War II, the French depended confidently upon their huge and famous Maginot Line. Its enormous defensive fortresses, created almost as a necklace of cities in themselves, lined the entire border between France and Germany this time, the Germans would never pass!

But all the Germans had to do was to march around through Belgium to invade France. By May 1940, the vaunted Maginot Line was pitifully useless against such innovative resolve.

Today in Iraq, American officials are having to face their own verbal and rhetorical Maginot Lines. Our "answer" has been that we can get out when Iraqi forces are trained, when elections are held, and when Iraqis themselves win back the country from the "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "guerrillas" (or whatever we finally determine they are).

But in only the last two weeks, American generals and civilian officials are, in fact, admitting that they have their own similar Maginot Line problems. In Mosul, the Iraqi police force has "faded away." American generals speak of a "virtual connectivity" of the insurgents never seen before, as they use the Internet to pass along techniques, tactics and advice to one another. American generals now admit that almost all of them are Iraqis; we have created Iraqi terrorists who were not there before.

Take only the astoundingly candid analysis, based in part on an interview with Gen. John Abizaid, the senior U.S. military commander in the region, by CNN's excellent Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, on television last month.

Ms. Starr reported: "Senior U.S. military sources in the region tell CNN the city of Mosul has been wracked by violence for weeks. Local Iraqi security forces have virtually melted away, say those officials. One senior U.S. officer tells CNN, we have no Iraqi police force up in Mosul today.

"The problem in getting Iraqis to fight the insurgency may be deeper across Iraq. The military assessment now is that the U.S. miscalculated Iraqi tribal and religious loyalties and did not realize Iraqis are likely to fight only for their brethren ... So in cases like Mosul, they simply will not fight the intimidation of the insurgents, the U.S. now believes."

And remember, until now Mosul was one of our success stories!

Put aside the stunning fact that American officials could not figure out that people anywhere will fight for their families instead of for the foreign invaders; the recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies states that the numbers of trained Iraqi army and police are far below what is required. Only one example: As of Dec. 6, the Pentagon reported that 27,000 trained army troops were needed, but that only 3,428 were listed as "trained/on hand."

Or consider these other warning signs:

American generals now speak in interviews about the "cellular expansion" of the insurgents. They see a constant spread of new, small cells with no clear command and control links that can form quickly, exploit and sacrifice, rather than relying on hard-core or closed, secure cells and forces. The Independent newspaper in London estimates there were at least 190 suicide bombers in the last 12 months (one might pause to think that they had something they believed in to take such a terminal measure).

Officers and diplomats in the area are now changing their time limits. Some are saying that all of 2005 will be a very troubled year, that it will take five to 10 years, even under reasonably effective Iraqi rule, to bring any stability at all, and some are noting that insurgencies usually take 10 to 30 years to play themselves out. The able Gen. Abizaid himself says we are in the middle of a fight against "Salafist jihadists," or Muslim fundamentalists determined to re-create the supposed seventh-century paradise of the Prophet Muhammad himself. He compares it, revealingly, to the long and arduous fight against the utopian Bolsheviks in the 20th century.

"This was to be a satellite war," William Lind, the respected military analyst now at the Free Congress Foundation, told me, "a war laid out on a billiard table against an enemy who plays by our rules." Indeed, the military seems finally to have grasped the absurdity of this naive view and is beginning to stress foreign languages and cultural intangibles.

The truth no one really wants to deal with is that this war could very easily be lost by the United States. All the insurgents have to do is hang on another year. All we have to do is what the French and the British did in their colonies: Let themselves be exhausted and finally destroyed by their hubris, their delusions and their arrogant lack of understanding of the local people.

Our Maginot Lines today are our satellites, our huge bombers, our willingness to destroy a city such as Fallujah without even knowing who's there. Our Maginot minds refuse to see that the Germans sneaking around the French through Belgium to destroy them is disturbingly analogous to the insurgents in Iraq moving in cells from city to city and letting us think we are "winning."

Georgie Anne Geyer's column is distributed by the Universal Press Syndicate. Her e-mail address is webmaster@amuniversal.com.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/opinion/viewpoints/stories/010305dnedigeyer.4dde.html

SecaucusFats
01-02-2005, 10:06 PM
From: http:powerlineblog.com

Iraqis Cracking Down on Terrorists

Haider Ajina sent us this translation of an article that appeared today in the Iraqi Arabic newspaper Nahrain:

A press release by the Iraqi ministry of defense.
1. At 1 am Iraqi National Guard (ING), the Mahmudih division, arrested 217 individuals suspected of being terrorists and confiscated a large cache of light and heavy caliber weapons and ammunition.

2. At 2 am the same ING division arrested Hatem Alzobaae, a suspected terrorist cell leader.

3. At 2:30 am ING in Hillah arrested the terrorist Ali Mehsan Ghnajar. In his possession were 19 grenades, three 28mm mortars.

4. At 4 am, based on a tip that he had returned from Syria, the criminal Ali Latief was arrested by the ING. Four men who are part of his cell were also arrested.

5. At 4 am 10 terrorists were arrested after returning from Mosul by the ING Mahmudiah division.

6. At 4 am ING raided the Hai Alaskari area based on a tip. As a result of the raid the ING arrested 10 terrorists one of which resisted and was wounded and arrested.

7. At 4 am terrorists attacked the Hadbaa police station and were repelled with 2 terrorists killed and their weapons confiscated.

8. At 5 am ING started a security clean sweep of Bab Shams. They confiscated a large number of hand grenades and mortar weapons and rounds.

Haider adds these comments:

I keep seeing more and more of this type of terrorist cleansing activity. What is more interesting is that the Iraqi National Guard is more and more active in these arrests. I have also noticed that more and more actions based on tips are being reported.

Check your local newspaper tomorrow morning and see whether these successes by the Iraqi National Guard have been reported. Then ask yourself whether any successful terrorist attack, whether via car bomb, attack on a police station, kidnapping, or whatever, has ever gone unreported in your local paper. Then ask your local paper why half of the story is missing.

SF

highsea
01-02-2005, 10:33 PM
SF, you know the networks and wire services would never touch that kind of news.

Here's more of yesterday's news from defencelink.mil.

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"Soldiers and Marines are conducting cordon-and-knock as well as cordon-and- search operations in many areas of north Babil. Eighteen people suspected of insurgent activities were detained, and several weapons caches were discovered.

A cache found in a cemetery included 300 RPK machine-gun rounds, 144 .50- caliber armor-piercing rounds, 75 rocket boosters, 32 grenade fuses, 25 130 mm artillery rounds, 16 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, 11 82 mm mortar fuses, 10 RPG fuses, eight 120 mm rockets, three 82 mm mortars, three 60 mm mortar rounds, two tank Sabot rounds, and an RPG booster.

An additional cache containing 200 RPK rounds, 60 mm mortar rounds, 82 mm rounds, 45 RPG-7 rounds, and four recoilless rifle rounds was consolidated and destroyed by combat engineers.

A separate cache discovered included 1 million Iraqi dinar and $40,000 in U.S. currency, 70,000 7.62 mm rounds, 800 9 mm rounds, 103 blasting caps, 49 60 mm mortar rounds, 31 RPG rounds, 25 120 mm recoilless rifle rounds, 25 75 mm recoilless rifle rounds, 10 AK-47 assault rifles, 10 pistols, six additional various rifles, an MP-5 submachine gun, a flare gun, a complete 60 mm mortar system, a pair of night-vision binoculars, weapons magazines and a myriad of electronic equipment.

An intelligence-based search of a suspected bomb-maker's home netted 20 rocket propelled-grenade rounds, eight rifles, five pistols, a 60 mm mortar tube and assorted electrical equipment pieces.

Soldiers of the 1st Marine Division of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force detained 63 people during several raids Jan. 1 near Khalidiyah. The soldiers also confiscated a safe containing 1 million dinar and $700. Insurgent propaganda, including pamphlets soliciting local business owners and detailing their responsibilities for cooperating with the insurgency, also was found.

Reconnaissance Marines from the 1st Marine Division discovered weapons caches Jan. 1 and 2 during sweeping operations near Abu Ghraib. Among weapons seized and destroyed were 25 122 mm rockets, a large bomb, a 122 mm mortar round, 53 14.5 mm rounds, a can of 14.5 mm linked rounds, seven 60 mm mortar rounds, 21 rifle grenades, an RPG booster, two 120 mm illumination rounds, 12 120 mm high- explosive rounds, 1,600 7.62 mm rounds, a 60 mm mortar tube, a 120 mm mortar tube, 113 RPG rounds, four RPG practice rounds, two RPG launchers, three RPG propellant charges, 16 trip flares, 39 mines, 15 mine primers and 127 Weston flash generator cartridges.

Thirteen suspected insurgents were detained by soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, during a late-night raid Jan. 1. Three of the men were wanted by Multinational Force Iraq for attacks on the city's Highway 5. They were picked up at home in Baghdad's Rashid district.

Besides detaining the 13 men, the soldiers found two AK-47s, A 9 mm pistol, 75 rounds of 9 mm ammunition, AND detonation cord and other material to build improvised explosive devices. Officials said the detonation cord found matches cord found at the sites of previous IED attacks in the area. Several of the weapons also tested positive for recent firing, officials said.

Task Force Baghdad Soldiers were attacked today in north Babil when four improvised explosive devices detonated near their patrol. There were no casualties or damage to equipment in the attack. Earlier, Task Force Baghdad soldiers took enemy fire in western Baghdad. The gunman then hid in a house, which the Task Force soldiers surrounded and searched. Two people were detained and two rifles were found in the residence. There were no casualties in the attack.

Other Task Force Baghdad soldiers were attacked today in southwestern Baghdad when a patrol was struck by a car bomb. Two soldiers were wounded in the attack, and the suicide bomber was killed.

Iraqi security forces decisively defeated another attack by anti-Iraqi insurgents who tried to seize a police station in southeast Mosul on Jan. 1.

The station came under RPG fire during a coordinated effort by insurgent fighters to overrun the station, officials said. The Iraqi police successfully repelled the attack, the fifth attack on the station this week. Each attack has resulted in defeat for the insurgents and a victory for the Iraqi security forces. Since Nov. 10, insurgents have tried but failed 12 times to overrun Mosul police stations, officials said.

Soldiers from 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team), detained 14 people Jan. 1 for suspected insurgent activities in northern Iraq. Soldiers from 2nd Squadron, 14th Calvary Regiment, conducted a cordon- and-search operation in Tal Afar and detained eight people suspected of planning and conducting insurgent activities.

A cordon-and-search operation by soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, near the village of Dinij resulted in four suspected insurgents being detained.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, conducted a cordon-and- search operation in Nadeech village and detained two people suspected of planning and conducting attacks against multinational forces."

-----------------------------

All in a days work...

SecaucusFats
01-02-2005, 10:39 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> SF, you know the networks and wire services would bever touch that kind of news.

Yep I know. It's a damned dirty shame.

<hr /></blockquote>

SF