Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Positive Iraq News

In light of the Virginia Tech tragedy, quite a bit of good War on Terror News might be getting overlooked...


Weekly Standard: Iraqi Report: Green Zone Attack, and a Major Split in the Sunni Insurgency

As al Qaeda in Iraq struck at Sunni politicians in Baghdad, the Islamic Army in Iraq, the largest Sunni insurgent group, which has previously operated closely with al Qaeda, severed ties with the terror group after several months of infighting. Al Jazeera reported that Ibrahim al-Shammari, an Islamic Army in Iraq spokesman, "told Al Jazeera on Thursday that the Islamic Army in Iraq had decided to disunite from al-Qaeda in Iraq after its members were threatened."

Hot Air: AP tally: Civilian deaths in Baghdad down 45% since February

According to Iraqi police reports obtained by the AP. Great news, but there are caveats. Civilian deaths outside Baghdad over the same two-month period are up 49% and U.S. KIAs inside the capital are up 21%. It’s also unclear how reliable the police reports are. WaPo ran a white-knuckle page-one story a few days ago about U.S. troops inside Sadr City who suspect virtually every last cop on the beat of either being JAM or afraid to cross the JAM. If that’s true, you can bet there are plenty of killings going on that aren’t making it into the blotter.

The Scotsman: Tribesmen kill 300 militants linked to al-Qaeda

PAKISTANI tribesmen backed, by the army have killed 300 foreign, al-Qaedalinked militants in weeks of fighting in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border, the president, Pervez Musharraf, said yesterday.

SignonSanDiego.com: Top Marine general says Iraq's volatile Anbar province has 'turned the corner'

OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN – The long U.S. effort to stabilize western Iraq, a hotbed of the Sunni Arab insurgency, has reached a turning point with new prospects for success, the top Marine general said Monday.

“I think, in that area, we have turned the corner,” Gen. James T. Conway, commandant of the Marine Corps, said in an Associated Press interview as he flew back to Washington after four days in Iraq.

And perhaps best and most promising of all...

Platoon Baits Suspect to Protect Children
Least amount of force used to nab suspected insurgent

BAGHDAD, Iraq, April 9, 2007 — Staff Sgt. Darin Morgan’s platoon had just snatched a suspected insurgent off the streets. They had done it without Apache gun ships hovering overhead and without Stryker vehicles blocking the roads. They did it without blowing open any doors or damaging any property. And they did it without firing a single shot. All of which, Morgan said, means they did it the right way.

There’s a time and a place for overwhelming force, but in Baghdad’s Adhamiyah District, paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division are learning that sometimes a soft touch can be just as effective.

“We live here. If we have to go in hard, we still have to come back the next day. So if we can take an insurgent off the streets with the minimum amount of firepower and resources necessary, it’s a good thing,” said Morgan, a platoon sergeant with Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

The war is far from over, but this is certainly encouraging news. Undoubtedly, this progress will be played down here at home - and it is largely over-looked. Headlines of "bomb blasts" and "Mass Killings" sell more papers.

However, if one stops for a moment, sits back and reflects on the past few months - the grim daily reports have largely dropped off. Granted, there have been some days of devastating attacks, but the total numbers are drastically lower than the month before, and the month before that, and so on.

I'm optimistic. As long as Congress can get money to the troops in time, our military can continue to turn this war around. With each passing day, it seems we are fighting less to avoid defeat, and more to keep the peace.

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