When the sacrifice of American forces in Iraq reached 4000, the media was all over it like stink on shit. They use numbers of war causalities not out of respect for the fallen, but as another notch in their anti-war belt.
Success is virtually ignored or shoved to the back pages, out of reach of the average American’s attention span.
Well, here’s more proof omitted from the news, of just how badly we’ve beaten the Al Qaeda in Iraq:
KARMAH, IRAQ – Just beyond the outskirts of Fallujah lies the terror-wracked city of Karmah. While you may not have heard of this small city of 35,000 people, American soldiers and marines who served in Anbar Province know it as a terrifying place of oppression, death, and destruction. “It was much worse than Fallujah” said more than a dozen marines who were themselves based in Fallujah.
“Karmah was so important to the insurgency because we’ve got Baghdad right there,” Lieutenant Andrew Macak told me. “This is part of the periphery of Baghdad. At the same time, it is part of the periphery of Fallujah.”
……Anbar Province – which also includes the cities of Fallujah, Ramadi, Hit, and Haditha – is the heartland of Sunni Iraq. These places were the backbone of the Baath Party during the regime of Saddam Hussein. I was surprised, then, to hear so little about Baathists. What happened? Are they just gone?
“Here?” Lieutenant Macak said. “The primary threat was Al Qaeda. After the initial invasion Karmah wasn’t exactly an afterthought, but it isn’t the primary population center.
……He is describing the oil spot counterinsurgency strategy, though he did not use that phrase. Andrew Krepinevich advocated this very thing in Foreign Affairs in 2005. “U.S. and Iraqi forces should adopt an ‘oil-spot strategy’ in Iraq,” he wrote. “Rather than focusing on killing insurgents, they should concentrate on providing security and opportunity to the Iraqi people, thereby denying insurgents the popular support they need. Since the U.S. and Iraqi armies cannot guarantee security to all of Iraq simultaneously, they should start by focusing on certain key areas and then, over time, broadening the effort — hence the image of an expanding oil spot. Such a strategy would have a good chance of success.”
……Al Qaeda in Iraq waged a vicious murder and intimidation campaign all across Anbar Province as though they were an army of arsonists and serial killers.
……Implementing basic security measures wouldn’t work in a counterinsurgency if a significant number of local civilians supported the radicals. But the locals were terrified and savagely murdered and tortured by the radicals on a regular basis. Al Qaeda in Iraq is the self-declared enemy of every human being outside its own members and loyal supporters. Nothing could possibly discredit jihad more completely than the jihadists themselves.
……A crucial aspect of General Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy is an alliance with local authorities as well as civilians.
……The Army desperately needed to transform itself from a bureaucratic occupation force to a locally integrated security force….
……The counterinsurgency doctrines of the Army and Marine Corps are more similar now than they were. Sergeant Joseph Perusich told me how the marines acquire local intelligence, but I had already seen the Army use the same tactics in Baghdad.
……“This was IED Alley, right here,” Lieutenant Macak said as we arrived. “But not any more because of the efforts of coalition forces, the Iraqi Police, the Provincial Security Forces, the Iraqi Civilian Watch, and the sheikhs. For two or three years now we’ve been saying them, hey, if you’re tired of Al Qaeda, stand up and get rid of them. And they’re actually doing that now. The Iraqi Police now call IED Alley their Victory Circle. It’s a physical representation of what they have accomplished.”
Oh yeah, and this little tidbit as to how the locals feel about Al Qaeda:
……The Middle East beyond Israel strikingly lacks anything resembling political correctness. I hear much more severe denunciations of radical Islam there than I do in the U.S., and I don’t mean from Americans. I hear it from Arabs, and from Persians and Kurds. I hear it in Lebanon all the time, and in Iraq too.
Sabah Danou walked with Commander Summers and Admiral Driscoll. He’s an Iraqi who works for the multinational forces as a cultural and political advisor in Baghdad. “Look,” he said to me and gestured toward a local man with a long beard and a short dishdasha that left his ankles exposed. “He’s a Wahhabi,” Danou hissed. “He is linked to Al Qaeda. That’s their uniform, you know, that beard and that high-cut dishdasha. God, what pieces of shit those fuckers are.”
Links to story: http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/03/the-liberation.php
The dispatch from Michael Totten goes into depth with constructive criticism, analysis, and revealing success of our operations in Iraq.
It’s an excellent story….too bad you’ll never read about it in the New York Times.