Ach du Lieber!
Der Spiegel: US Military in Iraq More Successful Than World Wants To Believe
Excerpts from article:
By Ullrich Fichtner in Iraq
When describing Iraq, the word “peace” is seldom used. Truth be told, the Americans have restored order to many parts of the county. But Iraq remains fractured, and where new schools are built today, bombs could explode tomorrow.
Ian Lauer is walking through Ramadi’s western Tameem neighborhood, the edges of which melt into the vast Syrian Desert. Lauer, a captain, is in charge of Charlie Company.
“A few months ago, you couldn’t have taken a single step here without getting shot at,” says Lauer, a fair-skinned 30-year-old who still seems oddly pale under his suntan “We couldn’t leave our fucking camp without being fucking shot at,” he says. “Now it’s peaceful and it’s fucking great.”
The Iraqis in Ramadi, almost all Sunnis, had been worn down by chronic violence. Many had been victims of kidnappings or blackmail at the hands of mafia-like terrorist groups. They had finally come to the realization that, in the long run, the Americans were less of a threat and offered more hope than the fanatical holy warriors from Iraq and abroad.
Families began sending their sons to join the new Iraqi police force and military and fathers ran for municipal offices. They began cooperating with US military officials, turning in bombers and revealing their weapons caches, all while going about their daily lives, running their businesses, working as contractors, shipping agents and garbage collectors. Teachers returned to their classrooms, doctors began treating patients again and store owners restocked their shelves. Iraqis were now building the barbed wire barriers around the city, constructed to force travelers through checkpoints. Iraqis even manned the checkpoints as the Americans — the Iraqis’ former enemies — retreated to the background, watching over as the city made a fresh start.
Ramadi is an irritating contradiction of almost everything the world thinks it knows about Iraq –it is proof that the military is more successful than the world wants to believe. Ramadi demonstrates that large parts of — not just Anbar Province, but also many other rural areas along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers –are essentially pacified today. This is news the world doesn’t hear: Ramadi, long a hotbed of unrest, a city that once formed the southwestern tip of the notorious “Sunni Triangle,” is now telling a different story, a story of Americans who came here as liberators, became hated occupiers and are now the protectors of Iraqi reconstruction.
The Americans run into acquaintances in the crowd. After being stationed in the city for 10 months, they have become a familiar sight. Bearded men greet the soldiers with hugs and kisses, and passersby hand them cold cans of lemonade. “Thank you, Mister,” “Hello, Mister,” “How are you, Mister?” they say. They talk about paint for schools and soccer jerseys, and they invite the Americans over for lunch. The Iraqis pose for photos with them, making “V’s” for “victory” with their fingers.
Lauer’s unit arrives at the home of Ali Chudeir, a charming 30-year-old construction company manager in need of a good dentist. His English is good, but only, he says, because his father practically pounded five new vocabulary words into his head each day as a kid. Bodyguards armed with Kalashnikov rifles lurk around his front door. Chudeir still doesn’t fully trust the newfound peace that has come to town. The terrorists, he warns, could return. They are still lurking outside the city, randomly attacking people, he says. “This will continue for a long time. That’s why the Americans should stay here longer.”
Dinner arrives and it’s a true feast, with a spread of kebabs and large pieces of roast chicken, salad and rice with coriander leaves. Chudeir serves sumptuous meals whenever the Americans come to visit, not only because he is a good host, but also because he is grateful to his American friends. Thanks to the American engineers, he says, the city has up to 10 hours of electricity a day now. “We have never had this in all of Ramadi’s history. In the end, we will live like civilized people.”
The world has become deaf to the word “peace” — at least when conversations turn to Iraq. It is as if the world were blind to the possibility that the situation in this country straddling the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers could be anything different from the constant stream of increasingly devastating films of the latest car bombings. For most people, Iraq has become nothing but a series of attacks, a collection of images of bombings and victims, a tale of failure, a book about historical guilt and a symbol of the moral decline of the United States of America.
But the real story in Iraq cannot be summed up in short news clips and quick, shaky television images. Body counts and names of the dead tell only part of the story of Iraq today. Research for this story took me on a three-week journey throughout the country, my fourth trip to Iraq in as many years. Under the protection of the US military, it led us to the northern city of Mosul and its suburbs, to Ramadi and to Baghdad. The military did not choose our destinations, SPIEGEL did. Apart from a few technical and strategic details, nothing was censored.
Of course, he could’nt restrain himself from injecting the “Bush lied” shit:
“Old Lies Breed Skepticism”
“No one can forget how the hawks twisted the truth to engineer reasons to go to war — the made-up stories of Saddam Hussein as a mastermind behind the Sept. 11 attacks and the trumped-up reports about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. President George W. Bush himself repeatedly told his people and the rest of world horrible fairy tales, painting the most glaring of disaster scenarios, talking ad nauseam about unmanned Iraqi drones that, in his imagination, posed a threat to the US.
The lies didn’t stop there, not even after the invasion. Bush kept promising that American troops were on the verge of uncovering Iraq’s imaginary weapons of mass destruction. And on May 1, 2003, he gave his now notorious “Mission Accomplished” speech aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. At that point, though, the real war hadn’t even begun yet.”
I sent this along to Herr Fichtner:
Scuse me, Herr Fichtner, but those words you’ve written are LIES. NO ONE ever said that Saddam Hussein was one of the masterminds behind 9/11.
I defy you to find one single quote supporting that assertion. What they DID say was that he was a serious and imminent threat to the region and U.S. forces.
Yes, we DID FIND WMDs.
You must have been asleep when these were discovered:
1) 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium
In a joint Energy and Defense Department operation, 1.77 metric tons of low-enriched uranium and approximately 1000 highly radioactive sources were secured from Iraq’s former nuclear research facility, packaged and then airlifted on June 23, the press statement said.
“This operation was a major achievement for the Bush Administration’s goal to keep potentially dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of terrorists,” Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said in the statement. “It also puts this material out of reach for countries that may seek to develop their own nuclear weapons.”
2) 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents
U.S. troops raiding a warehouse in the northern city of Mosul uncovered a suspected chemical weapons factory containing 1,500 gallons of chemicals believed destined for attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces and civilians, military officials said Saturday.
3) 17 chemical warheads containing cyclosarin (a nerve agent five times more deadly than sarin gas) “Laboratory tests showed the presence in them of cyclosarin, a very toxic gas, five times stronger than sarin and five times more durable,” Bieniek told Poland’s TVN24 at the force’s Camp Babylon headquarters. “If these warheads, which were still usable, were used on a military base like Camp Babylon, they would have caused unforeseeable damage.”
4) Over 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered form meant for dispersal over populated areas: “Along with 1.77 tons of enriched uranium, about 1,000 “highly radioactive sources” were also removed. The material was taken from a former nuclear research facility on 23 June, after being packaged by 20 experts from the US Energy Department’s secret laboratories.”
5) Roadside bombs loaded with mustard and “conventional” sarin gas, assembled in binary chemical projectiles for maximum potency.
And this bombshell:
“Tapes Reveal Hussein’s plans”: An excerpt: “There also exists a quote from the dictator himself, who ordered the tapings to keep a record of his inner-sanctum discussions, that Mr. Tierney (Bill Tierney, a former Army warrant officer and Arabic speaker who was translating for the FBI tapes unearthed in Iraq after the invasion) thinks shows Saddam planned to use a proxy to attack the United States.” “Terrorism is coming … with the Americans,” Saddam said. “With the Americans, two years ago, not a long while ago, with the English I believe, there was a campaign … with one of them, that in the future there would be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction.”
The invasion of Afghanistan (conspicuously absent from the anti-war debate) was prompted by its use as a major operating base for al Qaeda.The invasion of Iraq was prompted by several factors: Saddam Hussein (who now occupies a special corner of hell) filled hundreds of mass graves with men, women and children, and slaughtered 5000 Kurds with “non-existent” chemical weapons. He thumbed his nose at the pusillanimous UN for 12 years, while he continued to research, develop, and hide the evidence of his WMD program. He was well on the way to developing more bio/chem weapons when he was finally stopped. He gave thousands of dollars to families of suicide bombers and in addition, Iraqi intelligence met with al Qadea operatives and provided with training camps in Northern Iraq:
The Mother of All Connections
From the July 18, 2005 issue: A special report on the new evidence of collaboration between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and al Qaeda.
by Stephen F. Hayes & Thomas Joscelyn
07/18/2005, Volume 010, Issue 41
Had we tried to limit our operations to Afghanistan, there is no doubt in my military mind that Hussein’s insanity combined with his support of terrorist activities, defiant development of WMDs and willingness to use them, would have still necessitated an invasion into Iraq. Hint, Mr. Fichtner: what we did was a pre-emptive strike validated by U.N. Resolution 1441. You ought to read it sometime.
As for the “Mission Accomplished” sign on the carrier Abraham Lincoln: It was a salute to the ship’s crew and completion of their cruise as well as an acknowledgement of the end of initial combat operations in Iraq. Nice way to twist a good slogan into an anti-war message. Sorry, It didn’t work.
You didn’t expect the bad guys to be very happy at the fact that we brought the war they started, back to them, did you? Of course they’re going to be pissed. Of course they’re going to fight back, not just with weapons but through media exploitation. 9/11 was the Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century and all the critics are capable of is spouting nonsense.
Fichtner did a great job reporting the facts until he re-hashed all the hackneyed “Iraq War lies”. If he made the effort, he would be just as informed about evidence surrounding Hussein-terrorist-WMD facts as he is on the surge.