The Battle for Baqubah

Hey MSM, are you paying attention?:

The Battle for Baqubah (or “Baqouba” according to the story above) is still underway. Small TICs [Troops In Contact] continue to occur, but those enemy attacks have had little effect since combat kicked off on 19 June. As of 30 July, we lost one soldier, while the enemy losses number about a hundred. This battle is best measured not in the losses, but the gains. The people of Baqubah have been demonstrably ecstatic. Other than in the Kurdish areas, I have never seen such overt gratitude from so many Iraqis. Iraqis continue pointing out al Qaeda operatives and their hidden bombs. Despite that many al Qaeda escaped, the success so far is overwhelmingly obvious. The challenge remains to make it stick, but the gains are undeniable and the sense of momentum is palpable.

The above statement is from one of Michael Yon’s many dispatches from the front lines in Iraq. He has done a magnificent job documenting the efforts and success of the Soldiers. The only media outlet that takes note of the fact that we are winning in Iraq and Afghanistan is Fox News. The NBC-CBS-ABC-PBS-CNN-MSNBC conglomerate prefers to broadcast their own twisted, negative, defeatist agenda instead of actually getting off their liberal asses and asking the troops themselves. Most of them hunker over keyboards from air-conditioned hotels and offices. I’ve yet to see Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, or the editor of the NYT hop on a plane and see if their imbecilic rants match the facts. More of Michael’s dispatch:

Before the Battle for Baqubah (Operation Arrowhead Ripper), thousands of refugees had streamed out of Baqubah and the surrounding towns. I’ve heard Iraqis throw around a number of 17,000 IDPs [Internally Displaced Iraqis], although I have no idea how accurate that is, if at all. Two weeks after the start of Arrowhead Ripper, 3-2 SBCT was tracking just over a thousand IDPs, and since I shared a tent with the soldiers who did most of the counting (C-52), I put stock in that number and believe it to be roughly accurate. I saw many of the IDPs with my own eyes.

The people of Baqubah learned to hate and be terrified of al Qaeda. On the evening of the 18th, just hours before the attack scheduled for 0100 on the 19th, C-52 gathered around the back of the Strykers. Men and machines were loaded for toe-to-toe combat with al Qaeda. But they were not going in alone. Local enemies, who previously were deeply entwined with al Qaeda and had blown up and shot Americans, had turned on al Qaeda, and their help would lead to the death and capture of many of our now common enemy.

The attack was on.

Jets, gun ships, helicopters and UAVs were in the air. A helicopter air assault was preparing to launch. Cannons steadied on their targets. Large MLRS rockets dozens of miles from Baqubah were dialed in. Special Forces, spies, lies and tricks of all sorts were arrayed against those who would stand and fight. And those who would stand had prepared massive ambushes for us.
As the attack unfolded, about a thousand Iraqis fled their homes, and it was the job of C-52 to screen for al Qaeda. Some al Qaeda—who cross-dressed and tried to slip out as women—were caught when their disguises failed. Some Iraqis reported that homes in their areas had been destroyed, and I recall one saying that people were trapped in the rubble, though civilian deaths from our attacks were so low they were difficult to count. (I had free range and was specifically watching for civilian fatalities, yet did not see any civilians killed by us during the attack.)

The deliberate pace of the attack, the systematic and thorough process of clearing the city house by house, street by street, and block by block, were factors in this; but the civilian and military casualties were also kept low by the unexpected and overwhelming cooperation of ordinary Iraqi citizens, who pointed out the enemy and many of the bombs set to ambush troops.

There were interesting dynamics unfolding. For instance, our soldiers were much more reluctant to use force when civilians were helping. I saw numerous occasions where soldiers cleared out all the civilians in areas before attacking known targets that civilians had pointed out. For instance, in the more than two dozen houses and buildings rigged as giant bombs, civilians pointed out many of those bombs. Our soldiers and Iraqi soldiers simply stopped, cleared out the people, and then destroyed the buildings, but each time they worked harder to mitigate damage to surrounding houses, and paid people for the unavoidable damages when they occurred.

I placed special emphasis on this part for the leftwingnut anti-war crowd who subscribes to the “American Soldiers = “stormtroopers” crap. You can read the entire article here:

LINK: http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/bread-and-a-circus-part-i-of-ii.htm

2 thoughts on “The Battle for Baqubah”

  1. I have a very personal interest in this area right now. I have been following Yon closely since Operation Arrowhead Ripper started. The initial phases of that Operation were incredible, and the job our soldiers have done is amazing. Of course this has been nothing but a minor blip on the news. I mean all needed to hear 4 solid days of some Hollywood tarts adventures with drugs, but God forbid we do an in depth look at the good work our military is doing!

    Do you ever go to “The Tension?” He carries some awesome combat footage! He also follows around companies from one of the Stryker Brigades.

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