May 30 2007
While the Democrats dazzle us with their telescopic X-ray vision, which allows them to see halfway across the world and report on events in Iraq, it is also worth noting what those simple humans on the front lines are seeing regarding the new strategy. The Multi-National Force website has some observations from these heroic folks on the front line:
In the first days after his battalion began operating in east Baghdadâ€™s Shaâ€™ab neighborhood, Capt. Will Canda said he often saw the beds of Iraqi police trucks stained red with dried blood.
â€œIt was like they had just come from a butcher shop,â€ said Canda, a Westcliffe, Colo. native and commander of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment.
Top U.S. commanders have cautioned that any verdict on the overall success of the plan will have to wait until after all units are in place and conducting operations. But Canda and his paratroopers have been on the ground long enough to begin drawing their own conclusions.
Three months after they arrived in Shaâ€™ab, the bodies are gone, the murders have stopped, and the neighborhood has come back to life, Canda said.
â€œItâ€™s night and day from when we got here,â€ he said.
Some Vietnam we are stuck in. But of course whenever a liberal looks out across the world all they see is shades of ‘Nam and images reminscent of Ghengis Khan. Unlike the MSM reporting of body counts without context, this report does include those features that make this news more than hopeful – it makes it impressive:
One obvious problem was the sheer size of the region. The battalionâ€™s area of operations comprises a huge section of east Baghdad, including the Shaâ€™ab, Ur, and Sadr City neighborhoods.
Twenty percent of the cityâ€™s total population lives within this area of operation, said Maj. Trey Rutherford, the battalionâ€™s operations officer. That equals out to a rough ratio of one paratrooper for every 26,000 Iraqis.
But the numbers werenâ€™t the paratroopersâ€™ only obstacle. They also faced an entrenched and hostile militia organization, an inefficient local government and a breakdown in essential services for the population.
None of these problems have been completely solved yet, Rutherford said.
â€œWeâ€™ve still got a ways to go,â€ he said.
But, he said, the accomplishments are already starting to pile up. The battalion has sent almost 200 criminals into the Iraqi justice system. People in the area are slowly beginning to look to the government for protection, rather than the militias. The economy is booming, thanks to improved protective measures at the markets. And the local government is starting to play a more active role, beginning at the neighborhood advisory council level, Rutherford said.
The media seems to be boycotting the news that makes the military look like it is accomplishing anything good. Balanced news would provide equal coverage to the challenges and the successes. And since this bias has been going on for years and discussed ad naseum, it means it must be systemic and deliberate. Clearly ‘supporting the troops’ does not include recognizing their successes. It only means counting their bodies. The news media in this country is pathetic. No wonder blogs are overtaking the old, decrepit media.