Soldiers assigned to Haifa Street in Baghdad, Iraq, tell of how U.S. troop presence helps add to the optimistic feeling on the street from the locals. Only a fraction of the violence which occurred in December of 2006 is occurring in and around Haifa Street now. Approximately 130 dead bodies were found in December, presumably victims of death squads and militias, compared toto 11-15 bodies recovered in the last 3 weeks. Residents who fled in fear of militias are now returning in great numbers because they trust the U.S. troops to protect them. Not only that, but commander CPT Peter Kilpatrick of 9th Cavalry/Charlie Company says there are so many Iraqi informants to rat out the bad guys that his unit can hardly handle the large amount of intelligence and cooperation.
One soldier on patrol says they are frequently asked by Iraqis if U.S. troops will be leaving because if so, Iraqis will leave the area as well. They feel safe as long as the U.S. stays. Will America be there for Iraq at the end of this story? Not if the Congress has anything to do with it.
Cross-posted @ Bottom Line Up Front