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Friday, November 02, 2007

Iraq is Back in the News: The Tides Have Turned

For months now we have been pounding the good news from Iraq and how the media, in their own words, didn't think the good news from Iraq should be reported, but when waiting for the trend of good news to turn to bad leaves them with no news to report, they finally, grudgingly, start to once again do their jobs.

Last night we posted about the decline in Iranian bombs found in Iraq and with it we showed the recent successes and progress which include but is not limited to:

All is not wine and roses and will not be for a while, but this, in conjunction with the news this morning about the Iraqi Islamic Party declaring that they have defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq as well as the other good news that has been reported on over the last few months, shows that we have finally found the right formula that has brought about a massive turn in the tides of Iraq.

Go read the other recent good news your media probably hasn't shown you yet.

Still more good news over at Centcom with the daily news releases show us that another AQI commander has been captured and Iraqi citizens are still leading coalition forces to weapons caches, Karbala Province has officially been handed over to Iraqi security forces, which is seen as a positive step to Iraqi self-reliance, (Note: Karbala Province is the eighth province to be transferred to Iraqi security responsibility) Coalition forces are disrupting terrorist networks, and as we told you the other day, the Tamimi and Jibouri tribes, the two largest tribes in Iraq’s Diyala province, met Oct. 24 to discuss the importance of reconciliation and signed a fellowship agreement stressing cooperation and friendship between the two tribes.

Today, we see more headlines about Iraq.

Not death tolls because those are down. Not violence because that is down to the lowest levels. Not about IED's because there is no news to reports about IEDS.

The media has just noticed what we have been showing you for months... good news.

BAGHDAD, Nov. 1 -- From store clerks selling cigarettes by generator power, to military commanders poring over aerial maps, Iraqis and Americans are striving to understand the sharp decrease in violence over the past several months and what it might herald for the future of Iraq.

The number of attacks against U.S. soldiers has fallen to levels not seen since before the February 2006 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra that touched off waves of sectarian killing, according to U.S. military statistics released Thursday. The death toll for American troops in October fell to 39, the lowest level since March 2006, and the eighth-lowest total in 56 months of fighting, according to the Web site, which tracks military fatalities.

Wapo peppers their article with their hopes that this 6 month trend might just be a "lull", but within the 3 page article they address portions of the good news that w have been showing every week since the surge started.

Yesterday General Odierno held a briefing discussing the downward spiral of violence, death, bombings and the upward swing of normalcy returning to some of the battle torn provinces in Iraq and Weekly Standard has provided his graphs which show the decline in attacks,Iraqi civilian deaths and Coalitions deaths to be even more steep than those of us that have been watching it carefully even understood.

“As depicted on this slide, over the past four months, attacks and security incidents have continued to decline. This trend represents the longest continuous decline in attacks on record and illustrates how our operations have improved security since the surge was emplaced. Of note, this four-month decline includes Ramadan, a time during the previous three years when enemy activity has traditionally spiked. Also total attack levels are back before their levels since the first Samarra mosque bombing in February 2006 -- an event that ignited a wave of sectarian violence. …


“As you can see on this chart, Iraqi civilian deaths have also declined in recent months. This has a great deal to do with the overall drop in violence but also has a lot to do with Iraqis coming together as a nation and not dividing along ethnic and sectarian lines. Sectarianism is still present but it has diminished, and we are seeing more evidence of the populace identifying themselves not as Sunni or Shi'a but as Iraqi. One of the key tasks we set for ourselves was to protect the population. And while we welcome the reduction in civilian casualties, it is still too high and still must be further decreased.


“This slide depicts coalition forces killed in action over the past 12 months, and nothing is more important to any of us than the lives of our courageous servicemen and servicewomen. Even one coalition death is too many, but we are experiencing a five- month decline in combat deaths. While this is encouraging, we will not be satisfied until we drive this to zero. …

Go see those graphs for yourself...reading the words is one thing but the visuals are something altogether different and will give you a good understanding of how sharply the tides have turned in our and the Iraqi's favor in the last 6 months.

NewsBusters points to some previous upbeat good news media stories in late October from ABC, Charles Gibson:

CHARLES GIBSON: In Iraq itself, we have an extraordinary comeback story tonight from the place where the Marines suffered their worst losses of the war. Fallujah is undergoing a remarkable turnaround. Tribal leaders, local officials and the U.S. Marines have united behind a common cause. Bringing security to a place that had been one of Iraq's most insecure. ABC's Miguel Marquez reports tonight from Fallujah.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ: The markets bustle. Traffic chokes the streets. Marines, once despised here, are now a welcome sight.

COLONEL RICH SIMCOCK, U.S. Marines: This is one of my big measures of effectiveness, where, you know, kids will come up to you, you know, they feel safe to come out and play.

MARQUEZ: Colonel Rich Simcock has been the main battlefield commander in Fallujah for the past ten months.

SIMCOCK: Every day, it just gets a little better.

MARQUEZ: In that time, he has witnessed a sea change.

SIMCOCK: For someone that doesn't know Fallujah, you know, you'd look around like, well, this is kind of a dirty city. We're walking almost in the center of the city. Numerous battles have been fought in this area, and we're walking around, no one shooting at us.

MARQUEZ: Battles that left the city devastated.

SERGEANT CHUCK BURTON, U.S. Marines: And there was times, we were rolling through the city, you get there through sundown, you were guaranteed to either get popped on or get shot at.

MARQUEZ: And when's the last time you were shot at these days?

BURTON: I'd say, end of March.

MARQUEZ: The last car bomb in Fallujah was in May. Soon after, tribal leaders, fed up with al-Qaeda's violent ways and strict Islamic codes, looked to the Marines for help. This is something that was unthinkable just a few months ago -- shops that are filled with produce, people on the streets, but Fallujah still has a very, very long way to go. As security has improved, tens of thousands of people have returned. The downside, unemployment has rocketed to 70 percent, a problem Fallujah's young mayor is trying to solve now. "Terrorists give money to out-of-work civilians," says the mayor. "We are under pressure to create jobs quickly so young people won't be tempted to fight." So they are expanding the police force rapidly. "We're getting lots of volunteers," says the police chief. "When we ask for 50 more officers, we see 200 people step forward." The Iraqi police, not the Marines, are now in charge of security here. But many officers don't have proper weapons, training, or even uniforms. Does this stop bullets?


MARQUEZ: There are encouraging signs. Schools just opened, and enrollment is at its highest since before the war. Construction, from huge infrastructure projects to fixing sidewalks, is everywhere. Fallujah even sports solar street lights. It is a city in recovery, with a lot of hard work ahead. Miguel Marquez, ABC News, Fallujah.

Slowly but surely the MSM is starting to catch up with the real news on the ground in Iraq, news they have been unwilling to report on but find themselves in a position of having no choice but to finally address the fact that we are kicking ass and taking names, lest they become irrelevant by continuing to ignore what is happening before their very eyes.

Now I am not sure I would go as far as to say we have won, because their is still much hard work to be done, but I do believe we are winning this battle and that is why you don't hear so much of the drumbeat for retreat in defeat from our Democratic politicians these days.

They rather avoid the topic altogether so that they can hide from the fact that they tried to do everything they could to stop victory and force us into defeat.

That is not something we plan on letting them forget.

The Aussies on the other hand have no compunction about telling it like it is and makes an excellent argument for declaring victory already.

THERE is a reason Iraq has almost disappeared as an election issue.

Here it is: The battle is actually over. Iraq has been won.

I know this will seem to many of you an insane claim. Ridiculous!

After all, haven't you read countless stories that Iraq is a "disaster", turned by a "civil war" into a "killing field"?

Didn't Labor leader Kevin Rudd, in one of his few campaign references to Iraq, say it was the "greatest ... national security policy disaster that our country has seen since Vietnam"?

You have. And you have been misled.

Here is just the latest underreported news, out this week.

Just 27 American soldiers were killed in action in Iraq in October - the lowest monthly figure since March last year. (This is a provisional figure and may alter over the next week.)

The number of Iraqi civilians killed last month - mostly by Islamist and fascist terrorists - was around 760, according to Iraqi Government sources.

That is still tragically high, but the monthly toll has plummeted since January's grim total of 1990.

What measures of success do critics of Iraq's liberation now demand?

Violence is falling fast. Al Qaida has been crippled.

The Shiites, Kurds and Marsh Arabs no longer face genocide.

What's more, the country has stayed unified. The majority now rules.

Despite that, minority Sunni leaders are co-operating in government with Shiite ones.

There is no civil war. The Kurds have not broken away. Iran has not turned Iraq into its puppet.

And the country's institutions are getting stronger. The Iraqi army is now at full strength, at least in numbers.

The country has a vigorous media. A democratic constitution has been adopted and backed by a popular vote.

Election after election has Iraqis turning up in their millions.

Add it all up. Iraq not only remains a democracy, but shows no sign of collapse.

I repeat: the battle for a free Iraq has been won.

Now the task is one familiar to every democracy, and especially any in the Middle East: eternal vigilance.

If you doubt my assessment of Iraq, ask Osama bin Laden.

Definitely go read the rest because the writer also addresses the critics, point by point, making mincemeat of their weak arguments.

You can find out what others are saying about the Aussie report here. The buzz on the Wapo article is here.

Notice that the better the news gets from Iraq, the louder the critics shriek and the angrier they become?

Ever wonder why the good news from Iraq make "certain" people act like the world is ending?

Friday Free For All over at Stop the ACLU, to which I am a new contributor.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Stop the ACLU, Perri Nelson's Website, The Virtuous Republic, The Random Yak, 123beta, Adam's Blog, , Right Truth, The Populist, Grizzly Groundswell, Webloggin, Leaning Straight Up, The Bullwinkle Blog, The Amboy Times, Pursuing Holiness, Adeline and Hazel, third world county, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, The World According to Carl, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, Wolf Pangloss, and Church and State, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.