I have been reading some very positive things happening inIraq. Things, that despite our media coverage, show that life is improving for the Iraqis, and our troops are prevailing. Here is another excerpt from an email from Cousin Jim:
Recent article about Ramadi. COL Charlton is my boss here; i.e. reviews my FITREP.
U.S. Cites Drop In Ramadi Attacks As Sign Of Turnaround By Rowan Scarborough, The Examiner WASHINGTON - A U.S. military commander on Friday reported a dramatic decline in violence in the troubled Iraqi city of Ramadi, saying attacks have dropped from an average of 35 a day to one a day over the past eight months.
"We have experienced entire weeks with zero attacks in our area and have a total of more than 80 days with no attacks in the city," said Army Col. John Charlton, the top commander in Ramadi.
The Bush administration has held up Ramadi, in Anbar Province west of Baghdad, as an example of a turnaround in Iraq. The province was once infested by al Qaeda cells and given up as lost by military intelligence officers.
Sunni sheiks have ended an alliance with terrorists and urged tribal members to join the Iraqi security forces, which they have done in droves, U.S. military officers said.
No area of Anbar was more violent than its capital, Ramadi, with entire sections controlled by al Qaeda and other Sunni guerrillas. But on a recent tour of Iraq, members of Congress visited the city and were able to walk its streets.
As in Baghdad, the main focus of a six-month-old troop surge to defeat insurgents, Charlton's 18,000 Iraqi and American troops have set up joint security stations to ensure al Qaeda terrorists do not return to cleared neighborhoods.
Military officials say many al Qaeda operatives fled Anbar and set up operations north of Baghdad in Baquba, where they were met in June and July with a major U.S. counterinsurgency offensive.
Charlton, speaking to Pentagon reporters via a teleconference from Ramadi, said his forces recently blunted a planned attack by 70 "well-equipped and well-trained terrorists."
He said intelligence detected the enemy moving in two trucks. Ground and air forces struck the convoy, "resulting in the destruction of that force," he said.
"We successfully defeated their attack, but we know that they will try again in the future
And here is an excerpt from Michael Yon which appears in the New York Daily News:
Anyone who says Al Qaeda is not one of the primary problems in Iraq is simply ignorant of the facts.I, like everyone else, will have to wait for September's report from Gen. Petraeus before making more definitive judgments. But I know for certain that three things are different in Iraq now from any other time I've seen it.
1. Iraqis are uniting across sectarian lines to drive Al Qaeda in all its disguises out of Iraq, and they are empowered by the success they are having, each one creating a ripple effect of active citizenship.
2. The Iraqi Army is much more capable now than it was in 2005. It is not ready to go it alone, but if we keep working, that day will come.
3. Gen. Petraeus is running the show. Petraeus may well prove to be to counterinsurgency warfare what Patton was to tank battles with Rommel, or what Churchill was to the Nazis.And yes, in case there is any room for question, Al Qaeda still is a serious problem in Iraq, one that can be defeated. Until we do, real and lasting security will elude both the Iraqis and us.
You can read more of Michael Yon's dispatch here.