Sep 06 2007

What One Year Can Do To Change Iraq

Published by at 7:47 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

The news media is having to report on the changes in Iraq and these reports continue to paint a stunning picture of change:

The reconstruction is part of a rebuilding boom in al Qaim, a district along Iraq’s border with Syria that was turned into a depopulated ruin by street combat less than two years ago.

Al Qaim is part of Anbar province, a vast western desert region that is now Exhibit A when U.S. President George W. Bush is looking for good news to describe in Iraq.

Nothing like showing real evidence of the changes in Iraq – no matter how deep the denial on the left any of this his actually happened. Here is the picture from a year ago:

Like many in the Albu Mahal tribe, Sheikh Mausuf fled al Qaim with his family in 2005, when militants from Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in Iraq took over the area.

From 2003 until last year, Anbar was the heartland of the Sunni Arab insurgency and the most dangerous part of Iraq.

Al Qaim, where the Euphrates River pours in from across the Syrian border, was a battleground for most of 2005, with Marines battling insurgents street to street.

Nearly half of its 15,000 homes, many holding families of 30 people or more, were damaged. More than 400 were reduced completely to rubble. Whole blocks of stone and concrete houses still look like they were hit by an earthquake.

Bleak, endless strife. A place run by terrorists with the support of locals. And now:

For a Reuters reporter who was embedded in al Qaim during the height of combat in 2005, the quiet now is uncanny.

The current battalion of Marines has been based in the district for four months. They patrol the streets on foot from small bases inside the towns but have yet to engage in a single major firefight, fire one live artillery round or summon their first air strike.

They have lost just one Marine killed by a roadside bomb.

Many of them joke uneasily that they are bored.

Foreign fighters who once streamed in from the Syrian border seem to have vanished: Bohm’s Marines have encountered just one.

There are skeptics and professional handwringers and those who fantasize all is not as it seems, and yet there Anbar stands. A bright future for Iraq as an American ally and an enemy of al Qaeda. Only fools deny the sea change. Fools Americans will not follow into the depths of pessimism and surrender. As of now, we – America – have no reason to hope the Democrats and far left are right about Iraq And we are understanding they are more than likely wrong across the board on the matter. We can risk a hint of hope Bush is right. What a difference a year makes.

One response so far

One Response to “What One Year Can Do To Change Iraq”

  1. Soothsayer says:

    Once again, AJ is swallowing propaganda and recycling it as truth. In actuality, the situation in Iraq worsens with every passing day:

    28 August 2007 – The number of Iraqis uprooted from their homes by the deteriorating humanitarian situation, both inside and outside the country, is rising, with the monthly rate climbing to over 60,000 people, compared to 50,000 previously, for an overall total of 4.2 million people, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

    27 August 2007 – As United Nations agencies continued to aid victims of the massive bombings that killed hundreds of people and wounded many more in northern Iraq earlier this month, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today reported growing risks to tens of thousands of displaced children in other areas of the country due to pervasive heat, poor hygiene and lack of water. Conditions facing many children are worsening, particularly amongst IDPs (internally displaced persons), whose numbers have now topped 1 million.

    August 25, 2007 YOUSIFIYA, IRAQ — In the dining hall of a U.S. Army post south of Baghdad, President Bush was on the wide-screen TV, giving a speech about the war in Iraq. The soldiers didn’t look up from their chicken and mashed potatoes.

    As military and political leaders prepare to deliver a progress report on the conflict to Congress next month, many soldiers are increasingly disdainful of the happy talk that they say commanders on the ground and White House officials are using in their discussions about the war.

    Some say two wars are being fought here: the one the enlisted men see, and the one that senior officers and politicians want the world to see. “I don’t see any progress. Just us getting killed,” said Spc. Yvenson Tertulien, one of those in the dining hall in Yousifiya, 10 miles south of Baghdad, as Bush’s speech aired last month. “I don’t want to be here anymore.”