Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Three Busy Days

In just one three day period during the last week, coalition forces in Iraq showed tremendous success against those trying to destabilize that country. Some of their achievements came in areas which have just begun to see the first “surge” troops, indicating some initial success with that plan. Other “wins for the good guys” occurred elsewhere throughout the country.

Multi-National Forces – Iraq press releases from the 24th through the 26th of February revealed many stories which were completely uncovered, or at best barely received a mention by the national media. The discovery of one large weapons cache with possible ties to Iran did receive more thorough coverage, possibly because it made an easy segue into critiquing our foreign policy with Iran and opened the way for warnings to the administration about their dealings with the Islamic Republic.

But overall, the press releases showed that our troops and the Iraqi forces they’ve trained accomplished much during those three days, just as they do day in and day out.

A tip from local citizens led Iraqi police to the discovery of a large weapons cache near Baqubah which included Explosively Formed Penetrators (EFPs), mortars, rocket launchers, RPG’s, and IED materials. Finding and destroying this weapons cache not only prevented the possible injury and death of its intended victims, but also represents Iraqi people who choose peace over violence while challenging those who claim the training of Iraqi police to be a complete failure. These Iraqi police chose to act for the benefit of all, rather than turn their heads to, or even become complicit in the terrorism.

A raid was conducted near Hilla, uncovering a Shiite weapons cache. The cache contained bomb making materials, infrared sensors, electronic triggering devices, explosives materials, information about explosives, and a set-up for a vehicle borne IED (car bomb).

Reuters did cover a story in which Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki shared information about the surge in Baghdad having already netted 426 suspected militants with about the same number killed. This certainly flies in the face of those critics who claim that all the bad guys would “go to ground” during the surge. We know there are at least 800 who didn’t.

Coalition forces targeted and raided several locations throughout Iraq, including surge and non-surge areas, with suspected foreign fighter facilitators and Al Qaeda in Iraq terror cells. Fifteen suspected terrorists including a possible Emir for Al Qaeda in Iraq were captured in these raids.

Iraqi Forces targeted and disrupted an IED making and ambush cell near Titten, arrested 6 suspected insurgents and discovered a small weapons cache. As is the case with many areas, Iraqi forces around Titten are conducting operations independent of American forces and realizing success against the insurgents.

On the 25th, it was reported that coalition forces killed two insurgents and captured 6 more, including a suspected Al Qaeda leader near Mosul.

Baghdad troops discovered a weapons cache near the village of Koresh on the 24th.

A three day operation in Salman Pak targeted Al Qaeda in Iraq terrorists, resulting in the death of 15 and the capture of 13 more. Their terror cell was dismantled and an IED factory containing over 1000 pounds of explosives was destroyed. During the conduct of the operation two roadside bombs were prevented from being emplaced. Coalition forces also found and released a man being held hostage by the terrorists.

Raids in Fallujah, Amariyah, and Mosul on the 24th netted the coalition forces 12 suspected Al Qaeda terrorists, including the leader of another Al Qaeda in Iraq terror cell in Mosul.

Special Iraqi Army Forces detained five members of the Jaysh Al-Mahdi militia implicated in IED attacks against coalition forces north of Baghdad.

Iraqi police and an American Military Transition Team held off an attack by numerous insurgents at a checkpoint two miles south of the Baghdad International Airport, killing at least two.

But where was the focus of the mainstream media? Did they share these triumphs of our troops or did they neglect their hard work?

Why does it seem like we only got Katie Couric reporting an attack at an Iraqi University, a story with a tag line of “Iraq has no future?”

Why do the “wins” continue to go unreported? Why don’t our troops get the recognition they deserve for executing these operations and training the Iraqis who are risking everything for the future of their country?

Three weapons caches discovered (two of them notably large), around 800 Baghdad militants killed or captured, 13 members of Al Qaeda in Iraq killed with 40 more captured including one suspected Emir and two terror cell leaders, two other insurgents killed and 12 more captured, 5 Mahdi militiamen detained, two IED making cells destroyed, and one ambush terror cell dismantled, all in three days.

But maybe even more important than these accomplishments are all the places in Iraq where coalition forces laid the foundation for absolutely nothing to happen during those three days, especially in the northern Kurdish areas and four southern provinces where life quietly went on.

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