Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Did You Know?

What did you hear about Iraq during the last five days?

What would your impression of the war have been during those five days (or even during the last three years) had your daily news contained an objective reporting of the facts?

Let’s look at what you’ve not been told, according to press releases from Multi-National Forces – Iraq, for just one 5 day period, starting May 29th.

On the 29th, Iraqi Forces, backed by Americans, captured 9 suspected insurgents, including one known sniper and confiscated illegal weapons in the Adhamiyah district. Coalition forces utilized an air strike to kill two insurgents placing a roadside bomb in a neighborhood north of Baghdad. An Al Qaeda regional emir and 13 others with suspected links to Al Qaeda, including some in leadership positions, were captured in other raids throughout the country. Iraqi police, acting on a tip, broke up a terror cell in Samarra and captured nine suspected Al Qaeda operatives.

Many press releases were made available on the 30th. Twenty three suspected members of Al Qaeda in Iraq were arrested after separate raids in four different provinces. The raids were intended to break up cells involved with attacks on coalition forces, kidnappings, and smuggling. A police chief, his brother, and 14 bodyguards who had infiltrated the Iraqi police force in Hit were arrested for corruption. Also, “Coalition Forces detained five suspected terrorists and one suspected cell leader Wednesday morning during raids in Sadr City. The individuals detained during the raid are believed to be members of the secret cell terrorist network known for facilitating the transport of weapons and explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs, from Iran to Iraq, as well as bringing militants from Iraq to Iran for terrorist training.” In a separate operation, “acting on a tip from local citizens, Iraqi Special Operations Forces detained a suspected terrorist cell leader during an early morning raid May 29.” The suspect is accused of commanding a kidnapping and assassination cell that has been conducting extra judicial killings in the Baghdad area.” Lastly, during several raids from the 26th through the 28th, Iraqi Forces detained 15 insurgents suspected of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering civilians and for attacks on coalition forces.

On the 31st, Multi-National Forces informed us that, acting on tips “Iraqi Special Operations Forces apprehended a Jaysh al-Mahdi commander during an early morning raid in Kadamiyah, a central suburb of Baghdad” who was “alleged to be responsible for providing financial, logistical, and political support for multiple insurgent groups and terrorist organizations.” The individual is also suspected of managing operations to murder and intimidate local Iraqis, ordering several attacks on Coalition Forces, and overseeing the training of insurgent recruits on terrorist methods including the construction and detonation of Improvised Explosive Devices and Explosively Formed Projectiles.

June 1st gave us the announcement that multiple operations, other than those already noted, on the 30th and 31st, netted 6 terrorists killed, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device destroyed, and 18 other suspects detained. Among them were several suspected members and leaders of Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Sunday, June 2nd gave us Iraqi Army soldiers seizing weapons and explosives during operations in western Iraq, another suspected insurgent with IED and propaganda material seized, a weapons cache discovered north of Sadr City, Iraqi Forces detaining a key leader of Al Qaeda, the capture of two insurgents trying to emplace an IED, and another suspected terror leader along with 7 others detained.

Most importantly, on that day, 3 more provinces in Iraq were “turned over to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), who took official control of three provinces from Multi-National Forces – Iraq at a formal ceremony in Erbil, Iraq May 30.” Seven of Iraq’s 18 provinces are now under Iraqi control. This was “another bold and courageous step forward in this country’s movement toward an independent and secure nation,” according to Major Gen. Benjamin Mixon, Multi- National Division – North commanding general.

This type of news, these kinds of events, these positive stories come out of Iraq every single day. “Wins” happen every day.

These are simply excerpts or summaries of press releases from Multi-National Forces – Iraq. This is the same information that every press agency with reporters in Baghdad has access to.

So, why are the positive developments and these optimistic stories withheld from us in the daily newspapers and on the nightly newscasts?

Even though these “wins” occur daily, the only thing positive those news agencies have reported over the last few months is the fact that the Sunni tribes in Anbar turned against Al Qaeda. The same is beginning to happen in mixed neighbors to the east as well. Perhaps that story is simply too huge for them to ignore?

As my friend, who just returned from Anbar province said, the good guys now “own Anbar, and that is a victory.”

Shouldn’t the fact that the positive developments are so willingly ignored make you wonder if similar success is also being achieved elsewhere in Iraq?

Would your impression of the war be different had you been informed daily of these successes?

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