Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thank You To Our Brave Troops

Chuck Norris wrote a great column in Human Events on how the media gives so little attention to the war in Iraq, especially concerning our troops' progress and fails to cover positive military stories about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Here some excerpts from his article:
..." recently reported: "There were only two front-page New York Times stories that mentioned 'Iraq' in the headline in October 2008 -- there were 11 in October 2006 and 17 in October 2004. … The Washington Post ran four front-page stories that had headlines using the word 'Iraq' in October 2008 -- in October 2006 there were 17 stories, and 27 stories in October 2004."

In July, The Times, a newspaper in the U.K., ran a column that commended American and Iraqi forces in making significant progress in Mosul, Iraq, and reaching the "final purge" of al-Qaida in Iraq. Investor's Business Daily echoed the same sentiment but sharply criticized American mainstream media for completely overlooking that military success....

...Here's what they missed:

During the surge in 2007 and early 2008, U.S. forces intensified efforts in Mosul by pushing out into small-neighborhood bases -- a strategy that proved successful in routing insurgents from other large cities in the country.

In February 2008, Col. Michael A. Bills, commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, predicted that U.S. and Iraqi troops would be in full control of the city by the end of July.

By March 2008, Brig. Gen. Tony Thomas, second in command of coalition forces in northern Iraq, already was reporting: "So again, we can go anywhere we want to in Mosul … and we're now forcing the enemy -- boxing them in, if you will -- into areas that they otherwise had free play in the city. So we've seized the initiative, and we're slowly but surely eliminating their toehold in the city."

By June 2008, this city of 2 million people had 14 Iraqi army battalions, 10,000 Iraqi police and 4,000 coalition force soldiers. And they were utilizing the "Sons of Iraq" (paid volunteers by the U.S.) to control neighborhoods better. And it was working.

Despite the fact that July 2008 saw an increase in insurgent activity, Lt. Col. Robert Molinari reported that it was really "nothing out of the norm." A senior Iraqi commander added: "We've limited their movements with checkpoints. They are doing small attacks and trying big ones, but they're mostly not succeeding." American and Iraqi forces clearly were getting the upper hand, demonstrated then through the dip in the number of U.S. casualties to the lowest number since the start of the war -- 11 deaths in the entire country.

Overall, attacks in Mosul and in Ninevah province have declined from 50 a day at the start of the year to the present number of 10 a day -- almost the same as the number was in 2006. Open street fighting is a rarity. That is why Maj. Ra'ad Jalal, an Iraqi officer, said: "The security situation in Mosul is improving. It's safe here now. I'd be happy to come here even without all of this protection." ...

...The fact is American coalition forces have reduced the number of al-Qaida fighters in Iraq from roughly 12,000 to 1,200, have cornered them in Mosul, and are successfully gaining the upper hand on their remaining strongholds. That is why Gen. James Conway, the head of the Marine Corps and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, summarized, "Iraq is now a rear-guard action on the part of al-Qaida." In fact, he says that security is so good around the country that for the first time, it "smells like victory," adding that next year, as many as 20,000 Marines currently deployed will return home."

Watch a touching tribute on the last few months of combat on the streets of Mosul, Iraq right here:

Thanks to all of our brave troops for all of their sacrifices to bring freedom to other parts of the world and by doing so also secure our beloved freedom that so many of us here in America take for granted. Thank you.

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