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dad dog

Tim, you've got a typo in the first paragraph. "Came" should be "game," I believe.

jfkalltheway

"The troops will march in, the bands will play; the crowds will cheer, and in
four days everyone will have forgotten. Then we will be told we have to send in more troops. It's like taking a drink. The effect wears off, and you have to take another."

President Kennedy in 1963 when asked to send gound troops to Vietnam.

Steevo

Official Defense Dept. press releases almost always weigh on the conservative side of caution.

March 15, the official first month since the surge began had the first joint press conference with Major General William Caldwell and Brigadier General Qassim Atta Al Mussawi the Iraqi Army spokesman for the Baghdad security operation. As stated: deaths were down by about 75 percent, terrorists killed up by over 80 percent and detentions of suspects up by 1000 percent. Full specifics were available.

Muqtada al-Sadr remains in hiding in Iran. Numerous raids and arrests have been made against Mahdi Army leaders and political lieutenants in Baghdad and throughout the south. The establishment of a joint security center has been welcomed by the mayor of Sadr City where patrols are now on the streets.

Sunni tribes in Anbar are backing the government and fighting al Qaeda. Shiekh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, the leader of the of the Anbar Salvation Council, has been forming battalions of tribal fighters called Emergency Response Units, and has begun to secure regions in Ramadi.

Al Qaeda's activities in Diyala are causing the local tribes to organize resistance against the terrorists. Tribal leaders in Diyala are beginning to form up along the lines of the Anbar Salvation Council in Anbar province.

From Iraqi blogger Mohammad Fadhil:

"No doubt people who follow the news as it is being reported in the West get the impression that we’re fighting a lost war, and I feel that there won’t be a day when our struggle to live a normal life and what we achieve in this path will make headlines that run above those of death.

"You look around in Baghdad now and see hundreds of men working in the streets to pick up garbage; to plant flowers and paint the blast walls in joyful colors. Many of Baghdad’s squares are becoming green and clean. The picture isn’t perfect, but it’s a clear attempt to beat violence and ease pain through giving the spring a chance to shine.

"Nights in Baghdad now are far from quiet, but the sounds cause less anxiety for me than they did before. I recognize the rumble of armor and thump of guns and they assure me that the gangs and militias do not dominate the night as they once did.

"When Arabs or westerners ask me about the situation and I answer that hope remains and that we’re looking forward to a better future most would say ‘Are you living in this world?’ I answer, ‘Yes, it’s you who live in the parallel world the media built for you with images of only death and destruction’.

"If it surprised some of them that a poll found Iraqis optimistic, then I’m surprised that someone finally bothered to ask Iraqis how they feel."

YES, HOW MANY HAVE BOTHERED OR EVER WILL. DOESN'T IT MAKE THEM... WONDER? The naysayer 'I'm telling you so' satisfaction to see failure is blatant with so many Iraqis who live with hope.

mamapajamas

Excellent article, Tim! :D

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