Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Good Karmah for Iraq

Michael Totten writes:

KARMAH, IRAQ – Just beyond the outskirts of Fallujah lies the terror-wracked city of Karmah. While you may not have heard of this small city of 35,000 people, American soldiers and Marines who served in Anbar Province know it as a terrifying place of oppression, death, and destruction. “It was much worse than Fallujah” said more than a dozen Marines who were themselves based in Fallujah.

“Karmah was so important to the insurgency because we've got Baghdad right there,” Lieutenant Andrew Macak told me. “This is part of the periphery of Baghdad. At the same time, it is part of the periphery of Fallujah.”

Here's how the piece ends:

Sabah Danou walked with Commander Summers and Admiral Driscoll. He’s an Iraqi who works for the multinational forces as a cultural and political advisor in Baghdad. “Look,” he said to me and gestured toward a local man with a long beard and a short dishdasha that left his ankles exposed. “He’s a Wahhabi,” Danou hissed. “He is linked to Al Qaeda. That’s their uniform, you know, that beard and that high-cut dishdasha. God, what pieces of shit those fuckers are.”

I never hear soldiers and Marines talk about Iraqis like that, but no one objected to what Sabah Danou said.

To be continued…


Read more...and consider leaving a donation.

Scott Malensek blogs Michael Yon's latest:
McLatchy Newspapers and other Old Media outlets somehow missed the story about Al Queda terrorists in Iraq killing 15 day old babies.
A recent ABC poll has some positive spin to it. But Michael Totten, through citing John Burns of the NYTimes, also reminds us why polls are such a fickle measuring rod, to be taken with a grain of salt:
Opinion polls, including those commissioned by the American command, have long suggested that a majority of Iraqis would like American troops withdrawn, but another lesson to be drawn from Saddam Hussein’s years is that any attempt to measure opinion in Iraq is fatally skewed by intimidation. More often than not, people tell pollsters and reporters what they think is safe, not necessarily what they believe. My own experience, invariably, was that Iraqis I met who felt secure enough to speak with candor had an overwhelming desire to see American troops remain long enough to restore stability.

This feels right to me, not only thanks to my experience in Iraq, but also in places like totalitarian Libya where no one dared criticize the regime in public, and where everyone I spoke to did so in private where they were safe. Saddam Hussein commanded a murder and intimidation regime in Iraq, and today’s insurgents wage a murder and intimidation campaign in the streets. In Fallujah and Ramadi, Iraqi civilians were murdered just for waving hello to Americans, and for accepting bags of rice as charity. Fear should not be ignored when gauging Iraqi public opinion, and that includes fear of American guns as well as fear of insurgents.

Labels: , , , , ,

3 Comments:

Blogger BB-Idaho said...

My reading of General Petraeus suggests that this very competent
soldier understands and implements
the essential ingredient in insurgent operations: win hearts and minds by providing safety and an infrastructure. This should be
a State Dept function, but they seem incapable, so the troops have been doing it. A problem on the short-term horizon is Al Sadr, whose 'truce' appears about to unravel. At best, it won't: at worst we may have a 'surge' for years to come.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

This is another example of me agreeing with BB. It does happen often. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 6:08:00 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Today's most troubling reports were of Basra, when any news was reported about that city. It's the first big test of the Iraqi Army standing on its own and it's not going well at all right now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008 8:20:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

© Copyright, Sparks from the Anvil, All Rights Reserved