Good News From The Front Lines

With all the negative reporting by the MSM regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, we hope to counterbalance it with good news that’s being missed or underreported. We proudly update you with interesting information from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. This week, our stories center on Iraqis and their troops. It is important to remember that the Iraqi troops and security forces are a reflection of our own fine troops — as they are the teachers, ambassadors and role models.

* Last Friday, the Iraqi Army stepped up to the plate and hit it out of the ballpark. The 8th Division of the Iraqi Army in Karbala carried out a large scale raid on March 25th in the area of Jurf al-Sakher. They detained 121 suspected terrorists and a huge cache of weapons, including 3 tons of TNT. Yet, the MSM barely mentioned this remarkable coup that brings us closer to bringing our troops home. With all the talk about timelines and endgames, it blows the mind that this offensive barely made any news coverage at all.

*In fact, things are going remarkably well in Iraq – not that you could tell it from media reports. From all accounts, the Iraqi army and security forces have begun to function effectively. Our front-line military personnel exude confidence in the future of these forces and the people. One of these, Marine Lt. Gen. John F. Sattler, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, recently offered an encouraging assessment.

“I’ve never been more optimistic in my almost two years of association with this area,” said Sattler. “The energy, the enthusiasm of the people is catapulting this movement forward. The Iraqi security forces are capable, well-led and confident, and that confidence flows over to the Iraqi people.”

* In related news, terrorist attacks in Iraq dropped to the lowest number since March 2004. Not only has the number of attacks diminished, the efficacy of the attacks has also decreased. Roughly half the attacks have no effect at all vis-à-vis loss of life or property damage. Although some attacks are still “horrendous,” defense department officials feel cautiously optimistic. Recent attacks — those directed solely against innocent Iraqi men, women and children — are causing formerly-apathetic Iraqis to actively protest against the insurgents. In contrast to these terrorists, average Iraqis see the security effort as heroic. Recent demonstrations and retaliations against the terrorists by regular Iraqis on the streets have reflected this trend.

* The Coalition recently began contracting infrastructure construction out to Iraqi contractors. Previously, most reconstruction and repair was undertaken by US military engineering units trained for these projects. Currently, Iraqi contractors are repairing water systems, roads and electrical systems. Two joint projects in Mahmudiyah now bring water to residents of the area. The East Mahmudiyah Pipe Project complements the reconstruction of a local water plant. The pipe construction provides running water to homes in the area. Remarkably, the plant has not been used since 1972. Thanks to cooperative efforts of the 256th, 407th, and local contractors, it is now up and running again.

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