Monday, July 18, 2005

Chrenkoff reports: Good news from Iraq

Here's part 31 of Chrenkoff's Good News from Iraq and, as has become the norm, there's a pile of underreported stuff in there. Grab a cup of coffee and have a read.

I find the section on Security to be especially telling. If you're listening to the MSM these days, you'll get the impression of a rapidly spiralling violence cycle where common Iraqi's and American soldiers get picked off by the mighty "insurgents" at will with little they can do about it. From conversations with soldiers who are or have actually been there, I know that's not the case. But until you see how many stories there are of the terrorists getting thwarted and of the comptence and heroism of our troops, you can lose sight of the bigger picture. Leading off the section, Chrenkoff writes:

::::::::Despite the perception of spiralling violence, the official Iraqi count of civilian and security casualties indicates that violence has actually decreased in June. While the numbers are still high, "in June, data provided by the Iraqi ministries of defence, health and the interior showed that 430 people had died in attacks and 933 were wounded, a drop of more than one-third from May's death toll of 672 dead. The number of wounded was down by 20%."::::::::

Reports of the former Baathists (who are Iraqis) and their terrorists allies fighting one another are becoming more common. The Iraqi elections in January has made the goals of the former nearly unattainable and unjustifiable, even in the eyes of the Baathists. They mean not a single thing to the primarily foreign terrorists who couldn't care less what government Iraq has so long as the people bow to the new Caliphate. Their tactics of killing supposedly fellow Muslims are making it hard for even the most virulient anti-American Arab press to support them. The people themselves are holding protests against them, marching openly in opposition. (I mentioned this protest last week. I'd point you to a news article on one of the American news agencies, but they're too busy with Nadagate to cover things like Iraqi people protesting the terrorists instead of America.)

Iraqi civilians are helping Coalition and Iraqi forces in increasing numbers. Just a sample from the report:

::::::::"An Iraqi army unit captured five suspected terrorists June 28 after an Iraqi citizen told the soldiers about a terrorist safe house in northern Baghdad's Rabi district. The Iraqi soldiers found two rocket-propelled grenade launchers and two RPG rounds in addition to the five suspects." As Lt. Col. Clifford Kent, a Task Force Baghdad spokesman says: "The Iraqi people are tiring of the insurgency. Both hotline and in-person tips have increased greatly... A big reason for the increase in tips is because of the Iraqi soldiers taking the lead during raids and operations. The Iraqis will talk to their own soldiers much more readily than to coalition forces."

Thanks to a tip from a local who led the soldiers to the location, the 116th Armor Regiment has secured the biggest weapons cache in the Kirkuk province on June 29. Says U.S. Army 1st Lt. John Thew, B Company, 3rd Battalion 116th Brigade Armor Regiment: "We have found in one day, what usually takes four months";

In two separate incidents on June 29 and 30, Iraqi locals have helped the American troops find more than 4,000 pounds of high explosives located near Kirkuk Air Base;

"An Iraqi citizen’s tip helped Task Force Baghdad Soldiers find and disarm a roadside bomb in east Baghdad before terrorists could use it. The civilian told the Soldier he’d seen a five-gallon gas can lying in the median of a major highway at 9:30 a.m. July 2... The team investigated, found a 122-millimeter mortar round wired to a radio, and safely detonated the bomb"; another tip on the same day led soldiers to a suspicious vehicle which turned out to be a car bomb;

"On July 5, an Iraqi citizen told U.S. Task Force Baghdad soldiers he'd seen three men digging holes in the area of a subsequent roadside bomb attack against coalition forces. The man offered to lead the patrol to the attackers' houses and identify the men. Just before midnight, the soldiers searched two houses in the Risalah district of southern Baghdad and captured three men the Iraqi citizen identified as the men he had seen placing the bombs";

On July 7, a local resident in east Baghdad informed the troops about a roadside bomb. A day later, in two separate incidents also in east Baghdad, Iraqi citizens having observed terrorists placing a roadside bomb tipped off Iraqi police, and provided information leading to an arrest of an illegal weapons dealer;

A civilian walked to the gate on a US base in Baghdad on July 9, and informed and the led the personnel to four unexploded rounds;

"Task Force Liberty soldiers detained 13 people suspected of making and emplacing improvised explosive devices during a pair of raids in north-central Iraq July 10 and 11. Nine people were detained near Tikrit after soldiers from the 1st Brigade Combat Team received a tip from a civilian. Three of the people tested positive for contact with explosives, and the group was in possession of weapons, ammunition and IED-making materials".

Links to all these stories are available at Chrenkoff's. And this is just 1 section of this huge report. As Jack Kelly over at Irish Pennants said a few days ago, why can our own news professionals not find any of this to report? Some of this is most certainly pertinent and newsworthy, even if some people think parts of it are just more "rah-rah" language. It's balance to the overall story and you'd think everyone would want to be as well informed as they can be. Fortunately, Chrenkoff is helping.