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U.S. Hands Al-Anbar province back over to the Iraqi Government

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  • U.S. Hands Al-Anbar province back over to the Iraqi Government

    Why wasn't this already posted?

    ...if the MSM can tear away from the 24/7 Gustav coverage for 30 seconds maybe they could report on a real historical event. Another victory for America and a free and democratic Iraq has taken place.

    RAMADI, Iraq: Two years ago, Anbar Province was the most lethal place for American forces in Iraq. A U.S. marine or soldier died in the province nearly every day, and the provincial capital, Ramadi, was a moonscape of rubble and ruins. Islamic extremists controlled large pieces of territory, with some so ferocious in their views that they did not even allow the baking of bread.

    On Monday, U.S. commanders formally returned responsibility for keeping order in Anbar Province, once the heartland of the Sunni insurgency, to the Iraqi Army and police. The ceremony, including a parade on a freshly paved street, capped one of the most significant turnabouts in the country since the war began five and a half years ago.
    More:
    http://iht.com/articles/2008/09/01/mideast/iraq.php

  • #2
    I'm glad to hear we finally gave that festering dump back to the Iraqis. Let em keep it, I don't want it!
    Last edited by reils49; 09-03-2008, 07:04 PM.
    I make my living on Irish welfare.

    Comment


    • #3
      I just realized I didn't put what I thought I did.

      Good job and thanks to all who fought. This proves, were winning, little by little, and eventually big things, as Reils said, we just handed over a big dump! That's success baby!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Links die. Here's the whole thing:
        International
        Herald Tribune
        The Global Edition of The NY Times
        U.S. hands back a quieter Anbar Province
        By Dexter Filkins Published: September 1, 2008


        RAMADI, Iraq: Two years ago, Anbar Province was the most lethal place for American forces in Iraq. A U.S. marine or soldier died in the province nearly every day, and the provincial capital, Ramadi, was a moonscape of rubble and ruins. Islamic extremists controlled large pieces of territory, with some so ferocious in their views that they did not even allow the baking of bread.

        On Monday, U.S. commanders formally returned responsibility for keeping order in Anbar Province, once the heartland of the Sunni insurgency, to the Iraqi Army and police. The ceremony, including a parade on a freshly paved street, capped one of the most significant turnabouts in the country since the war began five and a half years ago.

        Over the past two years, the number of insurgent attacks against Iraqis and Americans has dropped by more than 90 percent. Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia has been severely degraded, if not crushed altogether, in large part because many local Sunnis, including former insurgents, have taken up arms against it.

        Since February, as the security situation improved, U.S. commanders have cut the number of marines and soldiers operating in the province by 40 percent.

        The transfer of authority codified a situation that Iraqi and American officers say has been in effect since April: The Iraqi Army and police operate independently and retain primary responsibility for battling the insurgency and crime in Anbar. The United States, which had long done the bulk of the fighting, has stepped into a backup role, going into the streets only when accompanied by Iraqi forces.

        But the dynamic that has brought such calm to Anbar, welcome as it is, seems fragile. Many former insurgents now man the local police forces, or remain on the U.S. payroll as loosely supervised gunmen working for the so-called Sunni Awakening Councils.

        But with most of the Sunni population having abstained from voting in 2005, many are now claiming that the present arrangement leaves them unrepresented. Local Sunni leaders have warned that provincial elections must go forward if violence is to be averted.

        Still, as the parade marched along Ramadi's Main Street on Monday, the signs were mostly good. The ceremony was a primarily Iraqi affair, with the U.S. marines wearing neither helmets nor body armor, nor carrying guns. The festive scene became an occasion for celebration by Iraqis and Americans, who at several moments wondered aloud in the sweltering heat how things had gone from so grim to so much better, so fast.

        "Not in our wildest dreams could we have imagined this," said Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi national security adviser, who flew in from Baghdad. "Two or three years ago, had we suggested that the Iraqis could take responsibility, we would have been ridiculed, we would have been laughed at. This was the cradle of the Sunni insurgency."

        Indeed it was. Anbar Province became the most intractable region after the toppling of Saddam Hussein in April 2003. More than 1,000 American marines and soldiers have died in the province, a quarter of the total U.S. toll.

        Anbar's second city, Falluja, was the scene of the biggest battle of the war, in which nearly 100 Americans died and more than 500 were wounded.

        Bordering on three countries, Anbar was also considered the primary transit point for foreigners entering Iraq.

        The fighting devastated much of Anbar. Falluja, a city of 250,000, was razed, and large parts of Ramadi, a city of 500,000, were reduced to ruins.

        By the summer of 2006, insurgents had tried to kill Anbar's governor, Mamoon Sami al-Rashid, 29 times. They failed with Rashid, but that was an exception. Rashid's immediate predecessor, Raja Nawaf, was kidnapped and murdered. His deputy, Talib al-Dulaimi, was shot and killed. The chairman of the Anbar provincial council was also murdered. Rashid's personal secretary was beheaded and most of his ministers went into hiding.

        What finally broke the stalemate, according to former insurgents and local leaders, was a local revolt against Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the radical insurgent group believed to be led primarily by foreigners. As the group began to expand its goals beyond killing Americans to include sectarian assassinations and imposing a fundamentalist Islam, local tribal leaders struck back and reached out for help to U.S. forces. The "Sunni Awakening" was born, and it soon spread across the Sunni areas of Iraq.

        Saadi al-Faraji used to be a gunman for a local group called the Islamic Movement of Holy Warriors, which focused mainly on attacking Americans. Then, in 2006, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia tried to take over his group and force them to kill Iraqis who worked for the government, including police officers.

        "Qaeda declared that we were apostates, and they demanded our heads, because we would not kill Iraqi soldiers or Iraqi police," Faraji said.

        The Islamic Movement of Holy Warriors began attacking Qaeda fighters at about the same time that a local Sunni sheik named Abdul Sattar abu Risha struck a deal with the Americans and formed the first Awakening Council. The Islamic Movement formed its own Awakening Council, and today, Faraji is a colonel in the Iraqi police.

        As for his view on Americans, Faraji said they had evolved.

        "They made mistakes, and so did we," he said. "The past is past."
        Last edited by pvtbuddie; 09-04-2008, 08:07 PM.
        .
        .
        lib'-er-ty: the freedom given to you to make the wrong decision, based on the reasoned belief that you will normally make the right one.

        Comment


        • #5
          As for his view on Americans, Faraji said they had evolved.

          "They made mistakes, and so did we," he said. "The past is past."
          This is what people say when wars end, and peace comes.

          .
          .
          .
          lib'-er-ty: the freedom given to you to make the wrong decision, based on the reasoned belief that you will normally make the right one.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by farewelltonavy
            I thought it was theirs in the first place ?
            They leased it, turned out, it was a ****ty deal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by farewelltonavy
              I thought it was theirs in the first place ?
              That depends on what your perspective is
              I make my living on Irish welfare.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by reils49 View Post
                That depends on what your perspective is

                How 'bout this viewpoint? Now that the Sunni Awakening Council has done the heavy lifting, the Shias from Baghdad walk in and say, "Thanks, we'll take it from here."

                Yeah, right.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not for nothing, but a few air strikes would probably solve a lot of the issues.

                  Of course, then we'd be committing a war crime and the UN would fry us. Just like Viet Nam, we can't tell the innocents from the combatants. It makes for a tough call. A friend of mine just came back and said it's a nightmare over there. I understand his pain, having lived through the whole 60s to 70s situation.
                  "Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince" - Unknown Author
                  ______________________________________________

                  "That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves." - Thomas Jefferson
                  ______________________________________________

                  “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.” - John Adams

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FNA209 View Post
                    Not for nothing, but a few air strikes would probably solve a lot of the issues.
                    That's what Winston Churchill thought when he was Colonial Secretary in the 1920's. Didn't work then, isn't working now.

                    We're watching a remake of The Decline and Fall of the British Empire starring .... us!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Seventy2002 View Post
                      That's what Winston Churchill thought when he was Colonial Secretary in the 1920's. Didn't work then, isn't working now.

                      We're watching a remake of The Decline and Fall of the British Empire starring .... us!

                      Funny thing is the British actually have had successful counter-insurgency operations. See the Malayan Emergency, The British in Kenya (1952-1960), N.Ireland (sort of..). Our last "succesful" counter-insurgency operation was the Philippines in late 1890s. A good look at why we failed in Vietnam and why the Brits worked in Malaya is "Learning to Eat Soup With A Knife" by John Nagl. Its a pretty good read.

                      It is Nagl's strategy that is being utilized in Iraq now. Hopefully nationalism will trump secularism, but who knows....
                      "Against the machinations of your enemies you can take defense, but against the stupidity of fools, the very gods themselves fight in vain" ~ Johann C.F. Von Schiller


                      "Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason, and the mind becomes a wreck."
                      --Thomas Jefferson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by GrndPnd0311 View Post
                        It is Nagl's strategy that is being utilized in Iraq now. Hopefully nationalism will trump secularism, but who knows....
                        It should, as it was a "non-issue" over there at one point... wasn't until a certain country started putting their dirty little hands into the open wound that this infection of secularism began....

                        (Ignoring the ongoing feud with the Kurds and everyone else)
                        “The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

                        "You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him."

                        Comment

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