New Michael Yon Dispatch – My thoughts on the war!
If we want Iraq to succeed, we must stick it out. We are succeeding today in Iraq.Michael Yon, “Ghosts of Anbar, Part IV of IV“
Michael Yon has written a four part series on the Anbar Province.
The series is a very thorough chronicle of events in the Anbar Province as they have unfolded over the course of the War in Iraq in that region. Unlike the media reporters who go out to the Province and cover the initial happenings and then leave, Michael stayed the course and reported on all the events that have led up to the fourth report from which the above quote was taken.
It would behoove our political leaders to read Michael’s dispatches before they start making their decisions about what direction we should take in Iraq. On a political scale, there is much improvement needed in Baghdad. The leaders in Iraq’s government seem to have learned one of our own very negative traits about governing. Don’t do what’s best for the people at large, look out for your own special interests or personal agenda. Do this at all costs to the detriment of the nation.
However, on a local level, the Iraqi people, the IP’s, the IA are developing a new and enchanting approach. They have begun to recognize the need for compromise, acceptance of differences, and begun to focus on those needs and solutions that provide a solution that fits the needs of both sides. Our troops have been working hard at allowing the locals to take a greater part in their own redevelopment and governance. Things are beginning to come together nicely, if not slowly. But progress is definitely occurring. General Petraeus is using great tactics that are producing results!
Iraqis who once fought our troops are now working with our troops to capture or kill the insurgency. These locals have gotten tired of the lies of the insurgents. They are tired of their women and children dying. They are tired of living in fear. They are tired of all the restrictions placed on them by the insurgents.
Throughout Iraq, in one Province after another, the same trend is developing. The surge is working. More and more local Iraqis are coming to the aid of our troops and providing Intel that is helping our troops capture or kill the enemy. But what is happening afterwards is what, to me, has had a deeper impact. This is where the “media” drops the ball. This is the story they don’t report. This is the story Michael Yon gives us all.
Our troops work with the locals and help them restore order and governance. They help restore local services like water and electricity. They hold meetings with the locals and allow them to work out differences that allow them to move forward. The IA and the local IP are taught how to fairly respond to the local needs. They two are doing more and more of the actual work under the guidance of our troops.
What is resulting is a rebuilding of Iraq at a local level up. The improvements have allowed the central government to actually go out to these local areas and meet with the local government and people. These occasions were a first for the locals. As these improvements continue to occur on a local level I see a potential here that some may not.
On a small scale, Iraqi are learning how to build and implement a Democracy. They are learning how to take part in the actual governance of their country in “little steps” that can be carried over into the national level. Individual Iraqi are learning what it means to be free. This is a concept previously foreign to them. Their children are also learning this process. The next generation Iraqi, tasting of freedom, will become more and more active politically and bring about the changes nationally required to make the national government function properly to meet the needs of all the nation.
How can anyone in our Congress not see this as a positive outcome. In the past every supposed attempt to help Iraq and the other Middle Eastern nations become free, viable nations was half hearted to say the least. More emphasis was placed on keeping these nations in line for their natural resources than their independent growth and development. Developed can nations no longer afford the luxury of ignoring the needs in the Middle East for exploitation purposes.
Poverty and disease breed terrorists. All people need to have something to hope for, need to have the ability to aspire for something, need to feel they are providing a future for their kids and grandkids. The positive changes provided by the surge in Iraq is doing that on a local level. At the same time, it is providing the Iraqi with a unifying outlook rather than a divided outlook. To take away all of these things now would be an unforgivable betrayal on our part. I do not think we will ever get such a chance again!
Go read Michael’s dispatches. I have read them all. They are riveting and hopeful. They are also realistic. Here I have presented my own interpetation of how I see events unfolding in Iraq based on what I read from different sources including Michael’s dispatches. I have been accused of being an idealist. So be it. I prefer to see a half full glass over a half empty one!
In any event, I think you will agree that progress in Iraq is finally occurring and the war has now become or rather it is being won, if the Congress doesn’t pull the plug!