Sunday, December 2, 2007

More Great News From Iraq

The "Surge" is working. This story came from the New York Daily News via Hyscience:

What I see every day in Iraq: locals turning against the insurgents:

"There hasn't been a single firefight in this city for months. The Marines at Camp Fallujah haven't been shot at with a rocket or mortar since April. Not one Marine from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment has even been wounded since they rotated into the city two months ago. The only shots the Marines have fired have been practice rounds on the range.

There's a gigantic perception lag in America these days. The Iraq of the popular imagination and the Iraq of the real world are not the same country. It wouldn't be quite right to say Fallujah is safe. You do not want to come here on holiday. But I'm a lot safer here as an American than any terrorist or insurgent would be. The Marines and Iraqi police find caches of weapons every day, thanks to tips called in by locals. No insurgent can plant an IED without getting turned in by war-weary civilians. Recently, an Al Qaeda cell from outside of town showed up and tried to distribute propaganda DVDs. They too were turned over to the police.

There are only 250 Marines in Fallujah, a city of about 350,000, right now. Last year, there were 3,000 Marines. Because the city is pacified, troops that were here can join the additional surge forces that are clearing and holding more volatile areas."
Everywhere I go in Fallujah, I am mobbed by smiling children who want me to take their picture. It wasn't always this way. "I didn't see a single kid out here in 2005," one Marine told me. "If a kid popped out of the house, his parents yanked him right back inside." Women walk the streets by themselves now, as well, which I'm also told was unheard of not long ago.



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