25 July 2006

B36 News - 25 July 2006

I couple days ago I was watching the news and I saw an interview with someone who was upset about some policy that had been enacted at her workplace and she was trying to use an analogy to explain her frusteration. I don't remember exactly what the policy was, but it required her to wear a shirt bearing some sort of message that she felt cast her in a negative light. The analogy she was trying to apply was that the message on this shirt was as bad as if it had said, "I'm an Iraqi."

I sincerely hope that Americans realize that Iraqis are our friends. They're good people and want to beat the terrorists and extremists just as much as, if not more than, we do. Sure there are some bad apples, but aren't there bad apples in America too?
(psst, this is a bad apple)

Success is Boring
Traffic jams, waiting in lines, being shocked at the price of what ever it is that you're trying to buy. These are some of the things that nag at the average American. In Iraq these pesky problems are what we're trying to achieve. It's strange how your priorities and perceptions change when you've just been freed from a tyrannical dictator.
American, British and Iraqi forces fought pitched battles here in the fall of 2004, during a sweep of insurgents still loyal to Saddam's regime.

Today, the market is full of faces looking forward to peaceful and uneventful days.

“Before the American Army came to this area, it was full of insurgents and thieves and killers,” said Ali, who declined to give his full name.
Iraqi Logistics
Of the 268,000 ISF that have been trained and equipped, most of them are ground-pounders and trigger-pullers. Now that these guys are putting the smack down, the Iraqi government is taking the next step towards securing their independence from Coalition support. An army without a robust logistics support system cannot fight and the ISF are now moving towards building this system.

Untold Good News from Iraq
I stumbled across an article written by James Crum, the Director of the Iraq Project & Contracting Office (PCO), in which he addresses the good things that have been accomplished in support of the Iraqi population. A lot of the stuff in the article is stuff that I addressed in Winning in Iraq - Measuring Victory, but it's nice to hear it from an official government source. You can read the whole article in the comments section.

Iraqi Army Puttin' the Smack Down
There are several different operations that are referenced in this story and each shows how capable the Iraqi military is becomming. Each time the ISF get a tip, develop an operation, and execute it we take another step towards victory.
Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, killed five terrorists, wounded 13, and detained 47 during a two-hour firefight in Mahmudiyah South on July 21.

The 6th IA soldiers received a report from an Iraqi citizen that 10 to 15 men were attacking a house in Hayy Al Shuhada. The IA soldiers tracked the gunmen to the Hayy Al Askery neighborhood, where a small-arms battle ensued in which five terrorists were killed and the remainder fled the scene in a white truck.

The Iraqi soldiers followed the terrorists to a residence, whereupon the terrorists abandoned their vehicle. Attack helicopter aviators from Multinational Division Baghdad destroyed the vehicle. Iraqi soldiers detained six suspects who were hiding in a nearby canal and another three who were found by the crew of another military vehicle.


Blogger bandit.three.six said...

Untold Good News From Iraq - Opinion/Editorial

Prior to Saddam Hussein’s oppressive regime, Iraq was the second richest country in the Persian Gulf region. However, after 30 years of willful neglect and treasury-draining regional wars, Iraq’s once modern infrastructure lay in ruin.

For the past three years solid progress has been made to rebuild Iraq’s critical infrastructure. All of Iraq’s industrial sectors—oil, water, electrical power, education, agriculture, buildings and facilities, and security—have benefited from the United States’ investment in their economic revitalization and reconstruction. There have been setbacks along the way caused by corruption and terrorism, but the major problem for stabilizing public services in Iraq has been the decrepit state of the infrastructure that resulted from three decades of neglect by Saddam Hussein.

The oil industry is now producing above 2002 levels. Substantial investments have been made in the entire oil infrastructure system to help provide long-term stability, such as improvements to oil wells, pipelines, and oil-refinement facilities. U.S. assistance has significantly improved water and sewage services for Iraqis. In April 2003, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hit the ground, it was clear that many of the country’s water treatment plants were in serious disrepair and that many Iraqis received water that was contaminated or inadequately treated. Since that time, completed U.S projects have increased potable water availability to an estimated 4.2 million additional residents and an estimated 5.1 million additional people have access to sewage treatment. These numbers will continue to grow as more water treatment facilities become operational.

U.S. projects have added or restored some 2,700 Megawatts of electrical generation capacity to Iraq’s electrical grid. Peak electricity generation in Iraq is currently around 4,900 megawatts compared to an average of 4,300 in 2002. In the pre-war period, Baghdad received a greater share of electricity at the expense of the rest of the country. Power is more equitably distributed today, and on average Iraqis outside of Baghdad receive more hours of power than before the war. The residents around the country are receiving 12 to 14 hours of electricity, and those in and around Baghdad are receiving up to 8 hours of electrical power during the summer’s high demand period.

More significantly, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi schoolchildren are now attending new and refurbished schools while learning through a revamped curriculum. Hundreds of law enforcement and border police facilities have been built. The new Iraqi Army is also being trained in an equally new environment.

One of the key elements that enables Iraq to stand on its own is a strong and growing workforce. Since our arrival in 2003, there have been 30,000 new businesses created - many of these are small businesses and micro-enterprises. This is wonderful. The industry with the fastest job growth is the agricultural sector, particularly date palms and wheat, which have become Iraq’s largest export crops.

The leaders of the Iraq reconstruction effort are often asked by the media “Are we making a difference in the life of the average Iraqi?” Without a doubt the answer is yes, but the average Iraqi on the street still risks his life or his family’s well-being to say so. The proof is in their actions: Iraqi mothers and fathers are sending their children to new schools, they are enjoying clean water and better sanitation in the streets, they are demanding air conditioners and other appliances (making it difficult for power generation and distribution improvements to keep up). Iraqis are enjoying the widespread use of cell phones and can now call an ambulance or police car in many areas when they need emergency services. But most important, they have a government, democratically elected and beginning to act as a legislative body.

Another frequent question is how corruption and terrorism affect the rebuilding effort. Corruption was fed and bred throughout the Saddam era, resulting in a work and social climate that was rife with poor operating practices. This climate has begun to change as a result of the anti-corruption commissions, both in and out of their government, and the commission on public integrity.

In sum, the numbers of completed projects throughout Iraq - including large and complex oil, water, and electrical plants - has been truly staggering. More than 3,500 projects have been started; more than 2,800 of these have been completed and the remainder under construction.

This rebuilding program is an effort to build a foundation for freedom for the Iraqis. The original goal was not to rebuild their whole society, but rather to provide a fresh start for them to continue to build upon. The future is in their hands.

James Crum, P. E.
Director of the Iraq Project and Contracting Office / Washington, DC
Department of the Army

Blogger Justin said...

dude...good to digitally see ya. i just got my internet back after two very byte-dry months, so now i can keep up with my friends again.

Congrats on your son!! he looks awesome!

Keep up the good work:) ran into a couple army guys in town the other day,& it reminded me to say 'thanks'


i'll try to keep throwin' 'dudes' and other redneck encouragement your way;)

Blogger andrea/pj's said...

once again,another
fine post bandit!!
smileys here now:)

Blogger Rob said...

Maybe put up a "Documents" section on the blog. You can put links to all these official and unofficial articles, videos, whatever that you link in the course of your daily blogging. It would make them readily accessible for new folks to find or old readers to go back and link/read.

Blogger Mike's America said...

There was a bit of a dustup over in Washington with the visit of the Iraqi PM al Maliki yesterday.

Apparently he didn't condemn Hezbollah loud enough to suit the Democrats. Which is funny since so many in their party don't find anything wrong with that bunch of terrorists.

Anonymous Solo said...

I sure appreciate your blog. I saw the pic of the bad apple with the God Hates America sign.If you know about them. then you are probably also aware of the Patriot Guard Riders. Thanks much for your service, and please Keep Those Blogs Acomin" !!


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