PM Maliki and President Bush met again, but this time in Washington rather than Baghdad. They stood shoulder to shoulder and left little doubt that they were intent on beating terrorism and creating a safe, soverign Iraq.
"I have informed the President about the national reconciliation plan, which I have launched in order to attract more Iraqi forces which have not engaged in the political process yet. This initiative represents, in addition to building the Iraqi armed forces, one of the initiatives that will contribute to choking terrorism and defeating terrorism in Iraq." - PM MalikiOne of the many things that I appreciate about President Bush is that he relies heavily on the military to make military-related decisions. I'm sure that everyone can identify with this in their own way, when people who make decisions that have a great impact on you ask for your advice in making those decisions it's very appreciated. This is a quality of a good leader.
"And I explained to the Prime Minister that I'll be making my decisions based upon the recommendations of General Casey. And, obviously, the violence in Baghdad is still terrible, and, therefore, there needs to be more troops. In other words, the commanders said, what more can we do; how best to address the conditions on the ground. And they have recommended, as a result of working with the Prime Minister, based upon his recommendation, that we increase the number of U.S. troops in Baghdad, alongside of Iraqi troops. And we're going to do that." - President BushInnocent Iraq Children Get Wheelchairs
Thanks to a generous donation by Wheelchairs for Kids and ROC Wheels, US troops were able to deliver 12 wheelchairs to crippled Iraqi children. Sorry, you won't get a body count or smoking HMMWV here.
Iraqis Leading Reconstruction
Aziz showed up at the Q-West Base Complex Civilian-Military Operations Center with a wide grin and a unique story.The young boy told Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment and the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion about his family and his siblings, five of whom suffer from a degenerative disease.Abdul Karim, Bishra, Mahmoud, Ra’ad and Raija Salman, each received a new set of wheels in the form of pediatric wheelchairs donated by charitable organizations in the United States and delivered by the Soldiers June 29 here.
(full story by SGT Rachel Brune of 101st Sustainment BDE posted in comments)
For all of the money, time, energy and raw material that the Coalition is pouring into rebuilding Iraq, nothing is as effective as Iraqis doing it themselves. This story highlights the success that can happen when local Iraqi leaders step up and take the lead in rebuilding their own cities.
“We are going into areas in the northern sector of our area of operations, finding a large population who are putting the pieces back together on their own,” said Zaino.Operation Together Forward - Phase II
Last week, Zaino met with Sheik Mohammed for the first time and found he and the surrounding tribes were working on a joint project on their own to improve the water system in their area. Mohammed solicited help from the Obide, Guerarie, Jabor and Gueranie tribes, along with his own tribe to assist with the project.
As Coalition and ISF troops secure Baghdad the bad guys are fighting back. And that's ok. What's not ok is if we didn't rise to the challenge the bad guys pose and overcome them. If we curl up in the fetal position and complain that we shouldn't send more troops then the bad guys win. This is a necessary step in securing the city that is at the heart of victory for both sides. As MG Caldwell said, Baghdad is a "must win."
This brings up an interesting point. What about the rest of Iraq? The rest of Iraq is very peaceful, only 4 of Iraq's 18 provinces experience more than 1 attack per day. Could it be because Baghdad is the terrorist's last stand?