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Deeds Not Words

For all those who say that Iraqis do not know what to do with the freedoms we have enabled for them, we offer the poignant and definitive counterpoint made by an anonymous Iraqi citizen:

FOB HAMMER, Iraq - An Iraqi man saved the lives of four U.S. Soldiers and eight civilians when he intercepted a suicide bomber during a Concerned Citizens meeting in the town of al-Arafia Aug.18.

The incident occurred while Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, were talking with members of the al-Arafia Concerned Citizens, a volunteer community group, at a member's house.

"I was about 12 feet away when the bomber came around the corner," said Staff Sgt. Sean Kane, of Los Altos, Calif., acting platoon sergeant of Troop B, 3-1 Cav. "I was about to engage when he jumped in front of us and intercepted the bomber as he ran toward us. As he pushed him away, the bomb went off." […]

"[The Iraqi citizen] could have run behind us or away from us, but he made the decision to sacrifice himself to protect everyone. Having talked with his father, I was told that even if he would have known the outcome before hand, he wouldn't have acted differently."

"I spoke with the father," [D Co. Commander Gilbert] said. "He said he has no remorse in his son's death because he died saving American Soldiers."

Later that night, the Concerned Citizens group contacted the local National Police director, Lt. Col. Samir, with the location of the al-Qaeda cell believed to be responsible for the attack. The National Police immediately conducted a raid that resulted in four arrests.

Selfless sacrifice, not just for his fellow citizens, but for the men he viewed as liberators not occupiers. It would seem that the Arab ability to shake off the yoke of dictatorial oppression is a lot easier than some have estimated. More to the point, it serves as a reminder that steadfast, resolute defense of life, liberty and equality for all men, is indeed recognized universally as something forth fighting and dying for.


"Deeds not Words" indeed!

Just heard that Bush compared Iraq to Vietnam. How do you like that after all the abuse I received on this site when I did the same thing! Bush was saying that a precipitous pull out would result in a bloodbath similar to what happened in Southeast Asia. Bush was implying that victory is in hand and all we need is staying power something we failed to do in Vietnam. Interestingly, he is probably right. General Giap, before he died, indicated that a continued assault on North Vietnam would have force them to capitulate---maybe a month or two more of steady bombing would have done it! Some how I believe that Giap was telling the truth. And Kissinger knows it too and thus his advice to Bush to maintain the pressure on the enemy. The only difference is in Vietnam we fought an army----In Iraq we're fighting an ideological insurgency----does it make a real difference?

Nice Piece Michael. It continues to really bother me that I don't see this leading the AP or any of the networks EVER.

If I need one word to sum up their reporting on Iraq it would be irresponsible.

To placate my liberal friends and family, I should add to my previous comments that if the US hadn’t intervened in Vietnam over a 20-year period (starting with DDE), the ensuing blood bath might have been a little less intense. But then, as my liberal friends would say----conservatives rarely confuse the issue with facts!

I’m back again. Going back in history, I believe President Bush may have selected the wrong comparison. He should have used the Philippines in lieu of Vietnam. The US invaded the Philippines under President McKinley and the ensuing “insurgency” caused much discontent at home. But McKinley and his administration ignored it. Within 5 years the insurgency was put down and the population was ”pacified”-----and the rest is history!

Good observation Blackpeare. But also, as I remember my history of Vietnam, had DDE and John F. Dulles chosen to assist Ho after Dien Bien Phu, instead of ignoring his pleas, the conflict might not have blown up as it did.

"The end of state-craft"

The O’Hanlon-Pollack Iraq trip report provides 13 pages of detail about their findings. In sum, their report confirms what Westhawk and other analysts concluded many months ago, namely that American company and field-grade military commanders are establishing useful relations with local Iraqi leaders across the center of Iraq. This has resulted in excellent results against al Qaeda in Iraq, some progress against the Shi’ite Mahdi militia, and some local economic and political development.

Meanwhile, Messrs. O’Hanlon and Pollack report that political progress inside Baghdad’s Green Zone remains nonexistent. Beyond the failure of Iraq’s central government, there is little evidence of cooperation or improving relations among low-level leaders across Iraq’s sectarian boundaries.

The authors recommend that the U.S. government “reinforce success, not failure” by focusing its efforts on local and decentralized operations and objectives.
This matches long-standing Westhawk advice.
The authors also suggest that the U.S. government:

… explore how the United States might fall back from the current strategy in more limited ways, for example allowing ethnic consolidation and displacement in some zones that are hard to preserve in their current multiethnic form while preventing that process from escalating.

Advice Westhawk suggested again just a few days ago.

Writing today at the Belmont Club, Wretchard posted his analysis of the Iraq trip report, which included this view: