03 February 2007

The Situation In Iraq Is Challenging, But Winnable

That is according to U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Mark Fox, communications director for Multi-National Force, Iraq. I'm sure that you didn't catch that in any MSM accounts recently, and I wouldn't hold my breath for you to actually ever see that statement outside of the MNF-Iraq website and various blogs.

In the article on the MNF-Iraq website, Rear Adml. Fox had some interesting points about Iraq that would seem to provide a counter-point to much of the MSM's talking points.
"I draw hope from the fact that we are joined, not opposed, by the overwhelming majority of the Iraqi people in this struggle," Fox said. "In polling conducted in November, 89 percent of Iraqis nationwide agreed with the statement: 'My first loyalty is to my country rather than my sect, ethnic group, or tribe.'" [...]

"Last week, Iraqi forces in Najaf detected and assessed a significant security threat, realized they were outnumbered and facing an entrenched enemy, and did exactly what American forces are trained to do in that tactical situation: call for airpower," he said. "In the end, we killed 262 anti-Iraqi forces, and captured 411. We also recovered 11 mortar systems and enough heavy machine guns to show this was not a group of pilgrims." [...]

"Each time I travel outside the International Zone, I'm amazed that virtually every house in Baghdad has a satellite dish on the roof," he said. "While everybody focuses on the violence in Baghdad, rural Iraq has experienced a post-Saddam boom that is employing and putting cash in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi families."
We are usually told that there is nothing that we can do about the strife in Iraq because much of the fighting is due to Iraqis holding a greater loyalty to their religious or tribal identity, rather than their national identity. According to the poll that Rear Adml. Fox cited, that may not be so accurate.

We are usually told that the Iraqi forces are inept and unable to successfully perform in combat, generally resulting in a retreat from terrorist assaults. According to Rear Adml. Fox, it appears that 411 terrorists would need to disagree with that assement. The 262 dead terrorists probably won't be able to provide any comment on the situation.

We are usually told that Iraq is stuck in poverty and unemployment. According to Rear Adml. Fox's description of the economy outside of the IZ, that might be a slight bit overstated.

I'm not saying that Iraq is all puppy dogs and ice cream; it's far from that. A little reality in the expectations of the transformation of Iraq is necessary, however, along with a much more balanced coverage of all of the events taking place. It's not all good, but it most certainly is not all bad, either.


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