This is the type of news that isn't being broadcast, but it desperately needs to be. I know that some will say that the hostage rescue noted above is an isolated occurrence, but I would strongly disagree. The Congressional leadership and the MSM just don't seem to be interested in any of the good news found in the MNF-Iraq news releases (and, yes, the bad news is also in those MNF-Iraq news releases).
In a radio address in January of 2007, Senator Harry Reid said the following (emphasis mine):
Yesterday, in a letter to the President, the new Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and I expressed our hope the President will reject one idea he is reportedly considering - the so-called "surge option," where thousands of additional combat troops would be deployed to Baghdad.But, when one looks at the news not being presented to the American people, one sees a post-surge increase in security and Iraqis stepping-up to take responsibility for their future.
Based on the advice of current and former military leaders, we believe this tactic would be a serious mistake. These military professionals tell us there is no purely military solution in Iraq, there is only a political solution in Iraq. They say adding more U.S. combat troops in the middle of this civil war undermines our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for their future, and asks our already overstretched military to carry a burden the Iraqis should be shouldering themselves.
Coalition and Iraqi forces in northwestern Baghdad have stopped the cycle of violence there, and Iraqi citizens are resuming their lives in safe and secure neighborhoods, a Coalition commander in the area said today. [...]This isn't an instance of just finding one such story, though. There are many other examples of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future. You can check-out any of these from the past few weeks for yourself.
The effort got a huge shot in the arm in January when troops from the surge of additional forces began flowing into Iraq. The brigade fields five maneuver task forces, three of which came from surge forces. These units "gave us increased combat power and capabilities to do missions," Burton said. [...]
And the strategy is working. There has been an 85 percent reduction in violence in the region since May, Burton said. "Of our 95 mahalas, or neighborhoods, 58 of them are now considered under control," he said. "Thirty-three remain in a clearing status, with violence continuing to go down, and four remain in a 'disrupt' status."
Murders are down from a peak of more than 160 reported murders per week a year ago to less than five per week today. Improvised-explosive-device and small-arms attacks are down from a peak of 50 per week in June to less than five per week since the end of August, Burton said. Car-bomb attacks are down nearly 85 percent due to efforts aimed at the Karkh networks. These had a "tremendous impact on insurgents' ability to instruct and employ those types of weapons effectively," the colonel said.
Businesses are opening, people are moving back into the area, and local citizens are working to point out extremists and criminals, Burton said. [...]
Burton said he believes the Iraqi security forces will be able to capitalize on the gains made in the past few months. "The Iraqi security forces in all of our areas are working in partnership fully with us," he said. "In some areas, I've been able to reduce the number of Coalition forces and their responsibilities there so I can go out and move my forces into other areas to create increased effects, and we're developing plans to do that right now.
"The Iraqi security forces … are planning, and they are employing forces across their zone in partnership with us," he continued. "And there are some areas of our area of responsibility where I put limited Coalition forces in on a daily basis because the Iraqis have gained control of this."
Coalition, Iraqi forces work to halt cycle of violence in Baghdad - 14 October 2007
• Concerned Local Citizens turn in cache (Hawr Rajab) - 01 November 2007The same goes for hostage rescues. Terrorists continue to try to raise money by kidnapping Iraqis for ransom, but Iraqi and Coalition Forces are continually finding the terrorist kidnappers and freeing the Iraqi hostages.
• Concerned Local Citizens lead Coalition Forces to cache location (Al Buaytha) - 30 October 2007
• Iraqi citizens take stand against insurgents; aid National Police to discover cache (New Baghdad) - 30 October 2007
• Local citizens help Iraqi Security Forces seize terrorist weapons cache in Hillah - 29 October 2007
• Suicide bomber detonates upon discovery by CLCs (Muqdadiya) - 27 October 2007
• Concerned Local Citizens help round up suspected extremists (Hawr Rajab and Arab Jabour) - 27 October 2007
• Iraqis help their own with humanitarian aid - 16 October 2007
• Iraqi Security Forces rescue sheik hostages - 30 October 2007There are plenty of successes, and there is plenty of good news coming from Iraq. The same goes for Afghanistan. It isn't just a fluke that good things are happening, but those good things do seem to go against the desired narrative of the MSM and the leadership in D.C.
• Coalition Forces free hostage from al Qaeda (al Hammadi) - 30 October 2007
• Five hostages released, illegal prisons discovered in Baqouba - 19 October 2007
• 4th Iraqi Army Division accomplishes independent assault - 05 October 2007
None of our Troops should watch the news and wonder if the American people support them and the job they are doing. None of our Troops should catch a report about Iraq or Afghanistan and wonder if they are in the only AO with successes. But when I hear from people serving in Iraq and Afghanistan that they are happy to hear that there are many of us back home who support them and their mission, it speaks to how little coverage any of the good news is receiving.
The Troops and the American people deserve better. Hey, politicians and journalists, it's time to start telling the full story.
USMC 9971 OUT