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Michael Ubaldi, December 5, 2004.
 

Look up Mosul in the news and headlines are blaring with the results of a few attacks on Allied and Iraqi forces. Nowhere in that lineup is this, from Mosul:

Iraqi Security forces and Multi-National Forces decisively defeated anti-Iraqi insurgent attacks in western Mosul Dec. 3, thwarting attempts to seize police stations and destabilize the city.

Four Mosul police stations came under attack by indirect fire and small arms fire during coordinated attacks by insurgent fighters. The Iraqi Police at these stations successfully repelled these attacks preventing a reoccurrence of the events of Nov. 10 when many stations were abandoned and later looted.

Insurgents also attempted a large-scale ambush of a Stryker patrol along a 2 km. stretch of road with eight to 10 roadside bombs and an estimated 70 insurgent fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47s and machine guns. A patrol from 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment quickly maneuvered to engage the insurgents and later broke contact to conduct a deliberate offensive operation to clear the ambush site of insurgent fighters.

Shortly thereafter, MNF and ISF executed a large scale offensive operation to restrict the freedom of movement of insurgent fighters and clear the pockets of resistance. While clearing the area, Soldiers received significant enemy fire from a nearby mosque. Iraqi Security Forces cleared the mosque eliminating the enemy while finding a large cache of weapons that consisted of RPG rounds, anti-tank grenades, and machine guns. Soldiers also engaged in multiple direct fire situations defeating the insurgent fighters each time.

The combined ISF and MNF offensive operation quickly reestablished security in the city.


I've established a method for reading news from Iraq: glance over media reports, then head over to Central Command to read what the press left out.

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, December 3, 2004.
 

Good news in Iraq is bad news for most on the left, especially those politically inclined reporters forced to publicize it, but that in turn is good news for the rest of us. After his double-take, Craig Brett made note of an overwhelmingly positive report from the once gang-ridden slum of Baghdad's Sadr City. To the west, Iraqis will be able to look forward to leading the reconstruction of Fallujah (Hat tip to Chester).

Meanwhile, the country's electrical production has benefited enormously from the West's technological superiority and now produces, according to a senior Army engineer, more than has been possible since "the bulk of the 1990s." (A shortage that was not, as we know, from any lack of funds.) A continuing challenge to Iraq's grid is Iraq's economy, providing citizens with electrical appliances never possible under Saddam Hussein's forced poverty — which has checked each increase in generation with increased demand. But as Ali Fadhil of Iraq the Model has said, most Iraqis recognize this as a manageable problem and the consequence of improvement in their quality of life.

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, December 1, 2004.
 

The politically suspect International Red Cross again tries to tarnish the reputation of the United States military but the military is too busy building a reputation for kindness with the strongest stuff:

The worst case Staff Sgt. Robert Trahan has seen at his medical clinic since being here has been a gunshot wound to the stomach which resulted in evisceration. After the patient arrived in Trahan's Troop Medical Clinic (TMC), he was stabilized and bandaged up. Currently, the man is in the intensive care unit, but he is stable. This medical maneuver is an accomplishment for the staff, but this was no ordinary patient.

This man was an insurgent.

"Everyone has their rules of engagement, and the health care profession of the Army is no different," said Trahan, the clinic's noncommissioned officer in charge with Charlie Med, 199th Forward Support Battalion of the 256th Brigade Combat Team. "Whatever happens out there doesn't matter, once the Soldier or insurgent hits our door, they become our patient. It's our job to care for them and do everything possible to save their life."


In the spring of 2002, when a wave of Yasser Arafat's merciless intifada claimed the lives of scores of innocent Israelis and foolish Palestinians, I was struck by an observation made on television: murder-bombers whose payload had failed to detonate completely, not killing but maiming them, were rushed to hospitals where Israeli doctors would fight to save their lives. It was standard practice, whereas Jews who might so much as take a wrong turn in Arafat's territories could expect to be beaten or killed.

An argument of moral equivalence between combatants is most easily scythed by presenting an example of each side in question given the opportunity for extending mercy to an incontestibly helpless enemy. The now widely publicized slide show tour through Fallujah's blood cult clubs is more than is necessary to remind us that American soldiers will always give better than they get.

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, November 30, 2004.
 

Security in An Najaf Province is now directly under Iraqi control.

SORRY, BOYS, THAT'S THE WAY IT GOES: Craig Brett notes that the New York Times recently declared Iraqi security forces unworthy of...what the Marine Expeditionary Force just gave them. And if the Times were to protest that the article didn't claim An Najaf's security forces to be "foundering," well then, why wasn't that made clear in the rather sweeping lede?

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, November 29, 2004.
 

Iraq's security forces received another helping hand from an otherwise politically threatening and threatened neighbor:

A company from the Iraqi Army’s 17th Battalion, 7th Brigade, 5th Division, commenced bilateral training at the Mubarak Military City training facility near Alexandria, Egypt Nov. 25, as the Iraqi government continues the security forces training effort.

The three-platoon company of 134 Soldiers – training with the Egyptian Army’s 3rd Division, Northern Command – will negotiate individual movement technique, squad movement, land navigation, basic rifle marksmanship, rifle qualification, and platoon and company attack and defense training including live fire exercises with their Egyptian counterparts.


In rather uncomplicated terms, the United States' old Cold War ally regimes in the Near East are strengthening the entity that will at least indirectly cause the undoing of their dictatorial reigns. So be it: however obligatory, killed with kindness will do.

ALSO: Central Command's website received a bit of a facelift. The same invaluable information, now with a sleeker look!

ON THE OTHER HAND: Iraq's dictatorial neighbors work best for the country when they do what they're told; not when they slyly offer fatal advice.

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, November 29, 2004.
 

While you've heard it everywhere but here, one more observation is warranted. As hoped for, Fallujah was a terrific loss for the Near East's fascists:

Sunni insurgents backing Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi have expressed alarm at the prospect of a defeat by the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

...Islamic sources said that for the first time in more than a year the Tawhid and Jihad group led by Al Zarqawi appears to have lost control over many of its insurgents in the Sunni Triangle. The sources said Iraqi and U.S. assaults on major insurgency strongholds in such cities as Baghdad, Fallujah, Mosul, Ramadi and Samara have resulted in heavy insurgency casualties and a break in the command and control structure.


And with the loss of an entire capitulative city, terrorists have no choice but to forcibly lodge themselves into another host city — such as Mosul, where proper Iraqi authorities face persistent, if desperate and ultimately ineffective, challenges. With President Bush in office for another four years, the specter of America volunteering its own defeat within six months is gone; with Fallujah a success of direct and decisive force, Allied will is again an unquestionable property. The only hope for authoritarians fighting against a democratic Iraq is a societal breakdown: submission or embrace. Neither is likely. Barbarous attacks on civilians and security forces leave Iraqis more resolute, even in spite of local setbacks, and the nature of insurgents is never obscured for too long:

Since many mosques are large, walled, complexes, they lend themselves to being military bases. Technically, this sort of use is forbidden under Islam, but in times of unrest in Iraq, mosques frequently become centers of military activity. So the government has dropped any pretense of mosques being off-limits. As a result, mosques are now regularly being raided. In southern Baghdad, a mosque was found to house a suicide car bomb workshop, which had seven cars rigged and ready to go. That's a weeks worth of car bomb attacks in Baghdad.


And that's the totality of the enemy whose allies in Iran are now facing direct warnings from American four-star generals. Iraq's social and political life continues to move forward, the natural foundation of civility we should have expected; the forces of rule through strength can again be recognized as obsolete, doomed to extinction.

'ARE YOU A CRIMINAL OR A TERRORIST? YOU WILL FACE PUNISHMENT': W. Thomas Smith, Jr., follows Allied troops working hand-in-hand with Iraq's finest in Iraq's difficult central region:

Col. Ron Johnson, commander of the 24th MEU, tells NRO that the operations have been seamless and effective. "We can tell by the reaction of the enemy," he says. "We can tell by the increase in their activity, for example the fever pitch at which they're laying IEDs [improvised explosive devices]. We're starting to suffocate them, and they're panicking. We have a large target list, and we're going to continue to stay after them."


Doomed to extinction.

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, November 26, 2004.
 

Ali, Mohammed and Omar Fadhil, in Baghdad, made public their desire to confront the government and change it by their chosen means. Two years ago, the three would have been incarcerated on the spot. God knows what would have happened to them.

In liberated Iraq, the three had their political party officially registered and were welcomed into Iraqi politics. The Fadhils' Iraqi Pro-Democracy Party is one of 127 nascent political parties, and counting.

Want to show your support for the work of America, her allies and the brave people of Iraq? Donate and make an investment in Iraq's peaceful and prosperous future.

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, November 22, 2004.
 

Ali has noticed that some Western academics opposed to the liberation of Iraq are getting their history from Saddam's library.

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, November 22, 2004.
 

The steady assembly of the new Iraqi air force has been underway for months. What to make of this:

The United Arab Emirates delivered four Comp Air 7SL aircraft to Basrah Air Base Nov. 13 to be used by the Iraqi Air Force. The aircraft were a gift to help Iraq’s air force continue to build its operational capability. Three more Comp Air aircraft will be delivered within the next two weeks.

The Comp Air 7SL, built by Aerocomp Inc., is a light turbo-prop aircraft that has six seats and a sensor suite enabling it to have a reconnaissance capability, although current intentions see them being used in a utility role. The seven aircraft represent one half of a gift from the U.A.E. and will be augmented by four Bell Jet Ranger Helicopters in late December.

So far four Iraqi air force pilots have completed training on the Comp Airs in the U.A.E.. Comp Air continuation training will be based out of Basrah until new facilities are completed at Baghdad International Airport at the end of January 2005.


While the Emirates is on friendly terms with the United States, its relationship is nowhere near the qualified strategic relations of, say, Jordan. Has the U.A.E. seen the writing on the wall?

IN OTHER NEWS: A Civil Military Operations Center has been established in Fallujah to direct reconstruction efforts and facilitate the return of residents. The military makes a point to note that "there are no indications of a humanitarian crisis or shortage of relief supplies." Meanwhile, the 701st Main Support Battalion just finished building the first girls' school in Tikrit, where "the girls were very interested in speaking to the female officers and had many questions about their leadership roles in the US military." German donations played a vital role.

 
 
 
 
Michael Ubaldi, November 22, 2004.
 

The 1st Marine Division has released a statement this morning:

Marines from the 1st Marine Division shot and killed an insurgent, who while faking dead, opened fire on the Marines that were conducting a security and clearing patrol through the streets here at approximately 3:45 p.m. on 21 November.


There appears to be another statement implied, one directed to certain individuals placing themselves in positions of condemnation, but if I'm correct as to what it is, I don't believe it's appropriate to repeat here.

Subtlety, they say, is the art of saying a lot with a little.