Bill Roggio, a journalist/blogger, recently returned from a two month stint of being embedded with our troops in Iraq. He has an eye opening post up right now that clears up so much of the confusion about what the war in Iraq is really like. Most of us know the main news networks, and the government lefties, paint a very grim picture of the war. Extreme violence, “civil war” everywhere, and the civilians don’t want our help, and don’t even want democracy. They use these made up facts, as reasons we should be withdrawing, instead of “surging”. But what is it really like?
On what the troops think, Bill says:
The average life of an insurgency is about nine years. In Iraq, the insurgents and al-Qaeda hope to wear down the will of the American government and people, and precipitate a premature withdrawal. When I talk to American troops about Iraq, their greatest concern isn’t for their safety, but they are worried the American public has given up on the war before they can complete their mission. They watch the news – CNN, MSNBC and FOX News are beamed into the mess halls, some even possess satellite dishes with access to BBC World, Al Jazeera and hundreds of programs at their fingertips. Internet is readily available in many areas. I surfed the web in the center of Fallujah on wireless Internet.
American troops watch the news and follow the debate in real time. They will tell you the war they see on television isn’t the war they are fighting. To the troops, the war as portrayed on television is oversimplified and digested into sound bites. The soldiers are portrayed as victims and the violence is grossly exaggerated.
And what is the motivation for insurgency? Why do they kill each other when, after all, Sunni and Shia are both Muslim? The terrorists do not want freedom, they do not want democracy, so they are waging a war against it:
The insurgency is designed to destroy any semblance of a democratically elected Iraqi government, and is directed at the developing Iraqi security forces, the Iraqi government and institutions, U.S. and Coalition forces, and against sectarian targets.
So how does this break down, in terms of the country itself? What about these claims that its “just a civil war, let them figure out their own problems”? Bill explains the complexities of the war, and how in each region and city, there actually very different enemies and very different battles taking place. Definitely read his whole post, but here it is in a nutshell:
1. Baghdad-largly sectarian violence, a place where Sunni, Shia and others all live together, Al Qaeda and other Sunni insurgents purposefully attack Shia civilians to provoke response and foment civil war, Muqtada Al Sadr’s radical Shia Mahdi Army roam Sunni neighborhoods, executing Sunnis, in order to stoke fires of a Sunni-Shia war
2. North of Baghdad-the Islamic Army in Iraq (Bin Laden supporters) attack U.S. and Iraqi Government
3. Anbar Province-cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, virtually no sectarian violence, Sunni’s actually protect Shia neighbors, the common enemy being Al Qaeda, who is “cleansing” the region of Shia; Al Qaeda is paying the really poor people of this area, who are desperately impoverished, and this is their biggest weapon; there is a large volume of attacks, but most fail; No U.S. presence in Fallujah other than U.S. embeds in the Iraqi police and army
Doesn’t sound as cut and dry as CNN would like you to believe, does it?
Al Qaeda still use a lot of resources to fight their jihad against the U.S. in Iraq. They work to unite the various Sunni insurgents under the “Islamic state of Iraq”. Of course, they fund these insurgents and further fuel the radical Shia fire.
But what about these Iraqi’s and their lack of desire for democracy we are always hearing about? Bill says this:
As brave as the American Marines [embedded in the Iraqi forces] are, their Iraqi counterparts outshine them. The police, who are local to the city, are specifically targeted by insurgents. Since the late sumer, 21 Iraqi police were murdered by insurgents. Their families are regularly threatened with violence. Several police officers told me how that while they were home they would sit with their backs to the door, AK-47 in hand, as they feared their homes would be stormed and their families would be killed.
The Iraqi Army lives inside the city in forward operating bases, without heavy weapons of their own. They depend on American air, artillery and mortars to bail them out when needed. The Iraqi soldiers, or jundi, patrol the streets on foot up to four times a day. Despite the fact that they, as Iraqis, are viewed as ‘occupiers’ by many residents of Fallujah, the soldiers have built their own intelligence networks. While on foot patrols in Fallujah, I watched as Iraqi soldiers were called into courtyards by residents who wanted to provide information on insurgent activity. The Fallujans, while terrified of the insurgents, are tired of the violence and wish to move on.
Go read the whole thing. Tell others. Spread the word any way you can, about how difficult and long this battle for our safety and battle for freedom really is.