WEEK 13 – 11 Feb 07
From half way around the world, most of the US pundits and politicians are saying this is the last chance. At times, all of the negativity can be distracting and, if one is not mindful, even demoralizing. Whether it is Iraq’s last chance is up in the air, but we don’t need to worry about the decision. It is not ours to make.
Despite the unrelenting violence, we have a slight glimmer of optimism radiating from the streets. This is due in part to the United States committing more troops to the fight and to the Coalition Forces current efforts to energize the Government of Iraq to provide the people with services and economic opportunity. We need to continue these efforts and we need to continue to engage the local political and military leaders.
Karkh District Joint Security Station Calling Card
Last week, I noted we had some momentum by continuing to partner with our Iraqi brothers in arms to conduct joint patrols. For the people in the streets, this cannot happen fast enough even though our Brigades are going fast and pressing hard to complete the Joint Security Stations and to conduct more patrols.
Most importantly, however, the Government of Iraq is showing signs of coming together. For the past two weeks, the government has communicated the intent behind the Baghdad Security Plan to the Baghdad citizens. The Prime Minister’s motivating comments to his commander’s made the news. The Iraqi Security Forces are now securing the hospitals.
Finally. Almost a year after the Samarra Mosque bombing, some signs of healing and reconciliation are appearing. But, be warned.
Some of these actors are the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing and will turn on us. The insurgents, especially Al Qaeda, will not let up because they too believe this is a watershed year. They will bring the fight to the Iraqi people, the Iraqi Security Forces and us. The next couple of months will be extremely violent and deadly for all. The enemy will fight and so will we.
Soldiers fight for each other more than anything else. If we fight beside our Iraqi brothers and they beside us, we’ll win. The tide will continue to turn.