Friday, August 31, 2007

Iraq - al Qaeda defeated in Ramadi

The Times reports. Be sure and watch the video report as well.

"He helped to convert Ramadi from one of Iraq’s deadliest cities into arguably the safest outside the semi-autonomous Kurdish north. This graveyard for hundreds of American soldiers, which a Marine Corps intelligence report wrote off as a lost cause just a year ago, is where the US military now takes visiting senators, and journalists such as myself, to show the progress it is making. Ramadi will be Exhibit A when General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, appears before Congress in two weeks’ time to argue that the country as a whole should not be written off.

In Ramadi last weekend I did things unthinkable almost anywhere else in this violent country. I walked through the main souk without body armour, talking to ordinary Iraqis. Late one evening I strolled into the brightly lit Jamiah district of the city with Lieutenant-Colonel Roger Turner, the tobacco-chewing US marine in charge of central Ramadi, to buy kebabs from an outdoor restaurant – “It’s safer than London or New York,” Colonel Turner assured me. "

Yeah, that Ramadi. Read the whole thing and send a copy to a Democrat.

More here.

Think about that last one for a minute. Here's a report from a blogger embedded with the Marines. He's a civilian and paid his own way with donations from the public. Ask yourself then, why can't the BBC, with its 2 billion pound a year budget, do as well? On the other hand, maybe we should be thankful that the BBC stays put in a hotel given the BBC's track record.

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