BAGHDAD — The Coalition commander responsible for operations in the Iraqi capital is optimistic about what he has seen since operations to quell sectarian violence here started.Pray tell, Mr. Murtha, who claims to "support the troops more than anyone else," how can we expect to gain the trust of the "average citizen of Iraq," when you keep on telling them that you want us out of there?
Army Maj. Gen. James Thurman, commander of Multi-National Division - Baghdad, said forces have been concentrating on four major hot spots.
Essentially, the concept calls on Coalition and Iraqi forces to cordon off an area and search each street, house by house, Thurman said.
Al-Doura, a mixed Shiia and Sunni area, is one of the hotspots. The area had 20 sectarian murders one night before the operation started. The plan zeroes in on reducing the number of murders, kidnappings, assassinations and car bombs, Thurman said.
Al-Doura has about 135,000 people living in more than 16,000 homes. Iraqi forces carry most of the water in the operation. They search the mahalas – neighborhoods – that are causing the problems. “We’ve dropped the violence down to near nothing,” Thurman said.
The civil work is key to getting the Iraqis to stop the cycle of tit-for-tat sectarian murders. Iraqi officials in al-Doura are clearing the garbage from the streets, dismantling illegal roadblocks and engaging with district and neighborhood advisory councils. The people in the mahalas have confidence that life will improve for them, and that the government is the way forward, Thurman said.
Once the Iraqi security forces clear the neighborhood, Iraqi police hold the area and Iraqi officials work to ensure the essential services – electricity, water and sewage – are working in those areas. Other local officials work to ensure economic opportunity in the area.
“The Battle of Baghdad is about perception and building trust and confidence in the average citizen of Iraq,” Thurman said.
How can the "average citizen of Iraq" possibly trust our soldiers enough to help them with their mission, when folks like Congressman Murtha call for their premature "re-deployment", thus leaving the "average citizen of Iraq" to the devices of those who no are no doubt presently taking notes as to which families are currently helping our soldiers?
So is Mr. Murtha hurting our troops and their mission, and placing our troops in even greater danger via his call for a premature pullout?
You're damned right he is!
Even RINO Christopher Shays agrees:
Mr. Shays has little patience with those, like Rep. John Murtha, who insist that America's presence is only causing harm: "John Murtha knows that we left them with no army, no police, no border patrol. Now we've got about 40% of the country able to handle itself with new police, new border patrol, new army. . . . The [Iraqi] army is hungry to go into Baghdad and clean it up." Mr. Shays puts the case against immediate withdrawal in stark terms: "What is the message about America's resolve? If you kill 2,000 to 3,000 of our troops, we're out of there. That's a target that any terrorist can reach.All the more reason why Congressman Jack Murtha is downright dangerous. Dangerous to Iraqis who desire freedom. Dangerous to our troops' mission. And dangerous to the troops themselves.
He deserves nothing less than to lose this November, if not tried for outright sedition.