In early 2007 Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s Anbar Province, was one of the most violent war-torn cities on Earth. By late spring it was the safest major city in Iraq outside Kurdistan... Combat operations are finished in Ramadi. The American military now acts as a peacekeeping force to protect the city from those who recently lost it and wish to return... “Al Qaeda lost their capital,” Major Lee Peters said, “and the one city that was called the worst in the world. It was their Stalingrad...Says Totten:
“All the tribes agreed to fight al Qaeda until the last child in Anbar,” the Sheikh’s brother Ahmed told a Reuters reporter. Whether Anbar Province is freshly christened pro-American ground or whether the newly founded Iraqi-American alliance is merely temporary and tactical is hard to say. Whatever the case, the region is no longer a breeding ground for violent anti-American and anti-Iraqi forces...
Violence has declined so sharply in Ramadi that few journalists bother to visit these days. It’s “boring,” most say, and it’s hard to get a story out there – especially for daily news reporters who need fresh scoops every day" ...
I was greeted by friendly Iraqis in the streets of Baghdad every day, but the atmosphere in Ramadi was different. I am not exaggerating in the least when I describe their attitude toward Americans as euphoric. Grown Iraqi men hugged American Soldiers and Marines..."Anbar Awakens: Hell is Over," says Totten. [Hat tip Lindsay Perigo]
“Old school methods defeat insurgencies,” Captain McGee said, “not brute force or technology. The key is to kill existing terrorists and prevent additional recruitment. Al Qaeda must have a safe haven or they will barely be able to operate.”
That doesn’t mean they can’t operate at all, but it does mean they can’t control territory, work out in the open, or oppress others from above. They are hunted now and must spend an enormous amount of energy avoiding detection instead of stirring up trouble. The former would-be “liberators” [of Al Qaeda] have become hated fiends who lurk in the shadows and lash out in rage at the society that has rejected them. Victory for them, in this place, is all but impossible now.
“Having the Arabic press note that AQI [Al Qaeda in Iraq] is rejected by Sunni Arab Iraqis is better than any message we could ever put out,” Major Lee Peters said.
Great news, you would have thought. Something worth celebrating. Sadly not. It's awakenings like this that, for some reason, cut and run advocates would like to call a halt to. Go figure.
"Whatever the situation when we went in, international terrorists have chosen to make this the place for a showdown battle. We can win or lose that battle but we cannot unilaterally end the war. It is the terrorists’ war, regardless of where it is fought."
UPDATE: Thomas Sowell states the obvious for cut-and-runners:
"Whatever the situation when we went in, international terrorists have chosen to make this the place for a showdown battle. We can win or lose that battle but we cannot unilaterally end the war.And Gus van Horn points out some things even Sowell has missed.
It is the terrorists’ war, regardless of where it is fought."