Skip to comments.Email from Iraq
Posted on 08/28/2007 9:42:43 PM PDT by do the dhue
It's been another successful couple of weeks in my area of operations. My Soldiers continue to impress me on a daily basis, making me proud as they work hand-in-hand with our Iraqi Army and Police counterparts, and secure the population in and around Baqubah.
Much of our progress in the past two weeks has been focused on the non-lethal fight. As you know, our fight does not just include bringing terrorists to justice, but includes assisting the provincial and local governments form a functioning government that upholds the rule of law and provides assistance to its citizens. When we arrived to Diyala province, virtually all government functions, from providing fuel and food to developing a budget had ceased. Some areas were without food or fuel for six to 10 months. Medical supplies were lacking in local hospitals and people were not able to receive treatment. Electricity, if there was any, was supplied for only a few hours a day. Teachers were not receiving salaries; and water was not flowing into several villages throughout the province. The provincial government only used two percent of its 2006 budget and stopped meeting for months, forcing people to lose hope in the possibility of services during 2007.
It is a difficult battle to fight, but just because it is difficult, it is not impossible. In fact, it is the complete opposite. And for that, I have my Soldiers to thank. They have poured their hearts and souls into their engagements with the local population - learning the needs of the people and encouraging them to become part of the political process, part of the solution. As I've said before, no foreign army has ever defeated a counterinsurgency on its own - it takes the desires of the people. Day by day, they continue to realize this, and it is evident in our successes in the non-lethal fight we face. The people are now receiving food and fuel, and the provincial council has resumed their meetings, completing the 2006 budget and approving the 2007 budget.
The Diyala governor now holds regular meetings with each of the town's mayors, allowing them to address the issues of their people, but also allowing the governor to hold the mayors accountable for issues they should have solved at their level. He also makes regular trips to Baghdad, fighting with the Government of Iraq for solutions to revive the essential services that are a necessity for his people. Governor Ra'ad also continues to attend meetings with the local tribal leaders and sheiks, as they are the true representatives of their people. This past week, Ra'ad traveled to the town of Abara in the Diyala River Valley, to meet with local leaders and security officials to address their concerns. It was truly encouraging as it was the governor's first opportunity to travel to other villages since the security situation has improved. Though he is from Abara, Ra'ad had not traveled to the area since taking office. Again, this is another sign of hope for the future for this province that has seen so much hatred and destruction.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been doing outstanding work throughout the province, working with the Director General of Electricity to rebuild electric substations across Diyala. Their primary focus right now is to tackle generator projects in villages that aren't connected to the main power grid which is resources from Iran. In most of the province, however, the people are able to receive approximately 12 hours of electricity - a good 50 percent improvement since our arrival.
Fuel, which had not been delivered to the province in approximately 10 months, has also seen great improvements. Both private and government stations suffered from a lack of fuel shipment, however, last week the province received over 50 trucks of fuel that were distributed across the major cities. With the fuel shipment, families will now have fuel to run their generators and operate their vehicles. This fuel shipment was a major success as it allows the people to see their government is working to address their issues. As these issues continue to be addressed, the people are gaining more and more faith in their government, therefore driving their will to succeed and join the process toward a free and democratic society.
Another large success was the distribution of food rations, another essential service the people have not seen for months. For the first time since our arrival, all of the major cities are receiving their subsidized food rations. The warehouses are filled to the roof with sugar, flour, tea, rice and other food items - all of which is a sure sign of hope for the future.
While there is still a long way to go, I am in awe of how much we have accomplished since our arrival - how much my Troopers have impacted a society that knew nothing but fear and violence for years. I truly have the best fighting men and women in the world, and consider myself blessed to serve alongside them and lead them on a daily basis.
Our operations also continue to be a huge success as we target the terrorists who try to destroy the peoples' hopes for a secure future. In the Diyala River Valley, my Soldiers conducted an operation targeting three villages which were known al-Qaida safe havens. As a result of the operation, eight terrorists were "brought to justice" and another nine were detained. In addition, my Troopers discovered and destroyed three vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices and one house-borne IED, both of which could have created a great deal of damage to the population, the ISF or our Troops. We continue to prove that the terrorists have no where to hide and they will be brought to justice.
This past Thursday was a vital day in the history of Diyala. Iraq's Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, visited the province for the first time since taking office. During his visit, he received an operational update from the Iraqi Security Force leadership and met with government officials throughout the province to discuss provincial-level issues. Several key tribal members, as they are representatives of the people, were also in attendance. Maliki stressed the importance of unification, tribal reconciliation and thanked the people, government and security officials for their efforts to rise above al-Qaida. This meeting was important as the will of the government drives the hope of the people. It showed the people that both the central and provincial governments care deeply and are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for their people. The visit, along with recent operations by my Soldiers, continue to restore that hope - a hope that al-Qaida tried to destroy, but couldn't.
As we continue this fight, I have had to face many decisions - decisions that don't just affect my life, but affect the lives of my Soldiers and the people of this country. I know that when making these decisions, I have a choice about what my responsibilities are and how I go about fulfilling them. Knowing this, I bring my faith in God that works through me in all situations. I bring my enthusiasm for life, my faith for the future, and my willingness to not only lead, but learn from the situations I face. In all this, I know that God's Spirit is within me and flowing through me. He is with me and my Soldiers on this journey; and in Him, I trust that His will be done as I am a vessel to spread His unconditional love on my Soldiers and the people we are here to help.
In closing, I want to thank my family for their unconditional love and support.
Lots of love,
This is why I will be in Washington DC on September 15th to show my resolve. Our Troops didn't lose their will during Vietnam, we the people lost our will. Actually, we let commie traitors like Hanoi Jane steal it from us. ANSWER, CODE PINK, MAS, CAIR, and others will be trying to do the same on September 15th. We need to show up and support our Troops. We must show our enemies (foreign and domestic) that we will not let our efforts be done in vain.
Our Troops have done an outstanding job in Iraq. I am damn proud of them and I support them. I will not waver, tire, falter, or fail.
Bump to the top.
This email is another good reason why you should show your support in Yuma!
And thank you for standing a post!!
I hope he stays safe, and that he knows that millions of americans still support him and the troops, and pray for the lives of everyone fighting for a better iraq everyday. I hope he does not get discouraged by the media in our country, or the liberal traitors in congress and on tv, but that he knows he is on the righteous side of this battle, and that the combined weight of support people like me feel for you outweight significantly the malevolence that other anti-americans and the terrorists feel.
Thanks so much for the ping.
Consider it done and thank you for the reply.
And none of this would’ve been possible without the efforts of a majority of the 3rd Stryker Brigade!
The one thing the LOVE Itself needs more of in this world,
...for GOD is LOVE,
...is more LOVE.
And that only comes when people are FREE..!!
MEL’s -PASSION- sparked by -WE WERE SOLDIERS-
Morning Ronnie. How are you doing?
God bless all our brave troops.
After Sen. TED KENNEDY pushed a post-WATERGATE Democrat Congress into cutting off all our funding for the then Free South Vietnamese People to fight for their own Freedom with during the Vietnam War ..horridly came:
Pictures of a vietnamese Re-Education (SLAVE LABOR) Camp
..”JOURNEY from the FALL”.. MoviePremieres = Fall of Saigon CLARITY..
All with the support of America’s Anti-Freedom Activists:
RAMSEY CLARK (21st Century’s SADDAM Defense Attorney)
What price is left for the still Free (that’s US) to pay now,
...in a new time of war
...in a new century
...with our own Freedom
...directly at stake
...right here at home,
with HILLARY RODHAM & WILLIAM CLINTON pushing hard to re-take our precious Oval Office..?
Just glad to be here, mad_as_he$$.
Thanks for the post and, thanks to our men and women who are laying their lives on the line every day in protecting the Iraqi people and, all Americans!!
Keep up the good work Ronnie!