Griffs Notes 3/14/07

I was very disappointed to hear Ambassador Marc Ginsburg’s comments on Brian and the Judge this morning. He made the claim that “Anbar is worse off than it’s ever been.”

I respectfully disagree – and fear that the war in Iraq is well on its way to being lost in the media. It’s almost as if honest analysts like Ginsburg decided one day to ignore the actual news coming out of there… like a sitcom that has jumped the shark.

If it has been lost in the media, then the next shoe to fall will have a devastating effect of disconnecting the American people with the military. I sure hope that doesn’t happen. We as a nation did this to the last generation of war fighters and I am saddened to see us doing it again.

Take for example the recent trip by NBC anchor Brian Williams. He reported on the bad, but he also reported on the progress. Did anyone notice?

I’m not denying the reality of a war that has been going poorly in recent months. But to choose to ignore the reality of the current effort is as defeatist as anything to date.

So here are two different opinions of the situation on the ground.

This is an excerpt from the Fallujah Update from Maj. Dan Whisnant, 1/24 Alpha Company in the Fallujah Peninsula:

The month of February was short on days but it was a good month… because we saw the most progress in our zone to date and this progress will beget more progress in terms of safety and security for the Iraqi people of the peninsula.

Approximately 60 days ago, 20 insurgents surrounded a house of a family that is considered friendly to Americans. The Marines of 3rd platoon were able to fight off the 20 insurgents and the father and son that the insurgents were after were able to escape to a safe area of the peninsula. The man's wife and younger children remained in the house. Thankfully the insurgents left them alone while the husband and oldest son were gone. A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to keep our Marines at a forward patrol base in the heart of the peninsula. Some of the indigenous counterinsurgents and sheikhs that we are working with here on the peninsula asked me how long the Marines were going to stay

there. I told them as long as I needed to keep them there and if that meant until we went home - then so be it. They were obviously pleased with this answer and probably within 30 minutes the entire tribe knew. The cell phones were going absolutely nuts and you could almost see and feel the relief in their faces. It was understood - the Marines are

here to stay. Word quickly reached the father and son who had been the target of the insurgents and the father immediately looked at his son and said, "It's okay to go home now, the Marines are staying." Each time I recount this story I can't help but to get choked up at the power of the father's statement. I can't imagine what it was like for the lady who was the wife and mother of these two men when she saw them walking down the road towards their house in complete confidence that it was now safe because the Marines were nearby.

And here is an excerpt from a wire story today about the situation in Baghdad complete with this headline:

Iraqi, U.S. officials give cautiously optimistic report on Baghdad security operation

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Key U.S. and Iraqi officials on Wednesday issued cautiously optimistic reports one month into the latest drive to curb sectarian bloodshed in Baghdad but warned that months would pass before the operation could be labeled a success. Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, the U.S. military spokesman, also said the level of sectarian killings had dropped significantly in the month since the operation began. "By the indicators that the government of Iraq has, it has been extremely positive. But I would caution everybody about patience, about diligence. This is going to take many months, not weeks, but the indicators are all very positive right now," Caldwell said.

Seek the truth on your own. Never accept what people say at face value – even when you like them.

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