March 01, 2007

Standing on Their Own: The View From Amiriyat al Falluja

While much of the blogosphere today seems focused on John McCain's announcement that he's zzzzz... ah, um, running for President (and being a putz), or which side of the blogosphere is the most profane, and the "professional" media is glued to Anna Nicole Smith's burial plans, Reuters has produced a story about the war in Iraq that seems to be having a very difficult time finding the front page.

Iraqi security forces killed dozens of al Qaeda militants who attacked a village in western Anbar province on Wednesday, during fierce clashes that lasted much of the day, police officials said on Thursday.

Sunni tribal leaders are involved in an escalating power struggle with Sunni al Qaeda for control of Anbar, a vast desert province that is the heart of the Sunni Arab insurgency in Iraq.

Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Karim Khalaf said foreign Arabs and Afghanis were among some 80 militants killed and 50 captured in the clashes in Amiriyat al Falluja, a village where local tribes had opposed al Qaeda.

A police official in the area, Ahmed al-Falluji, put the number of militants killed at 70, with three police killed.

If you read the entire article, you'll note something that should be of great interest to readers here in the United States: when al Qaeda attacked the village, residents of this Anbar province town turned not to the U.S. military to take back their homes, but Iraqi security forces, and it was these Iraqi security forces, with no U.S. military involvement at all, that crushed the al Qaeda attack.

Amiriyat al Falluja is only a small town in western Iraq, and it is by no measure the largest battle here in Anbar's past or future, but this battle still bears noting. Why? It is the embodiment of what both Democrats and Republicans should be hoping for in regards to the future of Iraq.

In this town, on this day, Iraqi soldiers and policemen fought a pitched battle against a sizable force of al Qaeda fighters, and prevailed without our guidance, and without our intervention. They won this battle convincingly, standing on their own. What's more, the local citizens trusted them to be able to do so.

This is perhaps an isolated incident in an isolated corner of the western Iraqi desert, but it is, after all, exactly what we've hoped for. Iraqi policemen and soldiers came through for their fellow Iraqi citizens, and carried the day. We've been waiting for such news for four long years.

It's a shame that few of us in this country seem destined to ever hear about it.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at March 1, 2007 02:03 PM

This sort of story is always downplayed, although it did make it to CNN. Most Iraq stories are leading with the Hard Landing story.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at March 1, 2007 04:10 PM

Confirming news of improving conditions is important. Al An Bar and Baghdad appear to be improving. We'll have to wait and see, though.

Posted by: CoRev at March 1, 2007 05:15 PM

One step at a time, brother, one step at a time.

Two great points here, though. 1)As you mentioned the locals went to the Iraqi forces for help. This demonstrates the locals' confidence in their national forces. and 2)The Iraqi forces kicked butt. Working as a team to protect their homeland against Taliban scum.

oh yeah, almost forgot: And 3)They were trained by who?

Posted by: joated at March 1, 2007 08:01 PM


Ah yes, days of ANS's disposal trial, Britney and the scalping, local car chases and liquor store thefts - that's all that is in the news recently.

Things must really be looking up overseas! Congrats to our Armed Services! :)


Posted by: Mike at March 1, 2007 08:09 PM

Hey, wait: isn't Reuters part of the MSM? Then the story must be a lie, right? Has anyone checked the sources? I'm wondering whether Qassim Moussawi actually exists. And isn't the end of his name kind of like Zarqawi's? That's pretty suspicious right there. Finally, the skintone on that girl "greeting American soldiers" looks mighty 'Shoppy to me.

Posted by: Doc Washboard at March 1, 2007 08:59 PM

This story is great, but doesn't it show just how low the bar is? We're getting excited because Iraqis are defending themselves and each other against foreign terrorists, and taking responsibility for their own preservation. Baby steps.

Again, I don't want to downplay this (like I just did, I guess) but while The Awakening is good for us and bad for AQ, it doesn't make us all drinking buddies once the smoke clears.

Posted by: paully at March 1, 2007 09:30 PM

Just trying to help get the word out.

Posted by: Larry at March 1, 2007 11:23 PM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 03/02/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Posted by: David M at March 2, 2007 11:15 AM

My concern is the 'accuracy' of the report. How do we know that the figures quoted are in fact reflective of what happened on the ground ?

Are there any US military units that have confirmed the Iraqi accounts from first-hand observations ?

If not, perhaps a few grains of salt might be in order. I would like nothing better than to have 70 Al-Queda scum in the ground, but Iraqis have been known to, shall we say, 'enhance' reality when it suits them.

And it tends to suit them quite a bit.

Just saying---

Posted by: dougf at March 2, 2007 11:42 AM

Its al-Reuters. The thing has been pre-spun as bad as possible and still came out looking good.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at March 2, 2007 04:11 PM