Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rebirth of a Nation

You can’t help but see the winds of change in this country...

A couple months ago I wrote that the real story here was the progress being made toward a stable Iraq. I wrote about the rebuilding of the infrastructure and how American media focused only on the violence and unrest. There have been so many reports lately that solidify the progress being made here in Iraq, that not even the Democrats nor the media can hide it anymore.

More and more of this country is being run by the Iraqi government and that is great news for everyone. I have seen it with my own eyes and have heard it from our guys on the road. When the locals volunteer as Citizen Guards to help police the area and rid terrorists from their lands, it is a good day for all. When leaders and townspeople aid Coalition Forces in tracking down bad guys and locating weapons caches hidden in homes of insurgents, it is a good day for all.

Lt. General Odierno stated that “Concerned local citizens across Iraq are providing valuable information to the coalition and Iraqi security forces… bound together by a desire for piece and prosperity, the Iraqi people are overcoming differences to provide a better future for their children.” He went on to say, “These concerned local citizens are providing information coalition and Iraqi forces need to find extremists and weapons caches, stop financial support to terrorists and criminals, and stop sectarian violence.”

In my opinion, the main impact on this progress has been the increase in troops; the surge. My brothers and I have seen a large decline in violence in the past several months due in no small part to the efforts of the surge. The increase in troops was essential in quelling the violence and gaining an upper hand in the region which is what this country needed. By keeping troops here and fighting, we were able to gain the support of the government and locals alike.

By not pulling out when things were bad, we proved to the locals that we are dedicated to helping them rebuild for a better future. As such, they are helping us find and eliminate safe houses and interrupt enemy attacks.

In this past week in 2006, there were 143 attacks in and around Baghdad and more than 300 in the Anbar province. This year, there were less than 100 in and around Baghdad and 30 in the Anbar province!

This is good for me and for my brothers who must travel down the most dangerous highways in Iraq, through some of the worst parts of this country. I am eager for the rebirth of this country as it means it will be safer for our troops and that much sooner we all can come home.