Thursday, June 09, 2005


Remember "Operation Lightning" in Iraq? Heard much about it lately?

Well, it's still going on, but I haven't been able to find any coverage of these events in the MSM. I guess they're not important.

Iraq the Model provides the link, and it reminds me how much that blog meant to me in the early days after the Iraq war. I grew to trust the Fadhil brothers (although at the time I only knew their first names) far more than anyone I was reading in the American or European press.

This is what Mohammed at Iraq the Model had to say recently about the course of Operation Lightning:

Operation lightning is showing good results in Baghdad and its suburbs one week after it was launched and I guess that this good effect comes from the high coordination among the different departments of Iraqi security forces as well as the multinational forces.
The last 24 hours or so resulted in arresting some 300 terrorists and suspects in addition to confiscating amounts of weapons and munitions according to local papers and TV....

And later, this interesting remark of his: Generally speaking, Baghdad looks quieter these days .

As far as our press goes, though, Operation Lightening is aptly named--a sudden flash, and then gone. Or, to be literary about it, as Shakespeare's Juliet said,

...the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say 'It lightens.'

If this Iraqization campaign goes well, it could be one of the keys to the success of the entire enterprise in Iraq. Shouldn't we be hearing more about it either way--success or failure?

Many mock Iraqization, comparing it to the Vietnamization policy of decades ago. But was Vietnamization actually a failure? See this for a thought-provoking reassessment of what Vietnamization was, how it changed over time, and what ultimately may have caused it to fail. I can almost guarantee the information contained therein isn't anything you read about in the MSM of the time.


At 11:03 AM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

Amazing that down in Basra, a city of about 1.4 million people, there isn't much going on, other then reconstruction, business, pumping oil, unloading ships, raising families, etc etc. It must get real boring in Basra with no homicide bombers, no MSW trying to tell the world that all is lost in Iraq and utter chaos prevails and it is all Bush's fault.

At 11:32 AM, June 09, 2005, Anonymous robert aldridge said...

Sadly, Goesh, I've just read Steven Vincent's report on Basra in today's National Revue Online, and it makes me feel less up beat than you, or than I do reading Chrenkoff.

At 11:48 AM, June 09, 2005, Anonymous still hopeful said...

Over just the last couple of days, I’ve heard both Senator Joseph Biden and Congressman Harold Ford (Democrat, Tennessee) speak on the Imus show about their very recent trip to Iraq. Each said it was pretty much a disaster there. Biden went so far as to say that he’s getting close to saying we should withdraw. (Really.) Political posturing or...? Guess we’ll have to wait to see what Austin Bay says after his trip to Iraq — I think he’s heading there tomorrow.

In the meantime, he’s got a post (“The Ultimate Fisking”) that links to an article in The New Criterion, “The journalism of warfare” by Keith Windschuttle, that looks pretty interesting.

At 12:17 PM, June 09, 2005, Blogger knoxgirl said...

I too am still hopeful. There's good news out there still, and fortunately the people in charge of all this do not give up so readily when there's bad news.

As far as Biden's statements, I really expect no less from him. Democrats--with a few exceptions--have been naysayers from the start. If and when they ever have something good to say, it will truly be news.

In the meantime, the media makes sure to remind us constantly that the preordained "quagmire" status of Iraq remains fixed no matter how the situation changes or improves there.

At 12:26 PM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Goesh said...

In 3-4 years, MSM can hit the headlines with horror stories of common assaults and muggings and other civilized crimes in Iraq like we have here at home, eh? I don't suscribe to the notion that something is wrong if it isn't fixed and going smoothly in two years. I am reminded of the time I talked to a man building a house in viet nam. I asked him when he thought it would be done and he replied that probably his son would finish it. We recoil in horror at the bombs going off there, but they are still retrieving bodies from saddam's mass graves. We let ourselves get sucked into the hype of pending failure and chaos because we are fed a steady diet of it. Maybe we have some deep underlying prejudice and feelings that the Iraqi people are incapable of anything better, because we don't want to focus on other facts. I would be hard pressed to find out how many reconstruction projects have been completed by all agencies over there, but a quick click or two and I could tell you how many have died from bombs. I came across a site last week that reported the Corps of Engineers had just completed their 1000th project, a major school renovation.
I couldn't tell you how much oil has been pumped but I remember seeing a few months back some commentary on the traffic jams and the booming cell phone/computer business. Such things simply cannot develop amidst genuine chaos, anarchy and terror.
We maybe wonder why more Iraqi's are not reporting suspected terrorist activities. Well, for the same reason they couldn't speak out against saddam. There was a story reported of a man that was savagely beaten by some of saddam's thugs because he had thrown a newspaper article with saddam's picture into a garbage can along with some other things. What the media will not address is the fact that terrorists use the same methods. Does anyone really thing zaqwari's men are paying for their food and gas and cigarettes and soda? Does anyone think if they want to use someone's home for an observation post they ask permission? It works this way: they walk in, announce why they are there, record the names of family members, grab one of the kids, put a gun to his head and very calmly tell the head of the household that the whole family will get killed if they don't cooperate, and they are to tell neighbors a cousin has come to visit for a while. That's how terrorists develop safe houses in new neighborhoods. Gee! this reminds me of some of the witness intimidation techniques used by street gangs here in the good old USA. We ourselves do not quickly embrace change, yet we expect the Iraqis to do so?

At 1:29 PM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Dave Schuler said...

You also might want to take a look at this post from The Mesopotamian.

At 3:13 PM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Michael B said...

Another incisive post that helps lend some critical perspective. Similarly with Goesh's comments, especially so in alluding to the truly enormous changes Iraqis are negotiating, the daily courage they are exemplifying (e.g., recall those voting day, purple finger stories). It's humbling to consider what they are facing on a daily basis, much as it's humbling to consider the challenges our own troops and the coalition troops as a whole are facing.

Apt as well is the link provided to the ARVN reassessment at the tail-end of the post, a tell-tale signifier of just how deeply the Left's distortionist myths concerning that period continue to reverberate in our social/political conscience. The opening graph to that reassessment effectively summarizes this telling narrative:

"Americans know very little about the Vietnam War, even though it ended just over a quarter century ago. That is in part because those who opposed the war have seen it as in their interests to portray every aspect of the long struggle in the worst possible light, and indeed in some cases to falsify what they have had to say about it. This extends from wholesale defamation of the South Vietnamese and their conduct throughout a long and difficult struggle, to Jane Fonda's infamous claim that repatriated American prisoners of war who reported systematic abuse and torture by their captors were 'liars' and 'hypocrites.'"

At 4:30 PM, June 09, 2005, Blogger Solomon2 said...

I discussed Operation Lightning on my blog. This may be the last big push needed to break the Sunni-oriented terrorists.

No news from the MSM means good news; that's why ITM is so important.

At 10:00 PM, June 09, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you stick your fingers in your ears and say la-la-la-la-la, it will all be better.

You phoney hawks are going to have to face facts: we've lost.

Oh, and why ain't any of you over there fighting?

At 6:20 AM, June 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the practice of sticking 'fingers in your ears and say la, la, la,la' was created in Bing's Holywood LA-LA Land, taught to the unwashed masses by the permanent nasal-congested Huffington?

Sorry Wallyweird no can do, my ears are ringing so much from the sounds of liberty my fingers won't fit.

By the way we at home are fighting, and winning, against IslamicJihad Fascist's closest and all your anti-capitalist American Lefties including the Press.

At 7:37 AM, June 10, 2005, Anonymous j said...

keep your head sand.

"I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period," said 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y., the executive officer of McGovern's company, who sold his share in a database firm to join the military full time after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then."

At 9:24 AM, June 10, 2005, Anonymous Little Liberal Johnny said...

This is my first time checking out this blog, I stumbled across it on the right half of daoureport. I must say that I am not entirely impressed by the views, but it is the writing which will guarantee my non-return:

"But was Vietnamization actually a failure?...what Vietnamization was, how it changed over time, and what ultimately may have caused it to fail"

Asked and answered; simply brilliant.

At 10:09 AM, June 10, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burying one's head in the Washington Post will cause one to suffocate in Leftist propagandized do-do.

At 3:01 PM, June 11, 2005, Blogger Minh-Duc said...

The Iraqi Armed Force is being built from nothing. If it take the US 2 years to raise a US Army division, it will take more time to build the Iraqi Security Force.

Any military historian will concur that Vietnamization worked. The Confederacy at the end lost to the Union. Is this because its Army was incompetent? No. Hitler Germany lost to us. Their Armed Force was anything but incompetent.


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