Posted by Curt on 7 March, 2006 at 7:06 pm. Be the first to comment!

We all know and understand that a healthy Iraq is one where a stable Government is formed. While there have been many bumps in the road in completing that mission, the formation of a stable and professional military in Iraq is on course. Need proof?

AMONG the many positive stories you aren’t being told about Iraq, the media ignored another big one last week: In the wake of the terrorist bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, it was the Iraqi army that kept the peace in the streets.

It’s routinely declared a failure by those who yearn for the new Iraq to fail. But an increasingly capable Iraqi military has been developing while reporters (who never really investigated the issue) wrote it off as hopeless.

What actually happened last week, as the prophets of doom in the media prematurely declared civil war?

* The Iraqi army deployed over 100,000 soldiers to maintain public order. U.S. Forces remained available as a backup, but Iraqi soldiers controlled the streets.

* Iraqi forces behaved with discipline and restraint – as the local sectarian outbreaks fizzled, not one civilian had been killed by an Iraqi soldier.

* Time and again, Iraqi military officers were able to defuse potential confrontations and frustrate terrorist hopes of igniting a religious war.

* Forty-seven battalions drawn from all 10 of Iraq’s army divisions took part in an operation that, above all, aimed at reassuring the public. The effort worked – from the luxury districts to the slums, the Iraqis were proud of their army.

AS a result of its nationwide success, the Iraqi army gained tremendously in confidence. Its morale soared. After all the lies and exaggerations splashed in your direction, the truth is that we’re seeing a new, competent, patriotic military emerge. The media may cling to its image of earlier failures, but last week was a great Iraqi success.

This matters. Not only for Iraq’s sake, but because standing up a responsible military subordinate to an elected civilian government is the essential development that will allow us to reduce our troop presence in the next few years. Much remains to do – and much could still go wrong – but I, for one, am more optimistic after this visit to Baghdad.

Recall how a year ago the left were all a-twitter about how much of the military had been trained and calling the formation of the military a failure since if Gore had been in office then we would have trained 200,000 Iraqi soldiers in a few months……riiiight.

Seriously tho, the fact that the military performed admirably during a crisis is great news for the country as a whole. The formation of a stable government cannot be successful without the formation of a stable military.

The above article should be read in it’s entirety just for the fact that we are introduced to a Iraqi General who seems to have his act together:

Let’s go deeper and probe into the growth of Iraq’s army. On Saturday, The Post conducted an exclusive interview with the commander of Iraq’s ground forces. It was Lt.-Gen. Abdul Qadir’s first sit-down with the press – he’s been a busy man.

The general looks like a vigorous, good-natured grandfather in uniform. But his affable dignity masks a heroic past. An armor officer with extensive battlefield experience, Qadir stood up to Saddam, stating that his adventure in Kuwait was destined to fail. The reward for his integrity – the patriotism of the honest soldier – was seven years in prison. Only his history of combat valor saved him from death.

Now Saddam’s in prison and Qadir’s determined to build a better Iraq.

SITTING in his office in the Defense Ministry – an ornate building whose marble halls and crystal chandeliers predate Saddam – Qadir beamed with pride at the performance of his troops over the previous 10 days.

“Not one unit had sectarian difficulties,” he stressed. “Not one. And when we canceled all leaves after the mosque bombing – we expected trouble, of course – our soldiers returned promptly to their units. Now it is as you see for yourself: Iraqis are proud of their own soldiers.”

Any nation would rather rely on its own forces than on a foreign military in its streets – no matter how well-intentioned that alien force may be. I asked the general when he thought American troops should leave Iraq.

“We must not be in too great a hurry for you to go,” he said, stressing that patience and cooperation were crucial to ultimate success. American troop levels could be reduced in the next few years, but with over 40 years of military service – and as a member of an old Sunni-Arab military family – Qadir has no illusions about the challenges ahead.

Iraqi combat units have made significant progress, but sustaining that success depends on building a reliable logistics infrastructure, on building up communications and intelligence capabilities and on developing a training system that aims at Western standards.

Given the mess Saddam left behind, Qadir’s mission is formidable. And the progress to date is impressive to any knowledgeable observer.

Additionally it appears that even a the low man on the totem pole in the Iraqi army know’s what to call a terrorist. Something those in the media have trouble getting a handle on:

Building a military from scratch and changing its culture profoundly is incredibly difficult, yet Bolger’s impressed that, after some undeniable birth pains (before Bolger’s tenure), the Iraqi army’s development is accelerating impressively.

“We bail the Iraqis out less and less,” he told The Post, observing that the Iraqis want to do things by themselves – although they’ll need some U.S. support for the next few years. “They want us to make a long-term commitment,” he said, referring not to a heavy U.S. troop presence, but to a mutually beneficial strategic partnership.

Sitting behind his desk in a Spartan office in Baghdad, Bolger exploded another myth – that the new Iraqi military’s been infiltrated by militia members. “It’s actually hard to penetrate the army,” he said. “They’re not garrisoned locally, but mixed into truly national units and deployed around the country.” In the recent flare-up, sectarian issues had not been a problem in a single Iraqi unit.

Bolger mused about the terminology Iraqi officers employ. They refer to terrorists as “terrorists,” but call the native insurgents “criminals” and despise them. He stresses that the Iraqis have it right: “The criminal element is an underestimated element in the violence. A lot of these people are just predators.”

To be sure, the MSM have done their very best to bury Bush in the Iraqi war….without success. They have a huge ally in the fact that the American people are an impatient people. Americans need to understand that in a feat of this scale, patience is needed. We cannot go in, take it all over, and then hand the keys back. Just doesn’t happen this way, no matter what Hollywood will tell you.

Other’s Blogging:


To be sure, the MSM have done their very best to bury Bush in the Iraqi war….without success. They have a huge ally in the fact that the American people are an impatient people. Americans need to understand that in a feat of this scale, patience is needed. We cannot go in, take it all over, and then hand the keys back. Just doesn’t happen this way, no matter what Hollywood will tell you.

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