The war against Al Queda in Iraq is certainly not at all over. Just last week I had a conference call w Brigadier General Simeon Trombitas, the Director of the Counter-Terrorism Transition Team in Iraq. It was an amazing experience. With communications radios from on-going operations barking jibberish in the background of the joint counter-terrorism operations headquarters, he described how impressive the Iraqi and other Coalition counter-terrorism forces have become.
General Trombitas was in El Salvador during its asymetric civil war in the 80’s. He went on to work with Special Operations Forces in counter-insurgency training and operations throughout Central and South America, then Korea, and elsewhere. Asked by another interviewer on the call if the training, tactics, etc were transferable from one nation and region to another, he was emphatic that it was completely transferable. Later in the discussion, he described how those same nations (nations he’d incidentally, personally helped train in counter-terrorism operations) had sent hundreds of their best counter-terrorism troops to Iraq. These troops from Central America, from Korea, and elsewhere worked hand-in-hand with Iraqi and American Special Operations Forces in the operations up in Mosul where Al Queda in Iraq was trying to make a final stand.
General Trombitas was also asked about the quality of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF), and how well they work with American Special Operations Forces? Apparently, the Iraqis are armed, equipped, and trained like the Americans. “Standing side-by-side,” said General Trombitas “you’d be hard-pressed to pick out who was an American and who was an Iraqi.” They’re armed and equipped the same way. They’re training is often very similar, and their attitude is completely the same.
I asked him what he’d like the world to know about the men and women in his command? It was the only question presented during the call that he went back to expand upon. General Trombitas would like us all to know just how impressive, professional, dedicated, and committed the thousands of people he works with really are. Without a scent of being political at all, he sounded completely genuine when he praised his friends from Korea, Central America, South America, and from Iraq. What got me most, however, wasn’t his kudos for those commandos. No-what got me most was the way the man spoke, and THAT’s what said it most of all.
At the outset of the call, he moved to a conference call where radio chatter in the background wouldn’t be a problem. We could still hear it (albeit completely unintelligable), and at times he had trouble hearing us. Imagine that…the guy’s in Iraq, talking on a conference call w a dozen people who are connected to Washington DC, and he’s got a little trouble hearing?! I was personally amazed. The only he had is radios blaring in the background, I had my 3 and 6yr old kids arguing over a Cinderella snowglobe that needed batteries-and yes, I was in my PJs at 10am est). The reason HE had trouble hearing us was because he was still listening to the radios; still monitoring and commanding the war on terror. In the middle of each comment the general….
….would stop for a moment…
….and listen to something he heard on a radio, then he’d….
….continue on with his response. (I feel reasonably confident he wasn’t stopping to listen to my son call his big sister a poopyhead for not sharing the damn Cinderella snowglobe). It was an incredible experience. At the end of the call General Trombitas returned to my question to reiterate and elaborate on his personal praise of those who are fighting the war on terror in Iraq; the people on the other end of the radios and in the rooms around him at the moment. It was the one time in the entire conference call that he didn’t stop to listen. He got carried away-genuinely so. The people from all over the world, the Americans, and the Iraqis impress him that much.
Today, The Washington Post has an article saying that the head of the Al Queda in Iraq groups has fled Iraq through Iran (not that Iran’s at all a problem in the war on terror-right CODE PINK?), and is moving operations to Afghanistan. Islamic death cult volunteers are no longer being tricked into going to Iraq instead of Israel, but are being diverted to Afghanistan.
BAGHDAD, July 30 — The leader of the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq and several of his top lieutenants have recently left Iraq for Afghanistan, according to group leaders and Iraqi intelligence officials, a possible further sign of what Iraqi and U.S. officials call growing disarray and weakness in the organization. U.S. officials say there are indications that al-Qaeda is diverting new recruits from going to Iraq, where its fighters have suffered dramatic setbacks, to going to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they appear to be making gains.
This doesn’t mean there is no more Al Queda in Iraq. The fight continues. It means that General Trombitas, the people from around the world who are working with him, and all the troops in Iraq have succeeded in bringing stability to Iraq, and enabling a political success. ( MSNBC: 15 of 18 Iraq Goals Met!!! ).
The war in Iraq is now a security success with casualties at their lowest point since it started, a success in the war on terror with the leader of Al Queda in Iraq groups literally heading for the hills in Afghanistan, and a political success with the benchmarks increasingly being met, and here at home with both Presidential candidates on the same track for the future of the war.
As much as General Trombitas is impressed with their committment and abilities, we should be honored, proud, thankful, and even more impressed.
If you agree, I hope this is the one article that you’ll tell your friends about, that you’ll tip other websites about, and that you’ll let the msm know about. After all their successes in the toughest conditions imaginable, they deserve to be recognized, and the end of the political debate of the war’s future ought to end.