Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Iraq the Untold Truths by Ralph Peters

Ralph Peters has recently been in Iraq. See his IRAQ: THE UNTOLD TRUTHS in the New York Post March 7, 2006


■ “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.

* The effort worked - from the luxury districts to the slums, the Iraqis were proud of their army.”

■ “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.”

■ “the coverage of the past few weeks - and of the Iraqi army overall - had been just plain inaccurate. …In the recent flare-up, sectarian issues had not been a problem in a single Iraqi unit.”

■ “if we have a reasonable amount of patience, the new Iraqi military will emerge as the best in the Arab world - and a firm ally in the region.”

■ “I found Baghdad a city of hope, its citizens determined not to be ruled by terrorists, fanatics, militias or thieves. We are doing the right thing.”


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