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Old 07-26-2007, 06:20 PM
 
Location: USA
308 posts, read 663,470 times
Reputation: 77

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In the Wake of the Surge
By Michael J. Totten


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Quote:
We dismounted our Humvees and set up a vehicle checkpoint on the far side of the market area. Curfew was going into effect. Anyone trying to drive into the area would be searched.

Dozens of Iraqi civilians milled about on the streets.

“Salam Aleikum,” said the soldiers and I as we walked past.

“Aleikum as Salam,” said each in return.

They really did seem happy to see us.



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“This is not what I expected in Baghdad,” I said.

“Most of what we’re doing doesn’t get reported in the media,” he said. “We’re not fighting a war here anymore, not in this area. We’ve moved way beyond that stage.

We built a soccer field for the kids, bought all kinds of equipment, bought them school books and even chalk. Soon we’re installing 1,500 solar street lamps so they have light at night and can take some of the load off the power grid. The media only covers the gruesome stuff.

We go to the sheiks and say hey man, what kind of projects do you want in this area? They give us a list and we submit the paperwork. When the projects get approved, we give them the money and help them buy stuff.”
Read the entire report here:

Michael J. Totten: In the Wake of the Surge




Wow! Hopefully General Patraeus will have more of these positive successes to report in September.
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
646 posts, read 2,658,666 times
Reputation: 465
Next stop, Iran, and anybody else the Israel lobby doesn't like...
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Old 07-26-2007, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,872 posts, read 24,798,264 times
Reputation: 6631
Quote:
Originally Posted by James T View Post
Next stop, Iran, and anybody else the Israel lobby doesn't like...
I don't believe that Iran needs any external help in portraying it as a potential problem. They seem to be doing fine on their own.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Wiesbaden, Germany
13,806 posts, read 27,239,181 times
Reputation: 4004
fresh hot anti-semitics, get your fresh hot anti-semitics here. don't be shy, there's plenty to go around...
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:07 PM
 
Location: USA
308 posts, read 663,470 times
Reputation: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by James T View Post
Next stop, Iran, and anybody else the Israel lobby doesn't like...


What did you think of Michael Totten's report?
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,872 posts, read 24,798,264 times
Reputation: 6631
Quote:
Originally Posted by American_Libertarian View Post
What did you think of Michael Totten's report?
I thought it gave an excellent personal view of the on-the-ground actions taking place in Iraq. It would cause me to be optimistic that some good is coming of all of our efforts, except that I expect much of it to fall apart when we leave.

There frequently is a difference between the general public perceptions in foreign countries and their official governments. Unfortunately, the daily interactions mean little after we are gone, and much of the good will can dissipate when govt oppression is tightened. I'm expecting to see Shiite and Sunni (and to a lesser extent Kurds) clashing significantly, with Shiite's taking the power. I expect Sunni's to have fairly effective countermeasures, turning the country into an ongoing battle zone, with Iran supporting a Shiite official government.

And the portrayal in this article will be snuffed out in the back and forth damage taking place daily after we depart. They aren't the Democrats vs the Republicans, it is quite a bit different than that (any polls showing how many Shiite's voted for Sunni political candidates, and vice versa?).
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Poulsbo, WA
467 posts, read 274,178 times
Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by rd2007 View Post
fresh hot anti-semitics, get your fresh hot anti-semitics here. don't be shy, there's plenty to go around...
I'm not sure it is anti-semitic to say that we do Israel's bidding. It just happens to be true. We pretty much fund their government and everyone in the region knows they are under our protection and also that our gov't would be inclined to destablize any country that threatens their existence. This includes Iran, Syria, Jordan, etc... How is it anti-semitic to point that out?
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Old 07-26-2007, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,872 posts, read 24,798,264 times
Reputation: 6631
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toninole View Post
I'm not sure it is anti-semitic to say that we do Israel's bidding. It just happens to be true. We pretty much fund their government and everyone in the region knows they are under our protection and also that our gov't would be inclined to destablize any country that threatens their existence. This includes Iran, Syria, Jordan, etc... How is it anti-semitic to point that out?
Getting a bit off course here but accuracy is important to me in any analytical discussion.

Israel's 2006 budget was about $59 billion, and US aid to Israel was $2.5 billion. Egypt's budget for 2006 was about $32 billion, and US aid to Egypt was about $1.9 billion. For the sake of accuracy, I believe these support payments are linked as a byproduct of their brokered peace agreement.

Also, I believe that the observation was made due to the original posting, and how the response was completely off the topic.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Poulsbo, WA
467 posts, read 274,178 times
Reputation: 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewToCA View Post
Getting a bit off course here but accuracy is important to me in any analytical discussion.

Israel's 2006 budget was about $59 billion, and US aid to Israel was $2.5 billion. Egypt's budget for 2006 was about $32 billion, and US aid to Egypt was about $1.9 billion. For the sake of accuracy, I believe these support payments are linked as a byproduct of their brokered peace agreement.

Also, I believe that the observation was made due to the original posting, and how the response was completely off the topic.
I agree that Iran is doing a bang up job of churning anti-Iran sentiment in our country with their rhetoric. I understand his comment may not have strictly been "on topic", but the relationship with a successful surge and the fear in our country that this administration is longing for a conflict with Iran may have sparked it. If the surge is viewed as a success (which all accounts to this point by the government agencies in the loop say it is NOT) then most people make the leap that Bush will start selling war against Iran. I hope he is smarter than that, but we'll see.

Here is an article siting total US aid to Israel is 1/3 of our total foreign aid budget - WRMEA: U.S. Aid to Israel
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:53 PM
 
Location: Poulsbo, WA
467 posts, read 274,178 times
Reputation: 110
NEWtoCA - thanks for the super informative PM. I see what you mean about my source. I guess I didn't look to see where their point of view stemmed from.

I did find this source http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/11062.pdf that seems to be a report to Congress indicating what aid we're giving to Israel.
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