She's "in the slums of Bagdhad". Go see the pictures. Amazing. She makes me want her to stay over there and report full time. Oh, the children are so beautiful. My heart melts:
The man in the above photo is 30-year-old Shiite Rasul Karim, carrying his one-year-old daughter. Rasul told me he and his family left the al-Thawra district of Sadr City for Baghdad in search of work and have lived in the slums with hundreds of other displaced refugees for two months. "I am against all terrorists," he said, and criticized the Iraqi government for not doing enough to make the city secure from militia members and street thugs. Asked whether American troops should withdraw, Rasul shook his head: "No, no, you can't leave."No, we can't leave. But what can we do? Answers from Bill Roggio, who's just back from Iraq:
- The rat line from Syria cannot be meaningfully addressed without clearing Ramadi, then maintaining the offensive in the rest of Anbar.
- Are we willing to strike at known insurgent training camps and staging areas in Syria? Will we do the same in Iran? How will the borders be sealed? Will we release IRGC and Quds Force leaders and operatives if the Iraqi government demands it? Will we push for regime change in Iran? Is our information campaign up to the task? The current plan appears one of defense, not offense, and in war defense is for losers.
- One of President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld's greatest failures After 9-11 has been the failure to push to expand the size of the Army and Marines. Our Army was double the size during the Cold War (20 divisions vice 10 today) and we had a volunteer Army at the end of the Cold War. We should have increased the size of the Army by 5 divisions and the Marine Corps by 1 division at a minimum. This would have been an easy pitch for the President after 9-11, but is now difficult under the current, divided political atmosphere in the United States.
- On Sadr and the Mahdi Army: We've created this monster, and now its time to put it down. [emphasis added, -ed.]
Bill Ardolino is over in Iraq and worries about an infiltrator:
"Jundi" ("soldier" in Arabic) is an Iraqi dog adopted by the Marines here at Fallujah Police Headquarters.On a serious note, Bill "agrees with this sentiment" by Bryan of Hot Air (associate to Michelle Malkin--go read the whole thing) and so do I:
They seem to trust him, but I harbor suspicions about the dog's loyalties to local insurgent groups. That mutt has jihad written all over him.
The failures are, in my opinion, almost entirely products of Washington politics and decision-making. Washington has yet to make the war in Iraq a truly national effort, and has not yet brought to bear the full range of American resources it will take to give us a chance of success here.This is the President's job and he just can't seem to muster the energy to hold daily press conferences or whatever is needed to do it. He has the bully pulpit, he should use it. Over and over, if necessary.
Iraq is a righteous effort. Given the right information, the American public will see that. They are a fair-minded and patient group. I think that the MSM's unrelenting negative effort is to undermine this honorable American trait. They know that given complete information, warts and all, will encourage the citizens to soldier on in this fight.
In one respect, the negative press might have been a catalyst to light a fire under the President. Give our troops the tools and rules of engagement to succeed. Make some of the tough decisions above. There is reason for hope.