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September 03, 2008

Bristol Palin Pregnancy Distracting From Fact We're Winning the War on Terror; I Question the Timing

Petraeus: Troops will depart Baghdad soon, leaving the capital to the Iraqis.

General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, said declining violence in Baghdad raised the possibility that American combat troops could leave the capital by next summer.

Asked in an interview with the Financial Times whether it was feasible that US combat forces could leave Baghdad by July, he said: “Conditions permitting, yeah.”

His comments come as the US and Iraq hammer out the final details of a long-term security agreement that reportedly outlines a potential timeline for US combat troops to leave Iraqi cities by next summer, and the country by 2011.

“The number of attacks in Baghdad lately has been, gosh, I think it’s probably less than five [a day] on average, and that’s a city of seven million people,” said Gen Petraeus.

While declining to comment on the details of the security agreement, Gen Petraeus said US combat forces had already pulled back from cities in 13 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. The sight of US soldiers exiting Baghdad would be highly symbolic given the scale of violence that gripped the city in 2006 and 2007.

SAS brags they've taken 3500 insurgents "off the streets" in Iraq. Several hundred, mostly Al Qaeda, were taken "off the earth" as well.

More than 3,500 insurgents have been "taken off the streets of Baghdad" by the elite British force in a series of audacious "Black Ops" over the past two years.

It is understood that while the majority of the terrorists were captured, several hundred, who were mainly members of the organisation known as "al-Qa'eda in Iraq" have been killed by the SAS.

The SAS is part of a highly secretive unit called "Task Force Black" which also includes Delta Force, the US equivalent of the SAS.

The prime targets have been those intent on joining the wave of suicide car bombers that claimed around 3,000 lives a month in Baghdad at the height of the terrorist campaign in 2006.

Using intelligence gleaned from spies and informers, Task Force Black has nearly broken the back of the terrorist network and reduced bombings in Baghdad from about 150 a month to just two.

Pakistan says they almost caught Zawahiri. I guess Pakistan's word should be taken with a heaping tablespoon of salt.

Al-Qaeda's second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, narrowly escaped capture during a raid in the tribal region of Mohmand, near the Afghan border, Pakistan's top security official told journalists in Islamabad.

The head of Pakistan's security, Rahman Malik, claimed his men came within a whisker of arresting al-Zawahiri (photo). But the the mountainous terrain with its rabbit's warren of narrow mountain paths had enabled al-Zawahiri to slip away, he said.

They also claim they've killed 560 Taliban and other militants in fighting in the wild provinces.

The Coalition handed off control of Anbar -- the center of the former Sunni insurgency -- to the government of Iraq. An unsung victory, Ralph Peters says, and that's of course by DKM design.

All too easy to miss the biggest story out of Iraq this year: Yesterday [Sept 1., two days ago now], security responsibility for once-bloody Anbar Province officially passed from the US military to the Baghdad government.

Fallujah. Ramadi. Al Qaeda's worst atrocities. Those opposed to the liberation of Iraq celebrated years of headlines from Anbar.

Then it all changed: We won - and the headlines vanished.

This year, Iraq received a special gift to kick off Ramadan, Islam's holy month of alternate fasts and feasts: The handover of a huge, economically resurgent, peaceful province.

More than 12,000 Marines have been withdrawn from Anbar. The remaining 25,000 US troops are packing up. That means more forces available for Afghanistan - and more time together for our military families.

The handover also means that 11 of Iraq's 18 provinces are now the responsibility of the country's long-derided security forces - with two more provinces scheduled to revert to full Iraqi control by year's end.

The Daily Kos Media just isn't interested. They have a war to fight -- the war against the real terrorists -- Sarah and Bristol Palin, and anyone else treasonous enough to challenge the ascension and apotheosis of The One.



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posted by Ace at 06:42 PM

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