Friday, August 10, 2007

Ramadi Enjoying New Sense of Hope and Optimism

Things started to improve when I was in Ramadi in the first half of 2006. But it's really improved in the year since then.

I left the Ramadi area in June 2006. According to an ABC news story, there were 450 attacks in that month. A year later, in June 2007, there were only 25.

The image you see above is Ambassador Ryan Crocker in downtown Ramadi, without a flack vest. It is working between the US and the Iraqis, because they understand more all the time that we're there to help.

Click here to view the ABC News Story.

12 comments:

rmwarnick said...

Did ABC ask Prime Minister Maliki what he thinks of Americans who ally with warlords dedicated to bringing down his government?

Frank Staheli said...

You have a very unique way of looking at things. At some points I am almost compelled to think that it is condescending and almost racist. Why do you not think that the Iraqis can achieve liberty?

rm said...

last week there was an long coverage about iraq in a german magazine. they talked to crocker and petraeus, they visited ramadi and other cities and their impression was, that the situation is getting better.
one problem is, that the world is deaf in both ears, when you use the words "iraq", "peace" and "us military".

what's interesting about that, is, that the magazine is liberal press. i never read something like this before here in germany.

rm said...

"The world has become deaf to the word "peace" -- at least when conversations turn to Iraq. It is as if the world were blind to the possibility that the situation in this country straddling the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers could be anything different from the constant stream of increasingly devastating films of the latest car bombings. For most people, Iraq has become nothing but a series of attacks, a collection of images of bombings and victims, a tale of failure, a book about historical guilt and a symbol of the moral decline of the United States of America."

here's the link to the story

Matt said...

I'm eagerly awaiting Patreus' report in September.

Frank Staheli said...

I'm glad to hear that a German magazine can get past the sound bites. Because the reality is much more complicated and much more vibrant than people want to believe. I watched the movie "Memphis Belle" last night, and it reminded me that there were times during World War II when the American people got very discouraged about what was going on, but we kept going on and we were ultimately successful.

rm said...

yes. and i wonder, what e.g. germany would look like, if you were not successful.

Frank Staheli said...

Are you talking in terms of the effect of Islamism on Germany (and Europe)?

rm said...

oh, no. this was a little bit "science fiction". what if the USA do not enter WW II...

radical muslims in germany, that's another (complex) story.

Frank Staheli said...

Oh, I see what you meant. Sorry for my misunderstanding.

I suspect Germany, if the US hadn't won in WWII, would have looked a lot like Russia today, whose leadership yearns for the "the good old days" where they can return to the kind of power that the Communists held.

rmwarnick said...

Frank, congratulations, you are the first person who has ever called me a racist. Sorry if my comment came off as mean-spirited, but the fact is Iraq is thoroughly divided and our policy isn't helping.

It's been said that there are two rules when it comes to intervening in a civil war: Rule 1- don't. Rule 2- if you do, pick a side. We can't support Maliki and the Sunni anti-government insurgents simultaneously and get away with it.

America has no friends in Iraq, let's face the reality.

Frank Staheli said...

Richard,

Thank you for clarifying. That's why I used the words "almost", because I was trying to draw out such a clarification.

I see where you're coming from, but my perspective is that the only way we'll be successful there is to understand and respect the passion of both parties in the conflict.

Stay tuned for a post about at least one place in al Anbar where exactly that is happening.