Publius Forum

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Michael Yon's Blogary

Today I have a collection of articles from Michael Yon which I was going to call a Diary, but it just didn't seem appropriate. Hence the name, 'Blogary'. He is such a fabulous journalist, and he is one of the few that actually goes into the area of responsibility to get the answers, good or bad. Without further ado, here are the articles.

It is now the 24th of November. This article is in the New York Times (way to go, Michael!), and the notice was sent to me by his webmaster. It appears he does not have access to any web connections since he has left Iraq to go back to Afghanistan. OMG! Michael has declared the Iraq War over! Let's read some more.
BAGHDAD - THE Iraq War is over.

Flames still burst from various sources and wild cards remain, such as the potential that Muqtada al-Sadr might stomp his feet and encourage his diminished militias to attack us. Yet support for Sadr among Shia is hardly monolithic. In fact, many Shia view him as a simpleton whose influence derives strictly from respect for his father. Others cite the threat from Iran, but the Iranian participation in the fighting here remains overstated.

Nobody knows what the future will bring, but the civil war has completely ended.

The Iraqi army and police grow stronger by the month, and even the National Police (NP) are gaining a degree of respect and credibility.

As recently as last year, the NPs were considered nothing more than militia members in uniform who murdered with impunity. To go on patrol with NPs was to invite attack. But the Americans worked to help alleviate the disdain. [Continue reading.]
This next article was written the next day, 25 Nov 2008, and it is about Iraq. He starts off with a talk he had with General Petraeus back in 2007.
On November 13th I covered a mission in south Baghdad with soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division. General Petraeus once told me during the height of the fighting, back when violence was the lingua franca and victory was very much in question, that this area was the canary in the mineshaft. In his exact words regarding what Lieutenant Colonel Pat Frank had to deal with in one of the toughest places in Iraq, “SW Baghdad...has every challenge imaginable -- AQI, JAM, micro-fault-lines, good/bad ISF partners, good/bad neighborhood leaders, and Route Irish! It will be the canary in the mineshaft; if they can pull it off, this will be doable....”

It is critical to point out that General Petraeus told me this in 2007 – just at the crest of “the Surge” during some of the fiercest fighting in the war. Many people at home were saying the new strategy was a complete failure, but the Coalition and Iraqi soldiers were not tapping out, not taking a break, giving no quarter to the enemy, and expecting none in return.

General Petraeus went on about what he was seeing, “Just back from a patrol base in Arab Jabour, SE of Baghdad, another incredible place. Was an AQI sanctuary three weeks ago. Now the head sheik has given four of his best men to the newly arrived Bn Cdr to help him find/kill/capture AQI in the AO. Very impressive/heartening.” [Continue reading Down with Barriers, Up with Iraq.]
This next article is dated 1 Dec. 2008, and it is very touching. It is Michael's last article about Iraq (on this tour, he will now be writing about Afghanistan until he goes back to Iraq).
I said to SSG Foust what I tell our pilots who fly near Yezidis: If your aircraft goes down near Yezidis, you might be sipping tea with your laundry being folded before search and rescue can get to you. And they’ll cook lunch for the rescue team. This is why a lot of Americans who know Yezidis are angered when al Qaeda attacks Yezidi people. Many personal bonds have been formed during this tragic war. We are no longer enemies with the Iraqis, and there is no good reason why Iraq and America should ever fight again. [Continue reading The Art of the End of War.]
This next e-mail is about the agreement drawn up and signed by the USA and Iraq. Here is the link to the whole text: Agreement For Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq. You should read it so no one can try to scare you or pull the wool over you eyes.

His next e-mail, dated 4 Dec. 2008, is Irregular Warfare - JOC. He warns of profound implications to our National Security. I sure pray Obama has the wherewithal to live up to this.

His next e-mail arrived 8 Dec. 2008. I'm not quite sure if upset is the correct word to describe how Michael feels about armchair generals and vacationing 'experts', but I know he must be disgusted. Here is his next post:
While Americans sleep tight in their beds, this time of year U.S. soldiers sit shivering through the frigid, crystal clear nights at remote outposts in places most of us have never heard of and will never see. Often they head out into the enveloping darkness, to hunt down and destroy terrorists, who continue to kill innocent Afghans, Americans, Aussies, Balinese, Brits, Indians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Spanish….in short, anyone who opposes their violent tyranny. Their greatest weapons are ignorance and terror. Witness the latest unprovoked attack on our friends in India. [Continue reading Afghanistan: The War Grows.]
Last, but definitely not least, the Sniff Test. 9 Dec. 2008.
PROPERTY OF MICHAEL YONHere is a rare and curious thing: an antique British [WB-57] bomber flying over Afghan skies. These planes flew in the 1950s and 60s, performing top of the atmosphere reconnaissance. The U.S. Air Force retired the WB-57 decades ago. But NASA owns two, which it uses for an odd group of missions, including collecting cosmic dust from extremely high altitudes. It seems doubtful that NASA came all the way to Afghanistan to collect cosmic dust, but this would be an interesting region in which to search for traces of nuclear debris, drifting upwards from Iran, Pakistan, various Central Asian states, China, or India.

Please support this mission by making a direct contribution. Without your support, the mission will end. Thank you for helping me tell the full story of the struggle for Iraq and Afghanistan.
And that, my dear friends, is that. Have a great day. ;)

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Everyday I have an Open Trackback Linkfest party for all my friends - the ones I know and the ones I will come to know. If you have a post you would like to share, why not trackpost it here? All you have to do is add my Permalink somewhere in your article (usually at the bottom), then trackback to it. You don't have trackbacks available? Why not use Wizbang Stand Alone Trackback? Everyone have a nice day.

1. Rosemary's News and Ideas: Michael Yon's Blogary.
2. Woman Honor Thyself: Kate Winslet degrades The Holocaust.
You want graphic violence. Look no farther than the Nazis:...
3. third world county: The Wexford Carol.
…today’s offering is The Wexford Carol, piano performance by John Schmidt...
4. The World According To Carl: More Evidence That Al Gore Is Full Of Bovine Excrement.
Snow falls on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar (December 11, 2008) in New Orleans, Louisiana...
5. Beagle Scout: “Right to life” vs. “License to kill”: A Libertarian Pro-Life Argument.
The abortion issue involves vast deeps of confusion about the nature of rights, freedom and the lack thereof, choice, license, responsibilities, and obligations. In this essay I attempt to cut away all the confusion to get to the heart of things from a...
6. stageleft:. life on the left side: Because It’s Worth Reposting Far & Wide.
Blogging Industry to call for billion dollar stimulus. Canada’s blogging sector is calling on Ottawa to create a multi-billion dollar infrastructure stimulus package to kick-start the creative-economy and create mean...
7. Potbelly Stove: Ship of Fools Partie Deux.
You go guys. And, no backing down when it becomes painfully clear you are on a fool's mission...
8. Potbelly Stove: Our Own Climate Change Fool.
Can you imagine what would happen to their funding if they reported the fact that there has been no global warming since 1995?...
9. The Pink Flamingo: Houston, NASA Has a Very Serious Problem - The One (elect).
I don’t have a lot of faith in anything Democrats do when it comes to space exploration. This may be due to those dark and dreadful days of the Carter Administration when NASA was cut back to basically nothing. Carter took a promising idea with...
10. Right Voices: Poll: If GM Enters Bankruptcy Protection Under Chapter 11, Would You Buy A Car From Them?
Poll: If GM enters bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11, would you buy a car from them?...
11. The World According To Carl: The World According To Carl Has Returned.
Due to an unexpected change of server by this blog's host, The World According To Carl was offline for more than a day. I didn't know in advance that this was planned but the folks at the hosting site tell me their new, bigger server should improve...
12. The World According To Carl: See, I Told You So! (Terrell Owens Disrupts Cowboys).
Well, I called it when Terrell Owens first became a Cowboy back in the spring of 2006:...
13. The Pink Flamingo: The NM Lt. Gov Transition Update Part I: Can You Believe It?
I think this is one for the Only In New Mexico files. Would someone please explain to me why our erstwhile Lt. Governor needs a “transition team”? “…The historically strong alliance between Governor Richardson and incoming Gov...
14. Woman Honor Thyself: Jew Murdered by Muslim in Yemen…World yawns.
When yet another woman, daughter, JEW or Christian is beheaded, tortured, savagely beaten, buried alive or just plain murdered in cold blood…………….Yet again we are told this act was undertaken by some mentally ill, warped loner claiming to rep...
15. The Pink Flamingo: Snakes, Snails, and Puppy Dog’s Tails.
There is an old 19th Century nursery rhyme: What Are Folks Made Of, by Robert Southey who became Poet Laureate in England in 1813. He, like everyone else who is from the age before political correctness, realized there was a difference between little...
16. Potbelly Stove: Obama vs. 'Global Varming'.
But, there is cause for hope that we will not, as a nation, be driven to ruin:...
17. The World According To Carl: Uncle Jay Explains The News — December 15, 2008.
Uncle Jay's news word for this week is "salvation."...

Cross-posted @ Rosemary's News and Ideas. Digg! Digg!

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