Update: Just received this quick missive from Michael Yon: "Another day has passed and no shots fired here in Hit, Anbar."
Short, sweet, and to the point. Nice.
Or, "The US Military is doing amazing work in Anbar Province"
Michael Yon has been documenting the amazing turnaround in Anbar Province (once the "Wild West" of post-Saddam Iraq) over at his site, and in a series of emails to Glenn Reynolds and myself, among others.
Mike's "Memorial Day message from Anbar is a part of our Memorial Day header above, and should be required reading for all who desire to know the truth about the situation there.
The following email, sent to Glenn Reynolds and posted at Instapundit, is very telling:
I am out here in Anbar Province with Task Force 2-7 Infantry. The area around Hit (pronounced “heat”) is so quiet previous units likely would not recognize the still. There was a small IED incident this morning, and the explosion was a direct hit, but the bomb was so small that mechanics had the vehicle back in shape by late afternoon. Calm truly has fallen on this city.Regardless how you slice it, that is some encouraging news.
Dishes are appearing on rooftops and people are communicating more freely. During today’s prayers, one mosque announced that divorce is bad and that parents should take care of their children. One mosque cried about Christians and Jews, while yet another announced that Al-Jazeera is lying and people should not watch it.
Long-time readers know that I deliver bad news with the good. I was first to write that parts of Iraq were in civil war back in February 2005, well over a year before mainstream outlets started reporting the same. I was also the first to report, back in 2005, that Mosul was making a turn for the better. Mainstream outlets hardly picked up on that story, however, although the turn was easy to see for anyone who was there. When I returned from Afghanistan in the spring of 2006, after writing about the growing threat of a resurgent Taliban, bankrolled with profits from the heroin trade, I wrote that parts of our own military were censoring media in Iraq. The recent skirmishing over blogging from Iraq supports that contention. These reminders are for new readers who do not believe that a province that most media outlets had put at the top of the “hopelessly lost” column is actually turning a corner for the better.
Although there is sharp fighting in Diyala Province, and Baghdad remains a battleground, and the enemy is trying to undermine security in areas they’d lost interest in, the fact is that the security plan, or so-called “surge,” is showing clear signs of progress.
By the way, Mike Yon's work - like most of us who embed in Iraq outside the auspices of the left-leaning MSM - is entirely reader-supported. If you are feeling generous this Memorial Day weekend, stop by his site and drop a donation in the tip jar. While you're there, poke around at his photos and stories; he's definitely one of a kind, and supremely talented.
And while you're at it, if you're feeling doubly generous, feel free to drop something in the tip jar here, as well; like Mike, my embed work is entirely customer-supported, and I'm trying my best to get back over to Iraq as soon, as often, and for as long as possible, so as to help the real stories of our troops, and of their successes, get out to a public which is sorely in need of such information.
Have a great Memorial Day, and may God bless you all.