Excellent blog article about Ramadi

RAMADI, IRAQ – After spending some time in and around Baghdad with the United States military I visited the city of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq’s notoriously convulsive and violent Anbar Province, and breathed an unlikely sigh of relief. Only a few months ago Ramadi was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. It was another “Fallujah,” and certainly the most dangerous place in Iraq. Today, to the astonishment of everyone – especially the United States Army and Marines – it is perhaps the safest city in all of Iraq outside of Kurdistan.


Totten's blog is good stuff imo, not just on Iraq but the middle east in general.

edited to add a quote from the articale:

“For a long time,” Colonel Holmes said, “they [US forces] were driving away from the base in Humvees down a street that was infested with Al Qaeda forces. The gunners spun their turrets in circles and just shot at everything, thinking they could provide cover for themselves so they could drive without being shot at.”

“Didn’t that violate the rules of engagement?” I said.

He froze for a second and answered that question very carefully.

“That was the wrong way to do it,” he said. “And they knew it. So they slowly cleared one block at a time, house by house, and kept the supply lines open to the base in the area that was already cleared. Everything behind them got cleared and stayed cleared, so their safe area got gradually larger. We don’t want to hurt civilians. Our job here is to protect Iraqi civilians.”
It appears that Ramadi is not so safe as it has been suggested.


Iraqi Sunni sheikh Sattar Abu Reesha, who has been leading the fight against Al-Qaeda in Iraq's western Anbar province and who last week met US President George W. Bush, was killed on Thursday in a bomb attack, police said.

One of his bodyguards was also killed in the attack on his convoy in the Anbar province capital of Ramadi
This shouldn't have happened, but I don't think it is going to alter the overall situation in Anbar. Killing sheikhs was what got Al-Qaeda into trouble in the first place.
I have a feelin gthe brit have already been there


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