Michael Yon is there.
The combat has only just begun, and media has now figured out this is serious business.
Well, maybe. The NYTimes has Michael Gordon there on the ground and designated the story to page 6 along with other little updates from around Iraq. (Including the orphanage rescue)
Here’s a snippet.
Soldiers moved block by block through the city, the capital of Diyala Province, clearing houses and removing roadside bombs. As they pressed in, American troops discovered a medical aid station for insurgents — another sign that the Qaeda fighters had prepared for an intense fight. The hospital, uncovered by troops from the Fifth Battalion, 20th Infantry, was equipped with oxygen tanks, defibrillators, generators and surgical equipment, as well as pieces of insurgent propaganda.
Captain Ed notes the Washington Post gave this offensive a page 18 piece of real estate. I liked his title. “No one’s dropping leaflets”. In other words, al-Qaeda isn’t getting an offer of surrender or run. We’re there to kill them.
Either way – isn’t a major offensive like this front page news during wartime??!!
And Ralph Peters is finally happy.
HALLELUJAH! For the first time since Baghdad fell, our military in Iraq has a comprehensive, integrated plan to defeat our enemies.
He likes the classic war and is pretty sure that’s the only thing that ever works. He calls the last 4 years “4 lost years”. I think hind sight is not always 20/20. We don’t know if those 4 years of playing nice with the Iraqis didn’t in the long run allow for the Iraqis to see for themselves that al-Qaeda is the enemy. Right now, in this new surge Iraqis are helping the military folks. They are giving locations of bombs and al-Qaeda members. Would they have done that 4 years ago. No, of course not.
This action may not work and maybe it should have come earlier. I’ve yet to read accounts of a “perfect strategic war”.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t complain about the way things are going, I’m just saying that you also can’t say that had we done X earlier than peace would reign in the Middle East. I’m just not buying today thank you.
Michelle Malkin has an email address to soldiers looking for some words from folks back home. Let them know you do keep up. Let them know they haven’t been forgotten as we continue to do our “shopping so the terrorists don’t win”.
If anyone — you know, just sit down, jot us — throw us an e- mail, write us a letter, let us know that the American public are behind us. Because we watch the news just like everyone else. It’s broadcast over here in our chow halls and the weight rooms, and we watch that stuff, and we’re a little bit concerned sometimes that America really doesn’t know what’s going on over here, and we get sometimes concerns that the American public isn’t behind us and doesn’t see the importance of what’s going on. So that’s something I think that all Marines, soldiers and sailors would like to hear from back home, that in fact, yes, they think what we’re doing over here is important and they are in fact behind us.
ps – also go to US Central Command for updates.