Iraq: Popular resistance and lower casualties continue

During the American Revolutionary War, history notes that the fight for the southern colonies was a see-sawing affair between Continentials and Royal forces. When pushed by heavy-handed British regulars and brutal Tory militias following the destruction of the entire southern Continential Army at Camden and Charleston, local Americans realized they could not remain neutral and took the lead in fighting for their safety and their independence.

While militia forces would wage a brushfire rebellion across the South, at Kings Mountain and Cowpens they dealt heavy and irreparable blows directly to British regular forces. Where regular Continental forces had taken four years to lose the southern colonies, militia forces, with very little outside help, were able to drive the British out in less than two following those two battles.

A similar pattern is continuing to develop in Iraq, where the Iraqi people, fed up with continued terrorism, are taking sides and taking up arms alongside American troops, with notable results:

The commander of the battle zone — Lt. Col. Val Keaveny, 3rd Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne) — said his unit has lost only one soldier in the past four months despite intensified operations against both Shiite and Sunni extremists, including powerful al-Qaida in Iraq cells.

Keaveny attributes the startling decline to a decrease in attacks by militants who are being rounded up in big numbers on information provided by the citizen force — which has literally doubled the number of eyes and ears available to the military.

The efforts to recruit local partners began taking shape earlier this year in the western province of Anbar, which had become the virtual heartland for Sunni insurgents and al-Qaida bands. The early successes in Anbar — coming alongside a boost of 30,000 U.S. forces into the Baghdad area — led to similar alliances in other parts of Iraq.

"People are fed up with fear, intimidation and being brutalized. Once they hit that tipping point, they're fed up, they come to realized we truly do provide them better hope for the future. What we're seeing now is the beginning of a snowball," said Keaveny, whose forces operate out of Forward Operating Base Kalsu, about 35 miles south of Baghdad.

As in our own war for independence, the Iraqi people, not American forces will decide the fate of the conflict. We can train them, support them, and fight alongside them, but this is their nation and their war to win.

Let us hope this is yet another sign that the conflict is finally turning the corner so our troops will be able to start coming home, with their heads held high and able to say "mission accomplished".

3 Response to "Iraq: Popular resistance and lower casualties continue"

  1. lake marion moye 25/10/07 10:32
    We have another problem in the Turks are now bombing the Kurds in the north. This middle east may explode yet and what a hell it will be.
  2. west_rhino 25/10/07 12:53
    moye, the PKK stirs up enough of its own 'it, like the Tamils on Sri Lanka, unless it can be blamed on Bush, CNN et al aren't much interested.
  3. Anthony Palmer 27/10/07 18:56
    I get the feeling, unfortunately, that even with the decrease in violence, the US troops are not leaving Iraq at all, at least not under our current president. I fear that he'll find another justification for keeping our troops there.

    It's nice to see intelligent writing in the South Carolina blogosphere, especially when it comes to politics. I'm a blogger too. You can find me at if you're interested.

    Anyway, keep up the good blogging. And let's keep hoping for the best in Iraq, for the Iraqis and for our brave soldiers.

Post a Comment

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts!

To post a comment without having a Blogger account, select "Name/URL", put your name in, but leave the URL line blank. Email me if you'd like to comment, but need help making it work.