Some days, life is good. When you have a majority of days when life is good, you know that you have it good and that things may even be getting even better.
Where I am currently, life is good and there are many signs that it is getting better for everyone here. The larger reasons are for later, but for now I wanted to share one reason life is good for Echo Company ("Team Easy"). It's good because life is getting better for the local Iraqi's.
"You don't have the people, you don't have it," states Timothy Wilcoxen, Team Easy's First Sergeant. Here, they are indeed starting to have it. Iraqi Police Volunteers are staffing checkpoints to protect their homes and communities. The citizens of the area are stepping forward in other ways as well, by turning in terrorists and report suspicious activities.
My first night here, one such tip came in. Information was gathered, stories checked, and plans quickly and efficiently made. Last night, a raid was conducted of the site given, resulting in two terrorists captured, along with a cache IEDs and supplies for making more. That cache, along with the abandoned building being used as a headquarters and IED factory, were destroyed. It's not just Easy's area that safer, it's Baghdad as well since the materials may well have been headed there.
Anbar has awakened; but, West Rashid is tipping and the ripples from that are already having an impact -- on several levels -- in Baghdad.
The implications are profound, for the U.S. and the future of Iraq. Yet, on a more fundamental level, the affairs of princes mean little here considered against the basic and most important thing: we are all safer today because the citizens in this region are stepping forward.
West Rashid is tipping, and if it lands on its feet, the ripples should become waves of change.
More to come,
LW (in Iraq)