5/7 Cav back from "Fitful Year" in the Quagmire
Washington Post tells "The Truth on the Ground"

5/7 Cav busy with elections in Iraq

Without the tremendous resources and editorial support of the Washington Post, I was forced to spend a grueling 5 minutes on the internets to find the newsletter for 5/7 Cav, they are part of 1st Bde. Combat Team and are still in Iraq, not back as I wrote yesterday, which means the WaPo story I mentioned yesterday detailing their "Fitful Year" caught them right in the middle of election prep. Not only are they not sad and demoralized they are taking care of business, thanks for the help there WaPo.

I got an email back from the Public Affairs Office at FOB Speicher
Tikrit, Iraq and the writer politely agreed that the story wasn't much of a representation, but was also very proper in not slagging the media.

"We've seen the article and, of course, everyone over here is ready to
form an opinion on it.

One narrowly focused story certainly doesn't represent the 5/7 CAV's
efforts, especially not this article.  The squadron has done a stellar
job in the Balad area over the last year.  They've made significant
progress training Iraqi Security Forces, working with the local government on a multitude of civic projects, and working with the Iraqi Security Forces fighting the insurgency.

I suppose if a reporter wanted to do a story on a unit's time in Iraq
it would be book length, complete with setbacks and successes.  I think
it would show an obvious progress, though, through all the diversity. 
For anyone who's spent the last 11 and a half months here like I have,
day in, day out, it's obvious that we're moving in a positive direction."

That is an excellent response and reminds me how good I used to be at smiling through gritted teeth while excusing some clueless idiot, kinda like Matt and his cheese-eating surrender monkey.

Having spent the minutes to locate the newsletter, I was stunned to find multiple examples of good things happening to the troops of 5/7 Cav and 1st Bde Combat Team in Sadaam's hometown and surrounding areas.

"FORWARD OPERATING BASE PALIWODA, Balad, Iraq- Recently units in the 5_7_night_capture_1 Iraqi army have started taking over the role of Coalition Forces by spearheading operations. Using its intelligence assets to gather information, Company D, 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 4th Division is
now planning, rehearsing and executing missions with little or no Coalition Forces help. “They are almost completely independent of our support,” said Army Capt. Phillip Poteet, commander, Troop C, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Liberty. “The only reason we’re there is to coordinate air medical evacuations in case the event arises and to ensure quality control.”

So they have actually trained Iraqi troops, taken them on confidence-building missions and now are watching them bring the pain straight to the bad guys. Kinda sounds like that ole non-existent plan W keeps jaw-flappin' about huh? There's more:

5_7_candy_to_kids_2 "Sergeant Jessica Acosta shares a photo of her father and brother with school children. Soldiers with 3rd Forward Support Battalion, and Troop A, 5th Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Stewart, Ga., spent the day dropping off supplies to an elementary school near the town of Yethrib, Iraq. The Seattle, Wa., native interacted with the children by
dancing, sharing photos from home and handing out star stickers."

Strangely the only Iraqi civilian the WaPo chose to mention was tortured by her father for speaking to the Americans. Somehow these troops managed to find some of the 20 million free Iraqis who don't support the 10,000 or so insurgents. Must be an anomaly right, the WaPo couldn't have just ignored all the good things to focus on the IEDs and put a dark cloud over things. Hang on now:

5_7_soccer_gear_1 "Thousands of dollars of soccer equipment on a soccer field in Tikrit, to be donated  to 25 teams belonging to a league and sponsored by
the local security forces. The money for the equipment was donated by a private business in the United States and all of the soccer equipment was purchased in country on the Iraqi economy."

What the hell is this? Soccer teams, supporting the local Iraqi economy, and for God's sake building rapport and goodwill with the populace. This can't be Iraq, I know better, I watch the news.

2006 is the year that will vindicate the sacrifices made to secure the freedom to vote enjoyed by Iraq right now. We can leave with our heads held high and listen to the stories our victorious, yeah I said it, victorious troops have to tell about democracy and ends of guns. I look forward to them.