View Full Version : On Balance (Good News Series)...

12-07-2005, 09:38 AM
7 Dec. Washington Times editorial - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051206-091140-1752r.htm).

The first in a series of editorials on underreported good news from Iraq.

If Washington seems increasingly pessimistic about Iraq these days, Iraqis themselves aren't. In fact, 47 percent of Iraqis surveyed by the International Republican Institute in October said that the country is headed in the right direction (37 percent said it wasn't). That's a higher percentage than last year, when 42 percent of Iraqis thought so (45 percent did not) -- despite the problematic ongoing security problems. Here are some of the underreported reasons why...

12-08-2005, 08:46 AM
On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051207-104212-5873r.htm).

Whatever happened to Baghdad's infamous airport road? "Route Irish," so named for the Fighting 69th, which patrolled it until recently, is still the only way to reach the capital by air. But it has dropped from the headlines -- because it is now relatively safe...

12-12-2005, 08:01 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051211-092549-3654r.htm).

There aren't many mentions of Najaf in headlines these days. That's a good thing: The city's security situation is vastly improved, and so Najaf is less interesting to the media...

12-13-2005, 08:04 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051212-094442-8465r.htm).

Yesterday, Ambassador Dan Speckhard, head of the Iraq Reconstruction Management Office in Washington, reported that 30,000 new businesses have registered with the Iraqi government in the last year. "And who knows how many unregistered business starts there were?"...

12-14-2005, 09:40 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051213-092318-7410r.htm).

Are coalition forces showing progress on Iraq's problematic Syrian border? One promising sign is how little resistance coalition forces have met in their Euphrates River-area campaign to sweep out Sunni insurgent strongholds and notorious al Qaeda in Iraq sites near Syria...

12-15-2005, 07:23 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051214-101549-3692r.htm).

In today's Iraqi elections, Coalition forces will not be providing protection at polling sites. They have provided Jersey barriers, wire, other tools and are making "quick-reaction forces" available. But otherwise, Iraqi forces will be on their own -- a sign of confidence in the country's new-and-improved police and military forces...

12-16-2005, 09:10 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051215-092212-5463r.htm).

Amid what appears to be record turnout in yesterday's Iraqi elections, violence at the polls hit a record low...

12-19-2005, 07:17 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051218-100759-4785r.htm).

Sunni turnout was so high in Thursday's Iraqi elections that emergency shipments of ballots were needed in some polling stations to accommodate voters...

12-20-2005, 08:36 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051219-091756-6735r.htm).

As vote-counting got underway in Iraq late last week, authorities announced preliminary nation-wide turnout estimates near 70 percent of the Iraqi electorate...

12-21-2005, 09:33 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051220-094853-2858r.htm).

In last week's Iraqi elections, voters in Ramadi turned out in droves. Turnout in the notorious insurgent terrorist stronghold and capital of the Sunni-dominated Anbar province was estimated at 75 to 85 percent, according to election officials. Terrorist violence ground to a halt as leaders sympathetic to or affiliated with the insurgency urged voters to participate and enforced a temporary ceasefire during the vote.

12-22-2005, 09:19 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051221-091651-8829r.htm).

Iraqi police and military combat fatalities have decreased on a month-to-month basis since the summer...

The improvement comes during a period in which Iraqi forces have received added responsibilities -- including the handling of security during last week's elections.

12-23-2005, 09:46 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051222-085050-7805r.htm).

The number of Iraqi civilians killed in the ongoing war appears to be dropping since deaths spiked in August...

12-27-2005, 07:04 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051226-095629-2644r.htm).

Increasingly, Iraqi citizens have been giving their government tips about the activities of the terrorist insurgency. Tips multiplied by a factor of 10 from March to September, according to a report that the National Security Council submitted to Congress last month. In March, Iraqi authorities reported 483 instances of private citizens offering information on insurgent activities. That total jumped to 3,341 in August and then to 4,700 in September...

12-28-2005, 08:38 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051227-092503-2005r.htm).

Three weeks ago, the Iraqi Stock Exchange opened permanent headquarters in Baghdad after more than a year in temporary housing, raising hopes for further improvements in an already emergent Iraqi economy...

12-29-2005, 08:35 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051228-095201-4165r.htm).

Poland's new conservative government plans to extend the country's military activities in Iraq, reversing plans to withdraw the more than 1,400 Polish troops there over the coming months. Poland now plans to keep troops in Iraq through 2006, subject to the approval of President Lech Kaczynski.

Explaining the move, Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz said the troops are needed to help train the new Iraqi security forces and to focus more on training than aiding the counterinsurgency...

12-30-2005, 09:24 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20051229-083621-9069r.htm).

This week, for the first time, the United Nations pronounced Iraq's elections "transparent and credible" despite ongoing calls by some Sunnis for new elections...

01-03-2006, 08:43 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060102-101310-2393r.htm).

South Korea, the Coalition's third-largest contributor of troops behind the United States and United Kingdom, is reducing its forces in Iraq by one third and extending its overall mission there by another year...

01-04-2006, 07:09 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060103-093213-1019r.htm).

Iraq's largest Sunni coalition is preparing to drop claims that the December elections were tainted. Yesterday, the Iraqi Consensus Front announced it had broken with other Sunni groups and plans to accept the results once the election-monitoring process is complete...

01-09-2006, 07:42 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060108-102309-9532r.htm).

Could Sunni Iraqi opinion finally be turning against Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Zarqawi's terrorist organization? There's no definitive sign that is the case. But after more than 130 people died in violence on Thursday, which capped off one of the most violent weeks since the 2003 invasion -- Sunnis in Ramadi, once a a city notorious for sympathizing with the terrorist insurgency, were condemning Al Qaeda in Iraq publicly for the first time...

01-10-2006, 08:38 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060109-094756-8279r.htm).

On Turkish television Sunday, the country's foreign minister suggested Turkey might send troops to Iraq in the coming months or years if the Iraqi government requests it...

Of course if the Turkish deployment is only in Northern Iraq ("Kurdistan") this might not be such good news....

01-11-2006, 09:37 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060110-085250-6103r.htm).

In a major pre-dawn raid in Madrid, Barcelona and the Basque region yesterday, Spanish authorities arrested 20 suspected radical Islamists who allegedly recruited and trained militants to send to Iraq...

01-13-2006, 09:10 AM
Washngton Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060112-090215-5376r.htm).

Insurgent groups have engaged in open battles with Al Qaeda in Iraq in recent months -- which U.S. officials hope will open a new dynamic in the war...

01-17-2006, 09:04 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060116-100035-4418r.htm).

Charges of widespread voting fraud in Iraq's December election were put to rest yesterday (at least as far the facts are concerned) with the announcement by Iraq's Electoral Commission that only 227 of the estimated 31,000 ballot boxes around the country would need to be voided due to irregularities...

01-18-2006, 08:49 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060117-092149-5893r.htm).

Mongolia's new government will keep its small but symbolically important contingent of troops in Iraq, the country's new ruling party announced yesterday. "We will stick to the policy of support of the war against terrorism," Yondon Otgonbayar, the permanent secretary of the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP), told Agence France Press...

01-20-2006, 11:21 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060119-085300-3123r.htm).

Officials in the once-notorious insurgent stronghold of Anbar province are preparing for local Iraqi forces to assume security responsibilities, perhaps as early as this year.

There has been no official U.S. announcement of an impending transfer nor of a possible timeframe. But according to the Beirut-based Dar Alhayat, U.S. and Iraqi officials have begun discussions to hand over security responsibilities "as U.S. forces withdraw gradually."...

01-25-2006, 06:48 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060124-104524-5886r.htm).

Another sign of division between Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda operatives emerged Monday when insurgents in Ramadi announced a pact against their former al Qaeda allies -- which prompted a round of assassinations between the two sides...

01-30-2006, 07:52 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060129-102751-1003r.htm).

U.S. and Iraqi forces apprehended more than 50 suspected terrorist insurgents throughout Iraq last week...

...including four men who were said to be "closely tied to a terrorist ring responsible for committing murders and beheadings in the area.

01-31-2006, 06:57 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060130-093109-1683r.htm).

The latest evidence that a rift is growing between Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda in Iraq: The Arab newspaper Al-Hayat reported four days ago that 270 foreigners have been apprehended by authorities in Anbar province. Local tribes, with the cooperation of insurgent forces, are turning on the foreign fighters they once regarded as allies...

02-01-2006, 10:01 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060131-090458-3391r.htm).

During January, the number of insurgent terrorist attacks in Iraq increased, but suicide bombings decreased sharply -- leading some analysts to suggest that new rifts between al Qaeda in Iraq and Iraqi insurgents are harming al Qaeda's effectiveness...

02-02-2006, 09:26 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060201-090146-2569r.htm).

In a January University of Maryland poll of Iraqis whose results are mixed news for the U.S. war effort, a few positives stand out: 77 percent of Iraqis thought the war to oust Saddam Hussein was worth it, even "considering any hardships you might have suffered"...

02-03-2006, 08:18 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060202-085307-4217r.htm).

The 1st Brigade, 7th Division of the Iraqi Army raided a factory in Ramadi yesterday and arrested 15 suspected insurgents who were thought to belong to a cell of foreign terrorists.

Eleven of the 15 suspects are Syrian and 4 were Iraqis, according to the U.S. Marine Corps...

02-10-2006, 07:29 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060209-100253-5150r.htm).

The reputed fourth-in-command of al Qaeda in Iraq was detained this week in Baghdad. "Mohammed Rabih Abu Zar, number four in al Qaeda in Iraq, was arrested a few days ago in Baghdad," Gen. Hussein Kamal, intelligence chief for the Interior Ministry, told Agence France Press. Few additional details were immediately available...

02-15-2006, 06:50 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060214-102147-7476r.htm).

Forty of the Iraqi army's 102 battalions have now taken over primary security responsibilities in their areas of operation...

Now, about two-fifths of the force is taking the lead and is doing so in places like Ramadi and Samarra in addition to the capital.

02-16-2006, 08:35 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060215-094728-4771r.htm).

The number of U.S. troops wounded in Iraq in January fell to its lowest monthly total since the beginning of 2004, according to new Pentagon data...

Among the reasons analysts cite are decreased capabilities of the terrorist insurgency, improved methods against improvised-explosive devices and the ongoing turnover of lead security responsibilities to Iraqi forces.

02-20-2006, 09:11 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060219-092132-1067r.htm).

On Saturday Iraqi special forces and an elite Macedonian Ranger unit apprehended 18 suspected terrorists and captured three weapons caches north of Baghdad. The caches contained rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank weapons, surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns and scores of smaller arms and munitions.

The strike, dubbed "Operation Level Sand," was intended to reduce terrorists' sanctuary and seize key weapons stockpiles, according to the Multinational Forces Command.

U.S. and Iraqi forces also found a terrain model and two underground tunnels at the site of one of the weapons caches, signs that the cache was a key facility for terrorists before the strike.

02-23-2006, 09:14 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060222-085118-4781r.htm).

The Iraqi army's 5th Brigade, 6th Division formally assumed responsibility for security of parts of central and Southern Baghdad after a transfer ceremony on Monday, the American Forces Press Service reported this week. The transfer means that nearly 60 percent of Baghdad is now officially guarded by Iraqi forces...

03-03-2006, 07:44 AM
Washington Times - On Balance (http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20060302-092218-5487r.htm).

Iraqi authorities revealed the arrest yesterday of an al Qaeda operative who allegedly confessed to carrying out 116 beheadings. Maj. Raid al-Mafraji of the Interior Ministry said a large weapons cache and three other suspected terrorists were also nabbed...