It's always interesting to see news stories coming out of Iraq from the area that I was working in. Today's LA Times has one about a town I know well, Hit.
Located just off the main road from Al Asad to Ramadi, Hit was a small town that was home to many of the insurgents we faced. I would guestimate that just under half of all the IED's we found were in a 10 mile stretch closest to the town. Like the one that left this crater-
Those are Chemsticks all around the hole, to keep civilain drivers from driving into it at night.
Here's another to give you a feel for what the 'road' was like.
And in the town itself, small arms and RPG attacks were fairly common. So it's rewarding to see that Hit and the smaller town of Baghdadi just north of it have been turned over to the Iraqis. Hit breifly made the headlines early last year when Gen Petraeus walked the city streets without body armor to show how safe it had become.
The signs of recovery were evident even early last spring, when local contractors (Iraqis) began removing all the burned and destroyed vehicles from the sides of the road. Then just before we left in July, work was begun on replacing the entire stretch of road from Al Asad to Ramadi. Significantly, the contract was awarded to a local sheik, creating hundreds of local jobs.
And yet, as insane as it may seem, many Democrat (MoveOn) politicians still insist that the surge is not working.