21 March 2005
News Direct from Baghdad - not in MSM
Subject: Real news from
Went to an AUSA dinner last night at the Ft. Hood Officers' Clu to hear a
2. The Cav lost 28 main battle tanks. He said one of the big lessons learned is that, contrary to doctrine going in, M1-A2s and Bradleys are needed, preferred and devastating in urban combat and he is going to make that point to the JCS next week while they are considering downsizing armor.
4. His big point was not that they were "winning battles" to do He said yes they fought but after they started delivering services that the Iraqis in
5. The electrical "grid" is a bad, deadly joke. Said that driving down the street in a Hummv with an antenna would short out a whole block of apt. buildings. People do their own wiring and it was not uncommon for early morning patrols would find one or two people lyin dead in the street, having been electrocuted trying to re-wire their own homes.
6. Said that not tending to a dead body in the Muslum culture never happens. On election day, after suicide bombers blew themselves up trying to take out polling places, voters would step up to the body lying there, spit on it, and move up in the line to vote.
7. Pointed out that we all heard from the media about the 100 Iraqis killedas they were lined up to enlist in the police and security service. What the media didn't point out was that the next day there 300 lined up in the same place.
8. Said bin Laden and Zarqawi made a HUGE mistake when bin Laden
9. Said the MSM was making a big, and wrong, deal out of the religious sects. Said Iraqis are incredibly nationalistic. They are Iraqis first and then say they are Muslum but the Shi'a - Sunni thing is just not that big a deal to them.
sects. Said Iraqis are incredibly nationalistic. They are Iraqis first and then say they are Muslum but the Shi'a - Sunni thing is just not that big a deal to them.
10. After the election the Mayor of Baghdad told him that the people of the region (
the region (
11. Said that he did not lose a single tanker truck carrying oil
12. Said one of the biggest problems was money and regs. There was a $77million gap between the supplemental budget and what he needed in cash on the ground to get projects started. Said he spent most of his time trying to get money. Said he didn't do much as a "combat commander" because the war he was fighting was a war at the squad and platoon level. Said that his NCOs were winning the war and it was a sight to behold.
13. Said that of all the money appropriated for
14. Said he could hire hundreds of Iraqis daily for $7 to $10 aday to work on sewer, electric, water projects, etc. but that the contracting rules from CONUS applied so he had to have $500,000 insurance policies in place in case the workers got hurt. Not kidding. The CONUS peacetime regs slowed everything down, even if they could eventually get waivers for the regs.
There was more, lots more, but the idea is that you haven't heardany of this from anyone, at least I hadn't and I pay more attention than most.
Said the Cav troops said it wasALL worth it on Jan. 30 when they saw how the Iraqis handled election day. Made them very proud of their service and what they had accomplished.Great stuff. We all should be proud.