Now that people are beginning to whisper about the possibility that the tide may be turning in Iraq, it might be smart to pay attention–at long last–to the exceptional performance of American soldiers in battle. There is no one who does it better than Michael Yon, who has a new dispatch from Baghdad, featuring a report from Lt Col. Jim Crider. You’ll want to read it all, but here’s a sample:
While the situation is always fragile, we have the initiative and the enemy here spends much more time reacting to us than we do to him. He can hide from us but he cannot hide from his neighbor.
Once abandoned streets are now filled with families and budding entrepreneurs who continue to open new small businesses every week. We have made available grants for small businesses in our area and they have become immensely popular as you can imagine. I cannot walk the streets without children asking me for a soccer ball and “chocolate” (meaning any kind of candy) and adults asking for a micro grant application or for the status of the one they already filled out. They use these grants to open new businesses or improve their existing one and it is working well.
Our area now has a men’s fashion store, fish markets, pharmacies, bakeries, and even two new gyms. We recently helped refurbish a once neglected clinic into a first class location for health care. They have a small lab, dentists, a sonogram machine, x-ray machine, and other new equipment. Our medical platoon recently spent several hours with local doctors and nurses treating patients for every day aches and pains with donated medical supplies from a humanitarian organization. I even watched our physician’s assistant pull a watermelon seed out of a young girl’s ear (sound familiar to any one?).
As always, Michael has some terrific photographs.