Iraq saw major progress in the months of August as violent deaths in the country were close to one-third of what they were in July!
From USA TOday, Violent deaths in Baghdad were down sigificantly in July.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced late this week that Iraqi forces will take responsibility for Thi-Qar province in the south this month. Thi-Qar would be the second of Iraq’s 18 provinces that local forces would control.
And, Haider Ajina sends a translation of a headline and article from the Iraqi News Agency of September 1.
“U.S. forces hand over security for Kirkuk to Iraqi Army”
U.S. forces handed over security responsibility of Kirkuk city to the Iraqi army during military ceremonies on Thursday August 31. These ceremonies took in military fort twenty kilometers north western Kirkuk. The ceremonies were followed by a speech from the U.S. commander David Kary of the U.S. forces in Kirkuk. He commended the Iraqi forces for their fight against terrorist in the area. Kary said; “The Iraqi army will now receive responsibility for security of Kirkuk. They have proven capable of keeping security with out assistance from the multi national forces”. Iraqi General Anwar Hammeh Amien praised the multi national forces for their training of the Iraqi army to take over security control of the city. He added; “Now the Iraqi army can depend on it self to protect the boarders and city residences, we will need help from the multi national forces, in the areas of intelligence, air support, and artillery, in fighting and defeating terrorist in large operations.”
New military officers from the Iraq Military Academy during their graduation ceremony in Baghdad, August 28, 2006. (Faleh Kheiber/Reuters)
Haider offers these comments:
Another important area in northern Iraq is handed over to the Iraqi military (whom we trained). This is almost a weekly event. Soon Thiqar province in the south will fall under provincial control just like Muthena province. Iraqis are being trained by us and the British and are ready, willing, and able to take over security responsibility for their own country.
Of course, they only take over after they graduate training and prove themselves. Iraqi security philosophy has to be completely wiped clean from the old methods of Saddam and the old Russian training. They then have to be indoctrinated to respect the law, and serve and protect civilians they are to serve. It has been a long process to move the Iraqi security apparatus from the old “dominate and oppress” philosophy to that of “serve and protect.”
The Average Iraqi is also having to learn that the Iraqi security forces can be trusted, that they will serve and protect. Early and soon after the liberation, and after the Iraqis figured out that we are there to stay till the job is completed, Iraqis were coming to our military with information, but not to the Iraqi security.
Now, and for some time, Iraqis are going to their own security forces with information.
This is a fundamental change in the relationship between citizens and their security forces in Iraq. This is also a unique relationship in the Arab world. It is one I am sure other Arabs will want to have with their security forces.
As always, terrific news not reported by our mainstream media from Haider Ajina!
In other good security news this week, General Casey announced that Iraqi forces will take over security and local forced could be running Iraq in 12-18 months.
It’s interesting that the same day as this news comes out the media warns about, “A surge in Iraqi sectarian violence and insurgent attacks leading to Civil War.”