First, it’s worth noting that yes there is still a war in Afghanistan (see The Long War Journal for more).
It’s been a while since I said much on Iraq and a lot of positive things have occurred. I hope most have tried to keep up, despite media inattention on the issue recently. If not, here are links spanning the last week (note: I don’t think they include links on the major decline in coalition and Iraqi casualties and attacks – you’ll have to look that up yourself):
The Good News:
Baghdad by night – juice bars, neon lights, bustling streets (11/18/07)
Qaeda chased from last Baghdad bastion (11/16/07)
Embattled Baghdad shows signs of hope (11/14/07 )
A ‘boots on the ground’ view:
Hot Air Audio: CPT Aaron Kaufman, US Army, on the surge and whether we’re winning (11/14/07)
Not-to-be missed pictures and background on a Christian Mass in Baghdad (church reopened). It includes Yon’s ‘thousand words’ photo/post of Muslims assisting Christians reopen their church (and put up its cross): Come Home
Today, Muslims mostly filled the front pews of St. John’s. Muslims who want their Christian friends and neighbors to come home. The Christians who might see these photos likely will recognize their friends here. The Muslims in this neighborhood worry that other people will take the homes of their Christian neighbors, and that the Christians will never come back. And so they came to St. John’s today in force, and they showed their faces, and they said, “Come back to Iraq. Come home.”
I asked Ice if the Muslims treat the Christians poorly in Iraq, and he said what other Iraqi Christians and Muslims have also told me: an unequivocal “No.”
The message may be getting out: Better security sees Iraqi refugees flood home
Problems on the Home Front:
Dems threaten to cut Iraq purse strings (11/13/07)
Reid to Bush: Start withdrawing troops or else (11/13/07)
SecDef Gates cowboys up against the surrendercrat Congress (11/15/007)
GOP Senators: Take the war budget out of pork (11/16/07) – Congress had the will to pass the Defense Appropriations bill (with plenty o’ pork) – suggestion to use that pork to while waiting for Congress to knock-off the timeline politicking.
Pentagon ramps up fight with Congress (11/20/07)
The AP has also recently shifted tactics to hit on desertion rates. This post casts light on the figures and context they are using as well as a historical perspective (effectively showing the desertions stories seem to be an attempt to make a non-issue an issue):
Military Desertion Rates and the Associated Press
Pentagon stupidity: Military demands partial refund of signing bonus from wounded vets. Fortunately, they seem to have received the message loud and clear: Pentagon backpedals furiously on denying bonuses to wounded vets
Looking to the Future – Words of Warning:
Now that things are shaping up on the ground, it is critical that the Iraqi government step up:
U.S. begs Iraqi government to seize the moment before it passes (11/15/07)
Hitchens also chimes in: Something To Give Thanks For (11/19/07)
Finally, with Thanksgiving coming up remember to keep our soldiers, our allies, the Iraqis (and their government) , and Afghans in our thoughts and prayers.
Christmas is also around the corner. Go to America Supports You (linked on blog roll too) for plenty of ways to say thanks. You will also find legitimate organizations focused on helping our military servicemen/women as well as organizations that further enable our troops help others in need (in Iraq, Afghanistan…wherever) .