Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 10, 2004
WAR: Hearts and Minds, Part II

As I've insisted before, "the war for "hearts and minds" isn't about making them love us; it's about making the Iraqis and others in the Arab and Muslim worlds take responsibility for their own back yards, stop blaming us for everything and stop encouraging and assisting people to try to kill us."

According to Tom Friedman, Lt. Gen. David Petraeus gets it:

I called Lt. Gen. David Petraeus in Baghdad, the widely respected U.S. commander for rebuilding the Iraqi Army. He told me that contracts for more than $3 billion worth of equipment, uniforms, training facilities, weaponry, bases and communications gear for the new Iraqi Army are finally being signed and executed so by the end of the summer, a lot of it should be getting to units. Moreover, he said, the first battalion of Iraqi internal security forces, trained for urban warfare, will be deployed in Baghdad. If the training stays on schedule, says General Petraeus, a critical mass of trained Iraqi Army, civil defense and police forces should be up and running by January, in time for elections.
"Early on, just after we got here, we talked a lot about how to win Iraqi hearts and minds, and get them to like us," General Petraeus said. "But we understand now that what we really need is for them to love the new Iraq. That is what needs to happen. . . . Bombs are going to go off every day, but what we need to do is somehow keep looking to the longer term and focus on building the new Iraq. . . . We just need to keep our heads down, be patient and keep driving on. This is really, really hard work."

Also: more good news for the new Iraqi government in the disbanding of the militias (link via Iraq the Model) and the new government's assertion of full control over Iraq's oil industry (link via Joe Katzman of Winds of Change).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 11:06 PM | War 2004 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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