The Battle for Ramadi

The Battle for Ramadi

What’s really going on in Iraq? You can’t tell if you only read and listen to the usual mainstream media correspondents. They stay holed up in their Baghdad hotels while they send Iraqi stringers out to gather their stories. But a few reporters do venture out and Michael Fumento went to where the action is and reports on the New Band of Brothers in The Weekly Standard.

Fumento went to Ramadi in western Iraq, which is infested with terrorists. The 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101 Airborne Division holds Ramadi along with Iraqi army forces and they’re facing the worst of the fight and doing it with courage and professionalism. Fumento gives a first-person perspective that will remind you of Mark Bowden’s descriptions in “Black Hawk Down.”

To most of the media, Baghdad is where Iraq begins and ends. So naturally, they think Baghdad is the most dangerous part of the country. Wrong. “The sheer scale of violence in Ramadi is astounding,” wrote AP’s Todd Pitman after spending time with several units there. Pitman arrived the same night I did. “One recent coalition tally of ‘significant acts’—roadside bombs, attacks, exchanges of fire—indicated that out of 43 reported in Iraq on a single day, 27 occurred in Ramadi and its environs,” he wrote in a dispatch. Track the weekly butcher’s bill for all of Iraq and you’ll often find that a third to a half of U.S. combat deaths are in this one city about a third the size of Baghdad.

Fumento also gives us a ground-level view of a patrol in the city, of the welcoming nature of most people followed by the contrast of a major terrorist attack.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli