I'm not gonna say too much about these except that you should take the time to read all of them. Print them out if you need to, sit down over a mug of hot chocolate or what-have-you, but read up. It's good stuff, and it's hard stuff, and it'll take some time, but it's worth it.
Michelle Malkin and Bryan Preston are back from Iraq. They spent their time in north Baghdad at Forward Operating Base Justice. Michelle has brief commentary and plenty of pictures.
Bryan has a much longer essay on successes and failures in Iraq, and the prospects of winning. Long read, great stuff.
Michelle's column today is on "What I saw in Iraq:"
There's nothing glamorous or romantic about these missions. No one will make a movie about our men and women in uniform engaged in the tedious, painstaking business of moving Iraq toward stability and governability. But if the war is to be won -- if security is to be established and the foundations of a civil society bolstered -- this is ground zero. The troops I met ask only three things of their fellow Americans back home: time, patience and understanding of the enormous complexities on the ground.
If you haven't yet checked in with Ardolino, embedded in Fallujah, and Michael Yon, heading to Ramadi, please do. Much of their stuff is long, too, but really entertaining. I'm struck by how much plain information transcription you get from these guys. There's color, of course, but it comes from those they encounter and the experiences that animate their time in Iraq.
Ardolino interviews an Iraqi police officer, asks him basic questions, puts up the answers. Yon tours bases with the senior enlisted soldier on the ground in Iraq, relating his outlook and those of the soldiers he leads. It's much more interesting and informative reading than the MSM "lede with things bad, plug in quote about things bad, end with reinforcement of things bad" approach. It's great to hear what folks on the ground think, straight from their mouths, without the ellipses and the out-of-context woes that plague much of the MSM's reporting.
Yes, things are bad. Why? How? How do our men and women in uniform work with Iraqis to make them better? How do we leave, but leave with victory? It's so much more productive than Bush-bashing and rehashing. I've really enjoyed reading them.
All these folks need funds, and have Pay Pal buttons displayed. If you enjoy their stuff, and you will, please pitch in. They need it to keep the info coming.
And, of course, you can watch the info on Vent today.
Update: Almost forgot this. Via Op-For, a personal take on Gen. Petraeus, who will be replacing Gen. Casey in Iraq.