IRAQ: A Soldier's Report

Oct. 11, 2007

By Julie Sultze

Is the troop surge in Iraq working? This has been the point of debate on Iraq for the past few months. From the beginning Democrats have insisted that the surge would not work. In fact, on June 13, 2007 Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent President Bush a letter claiming that the surge had been a failure. And the news media, quick to relay every negative aspect of the war, rarely reports on any positive news from the front. But what is actually happening on the ground in Iraq? Is the surge meeting with success? Washington Eagle Forum is pleased to be able to provide you with this first-hand report from the front-lines of the War on Terror in Iraq:

First Lieutenant John Meixner grew up in Everson, WA. He is the Company Commander of an Infantry Co. in the Marines Corps. A 2004 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he was first deployed to Iraq in May 2006 and has just returned from his second deployment. He has received the Purple Heart and the Navy/Marine Achievement Medal with Combat V for his service to our country. This is a brief account of his most recent deployment to the Anbar Province.

Anbar is a key province in the Iraq war. It encompasses Ramadi and Fallujah, which with Baghdad, poses the greatest challenge the U.S. forces have faced in Iraq. It includes much of the area that has come to be known as the Sunni Triangle. As 1st Lt. Meixner puts it, “Anbar was the worst!” It was a hot-bed of terrorist activity where al Qaeda had teamed up with the Sunnis/Baathist Party. In June 2007 when 1st Lt. Meixner and his men began securing villages in Anbar they were meeting with four instances of small arms fire a day.

At the onset al Qaeda and Anbar’s Sunnis/Baathists were fighting against U.S. troops in the province. However, 1st Lt. Meixner reports that the U.S. was very successful in cutting off the outside monetary flow which was funding al Qaeda in the Anbar Province. This led to al Qaeda declaring Sharia law in Anbar, which allowed them to collect taxes from the Iraqi people to fund their war effort.

With the establishment of Sharia law in Anbar came the brutal treatment of the Iraqi people. Al Qaeda began, what 1st Lt. Meixner called, “their fear, murder and intimidation campaign” on the people of Anbar who were their supposed allies. Failure to submit to Sharia law meant being beheaded. As the level of torture and savagery increased the Sunnis/Baathists began to hate al Qaeda and see them as the enemy. U.S. Christian troops began praying that the Sunnis/Baathists would want to become allies with America against al Qaeda. Their prayers were answered one day in a stunning way. A local sheik approached one of our soldiers and said, “I love Jesus.” This was his way of communicating that the local people wanted to join with the U.S. and provide details about al Qaeda forces that would help our troops locate and capture them.

As a result, U.S. forces defeated al Qaeda fighters in the Anbar Province. In the months of July and August, 1st Lt. Meixner and his men did not encounter one small arms fire attack. The Iraqi people are now policing their own villages and our troops are offering them protection and security and gaining their trust. The surge is stopping sectarian violence, defeating al Qaeda, and buying time for the new Iraqi government to be implemented. There has been success in Anbar Province.

First Lt. Meixner asks that we pray for the same success in Baghdad. He stated, “The future is being decided in Baghdad. As Baghdad goes, so goes the country.” If you would like to receive updates on how to pray for Baghdad go to: