June 10, 2007

A Crack of Honesty from Rick Lynch

Frustration might be leading to more honest statements by Third Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, whose forces control the area of a bridge bombing in Mahmoudiya.

There are tribal sheiks out there who say 'Hey, just allow me to be the local security force. I don't care what you call me. ... You can call me whatever you want [e.g., "insurgent"]. Just give me the right training and equipment and I'll secure my area.' And that's the direction we're moving out there.

In a meeting with reporters, Lynch said contacts with the Sunnis, who make up the bulk of the insurgency, were a matter of pragmatism.

They say: 'We hate you because you are an occupier, but we hate al-Qaida worse and we hate the Persians (Iranians) even worse' ... you can't ignore that whole population.

Lynch's division, he said, had lost 43 soldiers since the beginning of the U.S. troop surge on Feb. 14.


Associated Press, Iraq bridge collapse traps U.S. soldiers, CHARLES J. HANLEY, June 10, 2007.

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