Michael Yon is keeping us up to date on Arrowhead Ripper, while most of the MSM waddles in – days behind. Yon does cite an NYT reporter who was there with him early on as “accurate.”
I give but brief excerpts, read all of both these dispatches.
Operation Arrowhead Ripper: Day One
June 20th, 2007
The first day of operation Arrowhead Ripper was intense. The Army is giving full access to the battlefield, and while on base full access to the TOC (HQ) which means I see the raw truth on the ground, and as it feeds through the TOC. They are hiding nothing. Or if they are, it’s in plain view. (Special operations notwithstanding.) A reporter can see as much as he or she can stand.
Arrowhead Ripper: Surrender or Die
June 22nd, 2007
…The combat in Baqubah should soon reach a peak. Al Qaeda seems to have been effectively isolated. The initial attack on 19 June achieved enough surprise that al Qaeda was caught off guard and trapped. They have been beaten back mostly into pockets and are surrounded and will be dealt with. Part of this is actually due to the capability of Strykers. We were able to “attack from the march.” In other words, a huge force drove in from places like Baghdad and quickly locked down Baqubah.
…On information flow, as of noon in Baqubah on 22 June, the press is starting to flood in. The Public Affairs Office and the press climate at this Brigade are A+. Access is actually better than I have ever seen, and that is saying a great deal. A PAO officer told me that about 20 press should be here over the next days, so we should be able to get reports from many independent sources and compare and contrast. The access is unbelievably good. They are not holding back the good, bad or the ugly. Press who aren’t here in Baqubah with 3-2 Stryker Brigade are missing out. However … the press who are here are wasting huge amounts of time on trivial matters that are occurring above the level of 3-2.