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StreetFight:Conflict
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Dateline Baquba: Columnist Joe Klein Reports
Time Magazine Veteran gets First Hand Glimpse of Operation Arrowhead Ripper
06/21/2007 4:34 PM ET
Reporting today from Diyala's provincial capital of Baquba, Time columnist Joe Klein, provides a detail-rich account of the US-led offensive against al Qaeda.

Klein accompanied burly, bald three-star US General Ray Odierno to Baquba.

Here's a key graph:

Odierno later told me similar anti-al-Qaeda rebellions were happening throughout the country, including some neighborhoods of Baghdad. "Iraqis notice things. They noticed what happened when we began to support the Sunni tribes against al-Qaeda in al-Anbar. And al-Qaeda seems to have overplayed its hand."

At a second briefing, at a bunkered, joint U.S.-Iraqi command post in the middle of Baquba, the news was less optimistic. An Iraqi General said that he was pretty certain that the al-Qaeda leadership had slipped away, north to Tikrit and Samarra, and that many of the fighters were burying their equipment before they left town, hoping to return—as always—when the Americans left. "Well, it's up to you to make sure they don't come back," Odierno said.

Here's Klein's full report.

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