Morning Report: July 20, 2007

Portland's man in the Middle East hits the tarmac in Baghdad, while a Midwest blogger does her part on the home front.

Michael Totten in Baghdad. Remind me not to complain about the hot weather here. Michael J. Totten: 'You know how it feels when you get into a black car in the afternoon with the windows rolled up in July? It’s an inferno outside, but inside the car it’s even hotter? That’s how Iraq feels in the shade. Sunlight burns like a blowtorch. If you don’t wear a helmet or soft cap the sun will cook your brain. First you get headaches. Then you end up in the hospital.' And then there's getting from BIAP to the IZ. Go read the post for the whole story.

TMG on supporting the troops. Kat at The Middle Ground shows Senator Harry Reid how it's done: 'Friday morning, I will ride in my beat up Pontiac with a broken door and no air conditioner, chow down on a breakfast biscuit from some fast food chain so I can stand on the flag line in the heat and humidity to send off our guys by 7:30 AM. ... I'll be looking around the flag line and noting the real patriots there. I'm pretty sure I won't see Sen. Reid or any of his staffers who thought it was cute to deliver "care packages" to his Republican opposition while 1200 [update: 3000] marines are waiting for letters and care packages from home.'

Democrats bravely strike another blow in defense of terrorists. Michelle Malkin has the roll call on the John Doe amendment, which would have afforded legal protection to citizens who alert authorities to suspicious activity on transportation. Little Green Footballs: 'This is not good news: House Democrats have succeeded in removing the provision to protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior.'

South Baghdad's most wanted terrorist busted. MNF-Iraq:
AL-DHOUR — With two well-timed phone calls, Iraqi civilians made a few Soldiers’ day recently.

The first tipster called Troop C, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., and alerted them to a cache south of the village of Al-Dhour, south of Baghdad.

The troop responded, located the buried weapons, and was only five minutes into the process of digging them up when they got another call.

A man claimed he had the 2nd BCT’s top high-value target and would deliver him to coalition custody. The man and Capt. Adam Sawyer, Troop C commander, agreed on a pickup site.

The Soldiers hastily re-buried the cache and moved out. When the vehicle arrived, they stopped it and took the most wanted man and two other men into custody.

Some of the Soldiers were still able to see the cache from their vantage point, and were surprised to see a civilian pickup truck stop there and begin hastily loading the weapons into the bed of the truck.

They engaged the vehicle with an M-240 machine gun. The men tried to flee, but the Troop C Soldiers detained them all and called an explosive ordnance disposal team to destroy the weapons.

Sawyer, a native of Reading, Pa., was jubilant about the operation.

“All of this was possible because of sources we’ve developed, through local-national engagements and working with the residents of the area,” he said. “It’s our work with the people in these areas, our relations with them, paying off.

The primary target is allegedly responsible for shooting down an AH-64 helicopter in April 2006, the abductions of two Soldiers in June 2006, and complex attacks on patrol bases and terrorist acts against both coalition forces and Iraqi civilians.

Oregon native keeps motivation high with art. CENTCOM profiles Lance Corporal Cory Howland of North Bend, Oregon - company artist for Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines.

Commentary. No commentary today, I'm taking it easy.