Haditha has been in the news a lot in recent months, but we're just now hearing about this. More evidence that good news rarely gets back to us. http://www.breitbart.com/news/na/070111141318.rm71vcto.html US Marines build sand walls in latest Iraq tactic Jan 11 9:13 AM US/Eastern EXCERPT Adapting ideas tracing back from ancient history to modern Israel, US Marines have sealed off flashpoint towns with sand walls in a new counter-insurgency tactic to quell the wilds of western Iraq. Driving across the desert to Haditha, one of the war's deadliest and most infamous battlefields, the grey plain suddenly collapses into a ditch and rises into an intimidating 12-foot (around four-metre) bank of bulldozed sand. SNIP When 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines deployed to western Al-Anbar from Hawaii in mid-September they sustained casualties in Haditha every day for 45 days. Then on November 10, gun battles in the town stopped. Captain Matthew Tracy, whose marines patrol Haditha, attributes the lull to a local strongman, a former officer in the Saddam Hussein army known simply as Colonel Faruq, with the power and charisma to bring the town to heel. Provided, that was, the Marines built a defensive sand wall sealing off Haditha from the porous desert, with checkpoints and traffic restrictions.e SNIP "In mid-September there were 10 to 13 attacks per day in the triad, although the enemy was concentrated in Haditha. Now there is one every two to three days," says Major Kevin Matthews in the sand-bagged US base downtown.