AC: More about the Ramadi footage
JOHN ROBERTS: Michael Ware joins us now, live from Baghdad.
Michael, incredibly dramatic video. What's really interesting about it is typically the lens of the camera does not capture the intensity of what you actually experience on the ground, but in this case you did.
What was it like to actually be there?
WARE: Well, I've been going out to Ramadi since 2003 and I've seen this state that you are watching now develop before my own eyes. I mean, back in November last year there was five U.S. bases in the city. I was there the day that al Qaeda decided to attack all five bases at once, a massive coordinated operation.
In March when this Marine battalion arrived, two days after they got there, the entire battalion was attacked at once. As a senior officer said, "Every weapons system we had in the battalion was firing."
So that's what the reality is like for these guys. This is how they lived seven months and this is how another group is in there now living the next seven months. I mean, this is the stark realty of the war on terror at its very tip end -- John.
ROBERTS: Michael, you called this, you referred to it as the meat grinder in Ramadi. And we heard from the Marine general who is in charge of that whole region out there in Anbar Province, that he doesn't have enough Marines. Doesn't have enough boots on the ground to be able to defeat the insurgency. So is this the way that things are going to continue in that area?
WARE: Absolutely. Until someone decides to do something properly about it, al Qaeda will continue to dominate, hold sway and in fact blossom, not just militarily but politically. President Bush, in one of his recent speeches, pointed to captured al Qaeda documents revealing very detailed plans to essentially set up its own Islamic government in that province.
Well, we learned from U.S. Marine intelligence al Qaeda has already infiltrated that provincial or state government, so much so that they are making $400,000 to $600,000 per month from the taxation of fuel and oil into the city -- John.
ROBERTS: Amazing. They found ways to make money at doing it. Incredible piece of video. Michael Ware in Baghdad, thanks very much. Appreciate it.