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Monday, September 10, 2007

Would We Know Good News When If We Saw It?

Today is the day of the report from General Petraeus about the progress in Iraq. According to all of the news the past two weeks, there has been progress at least on the military side. The political side is in shambles but I don't think anyone expected that to be much different.

I have heard more than a few reports about the security situation in many areas and that it is greatly improved. Baghdad is still Baghdad, and there is far more progress to be made in the capital. The rest of the country is in pretty good shape, relative to a couple of years ago. I know that in the areas where Marines are, there is excellent cooperation from the locals and from all sides. The Iraqi people tire of the violence as well despite the desire from the various sects of Islam to take down the other.

So we have some progress, with far more to go. Will anyone accept good news? Are we so war-weary that nothing matters except putting it behind us? Unfortunately, we can't afford to forget, and we can't afford to walk away. We need to take the good news and refocus on forging ahead.

Newt Gingrich believes that we need a much larger focus of the war on terror. He thinks, and I agree, that we need to press both diplomatically and otherwise against Syria and Iran. For months we have known that they are providing access, money, weapons, and support for the killing of Americans. I am disappointed in the fact that most Americans don't seem to care that there are governments actively killing Americans.

We often ask if America could fight WWII again. I think that the military, and those men and women who serve are capable of the sacrifice and hard work to do so, but I have doubt as to the ability of the average citizen to be able to stomach the fight or to accept gas and sugar rationing for our war efforts.

One last thought about the report today. For years, the left has been screaming that Bush needs to listen to the generals, and that he should accept that they say and make decisions accordingly. How about this statement?

According to the statements from many on the left, they don't plan on even
listening to the facts today. "You've got a ministry of the interior that has a
police force that's corrupt and ineffective. There are some improvements in the
army, that's true. But there has been no progress with respect to the Sunnis.
Ethno-sectarian hatred is certainly as high, if not higher. The statistics are
very questionable," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told "FOX News Sunday."

Anyone tell me the last time that the Sunni and Shia sects worked side by side in Iraq?

"There was a big disconnect between the truth of the matter and the reality. I
mean, the truth of the matter is that ... this administration's policy and the
surge are a failure," said Sen. Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee and a 2008 presidential candidate.

"I believe in a start date and a target date by which to have troops withdrawn, all those but are necessary to protect civilians that remain there, and all but those
needed to prevent Al Qaeda from gaining large swaths of territory," Biden said.

Large swaths of territory? How about our failure to engage in policy beginning in 1979 through 2001 that led to radical Islam taking over an entire region of the world? It was the left who continued to treat international terrorism as exclusively a law enforcement issue, despite multiple bombings of embassies and military facilities such as warships. How about "enough troops to kick the living snot out of anyone who sticks their heads out of the sand to engage in evil acts"? I guess that might be taken as offensive to someone.

As the top General goes to Capital Hill today, I bet they don't take their own advice.

Finally, some words from Michael Yon, an independent journalist who is spending as much or more time in Iraq as our troops:

"No one can predict the future, but all who are in a position of authority vis à vis our policy about Iraq should realize that something truly seems to have changed on the ground and momentum forward is accelerating this change. It is possible that fighting will begin to wind down in most areas of the country, as the security gains of the past few months begin to produce more and more of the collateral political, economic and social gains that have been inhibited largely by terror and fear.

And should that occur, we’ll need to decide what our next step will be. If we put our foot on the gas in helping Iraq stand again, Iraq could actually become a strong and firm partner of the United States. But it is equally possible that all the gains made to date will unravel before the eyes of the world, if we point that foot instead toward the door of a premature exit.

But regardless of US election cycles and news fatigue, the timing here will reflect the conditions on the ground. With a premature withdrawal it may only be months before the unraveling begins, but even with our continued presence, it will be years before Iraq can truly stand. It will be years before the Iraqi military is “done.” The Iraqi Army has made tremendous progress, but the task is immense. The commitment should not require all of the resources assembled there now for all of that time, but there is no way around the fact that years are required. If we want Iraq to succeed, we must stick it out. We are succeeding today in Iraq."

1 Posts From Readers:

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

In answer to your WWII question, with the current Demcorats in Congress, Eisenhower would have been called on the carpet for the D Day plan while Democrat Senators would have been traveling to Berlin to appease and negotiate with Hitler.

The liberation fo Europe would have never happened and te Fare East would have fallen into the hands of Imperial Japan as Democrats would not see the danger of the Japenese militaristic leadership and their want to conquer their neighbors.

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