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Sunday, March 11, 2007

What IF......

A Wapo article today wonders aloud, so to speak, if journalists have their own plan B if the new security strategy for Iraq succeeds.

A front-page story in The Post last week suggested that the Bush administration has no backup plan in case the surge in Iraq doesn't work. I wonder if The Post and other newspapers have a backup plan in case it does.

Leading journalists have been reporting for some time that the war was hopeless, a fiasco that could not be salvaged by more troops and a new counterinsurgency strategy. The conventional wisdom in December held that sending more troops was politically impossible after the antiwar tenor of the midterm elections. It was practically impossible because the extra troops didn't exist. Even if the troops did exist, they could not make a difference.

Four months later, the once insurmountable political opposition has been surmounted. The nonexistent troops are flowing into Iraq. And though it is still early and horrible acts of violence continue, there is substantial evidence that the new counterinsurgency strategy, backed by the infusion of new forces, is having a significant effect.

Some observers are reporting the shift. Iraqi bloggers Mohammed and Omar Fadhil, widely respected for their straight talk, say that "early signs are encouraging." The first impact of the "surge," they write, was psychological. Both friends and foes in Iraq had been convinced, in no small part by the American media, that the United States was preparing to pull out. When the opposite occurred, this alone shifted the dynamic.

As the Fadhils report, "Commanders and lieutenants of various militant groups abandoned their positions in Baghdad and in some cases fled the country." The most prominent leader to go into hiding has been Moqtada al-Sadr. His Mahdi Army has been instructed to avoid clashes with American and Iraqi forces, even as coalition forces begin to establish themselves in the once off-limits Sadr City.

Before the arrival of Gen. David Petraeus, the Army's leading counterinsurgency strategist, U.S. forces tended to raid insurgent and terrorist strongholds and then pull back and hand over the areas to Iraqi forces, who failed to hold them. The Fadhils report, "One difference between this and earlier -- failed -- attempts to secure Baghdad is the willingness of the Iraqi and U.S. governments to commit enough resources for enough time to make it work." In the past, bursts of American activity were followed by withdrawal and a return of the insurgents. Now, the plan to secure Baghdad "is becoming stricter and gaining momentum by the day as more troops pour into the city, allowing for a better implementation of the 'clear and hold' strategy." Baghdadis "always want the 'hold' part to materialize, and feel safe when they go out and find the Army and police maintaining their posts -- the bad guys can't intimidate as long as the troops are staying."

A greater sense of confidence produces many benefits. The number of security tips about insurgents that Iraqi civilians provide has jumped sharply. Stores and marketplaces are reopening in Baghdad, increasing the sense of community. People dislocated by sectarian violence are returning to their homes. As a result, "many Baghdadis feel hopeful again about the future, and the fear of civil war is slowly being replaced by optimism that peace might one day return to this city," the Fadhils report. "This change in mood is something huge by itself."

Apparently some American journalists see the difference. NBC's Brian Williams recently reported a dramatic change in Ramadi since his previous visit. The city was safer; the airport more secure. The new American strategy of "getting out, decentralizing, going into the neighborhoods, grabbing a toehold, telling the enemy we're here, start talking to the locals -- that is having an obvious and palpable effect." U.S. soldiers forged agreements with local religious leaders and pushed al-Qaeda back -- a trend other observers have noted in some Sunni-dominated areas. The result, Williams said, is that "the war has changed."

It is no coincidence that as the mood and the reality have shifted, political currents have shifted as well. A national agreement on sharing oil revenue appears on its way to approval. The Interior Ministry has been purged of corrupt officials and of many suspected of torture and brutality. And cracks are appearing in the Shiite governing coalition -- a good sign, given that the rock-solid unity was both the product and cause of growing sectarian violence.

There is still violence, as Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda seek to prove that the surge is not working. However, they are striking at more vulnerable targets in the provinces. Violence is down in Baghdad. As for Sadr and the Mahdi Army, it is possible they may reemerge as a problem later. But trying to wait out the American and Iraqi effort may be hazardous if the public becomes less tolerant of their violence. It could not be comforting to Sadr or al-Qaeda to read in the New York Times that the United States plans to keep higher force levels in Iraq through at least the beginning of 2008. The only good news for them would be if the Bush administration in its infinite wisdom starts to talk again about drawing down forces.

No one is asking American journalists to start emphasizing the "good" news. All they have to do is report what is occurring, though it may conflict with their previous judgments. Some are still selling books based on the premise that the war is lost, end of story. But what if there is a new chapter in the story?

I have shown the complete article here because it leads into the next set of questions that I, myself, have asked before on this blog.

I have often wondered "what if" this new strategy fails. "What if" we cannot stabalize Iraq? "What if" we stabalize Iraq and they still do not become an effective partner in the war against terror?

I have also stated the ramifications of that failure, here at home and around the world.

What if.....

I rarely see the liberal blogs wonder "what if" it works? "What if" we succeed? "What if" the Iraqi's do become the democracy they have voted to become?

It seems that is an option that they close their eyes to and refuse to ask themselves OR their readers.

They figure if they close their eyes and refuse to acknowledge the progress and success, then everyone else will also.

Childish behavior.

We are seeing more and more of the media reporting successes and progress in Iraq, for whatever their reasons, even they are starting to see that all is not lost and we have a very good chance of succeeding.

Which brings me to the yellow dog democrats and the white flag republicans.... what is THEIR plan B?

How do they backtrack if this current trend of success continues? How do they dig themselves out of this hole they have managed to put themselves into by refusing to ask the one question that could have balanced this out for them.... "what IF we win?

They are, in effect, betting their own careers on America's failure... never a good idea and yet they continue to do so without bothering to at least acknowledge what even some of the mainstream media has been forced to acknowledge... things are looking up and the better the news in Iraq the worse they are looking.

Yet they continue to play their political games because they have put themselves in a position where their political lives are now on the line and the only way to stay alive politically is to try to force defeat upon America.

Question for you.... Blank tells Blank to set a timetable for Iraq Exit... who said this?

How many yellow dog democrats have said this in the last couple of months? How many white flag republicans have said this in the last couple of months?

The quote above could have come from any of them right? It didn't.

This time it comes from Iran.

Iranian officials last night demanded a timetable for US troop withdrawal from Iraq

Once again, our enemies words come from the same script as our democratic politicians words do.

THAT should tell us all something.

There are tons of what if questions when dealing with the question of Iraq. We, on the right side of the aisle have answered them. We have told our readers the consequences of failure. We have told our readers the good and the bad news coming from Iraq. We have kept our eye on the situation on the ground, acknowledged when our administration screwed up and encouraged our readers to make a stand.

What have the liberal media outlets, our liberal politicians and the liberal bloggers answered?

They have continuously predicted doom and gloom, they have told their readers and their voters that America cannot win, they have whined about not being able to force our president to retreat in defeat, but have they asked, one time.... "what if"?

Have we seen them even attempt to ask the question, what if we win? What if we see victory? What if we succeed in the end?

Again, like children, they cannot face the reality that success very well might be the outcome. If they could face the "what if" question, then perhaps their readers might just be prepared and have a plan B of their own.

[UPDATE] Following up on yesterdays piece where we spoke about the blue dogs internal battle with the yellow dogs, Faultline USA has a good post up with a followup coming soon, explaining some local problems that moderate democrats are having with the extreme left side of their own party.

Make sure to keep up with that site because Faultline USA kindly gave me a sneak preview of what is coming and it is, to say the least, a perfect example of the Democrats eating their own.

[Update #2] Even the left is starting to questions the motives and the integrity and the intelligence of their own democratic politicians.

There are two possibilities here: the first seems the most likely - the Dem leadership in the House is truly not very good or very bright. If this is their plan for ending the Iraq Debacle, then it wil never end.

The other possibility is chilling the Dems do not want to end the Iraq Debacle before 2008 - they want to pretend that they want to, not do anyhting concrete to end the Debacle, and then run aginst the GOP on the war in 2008.

[End Updates]

Others discussing this:
Captain's Quarters, Hot Air, Blue Crab Boulevard, Jules Crittenden, TigerHawk.