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Monday, July 30, 2007

War Critic Sees Tide Turning in Iraq

This post has been updated and bumped and the new one can be found here.

A man who has been very critical of the war in Iraq as well as a man that was for our actions in Iraq, before he was against them, having now visited Iraq, both men come back to report in the New York Times an excellent article, titled "A War We Just Might Win".

The two men are Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack and it is this type f news, finally being brought to Americans that are responsible for American support slowly inching up. We are finally seeing the good news about how the surge is working that even the liberal MSM cannot hide anymore.

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(Continued from above)

VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

The writers of this piece also make the comparison of troop morale from the previous visits to this last one.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.


In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks — all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups — who were now competing to secure his friendship.

Baghdad’s Ghazaliya neighborhood:

In Baghdad’s Ghazaliya neighborhood, which has seen some of the worst sectarian combat, we walked a street slowly coming back to life with stores and shoppers. The Sunni residents were unhappy with the nearby police checkpoint, where Shiite officers reportedly abused them, but they seemed genuinely happy with the American soldiers and a mostly Kurdish Iraqi Army company patrolling the street. The local Sunni militia even had agreed to confine itself to its compound once the Americans and Iraqi units arrived.

Other areas:

We traveled to the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. This is an ethnically rich area, with large numbers of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens. American troop levels in both cities now number only in the hundreds because the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate. Reliable police officers man the checkpoints in the cities, while Iraqi Army troops cover the countryside. A local mayor told us his greatest fear was an overly rapid American departure from Iraq. All across the country, the dependability of Iraqi security forces over the long term remains a major question mark.

Read page #2 of the article to see for yourself, the progress, the challenges that still face our troops and the overwhelming feeling of succeeding.... at least until they look to Washington, the only place that still has not gotten the memo: The surge is working better and faster than imagined by even those implementing it.

The buzz is full of those that cannot accept that we may, indeed have a chance to succeed in Iraq, those that are so heavily invested in defeat that no amount of reality can check their disturbing hatred.

Whether they admit or ignore it, or try to distort it or distract from it, it doesn't change the fact that after all the work, suffering and death, we now have a formula that is working in Iraq.

I will bring you reactions to this article shortly.

If you are one of the people that criticize this NYT article, perhaps you could answer four little simple questions that I pose in my followup piece.

[Update with reactions]

Hot Air states:

Read the whole thing. There is good news coming out of Iraq, but unfortunately the cacophony in Washington may drown it out.

Villainous Company
points out that the reason news of the surges success hasn't gotten to the American people is because the media has worked to undermine and refute that message...until now. (Read it, she really lets the media have it)

Just One Minute says:

Wow. Combine that with the NY Times poll results and one might infer that the Dems need to pin down Bush's defeat before it slips away from them. WILLisms has more on this.

The Moderate Voice points out that those that do not like the message of this NYT article would rather shoot the messenger because of the message:

So, when even critics concede rays of hope, are others willing to follow suit? Some might, though certainly not all. From TalkLeft:

I have a new litmus test for the Dem Presidential candidates - they must promise not to have Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollock in their administration.

And there we have what’s wrong with today’s politics in a nutshell: Someone doesn’t like the message, so they shoot the messengers.

Captain's Quarters has his usual wonderful analysis of the information in the NYT article.

Michael Goldfarb points to Power Line, who is saying what we have been saying for a couple months now:

This analysis--that the military is making significant progress in Iraq, and that the political situation remains the major hurdle to success in that country--conforms well with much of the reporting that has come out of Iraq recently. But as Powerline's John Hinderaker points out this morning, the real fear is "that the leadership of the Democratic Party sees progress on the ground in Iraq as bad news, not good. I think many Congressional Democrats are committed to defeat, for political and ideological reasons."

That is it in a nutshell, as we showed you the other day, the Democratic politicians are so heavily invested in failure that any good news from Iraq is ignored or treated with disdain becauss they instinctively understand that Good News from Iraq is definitely bad news for them, as a party.

Jules Crittenden points out that with this latest article in the New York Times, someone from that paper obviously didn't get the memo...LOL

Definitely head over and read Dean Barnett at Townhall with "If They've Lost Brookings..."

The buzz from the left is exactly what we have come to expect whenever good news from Iraq comes out in the MSM, they attack, they distort, they try to distract and they will never admit that we may just have a chance to succeed in Iraq.

[Update #2] NewsBusters points out that it is not just this NYT article, but other liberals are starting express points we have been mentioning since the inception of this blog as well as other blogs and sources have been expressing for quite a while now: Optimism and consequences of a premature withdrawal:

On Sunday, NewsBusters reported a shocking discussion that ensued on "The Chris Matthews Show" wherein five liberal media members actually debated why America shouldn't withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Maybe more shocking, the following day, an op-ed was published in the New York Times claiming that "We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, "morale is high," and, as a result, this is "a war we just might win."

Adding to the shock is that this piece was written by two members of the Brookings Institution, which even Wikipedia acknowledges is "widely regarded as being politically liberal." The authors - Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack - described themselves as "two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration's miserable handling of Iraq."

Not anymore. Better prepare yourself for an alternate reality

It seems that the more the MSM is being forced to acknowledge the progress and success being seen in Iraq, the more the moderates of the liberal or "progressive" party are not wishing to be left out in the cold and jumping the defeatists ships.

The tide is not only turning in Iraq, it is starting to turn here in America.

Victory and success are not such dirty words after all, except to the Democratic politicians.

Tracked back by:
Driving The Leftinistra INSANE from Take Our Country Back...