Custom Search

Friday, August 31, 2007

Petraeus Speaks to The Australian: Surge is Working

In a face to face interview with The Australian, General Petraeus described some of the dramatic changes in Iraq since the surge began.

They include but are not limited to:

**Dramatic reduction of sectarian killings.
**Drop in the number of roadside bombings.
**Killing or capturing of al-Qaeda fighters, causing the terrorist group to lose influence with local Sunnis.
**75 per cent reduction in religious and ethnic killings since last year.
**Doubling in the seizure of insurgents' weapons caches between January and August.
**US forces are pursuers instead of defenders.
**Religious-related deaths would be down to a quarter of what they were last December by the end of August.

Dr. Brendan Nelson, the Australian Defense Minister had this to say:

Dr Nelson, who went to Afghanistan and Iraq this week and is now in Washington, said General Petraeus had presented a detailed presentation on security inside the country.

"We finished our meeting with a very clear picture of his thinking of the assessment of the security situation, not just in Baghdad but also in the south and the work being done by us and the British," he said.

"No one should underestimate the importance to what is happening in Iraq of our contribution and the significance of it to the Americans and the Iraqis themselves.

"We will wait until we see the President's response to the report and we will shape our forward planning around that response.

"I think it is fair to say that we will continue to look for increased opportunities for training."

The Defence Minister said Australian forces were highly regarded as trainers and whenever he asked the Iraqis to nominate what they wanted they "always said training".

"Our support for continuing support and involvement in Iraq is a minority position but we have a moral responsibility to these people to see this job through," Dr Nelson said.

Despite the "leaked" report from the GAO which works for Congress, meant to preempt the report, due in September by General Petraeus, the facts and figures on the ground are evidence of the tremendous efforts and abilities of our military and coalition forces and the success they are all seeing.

Fox News' Special Report showed White House spokesman Tony Snow saying, "The standard that is set by the legislation is to assess whether a benchmark has been met. Well, look, it's no secret that many of the benchmarks have not been met. What is significant is that there is progress towards a great number of them." The Washington Post notes Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said yesterday that the Defense Department has "provided the GAO with information which we believe will lead them to conclude that a few of the benchmark grades should be upgraded from 'not met' to 'met,'" but "declined to specify which grades he was citing." Although the State Department "proposed some changes" to the report, "it did not dispute the basic conclusions," according to an Administration official. The Washington Times, however, says both "the Pentagon and State Department provided detailed and lengthy objections to the findings."

White House Believes It's Gaining Ground Echoing a story in yesterday's New York Times, the Washington Times reports this morning the White House "believes it has made significant progress over the past month in swaying public and political opinion toward supporting a continued US military effort in Iraq, one of President Bush's closest advisers said in an interview." That adviser is Ed Gillespie, counselor to the President, who told the Times, "It is clear that the surge is producing significant results. And that does not seem to be an object of controversy really, significant controversy, anymore."

In what could be an indication that the momentum may be shifting away from the Democrats, the Washington Post reports this morning that Sen. Harry Reid, in an apparent shift, said yesterday "he is now willing to compromise with Republicans to find ways to limit troop deployments in Iraq." Reid "acknowledged that his previous firm demand for a spring withdrawal deadline had become an obstacle for a small but growing number of Republicans who have said they want to end the war but have been unwilling to set a timeline." Said Reid, "I don't think we have to think that our way is the only way. ... I'm not saying, 'Republicans, do what we want to do.' Just give me something that you think you would like to do, that accomplishes some or all of what I want to do."

Petraeus: White House Not Writing Report On its website, The Hill reports Gen. Petraeus "assured lawmakers this week that the administration is not involved in the writing of his report, according to a lawmaker who has recently returned from the region." Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek "told reporters Thursday that Petraeus said he and US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had briefed the administration on the situation in Iraq, but added that 'as far as [Petraeus] is concerned...he is writing his recommendations of that report and testimony.'"

There is no doubt that after the September report the Democrats will still try to force retreat, but finally the administration has understood that bringing the truth to the American public is the only way to get it seen because the opposition certainly won't bring the whole truth, just the portions they wish to be seen.

Since they have launched this new media strategy, the American public has responded. Four our four of the last polls done, by different organizations have shown American support for the war inching up, each poll showing a little more support than the last.

The message is finally getting out.

Another factor that will affect this debate are the voices that have always stayed quiet, speaking up now and taking a stand.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, via, Vets For Freedom. They have launched a Ten Weeks to Testimony Campaign (you can see what they have been doing each week for the last eight right here)

Week One.
Week Two. Call to Action.
Week Three. Take The Lead, State-by-State.
Week Four. Sign up Today to Show up on September 17/18.
Week Five. Get Active in Your State!
Week Six. Cost of Defeat" Call-in Campaign.

You can also see my interview with the Executive Director of Vets For Freedom, Pete Hegseth right here as well as key portions of the interview, in the Washington Times, right here.

Move America Forward, along with Vets For Freedom, Gathering of Eagles, Military Order of the Purple Hearts and many other organizations are also joined together where they will be traveling across the country, starting at Carson City at Harry "Baghdad" Reid's office, 27 stops along the way with rallies and ending up on the Capitol to have their voices heard by our politicians.

(NOTE: On September 5th, 2007, my interview with the Chairman of Move America Forward, Melanie Morgan will be published, here at Wake up America and key portions will be in the newspaper and I will provide the URL's at that time.)

Freedoms Watch has also started a $15 Million Dollar campaign that has television commercials running across the world, of wounded Iraq veterans, gold star mother, a widow who lost her husband in Iraq, all telling America why victory in Iraq is important. (Watch Videos)

MSNBC has refused to let these voices be heard on their network. They have refused them airtime.

If the Democratically controlled Senate and Congress think that they are going to be able to force withdrawal while our military is seeing progress and success... they are going to have a fight on their hands and it isn't going to be with the administration, it is going to be with the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, their families and their supporters.

LinkShare  Referral  Prg