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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nancy Boyda: The buds of a political solution are starting to form.”

One of my favorite things about memeorandum is seeing what I like to call "Dueling Headlines", where one headline shows an op-ed from someone trying to portray their wishes as fact, side by side with actual news making mincemeat of the first op-ed.

Quite amusing.

The op-ed is from leftist Juan Cole who lists what he calls the top ten myths about Iraq, which Dr. Sanity goes through one by one showing Cole for the liar he is and providing the actual news links to back up those facts.

Cole's myth #9 is what caught my eye with the dueling headline theme:

9. Myth: There have been steps toward religious and political reconciliation in Iraq in 2007.

Right under that we see this headline from Reuters, " Iraqi cabinet approves draft general pardon law".

"The cabinet has passed the general pardon law, which will define who is eligible to be freed from all prisons, both Iraqi and American," spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters.

As Ed Morrisey points out, last year Congress "demanded a determination of prisoner status as a benchmark of political reconciliation."

Another little tidbit that hasn't been widely reported is that according to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who spent Christmas with the troops, on a conference call with the media which Ed Morrisey participated in:

the National Assembly passed a pension bill, a critical step in reconciliation. That did not get much mention in the American media, but the Sunnis now have government pensions denied them after the fall of Saddam, which should alleviate much of the hostility.

Then Cole goes on to try to beat the civil war drum, which he seems to be the only person left that still thinks Iraq is in the midst of a civil war.

The Iraqi's, Sunni and Shiite, are pushing to have the Baghdad bridge reopened.

Araji said his office had contacted influential Sunni religious leader Sheikh Abdul Ghafur al-Samarai during the current Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, adding the reopening of the bridge would be highly "symbolic".

The bridge which spans the Tigris River was closed in February 2005, even before the stampede disaster, after tensions between Iraq's two main Muslim and became a symbol of the divisions within the country.

"Kadhimiyah represents the Shiites of Baghdad and Adhimiyah represents the Sunnis. We must reopen the bridge. It is the people who want it. There is a will from both sides to reopen the bridge," said Araji.

Muslim clerics, Shiite and Sunni are also showing the spirit of unity with the Iraqi Christians, as shown by Breitbart, where they all joined together at church for Christmas.

Muslim clerics—both Sunni and Shiite—also attended the service in a sign of unity.

"May Iraq be safe every year, and may our Christian brothers be safe every year," Shiite cleric Hadi al-Jazail told AP Television News outside the church. "We came to celebrate with them and to reassure them."

Further showing how "uninformed" Cole's civil war facts are is the reports of Sunni's and Shiite's fighting side by side together to protect their streets as well as Sunni's moving back into Shiite neighborhoods and being guaranteed safety by the Shiite's and vice versa.

Not so long ago Sunni and Shia gunmen were fighting for control of the suburb, near the road to Baghdad's airport. As a result, the once religiously mixed housing projects that lie either side of al-Amil's main street soon separated into Shia or Sunni enclaves.

But Muhammad, a Sunni Arab, and his Shia colleagues in the neighbourhood watch group are determined to reverse the ethnic cleansing. Last month, the group agreed to protect a Sunni mosque in his street from local Shia militias. They have also been mediating between the divided communities either side of the highway.

The result was an understanding: Sunni families would return to their former homes in the heavily Shia areas, while Shia families crossed back into the mainly Sunni streets. The two communities agreed to guarantee the safety of the returnees. Such was the popular backing for the deal that even the local Mahdi army commander had to acquiesce.

"We've been neighbours for 25 years and we feel like brothers," said Muhammad. "We will help them to guard and respect their mosques, and they won't harm me or my family."

All across Iraq political and religious reconciliation is happening and op-ed's by leftists like Cole that cannot accept the fact that Iraq is turning around for the better, simply show that they are so heavily invested in defeat that they cannot see what is right in front of their faces.


Now to my headline about Nancy Boyda.... remember, this is the woman that walked out when retired General , Keane, was testifying regarding progress in Iraq.

“There was only so much that you could take until we in fact had to leave the room for a while,” Boyda said after she returned, according to a transcript of the hearing. “So I think I am back and maybe can articulate some things — after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to.”

Many people, including myself suggested at that time that she, who has zero military experience, should perhaps get up off her ass and visit Iraq for herself since she wouldn't believe the experts that did have experience.

She finally has and guess what she says now? (Hat Tip to Right Wing News)

U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, D-Kan., who has been a vocal critic of President Bush’s policy in the war in Iraq, on Monday visited troops in Iraq and said the situation appears to be improving.

“It’s headed in a much better direction but everything is very tentative,” Boyda said after receiving briefings from war commander Army Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and others.

She said that violence has decreased significantly in the region but that U.S. military and civilian officials don’t want to raise hopes yet.

“What is happening on the ground tactically is very good, and everyone is hopeful that it will continue, but no one is taking anything for granted and they don’t want to overstate things,” she said.

Then she said basically what General Keane was saying when she so rudely walked out on him because she couldn't handle the same truth she has just now admitted.

“Our troops have done an incredibly good job,” she said. “The buds of a political solution are starting to form.”

Here is what Keane had said back in August:

"What you see is a stark contrast. All the schools are open. The markets are teeming with people...There is an attempt to provide essential services to the population where in '06 there were none."

Boyda's response then?

"Those kinds of comments will in fact show up in the media and further divide this country instead of saying, here's the reality of the problem," Rep. Boyda said. "And people, we have to come together and deal with the reality of this issue."

Perhaps Boyda would like to deal with the "reality" of the fact that she owes General Keane an apology.