Fingers in the wind

Military historian Victor Davis Hanson notes that one measure of progress in Iraq is which ship the rats are jumping off in his NRO column:

So how do we know whether the surge is working — especially whether its apparent present tactical success will translate into long-term strategic advantage?

In September, Gen. David Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, will issue a status report on the war to Congress.

* * * * *

But in the meantime, the American public can look to more subtle indicators to get some sense of Gen. Petraeus’s current progress or failure.

Do Democratic opposition leaders keep blaming each other for voting for the Iraq war? Or are they now talking about expanding military operations to other countries? Sen. Hillary Clinton once was damned for voting to authorize the war in Iraq. But her even more liberal rival Sen. Barrack Obama (D., Ill.), now expresses his own willingness to invade nuclear Islamic Pakistan.

Do antiwar politicians frequently proclaim our defeat in Iraq — or instead worry that the war might be won? In the spring, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) announced Iraq was lost, the surge a failure and Gen. Petraeus not “in touch.” We haven’t seen Sen. Reid much lately.

But we have heard from the House’s majority whip, Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.). He’s worried that Gen. Petraeus’ good news about the surge might be “a real problem for us” — “us” being antiwar Democrats. And at a congressional briefing, when Gen. Jack Keane reviewed the positive signs from the surge, Rep. Nancy Boyda (D., Kan.), walked out on the testimony. She complained that there was “only so much that you could take . . . after so much of the frustration of having to listen to what we listened to.”

Read his entire article at the above link. Any success in Iraq is anathema to the extreme left, who hate America almost as much as they hate Bush, but their current prominence in the Democratic Party is directly related to the perception of public dissatisfaction with the war. Most Democratic voters and elected officials don’t share the goals of the radicals, but many have joined forces with them in opposing the war precisely because they had given up hope it might be won.

Now we have war opponents like Durbin and Levin and others openly acknowledging the military successes of the surge. The American public would much prefer victory if it is possible, and Democrats don’t want to be caught on the wrong side if we manage to achieve it.

This naturally infuriates the far left, which is already seething over the FISA reauthorization, but the far left doesn’t win general elections. Will Hillary and the Democrats be able to run back to the center after the primaries if the situation in Iraq is no longer regarded as hopeless by the electorate?

War is a stark, black-and-white issue. Nuance is difficult regarding any war, and particularly this one. Six months ago, the conventional wisdom was that those who supported the war effort were on the wrong side of public opinion, and that war opponents held a strong advantage politically. Let our troops succeed, though, and watch the public – and the politicians – change direction faster than you can kiss a duck.

Stuck in the middle without you
News media: biased, uncaring, inaccurate
  • And, when and if there is ultimate and undeniable success in Iraq, for whom will the election bell toll ? That is all that matters in the final summation right ? I know I’m starting to sound like a one note samba here, but what about all of the blood that has been needlessly spilled because of the very powerful forces in American government that have worked for over 4 years to bring about our defeat ?

    That’s the real enemy that our men and women in uniform have had to overcome. That’s why the enemy targets innocents 9 times out of 10. That’s why the body-count media is the body-count media. One can only hope that there will now be a flood of tales of honor and heroism on the part of our best, actually reported by that same body-count media. Or maybe they’ll start counting the enemy bodies. No, that will never be in vogue. But maybe if Mrs. C started beating the drums of victory in Iraq…NAAAHH, it’s much easier to blame ol’ stubborn George for every single attrocity to the exclusion of the ones carrying them out. But, if we’re still in Iraq when she comes to 1600 Penn, now that’s a stained dress of a different color.

    This sure is one mixed up world. Sorry, I was just thinking about a dem Pres, with a dem congress and a dem senate, taking credit for “finally getting it right” and winning in Iraq. Oh no, I think I just broke a commandment. My God, Mrs. C in a tickertape parade with the victorious soldiers. I don’t believe it, but if that’s what it takes to win it, I’ll be happy…In the throws of a massive coronary, but happy just the same. Ugh

  • Brian

    Old news. The Republicans have been jumping ship for months. You could have written your entire article a year ago just by substituting Republicans for your use of Democrats:

    Now we have war supporters like Luger and Warner and others openly acknowledging the failures of Bush’s strategy. The American public would much prefer victory if it is possible, and Republicans don’t want to be caught on the wrong side if we fail to achieve it.

    Yadda yadda yadda.

  • Ah, but Brian, we will bring back the wayward Republicans, too, you see. Excuse me if I so poorly phrased as to imply only Democrats could be hapless reeds in the political winds. Spinelessness is a serious problem in the GOP, too, without doubt.

    The “old news” was Republicans “jumping ship,” and the “new news” is about Democrats scrambling to pretend to be patriotic and supportive of the military. Do try to keep up, mmmkay?

  • Brian,

    So they’re all finger in the wind cowards, I thought that was the point of the article.

    Also, Lugar and Warner are RINOs, so I guess I do see what bothers you with this post: When it comes to repubs with jelly in their spines, it’s always repubs with liberal/country club tendencies. No Reaganites them.

  • Brian

    So they’re all finger in the wind cowards, I thought that was the point of the article.

    Oh, I must have missed where Jim gave equal criticism of the Republicans. Or mentioned a Republican. Or used the word “Republican”. Since this was apparently “the point” of the article, perhaps you can locate it for us.

  • Brian

    The “old news” was Republicans “jumping ship,” and the “new news” is about Democrats scrambling to pretend…

    Oh, is it not that Democrats are also “jumping ship”? Hmm, I believe it was someone special who characterized it as “which ship the rats are jumping off”, wasn’t it? Besides, I could just say it was “about Republicans scrambling to pretend to be sane and supportive of reality.”

    Do try to keep up with your own posts, mmmkay?

  • Brian ~ We imagine the spittle-flecked screen before you, and chortle.

  • I just spewed my Bosco all over this shiny new LED! Dammit Jim, I’m a Dr. of BS, not a damnable computer technician!

  • Jo

    Brian ~ We imagine the spittle-flecked screen before you, and chortle.

    Bwhahahahahahaha….Brian is a moron. I had forgotten how much. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Brian

    Ah, when I call you on your inability to follow your own arguments, you resort to personal attacks. As expected.

    Well, my screen may be spittle-flecked, but that’s just one screen. Whereas every screen displaying your posts is dripping with inanity.

    But hey, at least you got Sock Puppet Jo on your side! Maybe she can fake a few posts to help you get more support from the Troglodyte faction. Bwhahahahahahaha!

  • Brian:

    You could have written your entire article a year ago just by substituting Republicans for your use of Democrats:

    So keep living in the past. Yeah, that’s the ticket, at least it gives you a cheap unneeded reason to post something doesn’t it?

    Brian, yet again:

    Oh, I must have missed where Jim gave equal criticism of the Republicans. Or mentioned a Republican.

    Why should he? The post is about today. It was YOU that brought up the old, and well known, news.

  • Robert the Original

    Better to be a rat jumping ship than a rat self-blinded to reality.

    The surge is working, deal with it.

  • WildWillie

    The democrats have proven again that they lack any sense of country or patriotism. They are concerned about the fact they may get good news on Iraq? Why? Because they will look foolish or have to admit they were wrong? HOw pathetic. They cannot even swallow their pride or reduce their huge ego’s to be happy for our soldiers having a victory. So disgusting. HOw do they live with themselves? ww

  • JFO

    ww

    I live with myself very nicely thank you. One of the many reasons I do is that I do not think or believe like you.

  • Les Nessman

    I’ve noticed a lot of predictions of a highly positive report from Petraeus. The MSM and Dems seem to be pushing this lately.

    I guess we’ll be seeing more of this leading up to September. Then, when the actual report comes out and it’s only ‘moderately positive’ or ‘not 100% positive’ the MSM and Dems will say “Aha! Things are worse than we thought! It’s a quagmire!”

    85. Posted by Les Nessman | August 1, 2007 9:06 AM |

    Watch them move the goalposts when the report actually comes out. You’ll see that happen right here in Wizbang comments from the usual trolls.

  • LoveAmerica Immigrant

    Jim,
    Another good post that exposed the less than honest dems. That ‘s why the usual trolls had to resort to their silly cheap tricks to distract the thread.