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The Iraq Surge is Working

I'm getting to this a couple of days late. Robert Kagan writing at the Washington Post, has a great piece in which he states the surge is succeeding:

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.

Read the rest of Kagan's piece. It seems that stories about Iraq aren't very plentiful in the MSM anymore. Lorie wrote a post in which she linked to Patrick Ruffini who speculates the success of the surge is the reason we are seeing more stories about Anna Nicole and Britney.


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Comments (21)

Yes, but.. but... but...</p... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Yes, but.. but... but...

I can quote Generals that say it won't work.

Great! I guess our troops c... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Great! I guess our troops can come home soon!

Actually Britney Spears, Pa... (Below threshold)

Actually Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and to a lesser extent, Anna Nicole Smith are popular all over the world with many news features appearing in publications and Websites of Pravda in Russia and Xinhua in China. Their heavy press coverage in many of the other 190 nations of the world has nothing to do with our own troop surge in Iraq.

Sexy American women and actresses are very popular in the press of both Russia and China for some reason, so if the U.S. could just figure some way to profit from this, then we might be able to turn around the huge trade deficit. This past weekend's Pravda website in Russia featured some past popular Playboy Playmate pictorials and today is running a photo feature on American porn star, Jenna Jameson, something you won't see in our very conservative and puritanical American press.

www.pravda.ru

www.xinhuanet.com

U.S. news has certainly reported that violence is down in Baghdad due to the surge and improved security. However an increase in violence just outside Baghdad has certainly worsened, much of it has been directed at religious Shiite pilgrims just outside the city which means that the new security measures need to be expanded nationwide in Iraq. Otherwise, the violence problem is simply moved around in Iraq rather than really solved.

Say it...say it...... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Say it...say it...

We've turned the corner!

(It should also be pointed out that the author of the piece is the brother of the father of the surge)

"(It should also be poin... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"(It should also be pointed out that the author of the piece is the brother of the father of the surge)"

Youre kidding? Was that disclosed?

Robert Kagan also happens t... (Below threshold)
ChrisO:

Robert Kagan also happens to be a co-founder of the Project for a New American Century, the neo-con group that started the planning for an invasion of Iraq in the mid-90s. This is like Karl Rove writing that the surge is succeeding.

The surge could succeed, but this article offers little evidence. It was widely predicted before the surge that the insurgents would go to ground, and the leaders would make themselves scarce. One characteristic of an insurgency is that the insurgents can be very patient. They've done the same thing in past initiatives, then resurfaced when the major operation was over. So pointing to the insurgents making themselves scarce as a sign of success is a little misleading.

And attributing success to the fact that the Iraqis now know we mean to stay is incredibly self serving. That thesis presupposes that the majority of Iraqis are desperate for us to stay, and that only our presence can keep the peace.

Both friends and ... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
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

Imagine the outcome up to this point had Democrats rallied around the military and victory. The Iraqis would have known we were truly there to the end and would have been more willing participants in ridding their country of extremists.

I have absolutely no problem calling Democrats and the leftist nuts that drive their agenda traitors.

I'll say it over and over; Democrats believed Saddam was a threat until it was politically expedient to do otherwise. They would rather collaborate with those that would slit their throats than rally around our troops and the cause they fight for just because a Republican was elected president.

ChrisO,This is not... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

ChrisO,

This is not the lone voice in the dark saying the surge has been successful. Look around, many are saying it.

Actually, ignore my post, I... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Actually, ignore my post, I didn't finish reading yours before I wrote.

Gee, what a surprise that a... (Below threshold)

Gee, what a surprise that a military operation that was publicized and telegraphed months in advance has encountered little resistance. Earthshaking news really...

Kim,The Weekly Sta... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Kim,

The Weekly Standard has been running articles for the past couple of weeks called "The Roggio Report" from http://billroggio.com/ which has daily reports on events in Iraq and how the troop surge is progressing. His reprorts are very well detailed.

In my VERY brief scan of his bio, "Bill (is) embedded with the U.S. Marine and Army Military and Police Transition Teams, and Iraqi Army and Police using in Fallujah in December of 2006 and in Khalidaya in January of 2007." So that lends what, in my mind, amounts to a great deal of credibility in his reporting.

Anwyay, it's definitely worth checking out.

Gee, what a surpr... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
Gee, what a surprise that a military operation that was publicized and telegraphed months in advance has encountered little resistance. Earthshaking news really

Usually the opposite occurs because it allows the enemy to make preparations in advance.

I'm glad it's working and glad to hear the liberals here are coming around.

Hey Larkin you dumbass hypo... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Hey Larkin you dumbass hypocrite how about telling them when we are going to leave. Idiot.

But, but, but... the surge ... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

But, but, but... the surge must not succeed. Our political future depend on it's failure. To hell with the troops, and our Iraqi allies.

Sincerely,

The American Left

It should also be pointe... (Below threshold)
Clay:

It should also be pointed out that the author of the piece is the brother of the father of the surge

Ad hominem logic fallacy, guilt by association, etc. All the usual suspects.

I'll say it over and over; Democrats believed Saddam was a threat until it was politically expedient to do otherwise.

Yup.

On 16 December 1998, Nancy Pelosi, a Congressional representative from California and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement concerning a U.S.-led military strike against Iraq:

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.

"The responsibility of the United States in this conflict is to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to minimize the danger to our troops and to diminish the suffering of the Iraqi people. The citizens of Iraq have suffered the most for Saddam Hussein's activities; sadly, those same citizens now stand to suffer more. I have supported efforts to ease the humanitarian situation in Iraq and my thoughts and prayers are with the innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as with the families of U.S. troops participating in the current action.

"I believe in negotiated solutions to international conflict. This is, unfortunately, not going to be the case in this situation where Saddam Hussein has been a repeat offender, ignoring the international community's requirement that he come clean with his weapons program. While I support the President, I hope and pray that this conflict can be resolved quickly and that the international community can find a lasting solution through diplomatic means."

Bitch.

BTW...The president that sh... (Below threshold)
Clay:

BTW...The president that she supported was Clinton.

On 6 October 1998, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, addressed that committee at a hearing on the subject of worldwide threats facing the U.S. His comments on Iraq included mention of a letter to President Clinton which he and other senators were circulating:

"As the Chairman has indicated, the situation in Iraq also poses a threat to international peace and security. Once again, Saddam Hussein has halted cooperation with the United Nations Special Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Without intrusive inspections, we will not be able to ensure that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs are destroyed in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolutions. Without those inspections, the Iraqi people will continue to suffer as a result of international economic sanctions.

"And that is why, along with Senators McCain, Lieberman, and Hutchison, I am circulating among our Senate colleagues a letter to President Clinton, urging him, in consultation with Congress, consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take effective actions, including if appropriate, the use of air strikes, to respond to the Iraqi threat."

President Clinton did undertake the action urged in this statement a few months later by ordering the aforementioned Operation Desert Fox airstrikes.

So, now witness all the Dem... (Below threshold)
Clay:

So, now witness all the Democrats who want revise history and deny their words. I'll just quote Orwell and leave it at that.

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed--if all records told the same tale--then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

"Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary."

I'd say that George Orwell saw the future.

Usually the opposite occ... (Below threshold)

Usually the opposite occurs because it allows the enemy to make preparations in advance.

Jump, you still haven't figured out what kind of what we are fighting. The enemy in Iraq rarely chooses to take on our forces face-to-face. If they did, they would all be dead by now.

As with all the previous "surges" that have failed, the insurgents will sidestep our forces and move to the areas that we have vacated. We don't have enough troops in country to prevent them from taking refuge elsewhere.

The surge isn't a plan for achieving military victory. It's a plan designed to buy some time for us and the Maliki government. It may succeed at that but those are pretty minimalist goals.

A real plan for success in Iraq must include a political reconciliation of the warring parties and that isn't happening. Nothing has changed in that respect since the surge began.

In this way every predic... (Below threshold)
Brian:

In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record.

Go back and look at Howard Dean's predictions about Iraq. Then go look at Rumsfeld's. Then look at Bush's. Then go look at Iraq today. Then come back and see who you want to direct that Orwell quote towards.

<a href="http://www.renewam... (Below threshold)
Clay:

http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mostert/040816

Question: How many of these Democrats are changing their stories about Iraq?
Answer: All of them.

The surge, or any other tac... (Below threshold)
epador:

The surge, or any other tactic/plan, will never be a success because some of our soldiers will die. It is a common thread that any time one of our military combatants dies, and every time a "non-combatant" dies, US policy is utterly a failure and immoral, our commander in chief a nincompoop and a traitor, and we are on the verge of defeat.

[sarcaster off]




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