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Iraq: the political horizon

Much is made of the Iraqi government's lack of political progress - as defined in fluid fashion by Washington politicians. The more dangerous political instability for Iraq may be that coming from DC, as independent reporter Michael Yon, recently from Iraq, notes:


False advertising is afoot. I write these words from Indonesia, soaking wet, having just returned from photographing rice paddies in a pouring rain, wearing a Florida Gators shirt. That means there is a green alligator on my chest. While supporting my team, my shirt perpetuates the myth that alligators are green, when in fact they are black when wet, gray when dry.The mantra that "there is no political progress in Iraq" is rapidly becoming the "surge" equivalent of a green alligator: when enough people repeat something that sounds plausible, but also happens to be false, it becomes accepted as fact. The more often it is repeated--and the larger the number of people repeating it--the harder it is to convince anyone of the truth: alligators are not green, and Iraqis are making plenty of political progress.

There may be little progress on political goals crafted in America, to meet American concerns, by politicians who have a cushion of 200 years of democracy. Washington might as well be on the moon. Iraqis don't respond well to rules imposed from outside their acknowledged authorities, though I have many times seen Iraqi Police and Army of all ranks responding very well to American Marines and soldiers who they have come to respect, and in many cases actually admire and try to emulate. Our military has increasing moral authority in Iraq, but the same cannot be said for our government at home. In fact, it's in moral deficit because many Iraqis are increasingly frightened we will abandon them to genocide.


Read it all at the above link. Yon is self-funded on his reporting excursions to Iraq and Afghanistan, so consider his Tip Jar.

The Democrats are attempting to lose the Iraq War without leaving their fingerprints on the loss. By floating their various cut-and-run proposals, they undermine the confidence of the Iraqis in our government - and who could blame the Iraqis, hearing that any of the Democratic candidates (except Joe Who? Biden, who can't win) would immediately abandon them to the tender mercies of al Qaeda, the remnants of Saddam's regime, and the Iranian mullahs? Or that Democratic leaders in Congress want to bug out?

There is a political quagmire, all right - but we may be focusing on the wrong capital.


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Comments (22)

George Bush has had everyth... (Below threshold)
jp2:

George Bush has had everything he wanted for this war given to him by our House and Senate. Everything. Still, it's totally the Democrats fault.

jp2:I think there's ... (Below threshold)
cirby:

jp2:
I think there's something wrong with the posting software, since your reply doesn't seem to have anything to do with the story on this page.

Maybe you should try reposting it on the thread it relates to?

By floating their variou... (Below threshold)

By floating their various cut-and-run proposals, they undermine the confidence of the Iraqis in our government - and who could blame the Iraqis, hearing that any of the Democratic candidates (except Joe Who? Biden, who can't win) would immediately abandon them to the tender mercies of al Qaeda, the remnants of Saddam's regime, and the Iranian mullahs?

If Democratic support is that critical to succeeding in Iraq what steps is Bush taking to get the Democrats back on board the Victory in Iraq train?

Cirby - the post is relatin... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Cirby - the post is relating that the current lack of Democratic support for the war is causing "political instability" in Iraq.

My point is that every single bill (including funding and troop increases) GWB has put forth has had the support of the House and Senate, including Democrats. Everything he wanted he received with virtually no opposition at all. (Btw, it hasn't worked)

To say that suddenly the Democratic candidates are destroying the stability of the country is quite naive and blindy.

jp2,That only make... (Below threshold)
Eric:

jp2,

That only makes sense if you think words don't matter in politics. What the Iraqis are worried about is the Democrats may do what they say they're gonna do. That worry about the future affects the decisions they make today.

Is this still going over your head?

"George Bush has had ev... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"George Bush has had everything he wanted for this war"

Bullshit! Stupid incompetant and treasonous democrats sticking their noses where they have business, no knowledge, and no clue in he did in no way receive.

You sir are shameless liar, period.

Does anyone recall President Bush pulling up to the drive through window of Mc Donalds and order the #1 "democrat obstruction"?


Of course he didn't however that is what he got and they supersized it free "on the House."


"Everything. Still, it's totally the Democrats fault."

Now your catching on. When the democrats covet what is not theirs and spend every moment devising tactics and conducting phony hearings to destroy those that are more competant and moral than they are . What do you expect?

They are too busy trying to give the illusion that they can do President Bush's job better than He yet they only succeed in sabotage resulting in treasure wasted and killing god knows how many of greatest men and woman on this planet, our military. Democrats can't even find the time to do what is there job with any meaningfull results so yes that is their fault.

So what a sham it is to see Pelosi but on these feel good , self worshipping back patting sesions that is a patented democrat fraud. Listen people, I am going to tell of all the things we have have accomplished in our own minds and we don't care if they are complete lies or hardly worth mentioning. We are the Dictocrats and we will tell what is real and not real.

Do feel the least bit dumb for supporting those just as dumb if not more dumb than you?

"If Democratic support is t... (Below threshold)
RobLACal.:

"If Democratic support is that critical to succeeding in Iraq what steps is Bush taking to get the Democrats back on board the Victory in Iraq train?"

I feel enough time has elapsed proving the democrats to be complete liars and obstructionists. All those lies about President Bush being a dictator it should be his to "get the Democrats back on board the Victory in Iraq train" by making "them" a part of the Victory Train by rounding up their leadership in horse drawn cages to be telivised nationally.

Ak-47's will be passed out all around Iraq to be fired in the air as Al Qaeda flees in defeat. It's a win win situation for both their Country and ours.

Since military progress has... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Since military progress has become undeniable, those who would prefer that the US loose (the left) have shifted their focus to political progress. Once that becomes undeniable, they will find or fabricate some other problem as the reason why we should let the islamofascists win. Just wait...

Here we go throwing crap ba... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Here we go throwing crap balls at each other again.

Can we just take it that here is a man who is paying his own way, who is going places where others will not go, and he is saying the surge is working.

Too many people have seen this now for it to be denied.

Cmon Robert lets not be nai... (Below threshold)
GianiD:

Cmon Robert lets not be naive, since when was an eyewitness account good enough 'proof' to comvince the moonbats?? :-)

How can you believe Michael... (Below threshold)
metprof:

How can you believe Michael Yon rather than Congressman Murtha? Of course to Murtha's defense, he's been a little busy lately loading down his friends with pork.

Yon is a Gator? Another go... (Below threshold)

Yon is a Gator? Another good reason to like the guy!

Didn't Wizbang just recently compare legislation passed by the Iraqi government to legislation passed by our own government and found that we were the one's lacking in motivation, foresight and priorities? Would that many of the lefties here held our own government to the standards they're holding the Iraqis to.

Jeeze...are we still talkin... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Jeeze...are we still talking about Iraq? We have turned the corner...serious progress is being made..in spite of the media...it will be so obvious by November 2008...
Every Republican...on every level..will be successful because they continued to support the vision of success our President has followed.
The Mandate for continued occupation will be overwhelming...

RobLACal.....second that. A... (Below threshold)

RobLACal.....second that. And I'll only add this.

Yon is more than an embed...see his posts covering deuce four. He is ignored by the MSM because he courageously reports from the front, and his reporting does not fit the template drawn up by the MSM. Democrats and the MSM have doubled down on the failure of the surge. It's going to get very ugly over "here" if the surge succeeds.

Oyster,Yon i... (Below threshold)

Oyster,

Yon is a Gator? Another good reason to like the guy!

As a Vol, that's the only thing I can fault him for.

Blue says:If... (Below threshold)

Blue says:

If Democratic support is that critical to succeeding in Iraq what steps is Bush taking to get the Democrats back on board the Victory in Iraq train?

Go see:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/03/AR2007020300701.html

graphs 6 and 7

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/iraq/story/17917.html


http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/bush_06-28-05.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6228523.stm

Just Google this stuff Blue: BTW, your comment: "what steps is Bush taking" will not pass the Editor's style book. Check the plural; better yet, run it by those intellectual heavyweights over at your blog.

Just Google this stuff B... (Below threshold)

Just Google this stuff Blue: BTW, your comment: "what steps is Bush taking" will not pass the Editor's style book. Check the plural; better yet, run it by those intellectual heavyweights over at your blog.

Sorry we scared you off. Feel free to try again.

Michael Yon - "The mantr... (Below threshold)
Murphy:

Michael Yon - "The mantra that "there is no political progress in Iraq" is rapidly becoming the "surge" equivalent of a green alligator: when enough people repeat something that sounds plausible, but also happens to be false, it becomes accepted as fact."

"The six ministers from the National Accordance Front, the main Sunni political bloc, announced their withdrawal from Mr. Maliki's coalition government at a Baghdad news conference yesterday.

"The National Accordance Front has promised the Iraqi people to withdraw from the current government that didn't respond to our demands," the bloc said in a statement carried on the Web site of President Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan Party."

"Five ministers loyal to former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, Iraq's first leader after the fall of Saddam Hussein, today said they will boycott future cabinet meetings."

"Relations between Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and US Gen. David Petraeus are so tense that aides to al-Maliki say he has considered asking Washington to pull the general out of Baghdad. The two major sources of tension appear to be al-Maliki's continued lack of control over all Iraqi military units and operations, and Petraeus's policy of arming Iraqi Sunni Arab tribesmen willing to fight the foreign Salafi Jihadis. Al-Maliki fears that once the Sunni tribesmen have dispatched "al-Qaeda," they will turn on the largely Shiite government with their new American weapons."

"President Bush also directly warned Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki about his close ties to Iran. Al-Maliki is currently on a three-day trip to Tehran where he has met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other top Iranian officials. According to Iran's state-run news agency, Al-Maliki has thanked Iran for its "positive and constructive" work in "providing security and fighting terrorism in Iraq." At Thursday's news conference President Bush was asked about Al-Maliki's ties to Iran.

President Bush: "Now, is he trying to get Iran to play a more constructive role? I presume he is. But that doesn't -- what my question is -- well, what my message to him is, is that when we catch you playing a non-constructive role there will be a price to pay.""

BlueSorry we s... (Below threshold)

Blue
Sorry we scared you off. Feel free to try again.

Such a substantive and robust rebuttal....alas, you folks are pretenders over there. Enjoy yourselves. Naval gazing is such a pleasure is it not?

Yon is saying some things t... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Yon is saying some things that I think might have been overlooked a bit.

The first thing is that there is political progress: when many tribal leaders switch from AQ to our side, that is political progress.

The second thing is that both the US administration and congress have applied heavy pressure (The Levin plan) to force Iraq to make certain settlements, the oil deal for example.

In Yon's opinion, this may well have backfired, I suppose due to basic human nature. I know that is the way I react when someone tries to make me to do something.

Quite right about that, Rob... (Below threshold)

Quite right about that, Robert the O. Some of the Iraqis thought when we "handed over sovereignty" to them that THEY would be in charge of their country.

I never understood the value of the dual "benchmarks" Congress wants. Military progress certainly should be front and center, that makes perfect sense. Although it's impossible, as history repeatedly shows, to adhere to absolute timelines in war, setting out the goals and a schedule for achieving them isn't a bad thing in itself - so long as we realize we are asking for something which has never been done in recorded history as if it were a simple thing.

But what possible use is setting "benchmarks" for the Iraqis? Why should what they manage to do or not do have any bearing at all? We are in Iraq today for the same reason we invaded in 2003: we perceive it in our national interests to be there. So long as we serve our own interests by staying and the sovereign government isn't telling us to leave, why the heck would we?

Because we don't like their summer vacation schedule?

That's just stupid - which is probably why the Democrats pushed it.

"But what possible use i... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"But what possible use is setting "benchmarks" for the Iraqis?"

Jim, it's called extortion. And yes it's very wrong and very bad, but they are Democrats after all.

The second largest wing, I believe, of the Democrat Party is the professional extortionists (a.k.a. union members), so it's not unusual for the Democrats to use their evil tactics of threating violence if they don't get a lot more than they deserve- and damn the consequences and repercussions.




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