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The Patraeus Curve

The Times Online has a great editorial today that argues that the improvements on the ground in Iraq are not accidental but are the direct result of the strategy implemented by General Patraeus. The Times writes that the good news should be recognized and celebrated, not ignored as the majority of the mainstream media are doing:

Indeed, on every relevant measure, the shape of the Petraeus curve is profoundly encouraging. It is not only the number of coalition deaths and injuries that has fallen sharply (October was the best month for 18 months and the second-best in almost four years), but the number of fatalities among Iraqi civilians has also tumbled similarly. This process started outside Baghdad but now even the capital itself has a sense of being much less violent and more viable. As we report today, something akin to a normal nightlife is beginning to re-emerge in the city. As the pace of reconstruction quickens, the prospects for economic recovery will be enhanced yet further. With oil at record high prices, Iraq should be an extremely prosperous nation and in a position to start planning for its future with confidence.


The current achievements, and they are achievements, are being treated as almost an embarrassment in certain quarters. The entire context of the contest for the Democratic nomination for president has been based on the conclusion that Iraq is an absolute disaster and the first task of the next president is to extricate the United States at maximum speed. Democrats who voted for the war have either repudiated their past support completely (John Edwards) or engaged in a convoluted partial retraction (Hillary Clinton). Congressional Democrats have spent most of this year trying (and failing) to impose a timetable for an outright exit. In Britain, in a somewhat more subtle fashion admittedly, Gordon Brown assumed on becoming the Prime Minister that he should send signals to the voters that Iraq had been "Blair's War", not one to which he or Britain were totally committed.

All of these attitudes have become outdated. There are many valid complaints about the manner in which the Bush Administration and Donald Rumsfeld, in particular, managed Iraq after the 2003 military victory. But not to recognise that matters have improved vastly in the year since Mr Rumsfeld's resignation from the Pentagon was announced and General Petraeus was liberated would be ridiculous. Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have to appreciate that Iraq is no longer, as they thought, an exercise in damage limitation but one of making the most of an opportunity. The instinct of too many people is that if Iraq is going badly we should get out because it is going badly and if it is getting better we should get out because it is getting better. This is a catastrophic miscalculation. Iraq is getting better. That is good, not bad, news.

James Clyburn admitted that good news in Iraq would be bad news for the Democrats, which is why the Dems now refuse to discuss all the advancements and achievements in Iraq of the past few months. It's not just embarrassing because they were so wrong, but it's devastating for them politically because they were going to use the war in Iraq as a club with which to beat the Republicans over the head in the race for the White House in 2008. Too bad for them, this is no longer an issue they can use without making themselves look completely incompetent when it comes to national defense, and the mainstream media certainly aren't going to call them on their miscalculation.


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Comments (9)

I noticed the debate moved ... (Below threshold)
Chris G:

I noticed the debate moved fro IRAQ to SCHIP and tax reform. What!? You mean the air of celebration permeating the airwaves last year this time was all about tax increases and expanding an entitlement program further into the middle class?

Wow.. Surreal.. but not really

The NY Times said that? I'm... (Below threshold)

The NY Times said that? I'm impressed!

What's that?

It wasn't the NY Times, it was the Times of London?

Oh well. I could dream I s'pose, that sense had reached as far as the NY Times editorial board...

Is anyone suprised at the d... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

Is anyone suprised at the dems behavior on this? They have been predictable on this war from the get go.

by the same token, they should pay politically for this. big time.

This sort of journalistic c... (Below threshold)

This sort of journalistic candor and sincerity has become all too rare, as witness our domestic press's inability to appraise Hillary Clinton's debate performance in a sensible manner. I fear it will become rarer; the institutional filters that make the broadcast networks and major print media overwhelmingly left-liberal are overwhelmingly powerful.

wow, what a turn around. I ... (Below threshold)

wow, what a turn around. I wonder why the mainstream media is not questioning the democrats on the success of the Iraq war.

I give the lions share of c... (Below threshold)

I give the lions share of credit to Gen. Patraeus and his
surge strategy, but I have to believe there has to be a point
where the general populace has to tire of the wanton barbarity and come to the realization that the US is their
friend and not their enemy.

The LA Time Headline said s... (Below threshold)

The LA Time Headline said something like, "Violence Plunges in Iraq". The line under it said something like, "US Army claims credit, while Iraqis say segregation is working." or something like that. I left the paper siting on the news stand and walked away.
Without reading the article or knowing anything about that particular situation, I can tell you that there is more than one reason for the massive reduction in casualties. The real purpose of the article, I guess, was to prop up Hillary's "Petraeus is a liar" remark".

As they used to say in the ... (Below threshold)

As they used to say in the back country: "Now were Cooking with Oil".
God Bless this General David Patraeus. He is taking a botch situation handed to him from our earlier Generals in charge in the Mid East and is winning. America is Proud of YOU and our wonderful Troops !

For the zillionth frakking ... (Below threshold)

For the zillionth frakking time, dumbasses, it's "Petraeus," not "Patraeus." If you're going to keep talking about the man, at least spell his name right.







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