Winning in Iraq annoys congressional losers
TO a military professional, the tactical progress made in Iraq over the last few months is impressive. To a member of Congress, it's an annoyance.We are now seeing that the stubborn losers are denying the reality of the changed situation in Iraq, because it is inconvenient to their political agenda. They are too desperate for defeat to even contemplate the victory our military is winning in Iraq. For the losers in the Democrat party our victory in Iraq is a disaster. While al Qaeda may still try to have its Tet moment before mid September, its resources for doing so are shrinking dramatically everyday in Iraq.
The herd animals on Capitol Hill - from both parties - just can't wait to go over the cliff on Iraq. And even when the media mention one or two of the successes achieved by our troops, the reports are grudging.
Yet what's happening on the ground, right now, in Baghdad and in Iraq's most-troubled provinces, contributes directly to your security. In the words of a senior officer known for his careful assessments, al Qaeda's terrorists in Iraq are "on their back foot and we're trying to knock them to their knees."
Do our politicians really want to help al Qaeda regain its balance?
Gen. David Petraeus and his deputies sharply prioritized the threats we face in Iraq: Al Qaeda is No. 1, and Iran's Shia proxies are No. 2. Our troops hunt them relentlessly. And we don't face our enemies alone: Iraq's security forces have begun to pick up their share of the fight.
A trusted source in Baghdad confirmed several key developments that've gone largely unreported. Here's what's been happening while "journalists" focused on John Edwards' haircuts:
* Al Qaeda lost the support of Iraq's Sunni Arabs. The fanatics over-reached: They murdered popular sheiks, kidnapped tribal women for forced marriages, tried to outlaw any form of joy and (perhaps most fatally, given Iraqi habits) banned smoking. In response, the Arab version of the Marlboro Man rose up and started cutting terrorist throats.
* Since the tribes who once were fighting against us turned on al Qaeda, our troops not only captured the senior Iraqi in the organization - which made brief headlines - but also killed the three al Turki brothers, major-league pinch-hitters al Qaeda sent into Iraq to save the game.
* Al Qaeda has been pushed right across Anbar, from the once Wild West to the province's eastern fringes. The terrorists are still dug in elsewhere, from the Diyala River Valley to a few Baghdad neighborhoods - but, to quote that senior officer again, "our forces have been taking out their leaders faster than they can find qualified replacements."
* It isn't only al Qaeda taking serious hits. After briefly showing the flag, Muqtada al-Sadr fled back to Iran again, trailed by his senior deputies. Mookie's No. 2 even moved his family to Iran. Why? Though he's been weak in the past, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is now green-lighting Iraqi operations against the Jaish al Mahdi, the Mookster's "Mahdi Army."
Gen. Dave Petraeus and his subordinate commanders are by far the best team we've ever had in place in that wretched country. They're doing damned near everything right - with austere resources, despite the surge. And they're being abandoned by your elected leaders.
Hugh Hewitt has more on the threat of another Tet offensive.