The left denigrates the surge to help Obama
There is a recent trend in the mainstream media now that it is clear that we are winning in Iraq to say that the surge was not that important to our success. Here is Tim Rutton in the LA Times:
...This is liberal rationalization to try to cover the fact that McCain was right about the surge and Obama was dead wrong. The surge was just one aspect of a policy that Obama and most liberals opposed in Iraq--winning. The liberal alternative was not to introduce high tech efficiency to the Predators, it was to cut and run--retreat. This new narrative of the left on the surge falls on its face when you compare it to the liberal insistence on withdrawing forces.
The Times' story confirms the most sensational revelation contained in Bob Woodward's new book, "The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2007," which was published this week. Woodward revealed the technology's existence but, heeding requests from intelligence officials, declined to describe its operations except to say that it had allowed U.S. forces to locate and kill decisive numbers of senior Al Qaeda operatives and Iraqi insurgents. In what may be the book's most controversial claim, Woodward argues that the secret technology and the so-called Anbar Awakening -- in which counterinsurgency techniques developed by the Marines won over tribal leaders in that crucial Sunni-dominated province -- had as much or more to do with stabilizing Iraq as the "surge" in U.S. troop numbers.
Beyond the purely military considerations, there are potentially significant political implications. First and most obvious is the question of the surge's efficacy. The answer matters, particularly to John McCain, who has been one of the surge's most resolute supporters. If it turns out that it was only one -- and, perhaps, the least consequential -- in a confluence of successful American initiatives, then McCain could go from steadfast to stubborn in voters' minds.