Progress in Iraq

Democrats cover your eyes and ears. Belmont Club looks at two different reports of progress in Iraq.

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Some sound-bites from the Petraeus briefing. "Exceedingly unhelpful activities by Iran and Syria, especially those by Iran of which we have learned a great deal in the past month ... Iraq is in fact the central front of al-Qaeda". A transcript of a Petraeus press briefing repeating many of his themes is here From the Petraeus transcript:

Progress in Anbar is almost something that's breathtaking. We have made huge inroads. I think that you just saw an announcement -- the killing of the security emir of al Qaeda Iraq in eastern Anbar province, the detention of the Qazali network. This is the secret cells of the Shi'a extremist network. I'm not sure whether we've announced it, but we picked up the Shavani (ph) network head in Iraq. That's the explosively formed projectile element inside Iraq that gets from the other in Iran the explosively formed projectiles. We have learned a great deal more about Iranian involvement, very nefarious involvement involving funding, training on Iranian soil, advice and the provision of, again, lots of arms and ammunition, including these explosively formed projectiles that have been so lethal against some of our armored vehicles.

Fred Kagan, at the Hugh Hewitt interview asserts:

Al Qaeda is surging against us, and I think that’s happening globally. I think that al Qaeda is funneling all of the resources it can into defeating us in Iraq, and it is funneling all of its resources in Iraq to creating spectacular attacks against us, and against innocent Iraqi civilians, both Sunni and Shia. And they’re indiscriminant in their killing. This isn’t really sectarian killing. This is just terrorism, plain and simple. And they are surging to try to break our will, and I hope to Heaven that we won’t let them.

I know for sure that it’s attracting them to the most obvious battlefield. Is it making more of them? I’m not sure. But if you take a look at the example of Afghanistan in the 1980’s, there was a situation where the Soviet presence, that was definitely manufacturing terrorists. And as long as the Soviets were there, they were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. As soon as the Soviets left, the terrorists didn’t just go home and take up gardening. They left, they moved all around the world, and then they started attacking us. That’s how we got al Qaeda. So the question really is, if we were to leave Iraq tomorrow, what would happen with these guys? And the answer for sure is that they would find other ways to attack an kill us elsewhere.

Yet it is undeniable is that Congress, despite these facts or perhaps because they do not credit these as facts, or even perhaps because they have facts of their own, have essentially attempted force a unilateral withdrawal. For whatever reason al-Qaeda is not far from succeeding by the looks of things.

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There is another possibility for the Democrats desperation for defeat. They have put themselves in a position where a victory for US forces will be a political defeat for Democrats. They have also calculated that a loss will mean political gain for Democrats. That is as good an explanation as any as to why they have made themselves willfully ignorant of the progress in Iraq. While they are still talking about a sectarian civil war, they have not noticed that there is no real sectarian warfare going on in Iraq at this time. Most of the violence is just al Qaeda attacking non combatants. Democrats have never given a convincing argument of why they do not want to defeat al Qaeda.

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