Posted by Curt on 2 November, 2006 at 3:50 pm. Be the first to comment!

I am reading more and more hyperventilating about the situation in Iraq in recent days and none of it makes any sense to me. Listen, we all knew this was going to be a difficult haul. We have adapted to each mission as they tested our troops and have done remarkably well. War is not pretty nor is it easy. We are bringing a new Democracy into the world and while it’s rough going right now, this doesn’t mean it will always be so.

Victor Davis Hanson:

I wrote about the daily changing wisdom in Fields Without Dreams, and how fickle human nature is, rather than looking at things in a tragic sense that there are no great choices, but often just bad and worse, and that wisdom is predicated mostly on the perception of success. In 1982 I picked early and thereby avoided a horrendous tropical storm that ruined the industry, saving thereby 200 tons of raisins that sold for over $1400 a ton; in 1983 I picked early again, the clouds blew away, and in weeks of perfect weather I produced lousy, sour, and light raisins, selling scarcely 140 tons for $400 and lost far more than I had made the year before. I was neither a genius the year before, nor a fool the next, but rather did the best I could in both years, recognizing that we are still subject to fate, despite our vaunted technology and knowledge. I am not advising helplessness, simply some recognition that the verdict is out on Iraq, and what looks bad today, might look far better very soon–and that erstwhile supporters turned vehement critics might well reinvent themselves a third time.

And that is how it works. We have all the pundits wailing and crying about how messed up things in Iraq are, but situations change. I have no doubt that we will succeed in Iraq. Why? Because we must. If we don’t then Al-Qaeda will have it’s own nation state and that MUST not be allowed to happen.

Now if a Democrat comes into power and they run from this fight then I will have been proven wrong. But worse then that, we will have given up fighting against an enemy who will not give up, who will not stop.

And as Victor points out, the fact that all this new wailing has come about is quite curious:

I have been reading various columnists today, going over the weekly angry mail about essays I wrote in support of our efforts in Iraq, and listening to Democratic candidates pontificate on the war. I hope this collective national furor at George Bush comes from the 25% who initially opposed the war, or the minority of politicians of both parties who voted against authorizing it in October 2002. Or barring that, can the angriest critics explain precisely why they switched positions–the cost, human and material? Iraqi ineptness? Our failure to deal with the Shiite militias under Sadr? The looting? Any such pleading is legitimate; but what is not is the overblown rhetoric of “fiasco”, “quagmire” or “disaster” by those who once called for Saddam’s ouster, have now jumped ship even as thousands of soldiers are fighting daily, and cannot explain the reasons for their conversion. Again, I am sure there are reasons why so many have changed their opinion about the war to remove Saddam and replace him with democratic government, but what is striking is that there has been so little honest discussion when and why that transformation has happened to former and often zealous supporters of the enterprise.

He hopes they come from that 25%, but he is wrong. Just look at this new article by Ralph Peters today where he pretty much all but calls for us to run:

I supported this war, but the deteriorating situation is starting to convince me that we can’t win. Those of us who hoped that the Iraqis could achieve democracy were wrong — and their failure has implications for the entire region.

Of course he blames the President for you know, 3 national elections, a tyrant deposed, millions freed….but Baghdad is giving us some fits so quick everybody, lets pile on Bush and get the hell outta there. He fails to notice the peace in 90% of that country. He fails to take notice of the continuing progress going on over there.

Take for example the number of Iraqi troops that are in the lead against the terrorists:

Iraqi security forces continue to develop into a capable force and continue to take the lead. On Tuesday in Ramadi, the 3rd Battalion of the 1st Brigade of the 7th Iraqi Army Division assumed responsibility in its area of operations.

This now makes 90 Iraq army battalions in the lead. In total today, there are six of 10 Iraqi army divisions in the lead, 30 of 36 Iraqi brigades, and 90 of 112 Iraqi battalions in the lead. And we operate in support of them. All across Iraq, we continue to see an increasingly capable Iraqi security force continuing to take the lead.

There have been isolated clashes recently in locations around Iraq between the militias and government of Iraq forces, such as in Amarah, Diwaniyah. We’ve seen sectarian violence in Balad and Saba al-Bor, primarily between Sunni and Shi’a. These clashes have garnered sensational headlines, however, they are not clashes that had uncontrolled continued violence. What we saw, to the credit of Iraqi security forces and local leaders, was some action. In each case, Iraqi security forces, acting on their own, played a critical role in quelling the violence within days. Local leaders, both political and religious, in coordination with Iraqi security forces, came together to take action necessary to prevent the violence from spiraling out of control.

So what we see in actions taking place all over Iraq is that Iraqis are taking charge of their country, and they’re doing it valiantly. Violence will flare up again in areas that are under Iraqi control. The question will be, can they handle these situations themselves? In all these incidents they did; they responded and they returned calm to the areas. The Iraqis brought an Iraqi solution to an Iraqi problem, which is precisely the strategy for Iraq.

These same Iraqi troops are doing a good job in finding and rooting out the terrorists, their efforts should not be ignored:

Iraqi Police and Soldiers captured members of a bomb-making cell and several weapons caches over the weekend.

A Special Iraqi Police Force with Coalition advisors captured nine members of a bomb-making cell and a cache of weapons, Improvised Explosive Devices and components for making IEDs in Kut, Oct. 29. Iraqi Police secured and searched multiple objectives and detained the bomb maker and other cell members without incident.

The IED cell is responsible for attacks against Iraqi civilians employed by Coalition Forces. They are also suspected ofconstructing and placing IEDs in and around Kut.

A mortar system, assault rifles, full ammunition magazines, grenades, a completed IED and components for building other IEDs were found and secured during the raid. Operations on the objective caused minimal damage.

making Elsewhere, a Special Iraqi Army force with Coalition advisors captured a large weapons cache and components used for Improvised Explosive Devices in Western Baghdad.

The Iraqi Force established a cordon around the Shansal Mosque and entered to search for IED components and weapons believed to be stored there. Insurgents operating against Iraqi civilians and Iraqi Army Soldiers in the Jihaddistrict were using the items found. The weapons and IED components were turned over to coalition forces and an explosive ordnance team for security and disposal. Three suspected insurgents with false identification cards were detained. Only minor damage to the mosque was reported. There were no casualties among Iraqi civilians, the Iraqi Force or the Coalition Force.

Nor should the fact that their success against the foreign terrorists have degraded their operational capabilities be ignored:

In regards to foreign fighters, so far this month there have been 44 foreign fighters killed and 12 captured. We project by the end of the month of October will have been comparable to September, if not exceeding, the total number of foreign fighters both killed and captured.

Foreign fighters in al Qaeda in Iraq are also finding it harder to store their weapons of terror. Iraqi security forces and coalition forces continue to uncover weapons and munition thanks to increased cooperation and greater assistance from the Iraqi people.

These foreign fighters find it hard even while attempting to smuggle weapons across on donkeys….all because of US trained Iraqi soldiers:

While on routine patrol in eastern Diyala Province, five kilometers from the Iraq-Iran border, Iraqi security forces intercepted six heavily loaded donkeys.

Upon investigation, the patrol discovered six donkeys carrying 53 anti-tank landmines and one anti-tank projectile.

Two men in the area fled and evaded capture. The donkeys were later released unharmed into the local area.

A coalition forces explosive ordnance disposal team was called in and transported all munitions to a safe area and disposed of them by detonation.

“This action by an alert Iraqi border patrol prevented dozens of very lethal munitions from being employed by terrorists,” said Col. Gary Patton, Task Force Lightning chief of staff.

The mines were found in good condition and determined to be Soviet (TM 62) and Italian (IT VS 2.2) made models. One of the mines was pre-rigged to be used as an IED.

And the coalition with their Iraqi comrades continue to dismantle the terrorists infrastructure:

Coalition Forces launched an air strike on an IED factory early Wednesday morning South of Baghdad as they continue to dismantle the al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network. With the assistance of Iraqi citizens, Coalition Forces were able to locate and destroy a confirmed terrorist IED factory. According to ground forces, there was explosive paraphernalia along with an estimated 70-80 barrels of unknown chemicals in the factory. Before conducting the strike, Coalition Forces maintained surveillance on the target and surrounding area to ensure no innocent civilians would be injured in the strike. The destruction of this factory reduces the ability of the terrorist network to operate, and increases the safety of all Iraqi citizens, Iraqi forces and Iraq’s Multi-National partners.

But you hear none of this from our MSM and our fairweather pundits who want to curl into a ball and cry because the going is tough.

You hyperventilating pundits need to take notice of a few things. Fewer Iraqis are dying today than were dying under Saddam. Iraq is more free today than it was under Saddam. Iraq is no longer ruled by a hostile regime. We have lost a very low number of troops compared to the massive size of the conflict. A huge portion of that country is peaceful and successfully transitioning to a Democracy.

The only way we lose this war is if your shrill cries cause us to cut and run….ala Tet.

I mean who in their right mind expected a perfect Democracy in 3 freakin years? 3 years people! Think about that. I know in this day and age of video games and instant gratification this may be hard for some of you people to understand but this is going to take time. And we all need to have the patience and their fortitude to see this through.

UPDATE

And that comes even with the latest NYT’s leak:

The Pentagon is looking into how classified information indicating Iraq is moving closer to chaos wound up on the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times, and is not ruling out an investigation that could lead to criminal charges.

A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for operations in Iraq, confirmed to FOX News that a chart published in the Times is a real reflection of the thinking of military intelligence on the situation in Iraq as of Oct. 18, adding that an effort is underway to find out who leaked the chart and if the breach of operational security constitutes a crime.

The chart:

The statement in the above article in which a spokesman states the chart is a “reflection” of the intelligence thinking gives me pause. As Mario Loyola states, the fact that the chart looks doctored since the classified markings are removed should give us all pause. What else has been doctored?

I would just like to point out that the New York Times appears to have doctored the slide referred to in this brilliantly well-timed bit of election propaganda by removing the classification markings which are invariably found at the top and bottom of these slide (even when they are unclassified — and this one was classified, as Central Command has already confirmed). I want to know whether there is any level of national secret the Times is not willing to betray for the political advantage of its pet causes. And I would like to know what else they may have doctored on the slide.

I do believe this chart may be a “reflection” on how things are going as of Oct 18th, but in no way do I believe that this is how it will ultimately end up. I have the utmost confidence in our military and our leaders. The difficulties faced today will be overcome.

UPDATE II

Take a look at John Weidner’s post at Random Jottings in which he details the 12 reasons why we needed to invade Iraq and why we should stay there.

UPDATE III

SeeDubya at Junkyard Blog hit this one out of the park:

You really only need to read to read these two sentences of Ralph Peters’ column to know it’s bulls**t:

Iraq is failing. No honest observer can conclude otherwise.

This is a cheap rhetorical trick. Whenever I see it I know the writer isn’t being honest or credible, because he’s so unsure of himself that he’s rushing to foreclose the mere possibility that someone reaching a different conclusion has done so honestly.

Either he actually believes this, in which case he has simply discounted all evidence contrary to his position, or he was just employing a sloppy crutch and he’s a bad writer.

No honest person could conclude otherwise.

UPDATE IV

Engram from Back Talk has some excellent commentary on this subject:

Iraq is failing if we are planning to leave soon in the same way that you are losing money in the stock market if you are planning to sell when the stock is low. Leaving Iraq now would strongly reinforce the world’s most dangerous theory, one that was shared by Saddam Hussein, the Taliban and al Qaeda: America’s will to fight is transient.

Conveniently, Peters has convinced himself that we can leave Iraq with impunity.

[…]I suspect that Peters didn’t get the memo, the one written by Zarqawi that lays out al Qaeda’s plan for conflict in Iraq. What will supposedly “consume them” in Iraq is precisely what they are trying to achieve: sectarian conflict on a massive scale. They gain from that scenario because, as they see it, the Sunnis will open their doors to al Qaeda even more than they already have. That’s precisely why al Qaeda started the fighting that has been in effect for 8 months now. In case anyone has lost track of the basics, here they are again:

1. Zarqawi’s 2004 memo stated that al Qaeda needs to attack Shiite civilians to provoke Shiite militias into attacking Sunnis
2. al Qaeda took the extremely provocative act of bombing the holy Shiite mosque in Samarra 8 months ago
3. the sectarian fighting we see now occurred in response to that attack, and al Qaeda continues to attack Shiite civilians to make sure the fighting continues

Leaving Iraq now will ensure that the al Qaeda vision comes to fruition. Pretending that it won’t happen is not a good idea. Leaving Iraq is what Peters wants to do, but his columns read more like the emotional outbursts of an understandably despondent war supporter than anything else. Just because you are upset doesn’t mean that you should do something stupid.

Exactly! We cannot, we must not, bend to the will of the defeatocrats and run from this fight. When things look tough we need to fight harder dammit. We didn’t give up in the Ardennes Forest, on the beaches of Normandy nor the beaches of Iwo Jima.

These armchair generals who have the gall to believe they know more then our fighting men and woman need to sit their asses back down and go watch their precious CNN. Leave the fighting to those who have the will and the backbone to finish the job.

Other’s Blogging:


You hyperventilating pundits need to take notice of a few things. Fewer Iraqis are dying today than were dying under Saddam. Iraq is more free today than it was under Saddam Iraq is no longer ruled by a hostile regime. We have lost a very low number of troops compared to the massive size of the conflict. A huge portion of that country is peaceful and successfully transitioning to a Democracy.

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