Posted by Curt on 23 August, 2007 at 4:00 pm. 31 comments already!

So a National Intelligence Estimate was released today and the left went banana’s cherry picking the report. 

“Today’s National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq confirms what most Americans already know: Our troops are mired in an Iraqi civil war and the president’s escalation strategy has failed to produce the political results he promised to our troops and the American people,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader.

Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said: “The war in Iraq now has lasted longer than our own Civil War, and the latest National Intelligence Estimate indicates that there is no end in sight. How much longer will President Bush insist on staying the course while American troops risk their lives?”

The President’s escalation strategy was to bring security to the nation so that a political solution could be found.  The surge has been going on for a few months and these nimrods expect to not only see the security situation fixed but the political one also.  What utter nonsense.  Major combat operations lasted for over 4 years during the civil war, major combat operations lasted only a few months in Iraq.  Now we are seeing the difficulties in rebuilding a whole nation which I can assure you did not happen in a few years after the civil war. 

Reading the NIE I found these points which should be pointed out:

There have been measurable but uneven improvements in Iraq’s security situation since our last National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq in January 2007.

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However, the level of overall violence, including attacks on and casualties among civilians, remains high; Iraq’s sectarian groups remain unreconciled; AQI retains the ability to conduct high-profile attacks; and to date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively. There have been modest improvements in economic output, budget execution, and government finances but fundamental structural problems continue to prevent sustained progress in economic growth and living conditions.

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We assess, to the extent that Coalition forces continue to conduct robust counterinsurgency operations and mentor and support the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), that Iraq’s security will continue to improve modestly during the next six to 12 months but that levels of insurgent and sectarian violence will remain high and the Iraqi Government will continue to struggle to achieve national-level political reconciliation and improved governance.

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Political and security trajectories in Iraq continue to be driven primarily by Shia insecurity about retaining political dominance, widespread Sunni unwillingness to accept a diminished political status, factional rivalries within the sectarian communities resulting in armed conflict, and the actions of extremists such as AQI and elements of the Sadrist Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) militia that try to fuel sectarian violence. Two new drivers have emerged since the January Estimate: expanded Sunni opposition to AQI and Iraqi expectation of a Coalition draw down. Perceptions that the Coalition is withdrawing probably will encourage factions anticipating a power vacuum to seek local security solutions that could intensify sectarian violence and intra-sectarian competition. At the same time, fearing a Coalition withdrawal, some tribal elements and Sunni groups probably will continue to seek accommodation with the Coalition to strengthen themselves for a post- Coalition security environment.

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The IC assesses that the emergence of “bottom-up” security initiatives, principally among Sunni Arabs and focused on combating AQI, represent the best prospect for improved security over the next six to 12 months, but we judge these initiatives will only translate into widespread political accommodation and enduring stability if the Iraqi Government accepts and supports them.

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Iraqi Security Forces involved in combined operations with Coalition forces have performed adequately, and some units have demonstrated increasing professional competence.
However, we judge that the ISF have not improved enough to conduct major operations independent of the Coalition on a sustained basis in multiple locations and that the ISF remain reliant on the Coalition for important aspects of logistics and combat support.

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The IC assesses that the Iraqi Government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months because of criticism by other members of the major Shia coalition (the Unified Iraqi Alliance, UIA), Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and other Sunni and Kurdish parties.

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The IC assesses that Iraq’s neighbors will continue to focus on improving their leverage in Iraq in anticipation of a Coalition drawdown. Assistance to armed groups, especially from Iran, exacerbates the violence inside Iraq, and the reluctance of the Sunni states that are generally supportive of US regional goals to offer support to the Iraqi Government probably bolsters Iraqi Sunni Arabs’ rejection of the government’s legitimacy.

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We assess that changing the mission of Coalition forces from a primarily counterinsurgency and stabilization role to a primary combat support role for Iraqiforces and counterterrorist operations to prevent AQI from establishing a safehavenwould erode security gains achieved thus far.

All of which tells me that the new Iraqi government, the one we went to war to install, the one in which over 3000 American lives have been lost to install, is sitting on an edge.  We are improving the security situation (the same situation Reid and his fellow comrades said couldn’t be done) but, as expected, the political situation is much tougher.  The Iraqi’s are listening to the cut n’ runners and are expecting us to leave them to their deaths, as we did the Vietnamese.  Case in point, this line from the NIE:

Perceptions that the Coalition is withdrawing probably will encourage factions anticipating a power vacuum to seek local security solutions that could intensify sectarian violence and intra-sectarian competition.

This fact is most obviously making it tougher for Maliki’s government to become stronger.  Iran recognizes that if a Democrat gets into office we’re leaving so they are getting ready to take the whole thing over.  The Sunni’s, who would be working more with Maliki if they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that we would be staying until the job is done, are instead hedging their bets. 

This kind of talk from the Democrats are making this war much tougher then it needs to be, but then they already knew that.  That is their whole goal.  While the majority of Americans want us to leave Iraq VICTORIOUS, the left wants us to leave with our tails tucked between our legs all so they can yell "see!  I told you Bush was wrong!"

How pathetic is that?

Meanwhile Ed Morrissey had a great post yesterday which detailed how Maliki could very well be very close to ending the insurgency:

Earlier today, the Italian news service AKI reported that the presumed leader of the largest insurgency in Iraq will start cooperating with the Iraqi government. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, one of the highest-ranking members of Saddam Hussein’s government, reportedly pledged to work with Iraqi and American forces to fight al-Qaeda in Iraq.

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This could be game, set, and match for the Iraq War. Some smaller insurgent elements assisted in clearing Baqubah as a test to see whether an alliance with Americans would work. Apparently, the experiment worked. If al-Douri accepts the authority of the elected Iraqi government, then almost all of the resistance in western Iraq will disappear — leaving AQI very exposed.

It seems more than just coincidental that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki visited the former Ba’athist power base of Tikrit last Thursday. Maliki went to Saddam’s hometown, where al-Douri likely has his strongest allies, to meet with the Sunni sheikhs. They gave him a warm welcome, and they pledged to find ways to work with each other. At the same time, he signed an agreement with the Kurds and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, which has been Moqtada al-Sadr’s bitter opponent in the south.

While Iraq is most definitely not out of the woods, they are well on the way to becoming a successful Iraqi Democracy if we give them the support they need and dont run like cowards from a tough fight.

UPDATE

Gotta agree with Paul at Wizbang here:

As a civilian a few thousand miles away having only the mainstream media to count on for information, it’s almost impossible to make an informed decision on the job performance of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

But I have a few clues he must be doing a good job…

The New York Times hates him Democratic Senator Carl Levin and Republican Senator John Warner have called for his ouster. Hilliary says she wants him gone and the NYT has another hit piece on him this morning.

So we have every reason to believe he must be a doing a great job.

If the left hates him you know he is doing well.

UPDATE II

Think this is a good time to bring up Prince Sirik Matak of Cambodia and his letter to the United States Ambassador in 1975 on America’s offer of passage out of Cambodia before the Communists took over:

Dear Excellency and friend,

I thank you very sincerely for your letter and for your offer to transport me towards freedom. I cannot, alas, leave in such a cowardly fashion.

As for you and in particular for your great country, I never believed for a moment that you would have this sentiment of abandoning a people which has chosen liberty. You have refused us your protection and we can do nothing about it. You leave us and it is my wish that you and your country will find happiness under the sky.

But mark it well that, if I shall die here on the spot and in my country that I love, it is too bad because we are all born and must die one day. I have only committed the mistake of believing in you, the Americans.

Please accept, Excellency, my dear friend, my faithful and friendly sentiments.

Sirik Matak.

Within days of the Communist takeover he was executed.

The Prince could not believe that we would abandon them but he did not know the left in this country and their complete willingness to sell people down to river to score political points and power.

We will abandon those who seek liberty once more?

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