Posted by Curt on 21 November, 2007 at 1:03 pm. 9 comments already!


Last night on Brit Hume’s show there was this conversation:

MAJ. GEN. BOB SCALES (RET), FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: The secret of the surge wasn’t the numbers, it was the strategy. . . .

EASTON, FORTUNE MAGAZINE: But as generals on the ground will tell you,
this is a small window in which you need to make political progress.

I thought what was quite interesting about reading these pieces,
documenting how Baghdad is coming back alive, is the extent to which
it’s still an empty city. There’s four million refugees that fled the

And I happened to experience this in Jordan a few
months ago — these refugees are the people of means, the people who are
educated, the people you need back in this country to build a civil
society that will press this government to move forward with reform.

HUME: It would be quite a miracle had they all returned by now…

Today we have this:

The figures are hard to estimate precisely but the process could involve
hundreds of thousands of people. The numbers are certainly large enough, as we
report today, for a mass convoy to be planned next week as Iraqis who had opted
for exile in Syria return to their homeland. It is one of the most striking
signs that not only has violence in Baghdad and adjacent provinces decreased
dramatically in recent months, but confidence in the economic and political
future of Iraq has risen sharply. Nor is this movement the action of men and
women who could easily reverse course and turn back again. Tighter visa
restrictions imposed by Damascus mean that those who are returning to Iraq
cannot assume that they could quickly retreat again to Syria if that suited
them. This is, for many, a one-way decision. It represents a vote of confidence
in Iraq.

What will the excuses be now from the left?  As Wretchard at The Belmont Club writes, it a huge victory which the left just cannot abide by:

The current calm in Iraq represents not only a ‘partial peace’ but a huge
victory. For the first time since Algeria at least, a Western army has defeated
the combined efforts of a terrorist insurgency, a global radical Islamist attack
and the intervention of two neighboring countries in less than five years.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq made an explicit effort to precipitate a civil war in Iraq and
failed. Syria backed the Sunni insurgency in its effort to restore dominance in
Iraq and failed. Iran backed the Shi’ite militias, including the Special Groups
and may be failing too. MNF-Iraq took on all comers in what amounted to a
military randori and
tossed them all out of the ring.  You can call that an ATM truce or you can call it something else.

It was recently fashionable to schedule screenings of the movie Battle of
to impress upon Americans how hard and hopeless their task was. This
movie should continue to be shown, but it may be ruined by flashing this card as
the credits roll: “this is what happened to the French, and seemingly to every
Western Army since the 1960s, even to the Israelis in Lebanon in the 1980s. But
it didn’t happen to the US in Iraq.” That would certainly provoke outrage,
perhaps because people accustomed to being handed a flagellant whip don’t know
what to do with a glass of champagne.

Before it was Harry Reid pronouncing the war lost, then it was a civil war, now what do they say? 

It’s all Sadr’s doing.

Or, as Tom Friedman writes, its just a truce for money.

Their Bush hatred runs so deep they just cannot be happy for an American victory in Iraq because that would mean Bush was right.  That we could win this thing. 

Expect to hear more of this disjointed logic in the days and weeks to come as the left tries to come to grips with things going well in Iraq.  Or, as history as shown us, they may just ignore Iraq all together now.

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