Jul 31 2007

Leftward Confusion On Iraq: We Are Winning

Published by at 7:47 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

The left is stunned that (a) things are turning around in Iraq and (b) some prominent liberals noticed. Anybody paying attention to events on the ground instead of MSNBC’s emotional rants could see that for the last few months that more and more local Iraqi leaders were swearing on the Koran to fight al-Qaeda and remove them from what were their safe havens of operation. al-Qaeda had brutalized the populace so much that they became the great evil – not us. So two critics of the war got off their backsides and decided to see what was happening for themselves, and they came back with the stunning conclusion we can win in Iraq.

Apparently the leftward fringes, who hate to have their little fantasy worlds disturbed with reality, are all up in arms with these turncoats who did nothing more than REPORT what they saw. One truly hillarious example is a guy at Think Progress (as opposed to ‘Make Progress’ – this whole envisioning thing is quite funny) who cannot understand why the graphs and charts at the Brookings Institute are not in line with the NY Times Op-Ed (think ‘update’ dude!):

In today’s New York Times, Brookings analysts Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack argue that “the administration’s critics seem unaware of the significant changes taking place” as a result of the President’s surge strategy in Iraq.

Just last week — on July 26 — O’Hanlon published a starkly different assessment of the conditions in Iraq. In an updated edition of the Brookings Institute Iraq Index, he wrote:

First off, it is clear the trip out to Iraq showed something to O’Hanlon the graphs cannot show. Reading through the NY Times article we see these observations:

In war, sometimes it’s important to pick the right adversary, and in Iraq we seem to have done so. A major factor in the sudden change in American fortunes has been the outpouring of popular animus against Al Qaeda and other Salafist groups, as well as (to a lesser extent) against Moktada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

These groups have tried to impose Shariah law, brutalized average Iraqis to keep them in line, killed important local leaders and seized young women to marry off to their loyalists. The result has been that in the last six months Iraqis have begun to turn on the extremists and turn to the Americans for security and help. The most important and best-known example of this is in Anbar Province, which in less than six months has gone from the worst part of Iraq to the best (outside the Kurdish areas). Today the Sunni sheiks there are close to crippling Al Qaeda and its Salafist allies. Just a few months ago, American marines were fighting for every yard of Ramadi; last week we strolled down its streets without body armor.

Our Einstein wannabe at Think (hard) Progress doesn’t address the resulting shift in allegiance in the Iraqi communities away from al-Qaeda – because he has no graph to show him the way. Without a graph our Think Einstein is lost. Additionally, if you look at the charts he uses it is clear the data doesn’t go all the way to July, as the observations of the recent visit by these two men clearly do. In other words, the data is not up to date with their observations. An ‘update’ will be coming I am sure.

Our little Einstein conflicts national data without noting the regional data in the areas of The Surge are indicative of The Surge’s effects. People in Iraq note the beginning of efforts to upgrade basic services and Einstein scratches his head wondering why this doesn’t show up yet in the data (give them a few months, this not The Jetsons with a instant-results button).

This is classic denial. This is grasping onto a lost cause. This is pathetic. al-Qaeda is now the bane of Iraq because their evil brutality and murderous ways are THAT repulsive. So repulsive Muslims are turning against them and their methods. So repulsive we dare not let them have a hint of a win. So repulsive any sane person would know success is mandatory. But there are no graphs to point the way for all us. For those who can only process what they want to see and hear we can only offer our pity. Fear of being wrong, for some, is more frightening than an emboldened al-Qaeda operating out of their bases in Iraq and targetting innocent people in America and Europe. That is a lot of insecurity to deal with.

Me, I prefer to deal with what is happening on the ground and not on graphs from a DC or NY think tank. This is the kind of story which was probably seen once a week a few months ago, but which is now daily fair:

Coalition forces have uncovered more insurgent weapons caches in the first six months of this year than the entire previous year, Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Monday.

The record number of seizures is due largely to a new U.S. strategy that has moved American forces off bases and into neighborhoods, generating more tips from civilians. Offensives have also disrupted insurgent sanctuaries, Petraeus said.

Tips have increased as the promise of eliminating al-Qaeda became real. As Sunni leaders pledged their lives to purge their areas of the sickness that is al-Qaeda, the people felt safe enough to turn the tables on those who tortured and killed them under al-Qaeda. We are winning this war. I have been saying it for months because what happened in Anbar Province months ago was clearly sign of broad changes. Anbar was the prime al-Qaeda safe haven. For it to turn meant forces were at work that were powerful, if not clearly evident. The fact this repulsion of al-Qaeda has swept a nation suffering from al-Qaeda’s daily mass murders is, in hindsight, not surprising at all. But to some young Einstein’s wannabes they keep looking at 2006 data and wondering what changed? Our fortunes changed.

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “Leftward Confusion On Iraq: We Are Winning”

  1. ivehadit says:

    Yes, the Left cannot imagine that they have been lied to. Their “gurus” have, in fact, treated them like mushrooms: kept them in the dark and fed them manure.

    If there is one thing that separates the Left from the Right is, the Left doesn’t care about truth, just anything that will promote their fantasy is what they want. Stuck on six.

    It is imperative that the adults be in charge. We cannot afford to let the pathology of the Left (or the hard-right, for that matter)destroy our country.

  2. lurker9876 says:

    Check Gleen Greenwald, Joe Klein, Big Tent Democrat over at TalkLeft. And boy, are they really trying to destroy the credibility of O’Hanlon and Pollack. And they think they are successful.

  3. MerlinOS2 says:

    It is also informative to read the comment thread over at Think Progress that AJ linked.

    Says a lot about the mindset over there.

  4. Soothsayer says:

    Yeah, sure, WE ARE WINNING!! The same folks saying that are also saying Alberto Gonzales is a fine Attorney General and he will serve out his term wihtout indictment, impeachment or further embarrasment to himself and the country.

    As for O’Hanlon and Pollack . . . if you read their articlel carefully, all they’re saying is that our military has been doing a better job lately. However, as even Petraues admitted pre-surge, there is a finite capacity for military action to make IRaq work; the major component is a diplomatic/political solution, and there is no indication whatsoever . . . as the Iraqi parliament breaks for the month of August . . . that there is anything close to that happening.

    Meanwhile, of course, bloggers and pundits far from harm’s way will continue to call for greater and greater sacrifice by troops on the ground, while refusing to address betrayal by the government when they come home wounded.

  5. roonent1 says:


    You have been on top of the surge’s successes from the beginning. Kudos buddy. Great reporting. Yes, we are winning and on our way to a victory in Iraq, where we can leave a mostly stable country that will fight terror and be our ally in thw middle east.

    Soothie, like usual you are wrong. Gonzales is going no where. This is democratic show which the middle voter is watching. That is why Reid has a approval rating of 19% and the democratic controlled Congress approval reached lows of 14%. Pretty pathetic considering liberals control 95% of television news reporting and most of the newspapers in this country. Well, talk radio and the internet are getting the news out. Soothie, hang onto the titanic of liberal news regarding Iraq because you are going down with the ship without a life boat.

  6. Hi A.J.: OpinionateCatholic told me to look you up. I’m not telling you anything in saying that you’ve got one of the best blogs going, and I’ll boomark you. OC said that you and I were in agreement about the immigration reform proposal, which I supported. OC also suggested you might be interested in the candidacy of Alaska governor Sarah Palin for the VICE-presidency on the Republican ticket. If you’re interested in Sarah or other matters, please e-mail me at TalkTop65@aol.com. Here’s my “pitch” for Sarah:

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  7. ivehadit says:

    Would that be the amount of troops killed under the “peacetime” of the clinton years?
    combat other deaths
    World War I 53,513 63,195 116,708

    World War II 292,131 115,185 407,316

    Korean War 33,651 (unknown) 33,651

    Vietnam War 47,369 10,799 58,168

    Gulf War 148 145 293

    Iraq War 3,196 709 3,905

    We have a VOLUNTEER military now. Apparently unknown to some on this site, they actually want to FIGHT FOR THEIR COUNTRY, and are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our freedom.

  8. lurker9876 says:

    Hi! Did you read Victor Davis Hanson’s comments over at the NRO site? It was really good.

  9. Soothsayer says:

    Adm. Mike Mullen, the president’s nominee to succeed Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs is considerably less sure we’re winning than Adm. Strata is. At a confirmation hearing today on Capitol Hill, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked whether Mullen thought it was still likely that the United States would win in Iraq, Mullen pretty much said no:

    Graham: How would you assess our likelihood of winning, given what you know now, Admiral Mullen?

    Mullen: I think it’s very important, back to the regional stability, Senator, that we take steps to ensure that it is secure, that it can contribute …

    Graham: The question is not whether it’s desirable to win, but the likelihood of winning. We all know it’s desirable to win, but the likelihood.

    Mullen: Based on the political, lack of political reconciliation at the government level, obviously — although I spoke earlier about some of it going on at the local level, which I think is important — I would be concerned about whether we’d be winning or not.

    Gen. David Petraeus then chimed in today that he’s not feeling too rosy about how things are going:

    “Well, you know, what I say now is that I’m not an optimist or a pessimist. I’m a realist … . . . so at this point, I am a realist and I am very aware of the challenges here; I am keenly aware how hard this is, but I would also say that hard is not hopeless.”

    Marine General James Cartwright added there may come a time when U.S. troops serving in Iraq decide the situation is hopeless:

    “They believe in their mission. They’re going to do their best to provide the headroom to allow that government the opportunity, but there comes a point at which they’re going to look at that and say, ‘How much longer and for what prize?’ if progress isn’t seen.”

    Curse those Defeatocrat Admirals and Generals. Why don’t they pay more attention to Faux News? Or the NY Times??

  10. Terrye says:


    What are they going to indict Gonzales for? Failing to kiss Leahy’s ass. In your book that might be a felony, but as far as normal people are concerned it is not.

    Normal, being the operative word. and yes, it is just awful that those terrible Republicans were investigating ACORN for voter fraud. After all if the reality based community wants to put Daffy Duck or a dead man on the voter roles they have every right to do it. It is not as if the laws apply to them after all.

    More bad news for you soothie, troop deaths are at the lowest level in 8 months. I bet that just breaks your heart.

  11. Terrye says:

    And the truth is Soothie, that constantly threatening to abandon the Iraqis will not make political reconciliation any more likely. John Burns, of the NYT was talking about that the other day. He said that if the Congress does not support the Iraqis they will see no reason to make concessions necessary for reconciliation. And he has been in Iraq for years.

    But then again, I think they know that. I think that people like you want the Iraqis to fail.

    Pathetic is right.

    BTW, I would say there is much chance or more that those Iraqi politicians will keep their promises as there is that Pelosi and Reid will keep theirs.

  12. Soothsayer says:

    1. Gonzales: Multiple perjuries before Congress; perjuries that are not resolved by the lame data mining excuse. Lies that are specifically contradicted by the head of the FBI. Have you been in a bubble or something?

    2. Once again, Terrye knows better than any of the generals adn admirals, because he’s a Strataspherista, and gets the inside info from DaleinAtlanta.

  13. Terrye says:


    There has been absolutely no evidence of perjury. Marcus had an interesting article on that in the WsPo today. The fact that you wish it was perjury does not make it so. In fact I doubt if you know what perjury is.

    I think that when Gonzales gave the Democrats the opportunity to question him in private and they were too busy pandering and preening for the cameras to even bother taking him up on that…they made themselves look like the partisan jack asses that they are.

    BTW, if I remember correctly you said AG would be gone by Easter. I suppose time will tell, but I think you were full of it then and you are full of it now.

  14. Terrye says:

    This is the link to Ruth Marcus’s piece, as is obvious she is no fan of AG’s, but at least she understands what perjury is.

  15. Rick C says:

    Ol’ Sooth has misinterpreted his quotes again. All three basically said that the political situation needs to be resolved. None said that the security situation could not be resolved as much as ol’ Sooth would have liked to have had them say that.

    No one said the political situation could not be resolved either. But, in the end that is not up to the US. That is up to the Iraqis. The most we can do is help them develop a secure enough environment to come to a political agreement. But, if they don’t, that does not imply the US lost. That simply says that the Iraqis didn’t care enough to get it done.


  16. lurker9876 says:

    Hi, One of the recent Reader’s Digests featured Palin in one of its articles. She was portrayed as one of the most popular governors any state has ever seen.

    From what this article said, Palin is a very conservative person that does not believe in wasting money and all. Nothing like Ted Stevens.

    The Democrats know that they have no grounds to file perjury charges against Gonzo. And they also know that they have no grounds to request Special Council to investigate Gonzo. What a crock.

    Mullen pretty much endorses the idea same as what others are saying…that we need to spend more time in Iraq. I now believe that next year will see far more peace with an occasional car bomb here and there. Our US troops will spend more time doing civic work than military. I think that if Mullen wins the nomination and spend more time in Iraq, he would come back and say more realistic things – same as Patreaus. Don’t forget what Patreaus told Hugh Hewitt. I also think Patreaus will give a more positive but realistic report in September, which will make it harder for the Democrats to justify their resolutions.

    Unfortunately, Pelosi plans another vote or two this week. Are they hoping to convince more Republicans to vote with them? Will this lead to weariness of voting, coming up with new resolutions, et al?

    Who knows!!

  17. lurker9876 says:

    Did you hear what Murtha said today? Video provided at HotAir.

  18. Soothsayer says:

    Okay, okay — anyone want to bet Gonzales serves out the rest of his term????

    Dollars to doughnuts!

  19. Soothsayer says:

    More on Gonzales’ Justice Department:

    U.S. Attorney Became Target After Rebuffing Justice Dept.

    The night before the government secured a guilty plea from the manufacturer of the addictive painkiller OxyContin, a senior Justice Department official called the U.S. attorney handling the case and, at the behest of an executive for the drugmaker, urged him to slow down, the prosecutor told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.

    John L. Brownlee, the U.S. attorney in Roanoke, testified that he was at home the evening of Oct. 24 when he received the call on his cellphone from Michael J. Elston, then chief of staff to the deputy attorney general and one of the Justice aides involved in the removal of nine U.S. attorneys last year.

    Brownlee settled the case anyway. Eight days later, his name appeared on a list compiled by Elston of prosecutors that officials had suggested be fired.

    They call it interfering with ongoing cases for partisan political purposes. It’s against the law.