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« The Nifonging of Alberto Gonzales | Main | Where’s the Democratic Congress’ plan to save Social Security? »

July 30, 2007



Grasping at straws? What's being described here are some modest tactical successes. The analysis is also very short on numbers like electricity availability, perhaps because we've stopped publishing them. There's clearly been some reduction in sectarian killings and we seem to arming Sunni militias on the basis that they like Fatah are good terrorists. Strategically nothing has changed really. I very much doubt whether the authors of this article did much field research because it's no easier to move around now than six months ago. You can make a case for a ten year program of keeping 150,000 troops in Iraq and spending $100 billion a year on doing it and at the end of it we might, might, be able to stabilize the country. Given all the other negative consequence that flow from our occupation of the country it's very doubtful whether it's worth the gamble. The tone of postings like this really demonstrate the despeeration that exists on the pro war side for any sliver of evidence to justify themselves. This with all respect to Petraeus who is obviously doing his best, is not it.


And the tone of the post that precedes me clearly shows the desperation of the defeatists who really don't want the U.S. to succeed in Iraq. The whole effort would have been a whole lot easier without the constant negativity.

Frank Warner

"Electricity availability"? Is that what Operation Iraqi Freedom is fighting for?

And how will a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in the next eight months improve the prospects for "electricity availability" in Iraq?

David Jay

BUT, BUT, BUT... Harry Reid said the war was LOST. This can't be!


Add up enough modest tactical successes and you have a strategic success. Add up enough strategic successes and you've won.

This is really basic stuff. It's pretty sad how few people get it.

jj mollo

Now if they could only get the necessity of winning, not just the fact that we can win.

Frank Warner

I got an e-mail from Bill Roggio the other day. He says (and I repeated it in this post) that once the Iraqi army has 250,000 men, the U.S. can start pulling back.

The Iraqi army could have 250,000 men in December 2008.

jj mollo

I do think that electricity availability is one good measure of the situation in Iraq. It is a good measure because it is so easy to sabotage. The price of gasoline is another. But these measures are lagging indicators that do not necessarily measure current progress. The enemy is, after all, fighting a propaganda war. Whatever measures we choose will be deliberately targeted -- simply because we choose to look at them.

I think this Pollack/O'Hanlan report is very telling because there has been a continuing concerted effort to target and manipulate the press. If the NYT has begun to understand the nature of this war, then there is hope.

jj mollo

An e-mail from Bill Roggio!? You should have it bronzed!

Frank Warner

Yeah, thank goodness he's out there, getting the facts. We depend on Roggio and other people like Michael Yon.

Frank Warner

As far as "electricity availability," it may be an indicator that things have stabilized. But even Saddam Hussein had some "electricity availability," at least for his favored friends in Baghdad.

I've noticed that several polls of Iraqis will ask them, Do you have as much electricity as you had under Saddam? But they neglect to ask, Did you vote in the last election? Was the election fair and democratic?

Ask them, Do you have more newspapers than you did under Saddam? Is the press freer than it was under Saddam? Do you see more television channels than you did under Saddam? Does the television news represent more points of view than under Saddam? Do you feel freer to criticize your government than you did under Saddam?

Yes, the pollsters also have to ask, Do you feel more secure than you did under Saddam? But then, they can't ask that question of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in Saddam's mass graves, can they?

If Saddam's survivors feel less secure or lack electricity, it's because there's a war on. The question is, just who is making them feel less secure? Who is knocking the lights out? The Americans? Doubt it.


This Congressman has been so dead on about our military in Iraq. We may have to listen to him. tic

Video: Murtha on O’Hanlon’s and Pollack’s op-ed — “It’s an illusion!”






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