Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Power Surge - One could make a halfway decent argument that a measure of the correctness of a goal is the means by which it must be achieved. When the value of a course of action is not readily apparent, its adherents must resort to more guile or coercion than when the benefit is more evident. History is replete with examples that support this theory. From racism in the Jim Crow South to Communism in the old Soviet Union to apartheid in South Africa, the effort that was expended the maintain such systems laid bare the inevitability of their collapse. The desperation of these efforts is nearly rivaled by those of the elites of the American Left as it pertains to the Iraq War.

YOUR GOVERNMENT, on the basis of outrageous lies, is waging a murderous and utterly illegitimate war in Iraq, with other countries in its sites [sic].

is openly torturing people and justifying it.

YOUR GOVERNMENT puts people in jail on the merest suspicion, refusing them lawyers, and either holding them indefinitely or deporting hem in the dead of night.

People look at all this and think of Hitler – and they are right to do so. The Bush regime is setting out to radically remake society very quickly, in a fascist way, and for generations to come. We must act now; the future is in the balance.
The foregoing was a portion of a full-page public notice taken from the Chicago Reader, and was intended to announce a series of protest marches across America designed to help "drive out the Bush regime." The ad was placed by, and was organized to "commemorate" the first anniversary of George W. Bush’s re-election on November 2, 2005. National endorsers of the marches included professors from both Penn State (Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D.) and Princeton University (Dr. Cornel West, Ph.D.) as well as stalwart Americans like former "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan. (More on her elsewhere.) Marches were organized and held in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco among other places, all with the goal of forcing President Bush to "step down," and "take your whole program with you."

It is at moments like this when I really appreciate the courage of the Founding Fathers. Even coup leaders in Third World countries start to look downright heroic compared to these stiffs. If President Bush is such an international threat, comparable in demeanor and behavior to Adolph Hitler, wouldn't you expect these folks to do a bit more than request that he simply step down? If worldcantwait wants us to follow, they must do more than point the way. Indeed, they should lead by example, in this case by personally taking up arms against the enemy devil Bush.

But of course, worldcantwait really never intended for their efforts to be the cause of George W. Bush's stepping down from office. They, like all of his critics, know that Bush won a second term decisively after the war began. Americans would be well served to know that if the Left was indeed successful in running him out of the White House, that action in and of itself would be a clearer threat to our values than anything Bush could do during the remainder of his term. The simple, if not straightforward goal of worldcantwait and their ilk is to feel good about themselves while getting everyone else angry at conservatives, particularly the dreaded neo-cons. Their taking substantive action on the basis of convictions is as foreign to them as the back page of a Beijing phonebook. Anger at the Bush agenda merely serves as an opportunity to sublimate their fear that someone else may act when all they have the courage to do is yammer.

And now, having been neutered by the anti-war Left, Democrats in Washington seem fit only to repeat their talking points almost verbatim. As the "surge" in Iraq continues to build on its own momentum (and as al-Qaeda now faces defections of former Iraqi collaborators), Congressional Democrats - with the welcome exception of Joe Lieberman - have to go to greater lengths to make their talking points stick (but Sen. Harry Reid continues to prove himself to be up to the task); they are certainly quick to remind us of the inefficacy of a military solution to positively impact Iraq's long-term stability.

And for their part, even when the MSM is forced to report the undeniably good news coming out of Iraq, they seek to obscure it in a sandstorm of pessimism about the ultimate success of President Bush's strategy (as seen in reporting from CBS and Time Magazine.) To be sure, even Time has to face the facts as state them as they are known.
Col. Bryan Owens, the commander of U.S. forces in Salahuddin province, isn't hoping for the kind of tribal "awakening" seen in neighboring Anbar. In the desert reaches to the north of Owens' command, a number of tribal leaders have gathered themselves and their followers under the banner of Sunni chieftain Sheik Abdul Sittar, who has vowed to work with U.S. forces at crushing insurgents associated with al-Qaeda. The pact has brought some significant successes. The daily average of insurgent attacks in Anbar province has dropped by almost 50% in roughly a year, coming down to about 26 per day. Those gains have brought praise from military commanders in Iraq and even the White House. But Owens feels the strategy of putting tribes in the lead of fighting insurgents isn't the right approach for his area, where Sunni guerillas are stepping up their attacks even now. (Emphasis added.)
Fortunately we need not rely on biased reporting from the fourth estate. We have only to take the word of those in a position to evaluate what is going on from their perspective. To that end, we welcome the assessment of retired Army General John M. Keene (presently senior managing director of Keane Advisors, LLC), as taken from a recent National Review Online.
Well I think [the surge is] going better than we had expected, particularly as it pertains to the security operation. The success that the security operation is achieving is, in my judgment, very definable. What I have done is, in my first visit in February since the operation began, I went into neighborhoods in Baghdad and then returned 90 days later to make a comparison. And I will do the same in August.

And remember, flashback to '06. What happened is the al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents provoked a predictable response from the Shia militia by the Samarra mosque bombing and the assassination plots killing Shias. There was an overpowering response from the Shia militia into the Sunni neighborhoods where hundreds and then thousands of Sunnis and Shia were killed as the result of that. The city was in flames. No schools were operating, no government services were being provided. Marketplaces were shut down and people were shut into their homes, afraid to go out on the street. And this lasted through most of '06 and it was at its height in the summer.

Despite two military operations that the United States led, Together Forward One and Together Forward Two, we were not able to stop the level of violence. And then a counter offensive began in earnest in February and finally culminated with all forces in play in June. And what you see is a stark contrast to '06 in those neighborhoods.
When one takes account of where we are in Iraq currently, it brings to mind the philosophical question of whether a tree fell in a forest if no one actually heard it. If no Democrats acknowledge the success of the surge, and no media will report on it objectively, does that make the position of worldcantwait more in concert with reality? My sense - or more correctly, my hope - is that chance will favor those brave souls who are conducting military operations in Iraq, and that history will find favor with the outcome.

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