Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Too Good No More

As noted elsewhere, an unfortunate truism vis-a-vis the Iraq War posits that any lull in coverage of the war is a sign that the U.S. is winning. For her part, Katie Couric did not mention the war one time in her broadcast tonight. In like fashion - with the exceptions of addressing Iraq by way of goings on in Turkey and pronouncing the names of the fallen - today's New York Times makes nary a mention of any effects of the surge that the impeccably botoxed Maureen Dowd recently judged as not working.

With so through a media blockade surrounding Iraq, it has fallen to the second tier of mainstream media to declare the military's successes. Yesterday's Washington Post more than filled the bill in detailing the "
devastating and perhaps irreversible blows" that al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has suffered at the hands of U.S. and Allied forces.

The deployment of more U.S. and Iraqi forces into AQI strongholds in Anbar province and the Baghdad area, as well as the recruitment of Sunni tribal fighters to combat AQI operatives in those locations, has helped to deprive the militants of a secure base of operations, U.S. military officials said. "They are less and less coordinated, more and more fragmented," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the second-ranking U.S. commander in Iraq, said recently. Describing frayed support structures and supply lines, Odierno estimated that the group's capabilities have been "degraded" by 60 to 70 percent since the beginning of the year.
To be sure, it is unknowable whether this progress against AQI will be sustained, but one thing remains self-evident. To the extent that we are able to degrade AQI's ability to advance its pogrom against the Iraqi people, we increase the likelihood of achieving a stable Iraq that can yet serve as an Arab ally in the heart of the Middle East. AQI is acutely aware of the importance of preventing such an eventuality from occurring, yet they are far from unique in that understanding.

There is one other man in the region who is mindful of the felicitous nature of an American defeat in Iraq. And liberal quibbling notwithstanding, the entire point of the Iraq War is of a piece with that of the larger Global War on Terror. By denying the enemies of America sanctuary and degrading their ability to destabilize friendly nations in the Levant, President Bush is clearly and directly advancing the end of enhanced national security.

Our enemies within and outside of Iraq are doubtless aware of the need for victory in Mesopotamia. And they are in no wise celebrating our successes thus far. Likewise, having neither the ability to talk up defeat in Iraq nor the decorum to share in our triumphs, the American Left has reduced itself to yammering on about supposed offenses by Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter - as well as imaginary right-wing assaults on liberal radio talk show hosts. All of this speaks to a frustrated impotence on the part of progressives.
Would that the apparent vexation of the NYT and CBS News (and much of the Democrat party) were not as great as that of AQI and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Update: Here's video (H/T: Hot Air) of Washington Post and CNN reporters explaining why the good news coming out of Iraq should not be taken at face value.

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