Flying pig moment

pigflying.jpgThis may be THE Flying Pig Moment of 2007.

The New York Times has published an editorial by MICHAEL E. O’HANLON and KENNETH M. POLLACK that reflects much of the cautious optimism that we’ve seen since the stabilization of Anbar and the ejection of AQI from Baqubah.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Here is an excerpt:

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

As they say……..Read it all

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Against all odds

iraqisoccer.jpg

Iraq’s captain Younis Mahmoud (C) heads the ball past Saudi Arabia’s Yasse Al Mosailem (L) and Osama Hawsawi to score during their final match at the 2007 AFC Asian Cup football tournament at the Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta, July 29, 2007. REUTERS/Jerry Lampen

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Reuters:

Iraq defied seemingly impossible odds to beat Saudi Arabia 1-0 in the Asian Cup final on Sunday, providing a fairytale ending to the tournament and a rare moment of celebration in their war-torn homeland.

Iraqi captain Younis Mahmoud scored the winner in the 71st minute when he climbed above the defence at the far post and headed a perfectly-weighted corner from Hawar Mulla Mohammed into the net.

Saudi Arabia had been bidding to become the first country to win the Asian Cup four times but were outplayed by an Iraqi team riding high on a wave of national support.

Iraq’s unexpected victory not only captured the imagination of the sporting world but helped unify a country ravaged by war and ripped apart by sectarian violence.

More photos from the Beeb:

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Cautious Optimism

Ralph Peter’s column in the NY Post manages to capture many of the thoughts and ideas that we have discussed over the past few weeks regarding Iraq.

Here are a few excerpts from Mr. Peters’ piece, Winning In Iraq (and losing in Washington).

A trusted source in Baghdad confirmed several key developments that’ve gone largely unreported. Here’s what’s been happening while “journalists” focused on John Edwards’ haircuts:

* Al Qaeda lost the support of Iraq’s Sunni Arabs. The fanatics over-reached: They murdered popular sheiks, kidnapped tribal women for forced marriages, tried to outlaw any form of joy and (perhaps most fatally, given Iraqi habits) banned smoking. In response, the Arab version of the Marlboro Man rose up and started cutting terrorist throats.

* Since the tribes who once were fighting against us turned on al Qaeda, our troops not only captured the senior Iraqi in the organization – which made brief headlines – but also killed the three al Turki brothers, major-league pinch-hitters al Qaeda sent into Iraq to save the game.
Oh, and it emerged that the Iraqi “head” of the terrorists was just a front – in the words of one Army officer, Omar al Baghdadi was “a Wizard of Oz-like creation designed to give an impression that al Qaeda has Iraqis in its senior ranks.”

* Al Qaeda has been pushed right across Anbar, from the once Wild West to the province’s eastern fringes. The terrorists are still dug in elsewhere, from the Diyala River Valley to a few Baghdad neighborhoods – but, to quote that senior officer again, “our forces have been taking out their leaders faster than they can find qualified replacements.”

Even the Democrats yearning to become president admit, when pressed, that al Qaeda’s a threat to America. So why didn’t even one of them praise the success of our troops during their last debate?

But let’s be fair: Congressional Republicans, terrified of losing their power and glory and precious perks, haven’t rushed to applaud our progress, either. They’ll give up Iraq, as long as they don’t have to give up earmarks.

* It isn’t only al Qaeda taking serious hits. After briefly showing the flag, Muqtada al-Sadr fled back to Iran again, trailed by his senior deputies. Mookie’s No. 2 even moved his family to Iran. Why? Though he’s been weak in the past, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is now green-lighting Iraqi operations against the Jaish al Mahdi, the Mookster’s “Mahdi Army.”

It was Michael Yon’s recent dispatch, 7 Rules, 1 Oath, expressing the cautious optimism that the Iraqis can make it, that raised the hopes of many of us who actually want the US to prevail. At what point, I wonder, will the facts on the ground begin to outweigh the rhetorical surrealism that infects the idiot party?

h/t Spook 86: Back on Track Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson’s Website, Diary of the Mad Pigeon, The Random Yak, DeMediacratic Nation, Jeanette’s Celebrity Corner, Pirate’s Cove, Stuck On Stupid, Webloggin, Leaning Straight Up, The Pet Haven, Azamatteroprinciple – A new blog dedicated to fighting pork barrel spending, Right Voices, Conservative Thoughts, and Public Eye, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

dems go “all in” on war

They’re betting the ranch.

Even the Associated Press has noticed.

Democratic leaders are taking an all-or-nothing approach on Iraq, a tack that leaves its members empty-handed for now but keeps the party in lockstep with demands by anti-war groups.

At the end of the month, lawmakers were expected to break for their August recess without passing veto-proof legislation that would significantly challenge President Bush’s Iraq policies. Such a feat would have required Democrats to soften their stance or compromise with Republicans — something anti-war groups don’t want them to do and a move party leaders have shown no interest in.

“Our goal is the total political collapse of support for Bush’s war,” said Tom Matzzie, the Washington director for the anti-war group MoveOn.org, which rose to prominence in last year’s elections. “And this August gives us an even better opportunity to achieve that.”

This is a high-risk political strategy. They either win big, or lose big.

Unfortunately for National Security, as well as the well-being of our military personnel, for the democrats to win necessitates a defeat for our country.

It becomes more important than ever that progress in Iraq be reported honestly and forthrightly. And, since the elite media seems determined to sit out the war in the green zone, I would suggest that y’all keep Mike Yon in your prayers, and go drop a few coins in his tip jar.

Iraq vet gets bionic arm

Iraq war veteran Sgt. Juan Arredondo can grasp tennis balls and door knobs with his left hand again, now that he’s been outfitted with a bionic hand that has flexible fingers.

The 27-year-old former soldier, who lost his left hand in 2005 during a patrol, is one of the first recipients of the i-LIMB.

“To have this movement, it’s – it’s amazing,” Arredondo said Monday as he showed off the limb made by Scotland-based Touch Bionics. “It just gets me more excited about now, about the future.”

aptopix_iraq_veteran_bionic_handsff_nyma105_20070723173646.jpgThe prosthetic hand is made of semi-translucent plastics. Five individual motors power the fingers, allowing the person to grasp round objects. The hand’s gestures are made possible through electrode plates that detect electrical signals generated in the remaining muscles in the amputated limb.

The i-LIMB can be covered with flexible material to mimic the look of human skin, called cosmesis.

Arredondo, of San Antonio, likened the limb to the bionics in “Star Wars” and “Terminator.””My son, he goes nuts about it,” he said. source

Meet the Bionic Generation

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The last best hope

Harry Reid was despondent after the all-night Senate session produced yet another defeat for the Democrats.

“We did the very best we could,” he said. “I strongly believe we should have a bipartisan foreign policy…We need to do something to change the course of the war.”

“We need to do something to change the course of the war.”

What that “something” is has been and remains a mystery.

After his pre-emptive declaration of defeat in April, the majority leader has nothing to offer. His plaintive cry for “bipartisanship” may play well with the blue-state ponytails, but the fact is, to compromise with Reid means to accept defeat in an arena that just two years ago was described as “not an option.”

It also plays well with AQ, and Baathist elements in Iraq who have only to hold out and continue to murder civilians with the knowledge that Reid will deliver to them a victory that they are unable to win themselves.

I do hope you take the opportunity to read Mike Yon’s latest dispatch from Baqubah, 7 Rules: 1 Oath. Yon’s dispatches from Operation Arrowhead Ripper have provided some of his most compelling writing since Mosul. And, given the fact that the western media has largely decided to sit the war out, Yon’s on-line magazine has become one of the very few outlets for real journalism in this difficult, and often brutal struggle.

His closing paragraph gave me more reason for optimism than I’ve had since the surge began.

Seeing “God is Great” written on the Iraqi flag might provoke some to protest “Why did we come here just to stand up a country who would write such things on their flag?” But I sat there in that meeting, which was completely civil and professional, and I thought about another flag, the one flying over South Carolina. Some people call that flag “heritage,” while others call it “hateful,” “painful” and “demeaning.” And today in that meeting, I thought about the descendants of slaves who are now top military commanders in the American Army, and in that moment I knew that Iraq could make it.

Reconstruction officially took twelve years in the US, and unofficially took one hundred years. It’s going to take the Iraqis a while as well. And, just as the Democrat party has become the last best hope for an AQ victory in Iraq, it is the US Military’s leadership of the counterinsurgency that is providing the last best opportunity for the Iraqis to make it.

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Lost in translation

The reports of the huge Baghdad bank heist last week were somewhat startling…….over one-quarter of a billion dollars……..funding for terrorism………an inside job………etc.

Turns out, it was 282 million Dinars, not Dollars…..or aproximately $590,000.

A tidy sum, to be sure, but nothing to lose any sleep over.

h/t Iraq slogger

Human smuggling operation investigated

I don’t know where Brian Ross gets his stuff, but the ABC Blotter has been on top of several big stories lately. Kuddos.

The FBI is investigating an alleged human smuggling operation based in Chaparral, N.M., that agents say is bringing “Iraqis and other Middle Eastern” individuals across the Rio Grande from Mexico.

An FBI intelligence report distributed by the Washington, D.C. Joint Terrorism Task Force, obtained by the Blotter on ABCNews.com, says the illegal ring has been bringing Iraqis across the border illegally for more than a year.

Border Patrol officials in the area said they were unaware of the specifics of the FBI’s report, and federal prosecutors in New Mexico told ABCNews.com they had no current cases involving the illegal smuggling of Iraqis.

The FBI report, issued last week, says the smuggling organization “used to smuggle Mexicans, but decided to smuggle Iraqi or other Middle Eastern individuals because it was more lucrative.” Each individual would be charged a fee of $20,000 to $25,000, according to the report. Read More–>>

All the more reason to get rid of Johhny Sutton, the US Atty who is more intent on jailing border agents and law enforcement personnel than he is in supporting effective border control policy. You may remember this from a few weeks ago…

In the last six months, agents along the Southwest border caught 15 people from Iran, 35 from Pakistan, 12 from Jordan, two from Syria and five from Lebanon. Conservatives have been deeply disappointed with the Administration’s half-hearted efforts to provide Border Security. We’ve also been more than just a little puzzled with the actions of US Attorney Johnny Sutton, whose over-zealous prosecution of Border Agents has led to the controversial imprisonment of Agents Compean and Ramos, and the prosecution of a Sheriff’s Deputy, while protecting dope dealers and illegal immigrants.

On a related matter, Rep. Duncan Hunter is renewing his call for Border Agents Compean and Ramos to receive a pardon. I agree 100%.

Hunter, a 2008 GOP presidential hopeful, said the prosecution of Ramos and Compean is a “great injustice,” adding that their case “called out for a pardon or commutation.”

Last October, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen Cardone in El Paso, Texas, sentenced Compean to 12 years in prison and Ramos to 11 years and one day — despite a plea by their attorney for a new trial after three jurors said they were coerced into voting guilty in the case.

The two agents were convicted of firing at and wounding a reportedly unarmed illegal immigrant near Fabens, Texas. The illegal was suspected of drug smuggling and was granted immunity by federal prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against the agents.

Update: I just watched Sutton on Hannity and Colmes. Sutton needs to go. If Bush wanted to rally his base, all he would have to do is fire Sutton and pardon the border agents. His stock would go up several points overnight.

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Our friends the Saudis

CommonSenseAmerica points to an interesting article in the English version of Azzaman…

Hundreds of Saudis who sneaked into Iraq to carry out suicide bombing now languish in Iraqi jails, said Iraqi National Security Adviser Mufaq al-Rubaai.

He said 160 of them have already been sentenced and the rest are awaiting trial.

He did not specify the type of punishment, but Iraqi courts usually pass death sentences with regard to cases involving violence and resistance of U.S. and Iraqi troops.

Saudi Arabia is constructing a massive fence along its borders with Iraq to prevent its national crossing into the country.

Rabaai said many more Saudis who were used as “suicide bombers” have died in Iraq.

As you recall, fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 alqaeda suicide bombers  were Saudis.  Probably jut a coinkydink.

Democrats In Congress Want To Deny Care To A Sick Child!

Would you give up, if your child was critically ill?
Of course not, you would never give up, you would never just quit on your child, as long as treatment was still available, and certainly not when the treatment plan is working.
But that’s just what the Democrats in our Congress are doing, to a child that is less than four years old.
This child’s birth was difficult, but responded well at first, when the tumor was removed, and showed signs of recovery. Then it’s immune system came under attack, first from cells in it’s own body, then from bacterial and viral infections from without.
The treatment plan has undergone a number of changes during the past four years, with each having different effects, but with none proving to be the most efficacious.
Then, a few months ago, a new and improved milieu was developed and implemented, and has since shown great promise. Many of the cells in the child’s body have now begun to work with the immune system, and the invading bacterium and viruses have begun to be eradicated at a rapid pace. The new treatment plan is working!
And yet…some want to discontinue the treatment, and abandon the child. They now state that the cost of the plan is excessive, it isn’t working, and that the child should be left to it’s own fate. That it should either heal itself, or perish. They have access to all of the test results, and can see that the new milieu is effective, but yet, they refuse to acknowledge them. These same quitters even hired the current chief physician, and knew what his treatment plan would be. Many of them even supported the initial birth of this child, while some of their fraternity wanted to order an abortion, and now some who praised the birth, are calling for the suffering child to be abandoned.
I hate quitters!
Of course, the sick child is Iraq, and the quitters are the Congressional Defeatocrats, but the story is the same. Yes, this suffering child is getting better. Yes, it may require long term care, but isn’t the survival of Iraq, as a child of Democracy, as vital to our existence, as the survival of an ill human child to us as individuals?   Some may not like the question, or want to answer, but I believe we need to confront those that would quit, before everything has been tried.

Some evidence of improving health for the child of the Land of the Two Rivers, Iraq:
Letter from the Mayor of Tal Afar.
One Community Says It’s Time To Rebuild.
Keep On Surgin’.
Why Bush Will Be A Winner.
Terrorist Death Watch.

Army finds Iranian rockets

From Pat Dollard

20_48_194_19_04.jpgUS soldiers discovered a field of rocket launchers near a US army base south of Baghdad armed with 34 Iranian-made missiles, the military said Saturday.

“After several rockets hit FOB (Forward Operating Base) Hammer on July 11, the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team manoeuvred to find the source of the attack,” a statement said.

The next morning an “unmanned aerial vehicle located 46 rocket launchers in the northern section of Besmaya Range Complex aimed at FOB Hammer. Thirty-four of the launchers were armed with Iranian 107mm rockets,” it added.

The US army believes the other twelve rockets were launched at the base the day before, killing one US soldier. The military announced the death on June 12 but provided no details at the time.

US commanders frequently accuse Iran of providing weapons, training and support to Shiite militias in Iraq, including many of the rockets launched at Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.

Earlier this month, US commanders stepped up the charges, claiming that senior leaders of Iran’s special forces and of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militia have trained Iraqi fighters and provided other support.

Iran has always denied that it is fomenting unrest in its war-torn neighbour, insisting that the US occupation is the cause of Iraq’s woes.

Obama becomes war strategist

After eight years in the Illinois state legislature, and two years in the US Senate, Democrat Presidential hopeful Barack Obama now fancies himself as a war strategist.

“We cannot win a war against the terrorists if we’re on the wrong battlefield,” Obama said. “America must urgently begin deploying from Iraq and take the fight more effectively to the enemy’s home by destroying al-Qaida’s leadership along the Afghan-Pakistan border, eliminating their command and control networks and disrupting their funding.”

Obama has no military background. He has limited political experience. Despite this lack of gravitas, Obama has come to the conclusion that AQ in Iraq is not the enemy.

It is interesting that he would take this tack only days following a concerted effort by the elite media to make the claim that AQI is not really al Qaeda. It is also interesting that this very strategy was predicted by Bill Roggio at the 4th Rail:

The attempts to minimize the role played by al Qaeda in Iraq in the larger Sunni insurgency took a significant step over the past week. Clark Hoyt, the public editor of the New York Times, claimed that the media had become complicit in the government’s attempts to paint the entire Sunni insurgency with an al Qaeda brush. Also this week, Malcolm Nance published an article at the Small Wars Journal claiming al Qaeda is being given too much credit for the violence in Iraq. In the article, titled “Al Qaeda in Iraq–Heroes, Boogeymen or Puppets?,” Nance claims al Qaeda is but a bit player in the Iraqi insurgency and is largely controlled by the Baathist remnants of Saddam Hussein’s regime. To Nance, al Qaeda is both a U.S. Boogeyman and Baathist Puppet.

If taken seriously, these theories are likely to have a significant impact on the political battle over the war in Iraq as it is played out back here in the States.

Yesterday’s column from TIME‘s Joe Klein said much the same thing. The significant impact that Mr. Roggio wrote about has as a primary purpose, providing political cover for the democrat party to do what they have wanted to do for years: quit. My co-editor, n2l, had some choice words on this subject the other day:

Quitting is something much darker and uglier, than trying and losing. It’s the worst of all possible outcomes, and speaks clearly of the poor character of a man or a nation, that is willing to accept this as an outcome. My father told us boys, early on, that “once a quitter, always a quitter.” He was right. We are faced with threshold moments, all of our lives, and they are defined as those moments when our lives are irreversibly changed, and we can never be the person we were before, if we cross the threshold. Some examples are learning to ride a bike or drive a car, the first day of school, the first kiss, first love, and first child. Quitting has it’s own perilous threshold, and once it’s crossed, that person will find it much easier to quit, whenever faced with difficulty.

Obama seems like a nice enough fellow with a very promising political future, but he is not ready to be Commander In Chief. And, as I look at the democrat frontrunners, there is no one who is ready. John Edwards? Give me a break. Mrs. Clinton? An inexperienced opportunist.

How in the world do these people expect to be the leader of the Free World, and confront the threat posed by Iran, and al Qaeda when they are afraid to even appear on FOX News?

TIME decapitates GWB and military

Welcome readers from WordPress Blog of the Day, Free Republic, and NowPublic

In his most recent hit piece aimed at undermining public opinion against the Iraq war effort, TIME journalist columnist Joe Klein begins his diatribe with a startling piece of photography. President Bush is shown with several military personnel at Fort Benning from the shoulders down. None of the heads are visible.

klein.jpg

In a further sign of disrespect (if not outright contempt), Klein even misspells “military”, as if TIME computers don’t employ spell-check.

“U.S. President George W. Bush poses with U.S. militray paratroopers undergoing training during a tour of Fort Benning, Georgia.”

Klein’s attack on President Bush and the military continues, as he attempts to make the case that AQI is absolutely not the same al Qaeda that was responsible for the 9/11 surprise attack…

The group doing the most spectacular bombings in Iraq was named al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia by its founder, Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, now deceased, in an attempt to aggrandize his reputation in jihadi-world. It is a sliver group, representing no more than 5% of the Sunni insurgency. It shares a philosophy, but not much else, with the real al-Qaeda, which operates out of Pakistan.

How Klein came up with the 5% figure is not disclosed. It is, perhaps, as with so many assertions from the left, simply fabricated to fit the template. Or, perhaps Klein got his figures from some of the same AP stringers who have been responsible for some of the most glaring examples of mis-information and pro-jihadi propaganda. The fact is that there is a significant foreign element within the insurgency. Sorting out the players is difficult at best for the coalition. Support from the Sunni tribes is necessary, and building that support has been an important part of coalition successes in Anbar and Diyala.

With many MSM outlets, reporting success in Iraq is rare, because it is contrary to the Vietnam template. Klein’s report is no exception. While paying a left-handed compliment to the military, Klein criticizes the President for not touting the success of the surge in Diyala. It is a bizarre assertion:

If al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia is on the run, if we have “turned a corner” against al-Qaeda, as a senior Administration official told me, then an argument can be made that it is time to begin planning our departure.

You’ve got to hand it to the left: they’ve covered every base of the “failure is the only option” meme. Either the surge is a failure as touted by Harry Reid, or the surge is a success, but Bush is lying about it because that would mean that it’s time to begin withdrawing our forces.

Fools, the lot of them.

Link: TIME–“The July Surprise”, by Joe Klein; photography by Brooks Kraft/Corbis for Time

see also: April Fool’s pullout date, WH Presser

UPDATE: Continuing along the Klein meme: IHT–Bush distorts AQ links (h/t Ann)

UPDATE 2: Here is a snapshot of the TIME article bushs-july-surprise-time.png

UPDATE 3: Great piece by Bill Roggio: AQ and its role in the Iraq insurgency

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The Worst Congress EVER, Is Due To It’s Leadership!

I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-victorious.(Vince Lombardi)

Consider this a rant, although I am very much in control as I type; I’ve been mulling this matter for several days.
What has this current Congress, the worst ever, accomplished(in terms of empirical results)?
Since taking office in January, irrespective of all the accolades, speeches, and self-serving statements, the only significant piece of legislation to pass in Congress, was the war funding bill. In contrast, they have launched three hundred investigations into the administration of President Bush.
That’s not what I would call doing the business of the American people, despite the satisfaction the liberals in Congress, and their constituents, derive from their much vaunted oversight responsibilities. Of course, we all know it is only political opportunism at work here, not a serious approach to good governance, or the best interest of the nation. If the leaders of the majority party were competent, we would hear substantive statements on the many serious matters facing our great nation.
Reflecting on the leadership of our current Congress, I will just leave Rep. Pelosi out of this post…she’s a total twit. Instead, I will focus on Sen. Reid, the pale and stammering leader of the Senate. We’ve all heard his declarations about the war in Iraq as being lost, that he believes it his “moral duty” to bring the troops home, but yet he doesn’t offer legislation that would end funding of the military involvement. Nor will he refrain from his daily sound bite collection of how bad things are, or hold his serpents tongue until Gen. Petraeus reports to Congress in Ten Weeks. The same Gen. Petraeus that the Senate unanimously approved for his current position for Commander of U.S. forces in Iraq. It’s no secret what Reid, and the other political opportunist in Congress are doing, as described in this article:

Reid, who was bashed by Republicans for suggesting earlier this year that the Iraq war was “lost,” is lashing out at top commanders while putting the finishing touches on a plan to force a series of votes on Iraq designed exclusively to make Republicans up for reelection in 2008 go on record in favor of continuing an unpopular war.

Reid, the senators and aides said, does not expect any of the Iraq measures to pass but hopes the effort will drive a deep enough wedge between wavering Republicans and Bush that, by September, Republican senators will break with the president and help end the war.

“We want them to vote and vote and vote again” on Iraq, said a senior Democratic senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss party strategy. “They are going to have to vote on Iraq until they are sick of it.”

In essence, what the leftist in Congress are saying is, that quitting is winning…for them, not for the U.S., and most certainly not for Iraq.
This despite the numerous reports that show the surge is having a positive effect. One such report is from Kimberly Kagan:

In Washington perception is often mistaken for reality. And as Congress prepares for a fresh debate on Iraq, the perception many members have is that the new strategy has already failed.
This isn’t an accurate reflection of what is happening on the ground, as I saw during my visit to Iraq in May. Reports from the field show that remarkable progress is being made.

Another article that addresses the challenges faced in Iraq, comes from an interview with the U.S. Ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker:

Mr. Crocker’s comments are a useful reminder of the irrelevance–and disingenuousness–of much Washington commentary on Iraq. For proponents of early withdrawal, the “benchmarking” issue has provided a handy excuse to make the Iraqi government rather than al Qaeda the main culprit in the violence engulfing their country.

Considering that there are only three choices, in ending a war or conflict, what does Sen. Reid and his cabal think we should do?
Here are the options:
1)Win, and impose terms on the defeated.
2)Admit defeat and surrender to the winner
3)Call it a draw, and negotiate a truce
Of these three, number one is the only reasonable alternative, with the terms being the Iraqi government is able to sustain itself, with the foreign fighters defeated, and either killed or run out of the country.
If we admit defeat, as Sen. Reid has, and continues to do, who do we surrender to…ourselves? If it’s a draw, who do we negotiate with…ourselves? What do we tell the many, many Iraqis that have supported the U.S. and Iraqi efforts in establishing security in their country, that will be the targets of reprisal by the mufsidun…sorry dudes?
What has annoyed me the most, is the use of a negative(quitting and losing) as a positive(political opportunism). The liberals in Congress, and in this country, look back at the war in Viet Nam, and view favorably their efforts to undermine our efforts there. Another negative as a positive. I don’t understand defeatist, I don’t respond well to negative attitudes, and I resent with every molecule in my body, people that would willingly toss away our national dignity and self-respect, by walking away from a conflict because it will improve their political fortunes.
How does anyone come to the point, where they take an oath to protect and defend this nation, while making plans to undermine all that it stands for, so that their political fortunes will be enhanced? I believe people like Reid, and his supporters, have a distorted view of winning and victory, and that to them those words are meaningless, as national objectives. There was a time, that leaders of men viewed personal sacrifice as a small price, in comparison to the benefit of winning.
Winning and losing aren’t difficult concepts to understand, we knew what they meant before we began elementary school, and had their lessons reinforced countless times, throughout our lives. We have a tradition of winning in this country, and we like it…or at least, most of us do. Losing, on the other hand, is an inevitable outcome, for those that are involved in any competitive situation, whether it is war, a friendly game of pool, or hot dog eating. To compete has it’s rewards and punishments, and we learn from them all, but mostly we learn what we need to do to win, and that we don’t like to lose.
Quitting is something much darker and uglier, than trying and losing. It’s the worst of all possible outcomes, and speaks clearly of the poor character of a man or a nation, that is willing to accept this as an outcome. My father told us boys, early on, that “once a quitter, always a quitter.” He was right. We are faced with threshold moments, all of our lives, and they are defined as those moments when our lives are irreversibly changed, and we can never be the person we were before, if we cross the threshold. Some examples are learning to ride a bike or drive a car, the first day of school, the first kiss, first love, and first child. Quitting has it’s own perilous threshold, and once it’s crossed, that person will find it much easier to quit, whenever faced with difficulty. Much like a murderer, once that threshold is crossed, it becomes easier to do.
There have been times in my life, when I may have been well advised to quit on something, that proved to be too difficult to overcome, but I could not have lived with myself, knowing that I didn’t try hard enough. I’ve experienced the exhilaration of playing on championship teams, and those memories and feelings still please me. I’ve also experienced the soul crushing agony of losing, many times, but those memories only serve to fuel my desire to win, and I only remember I didn’t like the way losing felt, not the feelings themselves. I’ve never just quit anything, even smoking. I stopped smoking. It just isn’t in my nature, and that is what adds to my discomfort with the actions of the quitters in this country and in Congress.
While the quitters and defeatist in Congress continue with their demands that all is lost, and that we should bring our military home, those of us that don’t subscribe to their debasement of our values, should call for them to quit public office. Or be defeated.
As for Harry Reid, I don’t think he would ever have a Vince Lombardi quote adorning his office wall. Rather, he would most likely have this one, from the French painter Francis Picabia:

The only way to win is to fight on the side of your adversaries.

/rant off

*Addendum:Gateway Pundit asks a great question.*
Is there really any doubt that the War against Al Qaeda begins in Iraq?

Wish I had said that

Here is the quote of the day,

(courtesy of Varifrank)

images.jpgThe Democrats in the Senate need to explain how making Iraq into a “Darfur” is good for Iraqis or Americans.

Joseph Lieberman. Statesman.

Interim Benchmark Report

Here is a link to the pdf of the “Initial Benchmark Assessment Report” for your review.

AQ on the run

A new dispatch from Michael Yon is more of an indication that the difficult road chosen by President Bush and General Petraeus is the right path to follow in Iraq. Our men and women are doing an awesome job in hellish conditions. God bless them all.

Here is an excerpt from Mike’s dispatch:

Over here, the fact of al Qaeda murdering children is just that: it’s a fact. How they chose to commit the murders is a variable that changes from incident to incident. I’ve written often about how Iraqis, as a rule, love and greatly value their children. This makes the children especially vulnerable as targets for terrorists. That is a brutal fact.

Also, be sure to check out the video interview of the leader of the 1920s Revolution Brigade.

There is great progress being made through courage and hard work. Our political leaders could show a little courage as well.

As they say, Read it all...

Hold On

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

Kipling, If

Congress is back from its Holiday recess, and the majority party is poised to renew their efforts to impose the Reid Doctrine of pre-emptive surrender, just as General Petraeus is reporting real progress in Iraq.

There is a total disconnect between what is being said about the war by the democrats and their allies in the elite press on the one hand, and reports from Iraq from the MNF, as well as from embedded reporters and bloggers such as Michael Yon.

The differences are stark. Most troubling to me is the fact that so many on the political left seem to view this as just another political battle, another argument over the arrangement of the living room furniture, oblivious to the fact that the house is in danger of burning down.

The war against the islamists is the defining issue of our time. The majority party has no plan to win. As timid as the republican party has been of late, it is important that our representatives hear support from the base as loudly and clearly as they heard the opponents of the amnesty bill.

My hope is that talk radio and the major conservative blogs speak clearly and persuasively and expose the liberal rhetoric for the vacuity that it represents.

Hold On.

see also: Bill Kristol – Moment of truth

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Tony’s gone!!!!

So it’s farewell then Tony. What did you do for the British Isles – or did you in fact do anything? Charles Moore in the Telegraph has a few interesting, and for me, accurate remarks.

 

When Margaret Thatcher was forced out in November 1990, almost everyone could have given an account – favourable or unfavourable – of what she had done. “She’s put the Great back in Britain,” said some. “She’s destroyed the social fabric,” said others.

It is much harder to sum up Tony Blair in terms of what he has actually done, for good or ill. He inherited a successful, but over-regulated and overtaxed economy. That is what he leaves behind. He inherited educational failure. No change there, either. He inherited a health service struggling half-heartedly with reform. That is still the case.

In 1997, there was economic inequality, too much crime, anxiety about immigration, a battle about “multi-culturalism”, and indecision about Europe. Ten years later, snap. Even the famed peace process in Northern Ireland flowed naturally from the earlier work of John Major.

Oddly enough, it is only in the field of the constitution, in which Tony Blair never expressed much interest, that huge changes have taken place. The relationship between the judges, government and Parliament is now dangerously in flux. The United Kingdom, thanks to Europe from above and devolution from below, is starting to unpick.

True – he did the right thing on Iraq and I will always thank him for that. But at what expense to his homeland in neglecting other things needful?

Iran raises the stakes

From AFP via Beitbart 

Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces have been spotted by British troops crossing the border into southern Iraq, The Sun tabloid reported on Tuesday.

Britain’s defence ministry would not confirm or deny the report, with a spokesman declining to comment on “intelligence matters”.

An unidentified intelligence source told the tabloid: “It is an extremely alarming development and raises the stakes considerably. In effect, it means we are in a full on war with Iran — but nobody has officially declared it.”

“We have hard proof that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps have crossed the border to attack us. It is very hard for us to strike back. All we can do is try to defend ourselves. We are badly on the back foot.”

The Sun said that radar sightings of Iranian helicopters crossing into the Iraqi desert were confirmed to it by very senior military sources.

In response to the report, a British defence ministry spokesman said: “There is evidence that explosive devices used against our troops in southern Iraq originated in Iran.”

The Reid Doctrine™ part 2

mallard_fillmore.gif

Didn’t we have a troll stop by and tell us that this was Joe Biden’s idea before it was Harry Reid’s?

Heh.

Joe Biden plagiarizes the Reid Doctrine™

In a seemingly desperate attempt to jumpstart his dead-in-the-water presidential bid, Senator and plagiarist Joe Biden has adopted the Reid Doctrine™ of pre-emptive surrender.

Speaking at a luncheon meeting of reporters, Biden said, “It’s time Democrats tell the truth about Iraq war: The ‘surge’ is a loser,” said the Senate foreign relations chairman. A loosely federated Iraq is only US hope.”

Perhaps it is those 19% approval ratings Harry Reid has received that tempted Biden to “borrow” the Majority Leader’s mantra. Heh.

Link to original Source

Battle for Baqubah: surrender or die

More great reporting from Michael Yon

The combat in Baqubah should soon reach a peak. Al Qaeda seems to have been effectively isolated. The initial attack on 19 June achieved enough surprise that al Qaeda was caught off guard and trapped. They have been beaten back mostly into pockets and are surrounded and will be dealt with. Part of this is actually due to the capability of Strykers. We were able to “attack from the march.” In other words, a huge force drove in from places like Baghdad and quickly locked down Baqubah.

LTG Ray Odierno visited Baqubah on the 21st. Odierno clarified that this battle is to be final: we are not going to do this again. Odierno stressed to our commanders that they need to be thinking of an end-state that results in Iraqis taking charge, but that Iraqi commanders should not be given the reigns until they are ready, so that the result is we set them up for success. Odierno’s timing was remarkable: even before he arrived, the commanders here were talking about end-state daily and, on a more sour note, our commanders have their hands full with the local Iraqi commanders who seem less competent (to be kind) than those I have seen elsewhere, such as in Mosul.

Our guys are winning. Al Qaeda is about to be strangled and pummeled to death in this town, but the local Iraqi leadership is severely wanting. This was most obviously noted in one area in particular, where there were some slight indicators of a possible humanitarian need. “Crisis” certainly is not the correct word, but there are displaced persons numbering at least in the hundreds. LTC Fred Johnson actually took me out there. (The access even to “bad” news is amazing with this Brigade.)

I have been with LTC Fred Johnson for several days. LTC Johnson seems to recharge on sunlight or moonlight and can run a man into the ground. After seeing the humanitarian need building with no action to abate it underway, Johnson was very unhappy. He immediately started jerking choke chains on the people who are supposed to be handling humanitarian need, trying to avert having it build into a crisis. […snip]

Otherwise, the battle is going very well. A big fight seems to be brewing. As of about noon in Baqubah on the 22nd, there seems to be a lull in the fighting. A calm. This is about to get wet. At the going rate, al Qaeda in Baqubah will soon have two choices: Surrender, or die.

More from Operation Arrowhead Ripper

More great reporting from Michael Yon

The combat has only just begun, and media has now figured out this is serious business. During the morning brief (June 20th), Major Robbie Parke mentioned that CNN, TIME, Reuters and some others, are trying to get out here now. Problem is space. Looks like Gordon and I are mostly alone for now. Others are said to be in Baqubah, but if they are here, they are missing some of the most important parts, and if they were at the important commander’s meetings, I would have seen them.

The heat is intense for the enemy and for us. Soldiers, during any chance, would lay-down during the heat of day, and in complete body armor and helmets, fall asleep in the dirt. I took photos of course. Our guys are tough. The enemy in Baqubah is as good as any in Iraq, and better than most. That’s saying a lot. But our guys have been systematically trapping them, and have foiled some big traps set for our guys. I don’t want to say much more about that, but our guys are seriously outsmarting them. Big fights are ahead and we will take serious losses probably, but al Qaeda, unless they find a way to escape, are about to be slaughtered. Nobody is dropping leaflets asking them to surrender. Our guys want to kill them, and that’s the plan.

A positive indicator on the 19th and the 20th is that most local people apparently are happy that al Qaeda is being trapped and killed. Civilians are pointing out IEDs and enemy fighters, so that’s not working so well for al Qaeda. Clearly, I cannot do a census, but that says something about the locals.

Battle’s eve

A few weeks ago, Pat Dollard was telling us that Diyala Province would be the next great battleground in Iraq.

Michael Yon’s dispatch on the eve of this great battle is a must read. “Be Not Afraid”

Thoughts flow on the eve of a great battle. By the time these words are released, we will be in combat. Few ears have heard even rumors of this battle, and fewer still are the eyes that will see its full scope. Even now—the battle has already begun for some—practically no news about it is flowing home. I’ve known of the secret plans for about a month, but have remained silent.

Wonderful writing. Just reading it gives me chill bumps. Read it all! Mail a copy to Reid and Pelosi. And, drop a few coins in Michael’s tip jar while you’re at it.

h/t swampwoman

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