Thursday, November 01, 2007

Facts on the Ground

The General Accounting Office's new report on Securing, Stablizing and Rebuilding Iraq landed like a stone in the ocean.

source: GAO via Washington Post

The Weekly Standard's Dean Barnett expounds on the broad-based boycott of reality:
In the face of media indifference, the facts on the ground in Iraq have changed--dramatically and for the better. The deaths of Iraqi civilians over the past two months have declined precipitously. Before the surge and its accompanying change in tactics took effect, often 3,000 Iraqis would die violent deaths in a month, directly victimized by the sectarian violence. In September, that number dropped below 900. In October, the plunge continued to below 700, the lowest figure for any month at any point during the war.

One of the fears regarding the surge is that its change in tactics, a wholesale transformation that would put greater emphasis on engaging the enemy and less emphasis on force protection, would bring with it intolerable American casualties. Not intolerable to the men and women who have chosen to go to Iraq and want to win there, but surely intolerable to certain elements of our media and political establishments that would opportunistically seize on each piece of bad news as another reason to end "George Bush's war." Happily, this scenario hasn't transpired. American fatalities due to hostilities have declined each month since May. In October, there were fewer than thirty American hostile fatalities, the lowest such figure since February 2004. . .

But the greatest progress hasn't been on the military front, impressive as those strides have been. The real breakthrough has been with the Iraqi people. Throughout Iraq, Iraqi citizens have decided that the fighting must end. They have tired of the sectarian strife that made swaths of their country a killing field. Having sampled something that could be called a civil war, they have collectively decided that they would rather live in a peaceful society. This means that each sect will have to tolerate the other sects' presence.

Throughout Iraq, ordinary citizens have tipped off American troops to the presence of not only al Qaeda forces but members of their own sect bent on violence. They have also tipped off American troops to the presence of hundreds of IEDs, saving countless American lives. And they have done all of this knowing that they were risking death by doing so.

Although grassroots politics in America is of a less perilous sort, this too is a form of grassroots politics. Ordinary people have involved themselves with the fate of their nation, and made an enormous difference. . .It may take a little time, but a democratic Iraqi people will someday get a government that reflects their new, hard-earned values. While it has been an often bumpy road, the Iraqi experiment now looks like it has a real chance of success. Hopefully George W. Bush, before his time in office expires, will be able to travel to Baghdad and deliver a speech that publicly recognizes the Iraqi people's will to join the family of civilized nations. Yes, American blood and treasure have given Iraq its freedom, but Iraqis have had to bleed to keep it.

When George W. Bush addresses a free Iraq, a heterogeneous Islamic nation that America freed and that the people of their own volition opted for a peaceful and tolerant democracy, it will represent one of America's greatest accomplishments. Iraq will truly serve as a beacon to other nations of the region. Its very presence will strike perhaps the lethal blow in the war of ideas we are fighting with fanatics across the region.

Not acknowledging the progress the Iraqi people have made is unconscionable. Abandoning them would be unforgivable.
The signs are out there. But the media's ignoring it, burying it or failing to fact-check it, while Pelosi's denying it and Hillary's challenging it or hiding.

As Churchill said, "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results." Yet, no matter what George Bush does, Iraq results aren't real to those boasting of belonging to the "reality-based community."


According to a McClatchy Newspapers report:
High blood pressure, bad backs, bum knees and other mundane health problems put three and a half times more troops on planes to hospitals in Germany or the United States than do snipers and roadside bombs, say front-line experts in Iraq.

"There's nothing about being deployed or being in an austere environment that protects you from the normal maladies that people encounter in the United States," said Lt. Col. Ron Ross, a preventive medicine officer with the U.S. Army's 62nd Medical Brigade in Iraq.

Andrew Bolt:
Iraq remains an ugly place, with lethal hatreds, yet none of these killers are winning and Iraq will not fall to them.

Consider: Iraq's official estimate of civilian deaths from violence is now about 25 a day.

In South Africa, with twice the population, the official murder toll is 52 a day. That's a rate of killing equal to Iraq's.

Do you think those murders will topple South Africa?

And does anyone say of South Africa that these killings just prove freedom was not worth it?
(via LGF, Say Anything, Right Wing News)


Anonymous said...

> Not intolerable to the men and women who have chosen to go to Iraq and want to win there,

Even more importantly, have chosen, having seen first hand what was happening, to re-up and keep fighting. Some would claim they are getting paid to stay, but I don't see taking a sub-six figure payout for a losing cause when you have SEEN friends and comrades die right beside you to remind you that you can bite the big one, too. I put it to anyone that it's clear that THEY don't believe Iraq to be a lost cause, and it is only a charlatan who claims to know more but hasn't been there.

---- Obloodyhell

Carl said...


I mostly agree (every soldier who served there with whom I've spoken says Iraq can be won, though some condition their view on increased aggressiveness by Coalition forces). Lefties discount such views -- including General Petraeus' perspective -- by focusing on "phony soldiers" and fiction. And cramming their fingers in their ears while reading Frank Rich columns aloud.

Still, the Constitution puts civilians in command of our military, so ultimately the issue of what to do in Iraq is one for American voters. (And, in a different sense, for Iraqis.) Do you foresee, as some evidence suggests, that President Hillary might "do the right thing"?