How in the world can you write an op-ed talking about winning in Iraq after
only visiting Sunni areas in that country? Then to top that omission, to then
trumpet winning in Iraq because we’re making military progress? Memo to O’Hanlon and
Pollack, it’s the politics that is keeping the pot on boil, boys.
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. … ..
War We Just Might Win (emphasis added)
They left the politics out.
No one has ever questioned the ability of our troops to not only win skirmshes,
but all military battles they face. But at this late date to hear two wise men
come down from Brookings Mountain and proclaim we are finally getting somewhere
in Iraq, at least in military terms, makes you want to throw something rather large and heavy at these two numbskulls.
Joe Klein pointed out the other hole in their argument that is so gigantic you could drive an insurgent group
through it and still have room for an arms shipment.
Update: One thing I just realized–Pollack and Hanlon seem to have
visited only Sunni areas–Ramadi, Tal Afar and Mosul, the Ghazaliya
neighborhood on the west (Sunni) bank of the Tigris River. And that’s where
the progress, such as it is, has been made, with the tribes moving against
the jihadis and toward us. But Iraq is primarily a Shi’ite country–and we’re
not doing so well with those guys, especially the most prominent of them,
The Shiites are now at each other’s throats.
Then there’s the fact that the Shiites in the government don’t seem one bit
eager to share the wealth with Sunnis.
But according to Messrs. O’Hanlon and Pollock, we are finally getting somewhere
in Iraq, at least in military terms. Tommy Franks got us to Baghdad in
no time at all, with a huge victory in the first stage of the war. We pulled down Saddam’s statue. We killed his barbarous sons, then found father in a hole. Iraqis have voted, thrice. They have a parliament,
though they’re going on holiday along with the U.S. Congress for the month
of August. Our troops have won battle after battle on the ground. See anything
missing in this list?
Cue Joe Biden. The video above fills in what the Brookings boys missed. It’s not an insignificant piece.