Cockstradamus: U.S. will declare victory in Iraq before election
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Cockstradamus: U.S. will declare victory in Iraq before election
Accelerated troop level reductions will be announced based on success
By Mike DeVine, Legal Editor for The Minority Report and The HinzSight Report
For many moons now, this announcer of dawns has been nagged by an idea that dawned on me after Iraq's security forces started winning battles on their own against Sunni-backed al Qaeda, Shia militias and even Iranian backed militias.
We may be able to declare victory in Iraq very soon and announce accelerated withdrawals of victorious troops whose services are no longer required due to their success.
I have always maintained that, while I want to maintain a major presence in Iraq, much like we did in Europe and the Pacific after WWII and Korea, it is vitally important that at some point there be an acknowledgement that we have won the Battle of Iraq and that any withdrawals be due to and seen as a result of our victory over the al Qaeda, radical terrorists, and Iran.
In discussions with people that didn't favor the war but who now want the USA to win, I found myself thinking to myself that my mantra of opposing troop reductions could and should soon yield to the most important mantra: victory.
Charles Krauthammer recounts the long list of accomplishments that lead inevitably to my pre-Election Day 2008 expectations:
1. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki sent the Iraqi army into Basra. It achieved in a few weeks what the British had failed to do in four years: take the city, drive out the Mahdi Army and seize the ports from Iranian-backed militias.
2. When Mahdi fighters rose up in support of their Basra brethren, the Iraqi army at Maliki's direction confronted them and prevailed in every town -- Najaf, Karbala, Hilla, Kut, Nasiriyah and Diwaniyah -- from Basra to Baghdad.
3. Without any American ground forces, the Iraqi army entered and occupied Sadr City, the Mahdi Army stronghold.
4. Maliki flew to Mosul, directing a joint Iraqi-U.S. offensive against the last redoubt of al-Qaeda, which had already been driven out of Anbar, Baghdad and Diyala provinces.
5. The Iraqi parliament enacted a de-Baathification law, a major Democratic benchmark for political reconciliation.
6. Parliament also passed the other reconciliation benchmarks -- a pension law, an amnesty law, and a provincial elections and powers law. Oil revenue is being distributed to the provinces through the annual budget.
7. With Maliki having demonstrated that he would fight not just Sunni insurgents (e.g., in Mosul) but Shiite militias (e.g., the Mahdi Army), the Sunni parliamentary bloc began negotiations to join the Shiite-led government. (The final sticking point is a squabble over a sixth cabinet position.)
Two weeks ago I wrote in my commentary on a brilliant column by David Hinz of signs of both military and ideological victory in Iraq and in the larger war on terror:
CIA Chief Hayden now reports we are winning the war against al Qaeda on the ground and ideologically in Iraq, Afghanistan and the great Middle East and Muslim world. They are being pushed into small enclaves where the locals, even in Pakistan are starting to fight back against their radical ways.
Less than a year after his agency warned of new threats from a resurgent al-Qaeda, CIA Director Michael V. Hayden now portrays the terrorist movement as essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and on the defensive throughout much of the rest of the world, including in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
In a strikingly upbeat assessment, the CIA chief cited major gains against al-Qaeda's allies in the Middle East and an increasingly successful campaign to destabilize the group's core leadership.
While cautioning that al-Qaeda remains a serious threat, Hayden said Osama bin Laden is losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Islamic world and has largely forfeited his ability to exploit the Iraq war to recruit adherents. Two years ago, a CIA study concluded that the U.S.-led war had become a propaganda and marketing bonanza for al-Qaeda, generating cash donations and legions of volunteers.
All that has changed, Hayden said in an interview with The Washington Post this week that coincided with the start of his third year at the helm of the CIA.
"On balance, we are doing pretty well," he said, ticking down a list of accomplishments: "Near strategic defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally -- and here I'm going to use the word 'ideologically' -- as a lot of the Islamic world pushes back on their form of Islam," he said.
The sense of shifting tides in the terrorism fight is shared by a number of terrorism experts, though some caution that it is too early to tell whether the gains are permanent. Some credit Hayden and other U.S. intelligence leaders for going on the offensive against al-Qaeda in the area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where the tempo of Predator strikes has dramatically increased from previous years. But analysts say the United States has caught some breaks in the past year, benefiting from improved conditions in Iraq, as well as strategic blunders by al-Qaeda that have cut into its support base.
"One of the lessons we can draw from the past two years is that al-Qaeda is its own worst enemy," said Robert Grenier, a former top CIA counterterrorism official who is now managing director of Kroll, a risk consulting firm. "Where they have succeeded initially, they very quickly discredit themselves."
Moreover, even Lawrence Wright, author of the seminal book on al Qaeda, The Looming Tower, who thought the Iraq War would increase UBL’s terrorists group and movement’s power, recently acknowledged that this has not been the case after all and that President Bush’s vision that all people, when given the chance, will choose liberty as opposed to despotic terror. See his latest article, THE REBELLION WITHIN in The New Yorker. Here is an excerpt:
Still, the core of Al Qaeda is much reduced from what it was before 9/11. An Egyptian intelligence official told me that the current membership totals less than two hundred men; American intelligence estimates range from under three hundred to more than five hundred. Meanwhile, new Al Qaeda-inspired groups, which may be only tangentially connected to the leaders, have spread, and older, more established terrorist organizations are now flying the Al Qaeda banner, outside the control of bin Laden and Zawahiri.
Muslims that get to see Americans up close and personal juxtaposed against the radical alternatives, love Americans and America’s mission. Would that liberals in Manhattan and Chicago could see the light even after 911s.
It appears, judging by Frank Rich's Now That We’ve ‘Won,’ Let’s Come Home in the NYT, that the left fears and senses imminent victory and are trying to poison the media atmosphere:
In America, the war has been a settled issue since early 2007. No matter what has happened in Iraq since then, no matter what anyone on any side of the Iraq debate has had to say about it, polls have consistently found that a majority of Americans judge the war a mistake and want out. For that majority, the war is over except for finalizing the withdrawal details. They’ve moved on without waiting for the results of Election Day 2008 or sampling the latest hectoring ad from moveon.org...
One neocon pundit, Charles Krauthammer, summed up [an] alternative-reality mind-set in a recent column piously commanding Mr. McCain to “make the election about Iraq” because “everything is changed,” and “we are winning on every front.” The war, he wrote, can be “the central winning plank of his campaign.” (Italics his.)
This hyperventilating wasn’t necessary, because this is what Mr. McCain is already trying to do. His first general election ad, boosted by a large media buy in swing states this month, was all about war. It invoked his Vietnam heroism and tried to have it both ways on Iraq by at once presenting Mr. McCain as a stay-the-course warrior and taking a (timid) swipe at President Bush. “Only a fool or a fraud talks tough or romantically about war,” Mr. McCain said in his voice-over. That unnamed fool would be our cowboy president, who in March told American troops how he envied their “in some ways romantic” task of “confronting danger.”
But reminding voters of his identification with Iraq, no matter how he spins it, pays no political dividends to Mr. McCain. People just don’t want to hear about it.
Americans don't want to hear that we have won the war and would begin accelerated troop withdrawals? Americans would rather have troops withdrawn on an Obama time table due to defeat?
I don't think so, and neither does A.J. Strata:
Which force in America is bigger, broader and more powerful: Victory or Defeat? We shall learn the answer in this year’s national elections.
The Democrat Party has had a running dialogue with America for years now about how we are such losers for trying to change humanity’s trajectory, why we cannot destroy the building hate in the Islamic states of the Middle East by replacing dictatorships and Islamo Fascism with democracy and freedom. We have been told America is not qualified to change humanity’s future (even though we have been doing just that for over 200 years now). This has been their story, and they are sticking with it.
The Surrendercrat Party, with their enablers in the SurrenderMedia, have been trying to stop all opportunities for success in Iraq because they see this as the one subject that could dramatically change the current support for President George Bush and the GOP. Their new standard bearer has stated he will retreat no matter what the conditions, not matter what damage and bloodshed would follow.
Back in 2006 and early 2007, when the Democrats crawled out on this limb of defeatism, the chances were at best 50-50 we would lose Iraq. In reality, for those of us watching events on the ground closely, the seeds of victory were already sown in Anbar Province and beginning to grow. The Democrats were so obsessed with their Bush Derangement Syndrome the ignored the warning signs that things could very well end with victory in Iraq.
Now, in 2008, the Surrendercrats and SurrenderMedia are stuck out on their shaky, dying limb - still praying for defeat somewhere. They thought they had it when Prime Minister Maliki purged Basra of the Mahdi Militia - they were wrong. They thought they had defeat in Sadr City when US and Iraqi forces cordoned off that enclave of Mahdi Militia and Iranian weapons - they were wrong. They have expected to see al-Qaeda rise like a Phoenix from the ashes of their defeat in Iraq - to no avail.
What we have seen instead is a steady stream of successes by Iraqi forces and the dawning realization we have probably reached a successful conclusion in Iraq - though no one is willing to say we have yet crossed that threshold. The SurrenderMedia now has to report their worst nightmare as fact - success in Iraq:
Violence in all of Iraq is the lowest since March 2004. The two largest cities, Baghdad and Basra, are calmer than they have been for years. The third largest, Mosul, is in the midst of a major security operation. On Thursday, Iraqi forces swept unopposed through the southern city of Amara, which has been controlled by Shiite militias. There is a sense that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s government has more political traction than any of its predecessors.
Consider the latest caricatures of Mr. Maliki put up on posters by the followers of Moktada al-Sadr, the fiery cleric who commands deep loyalty among poor Shiites. They show the prime minister’s face split in two — half his own, half Saddam Hussein’s. The comparison is, of course, intended as a searing criticism. But only three months ago the same Sadr City pamphleteers were lampooning Mr. Maliki as half-man, half-parrot, merely echoing the words of his more powerful Shiite and American backers. It is a notable swing from mocking an opponent perceived to be weak to denouncing one feared to be strong.
While the increase in American troops and their support behind the scenes in the recent operations has helped tamp down the violence, there are signs that both the Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi government are making strides. There are simply more Iraqi troops for the government to deploy, partly because fewer are needed to fight the Sunni insurgents, who have defected to the Sunni Awakening movement. They are paid to keep the peace.
We are on track in Iraq for one of the lowest casualty months for Iraqi security forces and civilians of the war. And we will still be on track for one of the lowest months of US casualties (though last month was the record setter). The quagmire of Iraq is not coming.
The alliance of Shiite and Sunni Iraqi moderates who oppose and will fight Islamic Fascism with the US as ally has come into being. Sunni, Shiia and Kurdish Iraqis now stand opposed to Bin Laden and his brutish thugs. America has real allies in the heartland of Middle East Islam. And the story is just as positive in Afghanistan. The last remaining enclave for al-Qaeda is the tribal regions of Pakistan, where they are under continued pressure and are taking significant losses on a weekly basis.
Michael Barone notes today how reality has really shifted out from under the Democrats as they still sit out on that wobbly old branch of defeatism:
As we enter the second half of the campaign year, facts are undermining the Democratic narrative that has dominated our politics since about the time Hurricane Katrina rolled into the Gulf coast — most importantly, the facts about Iraq.
During the Democratic primary season, all the party’s candidates veered hardly a jot or tittle from the narrative that helped the Democrats sweep the November 2006 elections. Iraq is spiraling into civil war, we invaded unwisely and have botched things ever since, no good outcome is possible, and it is time to get out of there as fast as we can.
In January 2007, when George W. Bush ordered the surge strategy, which John McCain had advocated since the summer of 2003, Barack Obama informed us that the surge couldn’t work. The only thing to do was to get out as soon as possible.
That stance proved to be a good move toward winning the presidential nomination — but it was poor prophecy.
Being wrong is not a sin or a crime. But denying when your wrong, refusing to see the evidence smack-dab in front of your eyes, to be so deep in denial as to suspend all reality to hold onto a failed concept - that unnerves people. How is it Obama can change his position on FISA and Campaign financing but not make adjustments on Iraq - which clearly has seen much more dramatic change than those other two hot-button issues?
Given their current approach to Iraq, Obama’s and the Surrendercrat’s inability to adjust to reality will destroy their credibility with the American people as we move towards the 2008 Elections - and rightfully so. I don’t think this is as much a prediction as an unavoidable fact. We will be heading into the 2008 elections with Islamo Fascism on the run, with new Muslim allies in Iraq and Afghanistan to help keep Bin Laden at bay (he will be busy dodging his fellow Muslims, which leaves him little time to send attacks our way). The fact the left was willing to throw all this away less than a year ago will be something weighing heavy on every American’s mind as they head to the polls.
I'll never forget the vile statement of House member Jack Murtha (D-PA) in 2006 that he feared that a US pullout be seen as victory.
Tough luck Jack! Your greatest fear is imminent.
VI-Day is imminent.
So crows Cockstradamus.
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - The Chief Justice and "One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson