Cockstradamus: U.S. will declare victory in Iraq before election

By gamecock Posted in Comments (29) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

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

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.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
Legal Editor for The HinzSight/Minority Reports

"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

I think I watched an adult movie one time entitled Cockstradamus. Just sayin'. : )

Great post, though.

In politics, you have your word and your friends; go back on either and you're dead. (Rule #11 of the public policy process)

The Unofficial RedState FAQ
“You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say. ” - Martin Luther

...everywhere I go is that it's a mess. And you don't win a mess, at least not in a way that wins you elections.

Of course sensible people everywhere realize that messes are often what we have to work with.

However, in terms of declaring victory before the election: will people be able to overcome their general feeling that Bush has led us in the wrong direction AND their preconceptions about Iraq's situation (and their preconceptions about what that situation means) enough to make it anything more than a farcical statement divorced from reality?

I, for one, think we won't know we've achieved victory -- in whatever sense you want to define that -- until years after we've achieved it. So I think any declaration this year will be premature even if it's right. But I can't imagine, in any sense, that a declaration of victory in Iraq coupled with a potentially politically-driven announcement of partial withdrawal would be a good idea for the incumbent party.

People think it's a mess, and they'd view it as a rhetorical whitewash. It's a bad idea. The "stay until we've won" option is much better, insofar as I am (well, almost) convinced of it as I think other Americans are as well.

Either America is going to have to shift responsibility for the "mess" onto Iraqis or we're going to have to wait until it's fixed by us before we declare victory. Anything else will be a political and strategic error.

New: (-1.50, -5.33)

Pacific incl Japan. We won but it was messy.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - The Chief Justice

It would take little to switch from "a mess" to "we've won." With the WaPo trending toward our side, it would require only a concerted publicity effort to make a difference. If I were coaching Johnnie MaC I would call for the biggest military parade in decades of a returning unit in the week btw the two conventions, with someone like Petraeus singing their praises.
Let's see how the Dems would "support the troops" while condeming the politics.

A portion of a joint press conference with Pres. Bush & PM Brown

Q Nick Robinson, BBC News.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Who? (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)

Q Good to have you here.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Missed the hat. (Laughter.)

Q Prime Minister, isn't it time to withdraw British troops from Iraq in order to send them where the military really needs them, to Afghanistan, or are you too worried about his reaction if you do?

PRESIDENT BUSH: We miss you, Nick, we miss you, buddy.

Q Are you prepared to see British troop withdrawn from Iraq while you're still in office, or are you concerned about the symbolic significance of that?

PRIME MINISTER BROWN: Can I just say that in Iraq there is a job to be done and we will continue to do the job, and there's going to be no artificial timetable. And the reason is that we are making progress -- making progress in the Iraqis themselves being trained up to run the (inaudible) forces, and of course to be the police men and women in their areas. And we're making progress also because we hope local government elections will happen later this year. We hope to return the airport that we are responsible for in Basra to civilian use, as well. And most of all, in the next stage, we want to see the economic and social development of Basra and the southern part of Iraq proceed, so that people have a stake in the future.

So, yes, we are moving from what we call "combat" to "overwatch", and that's been announced many months ago -- yes, as a result of what happened in Basra a few months ago we have kept higher the level of troops that are necessary, but yes, also, we have a job that's still to be done. And that job is to train up the forces, that job is to speed up economic and social development, and that job is to have local government elections so that Iraqis can take control of their own democracy. And I'm determined that we continue to do that job.

Extreme taxation, excessive controls, oppressive government competition with business … frustrated minorities and forgotten Americans are not the products of free enterprise.Ronald Reagan

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - The Chief Justice

Great blog--full of lots of knowledge and info, as usual.
Recommended!! :-)

Here's the reason:

First of all, let me hasten to say that the US and Iraqi forces should continue whatever it is they are doing to ensure they're winning the war of hearts and minds in Iraq. Don't change what is now working, I don't want anything tried that might damage the chances of a decisive victory.

However, if US wants to announce victory in Iraq, Bush should do it after election, but before inguaration day. Why? I don't want to give terrorists or Sadr any idea of trying to provoke more violence in vain hope of proving Obama's case that we should withdraw immediately regardless of consequences on the ground.

Moreover, should Obama wins election, it would annoy him a lot should Bush come out and announce victory In Iraq. On the other hand, if McCain wins, then it will give him a clean slate and a way of starting the process of gradually withdrawing (or if you like, reducing) some of troops and forming some sort of a permanent mutual defense pact with Iraqi government.

Anyway, that's my view and whatever Bush decides is fine with me. If he feels he should announce it just befor election, that's okay by me, as long US and Iraqis are finally winning and paving the way for a democratic Iraq to emerge from the ashes of long Saddam's violent regime.

Daniel 2:20 And he [God] changeth the times and seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - The Chief Justice

before the elections could have at least two consequences 1) Diminish McCain's national security record; ie. the war is won, we don't need such a president; 2) Obama wins the election. The war is won; now is the time for a fresh start, the new age. blah blah blah.

Not only could this prompt further hostile activity by those who would be determined to prove the President wrong, it would serve the Dems' purposes by opening the topic for those vested in defeat.

They would focus on all that is still not done, the deaths (and any recent activities from above said hostiles). We could expect a fair portion of the press to ignore the facts and carry water for them until at least the election was over.

My gut feeling is that having the President announce 'Victory' prior to the election will be seen as a mostly political statement, subject to all the cynicism that will entail - especially given that whole previous 'Mission Accomplished' thing waaay back when in 2003.

(Imagine the TV ad: "In 2003 President Bush declared 'Victory' in Iraq. This week, after 4 1/2 more years and another 3000 deaths, President Bush again claimed victory in Iraq...." and so on).

Rather than announcing victory, the administration needs to forego any symbolic kind of statement. Instead they should initiate a series of increasingly positive announcements, troop cuts and responsibility hand overs - but always couched in Petraeus' "Fragile, but reversible gains" kind of language.

This would be an accurate portrayal, really. Should a major uprising occur, we could/would be right back in the sticks.

It will become common knowledge soon enough that we have won.

The greatest single cause of Atheism today is Christians who profess Jesus with their lips & then go and deny him by their lifestyle. That's what an unbelieving world simply finds..unbelievable -Brennan Manning

I might be misrecalling this, but we also had a defense pact in place with South Vietnam. The democrat controlled congress refused to fund a response to the North's invasion. The South, facing an invasion backed by the Chinese, folded in a couple of weeks.

The point I'm trying to make is, why would anyone in Iraq think that they'd fare any better by relying on a US defense promise when the Iranians come boiling over the border?

If we don't have a permanent presense in Iraq, it'll become an Iranian province.
"You can't save the Earth unless you're willing to make other people sacrifice" - Scott Adams (speaking through Dogbert)

with signs that said THANK YOU USA. GOD BLESS GEORGE BUSH. THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I know the media would try to ignore it, but I think it would be too big to ignore. I believe in our Founder's natural state of man philosophy, and that it truly is a universal truth. It would behoove the Iraqis to do such a thing, because any rationale Iraqi has to absolutely hate the Democrats who would doom them to disaster should they seize 3 branch power here. What do you think?
Tim Schieferecke

Once they pass a new Fairness Doctrine, especially with an internet addendum, the Democrats will control the media too.

And Rightly So!

McCain's chance at winning is Barak's cluelessness on foreign policy.

If victory is at hand, then McCain is not needed.

world. The absence of attacks since 911 and the victory show that the lib-dem obama way leaves us more vulnerable.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - The Chief Justice

It is nice to see the truth about the war on terror posted for once. The treason party and the treason media have spun this thing so much that I cannot watch anything but Fox News anymore. Great post.

"Liberalism is a disease and the vaccine is a heavy dose of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbuagh and George Bush"

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - The Chief Justice

The Frank Rich column you cite goes on to say:

"The fact is that Mr. Obama frequently recognizes “the reduction of violence in Iraq” (his words) and has said he is “encouraged” by it. He has never said that he would refuse to consult with commanders on the ground, and he has never called for a precipitous withdrawal. His mantra on Iraq, to the point of tedium, has always been that “we must be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in.” His roughly 16-month timetable isn’t hasty and isn’t “retreat.”

McCain has said that he doesn't care how long troops are in Iraq, as long as the situation there is stable. Sounds like you are predicting and hoping that McCain flip flops...oops I mean comes around to Obama's position.

The point regarding Obama is that he has said so many different contradictory statements that you can always cherry-pick one of them to ally with any argument you want to make.

The point is that Obama has already said that he's already convinced that our efforts to create a stable government are doomed and that he doesn't need to consult about that.

It's only when he got criticized that he then added his cover story of "consulting" - that is, consulting as to how to cover up a voluntary ignominius defeat with a large enough fig leaf. Look, I was around when the Democrats pulled that trick with Vietnam - I really don't want to see millions needlessly perish in the aftermath while our press looks the other way.

Unlike Gary Trudeau, I don't think Rich is providing links to the Obama campaign effort in his work, at least not yet

And Rightly So!

is without regard to conditions on the ground.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer columns
"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - The Chief Justice

I may be wrong, but during an "Occupation" the American Flag cannot be flown top staff. When was "War" declared and how does one "win" an occupation?

I feel that I have missed something somewhere, because, if we had done as our ancestors did, we'd have DECLARED WAR, and without asking anyone, nuked Baghdad, and that would have been the end of it. Right? I don't recall the "occupation" ever being declared a "war".

I'd appreciate someone pointing me to that official announcement. It makes a BIG difference in the way we all will see things.

I could find Ron Pauls comment "the leadership of both parties on the International Relations committee fails to understand that the Constitution requires a congressional declaration of war before our troops are sent into battle,"

Pamela Smith

as you will know we are engaged in a Greater War on Terror....there is no declaration of war from the congress however there was an authorization from congress...

"Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President "to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677"; "

and so we are in Iraq and we will win and leave with honor and dignity...not with our tails between our legs.....the congress gave the President authorization and they cannot end the war they can only end the funding.

Freedom of Religion NOT Freedom from Religion

Sorry about the RP thing, trust me, I wished I could have found a better source..and thanks to you guys, I have. I appreciate that! :)

Pamela Smith

Redstate Network Login:
(lost password?)

©2008 Eagle Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Legal, Copyright, and Terms of Service