This year has been a different story in Anbar, and elsewhere in Iraq. The influx of American forces in support of a counterinsurgency strategy--more than 4,000 went into Anbar--allowed U.S. commanders to take hold of the local resentment against al Qaeda by promising to protect those who resisted the terrorists. When American forces entered al Qaeda strongholds like Arab Jabour, the first question the locals asked is: Are you going to stay this time? They wanted to know if the U.S. would commit to protecting them against al Qaeda retribution.
U.S. soldiers have done so, in Anbar, Baghdad, Baqubah, Arab Jabour and elsewhere. They have established joint security stations with Iraqi soldiers and police throughout urban areas and in villages. They have worked with former insurgents and local people to form "concerned citizens" groups to protect their own neighborhoods. Their presence among the people has generated confidence that al Qaeda will be defeated, resulting in increased information about the movements of al Qaeda operatives and local support for capturing or killing them.
The above is an important excerpt from FREDERICK W. KAGAN's article appearing today in the Opinion Journal. - and one phrase most definitely bears repeating.
"Are you goig to stay this time?"
The answer to that is "as long as Bush is in office."
The Democrats want a "timeline". They've spent tons of Congressional time with resolution after resolution, trying to force a certain defeat in Iraq upon Bush's shoulders. Instead, with the turn around due to the surge's positive headway on the ground, a hopeful "win" for Iraqis has replaced the promised "lose" advocated by US lawmakers.
Yet a timeline the elected elite/Bush haters still want. A smashing defeat in Iraq under the Bush admin is, afterall, they only key to the WH door in 2008. And the unspoken timeline is if a cut and run Democrat (is there any other kind running for the CIC position??) takes hold of our troops in Jan 2009, there will be a withdrawal timeline set... directed not by military advisors, progress or boots on the ground, but by polls and MoveOn special interest.
UPDATE: Word of yet another attempt today to impose a deadline... this time with the anti-war GOPs sponsoring the bill. The different twist? A mandate for Bush to change the Iraq mission from military ops to pure support/training etc. Timeline to start that change? 15 months from now.
Go no... the Dems didn't want it. They didn't like that 15 month delay. That, afterall, doesn't give it time enough to fail while still under Bush's watch.
Make no mistake... tho all but two of the debating Dems said that they will not commit to withdrawing the troops by the end of the 2009-2013 presidential term, the last thing they will do is continue with a winning military policy because... well... it was instigated by Bush as CIC. They will never admit his to doing anything correct for fear of appeaing the fools they are. I, for one, would expect they'll change something that will appease their radical base, and thereby hinder the Iraqis' progress. And then, of course, figure out a way to blame it on the previous admin.
And speaking of "fools"... while doing some basic research, I landed on a ThinkProgress archived forum from Dec of 2006 discussing the futility of the surge, and specifically slamming Frederick Kagen, author of the above article. Reading thru the far left liberal comments, it just boggles the mind of how many still mindlessly parrot the mantra "define winning in Iraq", proving they have a hearing, reading and vision disability. It is, has always been, and remains for the future quite simply - an Iraq with a freely elected government who is a partner in trade and terrorist intel. Try to remember it. It gets on my nerves having to repeat this to the close minded fools.
In light of the progress in Iraq as a result of this surge - a progress so unwelcomed by far too many Americans - and considering their penchant for demanding constant and unwarranted apologies from Bush, I wonder if any of these posters who appear to be self-appointed military experts would like to apologize for their thoughtless, venomous and obviously wrong assessments?
Somehow I doubt it...