The left's politicization of the Iraq surge
By Carol Devine-Molin
web posted July 16, 2007
It's been less than a month since the Iraq surge reached its full complement of troops, yet the Democrats are already vehemently disparaging the operation. In reality, the "Benchmark Assessment" interim report is a mixed bag, which indicates that some military and security progress is beginning to manifest, as well as peripheral advances on the political front. However, major political issues, such as those related to de-Ba'athification reform (permitting some Saddam Hussein era officials to work in the new Iraqi government), dividing oil revenues, and regional elections, still need to be sorted out.
Political reconciliation among the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds is still out of reach. Is that anything new? That being said, did the Congressional Democrats really require a high-profile impact analysis of the surge at this juncture? For the Democrats and their Left-leaning surrogates in the mainstream media, this interim report is about shellacking the president, and by extension, the GOP, early and often in this run up to the 2008 elections.
In any event, the report goes on to say that we're to expect tough fighting in Iraq throughout the summer, with al-Qaida in the crosshairs, since the terror group is driving much of the sectarian violence through significant attacks that pit faction against faction. And, of course, one of the major goals of the surge is to rid Iraq of elements that are interfering with the process of political reconciliation among the various factions.
Although overall Iraqi security forces continue to demonstrate "slow progress", the Iraqi government was satisfactorily assessed as "providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations." Moreover, with substantial Coalition assistance, sectarian violence in Baghdad is now considered "reduced", but an unsatisfactory rating for "militia control of local security" was issued as well. All in all, the assessment reflected a satisfactory rating for only 8 out of the 18 benchmarks. That's got to make the Democrats happy.
Beyond the Iraqi forces, the Iraqi populace as a whole is experiencing significant changes. For instance, the people of Anbar province are "turning against AQI (al-Qaida) and seeking support from the Coalition", as noted in the interim report. That's certainly a tipping point for the Iraqis who are growing bolder, and feeling empowered to take a stand against al-Qaida. The murderous thugs and vicious manipulators of al-Qaida have more than worn out their welcome in Iraq.
Given this early stage of the surge, trends are still fluid, and arguably, it would been better to wait a few months for General Petraeus' September report for a more accurate analysis. However, the current Benchmark Assessment provided the Democrats with the pretext to enact their usual Kabuki dance of chaste horror and "Bush-bashing" at the thought of ongoing military action in Iraq. It's vital to remember that the US initially went to war in Iraq for all the right reasons, with our national security interests foremost on the list. And in the process we established a beachhead in the Middle East - the epicenter of radical Islam – which drew the terrorist vermin, al-Qaida and their ilk, out of the woodwork to fight the American-led Coalition.
From the perspective of Al-Qaida, Iraq is the cause celeb or better yet, the "giant salt lick" as many have dubbed it. Whether it was by design or simply fortuitous, Iraq has emerged as al-Qaida's central front. While in Iraq, we now have the opportunity to do serious damage to al-Qaida, our avowed enemies. Yet, the Democrats want us to leave Iraq precipitously. President Bush was patently accurate when he stated: "We must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the fight to them (our enemies)." The Democrats and the rest of the Left-leaning "peace at any price" crowd are still oblivious to the fact that by keeping al-Qaida on-the-run and forcing them to expend time, energy and resources in defense of themselves, they are less able to launch attacks upon us here in the homeland.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.
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