I read Michael Yon’s Moment of Truth – we’ve been on a humanitarian mission, at least since the surge and likely before. The media suddenly has started figuring it out though. I wonder what changed?
So, no longer just air-raiding villages and breaking into houses and terrorizing women and children in the dark of night? Somebody call Kerry and Murtha and tell them the good news.
For those of you actually interested in understanding the mess in the Middle East – consider the outstanding coverage of Michael Yon. He’s a great writer – and an even greater photographer:
Some days ago I visited the bazaar at Jalalabad, and took a bunch of colorful photographs and met many friendly people. Walking through Jalalabad, one could almost forget there was a war. But for the most part, this war is today being fought not in the cities, but the villages and small family compounds where most Afghanis live.
Urban counterinsurgency can be incredibly dangerous, yet the population has a common life. City dwellers are dependent on civil services like water, sewage and electricity; they often have specialized roles in complex economies. Their feelings and opinions form a political aggregate which both the democrat and terrorist must heed. These elements of common life give the urban population a center of gravity which can reach a tipping point and shift, either toward the insurgent or the government. In Iraq, most people live in cities or towns. When the center of gravity in certain communities began shifting against Al Qaeda and other groups, the shifts had a profound impact on the war. Also, Iraq, as Afghanistan, has powerful tribes which can behave like “voting blocs.” Often they vote with bullets.
I’d call it: Reporting, minus the bull-crap. If you still haven’t checked out his stuff – you owe it to yourself. His reporting come straight from the ground – and it will actually elevate your knowledge and understanding of the situation, unlike much of the dumbed down, dope-tastic (not to mention: negative) coverage you’ll get from other sources.
The headline from the NYT the other day. Great news, and more evidence of how important the surge has been. It seems like an appropriate time to reflect back at their overwhelming support for victory in Iraq…
The only real question about the planned “surge” in Iraq — which is better described as a Vietnam-style escalation — is whether its proponents are cynical or delusional. — Paul Krugman, NYT, 1/8/07
There is nothing ahead but even greater disaster in Iraq. — NYT Editorial, 1/11/07
What anyone in Congress with half a brain knows is that the surge was sabotaged before it began. — Frank Rich, NYT, 2/11/07
Keeping troops in Iraq has steadily increased the risk of a bloodbath. The best way to reduce that risk is, I think, to announce a timetable for withdrawal and to begin a different kind of surge: of diplomacy. — Nicholas Kristof, NYT, 2/13/07
W. could have applied that to Iraq, where he has always done only enough to fail, including with the Surge — Maureen Dowd, NYT, 2/17/07
The senator supported a war that didn’t need to be fought and is a cheerleader for a surge that won’t work. — Maureen Dowd, NYT, 2/24/07
Now the ”surge” that was supposed to show results by summer is creeping inexorably into an open-ended escalation, even as Moktada al-Sadr’s militia ominously melts away, just as Iraq’s army did after the invasion in 2003, lying in wait to spring a Tet-like surprise. — Frank Rich, NYT, 3/11/07
Victory is no longer an option in Iraq, if it ever was. The only rational objective left is to responsibly organize America’s inevitable exit. That is exactly what Mr. Bush is not doing and what the House and Senate bills try to do. — NYT Editorial, 3/29/07
There is no possible triumph in Iraq and very little hope left. — NYT Editorial, 4/12/07
… the empty hope of the “surge” … — Frank Rich, NYT, 4/22/07
Three months into Mr. Bush’s troop escalation, there is no real security in Baghdad and no measurable progress toward reconciliation, while American public support for this folly has all but run out. — NYT Editorial, 5/11/07
Now the Bush administration finds itself at that same hour of shame. It knows the surge is not working. — Maureen Down, NYT, 5/27/07
Mr. Bush does have a choice and a clear obligation to re-evaluate strategy when everything, but his own illusions, tells him that it is failing. — NYT Editorial, 7/25/07
The smart money, then, knows that the surge has failed, that the war is lost, and that Iraq is going the way of Yugoslavia. — Paul Krugman, NYT, 9/14/07
The Times regrets the error(s).
Democrat Barack Obama scolded Russia again on Wednesday for invading another country’s sovereign territory while adding a new twist: the United States, he said, should set a better example on that front, too.
The Illinois senator’s opposition to the Iraq war, which his comment clearly referenced, is well known. But this was the first time the Democratic presidential candidate has made a comparison between the U.S. invasion of Iraq and Russia’s recent military activity in Georgia.
“We’ve got to send a clear message to Russia and unify our allies,” Obama told a crowd of supporters in Virginia. “They can’t charge into other countries. Of course it helps if we are leading by example on that point.”
A movie quote comes to mind:
Walter Sobchak: So you have no frame of reference here, Donny Barry. You’re like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know…
The Dude: (interrupting) Walter, Walter, what’s the point, man?
Much more at Powerline on the comparison of the Russian Invasion and Iraq
The following was an interesting debate between Kerry and Lieberman. The videos were posted by a Lieberman hater – but I think they are quite revealing as to who is the reasonable candidate:
Obama’s Judgment? Seriously? Here’s a little more on Obama’s judgement. And here. And here. Also, note how Kerry talks about Medicare being a disaster… So why then would we want to hand over all healthcare to the government?
The reason they aren’t drilling there is because there’s no freaking oil there John Kerry. (or it is too difficult to get).
John Kerry has some very strange views of the history in Iraq. Check out this bit about the Anbar Awakening. The things he claims haven’t happened – actually have, and even people who have been consistently hostile to the war in Iraq are having to admit it. Kerry still hasn’t got the memo yet.
Final question – as you watch these clips, note who sounds fairly reasonable – and who sounds flailing and desperate…