Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Antiwar Left Ecstatic as Surge is Called Into Question

Recall Jennifer Rubin's point about the Democrats and the Iraq war:

Why haven't the Democrats declared victory in Iraq and suggested now is the time to go home? The answer is that they have become obsessed with fighting the last war - the last political war against George W. Bush.
We can of expand "the Democrats" to include the party's fanatical antiwar base, and presto, the notion of the last war against President Bush fits like a glove.

The latest evidence for this is the burst of radical glee at
McClatchy's latest hit piece claiming recent gains in Iraq are just a mirage:

A cease-fire critical to the improved security situation in Iraq appeared to unravel Monday when a militia loyal to radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al Sadr began shutting down neighborhoods in west Baghdad and issuing demands of the central government.

Simultaneously, in the strategic southern port city of Basra, where Sadr's Mahdi militia is in control, the Iraqi government launched a crackdown in the face of warnings by Sadr's followers that they'll fight government forces if any Sadrists are detained. By 1 a.m. Arab satellite news channels reported clashes between the Mahdi Army and police in Basra.

The freeze on offensive activity by Sadr's Mahdi Army has been a major factor behind the recent drop in violence in Iraq, and there were fears that the confrontation that's erupted in Baghdad and Basra could end the lull in attacks, assassinations, kidnappings and bombings.

As the U.S. military recorded its 4,000th death in Iraq, U.S. officials in Baghdad warned again Monday that drawing down troops too quickly could collapse Iraq's fragile security situation.
Could any lede be more perfect for launching a feeding frenzy of the war-bashing fringe?

Unfortunately, the eruption of violence is in fact found in one of last key areas of remaining national political and strategic consolidation. Far from signalling the collapse of the surge, the Sadrists revolt illustrates
a burst of holdout opposition to the increasing scope of central governmental control over all of Iraq.

It shows, as well, that Iran and its antiwar backers (for example,
here, here, here, here, and here), are betting on the wrong political faction in this war.

See also, Jules Crittenden, "
Surge of Opportunity."