Friday, March 14, 2008

Petraeus Lowers Expecations on Iraq

David Petraeus Iraq Progress

Via Memeorandum, the left blogosphere is in a heavy lather over General David Petraeus' comment yesterday that Iraqis weren't making sufficient progress toward political reconciliation:

Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.

Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.
Petraeus' remarks are clearly geared to lowering political expectations before his congressional testimony, and are also offered as signaling expectations to the Iraqi leadership to step-up implementation of the remaining benchmarks for forward political progress in Iraq.

Petraeus also provided commentary on the overall situation in Iraq:

The Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has won passage of some legislation that aids the cause of reconciliation, drawing praise from President Bush and his supporters. But the Iraqi government also has deferred action on some of its most important legislative goals, including laws governing the exploitation of Iraq's oil resources, that the Bush administration had identified as necessary benchmarks of progress toward reconciliation....

In what appeared to be a foreshadowing of his congressional testimony, which his aides said he would not discuss explicitly, Petraeus insisted that Iraqi leaders still have an opportunity to act. "We're going to fight like the dickens" to maintain the gains in security and "where we can to try and build on it," he said.

While violence has declined dramatically since late 2006, when thousands of Iraqis were being killed each month, U.S. military data show that attacks on U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians have leveled off or risen slightly in the early part of 2008. "I don't see an enormous uptick projected right now," Petraeus said, speaking in his windowless office in the U.S. Embassy, which is housed in Saddam Hussein's former Republican Palace. "What you have seen is some sensational attacks, there's no question about that."

Petraeus said several factors may account for the recent violence, including increased U.S. and Iraqi operations against insurgents in the northern city of Mosul -- which has lately become one of Iraq's most dangerous -- and insurgent efforts to reestablish some of their havens in Baghdad. And Petraeus said U.S. commanders could not discount the possibility that insurgents "know the April testimony is coming up."

Given the radical demonization campaign against Petraeus' testimony last September - recall "David Betray Us" - it's no surprise that the antiwar nihilists are already sharpening knives in preparation of round two.

Matthew Yglesias, a beer-swilling lefty Flophouse blogger, simply declared the past year's military and political progress a lie:

I dunno about that, certainly it seems to me that a lot of the current U.S. government's allies have been arguing, falsely, that there has been adequate progress toward reconciliation.

FireDogLake's come out swinging, interpreting Petraeus' statements as tantamount to admitting the folly of the surge ("Petraeus Admits The Surge Has Failed").

The hard-left's really behind the curve on Iraq progress. What's interesting with all the hard-left attacks on the surge and surge-supporters is the absence of serious analysis. Spencer Ackerman, another of the Flophouse boys, just cusses, moans, and sputters about how "worthless his journalism is" in stopping the war.

Well, I have to agree on the worthlessness of it, although surprisingly these folks have sway on the Democratic side of things.

Which is why I just keep setting the record straight.

The truth is that we're seeing unheralded political progess in Iraq. Prior to the this month, Iraq had met 9 of the 18 congressional benchmarks set a year ago. In the last few weeks the Iraqi regime has met three more, putting progress up to the two-thirds mark. We still have some way to go, but to say political progess is a lie, or that the surge has failed, is simply the deployment of the postmodern version of knowledge handily available to those implacably opposed to American military success.

The Democrats will continue to struggle with this, as facts on the ground make the party's surrender agenda increasing out of step with both strategic and political reality.

Photo Credit: Washington Post


Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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