Friday, September 14, 2007

FOX News Poll: Rudy Giuliani Preferred President Over Hillary Clinton If Terrorists Attack America

The latest FOX News poll shows that if the United States were hit with a terrorist attack, by a 50 percent to 36 percent margin, Americans would rather have Giuliani in charge than Clinton, including 28 percent of Democrats and an overwhelming 80 percent of Republicans. Independents split in Giuliani’s favor 47 percent to Clinton’s 28 percent.

Full results, PDF.

Karl Rove said he believed that Hillary Clinton was a smart, capable campaigner but that she was a "fatally flawed" candidate. These poll results show why.

Also buried deep in the data is this festering sore: At 45%, she has the highest unfavorable rating of any candidate currently seeking the office of President. And, at 49% she remains unable to get her favorable ratings over half, a key measure in estimating a candidate's "electability." Her favorable/unfavorable figures have been stubbornly ugly for her, despite a well coordinated media "in kind" contribution casting her in the best possible light.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Petraeus and Crocker at the Press Club

MNF-Iraq Commander GEN David Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker speak about the current status of conditions in Iraq at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Confederate Yankee Is Pregnant!

Breakthrough blogger and journalist extraordinaire Bob Owens is pregnant. Hey Bob... They know what causes that, now.

Confederate Yankee is the blogosphere equivalent of Woodward and Bernstein circa early 1970's. He's done journalistic heavy lifting (i.e., fact-checking, i.e., reporting, i.e., investigating) on the Scott Beauchamp debacle at the New Republic and most recently instigated the ad price scandal.

Now that Mrs. CY has been appointed his designated driver for the next oh, nine months or so, you may want to go drop a dollar or two in the tip jar.

AP Gives Election to Democrats... One Year Early

Key dates and events in the Iraq war -- AP via Yahoo! News:

Before they change it (it's obviously a typo):


March 17 — President Bush gives Saddam Hussein 48-hour deadline to give up power. U.S.-led invasion of Iraq begins three days later.

May 1 — On an aircraft carrier under a "Mission Accomplished" banner, President Bush declares "major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

Dec. 13 — Saddam Hussein captured while hiding in hole in ground near Tikrit; hanged after trial.



April — Photographs surface of prisoner abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

Oct. 6 — Top U.S. arms inspector in Iraq finds no evidence that Saddam's regime produced weapons of mass destruction after 1991, discounting a main justification of the war.



Feb. 23 — Revered Shiite shrine in Samarra bombed, triggering onslaught of sectarian violence.

May 3 — The first democratically elected Iraqi government sworn in.

Nov. 7 — In what is widely viewed as a referendum on the war in the United States, Republicans lose both House and Senate.



Nov. 8 — Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigns; Bush nominates former CIA director Robert Gates as successor.

Dec. 31 — American deaths in the Iraq war reached 3,000.



Jan. 10 — Bush commits more than 21,500 additional American troops to Iraq — a military buildup that has grown to 30,000 with support troops.

July 12 — White House report required by Congress says Iraq has made satisfactory progress on eight of 18 political and security benchmarks, unsatisfactory progress on eight and that it's too early to judge progress on two.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

McCain to Clinton: Ain't Tough Enough

The Weekly Standard:

McCain released another statement chiding Clinton for her failure to condemn MoveOn's attack on Petraeus:

"Senator Clinton said that believing General Petraeus' testimony requires a 'willing suspension of disbelief.' I think it willingly suspends disbelief to not repudiate an advertisement run by a radical left wing organization that impugns and dishonors the integrity of a man who has served his nation with dedication all of his life. If you're not tough enough to repudiate a scurrilous, outrageous attack such as that, then I don't know how you're tough enough to be President of the United States."



Combat Engineers are da shit

These are the baddest asses on the battlefield.

Trivia Question:  What is the only unit to have gone in at both Omaha and Utah beaches at the same time?

[cue jeopardy theme]

Oh, I'll go ahead and give you the answer:  299th Combat Engineer Battalion.

Hoo Ahh.

AL ASAD -- Whether it is building or renovating, combat engineers are always working hard to ensure that service members have what they need to make work or life a little better. Recently, the Marines of Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 took on a mission that has an affect on service members throughout Iraq.

The engineers of MWSS-271 have started the Rapid Runway Repair project, which is designed to fix problem areas on Al Asad’s runways.

“The problem is that there are holes in the runway from where the concrete expands and contracts from the heat and it starts breaking up,” explained Sgt. David Poole, a combat engineer for MWSS-271. “When you have holes in the flightline, the planes have trouble landing or taxiing.”

The repair on Aug. 11 was the second of many upcoming repairs that will be conducted by the ’271 engineers. The repairs are completed in small sections, so that they do not interfere with normal operations.

“We go in and cut out the portion that is starting to come up where there are holes and we jackhammer all the stuff out and put in pavement, which is runway repair material,” said Poole. “It gives it a solid surface and stops it from cracking.”

The engineers have primarily been focused on minor projects around the base, before starting on the runway repair.

“We have been building SWA huts, gyms for units, a detention facility for (the Provost Marshal’s Office), just small construction projects,” said Poole. “It’s a big change, definitely different. It’s part of our job and I feel like I’m really doing my job out here doing (runway repair) because I know it means something.”

Although the MWSS-271 engineers have primarily been tasked with small projects, their performance during the first runway repair was the catalyst for more work.

“They finally decided to give us a shot at it to see how we could do it, and we ended up doing it ahead of schedule,” Poole explained. “We had two nights allotted to us on the flight line, where they shut it down for us, and it didn’t even take one full night. So now they see that we can and we are going to be repairing a lot more.”

Just like any other group of Marines in the Corps, the engineers attribute teamwork to their success.

“Everyone gets along well and knows their job” said Poole. “It’s all planned out before we get out there, so everybody knows exactly what they will be doing and when they’ll be doing it.”

If planes cannot land or taxi, then supplies cannot get where they need to be in a timely matter. The engineers understand and relish the fact that repairing the runway is essential to the overall mission here.

“(Rapid runway repair) is one of the only projects that’s an asset to the (whole) base,” said Cpl. Jessica Torelli, a combat engineer for MWSS-272. “We usually work fast and efficiently. When things need to be done, we work together pretty well.”

The first two projects went well and the engineers plan on continuing their success, according to Poole.

“We have a couple more missions signed up and all the Marines are excited.” said Poole. “This is important to the overall mission in Iraq, its not like building a desk for somebody. We are doing something that is going to be noticed and needed for the mission.”

Nukes in Syria?

Report: Israel spots nuclear installations in Syria:

Washington official says Israeli surveillance shows possible Syrian nuclear installation stocked by North Korea, Israeli Arab newspaper claims target of alleged raid last week was Syrian missile base financed by Iran.

Israel believes that North Korea has been supplying Syria and Iran with nuclear materials, a Washington defense official told the New York Times. “The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” he said.

The official added that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights over Syria revealed possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials estimate might have been supplied with material from North Korea.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Petraeus and Crocker in a Pit of Vipers Today

This morning, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker are entering a pit of Vipers.

The Senatorial Snakes of the Foreign Affairs Committee:

Joseph Biden
Christopher J. Dodd
John F. Kerry
Russell D. Feingold
Barbara Boxer
Bill Nelson
Barack Obama
Robert Menendez
Benjamin L. Cardin
Robert P. Casey Jr.
Jim Webb
Richard Lugar
Chuck Hagel
Norm Coleman
Bob Corker
John E. Sununu
George V. Voinovich
Lisa Murkowski
Jim DeMint
Johnny Isakson
David Vitter

You might see a few friendly names on that list, but virtually every member of this committee is invested in defeat. Even the Republicans are questionable.

Update:But it gets a little (only a little) better this afternoon:

Carl Levin
Edward M. Kennedy
Robert C. Byrd
Joseph I. Lieberman
Jack Reed
Daniel K. Akaka
Bill Nelson
E. Benjamin Nelson
Evan Bayh
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Mark L. Pryor
Jim Webb
Claire McCaskill
John McCain
John W. Warner
James M. Inhofe
Jeff Sessions
Susan M. Collins
Saxby Chambliss
Lindsey O. Graham
Elizabeth Dole
John Cornyn
John Thune
Mel Martinez
Bob Corker

Must See Blog of the Month

9/11 Truth March and Power to the Peaceful Festival

Zombie's photo essay just must be seen to be appreciated.

Fourteen Terrorists Killed; 20 Surrender

Coalition forces in Baghdad, Bayji and Kirkuk completed operations that resulted in 14 Tangos being sent to Allah and 20 more surrendering.  In the first operation, coalition forces targeted the expected replacement for the al-Qaeda in Iraq emir of the southern belts around Baghdad, who was killed in a Coalition operation Sept. 5.

A group of armed men engaged Coalition forces with heavy small arms fire. Coalition forces responded in self-defense, returned fire and called in close air support to engage the enemy force. Coalition forces ground and air fire killed six armed men in the engagement.

Also in Baghdad, Coalition forces captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq operative allegedly associated with senior terrorist leaders. In addition to the wanted individual, the ground forces detained four other suspected terrorists.

“We’ve been putting consistent pressure on al-Qaeda in Iraq and impairing its ability to attack innocent Iraqis,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “We will continue our aggressive operations to bring security to Baghdad and the surrounding areas.”

In northern Iraq, Eight terrorists were killed and 15 suspected terrorists were detained during Coalition operations Tuesday targeting the al-Qaeda in Iraq network. Coalition forces conducted two operations targeting the al-Queda in Iraq network that conducts attacks and facilitates the movement of foreign terrorists in northwestern Iraq. Several armed men engaged Coalition forces during a raid in a desolate area six miles from the Syrian border.

Coalition forces returned fire in self-defense, killing six armed men. Coalition forces also discovered two men hiding inside a tent, one of whom detonated a suicide vest he was wearing, killing only himself and the other terrorist. Coalition forces found several suicide vests, weapons, rockets, grenades and $18,000 in U.S. currency at the site. They also detained one individual. In the second operation, in the far western part of Ninewa province, Coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists.

In Bayji, Coalition forces captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq leader believed to have taken over the sniper and assassination network in the area after Coalition forces captured his predecessor Aug. 4.

Also in the Tigris River Valley, ground forces detained one suspected terrorist near Balad for his alleged ties to a network known to attack Coalition forces.

Iraqi and Coalition forces in Kirkuk targeted the al-Qaeda in Iraq leader of the city’s car-bombing network, who also facilitates the movement of foreign terrorists who conduct suicide attacks. The ground forces detained seven suspected terrorists and found a cache of bomb-making materials, which they safely destroyed on site.

“Terrorists have no safe haven in Iraq,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “We will continue to find al-Qaeda in Iraq’s leaders and operatives and foil their attempts to destabilize the elected government.”

Trashing Petraeus

OpinionJournal - Featured Article:, and the new standards of Democratic debate.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Important as was yesterday's appearance before Congress by General David Petraeus, the events leading up to his testimony may have been more significant. Members of the Democratic leadership and their supporters have now normalized the practice of accusing their opponents of lying. If other members of the Democratic Party don't move quickly to repudiate this turn, the ability of the U.S. political system to function will be impaired in a way no one would wish for.

Well, with one exception., the Democratic activist group, bought space in the New York Times yesterday to accuse General Petraeus of "cooking the books for the White House." The ad transmutes the general's name into "General Betray Us."

"Betrayal," as every military officer knows, is a word that through the history of their profession bears the stain of acts that are both dishonorable and unforgivable. That is to say, didn't stumble upon this word; it was chosen with specific intent, to convey the most serious accusation possible against General Petraeus, that his word is false, that he is a liar and that he is willing to betray his country. The next and obvious word to which this equation with betrayal leads is treason. That it is merely insinuated makes it worse. calls itself a "progressive" political group, but it is in fact drawn from the hard left of American politics and a pedigree that sees politics as not so much an ongoing struggle but a final competition. Their Web-based group is new to the political scene, but its politics are not so new. More surprising and troubling are the formerly liberal institutions and politicians who now share this political ethos.

In an editorial on Sunday, the New York Times, after saying that President Bush "isn't looking for the truth, only for ways to confound the public," asserted that "General Petraeus has his own credibility problems." We read this as an elision from George Bush, the oft-accused liar on WMD and all the rest, to David Petraeus, also a liar merely for serving in the chain of command. With this editorial, the Times establishes that the party line is no longer just "Bush lied," but anyone who says anything good about Iraq or our effort there is also lying. As such, the Times enables and ratifies's rhetoric as common usage for Democrats.

Late last week, for instance, we heard it said of General Petraeus that, "He's made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual." This was from Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

The Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Lantos, said Thursday that General Petraeus would not be the author of his report; it would be written "by Administration political operatives." He opened yesterday's hearing, moments before General Petraeus was to speak, by saying, "We cannot take anything this Administration says on Iraq at face value."

So far, only two Democrats that we are aware of have repudiated this political turn. Joe Lieberman, already ostracized from the party for dissent, called the MoveOn ad an "act of slander that every member of the Congress--Democrat and Republican--has a solemn responsibility to condemn." And Joe Biden, after the MoveOn ad was read to him on "Meet the Press" Sunday, replied: "I don't buy into that. This is an honorable guy. He's telling the truth."

These are the exceptions. Another of the party's activist groups, Democracy for America, released a statement about the time General Petraeus began to speak: "It is offensive that our commander-in-chief has ordered a four-star general to mislead Congress."

As General Petraeus finished his statement yesterday, Senator Chris Dodd's Presidential campaign spammed an email about "the accuracy" of the report: "The fact that there are questions about General Petraeus's report is not surprising given that it was brought to you by this White House." Thus in Mr. Dodd's view, General Petraeus, returned from the Iraq battlefield, is a complicit ventriloquist's dummy.

Can this really be the new standard of political rhetoric across the Democratic Party? There was a time when the party's institutional elites, such as the Times, would have pulled it back from reducing politics to all or nothing. They would have blown the whistle on such accusations. Now they are leading the charge.

Under these new terms, public policy is no longer subject to debate, discussion and disagreement over competing views and interpretations. Instead, the opposition is reduced to the status of liar. Now the opposition is not merely wrong, but lacks legitimacy and political standing. The goal here is not to debate, but to destroy.

Today General Petraeus testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Its Democratic Members include Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Barbara Boxer and Jim Webb. This would be the appropriate setting to apologize to General Petraeus for the ad. Or let it stand.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Three Carrier Strike Groups Heading To Iran

Pat Dollard | Young Americans.

If I were Iran, I would take a little time out to rethink my concept. We don't need boots on the ground to wipe out their military. We have "plans" that lay out a process that takes it out in three days.

I'm guessing that the real plans have us taking out any response capability in 24 hours.

Hey, Mahmoudie... Are you sure this is what you want to do?

Disaster for the Democrats

The moonbat left is, understandably, beside themselves.

On one hand, you had's absolute disgrace of running a full page advertisement in the New York Tikes assaulting not only the credibility of General David Petraeus, but also his honor and dedication to this great nation of ours.

But then, the target of that assault goes before Congress and gives a slam dunk testimony. He had chart after undisputable chart. Statistic after unassailable statistic. Answer after completely dominating answer.

Then you had the spectacle of moonbats being hauled out of a distinguished hearing in handcuffs, hollering like sheep being taken to slaughter.

Absolute DISASTER.

The left's hatred for the Blue Dog Democrat caucus was already red hot before today's historic event. Now that they have seen everything they need to see in order to see President Bush's policy through, Ms. Pelosi knows that she will not have the votes she needs to defund the war. That means you can forget seeing a bill supported by the moonbats ever seeing the light of day.

It's a good day for the good guys. A bad day for the terrorists and their shameless supporters from the left.

Full Testimony

Bill Roggio's Long War Journal has a HTML version of General Petraeus testimony to the Joint House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees.

I am impressed with the General's testimony, but Mr. Crocker is acquitting himself quite well also. His report, which indicated that the trend was up but that the slope of the trendline was not as high as we'd like, sounded honest and forthright.

UPDATE: Crocker's testimony in PDF format here, compliments of National Review.

Meanwhile the Associated Press finds it necessary to comment on the decor of the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building.

A few observations on the testimony given today:

1. Petraeus is cool under pressure and knows his craft well.  Democrats tried to fluster him with "talking point" questions, to which he calmly dispelled the myths the talking points are based on.

2. Wexler's appearance on Fox during the break was incredible.  How anyone can show such intellectual dishonesty and keep a straight face just goes to show how treacherous these bastards are.  

3.  Crocker has not gotten many questions.  Petraeus is clearly the focus.  This is significant because of the two men, Crocker's news was the most sobering.  

What General Petraeus Should Tell America's Alireza Jafarzadeh Blogs:

The core problem in Iraq is neither a civil nor a sectarian war. The main strategic threat to Iraq is neither Al Qaeda nor the Sunni insurgents. True, they are both responsible for a significant portion of violence in Iraq, but they both lack strategic assets to take over Iraq politically and militarily.

Iraq’s No. 1 problem is, in fact, Iran’s widespread and deadly presence in Iraq. Iran is undoubtedly the main instigator of violence, instability and derailing the political process in that country. Unlike Al Qaeda, Iran is a strategic threat for a sovereign, unified and Democratic Iraq. It is a regime with vast resources dedicated to the sponsorship of terrorism and export of fundamentalism, a 900-mile porous common border, and huge political and intelligence assets both within and outside the Iraqi government. Tehran is spending nearly $70,000,000 per month arming, training and funding Iraqi Shiite and Sunni militias.

Jafarzadeh issues a pretty damning indictment of Iran. It's refreshing to see a member of the MSM come out so strongly against that cancer on the Gulf.

He writes:

Four years on, Iran’s leaders have exploited all aspects of Iraq’s political and security landscape. Currently, Iran has as many as 32,000 Iraqis on its payroll, including senior officials in the Iraqi police force, ministries, National Assembly and other institutions. More ominously, rather than fulfilling his duty to disband and disarm the militias, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is also enhancing Iran’s position by keeping his loyalty to Tehran and empowering the Iran-backed militias.

It may seem that under the present circumstances there is no hope for an improvement of the situation in Iraq. Some suggest bringing in the Iranian regime as part of the solution. But the Iranian regime is the main problem, not a part of the solution in Iraq.

That Iran has Iraqi politicians on their payroll is news to me. I have been unable to locate any source for that information. That's not to say that it isn't true. It is certainly plausible.

Go read Jafarzadeh's full opinion.

"Shock Troops:" Driving the final nails in the coffin

Today, the last two nails in the coffin for TNR's credibility were driven home.

At Hotair, Michelle Malkin interviews Michael Goldfarb, online editor for The Weekly Standard. Fair and balanced to the core, Michelle also attempted to interview TNR's Franklin Foer, but ran into a little resistance.

At Pajamas Media, Confederate Yankee's Bob Owens publishes an exclusive interview with Major John Cross, US Army. MAJ Cross conducted the Army's investigation into the veracity of PVT Scott Thomas Beauchamp's now infamous article, "Shock Troops."

The New Republic's credibility was already in a bad state of repair following the Stephen Glass debacle. As Bob points out, that should have led to a much more rigorous editorial policy at the very leftwing publication. Sadly, it has not. Owens gets a lot of credit for good old fashioned journalism--he checked facts when TNR's editors covered them up. He interviewed credible sources when TNR jinned up their comments. With these two pieces today, one wonders about the future of the TNR editorial staff.

"Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda"

From Allahpundit at Hotair (who seems to have gotten his sensibilities back).

Olbie compares Fox News to Al Qaeda and the Ku Klux Kan. The dude has lost his skill skull.

Maybe he's just permanently peeved because O'Reilly beats him like a drum every night.


Article III, Section 3:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court., DailyKos, Code Pinko and other left wing factions, along with their allies among Congressional Democrats, have the blood of U.S. soldiers on their hands. They have been adhering to the enemies of the United States by giving aid, comfort and propaganda support to Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hizbollah and Iran. Our enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan fight on because they know that factions within the United States are their friends. This is no better than having an active, pro-German faction on U.S. soil, accusing U.S. troops of monstrous betrayal and targeting their leaders in propaganda. These are acts of war.

Today, accuses General Petraeus of being a traitor in a full page advertisement in the New York Times. They are beneath contempt. It is time that Americans stop putting up with this, and start treating these seditious bastards for what they are.

No cells at Guantanomo Bay. No orange jumpsuits. Firing squads or short ropes are called for.

America is Not at War

America is not at war. America has gone to the mall. America is at the football game. When the evenings news broadcasts switch to coverage of the day's events in Iraq, Americans switch to MTV. I am laying 8-to-3 odds that if I walked out on the street right now and asked the first passerby how many troops the U.S. had in Iraq, that person could not answer correctly. I'd lay even longer odds that if I showed the next passerby a map of the middle east, they would have a hard time identifying Iraq.

America, frankly, is bored with the Global War on Terror. They do not know that there are U.S. special forces working in the Horn of Africa and the Phillipines, because they do not care. The war is boring to Americans because the war does not affect them. It annoys them to have to pay attention to it. They do not care about the war because so few of them understand the stakes.

This week, General David Petraeus, Commanding General, Multinational Forces - Iraq, provides both open and closed door testimony to Congress. His civilian counterpart is Ryan Crocker, Ambassador to Iraq. He will also testify before Congress. Petraeus will provide information on the progress of new counterinsurgency tactics and operations made possible by the surge in troop levels. Crocker will provide his opinions on the political reconciliation process that the surge was supposed to provide time and space for. Some Americans know who Petraeus is. Precious few know who Crocker is. Despite the fact that their time on Capitol Hill this week will be both historic and crucial to the national decision on whether the U.S. maintains combat effectiveness in Iraq, few Americans will even bother to watch.

Anti-war factions on the left are fond of pointing out the cost of conducting military operations in Iraq. They point to the $880,000 million and tsk-tsk. What most Americans don't realize is that the U.S. economy produced nearly $14,000,000,000,000. That is not a typo. That is Fourteen TRILLION dollars. This economy leaks more in a month than the war in Iraq costs in a year. Anti-war factions are also fond of waving the bloody shirts of the nearly 4,000 troops lost in Iraq (not all of which are combat-related). The full time, active duty Armed Forces of the United States has abour 1.4 million men and women. There are roughly another million or so in reserve capacity, for a total of well over two million. While every death is a tragic loss of a brave soldier, the fact remains that casualty rates are extremely low in this conflict. These figures represent the lowest casualty rates ever in a prolonged armed conflict. The average monthly loss of about 70 represents a casualty rate of 0.04% to 0.06% (depending on how you calculate the average troop strength). Express that properly, please: About five one-hundredths of a percent.

That the war costs us so little in the blood and treasure of America, and that it is being conducted in another hemisphere, is part of the reason why America is bored with the war. Why should they care? Of the 300 million people living in this country, only 170,000 are serving. That's only 170,000 brave families who pray for the safe return of their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters. Why should they care? The "war tax," which represents the cost of the war vis-a-vis the economic output of America, stands at a infinitesimally small 0.0014%. That's not a typo, either. One-point-four one-thousandths of one percent. Or, for every $100,000 produced by Americans, they fork over $1.40. Ouch, huh?

Another part of the reason for their boredom is that Americans are safe. Since President Bush began combat operations in the wake of 9/11, not one American has died from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. In the days following that tragic event, Americans were convinced that other attacks were a matter of when and where, not if. Not any more. They're safe because we are fighting those who attacked us on their soil, not ours. Instead of Americans dying by the thousands, terrorists are dying by the tens of thousands. In the six years since 9/11 the daily routine of dozens of terrorists being killed or captured has become so droll to Americans that it goes virtually unnoticed.

America is not at war. America is at the beach. At the lake. At the mall. At the football game. God forbid that we falter and fail to fully prosecute this war. In Vietnam, when we left the enemy stayed put. If we leave Iraq before our job is done, we can be certain that the Islamic radicals--who had been attacking us relentlessly since the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993--will not stay in the Middle East. They will follow us. A lot of them are already here, legally. A lot more will come. And then, America will wake up and realize that we have been at war for a long time.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Voice of America: Sunni bloc rejoins Parliament

A promising development in Iraq's political reconciliation process.

The last political party boycotting Iraq's legislature has returned to the parliament. The move could help ease the political paralysis that has kept lawmakers from passing legislation crucial for national reconciliation in the troubled country. VOA's Jim Randle reports from northern Iraq.

A small Sunni Arab secular bloc returned to parliament, saying its political demands had been met. The 11 members of the National Dialogue Front also rejoined the 275-seat legislature so it can play a role in the debate over a key law regulating Iraq's oil industry.

The Front was the last of several boycotting groups to return to parliament, although the cabinet of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is still missing many of its members due to walkouts and resignations.

To advance national reconciliation, Washington has been pressuring legislators to pass major laws aimed at drawing minority Sunni Arabs more firmly into the political process.

Parliament reconvened last Tuesday and is set to consider two key laws. One eases restrictions that kept former members of Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party out of public office. That affects mostly Sunnis, and might ease some tensions between them and Shi'ites and Kurds, who make up most of the rest of the population.

Another piece of legislation outlines how revenue from the oil industry will be shared.

Blackfive: Pull yourself together, Allahpundit!

Blackfive takes Allahpundit to task for letting the NYT do what the NYT is good at:  Asking loaded questions to get expected answers.

Quite obviously we are at a pivotal moment in Iraq; security operations have done what they are supposed to, reduce the violence to a level that politicians could swing some deals but that has yet to materialize. I realize that it would have been ideal if the Iraqi Parliament had stayed in session and passed an Oil law and reconciliation procedures, but like every other legislature including ours, they took the hottest month of the year off and went home. I don't recall any expectations being laid out that political progress would track right alongside security, as a matter of fact common sense ought to have pointed toward that as a follow on to less killing. It is tough to think about peace in the midst of battle. Well things have cooled down and we have made amazing progress in Anbar, which even 6 months ago was de facto ruled by AQI, and Baghdad is hardly pacified but it is much safer.

In the face of this we have plenty of skeptics and pessimists and there is plenty to be skeptical and pessimistic about. Before I knee him in the neck let me say I love 99% of Allah's work at Hot Air, but sometimes he gets out of his depth. Today Allahpundit at Hot Air continues his trend of skeptical pessimism and you can almost hear the "We're doomed Christopher Robin", as he hugs the skirts of the NYT's Damien Cave. In a piece he titles NYT survey: Surge has largely failed, Allah joins Cave in concluding the surge has likely failed because there is no instant political reconciliation.

Amen, brother.

The NYT metaphorically seeks that which it knows cannot be--symmetrical improvements in political and sectarian reconciliation that match the improvements in security. There are only two camps to be in, at this point. Either security has improved because of the surge in troops and clear-hold-build operations, or it hasn't. We know what camp the left wing media is in. It's worth noting that the NYT has something of a professional image at stake here, having gone "Reid" and declared the surge a failure months ago.

Suck it up, Allah. Get yourself together and stop letting the NYT do that Jedi mind thing to you.