Good News From Iraq?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Iraq, War

NY Times has an editorial today that offers renewed hope for finding solutions to fix the situation over there…

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.

In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks — all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups — who were now competing to secure his friendship.

This is good news, but it’s not the whole story. The newly formed Iraqi government has to do there part, and…well…that’s not going so good…

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s largest Sunni Arab bloc said Monday that the prime minister’s response to its threat to quit the government if certain programs weren’t adopted has closed the door to reforms.

The Iraq Accordance Front, which has six cabinet members and 44 of Parliament’s 275 seats, said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki doesn’t seem to have any intention of dealing constructively with their demands. “He is simply slamming shut the door for reform, and in the light of that the front will be justified if it goes ahead with its plan to quit the government,” said a statement from the lawmakers.

And to that point, the NY Times editorial addresses this…

In the end, the situation in Iraq remains grave. In particular, we still face huge hurdles on the political front. Iraqi politicians of all stripes continue to dawdle and maneuver for position against one another when major steps towards reconciliation — or at least accommodation — are needed. This cannot continue indefinitely. Otherwise, once we begin to downsize, important communities may not feel committed to the status quo, and Iraqi security forces may splinter along ethnic and religious lines.

How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

Until 2008? I’m hesitant because that’ll then turn into 2009 and then 2010 and then…

But if the government doesn’t have their game plan together by early 2008, then adios.


This entry was posted on Monday, July 30th, 2007 and is filed under Iraq, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Good News From Iraq?”

  1. klasher5 Says:

    “Today, morale is high.”

    That’s funny, just a couple of weeks ago that same writer was advising everybody to get ready for a partition of Iraq into three autonomous regions to avoid a full-scale civil war. Guess he got a call from Bush to change his story.

    The pro-war side has lied from the start. Why should we think they will stop now?

    k5

  2. Jeremy Says:

    “Until 2008? I’m hesitant because that’ll then turn into 2009 and then 2010 and then…

    But if the government doesn’t have their game plan together by early 2008, then adios.”

    They were saying all these same things during the Vietnam war. Just a little bit longer, we are taking it to the enemy, they are being disrupted, they are lacking the funds, they are lacking will, they are on the brink. Just a little bit longer, just a little bit longer, just a little bit more money, just a few more American troops, just a little more time. Again, and again and again.

    Spiro Agnew was accusing the American media of being “Enemy Lovers” and reporting only the “bad news” and thus giving aid to our enemies. He of course was a political ninny, the sort we see today like Donald Rumsfeld.

    They said exactly the same thing about that Vietnam War that they are now saying about Iraq. If we leave there will be total chaos, the enemy will take over that area of the world and we will just have to go back and fight them again, but it will be worse the next time. So, of course, here we go again. How many billions of dollars, millions of lives and decades of lies must we go through?

    It would have been nice if people would have stood up and asked: Why? Why should we invade Iraq? especially when many Americans questioned the validity of the so-called Colin Powell “evidence.” When most of the world said no. When the U.N. said no. The fact is that ALL America is responsible for this war. It’s our tax dollars that are going to fund the most un-American war since Vietnam. I’m finished with the bullshit. Lie to me once, lie to me twice, lie to me never gain.

  3. Jimmy the Dhimmi Says:

    Check out this rediculous statement by House Majority Whip James Clyburn. From the WAPO:

    Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn (D – S.C.) said that would be “a real big problem for us.”

    Did you get that? Less bloodshed in Iraq is a problem for the democrats. I wonder if we can expect an earmark in the upcoming defense spending bill that would allocate funds to Al-Qaeda in Iraq so as to keep the fighting going until the democrats can secure the next election.

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