First, let’s get the depressing bullcrap out of the way. Here is what the Democrat Party thinks of the progress and success accomplished by our men and women of the United States military in Iraq:
[ … ] The president said that last year, particularly at the end, “has become incredibly successful beyond anybody’s expectations.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., took issue. “It is a failure of leadership when our president calls 2007 incredibly successful beyond anybody’s expectations when the Iraqi government has done so little to achieve stability and it has been the most lethal year yet for American troops,” they said in a statement.
But, do not forget, they ‘support the troops’ and we should never, ever question their patriotism.
Of course let us not forget what the Democrats were saying about the plan for Iraq last year:
“It’s interesting. We have had, this week, the colonel in charge of Anbar Province say that it’s a civil war; it’s been lost.”
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
September 13, 2006
“I oppose an escalation of U.S. troops, which I do not believe will contribute to long-term success in Iraq.”
Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
January 18, 2007
The article referenced below outlines exactly what I’ve been saying over the past two years — “We haven’t been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically — and that’s where wars are won and lost.”
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Quoting a Washington Post Article
September 11, 2006
“The violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al-Qaida said to these tribes, ‘We have to fight al-Qaida ourselves.’ It wasn’t that the surge brought peace here.”
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
September 4, 2007
But, again, don’t you dare question their patriotism or their faith in and support of the United States military.
But anyway, now on to some analysis from people who do not have their heads shoved firmly and snugly up their effing asses…
Gateway Pundit: SURGE SUCCESS!!… Anbar Province Will Be Handed Over In March
Gateway Pundit: Iraqi Newspapers Go On Attack Against Al-Qaeda
Gateway Pundit: 64,000 Iraqis Return Home From Syria
Jules Crittenden: Fixing Potholes
Michael Yon: Moment of Truth in Iraq
[ … ] There’s only a small group of writers who honestly spend enough time in Iraq to make serious claims based on firsthand accounts. But I’ve seen the Iraqi Army with my own eyes. I’ve done many missions in 2005 and 2007, in many places in Iraq, along with the Iraqi Army: please believe me when I say that, on the whole, the Iraqi Army is remarkably better in 2007 and far more effective than it was in 2005. By 2007, the Iraqis were doing most of the fighting. And . . . this is very important . . . they see our Army and Marines as serious allies, and in many cases as friends. Please let the potential implications of that sink in.
We now have a large number of American and British officers who can pick up a phone from Washington or London and call an Iraqi officer that he knows well — an Iraqi he has fought along side of — and talk. Same with untold numbers of Sheiks and government officials, most of whom do not deserve the caricatural disdain they get most often from pundits who have never set foot in Iraq. British and American forces have a personal relationship with Iraqi leaders of many stripes. The long-term intangible implications of the betrayal of that trust through the precipitous withdrawal of our troops could be enormous, because they would be the certain first casualties of renewed violence, and selling out the Iraqis who are making an honest-go would make the Bay of Pigs sell-out seem inconsequential. The United States and Great Britain would hang their heads in shame for a century.
[ … ]
Throughout most of 2007, as I’ve watched General Petraeus’ strategy being implemented, I have observed the impact his change in strategy was having on our soldiers, on Iraqi security forces, and most importantly, on Iraqi people including some who were formerly our avowed enemies. I have seen how our own military morphed into something much more agile, and I came to see how American commanders tended to be the most trusted voices in Iraq for many Iraqis.
To be sure, the “Anbar Awakening” and other signs of progress were underway before the massive strategy overhaul occurred, and nobody can track and trace all the factors involved in this fantastically complex war, but one thing was certain: the momentum was shifting in favor of a stable Iraq for the first time. The institutional knowledge reservoir was becoming vast, and success was touted and shared. It may have been true that Americans knew very little about Iraq before the invasion, but it was for certain that American commanders had now developed an intimate understanding of the goings-on. It can be said with confidence that as a group, no non-Iraqis know more about Iraq than the US military.
Michael Totten: The Rings on Zarqawi’s Finger
For all the hatred in the Middle East, there is also forgiveness, and moderation. Where are the moderate Muslims? ask many Americans. I find the question bizarre. I meet them every day in Iraq, and everywhere else in the Middle East, too. The problem is they have a hard time getting attention in newspapers and magazines that wallow in sensationalism.
“What happened before, happened,” said Omar, returning to the discussion of the American invasion with the Iraqi Police. “One mistake was committed, but it’s gone. Let’s just close it and not keep analyzing the same problem again. According to our analysis, American troops are now here to help Iraq.”
Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Risha made similar points, a bit more eloquently, to Johns Hopkins University Professor Fouad Ajami: “Our American friends had not understood us when they came. They were proud, stubborn people and so were we. They worked with the opportunists, now they have turned to the tribes, and this is as it should be. The tribes hate religious parties and religious fakers.”
“We have promised to work with the Americans against Al Qaeda,” Ahmed continued. “And that’s it. That is all we are allowed to say about politics. But I can say that I feel the sincerity in the American support for the Iraqi civilians here. I am not going to say any bad words about Americans. I can feel that they really are eager to accomplish that mission.”
Bill Roggio: Operation Phantom Phoenix Targets al Qaeda Havens
Despite the recent success in reducing the violence in Iraq, the fight against al Qaeda in Iraq and the Shia extremist terror groups is not over. Coalition and Iraqi forces have launched Operation Phantom Phoenix, a new operation targeting the terror groups throughout Iraq.
The scope of Phantom Phoenix is nationwide. The operation is “a series of joint Iraqi and Coalition division- and brigade-level operations to pursue and neutralize remaining al-Qaeda in Iraq and other extremist elements,” Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, the commander of Multinational Corps Iraq stated. “Phantom Phoenix will synchronize lethal and non-lethal effects to exploit recent security gains and disrupt terrorist support zones and enemy command and control.”
The specific geographical locations targeted during Phantom Phoenix were not identified. Iraqi and Coalition forces will “pursue al-Qaeda and other extremists wherever they attempt to take sanctuary,” Odierno said.
Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive: Blackfive TV- Surge Anniversary & Big Bombing Day
John McCain and Joe Lieberman: The Surge Worked
Rudy Giuliani: War on Terror Conversations: Rudolph Giuliani [Video]
Deebow at Blackfive: Why am I only hearing about this now?
Subsunk at Blackfive: The Finest Ambassadors
[ … ] But it is a lesson which we need not have learned over and over again over the course of the last 7 years in our endeavors to change the radical Islamic approach to coexistence (“Good Muslims rule and Infidels and Apostates die” might be the simplest way to put that).
The Finest Ambassador from America will always be a United States Soldier with a rifle in one hand and candy in the other. No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy is a philosophy which is known and understood throughout the World. Even by Islamofascists.
“While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam’s oppression.” Got that?
Although imperfectly executed sometimes over the intervening years (as Mike Yon points out), you can plainly see that the underlying strategy involved in winning over our enemies has not changed one iota since the war began. Give a decent American soldier a chance to set the example, and the whole world will eventually beat its way towards your line of thought.
Any more talk of Defeat and Retreat merely means the Dhimmicrats and cowardly Rethuglicans of the same stripe don’t care if they undo everything the American Fighting Man has done over the last 6 years. More blood doesn’t mean a thing to them as long as they get reelected. Men will insist the War be Won and brought to an end the only way it can end. With a Victory.
Matt Burden at Blackfive: Operations Continue…
Fred Barnes in The Weekly Standard: They Can’t Handle the Truth – The Democrats and the Surge
And finally, hear from the Man of the Year himself, GEN David Petraeus [via Steve Schippert at NRO THE TANK]: One Man Caucus: 7 Questions for Gen. Petraeus
In what is an excellent interview published at Foreign Policy, Italy’s RAI asked David Petraeus seven questions. His answers are very informative and easy for average Americans to wrap their heads around, sans often wonkish and technical counterinsurgency lingo that so often loses many right out of the gate in such discussions.
General Petraeus even somewhat dispels the title of the interview, “Seven Questions: Gen. David Petraeus on Winding down the Surge.” He notes that it is proper to be more precise and note that it is a draw down of American forces in ‘The Surge,” but that with increasing Iraqi roles, “The Surge” will continue.
Once again, I encourage you to get all your military news and analysis of military matters from MILBLOGS. Journalists, politicians, political pundits and bloggers really do not know what they are talking about when it comes to military matters. They all speak about military matters through a political or ideological anti- or pro-military bias. If you want the best objective analysis, go visit the MILBLOGS.
The words of LTC Jim Crider, the commander of the 1-4 CAV soldiers based at FOB Falcon whose progress reports have recently been published on Michael Yon Online, in a letter to Michael Yon: A Thank You Letter
Some time ago, I ran into an old high school friend who asked me if I was still in the Army. After I said yes, he slowly shook his head and asked me how much longer I had to go before I could get out. I am sure that in his mind it is like I am serving a prison sentence counting the days before my release. The truth is that I do not want sympathy. I not only enjoy Army life, I count it a privilege to serve. I frequently receive heart-felt thanks from people I do not even know for serving in the Armed Forces and I appreciate it. Cards, letters, emails and even a standing ovation as I traversed through the Dallas airport going home on leave from Iraq recently. However, I have been feeling lately like I should thank the American people for the honor of fighting for and representing the United States of America.
[ … ]
The experience of war changes people. For some it is a negative change but most manage to absorb the experience and use it to make themselves stronger. I have said goodbye to a mortally wounded soldier in the hospital, spoken to grieving family members of our casualties, and tried to comfort soldiers who just lost their best friend in a single violent moment. I have been under fire, looked insurgents in the eye, and seen corruption up close. I have also seen people emerge from oppression and live with hope for the first time in years. I have seen children reach up and grasp the hands of American soldiers just because they trust them. I have felt the desire to help and then been given the resources to do it. Finally, I have felt the close knit camaraderie that develops when you serve with a group of people fighting for a cause larger than self. Yes, this experience has changed me. I am stronger, more driven, and humbled all at the same time.
Thank you, America.
Please read it all and pass it on to others.