If You See A Flying Pig Today, It’s Because The AP Says The Surge Is Working

After the grim “abandon all hope ye who enter here” meme we’ve been getting from the MSM and Democrats on Iraq, this article from the Associated Press’s Robert Burns was almost shocking to read.

I say that not because it’s all good news — it certainly isn’t — but because Burns is clearly and unambigiously putting out a report that conflicts with the unspoken “script” that the Left has been reading off of for the last couple of years that goes, “The war is lost. How fast can we pull out?”

Apparently after Michael E. O’Hanlon And Kenneth M. Pollack admitted that we might just win, in the New York Times no less, it’s becoming more acceptable to report positive news from Iraq.

Here are some excerpts from Burns’ piece,

“The new U.S. military strategy in Iraq, unveiled six months ago to little acclaim, is working.

In two weeks of observing the U.S. military on the ground and interviewing commanders, strategists and intelligence officers, it’s apparent that the war has entered a new phase in its fifth year.

…Despite political setbacks, American commanders are clinging to a hope that stability might be built from the bottom up with local groups joining or aiding U.S. efforts to root out extremists rather than from the top down, where national leaders have failed to act.

…U.S. military leaders want Congress and President Bush to give them more time to keep trying to reach a point, perhaps in 2009, when the Iraqis will be closer to reconciliation and ready to provide much of their own security.

…Even so, U.S. officers seem convinced that it is too soon to stop, that by tamping down the sectarian violence, at least in Baghdad, they are giving the Iraqis a chance to come together. They insist it is unrealistic to expect the Iraqis to resolve their problems in a matter of months. And they argue that withdrawing would only lead to bigger problems, for the U.S. and for Iraq.

That is likely to be the message that Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. officials in Iraq, convey to Congress and to Bush in September. They are in no position to predict how long it might take the Iraqi government to achieve reconciliation, but they are likely to concede, if asked, that if the Iraqis do not take key steps in the months ahead the entire U.S. approach may unravel.

….Which gets to two matters that underlie much of the conviction in Congress that it is time to get out of Iraq.

First: Do the potential benefits of sticking with the war strategy outweigh the cost, in American blood and treasure? Total U.S. war deaths now exceed 3,665 and are climbing by more than two per day, on average.

And second: Would Iraqi political leaders be more likely to settle their sectarian differences if they knew that America’s patience was ending and that its troops were leaving at least the combat forces?

There is clearly a consensus among senior U.S. commanders in Iraq that the answer to the first question is yes. They feel that so much has been sacrificed already that it makes no sense to quit now. Lt. Gen. James Dubik, in charge of training and equipping Iraqi forces, said the counterinsurgency strategy, not fully implemented until June, has finally wrested the initiative from the insurgents.

“It was fought over and died for, and there’s no reason to give it back right now,” Dubik told AP.

On compelling Iraq’s political leaders to move toward reconciliation, few American officers appear to believe that an early pullout would do the trick. They think it would propel the country further into chaos.

Crocker is explicit on that point.

“A massive human catastrophe (could follow), with the bloodshed among the Iraqi civilians on a scale we have not seen and may find hard to imagine,” he told AP.”

Do you see how extraordinary this is? Not only is Burns unambiguously saying that the surge is working, he is just as clearly saying that the military opposes cutting and running.

Reports like these put the Democrats between a rock and a hard place. Their base is demanding that we surrender to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, immediately if possible, but the surge is working and senior U.S. commanders in Iraq believe that the “potential benefits of sticking with the war strategy outweigh the cost.”

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