Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Super Change

Operation Iraqi Freedom - biggest FUBAR in American History. A horrible blunder. Great Satan lost her way amoung the 'community of nations' blah blah blah.

Thankfully, cooler heads (in more way than one!) are clawing those failed faux school inaccurracies out of the sky faster than RAF did with Luftwaffe over the fields of Kent way back in 1940.

Foreign Affairs rounded up three super smart brainiancs including Ken Pollack (Oh! He got game!), Stevie Biddle (future military fan) and Mike O'Hanlon (who sports a bit of game himself).

Pollock and O'Hanlon shocked the world a year go when they declared that
Surge totally rocks.

A year later they pretty much point out that worrying about eternal quagmires in Iraq, troop drawdowns or inappropriate handwringing is really quite retarded. And sooo last year.

"The three main culprits in the ethno-sectarian violence of 2006 have stood down and agreed to cease-fires or been crippled by military defeat. Sunni insurgents overwhelmingly switched sides over the course of 2007, signing on to cease-fires with the Iraqi state mostly through the Sons of Iraq program, which now includes over 100,000 participants, who provide local security in exchange for legitimacy and financial support.

The Shiite militias, especially Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army (also know as Jaish al-Mahdi, or JAM), have seen their position undermined by a combination of Sunni realignment, U.S. and Iraqi military pressure, the increasing independence of splinter and rogue groups, and a backlash against their own parasitic exploitation of the civilians they were ostensibly defending.
And the most violent actors -- Iraq's extreme chauvinist Sunni groups and AQI -- have been driven from most of western and central Iraq and are losing their remaining urban havens in the provinces of Diyala, Nineveh, and Salah ad Din thanks to a series of offensives by U.S. and Iraqi forces. "

Was Operation Iraqi Freedom worth the time, treasure and precious blood shed by America's voltigeurs?

Iraq was brilliant. Knocking out the largest Arab amy in history in 20 days - no less. On a WMD guess provided cold rolled steel bona fides that Great Satan is crazy and unpredictable after 911 and sent a very cool message to intolerant, militias, illegitimate, murderous, courpt regimes that she is down right scary and lethal.

Brett Stephens at
WSJ points out

"Here's a partial list: Saddam is dead. Had he remained in power, we would likely still believe he had WMD. He would have been sitting on an oil bonanza priced at $140 a barrel. He would almost certainly have broken free from an already crumbling sanctions regime.

The U.S. would be faced with not one, but two, major adversaries in the
Persian Gulf. Iraqis would be living under a regime that, in an average year, was at least as murderous as the sectarian violence that followed its collapse.
And the U.S. would have seemed powerless to shape events.

Instead, we now have a government that does not threaten its neighbors, does not sponsor terrorism, and is unlikely to again seek WMD. We have a democratic government, a first for the Arab world, and one that is increasingly capable of defending its people and asserting its interests

We have a defeat for al Qaeda. Critics carp that had there been no
invasion, there never would have been al Qaeda in Iraq. Maybe. As it is,
thousands of jihadists are dead, al Qaeda has been defeated on its self-declared "central battlefield," and the movement is largely discredited on the Arab street and even within Mohammedist circles.

We also have -- if still only prospectively -- an Arab bulwark against
Iran's encroachments in the region. But that depends on whether we simply withdraw from Iraq, or join it in a lasting security partnership.

None of these are achievements to sneer at, all the more so because they
were won through so much sacrifice."

All true. Plus, Iraq and Operation Iraqi Freedom demonstrated that Great Satan will go anywhere and do anything to protect and/or project democracy.

America's staying power and fire power also sent a wonderful message to friends, frienemies and enemies alike that Great Satan has got the will power too - Surging extra Regime Changers into Iraq while popularity polls reflected Americans were tired of Iraq and all things ME

Biddle O'Hanlon and Pollack conclude that

If the United States can maintain a substantial force in Iraq through the
critical period of the next two to three years, there is now a credible basis
for believing that major drawdowns after that can be enabled by success rather
than mandated by failure.

Which ties into their intro

The Iraq war has become one of the most polarizing issues in American politics.
Most Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), want large, early troop
cuts; most Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), want U.S.
troops to stay until Iraq's stability is guaranteed.

Years of bad news from the front have hardened these divisions along
partisan lines and embittered many on both sides.

Today, however, there is reason to believe that the debate over Iraq can

True. Super Change.


Findalis said...

The left wants Iraq to be another Vietnam. The trouble is that unlike Vietnam, the military is starting to put a lid on the MSM and a bit of censorship too. Just like they did in The Big One.

The Surge works! And the left is getting all hot a bothered about it. Too bad for them.

Ben Sutherland said...

I think you may have finally convinced me that Republicans need a loss this November, Courtney. Conceit is not leadership. Nor is it real thinking. If conservatives continue to ignore their critics, they deserve to lose.

I got to say, Courtney, you do have a knack for pushing my vote more to left. Powerful, indeed.

Nikki said...

Great piece Courtney and I had not thought of or heard of the point of oil prices giving Saddam more power and ability to obtain weapons. Such and excellent point! You are the foreign policy guru! :)N

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Oh Ben. Please. Confusing audacity with conceit or rebranding honestly hoping the best for your own nation (fully crunk with factoids) as conceit seems awful suspect.

Moi? Influ your vote? Come on - you teach at a college right? Surely you of all ppl (surrounded by smart ppl in a climate controlled environment no less) know that Super Change RE: Iraq is upon us.

When all life's disagreements are handled in committee, or friendly give and take - or ultimately with a pink slip - perhaps there is an unfamiliarity with standing up to bullies at a ball game, or staring down thugs at the mall or sticking to your convictions - hard tested and hard won.

And how, pray tell, could you percieve that America needs to be humiliated or humbled?

Skunkfeathers said...

The Left can't admit to having been wrong, EVER; their freak show fringe groups will not have it.

If there's such a thing as a reasonable Democrat any more (which I've doubted since Zell Miller wrote his book), they're not a viable voice in the Clinton-underminded, Obamasized party that's bringing it's lies and refuse to Denver later this month.

Good thing I'm upwind of the Convention Center ;)

Ben Sutherland said...

Unfortunately Skunkfeathers, it's not just the left. It's everyone.

Lord Acton was right.

Courtney, if you don't know, at this point, what America has to be humble about, you have a lot of reading to do. I don't think you're that naive, Courtney. I just think you're ignoring what you don't want to hear. That is what arrogance looks like, Courtney. And that is what needs humbling.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Specifically what Ben? No diss yet the quiz is - Got a list?

Consider this an op to flop out a few humbling caveats and counters.

Ben Sutherland said...

No, you've seen the arguments, Courtney. You're just too arrogant to consider them. And it gets boring reading someone who only listens to herself.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Oh Ben, please. I freely admit being audacious about Great Satan, her history, her accomplishments and her undeniable aappeal of fun and free choice.

Specifically about the super change in Iraq though - your last commentary could be interpreted as more befitting your own views Ben. Not mine.

So - again, feel free to list out some stuff and I'll certainly research, consider and counter.

No diss meant - and I appreciate your time and effort - though I would likewise appreciate some specifics.