Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More Good News, More Bad News

First, the good news: even the most rabidly anti-American foreign press is having to admit that the "Surge" is working:

Since June, Ramadi residents have only known the war from televison. Indeed, US military officials at the Baghdad headquarters of Operation Iraqi Freedom often have trouble believing their eyes when they read the reports coming in from their units in Ramadi these days. Exploded car bombs: zero. Detonated roadside bombs: zero. Rocket fire: zero. Grenade fire: zero. Shots from rifles and pistols: zero. Weapons caches discovered: dozens. Terrorists arrested: many.

Ramadi is an irritating contradiction of almost everything the world thinks it knows about Iraq - it is proof that the US military is more successful than the world wants to believe. Ramadi demonstrates that large parts of Iraq - not just Anbar Province, but also many other rural areas along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers - are essentially pacified today. This is news the world doesn't hear: Ramadi, long a hotbed of unrest, a city that once formed the southwestern tip of the notorious "Sunni Triangle," is now telling a different story, a story of Americans who came here as liberators, became hated occupiers and are now the protectors of Iraqi reconstruction.

Why "the world" wants to believe that Iran is going to conquer the entire region and plunge it into primitivism and atomic war instead of that the U.S. can stabilize Iraq and block the mullahs' imperialistic/apocalyptic ambitions is a question for another day, and won't be soluable even then. What matters here is that the EUnuchs are having their "New York Times moment," and the magnitude of kicking & screaming accompanying it from their fellow travelers is a tell-tale sign of just how successful the efforts of General Petraeus and the Coalition have become.

My goodness, Der Spiegel even fingers the ultimate enemies responsible for prolonging the conflict in Iraq - and they aren't pointing at us:

Fichtner also reports that the "greatest enemies of success in Iraq" come from Iran and Syria. Iran supplies the terrorists with money and arms, and Syria allows them to infiltrate through their shared border with Iraq. How does the military know about Iranian involvement? It's not exactly a case for Sherlock Holmes. Some of the mines and grenades found in Iraq by Americans in arms caches still have the original packaging from their manufacturers in Iran.

Oh, the pain it must have caused Herr Fichtner to type those words. Pointing out Iranian/Syrian complicity explicitly implies that it is imperative that we do something about it - and them.

As Michael Ledeen laments anew this morning, that's a message that the Bushies simply do not want to hear:

President Bush is annoyed that Afghan President Karzai and Iraqi Pr[ime Minister] Maliki are both speaking about Iran in words reserved for an ally, rather than the main engine driving the terror wars in their countries. But if you look at the world through their eyes, it is easy enough to understand. They fear that the Americans will soon leave, and the Iranians will still be there. They know that Iran is a mortal threat, and they are now making a down payment on the insurance costs that are sure to come if the Democrats in Washington have their way. For extras, Maliki has certainly noticed that the United States is paying off the Middle Eastern Sunnis, hoping that the Saudis, Jordanians, and Gulf States will manage to contain Iran in the future. This cannot be good news in Baghdad, where the Shiites are struggling to put together a government capable of managing the country’s myriad crises....

IOW, Iraqi and Afghan leaders see the Democrats pining to abandon them to the mullahs altogether and the Republicans reverting to the "realist" school of regional foreign policy that will multiply the neighborhood enemies they have to face AND make them stronger. Yet, ironically, it is the American boots on the ground in both countries who are battling the bad guys and protecting the populace who are our collective face to them, and are winning the "hearts & minds" battle with equal gusto - and will be made into the biggest liars when the Donks and RINOs pull the plug.

Perhaps that's why the military is doing all it can to make sure that the Beltway solons are utterly without excuse when they do finally legislate defeat:

Some might suspect that our military leaders are presenting the case against Iran because they want to expand the war, and march on Tehran, but nothing of the sort is taking place. They are simply performing the task that theoretically lies with the so-called intelligence community. Our leaders have to be told the truth, even if it makes them scream. I have no doubt that Secretary of State Rice does not want to hear these things, because they give the lie to her claim that we are making progress in our talks with the Iranians. In fact, Iran has stepped up its terrorist activity in Iraq since we started talking to them. The actual words of Ambassador Crocker — who says he’s been very tough, and I’m inclined to believe him — don’t really matter to the mullahs; they say lots of things, too, and don’t expect them to be taken at face value. It’s the fact that (as they see it) we were compelled to come to them that matters.

Which makes the following almost irrelevant:

In reality — for what little it matters nowadays, either here or in the Middle East — we are winning the battle of Iraq. The percentage increase in Iranian activity, combined with a drop in the number of attacks, is another way of saying that al Qaeda is being destroyed for a second time, and the Iranians are scrambling to fill the void. But they are on the run, just as is al Qaeda, as you can tell by the back-and-forth shuttling of their factotum Moqtadah al Sadr, between Iran and Iraq. If their scheme was working in Iraq, he’d sit still. He’s scrambling because they’re in trouble.

In Iraq, anyway. Even that won't matter as long as the mullahgarchy is left in power to build its nuclear arsenal. After that job is accomplished, even al Qaeda will be expendable to them, and Maliki and Karzai will come even more obsequiously to heel.

But in Ledeen's context, however bad the tactical situation gets in Iraq, the mullahs know they have the strategic upperhand - because their allies in Washington, D.C. (on both sides of the aisle) have already given it to them.

Maybe that can be Herr Fichtner's next expose.