Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Victory The Media Cannot Have

What's this? U.S. casualty rates in Iraq have dropped to their lowest level in a year and a half?
The number of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq is headed for the lowest level in more than a year and a half and the fifth consecutive monthly decline.

Twenty-seven Americans have been killed in action in October, with one day left in the month, Pentagon records show. That would be the lowest monthly level since March 2006, when twenty-seven servicemembers died in hostile action, according to a USA Today analysis of Pentagon reports.

The total number of U.S. deaths, including accidents, in October so far is thirty-five, records show.

A new strategy, backed up by 30,000 more U.S. servicemembers, has led to a decline in violence and weakened al-Qaeda, commanders say. The U.S. military started building combat outposts and moving troops outside major bases earlier this year in an attempt to provide more security. ....

All measurable violence in the Baghdad area, including attacks on civilians and sectarian murders, have declined steadily since June, he said. The overall number of monthly attacks in the Baghdad area was 2,455 in January. In October, there were 598 attacks.

"What's done that is the people," Campbell said. The military's counterinsurgency doctrine says rebellions are defeated when the population turns away from insurgents.
Dontcha love that suffix "commanders say" to the statement of fact that the Surge has and continues to work spectacularly well. It's got to be inflicting physical pain on Enemy Media mavens to have to write those words, no matter how qualified and buried.

Ditto that violence in Baghdad proper is down by 80%. Perhaps that explains another story that must have been pried into the Los Angeles Times with a vat full of Crisco and a jack-hammer:
Iraq's civilian body count in October was less than half that at its height in January, reflecting both the tactical successes of this year's U.S. troop buildup and the lasting impact of waves of sectarian death squad killings, car bombings and neighborhood purges. ...

American commanders credit the buildup, which reached full strength in June, with slowing sectarian bloodshed.

They say the decision to send 28,500 more troops to Iraq has made a difference by allowing them to send soldiers to live on the fault lines between Sunni Arab and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad, and to conduct sweeping offensives in provinces east and south of the capital against strongholds of Shiite Muslim militias and Sunni militants linked to foreign insurgents.
"....damn it." The suffixial curse wasn't written, but you can just hear Ned Parker, the LAT staff writer, saying it, over and over and over again as he wrote this piece.

Yeah, the Admiral's "We haven't won yet" cautionings are doubtless prudent, given who the next POTUS is going to be, but I figure if a genuine journalist who's made it his professional duty to report the truth from the ground in (and all around) Iraq is now reporting that even indigenous Iraqi tribal leaders are declaring al Qaeda to be "defeated," and doesn't try to pooh-pooh the notion with any such Morrissseyan caveats, victory in Iraq may not be entirely in hand yet, but may well be secured before Hillary can get into office and piss it all away.

With the recent handover of Karbala province to sole Iraqi control - the eighth province out of eighteen to be so released - only a Democrat or a terrorist cannot like the direction in which things are going in the land of two rivers.

Of course, that'll all be ruined when the Iranians clinch their nukes and begin their overt regional offensive, but that's another topic.