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November 23, 2005

More Good News On/From Iraq

Okay, yeah, I'm basically just running down the articles at Lucianne.com right now, but I can't help it. There's a lot of good stuff there today.

Iraqi Army Stepping Up

There seems to be a great deal of ignorance about the details of Iraqi force development and the level of progress that is -- and is not -- being attained. The risk is that rather than understanding that Iraqi forces may be able to achieve enough critical mass to allow major Coalition force reductions in 2006, the present lack of understanding will end in "snatching defeat from the jaws of uncertainty."

Heh.

...

Key developments include:

-- A continued increase in the number of Iraqi units able to take the lead in combat operations against the insurgency. There are now 88 Iraqi army and special operations battalions conducting combat operations against the enemy -- an increase of nine since the July report. Of the 88 operational units, 36 are assessed as being "in the lead" or fully independent....

-- Progress of Iraqi units in assuming responsibility for the battle space... Iraqi forces have taken responsibility for security in several areas of Iraq and now have the lead in one Iraqi province, roughly 87 square miles of Baghdad and over 450 square miles in other provinces.

-- A continued increase in the number of units and individuals trained, equipped, and formed into operational status. More than 87,000 soldiers, sailors, and airmen have now been trained and equipped.... A total of 68,800 police have been trained and equipped....

Incidentally, did anybody notice the new Lefty Meme? Fred Kaplan (useless-- completely useless) fleshed it out in the amateur webzine Slate. Basically, the idea is that Republicans want to cut and run, too; the Democrats are just honest about it, and have a plan.

The idea, I think, is that when Bush begins announcing troop withdrawals -- which he of course planned to do from the start, after achieving victory -- they'll say, "See, withdrawing the troops was our idea. We have 'good idears' when it comes to national security."

Uhhh, right. Eventually leaving a battlefield is "your idea." Seriously. You were the first to think of exiting a war once it's over. You're so scary-smart it makes me wonder if you have psychical powers and other things of that nature.

Iraqis and Soldiers Don't View War As a Lost Cause

Max Boot Up Their Ass:

WHEN IT COMES to the future of Iraq, there is a deep disconnect between those who have firsthand knowledge of the situation β€” Iraqis and U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq β€” and those whose impressions are shaped by doomsday press coverage and the imperatives of domestic politics.

...

Yet in a survey last month from the U.S.-based International Republican Institute, 47% of Iraqis polled said their country was headed in the right direction, as opposed to 37% who said they thought that it was going in the wrong direction. And 56% thought things would be better in six months. Only 16% thought they would be worse.

American soldiers are also much more optimistic than American civilians. The Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations just released a survey of American elites that found that 64% of military officers are confident that we will succeed in establishing a stable democracy in Iraq. The comparable figures for journalists and academics are 33% and 27%, respectively. Even

Lieberman Vows: We Will Not Quit Until Victory Is Secured

A little afternoon Joementum:

U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman told Iraq's prime minister Wednesday that U.S. forces will remain in Iraq until their mission is complete, despite growing unease in Congress about the progress of the conflict here.

"We cannot let extremists and terrorists, a small number, here in Iraq deprive the 27 million Iraqis of what they want which is a better freer life, safer life for themselves and their children" Lieberman said after his meeting with Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

The Connecticut Democrat, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the cost of success in Iraq would be high "but the cost for America of failure in Iraq would be catastrophic -- for America, for the Iraqi people and I believe for the world."

Good to know that there are still one or two Democrats who get it.



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