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September 09, 2008

Joe Biden on the Anbar Awakening: You're Welcome

Joe Biden, architect of the Anbar Awakening. Big Sheik on Campus. Who knew?

And who knows whatever accolades and achievements Joe Biden will suddenly remember are due to him by the time of the election?

I have to admit: He is ambitious in his lies. He began claiming to be a the poor scion of a coal-mining family; now he's the Hero of America and Lion of the Iraqi Desert.

SEN. BIDEN: No. The surge helped make that–what made is possible in Anbar province is they did what I’d suggested two and a half years ago: gave local control. They turned over and they said to the Sunnis in Anbar province, “We promise you, don’t worry, you’re not going to have any Shia in here. There’s going to be no national forces in here. We’re going to train your forces to help you fight al-Qaeda.” And that you–what you had was the awakening. The awakening was not an awakening by us, it was an awakening of the Sunnis in Anbar province willing to fight.

Incidentally, that's not even what happened. We didn't "give" the Sunnis control. They already had it, more or less; that's why Anbar was so dangerous for our troops. They would get wiped out if they confronted our troops heads-up, which is why they didn't do that.

While our troops had temporary limited control wherever they ran the flag, Sunni tribesmen had all other control the moment we moved on.

What happened is that the Sunnis turned against Al Qaeda and then entered into negotiations with US forces for aid against them. When that succeeded to both sides' satisfaction, further deals were struck and the trust between the two old foes grew. Eventually the Awakening spread, and where it did, Sunni insurgents struck nonaggression/support/money pacts with American negotiators.

It wasn't a case of giving control to Sunnis. It was a case of coopting Sunnis already in a great deal of effective military control to our side.

At no point did we just turn to some Sunnis battling us and say, "Uhhhhh, gee, here's some local control for you guys," and then hear back, "Uhhh, gee, all we wanted was some local control, I guess now we can be friends."

We did try turning control over to highly suspect "allies," after first battle of Fallujah, and it was an absolute disaster.

So that sort of "just hand over power to your enemies" play had already been tried and discredited as disastrous. And that's what Genius Joe is so proud of himself for thinking up.

Thank God that's exactly what we didn't do.

And further: That isn't even what Biden proposed. Almost the sum and entirety of his plan was splitting Iraq into three autonomous regions. Not a bad plan in theory (I didn't reject it out of hand, and I still wonder if it's not a good idea), but it's simply not what happened at all.

Mr. Bush has spent three years in a futile effort to establish a strong central government in Baghdad, leaving us without a real political settlement, with a deteriorating security situation...

It's that "futile effort to establish a strong central government" which has now resulted in, oh look at that, an actually strong central government increasingly able to manage all military threats on its on, which in turn is responsible for more and more American troops coming home.

Nice try, Joe. Tell me again what it's like to grow up a coal miner's daughter.

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posted by Ace at 01:31 AM

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