The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Monday, August 13, 2007
Major Attacks in Iraq down by Half!
As House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-MD) admitted: "That would be a real problem for us." Not exactly a great place to be when your party's fortunes are so joined at the hip to America's defeat. It is truly astounding to me that the Democrats have sunk to these depths.
The importance of the strategy shift cannot be overstated. While the British approach of attempting to mediate between militias from afar has left Basra in shambles, the American strategy of engaging militias and terrorists has paid dividends on several layers.
First, the terrorists have no time to expand and strategize. They have to defend themselves from encirclement by American troops, which means they have to go on the run. Any time they move, they have to get out into the open, which exposes them to more danger. If they don't run, they have to fight military troops, battles in which they do not have the skillsets to succeed.
Second, terrorist tactics have enraged Iraqis and driven them away from the insurgencies. Even other insurgencies have found it necessary to ally with the US military to stop the inhumanity of al-Qaeda control. The terrorists have had to use these brutal techniques to frighten people into compliance with their leadership -- a sure sign of desperation. They're losing the hearts-and-minds battle.
Third, our tenacity allows the Iraqis to rely on us -- and that brings another level of unity. They have responded to our efforts by vastly increasing the intelligence that comes to the military, which allows us more success in tamping down the violence. They have begun to unify amongst themselves for their own protection as well, which helps build political strength for Iraq from the ground up. They feel liberated to participate in self-government.
What happens when General Petraeus comes to Congress with these numbers? It will show that the new strategy has, in the words of Keane, shifted the initiative and the momentum to the US. We have found a way to beat the terrorists -- and we had better continue to do so. Congress will find it very difficult to retreat from Iraq while we're succeeding.