Omission accomplished

Yesterday, our President called the withdrawal of American combat troops from Iraqi cities and towns “a milestone.” He said, “This is an important step forward as a sovereign and united Iraq continues to take control of its own destiny.”

Heretofore our President has been a relentless complainer about problems He inherited from the previous administration, but He failed to mention that He inherited this milestone from George Bush. Or that He had adamantly opposed the strategy that made it possible.

Update: 8:20PM See also Obama Admits to Being on the Wrong Side of History on Iraq

Voting in Iraq

I wonder when Obama will mention the voting in Iraq. So far, only his Press Secretary has commented: Obama is “watching” and “planning a new approach.” Nice to know he’s aware of it.

Some 6,000 polling stations across the country opened for business at 7am (0400 GMT). More than 14,400 candidates, including nearly 4,000 women, representing 407 parties as well as independent lists and individual challengers, are vying for just 440 seats on the 14 provincial councils.

Initial results are expected in several days. But it could take weeks of backroom bargaining to determine which parties have gained control of pivotal areas such as Baghdad, the Shia-dominated south and volatile provinces like Nineveh to the north, where Kurds and Arabs are battling for control.

Look, Obama, we won the battle of Iraq. It wasn’t pretty, but we did it. Everyone is supposed to be hoping you will be successful, can’t you acknowledge this success? I realize it would be too much to expect you to acknowledge our military and George Bush, but can’t you offer personal congratulations to the Iraqis, at least? Or are you still invested in failure?

Update: 6:34PM Obama got around to it.

Obama said the elections for the provincial council seats were significant, peaceful and important steps toward Iraqis taking responsibility for their future. His statement did not address complaints from local officials that the Shiite-led government attempted to keep the minority Sunnis from full participation.

“Millions of Iraqi citizens from every ethnic and religious group went peacefully to the polls across the country to choose new provincial councils,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House. “It is important that the councils get seated, select new governors and begin work on behalf of the Iraqi people who elected them.”

Obama also noted that the U.S. provided technical assistance to the Iraqi electoral commission, as did the U.N. and other international groups. He didn’t, however, mention the U.S. troops that patrolled the country — away from voting booths — while the new Obama administration in Washington considers a new strategy for the unpopular war in Iraq.

Emphasis mine.

“…new strategy for the unpopular war in Iraq”? We won. The unpopular war is now nation building and police action, what would a new “war” strategy be?

November 22nd, VI Day



DNJ photo by Aaron Thompson





Updated to include the bloggers who participated. 11-24-08 :
Gateway Pundit
Blackfive
Little Green Footballs
Pat Dollard
Rantburg
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Hamilton, Madison, and Jay
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VI Day

November 22nd is Victory in Iraq Day.

By every measure, The United States and coalition forces have conclusively defeated all enemies in Iraq, pacified the country, deposed the previous regime, successfully helped to establish a new functioning democratic government, and suppressed any lingering insurgencies. The war has come to an end. And we won.

What more indication do you need? An announcement from the outgoing Bush administration? It’s not gonna happen. An announcement from the incoming Obama administration? That’s really not gonna happen. A declaration of victory by the media? Please. Don’t make me laugh. A concession of surrender by what few remaining insurgents remain in hiding? Forget about it.

Much more here.

The surge

MSM troops freed up from their relentless pursuit of the John Edwards story and tireless inquiries into who Barack Obama really is, the MSM is surging in Alaska.

Even as she spoke, airplanes in Alaska were unloading reporters and political operatives sent to pore through her personal and public life.

Fortunately, the Maim Scream Media™ don’t know how to spell “surge” and they’re in hostile territory. A few quotes from old-boy Republican apparatchiks unhappy with her reforms are just what we need.

BTW, there was a story going around that she was once a member of the Alaska Independence Party, which the party has since denied. My question is, Why is that a problem? I wish she had been a member.

Nuance or nitwit?

Did you understand that? I didn’t, but giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, which you’ll be doing if you vote for him, maybe the stumbling incoherent non-sequiturs are just the result of lacking a teleprompter.

If Obama’s hindsight was actually even 20/200 he could see that he wouldn’t have been able to have his photo op in Iraq if not for the surge.

Here, again, is why he says he would still oppose the surge, “At that time we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with.”

Oh, NOW I get it. You disagreed then with a policy that has since been extremely successful, so that’s why you still disagree with it. Thanks for the clarification, Barack. It’s all about you.

Queen of the Khyber Rifles

This has been sitting in my ‘to post’ queue for too long. With Barack Obama in full throated strategy pronouncement mode, “We need more troops in Afghanistan!” – something everybody with a brain has been saying to NATO for quite some time – I thought I should get it done.

Obama, by way of background, is chairman of a foreign relations subcommittee covering European matters. He has never held a hearing on how to bolster NATO in Afghanistan. The battle of Afghanistan is a NATO operation, though some allies are more equal than others (thank you Albania, Latvia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Norway, Poland – with apologies to any combat units I’ve missed). Obama should have been practicing his magical diplomacy on Germany and France at the least.

He’s been AWOL from many Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Afghanistan.

…since joining Foreign Relations, Obama has missed three meetings on a “new strategy” in Afghanistan, a country he has never visited.

Obama was absent from a January 31 meeting this year, and also was not present for a hearing on Sept. 21, 2006. He did attend a March 8, 2007 hearing on a new Afghanistan strategy.

On Feb. 15, 2007, Obama also missed a committee hearing on U.S. ambassadors to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has also been unflinchingly forthright in his opinion of our military personnel in Afghanistan:

…Asked whether he would move U.S. troops out of Iraq to better fight terrorism elsewhere, he brought up Afghanistan and said, “We’ve got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.”

And his attitude about allies bordering Afghanistan who possess nuclear weapons is not all that nuanced, either:

Earlier this month, Obama drew criticism when he said he would send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists even without local permission, if warranted.

The meat of the matter is this, if we had followed BHO’s advice about “the surge,” Christopher Hitchens would, of necessity, have written this quite differently.

If it is true, as yesterday’s three-decker front-page headline in the New York Times had it, that “U.S. Considering Stepping Up Pace of Iraq Pullout/ Fall in Violence Cited/ More Troops Could Be Freed for Operations in Afghanistan,” then this can only be because al-Qaida in Iraq has been subjected to a battlefield defeat at our hands—a military defeat accompanied by a political humiliation in which its fanatics have been angrily repudiated by the very people they falsely claimed to be fighting for. If we had left Iraq according to the timetable of the anti-war movement, the situation would be the precise reverse: The Iraqi people would now be excruciatingly tyrannized by the gloating sadists of al-Qaida, who could further boast of having inflicted a battlefield defeat on the United States. I dare say the word of that would have spread to Afghanistan fast enough and, indeed, to other places where the enemy operates. Bear this in mind next time you hear any easy talk about “the hunt for the real enemy” or any loose babble that suggests that we can only confront our foes in one place at a time.

RTWT Highly recommended.

Yesterday’s headline question answered

The correct answer is “Fifth Column.”

Belief Growing That Reporters are Trying to Help Obama Win

…The idea that reporters are trying to help Obama win in November has grown by five percentage points over the past month. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey, taken just before the new controversy involving the Times erupted, found that 49% of voters believe most reporters will try to help the Democrat with their coverage, up from 44% a month ago.

…A separate survey released this morning also found that 50% of voters believe most reporters want to make the economy seem worse than it is. A plurality believes that the media has also tried to make the war in Iraq appear worse that it really is.

A survey conducted earlier this year found that 30% of voters believe having a friendly reporter is more valuable than raising a lot of campaign contributions. Twenty-nine percent (29%) believe contributions are more important and 40% are not sure.

So, where are the Fairness doctrine or John McCain with more trashing of the First Amendment when you need them? Oh, right, neither the Fairness Doctrine nor McCain-Feingold apply to the print Maim Scream Media™.

At least the New York Times gets it, right? They explained here why they published an Op-Ed by Ahmed Yousef, spokesman for the terrorists of Hamas: The Danger of the One-Sided Debate

Op-ed pages are for debate, but if you get only one side, that’s not debate. And that’s not healthy.

Maybe that’s not an entirely consistent policy, though, as noted here: Not Quite Good Enough for the New York Times

The Times just turned down a piece from John McCain, his response to the Barack Obama Op-Ed the Times published last week as part of their help in bolstering Obama’s foreign policy creds in advance of his day trip to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Times refused to publish McCain until he “mirrors Senator Obama’s piece.” Well, then, here’s something you won’t read in the New York Times.

By John McCain:

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City—actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military’s readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

Fourth Estate or Fifth Column?

Obama’s campaign is baskling (that’s basking as practiced by the naive) in an apparent endorsement from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that appeared in Der Speigel. Unfortunately, the leftwing German magazine “reported” something Maliki didn’t actually say.

The Lansing State Journal uncritically regurgitates this straight from the Associated Press, dateline Berlin:

“Iraqi Prime Minister says troops should leave “as soon as possible,” [a statement with which no one disagrees] according to a magazine report, and he called Barack Obama’s suggestion of 16 months “the right time frame for a withdrawal.” [A statement with which Obama sometimes agrees and a timeline upon which his core supporters insist.]

So, the Gannett hegemony our local newspaper passes along an AP story, sourced from a far left German magazine wherein the Iraqi Prime Minister is misquoted. Three layers of your famous Maim Scream Media™ fact checking foiled by their predisposition and/or lack of resources. Mostly the former. Trusting Der Spiegel or AP in this matter was naive, especially since it’s only been 5 days since they made a nearly identical “mistake.”

It is embarrassing for everyone concerned except Obama, who will merely define it away as “not the Der Speigel I knew,” or “No, this week I’ve always said the withdrawal needed to be tied to conditions in Iraq.”, or “The crowing on the Website was the error of junior staff,” or “You know better than to think that of ME!” Or maybe all four. He’ll get away with any of them.

Der Speigel is standing by their story. They have illustrious companions.

Dan Rather is standing by his fake but true memo. France 2 is standing behind their Al Durah Pallywood propaganda. Reuters very belated admitted to fauxtography in some photos from Beirut. The list is too long.