A useful measure of General David Petraeus's achievement is the turn in the political mood, even in the U.S. Congress. In September, Senators felt entitled to lecture, even berate, the Iraq commander. This time he was accorded more respect, no doubt because the surge is showing results even Democrats can no longer deny. Instead, they ignored them.Maybe it's not quite "opposite." Perhaps this classic graphic would suit it better.
...Both high-profile terror attacks and civilian deaths, including those due to ethno-sectarian violence, are in decline. Half of Iraq's 18 provinces are under Iraqi control....Al Qaeda in Iraq has been greatly diminished because of "relentless pressure" and better counterinsurgency intelligence.
"No progress! No progress is being made! We do not see the evidence! Therefore it isn't true!"
The security situation remains unstable, partially because of the "destructive role Iran has played," and that "special groups" of Shiite extremists backed by Tehran constitute the most lethal threat to safety. The worst course for the U.S. would be to withdraw now, they said. As Mr. Crocker put it, pulling out would lead to suffering "on a scale far beyond what we have already seen. Spiraling conflict could draw in neighbors with devastating consequences for the region and the world."
Perhaps that's why a certain student association at my current school is apparently dwindling in numbers. Their message? Yank out the troops! NOW!
...Joe Lieberman described the approach of his former party as "hear no progress in Iraq, see no progress in Iraq, and most of all, speak of no progress in Iraq."
...President Bush's worst mistakes in Iraq were due to standing by flawed strategies and old thinking. Democrats have now adopted that posture.
Does this seem like a case of "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" to you too?
Update 4/11/08: Check out this heartening op-ed about the surge.