Giving credit where credit is due — not

The Surge is not working. Petraeus is not worth his paycheck. American political and military resolve have nothing to do with the stabilizing situation in Iraq. How do I know this? Because Obama said so. In Obama-land, the reason for the decrease in violence and the increase in stability in Iraq is because the Democrats took over Congress in 2006. No, I’m not hallucinating, although Obama may be. Here’s Lorie Byrd’s catch of Obama’s take on the matter:

I missed the Republican debate, but am still sifting through my many emails from the candidates’ representatives. I came in on the Democrats’ debate almost an hour ago. I wasn’t going to post anything on it, until I heard the comments about the “surge.” Charles Gibson told the candidates that there is real evidence that the surge in Iraq is working. (Yep, you read that right. I wrote Charles Gibson. Of ABC News. It shocked me, too.) They showed a short piece about some of the improved security in Baghdad and the dramatic drop in U.S. casualties. He asked the candidates if they were wrong to oppose the surge. Predictably they all said the surge is a failure because there has not been political progress made. Obama said that much of the progress that has been made was due to agreements made between the tribes in the Anbar Province and that those were made (not because of the surge, but) because those in Iraq saw the Democrats win back the Congress in 2006 and decided they would be pulling the troops out so they had to step up [Update: This portion of the transcript from the debate has been added after the jump. The full transcript can be found HERE Bruce Kesler noted the “stolen valor” aspect of Obama’s statement at Democracy Project .] I wanted Gibson to point out that even John Murtha had admitted the surge was working, but I guess that was a bit much to wish for.

Bruce Kesler caught it, too, and directs us to Jim Hoft for the most obvious error in that statement:

Obama also said the Anbar Awakening was an attempt by the Sunnis to make peace with the Shia.
SORRY- The Anbar Awakening was an agreement among Sunni Tribal Leaders to join together to fight Sunni Al-Qaeda terrorists.
It had nothing to do with the Shiites.
Obama showed that besides hope- he also has the audacity to make things up.

I have two comments. One is something I’m sure you’ve heard before: “If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a probably a duck.” The other is advice given to young medical doctors who, flush with newly acquired knowledge, often try to apply the most arcane diagnosis possible to any symptoms that walk through their door: “If you hear hoof beats outside your window, look for a horse, not a zebra.” My point in citing those two folksy aphorisms goes to the timing of the decrease in violence. The Democrats took Congress in November 2006 — and, as Obama himself admits, violence escalated dramatically. The Surge began in mid-year 2007 and, after a short increase in violence as the military engaged the bad guys in battle, it then decreased even more dramatically. If I were talking ducks and horses here, I’d be talking military horses, and Congressional lame ducks. (And that’s not even getting into the fact that, since the Dems ostensibly took over Congress they’ve done absolutely nothing but get a minimum wage law passed and make incandescent light bulbs illegally — neither of which are likely to strike fear into the hearts of tribesman everywhere.)

Obama has shown, again, that he’s not yet ready for prime time, since he’s both ignorant and disingenuous. I’m becoming more convinced than ever that his sudden ascendancy has nothing to do with his allgedly magical abilities on the campaign trail (something about which Bob Herbert embarrassingly swoons in an NYT op-ed), and everything to do with the fact that Iowa and NH primary voters (a) want an anti-War candidate (even as the War goes better — go figure that one out); and (b) they want the NOT Hillary candidate. This left them with a choice between the smarmy Silky Pony and the Harvard Law grad — and we know how much the party of the people hews to the Ivy League.

Others blogging: The Anchoress, Brutally Honest


18 Responses

  1. Liberal friends I spoke to believed the surge was a failure before the surge began. Obama simply reflects the presumptions of the Stepford liberals he represents: that the U.S. military cannot prevail except in a very limited way, and then only when a Democrat is CiC, and that no policy or strategy initiated by a Republican administration can possibly be effective because only liberal Democrats can or should be allowed to govern.

  2. Only aristocrats were ever born to rule, Z. Everyone should know that by now.

  3. Don’t forget the average voters have been getting all their info from the MSM. They are against the war they have heard about.

  4. He’s ignorant, disingenuous, and tendentious, as well.

    Were I a democrat I’d just be embarrassed by these three zeros. This is the best the party can come up with? Three absolute nothings.

  5. I am truly astounded how some of these people make connections, and pass right by others.

    Democrats Take Congress-Spike in Violence = No Connection.

    Surge Continues-Violence Reduces = No Connection.

    The pure and simple fact is that they are terrified of their own base. If they were to say one thing pro-surge or pro-mission the screaming loons would hammer them.

    Which reminds me.

    The ideal ticket: Barrack Obama/Ron Paul. (shudder)

  6. Y, I suppose that is the historical difference between progressives and populists. Populism is a bottom up phenom, whereas the progressives tended to be and still tend to be noblesse oblige. I recall reading a bio of Eugene McCarthy, who himself was a professor like Obama, and not a bad writer too; the Stevenson liberal Democrats in the Fifties were all quite patrician and more than a little aloof to the minorities and poor people they sought to elevate.

  7. Socialism has strong roots in European aristocracy. Since the aristocrats had all the money, they could afford to patronize artists and what not. Artists would get bread and a stable income (small of course), and in return the aristocrats would gain the talents of the artists. Good deal for the aristocrats since it wasn’t exacty like a free market back then.

    Now a days, artists aren’t enough for people like Soros. They need blacks and hispanics too. They promise to take care of you, so long as you become their property to do as they see fit.

    The rich have to do something to keep from dying of boredom. Private jets and parties weren’t enough for Gore to keep his sanity, that is why he needed the Global Warming messiah complex.

    One of the primary reasons Hollywood is so decadent is because they got nothing important to do with their power, influence, and wealth. So they get stoned to death on drugs. Whatever is available, Z.

    Reminds me of the Roman Senate and the Senatorial class it eventually became.

    Rome had two classes of citizens. Plebes and patricians. The patricians usually got senatorial slots and other government slots, which eventually made them into the Senatorial class. An entire class of people named for the fact that their ancestors held Senate slots for life.

    The plebes were supposed to be equal, but reality was a different thing. Plebes couldn’t marry into the patrician class, except for the few cases in which somebody went to the trouble of creating laws that allowed them to do so. Sempronius Gracchus and his family wished to balance the power more in favor of the equestrian (knight) class and the plebes. The Senators obviously disagreed and eventually got rid of most of the Grachii family. This was a few years or decades before they got rid of Julius Caesar too. One thing you could say for the Senate of the Roman Republic (Res Publica), they sure didn’t mind getting their hands bloody.

    Can’t say the same thing for Murtha and Kennedy. They kill from a distance, you could say. Why use your hands when there’s that nice body of water over there, Z?

    The funniest shat was that Marius, a populist, implemented reforms that were crucial given that the manpower of Italy was not enough for garrisoning and keeping control of the Res Publica’s growing territories. This was in the 1st century BC, so Rome had reached Africa and Spain by now. The Roman Senate refused to reform the property laws that were negatively affecting Rome’s military might. You had to have a certain amount of land to qualify for the Roman legions. Since the Senate was grabbing more and more land for latifundias, which made a lot of money for their owners, fewer and fewer Romans could maintain the property requirements for the Roman armies. The armies that made Rome what she was. The Grachii wanted to make land reforms, Senate said no. Marius said “let’s get rid of land requirements altogether”, and it was implemented. Now foreign non-citizens as well as citizens could join the Roman legions without prejudice and acquire Roman citizenship after serving their hitch. Thus an Empire was born.

  8. And guess what was the leading argument in 2005-6? America doesn’t have enough troops!! That or the armor thing.

    Ironic, for the senators calling for more troops and better equipment when it was their pork, policies, and corruption that weakened America’s military might for the last few decades.

  9. hey book,

    not to point out the obvious b ut the only one brutally ignorant around here appears to b e you; who has proven to be irrefutably wrong about virtually everything surrounding the occupation of iraq.

    and don’t forget your inept analysis of the israeli-palestinian conflict.


    tell you what, back your b.s. up. the bush admind rejected any and all calls for a troop build-up until just recently. prove me wrong.

    it’s OVER!!! for you nutters. your time of relevance has finally been realized for what it always was; a black stain on the history of our democracy.

    no matter who wins, “thought-leaders” like book and ymarsakar are now irrelevant, hopefully permanently.


  10. tell you what, back your b.s. up. the bush admind rejected any and all calls for a troop build-up until just recently. prove me wrong.

    You’ve proved yourself wrong on too many occasions for me to be able to top, Dagon. I am unworthy of taking up a task that you are much better at.

    it’s OVER!!! for you nutters

    Your side’s mission hasn’t been accomplished yet, D.You still got many more gates to open to the enemy before celebrations are in order.

    hopefully permanently.

    Only the dead have seen the end of war.

  11. Right wing nutters are seen by the Left as nutters because of a basic philosophical difference of opinion over history, human nature, human rights, epistemology, ethics, and um… well just about everything that makes humans humans.

    A great and funny example is this review of a John Ringo novel by a Leftist.


    Okay — talents like Bujold and Weber aside, Baen Books has, even going back to the Reagan era, long been SF’s home for jingoistic, hyper-violent right-wing power fantasies. And in the even more extremist George W. Bush era, I suppose it might follow that said power fantasies would become increasingly paranoid and extremist in a manner consistent with the zeitgeist. But even I never would have thought Baen would go this far. To think that any audience outside of hate groups monitored by the FBI would be attracted to a story in which the Waffen-SS is given a chance to “redeem” themselves borders on dementia. The book’s added indulgences involving routine stereotyping and bashing of “liberals” — more accurately, the far right’s straw-man image of the antiwar left — are merely the icing on an already stale cake. About the only thing that can be said in defense of Watch on the Rhine is that, early on, it crosses an event horizon beyond which it’s just too stupid to be offensive. That doesn’t mean, however, that you ought to read it, even in an MST3K mindset. Remember, guys like me take out the trash so you don’t have to. You can trust me to do my job, folks.


    To sort of sum things up for the benefit of Bookworm Room regulars: we see a need and a spot for redemption, the Left doesn’t. Redemption is nothing but a political slogan to the Left in order to crush the weak underfoot. Also, the Left never forgives a slight. When the Nazis betrayed one of their ideological fathers, Stalin, they carried a grudge against the PR image of Nazis for decades now. They continue to carry it for when you become a patron or member of the Left, you are owned by the Left. You have no right to rebel and form your own little party and bring the true image of socialism and leftist revolutionary methods to the world stage.

    As I was refering to in the discussion with Zhombre, the Left believes they own people lock barrel and soul. They believe this due to the fact that once a member, always a member, is the Standard Operating Procedure.

    Let’s not even get into D’s cognitive dissonance about how it was bad that Bush wouldn’t listen to the Left and how now when Bush did exactly what the Left kept yelling for, it is now not working and too late. To make such a thing clear and simple, it was never about helping Bush or America through “more troops”. It was always about weakening Bush and the “wing nuts” ability to salvage a victory out of the ashes. D thinks they have accomplished this little goal of theirs. Course, the Left constantly forgets that their enemies always get a vote in the final outcome.

  12. All right, I give up. I was hoping there might be some intelligence in the product of my Dad’s alma mater, but Obama is parroting more BDS BS
    Since Charles Gibson acknowledged on national TV that the surge is working, do you think there is a little cognitive dissonance developing in the MSM? Or is it just an attempt to refine the BDS to explain away reality?

  13. I dunnoh, Al. Even Dagon’s loosing it and starting to spew venom. This is what they do when they feel cornered by facts. A very hopeful sign of the times is that, the more they spew, the more that we know that all the surges (not just Iraq) are working. Their heads may well start exploding well before next November.

    Here’s another. My Lefty mother-in-law is starting to praise Huckabee and McCain. Since the first time that I can remember, she has no use for any of the Democrats (don’t go and have a stroke, Dagon, we kind-of like you visiting with us on this site).


  14. You should check this out, Danny.

    Why AQ’s ruthlessness failed

  15. thanks danny,

    but i’ll make a little wager with you right now. the dems (no matter who they nominate) will devastate the repub candidate in november.

    that’s how much i’m freaking out.

    btw, the only chance they have is if mccain gets the nomination so it’s a win-win for me as i don’t really mind mccain all that much.


  16. We’ll see, Dagon. My prediction is that either Hillary and Obama will self-destruct under pressure from their own deficiencies. In any case, events on the ground (GWOT, economy, etc.) will dictate the outcome. I agree with you re. McCain though: if McCain and Lieberman join forces, I think they would be unstoppable.

    Ymar – good link. I don’t know that AQ will be able to mount a TET offensive. The Germans at the Battle of the Bulge and the NVAs at TET were able to rely upon safe sanctuaries and supply lines to bulk up for their offensives. AQ doesn’t really have anywhere to turn as they are ground down to dust. My guess is that we’ll see sporadic attacks of decreasing frequency, ending with a whimper. The wild card will be the Iranians but it seems the Shia have got their number, as well.

  17. A big deal was made about some intel estimates that now there is no justification for attacking Iran. Course, that is all the more justificiation for Iran to attack Iraq and us. It will take them time to come up with an Axis of Evil alliance between Syria, Iran, and Al Qaeda, but they must know that by themselves they will be able to accomplish little. Without Iraq destabilized, Iran will have problems recreating Palestine and re-directing local rage towards Jews and Americans. Without a Palestine and the Eternal War, Hizbollah and Iran will find it harder to crush hundreds of Marines as they did in Lebanon.

    Iran is certainly smarting from the collapse of their Qods Force cells in Iraq, but they have plenty where those came from. And AQ’s strategy can still work, given that Democrats control the funding in Congress.

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