27 June 2007

A Study in Contrasts

Someone concerned about national security and familiar with military operations:
It is clear from recent major offensive operations in Diyala and the other provinces surrounding Baghdad that Gen. David A. Petraeus now has the wherewithal not only to clear areas in Baghdad but to seal off those parts of the provinces where al Qaeda and the insurgents have fled to corner and kill them.

In Baqubah, Coalition forces killed at least 58 al Qaeda terrorists and detained scores of others, discovered 16 weapons caches, destroyed 28 improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and blew up 12 booby-trapped structures in the first five days of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. Local residents, who had just received 20,000 pounds of rice and flower and 300 cases of water, pointed troops to al Qaeda safe houses and torture chambers.

Someone concerned about their political career:
After four years of combat and more than 3,560 U.S. deaths, two Republican senators previously reluctant to challenge President Bush on the war announced they could no longer support the deployment of 157,000 troops and asked the president to begin bringing them home.

Voinovich, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released his letter Tuesday — one day after Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the panel's top Republican, said in a floor speech that Bush's strategy was not working.

Someone concerned about national security and familiar with military operations:
The success the Marines have achieved in Anbar Province also took an innovative approach. This involved not only gaining the confidence of the various clans' leading sheiks but also flattening the Marine command structure and making Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his representatives irrelevant.

The strategy of Maj. Gen. W.E. Gaskin, commander of the Multinational Force/West and his Ground Combat Element commander, Brig. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, was to go proactive, exactly the strategy of Gen. Petraeus in the other surrounding provinces. If Marine convoys are challenged or ambushed, their orders are to immediately pursue their attackers and kill them all.

Someone concerned about their political career:
Lugar told reporters Tuesday that he does not expect the fall assessment [of the "surge"] to be conclusive and would only fuel sentiment among lawmakers that Congress should intervene with legislation to end the war....

The White House on Tuesday appealed to members for more patience on the war in Iraq.

"We hope that members of the House and Senate will give the Baghdad security plan a chance to unfold," said White House spokesman Tony Snow.

Earlier this year, Voinovich and Lugar said they doubted the troop buildup in Iraq would work.

Someone concerned about national security and familiar with military operations:
You will not find reports on the success our forces are now achieving on the major TV news networks. The only thing they tell us is how many U.S. forces were killed in the last 24 hours.

In fact, NBC, CBS and CNN are probably the sole source of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's daily intelligence briefs. It is ironic that al Qaeda and the Sunni and Shia terrorists need no propaganda czar like the Nazis' Joseph Goebbels as a spokesman because our TV networks and even certain members of Congress provide that service for them.

Someone concerned about their political career:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called Lugar's speech "brilliant" and "courageous" and said it would later be noted in the history books as a turning point in the war.

See how this works?
Republican support for the war has declined steadily since last year's elections, mirroring public poll numbers. In an AP-Ipsos poll earlier this month, 28 percent said they were satisfied with President Bush's handling of the war in Iraq, down 5 percentage points in a month.

Meanwhile, at the Gallup "Confidence in Institutions" survey:
Congress leads the way with the lowest level ever in the history of this poll, and at 14% now has the lowest confidence ratings for any institution tested over the last three decades.

The military has been near or at the top of the list of institutions tested in each Gallup survey since 1987.

Thanks for the link to the Washington Times article, Carrie.

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