Day By Day

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bush was Right -- Victory in Iraq (continued)

Michael Yon reports from Iraq:
[E]very indicator to me is that we are winning the Iraq war at an ever-increasing rate.... AQI is being defeated.... This is shaping up into a strategic defeat for al-Qaeda, not just AQI. I first started writing this in about July 2007; people thought I was nuts. Now it’s being widely recognized that al-Qaeda global is being devastated. (Though they will continue to kill us, and especially be a problem in places like Afghanistan.) The loss in Afghanistan and also their crimes against humanity are sending shockwaves through the Arab and Islamic world. If anyone hates al-Qaeda more than Americans, it’s Iraqis and some others who have suffered under them.
So, Bush was right again. By invading Iraq he made it the central front in the Global War on Terror, and victory there has had huge beneficial consequences throughout the Arab and Islamic world.

The Iraq phase of the GWOT is winding down.
I believe that by the end of this year, there is a very high chance that a reasonable observer will be able to say, “The Iraq war has ended.” This does not mean that we will not take a small number of casualties each month, but that the war will end and we can switch to helping Iraq stand, and truly start to bring more of our folks home.
The remaining military problem is the Shiite militias which are increasingly being marginalized even within the Shia population. That means that the biggest problem we currently face is the cadre of professional journalists. The election has removed one motive for partsian journalists to systematically mis-represent what is happening in Iraq. Their boy won. But there remains a second motive -- careerism.
I am in daily contact with journalists in Iraq and some of them do not want to let the war go. The war has lofted them into positions that they did not previously have (like me, for instance), and some of them do not want to let it go. I can see it. On the one hand, it’s clear they want it to end, but on the other, it’s the highlight of their careers. I have not discussed this with the journalists, but I have noticed the pattern in their communications. They seem almost worried that it’s ending....
Finally, the pace of change in Iraq is so great that it is hard for observers to get their minds around it.
When the war was on full-steam there was so much to report that it was impossible to keep track. And now that peace is breaking out, it’s equally impossible to keep track of all the progress.
Make not mistake about it. This phase of the GWOT is over, and we and the Iraqi people have won. It is impossible at this time to calculate accurately the long-term consequences of the War of Iraqi Liberation, but the outlook for progress in Iraq and throughout the entire region are immense, and the man who made it possible was George W. Bush.

Read Yon's whole piece here.