I'm fed up with Congress (and I'm not going to take it anymore)
How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.
Sen. Reid is now in the position of having to deny facts on the ground in order to sustain his bleak judgments. And his job is getting more difficult all the time.
Since the start of the year, Baqubah, al Qaim, Haditha, Hit, Ramadi, Habbaniya, Fallujah, Abu Ghraib, and Arab Jabour have all been liberated from al Qaeda control. Arms caches are being found at more than three times the rate of a year ago. Intelligence tips are sharply up. We are also seeing signs of normalcy return to Baghdad, including soccer leagues, amusement parks and vibrant market places. More than half of Baghdad is now under the control of coalition or Iraqi Security Forces.
What, then, explains the fact that some critics of the war are unwilling to hear good news of any sort -- and get visibly agitated and disdainful when we see (and cite) signs of progress? Why won't they acknowledge empirical evidence of progress by the American military? And why are some critics of the war frantically attempting to make a final judgment on the war even before Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker provide their assessment in September?
It is as if some critics of the new strategy have decided that the war shouldn't have been fought, cannot be won, and therefore defeat is now written in the stars -- and since surrender will eventually happen, let's get on with it.
How pathetic is it that the Iraqis (finally) "get it" and people in our own Congress do not?? No, the anti-Bush (it's not about the war) Democrats and Republicans won't read these stories because they absolutely refute the "boondoggle" and the "we've lost" pronouncements of these politicians who don't know shite from shinola these days... It's so much about the "I me mine" factor and hasn't been about "we us ours" in way too long.
I figure none of the "there's no points in it for me if we win" crowd will actually read these stories because they are long and take some concentration (although none of the words seem too big for elected officials to understand.) They won't read the multitude of stories in Uncle Jimbo's post because they are proof positive that all the efforts of our military -- including the recent "Surge" -- are working and that the Iraqis are helping and supporting our efforts.
I am all on board when Blackfive says in What Happens to the Democrats If They Bet on the Wrong Horse?", "Personally, I think Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would throw the Iraqis and our soldiers under the bus for a Presidential victory."
I agree with Wehner when he says,
Perhaps this attitude is rooted in war weariness. The Iraq war has been a long and difficult struggle. Mistakes and misjudgments have been made, false summits have dashed early hopes, and more than 3,600 American military lives have been lost, causing unspeakable grief for families and friends of the fallen. Yet tragically, more often than not, this is the nature of war, which involves unexpected costs and awful sacrifices.
There comes a point in many wars, maybe in most wars, where the single most important issue is whether a nation can summon the resolve and courage to see a good cause through to the end. We are now at that point in the Iraq war. We have in place the right team, pursuing the right strategy. The thing Gen. Petraeus needs above all else, he says, is time.
Spread the word. Coalition efforts in Iraq are working and we need to be sure that General P. and our Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailors are given the time and resources they need to complete their work... and that come September funding for these efforts is not held hostage to the political aspirations of the people in Congress. You just need to remind these people that they work for you.
In closing, I share this from a soldier quoted in the latest dispatch from Michael Totten in Baghdad:
“I wouldn’t say it’s the worst decision I ever made,” he said. “It’s hard for soldiers. We all want to go home, of course. But we also want to stay and make sure our buddies did not die for nothing.”
And I want to be sure that my son and the other wounded know that they have not and will not suffer for nothing. I want those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families -- and the families of those who died -- to know that it was not in vain.
I'm fed up with Congress and I'm not going to take it anymore.