June 1, 2008
Washington Post sees Iraq Turnaround
The Washington post not only sees a turnaround in Iraq in this editorial, but actually calls on Barack Obama to change his proposed policy of withdrawal:
Iraq passed a turning point last fall when the U.S. counterinsurgency campaign launched in early 2007 produced a dramatic drop in violence and quelled the incipient sectarian war between Sunnis and Shiites. Now, another tipping point may be near, one that sees the Iraqi government and army restoring order in almost all of the country, dispersing both rival militias and the Iranian-trained "special groups" that have used them as cover to wage war against Americans. It is -- of course -- too early to celebrate; though now in disarray, the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr could still regroup, and Iran will almost certainly seek to stir up new violence before the U.S. and Iraqi elections this fall. Still, the rapidly improving conditions should allow U.S. commanders to make some welcome adjustments -- and it ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the "this-war-is-lost" caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).Gen. David H. Petraeus signaled one adjustment in recent testimony to Congress, saying that he would probably recommend troop reductions in the fall going beyond the ongoing pullback of the five "surge" brigades deployed last year. Gen. Petraeus pointed out that attacks in Iraq hit a four-year low in mid-May and that Iraqi forces were finally taking the lead in combat and on multiple fronts at once -- something that was inconceivable a year ago. As a result the Iraqi government of Nouri al-Maliki now has "unparalleled" public support, as Gen. Petraeus put it, and U.S. casualties are dropping sharply. Eighteen American soldiers died in May, the lowest total of the war and an 86 percent drop from the 126 who died in May 2007.If the positive trends continue, proponents of withdrawing most U.S. troops, such as Mr. Obama, might be able to responsibly carry out further pullouts next year. Still, the likely Democratic nominee needs a plan for Iraq based on sustaining an improving situation, rather than abandoning a failed enterprise. That will mean tying withdrawals to the evolution of the Iraqi army and government, rather than an arbitrary timetable; Iraq's 2009 elections will be crucial. It also should mean providing enough troops and air power to continue backing up Iraqi army operations such as those in Basra and Sadr City. When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.
WaPo thinks that the month of May could turn out to be the most important month of the war because all the things that must happen for victory are finally coming into being. American casualties are the lowest since the war began, attacks on Iraqis are way down, and the Iraqi government and military are demonstrating that they can handle the security of the country on their own.
There's still a way to go. But when the Washington Post even sees huge progress, Obama is the candidate who seems "out of touch" on Iraq.
Ed Lasky adds:
Also, this key idea : Iran will almost certainly seek to stir up new violence before the U.S. and Iraqi elections this fall.
Iran will try to tilt the Americna election by stepping up the killing of Americna soldiers to help ..hmm//which candidate?
Wa Po predicts Iran will kill Americans to egt Obama elected. His rhetoric kills Americans