Posted by lex, on November 3, 2007
There has been striking success in the past few months in the attempt to improve security, defeat al-Qaeda sympathisers and create the political conditions in which a settlement between the Shia and the Sunni communities can be reached. This has not been an accident but the consequence of a strategy overseen by General David Petraeus in the past several months. While summarised by the single word “surge” his efforts have not just been about putting more troops on the ground but also employing them in a more sophisticated manner. This drive has effectively broken whatever alliances might have been struck in the past by terrorist factions and aggrieved Sunnis. Cities such as Fallujah, once notorious centres of slaughter, have been transformed in a remarkable time.
Indeed, on every relevant measure, the shape of the Petraeus curve is profoundly encouraging. It is not only the number of coalition deaths and injuries that has fallen sharply (October was the best month for 18 months and the second-best in almost four years), but the number of fatalities among Iraqi civilians has also tumbled similarly. This process started outside Baghdad but now even the capital itself has a sense of being much less violent and more viable. As we report today, something akin to a normal nightlife is beginning to re-emerge in the city. As the pace of reconstruction quickens, the prospects for economic recovery will be enhanced yet further. With oil at record high prices, Iraq should be an extremely prosperous nation and in a position to start planning for its future with confidence.
This, I suspect, is why we’re spending so much time talking about New York’s illegal immigrants and their driver’s licenses.
The current achievements, and they are achievements, are being treated as almost an embarrassment in certain quarters.
For my own part, it’s never been about which political party stands to gain or lose from the normalization of a democratic Iraq, but rather that the noblest attempt to extend and defend human liberty in at least 60 years not fall prey to partisan fecklessness.
Greyhawk said the war was over, and that we’d won and that the time had come for reconstruction. Andrew Bolt agrees. Judging from the tone and tenor of the presidential debates, it appears the political and chattering classes think so too – they want to talk about something else.
Good. Let them.