As I ponder what looks like actual victory in Iraq, I am amazed at how we got here. I found this article over at the Media Research Center showing how a year ago every media outlet saw the surge as nothing but folly. Over and over they bleated about it.
Here is Senator Chris Dodd on the Senate floor in January of 2007: (emphasis mine)
That is why we must say no to the decision by the President of the United States to send thousands more of our brave men and women in uniform to the streets of Baghdad to risk their lives for a plan which just “doesn’t make any sense.”
I, as one Senator, intend to speak out loudly against this ill-conceived policy. But more than just speak out, I intend at every available opportunity to get the Senate of the United States on record against the President’s specific decision to send more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, and against the continuation of our failed military strategy in Iraq.
This administration’s Iraq policy has been a total failure, and this “escalation” or “surge” of 21,500 more Americans will not work. We all know it. Generals Powell, Abizaid and Casey know it. The British and the rest of our allies know it. Nearly every expert who has come before the Foreign Relations Committee in the past two weeks of hearings knows it. Most importantly, two-thirds of the American public flat-out oppose it, according to a recent Newsweek poll.
Well, guess what Senator? It did work.
If we had done has the Senator wished, Iraq would now be overrun by Al Qaeda and Iran. Dodd was willing to accept defeat. President Bush was not.
I have to add this:
MSNBC's “Response To The President's Speech On Iraq,” 1/10/07
Barack Obama: “I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”
How wrong could he be?
How did this happen? Dodd said that just about everyone opposed it and that the American people opposed it. A year ago the Democrats were screeching for an end to the war and Bush got 21,000 additional troops?
It really seems almost miraculous.
Looking back I found one article that tries to explain it from a political perspective. If you read the article carefully you find that it came down to Majority Leader Harry Reid trying to avoid embarrassment and hoping to blame it all on Republicans. Such is the bizarre world of politics.
So despite the Democrats, the surge happened. It must be noted that John McCain had argued since before 2006 for sending 15,000 to 30,000 more troops to defeat the insurgency and stabilize Iraq. While Obama was against the surge. In other words, McCain was for our victory and Obama was for what would have surely been our defeat.
It is something we would do well to remember when we vote in November. We need leadership, not pandering. Obama knew what was popular to say at the time and said it. McCain wasn't thinking of popularity, he was thinking of America winning.
So now we have an Iraq with violence down 60 percent nationwide. Al Qaeda has been expelled from Baghdad and Anbar Province and is currently on the run. 15 of the 18 benchmarks have been achieved. Military and political victories are sweet.
We are almost there. Leaving a stable Iraq, defeating Al Qaeda, and achieving victory in this war.
It's sad to think that America's victory is a defeat for Democrats.
Update: It looks like we all may get what we want..... our boys home. But with the surge, they come home as victors.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki raised the prospect on Monday of setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops as part of negotiations over a new security agreement with Washington. It was the first time the U.S.-backed Shi'ite-led government has floated the idea of a timetable for the removal of American forces from Iraq.
But make no mistake. Terrorists will still try their hand where they can. As they did today in Kabul on the Indian embassy.