Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Reassuring Perspective

Ralph Peters is pounding the sand in Iraq trying to find a civil war, but hasn't found any evidence to back up the gloom and doomers found elsewhere in the media (and often pronounced from the comfort of the US offices without ever seeing things first-hand).
AS a result of its nationwide success, the Iraqi army gained tremendously in confidence. Its morale soared. After all the lies and exaggerations splashed in your direction, the truth is that we're seeing a new, competent, patriotic military emerge. The media may cling to its image of earlier failures, but last week was a great Iraqi success.

This matters. Not only for Iraq's sake, but because standing up a responsible military subordinate to an elected civilian government is the essential development that will allow us to reduce our troop presence in the next few years. Much remains to do - and much could still go wrong - but I, for one, am more optimistic after this visit to Baghdad.

Let's go deeper and probe into the growth of Iraq's army. On Saturday, The Post conducted an exclusive interview with the commander of Iraq's ground forces. It was Lt.-Gen. Abdul Qadir's first sit-down with the press - he's been a busy man.

The general looks like a vigorous, good-natured grandfather in uniform. But his affable dignity masks a heroic past. An armor officer with extensive battlefield experience, Qadir stood up to Saddam, stating that his adventure in Kuwait was destined to fail. The reward for his integrity - the patriotism of the honest soldier - was seven years in prison. Only his history of combat valor saved him from death.

Now Saddam's in prison and Qadir's determined to build a better Iraq.
The NY Post provides a scathing attack on the media elites who keep pushing the civil war meme despite the fact that there's no evidence to back it up. A grand rush to admit defeat. As it is, we're seeing a walkback on the issue of how many people were killed over the past few weeks in the aftermath of the Golden Dome attack. While the WaPo touted a figure of 1,300+, other media outlets have been running with a far lower toll.

This doesn't mean that there wont be setbacks, as the death of a high ranking Iraqi general in an ambush shows. That contrasts with the fact that Iraqi tribes are going after insurgent groups. Things aren't nearly so clear cut and when the media elites largely opine that the Iraq campaign is a failed cause, the readers/viewers are left with the same impression despite the fact that the situation on the ground is anything but a failure.

Others blogging Peters' op-ed: Gina Cobb, Tigerhawk, Real Clear Politics, and Irish Pennants.

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