May 3, 2009

Pressuring the President on Iraq

The chart on the left shows the effect the surge had in Iraq - it worked. Quite dramatically. It shows that that the liberals got it wrong on Iraq.
They gave up on Iraq as soon as Bush declared victory. At that point it became a political tool for them to pound the President with, over and over again.
True, liberals are pretty much anti-tough in general, and many never wanted to have anything to do with Iraq. But many, having the drum beating constantly, began to believe their own rhetoric. And it became an understanding that Iraq had to end regardless of the consequences.
Now they are applying the same hammer to President Obama. This article in AP News, is being used to hammer Obama given that he's going to go 3 months beyond his promised withdrawal date.

BAGHDAD (AP) - The U.S. death toll for April rose to 18, the military said Friday, making it the deadliest in seven months for American forces in Iraq. The sharp increase from the previous month came as a series of bombings also pushed Iraqi deaths to their highest level this year.

In the latest violence, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a restaurant on the reservoir of Iraq's largest dam near the northern city of Mosul. At least five people were killed and 10 wounded, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.

The spike in attacks has raised concerns that insurgents are stepping up their efforts to re-ignite sectarian bloodshed as well as questions about the readiness of the Iraqis to take over responsibility for their own security as U.S. troops begin to withdraw.
Except look at the graph. Deadliest doesn't really do the current state justice. 18 deaths (reported as 19 elsewhere) is only one more death than February and November 2008. The spike is not a spike at all as far as US troops are concerned. When the American deaths were at their peak, deaths of Iraqis were less than an afterthought. Not now. The panic to get out is still there, just under the surface.
That President Obama is slightly less liberal than promised, the hysteria about the violence may yet bubble up to the surface again. The President, who sometimes seems like he listens to whomever he's spoken to last, could capitulate to a premature withdrawal in a knee-jerk reaction. That would be bad for Iraq, bad for the middle east and therefore bad for America.

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