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By Gary Starr for The Neville Awards
Posted August 5, 2007
A funny thing happened on the way to "Defeat in Iraq"...the surge is having it's effect. Sooo...what happens if we actually win...
The news out of Iraq may be finally taking a . According to
Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack, both of the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution, the surge
may be working. In a [yes, that NY Times] article the authors sited the following:
The AP has stated that U.S. casualties are at the lowest in months.
- Morale is high
- In war, sometimes it's important to pick the right adversary, and in Iraq we seem to have done so.
- Far more Iraqi units are well integrated in terms of ethnicity and religion.
A recent NY Times poll found support for the war up from 35% to 42% favorable.
From the NY Times (poll conducted July 9-17, 2007)
In the poll, The Times and CBS News posed a standard question that asks respondents to think back to the initial invasion and then judge whether or not the United States military action in Iraq was the right thing to do. "Looking back, do you think the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, or should the United States have stayed out?"
Forty-two percent of those polled said the United States did the right thing, and 54 percent said the United States should have stayed out of Iraq. The last time the question was asked, in May, 35 percent said taking military action against Iraq was the right thing and 61 percent said the United States should have stayed out.
The July numbers represented a change. It was counterintuitive. None of the other war related questions showed change. Mr. Bush's approval rating had not changed. Nor had approval of his handling of Iraq. The level of support for Mr. Bush's decision to send more troops to Iraq - the so-called "surge" - was about the same as it had been in past polls. Support for the decision to go to war had risen modestly and nothing else in the poll could explain it.
Once in a while there is a poll finding that doesn't make sense. Sometimes we'll wait to publish the results until we do another poll and ask the question again. But it happens rarely with questions, like this one, that we have a lot of experience asking over a long period of time.
It was just a hunch. But it was all we had. Along with our colleagues at CBS News, we decided to poll again, to ask the war trend question without the possible influence of the question about Mrs. Clinton. It would cost money to go over the same ground again. And none of us wanted to give up a picture perfect summer weekend to do this, but we all knew we had to.
When the second round of results came back, the numbers were nearly identical to the ones found in the poll about Mrs. Clinton. In the poll conducted over the weekend with 889 adults, 42 percent of the respondents said the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, 51 percent said the United States should have stayed out.
Good news from Iraq is bad news for the Democrats. After Harry Reid's "the War is lost" remark, John Edward's "the War on Terror is a bumper sticker"
campaign slogan, John Murtha's endless calls for redeployment and Congress' repeated votes for surrender timetables, a fairly prominent Democrat has finally come clean.
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), when asked about General Petraeus' upcoming September report to Congress on the surge, stated that a generally positive, optimistic assessment from Petraeus would be "a real big problem for us."
"In fairness, by “us” he seems to be referring to the House Democratic leadership, not the left as a whole. For the left a good progress report is no problem at all; they’ll shrug it off, dismiss Petraeus as a Bush stooge who’s probably racist and secretly gay, and go right on pounding on about withdrawal. For the leadership, a good report is a headache: it might encourage the Blue Dogs to side with the GOP to continue the mission, thereby leaving Pelosi with a howling anti-war base and no way to placate them. The “big problem,” in other words, is the nutroots’ absolute commitment to withdrawal colliding with facts that support a hope, however slender, of stabilizing the country if we stay on."
Not to be out done by Clyburn, Sen. Barak Obama has finally found a country he wants to bomb and invade. After saying:
Obama is now prepared to invade one of our few allies in the War on Terror.....(drumroll please)....Pakistan!!!. Yes, with President Musharaff hanging on by a thread, and in the wake of his overdue supression of Islamo-facists at the Red Mosque, Obama wants to destabilize
Pakistani President Musharaff by unilaterally going after Bin-Laden. "If Musharaff won't act we will!" Obama's a hawk now...Mr. Tough Guy. Or in Mitt Romney's words: "from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove"
- that genocide is not a reason to use our military
- if elected President, he will sit down and have a chat with all of the major despots(Ahmedinjad, Assad, Chavez, Castro, Kim Jong Il) of the world who just happen to be our enemies
- he can't justify the use of nuclear weapons...ever
By ruling out the nuclear option he has signaled to Iran and al Qaeda the, if we or Israel are hit by a nuclear weapon we will not respond in kind. What a gift to our enemies. Under an Obama presidency our enemies would be able to attack with impunity.
For the Democrats the terrorists are everywhere but in Iraq. They are in Iran, N. Korea, Syria, Lebanon, The Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan and Darfur. And well they are. We can only
imagine the tearing of hair and rending of clothes on the left if we actually invaded anyone of those targets. And what about the "exit plan". Gotta have a plan for defeat
while we are acting tough...on the Democrats' watch. Liberal Hot Air!!
On the homefront...after endless waffling by Democrats congressional negotiators agreed to include in the pending Sept. 11 security bill sweeping liability protections for citizens who report to authorities suspicious activity they fear might be linked to terrorism.
The "John Doe Protections" provision is meant to address the so-called "Flying Imams" case wherein six Muslim clerics in March sued passengers aboard a U.S. Airways flight because the passengers reported them to authorities, leading to their detention. The clerics were later cleared but their lawsuit, many lawmakers feared, would discourage future vigilance among the flying public. Many view this as a test case and a trial run for future terrorist plots.
, of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has been following the story since it's inception and filed recently on the John Doe legislation.
Finally on August 4 2007 President Bush signed into law legislation that broadly expanded the government's authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.
From the NY Times:
Congressional aides and others familiar with the details of the law said that its impact went far beyond the small fixes that administration officials had said were needed to gather information about foreign terrorists. They said seemingly subtle changes in legislative language would sharply alter the legal limits on the government's ability to monitor millions of phone calls and e-mail messages going in and out of the United States.
They also said that the new law for the first time provided a legal framework for much of the surveillance without warrants that was being conducted in secret by the National Security Agency and outside the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that is supposed to regulate the way the government can listen to the private communications of American citizens.
"This more or less legalizes the N.S.A. program," said Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies in Washington, who has studied the new legislation.