Democrats Praise Military Progress
WASHINGTON (AP) - One senator said U.S. troops are routing out al-Qaida in parts of Iraq. Another insisted President Bush's plan to increase troops has caused tactical momentum.There was never any doubt about the military portion of the surge, the American troops are the finest in the world. Unfortunately the military success is meaningless without political success of which there has been none. This is a variation on the "moving the goalposts" commentary in the Weekly Standard.
One even went so far on Wednesday as to say the argument could be made that U.S. troops are winning.
These are not Bush-backing GOP die-hards, but Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin, Bob Casey and Jack Reed. Even Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services committee, said progress was being made by soldiers.
The suggestions by them and other Democrats in recent days that at least a portion of Bush's strategy in Iraq is working is somewhat surprising, considering the bitter exchanges on Capitol Hill between the Democratic majority and Republicans and Bush. Democrats have long said Bush's policies have been nothing more than a complete failure.
So what did the Democrats really say?
Levin, while saying military progress was being made, said the troop build-up could not be considered a success because its purpose was to make way for political reconciliation, and that hasn't happened.
"The only hope is if they take the responsibility onto themselves and we end the open-ended military commitment," Levin, of Michigan, said Sunday on CNN's "Late Edition."
Reed, a Rhode Island senator who visited Iraq last month, said there's been tactical momentum, but it "has yet to translate itself into real political momentum, which is the key, I think, to progress."
Durbin, an Illinois senator who is traveling this week with Pennsylvania Sen. Casey, told CNN on Wednesday that "naturally" troops are routing out al-Qaida in parts of Iraq, but then explained there's no evidence of the government in the areas.
In a conference call with reporters, Casey said one could make a good argument that U.S. troops have won the war, then accused Iraqi politicians and the Bush administration of not matching the intensity of the troops.
"The troops have met every assignment, they've beaten the odds time and again, they've done everything we've asked them to," Casey said.
Still more wingnut fodder from the Ass Press.