Ed Morrissey says 'This Is The News The World Doesn't Hear'.
Rob at Say Anything says Germany’s Spiegel Magazine Does About-Face On Iraq.
Well not exactly. There certainly have been some military success.
Since June, Ramadi residents have only known the war from televison. Indeed, US military officials at the Baghdad headquarters of Operation Iraqi Freedom often have trouble believing their eyes when they read the reports coming in from their units in Ramadi these days. Exploded car bombs: zero. Detonated roadside bombs: zero. Rocket fire: zero. Grenade fire: zero. Shots from rifles and pistols: zero. Weapons caches discovered: dozens. Terrorists arrested: many.But you go a little further into the article you find this:
Ramadi is an irritating contradiction of almost everything the world thinks it knows about Iraq -- it is proof that the US military is more successful than the world wants to believe. Ramadi demonstrates that large parts of Iraq -- not just Anbar Province, but also many other rural areas along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers -- are essentially pacified today. This is news the world doesn't hear: Ramadi, long a hotbed of unrest, a city that once formed the southwestern tip of the notorious "Sunni Triangle," is now telling a different story, a story of Americans who came here as liberators, became hated occupiers and are now the protectors of Iraqi reconstruction.
Car Bombs Here, New Schools ThereAny military success is irrelevant with out political success. The country is as far from having a functional government as it was shortly after the invasion. The US could win all the battles for 20 years and still lose the war. Of course the US can't continue to win battles for 20 years. Like it or not force reduction will have to begin in April because the military will be out of meat for the meat grinder. We have seen it before; the US moves into an area and stabilizes it. As soon as the US soldiers leave the chaos returns. There is no reason to believe this won't happen again beginning in April.
In Iraq today, car bombs are detonated here while new schools are being built there. And as new hotels open in one part of the country, terrorists lob bombs into wedding parties elsewhere. Some Iraqis are buying new refrigerators, toasters and video games, while others smuggle explosives into the country and sabotage oil pipelines. Children play the violin or the trumpet in music competitions while, only a few blocks away, men from Syria, Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Iran or Saudi Arabia attach sticks of dynamite to their bodies to bomb themselves into paradise on busy city squares. The Iraq of today is not a single place that is easy to understand -- it is a country mired in contradictions.
In some parts of the country, especially Baghdad, the situation is even worse than was feared, and in others, it is much better than anyone could have hoped. Traveling through Iraq, four years, four months and a few days after the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 20, 2003, one encounters a country undergoing radical change, not just a country in decline, not just a country falling apart, but also not a country that has been saved.