I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Defining Failure

It was a bloody Memorial Day in Iraq.
BAGHDAD - Eight American soldiers were killed in roadside bombings and a helicopter crash in a restive province north of Baghdad, the U.S. military reported Tuesday, making May the deadliest month of the year for U.S. troops in Iraq.


The Americans — all from Task Force Lightning — were killed Monday in Diyala as the United States commemorated Memorial Day, bringing the number of American forces killed this month to at least 110, according to an Associated Press count assembled from U.S. military statements.

In statements issued Tuesday by the public affairs office of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq office at Camp Victory at Baghdad Airport, the military said six of the soldiers died in explosions near their vehicles and two others were killed in the helicopter crash. The statements did not say if the helicopter was shot down or suffered mechanical problems.
Is it any surprise that Iraq likely to miss goals set by U.S.
WASHINGTON — U.S. military leaders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that most of the broad political goals President Bush laid out early this year in his announcement of a troop buildup will not be met this summer and are seeking ways to redefine success.

In September, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq, is scheduled to present Congress with an assessment of progress in Iraq. Military officers in Baghdad and outside advisors working with Petraeus doubt that the three major goals set by U.S. officials for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki will be achieved by then.

Enactment of a new law to share Iraq's oil revenue among Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions is the only goal they think might be achieved in time, and even that is considered a long shot. The two other key benchmarks are provincial elections and a deal to allow more Sunni Arabs into government jobs.

With overhauls by the central government stalled and with security in Baghdad still a distant goal, Petraeus' advisors hope to focus on smaller achievements that they see as signs of progress, including local deals among Iraq's rival factions to establish areas of peace in some provincial cities.
Everyone knows that the clock is ticking and the alarm will go off in September. Rick Moran explains:
Frankly, I just don’t think our progress in Anbar and other provinces will be enough to convince the Congress to grant the Administration the time it needs to assist the Iraqis in pacifying their country and leave behind a viable state. The Democrats will return with a vengeance hawking their timetables and advocating a cut off in funds on some date certain. They will be driven by their base of rabid netnuts who are already livid with most Democratic lawmakers for what they see as caving in to the President this last go around on Iraq funding.

And not surprisingly, they will be joined by a substantial number of Republicans who fear for their electoral lives. Just over the horizon, it is easy to discern the political disaster for the GOP if they stick with a lame duck Commander in Chief at less than 30% in the polls who refuses to budge on doing what a majority of Americans want him to do; start bringing the troops home.
What Rick fails to mention is that the "nutroots" now include a majority of Americans and many Republicans like Senator Chuck Hagel and columnist George Will and when it come to the invasion of Iraq the Libertarian wing of the Republican party has always been part of the "nutroots". Just head over to LewRockwell.com.

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