Thursday, August 02, 2007

Surge...working? Sort of.

Michael Barone asks "Is The Surge Working?", and seems to imply "yes". Foreign policy wonks Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack (I've heard of Pollack and generally respect him, if I don't always agree - never heard of O'Hanlon) currently of the Brookings Institution argue that "here is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008."

Sunni tribal leaders are flipping against AQI, and overall, Petraeus seems to be performing at or above the level we were promised.

It's standard boilerplate for Democrats to say that the surge isn't working or can't work, and that anybody who tells you otherwise is feeding you a line of bovine excrement. But here we have the very not-conservative Brookings, and Pollack - a former Clintonite - telling us to give it a shot.

Democrats - the "reality based community"- seem incapable of believing it. And they don't want to hear that public opinion may not be as universally negative against the war as they had supposed.

"Poll Surprises out-of-touch Paper"
WHEN THE New York Times poll found that the number of Americans who think it was right for the United States to go to war in Iraq rose from 35 percent in May to 42 percent in mid-July, rather than promptly report the new poll findings, the paper conducted another poll. As the Times' Janet Elder wrote Sunday, the increased support for the decision to go to war was "counterintuitive" and because it "could not be easily explained, the paper went back and did another poll on the very same subject."

Hardly overwhelming support, but enough to give the so-called Washington Clock a little more time.

So the surge is working, but differently than planned. The military aspect is going better than expected, possibly creating spillover/bottom-up support, but the government in Baghdad seems incapable of making progress. But proclaiming the surge failed is at best very premature. For heaven's sake wait until Petraeus gives his report before pulling the plug.

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