AP: US Now Winning Iraq War
Stop the presses: the world's leading wire service declared on July 26, 2008, that America is now winning the war in Iraq.
Think I'm kidding?
Well, prepare yourself for an alternate reality, for the "defeat" and "slipping into civil war" Iraq coverage the past three years took an interesting turn Saturday when the Associated Press published an article amazingly entitled, "Analysis: US Now Winning Iraq War That Seemed Lost" (emphasis added, h/t NBer DaBird):
The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost.
Limited, sometimes sharp fighting and periodic terrorist bombings in Iraq are likely to continue, possibly for years. But the Iraqi government and the U.S. now are able to shift focus from mainly combat to mainly building the fragile beginnings of peace — a transition that many found almost unthinkable as recently as one year ago.
Despite the occasional bursts of violence, Iraq has reached the point where the insurgents, who once controlled whole cities, no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of the central government. [...]
This amounts to more than a lull in the violence. It reflects a fundamental shift in the outlook for the Sunni minority, which held power under Saddam Hussein. They launched the insurgency five years ago. They now are either sidelined or have switched sides to cooperate with the Americans in return for money and political support. [...]
Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, told the AP on Thursday that the insurgency as a whole has withered to the point where it is no longer a threat to Iraq's future. [...]
Shiite militias, notably the Mahdi Army of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, have lost their power bases in Baghdad, Basra and other major cities. An important step was the routing of Shiite extremists in the Sadr City slums of eastern Baghdad this spring — now a quiet though not fully secure district.
Al-Sadr and top lieutenants are now in Iran. Still talking of a comeback, they are facing major obstacles, including a loss of support among a Shiite population weary of war and no longer as terrified of Sunni extremists as they were two years ago. [...]
Beyond that, there is something in the air in Iraq this summer.
In Baghdad, parks are filled every weekend with families playing and picnicking with their children. That was unthinkable only a year ago, when the first, barely visible signs of a turnaround emerged.
Shouldn't this make any member of Congress that voted against the surge -- including any still running for president -- look awfully foolish?
Maybe more important, will the rest of the anti-war press start recognizing what has been obvious for months, and jump off the defeat bandwagon into the victory march?
*****Update: Forgive my foolishness, for more important than ANYTHING related to this story is that our troops in Iraq are increasingly less and less in harm's way, including my two nephews that are there.
Godspeed to America's finest that have dutifully and selflessly represented our nation despite the lack of support they deserved from the left and the media. And may this lead to a safer world for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren.