I'm reminded again why I prefer Lieberman's brand of Democrat to almost any other:
While benchmarks are critically important, American soldiers are not fighting in Iraq today only so that Iraqis can pass a law to share oil revenues. They are fighting because a failed state in the heart of the Middle East, overrun by al Qaeda and Iran, would be a catastrophe for American national security and our safety here at home. They are fighting al Qaeda and agents of Iran in order to create the stability in Iraq that will allow its government to take over, to achieve the national reconciliation that will enable them to pass the oil law and other benchmark legislation.Lieberman sees, as I do, that the success of the misnomered "surge" lies not in the decrease in violence but the increase of the effective force we can bring to bear. In economic terms, a company may take on a large amount of debt to provide a return in the future -- but the gains are most assuredly worth it. Pelosi and Reid are, essentially, looking at their first mortgage bill and refusing to pay off the house.
This is because Democrats have invested in losing this war. From the get-go they have been the party that needs to say 'gotcha' to the president. It is a sad thing that a political party in the US has maneuvered itself into a position where a victory in the war is a defeat for them. When you understand that they absolutely lose if we win, their actions become much more (dare I say) rational.
Getting those troops into position and confronting the terrorists head on is a key part to our counter-insurgency strategy. However, the "surge" is not defined merely by an increase in troop levels. It involves swinging the population to our side...
On Haifa Street, for instance, where there was bloody fighting not so long ago, the 2nd "Black Jack" Brigade of our First Cavalry Division, under the command of a typically impressive American colonel, Bryan Roberts, has not only retaken the neighborhood from insurgents, but is working with the local population to revamp the electrical grid and sewer system, renovate schools and clinics, and create an "economic safe zone" where businesses can reopen. Indeed, of the brigade's five "lines of operations," only one is strictly military. That Iraq reality makes pure fiction of the argument heard in Washington that the surge will fail because it is only "military."And driving the terrorists out of our controlled zones...
When I returned to Anbar on this trip, however, the security environment had undergone a dramatic reversal. Attacks on U.S. troops there have dropped from an average of 30 to 35 a day a few months ago to less than one a day now, according to Col. John Charlton, commander of the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, headquartered in Ramadi. Whereas six months ago only half of Ramadi's 23 tribes were cooperating with the coalition, all have now been persuaded to join an anti-al Qaeda alliance. One of Ramadi's leading sheikhs told me: "A rifle pointed at an American soldier is a rifle pointed at an Iraqi."
The success we're seeing in Anbar and Baghdad is indicative of the fact that we are on the right path. Rest assured, the closer we get to victory, the louder the screams will become.