Friday, June 16, 2006

Murtha Whines; USA Today Opines

John Murtha's whining USA Today op-ed is merely a reprint of the same nonsense that he's been peddling since November. As such, it shouldn't be taken as a serious contribution to the serious matter of fighting the war in Iraq. Here's the familiar-sounding part of it:
Iraq is not the center of the global war on terrorism, and nor is it overwhelmed by foreign terrorist groups, as this administration would like Americans to believe. Iraqis are fighting Iraqis in sectarian violence, and U.S. troops have become the target.
Think of how stupid that sounds. Iraqis are fighting Iraqis, with U.S. troops being the main target. Why does this political opportunist think that we'll take him seriously? If Iraqis are fighting Iraqis, how can U.S. troops be the main target? Does he think that these troops have dual U.S./Iraqi citizenship? Of course he doesn't. It's just that he's using the same lies in his attempt to make a case for cutting and running.

I've written before about Murtha citing the statistic that 80 percent of Iraqis want us out. The trouble with that statistic is that 60 percent of the Iraqi population is Shi'ite & they don't want us to leave until their military and security forces are capable of defending Iraq.

Finally, the Bush administration doesn't want people to believe that Iraq "is overwhelmed by foreign terrorist groups." Quite the opposite. They've talked often about the sectarian violence while hardly mentioning foreign terrorists. If they're trying to convince people that Iraq is overrun with foreign terrorists, they're taking an odd approach to it.

To its credit, USA Today takes a contrarian perspective of Iraq here. Here's what they say:
Iraq has become an important part of the war on terror, even if it wasn't when the war began. It's hard to argue otherwise when the organization led by Zarqawi and his successor calls itself "al-Qaeda in Iraq" and pledges allegiance to Osama bin Laden.
USA Today's editors obviously don't realize that they're dealing with delusional Democrats. If they did, they wouldn't attempt to make a logical appeal to them since logic is something that Democrats don't often use in shaping their opinions. Far more often, they rely solely on emotion.

The BBC is reporting on what's been happening since Zarqawi's death. Here's some of the most noteworthy statistics:
  • The US says coalition forces in Iraq have carried out more than 450 raids since the death last week of al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The US said 104 insurgents were killed and 759 "anti-Iraqi elements" captured.
  • Gen Caldwell said 28 significant arms caches had been found by US and Iraqi forces. "Removing the personal threat of Zarqawi disrupted other al-Qaeda network, forcing the terrorists to reshuffle their leadership, dislodging them from their quarters," Gen Caldwell said.
I saw Col. David Hunt, one of my favorite guys on the intel side of this war, on O'Reilly tonight. He was asked point blank if this was a change of direction. Hunt unequivocally said that it was. Hunt said that there'd been 450 raids on insurgents, that the Iraqi security forces were being alot more aggressive in finding and eliminating insurgent groups. Hunt also said that they were gaining more knowledge of the network with each set of raids, which is only logical.

This tactic is called "exploiting the battlefield" by military people. What happens is that the military makes a major strike, confusing the enemy. The tempo picks up so that the enemy can't regroup or recollect its thoughts, thereby increasing the likelihood of the enemy making disastrous decisions.

In this instance, Task Force 145 accumulated tons of intel on Zarqawi's network prior to the airstrike. The minute the airstrike was called in, TF 145 was shifting gears to attack the network. The more raids they made, the bigger the intel take was, leading to an expansion of the raids.
Iraq says documents seized after the killing of Zarqawi yielded vital leads and that this may be the "beginning of the end" of al-Qaeda in Iraq.
I don't want to predict that yet but I'm cautiously optimistic that that'll be the end result of Operation Forward Together and the raids by TF 145. Based on the information that the BBC is reporting, that seems to be what's happening. We'll know more in a week or two. If things have improved noticeably in that time, then I think it's safe to conclude that a corner has been turned. Does this information point to a failed policy anymore? I'd suggest that it doesn't. That doesn't prevent Murtha from making this statement in his op-ed:
Instead of sticking with a failed policy, I propose a new policy. Instead of "stay and pay," which is what this administration continues to argue, I propose that we "redeploy and be ready." We must redeploy American troops out of the cities to the periphery and create a quick reaction force ready to attack only when the national security of the United States or its allies in the region is at risk. The American people are not naive. They know a failed policy when they see one. Iraq is a failed policy. It's time to redeploy.
I'd suggest that the proper title for Murtha's 'plan' isn't cut-and-run; instead, it's best titled "Let's get out before we win." I can't call Murtha's statements opinions anymore because they're so divorced from the current situation on the ground that he must know he's telling one whopper after another just to distract attention from the previous set of whoppers.

I'd love asking Murtha if it's a failed policy when we kill the operational mastermind in iraq, capture and/or kill several of his top assistants during an ongoing operation that keeps capturing more insurgents while gathering more intel. If that's his idea of a failed policy, then please give me more disasters like that.

As for being time to redeploy, I'd suggest, sarcastically, that our troops that are rolling up the insurgents' network are constantly redeploying. The difference is that they're redeploying inside Iraq while killing bad guys, whereas Murtha's redeployment would let Iraq turn into a new safe haven for Zarqawi's followers.

Personally, I'd prefer the current tactic over Murtha's redeployment but that's just my opinion.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Cross-posted at LetFreedomRingBlog