Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Petraus Affect

General Petraeus is the military commander on the ground in Iraq. He has been criticized by political extremists lately. The far left extremist netroots have criticized the General for being a puppet for the Bush Administration. They claimed there was minimal success in Iraq and that the General would only parrot what the President wanted him to say. MOVEON.ORG, another left wing extremist group placed a political ad in the New York Times on the eve of the "Petraeus Report" criticizing the General and even going as far as calling the General "General Betrayed Us". Senator Harry Reid went as far as calling General Petraeus incompetent. I have to wonder why all this venom would be directed at a military commander that is doing his job.

I have found that the General has managed to change the outlook for Iraq. In Al Anbar Province the Sunni's have turned against Al Queda. The US Military has manged to gain greater control in Baghdad and in Diyala Province. Not only has the US managed to gain greater control but they have also managed to maintain the control. Just last month Al Sadr order the Mahdi Militia to stop the violence for at least 6 months. The US has been making military progress. No political progress can be made until Iraq is free from radical Islamists from outside the country. I suspect that as security in Iraq improves, the political outlook for Iraq will improve. There is another report today out of Iraq. It seems that the Shia in the south also want to join forces with the US. "Sheik Majid Tahir al-Magsousi, the leader of the Migasees tribe here in Wasit province" has had discussions with other Sheiks to side with the US and provide a brigade of soldiers to help guard against outside influences. These Sheiks have discussed the possibility of joining the US forces and provide community policing and border patrol on the Iranian border.

When the US invaded Iraq and toppled the Iraqi government a power vacuum was created. Many different factions attempted to gain power through violence. For four years the US forces defended their positions. In January 2007, President Bush announced a troop surge. General Petraeus was charged with waging a counter insurgency offensive. The offensive has allowed the US to gain control of security in Iraq and provide breathing room for the politicians to make their deals and move Iraq forward. However, now that the US is finally gaining the upper hand the left wing extremists demand an immediate withdrawal. Hillary Clinton says "Its to little to late" even though she also said "the surge is working". The problem with the democratic leadership is that they demand defeat. They have no ideas to move the Iraq effort forward. For a leader to say it is to little to late says that leader is more than willing to demand a withdrawal to ensure defeat in order to gain politically. With all of the anecdotal evidence that the surge is improving the security environment in Iraq I am more than willing to let the General continue his effort. I have full faith that General Petraeus will provide leadership and honest evaluations. I am sure the General will make decisions based on insight gained from the ground rather than the insight gained by following the media polls in the US. The Petraeus affect will lead the country in the right direction.

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