Does that graph look like security has vastly improved in Iraq to you? It doesn't to our Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Doing his best impression of Baghdad Bob, Reid stated during a press conference, responding to the question of why the Democrats are losing their "battles on the Hill" to Republicans:
"Who's winning?" Reid asked a group of reporters. "Big oil, big tobacco. ... Al Qaeda has regrouped and is able to fight a civil war in Iraq. ... The American people are losing."
Reid seems to be following up his earlier declaration of defeat in April. That hasn't panned out so well for him, but he's obviously not giving up the good fight, even if al Qaeda in Iraq has. Even Osama - "the darkness [in Iraq] is pitch black" - bin Laden himself isin't providing Reid any support. Unfortunately, we will never know if another pint of blood was spilled because of statements like this from Reid, but clearly that possiblity palls in comparison to the chance for partisan political gain.
The above graph is courtesy of Bill Rogio at the Long War Journal, who takes a look at the numbers and graphs just released by the IMF-Iraq. They show signficant declines in violence virtually across the board, and a more than 100% increase in the number of weapons caches found. Visit the Long War Journal for all of the graphs. Harry Reid aside, Iraq seems moving towards success more and more every day.
And in more good news, the Iraqi government has taken a major step forward in integrating its Sunni population, both from a political and security standpoint. This was a large matter of concern highlighted by the Washington Post and blogged here. One would think WaPo would prominently display the follow up to their then valid gloom and doom front page article, but they seem to have missed it for some reason. Perhaps its not newsworthy. Fortunately, USA Today has not:
Iraq's Shiite-dominated government has agreed to take over support of a U.S.-funded plan that has organized thousands of Iraqis — including former insurgents and their sympathizers — into local security groups.
The move is a long-awaited step toward national reconciliation, said Saad al-Muttalibi, an official at Iraq's Ministry of National Dialogue and Reconciliation.
"It's now reassuring that the government of Iraq recognizes that this is a program that has worked in Anbar and is beginning to work elsewhere in the country," said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. military spokesman.
Iraq intends to move the guards into training programs as quickly as possible, Muttalibi said. "It's not a good idea to have people with guns running around the streets," he said.
The movement toward local security began in predominantly Sunni Anbar province, where tribal leaders and their followers agreed to work with U.S. and Iraqi forces in fighting al-Qaeda. The program expanded rapidly elsewhere, including Baghdad.
At first, Iraq's government eyed the groups warily and considered them a potential threat. . . .
Read the article. Now, with today's most surreal thought - if we could only get the Iraq War funded . . .