Iraq is the penultimate issue for our national security today. The economy will bounce back, but Iraq will not if the Dems win the presidency or a veto proof majority in the Senate. We are winning in Iraq against both al Qaeda and Iran – a fact that is reverberating throughout the Islamic world. Moreover, the government of Iraq has made tremendous strides politically and militarily since the start of the New Year. If we legislate surrender in Iraq, the ramifications will be dire and permanent. We will have handed a victory beyond reckoning to al Qaeda and to Iran, and we will have done far more to advance the cause of Islamic radicalism than had we never gone into Iraq. Yet we have seen this week: . . . An Associated Press photograph showed a boy being pulled from the rubble [after a U.S. counterattack]. The AP reported that Ali Hussein, 2, died at the hospital.
- Fox’s Bill O’Reilly do, at best, a marginal interview of Hillary Clinton on the issues of Iraq and Afghanistan on Thursday
- The Washington Post run a front page story Wednesday about American efforts to defeat the Sadrists in Sadr City – written from the Sadrist perspective and complete with photos of dead babies.
- The AP run an incredibly disingenuous story spinning statistics on our war dead and, in addition, ignoring all the positive indicators out of Iraq.
- Fox’s Chris Wallace do a horrendous interview of Obama on the issues of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan on Sunday. It was one puff ball question after the next with no follow-up.
I. Hillary and O'Reilly
This was Hillary Thursday night in her interview with Bill O’Reilly discussing issues of Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran:
1. Why does O’reilly, of all people, play this kabuki dance with Hillary of accepting at face value her ostensible reasons for legislating defeat in Iraq? Her opposition to the war in Iraq is pure opportunistic partisanship. Very coldly, very calculatingly, she’s tossing our national security under the bus so that she can gain power. Her base wants to label Iraq a failure at any cost. She heard the clarion call of her base and then tried to get to the left of Edwards and Obama. She is ambition unguided by any principles. Why in God’s name allow this woman to make her utterly ridiculous assertions without calling her on her motives?
2. O’reilly opens the segment of questions on Iraq by saying that "Iraq is a mess." Apparently the incredible progress in Iraq, both in terms of security and politically, since the start of the surge literally through today counts for nothing. What an utterly pretentious pusillanimous pontificating pedant O’Reilly is.
3. Once Hillary starts in, it is just insane. O’Reilly let’s Hillary get away with the tired and intellectually dishonest half quote of Gen. Petraeus, that "there is no military solution" to Iraq, and then a bald and breathless assertion that what we face in Iraq is "unprecedented." What is "unprecedented" Hillary never explains and O’Reilly never asks. She utterly refuses to acknowledge any progress in Iraq, as apparently does O’Reilly. Update: As Gateway Pundit sagely asks, "why is there no 'military solution in Iraq' but there is a military solution in Afghanistan?"
4. Hillary trots out the dishonest argument that to withdraw is the only way to "focus the Iraqi government." This is so transparent as to be mind-numbing. Iraqis are doing a tremendous job of focussing with us there at the moment. Further, we know from the recent hearings that Amb. Crocker thinks that pressuring the Iraqi govt. with withdrawing U.S. forces will have the precisely opposite effect.
5. Can Hillary possibly believe that Iran actually wants the U.S. to remain in Iraq? Every intelligence briefing we have seen and everything Iran is doing is designed to drive out America and create a Lebanon out of Iraq. This is a ridiculous theory made out of whole cloth. I want our spy-chief Mike McConnell to poll our intelligence agencies to see if there is any analyst who has been able to seriously consider Hilary's Iran-wants-us-to-stay-in-Iraq theory without laughing to the point of incontinence.
6. Under what possible alternate reality is Afghanistan more strategically important than Iraq? How much of the world's oil reserves are in Afghanistan? Iraq’s economy is, what, 100 times the size of Afghanistan’s. Iraq is dead in the center of the Middle East, it has both major Islamic sects and two major ethnic groups. Its loss to either al Qaeda or Iran would be exponentially more devastating to the war on terror than would be the loss of Afghanistan. There is a reason al Qaeda’s leaders have been saying publicly and privately since 2004 that Iraq is their main effort and there is a reason Iran is trying to "Lebanize" Iraq but not Afghanistan.
7. How does Hillary square her claim that Iraq is harming our effort in Afghanistan with the recent testimony from our military that Iraq is not detracting from our effort in Afghanistan.
8. O’reilly is at least accurate when he tells Hillary that withdrawing from Iraq will appear as weakness to Iran and al Qaeda. Both Benard Lewis and Arthur Hermann have written excellent essays on how destructive that would be, and I written on the topic here. O’reilly is also accurate that once we are out of Iraq, the Dems claims to go back into Iraq in case of problems is devoid of substance. The only reason we are succeeding in Iraq is because we have the large scale support of the people. That is what counterinsurgency is all about. If we pull out and things fall apart, who in Iraq at the local level will put their trust in U.S. troops - who will be on the ground for only a few days - while the people who will kneecap them with a power drill will show back up again as soon as the U.S. leaves? Where will we get our intelligence? If Clinton or Obama actually believe that we can pull out of Iraq yet remain close with a QRF and that such is sufficient to keep al Qaeda and Iran out of Iraq, they are utterly clueless.
All in all, I would have to rate the O’Reilly interview of Hillary a D. And that is by far the best of this rouge's gallery of agenda journalism for the week.
II. WaPo Does Dead Baby Propaganda For Sadr
On Wednesday, the Washington Post ran a front page story, U.S. Role Deepens In Sadr City, which discusses the U.S. push into Sadr City to put an end to the fiefdom being run by the Iranian backed Sadrists and to end the Iranian proxy attacks on the Green Zone, where, among other things, the Iraqi Parliament meets. Those attacks have been ongoing for months. Our soldiers are dying at the hands of Sadrists.
I sat down to fisk the article, but have found myself so outraged on each occasion that I have refrained, as what I would have written would have been incoherent profanity. The majority of the article is given over to presenting the Sadrist point of view and dwelling on collateral damage caused by U.S. counterattacks against Sadrist combatants who have taken up positions in inhabited dwellings. The article reports the casualty count according to the Sadrists and clearly gives the impression that the Sadrists are being more honest than the U.S. military – who stand accused of wantonly killing civilians. Here are the money quotes/photos from the article:
"Sadr City is under the American hammer and nobody is monitoring it," said Leewa Smeisim, the head of the Sadr movement's political bureau. "Eighty percent of the military operations are targeting innocents, . . .
Not to appear cold-hearted, but we are in a war and the people trying to kill our soldiers were in or near where that child was located. But a photo of that does not appear in the WaPo. The only reason to run the photo of this dead child is to create a negative emotional response towards our military. The child's death is a tragedy. The photo of that child's death is utterly despicable agenda journalism on behalf of those who wish to kill our soldiers.
If you would like to express your displeasure with this traitorous propaganda, the author is Amit R. Paley and can be reached by e-mail form here.
III. AP Misleading Reports Of U.S. Casualties
Also spinning beyond the pale was the A.P. with their article, US troop deaths push monthly toll to 7-month high in Iraq. It is a piece that ignores the incredibly positive news from Iraq in April and spins the rest in a manner as to approach the WaPo article as a piece of enemy propoganda. Dafydd at Big Lizards does an exceptional job of addressing this article, and I will simply link to his work here.
IV. Chris Wallace Interview of Obama
And then, lastly on Sunday, Fox’s Chris Wallace did a puff ball interview of Obama, letting him get away with ridiculous answers to easy questions on Iraq with no follow-up of any note. There were at least eight questions that should have been put to Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan, and I posted them here in detail. To summarize them:
1. At the Senate Hearings, you had a chance to ask Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker to evaluate your plan to leave Iraq beginning as soon as you take office – to let the American people know what the costs and benefits would be? You chose not to ask them that. Why not?
2. How much damage will it do to the war on terror, the fight against radical Islam led by al Qaeda and Iran, and our ability to convince any nation facing a threat to ally themselves with us if we leave Iraq before it is stabilized, allowing al Qaeda to reinfiltrate the Sunni portion while Iran creates a Hezbollah to dominate the Shia south?
3. Ambassador Crocker has clearly stated that attempting to pressure Iraq with threats of pulling out our soldiers is counterproductive because it puts Iraq’s political groups in the position of looking at their interests when the U.S. is gone rather than having enough feeling of security to make concessions. Why should we believe your argument to the contrary?
4. Al Qaeda says Iraq is its main effort. Zawahiri and bin Laden hate the Sunni Anbar Awakening movement and have vowed to destroy it because its success poses a mortal danger to the radical Islamic cause al Qaeda champions. We have all but destroyed al Qaeda in Iraq. So why should we leave and endanger all these gains before Iraq can handle its own internal and external security?
5. If Afghanistan is so important in your eyes, why, if you are in charge of the Sen. For. Relations subcommittee, have you not put the interests of the nation ahead of your own for a week and convened hearings to put pressure on our NATO allies to support the Afghan mission?
6. The Protect America Act contains an immunity provision for telecom companies who voluntarily cooperate with our intelligence community. Those companies face massive law suits from a dem special interest group - the tort bar. The Chairman of the House Sen. Intel Comm., a democrat, is on the record as noting that continued voluntary cooperation from these companies is vital to our national security and would be endangered by these lawsuits. You voted to strip out the immunity provision from the act. Why did you place the interests of a special interest group ahead of our nation’s security?
7. Given Iran’s long history of terrorism since 1979 and their clear goals to expand their influence and build a nuclear arsenal, what could you possibly offer Iran in talks that would change the inherent nature of the theocracy and move them from their current course?
8. What makes you think your plans to hold talks with Iran under the current circumstances are, one, justified, and two, would be any less ill advised, counterproductive and disastrous than the attempts to find a middle ground with Hitler in the 30's?
If you value intellectual honesty, objectivity and reality, this has been a very bad week for you, indeed.
. . . An Associated Press photograph showed a boy being pulled from the rubble [after a U.S. counterattack]. The AP reported that Ali Hussein, 2, died at the hospital.