"The surge didn’t accomplish its goal. And some of the success of the surge is . . . [because of] the goodwill of the Iranians."
So the question is, is she traitorous or simply insane?
Nancy Pelosi gave an interview with the SF Chronicle yesterday. When asked about what she observed in Iraq during her May 17 visit, she replied:
Well, the purpose of the surge was to provide a secure space, a time for the political change to occur to accomplish the reconciliation. That didn’t happen. Whatever the military success, and progress that may have been made, the surge didn’t accomplish its goal. And some of the success of the surge is that the goodwill of the Iranians-they decided in Basra when the fighting would end, they negotiated that cessation of hostilities-the Iranians.
As to reconciliation, Ms. Pelosi's narrative is ridiculous. Even our own perfidious MSM is now acknowledging both the great strides towards reconciliation that Iraq has made and the fact that the Iraqis are rallying around Maliki as a nationalist leader. Maliki is extremely popular across the spectrum of Iraq's citizens. Indeed, the only places where he is unpopular are in Tehran and, apparently, in the offices of Congressional Democrats.
As to Iran, any inference from events surrounding Basra that Iran is acting with goodwill towards the U.S. and the government of Iraq is not merely unsupported by the facts, it is a highly malignant falsehood. Iran's primary contribution to the situation in Iraq is death and mayhem. Their malign and extensive proxy war is at the heart of the need for the continuation of the surge.
Pelosi is a hyperpartisan hack. She is either wholly unable to distinguish reality or quite willing to ignore it in her all encompassing desire for political power.
ABC News, May 28, 2008: Maliki's Midas Touch
. . . The Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites alike all eventually lauded the Basra operation as a huge success and whole-heartedly backed Maliki in his next endeavor — to revisit Mosul, and take on al Qaeda.
. . . Acutely aware of his political momentum, on May 12, Maliki, accompanied by crews from Al Iraqia TV, the official state-run media outlet — went to Mosul — and Maliki personally, and publicly, took charge of the military operations there.
He was the lead story and plastered across almost every local front page.
. . . Sadr is trying to grasp on to a sliver of political leverage, claiming to have struck the deal which brought his people their livelihoods back. While Maliki is lauding the latest in a series of successes to ensure security and a regained national unity to his country.
Certainly, it seems as though there is little Maliki can do wrong these days. With provincial elections around the corner, an Iraqi future without Maliki is almost impossible to imagine.
The Atlantic, May 13, 2008, Maliki's Southern Strategy
. . . At first, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's decision to confront Moqtada al-Sadr's Iranian-backed militas looked like a major strategic misstep. Now it appears to have transformed Iraqi politics, potentially paving the way for real reconciliation between Sunni and Shia.
. . . [T]here has also been a more lasting change: The Sadrists have been marginalized. Even the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who has been reluctant to make political interventions in recent years, pointedly condemned Sadr for refusing to disarm. Leading Sunni faction have also returned to the fold. The Kurds, who have their own problems with Sadr, are also on board. Maliki, suprisingly enough, increasingly looks like the leader of all Iraqis.
. . . Unfortunately, few Americans understand what Maliki has accomplished, and how much international assistance he needs to beat back foreign elements that aim to undermine Iraq's fragile democracy -- which is, as far as neighboring governments are concerned (particularly those that begin with an "I" and end with an "n"), a profoundly subversive influence.
USA Today, April 22, 2008, Iraq Frees Detainees
Most of those released were Sunnis who had been low-level army officials or former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party. . . .
The prisoners are being freed under an amnesty law passed by Iraq's parliament in February. More than 52,400 detainees in government custody have applied for their freedom. Of those, nearly 78%, or more than 40,000, were granted amnesty. . . .
"This is sort of a new life," Othman said. "Terrorism started and now it is ending. A new life is coming, God willing."
NYT, February 12, 2008, Making (Some) Progress In Iraq
Iraq’s Parliament has finally approved a budget, outlined the scope of provincial powers, set an Oct. 1 date for provincial elections and voted a general amnesty for detainees. All these steps are essential for national conciliation.
. . . We are, of course, cheered by the news that representatives from Iraq’s three main ethnic groups — Shiite, Sunni and Kurd — finally saw some benefit in compromise. . . .
Washington Post, May 29, 2008, U.S. Cites Big Gains Against Al Qaeda
. . . [CIA Chief Michael]Hayden warned, however, that progress in Iraq is being undermined by increasing interference by Iran, which he accused of supplying weapons, training and financial assistance to anti-U.S. insurgents. While declining to endorse any particular strategy for dealing with Iran, he described the threat in stark terms.
"It is the policy of the Iranian government, approved at the highest levels of that government, to facilitate the killing of American and other coalition forces in Iraq. Period," he said.
Dramatic video produced by Iraqi insurgents and captured in a raid earlier this week by U.S. troops clearly shows a battery of sophisticated Iranian-made rocket launchers firing on American positions east of Baghdad, Pentagon officials said Wednesday.
The video, captured during a raid on Monday by the 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment in northeast Nahrawan, shows insurgents setting up and carrying out an attack on Sunday, as well as an attack on July 11 that killed one soldier and wounded 15 others, officials said. The raid last month appeared to involve 34 launchers firing 107 mm Iranian-made rockets.
AFP, May 5, 2008, Iran Ex-President Under Fire For Comments On Insurgents
Ex-president [of Iran] Mohmamad Khatami was under fire from hardliners on Monday after comments interpreted as accusing Iran's clerical leaders of supporting insurgents in the Middle East.
. . . His speech has been seen by some observers as accusing the Iranian authorities of encouraging militants to destabilize the Middle East, in particular Iraq and Lebanon. . . .
Voices of Iraq, May 3, 2008, Karbala Operations Commander Accuses Iran of Disturbing the City
Karbala operations commander said on Saturday that Iranian intervention is disturbing the city's security.
He noted that huge quantities of Iranian made weapons were seized throughout different locations in the province.
"There is Iranian intervention . . . in Karbala," Major General Ra'id Shaker Jawdat said in a press conference at Karbala operations command's building, after showing a large quantity of Iranian-made weapons.
. . . "Those weapons entered Karbala to destabilize security, . . .
AEI, May 13, 2008, Speech by Col. H.R. McMaster, Advisor to Gen. Petraeus
Col H.R. McMaster: . . . When I traveled through the south on a last couple of visits, what I heard – and this is again on the point of militias being increasingly discredited, and this is from Iraqi Shiite leaders who were saying things like Iran is the true occupier of Iraq. They would say jokingly that the Iranians are now all Iraqi nationalists, which is a thinly-veiled swipe at some of the militias in some of these areas.
And so whereas before about a year ago, you wouldn’t really hear Iraqi leaders, especially in these areas in the south, offering criticism of Iran and the parties and communities within Iraq who were playing host to Iranian influence but you hear that almost all the time now among Shiite Arab leaders. And also a connection to Iran, and this again affects the militias, is becoming a liability much like being connected to Al-Qaeda was a liability for so-called resistance movements in the Sunni Arab community. These are again changes that I’ve seen in the last year.
The contradictions of Iranian policies I’ve mentioned at the beginning have been exposed and Iraqis have to deal with them now. They have to deal with them again partly because of that pressure on the political parties, who are embarrassed by the connections to Iran and what Iran is doing. So the sixth thing is, no big surprise, the exposure of Iranian activity and Iran’s true intentions. . . .
. . . In the case of what Iran is doing in Iraq, it is so damn obvious to anybody who wants to look into it, I think, that is drop the word “alleged” and say what they’re doing, which is, we know for a fact organizing and directing operations against the government of Iraq and against our forces – the government of Iraq forces and our forces – we know they have done that, certainly in the past. We know that they are supplying them with weapons and the most effective weapons that they used to attack the Iraqi people and our forces and these include the long-range high payload rockets that have been coming in from Iraq as well as the explosively formed projectile roadside bombs that come from Iran.
We know that they have trained forces in the employment of these munitions - and in pretty large numbers. We know that they were concerned that their maligned hand being obvious in Iraq would alienate their Arab neighbors so they try Arabize these efforts by using Lebanese Hezbollah for a lot of the training but it’s a pretty cosmetic shift that they’ve made in some portions of the training.
We know for a fact that they have directed assassination operations. They have a reputation of being some of the best assassins in the world. They’ve trained Iraqis to do that. They’ve trained them in skills not only for roadside bombs and in long-range rockets but also in snipers and other skills used to intimidate or kill individuals. And we know that they have been sort of backing all horses to destabilize the situation and we know that their support is continued to key Badr officials who are in influential positions who remain on the payroll of Iran and to advance the interests of Iran and, in some cases, to provide leadership for other militia organizations that are stood up.
We know that they ostensibly have supported this government but have armed, equipped and trained a militia that has been attacking the very government they ostensibly support. And this is not just something in Basra, this is last year. This is in Nasariyah, this is Samwa, this is in Diwaniyahm, this is in Amarah and it was in Karbala in August 26th and 27th of last year. And now again in Basra.
So I think it’s very obvious. Now on this specific question you have - has it increased or has it decreased? I think it’s very clear that what Iran has done over the last year is try to develop a considerable latent capability that it could turn on in short notice. And I think that it may have been that this bold and very quick action by the Prime Minister in Basra foiled what was to be perhaps a much larger and coordinated effort, maybe even coordinated with efforts in other places in the region, like what we’re seen happening right now in Lebanon.
So, anyway, I think it’s very obvious what they’re doing. I think it’s very obvious to Iraqis, it certainly is. The Iraqis I’ve spoken to are incensed about it and I think it’s no longer alleged. Yes?
Demetri Sevastopulo: If it’s been going on for so long, why is it you said earlier that the Iraqis are only recently starting to talk about Iranian involvement? Why did it not bother them before?
H.R. McMaster: Now, that’s a great point. Part of the reason is the intimidation factor. We know that Iran had really been able to establish a pretty high degree of control over some key officials, you know, provided them protection. And then also some assassination cells and elements of militia that would kill anybody who made a statement against Iranian interests. So what I think what has happened is Iran has so blatantly undermined the security situation and it’s so clear now that they want to keep Iraq as a weak, failing state, is what they would like I think, dependent on them for support that many more Iraqis now are disavowing connections to Iran and providing more space, more physical space in terms of intimidation. There’s more sort of a political space to address this issue than there had been previously.
And then also, if you remember Iran was a big supporter of the militias which before and this goes back to the effective operations against Al-Qaeda and the importance of it, those militias were justified in large measure because of the perception that they were protectors against these Takfirists and Salafi jihadistss who play with Al-Qaeda, and the Baathists, the former regime. So all these, what Iran could do was raise the specter of terrorist attacks against Shiite communities as a justification for its support in nefarious activities. Now, the contradiction of what they’ve been doing is much more obvious to many more people than it had been previously. . . .
Nancy Pelosi has slandered the incredible accomplishments of our soldiers. She owes our soldiers and our nation an apology. And she owes a special apology to the family of every soldier killed and maimed by Iran in the conduct of their proxy war. She has denigrated their sacrifice with her falsehoods in her pursuit of partisan power.
The tremendous offensiveness of Pelosi's falsehoods are bad enough. But what makes her remarks truly malignant are that those remarks are upon an issue at the heart of our national security. Indeed, on the largest national security issue we face, Iran, pretending that they are a benign and helpful entity can only serve to place our nation in ever greater danger. It prevents us from acknowledging reality and developing a plan to deal with Iran that will have the support of our nation. That is not merely inexcusable, but for the third most powerful person in our government, it is traitorous and criminal.