Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Chuck and Harry Told Me The Surge Wasn't Working

“The Surge” isn’t working.

At least that’s what Harry Reid and Chuck Hagel would like us to believe. Of course they were telling us that before it even got going.

But our troops continue to prove them wrong.

Remember, the troop surge into Iraq was only one part of a larger, comprehensive plan for victory, a new way forward. There were many initiatives designed to address all aspects of such a complicated war. The increase in troop numbers, “The Surge,” was designed to quell the violence enough to allow the political and diplomatic processes to move forward.

And who have been the catalysts for violence in Iraq? Al Qaeda.

If tensions between Islamic sects and Iraqi tribes is gasoline, and has been for hundreds of years, always possessing the potential for volatility, then Al Qaeda has served as a seemingly endless box of matches, striking, and throwing themselves at the gas to cause so many explosions.

But what happens when you take the fire away from the gasoline? It quits exploding and goes back to being just another substance for the globo-warmers to fret over.

And that is precisely what is happening in Iraq now. It’s what’s been happening for at least the last 8 months or more. Coalition forces and the Iraqi people are taking Al Qaeda out of the equation.

During that time, Anbar province and its capital of Ramadi went from being “lost” to Al Qaeda as one intelligence report concluded, to being a model for what happens when the Iraqi people work with Coalition forces to take their country back. The number of attacks and acts of violence continue to decline in Anbar as the people turn on the terrorists and the tribal leaders work with our forces in a collective, concerted effort to drive out Al Qaeda.

Anbar has become an excellent example of what “The Surge” has accomplished. But “The Surge” isn’t working, right?

That same success is being reported elsewhere, outside of Anbar, especially in Diyala, around Baqouba, and now Taji.

On the 23rd, The Washington Times reported, as evidence of the ongoing cooperation of Iraqi’s with each other and our forces, at Taji, north of Baghdad, “U.S. forces have brokered an agreement between Sunni and Shi'ite tribal leaders to join forces against al Qaeda and other extremists, extending a policy that has transformed the security situation in western Anbar province to this area north of the capital.” “Members of the First Calvary Division based at nearby Camp Taji helped broker the deal on Saturday with the tribal leaders, who agreed to use members of more than 25 local tribes to protect the area around Taji from both Sunni and Shi'ite extremists.”

But “The Surge” isn’t working, right?

Also on the 23rd, The Times reported that dozens of Iraqi members of Al Qaeda, tired of the atrocities being committed by foreigners against Iraqi’s, have now become informants against Al Qaeda in the Baghdad neighborhood of Doura. The Times called this a “ground-breaking move in Doura” and “part of a wider trend that has started in other al-Qaeda hotspots across the country and in which Sunni insurgent groups and tribal sheikhs have stood together with the coalition against the extremist movement.” They go on to credit the increased presence of U.S. troops (The Surge) for making this happen.

But “The Surge” isn’t working, right?

Our increased presence is also opening the doors to the capturing and killing of many Al Qaeda terrorists in Iraq. On the 18th of this month we learned of the capture of Abu Shahid, the most senior Iraqi of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Abu Shahid has been serving as the go between for Al Qaeda headmen Osama bin Laden, Ayman al Zawahri, and Al Qaeda’s leadership in Iraq.

Abu Shahid has revealed to us an elaborate effort by Al Qaeda to put an Iraqi Sunni insurgency face on the terror group’s destruction in Iraq. As the Washington Post noted on the 18th, according to Brigadier General Kevin Bergner, Abu Shahid has told us, "In his words, the Islamic State of Iraq is a front organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within al-Qaida in Iraq in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of al-Qaida in Iraq." Much of what has been called a civil war is simply Al Qaeda in Iraq committing atrocities, disguising it as Iraqi’s attacking each other.

Catching terrorists like Abu Shahid and taking these struck matches away from the gasoline is made possible when you have enough boots on the ground to find the bad guys.

But “The Surge” isn’t working, right?

Wrong. Chuck and Harry are wrong.

“The Surge” is doing what it was designed to do. Our troops, as usual, are delivering on their part of the new way forward. They, along with the Iraqi’s, are taking Al Qaeda, the catalyst for the violence in Iraq, out of the picture. Now, the Iraqi politicians need to take a big deep breath in the room our troops have made for them to breathe, and get to work.

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