“There’s no way you can win a war when not only have you lost the hearts and minds of people, when you have become their enemy,” Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said during a press conference at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia.
Murth says "we can't win". His solution is to get our troops out of Iraq (it is lost after all), and attain victory by engaging in diplomatic deliberations with Abu Zarqawi. And this time, he says it's because we've lost hearts and minds. Really?
More than 6 in 10 Iraqis feel very safe in their own neighborhoods, up sharply from just 40 percent in June 2004.
61 percent say local security is good up from 49 percent in February 2004.
51 percent say they feel safe - nearly double what it was in June 2004.
Confidence in the Iraqi Army, up from 39 percent in November 2003 to 67 percent now
Confidence in the police, up from 45 percent to 68 percent.
Average household incomes have soared by 60 percent in the last 20 months.
70 percent of Iraqis rate their own economic situation positively.
In early 2004, 6 percent of Iraqi households had cell phones now it's 62 percent.
Ownership of satellite dishes has nearly tripled.
More families now own air conditioners - 58 percent up from 44 percent. Which may have something to do with Iraqis opinion of their electricity infrastructure as 54 percent say it's bad in their area, although that's down from 64 percent last year.
Interest in politics was 39 percent in an Oxford survey in November 2003, 54 percent in February 2004 and 69 percent now.
76% of Iraqis express confidence in the national elections being held this week.
6 in 10 Anbar residents have confidence that the elections will lead to a stable government.
70 percent approve of the new constitution.
Preference for a democratic political structure has advanced, to 57 percent of Iraqis, while support for an Islamic state has lost ground, to 14 percent (the rest, 26 percent, chiefly in Sunni Arab areas, favor a "single strong leader" (they miss Saddam.....awwwww).
When Iraqis instead are asked which of these systems they prefer not now, but in five years' time, support for democracy is a bit higher - 64 percent
70 percent including most people in Sunni and Shiite areas alike want Iraq to remain a unified country
88 percent of those in Sunni areas want a unified Iraq, compared with 56 percent in Shiite provinces
99 percent of Iraqis support women voting or working as medical doctors
69 percent of Iraqis expect things for the country overall to improve in the next year.
70 percent think security nationally will improve in the next year.
52% of Iraqis say coalition forces should remain until security is restored or longer.
10 to 13 point gains in ratings of local crime protection, security and medical care, as well as in the still-problematic areas of electric supply and jobs.
While most of these ratings have improved since February 2004, fewer Iraqis now say these conditions are better than they were before the war. That could reflect both dimmer recollection and an unwillingness to give the war credit for positive change. The measure above, rating conditions without relying on recollection, is the more reliable one.
Leftists love to claim that we can not win militarily as if our Strategy for Victory in Iraq was comprised solely of military means. They are intentionally blind to our political progress in Iraq precisely because they must satisfy the "we can't win militarily" meme. They know that the Iraqi army will be "built out" (reach the size PLANNED for it) by May or June of next year, and the Iraqi police are slated to be "built out" early in 2007. By claiming defeat now and citing troop reductions when and only when they are warranted, they will attempt to save face. We've known all along that we can't win without the military component or the political, or the economic.
Al Qaeda calls the upcoming elections in Iraq "Satanic". They aren't willing to negotiate, Mr. Murtha. The home grown portion of the Iraqi "insurgency" is comprised of former Ba'athists loyal to leftist humanitarian hero Saddam Hussein, and they had previously hoped that their sugar-daddy and his leftist comrades around the globe would be able to thwart the effort to democratize Iraq and that they would be returned to their previously undeservedly spoiled existence - Shia Muslim (Arab) and Sunni Muslim Kurd be damned! We'll, that didn't work out for them. They boycotted the first election, and progress continued. They defied al Qaeda a little in the constitutional referendum in an attempt to spoil it, but it succeeded. Now the choice for Iraq's Sunni Arabs is black and white: Lay down their arms and participate in the December 15th elections to elect proportional representation in Iraq's new democracy, or continue their bloody and futile fight to return to the ways of the past. How are they choosing?
FALLUJA/RAMADI Iraq (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein loyalists who violently opposed January elections have made an about-face as Thursday's polls near, urging fellow Sunni Arabs to vote and warning al Qaeda militants not to attack. Guerrillas in the western insurgent heartland of Anbar province say they are even prepared to protect voting stations from fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.
Graffiti calling for holy war is now hard to find. Instead, election campaign posters dominate buildings in the rebel strongholds of Ramadi and nearby Falluja, where Sunnis staged a boycott or were too scared to vote last time around. "We want to see a nationalist government that will have a balance of interests. So our Sunni brothers will be safe when they vote," said Falluja resident Ali Mahmoud, a former army officer and rocket specialist under Saddam's Baath party. "Sunnis should vote to make political gains. We have sent leaflets telling al Qaeda that they will face us if they attack voters."
Keep in mind this is the same Abu Zarqawi they are referring to that once wrote Osama bin Laden lamenting the "poor Sunni (Arabs)". This is the end of their love affair. As an aside, isn't it funny how the Sunni Arab group - al Qaeda can issue a call to defend the regime of Sunni Arab Saddam Hussein and his Sunni Arab Ba'athists (while in the same breath proclaiming that a partnership with the global left was to both groups' advantage) and Democrats go out of their way to stand common sense on its head denouncing links between AQ and Hussein? Now, thanks to our pursuit of democracy for all Iraqis, including the ex-Ba'athists, the goals of Iraqs Sunni Arabs and Al Qaeda are at odds.
Dec. 19, 2005 issue - Ahmed Duraid is ready for a new era. Like almost all of his neighbors in Adhamiya, a stronghold of the Sunni insurgency along the Tigris River in central Baghdad, the 35-year-old clothes vendor boycotted Iraq's National Assembly elections last January on the advice of Sunni fighters and influential political groups such as the Association of Muslim Scholars. But the consequences for Adhamiya were severe: shadowy religious militias with ties to the Shiite-dominated government began arresting, kidnapping and sometimes murdering young Sunni men in the neighborhood; Duraid felt unprotected, even abandoned, by the country's new leaders. "We didn't participate, and the others took power alone, and this is the result," Duraid told NEWSWEEK.
Saddam Hussein once ruled Iraq with brutal predictability. In the political realm, nobody had to think, or to choose, or to compete. You did what you were told, and when elections came around, you voted for Saddam. But today, as the ex-dictator stands trial for atrocities, even some Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers are beginning to acknowledge the power of the ballot box. Duraid and his fellow residents say they've learned from their mistake: they plan to participate in the Dec. 15 vote for a new National Assembly.
This new determination has transformed the atmosphere of places like Adhamiya. Posters for the Iraqi Consensus Front—a slate consisting of the three main Sunni parties—have sprouted on walls and lampposts. Candidates are drumming up votes in mosques and meeting halls. On one street corner last week, a mute 10-year-old boy enthusiastically passed out cards adorned with photos of Salih al-Mutlaq, a popular Sunni politician. "Iraq now is at a crossroads," reads a political leaflet distributed in Sunni neighborhoods, urging people to vote next week. "Either unity, dignity and security... or division and bloodshed."
Everyone in Iraq has a sense of urgency. U.S. diplomats, convinced that the insurgency can't be defeated by military means alone, see the elections as a vital chance to find a political solution to Iraq's seemingly intractable problems.
Stop. No one EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER promoted a strategy that called for "military means alone"...EVER. EVER! President Bush has consistently cited the need to democratize Iraq in order to succeed against the insurgency and the terrorists that oppose a democratic Iraq. What we are seeing RIGHT NOW is that his strategy is succeeding in ending the home grown insurgency. In other words (never to be printed in the likes of Newsweek) - BUSH WAS RIGHT! :)
"Growing numbers of Sunnis, meanwhile, realize that pursuing a guerrilla war against the Americans and shunning the political process won't end their marginalization."
That sounds familiar!
" For many Iraqis, the trial of Saddam is also a reminder of the pitfalls of a one-party state. (In days of emotionally charged testimony, victims of Saddam's regime told stories of torture, rape and murder.) Even some insurgent groups are encouraging people to vote. "We will participate, and we have called on all of our battalions in Anbar province and [the rest of] Iraq to take part," says Abu Baraa, 35, a fighter for the Islamic Army in Fallujah.
Nobody is saying that a heavy Sunni turnout will end the violence: radical Islamic militants loyal to Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi have vowed to continue their terror campaign until they establish an Islamic state in Iraq.
Indeed, just today, President Bush said that the violence (which leftists in the Democrat party and the press are myopically focused on) will not end with the elections. But changes, there WILL be:
"But the Bush administration, which has seen one "turning point" after another lead nowhere, believes this one could be different. "If you have a government that comes out of participation by all communities," U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told NEWSWEEK, "then resistance against it is illegitimate."
Note that "the Bush administration" said nothing that can possibly be construed as "this time it will be different, we will end the violence". Now we know who Newsweek considers "Nobody" as I said, they are generally focused on "the violence". For if there is "violence" they can focus on it instead of the good stuff. And if the meriad of "turning points" got us "nowhere", then how did we end up here?
Zarqawi routinely targets moderate Sunni leaders for assassination. Half a dozen Sunni politicians have been killed in the past six months, most of them prominent moderates. Two weeks ago Ayad al-Izi, a well-respected cleric and National Assembly candidate from the Iraqi Islamic Party, was gunned down minutes after giving a conciliatory speech to high-ranking members of a Sunni tribe. "He created a wave of acceptance around the political process, and that scared some people," says Alaa Makee, a senior member of the Iraqi Islamic Party. Despite the threat of violence, most observers believe that the Sunnis will achieve large gains in the elections.
Again, we see that Democrat claims run contrary to the reality they so desperately hope no one notices. There is no way to square the success in the realm of Iraqi public opinion alone with the defeatist rhetoric of the Democrats today. Look out Donks, December 15th is going to be a REAL "Benchmark for success", no thanks to you.