Written by Vincent Gioia
May 25, 2008
By Vincent Gioia
You can always tell when things are going well in Iraq – critics are generally silent and the Democrats move on to other bogus issues. However the best indication is newspapers don’t report the unfortunate death of each of our brave American fighting men and women.
It is no accident that success in Iraq as measured by reduced violence and increasing assumption of responsibility for their country by Iraqis is slowly being achieved by improved military management under General Petraeus. President Bush has always been willing to accept the judgment of military leaders in Iraq and finally there is someone who is doing the job.
But as good as our military and our officers are doing, we must acknowledge that the Iraqi government under Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has stepped up and has begun to protect their country themselves – they must also be recognized and praised.
From the beginning of the Iraqi government creation many observers feared Maliki, a Shiite, would favor Shiites over the other segments of the Iraqi population, Kurds and Sunnis, and would turn the country over to Shiite Iran. Fortunately for Iraqis and the United States, this has not happened.
The first indication of Iraqi nationalism occurred when Maliki ordered the Iraqi army to subdue the Shiite militia in Basra and Baghdad. By acting against Shiite insurgents so strongly Maliki showed willingness of the Iraqi government to secure the country under its own responsibility; obviously the Americans helped and lent support but it was the Iraqi military that were fighting and dying for their country. The Maliki effort may not have been perfect but it was clearly an indication the Iraqis were willing to take action to preserve their new "more Democratic" government and country.
Although the action to subdue Shiite insurgents and the so-called "Mahdi army" under Muqtada al-Sadr was reported somewhat in the U.S. news media, it wasn’t given the attention this action deserved. For the leftists in the press and the Democrat Party success in Iraq on any level is bad news; only unsuccessful results in Iraq are politically useful to them to maintain public antipathy for our military action in Iraq (and against Republicans).
The latest success in Iraq to overcome al-Qaeda also goes largely unreported. My local newspaper, for example, had a small article about this on bottom of page 11. The U.S. ambassador announced that the al-Qaeda network in Iraq was never closer to defeat and praised Prime Minister Maliki for his action to control the Shiite and Sunni militant groups; did you read about this on the front page of your newspaper, probably not?
Iraqi forces have been cracking down on al-Qaeda terrorists both in the northern city of Mosul and in Basra in the south. Iraqi military in the thousands trained by the United States military attacked and ultimately controlled the Shiite stronghold in Sadr City in Baghdad, something that hasn’t happened in years. Of course al-Qaeda doesn’t give up easily and they continue terrorist attacks against Iraqis but clearly the Iraqis themselves are making headway to bring terrorism under control and minimized.
United States Ambassador Ryan Crocker described the achievements of the Iraqi government:
"There is important progress for the Iraqi forces in confronting the Sunni and Shiite militias. The government and the Prime Minister are showing a clear determination to take on extremist armed elements that challenge the government’s authority … no matter whom these elements are."
If the media were reporting news, these Iraqi efforts and successes would be covered at least as well as past failures but this won’t happen because their agenda is to support Democrats, not to inform the public. It does not help Democrats for the public to know our military under President Bush and the military leaders he chose is making progress in the war on terror as manifested in Iraq; have you noticed that Democrats aren’t bringing up Iraq as much as
they did before?