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“Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

Surgin’ General: The Petraeus Report

Posted by Atilla89 on September 12, 2007

FrontPage Magazine has some analysis regarding the report.

Now that he has, it’s easy to see why antiwar activists and legislators would be up in arms. For in the course of his remarks, Petraeus cast decisive doubt on their faith-based belief that the Iraq war is hopelessly lost and that immediate withdrawal is the only reasonable course of action.

Especially grating to antiwar ears must have been Petraeus’s conclusion that the military objectives to bring security and stability to Iraq are “in large measure” being met. Seconding the key judgment of last month’s National Intelligence Estimate, the general reported that, despite continuing violence, overall security has improved. (I have been saying this for a very long time since  the beginning of ’07) Civilian deaths have declined, with the number of terrorist attacks ebbing to its lowest point since June of 2006. Most striking has been the improvement in Baghdad, where violence has declined by 70 percent since the start of the surge. High-profile terrorist attacks may grab all the headlines. But beneath the media’s radar, security, the prerequisite for any lasting political solution to Iraq’s chaos, is spreading.

A principal reason for the decline in overall violence is that terrorist organizations in Iraq have taken a beating in recent months. By General Petraeus’s count, U.S. armed forces have killed and captured some 2,600 al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq this year alone. The result? Suicide terror strikes and car bombings have fallen in each of the past five months. In that context, the general appropriately highlighted the developments in Anbar province, where Sunni sheiks have joined with U.S. forces to expel al-Qaeda aligned jihadists. To reports that the province signals impressive success for U.S. military strategy, the general added some empirical heft, pointing out that terrorist attacks have fallen from 1,350 last October to just over 200 last month.

Petraeus’s bottom line might be summed up in this way: It’s too early to conclude that the United States is winning in Iraq. But it does not go beyond the available evidence to say that the terrorists are loosing. Small wonder that some war opponents are outraged.

This is absolute gold, and is exactly what the President needs to boost his popularity. As well as this, Republican candidates can use this report as evidence that it is much better to stay the course in Iraq rather then cut and run as the Democrats want to which as Petraeus says would have would have “dangerous results,”. Petraeus suggests a transition of security responsibility from coalition forces to Iraqi security forces, which he said would be “not be adequate” without maintaining the surge.

But the main reason why I believe this report is so important is because it names names. One particular name is, you guessed it, Iran.

An equally serious threat to Iraqi stability is external: Iran. In a revelation that must have displeased many of on the antiwar side — who claim, in defiance of all evidence, that Iran has no connection to the violence in Iraq — General Petraeus noted that one of the military’s biggest failures was its tardiness in recognizing the extent of Iran’s involvement in fueling terrorism in Iraq. Not only do Shiite militias and insurgent groups receive support from Iran, Petraeus said, but Iran’s terrorist creation, Hezbollah, is also implicated in the violence. According to Petraeus, a “senior Lebanese Hezbollah operative” is among those captured by American forces in Iraq. If there was any doubt that Iran is in a proxy war with the United States, the general’s testimony should settle it.

You can read the rest of the report from the link at the top of the page.

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