Video: Nutroots public enemy number one talks progress in Iraq; Update: Calls for withdrawal are reducing the chance of political reconciliation, says Burns

posted at 7:59 pm on July 30, 2007 by Allahpundit

I guess he’d actually be number two after O’Reilly. It’s Michael O’Hanlon, surge supporter, senior fellow at the leftish Brookings Institution, co-author of that wave-making op-ed in the NYT this morning, and now persona non grata among progressives. Barnett’s been following their reaction to the piece all day; go ye and read, and read Jonathan Chait at TNR too. He’s under the wingnutty assumption that O’Hanlon and Pollack might actually believe what they’re saying, contra the leading nutroots theory that they have every incentive to report progress in Iraq even though doing so guarantees their alienation from the left-wing establishment.

The only truly surprising thing about the op-ed is how old the news is. Unless you’re Rick Ellensburg, it’s no bombshell that violence is down dramatically in Anbar and some Sunni tribes are working with the United States. The reality-based community fancies itself forever attuned to reality with laser precision, immune to the cognitive dissonance that plagues wingnut denialists. Now they’re hearing about progress from two of their own, albeit two who have been and continue to be hawkish about Iraq, and they’re not sure how to process the information. You’re seeing the same thing, slowly but surely, in their writing about Petraeus, who used to be known as the guy who should have been in charge from the beginning to conduct a proper counterinsurgency campaign and is now known as a wholly owned BushCo operative because, like O’Hanlon and Pollack, he’s dared to acknowledge progress on the ground. Dean wrote about that today, too. Be aware of how they’re demonizing him going forward because the closer we get to the September progress report, the more the left is going to want to preemptively discredit anything hopeful that he might have to say. He is, after all, in the words of Ellensburg himself just another “shiny uniform” and thus, to quote Sullivan’s latest disgusting rhetorical equivalency between Islamists and people he doesn’t like, a part of “Bush’s increasingly sectarian military.”

Update: Once O’Hanlon’s tenure as designated hate object ends, here’s the guy who’ll replace him:

There’s a paradox. That’s to say the more that the Democrats in the Congress lead the push for an early withdrawal, the more Iraqi political leaders, particularly the Shiite political leaders, but the Sunnis as well, and the Kurds, are inclined to think that this is going to be settled, eventually, in an outright civil war, in consequence of which they are very, very unlikely or reluctant, at present, to make major concessions. They’re much more inclined to kind of hunker down. So in effect, the threats from Washington about a withdrawal, which we might have hoped would have brought about greater political cooperation in face of the threat that would ensue from that to the entire political establishment here, has had, as best we can gauge it, much more the opposite effect, of an effect that persuading people well, if the Americans are going, there’s absolutely no…and we’re going to have to settle this by a civil war, why should we make concessions on that matter right now?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

So can we question their patriotism ?

I hae no doubts about thier insanity

William Amos on July 30, 2007 at 8:03 PM

He hates to use the word, “win.”

No kidding.

Laura on July 30, 2007 at 8:12 PM

Lay off Rick Ellensburg; he served in Afghanistan.

Luckily, I don’t think the leaders of the Democratic party are nearly as silly at the left-wing bloggers, so hopefully this means a tide will start turning in opinion which they’ll be quick to follow.

frankj on July 30, 2007 at 8:25 PM

I tend to agree here. I had no idea that the anti-war base had crafted such a well-defined reality for themselves until the whole Beauchamp fiasco.

When we milbloggers unanimously crapped on Beauchamp’s stories, the left accused us of hating ourselves. Seriously.

So it doesn’t surprise me that O’Hanlon is getting flak for calling a spade a spade here. They had made up their minds in December that the surge would fail, so in this bizarro reality Al-Anbar doesn’t exist, Baquba is still hot, Fallujah and Mosul were never cleared, and presumably somewhere in Baghdad lies Paul Wolfowitz dressing down disfigured women and wearing Iraqi remains as a hat.

General Petraeus, like most of us who serve, swear our oaths to the constitution. That means he’ll feel an obligation to Congress to give the most honest assessment possible. Honest means taking the good with the bad.

Unfortunately, we already know that Congressional Dems and the nutroots will seize on the bad and use it to prop up that “hopeless” narrative that they’ve constructed.

Which is kind of a bummer, from a military perspective.

John from OPFOR on July 30, 2007 at 8:26 PM

…The only truly surprising thing about the op-ed is how old the news is…

You wouldn’t be questioning the timing, now would you?

CyberCipher on July 30, 2007 at 8:26 PM

*Petraeus sworn his oath to the Constitution.

‘scuse the typo. It’s been a long day defending freedom.

John from OPFOR on July 30, 2007 at 8:27 PM

As Rush was saying today…something is fishy. While I’m glad some actual reporting is coming from Iraq…why now?

I must say, I think nothing more than stating the obvious. We ARE winning, and we WILL win.

SouthernGent on July 30, 2007 at 8:39 PM

“WINNING THE WAR?”

Stupid question. We’ve already won the war, and in only 3 weeks, back in ’03. The Iraqi people have *elected* a new govt. The “war” is their’s to lose, not ours.

Tony737 on July 30, 2007 at 8:43 PM

Which is kind of a bummer, from a military perspective.

John from OPFOR on July 30, 2007 at 8:26 PM

Kind of a bummer from our country’s point of view, too. This place is in bad shape when the battle over the next election becomes more important than beating our enemies.

JackStraw on July 30, 2007 at 8:45 PM

Why the hell would anyone in our country want us to lose any war?

Don’t they thinkl the enemy is dangerous enough?

Or is just it the self-loathing, self-defeating, America-lasters in their usual “but we killed the Indians and had slaves so we are permanently tainted and should be dismantled and destroyed for our own good” clownocracy?

I don’t care if every “reason” for getting into Iraq was mistaken, killing jihadis is a good thing.

You don’t often get the opportunity to rid the world of psychotic scumbags.

We have a rare chance to flush beheading, carbombing, maniacs from reality.

How can that be looked upon as anything but a happy accident, at worst?

Who wants us to lose?

Losers.

profitsbeard on July 30, 2007 at 8:54 PM

Yep he can’t say win. That is because he is a loser.
That boy has allot of can’t in him.

TheSitRep on July 30, 2007 at 9:07 PM

for a ‘traitor to the moonbat cause’ he sure is very very guarded in his optimism

Defector01 on July 30, 2007 at 9:14 PM

As Rush was saying today…something is fishy. While I’m glad some actual reporting is coming from Iraq…why now?

I must say, I think nothing more than stating the obvious. We ARE winning, and we WILL win.

SouthernGent on July 30, 2007 at 8:39 PM

I was somewhat perplexed myself at this and some of the talk on the MSM this past weekend. Some of them are doing a 180 degree turn all of the sudden.
One thing Rush did say was “This don’t just happen by accident folks” We just have to figure out what the reason is. One other theory he floated was that the Clinton machine was at work. With the gains Obama has made lately The biggest threat Clinton Inc. has right now is him and his anti-war agenda. So….change perceptions on the war. Did you notice the NYT article last week about support for the invasion of Iraq. Hmmmmmmm.

conservnut on July 30, 2007 at 9:20 PM

Yeah, that’s not so hard to figure out. I’d vote for her over that leftist POS any day.

Jaibones on July 30, 2007 at 9:27 PM

He hates to use the word, “win.”

No kidding.

Laura on July 30, 2007 at 8:12 PM

Yeah, that was a bit disappointing but it’s the best we’ve got from those who opposed the war and are now at least being honest about progress so we sort of got to take it and run I guess.

Yakko77 on July 30, 2007 at 9:43 PM

There’s a paradox. That’s to say the more that the Democrats in the Congress lead the push for an early withdrawal, the more Iraqi political leaders, particularly the Shiite political leaders, but the Sunnis as well, and the Kurds, are inclined to think that this is going to be settled, eventually, in an outright civil war…

Experienced leaders know about this effect and don’t consider it a paradox, just a tactic. A definitive loss for the U.S. could benefit the Democratic Party in 2008. Hillary knows how she is seen on the Arab street. And she uses it for deliberate effect. Many people in Iraq are trying to pick the winning side to join up. For those wavering people this Al Jazeera story is actionable intelligence.

The recent Democratic initiatives in the Senate have attempted to reduce the U.S. forces in Iraq to the Rumsfeld days, not to end the war, and certainly not to end the war. Such a compromise between victory and defeat will leave a war continuing through Nov. 2008 with a losing strategy and will spell the end of the Republican Party for years.

TunaTalon on July 30, 2007 at 9:50 PM

Be aware of how they’re demonizing him going forward because the closer we get to the September progress report, the more the left is going to want to preemptively discredit anything hopeful that he might have to say.

This is the disgusting reality I’ve been repeating for years now. This isn’t just some partisan far right nut thing to say, it’s very obvious: The left WANTS us to lose. Failure and other negative things are the only way Democrats can win by default, which is the only way they can win because they have no plans or ideas. It’s all about hoping and praying for death and chaos and anything else negative they can imagine. What do you think all the bogus “scandals” and investigations have been about?

And it ain’t the “fringe” left folks, it’s the mainstream left, elected Democrats, your friends and neighbors. It’s f-ing disgusting, and I’m tired of folks acting like I’m out on the fringe for recognizing the obvious. I’m surprised AP even went so far to acknowledge it, but I would definitely take it further. Folks really don’t understand just how bad this is. These people want death and chaos, a bad economy, etc. in hopes that they can gain power in our country.

RightWinged on July 30, 2007 at 10:47 PM

When he blamed the US Military for not “getting the word out” about the drop in violence, did anyone else wanna push the guy’s face in, a tiny bit? I mean, no the Military hasn’t done the best PR job, but just to assign all the blame to them for only bad news coming out of Iraq, when you work for the New York Times … It leaves me speechless. And angry. Makes me wanna pound my head on my desk. That’s an unbelievable amount of gall.

First they betray the Military, then they blame the Military for that betrayl.

apollyonbob on July 30, 2007 at 11:39 PM

They’re much **more inclined to kind of hunker down. So in effect, **the threats from Washington about a withdrawal, which we might have hoped would have brought about greater political cooperation in face of the threat that would ensue from that to the entire political establishment here, **has had, as best we can gauge it, much more the opposite effect,

**Herein lies the utter idiotic strategy of the Dems. They thought by being all Anti-Bush all the time in everything, they could win ’08 with a landslide.

The reason for the 180 degree is very clear: they are not stupid. They are idiots, but not stupid.

However it is way too late.

**This my friends is the final leg of devastation and obscurity for the Liberals and Democrats.

**You have just witnessed their self-inflicted snare being tripped.

This is it.

Mark my word.

Start planning the Grand Old Party; measure the drapes, order the linen and the cake.

THIS

Why the hell would anyone in our country want us to lose any war?
profitsbeard on July 30, 2007 at 8:54 PM


…pretty much sums it up.

Mcguyver on July 30, 2007 at 11:47 PM

Whoops, forgot to close a tag I guess. Sorry ’bout that.

apollyonbob on July 30, 2007 at 11:53 PM

Calls for withdrawal are reducing the chance of political reconciliation, says Burns

We have been there for well over FOUR years now. Well not actually “we” as it has been, more or less, the same guys going over and over again while most of America goes shopping. Shiites and Sunnis do not seem to be any closer to political reconciliation to me. If anything to the contrary. Just ask ‘em. Maybe, just maybe, if we announced that we were leaving their “attention would be focused”.

Isn’t the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

MB4 on July 31, 2007 at 12:14 AM

MB4, in response to:

Calls for withdrawal are reducing the chance of political reconciliation, says Burns

You said:

We have been there for well over FOUR years now. Well not actually “we” as it has been, more or less, the same guys going over and over again while most of America goes shopping. Shiites and Sunnis do not seem to be any closer to political reconciliation to me. If anything to the contrary. Just ask ‘em. Maybe, just maybe, if we announced that we were leaving their “attention would be focused”.

Isn’t the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results?

MB4 on July 31, 2007 at 12:14 AM

To which I will say exactly what you were intending to respond to:

Calls for withdrawal are reducing the chance of political reconciliation, says Burns

The calls for withdrawal have essentially been going on since a few months in to the war. 6 months in it was the fall of 2003 and Democrats knew they were only a year away from a Presidential election… so the war that they and all their buddies argued for for 13 years suddenly became “WMD lies” “war for oil” “Halliburton” “we’ve lost!” “pull out!”.

You wonder why the political situation hasn’t gone far? (though I’d still argue that the numerous elections were shocking in such a fastly changing young “new” country and all of the violence). The reason is the violence, and the violence is spurred on by calls to withdraw. The enemy knows there is no physical fight to be won, it’s all being won and lost in Washington. And when the Dems promise to surrender, with the media lying and not busting Dems on their 180 positions, allowing them to chip away at public opinion, the enemy wakes up with resolve to fight for another day. I maintain that Iraq would look completely different.. and would have been much better even 2 or 3 years ago, if the Democrats hadn’t politicized this thing with their all too powerful media holding their hands all the way.

RightWinged on July 31, 2007 at 12:22 AM

When he blamed the US Military for not “getting the word out” about the drop in violence, did anyone else wanna push the guy’s face in, a tiny bit? I mean, no the Military hasn’t done the best PR job, but just to assign all the blame to them for only bad news coming out of Iraq, when you work for the New York Times … It leaves me speechless. And angry. Makes me wanna pound my head on my desk. That’s an unbelievable amount of gall.

First they betray the Military, then they blame the Military for that betrayl.

apollyonbob on July 30, 2007 at 11:39 PM

Very well said!

So let’s help the Military out, shall we? Tons of good news is literally flowing out of Iraq. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

IMHO, everyone should subscribe to this link and get the undiluted feed of news, straight out of CentCom. You’d think the dinosaur media would’ve picked up on this, but no. They’ve decided America must lose at all costs, the bastards.

All you have to do is send an email to this address:
MNCI-PAO-VICTORYMAINJOC@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL

In the subject field put:
“Please add me to the Press Release email list”

And ask them to add you to that list.

Send this link to your friends and associates. The amount of fantastic and very positive news that is sent out everyday is amazing. And yes, the bad stuff is reported too. But there is far more good than bad these days.

It is impossible for any honest thinking individual to deny that we are undeniably succeeding in Iraq. Patraeus is working near miracles. His counter-insurgency plans are being executed very competently.

I’m very encouraged and I hope the truth gets out to the American People and the world. Help that process along every chance you get, if you would.

techno_barbarian on July 31, 2007 at 12:51 AM

The enemy knows there is no physical fight to be won, it’s all being won and lost in Washington. And when the Dems promise to surrender, with the media lying and not busting Dems on their 180 positions, allowing them to chip away at public opinion, the enemy wakes up with resolve to fight for another day. I maintain that Iraq would look completely different.. and would have been much better even 2 or 3 years ago, if the Democrats hadn’t politicized this thing with their all too powerful media holding their hands all the way.

RightWinged on July 31, 2007 at 12:22 AM

The Democrats, rhetoric aside, have given Bush pretty much all he has wanted including his last supplemental request. He now has, what 25,000, 30,000 more troops, in Iraq than he did when Democrats took control of both hoses of congress last January.

As for the enemies, and there are a whole bunch of them, losing their will to fight if only, if only the Democrats had just supported Bush with their rhetoric as well as the bucks, that is wishful thinking.

You are falling into the Dolchstosslegende trap.

MB4 on July 31, 2007 at 12:52 AM

We have been there for well over FOUR years now.

MB4 on July 31, 2007 at 12:14 AM

But we’ve only started using Patraeus’ demonstrably winning solution about 4 MONTHS ago.

Defeatist whiners like you are exactly what this post is about. Your weakness and whining encourages the enemy and causes our hard-won allies to doubt us.

In other words, your pressure tactic is, in reality, producing exactly the opposite of what you thought it would.

And as far as that insanity thing… you should take your own advice.

techno_barbarian on July 31, 2007 at 1:05 AM

The war is going extremely well. You’d never know it from the coverage
provided by the terrorist-coddling, fifth-columnist uber left-wing
media, but the fact is that the Iraq War has been and is a roaring success
by every meaningful standard. I often listen to a radio program to
which active-duty service personnel frequently call in, and I can tell you
that the optimism, confidence and morale that I hear in their voices
truly is sky high.

The only one recurring sour note comes from the realization that if not
for the aid and comfort provided to the Al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq by
the America-hating liberals in this country, our boys job would likely
at this point be all but finished, ready to hand things off to the
Iraqi army and government, and all set to board those ships and planes for
their eagerly awaited trip home.

When I think of the needless deaths and suffering our boys have had to
endure as a direct result of the machinations of the liberal
blame-America-first crowd, it is very, very difficult for me to contain the
intense anger and outrage I feel. In fact, I’m all set to volunteer as an
interrogator at Guantanamo – just so long as I’m permitted to take a
couple of plane loads of liberals down there with me.

I think we should just trust our President in every decision that he
makes and we should just support that.

FeralCat on July 31, 2007 at 1:21 AM

As for the enemies, and there are a whole bunch of them, losing their will to fight if only, if only the Democrats had just supported Bush with their rhetoric as well as the bucks, that is wishful thinking.

You are falling into the Dolchstosslegende trap.

MB4 on July 31, 2007 at 12:52 AM

You do realize the chaos wasn’t nearly what it is until the politicization of this conflict, right? And it increased over the years as the politicization got worse. I’m not saying there couldn’t have been better plans to have made things go more smoothly, but I think it’s very obvious that a united front would have been the most powerful tool. At this point I’m tempted to say “pull out” and that it’s unwinnable, NOT because we can’t win the military battle, but because the Democrats won’t allow us to win. You don’t think the situation is affected greatly when we’re supposed to get a report in September, but Dems try to say “the surge has failed” “the war is lost” in July? You don’t think the enemy is giddy and knows that they can’t let up now because they are just an election away from victory? Do you understand their motivation, given by Democrats, when they see what a huge moral boost and recruiting tool it would be to defeat the great satan.

RightWinged on July 31, 2007 at 4:19 AM

Don’t worry…the Democraps will see to it that this is another war they will be responsible for loosing. And then they’ll blame the loss on the GOP. Oh wait….we’re not suppose to be able to figure this out.

lynnv on July 31, 2007 at 8:43 AM

From the Chait piece: “If I were Ken Pollack and I wanted a job advising the next Democratic president, I would flamboyantly denounce the surge and demand a pullout from Iraq.”

That’s just insane. If he wanted a job advising anyone on anything, wouldn’t he need a track record of accuracy in your observations?
Flamboyantly denouncing a successful operation and demanding a ill-advised strategy would certainly not be resume enhancers for presidential advisers of any party.

Just damn.

kooly on July 31, 2007 at 9:20 AM

“So can we question their patriotism ?”

Of course not!

By asking this, you imply that there may be doubt as to whether or not they are patriotic. There is no doubt, here. So there is not reason to ask this question, because the answer is quite clear: They are NOT patriotic. They are traitors.

HTH, have a nice patriotic conservative day!

georgej on July 31, 2007 at 11:36 AM