Video: O’Hanlon and Pollack on military progress and the nutroots backlash

posted at 8:31 pm on August 5, 2007 by Allahpundit

Emphasis on military. There’s no political progress whatsoever to speak of.

I wonder if they deliberately chose Fox for this just to squirt a little more lemon juice in the nutroots’ eyes or if Fox was the only outfit that was willing to have them on.

The latter, I’m guessing.

Note what O’Hanlon says about a soft partition. Southern Iraq may already be moving in that direction politically, and energy scarcity is leading the country’s provinces towards the same mindset by forcing them to start hoarding electricity from each other, with hideous consequences. It’s 120 degrees at the start of the hottest month of the year and the power’s down in Baghdad, with cascade effects on the water supply, sewage pumps, and gasoline shortages already having begun:

One of the biggest problems facing the national grid is the move by provinces to disconnect their power plants from the system, reducing the amount of electricity being generated across the country. Provinces say they have no choice because they are not getting as much electricity in return for what they produce, mainly because the capital requires so much power…

Compounding the problem, al-Shimari said there are 17 high-tension lines running into Baghdad but only two were operational. The rest had been sabotaged.

“What makes Baghdad the worst place in the country is that most of the lines leading into the capital have been destroyed. That is compounded by the fact that Baghdad has limited generating capacity,” al-Shimari said.

God only knows what’s going to happen if the worst fears prove true and the national grid collapses. Part of Gen. Odierno’s strategy for the surge was stabilizing things to the point where reconstruction could begin in new areas and young men would choose jobs over jihad. With the power down, you’re going to end up with the opposite effect.

A few other Iraq links for you. The two Newsweek articles on suicide bombers are good reading, especially the first one. It’s hard to choose one money passage from both piece — the disgruntled Jordanian who blew himself up to protest being deported by ICE is a strong contender — but this one is the most important so this one it is:

The Saudis say they’ve spent an average of $1 billion per year patrolling their border with Iraq. But Arabs can travel to Syria visa-free, and often jihadists will transit first through third countries in the gulf or even Europe to hide their trail. Saudis are particularly prized because they typically bring their own funds to pay the Syrian go-betweens who smuggle them into Iraq. That was the route taken by a 21-year-old Saudi last month, who balked at the last minute while on a mission to blow up a key bridge in Ramadi. Police arrested him, and found that his Saudi handlers had given him $1,000 cash in travel expenses. Rubaie agrees with the Americans that Damascus isn’t doing enough to cut off the pipeline. He recalls how hard it was for Iraqi exiles in Damascus to get permission to cross into Iraq during Saddam’s regime: “This is under the iron fist of their intelligence,” he says. “There’s not even a bird that can cross the border without them knowing about it.”

Also worth reading is this mostly tedious collection of bromides by pro-war Harvard academic turned anti-war liberal Canadian MP Michael Ignatieff in the Times. There are a lot of weeds to pick through to find the fruit but it’s there. Just keep looking. E.g.:

As a former denizen of Harvard, I’ve had to learn that a sense of reality doesn’t always flourish in elite institutions. It is the street virtue par excellence. Bus drivers can display a shrewder grasp of what’s what than Nobel Prize winners…

The decision facing the United States over Iraq is paradigmatic of political judgment at its most difficult. Staying and leaving each have huge costs. One thing is clear: The costs of staying will be borne by Americans, while the cost of leaving will be mostly borne by Iraqis. That in itself suggests how American leaders are likely to decide the question…

We might test judgment by asking, on the issue of Iraq, who best anticipated how events turned out. But many of those who correctly anticipated catastrophe did so not by exercising judgment but by indulging in ideology. They opposed the invasion because they believed the president was only after the oil or because they believed America is always and in every situation wrong.

The people who truly showed good judgment on Iraq predicted the consequences that actually ensued but also rightly evaluated the motives that led to the action.

Finally, from Saturday’s WaPo, a wrinkle in the U.S.’s thus-far stunningly successful Anbar strategy: how do you join forces with Sunnis against Al Qaeda when you’re not sure who’s Al Qaeda and who isn’t?


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The latter, I’m guessing.

I’m thinking you’re right. The whole “progress in Iraq” thing wouldn’t fit most of the MSM’s agenda.

amerpundit on August 5, 2007 at 9:05 PM

Well the surge is working.Micheal Yon,s report echoes
this on John,s OPFOR blog.Things are looking good on
the military side.

And now these guys from the Liberal side are saying
it,s(surge) is working.We know the truth a while back
that it could and would work.

Question is when do these two from the (libtard),er
Liberals get TARRED and FEATHERED by their own.

canopfor on August 5, 2007 at 9:13 PM

canopfor, I don’t get your name. Does that have anything to do with our blog?

John from OPFOR on August 5, 2007 at 9:23 PM

The latter, I’m guessing.

You know it.

God only knows what’s going to happen if the worst fears prove true and the national grid collapses.

Was it Totten or Yon who talked about the real issue being gas? Seems everybody who can has long since moved to private generators and having the gas to run them is a critical issue.

TheBigOldDog on August 5, 2007 at 9:26 PM

John from OPFOR on August 5, 2007 at 9:23 PM

I’m going to guess it’s Canadian Opposing Force.

Christoph on August 5, 2007 at 9:32 PM

They say that the most likely outcome is a Bosnia-like partitioning of the country. IMHO, this is already happening by default.

The various provinces (Anbar, etc.) are disconnecting themselves from the national electric power grid, to protect their own assets from the “cascade” effects of the regular sabotage of the electric power utilities in Baghdad. (In the electric power business over here, this is SOP when a major power user or supplier goes down- think of the New York blackouts going back to 1965.) By doing so, they ensure that their local customers have power for lighting, cooking, and refrigeration- the latter being critical for food supplies in a region where daytime summer temperatures often exceed 40-45 deg.C (100-110 deg.F). These provinces are doing quite well, by all accounts (I got this from AP), in spite of what is happening in Baghdad.

But to the MSM, Baghdad is the entire country, and the whole story.

They rarely go outside of the capital, in fact most rarely leave their network/news service/etc./HQs. They just sit and write up the latest bombing/murder/whatever of the “insurgents” (they are never called “Terrorists”, and “al-Qaeda” is a word that is never, ever uttered in this context), and then send it off to New York so the newspapers, TV networks- and of course the DNC- can tell Mr. , Mrs., Ms. and everyone else in America that “There’s a civil war going on, it’s all our fault, we have to get out. now.”

Actually, I agree.

We need to get the news media out of Baghdad now.

Because as long as they are there, the terrorists will be there, creating their bomb-blast “photo-ops” to help the MSM convince the rest of us that they cannot be beaten. And the MSM, either willingly, or through sheer laziness and stupidity coupled with their own prejudices, are more than happy to oblige.

Thirty-nine years ago, the news media convinced America that the Tet offensive was a massive defeat for the U.S., U.N., and South Vietnamese forces, when in fact it was the Viet Cong who were literally destroyed in the worst defeat inflicted on an army in the field since World War Two. I am sure that the terrorists, who are no fools regarding the media, are perfectly well aware of this, and are doing everything they can to present the media with a chance to repeat their performance.

Just as they are certain that the media are panting for the opportunity to do it.

cheers

eon

eon on August 5, 2007 at 9:46 PM

Canopfor Didn,t get your name.
John OPFOR on August 5,at 2007 at 9:23PM.

Sorry John,I,m a Canadian,very interested in American
politics.Love the United States Military.Only expreience i
had was four years ,long ago in The Navy League.
Petty Officer,second highest rank.

I needed a good commenting name,love your site,and ace,s.
Hence CAN ,your blog OPFOR.—-CANOPFOR.

canopfor on August 5, 2007 at 10:11 PM

The people who truly showed good judgment on Iraq predicted the consequences that actually ensued but also rightly evaluated the motives that led to the action.

Who might that be? The only one I can think of is Pat Robertson! I remember 911 and Saddam already used WMDs on the Kurds. Bush didn’t lie. We couldn’t afford to let WMDs fall into the hands of terrorists. Whether they were shipped into Syria, or destroyed, we may never know. Regardless, the choice to invade Iraq was the right one. Just ask Clinton and Kerry fours years ago. What if we hadn’t and terrorists were now getting supplied by Hussein? I really wish there was less bickering and more backbone to win this fight. What was the quote from the Congressman from Iowa on that excellent HA interview? They hate Bush more than they love America. That and their hunger for power.

Ordinary1 on August 5, 2007 at 10:12 PM

If tomorrow. The GDP of Iraq rivaled that of Japan or Germany
And
We found Ton after ton of WMD
And
We found and proved to the world that France, Germany, Russia, and China where in on the food for oil program.
The Dems would not budge in their fervor for “ Bush is satan” campaign.
Bottom line is… Capitalism/Democracy is bad Communism/Totalitarianism is good.
It’s a religion with these ‘tards.

TheSitRep on August 5, 2007 at 10:23 PM

I heard Pollack call the Brookings Institution a “non-partisan” think tank during that interview.

With a straight face.

fogw on August 5, 2007 at 10:23 PM

canopfor on August 5, 2007 at 10:11 PM

Sorry John,I,m a Canadian,very interested in American
politics.Love the United States Military.Only expreience i
had was four years ,long ago in The Navy League.
Petty Officer,second highest rank.

I needed a good commenting name,love your site,and ace,s.
Hence CAN ,your blog OPFOR.—-CANOPFOR.

Well hell, that’s awesomely awesome.

John from OPFOR on August 5, 2007 at 10:38 PM

eon

To your last paragraph, the MSM told us Israel was getting its butt kicked in Lebanon, they picked their usual side and told us how evil Israel was and how the Terrorist were winning, but wait, we found out recently that 1 week more, and they surrender, but the MSM won it for the enemy, which is a victory for MSM.

WoosterOh on August 5, 2007 at 10:42 PM

It’s a brave new world when fellows from the Brookings Institute acknowledge progress in Iraq. Do you think they’re laying the ground-work for the inevitable? An admission that the surge worked after all their pining that it wouldn’t?

thedecider on August 5, 2007 at 10:47 PM

Well hell,that’s awesomely awesome.
John from Opfor on August 5,2007 at 10:38PM.

Thank you John.
Now damn the torpedo’s and full steam ahead.

canopfor on August 5, 2007 at 11:04 PM

Now damn the torpedo’s and full steam ahead.
canopfor on August 5, 2007 at 11:04 PM

Perhaps on rising confidence, Defence Sec Gates seems to agree with you.

thedecider on August 5, 2007 at 11:15 PM

My favorite columnist, Cal Thomas, also has it right.

thedecider on August 5, 2007 at 11:19 PM

I heard Pollack call the Brookings Institution a “non-partisan” think tank during that interview.

The other fellow who was like, “Yeah, I’m voting for Hillary!” didn’t.

Christoph on August 5, 2007 at 11:51 PM

Cal Thomas – “Is that what the Iraq war has become? Instead of viewing it as a generational war that will determine the future of civilization (because, if we lose, Iraq will become a launching pad for terrorist acts around the world and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would surely die), is it now just another tool in the Democrat’s quest for the White House? Where are the statesmen who put their country and its interests before personal and political interests?”

1) Iraq is not a generational war, at least not for Americans as there is no way in hell that “we” are going to keep troops there for generations.

2) The Iraq war is not going to determine the future of civilization. The guy sounds like AlStrata. Save the cheerleader, save the world. For crying out loud it is not WWII. It is not Earth versus Mars. Most of Al Q (the real Al Q is in Pakistan)

3) Terrorists can come to America from across our almost wide open borders. Plus the Bush administration has been issuing visas to the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia like there has been a fire sale. They are not going to beam over here from Iraq. The 9/11 terrorists did not come from Iraq, they came mostly from Saudi Arabia. Most British terrorists come from Pakistan. Most of the real Al Q is in Pakistan rebuilding and being finance by Saudis not Iraqis.

4) It is a possibility, not a sure thing that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will die. If they do it will not be at the hands of AL Q (the real Al Q) or Al Q in Iraq (not the real Al Q) as there are not enough of them to do that. If hundreds of thousands of Iraqis die if “we” leave, it would be non Al Q Sunnis killing Shiites and visa versa.

5) It may well be the Dems road to the Presidency and bigger majorities in congress. Looks that way now anywho as 70% of Americans now want to get out and a lot of them will vote in 2008

6) Wanting to stay in Iraq does not make one a statesman. Wanting to get out does not rule out ones being a statesman.

7) This hyper Iraqi centric view of the universe is getting ridiculous.

8) Let the counter battery fire commence!!!

MB4 on August 6, 2007 at 1:03 AM

From the story right here at the HotAir Headlines:

“WASHINGTON — As an American-born spokesman for Al Qaeda threatens to blow up American embassies abroad, intelligence gleaned from last month’s British “doctors plot” of car bombers suggests that a Qaeda cell is on the loose in the American homeland.”

Did they fly over here on a visa?

Did they come across our open borders?

Or did they beam over here from Iraq?

MB4 on August 6, 2007 at 1:10 AM

1) Iraq is not a generational war, at least not for Americans as there is no way in hell that “we” are going to keep troops there for generations.
MB4 on August 6, 2007 at 1:03 AM

Are we not still in Japan? Germany?

Iraq is only a single front of this war. We’ve only begun this struggle. Multi-Generational defines the situation we find ourselves in very accurately, whether we vacate Iraq or not.

Many of us may not want to be at war with our enemies, but our enemies damn sure are at war with us.

techno_barbarian on August 6, 2007 at 10:58 AM

The Jordanian who was so angry at us for catching him breaking the law had a fairly funny angle.
From the article was a former United Nations employee in Jordan.

Just carrying on the work of the UN. I wonder if he lost his pension since he didn’t seem to kill any Jews.

Veeshir on August 6, 2007 at 11:45 AM

If you have any questions about the chicken/egg problem of which comes first, military progress or political progress, go check out Michael Yon’s latest dispatch.

BohicaTwentyTwo on August 6, 2007 at 1:56 PM

There has been military progress.

As far as political progress goes, there doesn’t seem to be any there, there. More like a lot of anti-there, there.

5 more Iraqi ministers boycott Cabinet

“BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s political crisis worsened Monday as five more ministers announced a boycott of Cabinet meetings — leaving the embattled prime minister’s unity government with no members affiliated with Sunni political factions.”

The new cracks in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s government appeared even as U.S. military officials sounded cautious notes of progress on security, citing strides against insurgents linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq but also new threats from Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

The Allawi bloc, a mixture of Sunnis and Shiites, cited al-Maliki’s failure to respond to its demands for political reform. The top Sunni political bloc already had pulled its six ministers from the 40-member Cabinet of al-Maliki, a Shiite, last week.”

MB4 on August 6, 2007 at 4:16 PM