Video: The surge worked

posted at 1:15 pm on November 14, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

JD Johannes gives us a before-and-after look at the Dora sector of Baghdad, pre-surge and current day. The difference between April 2007 and October 2008 is stunning, perhaps even more so with the latter shots occurring at night:

A bridal shop? A pool hall? I seem to recall the doom-and-gloom predictions of the war’s critics insisting that Iraq would turn into an Islamist theocracy. That doesn’t square with the image of nighttime commerce in the kinds of pastimes that would blow a Taliban aneurysm.

The surge worked.  Glenn Reynolds heard the same verdict from Michael Yon earlier today:

“There’s nothing going on. I’m with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I’m with haven’t fired their weapons on this tour and they’ve been here eight months. And the place we’re at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there’s nothing going on. I’ve been walking my feet off and haven’t seen anything. I’ve been asking Iraqis, ‘do you think the violence will kick up again,’ but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they’re usually dour.” There’s a little bit of violence here and there, but nothing that’s a threat to the general situation. Plus, not only the Iraqi Army, but even the National Police are well thought of by the populace. Training from U.S. toops has paid off, he says, in building a rapport.

Yon warned a couple of years ago that Iraq was being lost, thanks to a feckless American war strategy, so he’s not exactly Pollyanna.  Afghanistan is another matter, but we won the war and the peace in Iraq, and all we need to do is to keep from running away so fast that we give it away to the terrorists.

Update: It must have been a long election season; I wrote “poll hall” instead of “pool hall”.  Ugh.

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

A bridal shop? A poll hall?

You been writing about politics too long, Ed!

Back on topic: I have a feeling the hard-won gains made by the efforts and sacrifice of our military will be unwound rapidly after Jan. 20.

We will have to make sure our soldiers feel our respect and admiration for them as the new president tears down what they have built.

MrScribbler on November 14, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Good news, I hope we don’t run out on them like we did Viet Nam; it cost 2 million Vietnamese and Cambodian lives, people that were executed by the Communists after we left and cut off funding.

DL13 on November 14, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Ed, Allah, Michelle,

Thanks for fighting the good fight on the home front.

Christien on November 14, 2008 at 1:22 PM

We will have to make sure our soldiers feel our respect and admiration for them as the new president tears down what they have built.

MrScribbler on November 14, 2008 at 1:20 PM

2nd that.

neal7 on November 14, 2008 at 1:23 PM

Bagdad Barack would never admit to that.

Kini on November 14, 2008 at 1:24 PM

But the bridal shop doesn’t service the No-on-Prop-8 crowd, so the left won’t acknowledge any success. :(

innominatus on November 14, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Can you imagine how much worse Afghanistan would be (yeah, it’s not going good right now, admittedly) if AQ had driven us out of Iraq?

Like the Afghan people would work with us after having seen us abandon the Iraqi people.

Or Pakistan.

Would have been just terrific had one reporter pointed this out to Obama when he was advocating leaving Iraq.

Dreamer, aren’t I?

SteveMG on November 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM

What Bush needs to do now is to repeat what the effect of having a democratically-run govt in the region and as an ally. Barry & Co would sooner we all forgot about it, but Bush should mention the sacrifice that went into it, why it was important and why it has worked.

sladenyv on November 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Were those Sunni’s and Shites shooting pool together?

BL@KBIRD on November 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Someone needs to introduce the middle east to the concept of wearing shorts.

I have a theory that ME’ers are always pissed-off because they’re hot in those long pants and long sleeve shirts during 110 degree weather.

Get them wearing shorts and tank tops and we would see a dramatic drop in regional violence and animosity.

Bishop on November 14, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Declare Victory…

what I fear though is what we’ve invited by electing Obama and the rhetoric the Dems have used. Our enemies see it as weakness, all that matters.

jp on November 14, 2008 at 1:36 PM

You know-the surge is not the only thing that woulda worked. A nuclear bomb woulda worked,too.
Guess we’re too PC for that.

Badger40 on November 14, 2008 at 1:39 PM

We got trouble.
Right here in Two Rivers City.
With a capital ‘T’ and that rhymes with ‘P’ and that stands for ‘pool’

Kafir on November 14, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Shhh! NBC getting ready to broadcast this.

…whirrrr…whirrr…*
*sounds made by katydids in the tall grass

whitetop on November 14, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Bagdad Barack would never admit to that.

Kini on November 14, 2008 at 1:24 PM

I bet MSM will give him credit for it though. It will never be credited to Bush unless this is made into a huge deal before Obama takes the oath of office.

msmveritas on November 14, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Your mistake could have been worse. You could have written, pole hall, which probably means gay pool hall, and if it doesn’t, it should

wordwarp on November 14, 2008 at 1:43 PM

I bet more died in Chicago last weekend then in Baghdad…

right2bright on November 14, 2008 at 1:45 PM

I agree with jp above – DECLARE VICTORY IN IRAQ on or before January 20, 2009. After that, it’s Obarfy’s and the Socialist Congress’ to screw up. Maybe they should make Al Franken ambassador to Iraq? Icing on the cake. Either way, we’ve kicked AQ’s a$$e$. If they fund the continued development of the Iraqi forces and move back to Afghanistan with the same resolve, we may be done with these loons by 2011. Then the new Young Republicans can come back in 2012 and clean up the domestic mess created by the Socialists.

HomeoftheBrave on November 14, 2008 at 1:45 PM

What Bush needs to do now is to repeat what the effect of having a democratically-run govt in the region and as an ally. Barry & Co would sooner we all forgot about it, but Bush should mention the sacrifice that went into it, why it was important and why it has worked.
sladenyv on November 14, 2008 at 1:26 PM

It’s an uphill battle because Obama will repeat that this is the results of Bush’s ‘failed policy in Iraq.’ and that this momentary success came about ‘beyond the wildest speculations’ of the people who were for the surge. Again, the surge is part of Bush’s ‘failed policy’ in Iraq. And the press will frame it this way. When things were bad, they stated that it was bad because of Bush. When things got better, this was just a momentary lull in the violence. They won’t declare victory in Iraq until a year after Bush left office, and at that time, the success will be 100% Obama’s doing by removing all troops from the region.

One of the reasons that West Germany and Japan was a success after WW2, (as well as South Korea afterwards) is that we stayed to make sure that violence didn’t break out after we left.If we leave now, then there is no assurances that Iraq will continue to be a successful democracy – or what ever their version is going to end up being. At the very least, while our presence is there, it helps to make it difficult for another dictator to raise up and seize control of Iraq again. Something that Omama could care less.

wise_man on November 14, 2008 at 1:46 PM

And yet, Charlotte Dennett and Vince Bugliosi want to prosecute President Bush.

And ask for the death penelty.

hawkdriver on November 14, 2008 at 1:47 PM

Time for a surge strategy for Detroit.

Rhinoboy on November 14, 2008 at 1:48 PM

sshhhh, not so loud, you’ll ruin NBC’s big, January 21st ‘Gumdrop smiles have returned to Iraq’ announcement.

tyrfing on November 14, 2008 at 1:48 PM

A pool hall, uh oh, that means trouble.

Alden Pyle on November 14, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Time for a surge strategy for Detroit D.C..

Rhinoboy on November 14, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Fixed it for you.

grapeknutz on November 14, 2008 at 1:51 PM

I wrote “poll hall” instead of “pool hall”. Ugh.

That’s adorable.

RushBaby on November 14, 2008 at 1:52 PM

Why did I strike that? Sorry Ed.

RushBaby on November 14, 2008 at 1:52 PM

It will never be credited to Bush unless this is made into a huge deal before Obama takes the oath of office.

msmveritas on November 14, 2008 at 1:41 PM

Only after Bush’s epilogue will the credit fall rightfully to the one.

Kini on November 14, 2008 at 1:53 PM

The ironic thing is, it was a lot like that right after the cessation of hostilities directly after the invasion. It progressively got worse when the bad guys tuned into the American media and listened to the liberals in the States.

Never forget that Code Pink gave 600,000 dollars to the families of terrorists and thereby the terrorist themselves in Fallujah while the Marines were fighting there.

hawkdriver on November 14, 2008 at 1:54 PM

And of course, Obamanation will give himself all the credit for the military successes… bastard that he is!

ErinF on November 14, 2008 at 1:55 PM

Time for a surge strategy for Detroit.

Rhinoboy on November 14, 2008 at 1:48 PM

………..and Baltimore.

gatorgirl on November 14, 2008 at 1:56 PM

“Training from U.S. toops has paid off, he says, in building a rapport.”

Toops? Are those like the Moops? :)

Red Cloud on November 14, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Oh and don’t forget the yellow cake that was secretly taken from Iraq so as not to embolden the insurgents. Bush paid for the secrecy with his political life. There were WMDs…..

MNDavenotPC on November 14, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Someone needs to introduce the middle east to the concept of wearing shorts.

I have a theory that ME’ers are always pissed-off because they’re hot in those long pants and long sleeve shirts during 110 degree weather.

Get them wearing shorts and tank tops and we would see a dramatic drop in regional violence and animosity.

Bishop on November 14, 2008 at 1:31 PM

I understand that it is a dehydration thing. If you let the hot wind blow against your skin, you won’t last long. Kind of counter intuitive.

Count to 10 on November 14, 2008 at 1:59 PM

That’s a really moving video. W should make a TV speech and play it. Or at his last State of the Union speech (he does get to make one more, right?).

MrLynn on November 14, 2008 at 1:59 PM

Yes we won, and not a moment too soon. I am still disconcerted that we almost lost this very important battle because of the lack of will of some.

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 14, 2008 at 2:03 PM

OT: Putting Hollywood Out Of Business

Making this a reality would solve quite a few of our problems.

hawkdriver on November 14, 2008 at 2:05 PM

It will never be credited to Bush unless this is made into a huge deal before Obama takes the oath of office.

msmveritas on November 14, 2008 at 1:41 PM

I suspect that Bush will be one of those presidents who will receive a much more reasonable judgement from future historians than from the plethora of anti-Bush liberal political pundits/pseudo journalists and historic revisionists who are part of the blame Bush for everything crowd. Kind of like a letter to the editor that appeared in my local paper this morning…calling for Bush’s prosecution for war crimes and saying he was no better than the terrorists that attacked the WTC. How do you respond to such pure, unadulterated bovine fecal mattter as that?Unfortunately, by the time the first truly accurate history of the Bush administration is written, we’ll all be dead and gone.

sdd on November 14, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Suck it Obama, Murtha, Reid, Pelosi, and all our resident trolls.

csdeven on November 14, 2008 at 2:17 PM

We need to have a national day of THANKS for our troops that have done such a fantastic job in Iraq! We should have parades! We should have an address by President Bush, congratulating them for their magnificent service!

We owe them that much, damnit!

Star20 on November 14, 2008 at 2:21 PM

Exactly, sdd. And Bush has replied to the questions of how history will judge him by saying: “I’ll be dead” by the time it’s written, and he’ll be ultimately vindicate then. Just as the final history of other presidents weren’t decided in their lifetimes, such as Abraham Lincoln.

wise_man on November 14, 2008 at 2:22 PM

I understand that it is a dehydration thing. If you let the hot wind blow against your skin, you won’t last long. Kind of counter intuitive.

Count to 10 on November 14, 2008 at 1:59 PM

Depending on where you are, the sun will also eat you alive. Figuratively, of course. Sleeves and pants are cheaper than gallons of sunblock.

blankminde on November 14, 2008 at 2:23 PM

sdd on November 14, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Unless we give up and history is written by the Jihadists.

hawkdriver on November 14, 2008 at 2:24 PM

Do we have any F-117′s over DC anytime soon. I could do with some “Shock and Awe” on Congress right about now.

44Magnum on November 14, 2008 at 2:51 PM

All we need to hear next is from President Bush two weeks before the big “O” gets sworn in and that is to declare to America and the world on tv in his last national public address and say that we won the war in Iraq. Just to steal the thunder from Obama and should things suddenly go bad with him at the helm, then we can blame Obama for single-handedly ruining Iraq’s future costing hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives.

Maybe “O” is racist towards Iraqis?

Kokonut on November 14, 2008 at 2:53 PM

I’ll say it again – the blast walls are down, and the terrorists are waiting for January 20th.

labrat on November 14, 2008 at 3:24 PM

Iraq would have been election issue if things had been going badly. Bush and McCain allowed the media and the Democrats to remove it as an election issue.

The consequences of conceding Iraq to Al Qaeda and Iran would have been devastating yet this is exactly what America’s new president proposed. The public was conned.

Obama will handle the next foreign policy issue with the same expertise he has demonstrated on Iraq over the last two years. There are dark days ahead for America.

Basilsbest on November 14, 2008 at 3:25 PM

God Bless our troops and the Iraqi people for pulling off what seemed a near impossibility.

Simply astonishing.

The Ugly American on November 14, 2008 at 3:34 PM

a big salute to them fine men and women who made this possible! American Soldiers…

Kaptain Amerika on November 14, 2008 at 3:55 PM

The “O” will take all the credit but we and the Iraqi owe the troops our gratitude for a job well done.

stevo on November 14, 2008 at 4:46 PM

Someone needs to introduce the middle east to the concept of wearing shorts.

I have a theory that ME’ers are always pissed-off because they’re hot in those long pants and long sleeve shirts during 110 degree weather.

Get them wearing shorts and tank tops and we would see a dramatic drop in regional violence and animosity.

Bishop on November 14, 2008 at 1:31 PM

Actually, if you could airdrop a large number of scantily clad hookers into Iraq, to take care of all the single guys who have no prospect of ever getting married (since the eligible women are married off to the same wealthier guys with multiple wives), the war would have been over 2 yrs ago. Not even al Qaeda could have competed with a woman’s charms for every guy in Iraq. I know it is sexist for me to say so, but it is true. If the insurgents were more interested in getting laid, there would never be an al Qaeda, sharia law, and violence.

Sorry ladies, but without your charms, the beast in the best of us comes out. We’d have saved thousands of American lives, and hundreds of thousands of Muslim lives if Islam could ever get past its repressive sexual mores.

And that’s the Truth.

Subsunk

Subsunk on November 14, 2008 at 4:56 PM

A true measure of Obama’s character will be how he portrays the situation in Iraq after he takes office. Does he give Bush his due, or does he stay mum for 5-6 months and then launch a media blitz of how great things are there and try to take credit?

flipflop on November 14, 2008 at 5:12 PM

flipflop,

Your question is rhetorical, right.

Basilsbest on November 14, 2008 at 6:22 PM

So why no daylight shots? Does it still look as bad in the daylight?

liberty0 on November 14, 2008 at 11:56 PM

Good news, I hope we don’t run out on them like we did Viet Nam; it cost 2 million Vietnamese and Cambodian lives, people that were executed by the Communists after we left and cut off funding.

DL13 on November 14, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Agreed. I think it’s important to remember that we left at least a year and a half before we cut off the aid to South Vietnam.

I’ve always suspected that the Demon-crat Congress couldn’t stand the fact that Nixon’s “Vietnamization” policy was working so they had to cut off funding to make it fail.

Essentially the rat party sacrificed 2 million “gook” lives for their own domestic political gains.

No surprise, coming from the party of compassion and human rights doing its finest performance.

This is your proud and chosen heritage as you fulfilled your coke Dreams of your Father, Obambi. Wear it well.

platypus on November 15, 2008 at 12:16 AM

Yon warned a couple of years ago that Iraq was being lost, thanks to a feckless American war strategy, so he’s not exactly Pollyanna.

As someone who has followed Michael Yon from the beginning, he was right. He has the best coverage of what has happened in Iraq of any other news source. I am not sure what you mean by this statement, but I agree with him totally.

Glynn on November 15, 2008 at 9:42 AM

A bridal shop and a pool hall. When there can be a church and a synagog, THEN Iraq will be free. Even a ‘free’ Iraq is a slave to Sharia law and the Mohammadism that has kept this part of the world backward for so long.

America 1 Muslim Terrorists 0

Mojave Mark on November 15, 2008 at 12:20 PM