Excellent catch by Sweetness & Light. Here’s how the relevant passage reads in the official transcript on Schumer’s website:
And let me be clear: the violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge.
The lack of protection for these tribes from al Qaeda made it clear to these tribes, “We have to fight al Qaeda ourselves.”
Follow the link to see how he rephrased that on the Senate floor. If you want to check S&L’s work, click the image below and fast forward to about 2:40. Two possibilities: either Schumer delivered the line as prepared and is now trying to rewrite the speech after the fact to hide the evidence or else the transcript reflects the version that was prepared for delivery and Schumer reworked the line on the floor to make it more damning of the military. Either way, we have a discrepancy between the official version and the actual version of a key passage to which he clearly paid some attention. Why?
Update: The left’s being very careful with its terminology right now.
Update: A choice cut of red meat for you from tonight’s Factor. Peters’s point about Al Qaeda’s strategic defeat in Anbar is dead on; revisit this Iraqi opinion poll from last September, when the province was still jihadi HQ, and ponder the fact that even at the time Al Qaeda was viewed very or somewhat unfavorably by 77% — of Sunnis. Those numbers might be well into the 90th percentile now, not the sort of feedback from his core constituency that Osama will be trumpeting in any press releases. But like I said this afternoon, Schumer’s basic point about the surge not having bolstered the Iraqi government is true. How, exactly, does he not know what he’s talking about on that score?
Update: Bill Ardolino, on the ground in Fallujah, answers Schumer by way of a new local recruit:
“Before [the Iraqi Police] did not have enough cover to hold their city. But right now, they got cover, like what you see: every single IP station has marines with them, to give them support every time the IP want it. Another thing? They didn’t have weapons, but right now they have weapons, so they can do the right thing, kill the terrorists and survive.”