His basic points, that the build-up hasn’t done much to bolster the Iraqi government and that Anbar’s relative quiet is due mainly to tribal leaders flipping to the U.S. side, are correct. But his suggestion that the surge had nothing to do with providing the extra security is absurd. Pour a few thousand extra U.S. troops into any area and security’s bound to improve, however marginally. If the Democrats can’t see that then why are/were so many of them warm to the Baker-Hamilton plank about keeping some small force of combat troops in Iraq even after withdrawal to target Al Qaeda as circumstances arise? Embed blogger Jeff Emanuel has a new post up about having survived an IED attack while out on patrol in Samarra with the 82nd Airborne; they were on a mission to find out whether they — not the tribesmen or the Iraqi army — had killed a local AQ capo in an earlier battle. The fact that they’re not getting sniped at from every corner now gives the surge troops space to pull extra operations like that now. And the more troops there are, the more potential opportunities there are to build relations. Watch this video taken by Matt Sanchez today in Ramadi, which last year was regarded as the capital of AQ in Iraq.
Well, whatever. Schumer’s got his talking points to float. Click the image to watch him taking care of business.
Update: Oh, and incidentally, if he’s so sure the surge is an unmitigated disaster, why is Reid suddenly inching towards the middle?