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"The day nobody was killed in Iraq" read the headline from the Australian newspaper, and it was an understatement to say the least.
The news coming out of Iraq is shockingly upbeat as Gen. David Petraeus' surge strategy is showing fantastic signs of success.
The report from the Australian newspaper documented an array of success stories that Iraq war skeptics had not long ago insisted could never occur:
"… U.S. troop deaths declined for the fifth successive month to 39, the lowest such total this year and the seventh lowest in 56 months of war."
"… [C]ivilian casualties in the city [Baghdad] have declined significantly recently. … That represents a drop of more than 50 percent from August. …"
"Since the surge in operations started in June of this year, the number of car bombs has fallen by 65 percent, and casualties from roadside bombs by 80 percent."
Iraq war blogger Michael Yon had even more eye-popping news when he relayed the declaration by the Iraq Islamic Party that "al-Qaida in Iraq is defeated."
Stop and think about that: In Iraq, a group called the Islamic Party is declaring victory over al-Qaida, who it identifies as the enemy of the Iraqi people.
I kept searching the dead-tree news services for that headline last week, and all I got was a lousy ink stain on my fingers.
The mission of U.S. troops isn't over, not by a long shot, but certainly an above-the-fold story would be merited by the same news organizations who were boldly declaring defeat in Iraq not more than a few months ago.
Even across the pond, the Times of London found it worthy enough to report in an editorial last week: "Serious success in Iraq is not being recognized as it should be."
Is no news good news or bad news? In Iraq, it seems good news is deemed no news. There has been striking success in the past few months in the attempt to improve security, defeat al-Qaida sympathizers and create the political conditions in which a settlement between the Shia and the Sunni communities can be reached. This has not been an accident but the consequence of a strategy overseen by Gen. David Petraeus in the past several months.
To the news media, reports concerning accomplishments of our troops in Iraq are about as welcome as a visit by Bill Clinton to a shelter for abused women.
Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seems allergic to any reports of progress from Iraq. The Baltimore Sun reported that Pelosi's response to the success of the surge has been to call for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq (Baltimore Sun, Nov. 8, 2007, "Pelosi: Ready for another vote to bring troops home").
Funny, that was the exact same response Pelosi had when the media was filled with negative reports on Iraq. This kind of behavior is what should be expected when you let armchair generals in Congress like Nancy Pelosi attempt to micromanage a war they despise.
The chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. David Obey, said that U.S. troops do not deserve credit for the progress being made in Iraq. He explained that the drop in casualties among U.S. troops and Iraqis was because there wasn't anything left to shoot at in Iraq: "They've killed so many in so many areas, that there are fewer opportunity targets, if you want to put it that way, for each side."
Do I even need to tell you that Obey is a Democrat?
It's not just the left-wing anti-war activists who are rooting for failure, either. It's been rather apparent to anyone with an IQ above room temperature (which excludes half the people on stage at the Democratic presidential debates) that most of the people who work in the news media are hoping for the U.S. to fail in Iraq.
Somehow, vindication of their "George Bush is evil and this war is a disaster" viewpoint is more important to these journalists than seeing America's military men and women achieve victory on the battlefields of the war on terror.
One can contemplate the possibility of a nuclear winter if Pakistan succumbs to the rising movement of Islamic jihadists, demonstrating just how serious the war on terror is and why success in the war effort is so vital to American security.
We must defeat the threat of Islamic jihadists, and for the past few years those jihadists have made Iraq the frontlines of their effort to kill Americans and bring harm to our nation.
Our troops are clearly winning the war against the jihadists in Iraq, but it appears too much to ask for the TV networks and newspapers to tell this story of success to the American people – and equally impossible for Democrat congressional leaders to celebrate this success as Americans and put their political agendas aside even for a moment.
With Thanksgiving just two weeks away, and 200,000 men and women serving in uniform half a world away, it's time for all of us to come together as Americans and salute the success of our troops.
It's time to say "thank you" and "good job" to those who risk so much, so that we may all be safe and free.
As they glance up at the giant screens that fill the mess halls of forward operating bases across Iraq, it would be a great gift to our troops from Katie, Brian and Charlie to feature a news scroll creeping across the nightly news TV screens that reads: "Surge is a Success … Details in a Moment."
June 23 in U.S. military history
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