Conservative pundit Sean Hannity – long known for his reflexive support of the Administration and its policies – writes an op-ed criticizing the media for ignoring some extraordinary news from Iraq:
THERE’S BEEN a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks — which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. While Washington’s attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have “never been closer to defeat than they are now.”
Hannity’s right. The story of the surge – like any successful counterinsurgency – is that slow, patient activity that focuses as much on tribal diplomacy and building up the locals’ confidence and proficiency has created immense gains, and led to the current 86 percent drop in US casualties in the past year (allowing that they will likely rise again, especially before the US elections this fall, as Al Quaeda does its best to further influence US politics)
It is — of course — too early to celebrate; though now in disarray, the Mahdi Army of Moqtada al-Sadr could still regroup, and Iran will almost certainly seek to stir up new violence before the U.S. and Iraqi elections this fall. Still, the rapidly improving conditions should allow U.S. commanders to make some welcome adjustments — and it ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the “this-war-is-lost” caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)…When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.
(Boy, does he ever – and he must recognize it, since his staff is already trying to reconstruct history)
Hannity also notes that the current success means that Gen. Petraeus is talking seriously about accelerating the disengagement of US regular forces.
Read the whole thing. While Hannity perhaps surprises nobody with the conclusions, the primary message – that the media is continuing its pattern of ignoring the growing chorus of good news from Iraq – is very important.
CORRECTION: I can’t believe I bobbled this. Sean Hannity didn’t write this piece; it was the left-leaning Washington Post editorial board.
If even they get it, do you suppose Nancy Pelosi might?