August 22, 2007


´╗┐Democrats Refocus Message on Iraq After Military Gains: Criticism Shifts to Factional Unrest (Jonathan Weisman and Anne E. Kornblut, August 22, 2007, Washington Post)

Democratic leaders in Congress had planned to use August recess to raise the heat on Republicans to break with President Bush on the Iraq war. Instead, Democrats have been forced to recalibrate their own message in the face of recent positive signs on the security front, increasingly focusing their criticisms on what those military gains have not achieved: reconciliation among Iraq's diverse political factions.

And now the Democrats, along with wavering Republicans, will face an advertising blitz from Bush supporters determined to remain on offense. A new pressure group, Freedom's Watch, will unveil a month-long, $15 million television, radio and grass-roots campaign today designed to shore up support for Bush's policies before the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, lays out a White House assessment of the war's progress. The first installment of Petraeus's testimony is scheduled to be delivered before the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a fact both the administration and congressional Democrats say is simply a scheduling coincidence.

The leading Democratic candidates for the White House have fallen into line...

What would be really helpful is for Democrats to watch C-SPAN tapes from 1986-'88 and then the coverage of Ronald Reagan's death. The reminder that they tried to surrender in the Cold ar just as it was being won and then had to scramble later for a share of the credit would be most instructive as they do much the same in the WoT.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2007 10:01 AM

The surge can't work! The surge can't work!

It's irrelevant that the surge is working!

Posted by: Ibid at August 22, 2007 11:35 AM

Whether or not the surge "worked" was never of long-term importance. The current troop levels were never going to be sustained through the 2008 elections, because it's not in anyone's political interest to do so. If the surge lessens the violence enough for the Iraqis to work out some of their issues, that'll be our excuse to leave. If the surge lessens the violence but the Iraqis can't work out their issues (of course, we have to pretend that Iraq exists in a vacuum and isn't being intentionally destabilized by its neighbors, but that's no problem for our ignorant leaders), that'll be our excuse to leave. If the surge doesn't lessen the violence, that'll be our excuse to leave. No matter what happens, we're leaving.

Of course, I fully expect Syria/Hezbollah to start another war with Israel sometime next year, and they may be even more reckless than usual, figuring that Pres. Bush won't be able to do anything about it in his last year in office.

Posted by: b at August 22, 2007 2:12 PM