Saturday, December 29, 2007

Muckroom Follies 12.29.07--A Horse Shoe Nail?!?

Alert the Press! A search of the Townhall muckroom today has uncovered a small nail which looks like it might've come from a horse shoe! Could Townhall's muckroom be close to exposing the "there must be a pony" pony?

Michael Barone's piece, "Lessons From the Surge," starts off, little surprise, with euphoric praise of "the Surge": the dazzling success of the surge strategy in Iraq. Or: George W. Bush, like Lincoln, took his time finding the right generals. But it's clear now that the forward-moving surge strategy devised by Gens. David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno has succeeded where the stand-aside strategy employed by their predecessors failed.

Naturally, Barone takes a pot shot or two at Bush critics: Some of George W. Bush's critics seem to have relished the prospect of American defeat and some refuse to acknowledge the success that has been achieved.

Buried near the bottom of the piece, however, is this gem: But the impetus for change has come from the bottom up, from tribal sheiks in Anbar province who got tired of the violence and oppression of al Qaeda in Iraq, from Shiites and Sunnis who, once confident of the protection of American forces and of the new Iraqi military, decided to quit killing each other.

So, the decision of the Shiites and Sunnis to "quit killing each other" is "the impetus for change," not the "dazzling success of the surge strategy?" Perhaps the surge strategy played a part? Perhaps the huge walls now lining Baghdad neighborhoods played a part?

Barone enthusiastically proclaims: A year ago it was widely thought, not just by the new Democratic leaders in Congress but also in many parts of the Pentagon, that containing the violence in Iraq was impossible. Now we have seen it done. Really? "Done?" The violence is contained? Where? The violence is, perhaps, factually less today than it was one year ago. Does that mean it has ended? No. It is contained? To what? Do the families of the newly dead give thanks that the violence is contained?

The horse shoe nail is that the Sunnis and Shiites are responsible for their own safety. The surge might have helped. If it did, then why did it take so many years for the President to begin to follow the advice of General Shinseki, who, remember, called for 500,000 American troops to keep the peace.

There's not much here for which Mr. Bush and his supporters might be proud. Once you look past the spin of Barone and his muckroom cohorts, it's still a grim chapter in American history.

Trust, Dear Gentle Reader(s), but verify.

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