Jan 04 2008

Iraq Makes Huge Strides

Published by at 8:04 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions,Iraq

I see a race to November and January brewing up. Can we defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq before January 2009? It looks more and more like “yes”. The big news is the praise a top Shiite leader is heaping on the Sunni Awakening movement – an olive branch if I have ever seen one:

The leader of Iraq’s most influential Shiite party offered surprisingly conciliatory remarks on Thursday about the former insurgents and other Sunnis who have banded together into militias to work with American forces, stating that the groups had helped improve security and should be continued.

In a speech in Najaf, the Shiite holy city, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the party that has long been the backbone of the main Shiite political alliance, said a major reason for recent security improvements was not merely a dependence on official security forces but also a reliance on tribal groups and local councils.

“We still believe in continuing this strategy,” said Mr. Hakim, the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

This is enormous news. The SurrenderMedia has been doing its usual BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) hand-wringing that the Awakening movement and the concerned citizen patrols would spark another sectarian civil war. But with the top Shiite leader praising the Sunnis and throwing support behind them we again see the fruits of the Surge and Awakening: a growing process of reconciliation.

Underscoring al-Qaeda’s pending defeat are the number of al-Qaeda leaders killed or captured each month. Last month I believe was a record with 51 nabbed or sent to Allah. And today we see many more captured or killed. And now General Petraeus is giving tours of old al-Qaeda strongholds and rat lines used, where now normal Iraqis are allowed to return to their normal lives in peace. In fact finally the news of peace spreading in Iraq is starting to compete with the body-bad stories

Iraq is the hidden issue that will still roil the elections. My sense is Obama is going to have to face a tough call on his way to the nomination. Does he accept victory and lose his anti-war base? Or does he deny victory and lose the middle of America? My guess is Obama is smart enough to to the former AFTER he gets the nomination.

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