Jul 14 2008

Victory In Iraq

While others have been hesitant to call Iraq a victory up until recently, I felt the die was cast months ago (actually over a year ago). When the Sunni Muslims took the extraordinary step to wage war on al-Qaeda, and ally with the Iraq and US government efforts and forces, there seemed little chance of defeat. No insurgency can stand up to a public uprising against it, in parallel with a government crack down – there is no path to victory in those situations.

More to the point, I said last year “as goes Diyala [Province], so goes Iraq”. I felt then Diyala would be al-Qaeda’s last bastion, since it was the location of the second Capitol City of Bin Laden’s modern Caliphate (the first one being Ramada in Anbar Province, which was lost to them in late 2006). Clearly losing two capitol cities within a year to your enemy must be a sure sign of defeat. I had no idea the path would be so long and weave through so many Provinces (then again, a good military effort hides its plans and all I had to view the effort were biased news reports). But it seems I was right in the end.

Here is one of my earliest posts on the matter from June 2007:

As goes Diyala so goes Iraq, the Surrendercrats and the SurrenderMedia. Too bad the GOP had to implode over Immigration. They could have enjoyed the success, but now they are in tatters. And Bush will be looking good if Iraq does rise up against al-Qaeda. He’ll be looking damn good. As will McCain and Leiberman, BTW.

And here is another post from August 2007:

So Anbar rose up and killed and chased al-Qaeda from its region, with our help. Diyala Province then became the last large sanctuary for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Surge was orchestrated to close the noose around al-Qaeda in Diyala. But it would only really work if, as in Anbar, the local population rose up to kill and chase al-Qaeda out of their Province. And if that happened we had the making of a domino effect that would not only sweep Iraq, but would sweep across the Middle East and the Muslim world. That is why I said, as goes Diyala so goes Iraq and the world.

It was not as crazy a prediction as many like to make it out to be. Once the Muslim Street rose up against al-Qaeda there was not turning back because of the blood feud concept in Arab culture. It was hard to see anything that would reverse that kind of Tsunami change. Here we are, a year later, and we have the last battle for security in Iraq in none other than Diyala Province:

Iraqi security forces are poised to launch a major crackdown in Diyala Province, the Interior Ministry said Sunday, the latest in a series of operations aimed at stabilizing the country.

U.S. and Iraqi officials say a campaign against Al Qaeda in the northern city of Mosul and surrounding Nineveh Province has helped reduce violence there. Other operations have targeted Shiite militias in the southern provinces of Basra and Maysan.

“Soon, the security forces will be in Diyala to play the role they played in Basra and Maysan and Mosul, and Diyala could be the last stage,” Major General Abdul-Kareem Khalaf, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said at a news conference.

Overall attacks across Iraq were down 85 percent in June from a year ago, the Iraqi military said last week.

Iraqi security forces were taking the lead in more than 75 percent of security operations, the national security adviser, Mowaffaq al-Rubaie, told CNN.

As noted the Iraq government also vanquished the Shiite Mahdi Militia during this period. Well, it is nice to be vindicated after a year of being labelled Pollyannish and overly optimistic. The Surrendercrats and SurrenderMedia are paying a horrific price as their credibility has been destroyed. And now Michael Yon, someone of impeachable stature on the Iraq situation and who at one time claimed Iraq was all but lost, is declaring Iraq a victory:

A new and better nation is growing legs. What’s left is messy politics that likely will be punctuated by low-level violence and the occasional spectacular attack. Yet, the will of the Iraqi people has changed, and the Iraqi military has dramatically improved, so those spectacular attacks are diminishing along with the regular violence. Now it’s time to rebuild the country, and create a pluralistic, stable and peaceful Iraq. That will be long, hard work. But by my estimation, the Iraq War is over. We won. Which means the Iraqi people won.

Yon is very pessimistic on Afghanistan, which is where he and I started with Iraq in late 2006 to early 2007 timeframe. I am not worried. When local populations rise up and the government cracks down, the insurgents have no hope of winning. My guess is that will be the story of al-Qaeda’s demise in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as it was in Iraq (and elsewhere like Lebanon, Libya, etc).

Update: It seems even the Labour Party in the UK is not foolish enough to cut and run from Iraq. If Obama is so enamored by the Europeans, maybe he should take note that the UK is not setting any timetables to remove their troops from Iraq, instead they are staying until the job is done right.

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Victory In Iraq”

  1. Terrye says:

    I am keeping my fingers crossed. I think Afghanistan will take a long long time.

  2. AJ,

    In the last comment(currently) by Cross patch he links a Hot Air post that links a BBC report that Malki’s remarks on demanding a timetable for US troops iwthdrawals were mis translated.

    It would be great (Since you have a substantial readership) if you can get to the bottom of that and post on it if that is correct. Especially since Obama has a OP-Ed talking about it

  3. AJStrata says:

    Been thinking about it – but Morrissey’s readership has to 100 times mine!

  4. robert verdi says:

    Local populations do rise up, but not when there on the other side of the border. A predator drone is not the same as boots on the ground. By the way Iraq is over, it won’t be all peacefull, (How many countries in the middle east are?) but over none the less. All that remains a deal formalizing our relationship.

  5. crosspatch says:

    Here is a wonderful article from the MNF-I website:

    WASHINGTON — Security progress in Basra is “overwhelming” and Iraq’s second-largest city could be “another Dubai in the coming decade,” the commander of Multi-National Division – Southeast said June 14, referring to the bustling international business hub.

    “There was a slogan scrawled on a bridge in Amarah by one of these fleeing violent extremists. It said, ‘We’ll be back.’ And underneath that, an Iraqi soldier had scribbled, ‘And we’ll be waiting for you.’”

  6. crosspatch says:

    “by Cross patch he links a Hot Air post that links a BBC report that Malki’s remarks on demanding a timetable for US troops iwthdrawals were mis translated.”

    I could have linked the BBC article but I wanted to give credit to where I found it. It wasn’t designed to draw more traffic to HA so much as to give credit to where I found it linked. Maybe in the future I will link the actual reference and mention where I found it without linking to it if that would be a better approach. In other words, link the BBC post in this case, but mention that I found it on HA. That is so AJ can give the proper hat tip if he decides to note it in his main posting. I wouldn’t feel right taking credit for something someone else actually found if I found it on another blog. I posted it in the comments because I thought it was pertinent to the thread.

  7. gwood says:

    Nice job A. J.

    Prediction: Our victory in Iraq will be the gift that keeps on giving.

    The benefits to Iraqi citizens of Democracy will soon begin to be noticed by people in other states in the region. It will weaken despotic rule in Arab states and Iran, because what has happened in Iraq was not thought possible, was never an alternative for those who desire to remove their necks from the boot heel of tyrants. It is now.

    The mullahs in Iran, their hold on power tenuous at best, have nothing but a big black eye to show for their efforts, and their restive populace will notice it. Iraq may be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for the theocrats in Tehran. Dominoes anyone?

    Al-Qaida’s defeat in Iraq will marginalize them, they will get the blame for bringing the Great Satan to the region. Because of the consequences, rest assured another attack on US soil is no longer on the agenda for ANY of our enemies in the Middle East, and this has probably been true since our troops marched into Baghdad.

    Terror, as a weapon, is once again shown to be counter productive and imminently defeatable if met with force instead of diplomacy-no small benefit this one.

    Obama will tie himself in knots trying to paint this as something other than a huge victory for America, and George W. Bush.

    Oh, and Iraq will begin in a few short years to pump oil like Schwartzneggar pumps iron.

    All this and I get to visit my anti-Iraq-War brother next month.