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  • Morning Bell: The Emerging Consensus for Victory

    Noting the U.S. military’s return of Anbar Province to Iraqi control, the Christian Science Monitor’s Sam Dagher reports from Fallujah:

    This is a city literally rising from the ashes. While reminders of two major US assaults here in April and November 2004 are inescapable, signs of rebirth are plenty. Men in jumpsuits busily work on construction sites, sewers are being installed, and a hospital is nearly completed. …

    In the past two years, a strategy of turning tribal leaders against [Al-Qaeda in Iraq] worked and led to a significant turnabout for the Americans.

    Back in Baghdad, the news is equally promising. The Washington Post reports: “Iraq’s main Sunni Muslim political bloc is on the verge of rejoining the Shiite-led government after a nearly year-long boycott, a step widely seen as vital to reconciliation after years of sectarian conflict.”

    The realities on the ground in Iraq are slowly penetrating Washington as well. A new assessment requested by Congress reports that the Iraqi government has met 15 of the 18 benchmarks Congress created to measure success in Iraq. Only two of the benchmarks — enacting and implementing laws to disarm militias and distribute oil revenues — are unsatisfactory.

    Even fierce critics of Bush administration policy in Iraq are beginning to acknowledge that promises from the left for rapid withdrawal are a mistake. Commenting on Sen. Barack Obama’s promise to immediately begin bringing U.S. troops home if he is elected, George Packer writes in The New Yorker: “He doubtless realizes that his original plan, if implemented now, could revive the badly wounded Al Qaeda in Iraq, re-energize the Sunni insurgency, embolden Moqtada al-Sadr to recoup his militia’s recent losses to the Iraqi Army, and return the central government to a state of collapse.”

    Packer then notes encouraging signs from Obama’s advisers:

    Samantha Power, before she resigned from the campaign for making an indiscreet remark about Hillary Clinton, told the BBC, “He will, of course, not rely upon some plan that he’s crafted as a Presidential candidate or a U.S. senator. He will rely upon a plan — an operational plan — that he pulls together in consultation with people who are on the ground.”

    If Obama does become president, he will consult with surge architect Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, commander of the Multi-National Corps-Iraq. Speaking at Heritage before his assignment, Odierno highlighted the importance of securing victory in Iraq:

    Let me close by emphasizing that there was much sacrifice to achieve these gains. Let us all nev­er forget those whose lives have been changed for­ever because of injuries and those who gave their lives fighting for the ideals of liberty as well as their loved ones. Their sacrifices were and are not in vain, and because of them the Iraqis have the right to choose their own destiny.

    Quick Hits:

    • Sen. John McCain met with Colombia President Alvaro Uribe yesterday to promote a free trade agreement that Uribe says will help reduce coca cultivation in Colombia.
    • Thanks to the disastrous anti-trade policies of Argentina’s leftist government, once supportive Argentina farmers are trying to topple the Peronist government.
    • A video of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid telling Fox Business Network that “coal makes us sick” was the “most viewed” video on YouTube yesterday.
    • According to Rasmussen Reports, 48 percent of Americans say reducing gas prices is the best cure for the ailing economy, while 18 percent endorse a new stimulus plan.
    • Shortly after joining the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama received a discount on a $1.32 million mortgage that saves him $300 a month in mortgage payments.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Morning Bell: The Emerging Consensus for Victory

    1. Ed Smithe says:

      Well, now that things are going so well in Iraq, we should be able to draw down some of our forces to pre-surge levels and send additional personnel to prevent Afghanistan from slipping away, right?

      Moreover, shall we care to venture a guess as to when the Iraqi government will complete all of the 18 benchmarks that they had agreed to some time ago? When one considers the amount of money that we spend every day in Iraq, and the toll that it is taking on our national defense, it would be rather prudent to know just how much blood and treasure we are planning to spend to ensure that the Iraqis keep their promises to the United States–especially as Iran continues to develop nuclear weapons, Pakistan continues to ignore al Qaeda, China continues to build its military and North Korea continues to implode.

      We demand as much from our domestic programs, why not our foreign policy?

    2. Danny Grimes Central says:

      My comment on Nuclear power plants is this: There are good personal options immerging,and being used today. It makes more sense to protect the enviroment,and prevent disaster-than to spend billions of dollars only to have spent reactor waste, sold back as irradiated food, and poison absoulutely anyone, who ingests such treated foodstuffs.It only takes one chernoble disaster to ruin the enviroment-and the lives of most Americans. My vote is on personable control of energy- not in the control of profiters in the long run. Saving only the availiability of a needed energy source not moral, or ethical standpoints. I vote no. But i do vote for sane soulutions not ones that represent serious destruction of land, people ,and the Earth.

    3. E Paul Lian, Scottsd says:

      Senator Obama saves $300/month on his mortgage paynent? Doesn't sound like much, let's see, that's $3,600 annually, $36,000 over ten years, $72,00 over twenty years. Not a worry to me. Hey, he's got college expenses coming up, weddings to pay for, fuel & groceries to buy, just like most of us. Question….how can I save $300/mo on my mortgage….have impeccable credit or become a U.S. Senator?

    4. Pingback: test » Blog Archive » Morning Bell: The Emerging Consensus for Victory

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