August 2nd addendum: It seems Mr. O'Hanlon can't backpeddle fast enough from his joyous war piece.
August 1st addendum: Well, it appears, Two fine Warmongers are citing this piece of writing as "evidence" we need to stay in Iraq...
Golly, I wish I could type faster! But, two fine gentlemen, Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack have stunning news from Iraq! according to their latest article, We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq.
And they would know, because they were there for a WHOLE EIGHT DAYS! Interestingly, they list several cities where they visited after landing in Baghdad; Ramadi, Tal Afar and Mosul.
So, while I don't have their itinerary, they can't have spent more than a few days in each. Tell you what fellas try spending 15 months in one of those cities and then you tell me, "things look much better than before."
But Mr. O'Hanlon and Mr. Pollack how did you come to these conclusions? On what metrics?
US KIA and WIA? 691 and 3801 since Jan. 2007.
Civilian deaths? These numbers don't strike me as positive signs.
Perhaps overall attacks are down? At over 5000 attacks per month?
Perhaps Baghdad has reliable power for longer hours now? Oops, once Baghdad's amount of electricity dropped under 6 hours per day, the State Department decided to stop reporting it.
Maybe the political situation is improving? Mr. O'Hanlon's own words belie any hope of that, "there is nonetheless little good to report on the political front..."
Maybe Iraqi forces are ready to take over in the Al Anbar province? Well, Marine Major General Walter Gaskin in Al Anbar says the Iraqi forces won't be ready for 'a couple of years'?
"But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008." Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack.
Ah and that's the key isn't it, the Surge should go on for another year, despite everything to the contrary, the troops have to stay, the money has to keep flowing, the anti-war loonies have to be marginalized and the blood of Americans and Iraqis has to keep flowing because you spent a week in the desert.