Well, golly gee. The Washington Post has an editorial noticing that the surge has worked.

Yup, the decision of the Bush administration to change from the conventional war strategy to a counterinsurgency type warfare has resulted in (to quote the WaPo editorial):

the rapidly improving conditions should allow U.S. commanders to make some welcome adjustments — and it ought to mandate an already-overdue rethinking by the “this-war-is-lost” caucus in Washington, including Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.).

Last April, when the surge started and all the “experts”, including Senator Obama scoffed, I wrote that Iraq was Luzon, not Viet Nam, and that American baby boomer leftists who saw the war as Viet Nam redux were ignoring the experience of Magsaysay in the Philippines.

Where before Magsaysay the rural folk looked on the Philippine Army if not in distrust, at least with general apathy, during his term as Defense Secretary Filipinos began to respect and admire their soldiers.

Just like Magsaysay changed the Philippine army from a war machine to one that protected civilians, and offered amnesty and jobs (and land reform) to those who stopped fighting, similarly, we see Maliki  using his troops without asking US permission to wipe out the gangs of Basra. Initially, he ran into problems, but with Iraqi reinforcements and some US air support, Basra is slowly turning to normal.

StrategyPage notes:

When the (Iraqi) security forces went after the Shia militias earlier this year, the militiamen were dismayed. It was widely known that the Iraqi army and police were defeating al Qaeda, and a few hold-out Sunni Arab militias. Now these forces were moving into Shia Mahdi Army strongholds… Mahdi Army strongholds in  Baghdad and Basra are being taken apart, week by week. By the end of the Summer, the Mahdi Army will be reduced to weak remnants.

Of course, the press assures us that the violence won’t stop. Well, duh. Neither will the corruption. Well, Duh again.

Here in the Philippines, we still have the NPA running around kidnapping businessmen and bombing cellphone towers, but they are more like the Crips and Bloods or the Mafia than an insurgency.

As for corruption, that’s still here too, despite 300 years of Spanish Catholicism and 50 years of American puritanism. What’s a few billion pesos between friends?

So, expect the press to discover crime and corruption in Iraq, just like in the last week they have discovered that the suicide rate among soldiers is as high as civilian males (or female doctors) or that some soldiers have PTSS.

Yet I have another question to ask the American mainstream media: Why has it taken the press so long to discover that maybe, just maybe, Iraq is evolving out of an insurgency, just like the Philippines or Malaysia, or Colombia, where FARC is being decimated (also due to Bush’s support of President Uribe)?

Perhaps the reason can be found in the WAPO editorial, which fails to mention either Senator Clinton or Senator McCain, or President Bush, yet mentions Senator Obama not once not twice, but three times.

Obama was flat wrong in his opposition to the surge,  and no one except Senator McCain has called him on this mistake.

The editorial now tries to spin Obama’s withdrawal strategy as “good” because now the surge has succeeded, yet reality shows that if his advice had been taken last year, the country would have been in a full civil war between the surrogates of Saudi (AlQaeda) and Iran (Sadr’s militias).

And in case you didn’t recognize who the editorial pages of the Post are backing, they make it plain in their closing paragraph:

When Mr. Obama floated his strategy for Iraq last year, the United States appeared doomed to defeat. Now he needs a plan for success.

Yup. Obama the savior needs a plan for success. That’s what they wrote.

Um, fellahs, I know you wrote Hillary off months ago, but isn’t there a guy out there called McCain who just might be making the decisions next year?


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. 

She is a Democrat.

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