The conservative Blogosophere has been taking note of recent progress on the military front in Iraq for months now.
A rare few Democrats, however, have come around. Still, trepidation is in the air. Captain's Quarters Blog writes that Democrats Miscalculate On Iraq:
Democrats figured that the August recess would give them plenty of opportunity to raise the heat on Republicans to force a withdrawal date from Iraq. They could return to their home districts, stoke some demonstrations, and return with new momentum after Labor Day to push for retreat. Unfortunately, events have intervened, and now Democrats have to regroup to avoid looking like defeatists while the military effort has started producing successes.
CQ also quotes the Washington Post, which smells blood in the water:
Democratic leaders in Congress had planned to use August recess to raise the heat on Republicans to break with President Bush on the Iraq war. Instead, Democrats have been forced to recalibrate their own message in the face of recent positive signs on the security front, increasingly focusing their criticisms on what those military gains have not achieved: reconciliation among Iraq's diverse political factions.
Pat Dollard is more direct: AP Admits Dems Hoping For Defeat:
“… Democrats worry that credible reports of even slight improvements in the military situation in Iraq could hurt their party’s momentum”
Many conservative Bloggers have been saying for months, myself included, that Democrats are committed to defeat in Iraq. Their entire political strategy hinges upon it. Every positive news report stings their chances for re-election and consequently, the presidency, in 2008.
It is for this reason that Democrats and liberal Bloggers have already begun an assault on the September Petraeus report, hoping to denigrate the report's authors in the hope that any positive news will be disregarded by Washington, and the nation as a whole.
And if all else fails, as CQ wrote, the Democrats are already minimizing whatever military progress has been made, instead focusing on a criticism on the lack of political reform in Baghdad (Lack of political reform = ironic).
However, it is the Democrats, not Republicans, President Bush, or our troops in Iraq that may be fighting the losing battle. As Knoxville News has noted, Media coverage of Iraq drops.
The Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) found that 15% of stories across print, broadcast and online dealt with Iraq-related issues -- down from 22% during the first quarter of the year. In the second quarter, Fox News Channel devoted roughly half as much coverage to the war (8%) than its rivals, CNN (18%) and MSNBC (15%).
Why less coverage?
Answer: Fewer attacks, thus less bad news to report.