Monday, August 20, 2007

The Surge Has "Totally and Utterly Failed"

That was Democratic Senator Carl Levin's description of the surge, from a conference call with reporters today.

The full quote:

The purpose of the surge, by its own terms, was to have the — give the opportunity to the Iraqi leaders to reach some political settlements. They have failed to do that. They have totally and utterly failed.

He grudgingly concedes the surge has:

“resulted in some reduced violence in some places in Iraq,”

Think Progress jumped on these remarks as a validation of its view that we must hightail it out of Iraq.

Well, someone should have given Levin his Democratic talking points. As Instapundit notes, "Democratic Rivals Caution Against Swift Iraq Pullout."

In fairness, that quote by Levin did not specifically call for a pull out, but he quickly made his view clear later on in the call:

[I]t is clear to me that the capability that the Iraqi military now has and will have by the end of this year will allow us to begin reducing U.S. forces significantly below our pre-surge level. We should begin that reduction within four months.

When the American military is making progress like this: 57 Al Qaeda Captured In Kurdistan, why should we stop now? They fled from Diyala province, they're scurrying for sanctuary in any hole they can find in the ground, shouldn't we press our advantage and end their reign of terror?

When, as Michael Yon has repeatedly written, although there may not presently be a great deal of political cooperation on the national level, there is no dearth of hard-working sheiks and mayors making things happen on the local level.

When “The number of found-and-cleared IEDs, vehicle-borne IEDs and caches are approximately 50 percent higher than the same period last year."

And when even Democratic Congressman are saying "we're making real progress," and "I think the consequences of pulling back precipitously would be potentially catastrophic for the Iraqi people themselves, to whom we have a tremendous responsibility," how can Levin continue to rehash the same old tired defeatist line?

Lt. General Odierno, what is your goal for defeating al Qaeda?

"If we can, we want to finish them off."
Victory sounds good to me.

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