Have war opponents nowhere left to turn?
This past week, the New York Times magazine published an audio slideshow titled: Turning the Tribes in Iraq. The opening slide read:
Michael Gordon and Ben Lowy traveled to Iraq to report on the new partnerships between American soliders and Sunni tribes, including members of the insurgency.
However, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer took a different stance:
And let me be clear, the violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al Qaeda said to these tribes we have to fight al Qaeda ourselves. It wasn't that the surge brought peace here. It was that the warlords took peace here, created a temporary peace here. And that is because there was no one else there protecting.
A blogger at DailyKos followed up with: Anbar: Not a Success, and Irrelevant to the "Surge"
Captain's Quarters responds:
The notion that the US had no role in gaining the trust of the tribes that now openly support our deployment is risible on its face. If we were as incompetent as Chuck says, why would they bother working with us at all? Why not just rise up against us and get us out of Iraq? If we can't fight the terrorists, why would the tribes hesitate to drive us off their land? It's because the tribes understand that we are a highly effective force against the mostly-foreign terrorists in AQI, and they need our protection to bring normalcy to their areas.
Now back to the New York Times' Michael Gordon, who has been to Iraq on a number of occasions (unlike Schumer). What did he have to say about the surge?
When I got to Iraq, it was clear that the surge of American reinforcements had changed the military dynamic in the country. The elevated force levels have led to the establishment of new American/Sunni alliances.
It seems the campaign to discredit the surge and impugn the valiant efforts by our troops is in full swing among the American anti-war left. First the surge was doing no good, then it was accusations that the General was falsifying the body count, and now the success is not due to the surge. It took them a while, but they've finally settled on some talking points.
By this same method, as the corner notes a Washington Times piece, the left is Dissing Petraeus:
Congressional Democrats are trying to undermine U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus' credibility before he delivers a report on the Iraq war next week, saying the general is a mouthpiece for President Bush and his findings can't be trusted.
I hear Tom Jones... "It's not unusual to be..." hated "...by anyone."
See Confederate Yankee for more.
Update: More Chuck Schumer - "And let me point out that Schumer voted for this war. He sent the troops to Iraq. Now he derides their achievements. The man has no shame."