"The Surge is Working - the Surge is Working" is the rallying cry that has begun to buzz louder and louder among the Bush's right-wing supporters as reports continue of decreased violence in the Al-Anbar province of Iraq.
One would think so, but is it the beginning of trend, the result of some good luck and positive circumstances or simply a shifting of the battle-front to other areas?
And more importantly : what, if anything, does this bode for the continuing political meltdown in Iraq?
Speaking on CNN two Democratic Senators, Dick Durbin and Bob Casey, decided to spend their August vacation in Iraq and find out exactly what really going on down there.
They stated, to the delight and glee of the right-wing, that our "troops are making progress".
Red State: "Well, lo and behold, Democratic Senators Durbin (the #2 ranking Democrat in the Senate) and Casey, after actually visiting Iraq, now admit that the surge is, in fact, making precisely the military progress that Senator Reid declared to be impossible."
Power Line: Some Democrats have noticed that the "surge" is producing results on the ground in Iraq
National Review: Dick Durbin says the surge is "making real progress"
But unfortunately for the wingers, that's not all they said.
There were two important parts of this story, the military part as Senator [Bob] Casey said, where men and women were doing their best and making real progress. [...]
But I have to tell you there’s another side to this story...As we are seeing military progress, the political scene is very discouraging. We are seeing this al Maliki government, which was once branded the government of unity, coming apart. We see Shia’s leaving, Sunnis walking out. It’s not the kind of promise that we want in terms of bringing stability to this country.
We have to recall that the entire point of the surge wasn't to provide stability in Al-Anbar, it was to establish stability in Baghdad and give the Iraqi Parliament some "breathing room."
According to the White House's Fact Sheet on the New Strategy from this past April.
- The New Strategy Recognizes That Our Top Priority Must Be To Help Iraq’s Leaders Secure Their Population, Especially In Baghdad. Until the Iraqi people have a basic measure of security, they will not be able to make political and economic progress.
- Baghdad Was The Site Of Most Of The Sectarian Violence In Iraq And Is The Destination For Most Of Our Reinforcements. Three additional American brigades have reached the Iraqi capital, while another is in Kuwait preparing to deploy to Iraq and one more will arrive next month.
It can and has been successfully argued that violence in Anbar is indeed down significantly according to Military experts on the ground.
Speaking from Iraq via satellite, Major General Walter Gaskin made the type of absolute statements most commanders try to avoid. "I believe we have turned the corner," he said.