July 13, 2006

"It is a great national day that will be registered in the history of Iraq."

The transfer of power in Muthanna.


Palladian said...

Hmm, the DCCC ad in the previous post doesn't show any events like this in their little montage.


Dawn said...

"...since the country was invaded."

Wha? Oh, it's the BBC. You have to expect writing like that.

Good for the people of Muthanna. I hope they'll be able to continue their self-governance in peace.

Icepick said...

"...since the country was invaded."

That is a perfectly accurate description of what happened in 2003. I don't see the problem with that.

Too Many Jims said...

This is great news! Three years in and one of the least contentious and populated provinces can now control it's own security. One down, 17 more (most of which are more contentious and populated) provinces to go. At this rate the comparison to how long we have had to maintain a military presence in Germany seem apt.

PatCA said...

Hutwa bi hutwa (step by step) and a'ash al Iraq (long live Iraq).

That's it for my Arabic, so here's to their future and to ours. Keep out the md mullahs and you'll be fine.

Bruce Hayden said...

Probably half the provinces should go by the end of the year or so, given current projections, and there is reason to believe that all except for maybe five may be stable enough to turn over by the end of 2007. Of course, that leaves Anbar, Baghdad, and Basra, in particular.

altoids1306 said...

At this rate the comparison to how long we have had to maintain a military presence in Germany seem apt.

Yes, yes, of course...this is Iraq, it's impossible that any real, good news would come out of that Bush disaster. Never mind what the Iraq prime minister says. (/sarcasm) One of these days, the gap between the progress in Iraq and the negative coverage in the MSM will be too great to sustain.

As for Germany, we should withdraw now, and leave Europe at the mercy of a nuclear Iran and an autocratic Russia. If something cannot be appreciated until it is taken away, perhaps we need to withdraw our military presence in Europe, to make them more receptive.

Too Many Jims said...

I have no doubt that there is more "good news" out of Iraq that the "MSM" is not covering. That said, one could limit her reading to solely those writers who are "right" and who supported the Iraq endeavor and come away with the impression that the situation is a mess. (E.g. Bill Kristol)

This is a good day, I do not deny that. But this province is the second largest by land area and yet the smallest by population. From what I can tell, its population is fairly homogenuous (Shiite). In other words, this is the "easy" one. Looking at a map, I doubt highly that security matters will be transfered in eight other provinces by the end of the year; though I genuinely hope they are.

Abraham said...

At this rate the comparison to how long we have had to maintain a military presence in Germany seem apt.

That's a rather silly analysis, unless there's some reason that progress can only be made one province at a time. It's like saying, "Oh! It took five minutes for the first kernel of popcorn to pop. At this rate, my other 500 kernels won't be popped for another day and a half!"

Bruce Hayden said...

One of the big reasons that I see this as important is that it reinforces in the Iraqi minds that we are being honest about our intentions there. Whereever and to the extent that they can get control over their security, we will give them responsibility and walk away.

Part of what the MSM has consciously ignored is that the Iraqis and the U.S. have the same goal here, and all there know it. No wonder that when al Qaeda blows up recruiting lines, they are just as long the next day, as Iraqis stand in line to volunteer for the army and police. Why? Because they know that that is the way to get us to leave, and give them true sovereignty.

I agree with Abraham, this isn't a start-from-zero for the next province. Rather security transition is moving along in all 18 provinces. As I noted earlier, of the 18, one has had full transition, twelve are rated as partially ready for transition, and the other five as not ready. But, even in each of those five, there are significant numbers of towns and/or areas where Iraqis are in control of their security, and are, in essence, the "first responders", with coallition troops providing backup support.

Too Many Jims said...

"That's a rather silly analysis."

Yes, I agree. I was being sarcastic; my apologies for not flagging it as such. There is no way in hell that we will be there for 54 years. It should only take 5 to 15 years to defeat an insurgency, so even if we stay for the whole thing we only have (at most) 12 more years there.

As silly as it is for one to say that we will be there for 54 years, it is just as silly (or slightly less silly) to think that we will be done in less than 3 more (if we are gonna do it right).

bearbee said...

Writer Michael Yon who has been in the belly of the beast and who seems to report honestly, is optimistic for Iraq but not for Afghanistan

"The Iraqi Security Forces are increasingly competent, a learning curve I witnessed first hand. A first dispatch about the ISF was titled “Please Don’t Shoot Us,” but ten months later, I was writing about raids the US Army conducted using intelligence developed by the ISF. The fact that a US Army general recently invited me back to Iraq to see the situation is indicative of Army confidence that the progress is ongoing and substantial. By now the military knows what readers sometimes chide me about: if invited to a mess, I will report the mess.

My foray into Afghanistan was less positive. In fact, when I contacted the Army Public Affairs in Afghanistan, there was no response. Iraq is not a quagmire and might be a good ally some day, but Afghanistan is a stone-aged disaster.

altoids1306 said...

it is just as silly to think that we will be done in less than 3 more

That's the real nightmare, isn't it, that it might all be over on Bush's watch. The credibility of every major media outlet would instantly vaporize.

Fortunately for everyone, I don't think Bush will compromise the most important foreign policy project of the early 21st century for political gain. I think he would rather see Iraq done right, even it if it means his (possibly Democratic) successor will get the credit.