It had to have hurt the New York Times bigwigs to have to print an optimistic story about Iraq.
VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.
As you read on, and you should read on, keep in mind that these guys are not murderous neo-cons or shadowy oil barons. They’re basically policy wonks from Democratic administrations. Their opinion on the matter does gain some credence on that point alone, even though in a good world it wouldn’t. Facts are facts, after all.
I can’t imagine that their party affiliation nor their prior criticisms will figure much in the chit-chat that’s likely to come from the rest of the MSM. As an example, you can feel free to ignore the sour puss of Joe Klein who says that we shouldn’t feel optimistic about the major progress we’re making against al-Qaeda. According to Klein, we’re just clearing the field so the Iraqis can have their big civil war or ethinic cleansing spree or whatever. To be honest, folks like Klein tend to pick whichever pending disaster suits their narrative on any given day. Besides, I thought Iraq was already mired in a civil war. If they have another one, does that make it a Civil War Squared? An Ultra Civil War? Only the left knows.
Others, such as Matthew Yglesias, draw a connection of warmongering between one of the authors and General Petraeus that goes all the way back to grade school and demands that the Democratic candidates forswear to hire one of the authors in their administration before they get his vote. Someone posting as “Big Tent Democrat”, creating irony so rich that Hillary Clinton immediately put out a press release saying she wanted to raise taxes on it, demanded that both authors be purged from any future Democratic administration. And they call the right thuggish? Indeed, Iraq has driven the left into such a mania that they can barely make an argument on the merits because their rational brains have been sandblasted by hatred for the Chimpmaster-in-Chief.
You’re probably best off simply reading this clear-eyed analysis of the piece from The Belmont Club. He hits all the points that need to be hit and pays attention to the unspoken details. Your time is much better spent there, where thought lives.
UPDATE (with a late bump): Right on schedule, here come the leftist’s paid attack mutts. Do pay attention to little they address the facts and substance of the editorial and how much time they spend attacking the authors. That gives you the best read on how serious their yipping and yapping is.
McQ at Q and O takes note of the same thing and gives you the chapter and verse on how they can’t even get a character smear right.