Someone Just Declared Defeat In Iraq And It Wasn’t America
After the death of Zarqawi, Muqtada al Sadr was troublemaker-in-chief among Iraqi terrorists in insurgents. Now, even as Democrats in America continue to suggest that we’ve lost in Iraq, that troublemaker is suggesting a defeat of his own. His words, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal:
“I have failed to liberate Iraq, and transform its society into an Islamic society.”
More from the same article:
The principal reason for Sadr’s ability to augment his power during these years was the absence of security in Baghdad. This vacuum left the Shiite community completely vulnerable to an unrelenting wave of terror attacks from the Sunni insurgency and al Qaeda. With the U.S. Government’s failure to engage in serious counterinsurgency and make it a priority to provide basic safety for Iraqi civilians, Sadr and his Mahdi militia moved quickly to fill the void. . . .
In 2007, the U.S. military shifted approach, putting in place for the first time a comprehensive counterinsurgency strategy backed by a surge of troops to support it. The new strategy paid large dividends against al Qaeda and Sunni insurgents, as attacks dropped to 2005 levels and Iraqi deaths due to ethno-sectarian violence declined 90% from June 2007 to March 2008. As Sunni attacks against Shiite civilians declined, so did the rationale for Sadr’s authority.
As the International Crisis Group concluded, one “net effect” of the surge “was to leave the Sadrist movement increasingly exposed, more and more criticized and divided, and subject to arrest.”
Other factors also contributed to Sadr’s marginalization. But the increased security provided by more U.S. forces was essential in removing an underlying rationale for the Sadrist movement. Newsweek’s 2006 profile had predicted that “the longer the American occupation lasts, the less popular America gets — and the more popular Sadr and his ilk become.” But as a recent ABC News poll of Iraqis makes clear, Shiite support for local militias has plummeted over the past year. The full implementation of the surge helped weaken Sadr, not make him more popular.
Of course, Democrats themselves will ignore this watershed moment and instead point to the still troubling lack of political progress toward Iraqi stability and reconciliation. But these were the same people who said that we’d never be able to secure Iraq. They may be telling us now that Iraq may never be able to find unity politically, but they haven’t been right about anything else when it comes to the war so why start listening to them now?Tags: Military, Politics, War On Terror