Progress in Iraq

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have dominated headlines lately because of their prolonged fight for the nomination of the Democrat Party. Both of them have downplayed progress in Iraq as a part of their justification for rapid troop withdrawals should either of them become president.

In particular, the candidates have stated that though there has been military progress in Iraq, the Iraqis have yet to make any political progress towards reconciliation of the various interests in Iraq. Absent such progress, both Obama and Clinton have pledged a rapid end to the war.

In today’s New York Times, fellows and associates from the Brookings Institution (a left-leaning foreign policy think-tank) declare that there has been more political progress in Iraq than Democrat candidates have acknowledged. They conclude:

“It is far too soon to predict that Iraq is headed for stability or sectarian reconciliation. But it is also clear that those who assert that its politics are totally broken have not kept up with the news.”

What is the upshot of this independent analysis? The “surge” has been a great military success and at least a modest political success. There is much more work to be done in Iraq, and a stable democratic Iraq is still possible if America has the will to see it through.


  • Paul

    The point that Denny of course isn’t going to make is that we’ve been paying the insurgents to not fight us. How much more money can we sink into that effort before we go broke?


    (ohhh, that last one’s from the council of conservative citizens!)

    I can’t be sure, but I’ve got to think that the $800K that the US is laying down every day could just as easily be spent here on single payer healthcare, education subsidies to make public colleges free to students, or any number of other ideas that have to be better ideas than paying people not to fight us.

  • Paul

    uhhh, Denny, what’s with not letting me comment at all right now? My last post isn’t even “waiting to be moderated.” It just didn’t appear at all.

    That’s certainly one way to ensure that there are no dissenting opinions around this place…

  • Denny Burk


    I don’t have you or anyone else singled out for moderation. I don’t know why yours went in to SPAM (which is where I presume it is). I’ll go fish it out.


  • Paul

    No Denny, thank you. Glad to see that it’s up.

    So, do you realize how much we’re spending to pay people to be our friends?

    $800K x 7 days per week = $5.6 million

    52 weeks x $5.6 million = $291.2 million/year.

    A drop in the bucket in our yearly expenditures, but I think everyone here could think of better ways to spend that money.

    If that’s how the surge is being a great military success, we’re gonna have problems on our hands sooner or later.

  • Ben


    The first site you cited is obviously slanted againt the President. How can you use that for credibility?

    The second site has a disclaimer saying, “Views and opinions are not necessarily those of the Council of Conservative Citizens.” And the article there points to the column of Paul Roberts, same author of the first site you cited.

    I’m not saying this is totally untrue, but you present no concrete evidence to believe it is true.

  • Paul


    anything that’s not right wing lacks credibility?

    Please. What are we supposed to use for a credible news source then? Certainly not anything that leans overtly right then, either, right?

    So, I’ll give up the left wing slant when Denny and the rest of you give up Fox News, National Review and other like minded news sites and mags.


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