Patterico's Pontifications

4/11/2008

Michael Yon Wants ‘More Surge’

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 7:59 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Michael Yon has an article in the Wall Street Journal that begins with his take on the success of the surge:

“It is said that generals always fight the last war. But when David Petraeus came to town it was senators – on both sides of the aisle – who battled over the Iraq war of 2004-2006. That war has little in common with the war we are fighting today.

I may well have spent more time embedded with combat units in Iraq than any other journalist alive. I have seen this war – and our part in it – at its brutal worst. And I say the transformation over the last 14 months is little short of miraculous.”

Yon concludes with a plea for more troops and more surge:

“We know now that we can pull off a successful counterinsurgency in Iraq. We know that we are working with an increasingly willing citizenry. But counterinsurgency, like community policing, requires lots of boots on the ground. You can’t do it from inside a jet or a tank.

Over the past 15 months, we have proved that we can win this war. We stand now at the moment of truth. Victory – and a democracy in the Arab world – is within our grasp. But it could yet slip away if our leaders remain transfixed by the war we almost lost, rather than focusing on the war we are winning today.”

Click the link and read the rest, written by the best reporter the Iraq War has seen.

— DRJ

22 Responses to “Michael Yon Wants ‘More Surge’”

  1. Since it has become politically incorrect to fight wars, I seriously doubt that we will be successful in Iraq. It would take a miracle for our efforts to become so obviously successful before Bush leaves office that we would have no choice but to stay and finish the job. And if our next president is a Democrat, you can be sure we’ll be leaving with our tail between our legs and our world-wide reputation in worse tatters than it is now. What a shame.

    jwarner (0c2175)

  2. Since it has become politically incorrect to fight wars

    You’re purposefully conflating the liberal opposition to the war in Iraq with all war in general. It’s not like there’s a whole lot of nuance here, liberals think this war is stupid, not all war. You don’t understand that?

    Levi (76ef55)

  3. Over the past 15 months, we have proved that we can win this war

    No, we have proved that our soldiers can do a real good job of seeking out and killing terrorists. But that’s not winning the war, it’s but a pre-requisite for the political and social accomplishments that have to take place for us to truly say we have ‘won’. And since the Iraqis won’t do what needs to be done, we ain’t going to win, no matter how many terrorists and so-called insurgents our troops kill. And more troops, while they may cut further the number of casualties, won’t help in that regard, for not enough Iraqis, paraphrasing Golda Meir, love their own families more than they hate their neighbors.

    Yon, for all of his bravery, is missing more than he’s picking up. It’s fine that he sees towns where people are less afraid than they used to be. And it’s wonderful the Iraqis finally decided that Al Qaeda was as much a threat to them as they were to us. But he’s not seeing Shiites and Sunnis living together peacefully, nor the Iraqi clans and militias putting down their weapons and pledging allegiance to the central government, nor the bickering sects agreeing (really agreeing) to share power and resources, nor the national army trained to where they can protect their borders or, without US support, police their own cities… all because those things aren’t happening.

    Claiming that we’re winning because things are temporarily quiet(er) is the definition of delusion and a classic case of moving the goalposts. We may not be losing, but a situation where we can’t pull troops out lest things revert to the bad old days can in no way be defined as winning. Put another way, I bet even Yon, if you asked him five years ago if he equated winning with our being unable to leave (or even make more than a token reduction in forces) without h**l breaking out, he would have answered NO.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  4. It’s not like there’s a whole lot of nuance here, liberals think this war is stupid, not all war.

    This from a commenter that lumps all Republicans together holding the exact same ideologies because “I don’t have time to learn all the differences. Get over it.”

    Paul (4e4a20)

  5. “…liberals think this war is stupid, not all war.”

    I have yet, in the past 50-years, seen a war that Liberals consider Not Stupid.
    If there is such an animal, please elucidate.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  6. I have yet, in the past 50-years, seen a war that Liberals consider Not Stupid.

    That would be WWII…but only in their arguments against all other wars.

    Would they want to fight it now?

    Hell, they didn’t want to fight it then.

    Paul (4e4a20)

  7. Looks like the next 6 months could be critical.

    stef (861715)

  8. “I have yet, in the past 50-years, seen a war that Liberals consider Not Stupid.”

    The Vietnam war was waged vigorously by the liberal LBJ.

    stef (84a199)

  9. The Vietnam war was waged vigorously by the liberal LBJ.

    A fact completely forgotten or ignored by liberals when using Vietnam to bash America today.

    Paul (4ca58a)

  10. “A fact completely forgotten or ignored by liberals when using Vietnam to bash America today.”

    What’s ignored about it?

    stef (3cd17c)

  11. Maybe you don’t, but many others do.

    Paul (4ca58a)

  12. “Maybe you don’t, but many others do.”

    What is it that they are ignoring?

    stef (1bf27e)

  13. Go back and read my comment again.

    Paul (4ca58a)

  14. “Go back and read my comment again.”

    I don’t think people ignore LBJ’s pursuing of the war. Rather, they think it was a bad idea.

    stef (ee4c8e)

  15. stef,

    It seems like liberals are more likely to see war as a bad idea in hindsight.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  16. “It seems like liberals are more likely to see war as a bad idea in hindsight.”

    Could be. There were liberals at that time that thought the war was a bad idea. Some people change their minds about a given war, like Daniel Ellsberg. Some still have the same opinions they had 40-some years ago.

    stef (84a199)

  17. Rather, they think it was a bad idea.

    And they neglect to mention just whos bad idea it was.

    Paul (4ca58a)

  18. “And they neglect to mention just whos bad idea it was.”

    When it crossed party and ideological lines, it doesn’t seem so important to mention just one.

    stef (3b5233)

  19. When it crossed party and ideological lines, it doesn’t seem so important to mention just one.

    Who started it?

    Paul (4ca58a)

  20. France.

    stef (3b5233)

  21. France.

    Weasel.

    Which Democrat American president had the bad idea to get us involved (that today’s liberals are ignoring)?

    Paul (4ca58a)

  22. “Which Democrat American president had the bad idea to get us involved (that today’s liberals are ignoring)?”

    The Pentagon papers detailed the US relations with Vietnam from 1945-68. The gulf of tonkin resolution came during the LBJ admin. I don’t know how bipartisan the support for that was. I dont think anyone, liberal or conservative, ignores the Gulf of Tonkin resolution. But there are people out there who don’t think the war was a bad idea.

    stef (9e9097)


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