Iraq: the political horizon

Much is made of the Iraqi government’s lack of political progress – as defined in fluid fashion by Washington politicians. The more dangerous political instability for Iraq may be that coming from DC, as independent reporter Michael Yon, recently from Iraq, notes:

False advertising is afoot. I write these words from Indonesia, soaking wet, having just returned from photographing rice paddies in a pouring rain, wearing a Florida Gators shirt. That means there is a green alligator on my chest. While supporting my team, my shirt perpetuates the myth that alligators are green, when in fact they are black when wet, gray when dry.The mantra that “there is no political progress in Iraq” is rapidly becoming the “surge” equivalent of a green alligator: when enough people repeat something that sounds plausible, but also happens to be false, it becomes accepted as fact. The more often it is repeated–and the larger the number of people repeating it–the harder it is to convince anyone of the truth: alligators are not green, and Iraqis are making plenty of political progress.

There may be little progress on political goals crafted in America, to meet American concerns, by politicians who have a cushion of 200 years of democracy. Washington might as well be on the moon. Iraqis don’t respond well to rules imposed from outside their acknowledged authorities, though I have many times seen Iraqi Police and Army of all ranks responding very well to American Marines and soldiers who they have come to respect, and in many cases actually admire and try to emulate. Our military has increasing moral authority in Iraq, but the same cannot be said for our government at home. In fact, it’s in moral deficit because many Iraqis are increasingly frightened we will abandon them to genocide.

Read it all at the above link. Yon is self-funded on his reporting excursions to Iraq and Afghanistan, so consider his Tip Jar.

The Democrats are attempting to lose the Iraq War without leaving their fingerprints on the loss. By floating their various cut-and-run proposals, they undermine the confidence of the Iraqis in our government – and who could blame the Iraqis, hearing that any of the Democratic candidates (except Joe Who? Biden, who can’t win) would immediately abandon them to the tender mercies of al Qaeda, the remnants of Saddam’s regime, and the Iranian mullahs? Or that Democratic leaders in Congress want to bug out?

There is a political quagmire, all right – but we may be focusing on the wrong capital.

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