Cheney Gloats- Gates Announces More Troop Withdrawals- As Iraq Returns to Normalcy
As the security situation in Iraq continues to improve and more plans for troop withdrawals are announced, Bush Administration officials are sounding confident that a successful democratic Iraq is within reach.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, right, shares a laugh with Army Gen. David Petraeus, commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007, at the presidential guest house in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/ Haraz N. Ghanbari)
Despite the pounding of negative reports from Democrats and the anti-Bush media, Vice President Dick Cheney predicted that “We will look back at the Bush Surge and study its success for years to come.”
The Politico reported:
Vice President Cheney today predicted Iraq will be a self-governing democracy by the time he leaves office, calling the current U.S. surge strategy “a remarkable success story” that will be studied for years to come…
“I am fairly confident we’ll have [Iraq] in a good place, where we’ll be able to look back on it and say, ‘That was the right decision. It was a sound decision going into Iraq,’” Cheney told us in a 40-minute White House interview.
Sounding a note of caution, the vice president said: “We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re sort of halfway through the surge, in a sense. We’ll be going back to pre-surge levels over the course of the next year.”
But Cheney said that by the middle of January 2009, it will be clear that “we have in fact achieved our objective in terms of having a self-governing Iraq that’s capable for the most part of defending themselves, a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, a nation that will be a positive force in influencing the world around it in the future.”
In a related note of good news…
Iraqi-American Haider Ajina sends this latest good news from al-Doura in Baghdad from Azzaman News:
Semblance of normal life returns to restive Doura in Baghdad
By Zainab Khuder
Azzaman, November 30, 2007
Normal life is slowly returning to Doura, once one of Baghdad’s most violent neighborhoods. Anti-U.S. rebels and criminal gangs have apparently left the district following joint Iraqi and U.S. military operations. The neighborhood was almost under the full control of Islamic radicals, mainly those affiliated to al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia who imposed by force their strict interpretation of Islamic jurisdiction.
Religious minorities like Christians were either forced to leave or embrace Islam. The churches had closed their doors. Many Christians are reported to be returning. So have others including Sunni Muslims who objected to the imposition of Islamic rule in the neighborhood.
Meantime, Baghdad municipality is back with full force, paving roads, tidying roundabouts and squares, extending water pipes and collecting garbage. But residents say only portions of the sprawling neighborhood are so far covered with municipal services. They say such services have yet to cover the whole area. Adhra Mahmoud says public services have improved recently and the areas covered are tidier than before. “It is good that the government is employing people from Doura itself, leading to a drastic drop in the rate of joblessness,” she added.
US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates (L) is introduced to soldiers after arriving at Mosul Airfield in Iraq. Gates said the goal of a stable and democratic Iraq is within reach, during an unannounced visit to Iraq marked by a spate of car bombs that killed 22 people.(AFP/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
And, here is another bit of news from Voices of Iraq:
Gates: Largest military division to pull out from Iraq in weeks
Baghdad – Voices of Iraq
Wednesday , 05 /12 /2007 Time 9:58:05
Baghdad, Dec 5 (VOI) – U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said on Wednesday that the biggest American division is to withdraw from Iraq by December 2007.
The withdrawal of more American troops is to take place next February and March, provided that security conditions continue to significantly improve.
“The largest American unit in Iraq will start withdrawing by December 2007, if security improves significantly. More units are to pull out next February and March” Gates said in a joint press conference with Abdel Qadir al-Ubaidi, his Iraqi counterpart.
Haider Ajina comments:
Cafés and shops in Baghdad are beginning to stay open for longer hours and are having a resurgence of clientele and improvement of Business. Abu Nawass Street, a four lane wide street running along the Tigres in Baghdad, famous for its well light cafés and Mesgoof fish restaurants. Mesgoof is a style of cooking fish in front of an open wood fire. The fish is opened and held up by wooden stakes. Similar to how our local Native Tribes cook Salmon. Prime Minister Al-Maliki recently reopened Abu Nawas Street after improved security, much refurbishment and improvements to the road, wide sidewalks and infrastructure. Speaking to my father, in Baghdad earlier this week, he said, “If just four months ago any one would have said that security in Baghdad would be this good no one would have believed them.”
The surge (thanks to our men and women serving in Iraq and the Iraqis) is definitely making a large positive difference in the security of Baghdad in specific and Iraq in general.
UPDATE: More ‘Willing suspension of disbelief’- General Petraeus announced today that violence is down by 60% in Iraq.
And… Democrats have decided to give up on “Desperately Seeking Surrender”… again.