Thursday, August 07, 2008

Good News From Iraq

In addition to the news that US combat fatalities in Iraq dropped to 5 in July, a low for the war, the Wall Street Journal reports that Muqtada Al-Sadr is disarming his army. The Mahdi Army led by the Shiite cleric has long been a difficult enemy of US troops and peace loving Iraqis and has controlled significant space in Baghdad. Reportedly, they will shift their focus to "education, religion and social justice" and won't even carry weapons.

WSJ credits crackdowns on the Mahdi militias and a loss of popular support for the group due to their use of violence. Together with a near-total defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq, if the Mahdi Army does disarm, there would not be any significant organized enemy of the US left in Iraq.

What a difference a year makes. The "surge" (opposed by Obama, favored by McCain in case you've forgotten) has been an unqualified success. Imagine how different life would be for the Iraqi people if our troops has left when Obama and the Democrats were demanding that we cut and run (it seems that their lives aren't even bad enough to report on if you ask the media). There will always be disagreement on whether or not we should have gone to war in the first place. However, looking back on the success of the surge, McCain's foreign policy experience certainly trumped Obama's lack of any experience.

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