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A sea change in the Iraqis' view of our commitment?

I really don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but -- at least at this point -- I just don't see the evidence (or reason) for it yet.

Over at RedState, diarist "gamecock" today wrote a diary entitled, "Thanks to GWB, Iraqis Now Believe That We Are There For the Long Run." In it, he didn't make the case for the statement being true (instead simply leaving that up to Omar of Iraq the Model); instead, he simply credited George "The Liberator" Bush for its success.

Unfortunately -- and it is unfortunate -- I think that the entire premise is largely inaccurate, and entirely too optimistic.

There is no doubt that it is of vital importance that the Iraqis believe that we will remain there to support them for the foreseeable future. However, I have serious, serious doubts about that being true - especially over a larger area than perhaps the single Baghdad mahalla where Omar lives.

When I was in Baghdad in May, the sentiment on that issue was entirely opposite, due in large part to the rhetoric emanating from the American left (especially Congress). There has been no change in that rhetoric, or in Congressional attempts to force us out of Iraq; given that, I see little or no reason for the Iraqis (who know very well that we've quit every fight since 1970, and who remember as though it was yesterday how we abandoned them to death and torture in 1991) to have radically altered that viewpoint.

Unfortunately, that radical alteration is absolutely necessary in order for us to succeed; equally unfortunately, I see little or no chance that it will change in the near future. Given that, it makes our job that much more difficult, and it will take desperation on the part of the Iraqis (like we saw in Anbar) in order for them to really work with us, rather than being a willing partnership borne out of their trust of our intentions, purposes, and steadfastness.

So, while I would love for gamecock's premise to be true, I simply cannot buy into it at this point.

I'll have more to report on this in a couple weeks, when I'm back on the front in Iraq seeing it all for myself once again.


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At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see now. You haven't been in Iraq since May, or just Baghdad?

So you have a "gut" feeling that the Iraqis do not think we are there for the long haul? And this is because they felt that way in May?

Is that you Chertoff?

At 4:46 PM, Blogger J.P. Emanuel said...

I haven't been anywhere in the country since May; however, I will be back there next week and will be looking into this very issue, among others.

The reason for my analysis as presented was that nothing has fundamentally changed here on the home front which would do anything to change the minds of Iraqis -- and the home front was a major, major factor in their not trusting us to begin with.

It's simply called analysis and honesty. I call 'em as I see 'em, and being overly optimistic or pessimistic isn't generally my style.


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