In the Op-Ed section of yesterday’s New York Times was an optimistic essay on the situation in Iraq by Michael O’Hanlon (of the Brookings Institution) and the well-known Mideast expert Kenneth Pollack (no relation to any of the waka waka waka staff). The article is getting a lot of play today from the government for its relatively upbeat assessment of the effects of the latest security effort. It begins as follows:
VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.
Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.
Read the story here.