26 August 2007

Iraq: what's really going on?

Ralph Peters, writing from Fallujah, Iraq, assesses the situation there:

Out here in Anbar Province - long the most troubled in Iraq - the change has come so swiftly and thoroughly that it's dazzling. Marines who were under fire routinely just months ago are now directing their former enemies in battle.

Although this trend has been reported, our battlefield leaders here agree that the magnitude of the shift hasn't registered back home: Al Qaeda is on the verge of a humiliating, devastating strategic defeat - rejected by their fellow Sunni Muslims.

Forget the anti-war nonsense you hear. The truth is that our troops want to continue this struggle. I know. I'm here. And I'm listening to what they have to say. They're confident as never before that we're on the right path.

Notice how just about everyone who has actually been to Iraq recently seems to be saying things like this? (A notable example: anti-war Democratic Congressman Brian Baird.) The defeat-is-inevitable stance now seems to be the province of people sitting behind desks in the United States, too strongly committed to their position to listen to those with firsthand experience.

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