"Even the Democrats yearning to become president admit, when pressed, that al Qaeda's a threat to America. So why didn't even one of them praise the success of our troops during their last debate?
But let's be fair: Congressional Republicans, terrified of losing their power and glory and precious perks, haven't rushed to applaud our progress, either. They'll give up Iraq, as long as they don't have to give up earmarks.
* It isn't only al Qaeda taking serious hits. After briefly showing the flag, Muqtada al-Sadr fled back to Iran again, trailed by his senior deputies. Mookie's No. 2 even moved his family to Iran. Why? Though he's been weak in the past, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is now green-lighting Iraqi operations against the Jaish al Mahdi, the Mookster's "Mahdi Army."
With its descent into criminality and terror, the Mahdi Army, too, has been losing support among Iraqis - in this case, among Shias.
And Iraq's security forces increasingly carry the fight to the militia:
* The Iraqi Police Tactical Support Unit in Nasiriyah came under attack by Mahdi Army elements accustomed to intimidating their enemies. Supported by a brave (and tiny) U.S. advisory team, the police commandos fought them off. Instead of a walkover, the militia thugs hit a wall - and got hammered by airstrikes, for good measure. Then the Iraqi police counter-attacked. The Mahdi Army force begged for negotiations.
* In Mosul, Iraqi army and police units stuck to their guns through a series of tough combat engagements, with the result that massive arms caches were seized from the terrorists and insurgents. In Kirkuk, Iraqi police reacted promptly to last week's gruesome car-bombing - in time to stop two other car bombs from reaching their intended targets.
* In Baghdad, the surge isn't only about American successes - Iraqi security and intelligence forces conducted a series of hard-hitting operations against both al Qaeda and Iran-backed Special Group terrorists.
What were you, the American people, told about all this? Well, The New Republic published a pack of out-of-the-ballpark lies concocted by a scammer claiming to be a grunt in Baghdad. Our soldiers, he wrote, spent their time playing games with babies' skulls, running over dogs for fun and mocking disfigured women in their mess hall.
Anyone who knows our troops or has visited Iraq could instantly spot the absurdities in this smear and the soldiers in the unit denied that any of it happened - but The New Republic (which refuses to produce its source) isn't exactly staffed by military veterans.
The editors wanted to believe evil about our men and women in uniform, and ended up doing evil to our troops. (Those editors ought to be sentenced to spend August in Baghdad with the infantrymen they defamed, cleaning out military port-a-johns in the 130-degree heat.)
Is success suddenly guaranteed in Iraq? Of course not. The situation's still a bloody mess. But it's also more encouraging than it's been since the summer of 2003, when the downward slide began.
Gen. Dave Petraeus and his subordinate commanders are by far the best team we've ever had in place in that wretched country. They're doing damned near everything right - with austere resources, despite the surge. And they're being abandoned by your elected leaders.
Maybe the next presidential primary debate should be held in Baghdad."
A democrat? Praise our armed forces? Democrats detest our armed forces, Ralph. The - Put-'Em-Over-The-Top money now comes from nickels and dimes begged from cellar dwellers sharing mommy and daddy's basement. Who are soooooo afwaid of even the thought of being enlisted into the military that they'll send every last cent of their allowance to elected representatives vowing to diss the services. The war IS taking a turn for the better but the surrender monkey's have an awful lot riding on their own words of doom and gloom and can't change horses in midstream.