But the interesting quote from that typical defeatist screed were the two sentences which immediately preceded it: "I think what we need to do is recognize what we all agree on, which is you've got to begin to set benchmarks for accomplishment. You've got to begin to transfer authority to the Iraqis."
I've often commented, but never posted on the value of the "Iraq Index" (PDF file) compiled by the left leaning Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. It's a goldmine of information, which has apparently eluded Senator Kerry, Congressman Murtha and the lamestream media which finds sporadic bombings in Iraq is more newsoworthy than the good news that we are winning in Iraq, and WE CAN PROVE IT!
Yes, Monsieur Kerry, we "all agree" that we need "benchmarks for accomplishment" and here they are:
- After bobbing up and down each month since the U.S. led invasion of Iraq, deaths of US troops due to hostile attacks has dropped precipitously in the last six months. (page 4)
And U.S. troops continue to operate in the most dangerous areas of Iraq. But they are now working with Iraqi troops and Iraqi police. And there is good news to report there as well:
- After a high of 304 Iraqi troops and police killed in July, 2005 the number for subsequent months is on a downward trend (page 9).
- Also on page 9 is the chart showing that that the number of car bombings in Iraq has dropped from a high of 136 in May of last year to averaging less than 30 for the past four months.
If you flip to page 27, you'll see that while attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces continue, their effectiveness, as illustrated above, has diminished. The only dark lining to this silver cloud is the still high number of Iraqi civilian deaths (page 10). But even here, the average is lower than that of the previous years since invasion and may be starting a downward trend as danger of a civil war is quelled.
Zarqawi Flawed Strategy Facing Defeat?
Do a Google News search with "Rumsfeld criticized" or "Rumsfeld resign" and you'll get more than 1,200 hits of news stories trumpeting the opinions of the six or seven retired generals who think that Secretary Rumsfeld screwed up the Iraq war.
How many news reports will you find in a Google News search describing the speech that Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, who commands the XVIII Airborne Corps delivered at the Washington Institute last Thursday where he proclaimed that Al Queda terrorist Zarqawi's strategy in Iraq has failed and that Al Queda is leaving Iraq? You will find TWO such stories in Google News.
The basis for General Vine's claim comes from the declared strategy of Al Queda in the letter that A.Q. number 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri sent to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in mid year 2005. In the letter, Zawahiri writes:
All the Brookings indicators above point to the "Islamic mujahed movement" being "crushed in the shadows. But one indicator stands in such evident contrast that even the most committed Bush hater would be foolish to ignore it.
It has always been my belief that the victory of Islam will never take place until a Muslim state is established in the manner of the Prophet in the heart of the Islamic world...
If we look at the two short-term goals, which are removing the Americans and establishing an Islamic amirate in Iraq, or a caliphate if possible, then, we will see that the strongest weapon which the mujahedeen enjoy - after the help and granting of success by God - is popular support from the Muslim masses in Iraq, and the surrounding Muslim countries.
So, we must maintain this support as best we can, and we should strive to increase it...this goal will not be accomplished by the mujahed movement while it is cut off from public support...
[P]opular support would be a decisive factor between victory and defeat...
In the absence of this popular support, the Islamic mujahed movement would be crushed in the shadows.
Monthly tips by Iraqi citizens on where to catch the bad guys has skyrocketed from a low of 483 in March of last year to a high of 4749 in September 2005 (page 27). The number has remained above 3,000 since then.
So much for the Murtha defeatist crowd claims that we have lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. And so much for the popular support of the Iraqi masses that Zawahiri repeatedly stressed as vital to their cause.
What clearer evidence do you need that the Al Queda strategy in Iraq has failed and that WE ARE WINNING?
Thanks My Election Analysis and Blue Crab Boulevard for reminding me of the importance of these benchmarks.