A rip from Uncle Jimbo
Since the left has already begun trying to make this bad news, I will pipe all the way up and say WRONG! The progress made in the meetings in Cairo represents a concrete example of healthy political give and take between all the Iraqis. First a point I have seen some look at improperly, from the AP:
The communique condemned terrorism but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if they don't target innocent civilians or institutions that provide for the welfare of Iraqis."
Absolutely proper. The native Iraqis who have taken arms against the invaders of their country, and who limit their actions to targeting coalition or Iraqi security forces are not terrorists. They are guerrillas or insurgents, and unless they purposely kill innocents or assist the terrorists they should not be called otherwise. We don't have to agree with their aims, but we need to be fair in how we refer to different groups, we did invade their country and overthrow the government they worked for. What people have missed is that when the Sunni leaders insisted on this wording they also explicitly severed any support for the jihadis and the Baathist dead-enders who are terrorists, that is huge. Now we have split the much larger group of Sunnis who had legit worries about whether they could be fairly treated in a federal Iraq, from the scum who are beyond reprieve. It also will free the Sunnis who join the rest of the country rebuilding to provide intel and eliminate the few remaining rat holes the killers hide in.
More from Cairo:
The leaders agreed on "calling for the withdrawal of foreign troops according to a timetable, through putting in place an immediate national program to rebuild the armed forces ... control the borders and the security situation" and end terror attacks. Sunni leaders have been pressing the Shiite-majority government to agree to a timetable for the withdrawal of all foreign troops. The statement recognized that goal, but did not lay down a specific time — reflecting instead the government's stance that Iraqi security forces must be built up first.
Our opposition have already seized on the presence of the word timetable in the statement as vindication of their many ill-founded suggestions to bail out. This completely and willfully ignores the next clause which conditions it on training troops and increasing overall security, sounds familiar eh? I think Rummy and W already operate on a timetable based on the ability of the Iraqis to beat the insurgents down. Matter of fact the troop training and deployment is going swimmingly and more Iraqis patrol their countryside every day.
On Monday, Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr suggested U.S.-led forces should be able to leave Iraq by the end of next year, saying the one-year extension of the mandate for the multinational force in Iraq by the U.N. Security Council this month could be the last.
"By the middle of next year we will be 75 percent done in building our forces and by the end of next year it will be fully ready," he told the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera.
I wonder if he read my press release for Rummy, sounds similar. All signs for the insurgents are bad, more Sunnis join the pro-government side every day, the Arab Street has started to back off the jihadi love, Zarqawi's tribe in Jordan threw him out harshly, and more and more Iraqi government troopers enter the fray. There was a limited pool of support for the insurgency period, and that is drying up like the Kalahari. They added as many foreign jihadis as they could but that "flood" has slowed to a trickle and the borders get more secure with every new Iraqi soldier.
So they don't get ignored even the Iranians get on the timetable train:
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who is paying a three-day visit to Iran, a country the United States accuses of meddling in Iraq but that is closely allied to Iraq's new Shiite and Kurd-dominated leadership.
"The government and people of Iraq can with their voices seek a timetable for the exit of the occupiers," Khamenei told Talabani, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency. "Certainly, in the end the Americans and British will be forced by bitter experience to leave Iraq."
Oh yeah, especially in the face of "bitter experience", or wait a minute maybe as the fruits of sweet victory. Can we do that? I mean I can't even remember a mention of Iraq and victory anywhere but from the administration, are we allowed to win? So much ink has been spilled establishing the failure of this war on every level, that I wonder how the return of our victorious troops will be covered. Can the press and the left accept victory? Yeah, yeah it makes me a bad person for questioning their patriotism/support for the troops/resolve/killer instinct, whatever! With the effort we have seen from the anti-war/media crowd to brand Iraq as W's Vietnam, I wonder how they will adapt to it being his, and more importantly the Iraqi's, Yorktown.
I hope I am wrong and the hue and cry next summer is not how the voices of reason forced W to admit his folly and finally strategerize our exit from Iraq. This has been an ugly and divisive time where the intentions of almost everyone have been questioned and attributed to the basest motivations. The left wants us to lose and the right just lives to kill for oil. That boils down to ugliness and since contrary to popular propaganda, we are not in Iraq forever, the troops will come home and it damn well better be to cheering crowds waving flags in a well-earned victory parade. We can have our disagreements about questions as vital as going to war or not, but once we go, and certainly as we are finalizing victory, cries to leave under duress should fall on deaf ears, or better yet not fall at all.