The word is out on the Mainstream Media’s wires, that Iraq’s government is not meeting those “benchmarks,” our supposed expectations of where they should be by this date or this stage of our involvement. Due to this pronouncement (by the way, as I write this, the news hasn’t been made official, yet. I guess the reporters have consulted a reliable psychic or some other leaker of secrets), it seems a few more American politicians are getting cold feet and demanding that we withdraw fully and completely, yank funding for the war effort, or other such stuff. It’s not a completely partisan call, but it comes darned close to it. A scant handful of Republicans have been listening to the New York Times’ siren call, have started to panic over next year’s election and are considering voting down more funds for troops or for the rebuilding of the Mideast state into a useful ally.
The single real benchmark we all should be looking at is the people of Iraq. Do they believe they can become a free, rich and peaceable land? Independent journalist Michael Yon says they do, and he has American and Iraqi soldiers who back him up. They stand amid the people of Fallujah, of Baquba, of the many other cities once ruled by terror, and the people come to greet them happily, at long last showing signs of trust, of hope, of belief in a positive future. Yon’s substantiated reports indicate that, not only do the majority of the people of Iraq trust our coalition troops, they actively seek them out -- especially the American soldiers -- to give them information to use against al Qaeda and other terrorists. They are coming around to a new way of thinking -- a positive leap, we are honestly winning hearts and minds in Iraq. Yon also reports that members of the local governments are beginning to genuinely do their jobs in serving the people of their communities. City services are becoming available. This bottom-up approach is succeeding.
I suppose the regular media are correct about the condition of Iraq’s central government, though. It’s not exactly top-drawer, not exactly representative of the people, and not exactly capable of running itself honestly and openly without outside help. But then, it’s still new and operating with training wheels.
The funny thing is, our own government seems to have missed more than a few of those same benchmarks, recently, as well, and they’re still happy as clams to continue its funding -- correction: to massively increase its funding. They do much of this in secret, with closed meetings, backroom lunches with lobbyists, and nameless, deeply buried earmarks, shrewdly refusing to make their dirty work transparent to the voting public.
Where they are transparent, though, is in places not to their -- or our -- favor. Our Congress is openly contemptuous of its constituency, and members of the majority party have openly supported totalitarian regimes whose interests run exactly counter to our nation’s well-being. They have openly aligned themselves politically (and in some cases financially) with true enemies of this country (Syria’s chinless ophthalmologist Assad, the whole of Palestinian Fatah and Hamas, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, to name but a few), have made false statements against our own troops, and now refuse to follow through on promises of support for one of our best allies, Colombia, because... uh... well, because it used to be a free-for-all terrorist training ground, and now, thanks to a hard-line policy by the government directed at the drug-dealing kidnappers and murderers of FARC (remember those guys? Bill Clinton pardoned a bunch of them in his last day in office, apparently in exchange for a few votes for Hillary), it’s actually on its way to becoming a clean, free state, almost safe to live there. We can’t have that, now, can we?
If our so-called representatives in Congress want to defund a failing experiment in democracy, they might as well start a little closer to home. Pay us back for all the time they’ve been wasting out there in the District of Columbia putting on their two-ring circus. The taxpayers here could use the money on something really useful -- like helping our genuine allies stand up to thugs and terrorists.
Jules Crittenden takes down one of the MSM biggies.
Michael Yon's recent reports on Baquba (or, really, everything Michael Yon writes).
Bill Roggio's Iraq Report: Phantom Thunder Update.
Pete Hegseth's Give the 'Surge' a Chance, (hat tip: Scott Johnson).
John McCain speaks Truth to Senate.
Gigantic jumble, Dept. of Homeland Security is not yet up to snuff. I, too, am shocked!
Harry Reid introduces us to the back door of earmarking (free registration required). (Hat tip: Ed Morrissey)
Sorry, Colombia! (hat tip: Gateway Pundit -- who has a couple of other good links on the topic).