Iraq Commentary Update July 12, 2007
THE BLOGOSPHERE FOR KILLERS DANIEL HENNINGER (WALL STREET JOURNAL, JULY
12): a new study of Islamic media propaganda by a research team from Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty. "Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images and Ideas" by
Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo (with Radio Free Iraq correspondents, two of
whom were abducted and murdered this year) is an astounding compilation of the
high-tech methods being used by the insurgency in Iraq to propagate the ideology
of the Islamic jihadist movement. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1184200866...ured_stories_hs
ABUSING IRAQI CIVILIANS - BOB HERBERT (NEW YORK TIMES, JULY 10): Among the
worst abuses by American troops have been the shootings of innocent civilians
and the improper arrests that have occurred in the course of raids carried out
by soldiers and marines looking for insurgents.
IRAQIS NOT WELCOME GEORGE PACKER (NEW YORKER, JULY 11): If the shame of
allowing our Iraqi friends to be slaughtered before the eyes of the world is
worth whatever security benefits might come from keeping them out, then we have
already abandoned our leadership role and should simply tell our allies to stop
counting on us.
IS THE U.S. RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATH OF NEARLY A MILLION IRAQIS? - ROBERT
NAIMAN (COMMON DREAMS, JULY 10): As Congress considers legislative efforts to
end the war, best estimates of the Iraqi death toll must be part of the debate.
THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ: GREEN ZONE DEATHS; STRATEGY DOUBTS; FAMILIAR BUSH
THEME; U.S. TROOP BUILDUP IN IRAQ FALLING SHORT: AMID 'SURGE,' FORCES HAVE BEEN
UNABLE TO ESTABLISH SECURITY, EVEN FOR THEMSELVES. MILITARY LEADERS SAY THEY
JUST NEED MORE TIME - JULIAN E. BARNES AND NED PARKER (LOS ANGELES TIMES, JULY
WHITE HOUSE GIVES IRAQ MIXED MARKS IN REPORT: ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS IS TO
BE RELEASED TODAY - KAREN DEYOUNG AND PETER BAKER (WASHINGTON POST, JULY 12)
A KARL ROVE SOLUTION FOR IRAQ? - DAN FROOMKIN (WASHINGTONPOST.COM, JULY 10):
The White House is changing not its policy on Iraq, but its message. Enter the
new White House talking point: You want out? We want out, too! It's a message
that has the potential to deflate the growing public frenzy against President
Bush's Iraq policy, except for one small problem: It's just talk.
RESOLUTE AMID THE WRECKAGE - EUGENE ROBINSON (WASHINGTON POST, JULY 10):
Allowing himself to be forced to retreat from Iraq would ruin George W. Bush's
fantasy of someday being seen as a latter-day Churchill. Bush's contribution is
essentially to have destroyed the Iraq that Churchill cobbled together.
DON'T PANIC EDITORS (NATIONAL REVIEW, JULY 10): We trust that President
Bush knows that he cannot honorably discard the surge that he ordered and that
has only recently been fully implemented. If we draw down now, we would give
back our hard-won progress against al Qaeda.
THE 'BENCHMARK' EXCUSE - REVIEW & OUTLOOK (WALL STREET JOURNAL, JULY 12):
Those Americans demanding a U.S. retreat in Iraq will be directly responsible
for whatever happens next.
RIGHT ON! AMERICA, STAY THE COURSE IN IRAQ - MICHAEL FREUND (JERUSALEM POST,
JULY 11): For in the tinderbox that is the Middle East, an American pullout from
Iraq might just be the spark that will lead to an even greater conflagration.
IF WE LEAVE IRAQ, DO WE LOSE FOR GOOD?: READERS WEIGH IN: BUSH LOYALISTS,
GUN LOVERS, BACH AND BOWIE FANS, SOLDIERS AND A POIGNANT LETTER FROM THE WIDOW
OF AN AMERICAN LOST IN IRAQ -
CAMILLE PAGLIA (SALON, JULY 11)
A CONSENSUS WAITING TO HAPPEN - DAVID IGNATIUS (WASHINGTON POST, JULY 12):
There's broad agreement on the need to put Iraq policy on a sustainable path
that will gradually withdraw American forces without producing the bloodbath
that frightens people such as Ambassador Ryan Crocker in Baghdad. But Bush and
the Democrats are running out of opportunities to make it happen.
LESSER EVILS AND AN EXIT STRATEGY EDITORIAL (BOSTON GLOBE, JULY 11):
America's time as an occupying power in Iraq has run out. Bush should now follow
the core advice of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group. He should seek agreement
from the surrounding powers to act in their own interest by combating Al Qaeda
in Iraq militants, in helping end the sectarian violence, and in assisting with
reconciliation and rehabilitation.
IN OR OUT - THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN (NEW YORK TIMES, JULY 11): 'I prefer setting
a withdrawal date, but accompanying it with a last-ditch U.N.-led -- not U.S. --
diplomatic effort to get the Iraqi parties to resolve their political
differences. If they can, then any withdrawal can be postponed. If they can?t
agree -- even with a gun to their heads about to go off -- then staying is truly
pointless and leaving by a set date is the only option.'http://select.nytimes.com/2007/07/11/opini...agewanted=print
IRAQ: GO DEEP OR GET OUT - STEPHEN BIDDLE (WASHINGTON POST, JULY 11): If the
surge is unacceptable, the better option is to cut our losses and withdraw
altogether. In fact, the substantive case for either extreme -- surge or
outright withdrawal -- is stronger than for any policy between.
MAKE A PULLOUT FROM IRAQ PART OF U.S. STRATEGIC RESET - LAWRENCE J. KORB AND
BRIAN KATULIS (BALTIMORE SUN, JULY 11): As it draws down its military forces,
the United States should discard its plan to build the world's largest embassy
in Baghdad and instead make plans to reassign diplomatic and intelligence
personnel throughout Iraq and neighboring countries.
INSPIRING PROGRESS? ON IRAQ? - NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF (NEW YORK TIMES, JULY
12): If Congress makes it clear that the U.S. is heading for the exits -- and
that we want no permanent bases in Iraq -- that may undercut the extremists and
lead more Iraqis to focus on preserving their nation rather than expelling the
THE WAY OUT: A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION OF OUR OPTIONS FOR EXITING IRAQ - FLYNT
LEVERETT, SUZANNE NOSSEL, CHARLES A. KUPCHAN, LAWRENCE J. KORB AND PETER W.
GALBRAITH (AMERICAN PROSPECT, JULY 10)
'SOFT PARTITION' OF IRAQ? - CLAUDE SALHANI (WASHINGTON TIMES, JULY 10): Two
American scholars, Michael O'Hanlon, a Brookings Institution senior fellow, and
Edward Joseph, a visiting scholar argue that in the event of failure of the U.S.
surge of additional American forces into the battle ordered by President Bush
several months ago and related efforts to broker a political accommodation with
the existing government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, soft partition may be
the only way to avoid intensifying the civil war and the growing threats of a
KURDISTAN SHOWDOWN - ILAN BERMAN (WALL STREET JOURNAL, JULY 10): A Turkish
raid into Kurdistan could spark a war between a NATO member state and the
U.S.-led Coalition. Fortunately, an opportunity to avert a crisis exists, using
as a model the Pentagon?s Georgia Train and Equip Program (GTEP).
KOREA AS A MODEL FOR IRAQ?: AS PEACE EFFORTS BETWEEN THE US AND NORTH KOREA
QUICKEN, SO DOES THE MODEL FOR ENDING THE IRAQ WAR ? EDITORIAL (CHRISTIAN
SCIENCE MONITOR, JULY 12): As Washington wages a new battle over how to end the
Iraq war, it's eyeing the Korean War as a model. Officially, that war never
ended, even 57 years after hostilities. US troops remain there. What kind of
model is that? http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0712/p08s01-comv.html