We haven’t lost in Iraq, and we probably won’t if we remain determined to prevail. The situation today is not good in some parts of Iraq, but the implicit suggestion that it can’t get worse is absurd. As I wrote here, the current murder rate in Baghdad is around four times the murder rate in Washington, D.C. in 1991. The murder rate for Iraq as a whole is not quite double the 1991 Washington D.C. rate. This is a high level of violence, to be sure. But it is nothing compared to an actual civil war. It is nothing compared to genocide. If the Democrats win in November, they are likely to have, before long, a great deal of blood on their hands.
Just to get you up to speed on future talking points, even though it was a Republican president, a Republican House, and a Republican Senate that sold, planned (sort of) and implemented the war, it was the Democrats who are to blame for losing it.
I can’t believe I ever voted for these people.
From Bush’s presser:
QUESTION: Mr. President, the war in Iraq has lasted almost as long as World War II for the United States.
And as you mentioned, October was the deadliest month for American forces this year — in a year. Do you think we’re winning, and why?
BUSH: First of all, this is a different kind of war than a war against the fascists in World War II. We were facing a nation state — two nation states — three nation states in World War II. We were able to find an enemy by locating its ships or aircraft or soldiers on the ground.
This is a war against extremists and radicals who kill innocent people to achieve political objectives. It has a multiple of fronts.
Afghanistan was a front in this war against the terrorists. Iraq is now the central front in the war against the terrorists.
This war is more than just finding people and bringing them to justice. This war is an ideological conflict between a radical ideology that can’t stand freedom and moderate, reasonable people that hope to live in a peaceful society.
And so it’s going to take a long time. I am confident we will succeed. I am confident we’ll succeed in Iraq. And the reason I’m confident we’ll succeed in Iraq is because the Iraqis want to succeed in Iraq.
The ultimate victory in Iraq, which is a government that can sustain itself, govern itself and defend itself, depends upon the Iraqi citizens and the Iraqi government doing the hard work necessary to protect their country. And our job is to help them achieve that objective.
As a matter of fact, my view is: The only way we lose in Iraq is if we leave before the job is done.
And I’m confident we can succeed in the broader war on terror, this ideological conflict.
So while Powerline describes our status in the war in Iraq as “We haven’t lost in Iraq…,” Bush claims we are winning and we only lose if we leave.
To make sure we are clear, we aren’t winning, but if we do, the Republicans deserve credit. If we lose the elections and withdraw, it is the Democrats fault. Stay tuned for the talking points for what happens if the Republicans maintain control of the Congress and we lose in Iraq. I blame Michael J. Fox (he is an actor AND Canadian).
Thank goodness the adults are in charge.