By the day, the debate at home about Iraq becomes increasingly disconnected from the realities of the actual war on the ground. The Democrats in Congress are so consumed with negotiating among their factions the most clever linguistic device to legislatively ensure the failure of the administration’s current military strategy—while not appearing to do so—that they speak almost not at all about the first visible results of that strategy. ~Charles Krauthammer
Krauthammer may be right about disconnects between debating points and reality, but he may be slightly off in his aim. Brushing past the destruction of one of the relative few bridges across the Tigris by a bomb blast and the explosion inside the Green Zone, he had to simply ignore Sadr’s statement ordering the Mahdi Army to target Americans (when it was supposed to be vital to the “surge” to not have to fight the Shi’ite militias yet), the bombing in Tall Afar, that former beacon of the progress we were all supposedly ignoring last year, and the odd chlorine gas attack, among other things. He does not mention these things probably because they cannot be fitted into the narrative of progress and “cautious” optimism he is presenting to us, because that narrative is just one more version of the same “we’re turning a corner,” “things are getting better” rhetoric that we heard in ’04, ’05 and early ’06. After all of that talk was shown to be horribly wrong during the rest of ’06, we are being treated to much the same as before.