Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for October 15th, 2007

Al Qaeda in Iraq: R.I.P.?

Posted by Ryan on October 15, 2007

Word today from, of all places, the Washington Post (known for being particularly anti-Bush and anti-Iraq War on its editorial pages), that al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) may have been effectively defeated.  The article’s authors, Thomas E. Ricks and Karen De Young, are known anti-war reporters who have taken a positive spin on the events of the last six months or so in Iraq. 

No high-ranking or high-profile US official is going to declare victory over AQI at this point for fear of another “Mission Accomplished” moment, as if egging AQI on to throw a few suicide bombers into the mix on a random Friday prayer service.  Maybe, as the article suggests, AQI is just moving operations to the north.  But the evidence is that the number of attacks is down sharply, the flow of foreign fighters has noticeably diminished, and local intel has improved greatly.  Also, US casualties have dropped in known AQI areas and the Surge is working in other areas to focus the Iraqis on making their country work for them. 

The jihad is just not taking hold en masse.  I’ve long agreed with the notion advanced by some that Iraq is al Qaeda’s Vietnam:  they can survive if they leave, but they’ll receive a severe public relations thrashing as a result.  Also, AQI cannot beat a local populace that doesn’t want them there and will tip off the US and Iraqi forces so often.  AQI faces the same problem we had in Anbar province, just without the flexibility, resolve or firepower to do anything about it.  AQI can’t leave, nor can they win at this point.  It’s quite a pickle.

I wouldn’t declare any kind of sweeping victory in Iraq until the Iraqi Parliament asks us to leave (maybe not from Al Asad Airbase, but from the cities).  Some say that signs of victory may encourage recruitment here at home.  Others think this helps the Democrat’s quick cut-and-run agenda.  Who knows?  I hope Ricks and De Young aren’t just playing a game here with their high-profile turn around on the progress of the war.

Posted in Media Bias, The Iraq Front, War on Terror | 2 Comments »

Playing the “Female”

Posted by Ryan on October 15, 2007

According to She Who Must Not Be Named’s campaign, “…she is not running as a woman candidate.” 

Too easy. 

Of course, that was not the true point of the memo.  Rather, it was to infer that one should vote for her on the issues and her positions, rather than because she’s a female, but SWMNBN has been playing that angle up lately.  For instance, she has repeatedly told varying accounts of the same story:  on the campaign trail she sees old, frail women who remember the days before women could vote and are just pining to live for the moment America finally elects a woman President.  Of course, SWMNBN sets herself up as just that female President. 

Let her bask in the light of a civil rights first: the first viable female nominee of a major political party.  She will buck historical trends too.  According to one-year-out Gallup polls going back 14 elections, the Republican leader right before the primaries has become the nominee; that’s the old “it’s your turn” phenomenon the Republicans need to break away from.  Yet, the Democrats tend to dump the polling leader for someone else:  George McGovern, Jimmah Carter, Michael Dukakis, Bill, and John Kerry were all trailing in the polls before the primaries yet won the nominations.  SWMNBN will win the nomination despite her massive lead at this time, partially because of her female status.  I hate to think that there are some people who will only show up to vote in order to vote for a woman, despite who she is, just like I’d hate to think one would not vote for a woman because of her gender– which was the sentiment of the campaign memo.  But SWMNBN is certainly exploiting all the angles, including her female status (which her campaign seems to question!).

AP photo/Evan Vucci

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, Politics | 4 Comments »