Victor Davis Hanson - Then and Now


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In case anyone still thinks VDH is a credible source on the war:

THEN (February 2006):

"Who will win? The Americans I talked to this week in Iraq — in Baghdad, Balad, Kirkuk, and Taji — believe that a government will emerge that is seen as legitimate and will appear as authentic to the people. Soon, ten divisions of Iraqi soldiers, and over 100,000 police, should be able to crush the insurgency, with the help of a public tired of violence and assured that the future of Iraq is their own — not the Husseins’, the Americans’, or the terrorists’. The military has learned enough about the tactics of the enemy that it can lessen casualties, and nevertheless, through the use of Iraqi forces, secure more of the country with far less troops. Like it or not, the American presence in Iraq will not grow, and will probably lessen considerably in 2006, before reaching Korea-like levels and responsibilities in 2007."

NOW (July 2007)

"While few would believe there is any good news from Iraq, in fact, there is. Finally, we are mastering counter-insurgency, partly due to trial-and-error, partly due to the sheer exhaustion of the Iraqis who went through the embraces of Arab nationalism, ex-Baathism, and al-Qaedism that at various times fueled the insurgency. On occasion now, Sunni tribesmen for the first time are helping Americans and want a cessation of random violence. Kurdistan is by all accounts a success. The south will be infiltrated by Iran, given its Shiite population and proximity, but Iran itself is tottering and may be as destabilized by Iraq as it can destabilize Iraq.

In short, Gen. Petreus has gone right to the cancer in the Sunni Triangle, and for the first time we are starting to see real results. "