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Yeah, and watch Hillary get in there and pull all the troops out just when things are taking a turn for the better. That would be just our luck. :(


Are they beginning to work, or is it that the BBC is just starting to report the truth?

charles austin

Because, of course, the BBC was calling for the surge two years ago when it could have worked.


Charles Austin, please reconcile:

"BBC reports that US tactics in Iraq may be beginning to work"

"the BBC was calling for the surge two years ago when it could have worked"

In other words, you're to the left of even the BBC on this?

Michael Kennedy

If the troops are still there when a Democrat moves into the White House, the pressure to pull out and abandon the Iraqis who have supported us will be gone. Why ? This is all about punishing Bush. If he is gone, there will be no reason to act against national interest. This is all about Bush.

charles austin

Read the last sentence of the post JF.


Charles Austin,

I reproduce the sentence here again for your benefit.

He did say, however, that the extra 29,000 US troops were, perhaps, using the right tactics but two years too late.

This is entirely consistent with the title of this post,

BBC reports that US tactics in Iraq may be beginning to work

and is inconsistent with your comment,

the BBC was calling for the surge two years ago when it could have worked [implying of course, that they cannot be working now]

In other words, the answer to my question is yes; you are to the left of even the BBC on this. Thanks for clarifying, so we can now properly classify your political leanings.


Michael I think that is very optimistic. I so hope it becomes correct, only if we have to accept the devil in the oval office.

"Are they beginning to work, or is it that the BBC is just starting to report the truth?"

In my opinion that is the most perceptive response, atheling2. And they've still angled a lot wrong... but, none the less.

Frogg, USA

I've been keeping track of these surge operation reports and am not surprised at all by this BBC report.

It is easy to look back in hindsight and say the Iraqification plan (clear an area and let Iraqi's take control right after) should have been tossed out for a surge plan two years.

However, I am not sure the surge plan would have worked two years ago. So many things are different on the ground and in the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people. What started the success was actually during the troop surge buildup period where the 200 Anbar Shieks joined together to kick al Qaeda out (and asked for US support). It worked. And, it worked in an area that six months prior had been written off to al Qaeda.

The same types of success are blossoming in this current surge operation in al Qaeda's last stronghold, Baghdad and Diyala province, in much the same way that the Anbar awakening worked.

However, what makes it work now could be that the Iraqi people have had enough of al Qaeda's death and destruction and are receptive to both partner with the US to squelch the insurgency; and, not only support the Iraq government but become part of it (they are forming a political party). Its platform includes opposition to al-Qaida and cooperation with the government.

There is clearly movement in Iraq in the right direction. The surge needs to be given its chance to work.

Simon Newman

There are definite signs that US tactics have changed and, in emphasising community consent, avoiding civilian casualties, and the fight against foreign insurgents - notably Al Qaeda - are now in accordance with basic principles of counter-insurgency warfare, as used by the British in Malaysia decades ago.

This does not mean there is any prospect of creating a pluralist liberal democracy in Iraq, but it may help to avoid western Iraq becoming an Al Qaeda base for exporting terrorism worldwide.



Blimey ! (The BBC reporting something vaguely supportive of America).

charles austin

JF: Wow. You got me there. Thanks for telling me what I think.


I agree that whoever takes the White House will not pull out. The angst is against Bush. We have over 20,000 people a year in the US die of car crashes yet there’s no call to end driving or reduce the speed limit. We don’t even care about making cars safer. We’re more interested in CAFÉ standards than safer cars for heaven’s sake.

Losing 3500 volunteer soldiers over 3 years for a reasonable cause is not the driving factor. (Yes, reasonable; given the intelligence at the time and the added benefit of liberating 80 million people from a maniacal dictator). This is just an emotional flash-fire against Bush stoked and exaggerated by the media.

If a Democrat takes office in '08 Iraq will continue... but on page 5d below the fold.

Deep Thought

Correction, Jimmy, about 45,000 people a year die on US highways. About 17,000 of them are due to drunk driving.

As much as I regret it, this is war and people die, though remarkably few in this case. Far more Americans were killed in single days action in WWII than in the 4 years since this police action began.

The central question is whether those deaths are worth it, i.e., whether they are preventing even more deaths down the road were the soldiers to be withdrawn. I believe the answer to this is almost certainly in the affirmative.

J Bowen

JF, save your invective for real lefties. I know charles austin and he's no lefty.

Etta Mullins

When real progress is being made from the surge watch Nanny Fine Pelosi, Harry Reid and HilliBill start backtracking and saying that they were for it before they were against it.


J Bowen, I believe you. The surge is working, and when even the BBC is willing to consider the possibility, now is not the time to go wobbly. Charles, keep the faith.


charles austen,

JF knows what everyone thinks. Don't you love prejudice know it alls?


Atheling, your enduring love for the BNP indicates that you, in contrast, seem to know very little. But I'm sure you won't let that stop you, as your previous posts have shown. Good luck.


Etta, I don't think you have to worry about the Democrats backtracking. Always keep in mind that the definition of success or failure was never declared. They can simply change their definition and call it a failure. I honestly think that if any of them would have been told in 2002 that less than 4000 soldiers would be killed in five years, they would have all said that that would fit their definition of a successful campaign. But since they were never asked by the media what would constitute success, there is no record.

Ken Stevens

Where's the eminently sensible Capt Fernandez when we need her on this relevant thread ?!

Must celebrate the inklings of a favourable BBC attitude. Just hope it's not a false dawn.

Ken Stevens

P.S. when I try to subscribe to BAA's email list, I get the message:

"Not Found
The requested URL /[object NodeList] was not found on this server."


Ask the hundred plus people in Baghdad who were killed over the weekend if its working.


Charles Frith, I do not practice necromancy or seance, but I understand that there are many among your friends on the Left that do. Please ask them and let me know.


Yeah Charles, al-Queda has been reduced to the sensational killing of innocent Iraqis, just as was predicted as the surge takes affect. Possibly their highest goal as they cannot count on Iraqis is counting on media exploitation influencing our politicians to take our troops out: cut and run, or "redepoly". Ask the millions of citizens who are alive with aspirations and hope if they don't want the surge to continue, Charles. If they want us to cut and run. If they agree with your 'final solution'. You know what its all about, 1000s of miles away in freedom, right?

Excellent post Frogg.

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