Winning hearts and minds, I bet you haven’t heard that cliché for quite some time yet it does bear bring up again because of the turn of events in Iraq.
Convening today are the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees where General David Petraeus returns to a partisan divided Capital Hill.
There will be three simultaneous things happening in those hearings Gen. Petraeus will be attempting to give an assessment of the conditions as they are in Iraq.
Democrats will be attempting to justify their anti-Bush stance by insisting that no substantial political progress has been achieved in Iraq.
And Republicans will be attempting to justify their support for the war and argue for its successful completion.
What is undeniable is that the Iraqi people have changed their sentiments with regards to al Qaeda in Iraq. Iraqis now view al Qaeda with distain because of the shear brutality with which al Qaeda indiscriminately destroyed property and killed fellow Muslims.
Iraq’s are rejecting al Qaeda’s presence in Iraq largely because of the way that America has conducted itself in this war.
America has allowed the Iraqis to see a clear distinction between the way we fight and the way that al Qaeda wages war.
It is not so much that America has won the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people it is more that al Qaeda lost the hearts and minds of the Iraqis.
Our role is to deal a blow to Al-Qaeda and the militias, wherever they may be. The militias, by the way, also play a role in Iraq, when it comes to the displacement of people and mass murder.--Sheik Ali Hatem Ali Seliman
In the following remarkable example Sheik Ali Hatem Ali Seliman issues a fatwa against al Qaeda fighters in Iraqi
And in this video clip U.S. soldier Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner remarks on the change of attitude with which al Qaeda has achieved “personae non gratae” status and with the help of the Sunni Muslims who once helped al Qaeda the U.S. is finding intelligence to aid in destroying al Qaeda.
I’m betting that because this is a remarkable victory for the American forces it will not even be brought up in these hearings.
But in essence America as won, we have won at last the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people.
To abandon them or to betray them by immediately withdrawing troops at this time would be a slap in the face of all those Iraqis who are now standing up to al Qaeda because they feel supported by America.
Sens. Obama and Clinton lose this discussion if they suggest anything but support for the mission and its successful completion with victory!