This would make an Excellent Drudge Juxtaposition:

Iran, Turkey pledge cooperation against Kurdish rebels (in Iraq)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday the United States will maintain a strong security relationship with Iraq despite the scheduled pullout of all U.S. troops and warned Iran not to try to exploit the situation.

So are we going to do something….or not? Are the Iraqi Kurds, Iraqis…..or not? Is Turkey part of NATO, or allies with Iran? Since NATO, will we cooperate with Iran against Iraq?…or not?

Paging Matt Drudge…

Fantastic News!

One big ol hearty congratulations to Iraq as they prepare to increase oil production for sale.

Will the US benefit from the difference [in production]? If American oil companies can compete for those leases, they certainly may. But that is a decision for Iraqis, by Iraqis, which is exactly what we had in mind all along.

Good for them! And like Ed notes, this time any increase doesn’t go for a new castle for Sadaam or whatever else he may want. This time…..They’ll decide in the manner they decide.

I’m Back! And timing forces me to start with the Speech

Welllllll – let’s see. What to say about this speech.
It had it’s moments.

ie
*Talking about the troops in a faraway place fighting for people they’ve never met.
*Mentioned the “one constant”, which is the men and women in uniform.
*He mentioned civilians and other government workers who have been a huge and necessary part of rebuilding Iraq but who often don’t get a shout out.
*He mentioned George W.
*He mentions the Iraqi’s themselves.

Oddly enough – he never actually “thanks” anyone for what they’ve done. Other than of course himself who he acknowledges has now fulfilled a campaign promise.

Oh wait – we’re on the positives. Obama mentioned al-Qaeda enough times it got me thinking that maybe, just maybe, he’s starting to get it. He even mentioned Iraqi’s who have to deal with al-Qaeda. That would be awesome if he understood this.

But now lets “turn the page”.
I got the feeling of: Good luck Iraqi’s, we’re here to “support you” as we move forward with “confidence” and “commitment”, but I’m not sure what that means. Since the page is turned, I don’t think Obama want’s me to find out.

“Now, now that I’ve drawn down in Iraq, we have the people to go on the offense in Afghanistan.” Isn’t that nice?
What the hell have they been doing there all these years?

Anyway – we’ve all learned our lessons and the lessons learned are that a) Bush didn’t understand, but diplomacy works in international affairs, b) we can’t just work for our fears, but for our hopes too because c) as we work to expand freedom we have to start within our own borders
Huh?
I swear he was going to mention Arizona there. But no. He went on to the middle class.

Because over the last 10 years (or did he say, the 10 years before he got to office?) our economic policies haven’t helped the middle class enough. Now we all have to work as hard as our military to make the tough decisions so that in the end a better life is within reach for everyone.

There – now you know about Iraq. Um – I think we won but I found that out on the internets, not from listening to the President.

UPDATE: This is fun. Ed Morrissey found the AP fact checking Obama’s speech. Apparently it was lacking even to the AP!!!

UPDATE II Marc Thiessen gets it right. (htJohn Kranz at Threesources)

The president said that addressing his domestic priorities “must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as president.” In fact, his “central responsibility as president” is to defend the country. And his failure to recognize this points to a central difference between George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

My bold. I would say this is the central difference in philosophy between left and right. The left (in general) has all sorts of central responsibilities – few of which include protecting this country.

Iraqi Election

There’s a new election on Sunday in Iraq.

Al Jazeera has this article up on the “feel” of people there. (the bold is mine)

Despite shortcomings, misgivings and failures of the political structure established post-2003, it seems that most Iraqi factions have finally become resigned to the fact that this is as good as it gets.

In other words, its like the day you realize you’re over 40 (or 30 or 20 or 60 whenever it hit you) and there’s no point waiting for x,y,z because, you’re all grown up now. It’s time to make your own life.

Good for them! I wish them well.
Here’s the end of the article in case you don’t click through for the whole thing.

Iraqis determined

However, it the most likely significant change to emerge from the elections is the transformation of the overall mood and outlook of the Iraqi people themselves.

Walk the streets of Baghdad, Basra and Mosul and you get a strange sense of determination despite scant public confidence in the political hierarchy or the system that was gradually but almost forcefully imposed upon them since 2003.

The determination lies in the realisation that few nations throughout the world could have survived the trials and tribulations of the past seven years intact; yet the Iraqis, through providence or an indomitable stubbornness, have done just that.

In fact they have lived through nearly four decades of such difficulties even prior to the US-led invasion in 2003. The miserable conditions they have endured continue to persist, but what has changed is that whatever faith was placed in the new rulers or their agents in Iraq has now shifted inward.

There are signs of the re-emergence of that distinguished national spirit which many suspected had become irreparable when Iraq appeared on the verge of civil war in 2006.

The overall voter turnout this weekend might even exceed the expected average of 55-58 per cent.

Most will confess that they vote not in hope that the newly elected will bring about a transformation of fortunes, but rather in resignation that this is yet another tired process they have to endure in their struggle to regain their self-worth, dignity and freedom.

Iraq/Afghanistan

Iraq had another couple of suicide bombers yesterday.

It’s a stark reminder of the age old question of reasonable people. What the hell do these people want?
There have been so many reasons for the bombings….kill Americans (or westerners), get America out of Iraq, make everyone an Islamist, kill modernists, prepare the world for the second coming….whatever.

So you’re a recruited suicide bomber….how does killing 20 people who are presumably Muslim (albeit in a sunny cafe and hence probably a happy place), when US troops are basically gone, help the goal??

In the meantime, in Afghanistan, Ralph Peters shares his thoughts on working for the current corrupt government there. Elections are next week and we have been fighting the Taliban hard to keep towns open for the vote. One thing that Mr. Peters fears is that with the Taliban dead and gone we can end up with al-Qaeda in charge.

Our troops and officials have other worries as well. We’ve had a string of targeting successes, culminating in the death of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud last week, but insiders fear that al Qaeda’s remnants will move to take control of the reeling Taliban.

The Taliban are horrible. al-Qaeda is the devil. I don’t know the answer here, but certainly we need some clarity and just changing the name of the fight from the “Global War on Terror” to “War with al-Qaeda” is silliness.

Quote of the Day

From the police major who is investigating an “incident” in Iraq where American soldiers were shot at and chased down and killed 2 men, 1 14 year old and injured 4 civilians.

He said he holds no ill will toward the Americans and appreciates the training and support they have given Iraq’s security forces. But he said he does not want his men going on missions with U.S. forces.

“We don’t need them,” he said. After a pause, he added: “except for fuel.”

I feel for our forces there. They are currently in no man’s land in many instances. Iraq can’t live us and they can’t live without us. Quite yet.

Iraq

I know I’m bitter, but this article’s tone is amazingly full of bullshit. (ooh – do I need to leave the state again?)

As Michael Jackson died we’ve forgotten Iraq
Obama pressed that there’s a lot of work to be done
the policy of going in was judged a failure
Bush was judged a failure
Bush came up with the surge that worked, but in general was judged a failure
We expect more violence
Maliki noted the “end of the occupation”

Then the damn paper gives Obama credit for the June 20th withdrawal out of the cities, orquestrated by the SOFA in December when Bush was still in office.

Unbelievable.

Yes, MSM, it’s all about Obama. Oh yeah – and then get this quote.

“There will be difficult days ahead,” Obama said. “We see that already in the senseless bombing in Kirkuk earlier today. And there are those who will test Iraqi security forces and the resolve of the Iraqi people through more sectarian bombings. … But I’m confident that those forces will fail.”

Is he covering both ends, or just being an idiot?

Happy National Day of Sovereignty Iraq!!!

Congratulations you guys!!

You’ve worked hard, you’ve lost many. Now you get to work harder, but live free!

Here is Ralph Peters for you.

We all recall the delighted leftist claims that Iraq had entered a hopeless civil war. Wrong. That Iraqis preferred al Qaeda to us. Wrong. That Shia militias represented the people. Wrong. And that Iran would seize control. Wrong again.

Looking back over six years of good intentions, tragic errors, generosity, arrogance, partisan vituperation, painful deaths and ultimate vindication, two things strike me: the ever-resisted lesson that human affairs are more complex than academic theories claim, and the simple truth that most human beings prefer a measure of freedom to immeasurable repression.

Amen!!
Please take care of it as we’ve cared enough to work for this too.