February 4, 2006 [LINK]

Progress in the Mosul sector

The fragility of local security forces in the Kurdish sector of Iraq was exposed last year when insurgents seized large parts of the northern city of Mosul, where Kurds and Arab Iraqis both reside. Saddam Hussein expelled many Kurds from the oil-rich city during his reign, for obvious strategic reasons, and there is constant friction as the Kurds gradually move back in. Friday's Washington Post reported some good news that the local police forces are now much stronger, and that order in the streets is gradually prevailing over chaos.

You can't triangulate war

Notwithstanding the cartoon from sacredcowburgers.com cited yesterday, not all Democrats are irresponsible or verging on treason when it comes to dissenting on the Bush administration's war policy. Indeed, many of them have staked out a clear position in favor of U.S. victory, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Nevertheless, there remains a strong inclination among most such Democrats to promote a "centrist" alternative war policy, which as Mark Steyn (via Baseball Crank) points out, is completely oxymoronic:

You think how ludicrous it would be if people were to talk about people crafting a centrist position on World War II, or World War I, or the Civil War...

As I have often said, there is nothing wrong with frank, open debate over the best approach to pursue in this war, but political considerations should have nothing to do with the formulation of military strategy.

UPDATE: In the same interview, Steyn makes another interesting observation about the strange silence from the folks at "S.A.N.E." who used to protest against the U.S. nuclear weapons program:

You know, we're both of the generation that kind of grew up with all the sort of nuclear armageddon hanging over us, big mushroom clouds on the front of movie posters, and novels, and TV films and all the rest of it. And that was when five relatively sane countries had nuclear weapons. Now, any guy whose got the right Pakistani phone number in his rolodex can get ahold of nukes, and the left, who've spent the 50's, 60's, 70's, and 80's raging hysterically about nuclear armageddon, couldn't care less about it.

It's as though they actually believe that the Pentagon is more dangerous than Al Qaeda...