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Does Carl Levin Really Know Best?

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Posted by Duane Patterson

Carl Levin, the senior Senator from Michigan, returned from a two-day Iraq trip, and issued a statement on Monday co-authored by hopefully retiring Virginia Republican Senator John Warner, saying the surge appears to be showing “measurable” signs of progress, but the political front is hopeless. Here’s a little of what Senator Levin had to say in his statement:

We have seen indications that the surge of additional brigades to Baghdad and its immediate vicinity and the revitalized counter-insurgency strategy being employed have produced tangible results in making several areas of the capital more secure. We are also encouraged by continuing positive results — in al Anbar Province, from the recent decisions of some of the Sunni tribes to turn against al Qaeda and cooperate with coalition force efforts to kill or capture its adherents. We remain concerned, however, that in the absence of overall “national” political reconciliation, we may be inadvertently helping to create another militia which will have to be dealt with in the future.

In Tuesday morning’s Washington Post, Jonathan Weisman writes the first couple of paragraphs summarizing the take away from Levin’s trip:

Declaring the government of Iraq “non-functional,” the influential chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday that Iraq’s parliament should oust Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and his cabinet if they are unable to forge a political compromise with rival factions in a matter of days.

“I hope the parliament will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and more unifying prime minister and government,” Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) said after a three-day trip to Iraq and Jordan.

So does Carl Levin have the credibility for anyone to trust his analysis of what should or should not now happen in Iraq?  I suggest absolutely not.



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