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The New Iraq

Monday, November 19, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

From the New York Times:

The American military said Sunday that the weekly number of attacks in Iraq had fallen to the lowest level since just before the February 2006 bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, an event commonly used as a benchmark for the country’s worst spasm of bloodletting after the American invasion nearly five years ago….

The data released Sunday cover attacks using car bombs, roadside bombs, mines, mortars, rockets, surface-to-air missiles and small arms. According to the statistics, roughly 575 attacks occurred last week.

That is substantially fewer than the more than 700 attacks that were recorded the week that Sunni militants set off a wave of sectarian violence in Iraq by blowing up a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February 2006. And it represents a huge drop since June when attacks soared to nearly 1,600 one week.

American officials said other measures indicated that civilian deaths had dropped. Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a spokesman for the command, said civilian deaths had dropped by 60 percent since June.

As the military made clear and the article conveys, there is still a great deal of violence in Iraq, and the emerging stability is fragile.

But it is a remarkable turnaround, and the momentum for stability under a freely elected government is impressive and must be sustained.  The decision by Democrats to try and again force withdrawal of American troops despite the obvious progress of the past year and the obvious risks of such a course amazes and repels.  I don’t think the electorate will trust this country to a party so thoroughly irresponsible.

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