Lieberman press flack Marshall Wittmann put out this press release this morning:
"Forced by facts on the ground to acknowledge the progress of the American and Iraqi militaries since the new surge strategy started, some of these opponents of the war are now turning their harshest criticism on our allies in Iraq instead of our enemies. This is a mistake....Political progress in Iraq depends on this kind of steady statecraft and patient diplomacy on the ground in Baghdad, rather than scapegoating and congressionally-ordered coups....
"We have made enormous progress in defending and advancing America's vital national interests in Iraq over the past six months against our two deadliest enemies in the world—-al Qaeda and Iran. Realism requires that we recognize these gains, not dismiss or disparage them--and that we distinguish between our allies in Iraq, and our enemies."
You see, criticizing Maliki is helping the terrorists. That's "realism" or something.
Except that reality intruded just a couple of hours later in the form of that new NIE report on Iraq. Greg Sargent picks up on the hilarity:
Now, a few hours later, excerpts of the new NIE on Iraq have leaked out. And wouldn't you know it, but the NIE -- which represents the collaborative judgment of the U.S.'s intelligence agencies -- offers a harsh assessment of the Maliki government and the situation in Iraq that is strikingly similar to the case being made by Dems.
The NIE says that despite uneven security gains, the dominant story in Iraq right now is the inability of the Maliki government to achieve political reconciliation -- again, precisely what Dem Congressional critics have been saying.
And in a final irony, the NIE assessment is actually closer in key ways to what Dems have been saying than Lieberman's claims are. Lieberman's release says we have made "enormous progress" in Iraq. But the NIE says that we have only had "measurable but uneven improvements" on the security front, and adds that "the level of overall violence remains high" and that Iraqi leaders are "unable to govern effectively" -- an overall view of things echoed by Dems in recent days.
Given that Wittmann and Lieberman are suddenly so interested in "reality", I'm sure we'll be seeing a retraction of that press release and an admission that they were full of crap this whole time.
On the other hand, being a "realist" myself, I know that's hogwash. The "reality" is that Lieberman and his buddy Wittmann will continue living outside it.
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