The Corner

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From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:

On Progress in Iraq

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: You look at the situation on the ground the year after the surge, and Democrats will say, “Oh, yes, there is progress in the military sense,” meaning that they will concede that casualties are down, civilian deaths are down, suicide attacks are down, Baghdad is returning essentially to a normal status, Anbar has become a haven for the United States, Al-Qaeda is on the run.

All that is true, the Democrats will say. However, the political reconciliation, as Pelosi has said here, hasn’t happened.

But just yesterday the parliament in Iraq passed a law which distributes the oil revenues into the provinces—Kurdistan will get a sixth of it—which allows for amnesty for a lot of the prisoners, 80 percent of which are Sunni, and which most importantly allows elections in the provinces, which will allow Sunnis to feel control over their areas in a new Shiite Iraq, with essential government being Shiite, and which will allow the Anbar awakening sheikhs who are American allies can assert real legitimate control in the provinces—exactly what the Democrats have demanded.

And you haven’t heard a word about an acknowledgment of a change in the situation. . . .

BARNES: There’s a famous line I think Charles mentioned a few weeks ago of Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.” And the facts are reconciliation is taking place.

Now, six months ago, the Democratic complaint, even when the surge was already reducing violence of Americans and Iraqi civilians and clearing Baghdad, and so on, they had a legitimate complaint to say the reconciliation hadn’t started. There is none of it.

There is a lot of it. There is an enormous amount, and particularly by the parliament, but earlier with the Sunni awakening. When the elections happen it will be a whole different Iraq with a whole new set of democratically elected leaders, not just ones chosen by their parties.

So I think Democrats will change their views. They’ll have to, because the facts will murder them otherwise.

NRO Staff — Members of the National Review Online editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

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