Victor Davis Hanson ponders whether a radical reversal is not underway:
Over the last few months, the U.S. military forced Sunni insurgents in Anbar to quit fighting. This enemy, in the heart of the so-called Sunni Triangle, had been responsible for most American casualties in the war and was the main cause of unrest in Iraq. Even more unexpectedly, some of the defeated tribes then joined in an alliance of convenience with their American victors to chase al-Qaeda from Iraq’s major cities.
As President Bush recently told U.S. troops about Anbar province: “It was once written off as lost. It is now one of the safest places in Iraq.”
But that dramatic turnabout in Iraq is rarely reported on. We know as much about O.J.’s escapades in Vegas as we do about the Anbar awakening or the flight of al-Qaeda from Baghdad. When we occasionally do hear about Iraq, it is just as likely through a Hollywood movie — In the Valley of Elah, Redacted, Lions for Lambs — preaching to us how the U.S. was mostly incompetent or amoral in fighting a hopeless war.
BTW, congratulations to Victor Davis Hanson for being awarded the Presidential Humanities Award today in a White House ceremony. Readers of this blog will have to get accustomed to seeing posts about “VDH” articles. Hanson is a Professor of Classics and something of a military historian (See Carnage and Culture, Ripples of Battle). He has attained some notoriety since 9/11 because of his active editorials and columns appearing in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and other publications applying the lessons of history to this present conflict. I have also had the opportunity to meet and travel with Dr. Hanson. He is about as humble, polite, and smart of guy as you will ever meet. It is good to see his smarts get recognized in such a way. Congrats Victor!