Based on Liz Sly’s article in the Chicago Tribune, conditions are improving in Iraq, including Baghdad. While more articles are popping up on news websites, House and Senate Democrats are attempting to tie President Bush’s hands by codifying a ‘Get out of Iraq’ date into the Iraq supplemental. Here’s what Ms. Sly said in her article:

Since the last soldiers of the “surge” deployed last May, Baghdad has undergone a remarkable transformation.

No longer do the streets empty at dusk. Liquor stores and cinemas have reopened for business. Some shops stay open until late into the evening. Children play in parks, young women stay out after dark, restaurants are filled with families and old men sit at sidewalk cafes playing backgammon and smoking shisha pipes.

Despite this news, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Co. have tried passing an Iraq supplemental that demands President Bush start withdrawing troops. Despite this good news, Harry Reid continues to making pessimistic statements:

“Every place you go you hear about no progress being made in Iraq,” said Senate Democratic majority leader Harry Reid. “The government is stalemated today, as it was six months ago, as it was two years ago,” Reid told reporters, warning US soldiers were caught in the middle of a civil war. “It is not getting better, it is getting worse,” he said.

If Sen. Reid continues making statements like this, he won’t have any credibility left. That’s assuming his credibility hasn’t already disappeared altogether. This is just more verification that Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi and John Murtha aren’t dealing with reality. Here’s what I mean:

Reid, Pelosi, et al, are operating from the mindset that we’re relying on them for our information. That’s an antiquated approach to the news. The defeat of the ‘Grand Bargain’ immigration/shamnesty plan should’ve told Washington politicians that we have alot more information at our fingertips than ever. Instead, people like Harry Reid make statements while we read articles like Ms. Sly’s.

With information like this, is it any wonder why Congress has the lowest job approval rating in history?

But for the first time in years, Baghdad’s residents are starting to remember what an ordinary life is like. “I used to close my shop at 6 p.m. but now I stay open till 9 or 9:30. Then I walk home and I feel completely safe,” said Jawad al-Sufi, 64, who runs the House of Hijab head scarf shop in the much-bombed district of Karradah. He had to replace his windows five times because of bombings outside his shop, but there has hardly been an attack in Karradah since September.

“It happened very suddenly,” he said. “There was a sharp turnaround, right after Eid,” the Muslim holiday in late October. “Since then, security has improved 85 percent.”

We know that a transformation is happening because this gentleman can pinpoint when the transformation started. This year, Eid was celebrated Dec. 20-24. According to Centcom’s article, here’s what Gen. Petraeus testified to at his conformation hearing:

“If we are to carry out the Multinational Force Iraq mission in accordance with the new strategy, the additional forces that have been directed to move to Iraq will be essential, as will greatly increased support by our government’s other agencies, additional resources for reconstruction and economic initiatives, and a number of other actions critical to what must be a broad, comprehensive, multifaceted approach to the challenges in Iraq,” Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus said at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

As I recall, President Bush announced this plan after the midterm elections, then set it in motion before Democrats took control of the House or Senate. The gospel according to Harry says:

“It is not getting better, it is getting worse.”

Here’s what Ms. Sly says from Baghdad:

The number of explosions of all kinds has fallen sharply, from 1,641 nationwide in March to 763 in October. That is still a high number but a level not seen since September 2005, according to the U.S. military. Mortar attacks also are down, from an all-time high of 224 in Baghdad in June to 53 in October. A senior U.S. general said Thursday that the number of bombings in the country had dropped by almost half since March.

Reliable casualty figures have been hard to come by since the government stopped publicizing monthly tallies earlier this year, but inevitably the reduction in attacks also has reduced the number of deaths. According to an Associated Press tally, 750 people were killed in Iraq in October, down from 2,172 last December. Iraq’s Interior Ministry gives an even lower figure for the month: 506 civilians killed nationwide.

Though 2007 has been the deadliest year for U.S. troops in Iraq since the 2003 invasion, U.S. military casualties also have dropped recently, from a year’s high of 126 in May to 38 in October, and 23 killed in the first two weeks of November.

Ms. Sly’s report include verified statistics. Sen. Reid’s statements don’t contain statistics. Instead, they’re a desperate attempt to spin the truth. Thanks to Al Gore’s invention, Sen. Reid’s spin isn’t working.

This information begs another question, namely this: What type of politician would push this hard, this often, to cut off funding for a plan whose results are this impressive?

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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