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Reportage from the field.

Can Petraeus Pull It Off? by Max Boot

The Weekly Standard

Can Petraeus Pull It Off?
A report on the progress of our arms in Baghdad, Baqubah, Ramadi, and Falluja.
by Max Boot

04/30/2007, Volume 012, Issue 31

The news from Iraq is, as usual, grim. Bombings, more bombings, and yet more bombings--that's all the world notices. It's easy to conclude that all is chaos. That's not true. Some parts of Iraq are in bad shape, but others are improving. I spent the first two weeks of April in Baghdad, with side trips to Baqubah, Ramadi, and Falluja. Along the way I talked to everyone from privates to generals, both American and Iraqi. I found that, while we may not yet be winning the war, our prospects are at least not deteriorating precipitously, as they were last year. When General David Petraeus took command in February, he called the situation "hard" but not "hopeless." Today there are some glimmers of hope in the unlikeliest of places.

Lebanon's Fateful Showdown By Amir Taheri

New York Post

LEBANON'S FATEFUL SHOWDOWN

By AMIR TAHERI

January 27, 2007 -- WHERE do we go from here? The leaders of the two rival camps in Lebanon should be pondering the question in the wake of the showdown that brought Beirut to a standstill last Tuesday.

The showdown started in December, when Hezbollah - having withdrawn its ministers from the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora - started a mass sit-in in the heart of Lebanon's capital.

Making Lenin Proud By Mary Anastasia O'Grady

The Wall Street Journal

Making Lenin Proud
By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY

January 22, 2007; Page A14

"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation."

-- Vladimir Lenin

Mexican historian and author Enrique Krauze has written that he believes that the "last Marxist in history [will] die at a Latin American university." At a minimum, Mr. Krauze seems to have gotten the geography right.

Most of the rest of the world has stuffed communism into the dustbin of history but, as events over the past week remind, Latin America has not. Earlier this month, President Hugo Chávez officially took control of Venezuela's central bank and declared himself a communist. He then traveled to Ecuador to attend the swearing-in ceremony of his latest and perhaps most promising protégé, Rafael Correa, as that country's new president. Mr. Correa has lost no time emulating his mentor.

Petraeus Time By Reuel Marc Gerecht

The Wall Street Journal

Petraeus Time
By REUEL MARC GERECHT

January 17, 2007; Page A19

Can one back President Bush's new strategy in Iraq? Yes. For all its serious faults, his new approach is the first one since the fall of Baghdad to offer a chance to reverse the radicalization of Iraq. But it needs revision quickly.

Too much of this new plan leaves unchanged the disastrous approach of John Abizaid and George Casey, the two top generals on Iraq. The new offensive, assuming it doesn't peter out through a slow arrival of soldiers, or become enfeebled by "Iraqi leadership" in its execution, envisions a too-small U.S. force doing too much. Recent remarks by Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- predicting troop reductions within a year, and saying that we might not need an additional five brigades in Baghdad for a successful operation -- are a frightening echo of the self-defeating, undermanned optimism that came from the U.S. military under Mr. Gates's predecessor.

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The Story of a Well-Lived Life By Robert P. George

NRO

January 03, 2007, 7:00 a.m.

The Story of a Well-Lived Life
Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, R.I.P.

By Robert P. George

Elizabeth Fox-Genovese was a scholar as notable for her bravery as for her brilliance. After what she described as her “long apprenticeship” in the world of secular liberal intellectuals, it was careful reflection on the central moral questions of our time that led her first to doubt and then to abandon both liberalism and secularism. Needless to say, this did not endear her to her former allies.

The Right Type of "Surge" by Jack Keane & Frederick W. Kagan

The Weekly Standard

The Right Type of "Surge"
Any troop increase must be large and lasting.
by Jack Keane & Frederick W. Kagan

12/27/2006 2:00:00 PM

REPORTS ON the Bush administration's efforts to craft a new strategy in Iraq often use the term "surge" but rarely define it. Estimates of the number of troops to be added in Baghdad range from fewer than 10,000 to more than 30,000. Some "surges" would last a few months, others a few years.

We need to cut through the confusion. Bringing security to Baghdad--the essential precondition for political compromise, national reconciliation and economic development--is possible only with a surge of at least 30,000 combat troops lasting 18 months or so. Any other option is likely to fail.

Basket Case ~ Editorial

Basket Case

New York Sun Staff Editorial
December 26, 2006
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/45702

The most encouraging thing about U.N. Security Council Resolution 1737, the sanctions on Iran that were passed over the weekend, is that the American under secretary of state for political affairs, Nicholas Burns, greeted it with the declaration, "We don't think this resolution is enough in itself. We want the international community to take further action, and we're certainly not going to put all of our eggs in a U.N. basket."

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Rabbi Moishe Arye Friedman, left, shakes hands with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at last week's Holocaust conference. Mr. Ahmedinejad has called the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jewish people a 'myth.' (The New York Sun)

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