It's getting better all the time: Iraqization
The articles don't acknowledge it explicitly. But it appears that "Iraqization," derided by so many, is beginning to succeed. We have quietly, and with great determination, continued to train troops. Now, despite all the criticism, that effort is clearly bearing fruit.
Here's the NY Times of April 12th, an article entitled "Military Raid in Baghdad Captures 65, Officials Say":
Hundreds of Iraqi troops and commandos backed by American soldiers swept through central and southern Baghdad early Monday morning, capturing at least 65 suspected insurgents in one of the largest raids in the capital since the fall of Saddam Hussein, military officials said.
Next paragraph contains what I call "the obligatory corrective"--that is, the bad news that must follow all good news, even if the bad news has nothing to do with the headline of the story. In this case, it's news of the kidnapping of an American contractor.
But after that, the article returns to the successful raid. Of course, it describes it without context or commentary (something it wouldn't be doing had the raid been unsuccessful, you can bet your bottom dollar). But still, we have the following important and extremely encouraging information:
In the raid, more than 500 Iraqi soldiers and police officers cordoned off areas in some of Baghdad's most dangerous and crime-ridden areas, searching from house to house in more than 90 locations with American troops playing a supporting role, United States military officials said...The raid was the latest of several large-scale operations led by Iraqi forces in recent weeks.
There's not much else in the article describing the raid; the rest is basically a discussion of Iraqi politics. But, reading between the lines, the story seems to be that the Iraqi forces performed credibly and effectively, and that this is happening more and more. Notice, also, that the US played backup here. Lately, that seems to be the situation, and my guess is that it accounts for the effectiveness of recent operations, and the large numbers of "insurgents" (i.e. murderers, terrorists, Saddamites, and foreign agitators) captured and/or killed. Logic dictates that the fact that Iraqi intelligence and Iraqi forces are leading the way makes this sort of large-scale operation much easier to carry off.
Months ago, who would have predicted it? Certainly and most assuredly not the NY Times. I wish they would publish something that acknowledges what a major breakthrough this is, what astounding progress has been made, and how another Vietnam analogy has bitten the dust.
Oh, well--never mind, as Emily Litella would say.