Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack's op-ed piece in yesterday's times, "A War We Just Might Win," has generated a lot of buzz. Two long-time critics of the way the war in Iraq has been fought--Pollack, at least, was for the war in the beginning--wrote an optimistic view of the war's progress, based on a week's tour, and got it published in The Newspaper of Record. As I noted yesterday, their comments are at variance with others, some of which much more authoritative (see below).
(I can recall similarly optimistic articles during Vietnam. I was convinced by some of them.)
In The Huffington Post, Joseph A. Palermo pretty much eviscerates O'Hanlon and Pollack. Take a look.
In yesterday's post, I quoted from Frank Rich's column, which gave a much less optimistic view of conditions in the northern oil city of Mosul than what O'Hanlon and Pollack reported. For those of you who didn't follow the link in the Rich quote, it is to the DOD's June 2007 report to Congress, Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq. A key comment: "In Ninewa (Niniveh) Province, Mosul is (al-Qaeda in Iraq's) northern strategic base and serves as a way-station for foreign fighters entering from Syria."
According to ABC, the White House sent out copies of O'Hanlon and Pollack's article, but one Congressional source said that its effect on the debate in Congress would be "zero."