Well, lo and behold, he’s still preaching “the gospel of the surge,” which “of course” is working as far as he’s concerned (in this NRO link – sorry to inflict this on you)…
…we might well be witnessing an historic change in Iraq that would have profound effects throughout the region. The Iraqis are just beginning to step up effectively to their own defense, and are reaching out to the Americans-rather than solely vice versa as was mostly true between 2003-6. The result is that in a once frightening place like Ramadi — declared “beyond repair” in 9/06 in a sober and carefully written Marine intelligence report — Marine casualties have plummeted, reconstruction is underway, and everyone seems to be a bit dazed about the sudden calm after the horrific past storm — and whether it will continue.I don’t know exactly what it says about Hanson that he still hangs onto these tortured dreams of something approximating success in Iraq while other war apologists such as Tom Friedman (who told a different tale here - video may be n/a by now, though) and Christopher Hitchens have long since issued mea culpas of a sort for their behavior.
Well, for the reality-based perspective on what has transpired in Ramadi under the late Sheikh Abu Risha, I give you this, particularly this excerpt…
Correspondent Katie Halper: You were the last Western journalists to videotape an interview with Abu Risha. What was he like? What was his significance?This is not surprising, unfortunately. As James Wolcott points out so astutely here, Hanson has been writing variations of the same war apologist garbage for years (such as here and here).
Rick Rowley, journalist and independent filmmaker and one of the last people to see Sheikh Abu Risha alive: He seemed stiff and scripted. He told us some incredible lies during the interview. Three times he said he was the leader of all the Arab tribes of Iraq -- both Shia and Sunni. And like a bad poker player's tell, every time he told a lie he sniffed loudly.
He was a figurehead for a movement, the face they put on this story. Operationally, militarily, he wasn't particularly important. In his interview with us he said there was 100 percent security in Ramadi, that he was head of all of the tribes in Iraq. That has proven, in a horrifying way, to not be true. His assassination has blown a hole in the American story about security in Anbar. It's going to have a chilling effect on other tribes in other parts of the country who were thinking it might be safe to work with the Americans.
And speaking of war apologists, I must mention the latest in true freeper idiocy from Fred Barnes, another of Hanson’s fellow travelers, who called Barack Obama weak on national security for being completely and utterly correct about the Iraq war (h/t Atrios).