Graham: We’re ‘Kicking Ass’ In Iraq, Political Reconciliation Likely ‘Within Weeks’

Yesterday, prominent Iraq war proponents were featured at a panel at the American Enterprise Institute, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a vocal supporter of President Bush’s escalation.

Graham cheerfully explained that in his eight visits to Iraq, he has never come back as optimistic as after his most recent one. Graham claimed political reconciliation is on the horizon and is now “all over the country.”

Within the next weeks, not months, there will be a major breakthrough on the benchmarks regarding political reconciliation. And after the last two weeks of being a reservist, you could see Sunnis and Shia and Kurds taking a second look at Iraq.

Watch a compilation of Graham’s remarks:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/09/grahambreakthrough12.320.240.flv]

Using lofty phrases like “the surge has worked” and “the people are war weary,” Graham conveniently dodged empirical evidence to back up his assertion of reconciliation at “breakneck speed.”

Graham has placed himself at odds with every observer — including the Bush administration — of the Iraq war, all of whom see little to no political progress in Iraq:

Gen. Petraeus: “[T]angible political progress…has not worked out as we had hoped.” [9/7/07]

White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten: “[D]isappointment is the right word for…the Iraqi federal government.” [9/5/07]

Government Accountability Office: Iraqi government “has met only one of eight political benchmarks.” [9/4/07]

Congressional Research Service: “[T]he Iraqi government is in essential collapse.” [9/6/07]

National Intelligence Estimate: The government “will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months.” [8/23/07]

With Shi’as composing 75 percent of Baghdad today and 85 percent of the Iraqi national police, there is no near prospect for political reconciliation.

Despite these realities, Graham concluded his remarks at AEI — to loud applause — proclaiming that the United States is “kicking their ass,” a statement sure to make Bush proud.

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