Last night, during his interview with Larry King, Vice President Cheney claimed that “the reports I’m hearing, from people whose views I respect, indicate that the Petraeus plan is in fact producing results.”
On Anderson Cooper’s show later in the evening, CNN Baghdad correspondent Michael Ware, who spoke live on a night scope camera while embedded with troops responded to “the vice president’s evaluation” of progress in Iraq, calling it “sleight of hand.” “Yeah, sectarian violence is down, but let’s have a look at that,” said Ware. “More than two million people have fled this country. 50,000 are still fleeing every month, according to the United Nations. So there’s less people to be killed. And those who stay, increasingly are in ethnically-cleansed neighborhoods. They’ve been segregated.”
“There is still no sense of unity. And without America to act as the big baby sitter, this thing is not going to last.” Watch it:
Ware also responded to Brookings Institution analysts Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack’s recent New York Times op-ed offering a sunny appraisal of progress in Iraq, calling the report “very one dimensional.” “It doesn’t look at what’s been done to achieve this and what long term sustainability there is,” said Ware. “I mean, these guys unfortunately were only in the country for eight days.”
In order to achieve the small victories that O’Hanlon and Pollack cherry-picked for their column, America is actually undermining the Iraqi government, according to Ware. “What America needs to come clean about is that it’s achieving these successes by cutting deals, primarily, with its enemies,” he said.
“By achieving these successes, America is building Sunni militias,” said Ware. “Yes, they’re targeting al Qaeda, but these are also anti-government forces opposed to the very government that America created.”