To build his case that "The Democrats were wrong in their assessments of the surge", William Kristol cherry-picks a strange statement from Barack Obama as a basis for attack:
When Obama was asked in the most recent Democratic presidential debate, “Would you have seen this kind of greater security in Iraq if we had followed your recommendations to pull the troops out last year?” he didn’t directly address the question. But he volunteered that “much of that violence has been reduced because there was an agreement with tribes in Anbar Province, Sunni tribes, who started to see, after the Democrats were elected in 2006, you know what? — the Americans may be leaving soon. And we are going to be left very vulnerable to the Shias. We should start negotiating now.”Yes... And it was at least three months before "the surge" began, and nine months before the troop buildup was complete.
But Sunni tribes in Anbar announced in September 2006 that they would join to fight Al Qaeda. That was two months before the Democrats won control of Congress.
So is Kristol taking the position that Obama should be berated for failing to attribute to the surge something that preceded the surge? Or does he truly believe that everything positive that has ever happened in Iraq must be attributed to the surge, regardless of when it occurred? Nebuchadnezzar's Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Thank the surge!
In fairness to Kristol he does describe those non-surge accomplishments as having been "sustained" by the surge, not caused by it, but his sloppy logic more or less kicks the foundation out from under his entire attack.