22-year-old Iraqi student Ridaa al-Azzawi told Reuters New Years Eve, “The security has changed and it took us by surprise. We’re very happy. Especially us young people.” While the statistics support al-Azzawi’s personal observations, liberals back in the United States are threatening to pull the plug Iraq’s nascent peace.

According to iCasualites.org, casualties for both American servicemen and Iraqi civilians were down from November. The comparison to December 2006 is even more dramatic. US deaths were 80% lower in 12/07 than 12/06 (23-112) and Iraqi casualties fell more than 70% (1629-462).

The dramatic turn around in Iraq comes as long held conservative principles were finally implemented in theater. As The Honorable Thaddeus McCotter recently told a Heritage audience: “I believe that Russell Kirk was right: Every society has traditional roots of order. As a conservative, this is a deeply held principle for me. For the United States government, under the direction of a ‘conservative president’ to try to create a model democracy in Iraq from the top down through a highly centralized bureaucratic state was absolutely inexcusable. What we are seeing now is the success of General David Petraeus’s plan. … This is because he has adopted a counter-insurgency plan that relies upon gathering the support of the traditional roots of order–the local tribal and religious leaders–just as the United States did with our town councils as we built up to states, as we built up to the Articles of Confederation, and as we built up to a Constitution.”

The American people are beginning to take notice as well. Data from PollingReport.com show that Americans belief that the surge is helping the situation in Iraq has steadily increased since April 2007, while the belief that increased troop levels are hurting the situation have consistently declined.

This new reality has been completely lost on progressives here in America. John Edwards recently promised Democratic caucus voters in Iowa that he would remove virtually all American forces within 10 months. This despite the fact that the latest National Intelligence Estimate warned that hasty withdrawal of American troops from Iraq would probably lead to “massive civilian casualties and forced population displacement.”

Back in Iraq, Al-Azzawi told Reuters, “This will be the year that we take our freedom!” Let’s hope Americas leader make that a real possibility.

Quick Hits:

  • With Pakistan’s elections postponed until February 18, Bilawal Bhutto Zadari, Benazir Bhutto’s 19-year-old-son, will now receive 24-hour security at Oxford University. British intelligence will be charged with protecting Zadari from Islamic assassins.
  • India and Israel intensified their defense ties with an agreement to pursue more joint R&D projects.
  • An armed supermarket customer thwarted a robbery attempt in Indianapolis late New Years Eve.
  • Rasmussen Reports the number of Americans who consider themselves Republican is near a two year high.
  • Due to drug-related killings New Orleans was the bloodiest city in 2007