Bush First Rejected The Awakening

Then he relented. David Rose has a scoop:

The Sunni Awakening, when it did finally come, provided welcome relief, says Jerry Jones. But the cost of delay is quantifiable. “From July ’04 to mid-’07,” he points out, “you can directly attribute almost all those K.I.A. [killed in action] in the Sunni regions of Iraq to this fatal error, and if we hadn’t been fighting the Sunni, we’d have had a lot more resources for dealing with Shia militia leaders like Moqtada al-Sadr in places such as Baghdad. It didn’t have to happen. Those lives did not have to be lost.” To put the matter concretely: if the compromises accepted later by the Bush administration had been accepted when a rapprochement was first broached by the Sunnis, in 2004, some 2,000 Americans and thousands more Iraqis might not have died.