The good news continues to come out of Iraq. Here’s part of a story posted in USA Today on a lazy Sunday:

The number of truck bombs and other large al-Qaeda-style attacks in Iraq have declined nearly 50% since the United States started increasing troop levels in Iraq about six months ago, according to the U.S. military command in Iraq.

The high-profile attacks generally large bombs hitting markets, mosques or other “soft” targets that produce mass casualties have dropped to about 70 in July from a high during the past year of about 130 in March, according to the Multi-National Force Iraq.

Military officers say the decline reflects progress in damaging al-Qaeda’s networks in Iraq. The military has launched offensives around Baghdad aimed at al-Qaeda sanctuaries and bases.

“The enemy had the initiative and the momentum in ’06,” said Jack Keane, a retired general who is a chief architect of the increase in troop levels and mentor to Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. “We’ve got it now.”

Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters Blog looks at the same USA Today report and lists three reasons why the surge has worked so well:

First, the terrorists have no time to expand and strategize. They have to defend themselves from encirclement by American troops, which means they have to go on the run. Any time they move, they have to get out into the open, which exposes them to more danger. If they don’t run, they have to fight military troops, battles in which they do not have the skillsets to succeed.

Second, terrorist tactics have enraged Iraqis and driven them away from the insurgencies. Even other insurgencies have found it necessary to ally with the US military to stop the inhumanity of al-Qaeda control. The terrorists have had to use these brutal techniques to frighten people into compliance with their leadership — a sure sign of desperation. They’re losing the hearts-and-minds battle.

Third, our tenacity allows the Iraqis to rely on us — and that brings another level of unity. They have responded to our efforts by vastly increasing the intelligence that comes to the military, which allows us more success in tamping down the violence. They have begun to unify amongst themselves for their own protection as well, which helps build political strength for Iraq from the ground up. They feel liberated to participate in self-government.

Betcha you won’t see the nightly news TV shows lead off with this news story tonight.

Congressman Sam Johnson (R-TX) spoke to the House on Friday, Feb. 16th, 2007, about the House resolution recently passed that disagrees with President Bush’s plan to send 20,000 more troops to Iraq. Rep. Johnson’s remarks reached my attention thanks to a Power Line post. Below is a YouTube video of the Representative’s full comments.

If you don’t want to spend the almost seven minutes watching his speech, here is a hard-hitting part near the end of Rep. Johnson’s address to the House.

We POWs were still in Vietnam when Washington cut the funding for Vietnam . I know what it does to morale and mission success. Words cannot fully describe the horrendous damage of the anti-American efforts against the war back home to the guys on the ground. Our captors would blare nasty recordings over the loudspeaker of Americans protesting back home, tales of Americans spitting on Vietnam veterans when they came home, and worse. I don’t think we should ever, ever let that happen again. The pain inflicted by your country’s indifference is tenfold that inflicted by your ruthless captors.

Our troops and their families want, need, and deserve the full support of this country and the Congress. Moms and dads watching the news need to know that the Congress will not leave their sons and daughters in harm’s way without support.

Since the President announced his new plan for Iraq last month, there has been steady progress. He changed the rules of engagement, removed political protection. There are reports we wounded the number two of al Qaeda and killed his deputy. And, yes, al Qaeda operates in Iraq. It is alleged that top radical jihadist, al-Sadr, has fled Iraq maybe to Iran, and Iraq has closed its borders with Iran and Syria.

The President has changed course, has offered a new plan. We are making progress. We must seize the opportunity to move forward, not stifle future success. Debating nonbinding resolutions aimed at earning political points only destroys morale, stymies success, and emboldens the enemy.

The grim reality is that this House measure is the first step to cutting funding of the troops. Just ask JOHN MURTHA about his slow-bleed plan that hamstrings our troops in harm’s way.

I salute this brave American veteran. Would that we had more like him.