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Purge the Surge

The Surge That SucksThe SurgeTM is slowly floating to the top of Mesopotamian muck. WH Spokesbabe Dana Perino is full of bubbly praise, crediting it with spectacular success in bringing down the death and dismembermen t rate. It’s true casualties are mercifully down around Baghdad - and I’m glad for it - but, at what cost?

The number of troops in Iraq hit an all-time high of 175,000 this month courtesy of overlong and overlapping troop deployments. Our arsenal continues to wear out faster than we can replenish it and day-to-day expenses like food, clothing, and body bags is high - apparently higher than anyone can predict more accurately than, “give or take a trillion”.

As with most things Bushian, it’s hard to tell whether The SurgeTM is working. We entered into it with only a vague notion that fewer people would be killed. There was no mention of how many, what areas would be affected, what it would cost, or what the endgame was supposed to be. Dana can do a happy dance and claim Mission Accomplished and be truthful - at least in the portion of truth she mentions, but those missing parts are important too.

Although casualties are down, they’re nowhere near acceptable. Deaths are still high on both sides and the long-elusive dream of a budding democracy where people go to the grocery store without fear of being gunned down is still light-years away. The suckhole is still deep on the diplomatic front as well. What a stunning surprise that people who’ve hated each other for millennia can’t seem to form a cohesive government - I mean, who saw that coming, huh? And the money? Ohhhh, the money. Airplane loads of the stuff. So much of it that someone could drive away with a million or two and it wouldn’t even be missed. Hell, why don’t we just throw the airplane it came in for free too - you know, just in case they have trouble carting it away.

But, the biggest hole is this moment’s “success”. Casualties are down, but inevitable failure isn’t. The public will expect the success to continue, but it can’t. It can’t because our military has finite limits that we’re in the process of passing. It won’t because the political solution - the one that even George says is indispensabl e - isn’t going to happen. It can’t because our nation has a finite amount of money it can reasonably spend.

Nothing about The SurgeTM has been about success from the beginning. It’s been about ducking responsibili ty and chicken and bubblegummin g an untenable situation long enough to escape to a more lucrative career on the lecture circuit. A vast majority of Americans still oppose the war. They remain skeptical of anything Admiral Asshat tells them. And, they’re in no mood for further failure. If the President was smart, he’d join the rest of the nation and get on with the unpleasant business of disengagemen t.

Unfortunatel y, we know his track record on doing the right thing, don’t we?


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6 Responses to “Purge the Surge”

  1. Meanwhile the Taliban is reSURGEnt in their efforts to PURGE us from the Kush.

    Great job, Bush! You’ve completely failed with both wars, but at least you give us plenty of fodder for alliteration  !

    JMJ

  2. Meanwhile from Newsweek and a couple of people that have actually been there:

    “For the first time, however, returning to Baghdad after an absence of four months, I can actually say that things do seem to have gotten better, and in ways that may even be durable. “It’s hard to believe,” says a friend named Fareed, who has also gone and come back over the years to find the situation always worse, “but this time it’s really not.” Such words are uttered only grudgingly by those such as me, who have been disappointed again and again by Iraq, where a pessimist is merely someone who has had to endure too many optimists. It doesn’t help that no sooner have I written these words than my cup of coffee spills as a massive explosion shakes our building—t he first blast near our place in weeks, and the more shocking for that. We grab body armor and helmets and await the all-clear. It is “only” an IED near the entrance to the Green Zone, targeting a U.S. convoy and killing two civilians and one American soldier.”

    http://www.n ewsweek.com/ id/70990

    And another from the ultra conservative NY Times:

    “BAGHDAD, Nov. 18 — The American military said Sunday that the weekly number of attacks in Iraq had fallen to the lowest level since just before the February 2006 bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, an event commonly used as a benchmark for the country’s worst spasm of bloodletting after the American invasion nearly five years ago.

    Data released at a news conference in Baghdad showed that attacks had declined to the lowest level since January 2006. It is the third week in a row that attacks have been at this reduced level.

    The statistics on attack trends have long been a standard measure that the American military has used to assess violence in Iraq. Because the data have been gathered for years and are deemed generally reliable they allow analysts to identify trends.

    Military officials said the attacks were directed against American and Iraqi forces, as well as civilians. But since the source for the data is American military reports, and not the Iraqi government, the figures do not provide an exhaustive measure of sectarian violence.

    Nonetheless, the figures added to a body of evidence, compiled by American and Iraqi officials, indicating that the violence had diminished significantl y since the United States reinforced troop levels in Iraq and adopted a new counterinsur gency strategy.”

    http://www.n ytimes.com/2 007/11/19/wo rld/middleea st/19iraq.ht ml?pagewante d=print

    This is why Reid and Pelosi are getting raising the stakes on the funding. They are scared to death that the surge is working and Iraq is turning toward the positive.

  3. Manapp

    Those are very good points, and trust me - I hope the surge works because too many American lives have been lost not hope that there is some positive outcome.

    However, let’s be honest. The Iraqi government still has no momentum. They haven’t lived up to their end of the bargain and they are not close to a political solution. Having the “surge” stay in play indefinately as a way to maintain peace is not an option. First, no one would stand for it and second we can’t afford it. Until there is political progress there is no progress.

    Second, saying that violence is down is good. However, lets be honest again and say that what we have done is reduce violence from its bloodiest level to something that wasn’t quite as bloody but still bad. We’ve only gone down compared to the horrendous beginning of the year. Sure it’s helping, but it’s not exactly something to celebrate. We’ve seen violence ebb before. I hope it continues to decline but that last I heard the three groups still aren’t exactly in love with each other.

  4. I agree that there is a lot more work to be done however reducing the levels of violence should help speed the process along. You have to admit that congress seems to be ignoring the progress in order to push a political point. What happens to the anti war supporters for the Dems is the war stops being an issue? If peace breaks out in Iraq the Dems will be seen as obstructioni st towards that process. You have to admit that the coverage on the reduction in violence has been slow to build and by all measures MAY be temporary so prudence is called for. If the surge continues to produce results the chorus from the MSM will grow. This is a time for wait and see and encouragemen t of the new found success not political wrangling.

  5. Face it folks - we have now admited that there is more work to be done, but we have to face that we don’t have the boots to get it done. Oh, but then there’re those contractors to loot us and accomplish less than what even Bush could!

    We’re f*@ked.

    JMJ

  6. Bush is a slow learner, as are Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and all the other assorted armchair warriors that occupy the president or his “mind.”

    Because, lest it be forgotten, it was Rumsfeld, Cheney and Wolfwotiz who mocked McCain and Shenseki when they called for over 200,000 troops initially.

    Now, after learning that lesson the hard way by inflicting needless deaths on American and Iraqi families, we’re supposed to congratulate these yahoos for doing what REAL experts and REAL warriors were calling for in the first place?

    Bush & Gang should be wearing a Dunce Cap and not be congratulate d for getting it right at too little too late.

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