Friday, January 25, 2008

Return of The Surge

Where did it go?

Easy enough to find all the candidates' tiffs and claims of great successes you want. The bipartisan moola that is being touted as Just What We Want to end the years of housing boom accompanied by massive defrauding of housing loan recipients, that's east enough to sniff out.

But where did that war in Iraq go?

Refreshingly, the Dallas Morning News featured an op-ed today that discussed The Surge, and found out what you knew all along. It's barely keeping the whitewash from running right off that rusty jalopy that the occupied White House has substituted for a real functioning edition of a government.

The administration and its allies insist that the decline in violence and U.S. casualties is proof we have turned the corner. But as with alleged breakthroughs in the past, this one turns out to be composed mostly of wishful thinking and selective vision.

Even the claim of improved security is a major overstatement. True, American military casualties have dropped sharply over the past year, and many Iraqi neighborhoods are no longer the charnel houses they used to be. But Americans are still dying at the rate of one every day. And violent civilian Iraqi deaths, according to the independent Web site, have averaged about 1,000 a month since September.

That's far lower than in last January, but it's no better than in 2005, and it's well above the levels of 2004 – when Iraq was already in the grip of bloody chaos. To pronounce that reduction a success is like driving your car into a lake and then bragging when you pull it halfway out.

The more sober supporters of the war recognize we have far to go. "Very real progress is anything but stable victory, even in the area where the U.S. and Iraqi surge has been most effective," writes Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The surge, he says, "has not brought lasting stability and security" even to Baghdad.
What has been clear in recent months is what was always clear: Iraqis are not ready to make the compromises needed to create a stable, unified nation. And as long as we stay in Iraq, they don't have to.

One key gauge of success for the administration's strategy is whether Iraqis will be able to take over running their own country. By that measure, it's a failure. Iraqi defense minister Abdul Qadir says the government won't be able to take full responsibility for internal security until 2012 – or to handle outside threats until 2018 or 2020.

What we have achieved in Iraq is not victory but an expensive stalemate that appears to have no end. John McCain, asked how long he is willing to keep American forces in Iraq, replied, "Maybe a hundred years." If that's the goal, we're on the right track.(Emphasis added.)

It's End Times for the cretin in chief, and pictures dominate of him trying to act like a leader. In the Middle East he can get as far away from reality as he has repeatedly shown he really, really likes. Pouring public dollars down the black hole of the financial debacle he's created makes him feel like the emperor he's always pretended to be. Of course, knowing it will all come back in come tax time next year makes that fun for all.

Those deaths and the fortune this administration has lied into their political service just hasn't worked out for them. A media that lay down and begged to be walked on after 9-11 learned the cold hard facts from those like the McClatchy papers that kept doggedly following those truths instead of truthiness.

Its little drama has folded, and the kabuki players are not fooling anyone by posturing - the war is a failure, and so is the 'peace' they've declared.

We are about to elect the leaders who will get us out of the quagmire. There's no choice when it comes to party. Any Democrat will do it for us, and we're getting there soon.

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