The point of the “surge,” as originally sold by Bush and the Kagans who thought it up, was to put a crapload of troops in and around Baghdad so that the parties could have some room to work out their problems over tea. The craploads of troops did indeed reduce the violence like basic math predicts, yet somehow the tea parties never happened. The Shiite and Sunni parties still hate each other. The animosity might even be worse now that we have built Maliki-hating tribes in Anbar into a credible threat to the government. They still want each others’ land and each others’ blood.
Correct my logic if I missed something but temporary fixes, the proverbial thumb in the dike, don’t usually count as a solution. Eventually, just like our surge troops, the thumb has to come out. Indeed, the troops have already started coming home, to be followed by tens of thousands more by early next year. Whether we need them or not, the broken state of our military reserves ensures that the numbers simply will not go up again. It doesn’t take very much strategic genius on Muqtada Sadr’s part to lay low while we’re strong (which he has) and start right up again as soon as we’re spread out and vulnerable.
If we had some sign that the opposition sects want to talk to the central government or the central government wants to talk to the Sunnis then I would feel more hopeful. Sadly that just has not happened. If anything the rift has gotten worse. Free advice being worth what you paid for it and doubly so when it’s unwelcome, if I were a rightwing blogger I would think hard about throwing a premature victory ball so soon after being caught doing the same thing over and over and over again. I understand that Kagan’s quick fix makes sticking one to the liberals awfully tempting, but try once in a while to recognize a trap when you see one.
Two words: selective amnesia. They’ll either ‘forget’ their premature triumphalism, or re-define it away. If the Mission Accomplished banner can’t shame these people, nothing ever will.
I can’t help but think that, if everything turns out to be as bad as it might (not saying as bad as it will, not yet), then the whole thing was an astounding perfect recipe for the GOP to screw itself over next year. Whatever else went into it, the whole timing of the surge was to essentially prep it up so that way by March 2008 Iraq would be a non-issue for the GOP candidate for the rest of the election year. If that doesn’t happen in any meaningful way, the minds behind the party won’t have just shot themselves in the foot, but chopped their legs off.
The Other Andrew
The talking point from the right has been that the Sunnis are finally on-board–um, maybe this isn’t the best time to announce that we’ve brokered a long-term deal for a Shia political monopoly?
This will be about how after the “success” of the surge, it will be the Democrats fault that the benefits melt away. Never mind that the “benefits” were bullshit short term nonsense, and that the tactical plan contradicted the strategic plan. Never mind that arming the Sunnis in Anbar currently excluded from the government insures a future and more bloody civil war.
No one on the Republican/right wing side thinks of this thing strategically or with any degree of honesty. It’s just a big blame game, and how to avoid not being without a chair when the music finally stops.
The dishonest right wingers are just looking for the narrative that lets them blame others for this screw up.
So the surge reduces violence to about late 2005 levels, and it’s a success?
I suppose we have to be thankful for SOME improvement over recent times.
Love the timetable as well.
And to top it all, are we seeing the inevitable return of increased violence (generally Shia on Sunni and vice versa), as emphaised by the last paragraph?
No one on the Republican/right wing side thinks of this thing strategically or with any degree of honesty.
All they seem to know how to do–and want to do–is blow things up. One minute it’s “we need a surge so Iraq can form a political solution!” the next it’s “let’s bomb Iran! No political solution necessary!”
Don’t worry. The “success” our Republican Military Visionaries achieved with the surge does not have the power to overcome the “failure” that will be inflicted by the 110th Democratic Surrender-Monkey Congress.
Even as we speak, Pelosi is forcing the President’s hand by undermining our efforts in Iraq and bringing home troops that the country desperately needs. Meanwhile, Harry Reid is blocking the $50 billion necessary to turn Iraq’s infant success story into a fully grown adult victory.
And all of this wouldn’t be possible without the bomb throwing, terrorist-coddling pacifist rhetoric of the top Dem Presidential Candidates who can’t stop talking about exactly how much they want to turn tail and run from Al Qaida in Iraq.
In short, if we stay the course as the Republican Minority has fought to do over the last year – and will continue to do until election day 2008 – we will see flowers, candy, and ponies blossom across the desert from Damascus to Tehran. But if we capitulate now, as the Democrats will surely force us to do, we are doomed to failure.
BTW, when I first read that paragraph, I read it as
Naw, not that complicated or requiring that much effort.
Every day is Groundhog Day for them. They awake each morning as hetero warriors for truth, justice, and the American way. Which of course is defined as and confined to keeping Pubs in power.
Double wetsuits, lies, shredding the Constitution, and torture as the American way that happened in previous days, months, years? No memory of it so it didn’t happen. It’s always a new dawn for the groundhogs.
Are you kidding me? In 21st Century America, it’s all about short term successes. Have you followed the business strategy of the average American corporation lately? How about Citigroup’s stock surging on announcements of a cash infusion from Abu Dhabi, even though it comes with all kinds of strings attached? Why do you think there’s a crisis in the home lending market? Thinking beyond next quarter is so 20th Century.
So, basically, those Dirty Fucking Hippies were right again.
You know, there’s a meme in there just waiting to be turned into a cartoon.
From the link:
Yes, and why did we all of a sudden have to get rid of the Hussein regime? Huh. The author doesn’t say. But I guess that sounds better than “Remember, we started out with a lie about Iraq’s WMD program.”
But heres why being a Rightwing Blagher means never having to say “Oops, I sure was a dumb ass:”
Got that? We went in with the purest of motives and those mean old ‘raqi’s let us down. Victory can come whenever Bush (who tried his best, really) at last, and with heavy heart, admits that the Iraqis are just too brutish for democracy. That’s why they keep doing little victory dances. They know they’ve already “won.”
Maybe you should add A.S. to the Coin du Mockery.
Now we have dick Cheney’s puppet in the White House agreeing with Dick Cheney’s puppet in Baghdad that the US will maintain a permanent presence in Iraq for the financial benefit of Dick Cheney’s companies, cronies, and clients, who cares what 2-bit rational was ever suggested for any putative policy, ever?
Dick Cheney won. Get used to it. It is his country – we just live in it.
What are you going to do, rise up in a revolution?
So. The permanent bases join oil and Israel as “despicable” reasons that turn out to be true.
War Room blog over at salon has a good recap of Republicans talking about the need for political progress.
Ok that’s messed up I linked the War Room words with a href and it showed up fine in the auto preview. I only add the whole thing as a fallback, it helped this time I guess.
You don’t think their embrace of “Dolchstosslegend” pre-emptively is any kind of accident, do you? They did this 30 years ago, and are trying to do it again.
Republicans have become the party of “it’s someone elses’ fault”. No matter how bad they screw up, it was always because someone else didn’t embrace their ideals, or the Democrats stood in the way or whatever. As much as I hate him, Andrew Sullivan finally realized this recently (that for the right there is literally nothing that is Bush’s fault).
The decline in violence also correlates to the Mahdi Army’s six-month truce that Moqtada Sadr announced in August 2007.
It’s far too early to write off the reconciliation process in Iraq. In the Anbar province, fighting between Shias and Sunnis has dropped to almost nothing, and that’s where the surge has been concentrated. As the surge spreads, we can hope to see more of this taking place. Our ultimate success in Iraq is not a sure thing, but things look brighter now that at any time since the invasion.
There’s no way anyone is really that dumb. I choose to disbelieve.
The Surge(tm) can not spread. In spite of ramming through the surge without congressional consultation or approval, C+ Augustus neglected for the fourth year in a row to begin to expand the size of the armed forces. We now draw down The Surge ™ whether we like it or not.
Why do you think al-Sadr and his Sunni counterparts have stopped fighting? The writing is on the wall – in six months we will be locked in to a low manpower presence regardless of what needs to be done. We are at serious risk of being run out of there with our tail between our legs in a year’s time.
Justify that, PJ.
Shit Zifnab. Two words from you are worth 20 from me.
I will sit down now.
I think Joe Klein proves you wrong.
There is a concept in addiction treatment called “enabling” which is the process of letting an addict continue his behavior by reducing the natural consequences of that behavior. I think it might just apply in Iraq. Maybe to Republicans…
Seldom in disagreement with you, but look at the Sunni vs Shiite problems in a country at war, each wants their way of believing to be right,(the claimed right claims the power). Look at your own country, a war of its own kind is brewing,(we are a somewhat stable nation) we don’t try too control ones faith, a nation founded on some form of Christianity. We now allow any faith too intercede and we create,(special laws) for a specific religion, ethnic background, holiday or whatever, to appease for the most part, those that don’t want to be an American. We die in our own streets each day too defend this nation.
I wonder if there aren’t places in Detroit or New Orleans with higher murder rates than Baghdad. And if what is going on there were declared a war if it would receive the amount of attention problems in Iraq receive. You make an interesting point that this may be related to the multiculturalism currently in vogue.
30,000 soldiers, even though they may be at this time a police(+) force is very significant. You and your underlings may attempt to rebuke such a statement but if you were to add 30,000 police officers to LA, NYC CHI, MI or any given city or multiple cities in the US, it would have an effect. When you bring pride to a neighborhood or city, they effects in return are usually astounding. Don’t create doubt, feed the positive. You and I as the Iraq people have a choice of making your streets safe. If it has to be house by house, street by street, town by town, and city by city, give them the option. By nature, the bulk of the people want peace.
And I wonder if the moon is made of green cheese. But since neither of us has the least bit of evidence to back up our idiotic wonderment, we should not pretend that they can be used to establish any sort of coherent argument.
Myself, I’ve been noting a number of stories in the last two or three weeks about violent carnage in Iraq, involving the deaths of Iraqi civilians or US military personnel. Now, I may have missed something, but I thought this was the sort of thing the surge which had worked so well had stopped.
And, oh yeah, about the mechanics of how the surge operates. You have to go to the DFH’s to get the lowdown on that. The mainstream never tells you.
Chris Floyd’s good on that.
And the DFH’s are right more often than anybody else.
If you don’t know how to embed your links, please ask. – ed.
The Other Steve
Can someone please translate this to english?
As a last point, if you are not a multi-million dollar comedian, it seems as though all of the current subject matter is off limits in our country. You, I and every Hollywood Star speaks about our past and current leaders(in the Whitehouse, Senate, and Congress) we speak of them as great, good, or dogs. We have the right to do so. That is, as it seems where we draw the line. Though a comedian can speak anything he or she wants to, without limits, contrictions, or by law(Freedom of Speech), seldom pays any price for it. If you, I or your readers were to ever make a public point of such, we would be branded. Sad as it may appear, the truth about it, it is now punishable by law. In our nation it would be described as a hate crime.
Very true. And from what I have heard, that’s part of what the surge is doing. Soldiers aren’t just keeping the peace, they’re cleaning up neighborhoods, re-opening markets, making Iraqis feel proud to be Iraqi again. That’s part of Petraeus’s plan and it’s working better than anyone thought possible.
Naah, JWW regurgitates nothing but mental rubbish. Kinda like G.W. Bush on a bad day.
(Speaking of which, anyone note his “appearance” at Annapolis? That is one hell of an out-of-touch guy. Edith Wilson, where are you?)
“Look at your own country, a war of its own kind is brewing,(we are a somewhat stable nation) we don’t try too control ones faith, a nation founded on some form of Christianity. We now allow any faith too intercede and we create,(special laws) for a specific religion, ethnic background, holiday or whatever, to appease for the most part, those that don’t want to be an American. We die in our own streets each day too defend this nation…”
Can someone please translate this to english?
JWW believes that if only America were a gated community, inhabited solely by Christianists of JWW’s preferred sect, wouldn’t life be just P*E*R*F*E*C*T !!! I’m not sure if JWW is positing a pogrom as the “solution” to Iraq’s current problems, or if he’s just mourning his lost Eden here in the States, but either way, I think we can agree JWW is a subliterate moron with all the historical vision of my fat little middle-aged dog. Although my dog is smarter than JWW — she may snarl at all dogs not of her own breed, but she doesn’t try to pick fights with the 85% who are larger, faster, and tougher than she.
Dickboy, you owe Doughy Pantloads compensation for plagerism.
Yes, the famous ‘need a 100 troops to shop’ markets are open.
When you play whack a mole, don’t confuse empty holes with lack of moles.
When the troops drop in Baghdad, the Iraqis will move back in to fight. Until then, they’re busy raising hell in the North while the Shiites in the South are now the ‘new enemy’.
You have always been at war with Eastasia.
Petraeus is fighting the fight that is available. It will have no long term impact on Iraq, in my opinion. We will have no long term impact on Iraq, in my opinion.
The Brits were there for decades, I didn’t see any evidence at all of that extended sojourn when I was there.
Iraqis have their own fights to finish, and they will, sooner or later. Basing 50,000 troops there “permanently” is roughly the equivalent of the British mandate in Egypt. That didn’t work out so well for the Brits. Everyone in the ME knows this game, and everyone despises it. Dumb and dumber.
Really? Again? Same market where Lindsey Graham bought his rugs?
Hey PJ, if you believe all this, I’ve got a bridge in Minnesota to sell you, only slightly cracked.
Another example of unintentionally damning with faint praise.
But Giuliani gets the credit for Bill Clinton providing the funding for extra cops in NY, of course.
Other Steve and Ann Laurie,
Translation is not needed. If you had basic common sense you would be able to put it together. It was not written as an inclusive paragraph. In limiting space I thought you might be able to disect. Guess not. If you really need a full description of the comments, I will be happy to do so.
You are so wrong in your response I wonder what you might have read. Oh, your mother was a fat happy dog, your the runt that was tossed over the bridge.
Clear text for Other Steve and Ann,
Though oppression occurs in every nation, we have found ways to at least attempt overcoming it. In the case of religion which is near the head of the list as a cause for armed conflict, we have done well in avoiding it. I don’t care what your religion is and I think most Americans are the same.
I see more and more pressure from religious groups or those who have no belief put on our nation because we use the word God in our song, our Pledge, on our currency. We now pander, to anyone who can get their act on radio, TV, or in print. Point being, the nation was created by those fleeing such persecution and has allowed any religion on its soil and as a whole done well excepting it.
Being an American does not have any written law on which you must of a Christian faith. The oath you take is to the nation, its laws, and foundation. We do not make converts, we do expect all to conform to the law of the land! The law of the land is freedom, it is always yours, give to make her a better place, take when in time of need. Don’t mock her because you feel offended.
You, I, anyone who has lived the last seven days have been offended in one way or another.
I have lived in the past(the same as you), I do live in the present(the same as you), I do look to the future(the same as some of you).
If the (some of you) wake each morning with the pessimistic view you display here you are assuredly going to fail.
I wake with a positive thought of the day(I am alive), I think about yesterday(the lessons learned), I work thoughout the day(trying to make it a good day). Do not enslave yourself to failure, do what you can to be successful. Why, because your thoughts, action and voice effect others. They will feed from you, if you want to fail they will help you, if you want to succeed, the will help you. But at the end of the day success will make them want to return the next day. Failure will make them want to go elsewhere.
Shorter JWW: I have serious issues with Big Daddy’s Penis. And I’m drunk.
Hey Ten Fool,
Don’t hurt yourself, put your mouth on it.