Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is The Surge Working?

From Huffington Post:

The statement is made in the U.S. media, over and over again, as if it is as factual as the sun rising in the morning and setting in the evening: "The surge is working."

But just because the media has parroted the talking points of the Bush administration and John McCain's campaign in making such an assertion, it does not make it true. And a report released by the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) yesterday does something that McCain and the White House probably wish would not be done: actually evaluating progress in Iraq against the goals the administration laid out in January 2007 when undertaking the surge.

Guess what? In many material ways, the surge isn't working. Sorry to rain on the parade of CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, etc. with the facts.

Click HERE to read more


Blogger Paul Hue said...

Well, what about the years during which the corporate media simply parroted the talking points about Bush losing the Iraq war? Let's set aside the talking points of both groups and try to figure out if the current Bush strategy is working.

June 27, 2008 4:21 PM  
Blogger Paul Hue said...

"New Iraq report: 15 of 18 benchmarks satisfactory"

Now, if this headline read, "0 of 18", I suspect you would accept it as fact. So please help me understand which is fact: the new claims of success, or the unchanged claims of failure?

July 01, 2008 4:53 PM  
Blogger Paul Hue said...

Nadir: You wanted to withdraw because the US effort was failing; now some of you peaceniks want to leave because the surge is working.

And what happened to your prediction that adding troops (via the surge) would result in more causalities (more targets) and more fighting?

July 01, 2008 7:58 PM  
Blogger Nadir said...

"New Iraq report: 15 of 18 benchmarks satisfactory"

Of course the White House will say everything is going as planned. The nonpartisan GAO interviewed people on the ground and in Washington, and they say things aren't going well at all.

But I know you want to believe this war you supported is going well, Paul, so your optimism is expected.

"Nadir: You wanted to withdraw because the US effort was failing;"

No. I want to withdraw because we shouldn't be there in the first place.

What does seem to be working is the US military paying off insurgent militias who used to attack the Iraqi government and US troops. What happens when those funds stop?

And you missed this part:
"Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., who requested the administration's updated assessment, scoffed at the May report, which he says uses the false standard of determining whether progress on a goal is "satisfactory" versus whether the benchmark has been met. He estimates that only a few of the 18 benchmarks have been fully achieved. "

The fact that they aren't meeting the benchmarks that the administration set is well known. It's a cop out to say that progress is "satisfactory". What does that mean? Satisfactory if they want to stay in Iraq permanently, which is the real goal.

So, Paul, are you like McCain? Do you think it's okay if the US is in Iraq for the next 100 years?

July 01, 2008 11:22 PM  
Blogger Paul Hue said...

Do I think that it's OK for US forces to reside in Iraq for 100 years? Only to the extent that it's OK for them to reside as they have for 50+ years in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and many other thriving, independent nations. As a subscriber to libertarianism, however, I want US forces home from all of these locations. But I don't think that their existence anywhere is cause for hysteria, or explains a failure of residents to conduct themselves productively and civilly.

I stand corrected in stating that you want US forces home because they are failing; I don't understand how I lost sight of your mutually exclusive positions: you want them home regardless of their performance, and in any case they are failing.

I don't understand what is wrong with the word "satisfactory", nor do I understand how you manage to determine which sources are accurate when you have conflicting assessments. Whereas you have constantly had a conclusion of US failure at all points along in this war, my conclusion has fluctuated. I have over the years of this war accepted both positive and negative reports. I do not have a firm conclusion about progress towards peace, democracy, freedom, prosperity, and security for Iraqi residents. Sometimes, such as now, things seem positive.

I firmly recall many of you peaceniks, and I believe you in particular, announcing that the "surge" proposal of sending many more US troops would result in more US troop casualties, as more troops would equate with more targets, and more troops committing more war crimes to anger the populace. This prediction seems not to have occurred.

Have you ever encountered a positive report of US policy in Iraq that you accepted? Are all positive reports fabrications? I am 100% certain that if that "satisfactory" report had returned negative, you would have hailed it as providing yet another valid and urgent reason for US troops to return home; but it was positive, so it must be invented.

I have read and viewed in the corporate media, including NYT, that Iraqi refugees are returning, international investment is pouring in, that former red zone areas now safe for regular folks to go about their business, that bars and liquor stores are opening, schools banned by Al Qaida are resuming, that the populace is standing up to Al Quaida and the militia. Am I falling for false information?

July 11, 2008 10:14 PM  

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