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Surprise: Surge is a failure!

So I read the news again. Feh.

Today’s political rant is about Iraq and media hype. I know, there are a ton of easy rants there, but hey, when you gotta rant, you gotta rant…

            The Wall Street Journal has been a staunch supporter of Bush’s policies in Iraq. “Protect American Interests”, “Demand Democracy”, all that crap. The latest load of horse crap has been the whole “surge” thing. For starters, let’s call a spade a spade. Surge, my fuzzy little posterior. ‘Escalation’ is the correct term. Whatever you call it, the Bush administration convinced us (or at least some of us) that a drastic increase in manpower was going make all those Bad Guys run away and become Good Guys. Unfortunately, the Bad Guys apparently weren’t given the right script. Instead of quietly giving up and becoming Good All American Oil Exporters, they seem to have gotten a lot more aggressive. Turns out the Bush “Surge” caused more of an “Inflammation” than anything else.

            The month of May was the 3rd most deadly month is Iraq since the start of the war. That’s only the American death count. Remember, the other injuries don’t show up in those counts, nor do the civilian deaths. The actual sever injury count is multiples bigger than the death count, and the civilian death count is so high that no can actually agree on what it is. Anyway, as it turns out, the escalation that Bush was so convinced would terrify the Bad Guys into submission has apparently accomplished nothing more than providing more targets. Even the Wall Street Journal has admitted that the Surge is a failure. We haven’t met a single one of the political, military or tactical goals that the surge was supposed to accomplish. Not one. We can’t even show that we have made any movement towards those goals. If anything, we moved backwards. The date for evaluation of the effectiveness of the surge was supposed to be Sept of this year, but there have already been open discussions from the military and politicos that that date will have to be pushed back. How far? Well, if we wait long enough, maybe all those Bad Guys will die of old age. Then we can declare victory.

            But wait, that will take a really long time. How are we going to keep things going for that long? As it turns out, the Bushies have an answer for that too: South Korea. The US has had an army of occupation in South Korea since the end of the Korean War. Casualties there are extremely rare (for the military) and are more likely to be the results of drunk driving or a bar fight than actual combat or native hostility. So why not install an Army of Occupation in Iraq just like we have in South Korea?

            There are a couple of reasons. First of all, the South Koreans wanted us to stay. Or at least it was part of the negotiations that ended the war. In any case, they weren’t lining up to kill the Occupiers. Another big difference is that there was no civil war in South Korea (OK, you can call the north/south thing a civil war, but by the time we were setting up the Korean occupation, the war was over, and there were two separate countries). Now, the Bushies will say that there is no Civil War in Iraq either. Call it an insurgency of you want, but by my definition it’s a civil war (that’s a topic for another rant). Even if you call it an insurgency, the end result is the same: They don’t want the US there, and they will continue to kill our soldiers if we stay.

            So, what has the surge/escalation/inflammation accomplished? It has postponed any work on a realistic exit strategy. It has exacerbated the situation in Iraq (and Iran, Afghanistan (Afghanistan is yet another rant), and Somalia, and everywhere in the mid east and northern Africa), and it has resulted in even more US military deaths. Not to mention the huge number of Iraqi civilians that the American Forces have managed to kill. Remember: This is supposed to help the situation. Oh yeah. And the surge has provided the U.N. with additional manpower and security to keep looking for weapons of mass destruction  – yes the only group that hasn’t yet admitted that they were fooled by Bush’s fake intelligence is the U.N.

            So anyway, the Surge has failed, there is strong US population support for getting out and letting the Iraqis figure things out for themselves, and about the only folks that still seem to want to stay in Iraq are the Bushies and all their cronies that are making a mint as war profiteers. Maybe its time to do something about the inflammation, and remove the cause of it. Hey Bush! Take a listen to your voters, and get us the hell out of there. Now, dammit!


4 Responses

  1. There is a nice Somali blog called


  2. I don’t think anyone thinks that the surge is working – or that it WOULD work in the first place. It was a serious case of too little, way too late.

    I have a sort of geeky, academic crush on Michael O’Hanlon. He’s a fellow at the Brooking Institute, and has been one of the few people to speak intelligently about all of this in a way that I actually can follow. I’ve linked two of his reports here; the first is called “A Skeptic’s Case for the Surge” and can be found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/12/AR2007011201950.html

    The other is an interim report and you can see it here:

    On a side note, I gave my students MLK’s speech in opposition to the Viet Nam war on Thursday. THEY may not have caught it, but I was struck with an eerie sort of goosebump by Dr. King’s words -delivered almost 40 years ago – and how true they still are today. Substitute “little brown Asian children” for “little brown Middle Eastern children” and you could publish that same speech today.

  3. mrschili: interesting. You are not the firt to see similarities between Viet Nam and Iraq, but as time goes on they seem to have more things in common and look a lot more alike. I guess the bright star in the analagy is that Viet Nam actually eventually recovered from the war, although it took close to 30 years. A stable Iraq in 30 years sounds pretty good to me right now – and very optimistic.

  4. Ahmed: thanks for the link. The more the american public is made aware of what US military policy is doing overseas, the more likely we are to be able to actually fix some of it..

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