Friday, March 09, 2007

More of the Same

Ok, finished up all the damned 'earning a living' chores and the rest of the afternoon is mine, mine, mine. Madam is out getting a manicure and a pedicure(she's sometimes reads the blog so I will not use my regular terminology for the procedures) and I can while away an hour so catching up and expounding. The big news is the Libby trial but Firedoglake owns that lock stock and barrel so go over there and read all about it. It is also important to note that a lot of people are looking at the job that Jane Hamsher and her troops did and are giving the idea of blogging a second thought. Here is a nice article by Jay Rosen that pretty much sums it up.

Another thing that is coming to light is that, once again, Bush lied to us about the 'surge'.

Have you stopped to notice that virtually everything Bush and his minions told us in January about his new[same] way forward[backward] in Iraq is already so much hogwash? Remember how it was going to be a 'surge' of only 21,500 additional troops and that would be enough to get the job done? Do you also remember that it wasn't but a week or so later that we discover that the phrase "combat troops" was actually the key point? That was when we discovered that there would also be another 7,000 or maybe even 20,000 or so more US soldiers required to support the "combat" troops. Now, here we are just two months later and the word from the Generals on the ground are hinting that maybe even the additional 30,000 or so is not going to be enough.

The hint from the Generals came yesterday in the New York Times; US Commander In Iraq Sees Long Commitment, updated here:

The new American commander in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus, warned today that American troops here face a long road ahead, and left open the possibility that even more soldiers would be called to serve here, as he described the difficult task of bringing peace to the country.

Remember Bush telling us that the focus was going to be on Baghdad and that the 17,500 of the added troops would be sent to pacify Baghdad and the balance of cannon fodder would be sent to reinforce the Marines in Anbar Province? Do you think he knew he was lying when he was telling the American people this? Was Bush consciously pumping sunshine up our kilts when he was telling us that they would focus on Baghdad because securing Baghdad was critical and besides there weren't enough troops to do more? Reality Check!

Among the most vexing problems he described were how to deal with rising violence outside the capital. . . . He also underscored how important it is to prevent the insurgents and death-squad members who are believed to have temporarily fled Baghdad from exporting their violence to nearby areas like Hilla, where attacks on Shiite religious pilgrims on Tuesday killed more than 100 people.

“Anyone who knows about securing Baghdad knows that you must also secure the Baghdad belts — in other words, the areas that surround Baghdad,” General Petraeus said.

Remember when the Generals and others skeptical of the 'surge' warned that the Army and Marines were overstretched and under equipped to 'surge' and all their warnings were ignored?Here we are just two months later the 'surge' has turned out to be just delaying some poor bastard's trip home and the early departure of some folks that aren't even trained for urban combat.

With barely one-third of the promised additional American and Iraqi “surge” troops now available on the ground, the new security plan for Baghdad is only beginning to take effect.

The following paragraph tells us the true story. The 'surge' is really a pitiful attempt at an escalation. Bush's endless war is just getting bigger not better.

General Petraeus repeatedly stressed the long-term nature of the “surge,” as the current buildup of troops and operations has come to be called, and he was careful not to put a ceiling on the number of troops that may eventually be needed or how long they may need to stay in Iraq.

He said there were no “looming” requests for additional troops, and that he had not yet endorsed an assessment by the second-ranking commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno, that the greatly enlarged American force should remain undiminished for at least one full year.

But General Petraeus added, “If you’re going to achieve the kinds of effects that we probably need, that it would need to be sustained certainly for some time well beyond the summer.”

An important part of the promises Bush made when he announced his new[old] plan was that the additional troops in Baghdad would help protect the Iraqi people. Was he lying about this knowingly as well? During last year's late winter holidays when thousands and thousands of people made pilgrimages to holy sites they were they protected, to a large degree, by sectarian militias. Note that this year, those very same militias are in hiding from the the US/Iraqi security forces with a very predictable result. Hundreds of pilgrims are being killed by bombs. This is known as shooting oneself in the foot.

Another apparently false promise by Bush was that our commitment to Iraq was not "open ended," but Petraeus is talking a little differently.

General Petraeus’s open-ended strategy appeared to be an effort to avoid a repeat of the pattern that has doomed past American efforts to halt the insurgency. In hot spots including Tal Afar and Diyala, United States soldiers have cracked down on insurgents and then reduced the American presence only to see insurgents retake old ground.

So what can we take away from all this "difference of opinion" between Bush and Petraeus? The first and biggest take-way is that the US military is so overstretched that a 'surge' isn't in the cards. They are doing their best but a 'surge' in Iraq or anywhere else is not an option.

Secondly, no matter how many troops are on the ground in Iraq a military victory is not possible. The only thing possible is more death and casualties.

Thirdly, Bush and his accomplices have no plan for Iraq but to continue to throw our men and money at it and will resist any plan that means withdrawing troops. This basically means an open ended occupation.

Lastly, it appears that, like Bush, Congress doesn't seem to be able to formulate a plan to end this catastrophe either. Because it is unwilling to withhold funding it appears that we can't expect them to get us out of this mess either.

So, in spite of the progress we made in the election last year we will still be in Iraq come the 2008 elections and by that time the country is going to be hugely negative to anyone and everyone that owns any part of the disaster that is Iraq. We will have another 1000 or so dead and another 10,000 wounded and who knows how many more Iraqis will die. It won't be a good time to be a Republican.

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