Sunday, March 23, 2008



If Bush, Cheney, McCain, Lieberman, and (when he's not looking for bargains on those darling little rugs in the wreckage of Baghdad) Lindsey Graham keep chanting that the surge is a success, how many people will get sucked in? Not many, as these individuals are not viewed as particularly credible by the American people. Cheney's pronouncements, in particular, are considered worthless by the vast majority of Americans, including a growing number of Republicans. (And despite what the Neocon authors of the Iraq catastrophe claim, Cheney's credibility among Iraqis is as valid as Iraqis bringing American occupiers flowers and sweets.) The problem is that their dubious claims of success are echoed by the corporate media, a corporate media which barely covers Iraq any longer other than to repeat the claims of how well it's all going. One almost never hears the word "surge," without the word "successful" attached to it. McCain's entire campaign is based on it.

Yesterday Martin Heinrich, highly favored to be the next congressman from Albuquerque explained that the only claim to success Republicans can make for the surge is by playing with words. "Even though there may be reductions in violence, people want to see an end to it. Whether or not the surge is working depends on which goal posts you measure by. If you measure by the goal posts that the administration created for itself, its absolutely not working. It was supposed to give breathing room to the political side so they could pull the disparate ethnic communities together and unify an approach to government and those goal posts certainly haven't been met." Even a Regime toady like Bush's political general, David Petraeus, agrees more with Martin's assessment than with McCain's.
Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.

Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.

Not all Democratic politicians see it the same way and grassroots Democrats should demand more leaders like Martin and less like... Hillary. A couple of months ago Matthew Yglesias pointed out a disturbing scene at Bush's final State of the Union.
When Bush proclaimed, “Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among terrorists there is no doubt,” Clinton sprang to her feet in applause but Obama remained firmly seated. The president’s line divided most of the Democratic audience, with nearly half standing to applaud and the other half sitting in stony silence.

When McCain and the two other stooges were in Iraq last week for his taxpayer financed campaign jaunt-cum-photo op, little fact finding was involved; there was no time because of all the TV "interviews" where they could declare the surge a success. Unfortunately for them, the insurgents weren't cooperating and a rocket attack on the "secure" Green Zone marked the visits by Cheney and the Three Stooges.
Today's NY Times reports another few dozen Iraqis killed in an attack on a military base. That fits right in with the McBush rhetoric: the surge is working, but not well enough to bring our troops home.
A suicide car bomber penetrated tight security to strike an Iraqi military base on Sunday in the deadliest of a series of attacks that killed at least 42 people across Iraq. In Baghdad, the U.S.-protected Green Zone came under heavy fire by rockets or mortar rounds.

...The attacks underscored the fragility of Iraq's security, despite a decline in violence over the past year. They also came as the U.S. military death toll in Iraq nears 4,000.

The U.S. response included airstrikes that killed at least a dozen civilians, some of whom could well have been insurgents. Buried in the Times story is an ominous sign that McBush is again trying to distort reality with propaganda:

The violence was reported by police officials who declined to be identified because they weren't supposed to release the information.

Iraqis bitterly recognized McCain's pit stop in their devastated country, on the way to St James Place fundraiser for what it was: a cynical campaign stop in need of an action backdrop for the voters back home. For Iraqi civilians the action never stops.
Police said at least 13 Iraqi soldiers were killed and 42 people wounded-- 30 soldiers and 12 civilians-- in the attack. Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, has been described by the U.S. as the last urban stronghold of the Sunni-led al-Qaida in Iraq.

Shiite extremists were suspected to be behind the barrages against the Green Zone, which houses the U.S. and British embassies and the Iraqi government headquarters.

About 10 detonations were heard starting shortly before 6 am in the sprawling area in central Baghdad. Several other mortars or rockets slammed into the area throughout the day.

The U.S. public address system in the Green Zone warned people to ''duck and cover'' and to stay away from windows following the attacks.

...On Saturday, U.S. officials said three American soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing that also killed two Iraqi civilians northwest of Baghdad. The latest deaths brought to 3,996 the number of U.S. service members and Pentagon civilians who have died since the war began on March 20, 2003, according to an Associated Press count.


Although Kevin Drum points to the mirror-image Bush-McCain policies both in Iraq and domestically, this morning's L.A. Times claims that his candidacy will be made or broken on Iraq. Even if the corporate media can convince itself and gullible voters that the surge is working, McCain's overall record on the hated war isn't something anyone rationale would want to reward with a promotion. In fact, based on Iraq, he should probably go back to a nice city council job (small city)
Before the war, McCain predicted a quick and easy victory, not a vicious insurgency. He issued dire warnings about Saddam Hussein's supposed weapons of mass destruction but didn't read the full 2002 National Intelligence Estimate that showed gaps in the intelligence.


Despite the McCain propaganda to the contrary, Iraq was a smoldering wreck today. The Green Zone was bombed and 54 people were killed around the country. CNN and MSNBC both just announced that another 4 U.S. soldiers were killed in a bomb blast, bringing us to another horrible landmark, 4,000 dead military personnel.

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