Monday, September 08, 2008

The Rising Cost of the Iraq 'Surge'

By Robert Parry
September 9, 2008

Since Jan. 10, 2007, when George W. Bush announced his troop “surge,” more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers have died in the Iraq War – about a quarter of the total war dead – but now an even higher cost may loom ahead, the indefinite continuation of the conflict under President John McCain.

Read on.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't you think that it's strange that the "big time" press and other media are not telling the truth? Are they being paid to lie that way? Sure, nobody said a word, not the press either, when all the Murdochs of the world took over the newspaper business, the radio business, the television business, although that;s corporations - and they are still not saying anything. you guys who seem to be telling us what is really happening have to do more than put your thoughts on the internet. There's so much work to be done AND YOU'RE NOT DOING IT!! All you're doing is riling us up - there must be a way to get rid of this frustration when you see your country going down the tubes, while you listen to the Republicans while they "swift-boat" Obama. Where is the "truth squad" on network television telling everyone about the lies that keep being repeated and repeated.

Bill from Saginaw said...

This latest Robert Parry article (like other recent analyses by credible observers like Juan Cole, Patrick Cockburn, Thom Hartmann, and Tom Englehardt regarding what really did, and what really did not happen inside Iraq as a result of Bush's troop surge) concisely captures the skewed dynamics of this very scary political moment.

True, the mainstream US media has gobbled up as an article of faith - hook, line and sinker - the GOP spinmeisters' grandiose claims that the surge and General Petaeus's related dramatic "new" counterinsurgency strategy directly caused a drop in the day-to-day violence inside Iraq. Militarism works. Victory with honor is on the horizon. Peace is at hand. All America needs to do is simply stay the course.

Buy the illusion, you easily buy the whole bit.

What is frightening is that this snake oil is being successfully marketed only inside the United States media bubble. Nobody - literally nobody - inside Iraq, the Middle East, Europe, or elsewhere embraces this self-delusional, superficial fiction. And the McCain ticket believes that all it needs to do is hold this feel-good fantasy together for another few weeks, and the albatross of George Bush's Iraq fiasco will magically convert into a partisan plus for the Republicans on election day.

In my opinion, the remedy for this is to counter fiction with fact, whine less about the slant of the talking point questions framed by Stephanopolous, O'Reilly, and the DC beltway crowd, and instead talk more candidly about the lies that got us there, the long term security dangers, and the staggering economic drain that will stem from sticking with George Bush's preemptive war and military occupation policies for another four chaotic years.

The American invasion that brought regime change to Saddam Hussein's Iraq triggered a vicious sectarian civil war, the initial four-year phase of which the Shiites have now pretty much won. Maliki's government-sponsored death squads, and the Shiite parties' various militia gangs successfully killed off, imprisoned, and drove into refugee exile enough of the Sunni population that all factions were ready for some respite from the internal violence by the fall of 2006 - in order to regroup and retool in anticipation of the American occupation forces' much anticipated, inevitable departure.

Bush's 2007 surge succeeded in at least temporarily solidifying that Shiite victory with blast walls and check points to demark the boundaries of the now ethnically cleansed urban areas. It remains, however, very politically inexpedient for the Shiite and Kurdish winners, Moktada Sadr's populist Shiite outsider movement, the Sunni insurgent losers, the Maliki government, the United States' occupation forces, Iran, Israel, and even the foreign fighters inside Iraq actually linked in various degree to international jihad to publicly acknowledge what's really going on: a major phase of the Iraqi civil war has apparently run its bloody course.

Bush, McCain, and the Rove machine revel in misappropriating the sports metaphor that America must maintain an aggressive perpetual military posture abroad because "the best defense is always a good offense."

But where the White House and mainstream media's much ballyhooed "success of the surge" is concerned, it's another case of premature mission accomplished, largely a stage crafted illusion laced with wishful thinking.

These guys are pretending that a time out is actually the two minute warning that comes right before the final whistle at the end of the game.

Actually, it's not even a momentum changer.

Bill from Saginaw

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