I, and many others, are not convinced the so-called Surge is “working.” That is not to say that our very fine military has not completed every task assigned. They have done so, and with get sacrifice, honor and courage. Unfortunately, military success has not brought about anything other than the tamping down of the worst of the violence. Therefore we have seen almost no progress on the diplomatic front, thus the Administration has once again proven its ineptitude. Andrew Bacevich points to the stark failure on all political fronts in this Washingtion Post piece.
Bush had once counted on the U.S. invasion of Iraq to pay massive dividends. Iraq was central to his administration’s game plan for eliminating jihadist terrorism. It would demonstrate how U.S. power and beneficence could transform the Muslim world. Just months after the fall of Baghdad, the president declared, “The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.” Democracy’s triumph in Baghdad, he announced, “will send forth the news, from Damascus to Tehran — that freedom can be the future of every nation.” In short, the administration saw Baghdad not as a final destination but as a way station en route to even greater successes.
Glenzilla continues the shredding of the Surge Success Myth being propagated by the administration and the Serious Journalists and Pundits of the Media. Highlighted in Greenwald’s piece is the the sheer breathtaking audacity of a claim that WaPo reporter Shailagh Murray makes in an online chat that I find most offensive:
Washington, D.C.: I am somewhat surprised at the debate about the surge. In October, The Post’s own polling showed that 19% of voters favored an immediate withdrawal. Yesterday, CNN reported that more than 50% want an immediate or by year’s end withdrawal. Still, the politicians debate more or less, not sooner or later. Why won’t the politicians follow the polls when it comes to leaving Iraq? Shailagh Murray: Would you want a department store manager or orthodontist running the Pentagon? I don’t think so. The reason that many politicians are squeamish about hard and fast goals of any kind in Iraq is that there is no simple response or solution — it would have emerged by now. A withdrawal by year’s end carries enormous, very serious implications.
One hopes Murray is able to reclaim some of the tuition paid for that shiny college education. With statements like that is it quite apparent that high school civics was not a prerequisite.