Category Archives: The Surge sucks
Artwork by the Worried Shrimp
The linkage is here. Some highlights:
Lowering Expectations The president modified his own measurements for political progress, citing Iraqi actions in his speech last night that he didn’t think were good enough a month ago. Bush: Yet Iraq’s national leaders are getting some things done. For example, they have passed a budget. They are sharing oil revenues with the provinces. They are allowing former Ba’athists to rejoin Iraq’s military or receive government pensions.
But Bush very recently used a different standard for measuring progress. In his Aug. 18 radio speech, he cited the passage of laws governing the sharing of oil revenues among Iraq’s provinces and de-Baathification as steps the Iraqi government needed to take in order to show progress. They are both among the benchmarks the U.S. set to measure success Forward March? Bush and others have always said that Iraqi security forces must get up to speed so coalition forces can hand things over to them. There has been progress. But Bush failed to note just how far these forces still have to go. Bush: According to General Petraeus and a panel chaired by retired General Jim Jones, the Iraqi army is becoming more capable, although there is still a great deal of work to be done to improve the national police. The Independent Commission on the Security of Iraq, led by retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, did say in its report dated Sept. 6 that the Iraqi Army is improving. But the Iraqi Security Forces, of which the Army is a major part, “will not be able to progress enough in the near term to secure Iraqi borders against conventional military and external threats,” the report said. And further: Commission Report: The Iraqi Minister of Defense seemed to recognize both the progress the Iraqi Army has made and the remaining challenges when he predicted to Commissioners that the Army would be 60 percent capable of independently protecting Iraq from external threats by 2012 and entirely independent in this regard by 2018.
Ain’t that some amazing facts? I think its bullshittery at its finest my dear reader. There are plenty more at the first Factcheck link.
This spin job sucked..Seriously..it sucked bad. If the 30% that still buy what BushCo is selling think anyone else will buy it..
They are as fucked up as he and his cadre of chickenhawks are.
Read his bullshittery here.
Return on Success..kiss my behind buddy. At least he finally admitted someone else will be cleaning up his shitstorm…its the only truthful thing he said in the whole 17 friggin minutes.
Just a short note to inform folks that have cable or satellite that John Edwards has bought airtime immediately following Bush’s Iraq speech tonight on MSNBC, he will rebut whatever points our Asshat-in-Chief attempts to make. Must see TV folks! I just got this as I laid down after a long and painful drive from SoCal and heard that “yahoo” Tucker Carlson mention it on his show. I swear I wasn’t dreaming, I sat up and heard him say they didn’t know what the text of his speech would be..but its his time! 2 minutes worth..short but…sweet? Here is the link to his website’s blurb on it. I still haven’t given up hope for Edwards..
First, I did love how the Rethugs kept mentioning that simply horrible atrocious ad MoveOn.org ran in the NYT. MoveOn can’t BUY that kind of publicity you nimrods! So, to Representatives Duncan Hunter, Saxon and Ros-Lehtinen a hearty THANK YOU to all of you for continually harping on the MoveOn full page ad!
The show in the House committee started out, General David Petraeus had to state he wrote his own opening remarks..Isn’t that just lovely? He also went on to say that the spin, er…the words were his own and he had not shared them with anyone in the Pentagon, White House or Congress. Boy, that was a huge load off my mind, lemme tell you!
I watched the hearing on MSNBC, which was kind enough to show most the protestors that were being hauled out constantly. It made my heart sing to know that many of our brothers and sisters didn’t give two shakes that the committee chair kept threatening them with the ‘full force’ of the DC law if they didn’t shut the hell up.
As expected Petraeus, in his opening statement, spun the decline in insurgent attacks on American soldiers on the fact that the US military forces are knocking the snot out of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He also had the nads to state there is a decline in Iraqi on Iraqi violence…to the tune of 55%! During questioning later, he was asked about his methodology and evaded that question by stating two different Intel groups support his numbers and how he arrived at them. The wonderful folks at DemocracyArsenal.org spent the day blowing Petraeus’ logic and spin out of the water. Their fact checking on Petraeus’ spin can be found here. I will briefly summarize their work by saying the military and Intel folks use some very strange ways to determine sectarian violence..among them, whether the bullet that killed an Iraqi entered the front or the back of the head. Interestingly enough Petraeus’ numbers don’t even come close to the Iraqi Governments numbers which show a 20% rise in sectarian violence since July of this year. Also the GAO report is way off when compared to Petraeus’ numbers..so I guess it just must be that everyone else in the world is wrong..and General Dave is right..right?
Petraeus had some very colorful charts and graphs made up for his show, most of which were useless if you don’t buy into his bs on how he arrived at his numbers.
Another highlight of the show was when Petraeus stated the US military is NOT arming the Sunni’s. He explained this by saying the US military isn’t directly providing weapons to the Sunni’s. This of course doesn’t match up with various reports which state the US is in fact paying the Sunni tribal leaders $10 per day per man..the money to be used however they see fit..as in buying weapons, vehicles or anything their little hearts desire to spend the money on.
Many of you might be asking, as I did whilst watching the Petraeus show..when will the surge end? Well, General Petraeus did address that…by asking that we put off answering that question for another six months..yes..you read that right..put it off another six months. He did offer an olive branch of sorts by stating he would advise that roughly 5000 troops be brought home by December of this year. See, his NEXT report is due in March of 2008..hence the six month window. Smooth no? By the end of next summer General Dave hopes to have our US troop levels down to ‘pre-surge’ strength of 130,000. Um..yeah…whatever.
Petraeus spent a good amount of his time reliving the history of the Iraq war with the House representatives. I don’t feel I should waste your time my dear reader with this lesson..we are all quite aware of the history of the Iraq occupation..sans the BushCo/Petraeus spin.
Lets move on to the co-star of the show, Ambassador Crocker. His spin…er..testimony was that the benchmarks are not the only way to measure success. Why, your not surprised are you? He then blabbered on about planting seeds.. and did drop in the BushCo spin about leaving too early will cause the deaths of thousands and the suffering of millions of Iraqi’s..guess they aren’t suffering at all now?
Crocker was actually trying to paint a rosy picture of the political climate in Iraq. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows the Iraq Government is so fragmented its sickening. Crocker kept saying there is positive change going on within the Iraq Government, and he said it as vaguely as possible.
He didn’t tell the House Rep’s how or what the positive changes were..when pressed for such information. He would speak in general terms and sometimes it seemed like he was giving a speech he had rehearsed in my humble opinion. Check out this quote from Monday’s House hearing:
“In my judgment, the cumulative trajectory of political, economic and diplomatic developments in Iraq is upwards, although the slope of that line is not steep.”
Can anyone tell me exactly wtf that means??? Anyone?? What was the point of that statement other than to befuddle the House Reps..or to put it another way..Baffle them with bullshit.
When actually pressed for proof that things are working in Iraq..both men pointed with glee to Anbar Province. Anbar has been changing for almost a year now..its nothing new that has taken place since the ‘Surge’ began. Bear in mind that Crocker speaks Arabic fluently. Crocker kept trying to change the rules, by stating the ‘benchmarks’ weren’t the only way to measure progress in Iraq. When a House Rep would demand clarification of how to accurately measure Crocker’s brand of ‘success’ in Iraq, Crocker would than start backpedaling his behind off.
He finally admitted that Iraq will most likely never meet the majority of the 18 benchmarks.
The benchmarks were developed by Congress, not BushCo. This goes to the heart of the problem..Congress attempted to outline important steps that needed to be made by the Iraq Government..simple but vital steps that would build a competent government that could endure. Congress set the bar for success, not BushCo. So when Crocker admitted that most of the benchmarks might never be met, he admitted success as we know it will most likely never come to fruition.
This tells me we might be ‘there’ forever…a scary and horrifying prospect indeed. But a realistic one my dear reader that we as Americans must face and deal with by electing representatives that won’t tolerate this crap. Its up to us, as voters, to change the status quo and vote in representatives that will give us what the majority of Americans have wanted for years now..a timeline for withdrawing from Iraq sooner than later.
Crossposted at The Peace Train
Thank you to the Rethug idiots in the Congressional hearing this morning for informing the world about MoveOn’s full page ad running in the NYT today. They gave them more publicity than MoveOn could ever hope for..lol..nitwits.
Here is the ad on MoveOn’s site. The headline is: General Petraeus or General Betray Us? The sub-header is; Cooking the Books for the White House. Below is part of the supporting documentation MoveOn gives for citing Petraeus as Bush’s lapdog:
General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts. In 2004, just before the election, he said there was “tangible progress“ in Iraq and that “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward.”
Washington Post, “Battling for Iraq,” by David H. Petraeus. 9/26/04 (see below)
And last week Petraeus, the architect of the escalation of troops in Iraq , said ”We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress.”
The Australian, “Surge Working: Top US General,” by Dennis Shanahan. 8/31/07
Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count.
“Time to Take a Stand,” by Paul Krugman. 9/7/07
The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you’re shot in the back of the head — not the front.
“Experts Doubt Drop in Violence in Iraq,” by Karen DeYoung. 9/6/07 l
According to news reports, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there.
The Associated Press, “Violence Appears to Be Shifting from Baghdad.” 8/25/07
National Public Radio, “Statistics the Weapon of Choice in Surge Debate,” by Guy Raz. 9/6/07
Associated Press, “Key Figures About Iraq Since the War Began in 2003.” 9/5/07
Check out the MoveOn site for the rest of the ad..its quite good. You can’t buy the kind of publicity the idiot Rethugs at the hearing gave MoveOn today..three cheers for the nimrods!!!
Ok..General Betray Us is now speaking..gotta go!