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Monday, November 05, 2007
(10:41 AM) | Stephen:
Bush's Surge: Still Not Working

Perhaps you've noticed that US casualties in Iraq have dropped in recent months, to 38 in October, the lowest month in the last year and a half. And perhaps this news has caused you to wonder - or exult, as it may be - if Bush's idea for a surge of 30,000 troops wasn't such a bad idea after all. Maybe putting 30,000 more troops in a country of over 20 million people that's larger than California can make a huge difference!

Well, not really. This diary at DailyKos spells out the facts, and they are quite sobering:

When someone tells you that the "surge" is working, you must walk them through this chain of events:

On August 7, 2007, near the end of America’s bloodiest summer in Iraq, the New York Times reported the following:

Attacks on American-led forces using a lethal type of roadside bomb said to be supplied by Iran reached a new high in July, according to the American military.

The devices, known as explosively formed penetrators, were used to carry out 99 attacks last month and accounted for a third of the combat deaths suffered by the American-led forces, according to American military officials.

"July was an all-time high," Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the No. 2 commander in Iraq, said in an interview, referring to strikes with such devices.

Such bombs, which fire a semi-molten copper slug that can penetrate the armor on a Humvee and are among the deadliest weapons used against American forces, are used almost exclusively by Shiite militants.

The "Shiite militants" described by the New York Times were, in fact, members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. And, as we all saw this past summer, Muqtada’s fighters were really doing a job on American forces—despite the troop increase which began earlier in the year.

That was on August 7th. And remember, this was during a summer throughout which we were bombarded with news of Iranian/Shia efforts to kill Americans and destabilize the Iraqi government.

Then, barely three weeks after the New York Times article ran, 50 Muslim pilgrims were slaughtered in sectarian fighting in Karbala. In response, Muqtada al-Sadr announced that he had

ordered his militia to suspend offensive operations for six months.

Muqtada al Sadr has been Iraq's kingmaker for the entire occupation, the most powerful man in the country. He has a large, well-trained and well-equipped army, and the decisions to fight him and his soldiers, in terms of utter stupidity, rank right up there with staffing the CPA with Heritage Foundation interns and sending pallets of dollar bills to literally drop over the countryside.

Let me reiterate: this last summer, the most powerful man in Iraq unilaterally declared a cease-fire. With America's most dangerous foes quitting the field, our casualties dropped, as did the number of Iraqi casualties and the level of violence overall.

Of course, the Bush Administration, right-wing pundits and the media members of the cult of the Righteous and Holy General St. Petraeus have all gushed that the improving numbers coming out of Iraq are completely due to the wisdom and foresight of the brilliant tactical team of George Bush and David Petraeus.

At this rate, Bush will soon declare that his new strategy is for American troops to not be so uncomfortably hot while in Iraq. The media will certainly cover this new strategy with optimism and enthusiasm, and will report that, just as Bush said, temperatures are dropping all over Iraq. Right-wingers will celebrate not only the success itself but the way the cooler temperatures are proving the rightness of every conservative talking point. And no politician or journalist will ever bring up the completely irrelevant words "earth's axial tilt."

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