Friday, July 25, 2008

Dissecting "The Surge"

John McCain clings to "the surge" of US troops into Iraq as proof that 1) America is winning in Iraq and 2) that he's the best man to serve as America's next president.

The success line is built on two facts - the US sent an additional 30,000 soldiers to Iraq and violence in that country subsided. It's highly convenient for McCain to claim that one led to the other, convenient but also highly misleading.

There are a number of reasons for the drop in violence in Iraq but there's also an awful lot of wishful thinking thrown in for good measure by those with a personal stake in the surge.

We know that a major cause for the drop in violence in Baghdad has been the conclusion of ethnic cleansing. The Shiites have taken over the city and the Sunni and other minorities have been "cleansed" to their own, ethnic enclaves. The surge did nothing to stop much less reverse the ethnic cleansing of Iraq's main city.

Another major cause for the drop in violence has to be credited to Muqtada al Sadr who has reined in his powerful Shiite militia, the Mahdi army. The good news is that al Sadr has told his forces to lay low. The bad news is that al Sadr has told his forces to lay low. The fuse on that little bomb may have been put out but the guy holding it still has a pocketful of matches.

Then there's the Sunni resistance which has, at the moment, loaded up with American weapons and American cash to fight their fellow Sunnis, the al-Qaeda terrorists. Now that al-Qaeda has decided to refocus its efforts on Pakistan and Afghanistan, the resistance is pushing on something of an open door. The good news is that the Sunni resistance is winning. The bad news is that the Sunni resistance is winning. You see, the resistance has all along said, quite openly, that they've only called a temporary truce in their battle with the Americas and the Shiite militias. That was enough, however, for the US forces to re-arm, re-equip and heavily fund their once and future adversaries.

If the surge had really worked it would have meant somehow defanging the militias and the resistance. The whole political reconciliation business was intended to lay the groundwork for an end to ethnic violence but that hasn't happened.

The spoiler is America itself. The United States wants Iraq to grant it a near-permanent and autonomous military presence in that country. The Pentagon envisions expanding its existing 32-bases to 60 in total. That, kids, is a clear statement that America has no intention of leaving or even limiting its military dominion over Iraq any time soon. There's a reason why the US has built its largest embassy in the world in Baghdad, on a site bigger than the Vatican itself.

This is a demand that neither Sunni nor Shia can accept. America will need one hell of a lot more than a paltry surge if it incites Arab Iraq to unite and rise up against it.

In Iraq, all eyes are on America. With Obama leading McCain in the polls it probably suits the interests of the Sunni resistance and the Shiite militias to lay low for the time being. Why fight if not fighting is the best way to rid the country of foreign forces? There'll be plenty of time for the Sunni and Shiite to hash out their differences once American forces are gone. Those people aren't going anywhere, are they?

But this is an election year and we're talking about an electorate not very good at digesting nuance. Surge works, mmmm goood! It may even be that John McCain truly believes it's working. After all he believes that Iran is training al-Qaeda and that the terrorists are Shiite, not Sunni, and that Iraq shares a border with Pakistan. This guy doesn't know which way is up but, then again, he's only running to be president.


Blues Clair said...

I am quite interested in the supposed success of the surge as well... I find it remarkable that the Republicans think the American public will be hoodwinked (again) into believing that re-electing another Republican adminstration will bring an end to the war in Iraq "with victory and honor and not in defeat".

"There's an old saying in Tennessee... I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee... that says, fool me once, shame on... shame on you. Fool me... you can't get fooled again."
- President Bush


Blues Clair said...

Sorry, the link I was trying for was here...

LeDaro said...

Surge is working my foot. It is not surge but other reasons that violence is down - the reasons you gave MoS and Al-Queda being no more favourite of Sunnis.

As far as Bush is concerned I think the following quote sums up his eight years in offfice:

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." --Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

Oldschool said...

Even Obumma said the surge, that he voted against, worked!!
He even went to Iraq . . . when did you clowns go???
Even Al-Queda is having trouble recruiting . . . wonder why?
Last fire-fight 9 Marines were killed a few weeks back . . . but the MSM failed to mention they killed over 250 (probably Iranian financed) terrorists!!!

LeDaro said...

MSM rarely reports the deaths on the other side because the butchery will become so obvious. You will be doing a favour to us all if you will spread the word of deaths of Afghans and Iraqis - especially women and children.