Sunday, July 1, 2007

IRAQ: The Surge Is Working?

Tom Friedman of Friedman Unit fame (the next six months are crucial) in an NYT editorial, seems to have finally concluded that George W. Bush's "surge", otherwise known as Operation Last Chance, is failing:

It’s too early to pronounce the U.S. military’s surge in Iraq a failure. It’s not too early to say, though, that there’s no sign that it’s succeeding — that it’s making Iraqi politics or security better in any appreciable, self-sustaining way. At best, the surge is keeping Iraq from descending into full-scale civil war. At best we are dog paddling in the Tigris. Which means at least we should start to think about what happens if we have to get out of the water.

The first choice for many Shiites is a pro-Iranian, Shiite-dominated religious Iraq, where Sunnis have little say and little power. . . . In short, our first-choice soldiers are dying for Iraqis’ second choice. That is wrong, terribly wrong. It has to stop.
Friedman is probably right from the point of view of most reasonable people, but (and it's a big but) the "surge" may actually be a roaring success, and only failing depending on who you ask.

I'll explain why on the flip. Be warned though, it's not good news.

On April 08, 2007:
[Iraqi cleric] Muqtada al-Sadr urged the Iraqi army and police to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerrilla fighters to concentrate on pushing American forces out of the country, according to a statement issued Sunday. The statement, stamped with al-Sadr's official seal, was distributed in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Sunday -- a day before a large demonstration there, called for by al-Sadr, to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad. "You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don't walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy," the statement said.
Up till April this year al-Sadr had been telling his people to restrain from open battle with US Troops.

On Sunday June 03 the NYT reported that:
Three months after the start of the Baghdad security plan that has added thousands of American and Iraqi troops to the capital, they control fewer than one-third of the city's neighborhoods, far short of the initial goal for the operation, according to some commanders and an internal military assessment.
On Monday June 04 The Herald reported that:
The toll from the booby-trap devices rose from 35% of all American fatalities in January to 80% last month, despite an outlay of more than £2.5bn on countermeasures since 2003.
A total of 127 died in May, the third worst total for US forces since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The previous most lethal months were April and November, 2004, when 135 and 137 soldiers died in large-scale offensives in Falluja.
On Friday June 29 AP reported that:
Baghdad - A huge bomb explosion followed by a hail of gunfire and grenades killed five U.S. soldiers, the military said Friday. The attack climaxed the deadliest three-month period for the Americans since the war began.The toll for the past three months - 329 - made it the deadliest quarter for U.S. troops in Iraq since the March 2003 invasion. That surpasses the 316 soldiers killed during November 2004 to January 2005.
Iraqis will never quit. Iraqis want exactly what most Americans want... they want their own country - without a foreign occupying army. They don't want 'help' from US Troops - they want them gone, or dead.

They also want the Iraq puppet government gone, or dead:
"More than half the MPs, ministers and senior officials are on vacation, sick leave or on official assignment abroad (at any given time)," a government official told IPS on condition of anonymity. "It is common practice now that they spend more time abroad than in their offices. The main reason is their fear of being targeted inside the country "... Over the past year, an increasing number of Iraqis have begun to see the Iraqi government as no more than pawns of the United States...
It's all over but the denial.

In the bizarro logic used to continue the debacle in Iraq arming the people you've been killing for years and invaded the place to oust from power makes perfect sense.

It gives them the weaponry needed to kill American soldiers in Iraq, thus proving beyond all doubt that the place is riddled with terrorists and justifying sending more American troops in...

In other countries it's called treason, and war crimes.