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The issue of Iraq will be front and center in the general election, that is, if we ever get to the general election. With Son of Surge, John McCain, as the GOP presidential nominee, we will undoubtedly here how great the surge has been working. The surge which McCain was FOR before anyone else. The same surge which McCain gets angry about in an instant, if it's success is doubted, as he's demonstrated often in Republican debates.
Here's the Pristine General Petraeus, himself. The flawless military strategist, whose testimony last October was scribed into Bible-like Holy Military Books and credited to be divinely inspired,.........is talking again, and this time.....John McCain might not like the words.
(General) Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.
If the surge has worked, as Son of Surge insists, the objective of the surge, "no one" "by any means", Petreaus says, thinks has been accomplished. Bush's political ass-saving ploy entitled "the surge", it's real purpose only a stall tactic to insure American military bases permanency inside of Iraq, has not accomplished it's alleged objective of Iraqi political reconciliation.
But that's all been said before. Here's what I would like to focus on from the Washington Post piece.....
Petraeus said it would increasingly fall to Iraqi security forces and neighborhood patrols funded by the United States to help keep violence down.
That, to me, is quite revealing. Can someone tell me why it is that the U.S. must fund neighborhood patrols? The follow-up question would seem to be: if the U.S. stops funding neighborhood patrols....then what? Could this cash spreading be regarded as an artificial propping up of some American-puppet show?
Though I've mentioned this before.....this may be the first time higher-ups have attributed the reduction in violence to anything other than our fierce and surging American soldiers.
Petraeus credited both the mainly Sunni neighborhood patrols known as the Awakening and a cease-fire called by Shiite cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr with helping to bring down violence. The Awakening fighters include former insurgents who say they have turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq, a largely homegrown Sunni group that Petraeus said is in communication with al-Qaeda leaders abroad. The United States is now paying 88,000 members of the Awakening $300 a month to take part in the neighborhood patrols. Link
$26 million a month (300 X 88,000) buys a lot of security. As long as Americans are willing to spend $26 million per month of their tax dollars, paying Iraqis to be brave (or not kill our guys), then this tactic of surging money may be able to quell some violence, enabling Straight Talkers to continue to angrily state "the surge is working".
America's monthly nut now, over in Iraq, has reached $12 billion. $26 million a month to buy a bit of calm, I realize, is only a drop in the bucket when our country is spending $12 billion a month and getting absolutely nothing from it. However, how much violence would have been quelled if we hadn't started creating full time Blackwater-style independent contractor jobs for those 88,000 Awakening boys? Would the surge of American GI's into Iraq, immediately after the American Congress was taken over by Democrats, "worked" without the wheelbarrows full of cash being spread around each month?
Then there's Al-Sadr. Would surging American troops been able to quell violence for a bit without Al-Sadr's co-operation? If Al-Sadr tires of Bush's political games and changes his mind, how well will that surge be working then, do you suppose? While Son of Surge McCain bloviates on about classic counterinsurgency tactics, while "It's Working" McCain gets angry at anyone who intimates "It Isn't"......the facts suggest without Al-Sadr, without the $26 million per month bribe program.....NOTHING would have changed except the calendar months leading up to Bush's last day in office.
Finally, in this edition of Surge-Watch, we have this from the recently resigned Admiral Fallon....
By last fall, it was clear to (Admiral) Fallon that the key issue was the pace of U.S. withdrawal. If the surge strategy was "conditions-based," and the surge was going well, Fallon wondered, why weren't we pressing the advantage and moving for a faster timetable?
.... he was pushing Petraeus on "whether there is a way to take more of the support force out" on a quicker timetable. Link
Fallon undoubtedly was forced out because of logical comments like these. Whenever a surge of logic and empirical evidence are openly put on display by ANYONE working for Commander Codpiece.....it automatically means the end of their job.
The surge was meant to provide a window of opportunity for a country, fractured by an U.S. act of naked aggression, to come together politically. Americans were led to believe that if violence subsided, more of our troops would be coming home.
That, however, was NEVER the objective of the surge. Forcing Fallon out for even suggesting such a thing, is just more proof that the surge, like almost everything else coming out of this criminal administration,.....was bogus from the beginning.
Bogus or not, candidate McCain still turns red in the face if anyone suggests the surge is not working.