"if it's good news, it must be someone else's"

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

370. the confusion surge is in full swing

as goes the military surge in iraq, so goes the confusion surge.
i understood the surge in troop levels was to provide the floundering iraqi political parties, all fifty of them, a more stable environment in which to reconcile their problems of the past four thousand years.
made sense.
worth a try.
now we are told that the surge has has been working in anbar province.
seems to be, anyway.
yes, progress!
we have also learned that little has been accomplished on the political front in the wake of a new, safer iraq.
boo, no progress!
but from the depths of political failure—surprise—the president is once more teasing us with a vague reference to drawing down the troops from the position of success that the surge is soon to provide.
that success has been redefined, i'm thinking about nine days ago, and no longer has to do with national political reconciliation.
it has to do with a bunch of sunni tribesmen, clans if you will, fighting along side our troops against al qaeda.
this is being touted as political change at the local, tribal level. ("tribal", i love that word, sounds like the same kind of nice folk with whom the pilgrims worked so effectively.)

the truth is, the remote sunni tribes have determined this month that al qaeda is at the top of their hate list, followed closely by shiites, and then american occupiers.
meanwhile, the fragile iraqi government remains a house of cards.

well, it appears the real game played was to surge with 20,000 troops, and in the event political progress did not result, find security progress somewhere, claim success somehow, then offer to bring some portion of those surge troops home under the guise of victory, and limp into the presidential elections proclaiming whatever it is they’ll proclaim.
the cost will have been a few hundred american and a few thousand iraqi lives.
small potatoes, for the chance to retain political power.

yet, at the end of the day, nothing will have changed, nothing will have been accomplished.
nothing! nothing! nothing!

and in this mother of all campaign years, there will be little attempt by either party to stop the nothingness, as they try to read a confused and frustrated public.

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