Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Bloom is off the Surge

A new U.S. public opinion survey shows a deepening pessimism over the situation in Iraq. I believe this is noteworthy because opinion polls from two months ago showed a significant uptick in optimism over the occupation efforts. That was because the much-ballyhooed Surge + PR campaign made some people think that things were changing for the better in Iraq. Gotcha! Again!

I wonder how many times folks will be fooled again on Iraq. After the first round of elections, then the second, things would get better. Once we offed the dead-enders, things would get better. After the insurgents would finally realize their tactics wouldn't work over the long term, and (my favorite) the situation will really turn around in the next six months.

Its been a steady spiral downwards, with a couple of dead-cat bounces along the way. I believe a major reason why there is such pessimism over Iraq is the gap between the obvious realities in Iraq just don't jive with what BushCo, the NeoCons, Fox News and Pentagon are saying. We are all used to the lies from public officials; its rarer to have those lies be so obviously and outrageously exposed on a weekly and even daily basis.

This brings us to the key September report from Pope, er, General Petraeus. A lot of lefties in the blogosphere see hand-writing in the wall where the Good General reports progress, the conventional wisdom says give us another Freidman, and the cycle of insanity continues. Its a very plausible scenario.

I'm not buying into that - at least not yet. A sunny speech from General Petraeus won't mean anything without some huge initiative on our part or from the Iraqis themselves. I don't see that happening. The Iraqi government is in full-on disarray. I see dissolution of the government as far more likely than any meaningful reconciliation.

On the US front, the Reeps are slowly realizing they could go the way of the Whigs if the status quo continues. The Dems are craven and cowardly for sure, but the Reeps are most certainly walking the plank. There's also another surge, though this time without the PR campaign, going on right now that is stretching the troops even more.

This new surge won't matter, either. The policy has completely failed. The end is near to the status quo; a presidential election is coming up. Change is in the air and enough sensually-challenged Reeps smell it.

Oh yes, some will accuse of wanting the US to lose, that we hate America, and all that. We you know what? Those idiots can take a flying fuck to the moon. These villians don't even need to be responded to in any meaningful way, other than to be slapped in the face. They are thoroughly corrupted and evil. Not standing up to them means more will die, more children suffer. The NeoCons and the liars are on the run. The folly of Iraq should keep them on their heels for a generation - once this has reached its bitter conclusion. Its a bitter-sweet conclusion - the death of NeoConjobism.

Back to the near-term, I believe that when September comes, the US will begin the exit in earnest. That's no reason for optimism as 500 troops will probably die between now end then. That's just the reality of the situation - it won't be politically expedient to get our young soldiers out of harm's way before then.

(For anyone interested, I've made a number of references without citations - too little time for that right now. Drop a comment on any comment and I will gladly provide a reference in a day or so.)


Mentarch said...

Well, the MSM as usual does not help much here and in facts contributes in the overall confusion - Greenwald dissects the NYT's propaganda/disinformation dissemination concerning troop reductions in half by next year.

Meanwhile, what could be the actual truth managed to slip out somehow: troops are being quietly increased for a second surge ...

TomCat said...

True. As troops and brought in, other troops are being extended to increase the overall total even more.

Suzie-Q said...

That's no reason for optimism as 500 troops will probably die between now end then. That's just the reality of the situation - it won't be politically expedient to get our young soldiers out of harm's way before then.
It's a sad situation!

LET'S TALK said...

September is a long time for men caught in a civil war... we know that Bush will have a reason to try an extend our troops stay in Iraq.

The Democrats realize that they have no other choice but to cut the funds if things are still the same or worse.

CHUQ said...

Watch the Dems, they have proven time and time again they are spineless. They will act just enough for the elections and then we will be back to business as usual. this is one prediction I would very much like to be wrong on, but we will see.

Larry said...

The unpleasant truth is that Bush’s failed policies in both Iraq and Afghanistan have made the world a far more dangerous place. Our friends in the Middle East, including most prominently Israel, have been placed in greater danger because of the policy blunders and sheer incompetence with which the civilian Pentagon officials have conducted this war.

We as Americans should have “known then what we know now”- not only about the invasion of Iraq but also about the climate crisis; what would happen if the levees failed to protect New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina; and about many other fateful choices that have been made on the basis of flawed, and even outright false, information. We could and should have known, because the information was readily available. We should have known years ago about the potential for a global HIV/Aids pandemic. But the larger explanation for this crisis in American decision-making is that reason itself is playing a diminished, less respected, role in our national conversation.

Al Gore is a former US vice-president; this is an edited extract from his new book, The Assault on Reason, published this week by Bloomsbury.

© 2007 Al Gore

True words from a man who should be President.