Bush's Newest Lie- "The Surge is Working"

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by Gavik, Sep 8, 2007.

  1. Gavik

    Gavik Registered Member

    On the outside, the surge looks like the best thing to happen to Bush since god told him to kill all the people with funny lookin towels on their heads. But if anyone took a closer look, they'd find that things are still spiraling out of control.

    First off, Bush claims Sectarian violence is down because they've stopped counting car bombs, same sect killings (sunni vs sunni, shi'ite vs shi'ite etc) and gunshots to the front of the head as "Sectarian violence."

    Secondly, the deal that Bush made with the devil to secure Anbar was already in the works 18 months ago. His plan? Arm and support the local Sunni militias, the same ones that were previously designated as enemy combatants and responsible for killing Americans, in the hopes that they'll keep their killing on the down low. The Prime Minister opposes this plan, American experts oppose this plan and anyone with half a brain should too, since the threat these militias pose/will pose to the Baghdad government (the one that we should be supporting) is tremendous.

    Another thing that's curved the violence is the lose of Al-Qaeda's influence. The only reason they were tolerated in the first place is because they were anti-American, and the insurgents needed all the help they could get. But now even the militias are getting tired of their civilians bombings because they no longer need Al-Qaeda and view their bombings as resource draining.

    Did the troops help at all? Yes, but violence spiked in other areas, and the success of the surge is increadibly inflated so that when the violence spikes as next democratic president pulls the plug on this insane operation and stops lying about the real numbers on the ground, Bush can easily throw the blame on them and wash his hands of this mess.
     

  2. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    Source?


    I get the feeling that if that were true, there'd be 0 sectarian killings. Interestingly, just two days ago there was a piece in the New York Times which pointed to a reduction in the numbers of "car bombs, suicide attacks, civilian casualties and other measures of the bloodshed in Iraq." It also said that "both the American and the Iraqi reports note a roughly 50 percent drop in the number of civilians who have been killed since the end of 2006," and there were similar quotes from British and American NGO's. In other words, everyone seems to agree that sectarian violence, and violence in general, are down in Iraq because of the surge.


    In other words, he's finally listening to the right people. Talabani tried to reach out to Sunni militias (over US opposition) when he became President in April, 2005. Had we agreed to that back then, the insurgency might well be less virulent than it is today. Sunni groups afraid of oppression at the hands of the Shia-dominated government could have been given political concessions in return for joining the government, and the Islamist insurgents divided from the political insurgents, as we've finally begun to do three years too late.


    Maliki appointed Bayan Jabr, who ran the Shia death squads in 2005 and 2006 out of his Interior Ministry, as his Finance Minister when he took office.


    Wait, I thought you just said there hadn't been a reduction in violence? And isn't it a good thing that al-Qaida fighters are no longer welcomed by the Sunni population?


    Which areas?


    I get the feeling that Bush's retirement is going to be nearly as quiet as was Nixon's for the forseeable future after he leaves office. The Republican Party will certainly do whatever it can to keep him on the ranch in Crawford as much as possible.
     
  3. pro2A

    pro2A Hell, It's about time!

    What is it with you leftists looking for a way to loose? No matter what progress is made you can be rest assured that some commie pinko liberal will be there fouling the place up with some negativity about “HOW WE’RE LOOSING”

    Who’s side are you on anyway Gavik? Do you want us to win or them to win? There is no third option. We pull out we lose… its black and white man.


     
  4. Gavik

    Gavik Registered Member

    If you're getting that feeling, then you and your gut might want to sit down and have a talk.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14210132

    http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/004069.php

    Are we on two different planets here? Peace negotiations are good. Talking to your enemy about reducing tentions and violence on mutual terms is good, but arming your enemy that once fought against and killed your troops in order to calm them down? That's insane.

    Atrocious and true, but that doesn't counter what I said.

     
  5. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    Oh, come on. You've heard the spin - that the sunnis are "finally" starting to stand together against "al-Quida". Which means that the sunni groups you're sponsoring are now blessed to kill whoever they wish in the name of freedom.

    They've been doing the same with "refugees" around the Anbar- province going over the border to Iran for about a year and a half now.

    And yes, the number of people who die, and yet are not counted in some way, is huge. This is for logistical reasons - some people are buried before they're counted. Others are vanished. And yet others just disappear. With a refugee- problem like Iraq has now, this is simply unavoidable. It happens in every such conflict, and we can only guess at just how many people just "disappear". Second, it's because if you return bodies to a morgue, you will mark yourself as a target. Hence, people bury their own in secret. Then it is for lack of manpower on the hospitals.

    So at the face of it, what we're getting reported is - at best - those caught up in the crossfire who somehow ends up at a hospital for treatment, and then a morgue. And those deliberately killed somewhere in a city where getting rid of the bodies isn't that easy, and where noone comes back to collect the bodies before one of the ambulances turn up.

    And this part of the deaths, the Pentagon still wants to "trim" in order to better reflect the actual level of violence? Good one. And the GAO is being unfair when suggesting that the numbers they /do/ have - doesn't really change unless you fiddle around with the classifications of what a "killing" is?

    Tell me - how is this even possible to get away with? Really, I defy you to prove that any single person in the world really doesn't understand what's going on here. (Bush excepted)
     
  6. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    The guy who wrote that doesn't seem to know how to read a chart. First of all, number of attacks and number of casualties are two entirely different things, and the GAO's numbers don't seem to contradict the decline of civilian casualties reported by just about everyone who measures them. Secondly, the chart doesn't include data from August, meaning that it has data for only one month since the US has had the full number of troops in place (which, incidentally, showed a ~15% drop in the number of attacks).


    Then perhaps we'd better start asking Japan to return all of its Arleigh Burke class Coast Guard vessels. Look, if Sunni militias are willing to fight Islamist militias, that's a good thing, and should be encouraged. Those who fear repression at the hands of the Shiites aren't our true enemies in Iraq. Sure there's risk involved in arming such militias, but if it helps eliminate the portion of the insurgency which will never agree to work with the central government then it's probably worth it.


    It certainly counters the assumption that Maliki's actions are aimed at uniting Iraq, and if that's not the case then his opposition to the plan doesn't necessarily mean much.


    First you said there'd been no reduction in violence, then you said there had been, and it was attributable to the Sunnis' rejection of al-Qaida. Which is it?


    Areas where the surge wasn't in effect weren't plagued by sectarian violence. To point out two in particular, the rise in violence in Basra corresponded with the withdrawal of British forces, sort of an anti-surge. Secondly, the violence there was between two Shia militias, and thus isn't of the sort that is likely to continue to prevent reconciliation. The other area with a rise was in the Kurdish region, but that was largely based on the one single attack on the Yazidi's, and is thus a statistical anomaly rather than an indicator of a new trend.


    That would be an indication that the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq failed, not that the surge has failed. The purpose of the surge was to halt and reverse the trend of rising sectarian violence in Iraq so that the government would have room to achieve a political compromise. That's exactly what it's done to this point. Sectarian violence, and violence overall, have been reduced, especially in areas like Baghdad and Anbar where it was once the worst.

    By the way, do you have a source yet for your claim that Bush thinks "god told him to kill all the people with funny lookin towels on their heads," or was that just an extra bit of your if-Bush-says-the-sky-is-blue-then-it-must-be-green-no-matter-what-my-own-eyes-are-telling-me philosophy?


    Ignoring for the moment the complete lack of foundation for that accusation, what does it have to do with the Pentagon supposedly claiming that 99% of deaths no longer count as sectarian killing?


    And how would this be any different than before the surge? The numbers of unreported deaths should be a constant factor, making it very unlikely that it has anything to do with the recent drop in the numbers of reported deaths.


    If the GAO is the only one saying there hasn't been a drop in violence as a result of the surge (and the Pentagon, Iraqi government, and US and British NGO's all say there has been), then yes, I am going to question their interpretation. Unless, of course, I were just looking for a reason to think that Bush must be wrong no matter what, even if he's adopting the policies many of his critics were clammoring for years ago.
     
  7. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    Because that's the reason some genius started to revise what counts as "sectarian killings". They're hard- working clever people working in the state- department, and they just don't lie outright. What they do is present their continually newfound wisdom about "reality" as fact. And so you have this kind of thing: shots through the front of the head doesn't count as "sectarian killing", and sunni killing sunni, and shia killing shia, somehow doesn't count in the statistics to justify the surge.

    Nevermind the lowest point of violence was before the surge started, of course.
    I guess you can assume it's constant, but it would be very difficult to predict. And no, it's not different than before the surge. It's just still there, and therefore suggesting that these numbers currently available somehow reflect the actual violence is absurd. That's the point.

    I'll tell you why the GAO's numbers are important. It's not because they're a non- political office that makes up numbers on situations after requests from both parties. It's because it's the same numbers the Pentagon is using. It's where their numbers come from. Except they use different definitions for what "violence" means.
     
  8. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    The fact that secular Sunni militias are now fighting against Islamist militias is a reason to manipulate the data how?


    The sectarian violence in Iraq is the fighting between Sunnis and Shiites. Therefore, intra-sect killings don't, and shouldn't, enter into statistics on sectarian violence.


    If you're looking to compare the violence before the surge began to current levels, then an unknown constant is irrelevant., for the simple reason that it's a constant. If y=mx+c, it doesn't matter what the value of c is, y is still changing at a rate of m.


    As I said before, the GAO's chart apparently describes the number of attacks, not the number of civilian casualties, shows data for only one month where the surge was fully in place (during which the number of attacks dropped), does not show data from the most recent month, and contradict the conclusions and numbers of every other group monitoring Iraq, including those which don't support Bush or the war. Even the candidates for the Democratic nomination, who's every words right now are aimed at a group of people who said the war was lost the first time our tanks stopped for gas on the way to Baghdad, agree that the surge has met its military goals and reduced violence.
     
  9. fleinn

    fleinn 101010

    No, not a reason to manipulate data. It's a way to suggest that violence is down, even though killings continue at the same rate.
    Really. It's that simple, yes?
    No, look. The numbers come from the military. They are jotting down casualties and collected bodies, in a limited fashion. That's the numbers the GAO is using, and that's the numbers the Pentagon is using. Whether some insane shill on the left or right proclaims that "serious people" agree that "the surge is working" is completely irrelevant.
     
  10. CMK_Eagle

    CMK_Eagle Registered Member

    The numbers which I've seen from the GAO (the ones Gavik linked in this thread) are not caualty figures, they're a record of the number of attacks. Furthermore, the US military is not the only entity keeping track of the number of civilians killed in Iraq. The Iraqi government has its own count, as do many media outlets. Every one of them shows a decrease in civilian casualties since the beginning of the surge. The Brookings Institution shows a drop from 4,000 to 2,800 deaths per month over the surge, and a drop from 58 to 28 bomb attacks (link). USA Today reported a drop in bombings from 130 to 70 and a quadrupling of tips received from Iraqis to 23,000 per month.

    The bottom line is that casualties have dropped during the surge, and have dropped the most significantly during the time when it was in full effect. I know it's inconvenient for those who will predict failure for any strategy adopted by Bush, and won't stop looking until they can find evidence afterwards that it maybe did sorta fail, but perhaps you can take solace in the fact that the security gains made in the surge won't matter much if Iraqi politicians continue to fail to achieve political reconciliation.
     

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