Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Red, White and Blue Surge

“The ‘Surge’ is working.”

It’s the abracadabra mantra of the Bush administration and its adherents. If they say it often enough, they expect we’ll believe them. It’s a tactic that worked well enough for them when they chanted ‘WMDs’ leading up to the war. We can’t blame them for trying. (But we can try them for lying.)

What amazes is the brazen, unabashed arrogance by which they make this specious, perfidious declamation. The most disturbing example of this comes from everybody’s favorite ‘Dick’, the vice-president, Mr Cheney. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Martha Raddatz on ABC’s Good Morning America:

Cheney: “On the security front, I think there’s a general consensus that we’ve made major progress, that the surge has worked. That’s been a major success.”

Raddatz: “Two-third of Americans say it’s not worth fighting.”

Cheney: “So?”

Raddatz: “So? You don’t care what the American people think?”

Cheney: “No. I think you cannot be blown off course by the fluctuations in the public opinion polls.”

Funny, maybe I’m being na├»ve but I’ve been under the impression that the United States of America was a representational democratic republic; ‘of the people by the people for the people’ and all that. Here’s the VP of the nation stating on a national television broadcast that the voice of the people is not something he or the administration needs to heed.

Let’s give ol’ Dick the benefit of the doubt and check what the American people have to say.

According to the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted between March 14 and March 16, 66% of Americans oppose the war in Iraq.

During roughly the same time period, 59% of respondents in a CBS News poll said they felt the US should have stayed out of Iraq and 65% disapproved of Bush’s handling of the situation in Iraq.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll taken between Feb. 28 and March 2, 2008 found that 63% felt the war was not worth fighting.

According to the Pew Research Center survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International Feb. 20-24, 2008, 54% think the U.S. made the wrong decision in using military force against Iraq.

(There may well be polls that found substantial support for the war in Iraq - the student body at Pat Robertson’s Regent University, for instance – but I discovered none.)

Note that these polls were taken after the Bush apparatchiks had been chanting the mantra for months in news reports, press conferences, interviews and the like. Apparently, the majority of the US public polled had not been swayed.

Regardless of the polls, the VP says, “So?”

In a speech given at the Pentagon to mark the fifth anniversary of the illegal US invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq, Dub-ya proclaimed that the US is safer after its invasion of Iraq, adding that the troop 'surge' had succeeded in promoting stability there. "Because we acted the world is better and the United States of America is safer. Because of the troop surge, the level of violence is significantly down. Civilian deaths are down. Sectarian killings are down. Attacks on American forces are down.”

Pardon me, Mr Bush, but are you smoking jimson weed? What bizarro-world are you using as a benchmark if you consider the world and the United States a better, safer place since the invasion? Maybe you should ‘follow your bliss’, don a uniform and stand on the front lines before you spew such nonsense. (ref: this blog, March 17, 2008 ‘Irony #2’) Or how about taking a nice stroll outside the ‘Green Zone’ without a security detachment to discover for yourself how safe the world is for US citizens? Might I suggest Fallujah, Karbala or Tikrit?

Just as detached from reality is Dubya wanna-be, John McCain. Johnny Mac was in London trying on the ‘president’s new clothes’ and sizing up Gordon Brown for a dog collar when he offered his own syntactically fractured version of the party line.”We are now succeeding in Iraq and Americans, at least, I believe, are in significant numbers agreeing that the present strategy of the Surge is succeeding.”

Better check the polls, Mr Candidate.

100 more years. 100 more years.

To be fair, arrogant delusions about this ghastly conflict are not limited to the Neo-cons and Republicans. On the stump in Detroit, Senator Hillary Clinton, outlining her plan to draw down troop levels in Iraq said “… the Iraqi government has to take responsibility for its own future. We have given them the precious gift of freedom and it is up to them to decide whether or not they will use it." (Italics are mine.)

“We have given them the precious gift of freedom…”

Talk about arrogance. One can imagine an Iraqi widow wondering what the return policy is on such a blood-soaked gift.

"When you have at least 200 Iraqis dying every month in attacks on a per capita equivalent ... I don't know how anyone can characterise that as a success.” Hady Amr, a Middle East analyst at the Brookings Institution in Doha, Qatar, told Al Jazeera that the US-led invasion of Iraq was a strategic disaster. Mr Amr said: “The US took a country that had a lot of problems, a totalitarian state, and turned it into a haven for terrorism."

So, by what criteria is the ‘Surge’ working? Granted, the total number of fatal attacks against ‘Coalition Forces’ and sectarian violence is down from the disastrous highs of 2006 and 2007. Much of this reduction of violence, however, is due to the Mehdi Army cease-fire called by Muqtada al-Sadr last August, though that substantial fact is seldom mentioned in the corporate media and only in passing, never fully investigating the implications.

How could any rational individual call a return to the bloody, black days of 2005 ‘progress’? One must assume that the present level of slaughter, mayhem and atrocity is acceptable to the Bushites as long as they breathe deeply and keep chanting.

The ‘Surge’ is working.

The Daily Show video: Iraq , the First Five Years

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