Archive for March 24th, 2008

All Hail “The Surge”???

 One day in January 2007 George Bush woke up and decided that the amount of troops on the ground in Iraq was insufficient to getting the job done.  Despite the 2006 election’s referendum on the war, and the results of the Iraq Study Group, George decided that maybe his generals were right all along, and he’d (just barely) been getting by in Iraq . . . on the cheap, no less.  After all, Rummy, and his influence, were finally history.  So, what harm could it do escalate things some?  But of course he had to avoid using the “e” word.  Tensions escalate.  Hostilities escalate.  And besides, ‘those dang movin’ stairs always scared the bejesus outta me!‘  No, he needed a less intimidating word.  A more positive word.  Waves surge!  Hmmm?  Popularities surge!  A nice mono-syllabic, hard to mis-pronounce word.  ‘Didn’t Coke make a soda-pop named Surge?‘  Yeah, “surge” would work!

So, now the idea was to take this extra man power (20,000 strong) and shore up those neighborhoods in Baghdad, and most of Al Anbar province, that were experiencing the most sectarian violence.  (You know . . . the kind of violence that Saddam Hussein was able to keep in check.)  Taking an additional fifth of our prior existing military presense, and concentrating them on a few specific areas had to have – mathmatically speaking – a good shot at a some kind of positive outcome.  Right?  And to some extent, it did, I suppose.  It didn’t happen overnight.  And, it didn’t happen without help.  Our media didn’t really mention it at the time, but Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army decided to lay low between February and August 2007.  And then on August 29, 2007 al Sadr formally declared a 6 month cease fire.  This probably had just as much to do with any downturn in violence, in these areas, as our surge did.  Most of us at home were unaware of this cease fire until just before it was set to expire.  Bush and Co. were sweatting bullets, worrying that their supposed surge gains would disappear if al Sadr did not renew the cease fire.  Fortunately, he did decide to renew it for another 6 month period, on or about February 22, 2008.  (I wonder what he was promised?)

But, did the violence actually decrease in Iraq?  For the year 2007 the US suffered 901 fatalities.  That was our largest single year loss of life since we launched our invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Nearly 80 more than 2006, and 52 more deaths than 2004 – the previous most deadly year of the war.  So far this year (2 and ¾ months) we seem to be doing a little better in the fatality department, but 2004 started with similar low numbers.  And, what about Iraqi fatalities?  In 2007 they had a decrease in deaths by gunfire and executions, but an increase in deaths from vehicle and suicide bombings.  A decrease in deaths in the areas of “the surge” troops, but an increase in other areas of Iraq.  (A phenomenon known as whack-a-mole.)  I haven’t seen any definitive numbers for 2008 so far, but judging from the headlines of the last few weeks I’m not seeing anything close to a significant decrease in Iraqi fatalities.  So, how is it that this administration – and their corporate mouthpieces – can make the assertion that “the surge” is working?  I hear that oil production is up!  Wow!  Maybe we should all be feeling a surge of satisfaction?  Yeah, right!

We now stand at 4000 US service deaths in Iraq.

Your Uncle Rave

Cryptoquote Spoiler

“His words, like so many nimble and airy servitors, trip about him at command.”   —   John Milton

Jumble Spoiler


Clue/Question: Why the young ball player didn’t have a steady girlfriend.

Answer: He PLAYED the “FIELD

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,895 other followers

Bookmark UncleRave's Weblog
March 2008

Blog Stats

  • 6,741,625 hits

Recent Comments

unclerave on Cryptoquote Solved –…
hal+odom+jr on Cryptoquote Solved –…
unclerave on Jumble Solved – 08/…
unclerave on Jumble Solved – 08/…
unclerave on Jumble Solved – 08/…

Member of The Internet Defense League