Sunday, July 27, 2008

To Surge or Not to Surge





Sunni Arab politicians ended a yearlong boycott of the Iraqi Parliament. This is a major breakthrough for reconciliation in Iraq. Despite the huge significance of this event, it occurred with little notice.

The boycott was a reaction of the Sunnis to the sentiment of their leadership that the government was not addressing the violence of Shiite militias. A solution was implemented when the Iraqi government launched a military operation against the Shiite Mahdi Army in the wake of the vast military successes of the U.S. Troop Surge. While the government offensive met with some initial setbacks in the city of Basra, the operation ultimately turned out to be a decisive victory.

So despite the findings of the Iraq Study Group (ISG), military operations like the Surge and recent operations against the Mahdi Army have led to serious political gains in addition to security. A report by the ISG that was released in December of 2006 stated the following, which was widely accepted as conventional wisdom at the time:

“Sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the fundamental cause of violence in Iraq, which is the absence of national reconciliation.”

Back in January of 2007 current presidential candidate Barack Obama went even farther than the report and insisted that sending additional troops to Iraq would actually increase sectarian violence. Obama refused to acknowledge the Surge’s success, even as the evidence was piling up. Powerline has an excellent post that tracks the history of Obama’s stubborn adherence to his disinformation agenda:

Obama said, on January 10, 2007, on MSNBC:

“I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.”

On January 14, 2007, on Face the Nation, he said:

“We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war. And until we acknowledge that reality - we can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops, I don’t know any expert on the region or any military officer that I’ve spoken to privately that believes that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.”

(What kind of experts was he talking to?)

On March 19, 2007, on the Larry King show, he said:

“[E]ven those who are supporting - but here’s the thing, Larry - even those who support the escalation have acknowledged that 20,000, 30,000, even 40,000 more troops placed temporarily in places like Baghdad are not going to make a long-term difference.”

On May 25, 2007, in a speech to the Coalition Of Black Trade Unionists Convention, Obama said:

“And what I know is that what our troops deserve is not just rhetoric, they deserve a new plan. Governor Romney and Senator McCain clearly believe that the course that we’re on in Iraq is working, I do not.”

On July 18, 2007, on the Today show, he said:

“My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now.”

On November 11, 2007, two months after General David Petraeus told Congress that the surge was working, Obama doubled down, saying that the administration’s new strategy was making the situation in Iraq worse:

“Finally, in 2006-2007, we started to see that, even after an election, George Bush continued to want to pursue a course that didn’t withdraw troops from Iraq but actually doubled them and initiated a surge and at that stage I said very clearly, not only have we not seen improvements, but we’re actually worsening, potentially, a situation there.”

…If we had listened to Barack Obama, all U.S. combat forces would have left Iraq in a phased withdrawal that would have began on May 1, 2007. So the Surge would have been crippled before it fully got off the ground on June 15, 2007.

When Obama introduced a failed piece of legislation entitled, “The Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007”, his office had already declared the Surge a failure before it even began.

“The Obama plan offers a responsible yet effective alternative to the President’s failed policy of escalation.”

It brings to mind the ear screeching protests of the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, who stated; “I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week.” Reid’s premature declaration came almost two months before Surge operations would fully get under way.

A vital component in any decision making process is to compute your findings based on reliable data. By declaring the Surge a failure before it officially began, Harry Reid and Barack Obama showed an eagerness to rush to a hasty judgment based on either on a critical lack of analytical skills or political expediency.

While we should give them some benefit of the doubt that they could be honest morons instead of deceitful politicians, I just can’t see these people reaching such high places without the ability to think analytically on such a basic level. The facts reveal that it is much more likely that they just view the Iraq conflict through the narrow prism of political gain.

How can we believe someone who lies so effortlessly as Barack Obama does? Take a look at the quotes from Powerline above. There is a long paper trail that documents Obama’s continual claims that the Surge would fail to reduce violence and actually make it worse. Then read his more recent statement from January of 2008 in which Obama whitewashed his previous stance;

“Now, I had no doubt, and I said at the time, when I opposed the surge, that given how wonderfully our troops perform, if we place 30,000 more troops in there, then we would see an improvement in the security situation and we would see a reduction in the violence.”

Obama’s aborted visit to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany during his world campaign tour sheds a lot of light on the subject. When the Pentagon told Obama that he couldn’t bring his campaign staff with him while visiting the medical center, he just bowed out. Obama was only interested in using this visit as a campaign event although the Defense Department has a directive prohibiting “the use of military installations for campaign events or speeches”. What a typical politician.

Lets not forget the Democratic Party’s rough treatment of our greatest general, David Petraeus. In the circus surrounding his testimony to Congress on the progress of the Surge in September 2007, the Democratic Party issued a storm of disinformation:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated the following about General Petraeus;

“He has made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual. I have every belief that this good man will give us what he feels is the right thing to do in his report, but it’s not his report anymore. It’s Bush’s report.”

Senator Dick Durbin declared;

“By carefully manipulating the statistics, the Bush-Petraeus report will try to persuade us that violence in Iraq is decreasing and thus the surge is working. Even if the figures were right, the conclusion is wrong.”

Representative Rahm Emanuel, claimed;

“Instead of a new strategy for Iraq, the Bush administration is cherry-picking the data to support their political objectives and preparing a report that will offer another defense of the president’s strategy. We don’t need a report that wins the Nobel Prize for creative statistics or the Pulitzer for fiction.”

Representative Robert Wexler grilled General Petraeus during his testimony;

“In your testimony today, you claim that the surge is working and that you need more time. With all due respect, General, among unbiased, nonpartisan experts, the consensus is stark. The surge has failed, based on most parameters… Cherry-picking statistics or selectively massaging information will not change the basic truth.”

Then there was Senator Hillary Clinton’s classic accusation against General Petraeus;

“Despite what I view as your rather extraordinary efforts in your testimony both yesterday and today, I think that the reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief.

In any of the metrics that have been referenced in your many hours of testimony, any fair reading of the advantages and disadvantages accruing post-surge, in my view, end up on the downside.”


The Democratic Party has done everything it can to force a retreat and it failed. Instead of relying on defeatism, we implemented a military solution that made the difference when our intellectual elite said it wasn’t possible.



Eli Pariser, a spokesman for MoveOn.org, defended their anti-Petraeus debacle: “We stand by our ad — every major independent study and many major news organizations cast serious doubt on Petraeus’ claims”.

27 comments:

FJ said...

Thanks for posting this, FN. I was looking for some of this data earlier today to use in an argument. Now I know where to get it. ;-)

WomanHonorThyself said...

hey there my friend!..The Democratic Party has done everything it can to force a retreat and it failed. Instead of relying on defeatism, we implemented a military solution that made the difference when our intellectual elite said it wasn’t possible.
and thats what keeps them awake at night..our obvious, irrefutable successes!

Freedomnow said...

Hi Angel,

The Democratic Party can only hope that this issue fades away as quietly as possible.

FJ,

If you want more data on the Iraq War then head over to the Back Talk blog. Engram has been publishing statistics on the Surge since it was controversial to say that the violence was decreasing:

http://engram-backtalk.blogspot.com/

Z said...

I didn't realize you'd written the excellent piece at It's Curtains! Thanks for such great information, terrific thinking...You don't write often, but WHEN YOU DOOOOO........!!

The problem with our media is stats don't matter..Obama speaks and they make him look right and everybody BELIEVES! "Say HALLELUJIAH!" (help!)

When facts don't matter, we're living in quite a strange world.

Freedomnow said...

Ah Haaaa...

Good to see you visiting both sites Z.

Let's roll!!!!!!!!!

Z said...

Thanks! Good to be here.
But, we are NOT ROLLING, FERN! NOT AT ALL! We're whining and typing and blogging to like-minded folks!

HELP!

Freedomnow said...

Thats not a problem Z!!!

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... Cindy Sheehan says to our country;

“Good-bye America ... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it.”

Of course a little over two months later after declaring her retirement from activism she announced her candidacy for Congress, but that’s not the point.

Unlike Cindy Sheehan, no one has to impatiently demand that our country must adopt his or her agenda before he or she loves it.

The tolerance that we have shown for dissent during wartime is unprecedented in human history. Our Democracy is healthy.

You can rest assured that Al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Iraqi Baathists will be defeated. Totalitarianism is an outdated means of control and its extinction is in process. The myth of the invincibility of insurgencies is being destroyed on the battlefields of Iraq.

Even what we believe to be bad is actually not what it seems. Why do you think that Latin American Leftists and Asian Communists are compromising with the Democratic process and Capitalism? Our enemies believe that they have found our weakness, but what they are finding is that they are adopting our ideals and will ultimately lose their ideology of hatred and totalitarianism. It may take time, but it is happening on a scale that our mortal existence has difficulty measuring. We can be so impatient.

So don’t listen to people like Cindy Sheehan and Michelle Obama who only see salvation for our country in their own arrogant glory.

But there is no need to search far and wide for heroes to counter such foolishness. We don’t need a Ronald Reagan or Abe Lincoln to solve our problems. In a population with over 300 million people there are millions of Americans with the dignity and courage to get the job done and they quietly do their part day after day. Whether it’s in a humvee in Iraq or in your own home… we need to appreciate them.

I am a citizen of the world, but there’s no way I will let any activist or typical politician sell our country short. We are American and we are great!!!!!!!!!!

berty said...

Amen! Now go ye forth and spread the word... ;-)

FJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FJ said...

Are you helping nanc to re-hang the curtains, FN?

Wazzup w/that?

Freedomnow said...

Farmer,

I'm not sure what you are talkin' about. Whatever it is... I'm innocent, I swear!

Freedomnow said...

Ahhhh... now I see what you are talking about...

She made her blog private.

Nope, I had nothing to do with it!!!

FJ said...

Somebody needs to have a talk w/that girl...

...and it ain't gonna be me (runs away).

Huge-O Chavez said...

You are such a chicken, fj!

Rex Zeitgeist said...

Why is the 'curtains now' blog closed Nacnc? Jackass?

He's nothing...don't worry about him,.

Freedomnow said...

Nanc really did it this time!

She's gotta lot of explaining to do.

This refugee problem is gonna get the U.N. involved... and when the U.N. comes knocking you can be sure that there will be lots of tough letter writing involved. It could get ugly.

nanc said...

rex - isn't your pwz blog private? now mine is also! i just love having that option. just one more great reason to be the nancster.

Freedomnow said...

What is this? Has the mighty Nanc fallen so low that FJ could possibly get away with his cowardly attacks.

Today the world turned upside down (no offense to our Aussie brothers and sisters).

FJ said...

Now you know how Cornwallis felt at Yorktown, FN...

Freedomnow said...

Support for those traitorous rebels is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

You colonists were no more entitled to representation than those Iraqis who were soooo happy under Saddam Hussein's benevolent rule.

FJ said...

So, FN, just who is Khalid al-Mansour and just what role did he have in bringing Barack Obama into politics? Why did he have Percy Sutton write a letter to get Obama into Harvard Law? Barack was a "nothing" Columbia student who to that point in his academic life, and suddenly he becomes a magna cum laude Harvard grad?

It's not making sense, FN.

Freedomnow said...

Yeah, Obama was nurtured by some unsavory characters.

His self-loathing anti-American friends keep jumping out of the woodwork. The more time goes by, the more trash will keep piling up.

Its interesting that Obama claimed that he financed his Harvard education through student loans, but it turns out that al-Mansour was laying down at least part of it. Why would Obama hide something like that? And what was al-Mansour's interest in the kid?

Just look at the last two Democratic Party frontrunners for president… John Kerry and Barack Obama.

There are some real sickos running that party into the ground. They haven’t been this bad since the Copperheads during the Civil War…

FJ said...

Every time you refer to Copperheads, a shudder goes down my spine. But better a showdown now, while we still have some strength, then later.

Freedomnow said...

Dont sweat it. The Copperheads lost the Civil War and they will lose the Iraq War.

(I'm not necessarily saying that they take our enemies' side, just that they haven't been rooting for our country's side in either conflict.)

Pirate Farmer John Peachfuzz said...

Just wanted to signal to the righteous Cap'n of this here internet eight bells and alls well!

YAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!!

Freedomnow said...

My God! I dont know what to think of your current personality.

You kids go through these phases like chameleons.

FJ said...

It was a one day phase, 9/19 was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Mark your calendar for next year!