Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The losers speak

No, it's not Vietnam. The uniforms are tan

Holden of First Draft (and pony fame)
I haven't a clue as to why anyone would take the advice of Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry on how we should proceed in Iraq. Hell, I don't know why anyone would think either man was worth listening to, much less follow their advice.

After all it was Bill Kristol who on April 1, 2003, smugly told an NPR audience:

There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's been almost no evidence of that at all, Iraq's always been very secular.

And it was Rich Lowry who, on April 27, 2005, gave us this famous magazine cover...

...which was accompanied by Lowry's sage evaluation of the situation in Iraq.

It is time to say it unequivocally: We are winning in Iraq

But for some unknown reason the Wa$hington Post today felt it was important for us to hear the advice of two men who have been nothing but wrong on this issue.

There is no mystery as to what can make the crucial difference in the battle of Baghdad: American troops. A few thousand U.S. troops have already been transferred to Baghdad from elsewhere in Iraq. Where more U.S. troops have been deployed, the situation has gotten better. Those neighborhoods intensively patrolled by Americans are safer and more secure. But it is by no means clear that overall troop numbers in Baghdad are enough to do the job. And it is clear that stripping troops from other fronts risks progress elsewhere in the country.

So, more US troops are what we need to make Iraq safer? It so happens that we currently have 145,000 troops in Iraq, the highest number since December and 15,000 more than a month ago.

Yet despite the pressence of 290,000 boots on the ground violence in Iraq has increased. In fact, a GAO report on the failure of the Iraqi political process released yesterday states:

In spite of a sharp increase in Sunni-Shiite violence, however, attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces are still the primary source of bloodshed in Iraq, the report found.

That's right, the "primary source of bloodshed in Iraq" is the very existence of US forces there.

The GAO continues:

The report, citing the Pentagon, said that enemy attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces increased by 23 percent from 2004 to 2005 and that the number of attacks from January to July 2006 were 57 percent higher than during the same period in 2005.

A graph showed that the number of attacks rose from around 100 in May 2003 to roughly 4,500 in July 2006. More than half of those were against coalition troops; the rest appear to have been split almost evenly between attacks on Iraqi security forces and attacks on civilians.

What of the Wrong Brothers claim that, "Where more U.S. troops have been deployed, the situation has gotten better," specifically citing Baghdad?

Well, despite the Pentagon's efforts to hide the troops by only counting deaths from a limited number of causes instead of all killings, things in Baghdad are no safer than before the recent influx of US forces.

Also Monday, the U.S. command said that the American military did not count people killed by bombs, mortars, rockets or other mass attacks -- including suicide bombings -- when it reported a dramatic drop in the number of murders in the Baghdad area last month.

The decision to include only victims of drive-by shootings and those killed by torture and execution allowed U.S. officials to argue that a security crackdown that began in the capital Aug. 7 had more than halved the city's murder rate.

But the types of slayings, including suicide bombings, that the U.S. excluded from the category of "murder" were not made explicit at the time. That led to confusion after Iraqi Health Ministry figures showed that 1,536 people died violently in and around Baghdad in August, nearly the same number as in July.

Here's a hint, when you're fighting to control a captial, you are NOT winning. When you know the minute you leave, you lose control, you're not winning. when you lose control of a vital province, you are not winning.

In short, we're not winning.

posted by Steve @ 10:49:00 AM

10:49:00 AM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans