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April 04, 2008

Sign #684 that the Surge is Working
Posted by Michael Cohen

Do you remember a week or so ago when the Bush Administration suggested that the fighting in Basra was a sign that the surge was working. Here's a brief refresher:

The Pentagon said an eruption of violence in southern Iraq, where US-backed government forces were battling Shiite militias, was a “by-product of the success of the surge.” Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said it showed that the Iraqi government and security forces were now confident enough to take the initiative against Shiite extremists in the southern port of Basra. “Citizens down there have been living in a city of chaos and corruption for some time and they and the prime minister clearly have had enough of it,” he said at a Pentagon press conference.

All hail the glorious surge and the new-found confidence of Prime Minister Maliki and Iraqi security forces! Let us dance a jig of delight and feast on the finest meats and cheeses as we celebrate this pivotal moment in Iraq! Oh, wait a minute . . .

More than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen either refused to fight or simply abandoned their posts during the inconclusive assault against Shiite militias in Basra last week, a senior Iraqi government official said Thursday. Iraqi military officials said the group included dozens of officers, including at least two senior field commanders in the battle.

Seriously, this is just pathetic. Look I used to work in PR so I'm NOT a neophyte when it comes to spin, but honestly your spin has to have at least some grain of truth to it. Is it so much to ask that when the Bush Administration lies to me, they at least do it well.


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Another sign of surge-success is the siege of the US embassy in Baghdad. It shows that US State Dept. workers are confident enough to remain in the most dangerous place on earth (do they have a choice?).

from US Embassy Baghdad, 27 Mar 08:
This is to notify all U.S. citizens in Iraq that the U.S. Embassy has announced that, until further notice, all personnel under the authority of the Chief of Mission are required to wear body armor, helmet and protective eyewear anytime they are outside of building structures in the International Zone. In addition, Chief of Mission personnel in the International Zone have been advised to remain inside of hardened structures at all times, except for mission essential movements. The Department of State continues to strongly warn U.S. citizens against travel to Iraq, which remains very dangerous.

I'm waiting for them to say that the failure fo Bear Stearns and collapse of the housing bubble is proof that the surge is working.

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