Our efforts in Iraq are just a continual flail, and the public is being deceived by a campaign of lies, propaganda and deception. Gen. Petraeus is supposedly the only person with any credibility, so Bush is just pushing that for all it’s worth (which is progressively less and less).
Today we are told by the Washington Post that their reporter somehow managed to get a half a dozen “officials” to simultaneously “leak” a “classified” new plan for Iraq. The reporter notes that she kept their identities anonymous because the whole herd of them was supposedly not authorized to disclose the information. ….. Come freakin on. Somehow this doesn’t ring true does it?
This new plan was put together by Petraeus and Crocker, the US ambassador to Iraq. But according to Bush, the old new surge plan was put together by Petraeus…well, well, Bush lied about that, didn’t he? The surge plan was not written by Petraeus. It was written by Fred Kagan and Jack Keane, warmongers at the American Enterprise Institute. So now we are supposed to believe that there is an actual new and better plan, and that THIS was written by Petraeus. The old plan was supposed to be evaluated this summer, then that was changed to September, or possibly the spring of 08. Now we have a new plan. I suppose that will be evaluated in oh, December of 08.
The Parliament is basically paralyzed; there will be no “oil law”, no reversal of deBaathification, no anything (for that matter, there are almost no government services). The US, which has already given up on reconstruction, has for all intents and purposes given up on training and arming Iraq security forces. We are in charge, and Iraq will make no political or security progress. That’s it.
There is no way for Americans to judge “progress.” The “newspaper” body counts are about 75 a day, but the Johns Hopkins study and past experience shows that these kinds of estimates are always off by a factor of at least 5 and often by a factor of ten ie the actual casualties are 5-10 times greater than are reported in newspapers. So we can assume that 300-400 Iraqis are dying every day as a result of the conflict.
Unfortunately, there is no real way for us to track trends accurately, other than the number of US soldiers killed outirght, because of the inaccuracies and because of the censorship and manipulations which have been imposed.
If anything, we are farther from extricating ourselves from Iraq, and getting farther every day. It’s a sad truth, but now the official policy of the US is, and always has been, simply “stay the course.”
Officially, it’s a quagmire.