Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Spinning The Deteriorating Security Conditions In Baghdad

So more than a 100 Iraqis a day are dying in the exploding Iraqi civil war and the U.S. doesn't have enough troops in Baghdad to deal with the deteriorating security conditions. The U.S. needs to bring more troops into the Iraqi capital to handle the violence, but is forced to take them from other areas of the country because of a troop shortage. Unfortunately these harsh facts don't square with the feel-good story the administration and the RNC want to sell for the November midterms. Oh, what to do, what to do? Hey, how about some spinning some bullshit:

Bush said improved military conditions outside Baghdad will make it possible to move U.S. military police and other forces to the capital, where an estimated 100 people a day are being killed. The crimes, blamed largely on sectarian death squads, usually go unsolved.

Bush said that al-Maliki and Gen. George Casey, top U.S. commander in Iraq, have agreed to deploy more American troops and Iraqi security personnel in Baghdad in the coming weeks.

“Conditions change inside a country,” Bush said at a joint White House news conference with the Iraqi leader. “The question is, ’will we be facile enough to deal with them, will we be nimble enough.’ “ Bush said the answer is yes.

The new strategy will involve “embedding more U.S. military police with Iraqi police units to make them move effective,” the president said.

OK, let's cut through the bullshit, shall we?

It's not improved security conditions outside Baghdad that allows the U.S. military to pull troops away from these areas into Baghdad, it's deteriorating security conditions in Baghdad that mandate the redeployment. Facing a severe shortage of available military forces, the U.S. doesn't have the troops to send to Baghdad unless they take them from somewhere else in Iraq. Thus the redeployment. But how much do you want to make a bet that insurgents who are currently in Baghdad move to those areas of the country the U.S. just pulled troops from?

Next point: Iraqi police forces, infiltrated by religious and ethnic militamen, have been accused of atrocities, sectarian killings and acting as death squads. U.S. military police are not being embedded with Iraqi police to make them more "effective". U.S. military police are being embedded with Iraqi police to make them less effective as sectarian death squads. After all, it's a lot harder for Iraqi police to enage in sectarian killings and atrocities if American military police are along for the ride.

The worse the conditions in Iraq get, the worse the spin gets. It really is getting more and more difficult to spin this as "progress".

I watched the press conference with the Shub and Maliki this morning..the Shrub had no problem speaking for Maliki on most questions first, then looked at him like he was expected to agree with him. Lovely spin session if you ask me.
It occured to me as well that we may see a resurgence in other areas.

However, it seems most the main players are indeed now in Baghdad (and Ramadi) as the fight for the capital is now seen as the big prize.

Maliki's comments regarding Lebanon pretty much cut through all the spin of the last 5 years.
So where is the change? The policy was an abject failure before the Baghdad strategy. It is a abject failure after that attempt.
The whole incursion has been a failure and will continue to be because the planners only recognise desired outcomes and not on the ground dynamics.
They are pushing shit uphill with a stick!
dusty, Maliki is no doubt a pawn, but ironically the one thing they can't get him to agree on is the Hezbollah/Israel conflict. I'm not sure what they expected from him after all is said and done - he is Shia Muslim, so why wouldn't he support Hezbollah over Israel? Yet we have this controversy now over whether Maliki should speak to the U.S. Congress because he criticized Israel for their bombing of Lebanon and has essentially commended Hezbollah.

praguetwin, the talk on Lou Dobbs tonight was that the admin told Maliki in no uncertain terms that he has to prepare the populace for the real security crackdown to come in Baghdad (which kinda gets back to Dusty's point about Maliki being a pawn.) I'm wondering if they're thinking of declaring martial law in Baghdad and really clamping down on things. if that happens, I think many of the insurgents will split Baghdad for awhile and pop up somwhere else. Then, when we pull troops out of Baghdad after it has been "secured" to go after them wherever they are, they'll go back to Baghdad. Sort of like an endless chase.

cartledge, I can't say it better than you did - they are pushing shit up the hill with a stick. Unfortunately the shit keeps falling back down the hill!
One of the few times I can somewhat agree with one of your posts here. There is no denial that Iraq is a disaster.

It's when bloggers start going off the deep end, and start echoing the very same ideals as Islamists do, and that's where I start making my attacks.
anon, you don't attack, you insult. There's a difference between the two. If you were making valid points or even trying to make valid points, then I'd say "OK, I can at least listen to what he's saying." But you don't. Instead you say things like "I'd love to shit down your throat you traitorous libheart terrorist-lover." I usually respond w/ "Thanks for sharing" to, you know, show you the difference between your raving insults and polite discourse.

One more thing as long as we're engaging in polite discourse: bloggers don't echo the very same ideals Islamists do. When have you ever heard me call for the death of Americans or Israelis or westerners the way Bin Laden or Zawahri do? When have yo heard me scream bout decadent western society and how it must be destroyed? You haven't. What you have heard me do is differ w/ the administration and many on the right (though not all) who believe bombs solve all problems. I believe bombs sometimes solve problems (as they did in Afgahnistan and the Gulf War.) Sometimes I think they cause more problems (as they have in iraq and as I believe they ultimately will in Lebanon.) Currently we have a leadership that has only one tool to handle problems and that's bombs. Now that they can't use that tool anymore (since Iraq has reduced our ability to deal militarily with other crises) they don't know how to use any other. And that's a problem.
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