Monday, February 12, 2007

How's The Surge Plan Working So Far?

The U.S. military bragged that they had locked down a large industrial area of eastern Baghdad yesterday as part of the Bush/McCain surge plan. American commanders described the operation in the area as an "early taste" of the large-scale sweeps and lock downs they plan to deploy in eastern Baghdad in the next few weeks.

Iraqis haven't been too impressed with the surge plan so far, saying they haven't seen much of a change in the level of violence in Baghdad yet. There are also complaints in both Washington and from Iraqi civilians about the slow pace of the deployment of both American and Iraqi troops. The full compliment of American and Iraqi surge troops will not be on the ground in Baghdad for months, leading to fears that the surge will fizzle before it can really get going.

Given the news today out of Baghdad
, no wonder many Iraqis and Americans are skeptical about the surge plan:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Thunderous explosions and dense black smoke swirled through the center of Baghdad Monday when at least two car bombs -- one parked in an underground garage -- tore through a crowded marketplace, setting off dozens of secondary explosions and killing at least 71 people, police said. Another bombing nearby killed at least nine.

The blasts shattered the city center on the first anniversary, according to the Muslim lunar calendar, of the bombing of the important Shiite Golden Dome shrine in Samarra. That attack by al-Qaida in Iraq militants set off the torrent of sectarian bloodletting that has turned Baghdad and much of central Iraq into a battleground.

A column of smoke hundreds of feet wide billowed a thousand feet into the air above the market near the east bank of the Tigris River and near the Central Bank building.

Ambulances and pickup trucks rushed many of the wounded to nearby al-Kindi hospital in the largely Shiite region that has been hit by a series of deadly bombings since the first of the year.

The worst carnage occurred about 12:25 p.m. shortly after the Iraqi government called for a 15-minute period of commemoration for the bombing of the golden domed shrine in Samarra a year ago.


The attacks, which occurred in busy market districts on the east side of the Tigris River, also came despite stepped up security in the capital as U.S. and Iraqi forces have launched a new operation aimed at stopping the sectarian violence that has been on the rise since the Feb. 22 bombing of the mosque in Samarra.

Well, at least an industrial neighborhood in eastern Baghdad was safe today.

Not so much for the center of Baghdad, though.

Which again begs the question: are 21,500 additional American troops and an unknown quantity of Iraqi forces (who may or may not be militiamen or members of the insurgency) really enough to quell the violence in Baghdad for an extended period of time?

And if they're not, why not either send in enough troops to actually stop the violence on a long-term basis or pull out completely and let the violence run its course?

I'm not saying either of those two options are optimal, but a half-assed "troop surge" that is designed to make it look like Bush is doing something to stop the violence while not actually stopping the violence seems stupid to me.

And that seems to be exactly what has happened so far. Administration apologists say just wait until all the troops are on the ground in Baghdad. But that's one of the big problems with the plan - the troops are not all on the ground because the Pentagon doesn't have enough to put them all there at once. The pace of deployment has been dictated by the duty extensions of troops already in Baghdad or troops about to go. This whole surge plan is a bunch of smoke and mirrors signifying nothing other than how desperate the Bushies are to make it look like they are doing something.

You need help! Obama knows you need help and has suggested Johnny Howard throw in some more troops.
Sort of on the lines of 'put up or shut up!'
Who called Howard Bush's butt plug?
You did, cartledge! And as soon as I saw the Howard clip, I immediately thought "Hey, it's Bush's butt plug!!!"

On a serious note, what a wanker Howard is to stick his nose into American domestic politics and essentially call Obama the terrorists candidate.
The erstwhile black presidential candidate has committed an Obomination in the public forum.

His campaign is as dead as Joe Biden's.
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