Sunday, September 02, 2007

This Is Not Success

War supporters and administration shills like to say that violence is down in Iraq ever since the preznut surged the number of U.S. combat troops in country earlier this year. They point to lower civilian fatalities in Baghdad and decreased violence in Anbar Province as measures of that success. But the LA Times looks at the current violence and fatality stats in Iraq and says not so much:

BAGHDAD -- Bombings, sectarian slayings and other violence related to the war killed at least 1,773 Iraqi civilians in August, the second month in a row that civilian deaths have risen, according to government figures obtained Friday.

In July, the civilian death toll was 1,753, and in June it was 1,227. The numbers are based on morgue, hospital and police records and come from officials in the ministries of Health, Defense and the Interior. The statistics appear to indicate that the increase in troops ordered by President Bush this year has done little to curb civilian bloodshed, despite U.S. military statements to the contrary.


In January, the month before the extra troops began arriving, 2,076 Iraqi civilians were killed in violence related to the war, according to Iraqi officials. In February, the first month of the security plan, the number dropped to 1,646. In March, it reached 1,872. April saw 1,500 people killed, and in May the figure rose to 1,949. In June, the month in which the last extra troops arrived in the country, 1,227 people were slain.

The Bush administration cherry picked intelligence during the lead up to war and they're cherry picking stats now to "prove" that the surge is having "some military successes" and needs to be given a chance to succeed.

This means the war goes until the last day of Bush's presidency.

Repubs will go along with their preznut because they're afraid to break with him. Dems DO NOT have the numbers to override Bush vetoes. Whatever the preznut wants for war policy, he will have.

And the preznut wants to leave over 120,000 troops in Iraq until he leaves office and let the next president deal with the clean up of his mess.

This is not surprise.

Many of us knew this is what would happen earlier this year when Bush first announced his"surge" and nervous Repubs kept saying "Wait until the 'Petraeus Report' in September...if the war hasn't gotten better by then, we'll force him to change the policy."

This was jive. Clearly the administration, which controlled the content of the "Petraeus Report," was going to show just enough progress to provide cover for Repubs to stick with their preznut straight to the end. Some Repubs up for re-election will break with him, of course, but not in sufficient enough numbers to actually change the policy.

And so far, that's what seems to be happening.

Even on The Chris Matthews Show this morning, the usual cast of Beltway characters all said the Petraeus Report was a foregone conclusion, the war will continue until at least '09, Repubs will give Bush just enough support to continue his policy as long as he remains in office.

And so whatever "debate" we get after Labor Day about the war will all be bullshit.

The war continues.

And given some of the news about Iran lately, I wouldn't be surprised if the preznut and his V.P aren't already planning another one.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran.

That would be an amazing hat trick to leave the next president to clean up.

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