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what is the evidence that the "surge" is working?

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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:56 PM
Original message
what is the evidence that the "surge" is working?
Is there a non-administration and non-military source that confirms this? I want the truth.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. because the media has joined in lockstep to pronounce this.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:01 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. that's obvious
But what is the evidence?
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence
However, if you want evidence, hang your hat on any of these untruths masquarading as truth

1) Since the surge is working, it would be a shame to leave now, and undo the good that the surge has done (Notice the brilliance of beginning the argument with the word "Since" - that takes the argumnent out of the argument and forces your brain to accept that the surge is a good deal - so that the entire argument has now merged with the ethereal plane by being indirectly awarded the status of victory.

2) or when things start to go badly again:
We need tos tay so that we can re-gain the ground that the surge has won for us.

In either case, those who depend on the M$M for their news are being hypnotized into believing that we need to be there a long long time.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. It's a good ol' catch-22 - no matter what, we're winning but must also stay. nt
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Skink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. There is no one left to fight. Iraq is now mostly American.
Now we can get down to business and start paying for the war with their oil.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. they don't need no stinking evidence. all they have to do is repeat this
reductionist garbage enough times that it sinks into the barely sensate general news consumers' consciousness.

repeating ANYTHING enough makes it true. you know that, like Saddam was in cahoots with Osama when he blew up the towers.

that sort of thing
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's the number of US casualties. The numbers are way down.
It's good news. We won't know the actual reason why for a long time, but at least the fact is good.
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. depends on what constitutes working - a short-term decline in violence
is not all that surprising if you up the # of troops - though violence dropped in part due to ethnic cleansing / groups splitting up in different areas. The supposed purpose of the surge was not for us to have better control for control's sake, but to allow for political progress, Iraqi army and police stepping up. As of April Senate hearings before Petraeus/Crocker arrived, it wasn't working. Nir Rosen would be one of the few non-admin, no-military sources. He testified there, went on Democracy Now!, probably elsewhere on the internet too.


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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. well, how bout this? read a bit of this last week:
Edited on Wed Jul-23-08 11:39 PM by Gabi Hayes
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/18722376/the...

Now, in the midst of the surge, the Bush administration has done an about-face. Having lost the civil war, many Sunnis were suddenly desperate to switch sides and Gen. David Petraeus was eager to oblige. The U.S. has not only added 30,000 more troops in Iraq it has essentially bribed the opposition, arming the very Sunni militants who only months ago were waging deadly assaults on American forces. To engineer a fragile peace, the U.S. military has created and backed dozens of new Sunni militias, which now operate beyond the control of Iraq's central government. The Americans call the units by a variety of euphemisms: Iraqi Security Volunteers (ISVs), neighborhood watch groups, Concerned Local Citizens, Critical Infrastructure Security. The militias prefer a simpler and more dramatic name: They call themselves Sahwa, or "the Awakening."

At least 80,000 men across Iraq are now employed by the Americans as ISVs. Nearly all are Sunnis, with the exception of a few thousand Shiites. Operating as a contractor, Osama runs 300 of these new militiamen, former resistance fighters whom the U.S. now counts as allies because they are cashing our checks. The Americans pay Osama once a month; he in turn provides his men with uniforms and pays them ten dollars a day to man checkpoints in the Dora district a paltry sum even by Iraqi standards. A former contractor for KBR, Osama is now running an armed network on behalf of the United States government. "We use our own guns," he tells me, expressing regret that his units have not been able to obtain the heavy-caliber machine guns brandished by other Sunni militias.

The American forces responsible for overseeing "volunteer" militias like Osama's have no illusions about their loyalty. "The only reason anything works or anybody deals with us is because we give them money," says a young Army intelligence officer. The 2nd Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, which patrols Osama's territory, is handing out $32 million to Iraqis in the district, including $6 million to build the towering walls that, in the words of one U.S. officer, serve only to "make Iraqis more divided than they already are." In districts like Dora, the strategy of the surge seems simple: to buy off every Iraqi in sight. All told, the U.S. is now backing more than 600,000 Iraqi men in the security sector more than half the number Saddam had at the height of his power. With the ISVs in place, the Americans are now arming both sides in the civil war. "Iraqi solutions for Iraqi problems," as U.S. strategists like to say. David Kilcullen, the counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. Petraeus, calls it "balancing competing armed interest groups."






some more, from greg palast, who says that Abu Risha wasn't a sheik at all, that the reason the Awakening worked was that ''the moment the sheiks declared their opposition to Al Qaeda - i.e. got the payments from the US taxpayers - Al Qaeda instantly diappeared.''

http://www.gregpalast.com/bushs-fake-sheik-whacked-the-... /

as in almost every case, who do you choose to believe? I know one thing for sure, that the regime here lies about almost EVERYTHING, all the time, even when they don't have to, so I find it very difficult to believe much of anything they say about Iraq/Iran these days. I'd like to be shown a reason not to think this way, but it hasn't happened yet, and I'll be very surprised to see anything change in the near future


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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. General Odom talked about the money too - just posted about it
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. amazing how the dems aren't talking about this, yes?
this BS about the surge working has become as powerful a meme as McCain's vaunted "heroism" in Vietnam, almost unassailable in its reductionist simplicity

it's too 'complicated' for the general public to explain that the surge's is NOT just about lower US military casualties, in fact, that wasn't its purpose at all. it was to allow the Iraqi people to find a political solution to their 'problems'

gee, wonder where those problems came from?

media, of course, refuse to make such a distinction, instead goads every single Obama surrogate with the taunt that the "surge is WORKING. why won't you admit it?"

they may be even worse than they were in the first Bush campaign
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-23-08 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Unless something dramatic has happened since April, I don't buy it
I know a lot of people on DU don't like Biden, but I thought his hearings on Iraq the week before Crocker and Petraeus came were great. I don't think many people paid attention to anything but the Clinton, McCain, and Obama photo ops.

I wish Obama would clearly emphasize the PURPOSE of the surge - whether you agree with it or not, THAT was not achieved. One more moving target in all this.
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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 02:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
18. So what happens when the bribes and protection money behind the SPLURGE run out?
Edited on Thu Jul-24-08 03:32 AM by aint_no_life_nowhere
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PerfectSage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:27 AM
Response to Original message
13. It's working: The surge is a Karl Rove psyop to buy time to run out the clock on Bush's presidency
So that the next president can have the blame for failure. That's the way I looked at it when the surge was first announced.

WASHINGTON The surge of additional U.S. troops in Iraq has failed to curtail violence against Iraqi civilians, an independent government agency reported Tuesday.

Citing data from the Pentagon and other U.S. agencies, the Government Accountability Office found that daily attacks against civilians in Iraq have remained "about the same" since February, when the United States began sending nearly 30,000 additional troops to improve security in Iraq.

The GAO also found that the number of Iraqis fleeing violence in their neighborhoods is increasing, with as many as 100,000 Iraqis a month leaving their homes in search of safety.

The GAO's conclusions contradict repeated assertions by the White House and the Pentagon in advance of the coming congressional debate on whether to stay the course in Iraq or to begin some withdrawal of U.S. troops.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/19448.html
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 12:33 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. the surge is ONLY working from the standpoint in US troop casualties, which
is all any self respecting patriot should care about, yes?

as soon as we stop paying the sheiks, the violence against our troops will start up again, and al Sadr will end his vacation, too, at which point all hell will break loose again

meanwhile, for the first time US casualties in Afghanistan have exceeded those in Iraq

wonder why that might be......
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. thanks, ol' friend
I appreciate your input here.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. and I appreciate your appreciation! I'm driving myself nuts. time for a break, but first....
found a Juan Cole piece, in which he says Palast might be overreaching on the fake Sheik story, but doesn't provide any hard evidence, as Palast didn't, either

I wonder what's going on with that aspect of the story

I'll see if I can find it again.....

btw, my niece is moving to Portland in a few weeks. school district; hearing impaired

another niece has been working for NPR since last year (features reporter....onair). I didn't tell her that she's working for an outfit well past its prime, but she's still very idealistic/heart in the right place. wonder how it'll turn out
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-24-08 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. here's the Cole/Palast bit
http://www.juancole.com/2007/09/rice-apologizes-to-al-m...

Greg Palast argues that Sattar Abu Rishah, the leader of the Al-Anbar Salvation Council who was assassinated last week, was a 'phony sheikh' who had no real tribe behind him and is opposed by the very powerful and very real sheikh of the Dulaim tribe. He points to video reportage produced by Rick Rowley and David Enders and carried by Aljazeera English, which includes interviews with Iraqis who doubt Abu Rishah's bona fides. The videos had earlier been blogged by Marc Lynch, who had been following Abu Rishah and had blown the whistle on him as having an unsavory past.

My own feeling is that Palast is generally on to something but is exaggerating a bit. The al-Anbar Salvation Council does have representation on it from the Dulaim tribe, and weekly attacks in al-Anbar have fallen from 400 in summer of 2006 to 100 this summer, according to the US military. Al-Anbar is hardly quiet, and it is easy to exaggerate the changes (more especially since at least one major city, Fallujah, has had a private vehicle ban since late May, an artificial policy that cannot continue much longer). But to say that the Al-Anbar Salvation Council is a complete fake and no tribal leaders are cooperating with the US, if that is what Palast is saying, would be to go too far in the other direction.
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