Surge working: top US general
THE US troop surge in Iraq has thrown al-Qa'ida off balance and produced a dramatic reduction in sectarian killings and a drop in roadside bombings.Fortunately we don't have to rely on the General or the administration for the truth. Even the AP is shooting holes in the spin.
Iraq body count running at double pace
BAGHDAD - This year's U.S. troop buildup has succeeded in bringing violence in Baghdad down from peak levels, but the death toll from sectarian attacks around the country is running nearly double the pace from a year ago.Violence is down in Baghdad but As the AP reported earlier any security improvements in Baghdad may be more the result of increased control by Shiite militia than an increase in US presence. There is also the fact that most of the Sunnis have already been killed or driven out of Baghdad - the ethnic cleansing is complete.
Some of the recent bloodshed appears the result of militant fighters drifting into parts of northern Iraq, where they have fled after U.S.-led offensives. Baghdad, however, still accounts for slightly more than half of all war-related killings — the same percentage as a year ago, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.
The tallies and trends offer a sobering snapshot after an additional 30,000 U.S. troops began campaigns in February to regain control of the Baghdad area. It also highlights one of the major themes expected in next month's Iraq progress report to Congress: some military headway, but extremist factions are far from broken.
In street-level terms, it means life for average Iraqis appears to be even more perilous and unpredictable.
And of course there is the great job Kevin Drum has done:
THE ANBAR AWAKENING
...but it's this passage that makes me want to bang my head against the wall:Kevin also compared June/July, 06 with June/July, 07 and according to most of the metrics 07 was worse than 06.The fact is that the surge is President Bush's policy, and one that he implemented over the vociferous opposition of Democrats who thought the best strategy against al Qaeda in Iraq was to begin to leave. Now the surge has helped turn Sunni tribes against al Qaeda, advancing the goal that nearly everyone in the U.S. notionally shares of routing the terror group from Iraq.Say it slowly: This. Is. A. Lie. The Sunni tribes began turning against AQI nearly a year ago. They did it on their own, not as part of any American military plan. They did it before the surge started. They did it before Gen. Petraeus was even a gleam in George Bush's eye.
All we will get from the Bush administration and their pet general is more spin and lies - it's starting already. As The Who said many years ago:
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again