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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

The Surge

posted by on January 9 at 14:55 PM

Everybody’s talking about Bush’s surge, which is supposedly going to be announced by the president in a speech tomorrow evening. Sen. John McCain has supported the idea, even though it means his own son could end up as part of the operation, which would aim to stabilize Iraq by pouring in thousands more American troops. Sen. Ted Kennedy has launched a pre-emptive strike against the plan, introducing legislation that would require Congressional approval for any more troops. And over at TPM, Josh Marshall lobs the question that no one in the Bush administration has been able to answer:

The president’s ‘surge’ plan is at best supported by a minority of generals, military affairs experts, foreign policy hands, etc. In fact, that’s generous. And it is overwhelmingly opposed by the American people.

Now, ‘experts’ aren’t always right. And popular ideas aren’t always good ideas.

But going back now some four years, who can point to even a single Bush administration decision in Iraq, either strategic or tactical, that didn’t turn out to be either a bad idea or a complete disaster? Anything? One good call?

When the president goes before the people on Wednesday, he is basically saying, trust me.

It’s never really possible to know what the future will bring, especially for most of us who may have gut level instincts about military strategy but little detailed operational knowledge. But given the track record and the fact that few people outside the White House seem to think this is a good idea, what possible basis is there to put any trust in Bush’s latest gambit?

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Bush is an absolute moron. He's sending more young men and women to die for his lies, arrogance and hubris.

How can we have a President who's so against the American people and the world?

Posted by Original Andrew | January 9, 2007 3:08 PM

There is no reason to trust him or Congress at all.

Kennedy's move is well intended, but it doesn't tell Bush NO. It tells him that he has to ask for it first. If he asks for $$$ Congress will give it. They haven't said anything otherwise.

It takes more than an election and some blogging to apply pressure and make these f*ckers stop this ridiculous occupation.

America Says NO more troops!

Thursday, Jan. 11th

A Nationwide Surge of Protest of The US Military Occupation of Iraq

Let's deliver an immediate and direct response to the president's call for escalation: NO!

Volunteers will host actions in cities and towns across the country within 24 hours of the president's speech with a simple message: "America says NO more troops in Iraq!"

Posted by patrick C | January 9, 2007 3:10 PM

That's been the problem from day 1 -- having the politicians decide military strategy instead of the generals. From Rumsfields "light" invasion force (to assauge fears of a big, expensive war but leaving insufficient troops to guard weapons depots) to Paul Bremer's disbanding of the military (to make people think old Saddam Iraq was now officially gone but instantly creating an armed and organized resistance movement) to this Bush's new, directionless "surge" (to make people think he's taking new steps but really just sending more troops with no recognizable, achievable goal).

I wish Bush was just a comma in the history books! Instead, he'll be a colon, dash, and left-parenthetical. :-(

Posted by him | January 9, 2007 3:13 PM

He's an asshat. I weap for our country.

Posted by monkey | January 9, 2007 3:51 PM

To answer your (presumably rhetorical) question: none whatsoever.

This so-called "strategy" is nothing more than a holding action on the part of the Bush Administration, intended to give the appearance they're doing something positive about the completely FUBAR situation they've created, in the hopes it will buy them enough time to get through the '08 elections when they can hand the whole mess over to a Democratic president, who will then presumably become the focus of GOP ire and blame roughly five minutes after taking the oath of office for not extricating our suddenly mis-lead troops out of a quagmire.

Posted by COMTE | January 9, 2007 4:31 PM

Even if you thought the war was a good idea at first (which I don't), Bush and his advisers (or handlers, whatever) have completely fucked up every aspect of prosecuting the war from the the minute after the troops walked into Baghdad. Sure, he directed the mighty US military to march into Baghdad and topple Saddam's government. Which they did with relative speed and efficiency. But after that... nadda. Exit strategy? What's that? He obviously never had the slightest idea of what to do after he toppled Saddam, nor any clue how the Iraqi people would react to our invasion. He still doesn't.

And where is he going to come up with 20,000 more troops? He's already sending some reserve and/or guard units over there for the third time.

It is a complete clusterfuck over there. Iraq is now involved in a civil war, whether we want to admit it or not. I can't see how increasing our troop level by roughly 10% is going to magically solve a civil war. I can't see how it will be of any use whatsoever. Doubling our troop strength might have some effect, but there is clearly no stomach for it, and we couldn't come up with that many more troops if we had to.

Bush is in a no-win situation now, and is floundering for any semblance of a solution. He's hoping that sending more troops will make him look muscular, but it would solve nothing.

Posted by SDA in SEA | January 9, 2007 5:03 PM

I T M F A !!

Posted by truthseeker | January 9, 2007 8:19 PM

is fnarf sick today? where's his post supporting bush's plan?

Posted by wf | January 9, 2007 10:50 PM


You come up with 20,000 more troops by extending tours and rotations; keep some of them that are there now there longer, and send over those scheduled to relieve them sooner, viola! 20,000 more troops in the theatre.

And you're right; nobody but shrub himself, a couple of particularly syncophantic advisors, and a bare handful of generals think this is A.) a Good Strategy; B.) will actually have any positive effect on the current situation; and C.) has a snowball's chance of suppressing the violence in Baghdad, let alone the rest of the country.

But, hey, so long as the oil keeps flowing, and so long as Exxon, Gulf, Shell & BP can get their hands on it before the lil' muff leaves office, then that's all that really matters, right? After that, it's somebody else's problem.

Posted by COMTE | January 9, 2007 10:53 PM

Apparently html has changed as my urls aren't working. Just go to

Posted by treacle | January 9, 2007 11:26 PM

So, are we surging in deaths and deficits, then? How's about not sending more cash to help train Iranian-backed Iraqis?

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 10, 2007 12:48 PM

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