Guarding the Surge Narrative While Iraq Burns

Looking at  Margaret and Jason’s close monitoring of the continued bloodshed in Iraq– something like 300 Iraqis  dead in bombings since last Monday — it’s becoming clear that nothing short of a nuclear bomb dropped on the Green Zone will get administration officials and their supporters in the Washington military establishment to acknowledge that something is really wrong in Baghdad.

There is obviously an agenda , and that agenda is to let the Iraqis have their holiday over our supposed departure on June 30. As I have written, and as Erik Leaver and Daniel Atzmon suggest today, there are a lot of smoke and mirrors engaged here and no one really knows how many U.S troops and private contractors will remain in trouble spots like Baghdad and Mosul after the end of the month.

But this is just one thread of the agenda. The integrity of the Surge Narrative is vital, and any sense that the stability gained in the last year is beginning to dissolve will put a lot of assumptions about the so-called “population-centric” Petraeus Doctrine (“clear, hold and build”) into serious question. That is probably why speakers at the big Center for A New American Security confab were pretty adamant that the recent violence is the mark of al Qaeda “remnants,” and definitely not a reanimated Sunni insurgency. No surprise that retired Gen. Jack Keane, known as the “godfather of the surge” for his work in writing the “plan for success” with Frederick Kagan at AEI and the “new” counterinsurgency manual with Petraeus in 2006, was on hand to suggest we don’t “overreact” to the recent bombings in Iraq.

“The security situation in Iraq is truly a good one,” Keane asserted from the dais of the Willard Continental Hotel ballroom on June 11, a day after a car bomb ripped through a market, killing 30 people in Nasiriyah. Sure there were spates of violence, but “that doesn’t justify the troop presence we have.”

Maybe not. A lot of us don’t think a six-year occupation was justified in the first place. But that seems to be beside the point right now. People like Keane and the aforementioned administration officials are bent on playing down the heartbreaking,  relentless fragility of a people we deemed necessary to liberate and manipulate to our own geopolitical ends. But yet everyday the violence gets worse and the civil and political situation remains well, a basket case. Rather than suggest, perhaps, the Surge fell short of its exalted goals and gloried, storied distinctions, they will ignore what is right in front of their faces. Political expediency still reigns. If anyone thinks it will be any different for the people of Afghanistan (our other war) a year from now, I have a market to sell them in Adhamiyah.

5 thoughts on “Guarding the Surge Narrative While Iraq Burns”

  1. The real puzzle here is why any citizen accepts the government's accounting or rendition of what constitutes success. Each and every statement or comment emanating from "official sources" amounts to nothing more than a politically-expedient calculation.

    Were the American people not so realism-averse, they might understand that the perception of what their government does as opposed to what they actually do, constitutes one of the most successful propaganda operations in recorded history. Joseph Goebbels would be proud.

    Bruce Richardson

  2. All this talk of Al Qaida "remnants" reminds me of Rumsfeld circa 2003 speaking of Baathist "remnants." Sigh ,same shit different day. The surge reminds me so much of the movie "The Battle of Algiers" where a French paratroop unit seemingly secures Algiers, only to have their security completely fall apart only a few years later.

  3. Though this site has spent the last five years desperately pretending otherwise, the ‘sectarian violence’ isn’t a naturally occurring phenomenon that America is trying to prevent. The Iraqi’s are heavily intermarried and have never had a civil war, ‘sectarian’ or otherwise, before. The ‘sectarian violence’ only began when America realized the resistance wasn’t ending when Saddam was captured. The inexplicably senseless attacks on Iraqi civilians have been widely blamed on the occupation.

    The purpose of the renewed bombings is to convince the Iraqis that they can’t survive without their colonial overlords. In reality, the opposite is true: the ‘sectarian violence’ will never cease until they leave since they are the entity responsible for it.

    The mention of Algeria, reminds me that the French Army used car bombs in an attempt to get the civilians to turn on the guerrillas. Plus ça change!<a>

    The FBI's counterterrorism unit has launched a broad investigation of US-based theft rings after discovering that some of the vehicles used in deadly car bombings in Iraq, including attacks that killed US troops and Iraqi civilians, were probably stolen in the United States, according to senior government officials.

  4. It confuses me how the term "Liberal" can support abortion, same sex marriage, and anti-gun, but cannot comprehend "liberation". You have a dictator like Hussein turning his own country into a blood bath of his own people and an out side source says enough is enough and liberates the country from these internal atrocities. They then stay behind to make sure their efforts are not undone by a group of Iraqi extremists. How can one not appreciate the end of a genocide yet will stand on a corner and go fanatic about saving a bunch of freaking whales! So what if we said there were WMD in Iraq. Would it have been more acceptable to say "Hey people there are hundreds of thousands dying in Iraq and I think we should help them" Would you accept the war any better? No you would not. You base this war on how we lied to get into it yet you will not sit back and look at yourselves and wonder if your actions do not lead a country to deception for a common good. You liberals are trying to over throw our government of most of our liberties and morals. You have become a national enemy of the people who honor our constitution. From an outside point of view you appear almost as terrorist as the ones in the middle east. I am a Vietnam veteran who did not ask to go, did not like being there, and prayed every day for peace but I never turned on my country or asked why. I was a soldier representing my country. You people asked us to get out of Vietnam and we did, what happened? The country fell into the north's hands and thousands died for being American supporters. 54,000 American deaths and they got the country anyways. Is that how Iraq is suppose to end? Until you can appreciate the word Liberation do not baffle me with your liberal BS. You are a contradiction to your own ideologys.

Comments are closed.