Surge Lies Come Home to Haunt Us

Chicago’s South Side is indulging itself in a bit of nostalgia for the ’80s and ’90s. Michelle Obama’s hood is overrun with gang-related murders; deaths are at the same rate as US soldiers dying in both major theaters of the US’ “War on Terror.” Government must do something, declares two Illinois state senators who represent parts of the city. I know — a good old fashioned military occupation, like what worked so well in our wars and Kent State and whatnot.

“John Fritchley and LaShawn Ford, Democrats who represent the north and west sides of the city, said troops were needed to ‘stabilize communities’ in Chicago just as they had done in Iraq and Afghanistan,” explains the Telegraph.

These men are talking about the “surge,” or what those of us against the war labeled “escalation.” Iraq was in the throes of vicious violence that was killing over a thousand civilians (and who knows how many others who were labeled militants for intermittent or single acts of resistance) per month. The Bush Administration decided sending many tens of thousands more hastily trained troops into the mix would be a great idea, ignoring the fact that much of the violence was likely due to the presence of foreign troops. The troops were sent >> fast-forward >> violence is down in Iraq! The surge worked!

What’s missing in that fast-forward blip is what really happened in 2007. Many — most? –Americans can’t usually be bothered with the truth, especially when it’s all long and stuff. Recap:

1) Sadr ordered his men to stand down, apparently sickened by the recent violence between his followers, and other Shi’ites and the government.
2) The Awakening (Sahwa) councils, Sunni groups who were revolting against al-Qaeda-in-Iraq’s senseless slaughters, began receiving large sums of money from the US to only fight AQI, and not US troops as well, as they had been doing. The verdict is yet out on what happens when the money stops and Maliki, or whoever is in power, decides to turn on this now-well-trained movement.
3) This is the big one: the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad was essentially complete. No more violence was necessary for many partisan sectarians. Juan Cole did some extra parsing of this in 2008.

All of these pointy complicated facts were mushed into a smooth ball for easier digestion — our Glorious Soldiers had won the day. If you disagree you’re a commie or a terrorist symp who hates America. This actually succeeded in convincing some antiwar types, if I recall.

Candidate Obama, however, seemed not to be fooled. Then, when it was no longer politically tenable, he changed his mind. We now know this is Obama’s typical flip-flopping treachery, but this was one of his first major public instances. And now he’s got his own surge.

For their parts, reports the Chicago Tribune, the mayor and the governor oppose adding another layer of force to Chicago’s already well-armored police.

“You have to look at long-term solutions. You can’t just put something temporary in there,” said Mayor Richard Daley. “People have to get involved in their community, family by family and block by block.”

Chicago police are trained in the state and federal constitutions, says Mark Donahue, president of the city’s police union.

“With the guard coming in, it’s making a statement that your constitutional rights will be diminished,” Donahue said. “They don’t have the training that Chicago police officers do.”

The governor can send the Guard troops in, but in this case will only do so at Daley’s request.

So should we add PTSD-affected soldiers to the ranks of possibly also-traumatized police on the admittedly well-armed but nonetheless civilian streets of Chi-town? That’s a surge I don’t see working well. But maybe when the violence ends once everyone kills each other, they’ll proclaim another “mission accomplished.”

If troops end up occupying our cities, it will be thanks to simplistic lies told by men with authoritarian minds. We can blame President Barack Obama for backing up Bush’s surge fairy tales and painting military intervention a panacea for all threats, foreign and domestic. It’s now okay for Americans across the political spectrum to trust guns and bombs as an organizing principle of civilization.

  • Craig

    spot on

  • liberranter

    Chicago police are trained in the state and federal constitutions, says Mark Donahue, president of the city’s police union.

    “With the guard coming in, it’s making a statement that your constitutional rights will be diminished,” Donahue said. “They don’t have the training that Chicago police officers do.”

    Does anyone have a BULLSHIT! flag I can borrow?

  • Pingback: April 27, 2010 « Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?()

  • "We now know this is Obama’s typical flip-flopping treachery…" So and ummm, the Obama would be about "flip-flopping surgery?" You know, "surge" becomes "surgery?" Sorry, I was reaching for a joke there. It's dang hard to top that Obama comedy. So if'n Pat Quinn calls up the "Guard" in capitulation to His Highness Daley, would Chicago's Ghettoans be forced to 'eat bullets'? You know, "let them eat bullets?" Hmmm, how might the Washington Post handle America as a 'war zone'?

    • So let me see if I've got this right. People in the US are getting it in the neck from the structural readjustment taking place.http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va
      Massive social unrest seems to be a reasonable expectation. The people may become a lynch mob.
      If there is a joke in all of this, then let's hope Mel Brooks is ready to do the sequel to Blazing Saddles.

  • As Kelley Vlahos notes on Antiwar.com today, there are plenty of PTSD-affected cops on the streets already, thanks to repeated deployments of the Guard and Reserves.

  • Bob Bogus

    We are all Iraqis now…Change you can believe in, indeed.

  • Drain 52

    And yet, it turns out that the face Big Brother's boot is forever stepping on actually allowed it to happen, bit by bit. An intelligent and free people would not accept living in a quasi-martial law situation.

  • Sick and Tired

    Why keep repeating the propaganda about Sunnis fighting "Al Qaeda in Iraq"? There was zero Al Qaeda in Iraq before we came. There was no more than a precious few percentage of the resistance calling itself that after we occupied, and it bore effectively even less relation to Bin Laden's Al Qaeda.

    We paid the Sunnis to stop fighting us.

    That is called tribute. We paid tribute to the Sunnis. We did not pay them to fight "Al Qaeda in Iraq".

    That is largely a fiction convenient to both Bush and the Sunnis.

  • Lloyd G.

    It'll be OK. Our troops will be greeted with flowers and candy.

  • AL QAEDA IS AL-CIA-DA, FOLKS, REALLY!!!

    All this huffing and puffing about a fictional boogey man that at ‘worst’ is our own Government patsying up a bunch of MUZLIMZ so they can be scapegoated and castigated and hated by the FEAR MONGERING GOVERNMENT.

    at best, it’s a bunch of fictional boogeymen that keep getting re-spawned over and over again as so many are declared KILLED by our VICTORIOUS FORCES and then, emerge again, only to be killed and captured a zillion more times for more silly assed bullshit that is reminiscent of “1984” when Winston had to watch INGSOC declare it’s VICTORY over those yellow hordes of EAST ASIA (or ENEMY DU JOUR!!!).

    enough of this Al Qaeda shit, folks. Enough. It’s AL-CIA-DA, and zionist boy Adam Gadahn, or is it Cohen??

    enough is ENOUGH!

  • Lear K

    Talk about bringing the jobs back to the US.Blackwater contracters would man check points.And if they felt threathened ,they would just satart firing into the crowds.Libration American style!

  • "There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people."

    — Olde Bill Adama

  • In case it hasn't been noticed the police forces have been militarized and armed by the Pentagons, including DHS. This is being done to protect the entitlements of the CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS because of the federal withholding tax and deficit spending. Until this ends and usury is criminalized the republic is and idea "which will last a few hundred years before until collapsing due to graft and corruption" to paraphrase Ben Deanklin when he was posed the question what he thought about the republican form of government.

  • Correction I meant Ben Franklin

  • richard vajs

    Lies have become part of the fabric of American life. That and fake outrage and disingenuous protests of innocence. Earlier in the week, I watched Mr. Blancfein of Goldman Sachs being interrogated by the U S Senate. He was asked about financial products put together by Goldman Sachs, self-identified as “shit” by Goldman Sachs, sold to trusting clients of Goldman Sachs, and then their “shitty” aspects exploited by Goldman Sachs. Through the whole recital of these dealings, Mr Blancfein had this puzzled look on his face because in his mind, “this was just business”. I think Mr. Blancfein represents the essence of corporate America – a cesspool of liars, cheats and fakers. I guess the business of America is lieing.

  • Most places, police exist protect the well-to-do from the rest of us.

  • Lear K

    I think Mr. Blancfein represents the essence of … America .The business of America is lieing..libration,fighiting for freedom,spreading democracy.protecting the weak,the children,and women,and getting rid of dictators because they love the people of those countries so much as in Iraq, Afghnistan,and before in Vietnam.

  • Lear K

    The US public has no problems with lies.They believe their own lies and demand others to do the same.You only need to read the comments on Yahoo!

  • Chris S

    We suck at war and intimidation… Come on 4yrs and 2 -3rd world Countries later. Bring the boys and girls home for the 4th….NOW

  • Chris S

    We suck at war and intimidation… Come on 4yrs and 2 -3rd world Countries later. Bring the boys and girls home for the 4th….NOW
    So much passion I had to share it twice, but I'm told that we've been at this for 6 Years!!!

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