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The Arguments That They Use

April 27, 2007

General Petraeus says we should keep surging:

The surge in Baghdad, which requires the addition of five combat brigades, all of which won’t arrive in Iraq until May or June, is still in its infancy, Petraeus said Thursday. While there has been an increase in some forms of violence, there are also signs of progress, he said, in a rare appearance before reporters in the Pentagon. But his message during the brief visit in Washington seemed to be that Americans – and, without saying it, Congress – need to give the effort more time.

“The situation is exceedingly complex and very tough,” he said. “Success will take continued commitment, perseverance, and sacrifice.” [Christian Science Monitor: Gen. Petraeus: Iraq strategy needs more time]

Ignoring the fact that “five combat brigades” is nearly 20,000 troops — the size of the surge that OFFAL sold us back in January — which would seem to indicate that the surge hasn’t even started yet…

Ignoring that, let’s take the argument at face value, and also note that the General is not the only one making this argument, while not requiring Your Montag to produce a bunch of citations proving so. The argument is presented thus:

The surge is working. Though we are facing resistance, progress is being made. We need to give the surge more time to be successful.


Let us engage in a brief thought experiment. Let us replace a couple of words here and there:

The weapons inspections are working. Though we are facing resistance, progress is being made. We need to give the weapons inspections more time to be successful.

The arguments against giving the weapons inspections more time to be successful?

Then Secretary of State Colin Powell:

“The Iraq regime has responded to [Resolution] 1441 with empty claims, empty declarations and empty gestures,” Powell said. “It has not given the inspectors and the international community any concrete information in answer to a host of key questions.”

Powell also warned that the credibility of the Security Council could suffer as “Iraq’s defiance” continues to challenge the 15-member U.N. body.

He said that the issue was “not how much more time the inspectors need to search in the dark, it is how much more time Iraq should be given to turn on the lights and come clean. … Iraq’s time for choosing peaceful disarmament is coming to an end.” [PBS: U.N. INSPECTORS SAY QUESTIONS STILL REMAIN, CALL FOR MORE TIME IN IRAQ]

Can we not roughly make the same argument about the surge? Let’s keep in mind that even opponents of the surge must blame the Iraqis for their troubles. (Some things have not changed, you see.)

Reformulation of Powell from above [not an actual quote]:

The Iraqi people have responded to Our benevolent gift of Democracy with empty claims, empty declarations and empty gestures. They have not given the democratically elected Iraqi government and the coalition any concrete support in securing the country.

The credibility of the coalition could suffer as Iraq’s defiance continues to challenge Our continued exercise of naked power.

The issue is not how much more time the surge needs to establish a stable security situation, it is how much more time Iraq should be given to accept the gift of Freedom We have brought and accept the government We have helped them to establish. Iraq’s time for accepting democracy is coming to an end.

(Ok, so maybe that second paragraph is a bit too frank for the politicians… But anyway.)

Of course, the weapons inspections were doomed to fail because the weapons We told the inspectors to find, the weapons We said were there… WERE NOT.

I wish I thought that our Iraq adventure wasn’t also doomed to fail.

Look, the authors of this war fucked Iraq up big time. I can say this because I’m not running for office: Iraqi is worse off today than it was under Saddam Hussein. In terms of violent death, access to utilities, the ability to carry on normal everyday life… Yeah, yeah, Saddam was an evil tyrant. Good riddance. The war We brought them is also evil. I fear it is not even the lesser of the two evils.

Sadly, We are responsible for the current evil in Iraq. It will be a shame if we cannot fix it. I don’t know how. I don’t even know enough about military strategery or geopolitikery to say the surge is the wrong thing to do. But to me, the surge seems like more of the same fucked up shit we’ve been doing so far which sure as fuck ain’t working.

Fucking authors of this war.

PS: Here is an editorial from the San Francisco Gate that says some related stuff: Bush should stop shouting

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