James G. Abourezk former U.S. senator (D-SD), has written an article entitled Resurrecting a Modern Myth: “The Surge Is Working” (September 26, 2008).
Abourezk writes, “Bush and his political clone, John McCain, are chanting the mantra, ‘the surge is working,'” and McCain has come out for victory and against surrender in Iraq.
The evidence given for the success of the “surge” is that is the marked decline in U.S. troop fatalities and casualties – a good thing. However, the “surge” is not even a minor factor in the decrease of violence and U.S. casualties in Iraq.
There has been a drop in casualty rates because the Shias have nearly completed their ethnic cleansing of the Sunnis in Baghdad. Most of the Sunnis have been killed, or have fled their homes. There are very few Sunnis left to be killed, at this point.
Attacks on Americans by Sunni tribesmen in western Iraq has decreased, but not because of the “surge.” The reason for the decrease in casualties is that the Sunni tribesman have been bought off and armed by the General Patraeus. This strategy may backfire – the Sunni tribesman may eventually turn these same weapons back on the Americans, or use them in a civil war against the Shia.
Bush and McCain have falsely and knowingly attempted to fool the American people into believing the reduction in violence in Iraq is attributable to the “surge.” McCain has turned this lie in supporting the Iraq war to his advantage in the presidential election.
Bush is working on his legacy, while McCain is pushing his (failing) bid to be our next President. If lies help – so be it, no matter how many must die.
April 20, 2015 Update:
UCLA study of satellite imagery casts doubt on surge’s success in Baghdad
By tracking the amount of light emitted by Baghdad neighborhoods at night, UCLA geographers has uncovered fresh evidence that the U.S. troop surge in Iraq may not have been as effective as some U.S. officials, including Gen. Petraeus and Senator McCain, have maintained.
Night light in neighborhoods populated primarily by embattled Sunni residents declined dramatically just before the February 2007 surge and never returned, suggesting that ethnic cleansing by rival Shiites may have been largely responsible for the decrease in violence for which the U.S. military has claimed credit, the team reports in a new study based on publicly available satellite imagery.
“Essentially, our interpretation is that violence has declined in Baghdad because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning,” said lead author John Agnew, a UCLA professor of geography and authority on ethnic conflict. “By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left.”
The team reported its findings in the October 2008 issue of “Environment and Planning A,” a leading peer-reviewed academic journal that specializes in urban and environmental planning issues.