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View Full Version : U.S. Issues The American Prospect asks 10 foreign policy experts about the Surge.


Direckshun
07-29-2008, 05:11 PM
Many in this forum seem to be under the impression that the Surge has been an unqualified success that has been the primary reason that Iraq has seen a drop in violence.

The American Prospect, albeit a liberal outlet, nonetheless assembles a good variety of independent experts on foreign policy and ask them about the Surge.

I'll let you read the article ("How Important Was The Surge? (http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=how_important_was_the_surge)") yourself. But here's the essential summary of it:

Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow for Defense Policy, Council on Foreign Relations:

The Surge was success in bringing violence down, but it failed to bring a political resolution. The Anbar Awakening, however, might do just that.

Shawn Brimley, Fellow, Center for a New American Security:

The Surge helped some, but there were many factors, including the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr telling his troops to stand down. Oddly enough, it was the threat of us leaving that has brought leaders in and violence down.

Juan Cole, Richard P. Mitchell Distinguished University Professor of History, University of Michigan:

Lists the surge of American troops as the 6th most important factor, behind: (1) feuding tribesman, (2) ethnic cleansing, (3) extra oil income, (4) Al Sadr's success in the south, (5) paying off the Sunnis.

Matthew Duss, Research Associate, Center for American Progress:

The Surge could not have been successful without the Anbar Awakening, Al Sadr, and concrete barriers between Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad.

Colin Kahl, Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security:

The Surge coincided with the reduced violence, but doesn't compare to the new strategy to court some insurgents. Add in the Anbar Awakening, Al Sadr, and the prior sectarian cleansing.

Lawrence Korb, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress:

Iraq is much better than it used to be, but most of these factors have little to do with the Surge. Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr are more responsible, but the Surge has helped.

Lt. Col. (ret) John Nagl, Author, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lesson from Malaya and Vietnam:

The Surge helped. So has the Anbar Awakening, Al Sadr's standdown of his army, and the improvement of Iraqi police forces.

Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution:

The Surge was necessary to bring the violence down, but it was a contextual factor that was as important as anything else. The Anbar Awakening was the biggest change, as well as a big change in the US's counterinsurgency policy.

Marina Ottaway, Middle East Program Director, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:

Most important factors were the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr.

Thomas E. Ricks, Author, Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq:

The Surge has only succeeded in bringing violence down. It has not given us the political progress we wanted.

Taco John
07-29-2008, 05:14 PM
Shawn Brimley, Fellow, Center for a New American Security:

The Surge helped some, but there were many factors, including the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr telling his troops to stand down. Oddly enough, it was the threat of us leaving that has brought leaders in and violence down.




This guy just wants to lose the war... Right patteeu?

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 05:14 PM
One consensus here is that the Surge has been militarily successful, but not politically successful. Politically, it hasn't done much at all.

The bigger consensus here is that the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr are just as important, and according to most, they are the most important. Other factors include widespread ethnic cleansing, our tactical reconfiguration on the ground, and some more oil revenue, cement barricades in Baghdad, and improving Iraqi police.

If you're willing to accept consensus of expert opinion, this does seem to put our understanding of the current matter to rest.

Donger
07-29-2008, 05:19 PM
One consensus here is that the Surge has been militarily successful, but not politically successful. Politically, it hasn't done much at all.

The bigger consensus here is that the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr are just as important, and according to most, they are the most important. Other factors include widespread ethnic cleansing, our tactical reconfiguration on the ground, and some more oil revenue and improving Iraqi police.

If you're willing to accept consensus of expert opinion, this does seem to put our understanding of the current matter to rest.

It has been a military success. I don't see how anyone can dispute that.

I would argue that things have progressed politically in Iraq as well, but I wouldn't argue that they are a direct result of the surge only. I would argue that it has probably helped, however. There's only so much our guys with guns can do.

I'm more disturbed by Barack Hussein being completely wrong on his assessment on the surge before it happened, and his apparent lack of being able to admit that he was completely wrong. I would hope that would give even the most fanatical Barack Hussein follower pause.

But I doubt it.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 05:20 PM
Other factors include widespread ethnic cleansing, our tactical reconfiguration on the ground, and some more oil revenue, cement barricades in Baghdad, and improving Iraqi police.
Not to mention bribing the insurgents, which some of our Planeteers expressed doubt was really going on, but which some of the panelists also mentioned.

HonestChieffan
07-29-2008, 05:20 PM
Consensus is that trying to prove the surge is a failure at this point is akin to proving that the sky is not blue.

Keep it up.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 05:22 PM
I'm more disturbed by Barack Hussein being completely wrong on his assessment on the surge before it happened, and his apparent lack of being able to admit that he was completely wrong. I would hope that would give even the most fanatical Barack Hussein follower pause.
There's a big difference between saying the surge was one factor among many (and a lesser factor at that, it seems), and saying the surge was the primary factor, which is pretty much what you have to believe in order to concur with the Bush/McCain philosophy.

Donger
07-29-2008, 05:23 PM
There's a big difference between saying the surge was one factor among many (and a lesser factor at that, it seems), and saying the surge was the primary factor, which is pretty much what you have to believe in order to concur with the Bush/McCain philosophy.

I'm talking about Barack Hussein's assessment of the surge before it happened, not Bush or McCain.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 05:25 PM
It has been a military success. I don't see how anyone can dispute that.

I would argue that things have progressed politically in Iraq as well, but I wouldn't argue that they are a direct result of the surge only. I would argue that it has probably helped, however. There's only so much our guys with guns can do.

I'm more disturbed by Barack Hussein being completely wrong on his assessment on the surge before it happened, and his apparent lack of being able to admit that he was completely wrong. I would hope that would give even the most fanatical Barack Hussein follower pause.

But I doubt it.
You're still making the assumption that the Surge alone caused the reduction in violence. I just gave you 10 experts who all disagree with you.

Obama disagreed that the Surge would have been adequate to reduce violence levels and make political progress.

In fact, the Surge needed a shitload of other things to go right that nobody had foreseen when they were debating the Surge to begin with.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 05:26 PM
I'm talking about Barack Hussein's assessment of the surge before it happened, not Bush or McCain.
If you share the Bush/McCain philosophy that the surge is the primary reason for the reduction in violence, then Obama's assessment is correct, because the Bush/McCain philosophy is wrong in that regard. If you believe that a combination of events, of which the surge was only one, and a relatively minor one at that, has been successful in reducing the level of violence in Iraq, then Obama's assessment is irrelevant, because he spoke only of the surge itself.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 05:26 PM
Consensus is that trying to prove the surge is a failure at this point is akin to proving that the sky is not blue.

Keep it up.
It is, by its own definition, a political failure so far.

VAChief
07-29-2008, 05:27 PM
I'm more impressed by Barack Hussein being completely right about his assessment on whether we should enter this conflict in the first place.



fyp

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 05:27 PM
Consensus is that trying to prove the surge is a failure at this point is akin to proving that the sky is not blue.

Keep it up.
Consensus among the tard choir, perhaps.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 05:28 PM
fyp
+1

Donger
07-29-2008, 05:33 PM
You're still making the assumption that the Surge alone caused the reduction in violence. I just gave you 10 experts who all disagree with you.

No, I'm not.

Obama disagreed that the Surge would have been adequate to reduce violence levels and make political progress.

Partially correct. Here's what Barack Hussein predicted: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there," the Illinois senator said that night, a month before announcing his presidential bid. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Did it do the reverse?

In fact, the Surge needed a shitload of other things to go right that nobody had foreseen when they were debating the Surge to begin with.

I don't disagree.

Donger
07-29-2008, 05:34 PM
Like I said, I doubted that Barack Hussein followers would be bothered by his being wrong on the surge.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 05:36 PM
Partially correct. Here's what Barack Hussein predicted: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there," the Illinois senator said that night, a month before announcing his presidential bid. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Did it do the reverse?
Sectarian violence escalated about the time the surge began, and continued to rise for some time. And violence against our troops escalated to its highest levels since the occupation began, peaking just before we started the payments to the Sunni insurgents. You be the judge, would that qualify as making it worse?

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 05:37 PM
Like I said, I doubted that Barack Hussein followers would be bothered by his being wrong on the surge.
He wasn't wrong on the surge. You were.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 05:38 PM
In fact, the Surge needed a shitload of other things to go right that nobody had foreseen when they were debating the Surge to begin with.
And many of those things had a greater impact on the reduction of violence than the surge itself.

patteeu
07-29-2008, 05:47 PM
One consensus here is that the Surge has been militarily successful, but not politically successful. Politically, it hasn't done much at all.

The bigger consensus here is that the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr are just as important, and according to most, they are the most important. Other factors include widespread ethnic cleansing, our tactical reconfiguration on the ground, and some more oil revenue, cement barricades in Baghdad, and improving Iraqi police.

If you're willing to accept consensus of expert opinion, this does seem to put our understanding of the current matter to rest.

ROFL

This so-called consensus of yours is not a very broad one. If it's a consensus at all, it's among leftist and left-leaning foreign policy analysts and long-time critics of Bush policy on Iraq from what I can see.

It's not that surprising that some of these analysts choose to separate the manpower surge from the strategic changes that President Bush implemented simultaneously as a part of what he called the surge strategy. When Colin Kahl says, "The Surge coincided with the reduced violence, but doesn't compare to the new strategy to court some insurgents," he's electing to separate the two in a way that appears to discredit "the surge". Similarly, Juan Cole credits "extra oil income" (made possible by increased security) and "paying off the sunnis" which is a disparaging way to describe our strategy to coopt moderate elements of the insurgency (a textbook anti-insurgency approach) as being more important than the surge when the reality is that they are a part of or are facilitated by our surge strategy.

Edit: The next time you try to pass something off as a matter-resting consensus, try using a source that isn't described as "a monthly American political magazine dedicated to liberalism. It bills itself as a journal "of liberal ideas, committed to a just society, an enriched democracy, and effective liberal politics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_American_Prospect)."

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 05:47 PM
No, I'm not.

Partially correct. Here's what Barack Hussein predicted: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there," the Illinois senator said that night, a month before announcing his presidential bid. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Did it do the reverse?

I don't disagree.
I do hate quote-a-thons.

Listen, according to the experts above and many others, the two biggest factors were the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr. The Surge played a role in it, and even encouraged the other factors, but the military success of the Surge was banked on these other things happening.

Well, we didn't have much of a way of knowing these other things were going to occur in 2006. Without these things, the military aspect of the Surge becomes way more complicated with zero guarantees that it would resolve the violence.

So Obama might have taken a wiser stance in 2006 than you give him credit for.

Hindsight is 20/20. It can also lead to some history revision.

Donger
07-29-2008, 05:51 PM
Sectarian violence escalated about the time the surge began, and continued to rise for some time. And violence against our troops escalated to its highest levels since the occupation began, peaking just before we started the payments to the Sunni insurgents. You be the judge, would that qualify as making it worse?

Someone really needs to inform your boy.

Since the surge began, more than 1,000 American troops have died, and despite the improved security situation, the Iraqi government has not stepped forward to lead the Iraqi people and to reach the genuine political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge. Our troops have heroically helped reduce civilian casualties in Iraq to early 2006 levels.

There is no doubt that the extraordinary work of our U.S. forces has contributed to a lessening of the violence

I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There's no doubt.

As to your assertion, I don't think that is accurate. Barack Hussein said that the surge would not end sectarian violence and would in fact do the reverse. Look at this chart:

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 05:52 PM
ROFL

This so-called consensus of yours is not a very broad one. If it's a consensus at all, it's among leftist and left-leaning foreign policy analysts and long-time critics of Bush policy on Iraq from what I can see.

It's not that surprising that some of these analysts choose to separate the manpower surge from the strategic changes that President Bush implemented simultaneously as a part of what he called the surge strategy. When Colin Kahl says, "The Surge coincided with the reduced violence, but doesn't compare to the new strategy to court some insurgents," he's electing to separate the two in a way that appears to discredit "the surge". Similarly, Juan Cole credits "extra oil income" (made possible by increased security) and "paying off the sunnis" which is a disparaging way to describe our strategy to coopt moderate elements of the insurgency (a textbook anti-insurgency approach) as being more important than the surge when the reality is that they are a part of or are facilitated by our surge strategy.
I did figure that posting anything from the American Prospect, even a panel of independent experts who all give the Surge a lot of credit, would get one of these replies. And you'll have to explain to me how somebody being a long-time critic of the Iraq War disqualifies that person from being an expert on the subject. I'm not going to get into a credibility conversation about these people, because it's entirely like you know very little about any or all of these folks and are just making a blanket attack.

Either way, accepting their credibility is on you. If you want to rob the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr and prior ethnic cleansing of their influence, that's on you. But you're in a fairly small minority in the foreign policy community.

patteeu
07-29-2008, 05:52 PM
Speaking of Michael O'Hanlon, one of the more straight-shooting of the lefties listed in the OP, he is quoted in this article from the NYTimes that relevantly tries to sort out the competing claims about the surge coming from Obama and McCain:

Candidates Spar Over Troop Surge and Iraq Chronology (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/us/politics/24check.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss)

By MICHAEL COOPER
Published: July 24, 2008

Senator John McCain was chiding Senator Barack Obama for “a false depiction of what actually happened” in Iraq in a television interview this week. But in giving his chronology of events in Iraq, Mr. McCain gave what critics said was his own false depiction.

Mr. McCain has been using Mr. Obama’s trip overseas this week to argue that the improved security situation in Iraq shows the success of the troop escalation that just ended, of which he was an early, fervent supporter, but which Mr. Obama opposed.

Mr. McCain bristled in an interview with the “CBS Evening News” on Tuesday when asked about Mr. Obama’s contention that while the added troops had helped reduce violence in Iraq, other factors had helped, including the Sunni Awakening movement, in which thousands of Sunnis were enlisted to patrol neighborhoods and fight the insurgency, and the Iraqi government’s crackdown on Shiite militias.

“I don’t know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened,” Mr. McCain told Katie Couric, noting that the Awakening movement began in Anbar Province when a Sunni sheik teamed up with Sean MacFarland, a colonel who commanded an Army brigade there.

“Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others,” Mr. McCain said. “And it began the Anbar Awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history.”

The Obama campaign was quick to note that the Anbar Awakening began in the fall of 2006, several months before President Bush even announced the troop escalation strategy, which became known as the surge. (No less an authority than Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, testified before Congress this spring that the Awakening “started before the surge, but then was very much enabled by the surge.”)

And Democrats noted that the sheik who helped form the Awakening, Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi, was assassinated in September 2007, after the troop escalation began.

The National Security Network, a liberal foreign policy group, called Mr. McCain’s explanation of the surge’s history “completely wrong.”

But several foreign policy analysts said that if Mr. McCain got the chronology wrong, his broader point — that the troop escalation was crucial for the Awakening movement to succeed and spread — was right. “I would say McCain is three-quarters right in this debate,” said Michael E. O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The question of the troop escalation’s role on pacifying Iraq has emerged as a critical debate between the two, as the McCain campaign has accused Mr. Obama of failing to acknowledge the success of a strategy that Mr. McCain fervently supported.

The McCain campaign said the troop escalation was a vital component that assured the success of the Awakening movement. And Mr. McCain said Wednesday that when he was referring to the “surge,” he meant the entire counterinsurgency strategy, and not just to the troop escalation that President Bush ordered.

“First of all, a surge is really a counterinsurgency strategy,” Mr. McCain said in Bethlehem, Pa. “And it’s made up of a number of components. And this counterinsurgency was initiated to some degree by Colonel MacFarland in Anbar Province, relatively on his own. And I visited with him in December of 2006. He had already initiated that strategy in Ramadi by going in, and clearing and holding in certain places. That is a counterinsurgency. And he told me at that time that he believed that that strategy, which is quote ‘the surge,’ part of the surge, would be, would be, successful.”

“So then, of course, it was very clear that we needed additional troops in order to carry out this insurgency,” he said. “Prior to that they had been going into places, killing people or not killing people, and then withdrawing. And the new counterinsurgency, the surge, entailed going in and clearing and holding, which Colonel MacFarland had already started doing. And then of course, later on, there were additional troops, and General Petraeus said that the surge would not have worked, and the Anbar Awakening would not have taken place, successfully, if they hadn’t had an increase in the number of troops.”

Conducting a presidential campaign in the middle of a war is somewhat unusual, and several foreign policy experts lament that a great deal of nuance and thoughtful discussion is lost in the political back-and-forth.

If Mr. McCain found himself criticized for seeming to confuse the chronology of events in Iraq, some analysts said Mr. Obama seemed to be giving too little credit to the surge for improving conditions in Iraq. Mr. Obama, who opposed the Iraq war, said in an interview with “Nightline” on ABC this week that if he had to do it all over again, knowing what he knew now, he would still not support the surge.

Mr. O’Hanlon, of the Brookings Institution, said he did not understand why Mr. Obama seemed to want to debate the success of the surge. “Any human being is reluctant to admit a mistake,” he said, noting that it takes on added risk in a political campaign.

And Anthony H. Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the political debate did not always illuminate the issues very well. “There are times, I think, where maybe we really ought to step back from this semantic horror show, and remember that this is a political campaign, it is posturing,” Mr. Cordesman said. “Would anyone want either presidential candidate to keep any promise they made today if reality was different in January, or in any point afterwards?”

Donger
07-29-2008, 05:54 PM
Listen, according to the experts above and many others, the two biggest factors were the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr. The Surge played a role in it, and even encouraged the other factors, but the military success of the Surge was banked on these other things happening.

I don't disagree, but we don't know if those things would have happened without the surge, do we?

The fact remains that Barack Hussein was wrong with his pre-surge assessment. Are you people really so fanatical that you think he is infallible?

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 05:57 PM
I don't disagree, but we don't know if those things would have happened without the surge, do we?

The fact remains that Barack Hussein was wrong with his pre-surge assessment. Are you people really so fanatical that you think he is infallible?
Whoa, nelly. Easy.

Easy.

I don't think he's infallible. But you obviously know that. So you just need to slow down a bit.

We do know those things would have happened without the Surge, Donger. Al Sadr's decision was completely independent of the Surge. And the Anbar Awakening predated the Surge. Ethnic cleansing waaaay predated the Surge.

Donger
07-29-2008, 05:59 PM
Whoa, nelly. Easy.

Easy.

I don't think he's infallible. But you obviously know that. So you just need to slow down a bit.

We do know those things would have happened without the Surge, Donger. Al Sadr's decision was completely independent of the Surge. And the Anbar Awakening predated the Surge. Ethnic cleansing waaaay predated the Surge.

It began before the surge, yes, in fall 2006, IIRC. But, would it have been successful without the surge? I don't know. The surge happened, thankfully, despite Barack Hussein's disapproval.

Donger
07-29-2008, 06:01 PM
Whoa, nelly. Easy.

Easy.

I don't think he's infallible.

So you would agree that Barack Hussein was wrong on his pre-surge assessment?

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:02 PM
It began before the surge, yes, in fall 2006, IIRC. But, would it have been successful without the surge? I don't know. The surge happened, thankfully, despite Barack Hussein's disapproval.
I assume you're talking about the Anbar Awakening here. I'm not entirely sure you understand what happened at the Awakening, but again, it long predated the Surge.

Now, the experts in the OP and others say that it's possible the Surge encouraged the efforts of the Awakening. But nobody has made the argument (that I'm aware of) that the Awakening was dependent on the Surge to succeed. On the contrary, most have actually argued that the Surge was dependent on the Awakening to militarily meet its goals.

BucEyedPea
07-29-2008, 06:02 PM
Did the Surge Work? (http://independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=2277)


The media, egged on by John McCain and his campaign, are going to twist the arm of Barack Obama until he cries “uncle” and admits the U.S. troop “surge” has worked in Iraq. So far, Obama has not cracked under the pressure and, for reasons of political expediency, admitted this dubious proposition.

The smart political course of action for Obama—but not the correct one—would be to admit the surge has worked to reduce violence but to observe that that’s little solace after a needless invasion and five-year (and counting) occupation that has cost more than 4,000 lives and about $600 billion. So far, Obama has stuck to the correct, and maybe even charitable, conclusion that the surge is only one of many factors that has reduced the carnage in Iraq.

Using logic, if the U.S. troop surge had been the cause of the diminished violence, then why did the mayhem go up in 2005 when the United States undertook a troop surge of similar magnitude? Moreover, because little true political reconciliation has occurred in Iraq since the surge began, if the additional troops were the cause of the new tranquility, that calm should be evaporating now that U.S. forces are being reduced to pre-surge levels. Yet so far, no spike in violence is occurring. Thus, the logical conclusion is that other factors are likely to have been more important in improving conditions than the addition of more troops.

For example, many experts believe that the prior violent cleansing of ethno-sectarian populations has separated the battling Shi’i and Sunni groups and thus reduced the internecine warfare. Also, the U.S. military finally implemented a true counterinsurgency strategy in which it eschewed killing lots of guerrillas (and civilians collaterally) with heavy firepower and moved toward holding ground and winning the “hearts and minds” of the Iraqi population. One would have thought it would not have taken the U.S. military so long to relearn this lesson after the searing experience of the Vietnam War.

Finally, and maybe most important, the U.S. decided to negotiate with (Moktada al-Sadr and his Shi’i militia) and pay off (the Sunni guerrillas) enemies to get their forces to quit attacking U.S. troops. U.S. politicians, thinking it is not macho to do either, have either downplayed these factors or preferred to refer to the latter by euphemism. The former is especially embarrassing to the politicians because the United States has criticized the new Pakistani government for negotiating with, instead of fighting, the Taliban and other Pakistani militants, while the U.S. government has pursued the same strategy in Iraq with the al-Sadr Shi’i militia. The latter is embarrassing because it is considered wimpy to pay off, rather than do battle, with your enemies.

Make no mistake: paying off your enemies is always a better and cheaper strategy than expending the blood and treasure to fight them. For example, if Abraham Lincoln had offered the South compensated emancipation of its slaves--which he had advocated before becoming president--before the Civil War started, he might have avoided the killing of more than 600,000 Americans (38,000 of whom were African-American) in a war that provided freedom for blacks only in name.

Yet paying off enemies to reduce the violence is not a long-term solution to stability in Iraq. In that part of the world, if you quit making the pay offs or conditions change in such a volatile and fractured society, violence could quickly escalate again. The reconciliation occurring in Iraq is largely cosmetic and forced by U.S. pressure. It is analogous to two sets of parents arranging a marriage between two young people who don’t get along and locking them up in a room together until they like each other. To get out of the room, they will go through the motions of amity, but probably will eventually end up divorced.

If the United States is smart, it will avoid the consequences of the likely future divorce among Iraqi groups and move toward Obama’s tendency to declare victory and start leaving while things are going better. Such a policy would leave a better chance of U.S. forces avoiding the likely coming storm of resumed violence. If the United States wants to give Iraq the best chance of stability in the post-U.S. era, it should use its withdrawal to negotiate a radically decentralized government in which exiting armed militias maintain security in their own autonomous regions.

Above all, the U.S. should avoid John McCain’s conclusion that the surge worked in Iraq and should be tried Afghanistan. Obama and McCain are engaged in a bidding war to see how many U.S. troops they can add to another lost war in Afghanistan, which has even lower prospects for future stability than Iraq. The Taliban are much more ideological and militant than most of the Sunni guerrillas in Iraq and far less likely to agree to be paid off. Also, the Taliban have a sanctuary (Pakistan) that the Sunni guerrillas in Iraq never had.

The al Qaeda that threatens the United States is in Pakistan, not Afghanistan or Iraq. The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan merely helps al Qaeda gain support in Pakistan. Thus, the U.S. should withdraw all of its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and concentrate on dealing with al Qaeda in Pakistan.

patteeu
07-29-2008, 06:08 PM
I did figure that posting anything from the American Prospect, even a panel of independent experts who all give the Surge a lot of credit, would get one of these replies. And you'll have to explain to me how somebody being a long-time critic of the Iraq War disqualifies that person from being an expert on the subject. I'm not going to get into a credibility conversation about these people, because it's entirely like you know very little about any or all of these folks and are just making a blanket attack.

Either way, accepting their credibility is on you. If you want to rob the Anbar Awakening and Al Sadr and prior ethnic cleansing of their influence, that's on you. But you're in a fairly small minority in the foreign policy community.

You're making an appeal to authority and then complaining when I attack the credibility of your authorities? LOL

Being a long-time critic of the Iraq War doesn't disqualify someone from being an expert, but it sure brings into question their credibility just like any established bias would. If nothing else, such a critic has a personal stake in his prior positions being proven by subsequent events.

You're not going to get into a "credibility conversation" about these people because *you* don't know much about them.

BTW, it seems to me that the fact that you can read this in a publication that you know is quite liberal and still suggest that it puts the matter to rest without even a hint of skepticism is a credibility issue in and of itself.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:11 PM
Look at this chart:
You know what's funny about that chart, Donger?

The biggest dip in violence occurs in January.

Guess what month the Surge troops arrive in.

February.

Donger
07-29-2008, 06:12 PM
I assume you're talking about the Anbar Awakening here. I'm not entirely sure you understand what happened at the Awakening, but again, it long predated the Surge.

Now, the experts in the OP and others say that it's possible the Surge encouraged the efforts of the Awakening. But nobody has made the argument (that I'm aware of) that the Awakening was dependent on the Surge to succeed. On the contrary, most have actually argued that the Surge was dependent on the Awakening to militarily meet its goals.

I'm not suggesting the surge created the awakening. Clearly, it did not. I'm suggesting that the surge allowed for expansion of the awakening and helped it to be successful.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:14 PM
You're making an appeal to authority and then complaining when I attack the credibility of your authorities? LOL

Being a long-time critic of the Iraq War doesn't disqualify someone from being an expert, but it sure brings into question their credibility just like any established bias would. If nothing else, such a critic has a personal stake in his prior positions being proven by subsequent events.

You're not going to get into a "credibility conversation" about these people because *you* don't know much about them.

BTW, it seems to me that the fact that you can read this in a publication that you know is quite liberal and still suggest that it puts the matter to rest without even a hint of skepticism is a credibility issue in and of itself.
Let me see if I can summarize the assumptions you're making in this post alone:

1. The experts above have personal stakes in the Surge failing, so they argue that it has.

2. I know nothing about the experts and therefore wish to avoid debate with the Mighty Patteeu.

3. I exercise no skepticism when I pick up information from liberal organizations.

What else am I missing?

Donger
07-29-2008, 06:15 PM
You know what's funny about that chart, Donger?

The biggest dip in violence occurs in January.

Guess what month the Surge troops arrive in.

February.

I'm not sure why that is funny. I posted that in response to Barack Hussein's incorrect prediction.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:15 PM
I'm not suggesting the surge created the awakening. Clearly, it did not. I'm suggesting that the surge allowed for expansion of the awakening and helped it to be successful.
I don't think it allowed it, but I do think it helped.

Donger
07-29-2008, 06:17 PM
I don't think it allowed it, but I do think it helped.

Are you going to answer my question posed in #28?

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:17 PM
I'm not sure why that is funny. I posted that in response to Barack Hussein's incorrect prediction.
It's not as much funny-haha as much as it is funny-Donger's-retarded.

It just eats a bit (if not entirely) at your argument that the Surge is soooo important to Iraq's reduction in violence, when the biggest dip in violence in the chart you used to prove your point actually helps to disprove it.

Chiefnj2
07-29-2008, 06:18 PM
Remember when everyone was clamoring to kill Al Sadr?

patteeu
07-29-2008, 06:18 PM
Whoa, nelly. Easy.

Easy.

I don't think he's infallible. But you obviously know that. So you just need to slow down a bit.

We do know those things would have happened without the Surge, Donger. Al Sadr's decision was completely independent of the Surge. And the Anbar Awakening predated the Surge. Ethnic cleansing waaaay predated the Surge.

On what do you base the idea that Al Sadr's decision was completely independent of the surge? It appeared to be quite related to our recommitment and our surge into the neighborhoods of Baghdad to me.

And while outreach to the Sunni's and their Anbar Awakening did start before the surge, the surge was designed to take advantage of it and encourage it's expansion. You can't separate the Anbar Awakening from the surge with any confidence at all. IOW, we don't know those things would have happened at all.

I do agree that ethnic cleansing took place before our surge and has made the job of tamping down violence in some places easier.

Donger
07-29-2008, 06:20 PM
It's not as much funny-haha as much as it is funny-Donger's-retarded.

It just eats a bit (if not entirely) at your argument that the Surge is soooo important to Iraq's reduction in violence, when the biggest dip in violence in the chart you used to prove your point actually helps to disprove it.

You may note why I posted that chart. It was to show that Barack Hussein was wrong about the surge increasing sectarian violence.

patteeu
07-29-2008, 06:22 PM
Let me see if I can summarize the assumptions you're making in this post alone:

1. The experts above have personal stakes in the Surge failing, so they argue that it has.

2. I know nothing about the experts and therefore wish to avoid debate with the Mighty Patteeu.

3. I exercise no skepticism when I pick up information from liberal organizations.

What else am I missing?

I'd modify them slightly:

1. The experts above have biases and don't represent a broad cross-section of expert thought on this subject and are therefore far from a meaningful consensus.

2. You know nothing about the experts and therefore wish to avoid debating their credibility with anyone.

3. Given your apparent knowledge that you were cutting and pasting from a committed leftwing publication, you exercised insufficient skepticism in this case and failed to fully disclose the obvious bias but instead tried to pass it off as a matter-resting consensus.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:26 PM
Are you going to answer my question posed in #28?
Didn't even see it.

But I mean, I could answer it, but I don't know if you'd be satisfied with the answer.

I don't think he was right or wrong, really. I think too many unpredicted factors occured, and it became a situation that coincided with the Surge rather than a situation that depended on the Surge.

Let me ask you a hypothetical (and I know you have trouble with these, so bear with me):

I predict that that the wooden desk you're sitting at is so strong, that if I plopped a whole set of Encyclopedia Brittanica on it at once, it would stand.

But neither of us has a set, so we have to order it on the phone for delivery. The delivery takes 3 weeks, and at one point in that three weeks, a storm blew in and flooded your house, due in large part to a lightning strike which obviously nobody saw coming. Water fills your office, and gets your wooden desk all soggy.

Finally, the set of Encyclopedia Brittanica arrives. The desk now, however, is so fatally weakened from all the water that filled up the joint. We simply drop the "Aa-Ag" book on it, and it collapses.

Was my initial prediction right or wrong?

Not really either. Nobody saw this additional factor when I originally made the prediction, so it's a completely different situation.

I'd argue that pretty much the same thing happened in Iraq.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:26 PM
You may note why I posted that chart. It was to show that Barack Hussein was wrong about the surge increasing sectarian violence.
Well I think the right/wrong aspect of that is misguided, as I elaborated on above.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:27 PM
I'd modify them slightly:

1. The experts above have biases and don't represent a broad cross-section of expert thought on this subject and are therefore far from a meaningful consensus.

2. You know nothing about the experts and therefore wish to avoid debating their credibility with anyone.

3. Given your apparent knowledge that you were cutting and pasting from a committed leftwing publication, you exercised insufficient skepticism in this case and failed to fully disclose the obvious bias but instead tried to pass it off as a matter-resting consensus.
Sounds amazing.

Donger
07-29-2008, 06:31 PM
Didn't even see it.

But I mean, I could answer it, but I don't know if you'd be satisfied with the answer.

I don't think he was right or wrong, really. I think too many unpredicted factors occured, and it became a situation that coincided with the Surge rather than a situation that depended on the Surge.

Let me ask you a hypothetical (and I know you have trouble with these, so bear with me):

I predict that that the wooden desk you're sitting at is so strong, that if I plopped a whole set of Encyclopedia Brittanica on it at once, it would stand.

But neither of us has a set, so we have to order it on the phone for delivery. The delivery takes 3 weeks, and at one point in that three weeks, a storm blew in and flooded your house, due in large part to a lightning strike which obviously nobody saw coming. Water fills your office, and gets your wooden desk all soggy.

Finally, the set of Encyclopedia Brittanica arrives. The desk now, however, is so fatally weakened from all the water that filled up the joint. We simply drop the "Aa-Ag" book on it, and it collapses.

Was my initial prediction right or wrong?

Not really either. Nobody saw this additional factor when I originally made the prediction, so it's a completely different situation.

I'd argue that pretty much the same thing happened in Iraq.

No, that's pretty much what I expected.

He made the following prediction: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there," the Illinois senator said that night, a month before announcing his presidential bid. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

In fact, it did not do the reverse. Not opinion, fact. He was/is wrong.

But, as I said, I shouldn't expect either Barack Hussein or his followers to have the courage to admit that.

Donger
07-29-2008, 06:31 PM
Well I think the right/wrong aspect of that is misguided, as I elaborated on above.

Of course you do.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 06:42 PM
No, that's pretty much what I expected.

He made the following prediction: "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there," the Illinois senator said that night, a month before announcing his presidential bid. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

In fact, it did not do the reverse. Not opinion, fact. He was/is wrong.

But, as I said, I shouldn't expect either Barack Hussein or his followers to have the courage to admit that.
Nobody picked the Anbar Awakening to blossom and have the impact that it did. And nobody picked Al Sadr to wisen up and call his army down. The Surge was largely inspired by sectarian strife that included ethnic cleansing which had pretty much resolved itself by the time the Surge arrived. And so on and so on.

These three are game changers. They are significant. Put them together, and Iraq is a completely different country after than it is before. And in these conditions, the Surge could help. Not a lot of people, especially within the political community, saw things falling into place like this.

To blame Obama for getting this wrong after the fact shows that you just don't understand how significant each of those three things are in Iraq. I doubt you would have said that I was wrong in the hypothetical I put up, but that won't prevent you from exercising a double-standard to get a jab in at Obama.

Donger
07-29-2008, 06:50 PM
Nobody picked the Anbar Awakening to blossom and have the impact that it did. And nobody picked Al Sadr to wisen up and call his army down. The Surge was largely inspired by sectarian strife that included ethnic cleansing which had pretty much resolved itself by the time the Surge arrived. And so on and so on.

These three are game changers. They are significant. Put them together, and Iraq is a completely different country after than it is before. And in these conditions, the Surge could help. Not a lot of people, especially within the political community, saw things falling into place like this.

To blame Obama for getting this wrong after the fact shows that you just don't understand how significant each of those three things are in Iraq. I doubt you would have said that I was wrong in the hypothetical I put up, but that won't prevent you from exercising a double-standard to get a jab in at Obama.

He didn't get it wrong after the fact. He got it wrong before the fact. His prediction was wrong. Plain and simple.

But by all means, keep spinning. It's moderately amusing. Any reasonable person would look at what he predicted, look at what actually happened and conclude that Barack Hussein was simply wrong.

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 09:04 PM
Look at the chart you posted. The drops in casualties in January (well before the Surge) were insane. They didn't happen by accident. They were the biggest drop in casualties in the entire chart, and that was due to the Anbar Awakening (late 2006). Let me ask you where the second biggest drop in casualties is: August. Guess what happens in August? Al Sadr orders his army to stand down.

You can't downplay the influence of these things. It completely transforms the war. It transforms the country.

We had a big debate here in this forum in late 2006 and early 2007 about the Surge. Find me ONE POST by ANYBODY in those debates that mentioned the Anbar Awakening or Al Sadr. Nobody did, because nobody saw those events coming.

You can't credit the Surge with this shit. The Surge wasn't responsible for the most dramatic drops in violence.

The Surge has helped, but it hasn't succeeded politically, and its military influence has been happenstance.

Therefore, I don't think either McCain or Obama were right, but neither one of them were really wrong, either.

You'd have to have a crystal ball to get this stuff right. Being President isn't about having a crystal ball. It's about knowing the facts on the ground and adjusting.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 09:10 PM
Someone really needs to inform your boy.


Quote:
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by Barack Hussein
Since the surge began, more than 1,000 American troops have died, and despite the improved security situation, the Iraqi government has not stepped forward to lead the Iraqi people and to reach the genuine political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge. Our troops have heroically helped reduce civilian casualties in Iraq to early 2006 levels.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
This comment actually supports my position.

Quote:
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by Barack Hussein
There is no doubt that the extraordinary work of our U.S. forces has contributed to a lessening of the violence
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
"Contributed to" are the key words. "Contributed to" does not mean "primarily caused."

Quote:
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by Barack Hussein
I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There's no doubt.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
"Helped to" are the key words. See "contributed to."

[quote]As to your assertion, I don't think that is accurate. Barack Hussein said that the surge would not end sectarian violence and would in fact do the reverse. Look at this chart:
The chart tells a little different story than you seem to think it does, when you consider the timeline of the surge, the Anbar Awakening and the Al Sadr Truce (both of which had nothing to do with the surge). The surge didn't begin in earnest until March, and the number of deaths stayed steady, but the number of violence incidents increased over the next two months. At the end of May, which was the worst month of US troops, the surge floundered, and they started paying off the insurgents instead, at which time there was a sharp drop in incidents of violence for one month. Then the violence shot up again as the Sunnis and Shias began clashing with each other again, instead of the troops, which prompted Al Sadr to strike a truce and stand down his forces (for six months) because of the heavy losses they sustained to the Sunnis. With Al Sadr standing down, violence dropped significantly, and continued to drop from there. So even your chart shows that the surge didn't have all that much of an effect (the major dropoff from January to March occurred before the surge started, because of the Anbar Awakening). Then once the surge started, it escalated again.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 09:20 PM
He didn't get it wrong after the fact. He got it wrong before the fact. His prediction was wrong. Plain and simple.
He didn't get it wrong before the fact. You did. And you continue to get it wrong after the fact. Look at your chart. Before the surge begins = major dropoff, because of the Anbar Awakening. From August to the end of the year = major dropoff, because of the Al Sadr Truce. From the beginning of the surge to the Al Sadr Truce = increased sectarian violence. Taking all of the other events into consideration, there's no way you can reasonably parlay that into "the surge was successful." The surge ultimately had negligible impact. The greatest impact came from what certain Iraqi parties decided to do all on their own. And the success of those measures is tentative, because Al Sadr only promised a temporary stand-down until he could get his army build back up again, and the Anbar Awakening is still making people nervous, because the tribes haven't really come together politically, and many fear that they're just playing a waiting game to build up their militias to the point that they think they can start something.

Donger
07-29-2008, 09:47 PM
Look at the chart you posted. The drops in casualties in January (well before the Surge) were insane. They didn't happen by accident. They were the biggest drop in casualties in the entire chart, and that was due to the Anbar Awakening (late 2006). Let me ask you where the second biggest drop in casualties is: August. Guess what happens in August? Al Sadr orders his army to stand down.

You can't downplay the influence of these things. It completely transforms the war. It transforms the country.

We had a big debate here in this forum in late 2006 and early 2007 about the Surge. Find me ONE POST by ANYBODY in those debates that mentioned the Anbar Awakening or Al Sadr. Nobody did, because nobody saw those events coming.

You can't credit the Surge with this shit. The Surge wasn't responsible for the most dramatic drops in violence.

The Surge has helped, but it hasn't succeeded politically, and its military influence has been happenstance.

Therefore, I don't think either McCain or Obama were right, but neither one of them were really wrong, either.

You'd have to have a crystal ball to get this stuff right. Being President isn't about having a crystal ball. It's about knowing the facts on the ground and adjusting.

Again, did sectarian violence increase because of the surge or not?

Donger
07-29-2008, 09:48 PM
He didn't get it wrong before the fact. You did. And you continue to get it wrong after the fact. Look at your chart. Before the surge begins = major dropoff, because of the Anbar Awakening. From August to the end of the year = major dropoff, because of the Al Sadr Truce. From the beginning of the surge to the Al Sadr Truce = increased sectarian violence. Taking all of the other events into consideration, there's no way you can reasonably parlay that into "the surge was successful." The surge ultimately had negligible impact. The greatest impact came from what certain Iraqi parties decided to do all on their own. And the success of those measures is tentative, because Al Sadr only promised a temporary stand-down until he could get his army build back up again, and the Anbar Awakening is still making people nervous, because the tribes haven't really come together politically, and many fear that they're just playing a waiting game to build up their militias to the point that they think they can start something.

Again, did sectarian violence increase because of the surge or not?

Direckshun
07-29-2008, 09:52 PM
Again, did sectarian violence increase because of the surge or not?
You're just kind of repeating the same thing over and over.

If you won't read my posts or absorb the facts on the ground, I think we're pretty much done here.

Donger
07-29-2008, 10:09 PM
You're just kind of repeating the same thing over and over.

If you won't read my posts or absorb the facts on the ground, I think we're pretty much done here.

Yes, I'm repeating facts.

Barack Hussein said that sectarian violence would increase. It did not. He was wrong.

He and his followers cannot or will not acknowledge that fact.

It's a symptom of the disease.

And, it's pretty funny.

By all means, continue.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 10:36 PM
Again, did sectarian violence increase because of the surge or not?
Well, it increased right at the time that our troop strength reached surge levels, and there weren't any other major developments going on at the time that we can point to as the cause of the increased violence, so it would be reasonable to assume the surge sparked it.

Nightwish
07-29-2008, 10:39 PM
Yes, I'm repeating facts.
No, you're not repeating facts. You're repeating propaganda. The very chart you posted speaks against your "facts."

Barack Hussein said that sectarian violence would increase. It did not.
It did. Your chart shows it. Something occurred to spark an increase in sectarian violence from March to August. The troop build-up reached surge levels in March.

He was wrong.
He was right, you were and are wrong.

He and his followers cannot or will not acknowledge that fact.
You cannot or will not acknowledge that fact.

It's a symptom of the disease.
I agree. Perhaps someday you'll recover. Until then, we can only pray for you.

BucEyedPea
07-29-2008, 10:39 PM
Yes, I'm repeating facts.

Barack Hussein said that sectarian violence would increase. It did not. He was wrong.

He and his followers cannot or will not acknowledge that fact.

It's a symptom of the disease.

And, it's pretty funny.

By all means, continue.

If you read my article violence did increase with a surge type action in 2005. This time other factors have reduced the violence: negotiations, pay-offs, ethnic cleansing of Bagdhad but it wasn't The Surge that did it. So Bush/Mac and supporters are taking more credit than is deserved for The Surge.

Mr. Kotter
07-29-2008, 10:47 PM
....
The American Prospect, albeit a liberal outlet, nonetheless assembles a good variety of independent experts on foreign policy and ask them about the Surge...

Liberal, yes; "independent 'experts'"....nah, not really.

:rolleyes:

Dallas Chief
07-29-2008, 11:26 PM
You know what's funny about that chart, Donger?

The biggest dip in violence occurs in January.

Guess what month the Surge troops arrive in.

February.

Am I looking at something incorrectly? It looks like the largest drops are in February-March to me???

Donger
07-30-2008, 12:28 AM
It did. Your chart shows it. Something occurred to spark an increase in sectarian violence from March to August. The troop build-up reached surge levels in March.

Actually, if you look at the numbers, you'll see that the sectarian violence incidents actually decreased from March to August on average, and even more so beyond that. As I said, any reasonable person can see the trend.

It really isn't my problem if you cannot.

But, again, I do appreciate you making my point. Direckshun, too.

Direckshun
07-30-2008, 06:31 AM
Am I looking at something incorrectly? It looks like the largest drops are in February-March to me???
It drops 6,000 from January to February (before Surge troops settled in and started their grind), and 1,000 from February to March (once they did).

Direckshun
07-30-2008, 06:33 AM
Yes, I'm repeating facts.

Barack Hussein said that sectarian violence would increase. It did not. He was wrong.

He and his followers cannot or will not acknowledge that fact.

It's a symptom of the disease.

And, it's pretty funny.

By all means, continue.
Well I've already made my point, and you've really given me nothing new to respond to.

Otherwise, I would continue.

mlyonsd
07-30-2008, 08:16 AM
If the surge isn't responsible for anything why does Obama want American troops to be targeted and killed for another 20 months? Why isn't he calling for them to be removed right now?

Why does he hate the troops and want to see them killed?

BucEyedPea
07-30-2008, 08:19 AM
Liberal, yes; "independent 'experts'"....nah, not really.

:rolleyes:

Well, there are conservatives who agree with some of those liberals. Ivan Leland an national security expert with a PhD in it, who's worked with congress on such issues for 15 years, who writes for Cato and the Independent Institute claims it wasn't The Surge either. It's a wrong "why" and is serving more as PRs for this administration and those who supported the Iraq invasion initially to save face.

BucEyedPea
07-30-2008, 08:21 AM
If the surge isn't responsible for anything why does Obama want American troops to be targeted and killed for another 20 months? Why isn't he calling for them to be removed right now?

Why does he hate the troops and want to see them killed?

Because he likes them there getting killed. He doesn't care who kills them.

Ultra Peanut
07-30-2008, 08:22 AM
WHY WON'T THEY ADMIT THAT THEY LOVE THE SURGE?

mlyonsd
07-30-2008, 08:25 AM
If the surge isn't responsible for anything why does Obama want American troops to be targeted and killed for another 20 months? Why isn't he calling for them to be removed right now?

Why does he hate the troops and want to see them killed?

Oh, here's my answer. From Obama himself. He wants to leave troops in place longer because he realizes they do help reduce violence.


« Mac & P.C. (http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/269001.php) | Main (http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/) | The Iraq We'd Have If We'd Heeded Obama » (http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/269086.php)

July 22, 2008

Obama: Surge Was An Unnecessary Success

Katie Couric—well known for creampuff interviews—nonetheless presses a befuddled Barack Obama into admitting that even with today's perfect 20/20 hindsight, he'd still reject the surge (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/22/eveningnews/main4283623.shtml).
Couric: But talking microcosmically, did the surge, the addition of 30,000 additional troops ... help the situation in Iraq?

Obama: Katie, as … you've asked me three different times, and I have said repeatedly that there is no doubt that our troops helped to reduce violence. There's no doubt.

Couric: But yet you're saying … given what you know now, you still wouldn't support it … so I'm just trying to understand this.

Obama: Because … it's pretty straightforward. By us putting $10 billion to $12 billion a month, $200 billion, that's money that could have gone into Afghanistan. Those additional troops could have gone into Afghanistan. That money also could have been used to shore up a declining economic situation in the United States. That money could have been applied to having a serious energy security plan so that we were reducing our demand on oil, which is helping to fund the insurgents in many countries. So those are all factors that would be taken into consideration in my decision-- to deal with a specific tactic or strategy inside of Iraq.

Couric: And I really don't mean to belabor this, Senator, because I'm really, I'm trying … to figure out your position. Do you think the level of security in Iraq …

Obama: Yes.
Couric … would exist today without the surge?

Obama: Katie, I have no idea what would have happened had we applied my approach, which was to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation. So this is all hypotheticals. What I can say is that there's no doubt that our U.S. troops have contributed to a reduction of violence in Iraq. I said that, not just today, not just yesterday, but I've said that previously. What that doesn't change is that we've got to have a different strategic approach if we're going to make America as safe as possible.


http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/269083.php

As painful as it is to listen to a politician try and squeeze his way out of a previously made incorrect statement normally is, there's no doubt even Obama thinks the additional troops helped reduce the violence....exactly opposite of what he thought would happen.

Maybe that's why the 'bots like him so much. They can't really tell when he's flipped because he's just so darn smooth at it.

SCTrojan
07-30-2008, 09:22 AM
It drops 6,000 from January to February (before Surge troops settled in and started their grind), and 1,000 from February to March (once they did).

The first surge brigade arrived in mid-January 2007, with each successive one arriving about every 45 days thereafter. All five surge brigades, as well as two Marine battalions and a Marine Expeditionary Unit, were fully in place in mid-June.

Baby Lee
07-30-2008, 09:37 AM
Mr. O’Hanlon, of the Brookings Institution, said he did not understand why Mr. Obama seemed to want to debate the success of the surge. “Any human being is reluctant to admit a mistake,” he said, noting that it takes on added risk in a political campaign.
Gee, seems like just 4 years ago the state of the art in debate questioning was "Mr. Bush, in your estimation what is the worst thing you've ever ****ed up?" and being outraged when he didn't break down in tears and cough up a laundry list.

patteeu
07-30-2008, 09:44 AM
Nobody picked the Anbar Awakening to blossom and have the impact that it did. And nobody picked Al Sadr to wisen up and call his army down. The Surge was largely inspired by sectarian strife that included ethnic cleansing which had pretty much resolved itself by the time the Surge arrived. And so on and so on.

These three are game changers. They are significant. Put them together, and Iraq is a completely different country after than it is before. And in these conditions, the Surge could help. Not a lot of people, especially within the political community, saw things falling into place like this.

To blame Obama for getting this wrong after the fact shows that you just don't understand how significant each of those three things are in Iraq. I doubt you would have said that I was wrong in the hypothetical I put up, but that won't prevent you from exercising a double-standard to get a jab in at Obama.

If every insurgent in the country had decided to spontaneously surrender rather than face the surge of American troops, you'd claim that no one could have anticipated they'd surrender and that they might have surrendered even if the surge hadn't taken place. Your argument is the kind of thought-defying analysis that is typical of Obama's apologists. The fact is that we surged and changed strategy, we took advantage of the opportunities that were presented and we created additional opportunities and in the end, the Bush approach worked no matter how desperately you want to deny him (and surge supporters like McCain) credit.

Why would al Sadr have told his Mahdi army to stand down if it wasn't because of the recommitment to pacifying Baghdad (including Sadr's stronghold there) represented by the surge? Sadr's forces had been handed their asses at least twice in previous dustups with Coalition forces and there wasn't much reason to believe they were going to fair any better in any confrontation with surge forces.

What makes you think the Anbar Awakening would have been the success that it's become or that it would have spread beyond the boundaries of Anbar like it has without the surge? Yes, independent decisions by certain Iraqis has been a boon to US interests in Iraq, but you go way too far when you try to treat the surge like it was an irrelevant sideshow. It takes at least two parties to make a partnership and it is the partnership between coalition forces and indigenous forces throughout Iraq that has led to the results we see today.

patteeu
07-30-2008, 09:48 AM
He didn't get it wrong after the fact. He got it wrong before the fact. His prediction was wrong. Plain and simple.

But by all means, keep spinning. It's moderately amusing. Any reasonable person would look at what he predicted, look at what actually happened and conclude that Barack Hussein was simply wrong.

Not only that, but direckshun is trying to have it both ways. When he wants to disparage the surge, he makes the point that the Anbar Awakening predated the beginning of the surge, but when he defends Obama's poor judgment he suggests that there was no way he could have anticipated the Awakening's value. Why the hell not? General Petraeus, John McCain and George Bush did.

Garcia Bronco
07-30-2008, 09:54 AM
So let me get this straight. We tell these people we are sending in more troops and they stop fighting amongst each other and slow their violent ways. Sounds like the surge worked to me. Because they knew we were coming to clean their clocks. I can't think of a sadder group of people, than the people who want to point and create pain points and not give credit where it's due. Now if you want to call Rumsfield and Bush a bunch of criminals, that's your choice. The idea that adding more troops had no effect on the decisions of these terror monkeys in Iraq is just plain dumb.

patteeu
07-30-2008, 09:57 AM
The chart tells a little different story than you seem to think it does, when you consider the timeline of the surge, the Anbar Awakening and the Al Sadr Truce (both of which had nothing to do with the surge). The surge didn't begin in earnest until March, and the number of deaths stayed steady, but the number of violence incidents increased over the next two months. At the end of May, which was the worst month of US troops, the surge floundered, and they started paying off the insurgents instead, at which time there was a sharp drop in incidents of violence for one month. Then the violence shot up again as the Sunnis and Shias began clashing with each other again, instead of the troops, which prompted Al Sadr to strike a truce and stand down his forces (for six months) because of the heavy losses they sustained to the Sunnis. With Al Sadr standing down, violence dropped significantly, and continued to drop from there. So even your chart shows that the surge didn't have all that much of an effect (the major dropoff from January to March occurred before the surge started, because of the Anbar Awakening). Then once the surge started, it escalated again.

The counterinsurgency strategy that became a key component of the surge strategy was pioneered in Anbar in late 2006 by Colonel MacFarland so you're mistaken when you try to suggest that the "surge" only started having an impact in 2007.. Sheiks who were part of the Awakening were contacting US forces for support. They wouldn't have been doing that if they didn't have any use for our help. We wouldn't have been able to give them as much of that support without the surge of manpower that came in 2007 along with the widespread adoption of McFarland and Petraeus' counterinsurgency strategies.

And where do get the idea that Sadr's decision to stand down was unrelated to the Coalition surge?

Ultra Peanut
07-30-2008, 09:58 AM
We tell these people we are sending in more troops and they stop fighting amongst each other and slow their violent ways. Sounds like the surge worked to me. Because they knew we were coming to clean their clocks.You're completely right, IF ONLY THAT WERE WHAT HAPPENED.

They didn't exactly "stop fighting amongst each other," and to the extent that they did, the news of extra troops was one of many other factors. Massive bribes and ethnic cleansing that had already taken place (thus eliminating fighting in certain areas)? Psssh, it was all THE GLORIOUS SURGE™ because they're scared of our inimitable fightin' boys.

patteeu
07-30-2008, 09:59 AM
If you read my article violence did increase with a surge type action in 2005. This time other factors have reduced the violence: negotiations, pay-offs, ethnic cleansing of Bagdhad but it wasn't The Surge that did it. So Bush/Mac and supporters are taking more credit than is deserved for The Surge.

"The Surge" was more than just a manpower increase.

Garcia Bronco
07-30-2008, 10:00 AM
You're completely right, IF ONLY THAT WERE WHAT HAPPENED.

They didn't exactly "stop fighting amongst each other," and to the extent that they did, the news of extra troops was one of many other factors. Massive bribes and ethnic cleansing that had already taken place (thus eliminating fighting in certain areas)? Psssh, it was all THE GLORIOUS SURGE™ because they're scared of our inimitable fightin' boys.

You can make fun of our forces if you want, but it was well in the works before the troops got there. They knew. So again, the idea that it didn't have an effect is ridiculous. The point is, give credit to our fighting men and women, and cut the crap.

SCTrojan
07-30-2008, 10:02 AM
I think something that gets lost in the discussions is that GEN Petraeus assumed command in February 2007. He implemented a different counter-insurgency strategy, creating joint security stations and combat outposts amongst the population as opposed to keeping the bulk of forces in the forward operating bases.

Ultra Peanut
07-30-2008, 10:13 AM
"The Surge" was more than just a manpower increase.Oh, right. The Surge™ included the Anbar Awakening, which predated it by half a year.

In fact, let's refine that definition. The Surge™ was everything positive that's happened in Iraq.

You can make fun of our forces if you want, but it was well in the works before the troops got there. They knew. So again, the idea that it didn't have an effect is ridiculous. The point is, give credit to our fighting men and women, and cut the crap.No room for analysis! If you don't scream "USA! USA! USA!" you're just mocking our troops!

Donger
07-30-2008, 10:14 AM
Heh. His followers really do think Barack Hussein is infallible. I thought it was just a summer thing.

bkkcoh
07-30-2008, 10:17 AM
Oh, right. The Surge™ included the Anbar Awakening, which predated it by half a year.

In fact, let's refine that definition. The Surge™ was everything positive that's happened in Iraq.

No room for analysis! If you don't scream "USA! USA! USA!" you're just mocking our troops!

But that isn't the point, is it?

Ok, so does the fact that things according to many people are better in Iraq, does it really make any difference if it was the surge or the Anbar Awakening or a combination of the two. The fact is, things appear to be better in Iraq, despite the opposition on the democratic side of the fence.

Ultra Peanut
07-30-2008, 10:19 AM
But that isn't the point, is it?

Ok, so does the fact that things according to many people are better in Iraq, does it really make any difference if it was the surge or the Anbar Awakening or a combination of the two.It does when John McCain is trying to suggest that the Surge was a panacea and that the guy who opposed the war in the first place was a big ol' dummy for not thinking it would be a panacea.

The entire reason this is such a topic of wide discussion is John McCain's political posturing.

Ultra Peanut
07-30-2008, 10:20 AM
Heh. His followers really do think Barack Hussein is infallible. I thought it was just a summer thing.Heh. That meme's still retarded. Heh.

beer bacon
07-30-2008, 10:21 AM
John McCain is making the Surge such a big issue because he knows he was on the wrong side of the War in the first place. Of course people like shiteater, donger, and patteeu are going to latch onto the Surge for dear life.

Chief Faithful
07-30-2008, 10:29 AM
The counterinsurgency strategy that became a key component of the surge strategy was pioneered in Anbar in late 2006 by Colonel MacFarland so you're mistaken when you try to suggest that the "surge" only started having an impact in 2007.. Sheiks who were part of the Awakening were contacting US forces for support. They wouldn't have been doing that if they didn't have any use for our help. We wouldn't have been able to give them as much of that support without the surge of manpower that came in 2007 along with the widespread adoption of McFarland and Petraeus' counterinsurgency strategies.

And where do get the idea that Sadr's decision to stand down was unrelated to the Coalition surge?

Exactly, the Anbar "awakening" is a strategy deployed by the US military in Anbar. The US was trying several different things in different areas at the time to see what would work. Because of its success of Col. McFarland in Anbar General Petraeaus asked for troop increase so the strategy could be deployed in a large scale. The strategy that started in Anbar later became known as the "Surge". It is well documented that the Anbar "Awakening" and the Surge are exactly the same thing.

I think this attempt to rewrite history is nothing more than a way to cover up the fact Obama and most of the Democrats in Congress politicized the effort to the point they almost forced defeat when victory was just over the horizon.

HC_Chief
07-30-2008, 10:36 AM
I recommend everyone here read <a href="http://www.michaelyon-online.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=65&Itemid=120">Moment of Truth in Iraq</a> by Michael Yon.

Radar Chief
07-30-2008, 10:38 AM
No room for analysis! If you don't scream "USA! USA! USA!" you're just mocking our troops!

Considering your inability to accept the facts that are being presented to you this is very ironic.

Garcia Bronco
07-30-2008, 10:51 AM
Oh, right. The Surge™ included the Anbar Awakening, which predated it by half a year.

In fact, let's refine that definition. The Surge™ was everything positive that's happened in Iraq.

No room for analysis! If you don't scream "USA! USA! USA!" you're just mocking our troops!


When you use language like this

"Psssh, it was all THE GLORIOUS SURGE™ because they're scared of our inimitable fightin' boys."

That's exactly what you are doing. The disdain is apparent.

Chief Faithful
07-30-2008, 10:53 AM
I recommend everyone here read <a href="http://www.michaelyon-online.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=65&Itemid=120">Moment of Truth in Iraq</a> by Michael Yon.

Excelent suggestion. Or, just go to his web site and read through is archived articles. The guy saw clearly the connection between the Anbar Awakanings and the Surge. He is a big fan of General Petraeus, but then so was all of Congress until he started showing positive results in Iraq.

Garcia Bronco
07-30-2008, 10:58 AM
I think this attempt to rewrite history is nothing more than a way to cover up the fact Obama and most of the Democrats in Congress politicized the effort to the point they almost forced defeat when victory was just over the horizon.

I agree. Give our people on the ground some credit.

HC_Chief
07-30-2008, 11:09 AM
Excelent suggestion. Or, just go to his web site and read through is archived articles. The guy saw clearly the connection between the Anbar Awakanings and the Surge. He is a big fan of General Petraeus, but then so was all of Congress until he started showing positive results in Iraq.

The "Anbar Awakening" mostly came about due to Iraqis finally seeing AQ for what it is: a pack of rabid death cultists.

The "surge" was intended to get US forces off FOBs and into the streets, providing security. The timing of the surge could not have been better; coinciding with the Anbar Awakening, a combination of forces has led to much decreased violence and the death knell for AQI.

To say the surge is the reason for the decreased violence is overly simplistic. Same goes for giving the credit to the Anbar Awakening. It is a combination of factors which have led to an improved situation. It is still tenuous however; we must follow through with the COIN strategy: secure the neighborhoods, involve Iraqis, and get basic services up & running.

To say the surge is a political failure is absolutely incorrect. The surge has involved military units with sheiks and former insurgents; alliances have been formed. This is done with dinners, with tea meetings, with meet & greets in Iraqi towns, cities, and villages. This is grassroots diplomacy and politics. It has worked very well so far.

Chief Faithful
07-30-2008, 11:36 AM
The "Anbar Awakening" mostly came about due to Iraqis finally seeing AQ for what it is: a pack of rabid death cultists.

The "surge" was intended to get US forces off FOBs and into the streets, providing security. The timing of the surge could not have been better; coinciding with the Anbar Awakening, a combination of forces has led to much decreased violence and the death knell for AQI.

To say the surge is the reason for the decreased violence is overly simplistic. Same goes for giving the credit to the Anbar Awakening. It is a combination of factors which have led to an improved situation. It is still tenuous however; we must follow through with the COIN strategy: secure the neighborhoods, involve Iraqis, and get basic services up & running.

To say the surge is a political failure is absolutely incorrect. The surge has involved military units with sheiks and former insurgents; alliances have been formed. This is done with dinners, with tea meetings, with meet & greets in Iraqi towns, cities, and villages. This is grassroots diplomacy and politics. It has worked very well so far.


You and I are saying the same thing. The Surge was crafted based on what was learned in Anbar. The idea was as Gen. Petraeus described as becoming like the "beat cop". Getting involved with the local population neighborhood by neighborhood. But, to make this work they new they needed more troops to cover all the ground. The Surge is nothing more than what was learned in the Anbar Awakenings applied large scale.

What was notiable about the Surge is it worked almost immediately in each neighborhood as the awakening was replicated over and over. It just took 6 months to fully deploy and secure. Anybody that feels the Anbar Awakenings was a positive event should be big fan of the Surge.

HC_Chief
07-30-2008, 12:58 PM
You and I are saying the same thing. The Surge was crafted based on what was learned in Anbar. The idea was as Gen. Petraeus described as becoming like the "beat cop". Getting involved with the local population neighborhood by neighborhood. But, to make this work they new they needed more troops to cover all the ground. The Surge is nothing more than what was learned in the Anbar Awakenings applied large scale.

What was notiable about the Surge is it worked almost immediately in each neighborhood as the awakening was replicated over and over. It just took 6 months to fully deploy and secure. Anybody that feels the Anbar Awakenings was a positive event should be big fan of the Surge.

Actually Petraeus had applied the strategy in 2003 in Mosul. After the invasion Mosul was a model for post-Saddam Iraqi life. Unfortunately Bremer had other ideas and the 101st rotated out at the end of '03. Mosul quickly deteriorated into one of the worst places in Iraq shortly thereafter (2004).

Bremer is a fool. I can't believe Bush gave him a f*cking medal. :banghead:

Chief Faithful
07-30-2008, 01:39 PM
Actually Petraeus had applied the strategy in 2003 in Mosul. After the invasion Mosul was a model for post-Saddam Iraqi life. Unfortunately Bremer had other ideas and the 101st rotated out at the end of '03. Mosul quickly deteriorated into one of the worst places in Iraq shortly thereafter (2004).

Bremer is a fool. I can't believe Bush gave him a f*cking medal. :banghead:

I'm with you on Bremer and Petraeus was a big war hero with the 101st long before Anbar (I'm glad you knew about Mosul). Isn't Bremer the one that made the declaration that no former Baathist could hold a government job or be in the military? I understand the logic, but in reality everyone had to be a Baathist to work in a Sadam government. What a mistake.

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 04:36 PM
I don't disagree, but we don't know if those things would have happened without the surge, do we?

The fact remains that Barack Hussein was wrong with his pre-surge assessment. Are you people really so fanatical that you think he is infallible?

I take issue with this statement.

On the one hand, you are saying that we cannot say what would have happened without the surge. On the other, you are attributing a lot of the cause - enough to make it seem Obama's position before is wrong - on the surge.

Essentially, you are creating a double standard. You want to have it both ways. It is that he's wrong (the surge worked) and we cannot tell what would have happened without the surge. It's dishonest.

It's as dishonest as some of your other posts in various threads. One that comes to mind is where you call people on their dishonesty when evaluating claims. For example, taking the same stance when Bush makes a gaffe as when Obama makes a gaffe. You want equality.

Yet, on the other side, you hate Obama's alleged "ego" yet won't acknowledge Bush's ego. You commit the same inequalities while calling people out for theirs.

Donger
07-30-2008, 04:54 PM
I take issue with this statement.

On the one hand, you are saying that we cannot say what would have happened without the surge. On the other, you are attributing a lot of the cause - enough to make it seem Obama's position before is wrong - on the surge.

Essentially, you are creating a double standard. You want to have it both ways. It is that he's wrong (the surge worked) and we cannot tell what would have happened without the surge. It's dishonest.

It's as dishonest as some of your other posts in various threads. One that comes to mind is where you call people on their dishonesty when evaluating claims. For example, taking the same stance when Bush makes a gaffe as when Obama makes a gaffe. You want equality.

Yet, on the other side, you hate Obama's alleged "ego" yet won't acknowledge Bush's ego. You commit the same inequalities while calling people out for theirs.

It's quite simple, again.

Barack Hussein opposed the surge and stated that it would not only decrease sectarian violence but do the opposite.

The surge did happen and sectarian violence did not increase.

Barack Hussein's prediction was wrong.

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 05:00 PM
It's quite simple, again.

Barack Hussein opposed the surge and stated that it would not only decrease sectarian violence but do the opposite.

The surge did happen and sectarian violence did not increase.

Barack Hussein's prediction was wrong.

Again, it's simple. You want it both ways.

For him to be right, you have to take away the other factors. Yet, for him to be "wrong", you have to ignore the other factors.

The surge happened and violence did not increase. But a plethora of other things happened prior to and afterwards that also helped the violence not increasing.

To say he is wrong, you have to ignore the other factors because otherwise you can't attribute whether he was wrong or right. You are deliberately ignoring those to make it look like he was wrong. When, in actuality, he isn't wrong or right because we cannot decipher what caused the depression of violence. Likewise, we cannot know if the Surge actually hurt that depression or helped. It could be that violence could have plummeted further if the surge hadn't happened. But you aren't even discussing those possibilities.

It's not as simple as you want it to be. But it has to be that simple for your blind point to make sense.

Donger
07-30-2008, 05:14 PM
For him to be right, you have to take away the other factors. Yet, for him to be "wrong", you have to ignore the other factors.

No. For Barack Hussein to be right, he would have said something like: "I believe that the surge will reduce sectarian violence."

Since it did happen and sectarian violence has decreased, he would have been right.

That's not what he predicted, now is it?

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 05:35 PM
No. For Barack Hussein to be right, he would have said something like: "I believe that the surge will reduce sectarian violence."

Since it did happen and sectarian violence has decreased, he would have been right.

That's not what he predicted, now is it?

Nice deflection. Can't you just admit that you are ignoring crucial things for the advancement of your anti-Obama campaign?

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 05:41 PM
No. For Barack Hussein to be right, he would have said something like: "I believe that the surge will reduce sectarian violence."

Yes. He would have. Yet, you have called people out for trying to add things to the equation. You can't have it both ways. What he said is neither true nor false because it wasn't the ONLY factor. Again, what if the decrease had gone further had there not been a surge? That would make him right. But we can't make that assessment because we are introducing things into the issue.

Since it did happen and sectarian violence has decreased, he would have been right.

Sorry, it only works like that in a vacuum-like control environment. It only works when the surge is the only thing. Just because the Surge happened doesn't mean it made violence go down. Nor does it mean violence went up. We simply don't know because of all the other factors. All of which you conveniently want to forget when it suits you.


That's not what he predicted, now is it?

Nope. It's not. But his statement also isn't false. It isn't wrong; it isn't right.

Donger
07-30-2008, 05:59 PM
Yes. He would have. Yet, you have called people out for trying to add things to the equation. You can't have it both ways. What he said is neither true nor false because it wasn't the ONLY factor. Again, what if the decrease had gone further had there not been a surge? That would make him right. But we can't make that assessment because we are introducing things into the issue.



Sorry, it only works like that in a vacuum-like control environment. It only works when the surge is the only thing. Just because the Surge happened doesn't mean it made violence go down. Nor does it mean violence went up. We simply don't know because of all the other factors. All of which you conveniently want to forget when it suits you.



Nope. It's not. But his statement also isn't false. It isn't wrong; it isn't right.

Thanks for another example. It is truly fascinating the lengths to which Barack Hussein followers will go in order to maintain the air of infallibility. It really is okay, you know. You can take issue with him and call him out when he makes an error. He's not going to smite you or anything.

Programmer
07-30-2008, 06:07 PM
First, the surge has been a qualified success. Last I read there were 15 of the 18 objectives achieved.

As for the 10 good people that were asked the questions how many of them might be considered liberal and how many might be considered considered conservative?

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 06:22 PM
Thanks for another example. It is truly fascinating the lengths to which Barack Hussein followers will go in order to maintain the air of infallibility. It really is okay, you know. You can take issue with him and call him out when he makes an error. He's not going to smite you or anything.

Thank you for exposing yourself as the fraud you are. You really have no refutation or argument, just deflections You merely want to paint things that aren't there.

In no way shape or form is this any far out "length" to defend BO. It's common sense.

Donger
07-30-2008, 06:43 PM
Thank you for exposing yourself as the fraud you are. You really have no refutation or argument, just deflections You merely want to paint things that aren't there.

In no way shape or form is this any far out "length" to defend BO. It's common sense.

My argument is:

1) What Barack Hussein predicted.

2) What actually happened.

The two aren't even close to being the same.

If that's what you consider to be "fraud," so be it.

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 06:54 PM
My argument is:

1) What Barack Hussein predicted.

2) What actually happened.

The two aren't even close to being the same.

If that's what you consider to be "fraud," so be it.

Fine, keep playing stupid when we both know you are wrong. Hell, you even know you're wrong.

You're continuing to show you're a shill for anything anti-Obama, even if it can't hold up against rudimentary analysis.

Donger
07-30-2008, 06:57 PM
Fine, keep playing stupid when we both know you are wrong. Hell, you even know you're wrong.

You're continuing to show you're a shill for anything anti-Obama, even if it can't hold up against rudimentary analysis.

I've given you the facts. It really isn't my concern if you and others cannot or will not deal with them.

Honestly, I can't really get more basic:

"What Barack Hussein predicted would happen versus what actually happened"

banyon
07-30-2008, 07:15 PM
I've given you the facts. It really isn't my concern if you and others cannot or will not deal with them.

Honestly, I can't really get more basic:

"What Barack Hussein predicted would happen versus what actually happened"

Yeah he was way off compared to McCainstraDamus:

“Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.” [CNN, 9/24/02]

“We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. We may have to take out buildings, but we’re not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies.” [CNN, 9/29/02]

“But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” [MSNBC, 1/22/03]

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 08:28 PM
I've given you the facts. It really isn't my concern if you and others cannot or will not deal with them.

Honestly, I can't really get more basic:

"What Barack Hussein predicted would happen versus what actually happened"

Yet the conclusion (surge worked) is dependent on the ignoring of all the other factors.

Donger
07-30-2008, 08:39 PM
Yet the conclusion (surge worked) is dependent on the ignoring of all the other factors.

Well, perhaps Barack Hussein should have had the foresight to take those other factors into account before he made his erroneous prediction.

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 08:47 PM
Well, perhaps Barack Hussein should have had the foresight to take those other factors into account before he made his erroneous prediction.

:spock:

And perhaps you should have the hindsight to take those other factors into consideration.

You can't possibly dig yourself any further or be in the corner any more than you already are. So, you continue to deflect.

Donger
07-30-2008, 09:02 PM
:spock:

And perhaps you should have the hindsight to take those other factors into consideration.

You can't possibly dig yourself any further or be in the corner any more than you already are. So, you continue to deflect.

I didn't make any predictions. Barack Hussein did.

Ultra Peanut
07-30-2008, 09:23 PM
When you use language like this

"Psssh, it was all THE GLORIOUS SURGE™ because they're scared of our inimitable fightin' boys."

That's exactly what you are doing. The disdain is apparent.I'm not showing disdain towards the soldiers. I'm disdainful towards people who take complex issues and simplify them as a means to avoid thinking about them any further.

irishjayhawk
07-30-2008, 10:41 PM
I didn't make any predictions. Barack Hussein did.

Thanks for proving my point. And, as it happens, Ultra Peanut's point too.

Direckshun
07-31-2008, 12:04 AM
If every insurgent in the country had decided to spontaneously surrender rather than face the surge of American troops, you'd claim that no one could have anticipated they'd surrender and that they might have surrendered even if the surge hadn't taken place. Your argument is the kind of thought-defying analysis that is typical of Obama's apologists. The fact is that we surged and changed strategy, we took advantage of the opportunities that were presented and we created additional opportunities and in the end, the Bush approach worked no matter how desperately you want to deny him (and surge supporters like McCain) credit.

Why would al Sadr have told his Mahdi army to stand down if it wasn't because of the recommitment to pacifying Baghdad (including Sadr's stronghold there) represented by the surge? Sadr's forces had been handed their asses at least twice in previous dustups with Coalition forces and there wasn't much reason to believe they were going to fair any better in any confrontation with surge forces.

What makes you think the Anbar Awakening would have been the success that it's become or that it would have spread beyond the boundaries of Anbar like it has without the surge? Yes, independent decisions by certain Iraqis has been a boon to US interests in Iraq, but you go way too far when you try to treat the surge like it was an irrelevant sideshow. It takes at least two parties to make a partnership and it is the partnership between coalition forces and indigenous forces throughout Iraq that has led to the results we see today.
I refuse to deny Bush credit over the Surge, nor McCain. The Surge has aided in a reduction in violence and even if the political progress has been nominal, at least people aren't getting killed as much as they used to be. Bush was dogged in pursuing Patreus' strategy despite the fact that basically the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff told him not to. And McCain was one of the folks that trumpeted that.

And you made a good point earlier in the thread when you indicated that thanks to the Surge in troops, other reductions to violence became possible. Concrete barriers were propped up in Baghdad thanks to our troops, and that's clearly had a positive effect. Oil wells have become more secure, leading to an increase in revenue, however that money is divided up. I could go on.

It has encouraged many of these things. But while the Al Sadr announcement might have been influenced by the fact Surge troops were arriving, it was nonetheless a direct answer to the fact that (a.) his army had begun splintering and there was less and less he could do to contain them, which led to (b.) the slaughtering of 50 Shia pilgrims in Karbala, which as you can believe was much to Al Sadr's chagrin. So he called it off, all violence, and his army has since splintered so badly he hasn't been able to coalesce them back together.

(a.) and (b.) were the primary movers, if not the only movers, of Al Sadr's announcement, and rest assured they were independent of Surge forces.

I expect reactions from hardliners like yourself that claim that I'm dismissing the Surge. Mostly all your moves are right out of the Hardliner Textbooks, and Page 1 is "Treat Everything As If It's Black And White." If somebody says the Surge isn't the Cure-All in Iraq, accuse them of saying it's done nothing. And so on.

But, of course, not everything is in extremes. We deal in shades of grey in reality. The Surge helped in no small way, as you and I have both enumerated, but it was not the Be All End All of things resolving themselves in Iraq.

Color Red
07-31-2008, 12:43 AM
Hey I got an idea. Why don't we discuss what we are responsible for? Sure there are other factors. Few things happen because of only a sole reason. So an idea only gets credit if it is alone? Share the wealth. Now who was it that said that the surge is the only reason for the improvement? (That's what I thought...)

patteeu
07-31-2008, 02:02 AM
Nice deflection. Can't you just admit that you are ignoring crucial things for the advancement of your anti-Obama campaign?

Can't you admit that Obama's predictions are meaningless if you're going to give him so much leeway that even if they turn out to be completely the opposite of what happens you're still going to find them accurate (or at least excuse their inaccuracy) because of intervening events?

Let's apply the same leeway to Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. Their predictions of a quick war and of being greeted as liberators were actually correct if you ignore the intervening events that ignited an insurgency.

patteeu
07-31-2008, 02:04 AM
Yeah he was way off compared to McCainstraDamus:

“Because I know that as successful as I believe we will be, and I believe that the success will be fairly easy, we will still lose some American young men or women.” [CNN, 9/24/02]

“We’re not going to get into house-to-house fighting in Baghdad. We may have to take out buildings, but we’re not going to have a bloodletting of trading American bodies for Iraqi bodies.” [CNN, 9/29/02]

“But the point is that, one, we will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” [MSNBC, 1/22/03]

There were other factors! /irishjayhawk

irishjayhawk
07-31-2008, 10:56 AM
Can't you admit that Obama's predictions are meaningless if you're going to give him so much leeway that even if they turn out to be completely the opposite of what happens you're still going to find them accurate (or at least excuse their inaccuracy) because of intervening events?

Let's apply the same leeway to Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. Their predictions of a quick war and of being greeted as liberators were actually correct if you ignore the intervening events that ignited an insurgency.

I'm not talking about Bush. I'm talking about Donger and his anti-Obama jihad. I know he's a shit stirrer but even when he's flat wrong or hypocritical, he won't stop on the issue.

He's not right.

Some of the other factors people have mentioned are pretty good leeway however, I don't consider the argument that the surge might have kept violence falling even further to be much leeway.


Now, if you want to talk Bush, we can. There is a huge difference, however. That being the entire administration saying the same thing. This is one many saying it. That's the first thing.

Who's to say it wasn't a short war? Remember when he deployed the Mission Accomplished banner.


With as many factors as you like to bring up when defending Bush, it's interesting you'd be critical of someone doing the same thing in the same type of situation for Obama. Well, actually, it's not since he's a liberal, but that's beside the point. Or is it.

patteeu
07-31-2008, 01:02 PM
I'm not talking about Bush. I'm talking about Donger and his anti-Obama jihad. I know he's a shit stirrer but even when he's flat wrong or hypocritical, he won't stop on the issue.

He's not right.

Some of the other factors people have mentioned are pretty good leeway however, I don't consider the argument that the surge might have kept violence falling even further to be much leeway.


Now, if you want to talk Bush, we can. There is a huge difference, however. That being the entire administration saying the same thing. This is one many saying it. That's the first thing.

Who's to say it wasn't a short war? Remember when he deployed the Mission Accomplished banner.


With as many factors as you like to bring up when defending Bush, it's interesting you'd be critical of someone doing the same thing in the same type of situation for Obama. Well, actually, it's not since he's a liberal, but that's beside the point. Or is it.

I'm not critical of people bringing up these factors. I'm critical of people mistakenly believing that these factors are independent of the "the surge" (by which I mean, as always, both the increase in manpower and the counterinsurgency strategy that accompanied it).

And I'm also critical of people who deny the obviousness of what Donger has been saying in this thread.

irishjayhawk
07-31-2008, 11:13 PM
I'm not critical of people bringing up these factors. I'm critical of people mistakenly believing that these factors are independent of the "the surge" (by which I mean, as always, both the increase in manpower and the counterinsurgency strategy that accompanied it).

Likewise you can't believe the surge is independent of the other factors. Which, it seems, is exactly what you and Donger are doing.


And I'm also critical of people who deny the obviousness of what Donger has been saying in this thread.

It's not obvious. An example:

A doctor says that you will get better if you take the pill.
You get better when you take the pill.
But prior to taking the pill and during the taking of the pill, you increased your intake of Vitamin C. And Vitamin A. And Vitamin D. etc.

You get better. Can you conclusively say that just the pill made you better? No, you can't. Therefore, while the doctor is technically correct, the attribution for the correctness may not be the pill, but rather the vitamins. So he's correct and he's wrong.

patteeu
08-01-2008, 02:25 PM
Likewise you can't believe the surge is independent of the other factors. Which, it seems, is exactly what you and Donger are doing.



It's not obvious. An example:

A doctor says that you will get better if you take the pill.
You get better when you take the pill.
But prior to taking the pill and during the taking of the pill, you increased your intake of Vitamin C. And Vitamin A. And Vitamin D. etc.

You get better. Can you conclusively say that just the pill made you better? No, you can't. Therefore, while the doctor is technically correct, the attribution for the correctness may not be the pill, but rather the vitamins. So he's correct and he's wrong.

Your example isn't even close to the point. A better example would be if the doctor tells you not to take the pill because it will kill you. You take it anyway and get better. Sure, you also took vitamins and got lots of rest, but doctor obama's advice was dead wrong, no pun intended (but I obviously could have changed it if I wanted to).

irishjayhawk
08-01-2008, 09:58 PM
Your example isn't even close to the point. A better example would be if the doctor tells you not to take the pill because it will kill you. You take it anyway and get better. Sure, you also took vitamins and got lots of rest, but doctor obama's advice was dead wrong, no pun intended (but I obviously could have changed it if I wanted to).

However, the doctor could still be wrong because the vitamins are the only thing keeping the pill from killing you.