Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Miller in a Muddle

Local county commissioner congressman Jeff Miller (R-Chumukla) is still deluded. If he really met with "with four leaders representing the country's... minority Sunni tribes" it must have been just as they were pulling out of the government.

Nevertheless, he claims, "
the surge is accomplishing what coalition forces in the United States wanted... ." Of course, Miller offers no facts -- just opinion, informed no doubt by the Pentagon's five-color PR talking points booklet in front of him.

Want facts? Read Patrick Cockburn, whom David Corn correctly describes as a war correspondent who "
knows the Arab world far better than any of the neocon armchair warrior/columnists."

Writes Cockburn on the same day Miller was doing his Pollyanna act:
Six months after the surge was actually launched, in mid- February, it has failed as dismally as so many First World War offensives. The US Defense Department says that, this June, the average number of attacks on US and Iraqi forces, civilian forces and infrastructure peaked at 177.8 per day, higher than in any month since the end of May 2003. The US has failed to gain control of Baghdad. The harvest of bodies picked up every morning first fell and then rose again. This may be because the Mehdi Army militia, who provided most of the Shia death squads, was stood down by Sadr. Nobody in Baghdad has much doubt that they could be back in business any time they want. Whatever Bush might say, the US military commanders in Iraq clearly did not want to take on the Mehdi Army and the Shia community when they were barely holding their own against the Sunni.

The surge is now joining a host of discredited formulae for success and fake turning-points that the US (with the UK tripping along behind) has promoted in Iraq over the past 52 months.
US commanders are often cheery believers in their own propaganda, even as the ground is giving way beneath their feet.
More lies have been told about casualties in Iraq and the general level of violence there than at almost any time since the First World War. In that conflict, a British minister remarked sourly that he suspected the military authorities of keeping three sets of casualty figures: "One to deceive the Cabinet, a second to deceive the people and a third to achieve themselves."

So, who're you gonna believe? The county commissioner from Chumuckla, Florida, or the hardened war correspondent who's been stationed in the Middle East for a quarter century?

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