Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Iraqis think about the surge

General Petraeus may be reasonably upbeat about the progress of the surge in Iraq - "positive" results - but that is not what the Iraqis think.

The BBC reports on a survey of Iraqis which concludes that the surge has failed:

"About 70% of Iraqis believe security has deteriorated in the area covered by the US military "surge" of the past six months, an opinion poll suggests.

The survey by the BBC, ABC News and NHK of more than 2,000 people across Iraq also suggests that nearly 60% see attacks on US-led forces as justified.

This rises to 93% among Sunni Muslims compared to 50% for Shia."

Meanwhile, a former CIA analyst with 27 years service, reflects in a piece on CommonDreams, on the Petreaus statement to Congress and that of General Westmoreland in relation to the Vietnam War:

"For many of us with some gray in our hair, we’ve seen it all before-and, ironically enough, exactly 40 years ago. What Gen. David Petraeus has set in motion, or at least condoned, is the massaging of data to justify what his boss, President Bush, wants to do in Iraq; namely, to keep enough troops “in the fight” in order to stave off definitive defeat before he and Vice President Dick Cheney leave office in January 2009. That’s what the “surge” is all about, and Petraeus is smart enough to know that only too well.

Like his apparent role model, Colin Powell, he can bear four stars on his shoulder, but he must also bear on his conscience thousands of dead and wounded Shanks as a result of his eagerness to play in the Bush/Cheney charade. A more precise counterpart to Gen. Petraeus is the late Gen. William Westmoreland, commander of our forces in Vietnam. The argument over whether or not the “surge” is working brings back un-fond memories of the deliberate smoke-and-mirrors approach Westmoreland forced on intelligence analysts in Saigon-and Washington-including deliberate falsification of the numbers on enemy strength."

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