Saturday, April 14, 2007

Oh, What a Wonderful Surge

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Via Cursor, Raw Story reports that Robert Novak is being very negative about the war:

Conservative columnist Robert Novak says that President Bush's new strategy in Iraq will lead to failure.

"The early reports from Baghdad indicate the 'surge' and new strategy will not win the war," writes Novak in the latest edition of the Evans-Novak Political Report. "The expectation from all sides is that a troop removal will be underway in earnest by year's end, no matter who is winning the war."

Novak says the troop boost in Iraq is affording "mixed results," but the feedback so far is decidedly negative.

"The heightened U.S. troop presence, according to the top commanders, appears to be pushing the violence out of certain areas, but it has increased in others," he asserts. "Meanwhile, U.S. troop deaths are skyrocketing, with very little attention being paid to this fact at home."

Will Bunch adds that, even with the month being only half over, April 2007 has been "the deadliest month" for U.S. troops since the fall of Baghdad:

So far, according to, 47 American troops and six British soliders have died in the 11 days of April so far -- an average of 4.82 coalition deaths every day. And -- looking at the month to month statistics -- no month has been that high since Baghdad fell on April 9, 2003.

Not even November 2004, when the U.S. beseiged Fallujah in the days following President Bush's re-election -- the daily fatality average that month was 4.7. In April 2004, when radical Shiites loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr were up in arms, the average was 4.67 coalition deaths per day. Ironically, al-Sadr's henchmen had been sitting out the recent fighting, but just yesterday the radical cleric renewed his pressure, at least verbally, on the Americans. Does that mean things get even worse before they get better?

Apparently, though, the U.S. media has bigger fish to fry:

You know all about Don Imus getting the MSNBC heave-ho ("ho"-heave?) but did you know that Spec. Clifford A. Spohn III of Albuquerque was killed Monday when his unit was hit with indirect fire while working at an Iraqi police station in Karmah.

You know that those Duke lacrosse guys were exonerated, but did you see any news this week about the two Fort Benning soldiers who were killed in Baghdad on Easter Sunday -- Staff Sgt. Harrison Brown, 31, of Pritchard, Ala., and Pfc. David N. Simmons, 20, of Kokomo, Ind., who died when their unit came in contact with enemy forces using an improvised explosive device and small arms fire.

And everyone knows that Larry Birkhead is THE FATHER, but did you know that Staff Sgt. Jesse L. Williams, 25, of Santa Rosa, Calif., also died on Easter in Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered from small arms fire while conducting combat operations in Baqubah.

The man who dreamed up "The Surge" knows how screwed up it is, though [emphasis in original]:

The widespread doubts within U.S. military and intelligence circles that George W. Bush’s Iraq War “surge” can succeed were underscored when one of the plan’s architects, retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, was one of three generals to rebuff a White House offer of a new job dubbed “war czar.”

In December, Keane and neoconservative scholar Frederick Kagan promoted the idea of a U.S. military escalation in Iraq as an alternative to the growing consensus in favor of a phased withdrawal of Amercan combat forces.

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