You might think that war enthusiasts would have a hard time explaining why, if the "surge" has worked so well, military commanders found it necessary to pound the region south of Baghdad with 20 tons of bombs in the space of 10 minutes.
But you would only think that if you did not know the simple rule of thumb the right uses to evaluate whether a given event in Iraq means the U.S. is winning the war: Anything that happens in Iraq means the U.S. is winning. Everything that happens is a sign that U.S. strategy is a success.
As Curt at Flopping Aces tells us, "Air Force F-16's and B-1 bombers" are "[a] rare sight over Iraq." Presumably, Curt thinks that's because there hasn't been a need for them -- what with the "surge" having worked so well, and Al Qaeda being on the run, and all. But that doesn't mean that a massive air attack now indicates that the surge hasn't worked as well as proclaimed. Quite the opposite:
We’re not talking about a run of the mill strike here folks. 40,000 pounds of explosives were dropped over a 10 minute period. Which tells us that while al-Qaeda is definitely on the run, the military isn’t just letting them recoup. We know our intelligence has gotten better since almost everyone hates AQ in Iraq now which would lead me to believe we killed lots of them in this strike. Which also begs the question, what the hell was al-Qaeda thinking bunching up like that?
Well, it doesn't mean AQI got pushed out of one place and just moved somewhere else. It means that "... Al Qaeda is running out of places to hide. That means what’s left of the group can’t spread out like they used to, and are forced to gather in what few sanctuaries they have left. That makes them easy to target and eliminate, which brings us to yesterday’s operation."
Isn't this the "last throes" argument? How many times have we heard that before?
If you have the stomach for it, take a look at the video of a bombing attack (not the current one) that accompanies Curt's post. Curt includes it as a gift to his readers, for their "viewing pleasure." I could only watch part of it. What kind of person gets pleasure out of watching a video like that?
Here is another, more thoughtful (in both senses of that word) commentary:
After shamelessly proclaiming from rooftops that situation is normalising in Iraq, the US administration would find it difficult to explain why it has to resort to “shock and awe” strategy even after five years of occupation of that country. As Firedoglake puts it succinctly, “That the insurgency — five years after ‘Mission Accomplished’ — is still powerful and entrenched enough to draw airstrikes of that size, that close to Baghdad, should tell Americans everything they need to know about how completely futile this war is.”
The Associated Press news story: “U.S. warplanes unleashed one of the most intense airstrikes of the Iraq war Thursday, dropping 40,000 pounds of explosives in a thunderous 10-minute onslaught on suspected al-Qaida in Iraq safe havens in Sunni farmlands south of Baghdad.
“The mighty barrage — recalling the Pentagon’s ’shock and awe’ raids during the 2003 invasion — appeared to mark a significant escalation in a countrywide offensive launched this week to try to cripple remaining insurgent strongholds.”
No one is bothered, and anxious to ask, that in such “shock and awe” brutal assaults how many innocent men, women and children are slaughtered. There are still dimwits who believe that such strategy can continue for another century!!! This reminds one of the old adage that aptly describes the dimwits…those who bring down the entire house to kill a mouse!!!
Thomas Ricks of the Washington Post, who knows a fiasco when he sees one, told Keith Olbermann that, “judged on the terms in which the president presented it, the surge has not worked. The purpose [of the surge] was to improve security, but to improve it to lead to a political breakthrough. ... And that political breakthrough has not happened.”