Happy Birthday!


Iraq: A country drenched in blood
From Shock & Awe to the ‘surge’ without end
Four years on, insurgent strikes claim more US and Iraqi lives
Bush pleads with US public to stand firm over Iraq war
Bush calls for patience on Iraq

Break out the candles, put on a party hat, the Iraq outrage is 4 years old today;

Seven US soldiers died in Iraq at the weekend, bringing to 3,217 the number of American combat fatalities since the invasion four years ago tomorrow. Four were killed by a roadside bomb in western Baghdad.

Mission accomplished! 4 more years… 4 more years… What about the surge?

US troop levels in Iraq are set to rise higher than at any time since the war began four years ago, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. This summer, troop levels will top 160,000 – compared with the 150,000 there were at the time of the invasion.

I see. I know it’s early days (a mere 2 months into the surge) but what about observable returns on investment?

Despite the month-long security crackdown in the capital, six people were killed and 30 injured by a car bomb blast in a Shia suburb yesterday.

Bush, you are a master gambler. You played your hand, and now you must take the pot. Operation Iraqi Liberation (or OIL for short) is quite a pot…

In all, 24 corpses were found in different parts of the city.

Only 24? Now that’s a success by any one’s standards. Heckuva job there Bushy and Cheney.

General David Petraeus, the new commander of US forces, spoke of “encouraging signs” in Baghdad, but told the BBC he did not want to get “overly optimistic on the basis of several weeks of a reduced sectarian murder rate“.

Once again, Petraeus speaks of “encouraging signs”, without sharing these signs with us (they must be very private, or even ecstatic, visions). Methinks he is a liar and a charlatan.

For Iraqis, every year has been worse than the last since 2003. In November and December last year alone 5,000 civilians were murdered, often tortured to death, according to the UN. This toll compares to 3,000 killed in 30 years of conflict in Northern Ireland. Many Iraqis have voted with their feet, some two million fleeing – mostly to Syria and Jordan – since President George Bush and Tony Blair ordered US and British troops across the Iraqi border four years ago today.

Are these signs “encouraging” Petraeus?

The US troop “surge” has allowed hundreds of families to return to homes abandoned in the face of sectarian attacks.

Doubtless at gunpoint. “We’re here for your freedom, gawd-demmit! No shut the f@ck up and get back to your mud huts!”

“Moving security forces into an insurgent area to ‘shut it down’ is like stamping on a puddle – the large pool of water disappears, but little splashes and spots radiate out from it,” said the official. “So if security operations are all you are doing, they will have local and temporary effects. Violence will decrease, but only where you are operating, and when you leave it will come back.”

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, what say the imbecile in chief;

In a far cry from his boast in May 2003 of mission accomplished, Mr Bush offered a more modest assessment, saying the war could still be won… “Four years after this war began, the fight is difficult, but it can be won. It will be won if we have the courage and resolve to see it through,” he said.

Lets just hope we all have the courage and the resolve to see this embarrassment through.

“The new strategy will need more time to take effect. And there will be good days, and there will be bad days ahead as the security plan unfolds.” He predicted that success “will take months, not days or weeks”.

Ah, the good days before Bush and Cheney (not to mention Rummy)… You attempt to seduce us, you silver tongued devil, with sweet words. But it doesn’t work. The reality of the situation breaks the illusion.

Some other impressions of how things are going;

But the political side of the “surge” plan is going badly, according to the Pentagon and others. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is showing little enthusiasm for American attempts to reverse one of their own worst mistakes: the “de-Baathification” of the old regime, which removed thousands of Sunni military commanders and pushed them into the insurgency. “In one sentence,” the official concluded, “my take on the current situation is: ‘Right strategy, great team, possibly too late.’

We can only imagine what the house of no ideas has in store for all of us next.

J.K.

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