Surge? What surge?

By now, it’s not news to any of you that John Edwards, one of the top Democratic contenders for the Presidency, announced that, if he’s elected, he’ll withdraw all troops from Iraq within ten months:

John Edwards says that if elected president he would withdraw the American troops who are training the Iraqi army and police as part of a broader plan to remove virtually all American forces within 10 months.

In connection with this inane pronouncement, Max Boot offers my favorite analysis of both Edwards’ and the media’s time warp mentality:

Of course it’s unlikely that Edwards will ever occupy the White House. But he is one of the top three Democratic presidential candidates, so what he says is worth considering. And what he is saying is essentially what Democrats have been saying for the last couple of years. To wit: “I have never believed that there was a military solution in Iraq, don’t believe it today. I think the issue is how do you maximize the chances of achieving a political reconciliation between Sunni and Shia because I think that political reconciliation is the foundation for any long-term stability in Iraq.” (For more of Edwards’s pensées, see here.)

This is exactly the argument Democrats were making against the surge. Now the surge is succeeding, but they haven’t yet figured out a new argument, so they keep replaying the same old DVD.

By the way, if you want further evidence of how the surge is working, check out the latest casualty figures, which show that 23 American soldiers died in December, the second-smallest figure on record since the invasion began. (The runner-up was the month of February 2004 when 20 died.) Of course that news may be a little hard to find since it’s buried in news articles like this one, headlined “2007 Deadliest Year for U.S. Troops in Iraq.” The headline is accurate but misleading, since casualties have been falling precipitously over the past six months—ever since the surge started to take effect.

‘Nuff said.

Something else that’s buried in the interview, that would have raised antennae in 1992, but that went completely unnoticed in the blogosphere, is Elizabeth Edward’s role in the campaign.  Please note in the following paragraphs both how she is described and what she does:

In one of his most detailed discussions to date about how he would handle Iraq as president, Mr. Edwards staked out a position that would lead to a more rapid and complete troop withdrawal than his principal rivals, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who have indicated they are open to keeping American trainers and counterterrorism units in Iraq.

Elizabeth Edwards, his wife and political partner, who listened in on the interview from a seat across the aisle, intervened at the end of the session to underscore that Mr. Edwards did not intend to stop all training and was prepared to train Iraqi forces outside of the country. Mr. Edwards continued the theme while acknowledging that the benefits of such training would be limited.

His political partner?  What’s that?  Is this a redux of Hillary’s and Bill’s famous 1992 promise that, with them, you’d get two for the price of one?  I’ve certainly noticed over the past several months that John sends his wife out to say the nasty things that he’s afraid to say (presumably because her status as a cancer victim will give her a pass for being nasty or stupid).  See here, for example.  It’s sort of like have a chihuahua serve as the guard dog for a toy poodle, isn’t it?  Of course, poor Edwards is hampered by the fact that, when he gets mad, he just looks silly.


11 Responses

  1. […] [Discuss this article with Bookworm over at Bookworm Room…] Share Article Sphere: Related Content Trackback URL […]

  2. book, the surge is working?

    i’m not going to waste bandwidth describing just how intellectually dishonest that statement is but i will ask you to address the STATED purpose for the “surge” in the first place:

    “”The purpose of the surge was to create a secure environment in which the Iraqi government would have the opportunity to make the political change to end … the violence there,” Pelosi said. “They have not taken advantage of that opportunity. And as the general said in the article this morning, that window may be closing for them to do so.”

    i will concede that violence is down and while that is obviously good news, a large part of that is due to the fact that the ethnic cleansing has largely run it’s course with warring sunni and shia coalescing into their respective fiefdoms; which does not bode well for a centralized government; which was a condition for SUCCESS if you recall.

    so which of the stated goals have been accomplished book? are we any closer to a competent iraqi army or police force? do we have an agreement for the sunni and shia to share power in any representative way? what about oil profits?

    but i shouldn’t be surprised. you have been obfuscating and moving the goal-posts for years to suit your version of reality. luckily for america though, a great many more citizens have taken their sanity pills and now see this b.s. for what it really is.


  3. Seems like a bit of research should answer most of your questions, Dagon. I suggest relying a bit more on “boots on the ground” reporters like Michael Totten and Michael Yon than on journalists safely ensconced in their Manhattan aeries.

    Overall, with oil revenues now flowing to all ethnic areas, I would say the Iraqi government has made more progress toward meeting its objectives than our own Congress.

    Welcome back, by the way.

  4. Peace will be had by killing dagon’s ideas, Book. That is the entire purpose in him bringing it up. Only when there is a victor and a defeated can there ever be peace.

    do we have an agreement for the sunni and shia to share power in any representative way?

    When we can get Democrats to share power with Republicans like Bush in a representative way, then we’ll talk about Iraq’s problems.

    War is the method by which humanity reaches greater understanding and progress. The proof of that has been a seed in Leftist history since their inception. Unfortunately, not everyone that participates in war is competent or particularly admirable. The same applies to the war waged against Americans by anti-Americans and Leftists, which is a redundant way of puting it.

  5. Thanks, Danny, for saying what I wanted to say but hadn’t got around to saying. Let me also point out that by this time even John Murtha and Harry Reid are admitting the surge has achieved a level of success, and in addition to Yon& Totten I’d recommend Robert Kaplan.

    Btw, nice to hear from you again, Dagon. My best to Signorina Dagon “e tutti le bambini dagoni.”

  6. merci zhombre,

    same to you

  7. the surge has managed to quell a modicum of the violence but the iraqi government is no closer to achieving any of the benchmarks that were set before the deployment.

    unless you are content with perpetual martial law, there’s really no way that you can say that the surge has been a success.

    it’s merely a band-aid to slow the bleeding.


  8. dagon has spent so much time trying to avoid studying war that he has become in peace with himself, Book. Which, while interesting in itself, is no recommendation for him as a war guru.

    Peace is about benchmarks. War is about winning.

  9. I don’t think research is the problem, Danny. It is about a different fundamental philosophy. If you have read some of my discussions with Mitsu, you might have noticed that it is not the difference in data or sources used by me or him that causes most of the differences in our views. No, the primary source of the diverging opinions is due to the fact that Mitsu has an incompatible philosophy with mine.

    This applies to dagon’s case in which peace and American rewards are sought as a standard for success. Yet peace and what America is today is the fruits of success, it is not success itself. Iraq is not America, so that makes it under martial law to dagon because dagon has associated success with the fruits of success.

    When your goals are warped, then obviously the methods you choose to pursue those goals will be different from Petraeus’ surge, classical liberalism’s need to destroy enemies of humanity, and Bush’s desire to set up a democracy in the Middle East.

    in the end, no amount of additional information or data will change a person’s philosophy so that it is compatible with the philosophies of others. It is human experience that changes minds. And mutual interest. No amount of info about American intentions or AQ tendencies convinced Al Anbar. It was experience, the experience of war to be precise.

  10. y,

    sadly, i didn’t get my ymarsakar decoder ring for x-mas so i have no idea what you’re talking about.

    but, in plain english, are you calling me anti-american?


  11. Why do you expect to get an idea of what I’m talking about, dagon? There’s a price attached to knowledge and wisdom. It ain’t free.

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