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A Modern Major General¹

As Kevin Drum noted in Double, Double, Toil And Trouble, the escalation surge was all about Baghdad. The number of troops was doubled in Baghdad to bring the city under control so that the political process could go forward.

With twice as many troops and 800,000 fewer residents, the effects on Baghdad were minimal, and there has been no political progress.

The only “bright spot” during the reporting period is Anbar province. But what happened there has nothing to do with the surge or American strategy. In point of fact, arming the Sunni tribes has probably extended and made more violent the civil war and made a political resolution less likely.

Troops will be pulling out in the Spring no matter what because there are no replacements for them. The cupboard is bare, and there are no reserves if the Horn of Africa should explode or there is a major problem in Afghanistan.

The general needs to be reminded that the country does not have the men or money to justify the cost in lives and treasure for so little in return.

Pierre Tristam of looks at The Petraeus Show, and isn’t very impressed.

The BBC had the temerity to ask the people who live there in its report, Iraqis untouched by US surge.

CNN asked the troops and found that Soldiers wish politicians would embed with them.

Of course we know the Hedgemony would never schedule the Petraeus/Crocker Show to play the Senate on September 11th just to cause a problem for the junior Senator from New York, but they don’t consider that a bug.

The people who keep talking about “chaos” need to look closely at what is happening in Iraq. The situation can’t get any worse for the families of the approximately 700 US troops who have died in this attempt to calm things down. There is no reason to believe that things will get better in the next six months.

1. Via Hipparchia: the video.


1 Steve Bates { 09.11.07 at 4:19 pm }

“There is no reason to believe that things will get better in the next six months.”

Indeed, if Cheney succeeds in forcing a needless and illegal invasion of Iran, things could get a great deal worse.

That video is of a good performance. Between that number and “I am the Monarch of the Sea” from HMS Pinafore, one might think William Schwenk Gilbert was less than impressed with the British military of his day. A Mauser rifle from a javelin, indeed… maybe our own good General should “seek the seclusion that a cabin grants.” 😈

2 Bryan { 09.11.07 at 5:55 pm }

If Petraeus had delivered his report as a patter song, it would at least been entertaining.

In the 19th century officers bought their commissions rather than preparing for them, so it is not surprising that Mr Gilbert wasn’t impressed.

3 whig { 09.11.07 at 10:33 pm }

What has the junior senator from New York ever done that should impress me somehow? She voted for the war. She won’t say it was a mistake but now she’s against it, just trust her to end it when it’s her turn.


4 Bryan { 09.11.07 at 10:42 pm }

Chill, Whig, I’m not a fan of hers, I’m just pointing out the level of pettiness of these people. She has never admitted she made a mistake in voting for the war, and I’m not ready for another “leader” who can’t admit they made mistakes.

She is too willing to triangulate, and she still wants insurance companies involved in health care, which is an unnecessary layer of management and expense.

5 whig { 09.11.07 at 11:30 pm }

Why not just open enrollment in Medicare to all?

6 Bryan { 09.11.07 at 11:41 pm }

We can’t do that, Whig – it would be quick, easy, cheap, and effective. 😈

[I figure you know sarcasm when you see it.]

7 whig { 09.12.07 at 12:08 am }

It would be nice if politicians could be clear and succinct like this, don’t you think? How many pages of small print are the voters expected to read anyhow?

8 Bryan { 09.12.07 at 7:08 am }

Apparently enough to cover all of the pork they stuff in their bills.