25 August, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Petraeus to McCain: You're full of shit:

Gen. David Petraeus, top commander of coalition military forces in Iraq, recently sat down with Newsweek to do a “valedictory” interview before he takes up his new post as CENTCOM commander next month.

Newsweek reported that while Petraeus recognized that al-Qaeda in Iraq has been significantly diminished, he refusesd to say the terror group had been “defeated.” Moreover, Petraeus acknowledged that the recent successes in Iraq may have been possible without the surge:

Petraeus is careful not to credit all the progress to the surge of U.S. troops in 2007. The sea change came last year from a series of movements now known as the Awakening. […] So could the Sunni Awakening have succeeded without the surge? Possibly, he concedes.

Yet, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) disagrees with Petraeus, who McCain recently named as one of “the three wisest people” that he would rely heavily on as president. Last month during an interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric, McCain dismissed the notion that security in
Iraq may have improved without the so-called “surge” of U.S. forces there...

What a non-ringing endorsement of McCain's "The Surge is teh awesome!" rhetoric. Funny how everybody but McLame seems to grasp the realities of foreign policy and the debacle that is the Iraq war, even the fucking commander of the fucking Iraq war.

Seems to me I've read somewhere recently that the Surge was a useless fucking fiasco that actually set us back.... ah, yes:

Yesterday, CAP’s Brian Katulis appeared on CSPAN’s Washington Journal to discuss recent developments in Iraq with John Nagl of the Center for a New American Security. Here, Katulis suggests an explanation for why declining violence has not led to political progress among Iraq’s leaders...


KATULIS: The notion of the surge, that if we decrease violence and make people feel more secure, would lead to political transition and progress on that front, I think we should question it. Because if you look at key fundamentals, if you look at what the surge has actually done, it may have in fact frozen into place a very fractured and fragmented country.

A key feature of the surge, for instance, was providing support to the Sons of Iraq — an independent security force, largely Sunni, but with some Shiites involved. I worry that the story of Iraq since 2003 has been a story of a country that has fractured and fragmented, and what happened during the surge, in a sense, [was that] rather than creating greater incentives for the different Iraqi factions to come together on the key issues that still remain unresolved — Kirkuk, Article 140, the oil law, the budget, a whole host of issues — rather than achieving progress, we may have actually impeded it by freezing into place a very divided society.

Well, that's a bit of an eye-opener, innit? Who could have possibly imagined that Bush's stupid-stubborn warmongering policies could set us back? Such a shock, lemme tell ya.

How well have we done in Iraq? Well enough that Maliki is doing everything he can to kick us the fuck out before we can "help" any more:

I suppose we can debate the meaning of the word "timetable," but this sounds like we're talking about an agreement that goes well beyond "aspirational time horizons."

Iraq and the United States have agreed that all U.S. troops will leave by the end of 2011, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday, but Washington said no final deal had been reached.

"There is an agreement actually reached, reached between the two parties on a fixed date, which is the end of 2011, to end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil," Maliki said in a speech to tribal leaders in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

"An open time limit is not acceptable in any security deal that governs the presence of the international forces," he said.

Shorter Maliki: Get the fuck out of my country. Can't say as I blame him. And while the White House tries to spin this as "we haven't agreed yet," which can be translated into, "We haven't yet applied enough pressure to make that upstart bastard toe our party line," Maliki seems pretty certain of what his country wants and that they're going to get it.

He's found his balls. Good on him.

Moving on back to the fuckery at home, we have the Republicons desperately trying to pretend there's this maclargehuge rift between Clintonistas and Obamaniacs. They've released ads, spouted talking points, and have most of the media lapping up their drivel, but one reporter ain't buying it:

But before the networks take the ad too seriously, they should consider an anecdote about the "chicken prank" from TNR's Eve Fairbanks.

I almost feel like a dupe writing about the second pro-Hillary ad McCain released today at 6am: It's a stunt, a trick meant to keep him in the press during the Democratic convention and gin up more Hillary-Obama-tension media storylines. Message: neener neener neener.

It is, in fact, the political equivalent of a prank legendarily pulled at my high school in which students procured well fewer than 20 live chickens, numbered them 1 through 20 with magic markers (leaving some numbers out), set them loose, and then sat back and gleefully watched as hapless school officials ran around the school searching for the remaining missing chickens that had never actually existed.

That's precisely what they're doing: running after imaginary chickens. Republicons do have rich imaginations, and most of the MSM likes to play pretend right along with them.

Note to MSM: you're total fucking dupes. How's it feel to be such blithering idiots?

What else can we expect from a press corps that likes to engage in this sort of behavior:

The Fox & Friends team broadcasted live from a bar in downtown Denver today, the opening day of the Democratic National Convention — where they seemed to spend nearly as much time schmoozing with scantily-clad women as they did talking about politics. Segment after segment featured Broncos cheerleaders, Hooters waitresses, with Brian Kilmeade joking about joining the security team to “pat down” the cheerleaders; when Steve Doocy’s son Peter discussed Fox on Twitter, Steve joked that Kilmeade “just twittered the cheerleaders a minute ago!”

This is Faux News's idea of "family values programming" and "incisive political analysis." The sad thing is, this isn't far behind the standard of our media in general.

Is it any wonder Americans look so fucking stupid when they go to the polls?

1 comment:

Efrique said...

Even the seeming "success" of the surge has its parallels in the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan:
On his arrival in power, in March 1985, the new Soviet General Secretary, Mikhail Gorbachev expressed his impatience with the Afghan conflict. He demanded that a solution be found before a one-year deadline. As a result, the size of the LCOSF (Limited Contingent of Soviet Forces) was increased to 108,800 and fighting increased throughout the country, making 1985 the bloodiest year of the war. However, despite suffering heavily, the mujahideen were able to remain in the field and continue resisting the Soviets.

(If you have time, read the whole article. The extent of the parallels to the US in Iraq are... disquieting. There are obviously differences, but I don't know for sure that they're differences that will make much of a difference.)