Thursday, May 29, 2008
Iraq P.R. Push?
I don't know if anyone else is noticing but there seems to be a lot of real cheery news coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan lately, courtesy of the Bush Administration. Our Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, claimed last sunday that "Al Qaeda (in Iraq, not to be too confused with the real Al Qaeda, the ones that bombed the World Trade Center) has never been closer to defeat.
"There is important progress for the Iraqi forces in confronting the militias,'' he said, speaking in Arabic to reporters.
"You are not going to hear me say that al-Qaeda is defeated, but they've never been closer to defeat than they are now,'' Crocker claimed.
Our vice president, Dick Cheney, or as Scott McClellan would call him," The Magic Man", gave a commencement address to the Coast Guard last week where he optimistically forecasted victory on the "watch" of the new recruits.
From the AP:
NEW LONDON, Connecticut — Vice President Dick Cheney told newly minted Coast Guard officers Wednesday that the "war on terror" would be won on their watch and dismissed fears that fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan would drag on indefinitely.
Cheney, sporting a cowboy hat, said the troop surge in Iraq "has succeeded brilliantly."
"The war on terror is a lengthy enterprise, but it does not have to go on forever," he told more than 200 graduating cadets during the 127th commencement at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
"The only way to lose this fight is to quit. That would be irresponsible," Cheney said. "More than that, quitting would be an act of betrayal and dishonor. And it's not going to happen on our watch."
General Petraeus said last week that troop cuts are likely in the fall. His top general Odierno was equally hopeful. General Odierno said the Iraqi security forces' ability to do their own "command and control" operations has seen "consistent improvement" but there is still room for progress.
Our great leader himself, President Bush, says that "good progress" has been made in bringing democracy and stability to both war-ravaged countries.
Now excuse me for a little cynicism but does anyone else feel like we are getting hit with a well timed Public Relations snow job? I know that we have elections coming up in the fall but the timing of all this good news has me just a little befuddled. What's the old expression, "don't piss on my leg and tell me its raining?" This administration has cried wolf so many times and has proven to be such a master at propagandizing and manipulating public opinion, excuse me if I don't bite this time.
The news I have digested says that the recent surge in Basra has succeeded in quelling intra shia division and reducing the number of attacks on our forces. Fair enough, I hope so. But has the number of zealots waiting to blow themselves up for the ticket to the 92 virgins really decreased? My bet is that they can and will destabilize the situation at will at any time, unfortunately. Let's not get too giddy with all this good news.
We need to realize that we are dealing with a foreign culture that is so completely alien to our notion of morality that the chasm can not be bridged - and until we figure that out, precious american blood will continue to be sucked down the drain. Do we have a realistic exit strategy? Are we going to allow ourselves to fall for the GOP party line once again? John McCain says that he will never surrender - what will this continuation of the current administration's policies mean for America if he is elected? Is this current "rose colored" prognosis merely a cheap strategy to get some republicans reelected this fall?