General Petraeus or General Betray Us?
Cooking the books for the White House
General Petraeus is a military man constantly at war with the facts. In 2004, just before the election, he said there was “tangible progress“ in Iraq and that “Iraqi leaders are stepping forward.”
Washington Post, “Battling for Iraq,” by David H. Petraeus. 9/26/04 (see below)
And last week Petraeus, the architect of the escalation of troops in Iraq , said ”We say we have achieved progress, and we are obviously going to do everything we can to build on that progress.”
The Australian, “Surge Working: Top US General,” by Dennis Shanahan. 8/31/07
Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed.
Independent AP investigation, 9/1/07
Independent L.A. Times investigation, 9/1/07
GAO report, 9/4/07
NIE report, 8/23/07
Jones report, CSIS, 9/6/07
Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count.
“Time to Take a Stand,” by Paul Krugman. 9/7/07
The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you're shot in the back of the head -- not the front.
“Experts Doubt Drop in Violence in Iraq,” by Karen DeYoung. 9/6/07 l
According to news reports, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there.
The Associated Press, “Violence Appears to Be Shifting from Baghdad.” 8/25/07
National Public Radio, “Statistics the Weapon of Choice in Surge Debate,” by Guy Raz. 9/6/07
Associated Press, “Key Figures About Iraq Since the War Began in 2003.” 9/5/07
We'll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won't hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.
Newsweek, “Baghdad’s New Owners,” by Babak Dehghanpisheh and Larry Kaplow, 9/10/07
Ibid from the AP, “Violence Appears to be Shifting From Baghdad”
McClatchy, “Despite Violence Drop, Officers See Bleak Future for Iraq,” by Leila Fadel. 8/15/07
The New York Times, “More Iraqis Said to Flee Since Troop Rise,” by James Glanz and Stephen Farrell. 8/24/07
Most importantly, General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows; Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war.
We may hear of a plan to withdraw a few thousand American troops.
The New York Times, “Petraeus, Seeing Gains in Iraq as Fragile, is Wary of Cuts,” by David Sanger and David Cloud, 9/7/07
The Washington Post, “Petraeus Open to Pullout of One Brigade,” by Robin Wright and Jonathan Weisman. 9/7/07.
But we won’t hear what Americans are desperate to hear: a timetable for withdrawing all our troops. General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.
The Hill, “Rep. Schakowsky: Petraeus hints at decade-long Iraq presence,” by Patrick FitzGerald. 8/10/07
Today before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
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