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You tell me - what are your expectations for a "Surge"
Posted by: McQ on Monday, January 08, 2007

Given what you've heard and read, and assuming that there will be some type of surge in Iraq, what are your expectations for that surge, if any?
 
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Dismal failure.
 
Written By: Ugh
URL: http://
I agree with "Ugh." If our current policy isn’t working, how will "our current policy, now with more soldiers" be any better, aside from adding more troops to be maimed on the evening news.
 
Written By: Josh
URL: http://www.conjecturer.com/weblog
well, failure is easy to recognize — stability in reported Iraqi daily death counts.

success is harder. Criteria for success that we would read about in the US might include:

Peace conference among the militias, followed by voluntary disarming.

Formation of a new Constitutional Convention, followed by the adoption of Constitutional amendments resolving critical issues (like status of Kurds, allocation of oil revenues).

A reported slowing in refugee flows within and out of Iraq.

Significant and stable increases in power production and oil exports.

An increase in US casualties would probably receive extensive publicity even though that factoid has little or nothing to do with success or failure (except to the extent that it erodes public support).

I seriously doubt that the US occupation has the ability or willingness to bring the most extreme radicals to the negotiating table. So, I predict a lack of significant identifiable progress lasting at least until January 09, at which point the next president will have some very tough choices.


 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
No matter what the actual results, it will be reported as a failure from the get go
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Probably a failure because nothing else is going to change. There is no definition of victory, nor will the US or Iraqis deal with the militias.
 
Written By: Kevin Boyd
URL: http://www.thelibertypapers.org
My expectations are no noticeable result, other than higher casualties on both sides.

I don’t believe we’re willing to disarm the militias and that strikes me as one of the first priority items towards a slightly more peaceful Iraq.

But shark is right, even if it goes according to text-book, it’ll get negative coverage.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I can’t shake the impression that Bush is stalling. I’m not sure exactly for what. It could be as simple as keeping the game going while waiting for unspecified good things to happen. Or maybe there’s some tangible event he’s waiting for, and he just needs to bridge the Iraq strategy to that point, without doing something that suggests weakness in the meantime. Perhaps he’s expecting to see conflict with Iran soon, or has made or is about to make some threats that will lessen their support for the insurgency.

This is sheer speculation on my part. But my intuition says there’s more to this decision than the nominal expectation that just one more run at the terrorists will result in a different outcome than last time.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
What do I expect? I expect that there is some intelligence or technology-generated opportunity (which may or may not be explained later) that requires a surge to exploit. Like any effort in war, it may be successful or not. I expect that only deluded, stupid liberals will attempt to predict the outcome. I expect that liberals who are caught in the Liberal Narrative, such as digby will express expectations that Bush will implement a surge that will be a colossal failure and one that will make things worse while uselessly killing more troops. Liberal think tanks are already juicing up the rhetoric that they will use to detract from any successes. LN victims will interpret any progress much as digby does:
“The right’s professional noise machine is creating a disorienting inability on the part of many journalists and citizens to be able to distinguish reality from fantasy.”

I expect that if a surge is successful, the good news will be met by MSM demurrals and a focus on casualties. Lefty comments will be on the order of:
“While the right wing noise machine is claiming that recent victories in Iraq and the capitulation of Iran and Syria are great successes, that is a fantasy. Reality tells us that ....”.
Followed by a shifting of the goalposts sufficient to negate the positive achievements. I have a high degree of confidence that my expectations will be met.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Followed by a shifting of the goalposts
Did I read this correctly that you are accusing the MSM of shifting the goalposts?

ROTFLMMFAO
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
It’s hard to say. On the one hand, it’s unlikely that a surge will help to quell the general violence, particularly in Baghdad. (Though it’s fun to watch those who’ve been braying "more boots on the ground" backpedal while that’s being considered.) On the other hand, if the surge is targeted either at a specific military mission, such as the takedown of the Mahdi Army, or a general prophylactic, such as keeping Iran from interfering in certain ways, then it might be useful in and of itself.

At this point, the only thing that will solve the situation in Iraq proper is time and resolve: we have to stick it out long enough for the Shi’a militias to kill enough Sunni to remove that source of resistance, and then for the government to bring the Shi’a militias to heel in much the same way. We can, however, change the game, so that success in Iraq would both be not as interesting for a year or two, and much more likely during that time. If we were to use the surge to attack Mahdi Army and some of the smaller but equally-violent Shi’a militias, followed immediately by an attack on Iran from the air and sea, and an occupation of Iranian oil fields in the SW plus the high ground around Hormuz (to keep the Gulf open), and keep bombing Iran until they gave up both their nuclear program and their support of terrorism, then I think the surge would be worthwhile.

In this political climate, I doubt such an attack would be undertaken, despite the positive benefits likely to accrue from doing so. It’s far more likely that the surge will only be domestic political temporizing, with no strategic or even noticeable tactical impact.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
My expectation:

If the fresh troops (that are part of the Surge) have been trained in the new Counter-insurgency doctrine, then I expect that there would be a drop in violence. If not, nothing much changes.



 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
What the warhawks are advocating is a ’surge’ that will last for a decade or more. We’ll have to wait and see, but with his new advisers, it wouldn’t surprise me if this is what is in the planning. Of course, this will never be said outright. I think Bush is just stalling, so he kick the ball in the next administration’s court.
Ever the politician, he.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
ROTFLMMFAO
Don’t do that. Where will your ideas come from?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Don’t do that. Where will your ideas come from?


Here’s an idea I just pulled out of my ass before I laughed it off... pick which of these justifications of the Iraq adventure were goalposts shifts by the MSM and which were shifts by the Bush administration?

1. The War on Terror
2. The prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
3. Removal of the Hussein regime
4. Saddam Hussein is evil
5. Liberate the Iraqi people
6. Unfinished business
7. War for oil
8. Lack of inspections
9. Threat to the region
10. Because we can

PHASE 2, in addition to the earlier rationales, January 2002 to April 2002:

11. Broken promises
12. Revenge
13. For the sake of history
14. Gain favor with the Middle East
15. Set Iraq as an example
16. Because Saddam hates the United States

PHASE 3, Sept. 12, 2002, to Oct. 11, 2002, in addition to earlier rationales:

17. Disarmament
18. Safety of the world
19. Commitment to the children
20. Imminent threat
21. Preservation of peace
22. Threat to freedom
23. Connection to al Qaeda
24. Uniqueness of Iraq
25. Relevance of the U.N.
26. Stimulation of the economy
27. International law
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
No matter what the actual results, it will be reported as a failure from the get go

But shark is right, even if it goes according to text-book, it’ll get negative coverage.
Liberal think tanks are already juicing up the rhetoric that they will use to detract from any successes.
What do I expect?
I expect more of this garbage.

That it won’t be a policy failure, it will be the failure of the MSM to report on all of these supposed successes.
Honestly, people. Doesn’t this ever get old for you?

I at least know someone around here who has given up on that BS.
Followed by a shifting of the goalposts sufficient to negate the positive achievements. I have a high degree of confidence that my expectations will be met.
Tell me, Bob. Why do you accept this "shifting of the goalposts"? If this surge results in a success in Iraq, then why would you accept the standards of an entity that you despise?
Wouldn’t victory in Iraq be just that?

Victory.

Why do you care where the MSM puts the goalpost?
Unless you already plan to call foul?
Don’t do that. Where will your ideas come from?
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
And your ideas smell of roses, no doubt. Tell us why this expedition was a good idea, shower us with fragrance.
To me, your ideas have always smelt of a two week old bloody stool.

Infested with parasites.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
Cap’n: You should take a look at the House Joint Resolution Authorizing Use of Force Against Iraq, October 10, 2002 and see how many of those "goalposts" you mentioned show up there.

Just sayin’ ...

Pogue:
What do I expect?
I expect more of this garbage.

That it won’t be a policy failure, it will be the failure of the MSM to report on all of these supposed successes.
Honestly, people. Doesn’t this ever get old for you?
Please. Do you honestly believe that the MSM reports responsibly on this war? The soldiers sure don’t seem to think so.

If all you ever read, watched or listened to were MSM sources, how would you know anything that the troops have accomplished aside from standing around getting killed when they’re not out committing atrocities.

Besides, it’s not like there isn’t some precedence for the media portraying U.S. military victories in a bad light.

Again, just sayin’ ...
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Pogue - Oh come on Pogue, there has to be SOME good that has happened in Iraq as a result of us being there, it can’t all be bad - real world precludes it ALL being bad.

Yet, do you know what it might be?

I sure don’t.

As a totally non-Iraq example today, I give you the MSM headline reporting....
Where the AP wire titled
"Report Suggests Mars Microbes Overlooked" (Which the NYT stuck with....)

was translated to -

"Scientist: Viking Space Probes May Have Killed Martian Life" (FOX)
AND
"Did probes find Martian life ... or kill it off?" (MSNBC)
AND
"Scientist: NASA found life on Mars — and killed it" (CNN)

AND (finally gettting a little closer to the original mark in the subtitle)
"Mars Killers From Earth?
Astronomer Says NASA Probes May Not Have Recognized Alien Microbes And Killed Them"
(CBS)

Of course if you read the story, you get back to the AP report, that we might have clobbered Mars microbes, in the samples, by testing methods aimed at ’earth-like’ life. So, yeah, I suppose the headlines WERE mostly true (not CNN), if highly misleading.

Most of them can’t even talk about the 30 year old Viking Probes without going for some slant on it.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Please. Do you honestly believe that the MSM reports responsibly on this war?
Michael. How do you get that from this "That it won’t be a policy failure, it will be the failure of the MSM to report on all of these supposed successes."?

Just curious. And who said anything about "responsible reports"? And what is exactly "reports responsibly"?

Surely you don’t mean, "reports about what I believe is happening"? I know you too well.

No matter how hard commenters here try to convince me otherwise, I am steadfast in my belief that the MSM is a for profit, free market industry. With hundreds of competitors reporting from all around Iraq.

EACH OUTFIT REPORTING ESSENTIALLY THE SAME THING. Oh sure, I’ve read the odd tale of a school or hospital being constructed. But all in all, its all the same bad news. And this "media not reporting the good news" garbage is slowly, but surely, orphaned to the extreme Right-wing fanatics.

All of the news services in Iraq can’t all be Bush haters and Leftist traitors, right? Pantie-wastes, knob gobblers, and Frenchmen... Right?

Surely not all of them?

There must be one or two credible journalists out there willing to brave the sunburned sands in a valiant effort for truth.
Oh, I know. There’s always Michelle Malkin and her indefatigable pursuit of the fraud that is the AP’s Jamil Hussein.

No wait. That didn’t work out.

Oh oh oh... what about that bastard John Kerry and how the troops didn’t want to sit next to him...

Damn. Wrong again.
You know, scratch that. Maybe Michelle Malkin is not your girl. Perhaps you can think of a credible journalist in Iraq "reporting responsibly". ’Cause I can’t.

And neither can Looker,
Pogue - Oh come on Pogue, there has to be SOME good that has happened in Iraq as a result of us being there, it can’t all be bad - real world precludes it ALL being bad.

Yet, do you know what it might be?

I sure don’t.
That sounds a lot like faith, Looker. Not fact.
And to use your reasoning...

there has to be SOME good journalists in Iraq as a result of us being there, it can’t all be bad journalism - real world precludes that ALL journalists are bad.

Cheers.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com
If a surge in Americans is the only thing that is occuring then it is a good thing. It allows more intelligence to be acted on in Iraq, because more resources are available.

However it is unlikely to be the only change in strength taking place. Are the numbers of recruits for militias rising? Are Al Qaeda sending more jihadi into Iraq? Is Iran supplying more IEDs and other munitions? If these hostile groups are surging at a greater rate than America then there is no benefit to the American surge.

For a complete answer have to find what plans Al Qaeda, Iran and Syria have; and if they have a contingency for an increase in American troop numbers.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
there has to be SOME good journalists in Iraq as a result of us being there,
It’s like playing "Where’s Waldo"?

See if you can find the one good one!







 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Michael. How do you get that from this "That it won’t be a policy failure, it will be the failure of the MSM to report on all of these supposed successes."?
It was your strawman, Pogue. I was just knocking it down. Skepticism was expressed that the MSM would report any successes as failures. It’s already happened in this war (Fallujah, anyone?), so it’s a fair lament. You interpreted that as meaning that a failure of policy would be deemed an MSM failure, which isn’t a fair comment given the circumstances.
EACH OUTFIT REPORTING ESSENTIALLY THE SAME THING. Oh sure, I’ve read the odd tale of a school or hospital being constructed. But all in all, its all the same bad news. And this "media not reporting the good news" garbage is slowly, but surely, orphaned to the extreme Right-wing fanatics.
Ah, and here’s where I know you too well ... you’re a skeptic at heart, but your skeptic’s eye is firmly trained on the Righty warblogger, et al. You don’t express an skepticism about the reporting. There’s a reason all the MSM reporting is the same, and it ain’t because they’re just reporting the facts. They have a narrative and they pick and choose which stories to present and how. If you consume nothing but MSM news, you are not getting the whole story, you’re getting the story being fed to you. Why else would the troops find the reporting to be so lousy?
All of the news services in Iraq can’t all be Bush haters and Leftist traitors, right? Pantie-wastes, knob gobblers, and Frenchmen... Right?

Surely not all of them?

There must be one or two credible journalists out there willing to brave the sunburned sands in a valiant effort for truth.
Oh, I know. There’s always Michelle Malkin and her indefatigable pursuit of the fraud that is the AP’s Jamil Hussein.

No wait. That didn’t work out.

Oh oh oh... what about that bastard John Kerry and how the troops didn’t want to sit next to him...

Damn. Wrong again.
You know, scratch that. Maybe Michelle Malkin is not your girl. Perhaps you can think of a credible journalist in Iraq "reporting responsibly". ’Cause I can’t.
There are some good reporters in the Middle East: Michael Yon, Bill Ardolino, Michael Totten. It’s just that none of them work for the MSM.

You’re right about it being a free market industry, and the MSM is losing right now because (A) they aren’t trusted, (B) they are mired in the old method of gathering and reporting news, and (C) they’re too dang arrogant to change, so the lash out at bloggers instead. (BTW, I wouldn’t hang your hat on the "Jamil Hussein" — what took so long to find him anyway — or "John Kerry" argument since there have been candid admissions that some were too hasty, and just because Jamil exists, doesn’t mean he is credible).

The fact remains that those who consume nothing but MSM news must think that our troops just stand around getting blown up when they aren’t committing atrocities, because that’s pretty much all that the MSM reports. If a surge does happen (provided its a temporary one, but I’m not holding my breath), I expect that we will see further military victories since we are indominatable in that area. Where we lose wars is in the public-opinion arena which (until now) has historically been dominated by the MSM. You do the math as to why people might be skeptical at the reporting.

 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
But all in all, its all the same bad news.
I’m shocked that is the case. (And the song is from 1982 just to show how much has changed.)
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"If the fresh troops (that are part of the Surge) have been trained in the new Counter-insurgency doctrine,"

Now I am curious. What new doctrine is that? Where can I find it?

***************************************

""Scientist: Viking Space Probes May Have Killed Martian Life" (FOX)"

And Nifong will prosecute.

******************************

My expectations for a surge?

It will provide material for threads like this. Other than that, not much.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It was your strawman, Pogue.
Strawman, my ass. Michael... What is "reports responsibly"??? What does that mean?
You don’t express an skepticism about the reporting. There’s a reason all the MSM reporting is the same, and it ain’t because they’re just reporting the facts. They have a narrative and they pick and choose which stories to present and how.
Horsefeathers.
My skepticism knows no bounds. And say it aint so, Michael ... say it aint so... You’ve bought into this BS that the MSM has a "narrative" and that they "pick and choose" which stories to cover? For what purpose?

If you consume nothing but MSM news, you are not getting the whole story, you’re getting the story being fed to you. Why else would the troops find the reporting to be so lousy?
You see, it’s not only the MSM that is calling this fiasco a complete disaster. It’s the generals, the politicians, and just about every observer that’s been there...

EVERYONE calls this a disaster. So how in the world could this be a MSM fabrication or manipulation???
Dude... Everyone.
There are some good reporters in the Middle East: Michael Yon, Bill Ardolino, Michael Totten. It’s just that none of them work for the MSM.
Well, good on ’em. God speed and good writing.
I don’t know how their reporting changes anything, though. And it amazes me that when discussing journalists of this nature, why isn’t Michael Ware ever mentioned. Is it because he reports are damning, or is it that he works for a “main stream media” .. you know, TIME, CNN…
That guy has got a set of big shiny brass ones.
Reporting from Baghdad, I’m Michael Ware and THESE are my balls. Back to you, Solidad.
And what’s with this? Say it aint so, man.
(BTW, I wouldn’t hang your hat on the "Jamil Hussein" — what took so long to find him anyway — or "John Kerry" argument since there have been candid admissions that some were too hasty, and just because Jamil exists, doesn’t mean he is credible).
You bought it... you really did. You bought it hook, line, and sinker. You bought that whole, "Hey lets get those bastards at the AP... Those SOB’s want us to lose." Its been debunked man, face it. And now, because some silly blogger has it out for the AP and the MSM in general, a man is under arrest.

Good work. (idiots)
You understand, this is what really pissed me off this week. F*cking blame the media GARBAGE.
Where we lose wars is in the public-opinion arena which (until now) has historically been dominated by the MSM. You do the math as to why people might be skeptical at the reporting.
The math is simple. Conservatives who supported the war, don’t like the way it turned out, and is now and will forever blame the media for not telling everyone about the "good news". But there are those who truly believe this, but will start eventually coming around.... the numbers will dwindle, and what you’ll have left, is a bunch of delusional whackos sulking in the depths with the likes of Area 51 conspiracy theorists. You do the math.

Michael. This is not a public relations battle for the American public fought between MSM and bloggers. This is the fact that there is a raging civil war in Iraq, we’re stuck in the middle of it, and there is no way out. The Iraqi people will have their civil war.

Surge or no surge. And all the boo-hooing about the MSM will not change a damn thing.

Cheers.

Shiny
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://ceilidhcowboy.typepad.com/
"Hey lets get those bastards at the AP... Those SOB’s want us to lose." Its been debunked man, face it. And now, because some silly blogger has it out for the AP and the MSM in general, a man is under arrest.
I posit two alternatives: 1) Mr. Mahone is ignorant of the facts in the AP story; or, 2) Mr. Mahone has the ethics of a piss-ant. To wit:

My guess is that he has limited his reading in the matter to the LN (alternative 1)). The facts are: 1) the AP wired a story that a mosque was burned and people were dragged into the street and set on fire. 2) the story was questioned and AP was asked to produce their source, since there was no corroborating evidence that the event had occurred at all. None. 3) Now for the salient point, the point that Mr. Mahone is content to totally ignore, in his venality or ignorance; the point that, instead of launching an investigation to determine if they could have sent out such a bogus story, instead of printing a retraction and admitting error, the AP stonewalled.
It is just a guess, but I would bet that Mr. Mahone is on record somewhere at length about what he thinks of stonewalling (Plame? Rathergate? Nixon?). I know what I think of stonewalling. So why is he not staying in character and demanding that we find out what is behind the stonewall?
Mr. Mahone is stonewalling himself. ‘Why this poor man is under arrest! Move along, nothing to see here. Sources must be protected and all that, good fellow. The whole thing is BS.’
Mr. Mahone, is it or is it not of supreme importance to investigate evidence that the AP printed a false story detrimental to the interests of the US Government and may have done so in more than 60 cases in the past? Should not the AP wish to refute this canard and gladly participate in such investigation?
Mr. Mahone is content to follow the LN and leave the matter uninvestigated since the initial reaction of the Right was that the source did not exist. Then he represents that the circle jerk of protecting-the- source-and-he-won’t-testify justifies ignoring the falseness of the story(ies) altogether.

I further posit that Mr. Mahone is committed to defending the MSM and the LN and he knows in his heart that a finding that the AP faked a story(ies) would support (if not confirm) that “MSM lies”. Why is he on the wrong side of the AP story? Should he not be on the “quit stonewalling, let’s get to the bottom of this” side? See alternatives 1) and 2) above.

Oh yes, THE MAN IS UNDER ARREST!

“ Its been debunked man, face it.”
Ugh, got a link for this “debunking”, Mr. Mahone?
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
When I was reading this I got it. If getting money for a real surge was the goal, why give the Democrats more ways to delay it?
“Bush’s recent decision to name a new ambassador to Baghdad and shuffle the military commanders in the region will lead to Senate confirmation hearings.”
Come into my parlor, etc. Rove, you clever devil. It doesn’t matter whether or not there is ever a “surge”. Instead of letting the Democrats lay back and carp (Biden’s suggestion) they are being forced to “own” their (choose one or more: anti-war, cut and run, chicken out, fail to defend liberty, lose us the war, etc.) position. That is what they must run on in 2008. The smart move would be to “get behind this effort to win the war”, allocate the funds and wait for Bush to hang himself. But they simply cannot do that, can they. They cannot cut the anti-war baby in half. Rove, you clever devil. Oh, and this partisan politics is just terrible, terrible.

Lieberman is wise to this ploy. Watch him to see where the Democrats would like to be, but cannot since they are stuck with the anti-war crowd (which he certainly is not).

I don’t think there is any real surge planned at all. I won’t miss the Bush speech.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://

 
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