Yesterday, in response to the explosion of violence in Basra that has necessitated an influx of 15,000 Iraqi and American troops, the Pentagon claimed the situation was a “by-product of the success of the surge.”
The Suits in the Pentagon might want to check with the Brass on that, or at least the retired members who are free to speak out. That would include U.S. Army Gen. Jack Keane, the vice chief of staff at the time the Iraq war was launched who last summer complained that Britain had never deployed enough troops to provide basic security for the region. (Something required of an occupier under international law, for you hopelessly romantic law and order types).
They might have also listened to the international community, such as the Brussels based think tank, The International Crisis Group, who last June issued a report that said:
“Relentless attacks against British forces in effect had driven them off the streets into [an] increasingly secluded compound. Basra’s residents and militiamen view this not as an orderly withdrawal but rather as an ignominious defeat.”
The Looney Tunes Tasmanian Devil has nothing on the Bush Administration when it comes to spin.
UPDATE: 3/29/08: Prof Cole provides the latest box score on Son of Surge. Money quote:
“The Times of Baghdad reports in Arabic that clashes continued on Friday between Iraqi government forces and the Mahdi Army in Baghdad and the provinces of the middle Euphrates and the south, causing hundreds of casualties, including among women, children and the elderly. The fighting also did damage to Iraq’s infrastructure, as well as to oil facilities and pipelines, damage that might run into the billions of dollars”