Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Surge of surges

By Michael J.W. Stickings

According to a new Gallup poll, Americans oppose Bush's anticipated escalation of the war in Iraq by a wide margin: 61% against, 36% for. Support for the president's "new" strategy may turn out to be "higher than this baseline minimum," but, overall, "the American public in general opposes the concept of an increase in troops in Iraq".

Bush's approval rating is similar: 37%.

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With the details of the surge to be announced tomorrow, I recommend this interview of Leon Panetta, Clinton chief of staff and member of the Iraq Study Group, by Newsweek's Michael Hirsh. Panetta says that the surge will "[send] the wrong message to the Iraqis," that military commanders told the ISG that "additional troops" were not needed, that the ISG was told that "while it was questionable a surge could work, it could provide some political cover for withdrawal," and, in conclusion, this:

We had an American general tell us that if the Iraqi government doesn't make political progress then all the troops in the world won't make any difference.

The Iraq War has been a disaster. That isn't about to change no matter what Bush says tomorrow night.

Does anyone actually believe that Bush and the warmongers will get this right after all they have gotten wrong?

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