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Hullabaloo


Thursday, July 24, 2008

 
The Surge Began In March 1867

by dday

So to follow John McCain's logic, everything positive that's ever happened in Iraq is part of the surge, even those occurences that began well before the actual increase in troops, which is, you know, the surge, as defined by the US military and political leaders and pretty much everybody who's ever talked about it. And everything negative is part of the "failed strategy" of which he was the number one critic. So, bad stuff - McCain knew it was bad and spoke out. Good stuff - McCain personally directed it.

McCAIN: ... Prior to that they had been going into places, killing people or not killing people, and then withdrawing. And the new counterinsurgency 'surge' entailed going in, and clearing and holding, which Col. MacFarland had already started doing. And then of course later on, there were additional troops. And Gen. Petraeus has said that the surge would not have worked and the Anbar Awakening would not have taken place -- successfully -- if they hadn't had an increase in the number of troops. So, I'm not sure, frankly, that people really understand, that a surge is part of a counterinsurgency strategy, which means going in, clearing, holding, building, building a better life, providing services to the people, and then, clearly, a part of that, an important part of that, was additional troops to ensure the safety of the sheikhs, to regain control of Ramadi, which was a very bloody fight, and then the surge continued to succeed in that counterinsurgency.

REPORTER: So when you say 'surge' then, you're not referring to just the one that President Bush initiated, you're saying it goes back several months before that?

McCAIN: Yes.


Of course, this is completely illogical. If the surge is merely counterinsurgency strategy, then we've been surging since 2005 when COIN was implemented, with mixed results, mind you. But since the elite media has very little understanding of Iraq themselves, and since any attempt to clean up the historical record yields the charge that they are undermining the work of the troops, this will probably go unchallenged. Or maybe challenged, by the Obama campaign, but left for the audience to figure out on their own.

Yet what's really striking here is not the gaffe itself, but the willingness of McCain to alter reality to fit the gaffe into a new worldview. This is all very familiar, and after all devaluing facts is a key element of conservative strategy, given that those pesky facts have a well-known liberal bias.


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