Reality in Iraq: “recent improvements are sometimes tenuous, temporary, even illusory”

No doubt, the Bush administration has been in overdrive trying to sell the success of the surge. Any Bush generated document, like the upcoming White House report, will undoubtedly find that success. The question for members of Congress is whether they continue to buy the Bush p.r. campaign. During the past five years, Bush has rarely, if ever, been honest, about Iraq. In today’s Washington Post, Sudarsan Raghavan, examines the reality in Iraq. It doesn’t match the Bush version of “reality”:

For months, top commanders and Bush administration officials have said that sectarian violence is down, although some U.S. agencies disagree, according to a recent draft report by the Government Accountability Office. Commanders and officials say attacks are also down against U.S. troops in once-treacherous regions such as Anbar province. This year, more than 100 joint security stations and smaller combat outposts have been erected in neighborhoods and villages across the country, which generals say is an indicator that U.S. and Iraqi troops maintain control.

If there is one indisputable truth regarding the current offensive, it is this: When large numbers of U.S. troops are funneled into areas, security improves. But the numbers only partly describe the reality on the ground. Visits to key U.S. bases and neighborhoods in and around Baghdad show that recent improvements are sometimes tenuous, temporary, even illusory.

In many areas, U.S. forces are now working at cross-purposes with Iraq’s elected Shiite-led government by financing onetime Sunni insurgents who say they now want to work with the Americans. The loyalties of the Iraqi military and police — widely said to be infiltrated by Shiite militias — remain in doubt.

Not a pretty picture. Yet, Bush and most of the GOP want to keep U.S. troops in the middle of this quagmire.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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