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How Bush's Surge Will Be A Good Thing

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The United States' foreign policy in the Middle East is coming to a crossroads. There isn't a person on the planet, including all of the right-wingnut shills on Fox News, who think our strategy in Iraq is going well. We've endured 3+ years of these neo-cons trying to tell us how well things are going, and how the liberal media is overlooking the positive advancements being made. Who should we believe - our lying leaders or our lying eyes? Over the last few months new milestones have been reached. The war's duration has surpassed that of WWII and the American casualty count has surpassed our losses from the attack on September 11, 2001. Furthermore, the conflict's statistics have not shown any sign of improvement, and in fact have deteriorated. The happy talk neo-cons are pulling their shoes out of their mouths. But, even as they concede that things are not going well, they continue to espouse rhetoric of winning, victory, defeat, and the need to continue. Even after the Iraq Study Group has recommended re-deployment, even after the generals on the ground have recommended re-deployment (now of course they're being replaced), and even after the November 7, 2006 mid-term election clearly delivered the message for a change in strategy (i.e. re-deployment), George W. Bush has decided to do exactly the opposite. After all we've put up with from this schmuck who stole two presidential elections, Dubya has thumbed his nose at the American people and the rest of the world by ordering a further build-up of troops in Iraq. That's right... after completely misjudging everything, after utterly screwing up this section of the world, after making the wrong decisions every step of the way, Bush ("The Decider") has decided to throw gasoline on the fire. He says he doesn't listen to public opinion polls, which is just another way of saying that he's ignoring the will of the American people. And with the Democratic majority in Congress squarely against an escalation of this war, he's also ignoring the will of the Legislative branch of our government. Bait & Blame Part of me thinks that this whole 'surge' thing is just a ploy to bait the Democrats into taking a stand. He knows he's in for a fight with Congress, he knows the American people disapprove of his handling of the war in Iraq, and he knows support for this troop strength escalation is very unpopular on so many fronts. So, what gives? Well, if the Democrats win this fight, then Bush has a scapegoat to blame for losing the war, and McCain has fodder for saying he had the right plan to win the war. However, if Bush wins this fight and sends an additional 20K troops to Baghdad, then the Democrats are complicit in f**king this war up even more, and the profiteering by Halliburton continues. So, let's look at the likely scenario if Bush gets his way. Here's my vision...
  • Bush, acting basically on John McCain's advice, will increase troop strength in Baghdad.
  • Those who expected their tours were finishing will be extended... AGAIN. And, those who thought their tours were a little further in the future will be surprised that they're called up sooner. All-in-all, the US military will be stretched even thinner, and even more distraught & fed up. All along America's military readiness erodes.
  • An additional 20k+ troops in Baghdad will also require a surge in infrastructure and supply lines (i.e. more targets to be hit by roadside IED's).
  • More U.S. troops in Iraq will certainly mean more U.S. deaths. Look for an increase.
  • If U.S. troops do manage to quell the violence in Baghdad, they'll be stuck there indefinitely to keep the peace. Don't believe for one minute any talk of temporariness by the Bush Administration - you know that won't be true even if they really do think it's true.
  • Meanwhile Anbar Province and other insurgent hot beds will heat up.
  • Sectarian violence will increase, as well as the incidents of Shiite Militia Death Squad hits. Kidnappings and killings will either maintain or increase.
  • The situation in Iraq will not remedy under the Bush Administration, and certainly will not improve over this surge of troops. One way or another Bush will find a way to f**k it up because he never gave any credence to win the war over the hearts & minds of the Iraqi people. They see through the lying propoganda just like we do as evidenced by the rise in anti-American sentiment. (Hold on.... I'll be getting to the 'good' part in a minute...)
  • Look for more incidents of American atrocities. Abu Ghraib, Haditha & Ishaqi were just the beginning. As we send more & more soldiers who are barely trained and barely equipped into a situation which is heated, explosive, & volatile, tensions will rise over the fog of war.
  • The cost of maintaining these additional 20K troops will pile up as well, the profits of which will go to Halliburton.
  • By the end of 2007, after another thousand or so troops are laid to rest, the 2008 presidential election will heat up and John McCain's name will be attached to the surge strategy that failed. (Okay, here's the 'good' part)
  • With the Republican frontrunner crippled by this strategy debacle, Democrats will take the White House in January '09.
  • With a Democratic White House and Congress, the country will be back on track with progressive ideology, constitutional protections, civil rights, and a roadmap for peace in the Middle East.
Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. If we don't impeach them, we'll be suffering this reign of (BushCo) terror for two more years. But then there's hope this will all turn around in 2009. It's unfortunate that so many more people will have to die. Update from last week's article In my article from January 5th "No Progressive Talk Radio? Try Podcasting!", I discussed Podcasting as an alternative to progressive talk radio, since Boston's only progressive talk radio station flipped its format to Latino music. I was pleased to learn that there is a movement to petition Clear Channel to restore progressive talk radio in Boston. For all who are interested, go to for more information. Many thanks to the folks there who already added me to their blogroll without me even asking.
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Scott Shuster is a progressive columnist, publishing since May of 2005. His liberal ideology is a refreshing diversion from 'politics as usual' in Washington.
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