Saturday, June 23, 2007

We are all Qaeda now

By Libby

If you're paying attention to the rhetoric spun by our military brass in Iraq, it appears al-Qaeda has had a huge recruiting success in the country. As Glenn Greewald documents today, suddenly they're not fighting insurgents anymore. It's all Qaeda, all the time now. Nevermind that even Bush himself admitted not so long ago that the actual numbers of al-Qaeda forces were only a tiny percentage of the insurgency.

As for this latest offensive is working out, no matter how you define the enemy, well, it's not going all that great.
“Frankly, I think they knew an operation was coming in Baquba,” General Odierno said. ...“They watched the news. ..So they knew we were going to come sooner or later.”

Still, he implied American commanders may have played a part by flagging the offensive in advance. “I think they were tipped off by us talking about the surge, the fact that we have a problem in Diyala Province,” he said.
Yeah, that's what happens when you plan your tactics according to their political benefit to the president rather than the military advantage on the ground. To quote my favorite pundit, Yogi Berra -- it's deja vu all over again.
Addressing the problems facing American troops in Baquba, General Odierno played down the significance of the Qaeda leaders fleeing ahead of the offensive, saying American forces would hunt them down. “I guarantee you, we’re going to track down those leaders,” he said. “And we’re in the process of doing that. We know who they are, and we’re coming after them, and we’re going to work that extremely hard.”
Is anybody keeping track of how often we've heard those same words? It feels like hundreds of times in the last four years to me. And let's hear it for the same old signs of success.
“So far, within Baquba,” General Odierno said, “there have been many successes: four weapons caches have been found and cleared; three truck and car bombs have been captured and destroyed; over 25 deep-buried I.E.D.’s have been found and cleared, many of them pointed out by the local populace; and 10 house-bound I.E.D.’s have been destroyed — those are 10 houses that have been rigged with thousands of pounds of explosives to try and kill us as we enter.”
How encouraging. It only took 30,000 soldiers and huge air strikes to capture 10 empty houses. They found 4 caches with an undetermined quantity of weaponry, and 38 limited range bombs. Meanwhile all the head honchos of the newly renamed insurgency got away. I wonder how much it cost us in tax dollars for this "decisive" victory? I'm guessing close to a billion and frankly, I don't think we're getting our money's worth out of the deal.

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10 Comments:

Blogger Confederate Yankee said...

Actually, Marshall and Greenwald are 100% wrong on the facts. And since you probably won't take my word for it, read the MNF-I press releases yourself.

Greenwald has long had a history of stretching the truth.

This time, he's lying, and making you out for fools in the process.

11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

CY, with due respect, how the hell can you take the word of a press release as fact? Maybe it's just that I'm a lot older than you but I've lived through ten presidents and a whole lot of wars. And you know what? The government lies to us all the time, for their own advantage. What possible benefit do you think Glenn amd Josh would get from lying?

But I'm not basing my opinion just on them. I spend hours everyday in front of this computer reading news. From a lot of sources. Looking at the clock I see I've managed to spend 13 hours at it today -- again. I lose track of time but I'm nobody's fool. Not theirs, not yours and certainly not the MNF's. I'm just a pragmatist who extrapolates a position from everything I see.

I've spent the last four years reading thousands of accounts and I believe we're not killing and detaining just AQ, not now and not ever, and the occupation is fucked up beyond repair.

I only wish someone could convince me that I'm wrong. I'm afraid these press releases just aren't going to do it.

12:24:00 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

Yankee swallowed the kool ade a long time ago. There's a core group that will never ever question their leaders no matter what. It would be the hardest thing in the world to do, being exactly like a religion, because that would bring in the element of doubt. Since they invest so much of themselves in their adulation of authority, doubt would be like death.
"This time, he's lying, and making you out for fools in the process."
I just love how cute you are when you project, Yank. You managed to do it twice in one sentence - calling someone else a liar and projecting your top down authoritarian approach to discourse.
Sorry Bub, some of us think for ourselves.

2:53:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Nolo, I'm not familiar with his blog but I remember him from the comment section at Acidman's place. He's wrong of course, but he never struck me as a bad person.

10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

It isn't about bad, it's about dishonesty. As I wrote the other day, declaring victory because the "enemy" got away is like saying the Persians defeated the Greeks when they burned Athens. It's like saying that We defeated Osama bin Laden because he fled Tora Bora.

When you twist the truth like this, you can only defend yourself by attacking others for "stretching the truth."

Perhaps CY doesn't remember Viet Nam. By all official accounts and reports and body counts we were winning, but those reports and press releases were written on command, with made-up numbers, by people who wanted to please their commanding officers.

Nothing has changed but the venue, but as Nolo says, people believe what they have to believe to protect their beliefs and when it is no longer possible to say we're winning, they'll blame the loss on those who were telling the truth all along.

5:00:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Good point Fogg. Denial is a destructive force and it doesn't lead to an honest assessment.

I'm thinking lately that for the remaining loyalists, this is kind of like a breakup of a love affair.

It goes through all these stages, including denial but often ends up with acceptance. I'm an optimist. I keep hoping eventually they'll get there.

5:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve&Molly said...

OK guys, we could have a long chat about 'press releases' and information operations here. But since you seem interested in the issue, i thought i would just point you to the website for our film "Meeting Resistance". We spent ten months in search of the answer to one question: Who is behind the attacks on US and coalition troops? We found that the resistance was overwhelmingly composed overwhelmingly Iraqis inspired by secular or religious nationalism, fighting to end the occupation. Go to the website, watch the clips and read for yourself and you can make up your own mind about who we are fighting in Iraq

1:30:00 PM  
Anonymous steve&Molly said...

...and our website is www.meetingresistance.com

1:31:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I've heard some buzz about your site and have meaning to check it out. Thanks for the link.

7:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve&Molly said...

Thanks Libby, it would be good to know your thoughts on it. you can also sign up for our mailings on the website, please do so and we will keep you posted on our imminent theatrical and DVD release.

8:39:00 AM  

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