Fred Kaplan writes on Slate: "[I]sn't the surge working? Well, it depends what you mean by 'working.' In recent months, casualties--American and Iraqi--dropped substantially. However, three points need to be made. First, casualties are rising once more, though not to 2006 levels. Second, while the surge was certainly a factor in reducing casualties, it was far from the only factor. There were also the alliances of convenience between U.S. forces and Sunni tribesmen against the common foe of al-Qaida in Iraq (an alliance that preceded the surge); the moratorium on violence called by Muqtada Sadr and his Shiite militia (a policy that may be suspended as the Sunni militias grow stronger); and the fact that many areas of Iraq had already been ethnically cleansed.
[This and the following pictures were
taken outside Representative Allyson Schwartz' office in Jenkintown]
Juan Cole writes on Salon: "Each year of George W. Bush's war in Iraq has been represented by a thematic falsehood. That Iraq is now calm or more stable is only the latest in a series of such whoppers, which the mainstream press eagerly repeats. . . .
"The most famous
falsehoods connected to the war were those deployed by the president
and his close advisors to justify the invasion. But each of the
subsequent years since U.S. troops barreled toward Baghdad in March
2003 has been marked by propaganda campaigns just as mendacious. Here
are five big lies from the Bush administration that have shaped
perceptions of the Iraq war.
"Year 1's big lie was that the rising violence in Iraq was nothing out of the ordinary. . . .
"In Year 2 the falsehood was that Iraq was becoming a shining model of democracy under America's caring ministrations. . . .
"In Year 3, the Bush administration blamed almost everything that was going wrong on one shadowy figure: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. . . .
"In Year 4, as major sectors of Iraq descended into hell, Bush's big lie consisted of denying that the country had fallen into civil war. . . .
5, the past year, has been one of troop escalation, or the 'surge.'
(Calling the policy a 'surge' rather than an 'escalation' is emblematic
of the administration's propaganda.) The big lie is that Iraq is now
calm, that the surge has worked, and that victory is within reach."
Not sure what's next for UFPJ-DVN. Someone
suggested we observe the fifth anniversary of "Mission Accomplished"
day, with GW Bush impersonators running about in flight suits. We'll
meet on 6:30pm, 27 March to evaluate and discuss today at WILPF HQ,