Behind The Curtain

It is interesting to note, in light of the soon to be released report on our military progress in Iraq, exactly where the focus of the administration and its few remaining supporters lay in regards to the overall situation in Iraq; in the military.

What lies beneath, however, is a shroud of obfuscation, one that spins and plays smoke and mirror tricks with the evidence you are meant to be paying attention to, all the while driving your attention from what is actually important.

Since the end of July, the primary focus appears to be progress made militarily in Iraq.  Indeed, with the announcement of July being the least violent month, at least for our soldiers, in over a year, coupled with a marginal increase in polling support for our efforts in Iraq, Bush and his supporters have been engaging in about as massive of a PR blitz as they can manage.

But even these steps in the right direction tended to be misleading.  The “surge” in public support, as it turns out, is pretty minimal, and when looked at the final approval level which doesn’t even come near to forty percent, laughably insignificant.  Even further, if you compare this polling data with that recently taken by CNN which seeks to predict public opinion following the September progress report, best case scenario dictates only around a tennish give or take point increase in public support, still resulting in a definite majority opposed to the Iraq war.

But even this amount of support was built on a kind of misdirection when we take a closer look at the data from July concerning US troop death.  As it turns out, there are other factors that could be affecting a reduction in violence in July such as heat stress, and beyond that, there is a seemingly intentional effort to willingly ignore trend analysis of troop death in the context of previous years which would clearly undermine the narrative the low death rate that this last July is sought to tell.

As I’ve said several times before on this site, for US troops, this was the bloodiest July of the war, making it not quite as good of a sign as those who want you to believe in military progress are willing to admit.

As a result, we’re stuck in this kind of rut where we know what’s going to happen.  The current administration is going to greatly play up the military success in Iraq and pay absolutely as little attention as is humanly possible to what really matters in Iraq; political progress.

It is political progress that provides the only hope of a last and enduring peace in Iraq.  The many factions that inhabit the country have spent the past few years proving just how willing they are to take to violence in order to further their own goals, and without a cruel dictator ready to slam down an iron fist, there’s nothing stopping them.

In other words, under this knowledge, it can be said that Iraq is currently a civil war waiting to happen, that is, unless there is political reconcilliation.  That’s why it’s important, boys and girls, there will be no peace unless the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds learn to come together and peacefully coexist.

The reason why this hasn’t had much play time in the political debate guided by the administration and its supporters is because the political situation in Iraq is considerably WORSE than the already lackluster military situation there.

As Abu Aardvark reports, a last ditch emergency political summit in Iraq has failed.  What was seen by many as the last resort at political reconcilliation looks like it will fall extremely short of its goals, perhaps the most significant development being the snubbing of Maliki’s government of Iraqi Sunnis as well as the omission of Shia Sadrites.

These considerable factions with Iraq are now currently largely unrepresented politically in the Iraqi national government.  And if they are not given the chance to join in the political debate, how, praytell, do you think they are going to act out in an attempt to achieve their goals?

If you said more violence, then you get a cookie for paying attention.

Well done.

Seriously, this is what we should be paying attention to, this is the information that we should be using to make our decisions off of.  Unfortunately, the administration has done everything possible to keep the focus on the military for obvious reasons, one being the ability to spin progress out of minimal data, the other because of the cheap and easy way to stifle dissent by making the below the belt claim that dissenters are not appropriately supporting the troops.

Meanwhile, behind the curtain, the real area of concern in an enduringly free and peaceful Iraq is failing and doing so terribly.

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