Why Shouldn’t We Trust Drawdown Talk?

One truly has to wonder if Bush is at all shocked that the public isn’t buying into the whole Patraeus narrative of “There’s enough progress to keep the surge going, but not enough to pull out of Iraq” story as had been hoped.

Indeed, even though Patraeus has testified to congress that we can have minimal drawdown action as early as this winter, and should be ready to return to presurge troop levels by summer of next year, he’s being met with continued skepticism.

Wonder why that is.

In truth, I really don’t.  As Matt mentions in an earlier post, the circus surrounding the testimony delivered to congress yesterday and today is of epic proportions, focusing not on the data but on apparently Patraeus’s performance.  Mick, in a comment to that post, adds to the sentiment likening the whole thing to a movie.

One we’ve seen over and over again.

And it’s not as if we didn’t see this coming.  We all knew it was going to happen.  From the moment that congress essentially gave Bush governing control of the progress to be reported to congress, critics of the administration collectively threw their hands up in the air in exasperation as we knew the prescripted drama that would eventually ensue.

 Unfortunately for we popcorn munchers, the script wouldn’t even deviate from the prequels of the past.  From the very beginning of the Iraq war, we’ve heard the same thing over and over; we’re turning the corner, and we should be able to start bringing troops home soon.

So even those who do want to eventually see a stabile and peaceful Iraq are left to wonder at the credibility of the administration and the decreasingly esteemable General Patraeus.  For as we are treated with gutted information, what those of us who have been paying careful attention to have come to know is that not everything is as advertized on television.

As conservative columnis George Will points out, under Bush’s own metric, the surge is essentially a failure.  Which is something that should have been readily apparent to anyone studying the situation from the beginning it would be.

You are taking the hopes of a military mission and resting them on the shoulders of foreign politicians, for Jebus sake.  There is no amount of work our soldiers can do to make Iraqis get along.

This isn’t a matter of the mission merely being hard, and those of us opposed to the “surge” don’t have the temerity to see it through.  This is more like we have a bunch of apples and we’re trying to throw them at oranges and hope everything comes out alright.

It simply doesn’t make sense.

Meanwhile, the single brigade of troops that Patraeus says can come home is little more than a whithered carrot on a very long stick.  It’s meant to appease so that enough Americans will see this as progress while the bulk of the soldiers remain in Iraq because, simply put, under this strategy we have ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING IDEA WHEN ANY OF THIS IS GOING TO END!

The best assessment Patraeus is able to give us in this regard is an assurance that we’ll know better six months from now.

At which time I’m sure will know better six months from then.

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