Sunday, April 08, 2007

Your Tax Dollars

The stooge, I mean, surge in Iraq:

One American private in the First Battalion, Fifth Cavalry, who was working the overnight shift at a new garrison in western Baghdad, described the Americans’ fight this way: “The insurgents, they see what we’re doing and we see what they’re doing. Then we get ahead, then they figure out what we’ve done and they get ahead.

“It’s like a game of cat and mouse. It’s just a really, really smart mouse.”

We're still dying:

That has put the Americans in the middle of sectarian battlegrounds, and their death rate in the city has nearly doubled. The number of Americans killed in combat or other violence rose to 53 in Baghdad in the first seven weeks of the push, from Feb. 14 to April 2. That is up from 29 in the seven weeks before then.

They're still dying:

“We used to see sometimes eight bodies a day,” said Sgt. Michael Brosch, of the First Battalion, Fifth Cavalry. “Sometimes they were all beheaded. Then right at the beginning of the security plan, we didn’t see any. Now we’re seeing them again.”

At the same time, deaths and injuries nationwide from vehicle bombs, which are typically associated with Sunni insurgents, particularly Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, have continued at a rapid pace.

January and February were particularly bad months for car bombing deaths; nearly 1,100 were killed in February alone. That number dropped to 783 in March, still high compared with months earlier in the war, according to an American military official. But the overall number of bombings actually increased: there were 108 car bombs that either detonated or were disarmed in March, a record for the war.

No one in the press covering the story believes the surge will save the situation -- they're just discussing backup plans for fleeing when the whole thing comes tumbling down:

The future of the American journalistic presence in Iraq remains a large question mark. Not a single foreign editor or correspondent interviewed for this story felt conditions would get better. Most made bleak predictions of worse to come and talked about contingency plans for their staffs if conditions deteriorate even further. Some already have arranged for housing inside the heavily fortified Green Zone as a safety net.

One news operation plans to flee to safer areas inside Kurdistan, a way of staying in Iraq but farther from the killing zones. Those with bureaus in other parts of the Middle East will go there to retrench. On the eve of the fifth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom, no one was talking about shutting down, at least not yet. "We agonize over this, and we have discussions about at what point we would not cover it," says NPR's Jenkins.

What would it take for NPR to pull out? There was a long pause and a deep sigh on the other end of the telephone. "No one believes there's a victory at the end of this tunnel; it's how long you hold on and pretend. At some point, [the government] is going to have to pull the plug. Until then, we are in for the long haul."

How does your average Iraqi feel about it?:

Thousands of Shi'ites traveled in buses or cars to Najaf in response to Sadr's call. The Baghdad-Najaf road was packed with hundreds of vehicles crammed with passengers waving Iraqi flags and chanting religious and anti-U.S. slogans.

"No, no, no to America ... Moqtada, yes, yes, yes," they chanted as they converged on the holy city.

The only response that comes to mind, the only rational response to all this George Walker Bush, Richard Bruce Cheney, GOP/McCain/Lieberman madness are the immortal words of 2 Live Crew. Something about getting out of someone's house, albeit delivered with less innuendo and more profanity.

I'll leave it to the Crew fans to remember.

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