Thursday, November 11, 2010

Losing His Religion

Remember a hundred years ago -- or was it less than a month ago? -- when the latest batch of Wikileaks showed that the Iraqi "surge" was, in fact, a trick of the light?

A fraud and failure (From the "Daily Dish"):

Iraq Surge Fail Update

24 Oct 2010 07:21 pm

The Wikileaks doc-dump adds more light to debunking the myth of the surge. No one doubts that Petraeus' extra troops and shrewd bribery played a part in reducing sectarian violence of nightmarish levels. But the further we get away from that moment in time and the more we learn, the clearer it is that it was the internal dynamic of Iraq that created the lull:
A unique set of conditions had coalesced on the ground. The warring communities were exhausted from the frenzy of killing. Mixed neighborhoods and cities were largely cleansed. The militias, both Sunni and Shiite, long seen as defenders of their communities, had begun to cannibalize them, making local residents newly receptive to American overtures.
Civil wars have their own ghastly rhythms; and the war we pretended to control we never controlled. And we still don't. The violence was dropping fast before the surge was in place:
The single worst month for civilian deaths was December 2006, two months before the buildup’s first brigade arrived. Casualties dropped slightly in January. In February, when the first new brigade arrived, the recorded casualties dropped by a quarter, though it is the shortest month. Around that time, Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American cleric, decamped to Iran, perhaps fearing American troops. What the documents suggest strongly is that Iraqis themselves were looking for an escape from the orgy of sectarian killing made worse by the growth of ordinary, but still violent, crime.

There's no doubt that the US military were admirably able to take advantage of these internal dynamics. But the narrative that official Washington has tried to perpetrate - that the war was "ended" by more US troops - is simply untrue. The war was burning itself out before more troops arrived; the surge failed to use this lull to construct a multi-sectarian democratic government (which was its own criterion for success)

Considering that, when it comes to Bush's Iraqi Debacle, the Right has tamped down all criticism of their collective, bloody treasons, crimes and failures by continually screaming at the tops of their lungs about the singular awesomeness of The Surge, this revelation would certainly seem to constitute a Really Big Fucking Deal.

And yet, after a brief flutter of embarrassed rhubarbing, you never heard about it in the Mainstream Media again did you?

Ever wonder why?

Precisely because the Right has used it as a pointed stick to keep all criticism at bay for the last four years.

Precisely because it was the very last "See! We were right about something too!" lie the Right felt they could trot out in public and not have to Sharron-Angle-chicken-dash the Hell away from when whatever is left of the press starts asking questions. Something they felt they could brag about in the daylight and not be laughed at because Serious People in Serious Media would back them up.

And, most importantly, it was the last brick in the last load-bearing-wall in the great, wingnut, "Both sides do it" fortress. Without it, the whole. weak, wilty reed of Centrism has nothing but Glenn Beck spackle, Limbaugh beer farts and random, frantic secondary lies ("ACORN! Soros! Black Panther! Kenyan!") delivered at 300 decibels to hold it upright.

Not that this matters to most Conservatives, but to the last of the Brain Caste -- to moon-faced Quislings like David Fucking Brooks -- whose whole schtick is going on non-Fox media and appearing reasonable as he hammers home the Big Centrist Lie, it is terribly important.

David Brooks is the architect of the Right's Asshat Panic Room, and the ridiculously handsome compensation he pulls down for spinning this pie-plate longer and more implacably that almost anyone else depends entirely on having at least this one, concrete example of Both Sideism.

In 2008, Bobo led the way:
The Bush Paradox

Published: June 24, 2008
But before long, the more honest among the surge opponents will concede that Bush, that supposed dolt, actually got one right. Some brave souls might even concede that if the U.S. had withdrawn in the depths of the chaos, the world would be in worse shape today.

And from relieved, Rightwing warbloggers:

NYT's David Brooks Admits: Bush Was Right About the Iraq Surge

It is becoming obvious even to many on the left that the Iraq surge has worked.

George W. Bush was right. The Americans who elected George W. Bush as their commander in chief, or who at least gave him the benefit of the doubt in wartime, were right.

John McCain was right, too.

Barack Obama was, and still is, wrong. the Villager's favorite Useful Idiots:

Surge Protection
Posted by Joe Klein Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 10:35 am

I think David Brooks has it essentially right here about Bush's stubborness--as opposed to his knowledge of strategy or tactics or the situation on the ground in Iraq--as the reason why he made the correct choice on Iraq in late 2006. But, as Brooks says, history is complicated--and the current reduction in violence in Iraq was a combination of many factors.

As for me, I happily acknowledge that I was wrong about the surge.
... the entire Mainstream Media establishment...

ABC’s World News aired a series of reports (6/19/08, 6/21/08, 6/23/08, 6/25/08, 7/8/08) emphasizing the progress in Iraq. And as NBC host Chris Matthews remarked (Chris Matthews Show, 7/6/08), “The surge’s success has been a point of honor for McCain.”

When CNN correspondent Candy Crowley observed (6/29/08) that “while few would argue about the success of the so-called surge in Iraq, there’s no shortage of criticism about the political progress there,” she apparently forgot that by definition a successful “surge” was supposed to usher in political progress. Most media analysis, though, left out the political dimension altogether, as when NBC anchor Brian Williams asked Obama (7/24/08), “Is it not time to say that the surge you opposed has worked?” When ABC correspondent Terry McCarthy (7/31/08) examined the decline in U.S. troop deaths, he stated flatly: “The turning point was the surge.” Fox pundit Fred Barnes’ judgment that the troop increase “turned Iraq heading into a stable, democratic country” (Fox Special Report, 7/9/08) was only an exaggerated version of what had essentially become a media truism.

...all the other baby ducks dutifully toed the new Party Line, because it was no longer merely a foreign policy question.

It was salvation.

For the Right, it was something they could finally shove into those fucking Liberal's elitist faces! After gleefully ignoring every warning from the Left...after swaggering along behind Dubya and his band of criminals and sociopaths as they plunged down the Rabbit Hole...and after seeing it all blow up in their cow-dumb faces in bloody, public and spectacular fashion, they finally, finally had something they could hide behind. Something, somewhere in the whole wide world they could point to and say "See! Y'all ain't so smart!"

For the Center, it was manna from Heaven. It was literally the only fact on Earth they could point to to affirmation the core tenet of their bullshit "both side are always equally wrong about stuff" cult.

From the L.A. Times, June 26, 2008:

...Obama gets credit for opposing a war whose initial goal -- protecting the world from weapons of mass destruction -- turned out to be an illusion. Shouldn't he have to account for opposing the surge, which has enhanced the safety of Iraqis and American GIs?

And they could do it because clowns like David Fucking Brooks used the occasion to give them explicit permission to charge back into the culture war:
The cocksure war supporters learned this humbling lesson during the dark days of 2006. And now the cocksure surge opponents, drunk on their own vindication, will get to enjoy their season of humility. They have already gone through the stages of intellectual denial. First, they simply disbelieved that the surge and the Petraeus strategy was doing any good. Then they accused people who noticed progress in Iraq of duplicity and derangement. Then they acknowledged military, but not political, progress. Lately they have skipped over to the argument that Iraq is progressing so well that the U.S. forces can quickly come home.

Lying about the facts and history to create utterly false equivalents has been David Brooks stock-in-trade since forever, and the myth of the irrefutable success of George Bush's Iraq Surge has become the single, largest crutch on which his entire collective "Both Sideism" fraud now leans.

From June 24, 2010:
The ensuing mental flabbiness is most evident in politics. Many conservatives declare that Barack Obama is a Muslim because it feels so good to say so. Many liberals would never ask themselves why they were so wrong about the surge in Iraq while George Bush was so right. The question is too uncomfortable.
David Brooks continues to be a high priest in the temple of a god he knows damn well is a complete fake. But the high priesting business pays really well, and if there is one thing Neoconservatives get good at early, it is knowingly lying to the rubes in pursuit of their own, private agenda:

Which is why I doubt you will hear much above the fold about the very inconvenient failure of The Iraq Surge ever again.


Anonymous said...

Yes, there is nothing like shoveling C-17 pallet's full of cash, at worn out militia members (who had been busy shooting at and setting off IED's in the vicinity of U.S. troops just the week before) to create an illusion of "the great strategy".
Of course there was no political progress, because when both sides are being tamped down with cash, what is the incentive to create a meaningful democracy? Just wait it out. All the old sectarian scores had been settled with blood...
There indeed was an awakening, to the fact that the ethnic cleansing had worked, 100,000 plus were dead, and the Americans were willing to pay whoever was left on either side to just hold off on the killing for a least until after the U.S. presidential elections.
I can remember seeing an interview with one of the bandanna clad, imported jihadists who admitted that he had been blowing up U.S. troops only the previous month. When the reporter asked him why he had stopped he had a very simple answer: "Now...they pay."
The apologists on the right are reduced to endlessly repeating the tired old..."Well the world is better off without Sadam." the last of their lies is dragged out in to the sun for all to see.

Batocchio said...

Howard Kurtz pimped this awfully hard too, as did Charlie Gibson and other network figures during the presidential debates. Clinton, Obama and Edwards all pushed back intelligently, but it was just appalling to see Gibson and the lot do this. I think they were desperate for vindication (in addition to being rather dim and uncritical of the Establishment line).

(I think I'll have to include your post in my 11/11 roundup...)

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