Is the surge working? *Update*

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
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Since the surge started 3+ weeks ago we have had a few news stories about major suicide bombings, and very little else in way of violence in Baghdad.

Which leads me to wonder? are we not hearing news stories about mass killings and 50 bodies being found a day because such things aren?t happening anymore? Let?s face it, if the surge was an outright failure the news media would be hitting us over the head with that fact. Instead we hear very little about killings in Baghdad.

Additionally, there was a front page story today (NY Times I think) about how Sadr?s army has essentially melted away, for now at least. And how this group that at one time stood up to America are now no where to be found. The story also included a bit about how they are trying to bring this group into the fray politically and make them part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem.

All the above makes me think that we may have, at least temporarily, put a stop to the so called civil war and returned to where we were 2 years ago just fighting an insurgency and terrorists. This may all be a temporary lull, but it is certainly good news. Now if we can use this period to cement a long term political solution we may end up coming out of this mess in better shape than anyone imagined six months ago.
 

johnnobts

Golden Member
Jun 26, 2005
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ted koppel of all people seems to think things are improving. did anyone catch him over the weekend?
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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Its just way too soon to tell.

Think of the operation in Fallujah, it is a very good comparison in many ways. Our operation there definitely put an end to the insurgent operations there (for the most part). It did nothing to stabilize the country. I think the best we can hope for out of this (and so far it seems to have mostly worked) is to break the cycle of retribution in Baghdad that was tearing it apart. So that is a good thing, for sure. I do not feel that this surge has addressed any of the long term systemic problems however.

Also, the media not reporting that much on Baghdad is not a function of any form of bias, so please don't insinuate it is so. The fact remains that a cover story of "Baghdad: A normal day" sells about once. After that, people simply won't tune in/buy it.

Finally, al Sadr has been part of the political process ever since we kicked his ass in Najaf several years back. His army has not melted away in any way shape or form. In fact, the largest problem with al Sadr is not getting him into the government, it may be getting him out. There is considerable evidence that he exerts EXTREME influence on Malaki and other members of the government... dangerously high levels of influence.

So, well... I'm very glad fewer people are blowing up/being tortured to death in Baghdad lately. Certainly good news. If you define the surge's purpose as stabilizing Baghdad, then yes it is working. If you define the surge as doing anything to stabilize the country, I think it will fail miserably. (which is why it shouldn't have been done)
 

First

Lifer
Jun 3, 2002
10,518
271
136
If you're desperate for good news, sure, this is good news. In reality? Not so much.
 

feralkid

Lifer
Jan 28, 2002
16,577
4,659
136
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Since the surge started 3+ weeks ago we have had a few news stories about major suicide bombings, and very little else in way of violence in Baghdad.

Which leads me to wonder? are we not hearing news stories about mass killings and 50 bodies being found a day because such things aren?t happening anymore? Let?s face it, if the surge was an outright failure the news media would be hitting us over the head with that fact. Instead we hear very little about killings in Baghdad.

Additionally, there was a front page story today (NY Times I think) about how Sadr?s army has essentially melted away, for now at least. And how this group that at one time stood up to America are now no where to be found. The story also included a bit about how they are trying to bring this group into the fray politically and make them part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem.

All the above makes me think that we may have, at least temporarily, put a stop to the so called civil war and returned to where we were 2 years ago just fighting an insurgency and terrorists. This may all be a temporary lull, but it is certainly good news. Now if we can use this period to cement a long term political solution we may end up coming out of this mess in better shape than anyone imagined six months ago.



Don't be absurd.

:laugh:
 

kedlav

Senior member
Aug 2, 2006
632
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Since the surge started 3+ weeks ago we have had a few news stories about major suicide bombings, and very little else in way of violence in Baghdad.

Which leads me to wonder? are we not hearing news stories about mass killings and 50 bodies being found a day because such things aren?t happening anymore? Let?s face it, if the surge was an outright failure the news media would be hitting us over the head with that fact. Instead we hear very little about killings in Baghdad.

Additionally, there was a front page story today (NY Times I think) about how Sadr?s army has essentially melted away, for now at least. And how this group that at one time stood up to America are now no where to be found. The story also included a bit about how they are trying to bring this group into the fray politically and make them part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem.

All the above makes me think that we may have, at least temporarily, put a stop to the so called civil war and returned to where we were 2 years ago just fighting an insurgency and terrorists. This may all be a temporary lull, but it is certainly good news. Now if we can use this period to cement a long term political solution we may end up coming out of this mess in better shape than anyone imagined six months ago.

Short term fix? It seems to be working in that respect, though many are still dying (numbers down though still means numbers down)
Long term fix? I'm doubting it, seeing as surges have been tried before and have not worked. Its pretty well understood by anyone paying attention that Sadr's forces, like all other militias are hiding in the background waiting for this to end so they can start back at the sectarian game. Even if Sadr's removed from the chessboard, as well as his forces, history has shown another will step up in his place...
 

ntdz

Diamond Member
Aug 5, 2004
6,989
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Originally posted by: kedlav
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Since the surge started 3+ weeks ago we have had a few news stories about major suicide bombings, and very little else in way of violence in Baghdad.

Which leads me to wonder? are we not hearing news stories about mass killings and 50 bodies being found a day because such things aren?t happening anymore? Let?s face it, if the surge was an outright failure the news media would be hitting us over the head with that fact. Instead we hear very little about killings in Baghdad.

Additionally, there was a front page story today (NY Times I think) about how Sadr?s army has essentially melted away, for now at least. And how this group that at one time stood up to America are now no where to be found. The story also included a bit about how they are trying to bring this group into the fray politically and make them part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem.

All the above makes me think that we may have, at least temporarily, put a stop to the so called civil war and returned to where we were 2 years ago just fighting an insurgency and terrorists. This may all be a temporary lull, but it is certainly good news. Now if we can use this period to cement a long term political solution we may end up coming out of this mess in better shape than anyone imagined six months ago.

Short term fix? It seems to be working in that respect, though many are still dying (numbers down though still means numbers down)
Long term fix? I'm doubting it, seeing as surges have been tried before and have not worked. Its pretty well understood by anyone paying attention that Sadr's forces, like all other militias are hiding in the background waiting for this to end so they can start back at the sectarian game. Even if Sadr's removed from the chessboard, as well as his forces, history has shown another will step up in his place...

The difference this time is that we are going to continue occupying areas after we clear them, making it significantly more difficult for the militias to regain control in those areas.
 

kedlav

Senior member
Aug 2, 2006
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0
Originally posted by: ntdz
Originally posted by: kedlav
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Since the surge started 3+ weeks ago we have had a few news stories about major suicide bombings, and very little else in way of violence in Baghdad.

Which leads me to wonder? are we not hearing news stories about mass killings and 50 bodies being found a day because such things aren?t happening anymore? Let?s face it, if the surge was an outright failure the news media would be hitting us over the head with that fact. Instead we hear very little about killings in Baghdad.

Additionally, there was a front page story today (NY Times I think) about how Sadr?s army has essentially melted away, for now at least. And how this group that at one time stood up to America are now no where to be found. The story also included a bit about how they are trying to bring this group into the fray politically and make them part of the solution as opposed to part of the problem.

All the above makes me think that we may have, at least temporarily, put a stop to the so called civil war and returned to where we were 2 years ago just fighting an insurgency and terrorists. This may all be a temporary lull, but it is certainly good news. Now if we can use this period to cement a long term political solution we may end up coming out of this mess in better shape than anyone imagined six months ago.

Short term fix? It seems to be working in that respect, though many are still dying (numbers down though still means numbers down)
Long term fix? I'm doubting it, seeing as surges have been tried before and have not worked. Its pretty well understood by anyone paying attention that Sadr's forces, like all other militias are hiding in the background waiting for this to end so they can start back at the sectarian game. Even if Sadr's removed from the chessboard, as well as his forces, history has shown another will step up in his place...

The difference this time is that we are going to continue occupying areas after we clear them, making it significantly more difficult for the militias to regain control in those areas.

Really, as by definition, a surge generally means a temporary increase. How are we going to staff and patrol these areas regularly, which undoubtedly takes more manpower than street to street clearing? We lack the manpower to permanently garrison troops in all these areas and letting the Iraqis run Baghdad's security with monitoring has obviously failed...
 

judasmachine

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2002
8,515
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I sincerely hope it works, since we have no other option according to the decider. It won't be this early that the results are coming in, hold your breath and let the insurgents adapt as they always do, and then we'll see. The only thing that is predictable in Iraq is that it's going to get much darker before the dawn. I think more soldiers will equal more casualities, and maybe little gain, but even that will take time to tell.

:(

The sooner something works, the sooner we get to get the hell out of there.
 

ericlp

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
6,133
220
106
Where is your proof? Where are the links?

Damn, where is the news? Hey, john, here is a little insight for you. As soon as you get some REAL news, get back to us....
 

Lemon law

Lifer
Nov 6, 2005
20,984
3
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As I have mentioned in the past---for the surge to work---its going to boil down to policing the streets
on a permanent basis instead of surging on through like a horde of locusts.

And GWB&co. first requested 21,500 extra troops and now its grown to 30,000 and both numbers are no where even close to the number needed to stay and police the streets---with the Iraqi army and police the unknown joker in the deck.---and very probably more of a liability than an asset.

As long as the thugs who now govern the streets are content to let the surge surge through, the GWB&co. charade that the surge is working will have some traction---but when the US army starts to become a threat to the thug's control of Iraqi urban neighborhoods, it will only take a few bloody weeks of urban combat to dispel the neo-con optimism regarding the surge. And if only the Sunni's do the heavy lifting, which seems to be the AL Sadr strategy, it could inspire some very big arms funding for Sunni insurgents by neighboring Sunni countries fearful of a Shia dominated Iraq.

But thats has always been the message of Iraq-----go big or stay at home.---Shinseki's revenge.

21,500 or even 30,000 extra troops is way too small.
 

maluckey

Platinum Member
Jan 31, 2003
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I've often stated that no amount of troops will ever fix the problem here. The AIF will just stay home until they leave. It's what they do.

The only thing that will fix things is to establish a rule of law that the locals trust to be competent. The Iraqis are now handling terrorist cases on their own up in Mosul, and will soon do so in several other Provinces. under Saddam, this could not happen.

Many AIF have hung as a result of these courts. The judges also seem to have a lack of bias, releasing those it finds innocent, or sometimes handing down lessened sentences for lackeys not fully aware of the situation that they found themselves in. Overall, the mood of the citizens seems to be positive about the courts as they are.

More troops solves nothing. More competent cops and judges will change the way the Iraqis view authority of law, and that will lead to a success story to write home about.
 

nullzero

Senior member
Jan 15, 2005
670
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I wouldnt doubt that the U.S. media has been asked by the bush adminstration to be more reserved when reporting news in baghdad to protect the U.S. soldiers on the ground there.
 

ayabe

Diamond Member
Aug 10, 2005
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By KIM GAMEL Associated Press Writer

March 14,2007 | BAGHDAD -- Suicide bombers struck a market in northern Iraq and an Iraqi military checkpoint in Baghdad on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people, while an Iraqi general warned extremists that they will be "smashed under the foot of the Iraqi people" if they resist efforts to end the violence in the country.

In the worst attack, a man wearing an explosives belt strolled into an outdoor market in Tuz Khormato, 130 miles north of Baghdad, and blew himself up.

The blast occurred just before noon as the market was crowded with shoppers in the city, which has a mixed population with a slight majority of Turkomen. At least eight people were killed and 25 were wounded, police said.

Northern Iraq has seen a recent rise in violence that many blame on insurgents fleeing a security crackdown in the capital that began a month ago.

Shawan Saleh, a Kurd who owns a restaurant near the market, said he rushed to the site and saw bodies lying on the bloodstained pavement, six damaged shops and two burning cars.

"What is the guilt of the people who came to sell or buy fruit and vegetables? There were no military or policemen in the market. It was only innocent civilians," Saleh said. "The insurgents want to kill as many as they can. They want to ease the pressure on their fellows in Baghdad."

In western Baghdad, meanwhile, a suicide car bomber slammed into an Iraqi army checkpoint in the Sunni neighborhood of Yarmouk, killing two civilians and wounding four others, police said.

Iraqi and U.S. authorities have pinned their hopes on the neighborhood-to-neighborhood sweep in Baghdad. The capital has seen a decline in execution-style killings, random shootings and rocket attacks, in large part because Shiite parties have been successful in persuading the Shiite militias to pull armed fighters off the streets to avoid a showdown with the Americans. But violence has been on the rise elsewhere.

The commander of the Baghdad security plan, Lt. Gen. Abboud Qanbar, warned Wednesday that all terrorists and outlaws "will be smashed with the foot of the Iraqi people" unless they reconsider their "position and return to logic before it's too late."

Qanbar also sought to reassure the capital's residents that the military is not discriminating in the crackdown, despite complaints by Sunnis that their neighborhoods have been unfairly targeted by the Shiite-dominated government.

He said the effort had made headway in ending the sectarian violence that surged following the Feb. 22, 2006, bombing of a Shiite mosque in Samarra.

"We've overcome the terrorist acts, militant groups, criminal gangs, sectarian killings and displacement," he said at a news conference in the heavily fortified Green Zone. "We've passed to the other side and members of our armed forces are hunting down the terrorists and criminal gangs on the ground and in their dens.

"But we have to expect more obstacles and terrorist acts," he said. "These acts will not end immediately, but we will go forward with our operations until we annihilate the terrorism."

The U.S. military also has stepped up its presence with more than 20,000 extra American troops sent to Baghdad and surrounding areas as part of the security bid, which many have warned is a last chance to quell the violence.

In a sign of the persistent Sunni resentment that is behind much of the violence, the bodies of Saddam Hussein's sons and a grandson were exhumed and reburied near the ousted leader's grave in Ouja, his hometown north of Baghdad.

Saddam was hanged on Dec. 30 and buried the next day in a grave chipped out of an interior floor of a building he had built for religious events.

Tribal officials said they decided to move the remains of Saddam's sons Odai, 39, and Qusai, 37, and his 14-year-old grandson Mustafa -- who died July 22, 2003, in a gunbattle with U.S. troops in the northern city of Mosul -- to keep all members of the family in one place.

Tribal chief Ali al-Nida and three other relatives accompanied the bodies as they were transferred Tuesday in three cars from the cemetery about a mile from the building in which Saddam is buried.

The three bodies were buried in the courtyard near the graves of Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, who also were sent to the gallows in January for the killings of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail in 1982.

The five burial mounds were covered with Iraqi flags as people prayed next to them during the service in Ouja, near the scene of Saddam's capture by American soldiers in December 2003.

In other violence Wednesday, according to police:

-- A municipal council chief and three other people were fatally shot as they were driving in the Sunni neighborhood of Azamiyah in Baghdad.

-- Gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque in Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad. The mosque was severely damaged; it was empty and there were no casualties.

-- The head of the local Iraqi Red Crescent Society branch, Jassim al-Jubouri, in Tikrit was abducted by gunmen on Monday night.
**************************************************************************

The media is currently focusing on all the scandals that have hit in the last week, but yes Prof, people are still dying in Iraq.

I think it's still too early to tell either way what the ultimate outcome is going to be, but let's not declare Mission Accomplished(again) just yet.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
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Originally posted by: johnnobts
ted koppel of all people seems to think things are improving. did anyone catch him over the weekend?

Yeah, I caught a bit of it. And elsewhere I have people saying it is so far working. Various comments about Muqtada (sp?) and other Shiite insurgents having ceased operations, some leaving for Iran etc.

As alluded to elsewhere by other posters, the surge appears to extend beyond a mere increase in numbers. New rules of engagement and tactics appear to be employed as well.

Fern
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
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The Shia should be co-operating with the US, it's they who have everything to gain. Once we leave they can do what ever they wish to the Sunnis.
 

BMW540I6speed

Golden Member
Aug 26, 2005
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maluckey said:
I've often stated that no amount of troops will ever fix the problem here. The AIF will just stay home until they leave. It's what they do.

The only thing that will fix things is to establish a rule of law that the locals trust to be competent. The Iraqis are now handling terrorist cases on their own up in Mosul, and will soon do so in several other Provinces. under Saddam, this could not happen.

Many AIF have hung as a result of these courts. The judges also seem to have a lack of bias, releasing those it finds innocent, or sometimes handing down lessened sentences for lackeys not fully aware of the situation that they found themselves in. Overall, the mood of the citizens seems to be positive about the courts as they are.

More troops solves nothing. More competent cops and judges will change the way the Iraqis view authority of law, and that will lead to a success story to write home about.

Agreed, Nice to see some rational thought....

Leave out all questions of the right of George Bush and his supporters to dictate to Iraqis or anyone else their form of government. Ignore issues of democracy, the law of nations, the law and constitution of the United States.

Leave out everything else, and you face a glaring contradiction. Iraq can only have a democracy if the Iraqi people assent to that form of government. And the United States Congress cannot provide that assent on their behalf.

The Congress of the United States can vote to send money, troops, guns, power stations, and prayers, but they cannot send the will, the choice, the desire to live in a democracy. As George Bush and his supporters have framed this conflict, the outcome depends on the people of Iraq, and their choices, not the choices made by the United States Senate or House will determine the failure or success of President Bush's project in Iraq.

War supporters can lobby and threaten Congress all they wish, but it will do them no good. Congress can send as many troops, as much money, as much aid to the Middle East as the credit of the United States will bear, but the choice, in the end, rests with the people of Iraq and the other nations in the region.


 

Harvey

Administrator<br>Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
35,052
30
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Is the surge working?

As the saying goes, no news is good news
PrevaricatorJohn -- Your desperation is showing.

The truth is, no news is NO news, and nothing more. Nice job of pimping nothing. :roll:

~ updated to correct the name for the quote. :eek:
 

JD50

Lifer
Sep 4, 2005
11,706
2,186
126
Originally posted by: Harvey
Originally posted by: johnnobts
Is the surge working?

As the saying goes, no news is good news
PrevaricatorJohn -- Your desperation is showing.

The truth is, no news is NO news, and nothing more. Nice job of pimping nothing. :roll:

Hey genius, you quoted the wrong person...
 

smashp

Platinum Member
Aug 30, 2003
2,443
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Well see if the surge "Works"

I Think next week the Iraqi Parliment will be voting on the Oil provisioning bill, you know the one that gives control of all those Iragi oil fields to american and british oil companies for the next 30 years in return for loans given out by the IMF that Paul Wolfowitz will personaly manage( He is building an office in the Green Zone, Why does the world bank need an office in the Green Zone?) . If the Iraqis Feel their oil is really only worth to them 30% of what the market value is and realize that arab people and companies know nothing about oil drilling and exploration, then Hey they will all pass this bill in Joyous Glee.

If they dont, Well.......

Maybe its better we have all those extra troops there because something tells me that Iraq may be "Democratically" electing a new PM and Parliment. You know the Sunnis, or insurgents, or Al Qaeda, or foreign fighters, or terrorists, or the (Gasp) Iranians blow up enough parliment members until the proper majority is reached.

I quess we just have to wait and see which parliment member sign their Death Papers, I mean (Silly me) vote against putting the control of the worlds 2nd largest oil reserves in someones hands other that their own.


Its good that all those extra troops and mercs are in Iraq right now, because its like the President Could Predict there would possible be a 'little stint" of trouble in the future.

But hey it has to get worse before it gets better.
 

Narmer

Diamond Member
Aug 27, 2006
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Originally posted by: Red Dawn
The Shia should be co-operating with the US, it's they who have everything to gain. Once we leave they can do what ever they wish to the Sunnis.

That's the problem, they just couldn't wait. Those people were salivating at the mouth, waiting to pounce on the Sunnis as soon as Bush rolled into Baghdad. But this surge is a joke considering the majority of the problem is with the Sunni fighters, who America can't defeat and the Iraqi Army is too afraid to confront. The shiite can melt away and kill again another day. No really sure what the point of this surge is. Maybe it's all a political gimmick.
 

manowar821

Diamond Member
Mar 1, 2007
6,063
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That "old saying" makes me laugh hard. I mean, what if they were all nuked?

I mean this in the least disrespectful way, I'm just trying to make fun of an old saying. ;P