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And, yes, I DO take it personally: The failure of the surge and the "REAL" aims of the U.S. in the region
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Sunday, January 20, 2008

The failure of the surge and the "REAL" aims of the U.S. in the region

andrew bacevich lost his son in iraq... whether or not that caused him to re-think his conservative republicanism, i don't know because i am not familiar with his perspective on iraq prior to that... even though he still seems to buy the notion that the u.s. was EVER serious about building a functional government in iraq other than through empty rhetoric designed to deceive and delude, at least he can see through the deeply disingenuous attempts to declare "victory..."
Surge to Nowhere
Don't buy the hawks' hype. The war may be off the front pages, but Iraq is broken beyond repair, and we still own it.

By Andrew J. Bacevich
Sunday, January 20, 2008; Page B01

As the fifth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom nears, the fabulists are again trying to weave their own version of the war. The latest myth is that the "surge" is working.

In President Bush's pithy formulation, the United States is now "kicking ass" in Iraq. The gallant Gen. David Petraeus, having been given the right tools, has performed miracles, redeeming a situation that once appeared hopeless. Sen. John McCain has gone so far as to declare that "we are winning in Iraq." While few others express themselves quite so categorically, McCain's remark captures the essence of the emerging story line: Events have (yet again) reached a turning point. There, at the far end of the tunnel, light flickers. Despite the hand-wringing of the defeatists and naysayers, victory beckons.


[W]hat exactly has the surge wrought? In substantive terms, the answer is: not much.


The U.S. dilemma remains unchanged: continue to pour lives and money into Iraq with no end in sight, or cut our losses and deal with the consequences of failure.

In only one respect has the surge achieved undeniable success: It has ensured that U.S. troops won't be coming home anytime soon. This was one of the main points of the exercise in the first place.

Andrew J. Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University. His new book, "The Limits of Power," will be published later this year.

the u.s. went in to iraq based on a plan prepared well in advance of 9/11... we went there with the express intention of establishing permanent bases, gaining control of iraq's energy reserves, establishing u.s. hegemony smack in the middle of the largest energy reserves in the world, and extending our control, by force if necessary, up through the 'stans and the caspian basin... and, just like in afghanistan*, which has proudly reclaimed its number one spot as the world's largest opium supplier funneling all that ready cash into the "right" pockets, iraq is also now being converted to a major drug-producing area**... there has never been any serious intent to bring peace to the area, and certainly no real interest in promoting democracy, a concept antithetical to the aims of those who worship the twin deities of money and power...
* Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world's heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing U.S.-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday.

note the disclaimer - "DESPITE" u.s.-sponsored eradication efforts..." HA...!
** The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops.

Afghans with experience in planting poppies have been helping farmers switch to producing opium in fertile parts of Diyala province, once famous for its oranges and pomegranates, north-east of Baghdad.

does anyone with an interest in pattern recognition see something interesting here...? and, if you add the following piece of history from 2001 to the mix, it becomes much more interesting indeed...
The unexpected success of the Taliban in Afghanistan in eradicating three-quarters of the world's crop of opium poppies in one season is leading experts to ask where production is likely to spring up next.

The director of the United Nations Drug Control Program, Pino Arlacchi, said there was no chance that opium from other sources would compensate this year for the loss of Afghan crops, and the prices of opium and heroin will rise substantially, with opium already worth five to seven times its usual price. His program helped convince the Taliban that opium is a disgrace to Islam.

lemme see if i get this straight... the taliban had ERADICATED THREE-QUARTERS OF THE WORLD'S CROP OF OPIUM POPPIES IN AFGHANISTAN PRIOR TO THE U.S. INVASION IN LATE 2001... in 2006, largely under u.s. control, afghanistan is BACK TO BEING THE WORLD'S NUMBER ONE PRODUCER... now, poppy growers are - pardon the pun - popping up in iraq like mushrooms after a long, soaking rain... gosh... ya THINK...?

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