Is The Surge Working?

The Iraq War is not on the front pages. Does that mean it’s working? No. It is working for the Republican candidates though.

McCain recently disclosed that the war is helping him, “Thank God it’s off the front page“.

Thomas Ricks, Washington Military correspondent for the Washington Post discussed the war with Keith Olbermann on Thursday night. It appears that Bush has continued to fail his stated objectives for the war even with the “surge”. Mr. Ricks indicated that the “surge” has not worked.

Information from other sources finds the reasons for lessening violence a product of these facts:

  • a cease-fire declared by the largest Shiite militia.
  • the Concerned Local Citizens program, CLCs. This program turns groups of former insurgents, including fighters for al-Qaida in Iraq, into paid, temporary allies of the U.S. military. 70,000 former insurgents are being paid $10. Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor states that “buying off your enemy is a good short-term solution to gain a respite from violence,” he says, “but it’s not a long-term solution to creating a legitimate political order inside a country that, quite frankly, is recovering from the worst sort of civil war.” CAN I REPEAT PLEASE, WE ARE PAYING FOLKS NOT TO SHOOT OUR SOLDIERS.
  • Massive internal migration has separated ethnic groups, which has lead to less violence. Walls are being built around communities. Think Palestine and Israel and how well that works over the long term.

The above actions may mark more of a time buying strategy to temporarily stem off violence to give a breather, as some generals are saying. However, it may be more that this supports Republican candidates that are grateful to have the news off the front page so they can be there.

Jim Lobe, InterPress News Service, provides this analysis

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