• Home


  • American Entropy is dedicated to the disruption and discrediting of neoconservative actions and the extreme ideals of the religious right.


    Add to Technorati Favorites

    Top Blogs

    My Zimbio



    Get Firefox!


    13 July 2007

    Winslow Wheeler and others on the Interim Surge Report

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button
    Some good points made here. Excerpts:
    Reading the [Initial Benchmark Assessment Report (.pdf) released yesterday] makes two things painfully obvious: 1) President Bush is grading Iraq on a curve; and 2) he and Congress are administering the wrong test.

    While the Iraqis are assessed in the White House's report to have achieved "satisfactory progress" on only eight of 18 "benchmarks" (six are rated "unsatisfactory"; two are given mixed ratings, and two are rated unable to be rated), it is painfully clear from reading the report that the "satisfactory" assessments are graded on a sharp curve. On political issues, any change - even a decision to delay a decision - is deemed "satisfactory." On military questions, characteristics that would mean a military unit is unfit to fight in the American Army (such as the three brigades the Iraqis barely managed to cobble together to deploy to Baghdad) are deemed "satisfactory" in this report.

    However, we are missing a far more fundamental and important point if all we take from this White House report is its transparent effort to make the situation in Iraq appear slightly less of a mess than others might perceive.

    What comes through even more clearly is the imposition of alien benchmarks on the Iraqi society and its faltering government. These benchmarks are not an effort to assist Iraq recover from the disaster of the American invasion and occupation, they are an effort to impose Western, if not American, values and methods on a society that has been resisting them, mostly violently, for the last four years. Perhaps even more to the point, the benchmarks have every appearance of an effort to make American politicians, not Iraqi citizens, feel better about themselves. An oil law to assist non-Iraqi oil companies extract resources, Western notions of constitutional law and minority rights, federalism - if not regionalism leading to virtual partition - and ending forthwith centuries old divisions in the society are just some of the end states the benchmarks seek to effect.

    Wheeler concludes...
    Are the benchmarks an honest and soundly based effort to assist Iraqi society and government? Or, are they an excuse-in-waiting for American politicians to exploit when they try to explain away the failure of a half decade of misbegotten policy, more than half a trillion dollars, and 3,600-plus American military lives.

    Bush's new "Initial Benchmark Assessment Report" is an interesting document, but it should be read to understand American political maneuvering with respect to the war, rather than a measure of "progress" in Iraq.

    Elsewhere, Anthony Cordesman agrees that "the reality on the ground in Iraq reveals quite a different picture" than that of the interim report. His commentary is here.

    I haven't made it through the entire 25 page report, but what I have read sounds pretty desperate.

    Posted by Geoff

    Links to this post:

    Create a Link



    Google

    AddThis Feed Button

    Subscribe in NewsGator Online


    B l o g R o l l




    Archives