Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Myth of Iraq's Anbar Province

The Bush Administration is claiming that the "Surge" plan is responsible for the Sunni's in Anbar switching sides and helping U.S. troops in the fight against Al Qaeda. The White House and the media, as well as some members of Congress want to give General David Petraeus all of the credit for what is happening there.

But Sunni fighters began the process of turning on Al Qaeda long before the U.S. Troop Surge was even announced; long before General David Petraeus even arrived to move the plan forward. The shift in Anbar Province began as early as 2005 and carried on through 2006 [2] [3] . The current Surge of course, did not begin until this year.

In fact, Sunni Tribal leaders in Anbar had asked for help as early as 2005, but General George Casey- the U.S. General in charge of all forces in Iraq at the time- refused to offer assistance.
This is clearly an initiative that was spearheaded by the Iraqi's themselves from the beginning, not by the Bush administration.

The Bush crew wants to use Anbar as an example of what can happen in other parts of Iraq.... yet they have only had a limited impact on what has happened there. Most of the successes in Anbar have come from the people who live there, not from U.S. military strategy. But next week, the White House will spin the Anbar story as their own success. And I suspect that the American public, in keeping with tradition, will swallow the bait whole.

The Surge

What has been the impact of the U.S. troop surge overall?

The Facts Regarding the Surge

Iraqi Deaths rose 23% in the month of July over June, although U.S. troop deaths dipped slightly. The Iraqi death toll for July was 2024. And August was the 2nd deadliest death toll for Iraqis this year. Furthermore, the political situation in Iraq is still unstable. (8) (9) (10) (11) Quality of life is also on the decline in Iraq. (12) (13)

The Surge results can be summed up by the following 3 facts:

1). Iraqis are still dying in high numbers, despite the surge. (The Iraqi people...remember them? The main reason for the surge was to cut the bloodshed between Iraqis. (14) (15) (10)

2). The average number of attacks across the Country has actually increased during the "surge" period.

3). Ramstein Airbase in Germany has seen high numbers of U.S. casualties during the surge period. So the intensity of attacks on U.S. troops has been sustained during the surge.

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