The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Friday, September 07, 2007

Meanwhile, on the back of a cocktail napkin in Baghdad's Green Zone...

(UPDATE: The Prospect has a more detailed account of the exchange between a Republican politician and the apparently-quite-rational Mr. Walker. It's tragic, even if you ignore the fact that people are dying because wingers can't admit failure.)

Ever since the 'surge' began, revelations of a still-deteriorating situation in Iraq have invariably been met with one statement: any assessment of the surge is premature until we have General Petraeus' official report in September.

It was learned weeks before the report that it would pass through the hands of White House spin-meisters before being revealed to the public, and the final, gloriously optimistic word (take note of that term) is that sectarian violence is down an incredible 75%.

Strangely, that contradicted every other existing study of the situation in Iraq, and even other reports from other generals on the ground in Iraq. How could it be that reports of our position in Iraq as 'fragile,' 'tenuous,' or even 'untenable' are floating around even as the administration claims success? It's easy, once you know the secret:

U.S. Comptroller General David Walker was asked today about the military's claim that sectarian violence in Iraq is down 75 percent as a result of the "surge." His reply: "We were briefed on the methodology. We're not comfortable with the methodology."

Undoubtedly, people will be eager to see the methodology that contradicts everything else we've seen and heard. So howzabout that report, so we can see for ourselves? Uhm, yeah... about that "report" that will finally justify the surge...

A senior military officer said there will be no written presentation to the president on security and stability in Iraq. "There is no report. It is an assessment provided by them by testimony," the officer said.

The only hard copy will be Gen. Petraeus' opening statement to Congress, scheduled for Monday, along with any charts he will use in explaining the results of the troop surge in Baghdad over the past several months.

That testimony will follow the meeting of the president, Gen. Petraeus and Mr. Crocker at the White House.

Gen. Petraeus is expected to tell the president the surge is working but that more work is needed.

I guess Fearless Leader really IS a genius, because that's exactly what he's been saying since, uhhhh... long before the 'surge' even began.