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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Operation Snow Job continues

If only the Bush administration were as skilled at diplomacy and military planning as they are at PR spin.

Operation Snow Job, launched with George Bush's unannounced and unfiltered visit to the Iraqi desert continues to roll out as scheduled. And true to expectation, we now have the top commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, offering the little carrot to go with the big stick he's about to use to whack the building consensus that the surge hasn't really made much of a difference.

Only the New York Times doesn't appear to fall for Petraeus' carrot of a token withdrawal of one brigade -- 3,500-4,500 soldiers or approximately 10 percent of the "surge" and not the overall complement of troops in Iraq.

The Washington Post offers a somewhat less reluctant warrior -- willing to do his part to "compromise" with congressional calls for a troop drawdown.

The Boston Globe, particularly the headline writer, offers us a far more magnanimous general, taking time from his busy schedule in Baghdad to offer his view that while he is "frustrated" he is willing to consider a "gradual" withdrawal.

What did our parents tell us about taking candy from strangers?

Despite a steady flow of independent reports this week from impartial analysts such as the Government Accountability Office, the Bush administration is sticking hard to its own "vision."

And if you need confirmation, just check out Fox News.

By the time Petraeus and Iraq Ambassador Ryan Crocker testify before Congress next week, the administration's spin warriors will have eliminated virtually any surprises.

Despite the fact the Iraqi government and military we have relied on the stand up so we can stand down has failed at very every benchmark set for it by the administration, the goalposts will indeed have been moved -- and not by the Democratic Congress -- to make the case that with just a little more time we can "succeed."

And to show you that we do hear the voices of the majority, we will throw you this crumb of a token withdrawal. And maybe in a few months we will bring back the rest of the 30,000 soldiers who make up the surge, leaving a mere 130,000 boots on the ground.

Let's hope Congress isn't as gullible as the media seems to be. I don't hold out a lot of hope.

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