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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Iraq plus five

Two good stories to mark the fifth anniversary of George Bush's shocking and awful debacle in Iraq.

The Boston Globe's soon-to-be-departed Charlie Sennott takes a look at the surge one year later. And one exchange says it all:
...Toward the end of the long meeting, a reporter traveling with the unit asked the local leaders whether the gains on the ground will outlive the surge.

The word came back without hesitation or uncertainty:

"No," said the Shi'ite tribal chief, Sheikh Talib al-Rabei, who serves as chairman of the local 10-member reconciliation committee.

"No," said his Sunni counterpart, Fuad Ali Hussein, a former colonel in the military under Saddam Hussein who is now an imam at a mosque.

Down the long conference table, a half-dozen others on the reconciliation committee delivered the same reply. [Lieutenant Colonel Patrick] Frank had a hard time concealing his dismay.

"Really?!" he said, framing the word as both a question and a statement. "I'm a little surprised to hear that. Can they explain?"

I thought the purpose of the surge was the reduce the level of violence as a way to foster discussion and conciliation? Looks like we have a longer way to go than George Bush and John McCain are telling us.

Also noteworthy is a New York Times story on how oil money, which the Bush administration originally said would pay for the war and the rebuilding of Iraq is actually fueling the insurgency.

How many more false promises and false choices are we going to accept?

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