Thursday, July 24, 2008

McCain's "secret surge"

This is from Countdown with Keith Olbermann:

Obsidian Wings has the translation of McCain's "cheesy" statement on the surge:

McCain: First of all, a surge is really a counterinsurgency strategy, and it's made up of a number of components. And this counterinsurgency was initiated to some degree by Colonel McFarland in Anbar province relatively on his own. When I visited with him in December of 2006, he had already initiated that strategy in Ramadi by going in and clearing and holding in certain places. That is a counterinsurgency. And he told me at that time that he believed that that strategy, which is, quote, the surge, part of the surge, would be successful. So then, of course, it was very clear that we needed additional troops in order to carry out this counterinsurgency.

Prior to that, they had been going into places, killing people or not killing people, and then withdrawing. And the new counterinsurgency -- surge -- entailed clearing and holding, which Colonel McFarland had already started doing. And then of course later on there were additional troops, and General Petraeus has said that the surge would not have worked and the Anbar Awakening would not have taken place successfully if they hadn't had an increase in the number of troops. So I'm not sure, frankly, that people really understand that a surge is part of a counterinsurgency strategy, which means going in, clearing, holding, building a better life, providing services to the people, and then clearly a part of that, an important part of it, was additional troops to help ensure the safety of the sheikhs, to regain control of Ramadi, which was a very bloody fight, and then the surge continued to succeed, and that counterinsurgency.

Q: So when you say 'surge', then you're not referring just to the one that President Bush initiated; you're saying it goes back several months before that?

Yes, and again, because of my visits to Iraq, I was briefed by Colonel McFarland in December of 2006 where he outlined what was succeeding there in this counterinsurgency strategy which we all know of now as the surge.

So if I understand this correctly, the "surge" does not mean the Bush troop surge, which was announced in January 2007, but rather a full counterinsurgency strategy that includes both the Bush troop surge of 2007, and Colonel McFarland's meetings with the sheiks in creating the alliance between the Sunnis and the U.S. military. In other words, McCain is himself defining the meaning of "the surge," and demanding that everyone else must agree to his definition.

The real problem here is this linking by McCain of the Bush troop surge, and the counterinsurgency strategy. There was a counterinsurgency strategy where McFarland created an alliance between the U.S. military and the Sunni sheiks in the Anbar province. And this strategy was successful. What McCain is trying to do is to take credit of McFarland's work for himself through linking the Anbar Awakening with the Bush troop surge, and then calling this all a "surge." So McCain's definition of "the surge" is not just the Bush troop surge, but also the Anbar Awakening, and anything else that the McCain campaign wants to include in their definition. This contradicts what everyone else considers as the definition of "the surge," which is basically the Bush troop surge of 2007.

John McCain is trying to rewrite history in a rather disgusting fashion.

No comments: