Thursday, April 19, 2007

Failure: A Substitute for Success?

When is a surge a success?

As Americans have been in shock over the Virginia Tech massacre--a single episode of murderous violence that claimed 32 lives--life in Baghdad has been bloody chaos. On Wednesday, six car-bombs killed 170 people. A week earlier, a suicide bomber attacked the building where the Iraqi parliament meets, killing a legislator. Insurgents blew up a key bridge in Baghdad. And the Baghdad body-count has returned to pre-surge levels-averaging 40 corpses a days bearing signs of torture and execution.

At a media availability in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, Defense Secretary Bob Gates, was asked about that day's attacks in Baghdad that killed nearly 200 people. Here's the exchange:

QUESTION: Dr. Gates, today 170 people were killed in Baghdad in a series of bombings, making it the most deadly day since the start of the Baghdad Security Plan. Do these attacks represent a failure of the security plan, and how do you stop these attacks leading to a new cycle of sectarian violence starting with Shi'ite revenge attacks?

SECRETARY GATES: I think we have anticipated from the very beginning and General Petraeus warned early on that as the Baghdad Security Plan began to take hold in Baghdad that the terrorists, that Al Qaeda, that the insurgency and others would attempt to increase the violence in order to make the plan a failure, or to make the people of Iraq believe the plan is a failure. So I think we have anticipated obviously the level of fatalities. Today was a horrifying thing. But I think it illustrates another point: these terrorists are killing innocent men, women and children who are Iraqis. They are killing their countrymen, and I think it is important to highlight their efforts to try and disrupt the process of a reconciliation, to try and prove the Baghdad Security Plan a failure, and we intend to persist to show that it is not.

Well, hooray for anticipating the increase in violence and death. But the surge was supposed to make Baghdad more secure, not less. If it provokes chaos and killings, that's not a victory. So what if--as Gates suggests--the insurgents are killing purposefully to show the plan is failure? If they can do so, the plan is a failure. And anticipating failure is no substitute for success.

Posted by David Corn at April 19, 2007 11:55 AM


Robert S said...

It is ridiculous to even suggest success in Iraq. The whole adventure is a criminal adventure in profiteering. Unless and until we address the matter as such, we lose the argument before it has begun. If only we had had more troops in the beginning or some other excuse for failing in the mission. No. The mission itself is the crime.

capt said...


Right on the money again!

A crime of global proportion and an illegal violation of world peace, nothing will ever change that fact.


capt said...

New Thread!