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A Social History of the Surge
July 29, 2008 6:46 PM   Subscribe

A Social History of the Surge by Juan Cole.
posted by homunculus (33 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
In a nutshell, the surge didn't help nearly as much as the practice of bribing the enemy.
posted by mullingitover at 7:18 PM on July 29, 2008


In a slightly larger nutshell, the surge helped only so much as it enabled the Shiite to enthnicaly cleanse the Sunni out of Baghdad, at which point the Shiite were happy.

Also, apparently our American freedoms were protected.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:24 PM on July 29, 2008


note: that last bit isn't in the article, just many other places
posted by Navelgazer at 7:24 PM on July 29, 2008


In a smaller nutshell, this is more complicated than most of the electorate can easily comprehend.
posted by twsf at 7:30 PM on July 29, 2008


Women Bombers Open Gates of Hell in Iraq; 61 Dead, Hundreds Wounded
posted by homunculus at 7:45 PM on July 29, 2008


In a smaller nutshell, this is more complicated than most of the electorate can easily comprehend.

That presumes that anyone, either in the mainstream media or a position of authority, is willing to understand it themselves, represent it factually and has attempted to do so.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:46 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


The simple point is that US forces stopped raiding Sunni homes and instead paid the same Sunni forces that had been laying IEDs to fight the Salafi ("al-Kaeda in Iraq") forces instead. By the U.S, recognizing "legitimate" armed Sunni bands, a measure of protection against "ethnic cleansing" of Sunnis both by Shi'ites (with the blessing of the Iraqi central government) and by the US Army (with the blessing of brainless U.S. policies) was achieved, and a measure of order was restored to previously chaotic Sunni enclaves. Meanwhile, the mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad became wholly Shi'ite and therefore pacified.

Result: less "ethno-sectarian" violence and less guerilla warfare directed at U. S. troops by pissed off Sunni groups. The so-called "Anbar Awakening" is the classic example of the salubrious impact of paying off some groups of your erstwhile enemies to kill other groups of your actual enemies.
posted by rdone at 7:55 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq
posted by acro at 8:06 PM on July 29, 2008


Imagine my disappointment opening this link expecting a history of Surge - Mountain Dew's syrupy cousin....
posted by Kimothy at 9:27 PM on July 29, 2008


In a nutshell, the surge didn't help nearly as much as the practice of bribing the enemy.

Obviously this couldn't have happened because we don't negotiate with terrorists.
posted by Avenger at 9:34 PM on July 29, 2008


Obviously this couldn't have happened because we don't negotiate with terrorists.

If we had, we might have gotten a better price.
posted by Knappster at 10:27 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Iraq war's total cost nearing Vietnam's price tag
posted by homunculus at 11:46 PM on July 29, 2008


Why John McCain's "Surge" Success Story Is A Lie.
posted by adamvasco at 1:48 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


In a smaller nutshell, this is more complicated than most of the electorate can easily comprehend.

How? Use four statements:

The Surge did nothing.
The US started paying the awakening councils to attack Al Qaeda in Iraq before the surge ever started.
The Civil War in Bagdad was won by the Shia, so there's no conflict, for now. Bagdad is now as Shia as Tehran, there' no one left to fight.
High Oil prices means the Government of Iraq has money and clout.

plus one

The US News Media are generally incompetent liars who don't report the War critically.

People can understand this. Whether or not they will believe it is another matter.
posted by eustatic at 5:32 AM on July 30, 2008


Here's what President Bush said the surge would accomplish (details and links):

"To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November." That didn't happen. "To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis." That didn't happen. "To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs." That didn't happen. "To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year." That didn't happen. "And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws..." That happened, kind of. The re-Baathification law passed in January but the law isn't being implemented. "...and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution." That didn't happen either.

See also: The Reality Behind McCain's Claim That The Surge Has Succeeded
posted by kirkaracha at 7:14 AM on July 30, 2008


Congressional Research Service analysis of the financial costs of wars throughout U.S. history [pdf]
posted by acro at 8:04 AM on July 30, 2008


Please tell me the last eight years is Pam Ewing's dream...
posted by aiq at 8:39 AM on July 30, 2008


The Shiitization of Baghdad was thus a significant cause of falling casualty rates. But it is another war waiting to happen, when the Sunnis come back to find Shiite militiamen in their living rooms.

and therein lies a difficult problem to solve
posted by caddis at 8:42 AM on July 30, 2008


Thanks for the link. I found El Cid's and IrregardlessNH's comments regarding the propaganda needs of the U.S. a nice addition to the main article. In a nutshell's nutshell, the surge was a propaganda effort that paid off well.
posted by samsara at 9:19 AM on July 30, 2008


I said all this about the surge months back and there were certain mefites who gave me no end of shit. Golly. Where are they now?
posted by tkchrist at 1:04 PM on July 30, 2008


Meanwhile, the mixed Sunni-Shia neighborhoods of Baghdad became wholly Shi'ite and therefore pacified.

eg. Riverbend's family whose last update was from Syria, last October.
posted by yort at 1:05 PM on July 30, 2008


tk, what makes you think these our mefite friends on the right buy a single word out of this leftist ivory-tower intellectual elitist's mouth?
posted by yort at 1:06 PM on July 30, 2008


Firebrand cleric tells followers not to attack Iraqi government forces
posted by homunculus at 9:54 AM on July 31, 2008


'Air Surge' for Iraq?
posted by homunculus at 3:36 PM on July 31, 2008


Lieberman To Introduce Resolution Praising Success Of Surge ‘Against Enemies Who Attacked America On 9/11′
posted by homunculus at 3:56 PM on July 31, 2008


It was the e-mail read 'round the world. Nearly four years ago in September 2004, Farnaz Fassihi of the Wall Street Journal penned a private email to friends exposing horrific conditions in Iraq. Now she has written a book that updates and expands on her outspoken view
posted by homunculus at 9:54 AM on August 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dept. of Holy Shit!

Two Iraqi officials say the U.S. and Iraq are close to a deal under which all American combat troops would leave by October 2010 with remaining U.S. forces gone about three years later. A U.S. official in Washington acknowledges progress has been made on the timelines for a U.S. departure but offered no firm date. Another U.S. official strongly suggested the 2010 date may be too ambitious.

That's the entire article, as of now.
posted by Kattullus at 1:07 PM on August 7, 2008


The surge is working? Hardly.
posted by homunculus at 9:49 AM on August 10, 2008


Iraqis in Exile: Refugee Crisis Threatens Stability of Region
posted by homunculus at 11:55 PM on August 13, 2008


US blamed for Iran's clout in Iraq
posted by homunculus at 9:24 AM on August 14, 2008


What counts as 'success' in Iraq?
posted by homunculus at 2:46 PM on August 15, 2008


Al-Maliki May attack Sunni Awakening Councils
posted by homunculus at 12:50 PM on August 16, 2008


Bombers hit Karbala Pilgrims for Third Straight Day
posted by homunculus at 10:26 AM on August 17, 2008


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