Friday, September 01, 2006

Pentagon Issues New Edition of "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq"

Though it is not yet available on defenselink.mil, the DOD has released the latest version of its congressionally mandated progress report "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq".

All that good news that Donald Rumsfeld complains that the U.S. media ignores is overshadowed in the Pentagon report by some revealing statistics.

Iraqi casualties soared by more than 50 percent during the roughly three-month period ending in early August, the product of spiraling sectarian clashes and a Sunni-based insurgency that remains "potent and viable," the Pentagon noted today in an comprehensive assessment of security in Iraq.

In a grim 63-page report, the Pentagon chronicled bad news on a variety of fronts. One telling indicator was the number of weekly attacks, which reached an all-time high in July. ...

The Pentagon report on "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq" is mandated by Congress and issued quarterly. It covers a broad range of subjects, ranging from the economy to public attitudes to the training of Iraqi security forces.

This time, the study has been the focus of special interest because of increasing fears that Iraq is sliding into civil war. And its grimmer notes, echoing recent Congressional testimony by military commanders, come at a time when President Bush and members of his cabinet have been trying to present a strong case in support of the war, in the face of vehement criticism from Democrats.

Addressing that scenario, the report notes: "Conditions that could lead to civil war exist in Iraq, especially in and around Baghdad, and concern about civil war within the Iraqi population has increased in recent months."

As a consequence of the rising violence, the number of Iraqi casualties -- civilian and well as military -- has jumped to almost 120 a day. Further, the confidence of Iraqis in the future has diminished, according to public opinion surveys cited in the Pentagon report. Still, the study asserts that the fighting in Iraq does not meet the "strict" legal definition of a civil war.

The assessment provides bad news on a variety of fronts.

It said that Al Qaeda is active despite the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, because of the group's "cellular structure," that the Sunni insurgency is strong and that militias are undiminished.

The Pentagon distributed the report on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend, a common time for government officials to put out bad news. A Pentagon officials denied that this was the intent and said the report was issued when it completed.


This report will provide excellent ammo for the necessary discrediting of the kook who heads the Defense Department:

Under assault from Republicans on issues of national security, congressional Democrats are planning to push for a vote of no confidence in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this month as part of a broad effort to stay on the offensive ahead of the November midterm elections.

In Rumsfeld, Democrats believe they have found both a useful antagonist and a stand-in for President Bush and what they see as his blunders in Iraq. This week, Democrats interpreted a speech of his as equating critics of the war in Iraq to appeasers of Adolf Hitler, an interpretation that Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff disputed. But Democrats said the hyperbolic attack would backfire. ...

But Democrats -- and some Republicans -- say a debate on Rumsfeld's tenure at the Pentagon will present a quandary to embattled GOP incumbents in districts that have turned solidly against the war.

"We are approaching 2,700 dead Americans, 20,000 wounded, many of them missing eyes, missing limbs, facing paralysis," said Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.). "They want to debate that; we're happy to debate that."


There are "known knowns" and "known unknowns", and there are absolute certainties as well.

Such as the fact that Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense puts a public face on a singularly American form of fascism that has been revealed to the world by the imprudent actions of the Bush administration.

The real owners of the country hate when their game is exposed to the clear light of public scrutiny by rash and careless actors.

When they got fed up with Nixon, they had no problem consigning him to the dustheap in 1974.

The Bush regime has less to fear at this point from Democratic voters and public opinion than from the harsh judgment of the puppetmasters who installed them in the first place.

18 Comments:

Blogger Meatball One said...

There you go.

I've been tinfoilishly speculating the past half year or so that a great hail mary for those most interested and invested in continuity of policy (albeit perhaps by less glaring means and methods than at present) would be for them to take out poor ol' figurehead W and leave it looking like the work of the minacious Iranian Islamofascistoids.

It would serve as a flashbang that would cloud and insulate the administrations key players and their backers from further scrutiny and powerfully top off the the task of pretexting a massive attack against Iran. Of course it would be disastrous for the Democrats and the nation...but you know, you just don't reach out and touch our president without paying a massive price and Im sure everyone would buy into it. Those that don't will simply shut up for fear of being crucified.

And of absolutely no relevance whatsoever: I seem to recall a clip from an episode of the X Files that was floating around the net way back when. It was about an airliner hijacked by remote control and flown into one of the WTC buildings. The episode aired pre 911.

By the way, and of equally frivolous relevance: Intelligence outfits oft have junior fellas troll about town documenting the occurence and content of plain ol' graffiti. The Why of it can perhaps be left to explain at another time. I might just add however, graffiti can be found in other places than on urban structural facades. It has technical and cultural mediums.

On another note, I caught a sliver of Fox News today as they ran some segment about a new movie portraying the assassination of W. From what I gathered from the Fox spot, ensuing asbestos and radioactivy in the wake of the assassination was not part of the movies plot. Tidy.

9/01/2006 6:31 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Oh BTW, Im still convinced that Rummy and allies have been sitting and roosting on the phrase civil war, planning to deploy it when it becomes convenient for them. And when is that? Well, that would be when it's time to redeploy our ground force assets in Iraq into advantageous positions vis a vis the Iranian hit - thus giving redployment the obfuscting cover story of getting our brave men and women out of the helter skelter cross fire of civil war. The trip wire pretext will go down, several faux rounds of tenacious diplomatic endeavours will have been already bagged and tagged, and then...golly, how conveniently deployed we happen to be when an inciting event akin to the snatched IDFers goes down. Im still amazed at how well the Lebby narrative with its timeline starting at the snatch of the IDFers stuck and...and napalmishly still sticks. It's god damn unbudgable except amongst various flavors of wonks.

9/01/2006 6:44 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Such a plan would serve the purposes of many elements. Just like JFK.

They would get rid of Cheney in any eventuality in which the chief has to go. Exactly like Agnew being swept out of the picture on old mid-1960's corruption charge just prior to Watergate becoming suddenly a big deal.

The X-Files WTC plane hit episode deal was a spinoff called The Lone Gunman, done by the same producer as the main show.

Re: the graffiti. Rumor has it that the same outfits pay good money for miscreants to deface walls in foreign lands with the occasional political graffito.

I do recall your call about Civil War being the excuse for moving the troops next door. That fits with today's revelation that U.S. troop strength in Iraq has gone from 127,000 to 140,000 just in the last few weeks.

I take it you wouldn't expect to see any real drawdown in Iraq before the Iran problem is adequately addressed.

9/01/2006 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meatball,

I believe you are referring to a film, shot as a "documentary", produced by Channel 4 (UK) called Death of a President... It's going to be shown at the Toronto Film Festival next week... (I doubt I'll want to line up for tickets or anything...)

-- Anyway, it kind of bugs me that they would elevate Bush to "assassination" status -- I prefer that he just go quietly in an orange jumpsuit like his buddy Ken Lay...

Dena

9/01/2006 7:15 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena is right. The film is a British docudrama.

And the sniper is not an anti-war protester (knock me over with a feather), but a Syrian.

So M1's idea of an event like this being linkable to Middle East terror for pretextual purposes is eerily prescient considering this new flick.

9/01/2006 7:23 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Dena
Toronto..lot's of fun stuff seems to be happening in Toronto.

W...heck, even an empty bottle is good for a nickle or two if you cash it in.

Fwit
The lone gunman..that was it. thanks

...on troop levels. I think Id look at aggregate troop levels surrounding Iran. Levels could conceivably drop in Iraq (clear the way for torched earth bombing in swaths along the Iran/Iraq border that are Shia infested)...or not. But I wouldnt imagine aggregate peri-Iran levels dropping off for quite some time. Just movements that can be faux-claimed to be a move in the direction of reductions to win some domestic applause. Any guess beyond that is far beyond anything Ive ever been schooled in or privvy to. I know shit about combat strategy and tactics. I just notice significant redeployments of US troops stationed in Afghanyland. I believe that to be A-ran related. As well, the Brits are assets around the board now. And the Israelis remain in high mobilization holding patterns and are replenishing kaboom stocks like madmen - and even increasing them to above pre Lebby levels.

But stuff like this would be reasonably going on anyways even if everyone in town dint wanna go to war with Iran no mo'. The threat of a credible big stick is perhaps still reasonably needed.

9/01/2006 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toronto..lot's of fun stuff seems to be happening in Toronto.

That's true, Meatball + Eff -- Toronto, also known as Hogtown, is one of the funnest places in the whole world (IMHDO) -- Of course, I know that Washington is a very beautiful city... and, I'm not sure of your geographic coordinates M1 -- but no doubt it must be a nice place :-)

D

9/01/2006 8:42 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Dena

(in a tupperware box inside a freezer. Toronto winters dont scare dis meatball)

9/01/2006 8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm... if I lived in a tupperware box inside a freezer nothing would scare me either -- except maybe a microwave + a bottle of HP Sauce....

D

(I'm at work, and waiting... - sorry for this off-topic commenting Eff...)

9/01/2006 9:04 PM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

A microwave & HP Sauce...How utterly sacriligous. Are you a Satanist per chance, for even dreaming up such a meatballian demise, T-Gurl?

The whiff of lingonberries tells it's time to die but at least one gets to go down as a christian meatball. Therein lies the solace of death - life eternal when basked in lingonberries. The hum of a microwave and the sticky stench of HP means there can be no life after being munched. The cycle of eternal life is not unconditional.

Book of Meatballs :75-78

9/02/2006 5:30 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

Good point about the aggregate troop level in the neighborhood.

9/02/2006 8:54 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

Dena:

Nothing to be sorry about.

All topics are on-topic here.

9/02/2006 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you a Satanist per chance,

Quite the opposite, dear Mr. Meatball. I believe in the sancity and scaredness and beauty of all life... and that means all meatballs are equal to me... the ones that die a lonely death in the company of some lowly HP Sauce and, then the other luckier ones, such as yourself. Of course I should have known you were a classy meatball... and who doesn't like ligonberries? I make the trek to IKEA for them myself...

Is that where you are M1 ? -- buried deep in the freezer section at one of the IKEA stores on the planet, next to the ligonberries? Fear not. The Cavalry is coming.

D

p.S. Checked my St. James and could not find the book of Meatballs...

9/02/2006 9:56 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

Apocrypha, dear Dena. Book of Meatballs is the stuff of the apocrypha.

...and now mycover is blown. Somehow I knew it would take a canuck to pull it off. Now I'm gonna have to deep freeze you. But Im sure u figured as much. Brave gurl

9/02/2006 11:15 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

sorry for regressing ure fine blog back into the stone age, Effwit. Or rather, sorry for trying to. Futility is an exercise too and I best take all I can get of it. Doing the dishes winds me.

9/02/2006 11:28 AM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

No harm, no foul.

Futility is a lot more satisfying than commonly believed.

9/02/2006 11:45 AM  
Blogger Meatball One said...

I knew u'd say that. (God damn munks.)

9/02/2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger Effwit said...

M1:

;-)

9/02/2006 1:48 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home