Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why Democrats Should Not Be Afraid Of The Boogie Man With the Medals On His Chest

 A lesson of the past six years is that Republicans will accuse Democrats of being unpatriotic no matter what the Democrats do. Democrats gave Mr. Bush everything he wanted in 2002; their reward was an ad attacking Max Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm in Vietnam, that featured images of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
Now comes the "Bush Report" mimed by a boggie man with a uniform and medals.
The White House keeps claiming progress, but the truth is that the escalation made things worse, not better. The fact is that independent reports show that the escalation has been a total failure. Violence in Iraq has gone up. This has been the bloodiest summer in Iraq for US troops. Iraqi casualties are running at double the pace of last year and there is evidence of ethnic cleansing in Iraq.
But the White House "Bush Report" won't tell us that. They actually came up with their own bizarre formula for measuring violence in the country. For example, deaths by car bombs don't count. The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you're shot in the back of the head—not the front.
The polarization of communities is most evident in Baghdad, where the Shia are a clear majority in more than half of all neighborhoods and Sunni areas have become surrounded by predominately Shia districts. Where population displacements have led to significant sectarian separation, conflict levels have diminished to some extent because warring communities find it more difficult to penetrate communal enclaves.
By gaming the numbers this way, they're able to claim that violence has dropped because of the escalation. It's a bald-faced lie but if they get away with it we'll end up staying in Iraq for another decade.
Ron Mills

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