Thursday, September 06, 2007

Video: Olbermann - Surge Protectors & The Great Conflation

All of the buzz leading up to the surge report to be given by Petraeus next week has been like watching movie trailers in which the major action shots released show, for all intents and purposes, the entire content of the movie.

There won't be any surprises.

Olbermann has a look at how "insurgent" numbers have been fixed around the surge policy and Jonathan Alter of Newsweek discusses 'The Great Conflation" ie. the continual, nauseating linking of the Iraq war with 9/11.

The situation in Iraq is such a farce that an independent report this week called for disbanding Iraq's national police force which is rife with sectarian Shiite bias. The Democrats, meanwhile, couldn't put a coherent policy plan together about how to deal with the Iraq war if their lives depended on it. Maybe that's the problem: their lives don't depend on it. They might be singing a different tune if they were all forced to live in the middle of Baghdad for a month or so. In the meantime, they just cobble together whatever they think might make their base happy while blaming those nasty Republicans for not being able to get anything done. (And those Republicans are nasty, but at least they know how to put up a real fight when they go after something they want.)

Dana Milbank, in what is perhaps a precursor to what will surely be the reactions from both parties to the WH/Petraeus report next week, shows how Democrats and Republicans are using the independent commission's report to try and sell the same old schtick about the war. No one, it seems, has any new ideas.

Madeleine Albright seems to think that if only Bush would admit his mistakes, some major corner would be turned for US allies to come in and save the day. It's long past time for that to mean anything and Bush won't do it anyway, so what's the point?

As for what Olbermann and Alter were talking about, here is the WaPo story about how the surge numbers have been manipulated.

The intelligence community has its own problems with military calculations. Intelligence analysts computing aggregate levels of violence against civilians for the NIE puzzled over how the military designated attacks as combat, sectarian or criminal, according to one senior intelligence official in Washington. "If a bullet went through the back of the head, it's sectarian," the official said. "If it went through the front, it's criminal."

"Depending on which numbers you pick," he said, "you get a different outcome." Analysts found "trend lines . . . going in different directions" compared with previous years, when numbers in different categories varied widely but trended in the same direction. "It began to look like spaghetti."


There you have it.

I'm sorry, but aren't we talking about dead people here?

Most of world wants U.S. out of Iraq in a year: poll

New Twist In Saga Over ‘Petraeus Report’: There Will Be No Report

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