Things in Iraq are "spectacular!"
"The governor of the Sinjar region of north-western Iraq has said 344 people died in Tuesday's multiple bomb attacks against the minority Yazidi community. He said another 400 people had been injured by the blasts and that he believed 70 others were still buried in the rubble of destroyed buildings. About 600 local residents had been made homeless, the governor added."
Looks like Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon's plans for a speedy troop withdraw from the his area of responsibility won't be happening quite so quick after all.
Reuters reported on July 13, 2007, Mixon said:
"I think that over time in a very methodical and well thought-out way -- and I'm only speaking for Multi-national Division North -- that we could have a reduction of force that could begin in January of 2008."
So much for that.
The always up and ready for good news Lt. Gen Raymond Odierno says, "Despite this attack, security across Iraq is generally improving." He says AQI is actually being "forced to undertake its spectacular events in more remote parts of the country, rather than in the capital." AFP
Things are going great! It's just that these desperate AQI types keep pulling off these "spectacular attacks" in the run-up to Patraeus' (White House's) report to Congress.
Where have I heard this 'things are great/spectacular attacks' formulation before?
Nov. 15 2002:
"Al Qaeda may be planning 'spectacular attacks' in the United States that will cause 'mass casualties' and 'severe damage' to the economy, according to a federal law enforcement bulletin." CNN
"U.S. intelligence agencies concluded recently that al Qaeda — fearing its credibility is on the line — is moving ahead with plans for a major, 'spectacular' attack, despite disruptions of some operations by recent arrests in Britain and Pakistan." AFP
"U.S. general warned Friday that insurgents may be planning 'spectacular' attacks to scare voters in the three weeks before Iraq's landmark elections, and Shiite and Sunni religious leaders voiced sharply divergent views on whether the vote should be held at all. Air Force Brig. Gen. Erv Lessel, who is deputy chief of staff for strategic communications in Iraq, said the United States has no intelligence indicating specific plots, but he said American leaders expected a rise in attacks." AP
Apr 30, 2007
Maj. Gen. Scott, deputy chief of staff for strategic effects for Multinational Force Iraq, told online journalists in a conference call that while there has been a slight increase in the number of 'spectacular' car-bomb attacks around Baghdad, there has also been positive movement as a result of the U.S.-Iraqi plus-up strategy.'Overall sectarian violence has decreased. Overall violence in the city of Baghdad has decreased,' he said." AFPS
Could it be that it's not so much AQI is on the ropes, as it is that we just can't stop them from doing stuff like this whenever they want? And if they can attack at will, which they obviously keep showing they can, then isn't the entire notion of the Surge actually ever being able to be successful is is pretty much finished?
Those extra 30,000 troops are there to provide "breathing room" for the Iraqi politicians to get together. But the troops aren't able to keep the peace and the politicians are hopelessly deadlocked. The Sunnis have walked out and now al-Maliki's Shiites and Talibanis Kurds have decided to go it alone, without the Sunnis.
"On Thursday, Talabani and Maliki announced the forming of the alliance which brought together Shiite Dawa party and Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council and the Kurdish factions of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdish Democratic Party (PDK)."
Sounds like progress to me.