Following The Leader

More reality checks from the GAO:

The administration lacks an updated and comprehensive Iraq strategy to move beyond the “surge” of combat troops President Bush launched in January 2007 as an 18-month effort to curtail violence and build Iraqi democracy, government investigators said yesterday.

While agreeing with the administration that violence has decreased sharply, a report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office concluded that many other goals Bush outlined a year and a half ago in the “New Way Forward” strategy remain unmet.

The report, after a bleak GAO assessment last summer, cited little improvement in the ability of the Iraqi security forces to act independently of the U.S. military, and noted that key legislation passed by the Iraqi parliament had not been implemented while other crucial laws had not been passed. The report also judged that key Iraqi ministries spent less of their allocated budgets last year than in previous years, and said that oil and electricity production had repeatedly not met U.S. targets.

Not that this will stop David Brooks from doing another victory lap, as he clearly still buys into the Tinkerbell Strategy. The Brooks piece really does deserve a post of its own, but I am just tired of these wankers. On the day the GAO report is released outlining all of our continued failure in the region, all he can do is taunt those who just want this war to end, all the while praising the attributes of the guy who got us into this mess. What can you really say other than than to direct him to this website (NSFW).

It really is depressing. Of course it is undeniably good news violence is down in the short term, and we get to see if our great experiment in Anbar holds as we turn it over today (cross your fingers). But the GAO report outlines that things are likely going to remain a mess for a while, and we really need to come to terms with what we are going to do in Iraq, especially with Our Glorious Leader leaving office in January and the military at the breaking point. However, that discussion will not happen while the opinion leaders in the nation’s most valuable editorial real estate are busy tongue polishing the codpiece and taunting the opposition.

God damn I wish I could get a do over on my 2000 and 2004 votes, and all you shitheads thinking about supporting McCain because Keith Olbermann said something sexist to Hillary Clinton better unlodge your head from your hindquarters, or you too will get to see how I feel. It sucks.






27 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    God damn I wish I could get a do over on my 2000 and 2004 votes, and all you shitheads thinking about supporting McCain because Keith Olbermann said something sexist to Hillary Clinton better unlodge your head from your hindquarters, or you too will get to see how I feel. It sucks.

    From your lips to Digby’s commenters: fly surely, words of truth!

  2. 2
    rachel says:

    The administration lacks an updated and comprehensive Iraq strategy to move beyond the “surge” of combat troops…

    SSDD.

  3. 3
    MH says:

    I’m sure it doesn’t feel as bad as the people actually, mortally affected by your 2000 and 2004 votes, but w/e, the point stands: as the poet once said, VOTE OR DIE!

  4. 4
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    God damn I wish I could get a do over on my 2000 and 2004 votes, and all you shitheads thinking about supporting McCain because you imagined Keith Olbermann said something sexist to Hillary Clinton even though Keith Olbermann isn’t running for President or part of the Obama campaign better unlodge your head from your hindquarters, or you too will get to see how I feel. It sucks.

    Fixed.

    And after they get their heads on straight they can apologize for the overtly racist campaign HRC ran in Appalachia.

  5. 5
    Punchy says:

    The report also judged that key Iraqi ministries spent less of their allocated budgets last year than in previous years

    Not if you include what they “spent” lining their own pockets. The Iraqis, too.

  6. 6
    David Hunt says:

    God damn I wish I could get a do over on my 2000 and 2004 votes, and all you shitheads thinking about supporting McCain because Keith Olbermann said something sexist to Hillary Clinton better unlodge your head from your hindquarters, or you too will get to see how I feel. It sucks.

    As a Texan who’s been voting against him at every opportunity since ’94, it doesn’t feel much better to have voted the right way with no effect. It’s a little better…but not much. Of course, I’m using my vote for GHWB in ’88 as a benchmark, so it could be that I simply don’t have sufficient frame of reference.

  7. 7
    David Hunt says:

    Shorter GAO: Dear Mr. President, your reality check just bounced.

  8. 8
    Felix says:

    Wow bro – you voted for Bush twice? Jebus. The first time – okay – he was running as a uniter but the second time? Whatever – it just makes your damascus road conversion all the more interesting. What did it exactly?

  9. 9
    Zifnab says:

    Meh. At this point, I don’t know why anyone would even be surprised. When you get dressed up every morning in your cheer leading outfit and pom-poms, no one gets surprised when you start singing your team’s praises.

    David Brooks doesn’t bring anything new to the table. He’s as relevant as FOX News or Rush Limbaugh because you know what he’s going to say before he says it. And he doesn’t break half way through an editorial to make farting noises or throw up pictures of bikini clad teenagers on Spring Break, so he’s not even particularly attention-grabbing.

    The Washington Elite don’t check their facts, they don’t break new stories, they don’t explore beyond the common wisdom, and they make enough gaffs as to brand them perennially wrong. When David Brooks does a victory lap, its like watching the Miami Dolphins spiking a ball in the end zone. Hurray. You got a touchdown. You still lost.

  10. 10
    Andrew says:

    Remember Fight Club? I would fight David Brooks.

  11. 11
    grandpajohn says:

    this was also in the NYT. As one of the staunch defenders leading the denial of any wrongdoing by the justice dept when can we expect “Babbling Brooks” to announce that he was alas mistaken

    Justice Department officials over the last six years illegally used “political or ideological” factors to hire new lawyers, a new report found Tuesday.

  12. 12
    Victor Von Doom says:

    How, I as Our Mr. Brooks, has the “surge” succeeded? The point of the surge
    was to bring violence down SO THAT A STABLE POLITICAL SYSTEM COULD BE ESTABLISHED AND WE COULD GET THE DODGE OUT OF HELL!

    Sorry for “shouting.” To claim that the surge has succeeded is akin to claiming victory in a football game if you are able to advance the ball 99 yards down field every time you have possession, but are never able to get it into the end zone, not even for a field goal. Yes, you have wonderful statistics on every possession, but you are still losing the game!

  13. 13
    Victor Von Doom says:

    Oops. Posted my comment before I saw that Zifnab beat me to the football analogy.

    Great minds stink alike I guess!

  14. 14
    Alaskan Pete says:

    Cole, whadya think about Larry Johnson and his batshit minions at No Quarter?

    Talk about head firmly planted. That crowd needs a 50gal tub of axle grease and a crow bar.

  15. 15
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The first time – okay – he was running as a uniter but the second time? Whatever – it just makes your damascus road conversion all the more interesting. What did it exactly?

    The fact that George Bush is constitutionally prohibited from running a third time…

  16. 16
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    David Brooks thinks Bush is a genius for dispatching extra troops to Iraq. No mention of the fact that everyone who knew anything wanted Bush to send those “extras” in as part of the initial invasion, of course.

  17. 17
    Zifnab says:

    Sorry for “shouting.” To claim that the surge has succeeded is akin to claiming victory in a football game if you are able to advance the ball 99 yards down field every time you have possession, but are never able to get it into the end zone, not even for a field goal. Yes, you have wonderful statistics on every possession, but you are still losing the game!

    We fucking wish they could get the ball 99 yards down the field. Brooks cheers every time the punter doesn’t fuck up the kick off. I mean, if you want to analogize Iraq to a football game, its important to remember exactly how big a failure it actually is. These guys tout below-average car bombings, lowers rates of kidnapping, fewer rocket attacks inside the frak’n Green Zone, and less than expected US casualties as hallmarks of the “We’re Winning!” rhetoric.

    “Oh, but my quarterback only got sacked twice in the last ten minutes. That’s not nearly as many times as he got sacked before the half.”

    It still fails to address the central issue. You’re losing. You lost. You continue to lose on a daily basis. The amount of not-winning you’ve been doing over the last five years staggers the mind. You basically admit that you don’t plan to win for another 100 fucking years!

    FAIL.

  18. 18
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    “Oh, but my quarterback only got sacked twice in the last ten minutes. That’s not nearly as many times as he got sacked before the half.”

    Sounds like the Detroit Lions.

  19. 19
    Fledermaus says:

    These guys tout below-average car bombings, lowers rates of kidnapping, fewer rocket attacks inside the frak’n Green Zone, and less than expected US casualties as hallmarks of the “We’re Winning!” rhetoric.

    And yet our media sit there like grinning idiots when every wingnut trots out “the surge worked, but we can’t leave yet – and we can’t say when we can leave”

    And not once have I seen any of them ask – “so if we can’t leave and can’t say when we’re going to leave how can you say the surge worked? Worked how?” Violence up – we gotta stay. Violence down – we gotta stay.

  20. 20
    Incertus says:

    Got that Brooks covered for you. He gets paid handsomely to write that shit, too.

  21. 21
    LITBMueller says:

    cited little improvement in the ability of the Iraqi security forces to act independently of the U.S. military,

    Really. Is there any reason to report this anymore? I mean, its clear that our entire policy in Iraq is to make sure “they don’t stand up so we have to stand down.” Same thing goes for water, electricity, etc. These are all major projects the Iraqis simply cannot handle on their own. We’re sorta like a junky Iraq’s drug dealer: we’re the only ones who will give them what they need, but we ever give them enough.

    As long as basic services are still broken and the Iraqi Army can’t move 200 yards without support for the U.S. military…bada bing, bada boom…I got yer 100 years right here, baby!

  22. 22

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  23. 23
    Fledermaus says:

    Stupid GAO – don’t they know that the post surge plan is to talk a lot about how well the surge worked?

  24. 24
    Cernig says:

    The US is, by staying and offering their protection to the Green Zone elites, backing those with the least amount of popular support and enabling their repression of those political groups who have most.

    There is no amount of leverage, short of leaving entirely, that can convince Maliki and his co-conspirators to end their ever-evolving litany of excuses, punts and pretences of reconcilliation between the Powers That Be (the Kurdish parties, most of PM Maliki’s Da’wa, the Shiite ISCI and the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party) and the Powers That Aren’t (everyone else, but especially the Sadrists and the Awakening Councils).

    But that’s OK, because neither Bush nor McCain, nor even Obama, seriously want to convince them to do so in any case.

    Regards, C

  25. 25
    Patrick says:

    The surge has accomplished everything it intended. It is meant to get GWB out of office while still claiming that we have not lost the war in Iraq. That will be blamed on the democrats who will finally make the hard but necessary decision to leave. In future years right wing propagandists will claim that if only we had stayed a little longer, if only our hands had not been tied by left wing bleeding hearts and sympathy for the enemy, we would have won the war in Iraq.

    It is not like we haven’t seen this before. You ask any young right winger and he will assure you that Vietnam was winnable too because that is what he has been taught. This war is now being fought to save face and win future elections. A sad waste of human life a moral abomination. But that’s just who these assholes are.

  26. 26
    Patrick says:

    By the way, I liked the “tongue polishing the codpiece” bit. You have a way with words.

    Regards

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    Of course it is undeniably good news violence is down in the short term

    Copy and pasted from 2005, 2006, 2007….

    The soap is on the floor.

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