Greg Sargent has an excellent breakdown of the public relations campaign to make it look like the surge is working and how the media has enabled it. This sort of thing really is a life or death issue. The longer this type of crap goes on, the more we’re dying over there.
This is not a game.
The conduct of this war should not be evaluated in terms of a political campaign. Policy principles on the war are infinitely more important than a political career. Stop playing the game! Right now, while the cocktail circuit orders another one on the company tab and tells the latest clever anecdote about who said what to who, young men and women are risking their lives conducting dangerous missions which are not designed to get us any further along toward our objectives.
It’s a disgusting excercise in “looking busy.” Meanwhile, our media establishment continues to pretend that the dog and pony show is the real thing.
2. This “Surge is working” meme being pushed by the Bush administration and certain supporters of the war is the function of knee-jerk analysis. Of course having more troops to conduct more military operations will have an effect on tactical issues. But tactical military issues aren’t the source of the overall problem. This war is not primarily about fighting enemy troops in the field of battle. Killing a bunch of people won’t actually make things better.
We are trying to prop up/create/maintain/establish a unified Iraqi government which provides security and government services to the people so that markets can function, schools can operate, and people can begin to invest again in their communities. None of the so-called signs of progress being thrown around loosely by war supporters speak to these issues and therefore evaluating the efficacy of the surge is premature, at best.
The fact that many war supporters are relying so heavily on skewed data to push their version of the war in the media is an indication to me that they still don’t get it. They believe the war can be fought and won in the media. Good public relations is a part of any effective war campaign in this day and age but it’s not an alternative to the facts on the ground.
But then again it’s convenient to define the war’s progress with the way the media has portrayed it. It makes pundits who support the war “soldiers” and makes those in the media who don’t play along “the enemy.”
Somebody please wake up.