Two Holes In The Head Count As One Per The Bush genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak & Snapshot Thoughts & Tongue-In-Cheek

As we wait with bated breath for the Petraeus report on the troop surge and progress in Iraq, the Bush administration appears to be busy redefining the manner in which the facts are gathered. If it weren't so clearly true, it may well be unfathomable...but then when it comes to George Bush...anything seems to be possible.

From The New York Times (Paul Krugman):

Here's what will definitely happen when Gen. David Petraeus testifies before Congress next week: he'll assert that the surge has reduced violence in Iraq — as long as you don’t count Sunnis killed by Sunnis, Shiites killed by Shiites, Iraqis killed by car bombs and people shot in the front of the head.

Apparently, the Pentagon has a double super secret formula that it uses to distinguish sectarian killings (bad) from other deaths (not important); according to press reports, all deaths from car bombs are excluded, and one intelligence analyst told The Washington Post that “if a bullet went through the back of the head, it's sectarian. If it went through the front, it's criminal." So the number of dead is down, as long as you only count certain kinds of dead people.

And six or seven months from now it will be the same thing all over again. Mr. Bush will stage another photo op at Camp Cupcake, the Marine nickname for the giant air base he never left on his recent visit to Iraq. The administration will move the goal posts again, and the military will come up with new ways to cook the books and claim success.

___________________________________________________

I'm not sure how a civilized country viewed as the singular superpower in the world has become a banana republic...but I have my suspicions (*cough-Bush-cough*). When confronted with inane absurdity, I often turn to silly humor...it seems to take the sting out of the virtual vivisection of rationality.

The following graphic is my effort to employ a comedic break to soothe this latest assault on our basic American sensibilities...the ones which used to be evidenced in our elected officials...the ones which George Bush seems to find irrelevant.

Come to think of it...we need this new casualty calculation like we need a hole in the head.

Two Holes In The Head

Tagged as: Casualty Counts, David Petraeus, George W. Bush, Iraq, Sectarian Violence, Troop Surge

Daniel DiRito | September 7, 2007 | 2:01 PM
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Comments

1 On September 7, 2007 at 5:34 PM, Kuni wrote —

Petraeus has ALWAYS said that it’s going ok in Iraq. Below are examples of him, over the years, telling us how good it was going in Iraq. I guess it went so well, that we needed the surge.

Let’s look at some of Petraeus earlier BS, where he gave us a ‘rosy picture’ implying we should stay the course. I guess all those Iraqi’s he trained turned out so well, that the surge wasn’t needed.

And I love his Jan. 2005 comment where he let slip that: “Iraqis must provide for their own security. The coalition cannot impose a peace on Iraq, nor can force make democracy flourish"

http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=3158
September 14, 2003 . . .

. . . Schieffer: Let me ask you one other thing, and that is this intense criticism that seems to be boiling up on Capitol Hill. This story this morning is filled with it, and basically it comes down to that Don Rumsfeld, and I'll just put this straight to you, is stubborn, and that's the reason he won't admit that he made a mistake when he said we have plenty of troops there, and that that's one of the reasons you're having problems on the Hill and within the Pentagon. I just want to give you a chance to respond to that.

Rumsfeld: Sure, I'm glad to. How do you respond to whether or not you're stubborn. I guess you respond this way, we have General [John] Abizaid who is in charge of the Central Command, [Lieutenant] General [Ricardo] Sanchez, who is in charge of Iraq, and then a series of division commanders, good ones, [Major] General [David] Petraeus, [Major] General [Raymond] Odierno, and they meet regularly, and they ask that question, do we need more U.S. troops, and they say they don't. They do not feel that we ought to bring in more additional troops, why?

Rumsfeld: Just let me respond. Now, should I be stubborn and say, you're wrong? What I do is I say, why do you or don't you need something, and I go and discuss it. And they come back consistently and say they do not need more additional troops, you need more force protection, you need more combat support people if you're going to have more troops. We're managing the skill mix of the troops, because they're not doing a lot of combat, they're doing a lot of presence and a lot of construction, and a lot of assistance, and a lot of forming city councils, 90 percent of the people in Iraq are now living in an area that's governed by a city council, or a village council.

Schieffer: So you do not feel that you made a mistake‑

Rumsfeld: If I felt I'd made a mistake I'd change it.

Schieffer: Misestimated, or underestimated.

Rumsfeld: My problem is the people who are saying we need more troops are not giving any good reasons. There's no substance to their arguments, they're just saying we don't have enough. Our military people say we do, and they then explain why they think they do, and why they want the effort on increasing the Iraqi capability. So I listen to the two sides of the argument. I would increase the number of troops in five minutes, if people would come to me and make a decent argument, but all I see is critics saying, you need more troops. Something has to be wrong. . .

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=26181
June 28, 2004 – Recent adjustments made to improve Iraqi security forces are working, a senior U.S. officer in Baghdad said June 27.

Ongoing changes "are gradually, but markedly improving the quality of Iraqi security forces," Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, chief of the Office of Security Transition in Iraq, reported during a Pentagon Channel interview. . .

. . . "But, there are also areas where we see considerable success," he pointed out. For example, he said, Iraqi security forces had months ago assumed a variety of important security tasks from coalition forces in the north and south of the country. . .

http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=1643
January 05, 2005. . .

. . . GEN. METZ: No, no. The original plan for the Iraqi army was 27. As we began to grow -- a year ago, the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, which became the National Guard, that number has changed a number of times since I've been in command. We are focused right now on 45 battalions, but with an expansion program to about the 65-battalion level. That has a relationship to the amount of equipment we can ship in to get them to that level.

So I just don't have all the numbers memorized, but there is a 27-battalion army original plan; 45-battalion National Guard growing to 65 plan. The minister of interior has an ever-increasing and robust structure that he's putting together. The army has made some decisions inside of that original plan to go with intervention forces and change some of the training for the army battalions. He's brought on -- he's working on bringing on mechanized forces.

And so, again, we had a plan before sovereignty and it was a baseline to work from. But the sovereign government has made decisions and is changing things, and we're offering advice. But it's going to be a robust enough structure, I think, in 2005 to take on the insurgent fight here in Iraq, and it will be equipped and trained to do so.

Does that help?

Q Yes, sir, thank you. Just, the 65, is that by the end of this year, or what is --

GEN. METZ: I would say by the end of '05 for sure. I'm sure that we can get you that data. I just -- I apologize, I just don't have it all memorized --

Q Sure, no problem.

GEN. METZ: -- and that's because my good friend, Dave Petraeus, he's supposed to put me out of business. And every time I see him I hug him and say, "Dave, you've got to put me out of business. I'm the Multinational Corps fighting here. You're building the transition security capability -- get on with it." And he is. And we really are a team. We're good friends. But I look to him to memorize all those numbers. And when he gets them trained and they become tactical control, take on to the Multinational Corps, we employ them and they are good troops. . .

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=24406
Jan. 10, 2005 – The U.S. Army general in charge of training Iraqi forces said here today that the job is tough, but it is a mission that must be accomplished before coalition forces can leave Iraq.

And, Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, added, progress is being made. . .

. . . Iraqis must provide for their own security, Petraeus said. The coalition cannot impose a peace on Iraq, nor can force make democracy flourish. . .

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=31204
March 14, 2005 . . .

. . . Petraeus said the Jan. 30 Iraqi elections provided a boost to the security forces. Iraqis manned the two inner lines around more than 5,000 polling places nationwide. Insurgents launched more than 270 attacks on Jan. 30, but did not penetrate any polling place, he said.

Following the elections, the general continued, the Iraqi forces got a boost in morale for their fine showing, and the Iraqi people developed trust in the security apparatus. This respect has meant more recruits for the Iraqi army and police, and a greater role in the defense of their own country.

Iraq has 96 operational combat battalions today, Petraeus said. The battalions are out in the cities and rural areas of the country. They are going on independent operations and they are getting results, the general said. Iraqi forces are "shouldering the burden" in 12 of Iraq's 18 provinces -- the three Kurdish provinces in the north and the nine provinces in the south.

"It's making a big difference. You see it in Fallujah, you see it in Baghdad," he said. "You also see it in places like Tikrit and Mosul." . . .

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=16991
Aug. 2, 2005 – The chief of the coalition command charged with training Iraqi security forces said "enormous progress" has been made in the effort. . .

. . . Petraeus said that while most of the Iraqi units rely heavily on coalition forces for support and guidance, "there are still some three dozen of them that are assessed to be in the lead." By this he means that the Iraqi units are leading the fight against the insurgents with minimal or no help from coalition forces. . .

. . . Given continued progress and acceptable conditions, Petraeus said, the United States may be able to reduce troop presence in the country next year, noting this depends on political progress as well as progress in the security capabilities of Iraqi forces. . .

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=18152
Oct. 5, 2005 – The Iraqi security forces have made enormous progress over the past 16 months, the U.S. Army general who oversaw their training for more than a year said during a Pentagon news conference today. . .

. . . Iraqi security force readiness has continued to grow with each passing week, the general told reporters, and will grow even more between now and the Oct. 15 national referendum on a draft constitution. "There are now over 197,000 trained and equipped Iraqi security forces, and that should be close to 200,000 by the time of the referendum," he said.

More than 115 Iraqi police and army combat battalions are in the counterinsurgency fight, he said. About 80 of the battalions are fighting alongside U.S. forces, which the general said equates to Level 3 readiness in the four-tier readiness rating system. "Over 36 (battalions) are assessed as being 'in the lead,'" he said. In the lead is the term associated with Level 2 readiness, and means the troops are capable of leading joint patrols, as opposed to merely participating.

Level 1 units are labeled as being "fully independent." There is one battalion in this category, Petraeus said.

The general said it is a mistake to fixate on the Level 1 unit. He said Americans should to expand their understanding of the readiness levels and what each unit brings to the fight. . .

http://www.defenselink.mil/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=18157
Bush Pleased With Progress of Iraqi Security Forces

Oct. 5, 2005 – President Bush said today he's pleased with the progress Iraqis are making in developing a military capable of handling the security challenges of the future.

Bush spoke to the press following a meeting with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, former commander of Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq. Rumsfeld and the generals briefed the president on the status of Iraqi forces and coalition operations in Iraq.

2 On September 7, 2007 at 5:48 PM, Maezeppa wrote —

"As we wait with baited breath "

It's spelled BATED breath. As in "abated" or "held" breath.

What's "baited" breath? A little worm or trout fly hanging off a tooth?

EDITORS NOTE:

Maezeppa,

Thanks for catching the error. BTW, to get a comment posted, you have to type the word "blog"...that's spelled b-l-o-g...in the designated box...otherwise it is captured by the junk filter. I found your comment in the junk mail and published it.

My apologies for the sarcasm...but this is a great example of misdirected anger. If you didn't like my comments, I'm perfectly fine with that and everyone is welcome to share their opinions. However, part of the problem with this world is that vitriol frequently overcomes reasoned dialogue...and people resort to pettiness...me included.

The truth of the matter is that I make mistakes from time to time...I suspect anyone blogging on a daily basis does. I could be wrong but doesn't that make me human...just like you?

Anyway, thanks for commenting.

Regards,

Daniel

3 On September 7, 2007 at 5:59 PM, Tony Christini wrote —

More quotes from Petraeus in the satire, The Petraeus Plan to Abolish America and Iraq:

-----
Former embedded reporters confirm, Petraeus is the man who repeatedly asked them before and after the 2003 thunder run into Baghdad, “Tell me where this ends." At the moment, it seems clear, it ends where it all began with President Bush, Congress, the Military Industrial Complex, and now General Petraeus – all of whom claim to be directed by “the troops" who, it is said, keep asking for more funds than the current half a trillion US tax dollars so they can keep going on “Living the Dream!" — slaughtering and being slaughtered in balmy Iraq.
-----

"Tell me where this ends" is an actual Petraeus quote, as noted. Some of the other quotes in the satire at link are invented, though mixed in with plenty of facts that anyone can easily look up, and in line with the basic ideology.

http://apragmaticpolicy.wordpress.com/2007/08/31/the-petraeus-plan-to-abolish-america-and-iraq-2/

4 On September 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Dave wrote —

I could have written the September report for General Betrayus when the surge began:

Dear American Worker Smacked Ass:

Everything is going great in Iraq. We are funneling your tax money into the pockets of our defense buddies at the speed of light. We should stay there forever. Stop worrying and go spend your money on imported plastic junk. I want to sent special thanks to all the Democrats in Congress for failing to enforce the will of the American people who elected you in January. We couldn't have done it without you.

XOXOXO

-Andy

There we go; that was too easy.

5 On September 8, 2007 at 7:56 AM, Dave wrote —

Not as easy as thought: His first name is David.

BTW: Great hole in the head graphic.

Thought Theater at Blogged

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