Whatever Happened To “Success” In Iraq?

A few years ago, the famous General Petraeus, hero of subduing terrorism in Baghdad announced the Bush “surge” had ended violence in the capital. Petraeus soon became enshrined in the conservative Hall of Fame for his tremendous success in Iraq. Rush and Glenn and Fox News soon proclaimed Petraeus as among the great American generals in history. I gather defeating a few hundred terrorists in A city is comparable to heading the invasion of France. Within the past week, two checkpoints in Baghdad were attacked by al-Qaeda, in one assault, 16 security soldiers were killed, in another at least five were murdered. Scarcely a day goes by without a story about bombings, dead bodies strewn around, men and women clutching dead children, and scant signs the “surge” has attained the goals proclaimed by former President Bush. Violence levels have decreased from 2007 levels, but they continue. In Sadr City, a soldier was killed and seven wounded. In Hurriyah, a bomb blew up the car of a major in the Iraq army.

Yes, General Petraeus did an excellent job of reducing violence, but the operative word is, “reduce,” not “end.” Once American troops leave we can expect constant bombings and deaths. I guess we will have to find another word or expression to use instead of “surge.”