Commenter Anne over at The Carpetbagger Report had this to say this morning:
“So…we’ve reached the point where whatever we are being told about the occupation – from death rates to numbers of car bombings – is not to be trusted, and should probably be viewed as little more than propaganda designed to make the average person believe that things are going in the right direction. All of this is in advance of the long-anticipated September report, which now appears will be written by an administration that has already shown that it views information, intelligence and hard facts as equivalent to items on a buffet menu, and they need only choose those bits that make whatever point they are currently trying to sell.
“While I would never suggest that we should ever accept without question everything the government tells us, it is still a sad day when it has reached the point where we cannot believe anything they tell us. We can’t trust the FDA to keep us safe from bad drugs and bad food, we can’t trust the EPA to keep us safe from pollutants in the air, in the water or in the ground, we can’t trust the mine-safety people to actually make sure the mines are safe, we can’t trust road and bridge infrastructure, can’t trust the toys and other goods we import, can’t trust the Department of Justice to be fair in its administration of justice, can’t trust that we won’t be disappeared to a black-site prison to be tortured and never seen again, we have no expectation of privacy in our phone calls and e-mails, and we cannot trust one word these people utter about what is going on in Iraq. Not one.
“Who do we trust? Are our choices soon to be between totalitarianism and anarchy? I’m sorry, but neither of those is my country, and I am angry and frustrated that it has been allowed to get to this point.”
I'm with Anne. Her comment was made in response to the news that in spite of the huge, multiple car bombings in Iraq yesterday that had, at last count, killed 250 people dead and injured some 500 more, “U.S. officials” say that the number of civilian casualties in the Iraqi capitol (they’re only counting Baghdad, it seems) were down by a whopping 50 percent in July. They’re not counting yet this month at all, I guess.
McClatchy Newspapers called the official on their numbers-fudging, pointing out the fact that
“... U.S. officials declined to provide specific numbers, and statistics gathered by McClatchy Newspapers don’t support the claim.
“The number of car bombings in July actually was 5 percent higher than the number recorded last December, according to the McClatchy statistics, and the number of civilians killed in explosions is about the same.”
Along with this lovely news, as Anne notes we now learn that the Great Gen. Petraeus’s report on the success or failure of Bush’s petulant “surge”in the war, which we were told he’d be writing up to present to Americans in September, will actually be written by the Bush administration itself. The general will only provide the data. He won’t even actually present it.
The Bushies will buffet-browse the general’s data and present us with a greasy fried-chicken, mac & cheese and soft-ice-cream-with-sprinkles Super Surge Meal to keep us gorged and quiet. It’ll be tasty but filled with empty calories and cancer-causing chemicals, and most Americans won’t notice until they’re too bloated to move.
Does anyone really think the Bushwhacked report won’t tell us to keep being patient, that progress is being made, and that it will continue to be made as long as we don’t rock the boat?
I think it’s important that we not forget that the “surge” was not being discussed at all prior to the November 2006 elections; in fact, Americans were calling, more and more loudly, for a withdrawal of troops from the catastrophic war BushCo started in Iraq. It was also clear in November 2006 that the American military was strained to its limits and was starting to break down. That was (and still is) a problem so dire in consequences that to ignore it is more than foolish, it’s suicidal. Finally, the war’s cost in American and Iraqi lives, not to mention national treasure, was already astronomically high.
And so, with the election, American voters told the Bush administration and Congress in no uncertain terms that it was high time to remedy the situation. We wanted America out of Iraq. We were disgusted and angry. We were determined to force changes in America’s leadership and our country’s slow spiral down the toilet hole of history. We were successful.
But in response, the Bush administration blew us a great big raspberry, thumbed its nose and announced the “surge.” Instead of starting a drawdown, Bush coldly ordered tens of thousands more soldiers into the battle in Iraq. He told us after the fact.
At the time, I saw it as a kind of punishment from this moronically evil president to the people who’d had the temerity to insult him and attempt to start cleaning up the horrible mess he’d made. I could almost hear him saying, “They want their kids and spouses home safe from the war? Well hell, they’re not the boss of ME! I’ll show ‘em – I’ll just send even more soldiers over there -- and not only that, I’ll make ‘em all stay there even longer, and give ‘em even less time to rest up between deployments! Pansies! And just in case the damned People didn’t get my message, I’ll just keep on underfunding the VA and let the wounded rot once they’re back home. Hah! The people think they can tell me what to do? Screw ‘em all! Suuuuuurge!”
The new Democratically-controlled Congress, on which we’d placed all our hopes, gawped, stuck their thumbs up their butts and did nothing to stop him. They complained that their new majority wasn’t major enough. They couldn’t do a darned thing about the situation. Sorry about that, America.
Since then they’ve made it clear that they can’t or won’t do anything about anything, except wring their hands and whine a lot so we’ll think they’re busy. They make vague threats they don’t follow through with. Naturally, BushCo just sneers at them, and why not? No one’s going to make them accountable. And so now the CW is that if we want to see our soldiers home from Iraq, we’ll just have to wait until Bush’s term in office ends and hope to hell that a Democrat is elected president in his place.
But will having a Democratic president in the White House make a difference? I’m beginning to think it won’t. America is too far gone.