Marine Gen. Peter Pace and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates insist that the increase in Iraqi civilian and US military deaths is not a sign of failure. It stands to reason that this would be true if preventing violence in Iraq was not a goal of the occupation.
“If you had zero violence and people were not feeling good about their future, where are you?” said Pace, emphasizing that the sentiment of the Iraqi people is a much better measurement than the number of attacks. “So it’s not about levels of violence. It’s about progress being made, in fact, in the minds of the Iraqi people, so that they have confidence in their government in the way forward.”
You see, according to Pace, the Iraqis prefer to be DYING and feel bad about their future, as opposed to NOT DYING and feeling bad about their future. That’s the beauty of measuring progress in the absence of all benchmarks. Progress is anything you want it to be. No wonder they think the surge is working.