What part of the surge is supposed to be working?

By every measure, the surge appears to have failed.

The violence across Iraq has gone up, not down.

The U.S. military‘s claim that violence has decreased sharply in Iraq in recent months has come under scrutiny from many experts within and outside the government, who contend that some of the underlying statistics are questionable and selectively ignore negative trends.

The Iraqi government is on the verge of collapse, and along with the fact that the US is backing Sunni insurgents opposed to a Shiite government, there goes any hope of reconciliation.

The confidential version of Congress’ Congressional Research Report on Iraq declares that Iraq’s government is “in collapse,” according to the New York Daily News’ James Meek, who first acquired the report.

Americans continue to kill Iraqi civilians, thereby winning hearts and minds.

US combat helicopters and tanks bombarded a Baghdad neighbourhood in pre-dawn strikes on Thursday, killing 14 sleeping civilians and destroying houses, angry residents and Iraqi officials said.

I guess this is what Bush meant by kicking ass in Iraq.

Fallujah, held up by Bush as a success of the surge, is only quiet because it has been all but destroyed.

A brave new attempt is under way to project that all is well now with Fallujah. Residents know better — or worse.

Former Iraqi minister of state for foreign affairs Rafi al-Issawi visited Fallujah, 60 km west of Baghdad, Aug. 22. Issawi, who resigned Aug. 1 when the Sunni Iraqi Accord Front withdrew from the government, visited the city with other members of the Sunni Accordance Bloc, al-Tawafuq.

The group toured the city and met with senior officials and community leaders in a show of conversion of the city from the most violent to the most peaceful in Iraq.

As for the surge, even the soldiers aren’t buying it.

Even US soldiers assigned to protect General Petraeus’s showcase remain sceptical. “Personally, I think it’s a false representation,” Staff Sergeant Campbell said, referring to the portrayal of the Dora market as an emblem of the surge’s success. “But what can I say? I’m just doing my job and don’t ask questions.”

Of course, there is always the possibility that success is being measured by the Bush administration metric of failing upwards.

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