Dead on arrival

The David Patraeus report must be the only one in history to be consigned to garbage bin of irrelevancy a month before being delivered. In the space of one day, the White House did a complete reversal from it’s position that Patraeus would not testify before Congress to agreeing that he would. The American public have already given it the thumbs down and who could blame them?

Not only has it been revealed that the report will be authored by the White House (not David Patraeus), but now it has been revealed that the White House will exploit this much-hyped “report” as an opportunity to drum up fear and further demonise Iran.

The public is undoubtedly becoming more than a little jaded with these White House bait and switch operations.

First, the president told us Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. It didn’t. Then, he told us the “mission was accomplished.” It wasn’t. Then, he told us that as the Iraqis stood up, our troops would stand down. They didn’t. Then he toured the country, saying he had a “plan for victory.” He didn’t. Now we learn that the objective report from our top general on whether our latest tactics are failing won’t be objective.

Patraeus’ own plan stipulates that the surge cannot succeed without political reconciliation.…  After the Sunni parties withdrew from the Iraqi government earlier this month, President Jalal Talabani called an emergency political summit that was widely viewed as the last chance to maintain even a semblance of political comity between Shiites and Sunnis. Marc Lynch reports that it didn’t work:

Al-Arabiya is reporting that the emergency political summit of Iraq’s leaders has failed to produce even nominal political reconciliation. This is a devastating outcome for the Maliki government and for those Americans who hoped to have some political progress to show in the upcoming Crocker/Petraeus report. There’s no other way to spin this: this summit was billed as the last chance, and it has failed.

….I thought there was at least a chance that they would cobble something together out of desperation and find ways to lure the Sunni parties back in….They did not. Instead, Talabani announced the formation of a new four party coalition in support of the current government without any Sunni representation. What’s left is a government stripped to its sectarian bas — the two Kurdish parties and the two major Shia parties — and a world of political hurt.

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