The thousands of extra US troops pumped into Iraq this year are aiding security, the US Army’s former commander there said Tuesday, as yet more bloody bombings were reported in the war-torn nation.
“Our guys are seeing progress on the security front,” General George Casey told reporters here after a weekend visit to Iraq. “The surge is having the intended military effect.”
Within hours of his comments, at least 200 people were reported killed and more than 200 wounded when four suicide truck bombs targeted people from an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq.
Ten US soldiers were also reported killed Tuesday, five of them in insurgent attacks and five in a helicopter crash.
“For the time I was there, there was progress in Iraq every day … and there continues to be progress,” the general said.
“What remains to be seen is whether the Iraqis can take advantage of the opportunity and create the political accommodation that it’s going to take to succeed.”
The US-led invasion that toppled former dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 has left in its wake a vicious sectarian conflict between rival religious and ethnic communities which has seen Iraq ravaged by insurgent violence.
Bombings and shootings have left tens of thousands of civilians dead and the US military has lost 3,694 personnel, according to the latest AFP count based on Pentagon figures.
Some 1.5 million refugees have flooded into neighboring Syria.
Amid the carnage, Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is struggling to hold together a unity government as representatives of a key Sunni bloc have stormed out, protesting that he has failed to bridge sectarian differences.
In a bid to stem the bloodshed, the government of US President George W. Bush began sending 30,000 extra troops from January to secure parts of Iraq including the capital Baghdad.
“As complex and as difficult and as confusing as you may find Iraq … we can succeed there. And we will succeed there if we demonstrate patience and will,” Casey said Tuesday.
Democrats failed in their last bid to pressure Bush into setting a timetable for withdrawing US troops. But he faces a possible turning point next month when the US commander in Iraq David Petraeus and the US ambassador there, Ryan Crocker, report to Congress on the effectiveness of the surge.
Asked whether the army would be ready to withdraw if Congress succeeded in imposing a pull-out date, Casey insisted “we’ll be prepared to do what we need to do.”
“They have an educated population. They have oil wealth. They have water. They have some of the most fertile land that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “In a decade or so this will be a remarkable country — if we stick with it.”
Tuesday’s bombings targeted the minority Yazidi community in two villages of the northern province of Nineveh. Between them they amounted to one of the bloodiest single incidents of the war.
19 thoughts on “General claims troop surge is working”
Hairy Reed & Nancette Pelosi are the opposition party, but opposed to what, opposed to sticking their necks out despite polls worsening for Bush just shy of Nixons lowest poll points, except Bush has been at this low for an extended period of several weeks where as Nixon was just at the low point for a week before he resigned.
Hairy & Nancette (Double Wimp Twins), the opposition to the Chimps War is overwhelming, we are sick of your abject fear of your own pale shadows.
Didnt they used to say we were winning in vietnam? Some things never change.
Just read on (msn.com) deadlist bombing since start of Iraq war, actually (illegal occuptaion started by a f**king moron what-a-be dictator)… up to 500 dead and 350 wounded.
So Mr. General sir, what do you say about that? You Goddam piece of bush ass kissing son of bitch. As I said earlier, your ticket to hell is awaiting you.
“Veterans should be ashamed of this crop of “high level thinkers”, whose primary interest is in “career protection” rather than doing the right thing for the troops”
Truly a superb indictment VietNamVet…! I know these guys, my brothers know these guys, and to put it succinctly they are operating in the ozone! There’s an old saying that nothing corrupts as absolute power and absolute power corrupts absolutely!
Although many of the General staff are not at the peak of their “possibilities”, these driven, career types for the most part could care less about casualties, body count etc. They are following the path of MacArthur, Westmoreland, et. al. that finally get to the point they are wearing “make-up” to look good in public… :)) Their Generalship has developed a “life of it’s own”…! They’ve become media personalities. Some even have media agents…?! :))
As SEAL stated, you have to draw the line. If you rise too highly in the ranks, you lose your ability to truly protect your turf and your men, then the job becomes one of “suck-up” political proportions!
As I study Casey’s photo supplied with this article…Casey looks intense and “crazed”! I think he needs to “chill” otherwise he’s headed for heart attack city… 😐 I guess they’ve found a “duty chump” that serves their needs. They’l use him just like Kleenex; ie., “snort ‘n chuck”… 😐
Carl Nemo **==
the number now exceed 580 dead
Several things come to mind. First, after firing generals who wouldn’t give him the answers he wanted, Bush found a couple who will. I don’t trust any of them to say anything other than to support the Bush policy. Second, I keep hearing about this attack, and that attack, and how many killed, so don’t tell me how successful it has been. If you have to make it an armed camp, defended by thousands of troops, what have you accomplished? Third, and most important, in the 2006 election, we told Bush and the Republican party that enough was enough, especially this invasion and occupation of Iraq. That means the end, period. There is to be no more of ‘just a few more months, just a few thousand more troops, etc, etc’. We have decided it’s over. This is SOP for Bush in his life, keep extending the game until something turns up, the opposition gets tired of the game, someone bails him out, or in this case, he ends his term and it’s someone else’s problem.
RE: Having been one of “them” by SEAL on August 15, 2007 – 5:58pm
Excuse me for another post on this subject, but SEAL hits the nail right on the head. I applaud him for speaking up and his efforts to get some media attention. I believe that the failure to “tell it like it is” by this top brass are as much responsible for an untold number of deaths, Iraqis and of course our own, just as much as the bullets and bombs there. Shame on them!
Having been one of “them” I am acutely aware of how political being a military officer is. That is why, when I acheived the position of being able to control my own little corner of the Navy and protect my guys from the brass, I refused any more promotion. The next step was Admiral (General) and that is where it becomes all political. No, thank you very much. I’m a warrior, not a politition.
However, I am dismayed at the level of fear that exists at the top level of our military corp that causes them to outright lie for this “commander in disbelief” they serve.
The primary duty of the joint chiefs is to tell the president like it is so that he can make good decisions for them to carry out. But this regime works backwards. The decision is given first and then the chiefs tell it to support president Magoo’s continued march through the minefield.
As a warrior, the most diturbing thing to me is the top brass failing to do what they have to do to provide the troops in the field with the absolute best equipment and support groups. That goes against everything in the military heart and mind. It destroys morale. And it rips the guts right out of the field officers to watch their men die when it could have been prevented with the proper equipment.
This is not the military I served in. I keep waitng for some officer to finally explode and go public. I would have a long time ago. When Jon Murtha unloaded on them I thought, hoped, some of the officers would back him up. But they kept silent. If I could, I would reactivate and go to Iraq just to issue a public condemnation.
I offered to issue a statement to the press and was turned down with the excuse that I was not there, now, so my opinion would have no real news value. What I was makes that excuse bullshit. So, the Internet is my only forum.
How bad does it have to get before the Army stands up to this incompetent madman? Since when does career take precedence over human life? When did that happen? I never got the memo.
This post is in relation to my previous post regarding General Casey titled “The General’s Prime Interest.” I just read this posted on CNN news:
“The Tuesday attacks, which targeted Kurdish villages of the Yazidi religious minority, were attempts to “break the will” of the American people and show that the U.S. troop escalation — the “surge” — is failing, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon said.”
This, again, just proves that these top Generals will say anything to preserve their careers. The American people have already had their “will broken” as shown by all the polls. Depending on the poll consulted, between 65 and 70 percent of the people are now AGAINST this war, and the attacks that this article relates to also proves that the so called “surge” is, in fact, NOT producing the results originally claimed. The only positive results we are hearing about are from these top Generals, who are certainly far from un-biased, and a few of those long time warmongers in the MSM. Look for the September report, by General Petraeus, and the Ambassador to paint an equally positive picture. Neither are un-biased sources. Any report should be done by an independant group, not by a major commander, all of which simply want to feather their own nest!
Added: The generals claim it was Al Qaeda; Maliki says it was Sunnis. I guess even the General doesn’t know what he is talking about?
“Working” is a funny thing to say. If you listen to Casey carefully, he’s saying that “it might take ten years.” Might the surge work by then, through another two terms of the next president? Maybe. And how many trillions will it cost us? And what if it doesn’t work, which, frankly, I don’t think it would. What do we do after the dead pass 10,000? 20,000? Four or five trillion dollars spent?
My suggestion is very simple. Move to have another vote in Iraq, January 1. A referendum. “Do you want the armed forces of the United States to leave Iraq?” I think Congress should insist on that. Once the answer came in, and all the polls show that it would get an 80% LEAVE vote, then there would be no more controversy, and no further justification for our boys and girls to stay.
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