Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), returning from a visit this week to Iraq along with his pro-escalation partner Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), offered the following assessment of the situation in Iraq:
“The military part of the surge is working beyond my expectations,” Graham said. “We literally have the enemy on the run. The Sunni part of Iraq has really rejected al-Qaida all over the country. We’re getting more information about al-Qaida operations than we’ve ever received.”
Graham isn’t the only proponent of the military surge who is now desperately spinning reality in order to maintain the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) also contended recently that the escalation has the enemy “on the run.”
Even while parts of Baghdad are calmer today than a few months ago, “the death toll among civilians does not appear to have immediately fallen since the [surge] began. From June 20 to Thursday, 472 civilians died in attacks in Baghdad, a dip of 2 percent from the previous 16-day period, according to a tally collected by the Associated Press from daily reports by Iraqi security and hospital officials.”
As the events in Iraq have demonstrated time and again over the past four years, temporary lulls are always followed by greater spikes in violence. Today, for instance, Reuters reports from Baghdad:
Car bombs and mortar attacks killed 50 people in Iraq, police and local officials said on Saturday, while the U.S. military said six of its soldiers had been killed in the past two days. … The fresh violence follows a lull in Iraq, where tens of thousands of U.S. and Iraqi troops are on the offensive against insurgents in a bid to halt a slide into sectarian civil war.
In his last trip to Iraq, Graham offered this sign of success in Iraq. “We went to the market and were just really warmly welcomed. I bought five rugs for five bucks. And people were engaging,” he said. His comedic analysis was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.