"SOTU: Bush’s Surge Has Not Worked"
Bush said: “While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just 1 year ago.”
FACT — VIOLENCE IS DOWN, BUT TROOPS ARE STILL DYING IN IRAQ: A roadside bomb killed five American soldiers today in Mosul, taking to “36 the number of soldiers killed in Iraq this month, up from 23 in December.” [Reuters, 1/28/08]
FACT — IRAQI GOVERNMENT HAS ONLY FULLY MET 3 OF 18 POLITICAL BENCHMARKS:The purpose of the surge was to provide the “breathing space” for political reconciliation to occur. But the Iraqi government has only met three of the 18 benchmarks laid out last year. [Center for American Progress, 1/24/08]
FACT — DE-BAATHIFICATION IS NOT TRUE POLITICAL RECONCILIATION: The de-Baathification law “could actually exclude more former Baathists than it lets back in,” and the “law could set off a new purge of ex-Baathists.” Barely 150 members of the 275-seat parliament attended the session. [NY Times, 1/14/08; Washington Post, 1/22/08; LA Times, 1/13/08]
FACT — VIOLENCE MAY INCREASE IF SADR REVOKES CEASE FIRE: “Influential members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s movement have urged the anti-U.S. Shiite cleric not to extend a cease-fire when it expires next month, officials said Monday, a move that could jeopardize recent security gains.” [AP, 1/28/08]