Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Missing Benchmarks
by Lee

Why, with these guys running things, victory is just around the corner.  Again.

The Iraqi government has failed to meet the vast majority of political and military goals laid out by lawmakers to assess President Bush’s Iraq war strategy, congressional auditors have determined.

The Associated Press has learned the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, will report that at least 13 of the 18 benchmarks to measure the surge of U.S. troops to Iraq are unfulfilled ahead of a September 15 deadline. That’s when Bush is to give a detailed accounting of the situation eight months after he announced the policy, according to three officials familiar with the matter.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the report has not been made public, also said the administration is preparing a case to play down the findings, arguing that Congress ordered the GAO to use unfair, “all or nothing” standards when compiling the document.

Plus, Bush can always blame this on the weakness of the American people.  Liberalism, not enough grit, all that stuff.  We’re pussies.

An internal White House memorandum, prepared to respond to the GAO findings, says the report will claim the Iraqis have failed on at least 13 benchmarks. It also says the criteria lawmakers set for the report allow no room to report progress, only absolute success or failure.

The memo argues that the GAO will not present a “true picture” of the situation in Iraq because the standards were “designed to lock in failure,” according to portions of the document read to the AP by an official who has seen it.

What an astounding coincidence.  The entire war plan was also “designed to lock in failure.” Or, should I say, the complete, total, and utter lack of any sort of plan what to do once Saddam’s army fell. If you want to see why Iraq is a failure, there’s your answer.  That and, of course, the wussiness and lack of grit of the American people.  It’s that damn librul media, don’t you know.

Posted by Lee on 08/30/07 at 10:10 AM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by on 08/30/07 at 10:33 AM from United States

So the GAO isn’t even going to wait until Gen. Petraeus makes his assessment before Congress? 

Lee, I know you’re frustrated, but I’m getting sick and fucking tired of government officials who feel the need to leak shit to a media who has been hostile to all of our operations since day 1 (OEF included) and is looking for any excuse to undermine the mission.  If Gen. Petraeus says in his report to Congress that despite the surge, things are not being accomplished and there is no hope of them being accomplished, I can accept that and his recommendations.  What I can’t accept is some piece of shit govt bureaucrat doing his or level best to cut Petraeus off at the knees and give Congressional Democrats ammunition to throw in his face beforehand.

Criticize bush’s handling of the war all you wish (Lord knows it’s deserved), but I can’t see this as anything other than a baldly cynical attempt to trash the surge that, even according to dedicated anti-war media overseas, seems to be yielding real results.

Posted by John Cross on 08/30/07 at 10:48 AM from United States

HL, I completely agree with your post.  This news report was instigated by these congressional bureaucrats for the sole purpose of politically attacking the Iraq War...and these bureaucrats knew it fit the media’s template on the war, so they knew it would be run.

Posted by Lee on 08/30/07 at 11:10 AM from United States

HL, I completely agree with your post.  This news report was instigated by these congressional bureaucrats for the sole purpose of politically attacking the Iraq War...and these bureaucrats knew it fit the media’s template on the war, so they knew it would be run.

Yes, yes, it’s the media conspiracy at wotk!  The GAO wants to see us defeated, so they’re leaking parts of the report.

You know what else got leaked?  The White House memo where they’re already preparing to call the GAO report bullshit. 

Wow, you mean the White House leaks things too?  Good sweet merciful fuck, when did this start happening?

Posted by Para on 08/30/07 at 11:50 AM from United States

From what I have heard some of the benchmarks that are currently being missed are partially complete, but being given a failing grade by the GAO, as that is how the benchmarks were specifically written as a go/no-go rating criteria.

For example, one benchmark might have called for 110,000 new police officers. The Iraqi Government could have signed up 94,000 new officers, which would score them an “A” if they were taking an algebra test, the the pass/fail criteria is all-or-nothing, which makes assesment of the situation confusion. I’m sure the Good General will discuss this next month and and put a perspective on this.

I’d like to offer a challenge to you Lee. If the General makes the case for continuing to persue victory in Iraq, will you accept his assesment and join me on the “let’s win this thing” side?

I will state that if the General says it’s over, it’s over and will join you on the “let’s quit while we still can” side. 

Whaddya say?

Posted by Lee on 08/30/07 at 11:56 AM from United States

I’d like to offer a challenge to you Lee. If the General makes the case for continuing to persue victory in Iraq, will you accept his assesment and join me on the “let’s win this thing” side?

It depends.  I have no doubt that, given the right amount of time and money, we could achieve something resembling “victory.” The problem is the cost/benefit analysis.  How many more lives will it cost?  How much more money?  There are countless other factors involved.

So, if the general says that we should press on, it’s like a doctor telling a patient that there is a cure for the disease which ails him.  The problem is that the cure is agonizingly painful.  So we have to decide whether the cure is worse than the disease.

Posted by on 08/30/07 at 03:08 PM from United States

The latest “ National Intelligence Estimate” was published (not leaked as it is a matter of public record) last weak.  From the report:

“The Iraqi government will become “more precarious” over the next six to 12 months and its security forces, while showing some improvement, still cannot function without outside help

Iraq’s sectarian groups have yet to reconcile and al Qaida in Iraq is still able to conduct deadly—and highly visible—attacks.

Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively

The intelligence report says that the Iraqi Security Forces, working alongside the United States, have performed “adequately.” However, it also says they haven’t shown enough improvement to conduct operations without U.S. and coalition forces, and are still reliant on others for key support.

A sudden U.S. withdrawal, the report predicts, would lead to a flare up of sectarian violence and would “paralyze the [Iraqi] government."”

Congreeman Tom Lantos (who incidently chairs a number of high profile committees in the House) was on record in this mornings paper as saying in essence that it don’t matter what Petreaus says next month, he wants the troops out now, and will disregard any reports to the contrary.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/30/07 at 04:00 PM from United States

Regardless of what the Republican candidates might say now, realistically they’re going to be working on some kind of a pullout if one of them gets elected if they want to have any hope of getting reelected in 2012. I think it will happen because these guys are not like Bush-they won’t have that “Come hell or high water” attitude that he does. In other words, I think (at least I’m hoping) that the next Republican president will be a realist, unlike our current lamest of history’s lame ducks.

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