Al Qaeda, the Surge, and Rewritten Realities: Staking The Monstrous Myths Before They Solidify
I've noticed that nobody is calling the pundits and traditional media out on their statements of myth as fact -- myths like:
- the Surge worked
- we've 'defeated' Al Qaeda in Iraq
C'mon, folks -- don't let the spinmeisters and liemasters succeed in rewriting reality to further pollute history. If you don't want to call 'em out on their b.s. directly, simply make it a habit to restate and correct their b.s. on the fly and then continue making your point.
Don't let them ingrain their b.s. into the collective consciousness.
These are the facts and realities:
- The Surge failed. Period. It was a change in strategy that our commanders on the ground made that enabled us to take advantage of the situation with regard to paying local militants to help fight against the insurgency. The Pentagon said this pretty clearly, in direct contrast to the Bush White House.
- WE are THE REASON for 'Al Qaeda in Iraq'. Al Qaeda wasn't there before we invaded; afterward, we had to create a special nomenclature called "Al Qaeda in Iraq" to describe the establishment of a foothold that waltzed in across the unsecured borders our "fearless" (clueless) former CiC and his mass minions were responsible for; it was their idiocy and mismanagement of a misguided, illegal invasion -- totally disregarding our military's seasoned leaders -- that led to the introduction of 'Al Qaeda in Iraq' in the first place.
So there it is. The actual reality: the Bush-spawned "surge" strategy failed, but our military commanders succeeded in developing and implementing another strategy that succeeded. And the subsequent "defeat" of the "Al Qaeda in Iraq" faction, which we were responsible for letting into Iraq in the first place, had nothing to do with the Surge or anti-terrorism efforts, but resulted partly from the efforts of the strategy our military leaders on the ground came up with outside of BushCheney's idiocy, working in conjunction with the people in Iraq who simply didn't like or support "Al Qaeda in Iraq" anyway:
The success we're seeing today in Iraq has nothing to do with rooting out terrorist cells. What we're seeing instead is a shriveling of grassroots support, Sunni Muslims turning against al-Qaeda and its messianic, dualistic way of looking at the world. It hasn't gone unnoticed in the Middle East that al-Qaeda has killed more Muslims than nonbelievers. Or that al-Qaeda has failed to take an inch of ground in the name of Islam. With this kind of record how could the Iraqis not turn against al-Qaeda?
The tendency will be to leave it at the lie: We fought and beat al-Qaeda in Iraq. But it's a lie we'll pay for later. By mischaracterizing the enemy in Iraq, we mischaracterize the enemy in Pakistan. Whether the car bomb that destroyed the Danish embassy in Pakistan on Monday was the work of an actual member of al-Qaeda or not does not matter — what does is that al-Qaeda's way of thinking is not defeated.
Allowing pundits and the traditional media off the hook, or -- worse -- simply taking the easy way out when discussing events and circumstances pertaining to the ongoing Middle East debacle is exactly what the Bush Legacy Team and the GOP want to see. It helps them ease the burden of spinning the worst, most disastrous and most corrupt Administration in history into something far less destructive. In short, it helps those most directly responsible for the worst crimes of the last decade to obscure their roles and further dodge accountability.
It also helps those who were less directly responsible but still accountable -- those non-GOP folks in Congress, many of which were Democrats, who didn't stand up against the raging madness -- to further dodge their responsibilities as well.
You don't have spend a lot of time or energy, you need not engage in finger pointing. Just speak the truth. And correct those little 'historically inaccurate adjustments' and shortcuts that others toss out, each and every time they laub one lazily into the field.
That's a responsibility we must assume, in order to ensure that we aren't going to roll over and let myths take root in our history.
Update: A good friend and resource pointed out that at least one example of what I'm railing against would be good, so here's an excerpt from Monday, 30 March 2009, Hardball with Chris Matthews:
MAY: Joe—Joe, every president...
MAY: ... inherits—inherits problems. And there‘s no question Obama has many of them.
CONASON: Well, he inherited a lot of problems.
MAY: But the good news is—and I hope you agree it‘s good news—is that Obama is saying, as far as Afghanistan‘s concerned, we‘re going to up the ante there. We‘re not going to be beaten by al Qaeda and the Taliban.
MAY: And we have beaten al Qaeda in Iraq.
MAY: And that‘s a good thing. And he‘s not going to let that go.
MATTHEWS: Thank you.
MAY: I hope you‘re—I hope you‘re on board with that.