At least 200 people died after four suicide truck bombers struck nearly simultaneously in Iraq on Tuesday. At least 300 more people were injured by the blasts, which were targeted primarily against members of a small Kurdish sect – the Yazidis – who some Muslims consider infidels. I never had much faith that the surge would work, simply because the idea struck me as, “too little, too late.” Apparently, a lot of folks in Britain, our closest ally, don’t have too much faith in the surge either, with the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee writing:
“It is too early to provide a definitive assessment of the U.S. ‘surge’ but it does not look likely to succeed. Success will ultimately ride on whether Iraq’s politicians are able to reach agreement on a number of key issues.”
And ultimately, any “success” in Iraq is going to come not through the use of sheer force, but through the sheer force of will of the Iraqi government. Sure, our troops can continue to attempt to secure the nation, but if the Iraqi government can’t get its collective act together and start governing, then all the U.S. soldiers in the world ultimately won’t make a difference.
I’m anxious to hear General Petraeus’ testimony to Congress, since his testimony will probably be the public’s best chance to hear a relatively unvarnished accounting for how successful the surge has really been, especially given recent news that the White House is going to write the official assessment on the surge. I just hope reports that White House wants to block public testimony in Congress next month from war commander General David Petraeus and US ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker are not true, because the American public deserves nothing less than a full accounting of the Iraqi surge from the man directly responsible for implementing that surge.