The best analysis of what the surge really involves is by Michael Schwartz included here. We have mission creep, money creep, numbers creep, blame creep and time creep - all for a policy designed to escalate violence. Layer that in with the accusations against Iran that are so thin and misguided, the same half-truths we had before invading Iraq, one is forced to conclude an attack is already planned to the last detail and these are just the beginning of justifications being put forward for the announcement of commencement of bombing.
The Bottom Line: We are looking at desperate measures aimed at reversing the decline of American power in the Middle East. In all three areas designated by the surge plan, this desperation has led to the consideration of, or even the embrace of, more destructive strategies.Why are we still only getting the news and analysis in the mainstream media of those who were repeatedly wrong? How is this different than escalating in Vietnam after everyone knew the war was lost?
The immediate results on the ground already look disastrous in ways that -- though they shouldn't -- invariably seem to catch Americans officials off-guard. For instance, when they focus the limited forces available to them on Baghdad, the guerillas begin to look for less well guarded targets elsewhere as seems now to be happening in the city of Samarra. In addition, even the so far modest American incursions into Shia areas of the capital have had the horrifying effect of facilitating some of the most horrendous suicide car-bombings yet recorded....
Worse yet, in the confrontation with the Sadrists, the Bush administration appears to be edging toward search-and-destroy operations that will rubble-ize Shia neighborhoods; in the confrontation with Iran, it appears to be lurching toward a possible air assault on a remarkably wide range of targets inside that country, guaranteeing staggering levels of civilian casualties; in the confrontation with the Sunni insurgents, it is already mobilizing its ground and air power with the promise of the subsequent imposition of an extreme form of martial law. The hallmark of all these new strategies is the high level of destruction and mayhem they promise.
There is a larger pattern that should, by now, be clear in these developments, and all that have come before. The architects of American policy in the Middle East tend to keep escalating the level of brutality in search of a way to convince the Iraqis (and now the Iranians) that the only path that avoids indiscriminate slaughter is submission to a Pax Americana. Put another way, American policy in the Middle East has devolved into unadorned state terrorism.