I could swear I have heard such words before ... now where was it ... hmmm ... oh yeah, it was that increasingly unpopular unnecessary war we started, and are still suffering through.
Senator Joe Lieberman just made a suprise visit to Iraq where he's once again claiming (as he did last year, and the year before that) that "progress is being made", and I suppose he's right if he means progressively more people are dying, both American and Iraqi.
As the Wall Street Journal noted today:
Can the Iraq 'Surge' Be Salvaged?As Violence Seems to Outpace Progress, Officials Talk of Next StepsBy GREG JAFFE and YOCHI J. DREAZEN
WASHINGTON -- When the Bush administration decided to send tens of thousands of additional troops to Iraq, the strategy rested on an unspoken trade-off: U.S. troops would risk greater casualties to tamp down violence and buy the Baghdad government time to make the political compromises needed to reconcile the country's warring factions.
But a resurgence of sectarian violence and attacks on U.S. troops, coupled with little to no progress on crucial Iraqi political goals, is already spurring discussion about whether the current strategy can succeed.
The article goes on to note, the roughly 120 US troop deaths this month (a figure which doesn't include yesterday or today) is the worst single month since the 2004 fighting in Fallujah, and I believe the third-worst month on record. Since the onset of the surge, casualties for US soldiers have risen steadily. However, the military has an explanation for that -- we have more troops, and they are patrolling more actively, so they are more often in harm's way. Fair enough, that makes sense.
However, there is supposed to be a trade-off for this increase in American deaths and injuries -- all the extra soldiers and extra patrols are supposed to make Baghdad, at least, a safer place for the Iraqi populace, and buy time for the government to come to some sort of agreement on various issues. Unfortunately, as the WSJ article also notes, that ain't happening. The number of unidentified corpses found this month and attributed to sectarian violence is up at least 25% from January. The Iraqi government is no closer to resolving its divisions.
There's still three more months until September, when the awaited assessment from General Petreus is due. Three long, hot, dry, dusty summer months which I don't expect will do a lot to help cool off the simmering tensions. No matter how often Baghdad Joe throws on the pantyhose and does his little song-and-dance routine in an attempt to lighten the mood, the only progress we seem to be making in Iraq is in the wrong direction.