Today outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine General Peter Pace dismissed as inappropriate a transparent and easily measured metric of success of the Bush Iraq surge in favor of a metric which is difficult to gauge and can easily be manipulated by BushCo.
"If you try to define this in terms of level of violence, you've really put yourself on the wrong metric. It isn't about X number today, Y number tomorrow, because the enemy gets a chance to vote in that," Pace said. "The metric really should be for Iraqi citizens. Do they feel better about their lives today than they did yesterday? And do they think they're going to feel better about their lives tomorrow than they do today?"Thank goodness we have McClatchy to report on the state of Iraq. They give us a bit of essential background on this new metric.
The Pentagon's most recent assessment contained two gauges of Iraqi sentiment toward their government. In one, 58 percent of Iraqis said they had confidence in the Iraqi government to improve the situation. That number has held relatively stable for the past year, the report said.
The other asked Iraqis if they have confidence in the Iraqi government's ability to protect them from "threat." The report said 50 percent answered affirmatively in April, vs. 48 percent in December.
The number, however, showed wide variation by sect. In areas dominated by Shiites, whose political parties also dominate the government, 80 percent of respondents or more said yes. In Sunni areas, almost no respondents said yes.
Pace didn't say whether he thought those specific measures were the ones that should be used to measure the surge's success.
The truth of the matter is that BushCo has no intention of exiting Iraq and discussions of metrics of success are only so much window dressing. I also doubt that W or Deadeye give a damn whether we think that they are lying to us about measuring the success of the surge. However, Gen. Patraeus had careful cultivated good press during his career, just as Colin Powell had during his, and he is likely very concerned about the destruction of his reputation at the hands of BushCo. So then,it may be Patraeus to whom Pace is giving this fig leaf.
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