Bush Administration spokesperson General Petraeus and his sidekick Ryan Crocker CrockObull are headed back to Washington again today with those gorgeous graphs to fool Congress give Congress an update on the 6 month no 1 year no, ah hell, the never ending surge. They will, of course, say everything is going fantastic with the surge and they only need another Freidman Unit 6 months just to make sure.
That brings me back to the title of this post. What ever happened to the 18 benchmarks? You know, the ones our glorious pathetic leader Bush told us about in his State of the Union address on January 23, 2007 justifying his surge "New Way Forward" in Iraq.

America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.

Lest we forget, here are the benchmarks...
1. Perform constitutional review.
2. Enact de-Ba'athification reform.
3. Implement oil legislation.
4. Form semi-autonomous regions.
5. Hold provincial elections.
6. Address amnesty.
7. Disarm militias.
8. Establish support for Baghdad Security Plan.
9. Provide military support in Baghdad.
10. Empower Iraqi Security Forces.
11. Ensure impartial law enforcement.
12. Establish support for Baghdad Security Plan by Maliki government.
13. Reduce sectarian violence.
14. Establish neighborhood security in Baghdad.
15. Increase independent Iraqi Security Forces.
16. Ensure minority rights in Iraqi legislature.
17. Distribute Iraqi resources equitably.
18. Keep Iraqi Security Forces free from partisan interference.

Fifteen months later we are no closer to meeting these benchmarks than the day the "SURGE" started three Friedman Units ago. Well then, what was the purpose of the surge you ask? Bush/Cheney/McCain have changed the goal post so many times it is hard to remember. Which is exactly what they are hoping for.
The ORIGINAL excuse purpose of the surge was to provide the "breathing space" for political reconciliation to occur. Yet three Friedman Units 18 months later, political progress has been scant, and what progress has been made is not durable. The Iraqis have not made the difficult political compromises necessary for national reconciliation, and an indefinite U.S. presence in the region will not inspire them to do so. Despite the best efforts of our military men and women in creating a temporary lull in violence, substantial advancement toward a sustainable and independent Iraq has not been made.
The only success has been that slight but temporary decrease in violence in Iraq. But even that has less to do with the SURGE and more to do with the temporary cease fire called by Moktada al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army AND the briefcases full of money we give to the various militias each month so they don't attack us.
This is progress? We are no better off now then we were in 2005. The real questions Petraeus needs to answer..
1. Have the results of the SURGE been worth the lives of the 1000 Americans who died during this time?
2. Have the results of the SURGE been worth the 120 Billion dollars it has cost?
3. Have the results of the SURGE been worth the crippling of our military infrastructure?
4. Is the Iraq government any closer to meeting the benchmarks NOW than 2 years ago?
But do you really think Bush, Cheney, McCain and Petraeus give a damn?

Link to source-webpage by couchmouse, obtained via: Couchmouses Corner, April 21, 2008, 10:22am


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    Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration.

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