Tuesday, July 24, 2007


The new Victory Caucus 2.0 is out. Nice graphics, good user face.

This page, on metrics, very good. In the sense of a geeky way. On the flip side it can make it all seem like a game (mini-general feeling), forgetting (watch some YouTube if you forget) these are bodies mutilated, beings screaming in broad daylight as their family friends are left as half of arms in their laps. Guys with electric drill holes in their skulls face down in the street.

The facts/interpretations scheme I love so well is so prominent. i.e. As much as the site is created and evidence is brought forth to pursue their own pov ("victory"), much of the "facts" on the page support an opposite conclusion (but I have to give credit for publishing info. that undercuts their own logic/strategy).

Notice the red and orange provinces (most attacks/day). Anbar, Salah-al Din, and Diyala, all majority Sunni in the orange. Baghdad where the cleansing is going on (and the car bombs in retaliation) in the red.

Also a lesser but still high level of violence in Baquba to the South--preview of the coming intra-Shia civil war. And Nineveh province where Kirkuk is, site of the growing Sunni-Kurdish violence. In other words, what exactly has fundamentally changed since the rise of the insurgency?

Electricity levels are down from last year, which are themselves still down from prior to the collapse of the Hussein regime.

What is so interesting is how victory is never defined. Rather lines like the following:
We support leaders who support victory.
We support victory in the war against radical Islamists. We supported the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and we believe victory is necessary in both countries for America's self-defense.
What I call 'victory as a strategy'. What do they mean by victory--concretely--as opposed to just a slogan?

The American Army isn't losing any battles in Iraq. It has been asked to do a job it simply can not do. Like blaming an electrician for not being able to fix your plumbing. There is no military solution as even Gen. Petraeus will admit.

What then is victory? What is victory in these post 9/11, post Cold War conflicts? How do we define it (number of baddies killed?) and how do we tell whether we are headed in that direction (other than pushing dates further and further back for when success will be measured).


Post a Comment

<< Home