Lies Damn Lies and Benchmarks

Bush’s benchmarks for progress in Iraq are not simply disappointing, they are highly misleading (The Guardian):

In his press conference yesterday, President Bush touted progress on what he called “the security benchmarks,” claiming they will pave the way for advances in other areas that have yet to demonstrate improvement. The issues earning a “satisfactory” designation, however, largely comprise a mix of unimportant matters and misleading analysis.

Let’s start with the “misleading analysis”:

Progress on the constitution was deemed satisfactory despite lacking any resolution on the most serious disputes, including presidential powers, the structure of Iraqi federalism, and the status of Kirkuk. Enacting legislation regarding semi-autonomous regions was also labelled satisfactory without any actual compromise on the issue, and, more importantly, even the report admits that movement in this area may not be desirable.

It only gets better.  One of the benchmarks in particular is especially suspicious (emphasis mine):

The other half of the satisfactory contingent was directly related to the recent troop escalation, with the report straining to present its effects encouragingly. The nebulous benchmark of “Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan” was satisfactory – apparently government support of an operation can be measured as an actual part of the operation itself – as was the essentially unmeasurable goal of “ensuring the Baghdad Security Plan does not provide a safe haven for any outlaws”. These are platitudes, not improvement.

There is a great alternative to being an apologist for the war:  ending it.  An ever growing and articulate chorus has made a rock solid case for withdrawal.  Even if we took the benchmarks at their face value they still represent a stunning failure on the part of the Bush administration and its allies.  It is time to bring our troops home and end the war.


8 Responses

  1. Hey. I saw your pingback and checked out your post. I decided to add a clip and link of it to my actual post…

    I don’t know how to do a pingback, but here is the link…

    In a related story: What do you think about all this talk of Al Qaeda getting so much stronger over the last several years? And the new report that the US is at a greater risk for terrorism now? (I thought the Iraq war was suppose to take care of this threat?)

    I’m going to be doing a post later on this, and wanted to include links from other bloggers on the subject. So if you end up doing a post, could you let me know? Thanks.

  2. Well if you have rotten lemons I guess you can give them to Little Bush and he will still try to make lemonade. Meanwhile the real enemy is becoming stronger by the day. Heck of a job George!

  3. I saw a report (can’t remember where now, sorry) where an ex-CIA man who has been in Iraq and Afghanistan and he has claimed that Irag has become a training ground for terrorist. They train there (by attacking our troops) and then taking their act on the road so to speak. Thus Iraq hasn’t focused all terrorist activites in Iraq as the Bushies claimed it would but rather has provided them with a means of getting stronger and better trained. Perhaps that was the plan all along….

  4. Catherine,
    Me neither.
    I think the President’s politics have been a grave mistake.
    I posted on it here. I’ll drop a comment off at your place too.

    Heh. Heck of a job! The man is framed by his own cliches. Priceless?

    I’ve heard this too. The thought that there even is a plan of any kind is getting increasingly dubious.

  5. The idea of presidential politics could work if you had a diplomatic president with a brain.

    Bush denies that Al Qaeda is getting stronger and he still continues to link 9/11 to Iraq. Maybe he should go visit Chertoff for a gut check.

  6. Bush’s Iraq policy is failing upward.

  7. nytexan,
    Bush is denying al qaeda is getting stronger?


  8. You really have to wonder if Bush believes the crap he tries to tell us or he just smokes to much crack.

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