Reviving the ‘Successful Surge’ Myth

Robert Parry

A beloved myth of Official Washington — especially among Republicans, neocons and other supporters of the Iraq War — is the fable of the “successful surge,” how President George W. Bush’s heroic escalation of 30,000 troops in 2007 supposedly “won” that war; it then follows that the current Iraq disaster must be President Barack Obama’s fault.

The appeal of this myth should be obvious. Nearly every “important” person in the U.S. foreign policy establishment and the mainstream media endorsed the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 – and such well-placed and well-paid people do not like to admit that their judgment was so bad that they should be disqualified from holding any responsible position forever.

Further, since almost no one who promoted this criminal and bloody enterprise was held accountable after Mission Accomplished wasn’t, these opinion leaders were still around in 2007 at the time of the “surge” and thus in a position to cite any positive trends as proof of “success.” Many are still around voicing their august opinions — the likes of Sen. John McCain, former Vice President Dick Cheney and neocon theorist Robert Kagan — so they still get to tell the rest of us how really great their judgment was.

On Wednesday, McCain fulminated from the Senate floor, accusing Obama of squandering the  “surge,” the success of which he deemed a “fact.” Cheney — along with his daughter Liz — accused the President of “securing his legacy as the man who betrayed our past and squandered our freedom.”

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