Democrats & Liberals Archives

Troop "surge" numbers are a lie

When George Bush announced his planned 21,500-troop surge he was once again only telling part of the story. While he may be adding 21k combat troops, he neglected to say that these troops would need about an equal number of support troops to keep them in the field. When is this man going to be straight with the American people?

The Bush administration has been sugar coating news from the Iraq war since well before it began with tales of WMDs, Iraqis throwing flower petals at the feet of US soldiers, Iraqi oil paying for the war, "Mission Accomplished," the insurgency is in its last throes, we're winning, and on and on. Now it is the number of troops that will be sent to Iraq. The American people demonstrated their views on Iraq last November and all Bush could come up with for a solution was to put more American soldiers in the meat grinder that is Iraq. Not only does his plan show an unwillingness to see the reality of the situation or to think creatively when deciding on a "new way forward," on top of everything else he felt it necessary to deceive the American people again by ignoring all the support troops that will be needed to help the fighting troops. Estimates are that anywhere between 35,000 and 48,000 troops will be in this "surge" according to a Defense Dept. report. Unless in his infinite wisdom, W decides that these troops don't need medical staff, supply personnel, or anyone covering their backs. If there are no support troops planned to go with the 21k soldiers Bush will have made the exact same mistake he made when invading Iraq - he went in with too few troops in support leading to the chaos of the post-invasion period.

On top of all of Bush's lying is all the war profiteering that has plagued this mission since it began. Reports of the construction company that was supposed to be building the new police training facility demonstrates the blind eye Bush has turned to his cronies getting rich at the expense of the Iraqi people, our soldiers, and our children's finances (since he refuses to make this generation pay for this war). This construction company's CEO belongs in a jail cell along with Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. We have set a very poor example to a country we are trying to inspire to accept democracy. Does democracy mean that friends of the government get contracts and have to deliver nothing in return? Nepotism, cronyism, and outright theft are the example we are setting for the Iraqi people - not the pillars of democracy. It is a very sad situation.

Posted by Tom Snediker at February 2, 2007 9:19 AM
Comment #206305

Tom, One should not be surprised that Bush has lied again. He has lied from the day of his first inauguration when he swore “to preserve, protect, & defend the Constitution of the United States.” He may well go down in history as George W. “The Liar” Bush. Certainly, history has already noted his lies thus far.

Posted by: Dr Poshek at February 2, 2007 11:01 AM
Comment #206307

Coming from a Democrat, I’m surprised you expect honesty from the President.

Politicains lie…it’s a fact of life. No President in his/her right mind will ever be totally open and honest to the general public when talking about National defense. Not Carter, Reagan, Bush I or Clinton…nobody!

At least be fair. You didn’t scream when Clinton lied about how long our troops would be in Bosnia (…”out by Christmas”…) so don’t play up Bush’s “lies”.

Posted by: mac6115cd at February 2, 2007 11:02 AM
Comment #206311


Posted by: mark at February 2, 2007 11:18 AM
Comment #206313

I shouldn’t have to say this but, on this one, the president did not lie. He just did not spell out the obvious. He said 21,500 combat troops and it is obvious that those troops have to be supported. I guess that sometimes the obvious has to be spelled out before people can see it.

Posted by: jlw at February 2, 2007 11:25 AM
Comment #206315

mac6115cd: “At least be fair. You didn’t scream when Clinton lied about how long our troops would be in Bosnia (…”out by Christmas”…) so don’t play up Bush’s “lies”.”

Why do you folks always bring up Clinton? He had absolutly nothing to do with this. Is that the only thing the right can do in the face of this miserable failure of a president? You guys need a new “bogey man.” Besides, how many Americans were killed in Bosnia? Answer - 0.

I don’t expect any president to be totally up front certainly not any of the presidents in my lifetime - but Bush has taken it to a whole new level of lies and distortions and then cry that critics are helping the terrorists - what a huge load of crap that is. What helps terrorists is a president who had the support of the world to go into Afghanistan and get rid of the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden and turned the whole world against us by inventing intelligence to sucker the country into believing that Iraq was a threat. Now over 3,000 American men and women are dead (and probably over 100,000 Iraqis) for a war that has no possiblility of success. Now Afghanistan is slipping back into the hands of the Taliban, the world hates us, and we have no credibility left. Bush has made Richard Nixon look honest by comparison. Nice work GOP & W.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 2, 2007 11:34 AM
Comment #206319


I hope you’re wrong. I truly fear that Iran is on the “hit-list” and they DO have WMD’s! Hell, I hope I’m wrong, but if not I see the potential for a catastrophic loss of American military personnel, both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I hope we’re both wrong.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 2, 2007 11:54 AM
Comment #206321


quote text

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 2, 2007 11:55 AM
Comment #206327

Tom’s link

Posted by: womanmarine at February 2, 2007 12:13 PM
Comment #206328

jlw - you said the president did not lie he just did not spell out the obvious - I disagree.

Saying that we were increasing the troop strength in Iraq and not giving numbers would be one thing but to say we’re increasing troop strength by 21,500 not 35,000-45,000 is a lie. No matter how much lipstick you try to put on this pig it is still a pig. The reason he neglected to mention all the support troops that will be needed was that he knew it would politically unpopular to tell the whole story. If his plan is so good why does he have to lie about it? Can you tell me what purpose is served by trying to make the troop “surge” look smaller than it is?

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 2, 2007 12:14 PM
Comment #206329

Thank you.

Posted by: mark at February 2, 2007 12:18 PM
Comment #206330

Tom, the real problem is, President Bush is still only sending 21,500 combat troops to Iraq. Just enough to lose.

Posted by: American Pundit at February 2, 2007 12:19 PM
Comment #206336

Don’t support personnel also lose their lives? Aren’t they still in danger? To minimize this is despicable.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 2, 2007 12:35 PM
Comment #206338


I bring up Clinton only as an example that Presidents from both parties lie…remember the Monica lies?

Whether or not Americans died in Bosnia, Clinton misled (lied to) us that they would be out by that Christmas, which they weren’t.

Bottom line…Presidents, being human, can and will lie.

Posted by: mac6115cd at February 2, 2007 12:41 PM
Comment #206349

Tom Snediker: When you say the president lied, you are only pointing out the fact that you are ignorant about military operations as is the majority of the American people. Perhaps you can say that deception is the same as a lie.

The president was deceptive because the American people were against sending anymore troops and in that light, 21,500 sounds a lot better than 40,000. John McCain and John Kerry knew that 21,500 combat troops meant 35,000 to 48,000 troops because they knew that you don’t send in more combat troops without sending in more support troops as well.

Did any member of Congress who knew that combat troops means support troops as well mention this when the president stated the number of combat troops? Perhaps they just took it as obvious without realizing that it was not obvious to the majority of Americans.

I am in no way a defender of Bush. I would like to see him resign or be impeached yesterday. I am just pointing out the obvious.

Posted by: jlw at February 2, 2007 1:10 PM
Comment #206357

More important than the revise surge numbers, is the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) which states that the surge has little promise for achieving our goals. Therefore, if leaving is ruled out, staying for decades is the only option available for keeping hope alive, in perpetuity, that Iraq will one day be stable.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 1:34 PM
Comment #206359

“Don’t support personnel also lose their lives? Aren’t they still in danger? To minimize this is despicable.”


Agreed! In fact my worse case scenario is that of Iran launching bio or chemical armed missile strikes at (or near) our FOB’s in Iraq and Afghanistan. NOT a pretty scenario.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 2, 2007 1:51 PM
Comment #206360
Perhaps you can say that deception is the same as a lie.

Say what? The difference is minimal at best. Isn’t deception another word for spin?

Posted by: womanmarine at February 2, 2007 1:59 PM
Comment #206361

“you are only pointing out the fact that you are ignorant about military operations”


I wouldn’t consider myself ignorant. I thought that the 20,000+ included additional support personnel. The 130,000+ in country now include support personnel, eh? I also realize that some of our “support” is provided by private contractors.

So, yeah, just call me ignorant, but I certainly think that Bush should have made that perfectly clear.

Posted by: KansasDem at February 2, 2007 2:01 PM
Comment #206364

The National Intelligence Estimate for Iraq says that Iraq is in a civil war. The NIE says that the possibility of the surge working in the next year and a half is 0%. The president has just asked Congress for another 100 billion for the war this year and another 145 billion for 2008.

The president is scapegoating Iran by blaming them for training and equiping the insurgents in Iraq. The insurgents that are fighting each other and our troops, because they are caught in the crossfire of a civil war, for the most part have been trained by our military and equiped by we the taxpayers of America.

Posted by: jlw at February 2, 2007 2:09 PM
Comment #206368

jlw - I am not ignorant of military operations - I spent the first 18 years of my life on army bases and have a masters degree in history. I know what is involved in military operations and how many people are required behind the lines to support fighting troops. Bush lied because he was parsing words by saying 21k and not the true number because lying by omission is still lying. Call it deception, misleading, clever, or whatever you want - if I did the same thing to my mom when I was a kid she would have rightly called me a liar.

jlw - you are right “The president is scapegoating Iran by blaming them for training and equiping the insurgents in Iraq.” They once again have made a bold statement without backing it up with any evidence. I think the army said they thought that Iran was behind the ambush of American troops because the attack was so well organized. That sounds pretty flimsy and not enough evidence to start a war over … oh yeah, I forgot who we are dealing with.

I don’t know if Bush thinks he can really get away with starting a war with Iran or if he has any intentions of doing so but if he did it will make Iraq look like a booming success by comparison. But the US has a long storied tradition of starting wars based on lies - Mexican American War (reinventing the border between Mexico and Texas), the Spanish American War (“remember the Maine” whose boiler blew up and was not attacked), Vietnam (Gulf of Tonkin), Iraq (WMDs) …

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 2, 2007 2:24 PM
Comment #206386

Tom Snediker, great article and follow-ups.

Yes, once again, Bush lies. He is a chronic liar. “The Decider” is “The Deceiver.”

“I don’t know if Bush thinks he can really get away with starting a war with Iran”

I think Bushco believes they can doing any damn thing they want.

“or if he has any intentions of doing so”

A “Senior Intelligence Offical” is suggesting they do.

“but if he did it will make Iraq look like a booming success by comparison.”

No doubt you’re right. WWIII is likely to be horrendous.

“But the US has a long storied tradition of starting wars based on lies - Mexican American War (reinventing the border between Mexico and Texas), the Spanish American War (“remember the Maine” whose boiler blew up and was not attacked), Vietnam (Gulf of Tonkin), Iraq (WMDs)…”

Agreed. Also, don’t forget the Phillipine American War, which was also started on a lie right after the Spanish American War. For some unknown reason, that war and the horrible atrocities we committed there is something often forgotten and overlooked.

Posted by: Adrienne at February 2, 2007 4:18 PM
Comment #206388

Tom Snediker: I capitulate and concede your point that deceiving the American people is the same as lying to them.

The latest article I read on the Karbala incident stated that the attackers drove big black SUV’s like the ones used by Americans to convoy contractors, were wearing new American combat fatigues and spoke english. Although the military hasn’t discounted Iranian involvement, they suspect two Iraqi generals were involved and are investigating them.

When I read the article, I got a very queasy feeling in my stomach. There are American factions who would benefit from an American invasion of Iran, especially the taking of their oil fields. If America had control of the Iranian, Iraqi and Saudi oil, it would give us tremendous leverage when negotiating with countries dependent on that oil.

I have tried to come up with reasons why Iran would risk such a small scale attack on a few U.S. soldiers considering what it could cost them if they were caught doing it and I can’t. It has the smell of a setup to me. By the way, the article was at Fox News dot com.

I really don’t know about Bush but, I definitely think that Cheney thinks that if we can provoke Iran into attacking our troops, one of our ships or one of our aircraft possibly violating Iranian air space, he believes that not only can the Administration get away with devastating Iran without Congressional approval but that they could also sway the American public opinion back in their favor.

I would not put it past Cheney and his allies in the CIA and the military to try and fabricate such an incident. I think that Cheney and some of his allies truely believe that the neocon way is the best and therefore the only way for America to proceed in this century.

Posted by: jlw at February 2, 2007 4:26 PM
Comment #206389

I don’t think it’s obvious at all that 20,000 troops need to be supported by another 30,000 (this is one of the estimates in the article above) or that it would cost 27 billion dollars. That’s crazy. Well, that makes my mind up once and for all about this surge. Not worth it.

Posted by: Max at February 2, 2007 4:33 PM
Comment #206394

jlw - good post - the problem as I see it is that the Bush has lied about such important things and so often that even if Iran had a nuclear weapon and were aiming at the US we could not really trust that what Bush says about them is the truth. He has cried wolf too many times to ever be believed.

You’re right it doesn’t seem to be in Iran’s interests to provoke and attack by Bush and I am very dubious of claims of Iranians operating in Iraq. I’m sure they’re helping the Shia just as the Syrians (and probably the Saudis) are helping the Sunnis. I think that they are better served by waiting until Iraq implodes and take advantage of the ensuing chaos.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 2, 2007 5:35 PM
Comment #206423

Let me see if I have this straight. Iran is meddling in Iraq? HHHHMMMMMM…….Iraq launched a deadly war on Iran in which millions were killed. America provided intelligenge and WMD’s, even while knowing they were using them both on the Iranians and their own Iraqi people, weapons and economic aid.

Iraq is Irans backyard. Iraq is occupied by America. America overthrew the democratically elected premier of Iran ( Mossadegh ) and installed the Shah and his Savak nazi secret service. Since the rise of the simian naked emperor, Iran has been granted free membership into the exclusive axis of evil. One of its fellow members had been taken out and deconstructed, with calamatuous loss of life and the loss of its sovereignty and independence. Its estimated that something like 1.6 million of its people have been made displaced persons (Refugees ) either abroad or internally in Iraq. I could go on, but I think most people here already know all of this.

Now, let’s behonest here. The US never takes an interest in other countries in it’s own region. It does not involve itself in any way in the affairs of other countries in its region - NOT! But that’s ok, right, I mean, we’re talking about America here, never mind that they popped democratically elected governments in South America and installed and supported vicious dictators, whose butchering henchmen were trained in the school of the Americas, I think in Fort Bening? Whatever, it is/was in one of the US armed forces bases.

Iran has legitimate interests in Iraq, as does Syria and indeed Saudi and Turkey, especially since it has been destablised by the pre emptive attack by the US. Trying to ignore or frustrate those interests will not do the US itself any favours. Countries will defend their vital national interests.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at February 2, 2007 9:58 PM
Comment #206425

Tom, Thank you…..

Posted by: Shawn at February 2, 2007 10:24 PM
Comment #206427

Paul in E: We have learned to reinterpret history to suit our needs.

Posted by: jlw at February 2, 2007 11:29 PM
Comment #206440

Regardless of the present situation, the fact remains that we cannot allow Iran to obtain a nuke. We also cannot allow all that oil to fall into enemy hands.

We must therefore stay in Iraq to protect our own interests.

Posted by: Juan dela Cruz at February 3, 2007 6:34 AM
Comment #206528


Liberals have created all new definitions for lying. Of course, folks unfamiliar with how the military works might not realize that there has always been a large ratio of soldiers who never use a gun during a war.

This is basic, elementary, military science. The tooth to tail ratio is historically very high.

I’m not sure what the official ratio is supposed to be, but I seem to recall it being something like 10 to 1.

For every combat soldier, ten support soldiers moving supplies, cooking meals, setting up depots, guarding bases, etc. etc.

Sorry, you were not aware of this, but it’s true. Also, just because you weren’t aware of it doesn’t make Bush a liar.

Many of these support people might be in Kuwait, or in another part of Iraq. Not sent into Bagdhad’s streets. So when Bush proposes 21,000 combat troops to go into Sadr City et al, that means that 21,000 additional troops will go into Sadrd City et al.

Posted by: eric simonson at February 3, 2007 8:45 PM
Comment #206580


It would have been perfectly acceptable had the President given the true amount of troops and cost. He prevaricated, hoping no one would notice. This may not be a direct lie but it was meant to mislead.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 4, 2007 11:06 AM
Comment #206743

Well maybe your little democratic congress should have been smart enough to realize that the 25,000 troops would obviosly need backup….DUHHHHHH! afterall they went to college for at least 4 years. Maybe it takes 5 years to realize this?

Posted by: Jonh at February 5, 2007 6:52 PM
Comment #206750

Well maybe your little Republican president should have been smart enough to not start stupid wars that bankrupt the country, ruin our standing in the world, put our military in a position where they are not going to win no matter how well they do their job, and make us much more vulnerable to terrorists before you start criticizing the Dems because W is a liar. Why do you think W only mentioned the 21k to congress? ‘Cause he was so sure everyone understood what he meant? If he was so proud of this troop increase wouldn’t it sound better to say 48k or whatever the number is going to be? It just doesn’t make sense to use the language he used other than to hide the truth and the cost.

It’s kind of ironic for any supporter of this president to call someone else dumb. John, there are only two real possibilities - either George Bush is lacking in intellect or he is lacking in competence - you choose (oh yeah there is a third option - both incompetence and ignorance - my choice). He is positively lacking in honesty.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at February 5, 2007 7:56 PM
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