Patriotism and "Country First" have become the theme for John McCain's campaign. Several speakers, including the Republican nominee himself, John McCain, touted the success of the surge in Iraq at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Amidst chants of "USA, USA," the Iraqi people's suffering was forgotten. In the party-like atmosphere, no one seemed to care about a bad economy or a wasted trillion dollars either. The most unpopular president in American history was even kept at bay by divine intervention: a hurricane.
Quelling some violence in Iraq does not mean that the war has been won. The surge is working, but that's because the Iraqis themselves want it to work. Does anyone recall the Anbar Awakening?
The War in Iraq is far from over. A sectarian war is looming in the north of the country between Kurds, Turkomans and Arabs (both Sunni & Shiites) over the oil rich area of Kirkuk. Militant Shiite leader, Muqtada al-Sadr is biding his time waiting for the right moment and is currently kept under control only by direct orders from spiritual leader Ayatollah Sistani. However, it will not be long before he decides to take up arms against Maliki's regime that many Iraqis view as an American puppet.
There is something else no one talked about during the Republican National Convention: millions of Iraqi families remain homeless. Iraqi children have been forced into labor to help their devastated families, and many young Iraqi refugee girls have turned to prostitution in countries like Syria and Jordan. This is all because George W. Bush and his supporters decided to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq and not in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Another Reality Check :
There was no need for a surge had the Bush Administration listened to military experts who encouraged Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld to start with more troops to begin with and not to disband Saddam's army. The insurgency that the U.S. and Iraqi government is fighting today is made up mostly of ex-Saddam army members and a relatively small number of foreign fighters.
Meanwhile, army officials have recently revealed that the suicide rate among US soldiers could surpass last year's record and urged military leaders to increase prevention efforts. There were 62 confirmed suicides among active duty soldiers and army reserves called to active duty this year, while another 31 deaths that appear to be suicides are being investigated. 115 members of the armed forces committed suicide last year. When a veteran of the war in Iraq tried to express his objection to the war during McCain's speech on Thursday night, he was rustled outside the convention hall. "USA, USA," they kept on chanting.
Jamal Dajani produces the Mosaic Intelligence Report on Link TV