Thursday, January 25, 2007

A silent surge

Non-binding resolutions condemning Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq would be nice if the US had a parliamentary government and could vote no confidence and hold presidential elections within the month.

But alas this happy revery is not to be.

And besides, unheralded in the press, the escalation surge is already a fait accompli.

William Arkin:

I've already written about the curious silence of most of the mainstream media when the first troopers of the 82nd Airborne Division arrived by helicopter from Kuwait more than 10 days ago landing at the gigantic American base at Taji, north of the capital, and then settling in at Forward Operating Bases Loyalty and Rustumiyah on the periphery of Sadr city, the Shi'a slums in northeast Baghdad.

Now SS writes me that the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina left for Iraq last Thursday. They arrived in Habbaniyah west of Baghdad for duty in Al Anbar province. Word is they may be moving elsewhere before the end of the month.

SS, who has a nephew in the battalion, comments that there was no real news coverage of either the unit's departure from North Carolina or their arrival in Iraq. There was only one tiny item in the Charlotte Observer and the local ABC affiliate aired a report on Monday.

The Defense Department has divulged that troops of the 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment and the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment are being extended in Anbar province for 60 to 90 days as part of the surge. The 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, an additional augmented battalion with air support, is also being extended in Anbar for 45 days.

And ever so quietly, the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit also left Lejeune in early January aboard ships to go to Iraq as part of the surge -- at least according to reports by the Associated Press and picked up hardly anywhere in the big media.

And so while the media focus on handicapping the 2008 horserace and dissecting the president's disingenuous State of the Union speech, more souls are being fed into the Iraqi meat-grinder.

Your CaliBlogger wonders whether the Washington press corp is any longer capable of reporting on anything that isn't accompanied by a national news conference.

Or a YouTube video.

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