Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 7-Sep-2008
On "60 Minutes," Bob Woodward makes ridiculous claims about Iraq.

Web Log - September, 2008

On "60 Minutes," Bob Woodward makes ridiculous claims about Iraq.

He says the surge succeeded because of some magic new military technique.

Bob Woodward is a good reporter, and he became famous in the 1970s by leading, along with Carl Bernstein, the reporting of the Watergate coverup by President Richard Nixon. Woodward is such an admired icon among the Boomer left that he can report almost anything he wants, and his word isn't even questioned.

Woodward himself is extremely liberal, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was completely in the tank for the election of Barack Obama. So the publication of his new book The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008, at this particular time has to be assumed to be his contribution to Obama's election. The book is published by Simon & Schuster, owned by CBS.

In his Sunday night appearance on CBS's 60 Minutes, he made a number of claims about the Iraq war and "the surge":

"The book also says that the U.S. troop surge of 2007, in which President Bush sent nearly 30,000 additional U.S. combat forces and support troops to Iraq, was not the primary factor behind the steep drop in violence there during the past 16 months.

Rather, Woodward reports, "groundbreaking" new covert techniques, beginning in 2007, had enabled U.S. military and intelligence officials to locate, target and kill insurgent leaders and key individuals in extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Woodward does not disclose the code names of these covert programs or provide much detail about them, saying in the book that White House and other officials had cited national security concerns in asking him to withhold specifics. But he quotes "several authoritative sources" as saying that "85 to 90 percent of the successful operations and 'actionable intelligence' had come from" these breakthrough techniques."

This is so ridiculous that only Bob Woodward could publish it and only liberal Boomer journalists and politicians could possibly believe it.

First off, if there really is some huge breakthrough technology (say, the army can now "beam" soldiers instantly from one place to another, as in Star Trek), then Woodward's mere mention that he knows about it is an act of treason.

It's far more likely that there's some much less revolutionary technology or other he's talking about. Maybe it's a new high-powered microphone that can pick up farawar conversations, or maybe it's a more accurate firearm of some kind. More likely it's a combination of several small incremental technology and technique improvements. Who knows? If it saves American soldiers' lives, or if it helps defeat al-Qaeda in Iraq, then it's worthwhile, and it's worthwhile keeping it secret from an idiot like Bob Woodward.

But to claim, as Woodward does, that the surge was so successful only because of this "groundbreaking" technique or technology is unimaginably absurd. The American armed forces have had for years far more advanced technology than anything that al-Qaeda in Iraq had, and no additional increment was going to be enough to defeat the entire al-Qaeda effort in Iraq.

And if it were, then why hasn't it annihilated the Taliban in Afghanistan?

You know, come to think of it, that's a good question. If Woodward wants to credit the surge's success to "groundbreaking" technique or technology, then why isn't it working in Afghanistan, and if not, then why do you assume that it worked in Iraq? During the next month or so, he's going to be on one news show after another, interviewed by reporters who are also completely in the tank for Obama. Do you think a single one of them will ask that question?

Ironically, Woodward is absolutely correct in saying that the surge "was not the primary factor behind the steep drop in violence there during the past 16 months."

As I began writing in 2003, Iraq is in a generational Awakening era, and so a civil war in Iraq is impossible, and terrorist attacks against Iraqis are likely to backfire against the terrorists. That's exactly what happened. As far as I know, I'm the only person in the world, on the right or left, who has correctly and consistently predicted what would happen in Iraq.

(For the original August, 2003, prediction, see "Terrorist suicide bombings in Iraq may backfire against terrorists." For a lengthy analysis of the Iraq war, see "The Iraq war may be related to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." For general information on Generational Dynamics predictions, see "List of major Generational Dynamics predictions.")

And this brings us to one more problem with Bob Woodward's claims. He paints the surge as a complete gamble, pursued for purely political reasons, opposed by almost everyone in the military.

I know that's ridiculous because it was in April, 2007, that I wrote the lengthy analysis, "Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq." When I wrote that essay, it had already been clear for several months to soldiers on the ground in Iraq that the war was beginning to turn against al-Qaeda. The surge would speed things up and consolidate the victories. The Administration knew all that long before I did, so the surge was no gamble.

If Woodward had said: "The surge was not the primary factor behind the steep drop in violence. The steep drop in violence occurred because Iraq was in a generational Awakening era, and the Iraqis were turning against the al-Qaeda invaders," then I'd have to agree with him, and he could help Obama get elected by telling the truth. But what he actually said was moronic, and totally typical of today's liberal reporters. (7-Sep-2008) Permanent Link
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