I have proposed [on opendemocracy.net] that to take ‘the surge is working’ at the ‘rose colored glasses, ‘count your chicken’s before they’re hatched’ face value huckstered to us by the administration, its right wing coterie and John McCain(!) was all too likely to be naïve, and dangerously so.
In this light, please consider: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080225_the_calm_before_the_conflag...  from Chris Hedges.
It sets out exactly what I proposed as a likely and significant reality lurking beneath the blue skies, pretty balloons, straight on to morning, we’re winning in Iraq screed the right wing echo chamber, and John McCain(!) have been so insistently urging upon us.
Now I don’t propose this confirms I have been right, but it strongly suggests my caution on the dangerous naïveté we may be courting WAS correct.
I do not endorse all that Hedges proposes, but if his numbers are anywhere near correct, and Petraeus is unaware of them, it would betoken a failure of epic proportions. If he is aware of them – and he has not, and neither he nor the administration has as yet – communicated to the American people the danger they portend, it would be an almost equal failure [there IS another word I could select].
One number Hedges cites is:
"The Sunni Arabs, who make up about 40 percent of Iraq’s population, held most positions of power under Saddam Hussein."
This flies in the face of the almost universal understanding that the breakdown is 20 % Sunni, 20% Kurd, and 60% Shia. However, it of real consequence that the Sunnis (or more particularly the broad mass of the Sunni population) believed they constituted better than 50% of the population of Iraq. The import being that the armies of young men they are amassing will believe that ,and will be further encouraged to fight thereby. Trouble!
Another place where I would take exception to Hedges:
The U.S. doled out funds and weapons to tribal groups in Afghanistan to buy their loyalty, but when the payments and weapons shipments ceased, the tribal groups headed back into the embrace of the Taliban."
No, they went back to their ages old internecine struggle for power and pelf, whose dysfunctions initially opened the door to the Taliban.
In closing, it should be noted how this definitively undercuts John McCain’s utterly simplistic and oft repeated, idea that Iraq will fall into the hands of Al Qaeda if we ‘fail’ in Iraq. How does anyone, observing armies of well armed Sunni, Shia and Kurd propose they will give up their country and its oil wealth to a small foreign collection of fanatics who are of no use to any of them? It is lunacy!