Some of my conservative friends are appalled when people say that the “surge” in Iraq failed. They think that it is self evident that the surge was a glowing success because of the sharp reduction in violence in Iraq and they get upset with anyone who suggests it was anything less than a miraculous success.
So let me try and explain why the surge was a failure using an analogy.
Imagine that you are driving a car on some backroad somewhere and suddenly you get a flat tire. Let’s say that the car represents Iraq and the flat tire represents the broken government there.
Now let’s say that you don’t have a jack to lift the car up, but fortunately a big, strong kid comes along and offers to pick the car up for you. You are amazed when he walks over and lifts the car in the air. You say “what an amazing thing this person has done by lifting the car in the air” and you rush off to find other people to see this amazing feat. Folks come from miles around to applaud and cheer as the boy lifts the car again and again. Finally, he tires and puts it down and goes on his way. Meanwhile, the tire is still flat.
In case you missed it, the big youth represents the U.S. Army at the peak of the surge. Our Army did a wonderful thing by lifting the car or quelling the violence in Iraq, but while we were doing it, nobody bothered to fix the tire, or the broken government that needs to get its act together and take over so that our troops can come home. So that is why the “surge” failed. Because nothing was accomplished while we were flexing our military muscles and now we are tired and can’t continue to surge anymore.