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In his testimony to Congress on Sept. 10, 2007, Gen. David Petraeus used a flagrantly misleading slide to depict how violence in Baghdad had changed over time. Petraeus’ report to Congress, you’ll recall, was oral rather than in writing; the only points of reference he provided were this set of slides (PDF). The slide in question (on page 4) misrepresented, by minimizing, the very considerable extent of ethnic/sectarian cleansing that had occurred during the "surge". I exposed the falsification here on the day he testified.

It was hard to avoid the conclusion that Petraeus or his staff had deliberately falsified that one critical slide, especially given that a similar but unfalsified slide had appeared in a report that was issued only a few days earlier. Although McClatchy picked up and reported upon the falsification, as far as I know neither the Pentagon nor Gen. Petraeus ever owned up to misleading Congress. It should have been a major scandal, because it speaks to the question of Petraeus' credibility about the alleged success of the "surge". But instead the falsification received relatively little attention in the traditional media.

Yesterday, Petraeus showed another slide of changing violence in Baghdad (PDF). This version is considerably more accurate than the earlier slide. Indeed to select one example for illustration, it’s immediately apparent that Petraeus’ current depiction of the state of Baghdad in December 2006 has changed since his report to Congress last September. Petraeus has quietly corrected the false slide he showed to Congress in September.

Hence with this correction Petraeus has tacitly demonstrated that he knows he misled Congress in his September 2007 report.

 title=  title=Here (on the far right) is the version he showed Congress last September depicting Baghdad in Dec. 2006, and (to the left of that) is the map he showed Congress yesterday. Blue zones depict majority Sunni neighborhoods; green zones are majority Shiite neighborhoods; and brown zones are mixed Shiite/Sunni neighborhoods.

The map from yesterday appears to be accurate. In any case, the sectarian make up of the neighborhoods is different from the inaccurate map shown last September. Notice for example that yesterday's version has a large mixed (brown) neighborhood in the south of the city, whereas the falsified slide on the right showed that neighborhood as majority Sunni.

 title=Why in the world would Petraeus have showed a falsified slide to Congress last September? The reason easily can be inferred, I think, from the map he showed last fall of Baghdad as of September 2007. Compare that to his map (above, right) of the city in December 2006. The sectarian make up of the city was essentially identical in the two slides. No coincidence, that. The sectarian make up of Baghdad remained static in each of Petraeus' violence-maps spanning the period Dec. 2006 to Sept. 2007. If you were a member of Congress last September, you would have concluded from that set of maps that ethnic/sectarian cleansing had stopped during that 10 month period.

The opposite was true, of course. Baghdad neighborhoods had suffered horrific cleansing during the period of the "surge". It was an enormous political embarrassment for the Bush administration. As I remarked last September while exposing the falsification:

The maps falsify one of the most delicate of issues: The failure of the "surge" to stem ethnic/sectarian cleansing of Baghdad. If that information were brought to the fore, it would call into question the claims by Petraeus and other spokespeople for the Bush administration that the "surge" is responsible for an alleged drop in violence in Baghdad. If there is any such drop, it may be due in large part to the success of Shia attempts to drive Sunnis from their homes and into exile.

 title=How can we be sure that the falsification was deliberate? Take a look at this illustration from page 34 of the Report of the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq (PDF). The Commission, headed by Gen. James Jones USMC (Ret.), released its report four days before Petraeus' testimony, on Sept. 6, 2007. These violence-maps are similar in format to those of Petraeus. However, the Jones maps honestly represent the changing face of Baghdad as sectarian cleansing proceeds over time, in contrast to the falsified maps of Petraeus.

It's clear that both sets of slides originated inside the Pentagon. The graphics of Petraeus' slides have obvious affinities to those in the Pentagon quarterly reports on Iraq, for example. To observe that, one need only compare slide 2 of Petraeus' September report with the same illustration at page 16 of the Pentagon's Dec. 2007 Quarterly Report.

It's hard to avoid the conclusion that the violence maps from last September were produced in an above-board way by the Pentagon, and used as received by the Jones Commission. But by contrast, Petraeus or his staff tweaked those Pentagon maps to eliminate the signs of sectarian cleansing. After the falsification was exposed, perhaps Petraeus decided not to try that game a second time.

 title=It's far from clear whether the slides Petraeus showed Congress this time are entirely reliable. His violence map for March 2008 shows a reversal of sectarian cleansing in certain neighborhoods since last August. For example, in central Baghdad there appear to be many more mixed neighborhoods now in what used to be predominantly Shiite-controlled areas. That strikes me as somewhat dubious, though not impossible. Others who are more familiar with the current ethnic mix in Baghdad might wish to take a close look at the current map presented by Gen. Petraeus, particularly given that his maps last September were demonstrably false.

In any case, the most important point is that Gen. Petraeus has essentially admitted now that his presentation to Congress contained false information. He did so quietly, however, rather than forthrightly. Will he come forward and explain why that information was false?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:02 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You don't expect impartiality (8+ / 0-)

    from a politician, which is exactly what Petraeus is.

  •  To answer your question (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eru, dolphin777, jck

    Will he come forward and explain why that information was false?

    Answer: Of course not.  Why should he be any different from the parade of lying slugs that the Administration has sent up to lie to Congress?

    "Unseen, in the background, Fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove." P.G. Wodehouse

    by gsbadj on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:14:03 PM PDT

  •  How is it an embarassment? (0+ / 0-)

    If the chicken-shit media doesn't report on it, then no one knows.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:15:14 PM PDT

  •  son of a bitch (6+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this. It only reinforces my many impressions that Petreaus is NOT the man for the job. TO the contrary, he is Rumsfeld, Cheney and Condi with a way with words, and lot more shiny metal and colorful ribbon on his chest.

    As I said elsewhere, many dead Soviet generals are envious of his pretty uniform.

    To fully understand Christianity's duplicity, first recognize that the Vatican's St. Peter's Square is actually an oval.

    by agnostic on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:15:59 PM PDT

  •  I guess once they're finished with the cleansing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    our soldiers can come home. At least we've given them a secure environment to do it.

    •  that is the argument to use with NeoCons who (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smintheus, dolphin777

      keep saying that we must win ( whatever winning mean). Well if we are winning, that means the troops can come home or there is some date for the troops to come home. If this war is going for well, as the Bushies and Liebermanites and McCainites claim, then they should be willing to give timelines and be more specific. No other President or General in history ever was this vague about War.

      This is the Silly Season of Politics-Barack Obama

      by wishingwell on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:27:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Betray Us... (5+ / 0-)

    is a liar.

    He has no honor.

    Why is it politically incorrect to say that about a General?

  •  Interesting that you would sieze upon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    those slides that showed a marked and steady decrease in violence and try to use it as a club to beat Petreaus with.

    Slides for a general are done well before and well below him.  Is it possible that he studied the slides and personally decided to mislead congress?  Sure.  But it isn't likely.  What most likely happened is that the slide in December was originally done as part of a different brief, or as a continual update, and done before the full knowledge of relocation/ethnic cleasing was available.

    The officer who does the slides then just transfered that particular on in, thinking it was correct, and the mistake wasn't found.  I'd be willing to bet that Petreaus's brief ran 200+ slides.

    I've personally done a 249 slide military presentation.  I did a number of them.  It's easy to screw them up, even when there are lots of sets of eyes looking it over.

    This is really grasping at straws.  We should be applauding the decrease in violence instead, that's the real story.

    "Capitalism is the only system that can make freedom, individuality, and the pursuit of values possible in practice." - Ayn Rand

    by headhunt23 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:21:37 PM PDT

    •  I agree with you, but with reservations (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      First this diary probably is grasping at straws in terms of trying to demonstrate deliberate lies on the part of Petraeus.  

      On the wider political front, the violence is down only in part because of a greater number of troops. Petraeus claims far more credit than he deserves.

      The real story is that neighborhoods that were mostly one sect or the other are now nearly 100% one sect or the other - information that is significant, but does not show up on maps at this sort of scale. A 75% Shia' neighborhood is green, and so is a 100% Shia' neighborhood, but those 25% of the Sunnis who moved out did so under extreme threat.  That sectarian cleansing on a local level has resulted in reduced violence.  The areas that were truly mixed before - such as Karada in 2006 and Doura in 2006 are more homogenous now.  The slides, however, appear mostly accurate even if they do not properly captuyre the scale.

      Of course the other reason why things are less violent - which has nothing to do with Petraeus - is that the Jaysh al-Mahdi has decided for tactical reasons not to engage the Americans and not to continue the terror campaign against Sunnis.  This has as much to do with political calculation as with the American forces on the ground.  Petraeus doesn't talk about this, and obviously John McCain is too stupid to understand the issue.

      In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

      by ivorybill on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:33:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hold on a moment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uncle Moji

        If the commenter had bothered to click on the Sept. 2007 presentation, he would have seen that it doesn't consist of 250 slides.

        Had the commenter read my argument at all carefully, he would have noticed that (a) the Dec. map appeared in different colors nearly simultaneously in Jones' and Petraeus' hands; (b) all of Petraeus' maps had an identical background, whereas Jones' maps did not.

        In other words, his argument amounts to...nothing more than: Sometimes slides get messed up. Did you notice the citation of Ayn Rand? It's a clue.

        •  hold on a moment! (0+ / 0-)

          Isn't the simplest explanation that this was a simple mistake?

          Here's what I think happened: the slides were created in two steps,

          First, the map of Baghdad was created, and the neighborhoods colored in to denote the ethnic situation.

          Second, the colored clouds are overlaid to denote areas where violence has occurred.

          You mentioned that the Dec 06 and Aug 07 underlying maps are identical. Isn't the simplest explanation that the violence layer was overlaid onto the wrong base map?

          Don't ascribe to malice what can be explained as mere incompetence. Especially with regards to our government.

          •  no, that is not a simple explanation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            As I said, all of Petraeus' maps had identical neighborhood shadings; it wasn't just two maps.

            Yes, of course the maps were made in two steps. You don't attempt to explain by whom. I do. These are Pentagon maps.

            Jones' maps derived from the Pentagon at the same time as Petraeus' maps, and yet his neighborhoods were NOT static. So how do you explain that Petraeus got all his maps screwed up? Is that a "simple mistake"? If it is, then why weren't Jones' maps similarly screwed up?

          •  Malice vs. Incompetence (0+ / 0-)

            Ah, the ultimate smokescreen of the Bush/Cheney era.

            Here, watch what my right hand is doing. Pay no attention to my left hand.

            Modus operandi since day one.

            There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

            by OHeyeO on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:14:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Not a matter of screwing up a slide (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smintheus, JayBat

      based on bad graphical representation of data--the Pentagon already had a graphical representation of the same data that was accurate.

      Why would the rest of the General's graphics be correct (and similar/the same as) the Pentagon's, but this one be different from the Pentagon's?

      Besides, when I was in the army, commanders were expected to take responsibility for the snafus caused by their subordinates--so technically, the bad slide is the General's responsibility.

      As for the decrease in violence--is it really down, or is the media/MIC/administration only making it look that way?


    •  You seem to be missing the points (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mogolori, shirah, JayBat, caps lock on

      All of Petraeus' slides shown in September 2007 had a static background. The nearly contemporaneous report by the Jones Commission used a similar set of slides, but these did not have a static background. The slides use the same colors and same metrics; clearly they were produced as a group by the Pentagon. So how do you propose that Jones' Commission got them right, while four days later Petraeus got them wrong?

      Whatever you may speculate about innocent explanations, you cannot deny that Petraeus has now acknowledged that his presentation last September contained false information. So where is his explanation for it?

      •  He doesn't need one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "...So where is his explanation for it?...."
        He doesn't need one---he can sleep soundly, knowing no one but you will ever ask the question.
        Prediction: more time will be spent on Obama's bowling score than this. Youre fighting an uphill battle (but thanks for fighting it!!)

        If Liberals REALLY hated America we'd vote Republican

        by exlrrp on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 04:29:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The maps are very different (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      especially considering what the legend represents. I'm not buying your position. Not at all. Petreaus is a pro, or he's not. If he noticed the graph was wrong and kept mum? I'd accept that.
      There you Righties go again, underestimating how badly you abuse words.

      The DLC Hyperreality has been breached~

      by plok on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:38:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you're saying he's not responsible for (0+ / 0-)

      the acts of the people he's responsible for.

      That's pretty interesting.

      •  Also: (0+ / 0-)

        What are we supposed to be applauding, precisely?

        The fact that more troops produce a slowdown in violence? That's not a victory, that's a predictable causal relationship, and it's only half of the equation.

        Because I don't think anyone ever, ever questioned that outcome. The surge has lasted just long enough for everyone to forget what it was supposed to accomplish. It's good news, but it's basically just good news to the degree that it indicates the absence of a glaring tactical failure. What we have on our hands is a glaring strategic failure, and that is nothing to applaud, not while people are still dying in the streets on our watch, because of our actions.

        So I'd rather hold a man accountable for his errors or the errors of his subordinates--errors which have the effect of misleading the Congress on the severity of the present conflict and affecting their votes and decisions--than spend my time playing Yankee Doodle Dandy. Your dedication to your country extends only as far as your willingness to criticize its mistakes. To praise it for its failures is a disgrace.

  •  Petraeus's Reports (0+ / 0-)
    He is actually improving a bit. His first major report, if you recall,  was supposedly to inform the President how the war was progressing so the White House could inform Congress of how well things were going. And that time the poor poor general couldn't write the report. Inbstead, he let the White House write his report to the President for him. Now he can stand and deliver as well as the next man who has been robbed of his integrity.
  •  That's McClatchy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which used to be Knight Ridder, who were the only ones to get the pre-war WMD story correct.

    Perhaps we should yank the stupid full-page "Betrayus" ads and simply cover more of the truth, huh?

    The DLC Hyperreality has been breached~

    by plok on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:23:01 PM PDT

  •  Still trying to understand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olds88, headhunt23

    The neighborhood in question in southern Baghdad, on the west side of the river, is Doura.  This was a largely Sunni and Christian neighborhood before the war.  The Christians (and a few Kurds) who lived there mostly left by 2006 and then the area was the site of intense conflict between Sunnis and Shia' forces. The neighborhood is calmer now and the number of Sunni residents has increased.  I don't think that this transition - from mixed to majority Sunni - is evidence of a deliberate lie.  

    Baghdad neighborhoods have become more homogenous by and large. This is true, but I'm not entirely sure your cartographic argument works one way or the other as a demonstration that Petraeus is trying to obfusticate that fact.  The overall pattern has not changed so much on a macro level on these maps - an area that was 75% Shia' in 2006 and 100% Shia' now would show up as green on either map.  Doura went from mixed but predominantly Sunni, to contested between Sunni and Shia, back to majority Sunni.  The one group which does not appear on this map, which has definitively left the area, is the Christian population.  

    In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. ...Thomas Jefferson

    by ivorybill on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:24:57 PM PDT

    •  Not sure you understand the argument (3+ / 0-)

      The point is that on all of the maps Petraeus showed last Sept., the sectarian make-up remained identical. That's a falsification of the truth.

      As for Doura, last Sept. Petraeus' maps, every one of them, had it nearly all blue (Sunni). Jones' map from Dec. 2006, however, had it brown (mixed). Petraeus' newest map for Dec. 2006 now shows it as brown.

      When I say that I'm skeptical of the scope of the reversal of sectarian cleansing as portrayed on his March 2008 map, I'm refering to a brown area in central Baghdad (east of the river, but west of Sadr City). Has nothing to do with Doura.

      •  The Commission's maps (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler, ivorybill

        are more accurate than Petraeus' maps but they also use a different index. The Commission used the 51%/75% divisions while Petraeus' 2007 maps used a much more vague Sunni/Mixed/Shia index.

        While Patraeus' report used maps more favorable to his opinion, it is not clear he deliberately lied. He was not asked, to my knowledge, to defend the maps, so we don't know whether he was aware of their misleading nature. Certainly, he hasn't "admitted" anything.

        The maps themselves are misleading though. the use of density plots to represent discrete acts of violence is completely absurd. How can you integrate a murder, a suicide bomber, and a rocket attack into a sea of yellow an red gradients? Complete junk.

        Also, the maps only show ethnic violence, not total violence. So, Patraeus' March 2008 map only shows two unquantified yellow dots in southwestern Baghdad. It conveniently omits the blood splattered all over Sadr City during that time-- wrong kind of violence, we are not considered "ethnic."

        •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shirah, truong son traveler

          What Petraeus' maps did was reduce two tones of both green and blue to a single tone, thus suppressing any distinction between a majority neighborhood and a supermajority neighborhood. So it's essentially the same index without a final gradation at the top for majority Sunni/Shia neighborhoods.

          I don't see how revisiting his former maps and changing them is anything other than an acknowledgment that they were false. Otherwise, why would he not just reload his old maps and add one or two new ones? You don't explain why Petraeus' maps were static last September, when Jones' maps were not.

          And, yes, it's a standard Pentagon trick to portray violence in graphic form so as to conceal what kinds of violence they're counting and what kinds they're ignoring. Good point.

          •  If I (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            truong son traveler

            hand you a fake $20 bill, am I guilty of counterfeiting? There are a lot of steps to prove in between.

            We have no idea how these sets were made, who made them, or when. We don't know what software was used or how much control the designer has over the content. Before you can say Patraeus was deliberately misleading, you would have to establish that he somehow insured these maps would be static (which, technically, they are not).

            We don't know if the Commission's maps were designed by the same person-- only that they use the same base art. It may be that the more-defined maps used by the Commission were later adopted as a standard. That would explain why they were retroactively revised for Patraeus' current report. It's a hypothetical scenario, but so is the idea that the General deliberately ordered misleading maps.

            Nor do I think Patraeus verbally claimed in his 2007 report that the ethnic divisions remained static. If he did, he should have been questioned about it either then or now, but to say the maps represent an intentional lie in his testimony is a case not proven. If he had deliberately lied in 2007, why didn't he do the same thing this time?

            I still find the density plots far more disturbing-- and far more effective in misleading Congress, as they are almost certainly false. Violence happens at a specific place to a specific number of people. It does not radiate out from that point, falling off at a measurable rate as indicated. Notice that, according to the maps, there is substantial ethnic violence happening on portions of the Tigris River.

            Whoever designed those plots made very subjective and selective decisions. We don't even know what they represent-- individual murders? abductions? areas within earshot of an explosion? All we know is there is supposedly less "ethno-sectarian violence" in yellow areas, more in orange, and most in the red. Completely ridiculous.

            •  I don't assert that Petraeus himself falsified... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              truong son traveler

              the maps. I say: "It was hard to avoid the conclusion that Petraeus or his staff had deliberately falsified that one critical slide..." I don't state that he "deliberately misled" Congress, just that he did mislead Congress.

              I happen to think that he should have known, and very probably did know, that his slides were falsified. It was apparent to me within moments of laying eyes on them the first time. But, yeah, maybe he was victimized by officers on his staff. So let him say so, if that's the case.

              Somebody had to screw up Petraeus' maps. You don't seem to acknowledge that some of the illustrations in both Jones' report and Petraeus' report are all of the following: (a) identical, and (b) nearly simultaneous, and (c) identical to illustrations in Pentagon quarterly reports. It's not just the violence maps, but all kinds of charts that Jones and Petraeus both very obviously got from a single source - clearly a cache of Pentagon slides.

              So how is it that Jones' maps have accurate, evolving neighborhoods whereas Petraeus' maps have inaccurate, static ones? We do know enough to say that whatever made Petraeus' maps false was particular either to him or the people working for him. It was not a general problem in the Pentagon somewhere.

  •  Predictable results (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    Neither ethnic divisions nor Al Qaeda nor Iranian support for militias existed in Iraq until the Bush Administration's policy of De-Baathification provided the rationale for them to exist and conditions suitable for them to exist.  The results were predictable.

    This time it's personal.

    by apostrophe on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:28:47 PM PDT

  •  Brutal Testimony (4+ / 0-)

    I loved the questions from the likes of Biden and Obama (and Voinovich, who knew?), but i want to hear what the rest of the Dems are saying about this.

    I did like what Tom Perriello (VA-05) had to say about this. Call the surge exactly what it is, a red-herring.

    "I don't consider myself to be a very educated person, 'cause I've spent a lot of my life in dreams"~Jeff Mangum

    by JohnCos on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:28:47 PM PDT

  •  Damn, this diary lays out harsh facts! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, Krush

    Great journalism!

    "Para todos, todo, para nosotros, nada." (Everything for everyone, nothing for us).-Zapatistas motto, MX social movement.

    by ajc1485 on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:32:44 PM PDT

  •  Petraeus is more adept at press briefings than (0+ / 0-)

    Dana Perino


  •  Past Time to Filibuster an End to This War! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    When the Senate takes up the next war funding bill, either one of them could lead a filibuster
    refusing to stand down until their colleagues agree to vote against any bill that provides funding to continue the war

    Just how can we possibly make this happen?

    Call Senator Clinton and Senator Obama

    Also call your own two Senators.

    Bluntly, but politely, tell them you want them to filibuster the next war spending bill.

    Here are the numbers you need:
    Senator Hillary Clinton -- (202) 224-4451
    Senator Barack Obama -- (202) 224-2854
    Senate Switchboard -- (800) 828-0498

    Did Senator Obama mean what he said?

    "Let me be clear: there is no military solution in Iraq, and there never was. The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq's leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops. Not in six months or one year - now."

    -- Sen. Barack Obama, September 12, 2007

    Did Senator Clinton mean what she said?

    "Our message to the president is clear. It is time to begin ending this war -- not next year, not next month -- but today."

    -- Sen. Hillary Clinton, July 10, 2007

    This latest grass roots effort comes from a group with great stake in stopping the war, family members of active duty military persons.  Military Families Speak Out gives voice to their {our ... because  my son is an Army officer currently on the ground near Bagdad} frustration with the course of events since the occupation began.

    Military Families Speak Out is an organization of people opposed to the war in Iraq who have relatives or loved ones currently in the military or who have served in the military since the buildup to the Iraq war in fall of 2002. Our membership currently includes over 3,700 military families, with new families joining daily. If you have family members or loved ones in the military and you are opposed to this war, JOIN us.

    Military Families Speak Out is asking for help in a grass roots effort to persuade our political representatives to become leaders, to act upon their stated belief that the war began as a grevious error and continues to drag down much of what we care about.  Military Families Speak Out asks that we/you contact your senator and representative .... requesting that he or she participate in an honorable filibuster to prevent continued war funding.

    Call Senator Clinton, Senator Obama and your own two Senators and tell them you want them to filibuster the war spending bill.  

    Sign MFSO's online petition

    Get others to sign on too by forwarding this message to everyone you know.

    Download our leaflet from pass it out at meetings, concerts, baseball games, the post office -- anywhere people gather in your town.

    Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper calling on people in your community to press Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and your Senators to filibuster the war spending bill.

    Why should we ask our leaders, especially our potential next President, to do this?

    Congress has the power to end the war in Iraq now. The President can't spend a dime on this war without the approval of both houses of Congress.

    They wouldn't even need a majority of their colleagues to back them up -- all they need is 40 Senators prepared to unite behind their leadership and block additional funding to continue the war from making it through the Senate.

    This idea presents to opportunity to move beyond the tiresome debate over who spoke out against the war first.

  •  What are we winning in Iraq? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler


    Swift Goat Pets For Truth

    by Amayupta yo on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:37:47 PM PDT

    •  As in all wars (0+ / 0-)

      the well connected are winning. They are making beaucoup money. That's not "we" but it's one of the reasons the war will continue. Cronies reap the benefits, less fortunate others pay with their lives. The Iraqis, well few even care about the Iraqis.

      "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control people..." Henry Kissinger

      by truong son traveler on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 12:06:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  MOVEON has a great new video: (0+ / 0-)

    Endless War on the Installment Plan:

    The Seminole Democrat
    A blue voice calling from the deep red

    by SemDem on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:39:01 PM PDT

  •  Dang! (3+ / 0-)

    No wonder you are a front-pager!  ;)

    Support the Netroots Candidates! A VETO-PROOF majority in 2008!!!

    by InquisitiveRaven on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 02:46:41 PM PDT

  •  Two Word... (0+ / 0-)




  •  Maybe Petraeus is like me... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm color blind, so those maps don't really mean all that much!

    Somehow, I doubt that's not his problem, though!

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 04:02:54 PM PDT

  •  the funny thing.. (0+ / 0-)

    While people like Hillary have been conceding that the surge is working to the Republicans, I've been saying all along that it has been a huge failure, and that a large part of the lull in violence is attributable to the "success" of ethnic cleansing, not the surge.

    The other part would be attributable to al-Sadr's unilateral ceasefire, again, not the surge.

    I don't get what is so hard about this for people to understand. It doesn't take graphs to figure out the obvious.

    Anyway, thanks for this.

  •  So MoveOn was right. (0+ / 0-)

    But we won't hear a peep about it. Bastards!

  •  A little confused...any help sminthius? (0+ / 0-)

    Whilst I understand your central argument, I'm a little bit confused as to the details.

    In your original falsification (this previous september), you stated that the maps were inaccurate in that Sunnis were being driven from their homes at an alarming rate. Yet Petraeus' revision appears to indicate the formerly mixed areas west of the Tigris have actually been restored to a Sunni majority. While I can see how this can be viewed as ever heightening separation and strife that separates the two groups, this is certainly not an indication of Sunni expulsion. Great reporting, just wondering if you could help me on the details.

    •  Sorry, I don't follow what you are saying (0+ / 0-)

      after "yet Petraeus' revision..." I've read it several times, and I can't quite figure out what you're asking me. Can you rephrase?

      •  Sorry, rephrase. (0+ / 0-)

        Let me try again.

        Originally in September of this year, you notes that Petraeus' slides were misleading in that they showed a constant ethnic makeup of Iraq. You states that this slides were inaccurate, and that Sunnis were being purged from their homes. Yet in the revised set of slides that Petraeus presented two days ago, it seems as if over the course of the past year, Sunnis have actually taken over formerly mixed areas (the revises December 06 slide shows an area west of the river as mixed, and later slides show this area as primarily Sunni.) While I understand that Petraues initially misled us, it seems to me that he was not hiding Sunni expulsion, but rather Sunni takeover.


        •  I think I see what you're asking (0+ / 0-)

          The fact of the cleansing is that Sunnis mostly were driven out of large areas of the city, especially where they were a minority and concentrated in a few areas where they could defend themselves. That's why for example the large southern area (Doura) went from a mixed to a predominantly Sunni area. That's part of what the falsification of the sectarian maps helps to hide - concentrations of Sunnis west of the river.

  •  The surge CAUSED ethnic cleansing. (0+ / 0-)

    It's about time we called a spade a spade.

    As an Iraqi-American academic born and raised in New Orleans, this voter is not pleased.

    by naltikriti on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 07:42:50 PM PDT

  •  Petraeus/Bush lies,"Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    as Barny Fife said.

    Dr. Phil says it differently, "You can tell when they are lying --- Their mouths are moving."

    I would say. "After so many lies it is no longer possible to determine if the truth is ever being told."

  •  Congratulations, smintheus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler, vets74

    This is fabulous forensic reporting.

    Last time when Petraeus testified, with all the attendant media storms about the MoveOn ad calling him Betray-us etc. - that seems to effectively have killed any desire/instinct to question his veracity on this round. Heavens no - ask him tough questions, but never question his authenticity. Since this is primarily a PR exercise to show that the Rethug Congresscritters are perfectly justifed in jackbooting with the Preznit and Petraeus, these type of glaring misrepresentations will never see the light of the day in the traditional media.

    Since I follow dKos avidly, I will often send tidbits about senator McNasty to my friends. And even the most liberal of them who don\t follow dKos and other blogs - they are surprised by some of the information we discuss here.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    by Suvro on Wed Apr 09, 2008 at 08:37:52 PM PDT

    •  "Be-tray-us" was a miss. "Us" took a minor hit. (0+ / 0-)

      The Iraqi people -- erstwhile rivals to the Saudis -- were the ones who got betrayed, impoverished, and slaughtered.

      American arms, Saudi genocidal policy.

      The Bush crew as the catalyst....

      BTW: 1,000,000 dead. 3,000,000 refugees. 2,000,000 orphans.

      The Sunnis pretty much destroyed as a cultural force. Sectarian Baathist Sunnis all but wiped out.

      All this in a country where people had never heard even the name of Usama bin Laden.

      Dixie Chicks, Amy Winehouse, Imus, and Rev. Wright. Overcome our evil with good.

      by vets74 on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 05:19:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  thanks (0+ / 0-)

      You're right, the MoveOn nonsense sucked up all the oxygen last September. It was a shame, truly a shame, because there were serious issues that ought to have been debated. One of those issues was whether Petraeus had become a cheerleader for his own command.

  •  Misled? Why be polite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

     When I mislead someone, especially on something big, I dont here the word misled.  I would properly be called a rotten liar. So should Petraeus.

    ...hide nothing, and you have nothing to hide

  •  Great catch on a critical distortion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hope this is covered in the 'traditional media'!!

    Old style politics of 50%+1 will NOT get us to where we need to go!!

    by SpringFever on Thu Apr 10, 2008 at 01:53:51 AM PDT

  •  smintheus, this is great detective work (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on your part. Your expertise in these critical areas is so valuable. Thank you for the time you put into this. And all your other service to the blogging community.

  •  But if you take that map (0+ / 0-)

    and put bigger smiliey faces where there is more violence then the press and American People think everything is working there.

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