Time’s Up on the Surge

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In January, Condi Rice tried to dampen outrage over the surge by acknowledging she had a realistic view of things. If the Maliki government didn’t prove itself in 2-3 months, she said, the new military plan isn’t going to work.

Well, I wrote yesterday that the Maliki government is purging officers who fight too hard against sectarian violence, and earlier this month polling revealed that the Maliki government is favored by 72 percent of Shi’ites and just eight percent of Sunnis. Moreover, only 18 percent of Iraqis have confidence in American forces and 69 percent of them believe the Americans make the security situation worse. (At this point our presence is Iraq amounts to us telling the Iraqis that we know what is good for their country better than they do.)

And today, news comes out that more American soldiers died in April than in any other month of 2007. Things are getting worse, not better. So Condi was right, if not in a causative way then in a correlative one. The Maliki government has failed, and the surge has led to more violence and death.

How much more time, Condi?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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