Followed by a moon shadow
TRAVUS T. HIPP, 1937-2012
Our friend Travus, 75, passed away peacefully between 2:00 and
3:00 a.m. PDT on 18 May 2012 at his home in Silver City, Nevada. The sun
is in eclipse as I write this at 6:30 p.m. on May 20.
Travus' last column in the 5-20 Daily Sparks Tribune
Tribune Photo / Debra K. Reid / January 4, 2009
Guest Writings by Travus T. Hipp
breakfast, instant coffee, instant gratification
Daily Sparks Tribune / 12-4-2011
The Surge Shuck and Jive
by Travus T. Hipp
From the 7-27-2008 Daily Sparks Tribune
Reproduced by permission
Copyright © 2008 Cabale News Service
Back in the day, when it still seemed important to understand "logic" and the methodology of orderly thought, scholars divided the thought processes into two competing mechanisms: "deduction" and "induction." Deduction had the advantage of being verifiable at all steps, while induction allowed for leaps of insight, confirmable only in hindsight. The pedestrian, step-by-step proofs of deduction were the workaday tools of scientific progress from the industrial age onward until the digital revolution restored induction to preeminence.
Which brings us to the "Surge," acclaimed by the Bush/McCain neo-con fringe as a winning strategy responsible for the reduced American casualties over the last year of enhanced deployment. According to these loyalists and their media chorus of talk host fascists, the timely introduction of some 30,000 more troops saved Iraq at large, and Baghdad in particular, from sectarian anarchy. Gen. Patreus is a genius, street life is returning and the government is ready to run itself for a change.
Unfortunately, an examination of the events leading to the current lull in fighting reveals other authors and influences behind the changes.
The much lauded "Sunni awakening" in Anbar province had nothing to do with the Surge, having been mongered by several tribal Sheiks in the winter of 06 at the urging of the neighboring Saudis. The Saudis feared that the influx of teenage Jihadis would lead to Al Queda attacks on "the Kingdom." They offered support and suggested that the local Sunnis take big bucks and arms from the Americans for turning on the foreign fighters hidden among them.
With the example of Fallujah, (reduced to rubble by U.S. forces in retaliation for the murder of four contract American gunmen), the sheiks saw the light and opted for U.S. alliances and protection from any forthcoming Shia persecution by national government troops. With arms and mucho American cash, the tribes have pacified their province and U.S. combat is rare these days.
In the Shiite south and the neighborhoods of Baghdad the Ayatollah al-Sistani counseled his secular leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, to stand down and concentrate on administering the areas he controlled without confronting the national police and army or attacking American patrols unless provoked.
Violence diminished, al-Sadr concentrated on building his political base for upcoming elections, and the surging troops went largely unchallenged as they flooded Baghdads streets. Token attacks on our fortified "Green Zone" and roadside booby traps aside, our politicians and commanders are claiming limited victory, and crediting the Surge as a strategy.
Under the doctrine of "concomitant variation," in inductive reasoning we may look back on the reduction in the intensity of the war and infer that various factors involved in the change may have been cause-and-effect related, but certainly no single influence alone could have created the result.
History is all true, just some parts of it are truer than others.
"Travus T. Hipp" is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. "The Poor Hippys Paul Harvey," Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views. His commentaries appear on seven California radio stations.
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Andrew Barbano is a 39-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and JoeNeal.org; a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO, and the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his opinions are strictly his own. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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