for those of you who may have missed it, Dick Durbin was interviewed on NPR this morning about his trip to baghdad.
i'll post a transcript of the interview as soon as NPR puts it up, but the main gist of it was that we are going to hear a lot of "the surge is working" in the next month or so. the problem is that there is nothing behind the surge; there are no iraqi troops coming in to hold the ground that the surge is gaining.
so the bottom line is that as soon as we take our troops off of the front lines, the surge deflates behind our front lines because there is no one to back us up.
and we all know why this is: even for the iraqi troops who are interested in helping secure their country and working with the americans, there is simply too much risk involved in being seen as a public supporter of the occupation. we all know about how many translators have been killed. we all know about the truck bombings that have been aimed at the iraqi police and army. the climate is such that as long as we are there, there will be no army behind us to stand up when we stand down. there's no way around this cold, hard fact.
so as you start to get inundated with mainstream media messages about the surge working, remember what dick durbin said this morning on NPR. the surge may or may not work, but it doesn't really matter since there is no iraqi government to fill the void behind us.
update: still no transcript, but you can listen to the segment here.