The "Surge" Cures All

If it worked over there, why not over here?

Answering a question about his approach to combatting crime, John McCain suggested that military strategies currently employed by US troops in Iraq could be applied to high crime neighborhoods here in the US. McCain called them tactics "somewhat like we use in the military...You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control."

Because that's what America's police departments have been lacking lately.  Not enough military-like force.  Just throw some tanks and Humvees at the inner cities.  That'll calm 'em down.

Think of all the other problems "surges" could solve.  I'm seeing the "Anti-Poverty Surge," the "Health Care Surge," and the "Anti-Obesity Surge."  And of course, all we really need to finally win the drug war is a "surge"—a three-month blast of troops, guns, and ammo ought to do.

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  • A Marlboro Man||

    oh my god

  • Episiarch||

    Crime goes down and down and down, and "tough on crime" rhetoric goes up and up and up. I don't get it.

    Oh, and McCain just freaked the shit out of me.

  • Ska||

    Sounds somewhat Giuliani-ish with crimestat. And seriously, wouldn't they both love to use the surge tactic everywhere?

  • ||

    What McCain is describing is the policing strategy that was followed in most American cities throughout the 70s and 80s: big show of force, targetting resources against "known bad guys" - it's a Darryl Gates wet dream.

    It's also known by policing professionals to be a miserable failure, which is why it was abandoned in favor of "broken windows" and "community policing" in the early 90s. You remember the early 90s - that's when crime strarted dropping.

  • ||

    LOL, is there anyone out there really taking McSame seriously? I mean really.

    JT
    http://www.ULtimate-Anonymity.com

  • Elemenope||

    Oh, and McCain just freaked the shit out of me.

    No shit. I thought I was sufficiently jaded for this crap, but I was *wrong*.

  • Johnny Nowhere||

    no-knock SWAT raids replaced with airstrikes, perhaps?

  • Josef||

    I think this means Peoria, Illinois is ahead of the nation. It is not call a surge around here. Instead, the term "saturation patrol" is used instead. I had never heard of the term until I moved to Peoria. I've seen one in action and it felt very weird watching it.

  • hilly||

    Holy fuck, McCain. Thanks for quite probably cementing my status as an Obama voter.

  • ||

    How does your grapefruit taste now, Reinmoose?

  • ||

    doom
    Doooom
    DOOOOOOM
    DOOOOOOOOOM

  • Fluffy||

    I have said before that what was done in Fallujah was only partially an military exercise in response to an emergency, and was in some ways a dress rehearsal for the way people like McCain want normal, everyday society to function: Total surveillance, all the time, with access to routine daily life matters restricted to those with the proper biometric identification and permits, while anyone with a name on the wrong list squats under corrugated tin in a desert or under a bridge somewhere.

    It shouldn't be surprising that McCain is taking the surge as a model for domestic operations in the US, when it was supposed to be a proving ground for domestic technologies and systems anyway.

  • ||

    The Viet Cong must have tortured him by attaching battery cables to his brain...

  • ||

    I've got a surge, and it's in my pants.

  • jtuf||

    As part of his argument, McCain praised the crime-fighting efforts of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani...

    Giuliani spearheaded "broken windows" and "community policing". It worked much better than white flight. Yes, we need policing policies that ban no-knock warrants and other excessive uses of force. Yes, we need to repeal restrictive laws. However, increasing the number of cops and patrols can make sense. A limited strong government is better than an overreaching weak government. The overreaching weak government is still oppressive, it just focuses on oppressing the most vulnerable members of our society.

  • stuartl||

    Very bizarre, even for off the cuff McCain. I'd like to see the full quote in context.

  • Naga Sadow||

    I'm sorry but the WoD surge would be freakin' awesome! A lotta enemies of mine are gonna get raided! Oh . . . wait. I live in the ghetto part of Biloxi now . . . crap.

  • Elemenope||

    Warren is busy imitating the drums of the deep for performance art purposes.

    And I can't bring myself to blame him for it.

  • Guy Montag||

    no-knock SWAT raids replaced with airstrikes, perhaps?

    Interesting idea.

    I guess I have a Capabilities Development Document to work on for the weekend now . . .

  • ||

    What.

    The.

    Fuck?!

  • bizarro-world ed||

    Hmmm...South L.A. gang-bangers strapping on suicide vests and taking out over-militarized SWAT goon squads...everybody wins!

  • The McCain Campaign||

    Stop playing the race card, ed.

  • ed||

    Busted again.

  • ed||

    Cindy's hot, John. Can I slow dance with her? Just once?

  • Episiarch||

    Fluffy, you seem a little hyperbolic today. Any particular reason?

  • The McCain Campaign||

    Cindy's hot, John. Can I slow dance with her? Just once?

    You can't do it, my friend. You can't do it.

  • ||

    Mccain was a Navy bomber/fighter pilot. Exactly how does that qualify him to expound on small unit ground combat?

  • ||

    "Urban League president Marc Morial countered that while New York did experience a drop in crime under Giuliani, there were several major instances of police misconduct. To which McCain promised aggressive prosecution of civil rights violations and a Justice Department free from political cronyism."

    So is McCain going to subject city police and prosecutors to federal authority? Or is he just going to send in the National Guard?

    No idea where to start with the DoJ remark.

  • The New Revolution||

    They wanna use counter-insurgency tactics? Well, then it's only right that we give them a real insurgency!
    But seriously . . . I DO ADVOCATE VIOLENCE AGAINST ANYBODY. Hear that, read that spooks?
    So . . . let me ask this of my fellow Hit and Runners ... would you feel just the slightest twinge of satisfaction if there were some kind of genuinely "heavy" resistance?

  • The New Revolution||

    the biggest lol of my freakin life . . . the above in caps should read : I DO *NOT* ADVOCATE VIOLENCE AGAINST ANYBODY.
    Shit ... and I actually invited the spooks to listen!

  • ||

    The Seasteading post is starting to look pretty damned good.

  • Nigel Watt||

    a Justice Department free from political cronyism

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • ||

    "Knavery seems to be so much the striking feature of its [America's] inhabitants that it may not in the end be an evil that they will become aliens to the kingdom."

  • ||

    And of course, all we really need to finally win the drug war is a "surge"-a three-month blast of troops, guns, and ammo ought to do.



    Two thoughts:

    1. I think a decent number of Americans would accept this. They'd also accept collateral damage as a result of such "surge"(except for collateral damage that's under 25 years old, white and female).

    2. If we get President McCain we'd get Attorney General Giuliani. Personally I'd rather have Ashcroft back.

  • chunky||

    I'll give McCain a surge . . . all the way up his a**.

  • ||

    John Clarke, don't you know that once you've engaged in Republican-approved military service, you're automatically an expert on all things military?

  • ||

    whole thing's here:
    http://209.222.144.36/nul2008/day3_plenary3.asf

    fast-forward to around the 52 minute mark for the "surge" talk...

  • Fluffy||

    Epi,

    I don't think it's hyperbole to say that the Iraq war has been used as a proving ground for many technologies that the Peronists in the GOP would like to use elsewhere in a widespread way.

    Whether it's the use of armed robots, drone surveillance, large-scale use of biometric identification, or whatever.

    I truly think that in Fallujah they said, "Well, we have here a city where all the civilians have fled. This would be a good chance to tell everyone they can't come back here unless they let us impose this system of restricted access to the city controlled by active use of biometrics and continual surveillance. That will help us get the bugs out of these 'technologies of tomorrow'."

  • ||

    oops, wrong link in my clipboard. that was a link directly to the video, the page with the video embedded is at http://www.broadcasturban.net/webcast/nul2008/day3_plenary3.htm

  • Elemenope||

    They'd also accept collateral damage as a result of such "surge"(except for collateral damage that's under 25 years old, white and female).

    Oh, I'm fairly sure that they'd accept collateral damage in the form of >25yr old white females, too.

    Cause remember, if they were involved with drugs (and if they weren't, then they wouldn't be bothered by the cops, would they?) then they're bad and must be stopped.

  • Episiarch||

    Maybe, Fluffy. Maybe. It all seems just a little too organized for the government, but I will admit that this administration has continuously surprised me with its organized mendacity.

  • ||

    Elemenope: Yeah, I know that. It was more joking on the media's (and many peoples') suffering from 'Missing White Woman Syndrome'

  • ||

    And yet another reason to vote for Obama.

  • SIV||

    And yet another reason to vote for Obama.

    What was the first one?

  • chunky||

    If Bush is Claudius, then Obama is Nero . . . and McCain is ??? . . . Vespasian? All of them are Caesars now.

  • ||

    """You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control.""""

    Sounds like he's been talking to Ghouliani. Rudy for VP?

    """Giuliani spearheaded "broken windows" and "community policing"."""

    I am curious as to how you mean spearheaded. They were not new techniques.

  • Episiarch||

    But who is Domitian?

  • ||

    Oh yeah, let's do a law enforncement surge in Compton, Flint and my hometown. Can I have the body bag concession?

  • ||

    Mccain was a Navy bomber/fighter pilot. Exactly how does that qualify him to expound on small unit ground combat?

    Who the fuck is stupid enough to think that law enforcement in a free society is anyting like ground combat or fighting an insurgency?

    C'mon all of you red staters, I'd like to hear how ANY tactics used in Iraq are applicable to the east side of Detroit. Tell me how Obama's proposals will be worse than this sociopathic policy thinking. This is truly a frightening concept. It indicates that McCains vision of a free society is markedly different than mine.

  • chunky||

    If America's history does parallel Rome's, then perhaps we should pray for a Domitian . . . what followed were the Five Good Emperors.

  • Episiarch||

    Nerva's Adopted Line? I'd rather hobble the "Emperor" rather than hope we get good ones.

  • ||

    "He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power."

    "He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation."

    "For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments."

    Seems to me I've read this somewhere before.

  • chunky||

    Epi ... point taken. But what are the chances? Not to say we shouldn't fight to hobble the Emperors . . . but if the best we could hope for is a century of relative peace and calm, with prosperity and a decided lack of adventurism . . . then, oh well, I guess I'll have to settle.

  • GG||

    Seems to me I've read this somewhere before.

    I am, quote, locked and loaded, my friends.

    And yet another reason to vote for Obama.

    It is yet another reason to vote for Obama?

    I wonder, would he veto Biden's new crime bill currently making its way through Congress? (Has McCain been reaching across the aisle again?)

    Or will Obama have the "hometown security" situation well in hand with his "civilian national security force"?

    Fuck McBama. I wish I were a fuckin' tree. /Trixie the Whore

  • *||

    Has McCain been reaching across the aisle again?

    I think he's been reaching AROUND the aisle.

  • ||

    After read this, anyone still feel like getting all pissy over Bob Barr's libertarian cred? Apart from him, the choice is between Bad and Worse, and I'll leave it to your discretion as to who is which.

  • Metal Messiah||

    So we've gone from the old left's "War on Poverty" to the neoconservative "War on the Poor."

    Sounds like it will give Blackwater something to do. In addition to keeping them on the public dole for a while longer.

  • Rimfax||

    I thought that TheSurge benefited more from a change of tactics akin to community policing than it did from the rise in troop levels. What do I know. This armchair sure is comfy.

  • ||

    Is there any evidence that McCain is actually proposing using tanks and Humvees? I think you are reading between his sentences way too much. In fact, what he says is:


    ...somewhat like we use in the military...You go into neighborhoods, you clamp down, you provide a secure environment for the people that live there, and you make sure that the known criminals are kept under control. And you provide them with a stable environment and then they cooperate with law enforcement.



    (Emphasis added) It is entirely plausible that McCain is proposing using law enforcement with the surge tactics of getting out of the fortified bunkers and into the actual neighborhoods around the clock until the locals feel that they have enough security that they can cooperate with law enforcement without retribution.

    You may agree or disagree with this approach, but I don't think that you can reasonably say, with the evidence at hand, that McCain is proposing using the military to accomplish this.

    For what it's worth, I think a low profile but pervasive police presence in certain neighborhoods, when coupled with respect for civil liberties and geared towards apprehending criminals would in fact reduce crime in those neighborhoods.

  • ||

    Does the size of a police force ever shrink? As in, crime goes down, fewer police are necessary, a few police get cut.

  • stuartl||

    To expand on what Kevin P said, listening to the speech it is clear that ABC news blogger was playing fast and loose with what McCain actually said:

    "You might look at what Rudy Giuliani did in NYC...Some of those tactics -- very frankly -- you [the questioner] mention the war in Iraq -- are somewhat like we use in the military..."

    The implication was clearly that the key was to provide a safe and stable environment, not bring in the tanks.

  • stuartl||

    I am not a fan of McCain, his name is attached to one of the worst pieces of legislation in my life time, but if you are going to attack, use his real flaws. There are plenty.

  • Elemenope||

    I am not a fan of McCain, his name is attached to one of the worst pieces of legislation in my life time, but if you are going to attack, use his real flaws. There are plenty.

    Uh. Wanting to apply "surge" tactics and strategy *to our own people* isn't a flaw?

  • Elemenope||

    p.s. You don't need tanks to "surge" the average "problem neighborhood".

  • Johnny Nowhere||

    Kevin P.,

    I was with you until you wrote

    "when coupled with respect for civil liberties"

    then I fell off my chair laughing

  • Fluffy||

    I think a low profile but pervasive police presence in certain neighborhoods, when coupled with respect for civil liberties and geared towards apprehending criminals would in fact reduce crime in those neighborhoods.

    Right, but that wasn't what McCain was talking about.

    You seriously think he's talking about assuming a low profile and respecting civil liberties? Give me a break.

    Right, that's exactly what we should think he means when he talks about "clamp"ing down, when he talks about securing "known criminals", and when he analogizes to a military operation where you could kick in any door you wanted and drag away anyone you wanted.

    the locals feel that they have enough security that they can cooperate with law enforcement without retribution.

    I think you overestimate the degree to which the lack of cooperation with police in minority neighborhoods is a fear of retribution, and dramatically underestimate the degree to which that lack of cooperation is rooted in a reaction to previous "surges". Having millions of your friends, neighbors and relatives thrown into prison and stripped of their citizenship rights over specious nonsense crimes might gradually wear down your desire to cooperate. And that's really what McCain is talking about: doubling down yet again and escalating the enforcement techniques of the war on drugs yet again so that more black and hispanic people can be sent to prison to win accolades and votes from white racists. Considering the fact that we already have helicopter surveillance and SWAT military style raids on minority neighborhoods, if McCain wants yet another escalation there's really nowhere to go but full militarization and setting up one or two Abu Ghraibs per urban area.

  • ||

    This has happened before. The British government tried out press censorship and gun control first in the Empire, and only later brought it home to the motherland.

  • stuartl||

    Uh. Wanting to apply "surge" tactics and strategy *to our own people* isn't a flaw?

    He was referring to tactics Giuliani used in NYC as analogous to the surge. Since I lived in NYC in the early 80's, overall I think those tactics were quite good. Crack down on the small stuff, be a presence to provide people security in formerly unsafe neighborhoods.

    I am not defending everything every police officer or politician did, but in general they made the city a much better place.

  • ||

    McCain is proposing using law enforcement with the surge tactics of getting out of the fortified bunkers and into the actual neighborhoods around the clock until the locals feel that they have enough security that they can cooperate with law enforcement without retribution.

    Fluffy totally called it, but I'm going to add my two cents.

    The presence of the police is what alienates the residents of these neighborhoods. They acknowledge that the bangers and dealers are bad guys, but the cops are a menace. They harass and intimidate innocent people on vague suspicions or shady tips from people who will say anything to get out of jail time. They lock up people who are guilty of nonviolent offenses for years or even decades with little regard for civil rights or basic human decency.

    Locking down neighborhoods and treating them like demilitarized zones is not the solution. If the police are going to clean up these neighborhoods, the way their incentives are set up need to be totally restructured, and they need to face actual consequences for violating the Constitution or making wrongful arrests. Some things can be done at the federal level (like making possession a misdemeanor, for example), but most of this crap needs to happen at the precinct level. And McCain, win or lose, will not be the king, and not have the power to effect those changes.

  • Rick H.||

    He was referring to tactics Giuliani used in NYC as analogous to the surge. Since I lived in NYC in the early 80's, overall I think those tactics were quite good.

    I lived there too, and I disagree both with your assessment of those tactics and with the historical misplacement of Giuliani's administration by an entire decade.

  • ||

    Does the size of a police force ever shrink? As in, crime goes down, fewer police are necessary, a few police get cut.

    No. As in Iraq, the only way to reduce troop levels is to keep troop levels high to prevent the violence that low troop levels would cause, thereby allowing us to reduce troop levels by keeping the peace which will only sustain is we keep troop levels high.

  • ||

    "... is if we keep troop levels high."

  • McCain||

    Uh. Wanting to apply "surge" tactics and strategy *to our own people* isn't a flaw?



    What are you talking about? I said "known criminals". You know, black and brown people, not Americans, my friend.

  • stuartl||

    Rick H, I apologize for my lack of clarity. When I lived in NYC in the early 80's it was not a particularly nice place. I left the city, but continued to visit regularly. The city definitely cleaned up during the Giuliani administration.

    Whatever your remaining disagreement, the key point is that McCain was comparing Guiliani's tactics to the surge, and in response to a question on reducing crime in the inner city was recommending Guiliani's tactics. He was not recommending military tactics.

  • ||

    I see a lot more applause for Guiliani's policing efforts from people who left before he came to office than from people who lived there while he was in office.

    I think that's significant.

  • ||

    Most of the applause is from people that didn't live in NYC at the time.

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