the surge has improved security but has not led to the political reconciliation that was supposed to be its purpose.
Here's a perfect example of how the bumper-sticker mentality pollutes our political debates. The above sentence is perfectly accurate and is about as good as its going to get to succinctly explain where we stand in Iraq. But it's 19 words. Compare that to "The Surge is Working!" It's significantly less accurate but its not obviously wrong.
So in the contest to reach people and encourage support for one position or another we have 19 words competing against 4.
You might write off my concern as sour grapes until I restate the problem thusly:
In a democracy it's easier to gain approval for stupid actions than smart ones.
And it shows....