The most convincing evidence that the surge isn’t working, in terms of restoring security to Baghdad and central Iraq, is that we have 3.2-million Iraqi refugees — that’s about one in nine Iraqis — who’ve fled to Jordan or Syria or within Iraq. Living in appalling conditions, money running out, poor health. I’ve been to refugee camps where there’s no fresh water, where cholera is beginning. And they don’t go home! These are the best judges of what the real security situation is in Iraq — not Senator McCain, not me. But these people who if they felt they could go back to their homes in some security, if they and their children could be safe, they’d do it tomorrow. But they’re not because they know it’s not true; they know it’s as dangerous as it ever was. And that’s really what everybody should remember when they’re asked: how is the surge doing, or for an optimistic moment they think things are getting better in Iraq.
Patrick Cockburn, Iraq correspondent of the London Independent, in conversation with Open Source, April 2008
From the interview Patrick Cockburn: The New War in Iraq