Back through history with Senator Schumer.
"The violence in Anbar has gone down despite the surge, not because of the surge. The inability of American soldiers to protect these tribes from al Qaeda, said to these tribes: 'We have to fight al Qaeda ourselves.'" Sen. Schumer, Sept. 5, 2007 / Floor of the Senate
Fall of Communism
The Soviet Empire fell despite, not because of, Pershing missiles pointed at 300 Soviet cities. The inability of NATO to protect Warsaw Pact countries from Moscow dominance said to these satellites: "We have to fight Communism ourselves".
Taking the cliffs of Northern France occurred despite the Normandy Landing, not because of it. The inability of Marshall Petain to protect les citoyens from the German occupiers said to the Partisans, "we have to liberate ourselves". (citation: Le Memorial de Caen / Caen, France)
Lee's surrender occurred despite Sherman's march through the South, not because of it. All the flames and smoke prevented slave uprisings from succeeding and thus ending the war years earlier.
Hernando Cortes Invasion of the Aztecs
The conquest of the Aztecs occurred despite Cortes and his army, not because of his use of horses, his impersonation of the god Quetzaquotal, and his kidnapping of their ruler Montezuma. The inability of the heavily-armed soldiers to protect tribes from Montezuma already had the savages planning revenge.
Attila the Hun
The fall of the Roman Empire occurred despite the Hunnic invasion, not because of it. The indigenous peoples had already begun overthrowing their imperial rulers. Attila just got in the way -- hence leaders had to position themselves as "to the right of etc."
Israelites Free from Pharaoh
The Exodus of the Israelites from Pharaoh's Egypt occurred despite Mosaic leadership, not because of it. The inability of the so-called "Prince of Egypt" to protect downtrodden Hebrews from their pyramid taskmasters said to eleven of the twelve tribes: "We've got to cut our own deal with Pharaoh."
Expulsion from Eden
Man's Descent occurred despite the serpent, not because of him. The inability of Adam to provide fruit for Eve made her say, "I've got to get it myself." The serpent was only trying to talk her out of it, explaining to her that Creation occurred despite the Big Bang, not because of it. (see next item)
The Known Universe was created despite, not because of, a primordial event. The inability of a Higher Force to create matter outside of a time/space construct said to the compressed wave forms, "We're just going to have to make a quantum change on our own." Creation, therefore, was already in progress before the first Surge.