They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Rumsfeld: 'Infiltration' of Iraq Army - "problem faced by every major US city"

db: In an editorial 'Reflecting the Views of the United States Government' VoA 'News' yesterday reported Bush as saying: "Now, the increasing number of more capable Iraqi troops has allowed us to better hold on to the cities we have taken from the terrorists. The Iraqi troops know their people, they know their language, and they know who the terrorists are. By leaving Iraqi units in the cities we've cleared out, we can keep the cities safe while we move on to hunt down the terrorists in other parts of the country." He went on to say that more than one hundred Iraqi battalions are now operating throughout Iraq:

"Our commanders report that the Iraqi forces are operating with increasing effectiveness. As Iraqi forces show they're capable of keeping the terrorists out, they're earning the trust and confidence of the Iraqi people, which ensures the success of a free and democratic Iraq."

Yet in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee - to 'reassure Congress that they are making progress in Iraq' Bush's delusion of an Iraq military rapidly growing in capabilities and effectiveness was not as clear:

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: General Abizaid, there was a report sent over, I think last June, that three of the hundred Iraqi battalions were fully trained and equipped, capable of operating independently. What is that number now?

GEN. JOHN ABIZAID: The number now is, if you're talking about level-one trained --



SEN. JOHN McCAIN: At one battalion?


SEN. JOHN McCAIN: The previous report was you had three battalions. Now we're down to one battalion.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS: It doesn't feel like progress when we hear today that we have only one Iraqi battalion that is fully capable. Have we lost ground in the training of Iraqi security forces?

GEN. GEORGE CASEY: When we say a unit is fully capable, that means something to us. It means that they are capable of going out and conducting operations without any other support. That's a high standard, and we recognize that. So have we lost ground? Absolutely not.

DONALD RUMSFELD: I think reality is these folks are not going to end up at a level of US forces, period. There isn't a military in the Middle East that's at anywhere near US Levels. [db - nobody was expecting Iraq forces to be 'at the level' of US forces - but maybe a hope that by now they were approaching the level of the Dutch or, say, the Bulagrians wouldn't have been unreasonable]

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY: Who are we helping to stand up? And are the insurgents benefiting from the military training and the equipment and using inside knowledge to ambush and kill our soldiers? Can you assure us, Mr. Secretary, the American people, that we're not training the insurgents in the Iraqi security forces?

DONALD RUMSFELD: It's a problem that's faced by police forces in every major city in our country, that criminals infiltrate and sign up to join the police force....[db emphasis]

It's just beyond belief isn't it? Three battalions down to one is 'absolutely not' losing ground - and to counter the charge from Sen. Kennedy that the US might, slowly, be training insurgents that have 'infiltrated' the Iraqi armed forces Rumsfeld came up with a belter - "It's a problem that's faced by police forces in every major city in our country". Well I never!