"Put silk on a goat, and it's still a goat"
Arrianna Huffington bless your heart! In a piece titled "Progress" in Iraq: Do the Numbers Add Up?” about the training a readiness of Iraqi troops, the fiery red head points out, some of the rhetorical mumble jumble that been coming out of the administration the last few days about the number of Iraq battalions that are supposedly ready to take over security operations there so American troops can begin to draw down. If it doesn’t give you the feeling that the administration is completely incompetence, a ship that has lost it rudder, in conducting this war, nothing will. It seems like an episode of an old World War II era “Three Stooges or Marx Brothers" short. Except, it isn't funny because the bungling by the administration and military continues to kill people and waste billions of tax dollars. I guess we have ONE actual Iraqi battalion combat ready even though we are into year 3 of this fucking war. Here a short excerpt:
“On the military track, the president declared during his Saturday radio address that Iraqi security forces had "more than 100 battalions operating throughout the country." Sounds impressive. On Tuesday, he told reporters "there are over 80 army battalions fighting alongside coalition troops... There are over 30 Iraqi battalions in the lead." Okay, less impressive, but still notable.
This morning, after a meeting with Rummy and Generals Pace and Petraeus, he busted out some more numbers, saying "I was also pleased to hear there are 3,000 Iraqi forces" taking part in an offensive in western Iraq, adding "Over 30 percent of the Iraqi troops are in the lead on these offensive operations." Let's see, 30 percent of 3,000 ... Let me get my calculator...
The problem is, just last week, two other Generals, Abizaid and Casey, had told Congress that there was actually just 1 Iraqi battalion able to take on the insurgents on its own. 1. That's down from the 3 that supposedly had been ready to solo back in July. So, let's review: when it comes to Iraqi troops standing up so we can stand down, the key number is 100, check that...80, uh, actually 30... I mean, 3. Hold it, no... 1 . Apparently, that adds up to "good progress" for President Bush. Do you get the same answer?
I also recently linked a story about how nearly the entire Iraqi defense budget has somehow come up missing, to the tune of 1 billion dollars. No one seems to know were it went. I‘ve heard little about it in the mainstream press. But I’m outraged.
That’s 1 billion of your tax dollars people!!
Bush’s war speech yesterday was a renewed effort to help promulgate and prop up his mistakes in declaring and conducting the war in Iraq. There's an interesting prespective piece by Bob Cesca on the speech I found insightful. I thought it was just more fear mongering in the vain of “holier than thou and god is on our side” rhetorical bullshit with a few new bogey men villains thrown in for good measure. The main theme being that Iraq will become a terrorist state and able to attack its neighbors at will if we leave. Well Hello Mr. President. If Iraq ends up becoming a “haven for terrorists” then it’s because of your bungling and “frat boy mentality” will have brought it about. So don’t put the blame on other people or liberals who opposed this war from the beginning. You were properly warned, but you fail to heed the warnings. Everything that has actually happened in Iraq was predicted prior to the war by the military. You chose to ignore their advice. Even forcing many dedicated military men who opposed the conduct of this war into retirement. Your war plan was built on a faulty foundation promoted by lies and press manipulations. This war is like a house with a bad foundation. It cannot be fixed and it is about to topple over.