When Will America Get the Real Story on Iraq?
“There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!“
Is American Media beginning to sound like Baghdad Bob?
Today’s piece by James Fallows from the Atlantic Monthly makes you wonder where he is getting his information.
Why Iraq has No Army
The crucial need to improve security and order in Iraq puts the United States in an impossible position. It can’t honorably leave Iraq—as opposed to simply evacuating Saigon-style—so long as its military must provide most of the manpower, weaponry, intelligence systems, and strategies being used against the insurgency. But it can’t sensibly stay when the very presence of its troops is a worsening irritant to the Iraqi public and a rallying point for nationalist opponents—to say nothing of the growing pressure in the United States for withdrawal.
James Fallows, of course, is a liberal with a need to write about the failings of US security forces in Iraq and and a Saigon Style cut and run.
Yet, Fallows leaves out something in his reporting on the Iraq War- Reality!
In complete contradicition to Fallows, the Iraqi troops are doing amazingly well, “for not being ready!” Currently, the Iraqi Forces are running 70% of the security operations. According to Alsabah newspaper from Iraq (via Haider Ajina):
As for the departure of the multi national forces from Iraq. Dr. Abdulmehdi clarified that during his visit to Washington DC he met with U.S. Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He talked with him about handing over the security of Iraqi cities to the Iraqi national forces, as had happened in Nejaf and certain areas of Baghdad. They also agreed that the mission of the multi national forces in Iraq will not be complete until qualified Iraq forces are ready to fill the security roll. He also pointed out that a fundamental agreement wit the multi national forces does not contain a withdrawal time table. This agreement also acknowledges the larger roll of the Iraqi armed forces are taking. Over 70% of security operations are now done by Iraqi forces; this has grown from just 30%.
As for how the Iraqis see the current security situation, in a survey by the International Republican Institute released this week:
* 49% to 36% of Iraqis believe the country is headed in the right direction.
* Only 8 % of the country is saying that foreign forces are the reason that the country is going in the wrong direction!
* Only 54% of Iraqis chose security as one of their top three areas of concern that need improvement.
* 44% of Iraqis see security as improving compared to 29% who say the situation is not improving.
There is also more news of withdrawing forces from Iraq this week, but surprisingly not because Iraq is a quagmire as Fallows suggests:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this week that the training of Iraqi soldiers had advanced so far that the current number of U.S. troops in the country probably would not be needed much longer.
President Bush will give a major speech Wednesday at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in which aides say he is expected to herald the improved readiness of Iraqi troops, which he has identified as the key condition for pulling out U.S. forces.
It also follows agreement this week among Iraqi politicians that the U.S. troop presence ought to decrease. Meeting in Cairo, representatives of the three major ethnic and religious groups called for a U.S. withdrawal and recognized Iraqis’ “legitimate right of resistance” to foreign occupation. In private conversations, Iraqi officials discussed a possible two-year withdrawal period, analysts said.
The developments seemed to lay the groundwork for potentially large withdrawals in 2006 and 2007, consistent with scenarios outlined by Pentagon planners.
Austin Bay has more today on the realism that we are seeing develop in the Middle East.