'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

And We Would've Gotten Away With It, If It Wasn't For Those Cowardly Iraqi Security Forces... 

Knight-Ridder frames some recent tepid statements by Bush as the boy king acknowledging "what many experts have been saying for months", but doesn't seem to notice the buck passing that accompanied the statements:

Bush called the terrorist bombings "effective propaganda tools" meant to shake the will of Iraqis and Americans alike. On Monday, estimates of the death toll from twin bombings in Najaf and Karbala a day earlier had climbed to 67, the worst carnage since July, the Associated Press reported.

"There's no question about it, the bombers are having an effect," Bush said, also labeling "unacceptable" the failure by some Iraqi security units to stand their ground.

Bathsheba Crocker, former National Security Council member and State Department attorney, said the president was "more forthcoming today about some of the realities on the ground in Iraq, less positive than we have tended to hear in terms of the insurgency."

"They have improved their effectiveness in terms of their ability to carry out multiple operations in different places at the same time," she said. "The things we are doing do not seem to have started to break the back of the insurgency."

The article goes on to quote Joseph Cirincioni, head of the nonproliferation project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as saying that Bush's acknowledgment of "a fraction of the problems that really exist" is an effort to "inoculate" himself should conditions disintegrate, which sounds plausible to me -- these elections could very easily explode in BushCo's face and the boys must realize it.

I'm not sure which is more pathetic: the fact that Bush's vague acknowledgement of the true state of Iraq actually is newsworthy or Bush's half-assed attempt to blame the Iraq mess on the failure of "Iraqi security units" -- you know, the impoverished fellows who actually tried to play nice with the occupying army that wrecked their country, signing up for thankless jobs and frequently getting blown up for the trouble.

Here's more of Bush inoculating himself by pre-emptively blaming the Iraqi proxy army from the AP:

"And so the American people are taking a look at Iraq and wondering whether the Iraqis are eventually going to be able to fight off these bombers and killers," Mr. Bush said in perhaps his clearest expression of frustration with Iraqi forces. Mr. Bush's strategy calls for American troops to protect Iraq while local police and soldiers are trained to do the job themselves, eventually allowing America to withdraw.

"Now I would call the results mixed in terms of standing up Iraqi units who are willing to fight," Mr. Bush said in a candid assessment. "There have been some cases where, when the heat got on, they left the battlefield. That's unacceptable. Iraq will never secure itself if they have troops that, when the heat gets on, they leave the battlefield."

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