Monday, November 29, 2004

And Now For Something Completely Different

U.S. Officials Say Iraq's Forces Founder Under Rebel Assaults, sez the NY Times today, which sounds awfully un-positive to yours truly, but let's take a look:
MOSUL, Iraq, Nov. 29 - Iraqi police and national guard forces, whose performance is crucial to securing January elections, are foundering in the face of coordinated efforts to kill and intimidate them and their families, say American officials in the provinces facing the most violent insurgency.

For months, Iraqi recruits for both forces have been the victims of assassinations and car bombs aimed at lines of applicants as well as police stations. On Monday morning, a suicide bomber rammed a car into a group of police officers waiting to collect their salaries west of Ramadi, killing 12 people, Interior Ministry officials said.

I know the Iraqis are loving controlling their own country since Viceroy Bremmer handed over the keys in June, when they're not being car bombed, that is.

So, how's that "sovereignty" going?
In the most violent provinces, they say, the Iraqis are so intimidated that many are reluctant to show up and do not tell their families where they work; they have yet to receive adequate training or weapons, present a danger to American troops they fight alongside, and are unreliable because of corruption, desertion or infiltration.

Well, that's not a very nice thing to say. What about troop morale?? They are giving comfort to the enemy with talk like that! Why does our military hate America, er, Iraq, er, itself? Nevermind. I'm sure they'll all be chipper again as soon as they can come home in January after the elections are held, thus proving that democracy is alive and thriving in Iraq, where we will no longer be needed to shepherd it along like the gentle little lamb it is.
Given the weak performance of Iraqi forces, any major withdrawal of American troops for at least a decade would invite chaos, a senior Interior Ministry official, whose name could not be used, said in an interview last week.

A DECADE?? Gulp.

Okay, at least they have the satisfaction of knowing who is and who isn't on their side, right?
Down the road, in Ramadi, an American commander said the police had proved useless. There, American troops with the First Battalion of the Army's 503d Infantry are briefed to be just as cautious in dealing with the Iraqi police as they are with anyone else.
They also have serious problems of loyalty and competence. Just a few months ago, he believes, the local National Guard force was complicit in the abduction and killing of its own battalion commander west of Falluja.
Infiltration remains a problem. After the uprising, the Mosul police chief was quickly dismissed and was later arrested on suspicion of complicity with the insurgents.

And lest any firebreathin' gungho cowboy-wannabe argyle-and-ivy-crowd yahoos (that'd be you, prez) are reading this and thinking I'm not being fair to our boys, my cousin is preparing to return to Iraq for the third damn time, so I don't want to hear it from any of you about who does and does not love this country. He's done his job; now it's about f*cking time you did yours.