Thursday, September 29, 2005

We will stand down when the Iraqis can stand up

Or something like that. AP story in the Guardian:

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Iraqi battalions capable of combat without U.S. support has dropped from three to one, the top American commander in Iraq told Congress Thursday, prompting Republicans to question whether U.S. troops will be able to withdraw next year.


Anonymous Jorg said...

Contrast General Casey with Presiden Bush's statement: "At this moment, more than a dozen Iraqi battalions have completed training and are conducting anti-terrorist operations in Ramadi and Fallujah. More than 20 battalions are operating in Baghdad. And some have taken the lead in operations in major sectors of the city. In total, more than 100 battalions are operating throughout Iraq."
via thinkprogress

Both statements could be true - technically, but still...

"The number of Iraqi battalions capable of combat without U.S. support has dropped from three to one,"
Maybe the other two need very little US support, which would support your argument on our blog that a small US ground force could prevent the worst.
I doubt it, however.

10:03 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Jorg, that is a great point. Both comments may be technically true, but it shows the danger of slick word parsing in a war situation.

I often think this administration is too Madison Ave.

10:10 AM  
Anonymous jorg said...

I agree.

I think it was Paul Krugman who said like 3 years ago that all administrations exaggerate and spin, but that this one does even more so.
Clinton might have referred to a 4,4 as a 5, but Bush calls it a 7. Somehting like that. It sounded smarter and funnier when Krugman said it.

1:20 PM  
Blogger zen said...

This is precisely why we need transparent, measurable goals. Otherwise the spin will be sickneing and somehow always have a shiny, rosy glow when it comes from Bush. The American public needs to demand accountability that is measurable in hard numbers, not in spin.
As the public grows increasingly sick and tired of Bush's war it will be vital to give those who want out asap, yet just short of immediate withdrawl, a reason to remain patient. This means giving us a measuring stick to "mission accomplished."
But I suspect that the admin will choose some time to slap a stamp on it and come home based on when it's politically advantagous, rather than based on success.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous jorg said...

Got point, Zen.

Check out:
Rootless Cosmopolitan's entry "Prophylactic Spin on Iraq"

2:08 PM  

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