Iraqi Army Not Ready to Defend Fallujah
Iraqi commanders acknowledge they can't handle a city as large and volatile as Fallujah without American support - especially with the country teetering on the edge of civil war between the Shiite majority and Sunni minority.
"It's something we keep in mind, that one day coalition forces are going to leave. But it can't be now," said 1st Lt. Hamazah Adman, head of intelligence for the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division.
"We can say that two years may be enough," he said.
Sorry, my friend that time frame isn't looking too good but the President did say today that the US would not withdraw until the "mission is complete." The article goes on to discuss the 400 advisers in Iraq.
Like many U.S. advisers in Iraq, Marines from the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion's Military Transition team live with the Iraqi army, sharing separate ends of a heavily fortified former health club.
But the Americans complain that much of their time is spent ensuring Iraqi soldiers are paid and that they receive basic equipment like flashlights and gloves. Higher-ups pocket supplies meant for troops, and many soldiers sell uniforms and boots while on leave, returning to demand new ones.
"Most of the time we can't advise. We are too busy running around protecting ourselves from attack or just making sure the army has the basics," said Sgt. Thomas J. Ciccarelli, 37, of South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Anbar Picture Grows Clearer, and Bleaker
The Washington Post has found another leaker. This time they claim it's a senior US Intelligence Official.
The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity there, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report that set off debate in recent months about the military's mission in Anbar province.The Marine Corp assessment allegedly says that the the Sunnis are in a day-to-day struggle for survival against the Shias, believe that Iran controls Baghdad and are turning to al-Qaeda for protection. If that's true, who could blame them. It paints both a pitiful and bleak picture of the Sunnis.
But the contents have not previously been made public. Read as a complete assessment, it paints a stark portrait of a failed province and of the country's Sunnis -- once dominant under Saddam Hussein -- now desperate, fearful and impoverished. They have been increasingly abandoned by religious and political leaders who have fled to neighboring countries, and other leaders have been assassinated. And unlike Iraq's Shiite majority, or Kurdish groups in the north, the Sunnis are without oil and other natural resources. The report notes that illicit oil trading is providing millions of dollars to al-Qaeda while "official profits appear to feed Shiite cronyism in Baghdad."The article is not entirely negative. It does reveal that the situation is not hopeless. There is a way to regain control of the province, but the American public, the MSM and Democrats are not going to go for it.
Devlin suggested that without the deployment of an additional U.S. military division -- 15,000 to 20,000 troops -- plus billions of dollars in aid to the province, "there is nothing" U.S. troops "can do to influence" the insurgency.The anonymous senior intelligence official agrees with the report except that he thinks it overstates the influence of al-Qaeda. Could he have partisan reasons or does he know something the boots on the ground don't know? I lean toward the military's assessment.
He described al-Qaeda in Iraq as the "dominate organization of influence in al-Anbar," surpassing all other groups, the Iraqi government and U.S. troops "in its ability to control the day-to-day life of the average Sunni."
I've given up on seeing any prosecutions of leakers. This government is the worst sieve ever. The intelligence community and the State Department are a disgrace to this country. The country and a naive George Bush have been ill-served in so many ways, and if this were the Soviet Union, a massive purge would have already occurred.
Civil war in Iraq near, Annan says
Asked by reporters at the U.N. if Iraq is in a civil war now, Annan replied, "I think given the developments on the ground, unless something is done drastically and urgently to arrest the deteriorating situation, we could be there. In fact we are almost there."This article appears to be part of a concerted campaign by the NBC, the Washington Post and New York times to "turn up the heat" and hasten talks with Syria and Iran. More propaganda than news, the article refers to a statement by the "elder statesman" of the Democrat party, Jimmy Carter, during a recent appearance on Good Morning America.
Carter said he would agree with any call for direct U.S. talks with Iran and Syria over Iraq, adding: "This is one of the most counterproductive policies that I've ever known, ... not to talk to the people who disagree with you unless they agree in advance to everything you demand."
You have to feel some sympathy for George Bush. Since the Republicans lost both houses of Congress, they will have a hard time getting heard in a confessional booth, let alone by the insurgent MSM. Right now, he's being tested as never before in his life. The tide has turned against him and his own party seems to be AWOL. The drip, drip, drip of pessimism and despair has become a torrent of anti-war propaganda. A plumber is desperately needed and none are to be found. Instead we wait day after day for the report from the Iraq Study Group. As if they are going to be able to offer a damn thing. All we hear is that we must talk to Syria and Iran. We must go "hat in hand" to two members of the Axis of Evil and grovel, begging them for their help. What a disgusting suggestion. Just remember this.
Until a leader steps forward to articulate the dangers and consequences of precipitous withdrawal the MSM and the Democrats will dominate the message. This country needs leadership and George Bush needs reinforcement, desperately.