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Rumsfeld Pops Up In Iraq

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Rumsfeld went to Iraq to stiffen the spine of its leaders. Don't delay on that Constitution, said Rumsfeld. Oh and by the way, do something about Iran and Syria, get some more troops ready to take over the over-crowded prisons and make sure you thank everyone.

Right, even Baghdad is unsafe, people don't have regular power or water, and going to the airport means taking your life into your hands. This is the government that's supposed to clamp down on Iran and Syria? I think they have more pressing concerns than reinforcing US foreign policy.

But what about this paragraph in the New York Times:

Mr. Rumsfeld also called on the Iraqi government to assume greater responsibility over time for the 15,000 detainees now in American custody in Iraq; to allocate enough money in future Iraqi budgets to field security forces that are capable of replacing many of the 22,000 foreign allied forces that plan to leave Iraq by year's end; and to improve cooperation between the Iraqi defense and interior ministries to enhance the combat readiness of Iraq's 170,000 military and paramilitary police forces.
Iraq does NOT have 170,000 forces. How can the NYT blithely repeat the figures of the Bush administration when we KNOW they are a lie? Iraq does not have 170,000 military and paramilitary police forces by any reasonable standard of measurement. As of a few weeks ago, this figure included about 2000 Iraqi troops capable of fighting on their own and some 9000 troops who can fight with US assistance.

That leaves about 160,000 troops THAT CAN'T FIGHT AT ALL. Scattered reports by the MSM also indicate that properly equipping them is proving nigh on impossible -- can you really pretend to have 170,000 troops when even if they could fight they don't have the weapons to do it with? How can the NYT justify repeating this lie without breaking it down? Even Bush felt compelled to make clear in his national address that not all were combat ready. "Not all" combat ready as in "virtually none." Uh, not even close. Iraq is barely halfway to replacing the measly 22,000 troops fro other countries that will be leaving in five months. And at this rate it is years away from being able to replace our troops -- unless we pull out and don't worry about Iraq sinking into chaos.

What's the impact of this story if it's made clear that Rumsfeld is pushing Iraq to accomplish all these goals when in fact it only has about 12,000 troops who can fight EVEN WITH OUR ASSISTANCE and only 2000 who can stand on their own? Two thousand troops after more than two years of our occupation and hundreds of billions of dollars spent.

And how did Rumsfeld travel around Iraq? What sort of armored vehicle did he use? Shouldn't that bring up the chance to do an update on armored vehicles for our soldiers, who remain poorly equipped after more than two years at war? How did Rumsfeld get around in a country he wants to pretend is almost ready to stand on its own? Wanna bet it was surrounded by men and women armed to the teeth?

And what about the scandal that endangered national security? Rummy apparently took questions from reporters. Didn't anyone ask him about Rove?

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