Tuesday, December 7

The Great Iraq Strategery

Tim Russert was on the Today show this morning waxing pontificately about various and sundry news stories as he does with Matt Lauer.

One of the things he said was that Bush wants Rumsfeld to stay on as defense secretary, because replacing him would be a signal that the war in Iraq wasn't going well.

Uh...Timmah...the war in Iraq ISN'T going well. Today, we had the 1,000th US soldier killed in action (a total of 1275 troops when you include accidents, suicides, etc.). And the ones who lived to tell about it are going through this sort of thing:
Homeless shelters getting Iraq vets

Washington, DC, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Veterans of the war in Iraq are starting to show up at homeless shelters, experts say.

"When we already have people from Iraq on the streets, my God," said Linda Boone, executive director of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. "I have talked to enough (shelters) to know we are getting them. It is happening and this nation is not prepared for that."

Some homeless-veteran advocates fear that similar combat experiences in Vietnam and Iraq mean that these first few homeless veterans from Iraq are the crest of a wave not seen since the Vietnam era.
Yep. That's right. That was in the Washington Times. But the great American humanitarian effort for the war-torn Iraqis continues, right?
Iraqi Red Crescent ordered from Fallujah

The Iraqi Red Crescent (IRC) says it has left Fallujah on US military orders after the aid agency was told the former insurgent stronghold was not safe.

"Multinational forces asked the IRC to withdraw from Fallujah for security reasons and until further notice," the organisation's spokeswoman Ferdus Al Ibadi told AFP.

Ms Ibadi, speaking in Baghdad, had said earlier that the agency left of its own free will, but she said she was only informed after the IRC left the city that it had been told to do so by US marines.

The IRC distributed food, water and blankets to around 1,500 people in the city, whose population was around 300,000 before a massive assault by US-led forces began on November 8.
But most importantly, our own intelligence offers up a grim report card.
2 C.I.A. Reports Offer Warnings on Iraq's Path

A classified cable sent by the Central Intelligence Agency's station chief in Baghdad has warned that the situation in Iraq is deteriorating and may not rebound any time soon, according to government officials.

The cable, sent late last month as the officer ended a yearlong tour, presented a bleak assessment on matters of politics, economics and security, the officials said. They said its basic conclusions had been echoed in briefings presented by a senior C.I.A. official who recently visited Iraq.

The officials described the two assessments as having been "mixed," saying that they did describe Iraq as having made important progress, particularly in terms of its political process, and credited Iraqis with being resilient.

But over all, the officials described the station chief's cable in particular as an unvarnished assessment of the difficulties ahead in Iraq. They said it warned that the security situation was likely to get worse, including more violence and sectarian clashes, unless there were marked improvements soon on the part of the Iraqi government, in terms of its ability to assert authority and to build the economy.

Together, the appraisals, which follow several other such warnings from officials in Washington and in the field, were much more pessimistic than the public picture being offered by the Bush administration before the elections scheduled for Iraq next month, the officials said.
Yeah. Rumsfeld's got it alllll under control.