Where Rep. Murtha & the Democrats Were Wrong

Well, I’ve come to the conclusion, Chris, after visiting Iraq two months ago and listening to the commanders who say obviously what the White House wants them to say – but they don’t say it with the enthusiasm…

He told me none of the Iraqis were up to where they should be. All of them were C-3, which is the lowest state of readiness for the Iraqi units. And he says they only work three weeks out of the month and they go home for a week.

REP. JOHN MURTHA (D-PA)
“Hardball” with Chris Matthews
November 18, 2005

This was not an isolated incident for John Murtha speaking out against Iraqi troop readiness. Nor is this the first time that the Representative has spoken out against the War in Iraq.

Yet, Iraqi Haider Ajina, sends Good News from Iraq on Thanksgiving.

The following is my translation of a headline and news from the November 24th edition of the Iraqi Arabic newspaper Alsabah

Iraqi forces now implement 70% of the security operations.

Iraqi vice president Adel Abdulmehdi revealed that 90% of Iraq’s commercial debt has been extinguished reduced to 20 billion U.S. Dollars by the end of this year. He announced this in a press conference after his visit to Washington DC, London and his meetings with the World Bank. He added that Iraq has requested of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council to eliminate the burden of reparations Iraq is paying for the Kuwaiti war. Which are 5% of all oil revenues and came to 1.5 billion U.S. Dollars.

As to the effect of the Iraqi national reconciliation meeting in Cairo on the Iraqi street. Abdulmehdi said that the results will be constructive and will reflect positively on the security and political process of Iraq. He refers to the final statement which cam out of Cairo. The statement condemned terrorism and accepts opposition as being legitimate in and through a political process.

As for the departure of the multi national forces from Iraq. Dr. Abdulmehdi clarified that during his visit to Washington DC he met with U.S. Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He talked with him about handing over the security of Iraqi cities to the Iraqi national forces, as had happened in Nejaf and certain areas of Baghdad. They also agreed that the mission of the multi national forces in Iraq will not be complete until qualified Iraq forces are ready to fill the security roll. He also pointed out that a fundamental agreement wit the multi national forces does not contain a withdrawal time table. This agreement also acknowledges the larger roll of the Iraqi armed forces are taking. Over 70% of security operations are now done by Iraqi forces; this has grown from just 30%.

Haider Ajina comments:

Progress in Iraq is quite measurable and noticeable on weekly bases. Security is improving in the last two provinces. Iraqi security forces are taking a much larger roll in the security of their country. Sunni & Baathists are talking about laying down their arms and joining the political process, and some have already done so. All this is possible because of our & the Iraqis hard work sacrifices and tenacity.

Regards
Haider Ajina
Mckinleyville CA

Condoleezza Rice also gave a positive review on Iraqi troop readiness yesterday:

“[W]hat is happening here is that Iraqi forces are getting more capable. They are able of carrying out more functions. It doesn’t mean that coalition forces are no longer needed because there are still certain functions that they’re not capable of doing; but the number of coalition forces is clearly going to come down because Iraqis are making it possible now to do those functions themselves,” she told CNN November 22.

She said the Iraqi forces now are holding territory that recently has been cleared of insurgents and are maintaining security operations on the Baghdad airport road.

In a separate interview the same day, Rice told Fox News, “I think … days are going to be coming fairly soon when Iraqis are going to be more and more capable of carrying out the functions to secure their own future.”

She said it is important that the Iraqi forces be able “to give the Iraqi people a sense of security and a sense that the political system is not under threat.”

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week in an interview the US would be able to withdraw forces from Iraq after the elections on December 15th:

Rumsfeld said that the immediate mission is to prepare for the Dec. 15 election, in which a new Parliament will be chosen. In preparation for that election, the number of troops has risen to 159,000 from 138,000. Rumsfeld said that when the Dec. 15 election is finished, the number of U.S. troops will likely go back down to the “baseline” of about 138,000.

And, further reductions in troop levels are planned for next year:

The Pentagon is planning to withdraw up to a third of the 160,000 US troops in Iraq by the end of next year, barring serious deterioration of security.

The first three of the 18 combat brigades in the country could be pulled out early next year if the 15 December parliamentary elections go relatively smoothly. The speed of the pull-out would depend on whether newly trained Iraqi forces can shoulder a greater responsibility for security.

And, by downsizing US troop levels in Iraq, the numbers will equal the deployment numbers in Europe (at approximately 100,000). So, within a week of the immediate withdrawal idea by the Democrats, the troop deployment and readiness news from Iraq contradicts the picture that the Democrats and Representative Murtha have wanted to convey to the American people. It looks more and more like the quote earlier this week from Strategy Page was right on:

“To the troops, the war is being won. They see bad guys killed in large numbers, and few Americans getting hurt (it’s fairly common for their to be about twenty enemy dead for each American loss). The troops see tangible evidence, every day, of Iraqis having a better life. The troops cannot understand why that is not news, and why journalists always seem to be looking for a negative angle.”

Hat Tip Terry Harris

Clifford D. May at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies wrote a Memo to Murtha today. The Foundation President, May asks Murtha if the defeat he suggests in Iraq will follow the Vietnam pattern.

Hat Tip Larwyn

The Conservative Voice also has great news on our victory in Iraq.

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