Bush and his people have been claiming for over a year now that the Iraqi military continues to progress but at this rate they will never be ready.
The Washington Post has a story today about this issue and they show that the Iraqi military is extremely far behind being able to defend their own country.
In one mission an entire company of troops did not know where they were going for the day because their U.S. handlers were worried that someone amongst the Iraqi's would leak the information to the enemy!!
"We can't tell these guys about a lot of this stuff, because we're not really sure who's good and who isn't," said Rick McGovern, a tough-talking 37-year-old platoon sergeant from Hershey, Pa., who heads the military training for Charlie Company.
Charlie Company disintegrated once after its commander was killed by a car bomb in December. And members of the unit were threatening to quit en masse this week over complaints that ranged from dismal living conditions to insurgent threats. Across a vast cultural divide, language is just one impediment. Young Iraqi soldiers, ill-equipped and drawn from a disenchanted Sunni Arab minority, say they are not even sure what they are fighting for. They complain bitterly that their American mentors don't respect them.
If the Iraqi MILITARY (who are supposed to want to defend their country) are not sure what they are fighting for then we are in deep sh*t over there.
Friends, our troops are not coming home and this whole mess is not going to be over anytime soon.
"I know the party line. You know, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, five-star generals, four-star generals, President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld: The Iraqis will be ready in whatever time period," said 1st Lt. Kenrick Cato, 34, of Long Island, N.Y., the executive officer of McGovern's company, who sold his share in a database firm to join the military full time after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. "But from the ground, I can say with certainty they won't be ready before I leave. And I know I'll be back in Iraq, probably in three or four years. And I don't think they'll be ready then."
The members of the phantom "Iraqi military" do not even think that they will be ready.
"We don't want to take responsibility; we don't want it," said Amar Mana, 27, an Iraqi private whose forehead was grazed by a bullet during an insurgent attack in November. "Here, no way. The way the situation is, we wouldn't be ready to take responsibility for a thousand years."
Maj. Gen. Joseph J. Taluto, commander of the 42nd Infantry Division, which oversees an area of north-central Iraq that includes Baiji and is the size of West Virginia, called the Iraqi forces "improved and improving."
"Improved and improving," eh?
I'm sorry but what the F does that even mean?!!
Improving from what?! Anything would be an improvement over "troops" who feel they will never be ready, are not reliable with mission plans, who do not even know what they are fighting for and who bolt when there is the slightest danger!
Overall, the number of Iraqi military and police trained and equipped is more than 169,000, according to the U.S. military, which has also said there are 107 operational military and special police battalions. As of last month, however, U.S. and Iraqi commanders had rated only three battalions capable of operating independently.
I don't blame the Iraqi soldiers from running from danger, however, when they have no where near the protection of their American "brethern."
Last week, U.S soldiers from 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, and Iraqis from 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, clambered into their vehicles to patrol the streets of Baiji. The Americans drove fully enclosed armored Humvees, the Iraqis open-backed Humvees with benches, the sides of which were protected by plating the equivalent of a flak jacket.
The men are housed at what they call simply "the base," a place as sparse as the name. Most of the Iraqis sleep in two tents and a shed with a concrete floor and corrugated tin roof that is bereft of walls. Some have cots; others sleep on cardboard or pieces of plywood stacked with tattered and torn blankets. The air conditioners are broken. There is no electricity.
Drinking water comes from a sun-soaked camouflage tanker whose meager faucet also provides water for bathing.
Another big problem is that the Iraqi forces often run away during a battle. This was addressed by an American officer:
"You are all cowards," he began. "My soldiers are over here, away from our families for a year. We are willing to die for you to have freedom. You should be willing to die for your own freedom. If you continue to run away from the enemy, the enemy will continue to chase you. You will never win."
Along dirt roads bisected by sewage canals, the men of Charlie Company crouched, their weapons ready. Before them was their home town, dilapidated and neglected. Cpl. Amir Omar, 19, gazed ahead.
"Look at the homes of the Iraqis," he said, a handkerchief concealing his face. "The people have been destroyed."
By whom? he was asked.
"Them," Omar said, pointing at the U.S. Humvees leading the patrol
Yep, sounds like things are going well and they are indeed "improving."
What a disaster.
(Read the rest of the article HERE).
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