The New York Times is at it again.
Their target this time are Iraqi security forces. According to the Times, they’re underperforming:
MOSUL, Iraq, Nov. 29 – Iraqi police and national guard forces, whose performance is crucial to securing January elections, are foundering in the face of coordinated efforts to kill and intimidate them and their families, say American officials in the provinces facing the most violent insurgency.
The “American officials” are, of course, nameless.
“For those brave enough to come to work, “right now, all they’re doing is looking out the window and making sure the bad guys aren’t coming to get them,” said an American military official in Mosul, who did not want his name to be used.”
The nameless American military official is talking about Iraqi police, the weakest link in Iraqi security triumvirate of police, guardsmen, and army. But what of the army?
“American commanders praised the Iraqi commandos who took part in a battle to repel insurgents who attacked a police station here two weeks ago. But an American company commander who joined the fight, Capt. Bill Jacobsen, noted that of a force of slightly more than 100 commandos, 10 had been killed and 27 wounded.”
Notice the qualifier “but” when talking about the commando’s casualties. In a fight against fanatical terrorists where 37% of the Iraqi force were casualties why does the Times make it seem that this is a bad thing? Obviously, the Iraqi’s held their ground. And the American Captain had nothing bad to say about the Iraqi’s, just that they had suffered a large number of casualties. Why is this an example of Iraqi forces “foundering?”
“Given the weak performance of Iraqi forces, any major withdrawal of American troops for at least a decade would invite chaos, a senior Interior Ministry official, whose name could not be used, said in an interview last week.”
C’mon guys, give me a break! If we can’t train enough Iraqi police and troops in half that time to handle the job, one would have to start wondering how we got to be the most powerful military in the world. This “senior Interior Ministry official” is assuming that the level of opposition to the government would remain constant. Talk to the guy is 6 months and see if he says the same thing.
“Even where there have been apparent successes, there are complications. American officials in Mosul, for example, single out the 106th Iraqi National Guard Battalion as performing with professionalism. But in an interview, the battalion commander said half of his troops were Kurdish, not Arab.”
Isn’t that kind of like saying that half of an American battalion is from eastern states and half from the west? What the hell difference does it make? They’re Iraqi’s aren’t they?
“Marine officers here maintain that the police are improving. In the current military sweep, called Operation Plymouth Rock, an Iraqi SWAT team was given credit for a series of raids that rounded up numerous insurgent suspects.
But a different assessment was disclosed in a slide that one of those Marine officers presented at a daily briefing just as 150 new Iraqi police recruits were due to arrive by helicopter at an American base at 9 p.m., or in military parlance, 2100 hours:
“2100: Clown Car arrives,” the slide said, referring to the helicopters. “2101: Be ready for negligent discharges,” the entry continued, warning of accidental shots from the AK-47’s carried by many of the recruits. “Recommend ‘Duck & Cover,’ ” it concluded.”
Notice the writer goes from marine officers praising fully trained Iraqi SWAT teams to denigrating raw recruits. How can this be a “different assessment” of the capabilities of trained Iraqi police? What possible justification is there to juxtapose the two anecdotes except to deliberately denigrate our efforts and call into question the veracity of American officials?
This is a hit piece pure and simple. Par for the course from the Times.
The New York Times is at it again.