Sunday, October 02, 2005

PRES. BUSH HAS A RESPONSE to the news that the number of Iraqi battalions ready to defend Iraq without the help of the U.S. military has dropped from three (out of 100) to one.

He is encouraged by the news.

"I'm encouraged by the increasing size and capability of the Iraqi security forces. Today they have more than 100 battalions operating throughout the country, and our commanders report that the Iraqi forces are serving with increasing effectiveness," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

Since Bush has said that U.S. troop withdrawals cannot begin until the Iraqi security forces are capable of fighting the insurgents on their own, and since he apparently thinks it's "encouraging" that now only one battalion has that capacity, I have to assume he also finds it encouraging that U.S. troops will not be coming home in the near future.

The cheery optimism Bush feels at the news that, out of 100 battalions, the number that are ready to function independently has dropped from three to one, is matched -- and possibly even exceeded -- by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who "sought to play down the new estimate on Friday, saying, 'Its relevance is minimal.' "

We're going to need that kind of tough-minded ability to face reality if terrorists strike the United States again.

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