Golly. Who could have guessed that? The above is from Elisabeth Bumiller's "Iraq Can’t Defend Its Skies by Pullout Date, U.S. Says" (New York Times -- buried inside the paper instead of on the front page where it should be but if it were on the front page how could the non-news of a 'furor' over Wikipedia make the front page?). Bumiller's reporting on the comment made by the top US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno:
Asked if the Iraqis would be in a position to fly their own defensive air patrols at the end of 2011, when a United States agreement with Iraq calls for all American troops to be out of the country, General Odierno replied, "Right now, no."
Bumiller's become one of the strongest reporters on Iraq, poking around at the things others have just accepted as 'truth' and Odierno's been the closest thing to a straight talker the US military's had in Iraq. So my (no doubt barbed) comments which follow aren't aimed at either of them.
But they are aimed at the liars and the fools, the Tom Haydens, the Leslie Cagans, all the faux peace crew. Because, good for Bumiller for covering it, this didn't just emerge. And shame on those in the so-called peace movement especially the worthless ones hiding behind "we're a religious organization" when, no, they're not and they're not a peace group. From the June 14, 2007 snapshot:
The Pentagon report has many sections and one of interest considering one of the 2007 developments may be this: "There are currently more than 900 personnel in the Iraqi Air Force. . . . The fielding of rotary-wing aircraft continued with the delivery to Taji of five modified UH II (Iroquois) helicopters, bringing the total delivered to ten. The final six are scheduled to arrive in June. Aircrews are currently conducting initial qualifications and tactics training. The Iroquois fleet is expected to reach initial operation capability by the end of June 2007." By the end of June 2007? One of the developments of 2007 was the (admission of) helicopter crashes. US helicopters. British helicopters. Some may find comfort in the fact that evacuations and mobility will be handled by Iraqis . . . whenever they are fully staffed and trained. Four years plus to deliver the equipment, training should be done in ten or twenty years, right?
January 29, 2008, on Ned Parker and Saif Hameed's "Bomb Kills 5 U.S. Soldiers in Iraq" (Los Angeles Times):
They note the claims by puppet of the occupation Nouri al-Maliki made over the weekend that can only be described as 'get tough' and how "Additional Iraqi tanks and aircraft arrived in Mosul" and I'll assume they think we're flat out stupid since there's no Iraqi "aircraft" to speak of and the Iraqi air force does not conduct missions and is begging for money to upgrade their air 'power.'
From the November 4, 2008 snapshot:
There's no rush to leave Iraq or even a desire. That needs to be grasped. Iraqi General Nasier Abadi made that pretty clear during Sunday's press conference in the Green Zone. Questioned by the Washington Post's Mary Beth Sheridan as to when the Iraqis would be able to handle "their own internal security . . . how many years are you away from reaching that goal," Abadi tried to distract by listing duties before declaring, "We have no duties or missions to protect the air on the borders of the country. But in case we have this responsibility, there is a brief that -- to the minister of defense, if he ask us to -- task us with that, a reportw ent also to the Prime Minister, what are the capabilities and the army's specifics to do those duties?" Asked how many years again, he responded, "Building an aerial force, building an Army is not easy, but it's still easier than building naval and air force. The naval force, as I said before, that the first ship will come in 2009 and the fourth will arrive in . . . at the end of 2011. In regard to 200- . . . Air Force, the first aircraft we will receive in 2011 until 2015. And that depends on the support and the help that the coalition forces can secure to Iraq so we can be able to maintain and defend our airspace and territories. Without that, there will be also agreements with the neighboring countries on the security of Iraq. But it's possible that we will go with those missions without having an air force or naval force because this is a common battle, it's not just an army's duty." Setting aside the naval force and focusing only on the air, if the period they'll be taking possession of aircraft will last from 2011 through 2015, how likely is it that they will be prepared to handle their own airspaceby the end of 2011?
We could go on and on. Click here, at least 100 of the over 600 listed entries address the Iraqi air force. See, we could go on and on, but we've covered it in real time.
While liars like Patrick Cockburn and Amy Goodman were pimping the treaty masquearding as a Status Of Forces Agreement as "historic" and the rumor (repeated at the US Socialist Worker this week) was spreading that Iraq forced Bush to do something, reality was always obvious. And on that latter point, LIARS need to stop. The SOFA replaces the UN mandate. US officials leave Dec. 31, 2008? Nouri is toppled. He knew it, they knew it. Bush sent a ton of heavy hitters into Iraq in the lead up to the vote. There was no cave on the part of the White House. The White House got what it wanted in the SOFA. But idiots and liars misread the SOFA and idiots and liars (especially Patrick Cockburn who is the worst 'independent' 'reporter') and put out the rumos that the US was forced to cave. You stupid, stupid idiots. (Patrick's so stupid, he was claiming weeks after the White House published the SOFA online that they wouldn't release it.) There are 275 members of the Iraqi Parliament. While liars like Patrick wanted to insist a huge majority had passed the SOFA, reality was far different. How many voted for it? 149. And how many showed up for the vote? This community knows because we covered it in real time. When the SOFA was forced through the Parliament -- on Thanksgiving Day -- we covered it. We didn't show up a week later, rested and fat on turkey and thin on facts to start talking the SOFA.
The left's 'voices' have been uninformed and have repeatedly betrayed either due to stupidity or some other reason.
The SOFA does not end the illegal war. That was never its purpose. Its purpose was to replace the UN mandate and Nouri wanted the mandate replaced for a number of reasons but the US wanted away from it for numerous reasons as well including legal obligations -- which none of you Paddy Cockburns or Liar Goodmans bothered to tell you about. The SOFA only replaced the UN mandate. It did not end anything. And it is the Bush plan in place and that's what Barack acts under so all the raving lunatics who think there's something amazing about what Barack's 'doing' better start singing the praises of Bully Boy Bush.
The SOFA extends the illegal war, it does not end it. The purpose of the SOFA was not to end the illegal war.
And what's really disgusting about the SOFA is that one organization stood up and called it out, one organization was telling you in real time that it was a farce. But they were attacked for doing that, they were told that it was "hurting Obama" and they dropped it (one of their board members is a raving lunatic prone to calling Barack a "feminist" -- yeah, you know the one). So it's not just a case of people didn't understand, it's a case of they didn't want to. They wanted their dream, they wanted their lie. It was more important to them than the Iraqis dying, it was more important to them than ending the Iraq War.
Let's hope they found a way to profit from stupid. It would be a shame to think they worked so hard to mislead and got nothing out of it.
Personal note: Jim, remind me of this entry, editorial idea for Third. Which reminds me, a friend at the paper wants the Los Angeles Times editorial linked to and we'll include it in the snapshot today as well:
To what degree is the elected government of Iraq obligated to pay for the sins committed by the late dictator Saddam Hussein? Should neighboring Kuwait forgive Iraq's new leadership $24 billion in outstanding debt for the destruction wrought by the 1990 invasion, a seven-month occupation, looting and the violent retreat of Iraqi forces? And is it relevant that Iraq may need the money more than Kuwait does? These are some of the questions the United Nations Security Council must consider when it addresses Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's request to release his country from the remaining sanctions imposed after the 1991 Gulf War, including a requirement that the country use its oil revenues to pay reparations.
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