Gates made an appearance on MTP Sunday and parroted the same propaganda line that O'Hanlon and Kristol are using---it's just that he can't deliver them quite as effectively. As Timmeh notes, everything this administration and their puppet propagandists have feed the American people about the war has been WRONG---so why should we trust you now? He dryly replies that everybody loves Gen Petraeus and the wooden wonder Ambassador Crocker.
MR. RUSSERT: You mentioned that we misunderestimated some of the divisions between the factions of the government, the Shiites and the Sunnis. Mr. Secretary, for Americans watching today, many are saying to themselves, “The administration was wrong about weapons of mass destruction, wrong about the size of the force necessary to occupy Iraq, wrong about the costs of the war, wrong about Shiite and Sunni division. Why should we have any confidence in anything they say about the future of Iraq?”
SEC’Y GATES: Well, I think that what we should have confidence in is the evaluation that Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus are going to make in early September. These men have been on the ground for quite some time now. They are the best of our professionals. They will look at this. Their report—certainly General Petraeus’ part of it—will be examined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sent to me and then to the president. So it, it won’t be entirely General Petraeus; it’ll be mostly General Petraeus. But what we’re trying to do is get an honest an evaluation of this situation as we possibly can so that the president and the Congress can decide how to move forward.
I seem to remember a certain General that wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post right before the '04 election about how great the Iraq military was stepping up...Who was it again? Oh, right...Army lieutenant General Petraeus
Nonetheless, there are reasons for optimism. Today approximately 164,000 Iraqi police and soldiers (of which about 100,000 are trained and equipped) and an additional 74,000 facility protection forces are performing a wide variety of security missions. Equipment is being delivered. Training is on track and increasing in capacity. Infrastructure is being repaired. Command and control structures and institutions are being reestablished. Most important, Iraqi security forces are in the fight -- so much so that they are suffering substantial casualties as they take on more and more of the burdens to achieve security in their country. Since Jan. 1 more than 700 Iraqi security force members have been killed, and hundreds of Iraqis seeking to volunteer for the police and military have been killed as well...read on