"Freaky Iraqis: Now U See Them, Now U Don't" -- Also in The eXile, Mark Ames reviews two years worth of estimates of the number of trained Iraqi security personnel fighting on our side with a Phoenix real estate agent, whose comments are in italics.
Sept. 17, 2003: "In four months we brought back 40,000 police officers, 400 cars in Baghdad, 35 stations, communications all over the country...I couldn't have done that in New York City as the police commissioner in five years. So I'm not really sure what the critics are talking about when they're saying it's taking too long."
Bernard Kerik, interim minister of the interior in Iraq and former New York City police commissioner, interviewed on NewsHour.
[Hey, awesome round numbers there! As Peter Griffin would say, "Go on..." You know Peter Griffin, right? Family Guy? Awesome show. If anyone wants to join me for a brew and talk about that show, I'm game.]
Oct 24, 2003: "[T]here has been a lot of progress made already. I think it very significant [that] more than 80,000 - the numbers I read say 86,000 - but I'll just say more than 80,000 Iraqis [are] in the field fighting for their country...It makes the Iraqi security forces the second largest member of the coalition. Measured not only by the numbers in the field, but also by the numbers who are fighting and dying. Their casualties since June 1st are, I guess I should get you an exact number, I think I have it here. Let me pull it out, so I don't guess at it. They have lost 82 killed in action just since June 1st."
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz
[Dude, did you see how those numbers just ****in' doubled? Cool! This is like a hot Tempe property. I'd be advising all my clients to load in on this Iraqi forces investment, big-time!]
Oct 25, 2003: Nationwide, Iraq's Civil Defense Corps stands at about 4,700 trained soldiers. Wolfowitz told the House Armed Services Committee in late September that plans call for expanding the force to 15,000 by January. The deputy secretary called this standing up of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps "a wonderful success story" that represents a major step toward Iraq's ability to assume full responsibility for its own security. "These are young Iraqis stepping forward to fight for their country alongside our people," he said.
American Forces Press Service
[Wait, what? Iraqi forces went from 40,000 to a generous 80,000, then way down to 4,700, then going up to 15,000, all in a matter of days. Well, ****, he must know what he's talking about. He reminds me of my regional sales manager Larry Chase - the guy can whip out escrow numbers so fast your head spins, but in the end, everyone's happy.]
Nov 2, 2003: "What's changed is the Iraqi forces. The Iraqi forces have gone from zero on May 1st up to over 100,000 today. And our plan calls for them to go to something in excess of 200,000. So the total number of security forces in the country has been going up steadily."
Rumsfeld, ABC This Week
[Whoa, daddy! So it went from 80k to 4700 and up to 100k in just one week! It's like, these guys can do ****in' ANYTHING! The old rules about numbers just don't apply anymore, man! We're talking total paradigm shift, dude!]
December 6, 2003: "Something in excess of 140,000 Iraqis...are engaged in providing security..."
[Dang! I usually don't say that word "dang," but in this case, "Dang!" These guys are ****in' gods! The sky's the limit (either that, or some really, really big number)!]
Jan 31, 2004: "There are almost 200,000 Iraqis now in the police and the Facilities Protection Service and the army the border guard, and a fifth force which I think is maybe the most important one, called the Civil Defense Corps."
[200,000! A-ha-hal-right! Now that is ****in' awesome! Do I hear 300,000? Anyone?]
March 14, 2004: "We're making very good progress. We're up to over 200,000 Iraqis that have been trained and equipped."
Rumsfeld, CBS' Face The Nation.
[Okay, that's cool. I'll be happy with 200k, for now. It's like when the market takes a breather, you know? It's actually a good sign, shows that the Iraqi forces are maturing.]
... September 23, 2004: "The Iraqi government now commands almost 50,000 armed and combat- ready Iraqis. By January it will be some 145,000. And by the end of next year, some 250,000 Iraqis."
Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, speaking to US Congress.
[I don't know much about military stuff, but I do know one thing: 50,000 is a ****ty number. It's like the Iraqis are shrinking or something But at least this Arab guy "Aya-whatever" is showing progress: First, a ****ty number. Then, a bigger number. Then...a really, really huge number! That's why he started with a ****ty number like 50,000. And did he say "250,000"? Dude, okay, this Aya-whatever-guy kicks ass!]
September 27, 2004: The Pentagon documents show that of the nearly 90,000 people now in the police force, only 8,169 have had the full eight-week academy training. ...22,700 Iraqi personnel have received enough training to make them "minimally effective at their tasks."
Seattle Times, "Bush claim on training of Iraqis disputed."
[Wait, this isn't cool, man. In fact, this is kind of a bummer. Could I have some bigger numbers, please? And make them the kinda numbers that keep doubling and ****, okay?]
October 25, 2004: "Along with Iraqi forces, we're on the offensive in Fallujah and north Babil. We've restored government control in Samarra and Tal Afar and Najaf. More than 100,000 Iraqi soldiers, police and border guards are already trained and equipped and bravely serving their country. And more than 200,000 will be in place at the end of next year."
[Du-hu-hude, score! High fives all around! In just one month we went from Aya-whatever's 50,000 to Bush's 100,000! It's like old times again, man. And Bush is saying we're gonna have 200,000 soon. It's totally working out again! **** yeah, I feel ****in great! If I had a red wheat microbrewed ale right now, everything would be ****in' perfect!]
November 1, 2004: Reaching down to the table and knocking wood, Wolfowitz mentioned recent progress in regard to the National Guard, noting the Iraqis' participation in the wresting of Samarra from the insurgents' control.
New Yorker, "The Believer: Paul Wolfowitz Defends His War."
(In early November (2004)...Iraqi police in the contested city of Samarra "dissolved" under insurgent attacks, according to 42nd Infantry Division Capt. Robert Giordano.)
Salon.com, "Down and out with Iraqi forces.")
[Gee thanks, I feel really great reading this. Who wrote this ****? Whatever, man. Next!]
... January 19, 2005: "We think the number [of fully-trained Iraqi forces] right now is somewhere over 120,000."
Condoleezza Rice, Confirmation Hearings, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
[Oh, phew! Nothing, I just thought I heard...nope, nothing, forget it. 120,000's cool, I'll settle for that for now.]
Jan 19, 2005: ... (In early November (2004), Q-West [in Mosul], which had been pretty peaceful to that point, "fell apart," in the words of US officers. Rather than stand and fight, most police in Q-West dropped their weapons and ran. They never came back. By mid-November, an American commander in Mosul says, "I went from 2,000 police to 50." There was a similar exodus in the Iraqi army. "Let me tell you, there were some sleepless nights.")
Salon.com, "Down and out with Iraqi forces.")
[Okay, that was a ****in' bummer. It's like Wolfowitz could use some ****in' pumpin up, man.]
... February 4, 2005: "We're increasing international military participation in Iraq. We have accelerated the training of Iraqi security forces, now more than 200,000 strong."
Rumsfeld testifying before Congress.
[Dude, didja hear that?! They've gone from 120,000 to 200,000 in less than two weeks again! Rawwwwq!!!]
February 4, 2005: Less than a third of the 136,000 members of Iraqi security forces that the Pentagon says are trained and equipped can be sent to tackle the most challenging missions in the country, and Iraqi Army units are suffering severe troop shortages...
New York Times, "Many Iraqi troops not fully trained, U.S. officials say"
[Zzzzzzzz. Huh? What? Was somebody being negative here? Oh, it's just the liberals at the New York Times. Duh! You know, the thing about these liberal media guys is, would you ever want to have a beer with them? I sure as hell wouldn't, and neither would any of my friends.]
February 5, 2005: The US General in charge of building up Iraqi security forces has conceded that the program was behind schedule and that the beheading of recruits by insurgents was causing retention problems.
Reuters, "Beheadings slow Iraqi security force build-up."
[Bla-bla-bla. So what we learn is that the Iraqis are a bunch of fags who can't deal with a couple of beheadings. Bring back Rumsfeld, he'll make me feel better.]
February 5, 2005: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said during a visit to Iraq last October that he expected to have 150,000 Iraqi security forces by the end of January, and the Pentagon has set an ultimate goal of training a force of 271,000.
[Duuuude, did I ****in' tell you or what?! 271,000! This is like the biggest ****in' rawq concert ever!!! It's like bigger than if, like, Zep were to do another reunion. But wait, yesterday Rumsfeld said there were 200,000 Iraqis, so how did the Iraqi forces fall 50,000 in four days, and in time-reverse? Whatever, who cares.]
... March 14, 2005: "The number of security forces overstates the number actually serving. [Iraqi] Ministry of Interior reports, for example, include police who are absent without leave in its totals. ...According to DOD officials, the number of absentees is in the tens of thousands. The reported number of Iraqi police [55,274 cops, out of a target number of 135,000] is unreliable. ...[The U.S. military command] does not know how many Iraqi police are on duty at any given point because the Ministry of Interior does not receive consistent and accurate reporting from police stations across Iraq....
Joseph A. Christoff, director of the Government Accountability Office's international affairs and trade division, testifying in Congress
[Fag alert! Next!]
March 27, 2005: "By this time next year...Assuming that the political process continues to go positively...and the Iraqi army continues to progress and develop as we think it will, we should be able to take some fairly substantial reductions in the size of our forces."
General George W. Casey, Commanding General of the Multi-National Force in Iraq
[Hey man, are you a General or are you a fag? You oughtta be telling me, "By this time next year, an Iraqi force of eleven million highly-trained security forces, all of whom are professed Seinfeld fans, will be deployed not only to take control of Iraq, but to invade, occupy, and Americanize every neighboring country, including, if necessary, Russia and China. God bless these men, and God Bless America!"]
May 10, 2005: The Iraqi army is said to have 73,450 "trained and equipped" personnel, but a report earlier this year by the U.S. Defense Department - whose armed forces live or die by how well-prepared the Iraqi army really is - noted that all but a few thousand of Iraq's troops are only lightly equipped and not at all prepared for mobile warfare.
Slate.com, "Over There: Why U.S. troops won't be coming home from Iraq anytime soon."
["Flintstones/Meet the Flintstones/They're a modern stone age fa-mi-ly!" Huh? Hold on, I'll turn the TV down. This Slate.com guy is trying to tell me something? Oh gee, I'm sorry, I wasn't listening. You know why? I don't listen to fags.]
...June 10, 2005: An hour before dawn, the sky still clouded by a dust storm, the soldiers of the Iraqi army's Charlie Company began their mission with a ballad to ousted president Saddam Hussein. "We have lived in humiliation since you left," one sang in Arabic, out of earshot of his U.S. counterparts. "We had hoped to spend our life with you."
..."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.
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 3 battalions capable of operating independently.
[Dude, I just read that, and you know what I realized? The point of that article is that there are 169,000 Iraqis on our side. Hoo-ah!]
June 13, 2005: "I just wish they'd start to pull their own weight without us having to come out and baby-sit them all the time," said Sgt. Joshua Lower, a scout in the Third Brigade of the First Armored Division who has worked with the Iraqis.
New York Times, "The Struggle for Iraq: Insurgency; As Iraqi Army Trains, Word in the Field is it May Take Years."
[Okay, this Lower guy's totally bummin' me out. Couldn't the Army release medical records showing that Lower's, like, clinically depressed, or gay, or something like that? With a name like Lower, it can't be hard.]
July 21, 2005: About half of Iraq's new police battalions are still being established and cannot conduct operations, while the other half of the police units and two-thirds of the new army battalions are only "partially capable" of carrying out counterinsurgency missions, and only with American help, according to a newly declassified Pentagon assessment.
New York Times, "Iraqis Not Ready to Fight Rebels on Own, U.S. Says"
[Enough, man! Seriously. I want a big ****in number, alright? Where's that big ****in number?!]