Blargh Blog

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Speak of the devil!

If you have any doubts about Kerry's position on Iraq, read his latest speech. If you have time, compare it to the speech he made when he voted to give Bush the authority to go to war. If you don't have time, at least read Slate's summary of his latest speech.

Here are a couple choice excerpts of the speech:

"The administration told us we’d be greeted as liberators. They were wrong.

They told us not to worry about looting or the sorry state of Iraq’s infrastructure. They were wrong.

They told us we had enough troops to provide security and stability, defeat the insurgents, guard the borders and secure the arms depots. They were wrong.

They told us we could rely on exiles like Ahmed Chalabi to build political legitimacy. They were wrong.

They told us we would quickly restore an Iraqi civil service to run the country and a police force and army to secure it. They were wrong."

"[T]he President must get serious about training Iraqi security forces.

Last February, Secretary Rumsfeld claimed that more than 210,000 Iraqis were in uniform. Two weeks ago, he admitted that claim was exaggerated by more than 50 percent. Iraq, he said, now has 95,000 trained security forces.

But guess what? Neither number bears any relationship to the truth. For example, just 5,000 Iraqi soldiers have been fully trained, by the administration’s own minimal standards. And of the 35,000 police now in uniform, not one has completed a 24-week field-training program. Is it any wonder that Iraqi security forces can’t stop the insurgency or provide basic law and order?

The President should urgently expand the security forces training program inside and outside Iraq. He should strengthen the vetting of recruits, double classroom training time, and require follow-on field training. He should recruit thousands of qualified trainers from our allies, especially those who have no troops in Iraq. He should press our NATO allies to open training centers in their countries. And he should stop misleading the American people with phony, inflated numbers."

There is one line of the speech that didn't create the right image for me, though. Kerry said "Saddam Hussein was a brutal dictator who deserves his own special place in hell."

(Read the rest: 5.0 out of 5.0)


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