Tuesday, June 07, 2005

In response to Cheney's reassurance that the insurgent attacks in Iraq are in the "last throes," congressional representatives from both parties felt the need to go on record to express doubt in the accuracy of his statement. (Can we trust anything this administration has to say when bipartisan clearing-of-the-air is a necessity?).
Military commanders in Iraq privately told a visiting congressional delegation last week that the United States is at least two years away from adequately training a viable Iraqi military but that it is no longer reasonable to consider augmenting U.S. troops already strained by the two-year operation, said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.). "The idea that the insurgents are on the run and we are about to turn the corner, I did not hear that from anybody," Biden said in an interview.

Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), who joined Biden for part of the trip, said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and others are misleading Americans about the number of functional Iraqi troops and warned the president to pay more attention to shutting off Syrian and Iranian assistance to the insurgency. "We don't want to raise the expectations of the American people prematurely," he said.
"The administration has failed to level with the American people," said Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.). "It's terrible because they refuse to provide a full picture of what is really happening there."
"I cannot say with any confidence that that is accurate," said Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), a member of the House International Relations Committee. "I think it's impossible to know how close we are to the insurgency being overcome." (Washington Post)

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