Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Italian and Bruno Talk About Petraeus Testimony

If you've ever spent any time wading through Zeyad's (Healing Iraq) eclectic comment section, or many other Iraqi bloggers' comments for that matter, you know An Italian and Bruno. You also know that Barzan al-Tikriti himself, were he still alive, might regard them with a sideways glance and say "hey- chill out with the bloodlust and the chaos-mongering, OK?" They are, to put it mildly, very committed to Iraq's destruction and failure.

In response to the recent Basra operation by the Government of Iraq versus the Jaisch al-Mahdi, and Petraeus' testimony to Congress, An Italian left a bit of a whopper over there.

I wanted to pull it out, and my response, to save it here for posterity.


OK! Let's review!

An Italian, here, said this:
"Today your Dear Leader & Saviour, Gen. Petraeus, told your Senate that your "ISF" ( ) are a piteous bunch: so that the reliability of your propaganda sources, those three criminals you keep to link to (grotesquely), Yon, Roggio and Totten, has been completely debunked, and by no less a source than Petraeus !!!

Wouldn't an apology on your part be in order, dear Rhus ?"

I take from this two claims of interest:

1) Did Gen. Petraeus tell the US Congress that the ISF are a piteous bunch?

2) Did Gen. Petraeus' testimony debunk Yon, Roggio, and Totten?

Bruno gleefully backed An Italian here with this:

Smartly done, Marcus. I love it when an intelligent commenter blasts the rattles off the tail of one of the warmongers.

Wait, let me try!

[rhus to italian] "I can't find him saying that, except that the Basra op "wasn't adequately planned or prepared". Hardly merits the sweeping statements you make. Do tell more, please."

"McCain, who has highly praised Petraeus’ counterinsurgency campaign, sought in questioning of the general to show that the Iraqi government and military were not yet ready to stand alone. He pointed specifically to recent Iraqi operations against Shiite militias in Basra.
“Suffice to say it was a disappointment,” McCain asked. Petraeus responded: “It was. Although it is not over yet, senator.”

Now, nobody is saying the ISF was perfect or that Basra went swimingly. But did Petraeus go anywhere near calling them a 'piteous bunch'?? Here's the transcript:
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-Ariz.: General Petraeus, again, a news report said that Prime Minister Maliki only informed you shortly before the operation. Is that correct in Basra?

GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, Commander, Multi-National Forces in Iraq: It is, Senator.
We had a heads-up on a Friday night meeting where we, in fact, were planning to resource operations in Basra on a longer-term basis. The following Saturday, we had a meeting during which he laid out a plan for the — that he was going to deploy forces, laid out the objectives, the lines of operations that he was going to operate along, and stated that he was…

MCCAIN: And it was not…

PETRAEUS: … moving there on Friday himself — or on Monday himself.

MCCAIN: And it was not something that you had recommended.

PETRAEUS: It was not something I recommended. No, sir.

MCCAIN: News reports indicate that over 1,000 Iraqi army and police deserted or under-performed during that operation. This is four months after Basra achieved provincial Iraqi control meaning that all provincial security had been transferred to Iraqi security forces.

What’s the lesson that we are to draw from that, that a thousand Iraqi police deserted or under-performed?

PETRAEUS: Well, one lesson, Senator, is that relatively new forces — what happened was in one case, a brigade that literally had just come out of unit (inaudible) fielding was pressed into operation.
The other lesson is a recurring one, and that is the difficulty of local police operating in areas where there is serious intimidation of themselves and of their families.

MCCAIN: Suffice to say it was a disappointment.


So there were desertions, underperforming, and it was a disappointment. Is that the bottom line? NO!

Petraeus continues:
Although it is not over yet, Senator. In fact, subsequent to the early days, they then took control of the security at the different ports, they continued to carry out targeted raids. The operation is still very much ongoing and it is by no means over.

[...they talk about the Green Zone...]

If I could, Senator, also point out that along with the operations in Basra, there were operations in a number of other provinces in southern Iraq, all precipitated by this outbreak in militia violence.

In Karbala, Najaf, Qadisiyah, Hillah, Wasit, Dhi Qar and Muthanna, the Iraqi security forces actually did well; in some cases did very well and maintained security. The same is true in Baghdad, although, again, even there, the performance was uneven in some cases.

So can anyone honestly say Petraeus called the ISF a piteous bunch? NO! He acknowledged the difficulties of the operation but pointed out that they were doing better in Basra now, and they performed well elsewhere.

Question 1 goes to the good guys!

Question 2 is in regards to Yon's, Roggio's, and Totten's credibility. Did Petraeus debunk them?

As it happens, Roggio wrote, on April 4th, a detailed piece on the Basra operations up to then:

A look at Operation Knights' Assault

Eleven days after Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki launched Operation Knights' Assault in Basrah, the picture of the fighting in the city has become clearer. Maliki launched the operation after giving limited notice to Multinational Forces Iraq, and an inexperienced Iraqi Army brigade from the newly formed 14th Division cracked doing the opening days of the fighting. Basrah Operational Command rushed in forces into Basrah, including Army and elite police units, to stabilize the fighting, and six days after the operation began, Muqtada al Sadr ordered his Mahdi Army to stand down in Basrah, Baghdad, and the South.
The US military was given notice of the operation on March 21, just four days before the Iraqi security forces began the advance into Basrah, The Times reported. General David Petraeus reportedly tried to dissuade Maliki from conducting the offensive, but the Iraqi prime minister pushed forward. Additional Iraqi Army, police, and special forces units began arriving in Basrah on March 24, and Maliki started the operation the next day.
The fighting caused the 52nd Brigade to crack under the strain of the fighting, according to US and Iraqi military officials. An estimated 500 Iraqi Army soldiers and 400 policemen deserted during the Basrah fighting, Iraqi military officials told The Associated Press. The 500 soldiers were reported to be from a single Iraqi Army battalion. Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed al Askari told Reuters an estimated 1,000 members of the security forces deserted. Some turned their weapons and vehicles over the Mahdi Army.
While the focus of the reporting centered on Basrah, the Iraqi security forces also combated the Mahdi Army in the Shia cities between Basrah and Baghdad. The Iraqi Army was able to secure Hillah, Kut, Karbala, Najaf, Diwaniyah, Nasiriyah, and Amarah in a matter of days after the fighting started. By March 29, the fighting in these cities largely stopped.

Does Petraeus' testimony debunk Roggio's article, written four days prior? NO! IT VERIFIES ALMOST ALL OF ROGGIO'S ANALYSIS !!

Question 2 goes to the good guys!

How embarrassing it must be to be you, An Italian and Bruno. Even your most ardent, blindest fans will see right through your inaccuracies.

Wouldn't an apology on your part be in order, dear An Italian and Bruno ?


Labels: , , , , ,

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?