A pessimistic report on Iraq

Congressional investigators have weighed in on the Iraqi government’s progress in meeting 18 benchmarks Congress mandated this past spring when it passed a huge bill continuing the U.S. presence there.

A leaked draft of the report by the Government Accountability Office to be delivered formally next Tuesday is considerably harsher and more pessimistic than the White House’s own report card issued last month.

The GAO found that the Iraqi government had met only three of 18 benchmarks and made some progress on two others. The earlier White House assessment said the Iraqis had met eight benchmarks and made mixed progress on two.

The three benchmarks that the White House and GAO agreed the Iraqi government had met, while important, are hardly likely to get the war won: Establishing joint security posts in 34 Baghdad neighborhoods; establishing committees to support the Baghdad Security Plan; and legislation protecting the rights of minority parties in the national legislature.

The White House stressed that the leaked report card was only a draft; that the importance was not whether technical benchmarks had been met but whether progress was being made; and that in any case the assessment of the war that really counts is the one top commander Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker are to make in mid-September.

The Washington Post, which obtained the draft report, said it had been conveyed to the paper on behalf of “a government official who feared that its pessimistic conclusions would be watered down in the final version.”

This is not a sin that the GAO, which works for Congress, not the administration, is prey to but it does show the negative effects of the Bush administration’s reputation for fudging reports and findings to support political goals.

But even in the most favorable light the GAO report suggests at best only very modest progress in Iraq. As milestones, the benchmarks show we have a long, long way to go.

11 Responses to "A pessimistic report on Iraq"

  1. Donnat  August 31, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Thank goodness for leakers. We’d never know the truth about anything in this corrupt regime. I wonder if the person who leaked it will be given the hands off treatment that Valerie Plame’s identity leaker received?

    Donnat

  2. Steve Horn  August 31, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Oh boy – so the benchmarks are meaningless because if you view them as booleans (yes/no) in regard to their being met? I wish I could get a project like that to manage sometime, I always have to meet timelines and objectives OR explain why they’ve not been met (and that explanation better be factual, and I’d damn well better be able to figure out a way to overcome the hurdles in short order!).

    I’m sure that General Betrayus and Ambassador Crocker-o-shit will spin things to Georgie Porgies way of “thinking” (in quotes because I really don’t believe “W” is capable of doing so).

    Everything is FINE in Iraq fellas – we’re making massive progress – yeah there’s that death thing that happens, electricity isn’t available most of the time, the sewers don’t work and there’s no water – but it’s all FINE … then “W” will smirk and I’ll feel the need to vomit – again.

    Peace

    Steve

  3. justanothercoverup  August 31, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    What is missing from the Iraq Report is a startling statement made today by Paul Craig Roberts, a former assistant secretary of the Treasury – who is also a Republican!

    This one you have to read to believe, although I’m not surprised, and am in complete agreement with his assessment of President (sic) Bush!

    Former Reagan Aide Accuses Bush of Being a “Mass Murderer”! http://justanothercoverup.com/?p=257

    With mountains of evidence and even Republicans joining in their condemnation of Bush – why “is impeachment still off the table”?

    William Cormier

  4. gene  August 31, 2007 at 2:08 pm

    Anyone surprised? Year after year we have had to tolerate Bush and Cheney so now the consequences are apparent.

    A very destructive enviornment where lies and deceipt is the norm.

    To those who are paying attentiion….get ready, you an’t seen nothing yet. And to those zombies who hang out at walmart, stay stupid.

  5. jgw  August 31, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    It will be interesting to see how congress handles this report. I hope I am wrong, but the history of this congress is such that I fully expect the Democrats to beat their breasts, pontificate on the horror of it all, beat up on Bush, and then proceed with business. They will fully fund the mess again, kiss the military ass, and threaten everybody with terrible things (for the umteenth time).

    I am not too sure this behavior doesn’t go back to 9/11 and the Congress of Cowards. 9/11 happened and the house simply shut it down and cowered under their beds (and still seem to be at it). Of course that congress was led by God’s Christian war mongers. This was the opposite of their previous proud history of staying in session when the republic was threatened. A bunch of those stalwarts are still serving (now with LOTS of seniority), having been duly voted in by an electorate that works, very hard, at being sheep being led to the slaughter.

    Oh well, at least we can continue to count on these jerks to provide us with endless entertainment.

    jgw
    Port Angeles, WA

  6. Steve Horn  August 31, 2007 at 2:38 pm

    jwg wrote “Oh well, at least we can continue to count on these jerks to provide us with endless entertainment.”

    Sad but true – as a singer/songwriter who comes from the “topical song” school (teachers being Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs and many others) the current administration has really helped me expand my political song resume –

    And think about it – but for their comments about Bush the “Dixie Chicks” would just be a fluffy girl band and nobody would know what a dick Toby Keith is! (well, we might have figured it out on our own)

    Peace

    Steve

  7. Steve Horn  August 31, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Alas – it seems we’ll have to get the Betrayus report without Tony Snow – he’s leaving the Whitehouse on 9/14 –

    Poor George – so sad – so alone – so !$#@*&! dumb …

  8. LurkingFromTheLeft  August 31, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Oh if ONLY Barney could talk…

    …the tales his tail would tell –

    …almost like Nixon and the paintings on the walls –

    LFTL

  9. wiseoldgranny  August 31, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    We started with 100,000-120,000 American troops.
    We trained 350,000 Iraqi troops.

    We pay 120,000+ mercenaries. (not with the original US forces)

    We have added at least 20,000 American troops.

    That is a ‘surge’ of at least, 490,000 new troops.

    The total number, fighting for the Iraqi government…appx. 610,000 with 28,000+ more planned, making a total of 638,000.

    By all accounts, Iraq is worse off than ever.

    How is a 28,000 troop ‘surge’ going to fix it?

    It’s like the business man talking to his accountant. The accountant tells him, ‘The product costs us $2 to produce, and we are selling it for $1, something has to be done.” The owner replies, “What we need, is more volume.”

    ——————————————————-

    The first 3 months of 2007 have been the blodiest since 2004.

    2004……1.30 average deaths for first 3 months.
    2005……2.16 ” ”
    2006…….1.73
    2007……..2.80

    Wounded unable to return to action within 3 days 2007:
    January…..151
    Febuary…..193
    March……..306

    March was first month of the ‘surge’.

    HOW CAN THE ‘SURGE’ BE WORKING?

    This is a list of only US deaths in Iraq. As you can see, it doesn’t add up to the reduction of US deaths that is being touted by the leaders and their media.

    March April May June July
    07 81 104 126 101 81
    06 31 76 69 61 43
    05 35 52 80 78 54
    04 52 135 80 42 54
    03 65 74 37 30 48

    Another thing that jumped out at me is this:
    Wounded and medical evacuations As reported by the DoD as of 6/30/2007

    Wounded – Medical Air Transport Required 5,798 150 1,931 70 —7,949

    Diseases/Other Medical – Medical Air Transport Required 17,532 620 1,302 911—– 20,365

    17,532 is Army. On ground in Iraq. The next highest is the marines with 1,302.

    Why are there so many disease air evacs?
    Why mostly on ground, in Iraq, troops?

    Water borne disease? Food poisoning? Depleted uranium? Vaccinations?

    Lynne Kringler

  10. wiseoldgranny  August 31, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    March April May June July August
    07—- 81—104–126–101–81—79
    06—- 31—76—69–61—-43—65
    05—- 35—52—80–78—-54—85
    04—- 52–135—80–42—-54—66
    03—- 65—74—37–30—-48—35

    US troop deaths only

  11. pacplyer  September 7, 2007 at 9:43 am

    The fortune 500 is happy with this nut case (bush) because they have no adult supervision and can do anything they want: monopolies, steal employee pension funds, bust labor organizing, offshore all jobs and assets, ignore epa consequenses, anything they want.. Until that changes this crime family is going to launch us into global terror (because that’s were war profiteers make money) unless we boycott everything they’re selling and cause wall street to withhold support for this new inevitable, new manufactured war.

    Even tactical nuke emmisions in Iran will find their way to the troposphere and the jet stream which circles the globe at 40,000 feet, and this fallout, abiet in reduced concentration is going to fall on YOUR hometown.

    This is the time when all good Americans should reflect on just how far you are willing to let this mad man go!

    I ask you, my fellow Americans, when will we refuse to let this go on? Cancer is up 60% amongst returning armed forces. This is consistant with firing depleted urainium munisions (and there is nothing depleted about them: they are hot nuclear waste.) The bullet has a half-life of thousands of years. The soldier who breathes the smoke/dust after firing it, has not very good prospects at all! This is an insane business we are in; the prelude to world war.

    No time to worry about the poles melting, we won’t be around long enough to care the way this nutjob is going!

    pacplyer

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