On Wednesday, President Bush will deliver an address at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, in which, he is “expected to herald the improved readiness of Iraqi troops, which he has identified as the key condition for pulling out U.S. forces.” The speech appears to be an effort by the Bush administration to lay the groundwork for potentially large withdrawals of troops in 2006 and 2007.
While Bush and critics of his Iraq policy may agree that a drawdown could be the proper action to take, they differ in one key respect — the rationale for why such a withdrawal is necessary. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) recently argued that pulling out of Iraq is necessary because “the war in Iraq is not going as advertised. It is a flawed policy wrapped in illusion.” Bush, on the other hand, is trying to suggest that a drawdown is the fruits of “good progress” being made in Iraq.
A review of the situation on the ground in Iraq demonstrates clearly that things are getting worse, not better:
- Approximately 100 Attacks Per Day; All-Time High. “Pentagon officials said that in October there were about 100 attacks a day in Iraq compared with 85 to 90 attacks a day in September — and about half of all attacks involve homemade bombs.” That is the highest recorded level since the Iraq war began. By comparison, in January, nationwide figures hovered around 50 to 70 attacks per day. [CNN, 11/3/05; Boston Globe, 1/21/05; Brookings Iraq Index, p. 20]
- One of the Deadliest Attacks In Iraq Occurred Less Ten Days Ago. “Suicide bombers killed nearly 100 people Friday in one of the deadliest days of Iraq’s insurgency, bringing houses down on sleeping families in Baghdad and shredding Shiite Muslim worshipers in two mosques in the eastern part of the country just as the victims turned their faces up to the preachers to hear their Friday sermons”¦ Nationwide, the attacks were the deadliest since Sept. 14, when at least 14 insurgent bombings in Baghdad killed more than 160 people.” [Washington Post, 11/19/05]
- Unemployment Rates At 40 Percent. [Biden speech, 11/21/05] Read more