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FACT CHECK: Bush’s Claims Of ‘Satisfactory Performance’ In Iraq Debunked

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"FACT CHECK: Bush’s Claims Of ‘Satisfactory Performance’ In Iraq Debunked"

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bush_hands.jpg Today the White House released its “Initial Benchmark Assessment Report” claiming that the Iraqi government has “shown satisfactory performance so far on 8 of the 18 benchmarks.”

The White House achieved its objective of spinning the media’s analysis. The New York Times reports the document as “finding some progress on political and security goals in Iraq.” The Washington Post says progress “has been mixed.” Similarly, the AP finds “mixed progress.”

According to National Security Network (NSN), however, there’s nothing mixed about the situation in Iraq; that is purely White House report spin. The NSN explained, the “benchmarks claimed as ‘satisfactory’ … demonstrate minimal progress, not achievement” and “others have been achieved on the surface, but fail to accomplish the overall purpose of the specific measurement.”

The NSN debunks the White House report’s delusional accounts of “progress” in Iraq. Some highlights:

CLAIM: “The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward forming a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) and then completing the constitutional review.”

FACT: “The Committee was originally scheduled to complete its work by May 15. Instead, it delivered a draft that did not address many of the key issues.” One CRC leader recently said, “We have not committed to doing it by September.” [LINK]

CLAIM: “The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.”

FACT: Such public services committees have “had little impact on Baghdad’s population which still lacks access to many basic services like water and electricity.” [LINK]

CLAIM: “The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.”

FACT: According to the Defense Department, “the three brigades that came to Baghdad were understaffed and poorly trained causing a major delay in Baghdad security operations.” Only “one-half to two-thirds” of the promised 330,000 Iraqi security forces have arrived. [LINK]

CLAIM: “The Government of Iraq with substantial Coalition assistance has made satisfactory progress toward reducing sectarian violence…”

FACT: According to the Brookings Institute, “sectarian violence has remained constant despite the ‘surge.’” [LINK]

CLAIM: “The Government of Iraq — with substantial Coalition assistance — has made satisfactory progress toward establishing the planned Joint Security Stations in Baghdad.”

FACT: Iraqis living nearby such “Joint Security Stations” say they “feel less safe now, because many of the bases have quickly become magnets for rocket and mortar attacks.” [LINK]

CLAIM: “The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.”

FACT: “The Sunnis — one of the largest and most important minority groups — are currently boycotting the government. [LINK]

Indeed, the President’s assessment is all politics and his conduct — not that of Congress — has been the true “prescription for failure” in Iraq.

Ryan Powers

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