Thursday, December 21, 2006

Developing the capabilities and inaudible of the Iraqi armed forces

I’ve been waiting all day for the transcript of the press conference held by Secretary of War Robert
gates 5
and his Iraqi counterpart, Abdul Qadir Muhammed Jasim, because my life is hollow and empty. When it was finally posted, though, it turned out that Gates wouldn’t speak beyond airy generalities (“I especially emphasized to the prime minister the steadfastness of American support and our enduring presence in the Persian Gulf”), but Qadir...
A lot of issues were discussed about the possibility to develop the capabilities and -- (inaudible) -- of the Iraqi armed forces and (inaudible) the security situation and the new situation on the Iraqi field in general and in the capital, Baghdad, especially the development of the terrorist operations and the -- (inaudible) -- and they’re focusing in a very -- (inaudible) -- way on the (inaudible) of civilians -- (inaudible). And -- (inaudible) -- engaging the military forces and the -- (inaudible) -- for the -- (inaudible) -- and the gathering of -- (inaudible) -- and markets and wedding parties and schools and the churches and the educational institutions and -- (inaudible).

(Inaudible) -- Jihad, they target just yesterday a convoy of the pilgrims -- (inaudible). (Inaudible) -- operations in addition to the force -- (inaudible) -- for some outlaws, whether they are -- (inaudible) -- by or it is done by threats or by -- (inaudible) -- on secure areas.
Questions by Iraqi reporters are simply untranslated in the transcript, because in our fourth year of steadfast American support and enduring presence in the Persian Gulf, we still don’t have anyone who understands whatever language it is the simple natives speak.
Q (In Arabic.)

SEC. GATES: I’m not sure I understood your question.

Q (In Arabic.)
Gates said he was much more impressed by the Iraqi officials than he was when he visited with the Iraqi Study Group in September, although he thinks that visit may simply have been too short and “perhaps we didn’t have the opportunity to explore in the kind of depth I have today with Iraqi officials”. This week’s visit will last an entire day and a half, which is surely time to learn everything there is to know about Iraq.

Whichever reporter started off a question “Secretary Gates, this morning you met with a small but representative group of senior enlisted U.S. soldiers” needs to be drummed out of the press corpse.

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