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So THAT'S what you mean by "some", "a larger number", and "the rest"

House Blenders: “Radical” Russ is your barista for the next few days while Pam is on vacation for her anniversary.

In the full text of my post (I only posted the first third here at the Blend, there rest is at the Writ), The Bush Speech Drinking Game, I noted the following glittering generality from All-Hat-No-Cattle:

Today Iraq has more than 160,000 security forces trained and equipped for a variety of missions…. Today Iraqi Security Forces are at different levels of readiness. Some are capable of taking on the terrorists and insurgents by themselves. A larger number can plan and execute anti-terrorist operations with Coalition support. The rest are forming and not yet ready to participate fully in security operations.

You’ve got an exact number of 160,000 for us, but you follow it up with “some”, “a larger number”, and “the rest”? Gee, hypothetically speaking, if “some” was 100, then 200 would be “a larger number”, and “the rest” would be 159,700, right? This is why your approval ratings are sinking, Arbusto; we want details, not platitudes.

Well, turns out I was only off by a factor of twenty and forty. This just in from AMERICAblog (go read it all, it’s really good):

For example, the training of Iraqis to take over their own security — the single most important task in that country — is proceeding at a punishingly slow rate. Bush threw out the number of 160,000 troops and then casually mentioned they fall into three categories: trained and ready to fight on their own, trained and capable of fighting with our help and not ready to fight at all.

After the speech, we’re told the truth. How many of those Iraqis are trained and ready to fight on their own? Half? A third? A tenth? Only 2,500 — less than two percent. (There’s your “some”.) How many can fight with our help? About 8,900 (Bush didn’t lie; that is “a larger number”.). In total, only about 8 percent can fight in any way. Almost 150,000 of that 160,000 number he threw out are not trained in any meaningful way (And there’s “the rest”.). Bush refuses to say what’s going wrong, how he’ll speed up the training or explain why he is refusing the help of Germany and Italy to train soldiers in their own countries. But let’s say he doubles the rate of training to 2,500 a year. Heck, let’s say he quadruples the rate of training to 5,000 a year. How long will it take for Bush to actually reach the level of 160,000 troops he implies we have today? More than three decades.

Thirty years before the Iraqis will “stand up” so we can “stand down”? Assuming the current rate of 62 dead American soldiers per month, we’re looking at 22,320 more casualties as we “stay in Iraq as long as we are needed – and not a day longer.” Forget that I said we need to be “setting up our kindergartners’ savings accounts for body armor now”, we need to start saving for our grandchildren!

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