U.S. Democrats push for complete Iraq withdraw
The U.S. Senate has started discussing a bill about the pull-out of American troops from Iraq by April next year. Democrats, demanding a complete withdrawal, plan to debate all night if necessary, to show their determination.
U.S. forces first celebrated 'victory' when toppled Saddam.
“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed,” U.S. President, George W. Bush, back in 2003.
But the White House blew it.
According to estimates from the National Intelligence Council and Defense Department the violence in Iraq has not been tamed. But the President has remained consistently upbeat.
In 2004 he “was pleased with the progress”, in 2005 he was optimistic about it. “We are winning”, he declared last year. The recent White House Iraq report gives him “cause for optimism”.
The latest news from Baghdad offers Mr Bush a chance to quit taxing the patience of the American public and declare a U.S. military victory.
Major General Rick Lynch, Third Infantry Division commander, and the most outspoken general in support of the surge in troop numbers, is pushing for more time to continue the surge into spring next year. However, his remarks about Iraqi forces and locals were quite an eye-opener.
“I find that professionally offensive. They are competent. There's just not enough of them,” said Mr Lynch.
But Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced Iraqi forces could stand up to secure the country whenever the Americans decide to step down.
“We say with confidence that we're capable of taking full responsibility for the security if the international forces withdraw in any time they wish,” he declared.