As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end. (Applause.) Shortly after taking office, I announced our new strategy for Iraq and for a transition to full Iraqi responsibility. And I made it clear that by August 31st, 2010, America’s combat mission in Iraq would end. (Applause.) And that is exactly what we are doing -- as promised and on schedule. (Applause.)
Today -- even as terrorists try to derail Iraq’s progress -- because of the sacrifices of our troops and their Iraqi partners, violence in Iraq continues to be near the lowest it’s been in years. And next month, we will change our military mission from combat to supporting and training Iraqi security forces. (Applause.) In fact, in many parts of the country, Iraqis have already taken the lead for security.
BAGHDAD — In one of the broadest assaults on Iraq’s security forces, insurgents unleashed a wave of roadside mines and a more than a dozen car bombings across Iraq on Wednesday, killing dozens, toppling a police station in the capital and sowing chaos and confusion among the soldiers and police officers who responded.
The withering two-hour assault in 13 towns and cities, from southernmost Basra to restive Mosul in the north, was as symbolic as it was deadly, coming a week before the United States declares the end of combat operations here. Wednesday was seemingly the insurgents’ reply: Despite suggestions otherwise, they proved their ability to launch coordinated attacks virtually anywhere in Iraq, capitalizing on the government’s dysfunction and perceptions of American vulnerability.
For weeks, there had been sense of inevitability to the assaults, which killed at least 51 people, many of them police officers. From the American military to residents here, virtually everyone seemed to expect insurgents to seek to demonstrate their prowess as the United States brings its number of troops below 50,000 here. But the anticipation did little to prepare security forces for the breadth of the assault. Iraqi soldiers and police officers brawled at the site of the biggest bombing in Baghdad, and residents heckled them for their impotence in stopping a blast that cut like a scythe through the neighborhood.
“A bloody day,” Khalil Ahmed, a 30-year-old engineer, said simply, as he stared at the cranes and bulldozers trying to rescue victims buried under the police station.
“From the day of the fall of Saddam until now, this is what we have — explosions, killing and looting,” he said. “This is our destiny. It’s already written for us.”
I'm not saying combat troops should stay or anything, but I'd go light on the "Iraqi security forces are up to the task" jive.
Iraq is a mess. It will be worse as we continue to disentangle from it. We caused that mess, we have made it worse over the course of the years we were there, and we are not taking moral responsibility for our actions.
Now President Accountability has no intention of doing anything about Iraq because he has staked HIS legacy on Afghanistan.
Unfortunately for President Accountability, the situation in Afghanistan is worsening even as he puts more troops and resources into that war.
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan — As the Taliban spread their tentacles across the formerly peaceful north of Afghanistan, upcoming elections are proving a target for the insurgents.
Across the northern provinces of the war-torn country, Afghans doubt the country can hold free and fair parliamentary polls on September 18 in a rapidly deteriorating security situation.
Worst affected is Kunduz, in the northeast, though authorities in Balkh, Faryab and Jawzjan provinces noted the encroachment of Taliban insurgents who are trying to create a battleline marking their area of control.
According to people in the region, the Taliban are on the march.
"Taliban fighters are no longer just in limited numbers in our village, they are now in their hundreds," said Mohammad Feda, 22, from Boka village in Balkh.
Sitting in front of his shop on the Balkh-Jawzjan highway, Feda said Taliban numbers had grown so much in recent months they now had a visible presence in many villages in the area, day and night.
People in Balkh, Chimtal, Chahar Bolak and Sholgara districts in Balkh province told AFP the Taliban were regrouping ahead of the elections, causing concern about how safe they will be in casting their votes.
"Elections can't be held, no one can go to polling stations because the Taliban have warned people not to participate," said an official in Chahar Bolak with the Independent Election Commission (IEC), which oversees the polls.
"I have lived in Chahar Bolak all my life, but now sometimes I cannot go there due to the insecurity," he said, speaking on condition he not be named.
Yeah, heckuva job you're doing with YOUR war, Barack.
Sounds almost as bad as the one your running from in Iraq.
Can you write how the rest of the war plays out?
Obama and company stay in Afghanistan for as long as they can politically, then point to some jive ass propaganda as "proof" of stability and announce a slow withdrawal.
And the next day insurgents will kill and maim hundreds of people.
But we leave anyway.
Leaving the joint worse than before we went in.
That's the American way.