January 18, 2007


Give us guns - and troops can go, says Iraqi leader (Stephen Farrell, 1/18/07, Times of London)

America's refusal to give Baghdad's security forces sufficient guns and equipment has cost a great number of lives, the Iraqi Prime Minister said yesterday.

Nouri al-Maliki said the insurgency had been bloodier and prolonged because Washington had refused to part with equipment. If it released the necessary arms, US forces could "dramatically" cut their numbers in three to six months, he told The Times.

In a sign of the tense relations with Washington, he chided the US for suggesting his Government was living on "borrowed time". Such criticism boosted Iraq's extremists, he said, and was more a reflection of "some kind of crisis situation" in Washington after the Republicans' midterm election losses. Mr al-Maliki conceded that his administration had made mistakes over the hanging of Saddam Hussein. But he refused to accept all criticism over the execution. When asked about the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi's attack on Iraq's capital punishment laws, Mr al-

Maliki cited the Italians' summary killing of Benito Mussolini and his stringing-up from a lamppost.

Asked how long Iraq would require US troops, Mr al-Maliki said: "If we succeed in implementing the agreement between us to speed up the equipping and providing weapons to our military forces, I think that within three to six months our need for American troops will dramatically go down. That is on condition that there are real, strong efforts to support our military forces and equipping and arming them."

George Bush has begun basing our policy in Iraq on the headlines in our papers, rather than on what the Iraqis need, which is a sure indicator that it's time to go.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 18, 2007 8:37 AM

C'mon OJ - this is just cya by Maliki. He's been saying for over a year that the Iraq forces can take over the whole thing while military experts and evidence in the field are saying that is not the case.

Posted by: AWW at January 18, 2007 10:40 AM

they don't have any money to buy their own?????

Gimme, gimmee, gimmee, jeez.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 18, 2007 11:18 AM

No different than Abbas getting Condi to promise him "guns for peace" to solve the Palestinian problem.

Posted by: obc at January 18, 2007 11:34 AM

He's right. They're wrong. They don't even understand the war.

Posted by: oj at January 18, 2007 1:00 PM

Condi doesn't understand a lot of things, does she? For such a smart woman, she's getting played by everyone around the world these days.

She looked terrible in her House testimony last week.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 18, 2007 3:40 PM

Name two people inside the Beltway who do understand it.

Posted by: oj at January 18, 2007 6:05 PM

Maliki and company would have more guns if so many of the ones we already gave them didn't somehow end up in the hands of militias, criminal gangs and insurgents.

Posted by: PapayaSF at January 18, 2007 7:15 PM

Come on. "Guns" doesn't mean individual weapons, it is shorthand for total force resources. We don't equip the socii with these--they might entertain delusions of independence were we to do so. They need to do our bidding or to start practicing those helicopter-skid chin-ups.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 19, 2007 6:54 AM


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