Think back to the first debate between Sen. John Kerry and George W. Bush. The president claimed that night that a significant number of trained Iraqis were already taking over the job of defending the country.
From September 30, 2004.
BUSH: There are 100,000 troops trained, police, guard, special units, border patrol. There's going to be 125,000 trained by the end of this year. Yes, we're getting the job done. It's hard work. Everybody knows it's hard work, because there's a determined enemy that's trying to defeat us.
He threw out those numbers twice that night about that many Iraqis being trained. Now fast forward to yesterday, December 18, 2005
BUSH: At this time last year, there were only a handful of Iraqi army and police battalions ready for combat. Now, there are more than 125 Iraqi combat battalions fighting the enemy, more than 50 are taking the lead, and we have transferred more than a dozen military bases to Iraqi control.
It appears the numbers he gave on trained Iraqis last year were completely made up to help his re-election chances. In September of this year, USA Today reported
that US commanders indicated only 1 Iraqi batallion (about 500-600 soldiers) was ready to fight on its own.
I guess we are supposed to believe that in under three months, there has been this miraculous progress when their numbers have been so off base in the past. Call me a skeptic, but I ain't buying it.