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Sunday Morning Iraq War Roundup

2 October 2005 at 8:06:30 AM

Bush living in unreality- sees progress in the Iraq war effort

President Bush said Saturday he is encouraged by the increasing size and capability of the Iraqi security forces, touting progress on a key measure for when U.S. troops can come home.

Iraq war leaves Americans skeptical of force: poll

The war in Iraq has left Americans skeptical about the use of military force as a tool to spread democracy, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Seventy-two percent of those questioned said the conflict has made them feel worse about the use of military force "to bring about democracy" down the road, compared to only 20 percent who said it made them feel better about such a prospect, the survey found.

It also found that nearly three of every four Americans believe overthrowing Iraq's government and trying to establish a democracy in its place was not a good enough reason to go to war there. The survey did not address the question of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

If Iraqis vote to approve a new constitution in a coming referendum, the United States should assume that the implementation of democracy has been achieved and begin withdrawing troops, 57 percent of those questioned said.


Gen Casey Tells Congress there is only one trained Iraqi Combat Force (the bar for ending the war is to have Iraqi's trained and able to handle their own security)

The number of Iraqi battalions capable of combat without U.S. support has dropped from three to one, the top American commander in Iraq told Congress Thursday, prompting Republicans to question whether U.S. troops will be able to withdraw next year. ....

The Bush administration says training Iraqi security forces to defend their own country is the key to bringing home U.S. troops. But Republicans pressed Casey on whether the United States was backsliding in its efforts to train Iraqis.

In June, the Pentagon told lawmakers that three Iraqi battalions were fully trained, equipped and capable of operating independently. On Thursday, Casey said only one battalion is ready.

"It doesn't feel like progress," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.


A woman walks past damage from Thursday evening's suicide car bomb attack, in the Iraqi town of Balad September 30, 2005. Up to 50 people were killed in three apparently coordinated car bomb attacks in the mixed Shi'ite and Sunni Arab town of Balad north of Baghdad on Thursday, Iraqi police sources said. (Ceerwan Aziz/Reuters)

Daily Look at US Deaths in Iraq

As of Saturday, Oct. 1, 2005, at least 1,935 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,500 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers. The figures include five military civilians

Since May 1, 2003, when President Bush declared that major combat operations in Iraq had ended, 1,796 U.S. military members have died, according to AP's count. That includes at least 1,391 deaths resulting from hostile action, according to the military's numbers.


'Iraq guilt' mars morale, recruitment at British army: top general

There was an understanding by members of the armed services that this was not an all-hands-up, popular event across the country," he said.

"But I think at that stage they were able to decouple in their own minds, as I was, the fact that the country was not necessarily behind the strategic decision to go to war, but once our boys and girls were out there, doing their various things, they would support them in that role," Walker said.

"Now I think that's shifted a bit, if I am absolutely honest. Some of the opprobrium attached to the war is also attached to the fact that the armed services are taking part in it. We are, if you like, guilty by association with a decision to go to war that not the whole of this country enjoined."

Asked what conditions are needed to withdraw from Iraq and whether the conflict there is "winnable", the general said: "Winnable is the wrong word. I think what it is, is that there is a 'my glass is half full'."

The Sunday Times said the "half full" comment indicated that Britain's ambitions for the insurgency-plagued country had been scaled down.

Bush to Crank up Message Machine (Propaganda Circus) on Dangers on Iraq Withdrawal

Officials say Bush will give a "significant" speech on Thursday, the latest shot in a volley of addresses on Iraq by top administration figures ahead of a referendum on Iraq's draft constitution on October 15.

Faced with raging violence in Iraq, a US death toll fast approaching 2,000 troops and rising domestic angst over the course of the war, the Bush national security team is telling Americans that now is not the time to quit.

Turkish Women to Bush PR Chief (Karen Hughes)-Iraq War Sinks Image

There is "no chance for America to make its image better ... while the war in Iraq is still going on (and) people are dying every day," Turkish activist Hidayet Sefkatli Tuksal told journalists after meeting with Hughes at a museum in a medieval citadel looming over the modern city of Ankara.

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