Friday, July 06, 2007

Do You Accept The Whitehouse's Definition of Success In Iraq?

I was searching the Whitehouse web location for any comment on the recent court decision that landed in their favor, but could find none. Even so, I found decent comment from yet another of W's spokesmodels. See what you think:
Q Tony, what's the definition of success of the surge? And what's the next stage if the surge is not successful?

MR. FRATTO: The definition of success of the surge is that there is a sufficient amount of breathing space. And by that, we mean basic security and basic delivery of services in Iraq; that the political leadership can make the reforms that they need to make in order to move Iraq to a more functioning society.

And so that means that for -- to give them the opportunity to make the political reforms that they need to make. A lot of the benchmarks that we talk about passing -- passing the oil law, de-Baathification, and training Iraqi forces to do more work on the ground -- now, we're seeing an incredible amount of progress on training up Iraqi troops. And what we're hearing from our generals on the ground is that some places there are mixed results from that, but in more places than we have seen in the past, we're seeing Iraqi troops who are willing to fight and die for this government.

Now that's a pretty important factor in this equation. If Iraqi troops are signing up to join Iraqi defense forces, they're getting trained and they're willing to fight and die and work to hold the areas that we're clearing, those are important factors and we want to see that continue. And that's a measure of progress.

So there won't be one crowning event that says, okay, now we are finally successful in Iraq. I think it's going to be a little bit more of an evolutionary process. But you know, you'll know it when you see it. And I think you'll know it when your colleagues, who are out there on the ground reporting out of Iraq, are able to go down the street and do walking tours of a neighborhood and talk to residents in some degree of safety, and talk to Iraqi officials outside of the Green Zone. And it will be those kinds of things. So I think we'll know it, but we're not going to know it on one specific day. That's not going to work --
How's that for a definition of success? Seem atainable?

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