Operation Iraqi Gloss-Over
September 14, 2007
The president cites shaky facts as he makes a case for keeping high levels of troops in Iraq.
President Bush played loose with the facts in his address to the nation Thursday night as he tried to convince the American public that the surge in U.S. troops in Iraq has made the country more stable.
- He said "36 nations ... have troops on the ground in Iraq." In fact, his own State Department puts the number at 25.
- He said “ordinary life” was returning to Baghdad. Perhaps. In fact, news reports describe the city as starkly segregated with Shiites and Sunnis living in separate neighborhoods, which are walled off from one another with huge concrete barricades.
- He said Baqubah in Diyala province was "cleared." But the Washington Post quotes a State Department official as saying the security situation there was not stable.
- He said that “the Iraqi Army is becoming more capable,” which may be true. But the Iraqi defense minister says it’ll be 2012 before the army will be even 60 percent capable of protecting the nation from external threats.