George W. Bush today, defending the famous flight suit speech announcing the end of major combat operation in Iraq:
“we're making progress, you bet” in bringing stability to Iraq.
What the grunts say about about today's pullout from Fallujah, turning the town over to a Baathist general (source: UK Daily Telegraph, Saddam's man takes over in Fallujah )(reg. req.):
Many ordinary marines said they did not believe the initiative would work and it could endanger their lives when they had to revert to the “plan A” of a full-scale offensive to take Fallujah.
“Honestly, I don't think they're going to be able to do it,” said Cpl Elias Chavez, 28.
“We had the insurgents cordoned off, they couldn't go anywhere, we had a chance to get them. Now they can flee wherever they want and we're still going to have to deal with them.”
He said the new force, largely made up of Fallujah residents, would be unlikely to apprehend or clamp down on anti-coalition fighters.
By leaving without defeating the insurgents, their deployment since April 5, following the killing and mutilation of four US defence contractors, “was a waste of time, of resources and of lives”.
“Everyone feels the same, especially those who know someone who was killed.”
L Cpl Julius Wright, 20, said: “Now it's going to get worse. We pulled out when we should of gone in.”
I'm with the grunts on this one. This is “progress”?