Debate Thread

First lie: Bush claims that “people know where I stand”; compare Daily Kos: Bush Supporters Clueless about Bush's Policies

Bush's best moment: pointing out the contradiction between Kerry saying the invasion was a mistake and saying he will win it with foreign help.

Fact check: How many countries have how many troops in Iraq? See this BBC account

Numbers fluctuate as troops are rotated in and out of the country. On 19 July 2004 there were about 133,000 foreign troops in Iraq, of whom about 112,000 were American.

Any major engagement with insurgents is run by US forces, except in the south-east, where British forces take the lead.

Bush's claim that there are 30 or so countries represented among coalition troops is technically correct. But for almost all the contributions are, according to the BBC, negligible:

Coalition troops in Iraq

More than 30 countries have contributed troops to the multinational forces in Iraq.

The US is overwhelmingly the biggest foreign contributor, followed by the UK, Italy and Poland.

Numbers fluctuate as troops are rotated in and out of the country. On 19 July 2004 there were about 133,000 foreign troops in Iraq, of whom about 112,000 were American.

Any major engagement with insurgents is run by US forces, except in the south-east, where British forces take the lead.

Baghdad Area of Operations:
About 30,000 foreign soldiers, most from the US 1st Cavalry Division. There are 32 Estonians in the Abu Ghraib district of the city.

Iraqi troops began patrols in Baghdad on 28 June, in co-ordination with the multinational forces.

Baghdad is also the location of the multinational force headquarters.

Multinational Brigade North (also known as Task Force Olympia):
About 20,000 soldiers, of whom 11,500 are Iraqi security forces (national guard, border patrol and army).

The remaining 8,500 are nearly all American (mostly Third Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division). There is also an Albanian commando company.

In August 2004, South Korea is due to start deploying 3,000 new troops in Irbil. Most of the 700 South Koreans already in the country have been based in the south-east, but about half are now, reportedly, being redeployed to Irbil.

(Sources: Multinational Brigade North; Globalsecurity.org)

North-Central Area of Operations:
The US 1st Infantry is augmented by contingents from:
Georgia (150)
Latvia (about 40)
Moldova (30)
Macedonia (30)

Western Area of Operations:
The US 1st Marine Division is augmented by contingents from:
Azerbaijan (150)
Tonga (45)

Multinational Division Centre-South:
Poland (2,350)
Ukraine (1,550)
Thailand (450)
Bulgaria (420)
Hungary (290)
Romania (200)
Mongolia (140
Latvia (110)
Slovakia (110)
Lithuania (50)

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4 Responses to Debate Thread

  1. Michael says:

    Bush’s whopper of the day: Iraq war was necessary “because the enemy attacked us” — once again linking Iraq to 9/11 despite the absence of facts to support the claim.

    And – yes! – Kerry nailed it.

  2. Barry Freed says:

    Another whopper, of a different sort: “Of course I know that Osama attacked us.” It was said in a very petulant and p.o.’d tone. That he even had to say that was a major defeat for Bush.

  3. Mojo says:

    Bush – “The A.Q. Khan network has been brought to justice.” Anybody know what punishment Khan got? Last I heard, for the crime of spreading nuclear weapons technology to members of the “axis of evil”, he was fired from his job and had some assets seized. Is that “justice” or has Pakistan finally locked him up or executed him and I just missed the news? If not, I assume we’ll invade Pakistan, capture Khan, and put him in Gitmo. That’s what Bush’s policies demand.
    Bush – “Saddam Hussein had no intention of disarming.” Where are the weapons if he had no intention of disarming? Please note that Bush didn’t say, “Saddam had no intention of ceasing some weapons of mass destruction related program activities.”
    Bush – “The facts are that he was systematically deceiving the inspectors.” Specifics please. Remember, he’s talking here of the period between the time Bush went to the UN and got the Security Council Resolution and the time we invaded. The “deceptions” he claimed before; stockpiles of weapons, bio-weapons labs, nuclear-related aluminum tubes etc. haven’t turned out to have been deceptions at all.
    Bush – “We’ve got 100,000 (Iraqi troops) trained now, 125,000 by the end of this year, 200,000 by the end of next year. Those numbers are far higher than what US military leaders say are actually trained or will be trained in that timeframe.
    Bush – “My opponent at one time said, ‘Well, get me elected, I’ll have them out of there in six months.’” Kerry debunked that one during the debate.
    I’m tired. That should be enough Bush lies to get things started.

  4. I posted elsewhere that I thought Bush’s claims of the potential of a six nation summit on North Korea’s nuclear future was dishonest given the already reported fact of N.K.’s refusal to even continue to bother with it…

    Add in Wesley Clark and others in the last day discussing how Bush’s refusal to work bilaterally with the North Koreans out of a fear of looking too much like Clinton was the impetus of the multination plan, and that the plan’s only real success was in making China look like our political superior, and I think it seals the deal.

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