Ever since the Surge™ plans rolled off the presses at the American Enterprise Institute and the escalation got underway, any time anyone has brought up withdrawal of troops and drawing down in
(As if we could count on receiving the unvarnished truth about success on the ground! Ha! I inwardly roll my eyes. I’ve read that op-ed before – right before the last presidential selection, in fact.)
Well, we know he is going to spin and mince and parse and do a soft-soap routine extraordinaire. None the less, when he is in front of the congressional committees, I would dearly love to see him asked to answer the following questions – and for the committees to make him answer them in a forthright manner.
Start at the beginning.
General Petraeus, could you start by defining the mission of the
What was the population of
What is the population now? Unemployment rate? GNP?
How many Iraqis have fled the country as refugees? How many people have fled violence in their neighborhoods and home districts, but remain in the country as internally displaced persons? How many internal refugee camps have sprung up in recent months?
Of the population remaining in
Would you provide the names of and background on groups which the
al Qaeda in
Of the jihadist/resistance fighters in
Can you provide the statistics on insurgents by sect? Can you give us this information for each province? Of the insurgents in
How does the
How many Iraqis oppose continuing the American military presence in that country? Of Iraqis not engaged in violence against Americans, how many nonetheless do not object to attacks against American forces?
The Missing Millions
How much cash was airlifted to
The Missing Weapons
We know that fully half of American casualties in
The GAO estimates that approximately half of all light weapons supplied by American forces to Iraqi military and police forces – 190,000 AK-47’s and handguns – have gone missing. Who got those weapons? Have they been turned against American forces? Used against other Iraqis in sectarian attacks? Used in criminal acts?
How many bridges have been attacked since the troop buildup got underway?
How many hours of electricity does the average Iraqi experience in a day? What was the average before the invasion in March 2003? What was the average temperature in
How many Iraqi homes, on average went without water for more than 24 hours during the month of August? What is the status of the water delivery system? How safe is the water to drink, when it is available? Hypothetically: If your family came to visit you in
And then, after a brief restroom break, I would start asking even tougher questions about the status of the Iraqi security forces. And I would segue into the ten and twenty year occupation predictions and projections. But that is me – and I am not a lily-livered poltroon afraid of being perceived as being mean to a poor little helpless four-star general.
(Hat tip to one of the commenters at Political Animal for posting many of these same questions, and many more. Reading that comment, I was able to pull all the disparate strands of outrage together and write a post that passes for cogent.)