In another sign of U.S. struggles in Iraq, the target date for putting Iraqi authorities in charge of security in all 18 provinces has slipped yet again, to at least July.
The delay, noted in a Pentagon report to Congress on progress and problems in Iraq, highlights the difficulties in developing Iraqi police forces and the slow pace of economic and political progress in some areas.
It is the second time this year the target date for completing what is known as "Provincial Iraqi Control" has been pushed back. The Pentagon report submitted to Congress on Monday hinted at the possibility of further delays.
And hey, what about all that training, y'know the stuff that
The Pentagon report cited a litany of problems with the police. For example, it said as few as 40 percent of those trained by coalition troops in recent years are still on the job. Also, due to combat loss, theft, attrition and poor maintenance, a "significant portion" of U.S.-issued equipment is now unusable.
Surely, somebody needs to shake up the snow globe again, because this fictional world is not to the Decider's satisfaction.
And speaking of the Decider -- and to move to a different point, I saw this over at Digby's from a recent Sidney Blumenthal column about the recent Robert Draper Bush bio -- it's quite comforting:
Bush's deployed his fetish for punctuality as a punitive weapon. When Colin Powell was several minutes late to a Cabinet meeting, Bush ordered that the door to the Cabinet Room be locked.
Suddenly Bush is Chloris Leachman's Nurse Diesel in High Anxiety and Powell is Harvey Korman being denied his fruit cup. I just hope that's the only similarity.
And then there is this:
Every morning, Josh Bolten, the chief of staff, greets Bush with the same words: "Thank you for the privilege of serving today."
You can literally see Bolten already in the next room masturbating.