President Bush on Monday held out the northern Iraqi city of Tall Afar as an example of U.S. success in the war, but he also acknowledged in remarks that were as grim as they were hopeful that the city's improvements were not matched in other parts of Iraq.
U.S. and Iraqi forces launched a major military offensive against the insurgents last fall, including the construction of an 8-foot dirt wall around the city to cut off escape routes. After successful combat operations were over, Bush said, more than 1,000 Iraqi forces were deployed to keep order.
"In short, you see a city coming back to life," Bush said.
unfortunately, the story doesn't end here.
But lately, residents say, the city has taken another dark turn. "The armed men are fewer," Nassir Sebti, 42, an air-conditioning mechanic, told a Washington Post interviewer Monday, "but the assassinations between Sunni and Shiites have increased."
So after having to attack the city twice, build a wall around it, and place a large force near by, it is still a city dealing with civil war and overt lawlessness. In addition, the plain truth is, this is a tactic that we do not have the force capacity to do except in a few select places. So even if, with time, it shows more real positive results, we lack the manpower to replicate it. If we withdraw our support force, Tall Afar will again be lost.
This conflict of perspective, where the administration claims victory (remember 'mission accomplished') where no victory exist, continues to expose Bush as either a serial liar, or just dumb as a post. Either trait is not seen, by most people, as a posititive in a national leader.
Tall Afar Iraq