Your preznit, November 13, 2004:
Ultimately, Iraq must be able to defend itself, and Iraqi security forces are taking increasing responsibility for their country’s security. As we see in Fallujah, and as we saw in Najaf and elsewhere, Iraqi security forces are standing and fighting and risking their lives for the future of their nation.
And on the ground in Mosul…
Insurgents have acquired thousands of police uniforms after officers deserted their posts when rebels attacked stations in Mosul.
About 3,200 of the Iraqi town’s 4,000 police officers dropped their weapons and ran off, intimidated into submission by groups of armed insurgents during a 48-hour period, it has emerged.
American-led troops will now potentially face rebels wearing police uniforms making it extremely difficult to distinguish them from policemen.
At least seven police stations were overrun and looted of their weapons, radios, uniforms and vehicles, before being set ablaze or, in at least one case, destroyed by dynamite.
Lt Col Michael Gibler, commander of the 3-21 Infantry Battalion, based in Mosul, said: “We are in a various, precarious security environment.”
The police chief on duty when the mass desertion occurred on Nov. 10-11 has been fired and a new chief drafted in. He is now carrying out an audit of the remaining 800 or so police to assess who is really loyal and who is a potential deserter.
The police force was set up by US authorities last year and promoted as a symbol of the new Iraq. The police were supposed to be the backbone of Iraq’s new security forces, reinforced by the national guard and the army.
But here’s some good news. Americans are worth three times as much as Iraqi Shiites.
According to [Shiite politician Bayan] Jaber, insurgent leaders in the area offer cash bounties for killing certain kinds of people: $1,000 for a Shiite, $2,000 for a member of the Iraqi National Guard and $3,000 for an American.