LDT: “It’s the big lie”
LOU DOBBS: About 30,000 of our Marine, soldiers and sailors are fighting Sunni insurgents and al-Qaeda terrorists in al-Anbar province. Our commanders want to turn over that province to the Iraqi army. But the two Iraqi divisions in al-Anbar are under strength, and they are short of equipment.
Michael Ware has been embedded with U.S. troops in al-Anbar's capital, Ramadi. Michael joins us now from Baghdad.
Michael, is the situation in al-Anbar province as bad as the intelligence report apparently suggests?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lou, it's been this bad at least for at least a year, perhaps two. I mean, the intelligence report is not a revelation at all. It's what intelligence reports have been saying for the last 12 months. It's what military intelligence officers on the ground have been screaming about for over a year.
I mean, I've been going to al-Anbar province -- to Ramadi and it's surround -- since 2003. I mean, nothing has changed. I mean, America is not committed to the fight there. There has not been enough troops there from the beginning. All they're being -- all they're doing is being asked to hold the line. So you're feeding Marines and soldiers into what effectively is an al-Qaeda meat grinder.
Meanwhile, al-Qaeda's headquarters is there. Military intelligence knows that and doesn't have enough troops to move against it, Lou.
DOBBS: Michael, let me ask you, what is the assessment among the Marine officers, the Army officers there as to why they are not getting the troops that apparently those men on the ground, those commanders on the ground there, say they need and want?
WARE: There's no shadow of a doubt, Lou. It's politics. They obviously can't publicly contradict their commander in chief, but they know that war is never divorced from politics. Things need to appear to be going well on the ground.
As a senior American commander told me not so long ago, it's the big lie. If you ask for something, you're admitting that there's a problem. And in fact, the Marine general tonight who commands al-Anbar province did not say he has enough troops for Anbar province. He said that, under his current mission, he has enough troops. His current mission is defined simply as training Iraqis.
He said, "If my mission changed and I was told to win this insurgency against al-Qaeda, then my metrics, my troop levels would have to change."
So, in fact, the Marine commander tonight came out and basically said he does not have enough troops to fight al-Qaeda. And while we sit and wait for the Iraqi army to miraculously appear, al-Qaeda continues to operate unfettered and get stronger -- Lou.
DOBBS: Michael, thank you very much. Michael Ware reporting from Baghdad.
Apparently, most Americans who assume the mission is victory are misunderstanding the mission.