Michael Ware


LDT: "Perhaps as a sign, the lights went out..."

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Length: 1:39

LOU DOBBS: The Iraqi government today insisted that it has a very clear strategy to build a democracy in Iraq. However, the Iraqi government is weak. The government depends on groups opposed to U.S. interest for its very survival.

Michael Ware reports from Baghdad on whether the so-called new security benchmarks have any chance of success -- Michael.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lou, at the end of the day, after sifting through the statements of Ambassador Khalilzad and General Casey, what nuggets are we really left with? There's not a great deal.

While on the one hand, this was a statement jointly made by the two most powerful U.S. representatives in this country, reassuring mainly an American domestic audience but also an Iraqi audience, that the U.S. mission here is not only salvageable but can still succeed, and then mapping out this series of benchmarks that should lead to success. On the other hand, in many ways, this is the U.S. just treading water.

I mean, these benchmarks that were outlined, we've more or less heard all of them before. Some as -- you know, for over a year, and there's been no development on them so far. The issues of militia, the issues of Iran, the issues of reaching out to the Sunni insurgency. Ambassador Khalilzad, for example, has been talking and talking about rolling back de-Ba'athification, since last year.

Perhaps as a sign, the lights went out in the middle of this press conference, leaving the ambassador and the general in the dark. Let's hope that that won't be the same for the mission -- Lou.

DOBBS: Michael Ware reporting.