Sunday, October 22, 2006

US 'arrogant and stupid' in Iraq


A senior US state department official has said that the US has shown "arrogance and stupidity" in Iraq.
Alberto Fernandez told al-Jazeera TV the US was now willing to talk to any insurgent group apart from al-Qaeda in Iraq, to reduce sectarian bloodshed.

His remarks came after President George W Bush discussed changing tactics with top military commanders.

A report that officials are drawing up a timetable for Iraq's government to improve security has been denied.

The New York Times reported that the Bush administration was preparing a timetable for the government to meet objectives - including disarming sectarian militias - that would stabilise the country and allow US troops to take a reduced role.

The plan is "to get the Iraqis to step up to the plate", the newspaper cited a senior administration official as saying. "We can't be there for ever," the official added.

But White House spokeswoman Nicole Guillemard denied the report. "The story is not accurate, but we are constantly developing new tactics to achieve our goal," she said.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells, in an interview with the BBC, has suggested that the Iraqi security forces could take over much of the work of US-led forces within a year. ...........

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