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Let A Thousand Iraqi Policemen Bloom

12:38 AM, Sep 1, 2007 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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With all due respect to the Associated Press, its writers or editors sometimes fail to grasp the nuances of counterinsurgency. For example, take this piece on 'Bush's mounting Iraq woes' (a stock headline editors slap on most AP pieces?) that appeared earlier this afternoon. It quoted Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell discussing a recent Congressional report on the "problem of sectarian influence in the national police." Here's Morrell:

"We believe we now have a program in place which is showing progress, and that is by what we like to call 'reblooming' the Iraqi national police force. We are revetting, retraining and then reintroducing forces into the Iraqi national police force,'' he added. "The intent of the program is to rid the Iraqi national police force of their sectarian biases that have been present from the get-go."

I don't have much of a green thumb, but if the Pentagon is, in fact, 'reblooming' the Iraq national police, I wonder whether the problem was the soil, or a lack of water. Of course, it's also possible that Morrell was speaking of 're-blueing' the national police--as in removing the 'red,' a common military term for enemy forces, and replacing it with 'blue,' a common military term for friendly forces.