NEWS.com.au | Iraqi troops 'not up to job' (December 22, 2004)
NEWS.com.au | Iraqi troops 'not up to job' (December 22, 2004): "AN exasperated President George W. Bush has admitted that Iraqi troops are not up to the job of keeping order in the war-torn country.
Mr Bush said it was unacceptable that some Iraqi units had deserted rather than fight and warned of how insurgent violence was beginning to have an effect ahead of elections planned for January 30.
But the President backed embattled Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, saying he may have a 'rough and gruff' exterior but was really a caring man with a big heart.
Mr Rumsfeld has been under fire from prominent Republican congressmen who are unhappy with the worsening mess in Iraq.
A Gallup poll for CNN and USA Today showed 52 per cent of Americans wanted Mr Rumsfeld to resign and 36 per cent thought he should stay."
By Phillip Coorey in New York