SM: "These guys aren't ready. That's why your troops are staying here for the time being."
Betty asks Michael whether the Iraqi forces are prepared to take over in 48 hours. His response: "No." That's it. Well, he does expand on it, but does he really need to explain it?
The end is ... well, as TJ Holmes puts it, "Michael Keeping-It-Real Ware" discusses the problems of trying to moisturize in a sandstorm (isn't that how exfoliation was born?) and recycles that great 70s earth-friendly slogan "Conserve Water, Shower With a Friend."
BETTY NGUYEN: A critical week for U.S. troops in Iraq. Combat forces there are due to move out of main Iraqi cities just in the next few days.
CNN international correspondent Michael Ware joins us now live from Baghdad with details on how that process is going.
And, Michael, I've got to ask you -- once these troops move out, can the Iraqi security forces handle the load?
MICHAEL WARE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No.
NGUYEN: Plain and simple.
WARE: Quite. I mean, I can expand upon that if you like. No, they can't. Look, there's hundreds of thousands of Iraqi security forces, from patrolmen, cops on the street, to the national police -- which is a fine and upstanding unit that seems to be arresting, you know, American, those who have helped American forces up until now. You have the Iraqi security forces.
But let's not ignore the fact that they're simply not ready yet. I mean, America had to stand this army up, these police forces up, from scratch shortly after the invasion. I mean, in terms of building an army, you know, that was five minutes ago.
Then we get to the question of equipment and ability, that's why 130,000 U.S. troops are going to be sticking around for the next little while, because they still need air support, they still need artillery, and they will still need the cavalry to come and help them if they so require, and if the Iraqi government -- who will soon be in charge of this war -- invites the Americans to do so.
Final point, let's not forget the fact that all of these security forces -- in one way or another -- are made up basically of different members of different militias. Now, at the moment, there's a general tide, everyone's heading in the same direction. But it wasn't so long ago that some of the death squads, in fact, many of the death squads roaming this city, torturing and executing people were the police, were the national police.
So no, these guys aren't ready. That's why your troops are staying here for the time being. Betty?
NGUYEN: All right. Well, you know, that being the case, then I have to ask you this. If security forces there in Iraq are not ready for this drawdown of U.S. troops, how are the Iraqis reacting to it? Are many of them very worried about the situation come June 30th?
WARE: Look, some are worried. You know, honestly, some are worried. A woman we spoke to said that she's filled with horror and dread at the notion of the U.S. handover. And she, on camera, begs General Ray Odierno, the U.S. commander of the war for the next 48 hours, to please don't forget about us.
But, by and large, there's a feeling of celebration. I mean, national state TV here in Iraq has fonted their screen for 24 hours a day with a countdown to the moment that the U.S. forces lose control of this war. Most Iraqis are celebrating the fact that U.S. troops will no longer be in their streets, foreign tanks won't be on the corner of the neighborhood, foreign troops won't be bursting into your house at night and dragging your men off into foreign-run prisons.
I mean, let's face it, whether it was done with good intent or not is irrelevant to the Iraqis. They have been under a foreign occupation, and at least in law and in many ways in practice, that's about to end. It's a national holiday here on June 30. They're celebrating the fact that the Americans are leaving, at least out of the cities.
WARE: That, however, has upset some American officials. That's about the size of it, Betty.
NGUYEN: Well, here's something that may make you a little bit happier covering this. At least I can see something behind you. Earlier, it was just a yellow haze. Is this sandstorm starting to let up?
WARE: No, no. That's part of the smoke and mirrors, magic of TV, Betty, the magic of TV, it's all theater. We put up a screen. You see that?
WARE: It's not the real world out there. So, yes, I'm still caked in dust. And still -- and look, when I put on my morning moisturizer, I mean, honestly, it's disgusting.
WARE: I have to go down and do it again.
WARE: It's murder on my beauty regimen, let me tell you.
NGUYEN: Time for another shower, my dear. All right. We'll talk to you shortly. Thanks so much.
WARE: Oh dear. Conserve water, shower with a friend. Thanks, Betty.
NGUYEN: Oh, my goodness. All right.
NGUYEN: I'm telling you, that sand gets in all kinds of places. He's been working hard.
HOLMES: Yes. Our Michael "Keeping it real" Ware we have out there in the field for us.
NGUYEN: Oh, my goodness.