Wednesday 24th of April 2019

american folly .....

american folly .....

 

from the Centre for American Progress …..

Stay the Course v.2.0.  

The blue-ribbon Iraq Study Group (ISG) headed by James Baker and Lee Hamilton will meet today in Washington to discuss the first draft of its review of Iraq policy. According to the New York Times, the current draft does not include a proposal for the phased withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. It is the latest sign that U.S. policy in Iraq is unlikely to undergo a significant shift despite the midterm election results, which were viewed as a decisive national rebuke of the Iraq war. NBC News correspondent Norah O'Donnell noted yesterday that the Pentagon is "already developing an alternative" review of Iraq policy "to give the President an out if he doesn't like the recommendations" of the ISG. According to media reports, that review is likely to recommend a "stay-the-course-plus" strategy, combining a temporary increase of 20,000-30,000 troops with a long-term effort to train and advise Iraqi forces. Also, the White House this weekend repeated its "insistence that Iraq was not in a civil war," days after one of the worst spasms of sectarian violence since the war began, intensifying the bloodshed that scholars say "already puts Iraq in the top ranks of the civil wars of the last half-century." Just before the recent elections, Vice President Dick Cheney announced that the White House would go "full speed ahead" with its current Iraq policy regardless of the election results. "We've got the basic strategy right," Cheney said. He was not bluffing.

As the Iraq Study Group meets today, media reports suggest there is likely to be "a potentially divisive debate about timetables for beginning an American withdrawal." Though "several officials said announcing a major withdrawal was the only way to persuade the government of Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, to focus on creating an effective Iraqi military force," some conservatives on the panel are resisting that recommendation. One ISG member warned, “It's not at all clear that we can reach consensus on the military questions." Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski issued a sharp preemptive criticism of the study group yesterday, saying that while the commission “will probably come out with some sound advice on dealing with the neighborhood,” it essentially “will offer some procrastination ideas for dealing with the crisis.” Division within the Iraq Study Group contrasts to a rare point of unity in Iraq: in recent interviews and sermons, Sunni and Shiite clerics have "articulated one message that appears to be gaining traction on both sides of Iraq's civil war: The U.S. presence is making matters worse, and the Americans should go home."

As of Saturday, the war in Iraq has lasted longer than the U.S. involvement in World War II, which destroyed Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire. At three years and over eight months, "only the Vietnam War (eight years, five months), the Revolutionary War (six years, nine months), and the Civil War (four years), have engaged America longer." More troubling is that multiple factors suggest the Iraq conflict will continue on indefinitely if U.S. troops remain. A classified U.S. government report made public this weekend concludes that the insurgency in Iraq "is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent." Alarmingly, the report concludes that "if recent revenue and expense estimates are correct, terrorist and insurgent groups in Iraq may have surplus funds with which to support other terrorist organizations outside of Iraq."

Yesterday, Jordan's King Abdullah warned that the Middle East is on the verge of three simultaneous civil wars -- in Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories -- and that it is critical to "make sure we avert the Middle East from a tremendous crisis that I fear, and I see could possibly happen in 2007." To address this confluence of crises, the Iraq Study Group is set to endorse "an aggressive regional diplomatic initiative that includes direct talks with Iran and Syria," a strategy proposed by progressives over a year ago in American Progress's Strategic Redeployment plan. The Bush administration has recently taken baby steps in this direction: Vice President Cheney met with Saudi Crown Prince Sultan for two hours on Saturday, and President Bush will travel to Jordan this week for "what is shaping up to be a crisis summit" with regional allies, as well as a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. But there are two key problems with the Bush approach: first, limiting our regional efforts to bilateral meetings and summits with friends will prove inadequate. The current situation requires a bold multilateral initiative that brings all of the neighbors together, including Iran and Syria, whose engagement is vital to regional stability. Second, regional diplomatic efforts will do little to change the dynamics in Iraq unless the U.S. sends a clear signal that our troops are leaving. These two policies work in tandem, telling Iraq's leaders as well as its neighbors that the U.S. is not staying forever with our military, but intensifying our political and diplomatic efforts to help Iraq stand on its own. As Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) advised in an op-ed this weekend, "Militaries are built to fight and win wars, not bind together failing nations. We are once again learning a very hard lesson in foreign affairs: America cannot impose a democracy on any nation -- regardless of our noble purpose."

US staying for the oil

Dem voters don't get it yet - The Powers That Be are going to stay for the oil - for decades. The Dems just want a piece of the action.

Looking at that croc picture

Looking at that picture above, one would think that the Dubb could have learned a few things from our world famous crikey-Steve, but on second thought...

Uncivil war

White House on defensive as US media breaks taboo to declare conflict 'civil war'

Julian Borger in Washington
Wednesday November 29, 2006
The Guardian

Iraq violence: Al-Rahaman mosque, Baghdad
NBC and other news organisations have decided to desribe the conflict in Iraq as 'civil war'.

The Bush administration appeared yesterday to be losing its fight to stop the US media calling the escalating violence in Iraq a civil war after one of the main television networks formally announced it would break the taboo.

The New York Times and Los Angeles Times have been using the phrase for a while without fanfare, but on Monday NBC News used one of its best-known presenters, Matt Lauer, to declare the network's semantic defiance of the White House. "After careful consideration, NBC News has decided a change in terminology is warranted, that the situation in Iraq, with armed, militarised factions fighting for their own political agendas, can now be characterised as civil war," Lauer, the host of the Today show, said.

pass the buck

US starts to pin blame on Iraqis
By Paul Reynolds
World affairs correspondent, BBC News website

The fact that President Bush is having to meet the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki in Jordan is a sign of how desperate things have become in Iraq.

It's just too dangerous for him to go there.

 

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Good one... Blame the Iraqi for our little war decided by the "decider" and his midwives, Tonetta Blair and Johnetta Howard. Always blame someone else for your little mess on the carpet.

Good on ol' Jim...

Already Too Busy for Civility

By George F. Will
Thursday, November 30, 2006; Page A23

That was certainly swift. Washington has a way of quickly acculturating people, especially those who are most susceptible to derangement by the derivative dignity of office. But Jim Webb, Democratic senator-elect from Virginia, has become a pompous poseur and an abuser of the English language before actually becoming a senator.

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Gus: I already like that fellow Jim. This writer George F. Will is using a poisoned pen but the more he scratches his paper with his arsenic diped quill the more Mr Webb looks good...

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Mr Will writes:

"When Bush asked Webb, whose son is a Marine in Iraq, "How's your boy?" Webb replied, "I'd like to get them [sic] out of Iraq." When the president again asked "How's your boy?" Webb replied, "That's between me and my boy." Webb told The Post:

"I'm not particularly interested in having a picture of me and George W. Bush on my wall...

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Then this Washington Post opinionator has the gall to add:

"Webb certainly has conveyed what he is: a boor. Never mind the patent disrespect for the presidency."

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Gus again: Disregard for the presidency? You got it all wrong Mr Will... It's because Mr Webb has a high regard for the Presidency that he does not want civilities with a man who has send more than 600,000 people to their death using a web of lies just to satisfy an urge of petrol.

Well, this Mr Webb is up there with the best of the best... A boor he ain't. A discerning gentleman he is... and who cares about his mangling of the English written word? He must have done it for effect... and Mr Will fell in da trap and got stuck in da Webb.

Bushit, life a two-timing mafiosi

Bush vows to 'complete Iraq job'

US President George W Bush has pledged to keep American troops in Iraq until "the job is complete". Speaking after a summit in Jordan with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, he said troops would remain as long as Mr Maliki's government wanted them there.
President Bush praised Mr Maliki as a strong leader. He said the Iraqi PM had told him that any partition of Iraq would only make things worse.