Sunday 21st of July 2019

the terrorism index .....

the terrorism index .....

 

from the Centre for American Progress …..

This week, the House of Representatives is debating a resolution opposing President Bush’s escalation in Iraq. The resolution is just 58 words long, and has only one purpose: “Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.” But a leaked letter obtained yesterday by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-MD) office reveals that some conservatives have formulated a strategy to avoid talking about the central question of the debate. In the letter, leading conservative Reps. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) inform their allies: “The debate should not be about the surge or its details.

This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily.” Shadegg and Hoekstra warn that, if conservatives are forced to debate “the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.” Instead, they write, “the debate must be about the global threat of the radical Islamic movement.” The problem is they lose that debate too.

Yesterday, the Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy magazine released their second "Terrorism Index," a bipartisan survey of America's top national security experts. The consensus: the world is growing more dangerous, and America is losing the war on terror. (Read more about the survey, including the full results, methodology, and list of participants.)

"America’s leaders like to say that the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, represented a watershed," the new survey notes. "After that fateful day, Americans were told, problems that had been allowed to linger - terrorist sanctuaries, dangerous dictators, and cumbersome government bureaucracies - would no longer be neglected and left for terrorists to exploit." Yet, over five years later, Americans are more skeptical than ever that the United States has effectively confronted the threat of terrorism. Just 21 percent of Americans approve of Bush's handling of the issue, according to the latest AP/Ipsos poll.

Their frustration is shared by top national security experts. Eighty-one percent of Terrorism Index respondents "see a world that is growing more dangerous for the American people, while 75 percent say the United States is losing the war on terror." Seventy percent say Bush does not have a clear plan to protect the United States from terrorism - including nearly 40 percent of those who identified themselves as conservatives. More than 80 percent of the experts continue to expect a terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 within a decade.

Among the 81 percent of experts who believe the world is becoming "more dangerous" to the United States, a large plurality identified the Iraq war as the primary cause. These results are supported by the findings of the National Intelligence Estimate released last fall, which stated that "the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives," and that Iraq "has become the “cause celebre” for jihadists." The result, the NIE stated, is that "activists identifying themselves as jihadists...are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion." Sixty-six percent of respondents believe that Bush's escalation strategy is a bad idea. Perhaps more importantly, 92 percent said that the Bush administration’s performance on Iraq has been below average, with nearly 6 in 10 experts of all political stripes saying the Bush administration is doing the “worst possible job” in Iraq. Fully 88 percent of the experts believe the war in Iraq is undermining U.S. national security.

Afghanistan was the first front in the post-9/11 effort to combat terrorists, and it is now being neglected. Last year was the bloodiest since the United States overthrew the Taliban in 2001. Attacks against U.S. and NATO forces have risen fourfold in the past 12 months, with Taliban fighters adopting many of the tactics used by Iraqi insurgents. (An overwhelming majority of the survey’s experts -- 83 percent -- say that the fundamentalist Islamist group has strengthened in the last year.) Opium production, which provides more than 90 percent of the world’s heroin, "broke all records in 2006," and intelligence on Osama bin Laden "has gone cold." Nearly 70 percent of experts say the U.S. should be surging forces not in Iraq but in Afghanistan. The experts also voiced strong concern about Pakistan. "Asked to choose the country most likely to become the next stronghold of al Qaeda, Pakistan (30 percent) was rated second, just behind Somalia (34 percent, but that was before Ethiopia's recent military campaign there), and 91 percent of the experts said the U.S. must increase pressure on Pakistan to crackdown against Taliban and al Qaeda militants in tribal areas along the Afghan-Pakistan border." The Center for American Progress has an aggressive, comprehensive anti-terrorism plan that redeploys U.S. forces out of Iraq and doubles forces in Afghanistan.

outrageous rip-offs of the American taxpayer

From the Guardian

... 

Senate Democrats, calling recently cited cases of waste ``outrageous rip-offs of the American taxpayer,'' quickly moved to introduce legislation Thursday to stiffen punishment for war profiteers and cut down on cronyism in contracting.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and 22 other senators, would impose penalties of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $1 million for war profiteering and restore a rule that prohibits awarding federal contracts to companies exhibiting a pattern of breaking the law in performance of government contracts.

That rule, put in place by President Clinton, was dropped by the Bush administration upon taking office, Dorgan said.

 

what's good for the goose...

From our ABC

US House votes to reject Bush's Iraq strategy

The US House of Representatives has denounced President George W Bush's Iraq troop build-up in a symbolic but politically potent challenge to his unpopular war strategy.

The Democrat-controlled House voted in favour of a resolution opposing Mr Bush's decision to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq to bolster security in Baghdad and Anbar province.

The final vote was 246 to 182 and more than a dozen Republicans joined the majority Democrats in the House to approve the resolution.

The measure would not force Mr Bush to act, but supporters hope to pressure him to reverse course and start bringing US forces home from the conflict, which has killed more than 3,100 American troops.

 

From Gus:

US House votes to reject Howard's Iraq strategy

The US House of Representatives has denounced prime Minister Howard's Iraq troop position in a symbolic but politically potent challenge to his unpopular war strategy.

The Democrat-controlled House voted in favour of a resolution opposing Mr Howard's decision to support his mate Mr Bush send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq to bolster security in Baghdad and Anbar province.

The final vote was 246 to 182 and more than a dozen Republicans joined the majority Democrats in the House to approve the resolution.

The measure would not force Mr Howard to recant, but supporters hope to pressure him to reverse course and start bringing Aussie troops home from the conflict, which has killed more than 3,100 American troops.

 

 

Glory extinguished

From the Washington Post

...

"I hate it," said Romero, who stays in his room all day. "There are cockroaches. The elevator doesn't work. The garage door doesn't work. Sometimes there's no heat, no water. . . . I told my platoon sergeant I want to leave. I told the town hall meeting. I talked to the doctors and medical staff. They just said you kind of got to get used to the outside world. . . . My platoon sergeant said, 'Suck it up!' "