Thursday 22nd of August 2019

losing it .....

the ante-escalation strategy .....

 

from the Centre for American Progress …..

‘For the past three days, the House of Representatives has overwhelmingly spoken out against President Bush's plan to send 21,500 more U.S. troops to Iraq. Today, it will vote on a resolution that condemns Bush's escalation plan, while voicing support for U.S. troops in Iraq. "We want a very straightforward, clear answer to the question: 'Do you support the president's escalation?'" said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

The resolution not only has strong bipartisan backing in Congress, but 63 percent of the public also disapprove of sending more troops to Iraq. The Senate will take up similar legislation today. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) has announced plans to introduce a bill next month that would place restrictions on how Bush can spend the $93.4 billion in new combat funds he requested, paving the way toward redeployment and increasing the readiness of the overstretched military. Contact your senators and representatives and voice your opposition to sending more troops to Iraq.

For the past three days, each of the 435 members in the House have had five minutes to speak on the Iraq war. The debate focused around a resolution that expresses support for the "United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq," but disapproval "of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq."

Lawmakers, analysts, and the media expect the measure to pass with strong bipartisan support. Almost all Democrats will likely vote for the measure, along with anywhere from 12-60 Republicans. Rep. Ric Keller (R-FL), one of the members who has said he will vote for the resolution, said, "I approached this decision with a great deal of angst and humility. I'm not trying to micromanage this war. ... But I have listened to what our country's most well-respected four-star generals have to say about this matter, and generals [John] Abizaid, [Barry] McCaffrey and Colin Powell have all said that sending more troops into Baghdad now is not the answer."

Bush has repeatedly tried to dismiss the House resolution. On the first day of the House debate, Bush headed to a YMCA and visited "children bending paperclips into different shapes." But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) noted that this resolution will be the first congressional message of disapproval over the President's war: "I don't know that the president can completely ignore us. We are the voices of the American people. They were clear in the election that they wanted a new direction, no place more clear than in Iraq."

A small group of conservatives have tried to claim that the Iraq resolution is anti-American and emboldens the terrorists. "I think the question we have to ask is: Whose side are you on? Whose side are you on?" Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) "fumed." "Are you on the side of winning? Are you on the side of freedom? Are you on the side of allowing the terrorists to get an upper hand?" NBC News reported that Boehner "got emotional" on Tuesday morning "as he spoke about the 'solemn' debate" the House was set to begin. He even "began to shed tears." Boehner's fleeting moment of solemnity was quickly replaced with divisive attacks on Iraq war critics. Speaking on the House floor, Boehner began debate on the anti-escalation resolution by calling it a criticism of "the latest effort by American forces to win in Iraq." Boehner said that escalation opponents are taking the "bait" of "al Qaeda and terrorist sympathizers" by using Iraq to "divide us here at home." Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) charged that supporters of the anti-escalation resolution would "aid and assist the Islamic jihadists who want the crescent and star to wave over the Capitol of the United States and over the White House of this country." These charges are baseless.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace told the House Armed Services," There is no doubt in my mind that the dialogue here in Washington strengthens our democracy, period." He added that the troops understand the "debate's being carried on by patriotic people who care about them and who care about their mission."

On Feb. 5, Senate conservatives successfully blocked debate on a bipartisan anti-escalation resolution. At least eight senators who claimed to oppose sending more U.S. troops to Iraq voted the wrong way, supporting the conservative filibuster. After the vote, the "anti-escalation" senators who voted for escalation flip-flopped again. Seven of those senators sent a sharply worded letter to their leaders, saying, "The current stalemate is unacceptable to us and to the people of this country." In a letter on Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) said they planned to block the Senate from adjourning for next week's recess until a vote on escalation was held.

Yesterday, Reid called their bluff. He announced that the Senate will now take up the House resolution opposing escalation. At a press conference, Reid announced that he will delay the Senate's recess and hold a cloture vote on the Iraq resolution on Saturday. "Time is of the essence," Reid said, and we are "determined to end the silence and find a new direction."

Critics have repeatedly charged that the resolution is a "slow-bleed" plan that will undercuts the troops. But a new plan that Murtha plans to introduce next month will both cut off funding for escalation and provide increased support to the military, ensuring that the President doesn't have a blank check for the war. His proposal would put four conditions on Bush's war funds through Sept. 30: "The Pentagon would have to certify that troops being sent to Iraq are 'fully combat ready' with training and equipment; troops must have at least one year at home between combat deployments; combat assignments could not be extended beyond one year; a 'stop-loss' program forcing soldiers to extend their enlistment periods would be prohibited." "We're trying to force redeployment [of troops outside Iraq], not by taking money away but by redirecting it," said Murtha. Pelosi added her support to the bill, stating, "If we are going to support our troops, we should respect what is considered reasonable for them: their training, their equipment and their time at home. ...

What we're trying to say to the president is, you can't send people in who are not trained for urban warfare...who are not prepared to contend with an insurgency." A new Fox News poll finds that 54 percent of the American public would vote to cut off funding for escalation if they were in Congress. Recent reports by government agencies and military officials charge that the military does not have the capability to support Bush's escalation. An audit by the Pentagon's Inspector General showed that U.S. soldiers have had to go without the necessary weapons, armor, vehicles, and equipment in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army and Marine Corps "are short thousands of vehicles, armor kits and other equipment needed to supply" the extra 21,500 troops President Bush plans to send to Iraq. "It's inevitable that that has to happen, unless five brigades of up-armored Humvees fall out of the sky," one senior Army official said.

State legislatures around the country are "pushing forward with their own resolutions." On Monday, California's Senate "became the first state legislative body in the nation to oppose President Bush's plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq, passing a resolution Monday urging Congress and Bush not to escalate U.S. involvement in the war." Also this week, legislatures in Vermont and Iowa passed similar resolutions. "The Maryland General Assembly sent a letter to its Congressional delegation, signed by a majority of the State Senate and close to a majority of the House, urging opposition to the increase in troops in Iraq. Letters or resolutions are being drafted in at least 19 other states." Find out what is happening in your state at the Progressive States Network.’

More brazen capers coming the US way

From the NYT

Iraqi Militants Launch Attack on U.S. Base
By MARC SANTORA
Published: February 19, 2007

BAGHDAD, Feb. 20 — In a rare coordinated assault on an American combat outpost north of Baghdad, suicide bombers drove one or more cars loaded with explosives into the compound on Monday, while other insurgents opened fire in the ensuing chaos, according to witnesses and the American military.

Two American soldiers were killed and at least 17 more were wounded.

no shame from the little aggressor ordinaire

the Wahington Post

Tourists Hear From President At George Washington's Home

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 20, 2007; A05

President Bush visited Mount Vernon yesterday to pay tribute to "the first George W." and compared the Revolutionary War to the Iraq war in their pursuit of freedom.

Bush made his first visit as president to George Washington's home on the holiday marking the first president's birthday. Bush said he had visited Mount Vernon with his grandmother as "a little fellow from Midland, Texas," drawing appreciative laughs from a chilly crowd of several hundred tourists, history buffs and schoolchildren who had the day off.

The president and first lady Laura Bush laid a red, white and blue wreath at Washington's tomb, commemorating the 275th anniversary of his birth on Feb. 22, 1732. The presidential party took a helicopter in and out of the Mount Vernon estate in southern Fairfax County, completing the visit in less than an hour.

Bush's remarks consisted mainly of a reflection on Washington's life and impact on the United States, with brief allusions to today's war.

"America's path to freedom was long, and it was hard," Bush said. "And the outcome was really never certain. . . . In the end, General Washington understood that the Revolutionary War was a test of wills, and his will was unbreakable."

In the only direct analogy to Iraq, the president said, "Today, we're fighting a new war to defend our liberty and our people and our way of life. And as we work to advance the cause of freedom around the world, we remember that the father of our country believed that the freedoms we secured in our revolution were not meant for Americans alone. He once wrote, 'My best wishes are irresistibly excited whensoever in any country I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom.' "

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Gus: no shame from the little runt. The second "George W" is an abject failure in all department except making money for his rich mates while indebting his nation. His Freedoms are gritty chalks compared to the cheeses of Washington but he still tries to sell his little tantrumic aggressions as grandiose events, while the bottom is falling out his short pants.

One has to give it to him: he's stubborn like a mule and smart like a goat eating the stars from the spangled banner, thinking the cheese will have sparkles...