Reacting to Bush’s Speech on Iraq

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Mission-accomplished.jpg
I’m going to be over at Al Jazeera tonight listening to and then offering reactions on Bush’s speech on Iraq.
Bush is going to restate his intention to draw down US force levels in Iraq by 30,000 troops, to pre-surge levels. In the judgment of many, this reduction was a structural reality anyway and is something that the Pentagon would have had to do — no matter what the results on the ground in Iraq. But politically, Bush’s reduction of forces deployed to Iraq will hold the line in Republican ranks increasingly skittish about the war.
However, House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton sent this out this evening — and I think this articulates well the view of many skeptical Dems and some of the Republicans who have already defected from the White House’s position:

“”The force reductions proposed tonight by the President, while welcome, do not take the necessary step of changing the mission of American forces in Iraq and getting our forces out of policing a civil war. For our country’s sake, we need to begin a more significant redeployment of our troops from Iraq. The burden our country has placed on our military personnel and their families is tremendous, and their sacrifices deserve to be honored with a policy that furthers American national interests at home, in the Middle East, and around the world.
“We currently have more than 160,000 U.S. military personnel deployed to Iraq. General Petraeus testified this week that since the beginning of the surge of troops, levels of violence are down from the catastrophic levels of late 2006. But despite security improvements made possible by the dedication of our forces, the Government of Iraq has yet to achieve tangible progress toward national reconciliation. Without political progress, no security gains made by American troops will matter.
“Beyond disappointment that the Iraqis have not done enough to achieve political accommodation at the national level, we must not allow our focus on Iraq to jeopardize other critical national security concerns. This ongoing U.S. military commitment in Iraq has consequences, which include the strain placed on the health of the Army and the impact on U.S. military readiness should forces be needed to respond to other situations affecting our national interests. Bringing troop levels down to pre-surge levels will help reduce some of the strain on the Army, but not enough to ensure that it is trained and ready to deal with any future threat. I doubt it will also be enough to allow us sufficient forces for the hunt for Osama bin Laden and those who attacked us on September 11th.
“I remain unconvinced that placing U.S. military forces in charge of the counterinsurgency mission in Iraq, essentially fighting an Iraqi civil war, is worth the sacrifice in American lives, treasure, and the continued damage to the strategic ability of the United States to react to growing problems in other parts of the world. I believe that a change in mission for our forces in Iraq, coupled with a substantial reduction in their number, is in the best interest of U.S. national security. The Administration’s proposal of minimal troop reductions does not do enough to get us out of the civil war in Iraq and ready to deal with our many other strategic challenges.”

Since President Bush will be commenting as well on the testimony offered in Congress by US Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and General David Petraeus, I think it is well worth taking time to read again Senator Richard Lugar’s opening statement at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing — which I found riveting — and the single best implied critique of the Bush administration’s failures in Iraq and the Middle East.
I found particularly compelling the metaphor of farmers planting crops in a flood plain as a way of framing any “false positives” that we may be seeing in Anbar or in other regions because of the so-called “surge.”
Lugar said:

One can debate, as many will do this week, whether progress in Iraq has been sufficient to justify continuing American sacrifices. But the greatest risk for U.S. policy is not that we are incapable of making progress, but that this progress may be largely beside the point given the divisions that now afflict Iraqi society. The risk is that our efforts are comparable to a farmer expending his resources and efforts to plant a crop on a flood plain without factoring in the probability that the waters may rise. In my judgment, some type of success in Iraq is possible, but as policy makers, we should acknowledge that we are facing extraordinarily narrow margins for achieving our goals.

More later.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

50 comments on “Reacting to Bush’s Speech on Iraq

  1. pauline says:

    from London Telegraph:
    “Senior American intelligence and defence officials believe that President George W Bush and his inner circle are taking steps to place America on the path to war with Iran, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.
    Pentagon planners have developed a list of up to 2,000 bombing targets in Iran, amid growing fears among serving officers that diplomatic efforts to slow Iran�s nuclear weapons programme are doomed to fail.
    Pentagon and CIA officers say they believe that the White House has begun a carefully calibrated programme of escalation that could lead to a military showdown with Iran.
    Now it has emerged that Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, who has been pushing for a diplomatic solution, is prepared to settle her differences with Vice-President Dick Cheney and sanction military action.
    A State Department source familiar with White House discussions said that Miss Rice, under pressure from senior counter-proliferation officials to acknowledge that military action may be necessary, is now working with Mr Cheney to find a way to reconcile their positions and present a united front to the President.
    The source said: “When you go down there and see the body language, you can see that Cheney is still The Man. Condi pushed for diplomacy but she is no dove. If it becomes necessary she will be on board”.
    Miss Rice’s bottom line is that if the administration is to go to war again it must build the case over a period of months and win sufficient support on Capitol Hill.
    The Sunday Telegraph has been told that Mr Bush has privately promised her that he would consult “meaningfully” with Congressional leaders of both parties before any military action against Iran on the understanding that Miss Rice would resign if this did not happen.”
    Well, golly, I feel sooooooo much safer knowing that Condi has put her foot down and required consultation “meaningfully” with Congress. I’d feel more at ease, though, if I knew the size of the heel on her Ferragamos when she did so, wouldn’t you? (Hope they were worth the cost!)
    Steve Clemons has an interesting dinner party story in Salon today about what some foreign policy experts think is the likelihood of Bush Administration action toward Iran (hint: likely), although Steve takes the opposite view. All I know is that with Democratic “leadership” listening to Joe Lieberman rather than to their own common sense, I just need to say this out loud this morning: N-O. NO.
    http://www.firedoglake.com/

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  2. pauline says:

    September 20, 2007
    And Now the Saudis
    by emptywheel
    Argentine meltdown, here we come. The Saudis are showing signs of disinterest in going down the economic tubes with their friend George.
    Saudi Arabia has refused to cut interest rates in lockstep with the US Federal Reserve for the first time, signalling that the oil-rich Gulf kingdom is preparing to break the dollar currency peg in a move that risks setting off a stampede out of the dollar across the Middle East.
    “This is a very dangerous situation for the dollar,” said Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas.
    “Saudi Arabia has $800bn (L400bn) in their future generation fund, and the entire region has $3,500bn under management. They face an inflationary threat and do not want to import an interest rate policy set for the recessionary conditions in the United States,” he said.
    The Saudi central bank said today that it would take “appropriate measures” to halt huge capital inflows into the country, but analysts say this policy is unsustainable and will inevitably lead to the collapse of the dollar peg.
    As a close ally of the US, Riyadh has so far tried to stick to the peg, but the link is now destabilising its own economy. [my emphasis]
    As Susie points out, one of the goals of the Iraq invasion was to punish Iraq for pegging its currency to the Euro, which made Saddam a pretty penny until BushCo came and took his country away. Iran had been threatening to switch its oil trade to its own currency exchange. The idea was that if we came in and 1) scared the shit out of anyone considering a Euro or non-dollar peg and 2) sat on some of the biggest undeveloped reserves, we would be able to sustain the dollar peg past the time when the world needed it for stability. Guess that didn’t work out so well.
    And now our closest “allies” look to be the ones who will precipitate the move away from the dollar peg for the oil market. That’s going to give the rest of the world a whole lot less incentive to keep their reserves in dollars, which is going to mean we’re no longer going to be able to float George Bush’s debt with 2 billion dollars a day in loans from Asia.
    The whole American economy is a gigantic house of cards at this point, and it may take nothing more than one slight breeze to bring it all down. Bernanke’s interest cut may have been that breeze.
    http://thenexthurrah.typepad.com/the_next_hurrah/contributoremptywheel/index.html

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  3. pauline says:

    “Why Bush won’t attack Iran”
    Despite saber-rattling, and the Washington buzz that a strike is coming, the president doesn’t intend to bomb Iran. Cheney may have other ideas.
    By Steven Clemons
    read at —
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2007/09/19/iran/

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  4. Kathleen says:

    Maybe Hillary could use Dopey to spy on Bill. He’s kinky enough to get off on it.
    Chris Hedges has a great piece on Alternet today, on Bill’s new book “Giving” and other ways Bill has damaged our country.
    http://www.alternet.org/stories/62812/?pages=2

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I have to live with myself after I vote and I cannot bring myself to vote for anyone who would consider using Dopey for anything.”
    Oh, I don’t know. I’d like to imagine that his cellmate would use him for rough sex. But you’re right, it probably wouldn’t earn him my vote.

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  6. Sandy says:

    Well said, Kathleen. Hear! Hear!

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  7. Kathleen says:

    Don Bscon…I’m not saying the Clinton’s have not done any good, although I’m hardpressed at the moment to think of anything besides the damage Bill did to the Democraps with his adolescent bullshit in the Oval Office, but Hillary not bothering to read the NIE reports before sending people to kill and be killed and then whining about being misled, is not what I need in a President. Nor do I want a woman who feels the need to be as tough as Margaret Thatcher for the sake of winning.
    Hillary manages to be oh so gracious to her most scurrilous enemies, but can’t find the magnanimity to be respectful to her Democatic colleague, Dennis Kucinuch. I’d find it easier to repsect her if she could admit her negligence in not doing her homework, and could embrace Kucinich’s plan to exit Iraq, the only one that makes any sense and is fair to Iraqis. That she would even think of using this petty tyrant for anything besides shovelling doo doo out of some outhouse, while dissing Kucinich causes me to question her integrity and intelligence.
    I used to think it was Dumb and Dumber running the Democraps but now I’m convinced it’s Dumbest.
    I have to live with myself after I vote and I cannot bring myself to vote for anyone who would consider using Dopey for anything. Refusing to Impeach Dopey and Darth is bad enough, but using Dopey after claiming he lied to her is just too baldly calculating to me and not very smart.

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  8. Don Bacon says:

    Kathleen, I’m no big Clinton fan, but I was in Northern Ireland several months ago and both the Protestants and the Catholics revere Bill Clinton for helping to bring peace to Belfast, which is quiet now and newly prosperous. There is a plaque in front of the city hall honoring Bill and Hillary’s visit–it’s a highlight of the city tour. I was impressed.

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  9. Don Bacon says:

    Kathleen, I’m no big Clinton fan, but I was in Northern Ireland several months ago and both the Protestants and the Catholics revere Bill Clinton for helping to bring peace to Belfast, which is quiet now and newly prosperous. There is a plaque in front of the city hall honoring Bill and Hillary’s visit–it’s a highlight of the city tour. I was impressed.

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  10. Marcia says:

    Senator Hagel is now calling the Iraq policy a dirty trick, dishonest and irresponsible
    Wil he put his vote where his mouth is or continue his habit of rolling over when it counts?

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  11. Kathleen says:

    Unfortunately with write-in votes, they are not offically counted unless the candidate has filed an affidavit with the Secretary of State of each state and there in also filed a slate of Presidential electors pledged to that candidate with sworn affidavits from each of them.
    It can be done, if people are organized. I was a Presidential Elector pledged to Gene McCarthy in 1976, in CA. We did it in every state. but since the Green Party now has ballot access in all 50 states, that would be the easiest and least divise way to vote. It’s not the candidate, remember that we are voting for, but the slate of Presidential electors, so we wouldn’t want competing slates of electors.
    It’s never too early to start thinking about it, tho. I refuse to be taken for granted and feel that preserving non-partisan access to the ballot is a very important thing to do with my vote.

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  12. Sandy says:

    hee hee We can use yours! Hear! Hear! 🙂

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  13. Carroll says:

    Posted by Kathleen at September 16, 2007 10:55 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>
    As things stand now if the Greens don’t put up Kucinich I will be writting in his name.
    I refuse to be part of the two party collusion any longer.
    At the heart of our corruption and of both parties is their certainity that they have the voters by the balls with the Dem-or-Repub only choice.
    We need to take our own balls and start a new game.

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  14. Kathleen says:

    Carroll. worse than that, if you can imagine, Bill Clinton said recently, on Larry King Live, that if Hillary is elected, she will use this preznitwit for something?
    Meanwhile back in Spin City, the Democrap bosses have conspired to exclude Kucinich from Iowa events, claiming he doesn’t have enough support, like Dodd at half a percentile does? Cheating liars. If they’d done their homework, like Kucinich did, they would have known about the fictitious WMD’s. Claiming to have been lied to is a ginormous cop out. How about the dog ate my copy of the NIE?
    I hope the Greens nominate Kucinich so we can all show them where it’s really at with the lame Democraps, indeed.
    Time to FLUSH this bunch of poseurs into oblivion.

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  15. Homer says:

    Well, it is far too late, but Hagel finally said something worthy of keeping.
    Its too bad he did not turn such thoughts into legislation.
    Sen. Hagel on Real Time: Petraeus Dog and Pony Show “Dishonest, Hypocritical, Dangerous and Irresponsible”
    http://movies.crooksandliars.com/RealTime-Hagel.wmv
    http://movies.crooksandliars.com/RealTime-Hagel.mov

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  16. Eli Rabett says:

    There is no chance for any policy change about Iraq, without acts of contrition from those who got us into this mess. SERIOUS acts of contrition. Otherwise, they simply are going to block any action.
    I would suggest Steve that you ask some of those who are now whispering in your ear about how they had this and that doubt, that they need to look the public in the eye and beg forgiveness, before retiring to a private life.

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  17. sdemetri says:

    http://www.dehp.net/candidate/stats.php
    And this take on a restructuring that may be taking place:
    Ola Tunander, PhD – Research Professor, International Peace Research Institute (PRIO), Oslo. Former Special expert to the Swedish Government Investigation into submarine intrusions into Swedish waters. Author or co-author of more than 50 articles on international security and military operations published in scientific and political journals. Author, co-author, and editor of several books on warfare and international security, including; The Secret War Against Sweden – US and British Submarine Deception in the 1980s (2004), Geopolitics in Post-Wall Europe – Security, Territory, and Identity (1997), and Cold Water Politics : The Maritime Strategy and Geopolitics of the Northern Front (1989)
    Contributor to 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out 8/23/06: “Indeed, historically speaking, terrorism has also been used as a psychological tool for creating fear within the state, to discredit enemies and political opponents and to cause people to turn not against the state but rather to the state for protection and security. …
    In other words, terrorism becomes an instrument for limiting the range of the public sphere and for “securitising” what was formerly part of the democratic and legal process. …
    We might thus draw the following tentative conclusions:
    First, the kinds of indiscriminate bombings we experience today were frequently used during the Cold War, not by “regular terrorists” but by factions of the state – the “sovereign” or the “deep state” – to create fear, to discredit an opponent, and to justify emergency measures that would force the public to trade freedom for security in accordance with the strategy of tension.
    Second, during the Cold War this kind of terrorism was used particularly by the US to create a paranoid security climate, to control other states domestically, and to keep the US sphere of interest intact.
    Third, military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq had been proposed by central actors in the Bush administration prior to 9/11, campaigns that would have been difficult to justify without a major attack on the US.
    Fourth, the neoconservative proposal for establishing a Pax Americana presupposed a militarized world order that only could be justified by a major military or terrorist attack able to replace the civilian multipolar system with a unipolar one, with the US “at the apex of the industrial West.”
    Fifth, the events of 9/11 and similar attacks have apparently been used on a global scale to introduce such a Pax Americana, because US intelligence and military forces are the only ones able to intervene worldwide to protect others from a major terrorist threat. …
    Terrorism today seemingly has two major root causes: Muslim grievances against Western and particularly US military presence, and the US hegemonic interest in replacing a multipolar world order with a militarized unipolar Pax Americana. … The terrorism of anti-Western Islamism will lose its legitimacy in the Muslim world when exposed as a US instrument to restructure the world order, while the US policy will lose its legitimacy in the Western world when exposed as a terrorist project in the guise of Islamist operations.
    From: http://patriotsquestion911.com/professors.html

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  18. Betty says:

    Bush’s No Child Left Behind Policy cuts Federal funding to schools failing to reach certain benchmarks of success. Why doesn’t that same principle apply to the war in Iraq?

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  19. Don Bacon says:

    In the Dem response to Bush’s speech they say they have a plan to end the war in Iraq.
    “We have put forth a plan to responsibly and rapidly begin a reduction of our troops. Our proposal cannot erase the mistakes of the last four and a half years, but we can chart a better way forward.”
    Now, being unfamiliar with this Dem plan, I went searching. I went to the Democratic Party site:
    http://www.democrats.org/
    Nothing there. No plan. While I saw a lot of negative stuff about the Repubs and Petraeus, and a lot of other fluff, I never found a plan. Has anyone found the Dem plan for ending the war in Iraq? It must be around here somewhere.

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  20. Don Bacon says:

    In the Dem response to Bush’s speech they say they have a plan to end the war in Iraq.
    “We have put forth a plan to responsibly and rapidly begin a reduction of our troops. Our proposal cannot erase the mistakes of the last four and a half years, but we can chart a better way forward.”
    Now, being unfamiliar with this Dem plan, I went searching. I went to the Democratic Party site:
    http://www.democrats.org/
    Nothing there. No plan. While I saw a lot of negative stuff about the Repubs and Petraeus, and a lot of other fluff, I never found a plan. Has anyone found the Dem plan for ending the war in Iraq? It must be around here somewhere.

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  21. Sandy says:

    Amen, Carroll! You said it!

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  22. Carroll says:

    Lugar, Biden, etc.etc…I don’t want to hear anything from any of them. They are all nothing but political ‘pundits” same as the battery powered bimbobs and bimbetts who make a living chattering on and on as if their opinions meant something to anyone except their fellow pundits.
    I heard Dodd on the news..at one point he was yammering on about being lied into this war and phony fake intelligence put out by some people and etc…..BUT HAVE YOU SEEN ONE SINGLE POLITICAN DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO LIED US INTO THIS WAR….WHO PHONIED UP THAT INTELLIGENCE?
    HUH…? SEEN ANY INVESTIGATIONS INTO FEITH, PERLE, THE OSP, THE CABAL THAT BROUGHT THIS ABOUT AND IS STILL OUT THERE GINNING UP ANOTHER WAR WITH IRAN.
    We have been “lied” into a war and they all know it and no one of them has or is doing anything about it…no, and they are all on board running full steam ahead into Iran.
    Excuse me but they are all full of shit. Our entire government is an Orwellian cesspool of incest related turds. If you listen to any of them you will become violently insane.

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  23. Don Bacon says:

    These Dem statements are all well and good, but how about a plan? In the Dem response to Bush’s speech they say they have a plan to end the war in Iraq.
    “We have put forth a plan to responsibly and rapidly begin a reduction of our troops. Our proposal cannot erase the mistakes of the last four and a half years, but we can chart a better way forward.”
    Now, being unfamiliar with this Dem plan, I went searching. I went to the Democratic Party site:
    http://www.democrats.org/
    Nothing there. No plan. While I saw a lot of negative stuff about the Repubs and Petraeus, and a lot of other fluff, I never found a plan. Has anyone found the Dem plan for ending the war in Iraq? It must be around here somewhere.
    Regarding Admiral Fallon, forget it. He’s fully on board.
    http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=4037

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  24. karenk says:

    Bush wants us to give him time, as the “new” plan is to secure Iraq so that the Iraqi people can stand up and then we can stand down. Wasn’t that the plan from day one?? He’s had 4 1/2 years to make it happen and things have gotten so bad, far worse than they were in September of 2003, that in hindsight, we should have just pulled out then. People are critical of hindsight but certainly it helps in making future decisions. If we had paid attention to the “hindsight” of Vietnam we would not have allowed our president to convince us to attack Iraq. Our resources would have been focused on those who perpetuated the horrible attacks aginst us-OBL, Ayman al Zawahiri and the al Quaeda network-while it could have been marginalized.

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  25. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Now there’s a candidate I feel deserves a contribution.”
    But apparently, in Steve’s world, deserves no comment or recognition for his efforts. Can you imagine the laurels Hillary, Hagel, or Obama would be receiving from him if they had embarked on the same endeavor?

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  26. Kathleen says:

    Thanxxx POA. Now there’s a candidate I feel deserves a contribution.

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  27. PissedOffAmerican says:

    http://tinyurl.com/36jper
    Help Answer Neo Con’s Smear Attack on Kucinich
    Dear ==========,
    Nearly two weeks ago, I went to the Middle East on a peace mission, accompanied by my wife Elizabeth. Today I am being attacked as a traitor and vilified for reaching out to people of the region, hearing their concerns and discussing those concerns openly in public forums. My campaign is in need of immediate financial assistance to respond to a right wing hate machine that went into over-drive on the 6th anniversary of 9/11, using my visit to Syria and Lebanon as red meat for their attack dogs. Please go to http://www.dennis4president.com now to contribute.
    Elizabeth and I went to the region to determine the level of interest that exists for peace. As the person who led Democrats five years ago in opposition to the war against Iraq, I went to determine the impact of the war on Syria, which shares a border with Iraq and has taken in over 1.5 million Iraqi refugees. I went to learn what the issues are that separate Syria from hopes for peace with Israel. I went to see for myself the impact of border security issues. I went to learn how the U.S. is viewed by ordinary people. I made my self available to media to discuss my own views as to how the U.S. can take a more constructive role in the region and lead the way to peace.
    As the author of legislation HR1234, a plan to end the Iraq war, I went to determine whether anyone in the international community believed the war could end soon and how Iraq can be made more stable. As someone who attended the first Congressional briefing on the Baker Hamilton report, I went to learn if, in fact, Syria was ready to play the constructive role that the report envisioned. I went to learn the degree to which Syria was providing relief for Iraq’s refugees. We met with presidents, political leaders, ordinary citizens and the media to hear their concerns and to share hopes for peace in the Middle East.
    As a Congressman, I have a special obligation to determine whether the money that is spent in furtherance of U.S. policy is being spent constructively or destructively, based on lies or on truth. As a Presidential candidate, I must learn first hand whether the opportunity for peace between nations is a pipe dream or a real possibility. I have no authority to enter into negotiations for the U.S., to fashion agreements, to sign treaties, or to establish policy between nations. As President, I will be able to affect these matters more directly.
    Reason and peace should not be silenced by fear mongers or the right wing attack machine. But I need your help to answer them now. We must not allow efforts for peace and reconciliation to be continually destroyed by those who want permanent war.
    I am asking for your support. I am asking all of my supporters, who have donated in the past, to match their earlier contributions by September 30. If you have not yet given – now is the time. It is essential for our campaign to raise $250,000 to enable us to continue our message of strength through peace. I am asking you to continue standing with me and with our campaign. Together we are making a difference; together we will continue to build the America we all want to see.
    Sincerely,
    Dennis J Kucinich

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  28. Kathleen says:

    Sandy, you say blather, I said gibberish. I also posted that link on another thread here and sent the article to Steve.
    Ever since the Coup de Court in 2000, I feel like I’ve been on 24/7 citizens’alert. On top of paying their salaries, perks and health care, Congresscritters want us to do their job and send them contributions to boot. What’s wrong with that picture?

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  29. Rich says:

    Lugar may be able to say reasonable things, but will he take a concrete step toward changing the status quo. Like Warner, Voinovich, & others, he’s been a disappointment when it comes time to vote. When supposedly reasonable, rational people like him finally risk some political capital, then things will begin to change.

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  30. JohnH says:

    Skelton: “I believe that a change in mission for our forces in Iraq, coupled with a substantial reduction in their number, is in the best interest of U.S. national security.” Of course, Skelton refuses to identify what the mission should be. His tactic, redeployment, is a maneuver designed to accomplish exactly what? Stability? Why do we need stability in Iraq more than in, say, Sri Lanka?
    These politicians, aided and abetted by the foreign policy elite/national security mob, have answers for everything, except for exactly what it is we’re trying to accomplish. As it stands, we’re there because we’re there. And they’re doing everything they can to convince the American people that it’s a wonderful idea.
    For the foreign policy community, letting the real goal pass their lips appears to be a fate worse than death. Come on, is saying “to get oil,” “to defend Israel,” or “to give lucrative contracts to cronies” really that hard to say?

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  31. Sandy says:

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/?last_story=/opinion/greenwald/2007/09/14/noise/
    Friday September 14, 2007 09:10 EST
    The endless, meaningless blather from the Washington establishment
    (updated below)
    It has been extremely difficult over the past several months to pay any attention at all to the discussion of Iraq from our political and media stars. IT IS ALL JUST COMPLETE BLATHER, AND NEVER MEANS ANYTHING. All of these stern and worried and tough words spill endlessly from their mouths — they all proclaimed in May that September was the Day of Reckoning: there would be bipartisan, forced withdrawal if the political benchmarks weren’t met — only for the same thing to happen over and over. The conditions are not met; Bush proclaims we are staying; and the Washington Establishment submits….”
    (clip)

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  32. Matthew says:

    In response to Rep. Skelton’s remarks: You know it burns me too that the Iraqis haven’t made it easier on our invading army to ready itself to attack another Muslim country. The strain on the Army is intolerable. Why it might even decrease our propensity to use it.

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  33. Sandy says:

    Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com today says it best today. Why analyze and/or discuss what ANY of these people are saying? It’s all just complete blather — just as POA and Carroll have been saying all along. They will (and do) say anything…do anything…or nothing…as it suits them. It means nothing.
    I’m frustrated with this blog – I learn a great deal from the commentors — but I’m continually surprised by the strangely off-target topics posted to comment on. Fortunately, most commentors here either ignore that….and go ahead and say what’s REALLY on their minds….or comment only briefly on what’s posted.
    FOR EXAMPLE — the whole thing about the “accident” of the nuclear weapons (Good GRIEF!!!!) being flown from one airbase to THE ONE DESIGNATED AS THE STAGING BASE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST. This does not garner enough interest here for an ongoing discussion of HOW and WHY that could have happened? Whaaaa???? Oh, I know it was mentioned…in passing.
    I realize it’s rude of me, Steve, to be saying this, and so I do apologize and appreciate your willingness to print even the criticism like this here. I guess it’s just a request that — once we ALREADY KNOW that anything Bush says will be lies based on WHATEVER his screwed up head and motives are — why waste lots of time talking about that?? Speculating what nuances (yeah, right) there may be underlying what “President” Petreaus has to say…..or Chimpy….. It’s all just BLATHER. Sound and fury signifying NOTHING.
    This, on the other hand:
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18374.htm
    Was a Covert Attempt to Bomb Iran with Nuclear Weapons foiled by a Military Leak?

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  34. geb says:

    Bush’s speech begins with “In the life of all free nations, there come moments that decide the direction of a country and reveal the character of its people. We are now at such a moment.”
    Sounds pretty close to a well-known hymn:
    “Once to every man and nation
    Comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with falsehood,
    For the good or evil side.”
    Which is ironic: that hymn was written by James Russell Lowell in protest against the American-Mexican war.

    Reply

  35. geb says:

    Bush’s speech begins with “In the life of all free nations, there come moments that decide the direction of a country and reveal the character of its people. We are now at such a moment.”
    Sounds pretty close to a well-known hymn:
    “Once to every man and nation
    Comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth with falsehood,
    For the good or evil side.”
    Which is ironic: that hymn was written by James Russell Lowell in protest against the American-Mexican war.

    Reply

  36. Kathleen says:

    Word is that Democraps are planning a hearing so Admiral Fallon can testify. I’m not holding my breath, tho.
    Given the diffuclty of separating in voters’ minds 9/11 and Iraq, why in god’s name did Demz allow hearings with Dopey’s product rollout, Pertraeus’ “indpendent report”, to occur on the anniversary of 9/11? In one fell swoop, it’s all conflated again. How stoooopid are they? Don’t answer that, it’s too damned scarey.

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  37. steambomb says:

    Believable yes. But if congress brought him up, what is Bush going to do? Declare executive priveledge? I think that would even be too far a stretch for this administration.

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  38. DonS says:

    If this link is believable, I doubt we will be getting much input from Fallon through the normal channels:
    http://thinkprogress.org/2007/09/12/webb-fallon/

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  39. steambomb says:

    btw I do know that hear is spelled with an a. It is just, while typing instincts die hard.

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  40. steambomb says:

    Where is Admiral Fallon? He is after all Patreaus’s boss. Shouldn’t we here from him?

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  41. DonS says:

    My take is that both repubs and dems are basing their “positions” on politics. To the Kucinich-and-the-like fans, ok, maybe an exception or two. And Obama seems to be touting a “drawdown now” stance but its hard not to believe its just posturing to separate himself from the crowd.
    This war is being managed by a coalition of admin loyalist generals, backroom media moguls, and WH spinmasters. With the congress tryng to wring its hands with just the right appearance of urgency while staying one up on the other side of the aisle.
    A pathetic performance by all.
    Meanwhile those of us who say out now — its the only thing that passes the common sense test — continue to be marginalized as kooks by all.
    In the longer scheme of things, including the Chinese-financed Walmart economy in which we are living, it seems as if we are riding the landslide of US demise as a great power in all but the stark military sense. And that doesn’t seem to count for so much in this new age of 3rd and 4th generation “warfare”. Except to cause more mischief by our so-called leaders.

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  42. Carroll says:

    Posted by Marcia at September 14, 2007 01:32 AM>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yep…dems- repubs..same thing….in 2006 the dem establishment leadership deliberately got behind the neolib candidates. So now they have a whole herd of “wur”riors.

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  43. Marcia says:

    Correction: Chieftain not Chieften
    BOEHNER: I think General Petraeus outlined it pretty clearly. We’re making success. We need to firm up those successes. We need to continue our effort here because, Wolf, long term, the investment that we’re making today will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda here, if we’re able to stabilize the Middle East, it’s not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids.
    If this pom pom boy needs to “firm anything up” he should shut up and take a viagra.
    Everyday brings a new over the top by these people who have no shame, no morals and no decency.

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  44. Marcia says:

    160,000 US soldiers and how many Blackwater private soldiers, obeying whom and responsible to whom?
    For the rest of the world it is perhaps a benediction that American troops are “occupied” as well as “occupiers.” Many countries have their first chance in decades to function without American intervention. See South America.
    Carroll: The Dems have proven they can do nothing…it’s their war now also.
    I think the Dems have shown they want to do nothing, something we have seen for a very long time. It is planned. They are passive and afraid to do anything at all other than posturing. If people are dissatisfied with Congress but delighted with their own Congress people we will get the same old faces and the same old speeches in O8. Hillary will continue to support Lieberman and we all get sold down the river.
    I saw an interview of Tom Ridge the ex “Homeland”
    Security chieften on the BBC on “Hardball” and our journalists should take a peek to upgrade themselves.

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  45. Carroll says:

    Bush will keep troops in Iraq as long as he is in the WH.
    The Dems have proven they can do nothing…it’s their war now also.

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  46. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I particularly cherished his “live is returning to normal in Bagdad” bit. Is this pissant lying piece of shit REALLY the President of the United States of America?
    God help us.

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  47. karenk says:

    Earlier I heard CNN’s Michael Ware, who’s spent more time in Iraq than anyone I can think of except maybe Arwa Damon, saying things are just not getting any better there. George Bush says we’re doing better(loved the way he smoothed over the assasination of that Sheik in Anbar). I believe Ware. 5000 troops home by Christmas out of how many 100-130,000? that’s not very many.

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  48. karenk says:

    Ciastro: America will put up with more, just watch, in 5 minutes GWB will twist and turn and spin his way into being “right” and getting his way (I swear the man is a teenager in diguise)-watch and see…

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  49. Ciastro Mook says:

    Our insane boy king George will say “blah, blah, blah, and more troops will die. Blah, blah, blah, and then some more troops will die. I’m going to need more money so more troops can die. Congress needs to push this legislation for money so, more troops can die.”
    Criminy America, how much more of this insanity will you put up with?

    Reply

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