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Ear to the Ground

Bush’s New Iraq Policy Taking Shape

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Posted on Jan 7, 2007
George W. Bush
AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

President Bush pauses for a question during a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Dec. 7 in Washington.

Senior aides said Sunday that the president will finally apply benchmarks to Iraq—only not for the withdrawal of troops. Bush will offer the guidelines to Iraq’s political leadership in an attempt to ease sectarian tension.

Meanwhile, the military’s new Iraq commander is preparing for an influx of troops, expected to accompany the White House’s policy revision.

When Congress and the American people consider Bush’s new strategy, we think it’s best they take his own advice: “Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you ... you fool me once, can’t get fooled again.”


New York Times:

Among these “benchmarks” are steps that would draw more Sunnis into the political process, finalize a long-delayed measure on the distribution of oil revenue and ease the government’s policy toward former Baath Party members, the officials said.

As the policy is being debated in Washington, the new American operational commander in Iraq said Sunday that his plan was to send additional American troops, expected to be part of the policy change, into Baghdad’s toughest neighborhoods, and that under the new strategy it may take another “two or three years” to gain the upper hand in the war. [Page A9.]

Without saying what the specific penalties for failing to achieve the goals would be, American officials insisted that they intended to hold the Iraqis to a realistic timetable for action, but the Americans and Iraqis have agreed on many of the objectives before, only to fall considerably short.

And the widespread skepticism about the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy among Democrats and some Republicans was underscored by the new speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, in a television interview broadcast Sunday. She, along with the Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, informed the president that they were opposed to increasing troop levels.

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By Marie, January 10, 2007 at 10:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Instead of the US spending so much money on the Iraq war, US and world leaders need to be paying more attention to the 2002 Millenium goals, one of which is to combat world hunger. According to the Borgen Project, $ 300 billion has been spent on the Iraq War while there is a $ 19 billion annual shortfall to achieve the plan to end world hunger. We all could work together to achieve this goal.

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By jim, January 9, 2007 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The right to bear arms and have a strong militia is a constitutional guarantee placed there by our forefathers to insure that our government is not overthrown internally or externally by “anyone” no matter what their agenda may be.Now the real question is how many people in this country will do so?  Defend our country from the real terrorists, who decieve us all by portraying themselves as government leaders commited to freedom and democracy, while they kill and rape this planet, in our name,for corporate profit, with the overt intention, of drowning the US,its economy,its government and its people.So….who will stand as true patriots and stop this madness
will you?.. I think not…You will continue down the path you have chosen..armchair quaterbacks… watchin’ the replays, to prove who’s right, who’s wrong… all the while innocent humans are dying.. and will continue to all over the world..while were tryin’ to get ..Al queda… osama bin laden.. etc…...FOOLS…. thats what history record about us…..... FOOLS

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By Please Eat My Pies, January 8, 2007 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wow, thanks Bush. Where’s Paul Reubens when you need him.

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By Jackie T. Gabel, January 8, 2007 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Benchmarks? Recycled rhetoric — No Iraqi Left Behind

But in all seriousness, people. This regime will continue to wage war even after its support slides below 10%. Nothing will stop them. No amount revelation on any measure of mendacity regarding WMD, torture, illegal survailance. Nothing will turn them back from a full blown constitutional crisis, at which point expect “the” incident with Iran; a missile strike on the USS Enterprise would be a likely scenario, a dirty nuke “discovered” in Jerusalem, “ready” to be detonated…even another 911 is possible — Hell, they won’t stop talking about it for a single news cycle, even Elmer Gantry incarnate is sharing his visions of apocalypse.

These madmen must be stopped. Only one thing will break this regime: 911Truth!

          Support 911Truh - End War Of Terror

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By Kellina, January 8, 2007 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Oops—I couldn’t find HR#1107 on the house.gov website (for congress 109). So I don’t know if McKinney ever put in that resolution for impeachment.

Here is a good article about McKinney, if any of you are interested:

http://www.alternet.org/story/16172/

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By Kellina, January 8, 2007 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HR bill #1107—articles of impeachment, submitted by (outgoing) Representative Cynthia McKinney. Tell your reps to vote for it.

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By Druthers, January 8, 2007 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “decider” is stalling for time.  He is deaf to the voice of America.  He is indifferent to the sacrifice of real lives.  He wants only to wallow in black gold and coddle his enablers until he can cut brush on a daily basis.
Time is running out for those who will die.

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By phil, January 8, 2007 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

its a shame we americans are such wimps anymore, had this administration any brains and the people any wit, we might have actually done right by the iraqi AND afghan people and actually rid them of religious extremism. but now all we leave is a sesspool of festering terror, mixed feelings, and a relentless willingness to fall back on a notion that the americans just want oil. OH WAIT, WE DO….maybe thats why we didn’t fight the good fight.

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By Trigger Finger, January 8, 2007 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Predictions:

Around 9:30PM EST, Wednesday 1/10/2007.

Avalanches in the Rocky Mountains.
Earthquakes in the Midwest and Canada.
Floods in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
Tornadoes in Alaska.


All these caused by thunderous outbursts of laughter, then followed by a second explosive wave of outrage and cursing rolling across America. All triggered by a speech somewhere in the North East corner of the USA that tries to justify several years and thousands more of dead American Kids.

If your kid’s are two, three, four or five years old now, they have a good chance of dying in Iraq, in this endless meaningless Bush war.

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By charlie kasnick, January 8, 2007 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How about forcing Mr Bush to remove all troops
from iraq and sending them to go get Bin Laden!
If memory serves me right,he is behind the 911
attack.

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By George S Semsel, January 8, 2007 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Face it folks, the Bush “new” program for Iraq will pass easily, with the same old, same old, same old Democrats rolling over once again as they always do.

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By DennisD, January 8, 2007 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have a Congress and Senate, who for the most part, are looking for any reason they can find to go along with this latest fool’s errand. Talking about “benchmarks” for an administration that has had no accountability whatsoever is laughable. After the usual rhetoric, posing and posturing it’ll be business as usual for our elected racketeers. And the business of business is their only business.

Ben Franklin said “We have given you a republic if you can keep it”. What would he be saying now other than - since you’ve lost it, it’s up to you to get it back. That is no longer possible at the ballot box as we’ve seen, it will have to be done in the streets. Let’s get to it before it’s too late.

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By Lord Byron, January 8, 2007 at 12:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush is in denial and because he cannot fathom “losing” a war of his own creation, he will never bring U.S. troops back home as President. This country is so F-cked that I don’t think anything will change the status quo.  Impeaching Bush or getting certain aides to admit that Bush is “incompetent” and can no longer serve as President are our best solutions now. If only Murtha would come out for impeachment to get the “ball rollin…”

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By Quy Tran, January 8, 2007 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

His new policy will be no policy at all !

If he and his dysnasty had good policy we’d never look down with shame as we’re today.

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, January 8, 2007 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Congress and the American people consider Bush’s new strategy, we think it’s best they take his own advice: Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you ... you fool me once, can’t get fooled again.”

It’s not an “influx,” it’s not a “surge”—-it’s an ESCALATION of the Iraq war. The 2006 election results revealed that the public does NOT want to escalate the war—-Republicans lost both the House and the Senate-—the voting public made its voice heard, they wanted a change; not more of the same; but of course Cheney and Bush, are not interested in what the public wants; their mandate comes from the corporate thugs that put them in power. 

Benchmarks—-the only benchmark that counts to these “businessmen” is the total economic and geo-political control of the Middle East.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times and shame on Pelosi and 110th congress if they DON’T stop the funding of this war.

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By chuck, January 8, 2007 at 10:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush is throwing more coals on the choas in Iraq. He doesn’t know what to do . After all of the meetings over the past month, this is what he proposes: more troops & money? The average citizen can do better than he is doind.

No more troops.
No more war.
Stop it, Democrats in Congress.

Use whatever/any power that you have against the King of the USA!
He has his head in the sand.

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By Bruce Freeman, January 8, 2007 at 10:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am proposing a caravan to D.C. Local action is fine and necessary, but escalation in Iraq is too big an issue to think Congress is going to listen to anything other than the outraged banging on their doors and doing a sit-ins on steps of Congress or in front of the WH….

****A CARAVAN SUCH AS THIS, LEAVING APPROX JANUARY 20th FROM THE WEST COAST, PICKING UP RIDERS FROM PATRIOT GUARD RIDERS (BOTH BIKERS AND SUPPORT VEHICLES SUCH AS MY OWN), GOLD STAR MOMS, VETERANS GROUPS OF LIKE MIND WHO WANT TO PARTICIPATE AND GATHER A GROWING NUMBER AS WE GO, WITH THIS WAVE CONVERGING ON D.C. TO PROTEST THIS ESCALATION OF THE IRAQ WAR? IT WILL, IN MY OPINION, TAKE NOTHING LESS THAN SUCH DRAMATIC PROTEST AND NATIONAL COVERAGE TO BACK THOSE IN CONGRESS, BOTH DEMS AND REPUBS, WHO DO NOT SUPPORT A SURGE, AND FORCE DECISIVE ACTION TO SAVE OUR TROOPS. THIS IS LIKELY GOING TO MEAN THOSE THAT PARTICIPATE WILL BE MOSTLY WE VIETNAM VETS & DISABLED VETS LIKE MYSELF & RETIRED WHO DON’T HAVE A JOB OR THOSE WHO CAN GET EXTENDED LEAVE/VACATION FOR AT LEAST TWO TO THREE WEEKS.****

IS ANYBODY UP FOR THIS?

PLUS, the following letter was given to Sen. Ron Wyden Saturday night at his Newberg (OR) Town Hall meeting to take back to D.C. [Wyden was one of a handful who did not vote in favor of granting the president the power to go to war when he saw fit without further discussion with Congress.]

The Wyden letter was as follows:

” Saturday, January 6, 2007

AN OPEN LETTER TO OUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSPERSONS:

All Americans began the new year on a somber note, marking the anniversary of the 3000th U.S. soldier killed in Iraq. From ocean to ocean and northern border to the Gulf waters, from Alaskan fjords to the Hawaiian islands, various groups
acknowledged this loss by standing vigil, calling for an end to the Iraq War.

As the recent elections demonstrated, public opinion has shifted, and more and more people want our troops home now. This year offers us yet another opportunity, perhaps our last opportunity, to both honor the human cost of the war in Iraq and display our bravery at home by standing to oppose a president isolated in his own arrogance, yet with the power to do still more harm.

We reach out to the growing number of our representatives, some who first voted for the Iraq invasion (many of whom now show remorse for that decision). We call upon all of you, this time, to act on your better judgement and good conscience,
and in harmony with the majority of the American people.

It is time to do the brave thing and prevent further sacrifice for a mistake by standing for those still living, those still in uniform with bright, productive futures ahead of them, if only they live and return home whole—by protecting those who protect us from being the last to die for a mistake and a lie, where no threat to our national security existed.

If courageous, you must to be prepared to be a one-term, or last-term representative and do the brave thing—the right thing.

We, the undersigned, do not support any attempt at escalation in the Iraq War. The Iraq incursion is a mirror image of the Vietnam buildup and demise (I myself am a Vietnam War era disabled veteran, and from the time Nixon won election in 1968 on the promise to end the Vietnam War until the time the war actually ended, another 30,000 American troops died, while hundreds of thousands of others returned home twisted and maimed in body, mind, and spirit.)

So, for those brave troops still on the field of battle in this ill-begotten war in Iraq, I humbly beseech you to do the brave thing. For their lives, for our national honor, with no thought of personal gain or re-election, I implore you to do the right thing: stand against those who would sacrifice yet more Americans, with even more ruinous results for our military as a whole, thus
risking our future security in a very real sense.

<<ENDORSING SIGNATURES OF VETERANS AND OTHER CITIZENS THAT WERE AT THE TOWN HALL MEETING>>

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By mite, January 8, 2007 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bush administration’s Iraq strategy?

You mean the ‘CFR, Trilateral Commissions and International Banks’-(Bilderbergs, Rothschilds, Rockefellers-J.P. Morgans-Chase)and Federal Reserve Board Members are Bush’s strategy dictators. Bush does what he is told to do.

These groups-tyrants-elite effectively control governments, corporations, and promote world control through control of media,foundations, education. They control the issues of the day that we see through media and press sources.

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

If we continue to think-believe our Congress represents us we are blind and/or cowards to defend our nation against these tyrants.

This Congress sold our nation to these individuals with the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the Bankruptcy of 1933. Research it people.

Where does all this money come from? From the Treasury? In your dreams! Your taxes pay the interest on IOU’s to these International Banks.

Congress needs $1 Billion. So the treasury prints the federal reserve notes and Congress gives (they do not sell the notes) T-Bills-IOU’s to the federal reserve down the street. Federal Reserve punches the computer keys and Congress starts writing checks. This money is made from AIR people.

Have we heard anything from the press about the 2850 metric tons of gold missing from the treasury? Where is the Gold from this country from the past since 1933?

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By Windows Hosting, January 8, 2007 at 5:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

New strategic concepts arise in the parliament, but my question lies,that send of troops and withdrawal of them and thereafter declaring more gore and voilence,does it help anyone. I suppose they are direct effect to the innocent public.

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By Jaded Prole, January 8, 2007 at 4:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Benchmarks” will be the abstraction that will justify “conditional” Democratic majority support—albeit with much rhetoric. Pelosi will cave. Kucinich, Conyers and Murtha will object and stand firm.

Troops will be sent and “Benchmarks” unmet. Only we can stop this charade but it will take a “surge” in protest and citizen demands.

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By Chaseme, January 8, 2007 at 12:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr President, do you and Prime Minister Blair honestly believe the only answer to solving this fiasco is contacting Superman?

“Yes, we made contact with OUR one and only answer. We truly BELIEVE he can get the job done.”

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