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The Real Iraq Progress Report

Posted on Aug 21, 2007
rubble in qahtaniya
AP Photo / Petr David Josek

An Iraqi man walks through the rubble left by a suicide bombing in the village of Qahtaniya—one of a string of attacks a week ago that killed more than 400 people and injured hundreds more.

The parade of political tourists to Iraq in recent weeks, during which easily impressed pundits and members of Congress came to be dazzled by the wonders of the troop surge, probably ensures that this murderous adventure will continue well into the next presidency—even if the Democrats win.

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For example, Kenneth Pollack, a top national security adviser in the Clinton administration whose 2002 book, “The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq,” convinced many Democratic politicians to support the war, now finds renewed optimism after the surge. In a July 30 New York Times Op-Ed article, “A War We Just Might Win,” which he coauthored after spending eight days in Iraq, Pollack gushed, “We traveled to the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. This is an ethnically rich area, with large numbers of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen. American troop levels in both cities now number only in the hundreds because the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate. Reliable police officers man the checkpoints in the cities, while Iraqi army troops cover the countryside.”

So much so that a town 40 miles northeast of Tal Afar was the scene, on Aug. 15, of the deadliest attack of the war—a quadruple bombing left more than 500 dead and 1500 wounded, and most of the buildings in ruin. What about those “reliable” police officers and Iraqi army troops whose presence in the area Pollack found so reassuring? If Pollack was asked about that on any of the talk shows that routinely feature him as an expert, I have not found the footage.

Other Democrats brought to Iraq for photo-op visits have similarly descended into total myopia. Take Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., who is suddenly more upbeat about the future U.S. role in the region: “If anything, I’m more willing to find a way forward,” he enthused. Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., proclaimed that the U.S. troop surge “has really made a difference and really has gotten al-Qaida on their heels.” Odd, then, that al-Qaida was blamed by the United States for that deadly attack near Tal Afar.

In the past week, two Iraqi governors have been assassinated in incidents attributed to intra-Shiite violence that is dramatically on the rise. But not even this bloodshed stops yet another Democratic lawmaker, Brian Baird, D-Wash., from proclaiming that he will no longer support measures to set a deadline for troop withdrawal, because “We are making real and tangible progress on the ground.”

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Contrast the rosy optimism of those day tourists with the assessment of seven active-duty soldiers coming to the end of their 15-month tour of duty on the ground in Iraq. They had an Op-Ed piece in the Aug. 19 New York Times entitled “The War as We Saw It”:

“To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched. As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press reports portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day.”

Get their article—excerpted quoting cannot do it justice—and hand it to anyone who prattles on about how “our” leaving Iraq will only make matters worse. “Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise, while we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence,” they wrote. “In the end, we need to recognize that our presence may have released Iraqis from the grip of a tyrant, but that it has also robbed them of their self-respect. They will soon realize that the best way to retain dignity is to call us what we are—an army of occupation—and force our withdrawal.”

In the meantime, the seven soldiers urge that we let “Iraqis take center stage in all matters” and “let them resolve their differences as they see fit. This suggestion is not meant to be defeatist, but rather to highlight our pursuit of incompatible policies to absurd ends without recognizing the incongruities.” The plea ends with “We need not talk about morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.”

And sadly enough, they will continue to be sacrificed to a policy that makes no sense to them as well as to most other Americans. As their Op-Ed piece recounts, “one of us, Staff Sergeant [Jeremy A.] Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head during a ‘time sensitive target acquisition mission,’ on Aug. 12; he is expected to survive.” But what about the next good man sacrificed to the whims of politicians and pundits?

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By Nabih Ammari, October 2, 2007 at 3:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:96866 by Louise on 8/25 at 11:43

Louise,

You asked:” By the way,does anyone know the
names of those thirty something congressaurs
who have been touring Israel? “

Answer:You will find what you are looking
for on page 17 of the November issue of
the magazine called “The Washington Report
On Middle East Affairs”.

Do not let the date,November 2007,confuse
you.That the way the magazine produced and
published one month ahead of time.

Please notice the numbers of freshmen
who were touring Israel.To me,it is NO
accident.It is well planned.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By Dan Uu Noel, September 5, 2007 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Go figure…my complaint was published on 3 TruthDig pages as soon as I logged it; I followed with my comments on those 3 pages; the 2 other pages published them immediately, but this one claims that it is “unable to receive it at this time. Through some serendipity, I posted it by mistake on another page, where it was published under reference http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070821_rifts_deepen_between_iraqi_communities/#98795…

Good reading if you care to click the link.

Love,

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By Dan Uu Noel, September 5, 2007 at 5:49 pm Link to this comment

“Strange…I have tried to post a comment twice; it has never made it to the blog, even though
1) as a registered user, my comments supposedly go straight to the blog;
2) my comment is clear, straight to the point, well written;
3) my comment does not contain foul language or ad hominem attack;
4) it puts on this theme a perspective that seems to have eluded Robert Scheer.
Does anyone have any clue as to what may be going on?”

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By Nabih Ammari, September 1, 2007 at 4:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To:97158 by cyrena on 8/27 at 2:47pm.

Thank you for your support and kind words.

I must admit that I have a great deal of EMPATHY
for the people of Iraq;not just because they have been
unjustly and savagely victimized by immoral and illegal war,but also
because I knew them well through countless
business trips to Iraq in the seventies and eighties.
One may raise the question:How??? Answers:

-I had business meetings and technical conferences
with some of the most intelligent human-beings I
had ever met in my entire life.

-I ate simple lunches with some of them and drank
sweetened minted tea or Arabic coffee with others.
In every case I enjoyed a pleasant conversation
through which I had the privilege to listen to
their technical requests and needs.

-I trained some of the most brilliant minds in
Iraq,on extremely complex and expensive scientific
instruments they needed for their academic researches
and beside academia,I had done the same for other
aspects of their daily activities which were too
numerous to outline here.

In short,Iraq was a functioning society which was
run by the dedication and efficiency of the Iraqi
elites and professionals who were made of a complex
of a heterogeneous mixture:Shi’i,Sunni,Kurds and
Christian Arabs.The majority of the members in the
ruling party,the Ba’ath Party was Shi’i,not Sunni
as it was thought because Saddam Hussein was Sunni.

During the eight years (1980-1988) of ferocious
war with Iran,those Iraqi elites and professionals
proved their valor and capabilities by keeping the
Iraqi society functioning with efficiency I did not
sense in the rest of the Middle East,including Iran
during the Shah rule which was ended in 1978-1979
when I stopped covering Iran.With all candor and
fairness,I must give the credit of the dedication
and efficiency I personally witnessed in Iraq to
Saddam Hussein in his grave, regardless of all other
faulty quality of his rule.He and his Ba’athists
knew how to rule Iraq and keep it glued together as
one sovereign identity.

In addition to all of the above,Saddam Hussein and his Party knew how to keep Iran and its theocratic
rulers in check at all times.

What a difference between Saddam’s Iraq and what
we see now of present day Iraq.The difference is
huge,indeed.May the future be kind to all of us,
especially to the people of Iraq.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

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By Frank Cajon, August 29, 2007 at 10:12 pm Link to this comment

Well, I see in today’s news that Herr Bush wants ANOTHER $50 billion for the Iraq war, on top of the half-trillion in defense spending already this year, and the $120 billion he already got less than six months ago. Everybody turn on your stereos, and play Bob Dylan’s ‘Masters of War’. The son of a bitch will get the money from our spineless legislators and the sand will again be soaked with blood as this madman runs amok in his private vendetta on the other side of the world, having dodged the one war he had a responsibility to fight in.

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By cyrena, August 27, 2007 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

#97056 by Nabih Ammari on 8/27 at 2:04 am

(4)As long as the vast majority of Iraqis consider
the American troops as occupiers,the war will continue and I see no cessation of the violance in
the offing.It is a Loss-Loss situation for both sides.I Say this because I know the culture and
long history of Iraq and I know how the Iraqis
think of and feel about foreign occupiers whether
the occupiers are English,Americans,or any other
nationalities.

Bravo and thanks Nabih!!

Herein lies the key. You DO know the history, culture and tradition of Iraq, and most importantly, how the PEOPLE think and feel.

The problem of course, is that the administration and/or the mindset promoting and perpetuating the war and all of it’s resultant destruction and chaos, (all predicted well in advance) simply has never CARED about any of that. Never has there been even the slightest hint or acknowledgement, of the worldview of the people that matter, even though it is THEY who must ultimately decide things.

It’s the hubris of it all, and it’s too be expected from those that have created and brought life to a monster..

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By ~B~, August 27, 2007 at 3:08 pm Link to this comment

If you’d like an Iraqi take on the matter try this blog. This story is a good base of understanding for people to start with.

http://arabwomanblues.blogspot.com/2007/08/occupation-101.html

This is American tax dollars at work. This is American disinterest in the workings of their government at work. This is shameful at best.

B

http://b-political.blogspot.com/

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By Nabih Ammari, August 27, 2007 at 3:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Senator Harry Ried,the Senate Majority Leader
stated that the war in Iraq had already been lost,
I agreed with his puplic statement.Reasons:

(1)When the top Generals of the US military declared
that the war in Iraq could not be won militarily,I
accepted their declaration at its face value since
they were{are} the real professionals in matters of
wars,not the Neocons or GWB who pushed so hard and so fast for this illegal and immoral war.

(2)The moments the Generals made publically such a
declaration,it meant that all of the huge in-put
in blood and treasure was a total loss.LOSS.The
word “Loss” in the Engliss language means simply
LOSS.Period.

(3)Since all what the Bush Administration has done
sofar,in more than four years,could not win this
war militarily,then the meaning of the word “loss”
had become more apparent to Senator Ried.It meant
exacly what the Senator said:the war had already been lost.

(4)As long as the vast majority of Iraqis consider
the American troops as occupiers,the war will continue and I see no cessation of the violance in
the offing.It is a Loss-Loss situation for both sides.I Say this because I know the culture and
long history of Iraq and I know how the Iraqis
think of and feel about foreign occupiers whether
the occupiers are English,Americans,or any other
nationalities.

Based on the above reasoning,one may raise the following question:Since both Iraq and US are
the big losers in this war,who is the winner??

there are two apparent winners for the short run:
Iran is a winner.Israel is a winner.The reasons
has to do with the potential threat symbolized by
Saddam Hussein and his highly dedicated and capable
Ba’athists whose membership in the Iraqi Ba’ath
Party exceeded the two millions in the seventies
and eighties.Yes,Yes and more Yeses both Iran and
Israel are the winners at the expense of American
and Iraqi bloods.What an American blunder which
resulted in the destruction of Iraq,a country has done no harm to the people of the U.S.A.Therefore,
it is an additional criminal act to continue this war in order to save the legacy of the perpetrators.
Yes,it is a criminal act to continue a losing war,
agaist the American people and the Iraqi people.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

Report this

By Nabih Ammari, August 27, 2007 at 2:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Senator Harry Ried,the Senate Majority Leader
stated that the war in Iraq had already been lost,
I agreed with his puplic statement.Reasons:

(1)When the top Generals of the US military declared
that the war in Iraq could not be won militarily,I
accepted their declaration at its face value since
they were{are} the real professionals in matters of
wars,not the Neocons or GWB who pushed so hard and so fast for this illegal and immoral war.

(2)The moments the Generals made publically such a
declaration,it meant that all of the huge in-put
in blood and treasure was a total loss.LOSS.The
word “Loss” in the Engliss language means simply
LOSS.Period.

(3)Since all what the Bush Administration has done
sofar,in more than four years,could not win this
war military,then the meaning of the word “loss”
had become more apparent to Senator Ried.It meant
exacly what the Senator said:the war had already been lost.

(4)As long as the vast majority of Iraqis consider
the American troops as occupiers,the war will continue and I see no cessation of the violance in
the offing.It is a Loss-Loss situation for both sides.I Say this because I know the culture and
long history of Iraq and I know how the Iraqis
think of and feel about foreign occupiers whether
the occupiers are English,Americans,or any other
nationalities.

Based on the above reasoning,one may raise the following question:Since both Iraq and US are
the big losers in this war,who is the winner??

there are two apparent winners for the short run:
Iran is a winner.Israel is a winner.The reasons
has to do with the potential threat symbolized by
Saddam Hussein and his highly dedicated and capable
Ba’athists whose membership in the Iraqi Ba’ath
Party exceeded the two millions in the seventies
and eighties.Yes,Yes and more Yeses both Iran and
Israel are the winners at the expense of American
and Iraqi bloods.What an American blunder which
resulted in the destruction of Iraq,a country has done no harm to the people of the U.S.A.Therefore,
it is an additional criminal act to continue this war in order to save the legacy of the perpetrators.
Yes,it is a criminal act to continue a losing war,
agaist the American people and the Iraqi people.
Sincerely,
Nabih Ammari
An Independent in Ohio.

Report this
GodSend's avatar

By GodSend, August 26, 2007 at 9:28 am Link to this comment

Hey, Howard, Reductio ad Absurdum is not a valid defense of Zionism and Israel crimes.

Israel and the ‘Israel Lobby’ have EVERYTHING to do with Iraq! “Today, all of Palestine - tomorrow, ‘Greater Israel’” is their battle cry.

You sound like another Zionist shill! wink

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By GW=MCHammered, August 25, 2007 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Real Califoriraq Progress Report
“Schwarzenegger kills a $55-million initiative that helps the mentally ill, then signs the budget.”

They want chaos. Do <u>not</u> respond. Except to personally care for who you can.

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By Nick, August 25, 2007 at 11:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am against Irag War. I participated anti war march in New York in April, 2003. I lost friends arguing against war.

I am not for withdrawing the troops any time soon. Going into Iraq was not in American self interest. Staying is not in American self interest, neither.
But, America need to stay. America can’t just destroy other people’s world and leave out of self interest. We must pay. Perhaps we would remember the pain, so, in the future, when those politician want to start another war out of fals pretense, we will not be fooled collectively as a people.

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By Howard, August 25, 2007 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer writes an article on Iraq. Not a bad article. Not a single word of it on Israel. Why should there be??
But a few pundits here think they are responsible.  Imagine!
But, oh YES….Israel is to be blamed for the sun rising in the East and the cause of polio, and Aids,
and hurricanes.  And, let us not forget they were responsible, by all means, for WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. I forgot Katrina.

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GodSend's avatar

By GodSend, August 25, 2007 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Greg Bacon:

“Never Again!” has a familiar ring to it! Do you think Zionists will want to collect royalties on Americans’ ‘new and improved’ use of that wonderful slogan?! wink

How about “Never Again!” will we allow Zionists to brainwash Christians to worship with them in the “Synagogue of Satan”!?

How about “Never Again!” will we allow Israel to secretly develop nukes at Dimona!?

How about “Never Again!” will we allow Zionists to seize control of the MSM so that they can brainwash Americans to support the Rogue State of Israel with all their blood and treasure!?

I could think of several more “Never Again!“s! wink

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By Greg Bacon, August 25, 2007 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

SELLING ANOTHER ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL WAR


The LOBBY.  One only has to mention that term to understand who the real power is behind these ads from a dubious sounding front called “Freedom’s Watch.”

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Freedom’s_Watch#Key_players

The same pack of liars, thieves and mass murderers that lied the U.S. into fighting the war against Iraq is now lying to Americans about the reasons for staying in Iraq, ensuring a steady stream of flag draped coffins coming back to America.

And thousands upon thousands more Iraqi’s slaughtered.

Strangely enough,  discussions in the American MSM never approach the questions about these lies told to us by these crafty and cunning liars. Questions that should be asked about why we’re still fighting the illegal and immoral war against Iraq.

Questions about how these same pack of liars are in bed with another pack of liars, spending time and money, lying us to fight another war for their client.

The next war these at large criminals want American soldiers and marines to fight and die in is another war of aggression, this time against Iran.

A war to be fought using American wealth, standing and lives;  a war to be fought so Israel can both maintain ME hegemony and continue unhindered with its ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinians.

NEVER AGAIN should be our real battle cry.

NEVER AGAIN will American kids go off to fight a war for Israel.

NEVER AGAIN will we succumb to their maddening call to war.

NEVER AGAIN will Americans be fooled by this pack of cutthroats and thieves.

NEVER AGAIN !!

NO MORE AMERICAN BLOOD FOR ISRAEL.  NEVER AGAIN!!!

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By Louise, August 25, 2007 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

The “D” and “R” in front of our so-called representatives in D.C. most certainly is synonymous with the dollar sign.

But they actually stand for “Dumb” and “Really Dumb”.

Most of us haven’t been to Iraq for so much as eight minutes, and it takes less time than that to find out what it’s really like there! Sometimes from loved ones returned. Sometimes from family and friends who are there. Most often from videos and reports produced by courageous independent media reporters. And more recently a rare and occasional mention by main-stream media.

We don’t expect Big Biz war profiteers to speak the truth, nor those mercenary “Christians” who love to kill in Gods name. Certainly we wont hear the truth come out of the White House. Cheney loves money, blood, guts and war, and so does Bush, although he probably confuses the order.

Actually I am exaggerating. I think once someone has descended into the cesspool of absolute corruption, none of it matters, or registers. So long as the power is there, the money is there and the liars and thieves can hang on to each other.

And now those, who we know have already sold their soul to the highest bidder, like Ari Fleischer, are crawling out of the muck to flack for the Chicken Hawks who want still more blood and guts and money!

Nobody in that crowd has a scintilla of smarts, or they would realize the inevitable outcome. A destroyed military, a destroyed economy and a wrathful citizenry waiting to tar and feather them!

Or possibly worse, an angry World who must choose to sink with the U.S. or abandon the dollar. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Asian_Economy/IH24Dk01.html

Meanwhile congress laudy-da’s along preening and parading and praising each other. Touring Iraq, and touring Israel ... anything to avoid the constituents who might ask questions they don’t know the answers too!

Yep ... “D” stands for Dumb and “R” stands for Really Dumb!

By the way, does anyone know the names of those thirty something congressaurs who have been touring Israel?

Are they the same thirty something congressaurs who just signed on to a letter urging the European Parliament to end its cooperation with a U.N. committee for Palestinian issues?
http://www.muzzlewatch.com/?p=234

Inquiring minds want to know.

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By June, August 25, 2007 at 10:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Somebody ought to be in charge of removing the blindfolds and rose-colored glasses from everyone visiting Iraq before he or she departs the US.  Kind of like the security regulations at airports, for as long as our “representatives” (using the word loosely) see only what they want to see, there will be no security here or in Iraq.

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By DennisD, August 24, 2007 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “D” or “R” in front of the names of our so called “representatives” in D.C. is synonymous with “$”. As long as there’s a dollar to be made the war will continue. Unfortunately the other war being waged is on ourselves, our economy and our freedoms by our own country. They are not about to stop unless we the people stop them.

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GodSend's avatar

By GodSend, August 24, 2007 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment

Traveler:

AND a Zionist!

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By Mr. Natural, August 24, 2007 at 11:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is so true!  I thank you for writing this.  I blogged it over at http://leftedgenorth.blogspot.com but did not have the proper URL to link back here.  Since I have found it here at truthdig, I will link back.

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By Douglas Chalmers, August 24, 2007 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

Just noticed this schedule for Bush re the APEC meeting in Sydney, Australia:-

US President George W Bush will arrive in Sydney four days before the start of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting next month. Mr Bush will arrive on Tuesday ahead of the weekend leaders meeting….... “He’s arriving on the Tuesday night [4 September] but he’ll have to leave a little early,” (Prime Minister John Howard) said. “He’ll have to leave in the middle of the weekend because he must be back in Washington to prepare for the Petraeus report to Congress on the situation in Iraq. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/08/10/2001457.htm and APEC at http://www.apec2007.org/default.aspx?aspxerrorpath=/apec.aspx

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By Traveler, August 24, 2007 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everyone who still supports the Iraq war is either completely insane or moronic.

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By MRSMB, August 23, 2007 at 10:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is everyone surprised by the behavior of the DEMOCRATS? I for one am not. Actually it was totally expected and predictable.

Just remember that our politicians on both sides of the isle from local to national are bought and paid for by the Zionist lobby.

We have massive corruption that is perpetuated by the lobbies of various kinds. However when it comes to our middle east policy and dealing with over 1.2 billion people then there is only one BOSS, the ZIONISTS and their ever present lobby.

Mr. Scheer should know this and I think he should expand on this and tell us all how the Israelis and their lobby fed lies, half truths, to our politicians (that are on their pay), intelligence agencies, and etc.. through the mass media, and the ever present and expanding political, military, intelligence experts who regurgitate the ZIONIST line.

Thats the source of all our bad intelligence. You dont need to look far for a non-existent organizational problem within the intelligence community and the bull shit report by congress that basically tries to cover up the role of the ZIONISTS and pulls a wool over everyones eyes.

Look at the ROOT CAUSE!!!

I want to see one public figure anywhere in the land of the free and the brave to utter these words so we can really see how free and brave our public figures really are.

Don’t hold your breath too long!!!

I hope that clarifies everything.

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By Sean, August 23, 2007 at 8:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All one has to do to understand the support of those Democrat congressmembers is to follow the money. See how much in campaign contributions they receive from the military-industrial complex or related industries. When will America wake up? We must get all bribe money out of politics and publicly finance campaigns like the states of Maine and Arizona. Until then, it is government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich sounds a lot like oligarchy and fascism to me.

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By Evelyn Smith, August 23, 2007 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

KANUEAR, check out what financial organization Colin Powell is a member of, along with GWB, Cheney, Laura Bush and Kerry.

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By Bob Zimmerman, August 23, 2007 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I read the NYTimes Op-ed piece and the enlisted men who wrote that article are to be commended for telling like it really is. What a difference to read something that really does sound like the truth. By the time the political spin doctors get through with Gen. Pertreaus report, it will look like not only is the surge working but that we are being welcomed again as liberators. It’s amazing when you read a real report on the situation in Iraq versus the crap put out by policitians and high ranking officers. It’s real easy to distinquish what is BS. If there is one certainty in the world other than death and taxes, it’s that you can expect a grunt to tell it like it really is -going back to WWII.

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By Erica, August 23, 2007 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I understand that the Iraq war is not an easy situation to just completely back out of. But there truly is no good and honest future in remaining there. My biggest fear is that this ominous article speaks the correct course of the future. One of the worst investments our country made was in the Middle East and now in our own country.

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By KANUEAR, August 23, 2007 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

LET’S MIX PARTIES FOR A BETTER EFFECT. HOW ABOUT BARRACK OBAMA PRES. AND COLIN POWELL VICE PRES.?

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By Mudwollow, August 23, 2007 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

Mike Gravel’s take on the Surge/splurge.

Why Hillary Endorsed the Surge

Posted August 21, 2007 | 10:24 PM (EST) Huffington Post - By Senator Mike Gravel

In an attempt to please an audience of veterans yesterday, Hillary Clinton said the surge was “working” and gave a helping-hand to the Bush spin machine, Pentagon dead-enders and right-wing pundits who have already begun to quote her.

“Of course the surge is working,” they’ll say, “even Hillary Clinton acknowledges that!” Just when Congressional Democrats were beginning to grow spines and stand up against the war, Hillary has cut them off at the knees.

As always Hillary tried to have it both ways and went on to say: “We’re just years too late changing our tactics. We can’t ever let that happen again. We can’t be fighting the last war. We have to be preparing to fight the new war.” I’m not sure what she meant by that, but I do know the surge is not working.

Whatever success we might achieve in Bagdad is temporary and isolated. We’ve just nudged the terrorists and death squads to other parts of Iraq. If you want to know the truth about the surge, look at the numbers of innocent Iraqi civilians killed and the number of people fleeing the country this summer. In both cases the numbers have remained fairly steady.

In January, before the surge, bombings in Baghdad killed 438 people. After the surge began in February, that number jumped to 520, declined in March to 323 and rose again in April, to 414. The lowest total came in June with just 190 dead, but then swung back up last month, with 354 dead. And that’s just Baghdad.

Some Americans, like Hillary, might find those numbers encouraging but the majority of Iraqis view us as an inept occupation force that has failed to keep them safe from terrorism, ethnic cleansing and violent crime. That’s why they continue to abandon their homes and families to join millions of their countrymen in refugee camps in Jordan and Syria.

General Petraeus’ September report will of course paint a different picture. He’ll offer the same cheerleading that we always hear from Bush’s media savvy, but militarily clueless generals. We, in the anti-war movement, will counter his lies with facts and try to push the cowardly congressional Dems and wavering Republicans to cut off funding. But thanks to Hillary our task will be more difficult.

After yesterday’s speech, Clinton aides tried to clarify her remarks, saying she was specifically referring to increased cooperation from Sunnis battling insurgents in Al Anbar province. But that clarification was too little too late. Unless Hillary publicly reverses herself and personally calls the surge an overall failure, Bush’s allies in the media and the Congress will have the cover they need to impede any funding cuts next year.

Endorsing the surge is another example of how Hillary is adopting Bill Clinton’s triangulation strategy. After securing the Democratic base, the Clintons always sacrifice their allies to the Right. (Remember Sister Souljah?) Last week Hillary sand-bagged the LGBT community with her states rights argument against gay marriage. This week she throws the anti-war movement under the bus. I’m curious to see who’s going to be next week’s victim.

Your vote is dogdoo

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By carlito paquito, August 23, 2007 at 8:30 am Link to this comment

who was it that said, “the truth is reality, what should be truth is a big fat lie” oh yeah! Lenny Bruce!  Excellent article Mr. Scheer! Bravo.

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By 1drees, August 22, 2007 at 11:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

lilmamzer, (<== another spin doctor) EVERYONE EXCEPT THE “MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA” PEOPLE MIGHT ADMIT THAT ITS ISRAEL THAT WANTED IRAQ DESTROYED, & do study the “Protocols of Zion” to understand your American system & situation. AND not only that but ISRAEL also wants AMERICA to wage another couple of WARS FOR that NASTY existance and in the name of the HOLLOWCAUST. NOW quit trying to BLAME THINGS ON ARABS WHEN THEY HAVE LOST ABOUT 1.5 million people & another 4 million have been forced to displace themselves so as to make space for MERCINARIES that want to assist the ZIONIST CORPORATIONS TO STEAL THE IRAQI OIL TO SELL TO NORTH AMERICANS. “CHOSEN PEOPLE” to steal and plunder the planet. BOYCOTT EVERYTHING ZIONISTIC & ISRAELI SO THAT THERE WILL BE PEACE & HUMANITY ON THIS PLANET. STOP SUPPORTING WARMONGERING GENOCIDAL ZIONISTIC MANIACS. BOYCOTT EVERYTHING ISRAELI & ZIONISTIC.

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By 911truthdotorg, August 22, 2007 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Former Chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division Calls for Independent Review of World Trade Center Investigation

http://news.netscape.com/story/2007/08/21/former-chief-of-nists-fire-science-division-calls-for-independent-review-of-wtc-investigation

Google videos: 9/11 Press for Truth, Loose Change 2nd Edition, Terror Storm, America: Freedom to Fascism

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By P. T., August 22, 2007 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Bear in mind that George W. Bush refused the chance to fight in Vietnam.  Sounds like Bush intends to kill as many Iraqis as the U.S. did Vietnamese.  Furthermore, the ethnic Chinese boat people from Vietnam were the result of the war between China and Vietnam.  And the U.S. left many boat people on their own in shoddy craft on the high seas.

As for Cambodia, it was U.S. bombing that brought the Khmer Rouge to power.  The Khmer Rouge was a small organization before the bombing.  The Cambodians got behind the Khmer Rouge because they opposed the bombing.  Then, when Vietnam intervened and removed the Khmer Rouge from power, the U.S. backed the Khmer Rouge.

Either Bush is ignorant of history or is trying to create confusion—maybe some of both.

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By Charlie Kasnick, August 22, 2007 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just like the last crusades,We will run out of treasure , time , and people before were done.

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By Woody, August 22, 2007 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While it is not suprising that some of our “leaders” appear to be so naive, it is still depressing.  This surge policy ignores the fundamental problems facing us in Iraq.  Do they really believe that by pacifying relatively small patches of teritory for a limited time addresses the larger problem of occupation itself?  If so…..I could make a fortune on these guys selling moon realestate on e-bay.

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By Kem Patrick, August 22, 2007 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment
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I was pulling Sam’s leg about Bush being a Christian and he wouldn’t lie. Sam caught the humor, 7;18am

What Bush meant about Iraq being like Vietnam, is if we pull out of Iraq, look what would happen? Those were Bush’s words. That idiot doesn’t know what happened when we pulled out of Vietnam. The bombing and killing stopped, the Agent Orange stopped, the country was united and it was just fine after we pulled out.

The most deaths that occured when we pulled out was a giant C-5A cargo aircraft, filled with about 500 young Vietnamese children crashed on takeoff and killed all of them. We were evacuating the children to safety from the evil North Vietnamese.

If Bush now strikes Iran and especially if we use any nuclear weapons, we will have a depresion in the U.S. China will insure we do when they retaliate and cash in their IOUs.  Within two weeks of the start of a depression, this country will no lnger have a fascist form of government, it will be anarchy and every family, small community, individual for them selves. Hard to swallow, but that will be the reality of it. Within a month, the United States of America will be history. Sorry, that’s what we have allowed to happen, by not insurng Bush was impeached.

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By GodSend, August 22, 2007 at 2:00 pm Link to this comment

The Shrub may be a ‘Christian’ - like Hagee, Osteen, Stanley, Copeland, Warren, etc. - you know, TV Evangelists who worship Mammon and get driven around in their Mercedes Benz’s (or limos) while mispronouncing 4-letter words BUT he is as much of a ‘born again’ Follower of Christ as Joseph Lieberman! wink

What’s that you say, Joseph - you are a Messianic Jew!? And we thought you were a Republican, Democrat, Independent, Zionist and Bush-kisser with loyalties that are greater than your parties!

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By GodSend, August 22, 2007 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

Things are going just great in Iraq - just ask Olmert. wink Pretty soon, there’ll either be all-out Civil War or the country will be partitioned into 3 tanned parts (Sunnitan, Shiastan and Kurdistan). Then the Zionist Israelis will claim that Abraham, Moses, et al tread on that holy ground and it belongs to ‘Greater Israel’ - voila! - a Great New Wall to pump new life into the Israeli economy! smile They’ll open a few Settlements there (near the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) and all will go swimmingly - including the Knesset members’ new pools. Then they’ll add Lebanon and the Livani river and they’ll become boat enthusiasts. Buy shares in Israel boat builders!

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By P. T., August 22, 2007 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

There are members of the ruling class who are willing to fight this war to the last drop of somebody else’s blood.

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By patricia, August 22, 2007 at 11:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry about the mispelling in my previous Aug. 22nd message:
KUCINICH is the correct spelling of the Ohio congressman who wisely advocates withdrawal from Iraq.

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By purplewolf, August 22, 2007 at 11:01 am Link to this comment

#96308 Kem Patrick:

You state the the weed is a christian. Well he thinks he is but how many other lies has he said that he claims are true also? He sure doesn’t practice being one in his daily life and activities. Besides all these “christians” have their get out of hell pass. Evewry time they go to church they just ask to be forgiven and they think that the slate is clean again and the minute they walk out of the door they start doing evil all over again. It doesn’t matter as next week or less they can repeat the “forgive me scenerio” over and over again.

And yes I have known “born agains” and presidents lie, almost everytime they open their mouths. Especially this president.Those who profess how “christian” they are, are usually covering up total evil they dole out to everyone around them, all the while spouting their “Godliness”.

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By ron hansing, August 22, 2007 at 10:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am reminded in 1967 when all we heard in the news was the great successes in vietnam… until Tet.

i suspect everybody is laying low, hoping the USA will leave, than we will see the explosion.

Or perhap, Iraq will have its Tet, which i call Tet II

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By BigPearl, August 22, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Bush and Co. thought they would spend maybe 40 billion and be sitting pretty.

So here they are 500 billion into the hole and they are trapped. Trapped. The 400 mile road that leads to Kuwait is the only exit and the US military would be obliterated if it tried to leave.

Bush has sustained upwards of 30% losses in Iraq. The soldiers are in mutiny and Iraq is being further destroyed from the air.

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By Robert, August 22, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Bush’s War Drums

By RAY McGOVERN
Former CIA Analyst


“Cheerleading in the Domesticated Media

Yes, it is happening again.

The lead editorial in yesterday’s Washington Post regurgitates the allegations that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps is “supplying the weapons that are killing a growing number of American soldiers in Iraq;” that it is “waging war against the United States and trying to kill as many American soldiers as possible.” Designating Iran a “specially designated global terrorist” organization, says the Post, “seems to be the least the United States should be doing, giving the soaring number of Iranian-sponsored bomb attacks in Iraq.”

It’s as though Dick Cheney and friends are again writing the Post’s editorials. And not only that: arch neo-con James Woolsey told Lou Dobbs on Aug. 14 that the US may have no choice but to bomb Iran in order to halt its nuclear weapons program. As Woolsey puts it, “I’m afraid within, well, at worst, a few months; at best, a few years; they could have the bomb.”

Woolsey, self-described “anchor of the Presbyterian wing of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs,” has long been out in front plumbing for wars, like Iraq, that he and other neo-cons myopically see as being in Israel’s, as well as America’s, interest. On the evening of 9/11, Woolsey was already raising with Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings the notion that Iraq was a leading candidate for state sponsorship of the attacks. A day later, Woolsey told journalist James Fallows that, no matter who proved responsible for 9/11, the solution had to include removing Saddam Hussein because he was so likely to be involved the next time (sic).

The latest media hype is also rubbish. And Woolsey knows it. And so do reporters for the Washington Post, who are aware of, but have been forbidden to tell, a highly interesting story about waiting for a key National Intelligence Estimate-as if for Godot.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/mcgovern08222007.html

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By patricia, August 22, 2007 at 10:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why does the corporate news media focus only on “front-runners” among the Democratic candidates for the presidency and slight or even ignore mention of those candidates, viz., Kunich and Richardson, who do stand with clarity for our nation to stop being occupiers of Iraq? Ben Franklin said that fish and company smell in three days—and he was referring to the invited.

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By Tom Semioli, August 22, 2007 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Of course “war” will continue even if the Democrats win: it’s great for business! Just follow the money…

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By ocjim, August 22, 2007 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Until we the people make a fuss that politicians cannot ignore, the slaughter will continue. It took a great deal of protest to get us out of Viet Nam. Without that same protest, politicians will find excuses to continue the bloodshed. After all, they are spending our money, our troops’ lives, and thousands of Iraqi lives and futures. Their priorities? They are plotting political careers and, without evidence of overwhelming dissent, feel the risk of taking an ethical stand is too much.

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By Marshall K, August 22, 2007 at 9:15 am Link to this comment

Ok Democrats, Hillary will keep us there.  If you really want us out vote for a candidate who will withdraw our troops:  Richardson or Kucinich.

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By Enemy of State, August 22, 2007 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

The latest is that Bush is saying Iraq is like Vietnam. We “foolishly” lost the will to continue in Vietnam, and to do the same in Iraq would only embolden our enemies…. So here we have a choice:
  Republicans who want to demonstrate that they have will.
  Democrats who don’t dare demonstrate they don’t have the will.

  Meanwhile our enemies have learned how to entrap us:
(1) Create some sort of mess the US can’t resist.
(2) Watch us stick our hand into the hornets nest.
(3) Watch us fight over whether removing the hand would demonstrate weakness.
  When we finally remove the swollen hand, they can simply repeat step one.

  We are so screwed to be living in a nation of idiots!

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By SamSnedegar, August 22, 2007 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

But Kem, the Preznit and reborn xtian isn’t lying in that sense of the word. To lie, you have to know the truth.

I don’t absolve the media in the same way however: even though they are reporting what someone else said, which happens to be a lie, they cannot hide from me because I am aware that they KNOW THE TRUTH, and they are not contradicting the lies of the Bushitter gang of thugs as they should do.

The media tries to get by with giving both sides of an issue, but quite often, BOTH sides are lying, and the media doesn’t bother to correct EITHER of them. Also when someone DOES report a truth in the media, NONE of the rest of them pick it up and repeat it.

The only way Kucinich can keep getting publicity is to quit prattling about oil, and the same will be true of Charlie Rangel (D-NY); to my knowledge Charlie has told the truth TWICE in the media about our oil adventure in Iraq, and NO ONE bothered to pick up on it.

However I have to admit that fessing up to oil theft isn’t going to happenn as long as the fesser has to note that we also coveted, murdered, and lied about it all. What’s a born againer to do?

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By TheOmegaMan, August 22, 2007 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Robert Scheer with another totally asinine article.  This guy shud be committed..to the nuthouse.  Truthdig..there is very little truth being dug.

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By don knutsen, August 22, 2007 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

How is progress really measured by this administration? If its measured by killing more of the Iraqi’s who are fighting us until we quit this occupation of their country, then I guess were to see that as progress. But if it were to be measured by the suffering and death of the Iraqi people, then I doubt we are seeing any progress, certainly not from their point of view. After all, after trying a few different phony rationals for this war of his, didn’t bu$h tell us that we finally went in to improve the lives of the Iraqi people ?

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By GW=MCHammered, August 22, 2007 at 6:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“No one has the right to place timetables on the Iraq government. It was elected by its people. Those who make such statements are bothered by our visit to Syria. We will pay no attention. We care for our people and our constitution and can find friends elsewhere.”
al-Maliki

Best be careful, al-Maliki. After Iran, Bu$hCo may plan to attack Iraq!

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By lilmamzer, August 22, 2007 at 6:16 am Link to this comment

#96281 by 1DREES

to complete the nefarious Zionistic GLOBAL CLEANSING AGENDA, see PROTOCOLS OF ZION for the indicating details

Excellent. This kind of thinking is why the Arabs are stuck in neutral (and even backsliding) while the rest of the world moves forward.

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By Kem Patrick, August 22, 2007 at 5:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

But Sam, President Bush told us and our congress, that Saddam and Osama bin Laden were both responsible for 9-11 and Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. If we hadn’t attacked Iraq, they would continue to attack us and we’d have many more 9-11s. Vice President Cheney backed President Bush 100%, most of the congress did also, only some of the far left liberals failed to support us and our troops. President Bush is a Christian too, he prayed about it and so did his wife, so your assumption that the war was for oil is just propaganda. You must be a troll.

Have you ever known a born again Christian, or a President of the United States who would lie?

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By SamSnedegar, August 22, 2007 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

Sorry, but we can’t leave Iraq. We leave the oil there for any profiteer to come and take by giving the Iraqis a handful of beads and 21 billion dollars.

And let me remind you that Saddam didn’t “secure” Iraq as we say we want to do . . . oh no. He had to use doubles for public appearances, had to sleep every night in a different bed, and ran poor Dan Blather through a hundred hoops to give him access to the dictator’s chamber. That’s not a “secure” environment, just a CONTROLLED one.

I suppose if they have fooled the Izzies into believing they care about them, then they can fool the anti-Izzies into thinking the same, but the Bushitter gang of thugs has no committment to Israel, only a use for them in gaining control of Lebanon for their port facilities at the end of the trans arab pipelines to the Med.

At risk of sounding like a broken lp record, there are only two things to consider: (1) it’s all about oil, and (2) Bush is a moron. If you don’t accept both of those propositions, then you will never ever understand what we are doing in the mideast.

(1) should be obvious; we’d never go or stay in an oilless Iraq. (2) says you should pay no attention to that hand because it is only distracting your attention whilst the other one does the magic act which fools you. Bush says what they tell him to say; he doesn’t understand it either.

Please get it through your heads: IRAQ HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH NINE ELEVEN. NOTHING. Iraq has nothing to do with international terrorism. Nothing. Our entire adventure in Iraq was to replace our transigent brutal dictator with another who would do our bidding with Iraq’s oil and maintain our dollar in the process.

I don’t understand why it is so hard to understand.

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By Bill R, August 22, 2007 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

The Bush-Cheney administration is still filled with delusions of victory fueled by hubris and faith in their Higher Power. It is impossable for them to admit defeat after investing so much of their ego in a successful outcome.

Many Democrats are in the same boat because they voted for the war and feel partly responsible. They could easily stop the war by defunding it or de-authorizing it, but this is unlikely to happen unless the people demand it.

Two students are walking across the country to protest the war, and there are many other vigils and protests scheduled over the next two months. Get out and let your voice be heard. Give our Congress the warning that if we don’t get out of Iraq they will be out of office.

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By Evelyn Smith, August 22, 2007 at 3:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the Webmaster.

Why aren’t my comments appearing with my code name? I’m pre-registered and have other comments posted on another string.

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By Evelyn Smith, August 22, 2007 at 3:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Staff members of the White House have already announced, that General Petraeus would have an open hearing with congress, but his opening remarks would be prepared by White House officials, (or “speech writers”).  My my, wonder what he might have to say about Bush’s surge?  Oh, congress has to approve his up-coming forth star, he’d better be careful with his sworn statements. I can hardly wait to hear it, ___except we already know the script.

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By Evelyn Smith, August 22, 2007 at 3:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What we have accomplished in Iraq to date is this. We have totally destroyed a nation, more than a million of the citizens have been killed, another two million have fled the country. The infastructure of the large cities is ruined and Halliburton and their sub-contractors have failed to rebuild almost anything they have been paid billions of our tax dollars to repair. The truth is, the Iraq war and the follow-up surge is a disaster.

WE have polluted the entire country with deadly poisionous, depleted uranium (DU). It will not be safe for anyone to live there,__ forever! DU is deadly for more than four billion years. If one inhales a few of the microscopic specks of the poison, cancer of the lungs or the brain is assured. DU of course is a seperate issue, but if any who read this are contemplating going to Iraq, when you get there,__ don’t inhale.  The radiation readings of DU in Baghdad are 2,000 times normal. A reading of twenty would be cause for concern.

In addition, the Brits are leaving, they’ve had it. When they do pull out is still up in the air, but it won’t be long now.  Naturally they don’t want to leave with the impression they are gettig their asses kicked, but the fact is, they are. Of course some saving face is necessary; you know old boy, God save the Queen and that sort of spirit for the chaps at home.

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By 1DREES, August 21, 2007 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wellletme remind you of a couple of simple facts, THERE WAS NO EXIT STRATEGY, simply because there was noEXIT PLANNED, the adminstration has repeatedly reiterated the NEED TO STAY LONGER, did nayone notice that? other than that TESTIMONIES FROM VARIOUS “NON MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA” SOURCES clearly indicate that the forces went in straight to the oil, mo importance was ever given to the IRAQI people or their well being. The well being of the IRAQI people is just an excuse, as ever before, to complete the nefarious Zionistic GLOBAL CLEANSING AGENDA, see PROTOCOLS OF ZION for the indicating details. IRAQ WAS NEVER EVER THIS BAD,every person not on the “ministry of propaganda” payroll can evidently see that. Those who havent been shot dead will die of the DEPELETED URANIUM SPRAYS or maybe the decaying living conditions, so much for the AMERICAN CONCERN OF THE WELL BEING OF THE IRAQIs. Maybe saddam killedas many as a million, the American score went beyond tht number about 6 moths agoa nd not to forget the 4 million IRAQIs that had to move out so that the SOLDIERS & MERCINARIES could assist the CORPORATIONS in stealing IRAQI oil that is later sold for a price to the NORTH AMERICANS. According to US sources as much as 100,000 to 300,000 barrels of oil go missing EVERYDAY, and they attributed it to the IRAQI FREEDOM FIGHTERS, who never were well equipped enuff ( unlike Americans) to steal so much so smoothly. IRAQ is a NIGHTMARE COUNTRY TO LIVE IN NOW BUT THEY will surely outlast this AmeroZionist onslaught.in the recentpast USA was involved in attacking SOMALIA, SUDAN, EL SALVADOR, NICARAGUA, PANAMA, etc, the listof past victimsis long & the list of future victims is long too, even now the US presidential hopefuls are promising new WARS to the people eg obama wants to attack pakistan & Toncredo wants to nuke Saudi Arabia, so from hte recent history we can see that USA is just another WARMONGER. who is actually a mercinary for the ZIONISTIC AGENDA OF GLOBALLY CLEANSING THE GOYIMIs to extinction. PEOPLE, PLEASE BOYCOTT EVERYTHING ZIONIST, PLEASE BOYCOTT EVERYTHING ISRAELI, so that PEACE AND HUMANITY CAN SURVIVE. STOP FUNDING THE GENOCIDAL WARMONGERING MANIACS. HELP HUMANITY LIVE BY IGNORING THE PATREIOTIC LIES TOLD BY MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA. BOYCOTT ISRAEL & ZIONISM, CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON TO STOP THE MADNESS BEFORE THE REALTHIRD WAR BREAKS LOOSE, already evident that the COLD WAR IS BACK ON, PLUS a couple of other new opponents like COLUMBIA & IRAN areon the rise, thanks to the talented warmongering Administration of the “Good Ol’ USofA”. they have completely failed to solve any problems BUT HOWEVER they been extremely successful in creating NEW WARS so that the CORPORATIONS CAN MAKE LOADS OF BUCKS.

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By Outraged, August 21, 2007 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment

According to McCain, Petraeus is “slated” to testify on September 11. If it’s true, get ready for more patriotic lore and heart wrenching propaganda.  All at the expense of the Americans who died and were maimed that day and since.

Personally, I’d like to see him address the Iraqi people with his same message.

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