George W Bush: 600,000 dead Iraqis, 3,000 dead US soldiers, are still not enough


Bush and dead soldiers of Iraq war, cartoon

A comment on George W Bush’s new speech on his plans to escalate the Iraq war even more:

In speech on Iraq escalation, Bush promises more bloodshed, wider war

By the Editorial Board

11 January 2007

President Bush’s television address Wednesday night, announcing his dispatch of over 20,000 more American troops to Iraq, signaled that the bloodletting in that country will increase dramatically in the course of 2007, and that Bush administration is likely to expand the war into Syria, Iran [see also here] and other targets in the Middle East.

This decision to escalate the US military intervention is a direct repudiation of the results of the 2006 congressional elections, in which millions of American voters expressed their opposition to the war in Iraq by putting an end to Republican control of the Senate and House of Representatives.

According to Think Progress blog in the USA, the media wrongly describe Bush’s new Iraq war policy as ‘surge’ while ‘escalation’ would be correct.

Comment by Arianna Huffington: here.

By Joseph Nye: here.

By Nathan Gardels: here.

By Representative John Conyers: here.

By Marty Kaplan: here.

By European media: here.

US media and Bush: here.

Bush’s fellow Republican, Senator McCain, like many other Bush supporters, claimed in 2002 that the Iraq war would be ‘easy’ … and still defends that view today …

There are precedents of Republican politicians refusing military spending while a Democrat was US President.

Why can’t it be the other way now?

Big Oil grab at oil reserves of Iraq: here.

An Iraqi exile on the oil law proposals: here.

Anti Iraq war demonstrations in the USA; and in Sri Lanka: here.

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23 thoughts on “George W Bush: 600,000 dead Iraqis, 3,000 dead US soldiers, are still not enough

  1. The TROOPS OUT NOW COALITION

    The Troops Out Now Coalition urges antiwar activists to
    participate in the many protests being organized over the
    coming days in response to Bush’s call for escalating war.
    In addition to the protests scheduled for Thursday, TONC
    is calling on activists in NYC to gather on

    Monday, January 15, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday for
    a
    United “Surge” Against the War
    Between 4 and 6 pm
    at the Times Square Recruiting Station, 43rd St. &
    Broadway

    **THE TROOPS OUT NOW COALITION’S RESPONSE TO BUSH’S
    “SURGE” SPEECH

    The War Will Go On Forever Unless We Rise Up and Stop It
    Force Congress to Cut Off ALL War Funding
    We can do it if we move from symbolic protest to mass
    resistance
    Be prepared to stay in D.C. this spring

    An Appeal for Unity in the Antiwar Movement:
    Lets work together for the January 27 and March 17
    antiwar marches

    The point of President Bush’s “surge” speech this evening
    is not in the details of his proposals; rather, it’s the
    message. The details of Bush’s proposal amount to nothing
    more than a desperate effort to bolster a criminal
    colonial occupation by ordering more killing and
    destruction. Bush’s message is more important. He’s
    telling us once again that he doesn’t care that the
    majority of us want the war and occupation to end
    immediately; he’s going to continue the war until the
    people literally rise up in mass rebellion in the streets
    to end it.

    Indeed, Bush is not only determined to continue the war
    and occupation in Iraq; he’s opened a new front for his
    global war of colonial conquest in Africa. At this very
    moment, U.S. AC-130 gun ships are attacking the people of
    Somalia, as an armada of Pentagon war ships with thousands
    of troops and bombs waits off the Indian Ocean coast of
    that country for orders to attack. At the same time, the
    Pentagon is strengthening it’s land and sea forces around
    Iran in preparation for a military attack on that country.

    The time has come for the antiwar movement to move from
    symbolic protest to mass resistance.

    Congress must be put on notice; it is not enough to merely
    oppose Bush’s proposal for a “surge” in troops to Iraq.
    It’s not enough for Congress to hold more hearings to
    criticize the war–talk is cheap and people are tired of
    it. It’s not enough for Congress to vote on resolutions
    calling for phased withdrawals and timetables, or any
    other partial measures. It’s not enough for Congress to
    threaten to oppose funding for new troops.

    Last November, the voters mandated the government to get
    out of Iraq. The elections changed the leadership of
    Congress to serve this purpose. It is now up to the people
    to insure that Congress does not betray this mandate.

    The people want nothing less than the immediate,
    unconditional, and complete withdrawal of all troops, and
    the shortest route to that end is for Congress to vote
    “no” to any further request for war funds, period.

    When Congress gets President Bush’s request for $100
    billion more to fund the war, it must say “no” to the
    entire amount. To ensure that Congress does not approve
    another dollar for the war, on March 17, (the fourth
    anniversary of the war) when we march on Washington
    against the war, instead of getting back on our buses and
    heading home, we must be prepared to stay in Washington to
    make sure that Congress votes “no.”

    Forcing Congress to cut off all war funding is the
    defining struggle for the antiwar movement this spring,
    and we can do it if we think and act big. The people are
    on our side, the momentum is on our side; the whole world
    is on our side. The only question is whether we have the
    conviction and the courage to take our struggle against
    the war from the level of symbolic protest to real mass
    resistance.

    A key factor will be our ability as a movement to rise
    above our differences and renew a commitment to work for
    unity with each other–for all anti-war forces, especially
    the national antiwar coalitions, to work together this
    spring. We appeal to our sisters and brothers in United
    For Peace and Justice to work together with the ANSWER
    Coalition, TONC, and the more anti-imperialist forces in
    the antiwar movement, as well as all of the other national
    and local forces organizing against the war, especially
    those organizations and leaders that represent the most
    militant forces in the Black and immigrant workers rights
    movements, and the militants in the anti-globalization
    movement whose energy, imagination and fearlessness will
    be helpful in moving from protest to resistance to make
    both the January 27 march in Washington, as well as the
    March 17 march, as strong as they possibly can be.

    IN MARCH – WE MUST BE READY TO STAY IN WASHINGTON

    Let’s get ready to march on Washington on January 27, and
    we will come back on March 17. And when we come back in
    March, this time we must be prepared to stay there in the
    thousands to force Congress to vote “no” on more war
    funding. If Congress tries to rush a vote on war funding
    before March 17, this time we must be prepared to come to
    Washington in mass to make sure that the war funding is
    voted down.

    PAY THE PEOPLES BILLS – NOT FOR WAR & OCCUPATION
    BRING YOUR BILLS WITH YOU TO WASHINGTON

    We are asking people to bring their medical bills, rent,
    heating and utility bills, student loans, credit card
    bills, and food bills that they can’t afford to pay, as
    well as shut-off notices, mortgage foreclosures, eviction
    notices to the march on Washington. It must be made clear
    to Congress that feeding more money to the war while more
    and more people cannot pay for their basic living expenses
    is criminal.

    The cost is not the only reason why we oppose the war. We
    oppose it because it is an imperialist war for colonial
    conquest and plunder.

    Yet the cost of the war is important because it’s paid for
    by money stolen from social needs. The money that has paid
    for death and destruction in Iraq could have gone towards
    reconstruction in New Orleans, for example.

    In his famous speech declaring his opposition to the
    Vietnam war almost 40 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King
    Jr. said, “It is disgraceful that a Congress that can vote
    upwards of $35 billion a year for a senseless immoral war
    in Vietnam cannot vote a weak $2 billion dollars to carry
    on our all too feeble efforts to bind up the wound of our
    nation’s 35 million poor. This is nothing short of a
    Congress engaging in political guerilla warfare against
    the defenseless poor of our nation.”

    * Immediate, Unconditional & Complete Withdrawal from Iraq
    — Out Now!
    * End Colonial Occupation and Imperialist Aggression, from
    Africa to Asia, from Iraq to Palestine, from Afghanistan
    to Haiti, from the Philippines to Puerto Rico
    * No New Wars Against Iran, Syria, North Korea, and
    Somalia — Hands Off Cuba and Venezuela
    * Stop the War at Home –Stop Racist Police Terror – Stop
    the Raids Against Immigrant Workers –Solidarity with
    Immigrant Workers and Katrina Survivors

  2. Subject: You Thought Iraq Could Not Get Worse

    Dear Friends,

    Just when we thought the war in Iraq couldn’t get any worse – it has. Last
    night, President Bush rejected reality, spurned the American people’s
    verdict, and announced his new policy: MILITARY ESCALATION IN IRAQ.

    The good news is that the newly elected United States Congress can stop
    this madness, mainly by refusing funding. We’re launching an immediate
    campaign to let the Congress hear from global voices – placing an ad with
    the number of signatures to our petition in “Roll Call”, an influential
    political paper sent to every member of the US Congress. Please click
    below to see the ad, and sign the petition:

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/iraq_campaign_jan_2007/

    With hope,

    Ricken, Paul, Tom, Rachel, Galit, Lee-Sean and the rest of the
    Avaaz.org Team

  3. *With Iraq Speech, Bush to Pull Away From His Generals*
    Posted by: “hapi22” hapi22@earthlink.net robinsegg
    Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:07 am (PST)
    George W. Bush is a physical and moral COWARD.

    In college, Bush didn’t play football — he might have gotten hurt He
    was the “pom-pom” boy cheerleader on the sidelines urging the players to
    smash the opposition.

    Bush is too timid to get up on, much less ride, a horse; he just
    swaggers like a cowboy so no one will notice his fear.

    In wartime, Bush checked the box indicating he was NOT willing to go
    overseas to fight in Vietnam; he was the “pom-pom” boy urging the
    soldiers there to smash the enemy.

    Bush has roundly criticized LBJ for not doing enough to win the Vietnam
    war; yet, Bush was not willing to send in the large force it would have
    taken to win in Iraq, because that would have been too threatening to
    his chances for re-election. (Nothing mattered more to Bush than getting
    re-elected to erase the stain of his father’s defeat when Dad failed to
    win re-election.) Bush knew that by escalating the war in Vietnam, LBJ
    had destroyed his own political career; Bush was not willing to risk his
    own political career to wage the war in Iraq the way his generals told
    him it would have to be waged in order to secure victory and stability
    in Iraq.

    When visiting Iraq, Bush avoids any possibility he could be hurt or even
    hear a dissenting word from the soldiers there; only soldiers loyal to
    Bush have ever been allowed in the same room with him.

    Bush is very big on sending OTHERS to smash this or that opponent or
    enemy, but he has never — and will never — put his own precious body
    in harm’s way.

    He thinks that’s for suckers.

    Bush’s new approach to saving his own skin — no matter who he hurts in
    the process — is to now blame the generals for losing Iraq.

    Bush is a physical and moral COWARD.

    Hitler was also a physical and moral coward and he, also, blamed his
    generals for losing the war. He also did one other thing Bush is doing:
    When WWII was looking like a losing event for Hitler, he didn’t face
    reality or accept facts. When the Russian army was closing in on Berlin,
    Hitler ordered into battle German brigades that NO longer existed.

    When extremely agitated about the progress of his war, Hitler chewed on
    the carpet.

    How long until Bush starts chewing on the carpet?

    Bush is now positioning himself to make sure historians blame his
    generals for losing Iraq. Tonight’s speech will be Bush’s first step in
    laying down that marker.

    The fact to remember is that the way this war has been fought has been a
    direct result of the way Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld WANTED it to be
    fought. The generals took their guidance from Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld
    — NOT the other way around.

    Even these reporters are now claiming that Bush has been waging the war
    the way the generals wanted it done — that is a LIE.

    The generals were chosen and/or fired based on their complete allegiance
    to the plans of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

    But, now it is time for Bush and Cheney and The Washington Post to BLAME
    THE GENERALS.

    Today is Step One in BLAME THE GENERALS.

    Hitler is smiling.

    ———————————————————-

    *With Iraq Speech, Bush to Pull Away From His Generals*

    by Michael Abramowitz, Robin Wright and Thomas E. Ricks
    The Washington Post
    January 10, 2007; A01

    When President Bush goes before the American people tonight to
    outline his new strategy for Iraq, he will be doing something he has
    avoided since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003: ordering his top
    military brass to take action they initially resisted and advised
    against.

    Bush talks frequently of his disdain for micromanaging the war effort
    and for second-guessing his commanders. “It’s important to trust the
    judgment of the military when they’re making military plans,” he told
    The Washington Post in an interview last month. “I’m a strict adherer to
    the command structure.”

    But over the past two months, as the security situation in Iraq has
    deteriorated and U.S. public support for the war has dropped, Bush has
    pushed back against his top military advisers and the commanders in
    Iraq: He has fashioned a plan to add up to 20,000 troops to the 132,000
    U.S. service members already on the ground. As Bush plans it, the
    military will soon be “surging” in Iraq two months after an election
    that many Democrats interpreted as a mandate to begin withdrawing
    troops.

    [NOTE FROM ME: It disgusts me to read that Bush is pushing
    “back against his top military advisers and the commanders in
    Iraq.” The orders have always come TO the generals FROM Bush,
    Cheney and Rumsfeld. This is nothing more than CYA — Big
    Time.]

    Pentagon insiders say members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have long
    opposed the increase in troops

    [NOTE FROM ME: These reporters are ignoring the generals, such
    as General Eric Shinseki, who — before the invasion —
    CAUTIONED that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed
    to stabilize Iraq after the initial invasion. Colin Powell has
    always maintained that the military MUST go in with
    “overwhelming force.:” Where the hell do these reporters get
    this crap? Oh, directly from the White House, that’s where.
    Shame on them. Any general who, in the past four years, asked
    for more troops was IMMEDIATELY brought back to Washington
    and fired or “promoted” into retirement.]
    .

    and are only grudgingly going along with the plan because they have been
    promised that the military escalation will be matched by renewed
    political and economic efforts in Iraq. Gen. John P. Abizaid, the
    outgoing head of Central Command, said less than two months ago that
    adding U.S. troops was not the answer for Iraq.

    Bush’s decision appears to mark the first major disagreement between the
    White House and key elements of the Pentagon over the Iraq war since
    Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, then the Army chief of staff, split with the
    administration in the spring of 2003 over the planned size of the
    occupation force, which he regarded as too small.

    It may also be a sign of increasing assertiveness from a commander in
    chief described by former aides as relatively passive about questioning
    the advice of his military advisers.

    [NOTE FROM ME: I question the sanity of anyone who uses the
    words “Bush” and “passive” in the same sentence.]

    In going for more troops, Bush is picking an option that seems to have
    little favor beyond the White House and a handful of hawks on Capitol
    Hill and in think tanks who have been promoting the idea almost since
    the time of the invasion.

    [NOTE FROM ME: Bush got into the history books as a reelected
    president. That was ALL he ever cared about. Right now he
    doesn’t give a damn who dies or who loses what, as long as he
    is not president when we quit Iraq.]

    “It seems clear to me that the president has taken more positive control
    of this strategy,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), one of those
    pushing for more troops. “He understands that the safety of the nation
    and his legacy is all on the line here.”

    [NOTE FROM ME: If Bush gave a damn about the “safety” of the
    nation, he would never have invaded Iraq in the first place.
    Now he has angered a whole generation of young Arab men who
    have good cause to hate us. How has that improved our safety?
    It hasn’t, but any blowback will occur on some other
    president’s watch, not Bush’s — and that’s ALL Bush cares
    about. Right now, this is ALL about Bush’s legacy and the room
    in his presidential library called “The Iraq War.”]

    Others familiar with Bush’s thinking said he had not been happy with the
    military’s advice. “The president wasn’t satisfied with the
    recommendations he was getting, and he thought we need a strategy that
    was more purposeful and likely to succeed if the Iraqis could make that
    possible,” said Philip D. Zelikow, who recently stepped down as State
    Department counselor after being involved with Iraqi policy the past two
    years.

    This impulse may well expose Bush to more criticism from Democrats on
    Capitol Hill, who have sharply condemned him for not listening to
    Shinseki’s counsel in the beginning. “I think a number of our military
    leaders have pulled their punches, and will continue to pull their
    punches publicly,” Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), the new chairman of the
    Senate Armed Services Committee, said yesterday.

    There is little question that more troops for Iraq seemed far from the
    conventional wisdom in Washington after the beating Bush and the
    Republican Party took in the midterm elections Nov. 7. Indeed, when Bush
    met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Amman, Jordan, on Nov.
    30, Maliki did NOT ask for more American troops as part of a new Baghdad
    security plan he presented to Bush, U.S. officials said.

    Maliki’s idea was to LOWER the U.S. profile, NOT raise it. “The
    message in Amman was that he wanted to take the lead and put an Iraqi
    face on it. He wanted to control his own forces,” said a U.S. official
    familiar with the visit.

    Another problem for the administration was the Iraq Study Group, the
    prestigious bipartisan panel headed by former secretary of state James
    A. Baker III, a Republican, and former congressman Lee H. Hamilton
    (D-Ind.). Soon after Bush returned from Jordan, the group delivered its
    recommendations, including proposing a high-level dialogue with Iran and
    Syria to help stabilize Iraq and setting a goal of early 2008 for the
    removal of almost all U.S. combat troops.

    Although the president was publicly polite, few of the key
    Baker-Hamilton recommendations appealed to the administration, which
    intensified its own deliberations over a new “way forward” in Iraq. How
    to look distinctive from the study group became a recurring theme.

    [NOTE FROM ME: One could almost have guaranteed that Bush
    would never go for any plan put forward by Daddy’s Helper Come
    To Bail Bush Out Of Trouble.]

    As described by participants in the administration review, some staff
    members on the National Security Council became enamored of the idea of
    sending more troops to Iraq in part because it was not a key feature of
    Baker-Hamilton. One senior administration official disputed that,
    arguing that staff members were attracted to the “surge” option to
    address long-standing concern that earlier efforts failed because of
    insufficient security forces.

    [NOTE FROM ME: That’s a crock. A few months ago, the military
    moved huge numbers of troops into Baghdad from other parts of
    Iraq. The purpose was to stabilize Baghdad. It had the
    opposite effect … violence escalated and huge numbers of
    Iraqis and Americans have been killed in Baghdad since the
    arrival of MORE troops in Baghdad. ]

    A troop increase also dovetailed with ideas being championed by Sen.
    John McCain (R-Ariz.).

    [NOTE FROM ME: John McCain wants desperately to be president.
    He is old and can’t wait for the next election, in 2012, so he
    HAS to be different from all the others running in order to
    get attention to himself. But, it is important to remember
    that McCain has repeatedly said that if all Bush is going to
    do is send an additional 20,000-30,000 troops, he should
    forget about it … it would only be putting additional troops
    in jeopardy with no possibility of success. McCain says the
    only way to do it is to send at least 100,000 additional
    troops. Of course, McCain neglects to mention WHERE the
    military will get the additional; 100,000 troops.]

    >From only a few months after the start of the war in 2003, McCain has
    argued that the U.S. troop presence in Iraq is too light, and he and a
    handful of allies sought to use the post-election policy review to press
    their case. For three years, their entreaties had been blocked by
    then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, but after Rumsfeld was ousted
    by Bush the day after the election, they found their message had a more
    receptive audience at the White House. “There has always been within the
    armed forces a group of people that believes we never had the right
    strategy in Iraq, and they have been suppressed,” Graham said.

    [NOTE FROM ME: Yes, General Shinseki, to name the most
    obvious. General Shinseki was roundly laughed at by the
    neocons and their rightwing media whore friends.]

    Frederick W. Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute drafted a plan
    with retired Army Gen. Jack Keane for sending seven more Army brigades
    and Marine regiments to Iraq to provide greater security. Keane and
    several other experts met with Bush on Dec. 11.

    But from the beginning, the Joint Chiefs resisted. They had doubts that
    Maliki would really confront the militias controlled by fellow Shiites,
    notably Moqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army. Sadr held 30 seats in Maliki’s
    parliamentary bloc and five ministries in his cabinet.

    The Joint Chiefs were also worried that sending more troops would set up
    the U.S. military for an even bigger failure — with no backup options.
    They were concerned that the Iraqis would not deliver the troops to
    handle their own security efforts, as had happened in the past. They
    were particularly alarmed about the prospect of U.S. troops fighting in
    a political vacuum if the administration did not complement the military
    plan with political and economic changes, according to people familiar
    with their views.

    [NOTE FROM ME: There probably was time when there was a chance
    of some success in Iraq. That was on Day One in Baghdad when
    offering jobs and food and medical care — immediately — to
    the population MIGHT have been met with some sense of
    appreciation and some willingness to try to have a calmer
    life. But after three years of violent sectarian actions, acts
    of torture and murder between rival Sunni and Shiite groups,
    it is no longer possible to imagine the Sunnis and Shias can
    set aside 1,400 years of tribal hatred and magically start
    living side by side in harmony and democracy.
    All of this wind and bluster from Bush is nothing more than
    his attempt to stall the exit from Iraq so he can blame the
    next president for “losing” Iraq. Yes, Bush is that cynical
    and self-centered.
    All this escalation will do is provide more American targets
    for the Sunnis and Shia to kill.]
    .

    Pentagon officials cautioned that a modest troop increase could lead to
    more attacks by al-Qaeda, provide more targets for Sunni insurgents and
    fuel the jihadist appeal for more foreign fighters to flock to Iraq to
    attack U.S. troops.

    [NOTE FROM ME: Excuse me but “Sunni insurgents ‘ are NOT the
    only ones targeting Americans. American military people are
    ALSO being targeted and killed by Shiites.]

    Even the announcement of a time frame and mission — such as for six to
    eight months to secure volatile Baghdad — would play to armed factions
    by allowing them to game out the new U.S. strategy, the chiefs warned
    the White House.

    [NOTE FROM ME: The Iraqi fighters, whoever they are and
    whatever side they are on, will just melt away into the
    population or go out into the countryside and WAIT until we
    are gone or our troop levels are reduced again, and THEN they
    will return to Baghdad refreshed and rested — and ready to
    resume their murderous ways.]

    Then there was the thorny problem of finding enough troops to deploy.
    Those who favored a “surge,” such as Kagan and McCain, were looking for
    a sizable force that would turn the tide in Baghdad. But the Joint
    Chiefs made clear they could muster 20,000 at best — not for long, and
    not all at once.

    The Joint Chiefs came to accept Bush’s wishes, especially after new
    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates traveled to Iraq last month with the
    Joint Chiefs chairman, Gen. Peter Pace, said a U.S. official familiar
    with the trip. Gates met with Maliki, who laid out more details about
    the Iraqi plan for Baghdad.

    [NOTE FROM ME: There is enough baloney in the paragraph above
    to keep every delicatessen in America going for a year. The
    ONLY reason the Joint Chiefs are speaking up now is that Bush
    NOW wants them to speak up and say these things. The Joint
    Chiefs will say whatever Bush and Cheney and the Defense
    Secretary want them to say. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have
    made certain that NO one got to be one of the Joint Chiefs
    UNLESS he clearly understood that his role was NOT to give any
    advice that conflicted with what Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld
    wanted to hear. Any of the Joint Chiefs who didn’t “get” that
    are long gone and put out to pasture.]

    “That gave them enough to define a mission and its objectives,” the
    official said. “They came back satisfied.”

    In the end, the White House favored the idea of more troops as one
    visible and dramatic step the administration could take. One senior
    White House official said this week the president concluded that more
    troops are not the only ingredient of a successful plan — but they are
    a precondition to providing the security the Iraqi government needs for
    political reconciliation and other reforms.

    Tonight, this source said, the president will explain “that we have to
    go up before we go down.”

    [NOTE FROM ME: I ask you: Can you imagine President Lincoln
    EVER uttering such nonsense in the middle of the Civil War, or
    FDR in the middle of WWII? Bush is very good at slogans; the
    problem is that he can never get past the slogan stage]

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    Staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.

    Read this at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/09/AR2007010901872_pf.html

  4. irak is nothing,the world is everything.

    i quote:
    Baghdad/Tehran – US forces accompanied by military helicopters on Thursday stormed the Iranian consulate in the Kurdish city of Arbil, arresting five Iranian employees, a Kurdish security source said…….
    The raid came a day after US President George W Bush said the United States would confront Iran and Syria, accusing them of fomenting violence in Iraq by allowing insurgents into the country and supporting attacks on American troops.

    http://news.monstersandcritics.com/middleeast/news/article_1242138.php/US_forces_storm_Iranian_consulate_in_Arbil_arrest_five

  5. http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/cgi-bin/newsviews.cgi/The%20Middle%
    20East/Iraq/Bush_Plays_Va_Banque.html?seemore=y

    Chronicles Online
    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Bush Plays Va Banque
    by Srdja Trifkovic

    ***If Mr. Bush lacks the good sense to find speechwriters capable of
    coming up with new clichés for such important occasions, it is hardly
    surprising that his new plans, strategies, or blueprints for Iraq
    also look barely distinguishable from those preceding it.***

    “Va banque” is a risky strategy deployed most commonly by emotionally
    unstable or inexpert players, usually with disastrous results. In
    essence it means risking the balance of one’s capital on a single
    card, or roll of dice, or spin of the wheel. In extremis a seasoned
    pro may resort to it, but usually he will do so in conjunction with a
    radical change of strategy to reverse a losing streak and on the
    basis of a rational calculation of costs and benefits of his action.

    On Wednesday night President George W. Bush announced he was going to
    play va banque in Iraq. Evaluated dispassionately and without
    prejudice to the many lies and errors that had preceded tha war, his
    plan suffers from two major weaknesses. It does not entail any major,
    let alone radical, change of strategy. Its one novelty — the
    commitment to exert more pressure on the Iraqi government to meet
    certain political objcetives — makes the success or failure of the
    plan contingent upon the behavior of local actors over whom Mr. Bush
    has diminishing control, and whose motives and goals are very
    different to his own.

    While it contained many elements present on previous such occasions,
    it has escaped most commentators’ attention that Mr. Bush’s speech
    had an uncanny semblance to his address at the U.S. Naval Academy in
    Annapolis in November 2005, when he unveiled his “clear strategy for
    victory.” The largely-forgotten “National Strategy for Victory in
    Iraq,” outlined by Mr. Bush to the graduating class of Navy cadets,
    rested on three pillars:

    “On the political side . . . we’re helping the Iraqis build a free
    society with inclusive democratic institutions that will protect the
    interests of all Iraqis . . . engage those who can be persuaded to
    join the new Iraq, and marginalize those who never will. On the
    security side, coalition and Iraqi security forces are on the
    offensive against the enemy . . . leaving Iraqi forces to hold
    territory taken from the enemy, and following up with targeted
    reconstruction to help Iraqis rebuild their lives. As we fight the
    terrorists, we’re working to build capable and effective Iraqi
    security forces, so they can take the lead in the fight—and
    eventually take responsibility for the safety and security of their
    citizens without major foreign assistance.”

    To that end, Mr. Bush added, out, “we have increased our force levels
    in Iraq to 160,000—up from 137,000” to fight “an enemy without a
    conscience.” As the Iraqi forces gain experience and the political
    process advances, he went on, “we will be able to decrease our troop
    levels in Iraq without losing our capability to defeat the
    terrorists.” But, he concluded,

    “victory in Iraq will demand the continued determination and resolve
    of the American people . . . In Iraq, there will not be a signing
    ceremony on the deck of a battleship… We will not turn that country
    over to the terrorists and put the American people at risk. Iraq will
    be a free nation and a strong ally in the Middle East—and this will
    add to the security of the American people.”

    One year, two months and two thousand American lives later, last
    Wednesday Mr. Bush announced that U.S. force levels in Iraq would be
    increased to 153,500—up from 132,000. We are still engaged in a
    struggle against “the terrorists and insurgents in Iraq [who] are
    without conscience,” that struggle is still decisive for “the global
    war on terror — and our safety here at home.” And once again we were
    told, word for word, that “there will be no surrender ceremony on the
    deck of a battleship.”

    If Mr. Bush lacks the good sense to find speechwriters capable of
    coming up with new clichés for such important occasions, it is hardly
    surprising that his new plans, strategies, or blueprints for Iraq
    also look barely distinguishable from those preceding it. The “deck
    of the battleship” metaphor displays a doubly patronizing attitude:
    it assumes that the public will not notice, or mind, that it is being
    fed recycled platitudes; and — worse still—that the public does not
    grasp the intricacies of a challenge as complex and multi – layered
    as Iraq.

    Mr. Bush’s diagnosis for the failure to provide security to ordinary
    Iraqis thus far is that “there were not enough Iraqi and American
    troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists
    and insurgents,” but this time Iraqi and American forces will have a
    green light to enter those neighborhoods, and Iraqi Prime Minister
    Nouri al-Maliki “has pledged that political or sectarian interference
    will not be tolerated”:

    “I have made it clear to the prime minister and Iraq’s other leaders
    that America’s commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government
    does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of
    the American people — and it will lose the support of the Iraqi
    people… America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it
    has announced . . . America will change our approach to help the
    Iraqi government as it works to meet these benchmarks.”

    What Mr. Bush fails to grasp is that there is no “Iraqi people” as a
    coherent polity that shares the sense of common destiny and common
    aspirations. Mr. al-Maliki’s pledges are worthless. He and his fellow
    Shiite Islamist politicians don’t give a hoot for “the Iraqi people”
    outside the confines of their own community. They are not concerned
    about the support of “the American people” either — if that support
    (or lack thereof) was capable of being translated into actions and
    policies on the ground, American forces would be withdrawing from
    Iraq, rather than increasing their numbers.

    Iraq is in the grip of a vicious civil war, whether Mr. Bush accepts
    that term or not. By condoning the indecently hasty execution
    (“lynching” would be a more appropriate term) of Saddam Hussein, Mr.
    Bush has effectively taken sides in that war.

    The Shiite leadership, thoroughly penetrated by Iranian agents and
    Muqtada al-Sadr’s radicals, will not be intimidated by Mr. Bush’s
    threat of disengagement. He has already finished the job for them. If
    and when the withdrawal is completed — and it will come, under terms
    probably even less favorable to American interests and American
    reputation than today — Iraq will disintegrate into three ethno-
    sectarian units. President Ahmadinejad of Iran or his successor will
    be the main beneficiary. Had Mr. Bush exerted his pressure on al-
    Maliki’s predecessors when the Badr Brigades and al-Mahdi’s Army were
    first detected embedded inside Iraq’s new security services, it could
    have worked. Now it is too late.

    *********************************

    Dr. S. Trifkovic, Foreign Affairs Editor
    CHRONICLES: A Magazine of American Culture

  6. Arab Times (Kuwait City) via Info Clearing House – Jan 14, 2007
    > > http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16169.htm

    > > US military strike on Iran seen by April ’07
    > >
    > > Sea-launched attack to hit oil, N-sites
    > >
    > > By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
    > > Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
    > >
    > > KUWAIT CITY: Washington will launch a military strike on Iran before April
    > > 2007, say sources. The attack will be launched from the sea and Patriot
    > > missiles will guard all oil-producing countries in the region, they add.
    > > Recent statements emanating from the United States indicate the Bush
    > > administration’s new strategy for Iraq doesn’t include any proposal to
    make
    > > a compromise or negotiate with Syria or Iran. A reliable source said
    > > President Bush recently held a meeting with Vice President Dick Cheney,
    > > Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Dr Condoleezza Rice and
    > > other assistants in the White House where they discussed the plan to
    attack
    > > Iran in minute detail.
    > >
    > > According to the source, Vice President Dick Cheney highlighted the threat
    > > posed by Iran to not only Saudi Arabia but the whole region. “Tehran is
    not
    > > playing politics. Iranian leaders are using their country’s religious
    > > influence to support the aggressive regime’s ambition to expand,” the
    > > source quoted Dick Cheney as saying. Indicating participants of the
    meeting
    > > agreed to impose restrictions on the ambitions of Iranian regime before
    > > April 2007 without exposing other countries in the region to any danger,
    > > the source said “they have chosen April as British Prime Minister Tony
    > > Blair has said it will be the last month in office for him. The United
    > > States has to take action against Iran and Syria before April 2007.”
    > >
    > > Claiming the attack will be launched from the sea and not from any country
    > > in the region, he said “the US and its allies will target the oil
    > > installations and nuclear facilities of Iran ensuring there is no
    > > environmental catastrophe or after effects.” “Already the US has started
    > > sending its warships to the Gulf and the build-up will continue until
    > > Washington has the required number by the end of this month,” the source
    > > said. “US forces in Iraq and other countries in the region will be
    > > protected against any Iranian missile attack by an advanced Patriot
    missile
    > > system.”
    > >
    > > He went on to say “although US Defense Secretary Robert Gates and
    Secretary
    > > of State Dr Condoleezza Rice suggested postponing the attack, President
    > > Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney insisted on attacking Tehran without
    > > any negotiations based on the lesson they learnt in Iraq recently.” The
    > > Bush administration believes attacking Iran will create a new power
    balance
    > > in the region, calm down the situation in Iraq and pave the way for their
    > > democratic project, which had to be suspended due to the interference of
    > > Tehran and Damascus in Iraq, he continued. The attack on Iran will weaken
    > > the Syrian regime, which will eventually fade away, the source said.

  7. Counterpunch – Jan 16, 2007
    > http://www.counterpunch.org/gardiner01162007.html
    >
    > Escalation Against Iran:
    >
    > The Pieces Are Being Put in Place
    >
    > By COL. SAM GARDINER
    >
    > The pieces are moving. They’ll be in place by the end of
    > February. The United States will be able to escalate military
    > operations against Iran.
    >
    > The second carrier strike group leaves the U.S. west coast on January
    > 16. It will be joined by naval mine clearing assets from both the
    > United States and the UK. Patriot missile defense systems have also
    > been ordered to deploy to the Gulf.
    >
    > Maybe as a guard against North Korea seeing operations focused on Iran
    > as a chance to be aggressive, a squadron of F-117 stealth fighters has
    > just been deployed to Korea.
    >
    > This has to be called escalation. We have to remind ourselves, just as
    > Iran is supporting groups inside Iraq, the United States is supporting
    > groups inside Iran. Just as Iran has special operations troops
    > operating inside Iraq, we’ve read the United States has special
    > operations troops operating inside Iran.
    >
    > Just as Iran is supporting Hamas, two weeks ago we found out the United
    > States is supporting arms for Abbas. Just as Iran and Syria are
    > supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon we’re now learning the White House has
    > approved a finding to allow the CIA to support opposition groups inside
    > Lebanon. Just as Iran is supporting Syria, we’ve learned recently that
    > the United States is going to fund Syrian opposition groups.
    >
    > We learned this week the President authorized an attack on the Iranian
    > liaison office in Irbil.
    >
    > The White House keeps saying there are no plans to attack Iran.
    > Obviously, the facts suggest otherwise. Equally as clear, the Iranians
    > will read what the Administrations is doing not what it is saying.
    >
    > It is possible the White House strategy is just implementing a strategy
    > to put pressure on Iran on a number of fronts, and this will never
    > amount to anything. On the other hand, if the White House is on a path
    > to strike Iran, we’ll see a few more steps unfold.
    >
    > First, we know there is a National Security Council staff-led
    > group whose mission is to create outrage in the world against Iran.
    > Just like before Gulf II, this media group will begin to release
    > stories to sell a strike against Iran. Watch for the outrage stuff.
    > The Patriot missiles going to the GCC states are only part of the
    > missile defense assets. I would expect to see the deployment of some
    > of the European-based missile defense assets to Israel, just as they
    > were before Gulf II.
    >
    > I would expect deployment of additional USAF fighters into the bases in
    > Iraq, maybe some into Afghanistan.
    >
    > I think we will read about the deployment of some of the newly arriving
    > Army brigades going into Iraq being deployed to the border with Iran.
    > Their mission will be to guard against any Iranian movements into Iraq.
    >
    > As one of the last steps before a strike, we’ll see USAF tankers moved
    > to unusual places, like Bulgaria. These will be used to refuel the
    > US-based B-2 bombers on their strike missions into Iran. When that
    > happens, we’ll only be days away from a strike.
    >
    > The White House could be telling the truth. Maybe there are no plans
    > to take Iran to the next level. The fuel for a fire is in place,
    > however. All we need is a spark. The danger is that we have created
    > conditions that could lead to a Greater Middle East War.
    >
    > [Sam Gardiner is a retired colonel of the US Air Force. He has taught
    > strategy and military operations at the National War College, Air War
    > College and Naval War College.]

  8. I believe other countries cannot understand the underlying problems causing what we can see as violence to others. I believe they should be left for people of like mind to band together and work out ways to fix their own country themselves.

  9. Hi Sheila, thank you for your comment! I think foreign troops from the USA, UK, and Australia make problems worse in Iraq, and there should be actions in those countries to bring the soldiers home.

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