Third Party & Independents Archives

February 02, 2007

Iraq Misses First Benchmark - Bush Hits His

Secretary of Defense Gates said in a briefing today that the first benchmark is to see if Iraqi forces show up on time and in the numbers they were supposed to. Gen. Pace then said two brigades showed up for duty in Baghdad this last week, but only about 60%, (actually 55% according to reports), of the soldiers in each brigade showed up. The first benchmark has not been met.

Then Sec'y. of Defense Gates flat out lied to the American people; likely his first since taking his new role. When asked about our making war on Iran, he said we are not planning...er, well, er, we are not planning for war with Iran. That of course, is a complete and total lie.

It is the job and role of our Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of Defense to be constantly planning 'what if' war scenarios with our enemies. In light of both Gate's and Pace's discussion of Iranians supplying IED's, personnel, and other equipment to Iraqi violence and our two aircraft carrier fleets sent into the Persian Gulf to intimidate Iran, it is clear they have to be planning on how war with Iran will take place.

Despite the National Intelligence Report, released this week, stating that the civil war in Iraq is part of the overall violence and threat to our goals in Iraq, Gates and Pace in the briefing today declined to use the words 'Civil War', saying that to call it that, is too simple, and that in fact their are 4 wars being fought in Iraq. Appears the situation in Iraq is worse than most Americans, who referred to it as a civil war, thought it was.

The summary public portion of the National Intelligence Report states that surge has little chance of resolving the situation in Iraq. That report is generated by the heads, analysts, and personnel in our foreign affairs and military agencies, as their best assessment of our situation. Gen. Casey this week said we don't need as many troops as we are sending in the surge. Given that our best minds in the Pentagon and government outside the political White House, including the Generals on the ground, have all said that in a war, one must enter with overwhelming force, Casey's remark indicates their is another mission for this surge in troops.

When General Casey states we have more troops than we need, the obvious question is: more troops than we need for what purpose? Clearly, the purpose of ending violence in Iraq, is not the mission Casey is commenting on, because it is obvious to everyone, that to quell the violence, vastly more troops are needed. So what is the mission for this surge?

It has been written here a number of times by this author, that the real mission for our troops in Iraq is to insure the war does not end either through withdrawal or defeat, until the next President is in office to take the consequences for what happens after we either withdraw, or continue on this path of shoring up a very bad democracy. A democracy unable and unwilling to be the kind of good democracy we think of when referring to countries like Australia, Germany, or Great Britain. In short, our troops are there to neither win nor lose, but, to pass the buck for the outcome to another administration. Could that be the mission Gen. Casey is referring to when saying the number of troops being sent in our 'surge' are more than is needed?

Of course, the Iraq war has and continues to serve another purpose of the White House. A purpose quite evident from the very beginning of the Bush administration. That purpose was to so vastly increase national debt as to make entitlement spending untenable. In addition to the 100 billion emergency supplemental the White House is asking for currently, President Bush's 2008 budget will include about 145 billion more. Folks, that is 1/4 trillion dollars, or as the Washington Post says, "about $800 for every man, woman and child in the U.S" for just the next year and a half. And does not include the budget for the rest of our military operations in '08, which will increase 11% to a whopping $432 billion.

The National Intelligence Estimate, the President, the and most Generals testifying before Congress have said our involvement in this war in Iraq will continue for many years, if not a decade or decades. Such spending clearly forces entitlement spending off the table. Last year's record profits of Exxon Mobil were surpassed again this year. And it has been the Bush Administration's policy from the beginning to subsidize the oil and other record profit industries, even during times of record profits.

Folks can draw their own conclusions, but, these facts clearly say to growing numbers of Americans, as in actions speak louder than words, that one of the Republican and White House's goal in creating the no-bid incredibly expensive Medicare Rx drug program, the invasion of Iraq, and subsidies to corporations making record profits, was to rack up national debt to such high levels as to force the bankrupting of the American people's safety net entitlement programs. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report in January indicating that legislation on the books as of Jan. 1, placed our national debt at 12 trillion dollars by 2012.

Is it any wonder nations like China have slowed or stopped lending us money by way of buying our Treasury bonds. Would you loan money to someone who was racing to create the maximum amount of debt they possibly could?

Posted by David R. Remer at February 2, 2007 08:31 PM
Comments
Comment #206426

David:

But, the debt doesn’t matter does it? I mean isn’t that what they keep trying to tell us?

I think you have hit the nail on the head, the same nail I have been hitting in my mind whenever this crap comes up. One would have to be blind to not see the writing on the wall. It’s neon, and it’s growing brighter all the time.

Posted by: womanmarine at February 2, 2007 11:22 PM
Comment #206432

You have only yourselves to blame. The vast majority of Americans tend to be Democrats but everytime there’s an election only Evangelicals show up to vote!!!

Your fault!!! Even you, David R. Remer, are part of the problem. I bet you supported Nader instead of Gore last time, didn’t you? Even if you didn’t, enough did to get us into this mess.

So before you blame the WingNuts, remember to blame yourselves. At least the WingNuts have an excuse, there too homophobic to see the stupidity of their actions.

How about you?

Posted by: Juan dela Cruz at February 2, 2007 11:47 PM
Comment #206446

I see, Juan, you believe voters who vote for who they think would be the best candidate are responsible. Then you don’t advocate voting for the who one thinks is the best candidate, you advocate that Americans vote for who YOU think is the best candidate.

I understand. There is a nice little country near the U.S. called Cuba which should make you feel very good about one candidate races. Bon voyage, Juan.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 3, 2007 09:14 AM
Comment #206447

Juan’s comment is a perfect example of how extremists on both the left and right don’t really believe democracy is a good thing way to determine leaders. They argue freedom of choice exercised results in picking the wrong leaders. How dare those third party voters, those independent voters, those cross over voters, who didn’t vote for Juan’s candidate.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 3, 2007 09:17 AM
Comment #206477

gw, he can show a little common sense and say we leave all options on the table, rather than flat out lie to the American people who pay his salary.

No, gw, it is folks who leave comments like yours who have aided and abetted OBL from American shores. Invading Iraq was a wet dream for OBL who was marginalized and pinched in Afghanistan-Pakistan border areas. Bush opened a whole new country full of chaos and disarray for al-Queda to move into and operate from.

With such cheerleaders, America needs no new enemies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 3, 2007 02:23 PM
Comment #206484

Juan dela Cruz,
You are correct about one thing, but for the wrong reason.

Our problems are the fault of most voters.
They are half the problem.
Congress (all parties) are the other half of the problem.

Why? Because too many voters keep rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians (in all parties) by repeatedly re-electing them.

It is perpetuated by the irresponsible incumbent politicians and their hacks, who love to fuel the extremely effective, clever, circular, distracting, divisive, and destructive partisan warfare. Because of it, voters are more preoccupied with preserving seats for incumbents in THEIR party, fearful of the OTHER party winning seats, and oblivious to how the voters are manipulated and controlled by it, making the incubments’ cu$hy incumbencies ever more secure, with a cu$hy re-election rate of over 90% .

It’s that simple.
But ending it is not.

So, Congress ignores the voters. Illegal immigration is a good example of where most Americans want it stopped, want borders secured, and reject amnesty, but Congress ignores the voters.

For those that haven’t noticed, Congress is FOR-SALE. Too many (if not all) vehemently reject any common-sense campaign-finance reforms. Their actions speak for themselves. Too many (if not all) in Congress are more interested in gettin’ theirs, votin’ themselves raises (8 times between 1997 and 2006) and cu$hy perks, and makin’ their cu$hy incumbencies more secure with massive campaign war chests filled with money from big-money donors (83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more in 2002) came from a tiny 0.15% of all 200 eligible voters).

Juan dela Cruz,
The flaw in your position is that it is rooted in blind partisan loyalty. You, and other blind-party loyalists believe any vote except a vote for YOUR candidate of YOUR party is a wasted vote.

If it is a wasted vote, then why worry?
If it is a wasted vote, why get so irked about it?

The fact is, neither party is all that different, as evidenced by their actions. No one PARTY will solve the nation’s problems. It will take more education and effort from all voters of all parties to solve the nation’s pressing problems. The slumbering, complacent electorate have a short attention span, until things get bad enough to stir their interest enough to get educated. In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount, and the voters’ education is coming. Unfortunately, we have to learn the hard way too often.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2007 03:17 PM
Comment #206522

We should Iraq.
Main reason: Government incompetence.

Not of our fine, brave soldiers.

No, of our incompetent elected officials.
It’s blunder after blunder.

Iraq is not making us safer. We’ve been in Iraq long enough.
It’s not right to do this to our U.S. troops.

  • Most Iraqis polled want us to leave (who can blame them?). 82% of Iraqis “strongly oppose” the continuing occupation, and 45% of Iraqis feel attacks against coalition troops are justified! The battle for hearts and minds has already been lost!
  • A poll of U.S. troops in Iraq (released by the Zogby International polling firm) finds that 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should leave Iraq.
  • In March of 2006, 25% of U.S. troops said the U.S. troops should leave Iraq immediately.
  • Our troops deserve better. It’s not right to subject our troops to danger for nation-building and baby-sitting civil wars. Iraq will have their civil war with or without us.

The cost will be enormous (in terms of lives of Iraqis and U.S. and coalition troops, and monetary cost).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 3, 2007 08:08 PM
Comment #206563

David R. Remer:

Nice post. Too bad reality does not support your position. Bush is still President and we will still attack Iran.

Don’t get me wrong. Idealism is nice. I just prefer my $500,000,000,000 taxpaper dollars be spent elsewhere.

Posted by: Juan dela Cruz at February 4, 2007 06:44 AM
Comment #206582

Juan, your comment says nothing. Please, be specific. What about your reality does not jive with what is in the article?

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 4, 2007 11:08 AM
Comment #206584

If Bush starts a war with Iran, he will be going against the American and Iranian People.

American voters sent a strong message that the Iraq War is a major concern.
Americans have seen blunder after blunder, making the killing and destruction in Iraq seem pointless.
Americans see the damage to our military and the financial costs, and do not see it as worthwhile.
Americans see the bad and/or trumped up intelligence used to justify a preemptive invasion of Iraq and wonder if it was fraudulent.
Americans voted to put a stop to this unnecessary war and lead the US in a better direction.

Iranians voted too, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s supporters were soundly defeated.
Iranians voted too, and the majority do not approve of Ahmadinejad’s threatening rhetoric (the appointed President; appointed by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei who is Supreme Leader who is selected by the “Assembly of Experts” of Iran).

If Bush starts another unnecessary war with Iran, he will prove (if he hasn’t already) that he is out-of-control.
If Bush starts another unnecessary war with Iran, he will prove that he is an extremist himself, who is determined to provoke war for the wrong reasons.
If Bush starts another unnecessary war with Iran, he will become one of a long list of leaders that have been a threat to peace.

Americans, Iranians and the rest of the world have a responsibility to restrain the extremists pushing for destruction and unnecessary wars.

So what if Iran gets nuclear weapons?
Many nations have them now.
Where the did the U.S., who already has many nuclear weapons and WMD, get the idea that it alone can decide who can, or can’t have nuclear weapons?

Perhaps what the U.S. is doing is not helping reduce nuclear proliferation and WMD, but creating reasons for other nations to want them too ?

Especially in light of the following:

    Bad intelligence started an unnecessary war.
  • War profiteering and corruption

  • Wiretapping and surveillance without civil oversight, in violation of US law

  • Suspension of Constitutional protections

  • Kidnapping and torture in violation of US and international law

  • War crimes

  • Leaking (e.g. Plame)

  • Deaths of tens of thousands (or more) innocent Iraqis

  • Deaths and maiming of thousands of U.S. and coalition troops

  • 4 years since the invasion of Iraq, it is a disaster with blunder after blunder.

Yet, Bush could be considering an unnecessary war on Iran ?
I wonder if the world will sit back and allow such a thing to happen again ?
N. Korea?, Russia?, China?, Syria, Iraq?
Sounds like the makings of World War 3 ?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 4, 2007 11:16 AM
Comment #206594

d.a.n, there is information circulating that some of the IED technology is coming out of Lebanon. Are we being lied to, or is the intelligence regarding Iranian influence being cherry picked, yet again?

If some of the IED technology is coming from Lebanon, then the White House case against Iran changes.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 4, 2007 01:49 PM
Comment #206595


Dan: From a neocon point of view, those countries that might be willing to try and stop them by risking or actually starting World ar 3, are as ignorant as the American people who oppose what they are doing. The neocon policy, and they are quite convinced that they are RIGHT, is that the World will be much better off if it is controlled and ran by the benevolent hand of American corporate capitalism. Anything less than that is just plane wrong in their eyes and they must act while America has the upper hand in military strength.

Posted by: jlw at February 4, 2007 01:53 PM
Comment #206604

David,
You mean the U.S. may try to use Syria, Iran, and Iran-supported Hezbolah meddling and trying to topple the Lebanonese government as an excuse for war ?
If all this talk about invading Iran is accurate, then we are in a more dangerous predicament than I thought possible. If we think the alienation of our allies is bad now, just think of what it will be if we start another unnecessary war.

jlw,
Yes, undoubtedly, there are those that think we should attack Iran now before they get nuclear weapons. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail. This whole preemptive theory is going to create more enemies of the U.S., rather than reduce them.

jlw,
You may be right. More and more, this whole mess looks like it is more about the oil (or not letting someone else get the oil), war profiteering, totalitarianism, and theological reasons, than liberating the Iraqis (82% of which “strongly oppose” the continuing occupation), and want us to leave now anyway.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 4, 2007 03:44 PM
Comment #206692

d.a.n, to clarify, I mean that the longer we remain in Iraq, the more players are going to become involved in trying to influence the outcome there. And that widening of the Middle East conflict list of players may well be the hidden agenda. To widen the war without appearing to cause it, requires under fighting and protracting the Iraq conflicts and allowing time to bring more interested parties to the conflict in Iraq.

If the goal is an unmistakable and dominant U.S. military presence in the Middle East, what better way to establish that than to surreptitiously expand the cast of players in the conflict and countries they represent with an open door policy to the conflict through insufficient manpower to monitor and halt the growing cast of players?

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 5, 2007 10:39 AM
Comment #206697

A few years ago, I said if the U.S. was still in Iraq after 2005, it would prove that there were ulterior motives other than merely liberating Iraqis from Saddam (e.g. oil).

Now it is 2007, and it appears that the U.S. is planning a long term occupation of Iraq?

Not only that, but there now appears to be attempts to spread the conflict to other areas of the ?

Most Americans are against this.
Surely, Congress go along with any more preemptive or trumped-up reasons?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 5, 2007 11:26 AM
Comment #206698

CORRECTION: Surely, Congress won’t go along with any more preemptive or trumped-up reasons?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 5, 2007 11:29 AM
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