President Bush insists that we have no conflicts with the al-Maliki government. The president isn't telling the truth - or he himself doesn't support our military's efforts. He can't have it both ways. Bush appears increasingly desperate just to get through the upcoming elections.
I supported the removal of Saddam Hussein. I believed that Arabs deserved a chance to build a rule-of-law democracy in the Middle East. Based upon firsthand experience, I was convinced that the Middle East was so politically, socially, morally and intellectually stagnant that we had to risk intervention - or face generations of terrorism and tumult. I still believe that our removal of Hussein was a noble act.
I only wish the administration had done it competently.
Peters adds that "Iraq is failing. No honest observer can conclude otherwise." "...Iraq's impending failure is an embarrassment." and
My disillusionment with our Iraq endeavor began last summer, when I was invited to a high-level discussion with administration officials. I went into the meeting with one firm goal, to convince my hosts that they'd better have Plan B in case Iraq continued to disintegrate. I left the session convinced that the administration still didn't have Plan A, only a blur of meandering policies and blind hopes.
But remember: according to the president, Rumsfeld is doing a "fantastic job." The only inference one can draw is that conservative Ralph Peters has just written that president Bush is dishonest. And he's right.
Bush is a liar about this war; and he's been lying for a long time. It's way past time to call him on it.
"Iraq could have turned out differently. It didn't. And we must be honest about it. We owe that much to our troops. They don't face the mere forfeiture of a few congressional seats but the loss of their lives. Our military is now being employed for political purposes. It's unworthy of our nation."
BOEHNER: Wolf, I understand that, but let's not blame what's happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld.
BLITZER: But he's in charge of the military.
BOEHNER: But the fact is, the generals on the ground are in charge, and he works closely with them and the president. We've seen this run up in violence as we get closer to the election, as we get closer to Ramadan, same thing we've seen over the last couple of years.
As we enter into Ramadan, we see this big spike in violence and there's no question, in my mind, that the terrorists, very smart people, are also trying to increase the violence as we get closer to the U.S. elections.
Boehner continues, "...there's no question that there have been mistakes along the way". So there you have it. Rumsfeld is the best thing since sliced bread and the generals -- only the generals -- are to blame for the "mistakes" in Iraq.
Bottom line, Boehner said, "Let's not blame what's happening in Iraq on Rumsfeld. ...the generals on the ground are in charge." Veiled criticism, but criticism nonetheless.
And then there is this non-answer:
BLITZER: But, you know, General Zinni, who used to be the commander, Anthony Zinni of the Central Command, he says that Rumsfeld threw out 10 years of planning for Iraq, 10 years of strategy with 500,000 troops that would be needed, not to necessarily topple Saddam Hussein, but to win the peace quickly. He just threw that out because he wanted that lighter force and, as a result, the U.S. is paying the price right now.
BOEHNER: Well, Wolf, you have to understand that the generals who have been in charge of the Pentagon have been very resistant to change. It's the younger generals who understand this new force structure that we need to be -- to have the military of the 21st century. And so I think Rumsfeld is the right guy for the job, and I know the president supports him and I'm glad he does.
First of all, was their anything in this statement by Boehner substantive to the question? Second, if the younger generals are on cutting edge of military know-how, then why stick by and protect a relic from the last war? This Sec. of Defense wanted things done his way --not the way that the experts wanted -- and that way has failed. The old way was obviously more in tune with the realities of the exercise. If Rumsfeld’s military is the military of the 21st century then were in trouble. And if the Generals on the ground are in charge then what are we supposed to think when a general warns the Secretary of Defense that his plan is flawed is then forced out of the military? Sounds like he only wants to hear a slim spectrum of advice, suggestions, and comments. Is that what you loyalist support?
The only good things that will come from this sand fight is that it will keep the jabber up on Iraq and off the Republican platform of... well I don't know what it is, but it's anything that isn't Iraq... It will lessen the chances in '08 of a Kerry ticket. Sorry Republicans.
American soldiers rolled up their barbed-wire barricades and lifted a near siege of the largest Shiite Muslim enclave in Baghdad on Tuesday, heeding the orders of a Shiite-led Iraqi government whose assertion of sovereignty had Shiites celebrating in the streets. ... The move lifted a near siege that had stood at least since last Wednesday. U.S. military police imposed the blockade after the kidnapping of an American soldier of Iraqi descent. The soldier's Iraqi in-laws said they believed he had been abducted by the Mahdi Army as he visited his wife at her home in the Karrada area of Baghdad, where U.S. military checkpoints were also removed as a result of Maliki's action.
Well, no one can say that the "Unity Government" is a Washington puppet anymore, more of a puppet of Sadr and/or Twelver Islam.