Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category
Posted by nytexan on August 13, 2007
Bush will probably handel this request by ignoring it and continuing down his failed path.
- AMMAN, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Iraq’s top Sunni cleric called on the United States on Monday to cut ties with Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, saying his “puppet” government had failed and a U.S. backed political process was at a dead end.
- “If the Americans remain with this policy and rely on the same men who proved their failure again and again then they will leave Iraq in failure,” Sheikh Harith al-Dari told Reuters.
- “The U.S. administration should rectify its position in Iraq and stop depending on puppets… who have proven their failure,” the leader of Iraq’s Muslim Clerics Association said in an interview in Amman.
- Maliki’s unity government, set up to try to ease sectarian tensions and quell violence, has been in crisis since the main Sunni Arab bloc quit early this month and he wants political leaders to meet in coming days to resolve the deadlock.
- Dari, whose association groups Iraq’s Sunni religious leaders, said Washington had brought untold suffering on Iraq’s people during its four-year-old occupation and it should now try to foster a non-partisan government.
- The cleric, who has praised Sunni insurgent groups but denies direct links, said Washington also needed to rebuild the army on non-sectarian grounds.
- Soon after the 2003 overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, the U.S.administration dissolved the army and security forces, sacking hundreds of thousands of soldiers and further embittering Sunnis.
- “If the Americans think of a new type of rule that relies on wisdom and firmness alongside power to impose security ..they can pull out of Iraq with a face saver,” he said.
- “This is better for America than dealing with a weak government… It would guarantee them a future government that respects them as friends…rather than one that is a burden and survives on American taxpayers’ money,” Dari said.
- He said the U.S. Congress should apply more pressure for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq after the United States increased troop numbers earlier this year to try to stem sectarian violence.
- “They are fighting a losing, futile war that has taken a lot of lives,” Dari said. “The American public should know the losers from this war are both the American and Iraqi people.”
- Dari said he could envisage future reconciliation with America if Washington sought to learn from post-invasion blunders.
- “It’s possible,” he said. “As they say, in politics there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies.”
Posted in Bush, Iraq, military, News, Nuri al-Maliki, Sheikh Harith al-Dari, Shi'a, Sunni, War | 4 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 12, 2007
Bush breaks up Iran-Iraq love-in Correspondents in Washington and Tehran
US President George W. Bush yesterday told Tehran there would “be a price to pay” for meddling in Iraq and warned Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki against cosying up to the leaders of Iran.
Amid what Washington sees as unsettling signs of warming Baghdad-Tehran relations, Mr Bush said he was not surprised at pictures yesterday that showed cordial meetings between Mr Maliki and top Iranian leaders in Tehran, but he said he hoped the Shia leader was delivering a tough message.
“You don’t want the picture to be kind of, you know, ducking it out” when on a diplomatic mission, he said, putting up his fists like a boxer.
“If the signal is that Iran is constructive, I will have to have a heart-to-heart with my friend the Prime Minister because I do not believe they are,” Mr Bush said.
Mr Bush’s comments came just days after he disagreed sharply with Afghan President Hamid Karzai about Iran’s influence after Mr Karzai called Tehran a positive force in combating extremists in his country.
Iraq PM calls emergency summit correspondents in Baghdad | August 13, 2007
PRIME Minister Nuri al-Maliki overnight called on senior leaders in Iraq’s bitterly divided communities to hold crisis talks this week in an effort to save his fraying national unity government.
His latest attempt to bring the leaders of the warring communites under one roof came at a time when the American military declared that five more of its troops battling to bring security to war-torn Iraq had been killed.
“I have invited major political leaders to a meeting to discuss substantial matters,” Mr Maliki said in a televised speech.
“Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow could be the first meeting for these leaders to discuss the political program and important strategic problems,” the embattled Shiite prime minister said.
The last thing King George and Lord Cheney want is for Iraq’s neighbors to kiss and make up. Watch closely while Cheney’s Blackwater/KBR/CIA goons do something to screw this neighbors night out in the Middle East. Cheney has a plan, whether Bush goes along or not. Can’t have peace breaking out before we are through destroying everything in sight. Got to make good on the promises made to our ‘war profiteers’. We must pay them for contracts never met – we only have a short time left before someone demands accountability. INCENTIVE FOR UNSCRUPULOUS BEHAVIOR is what has kept this ‘A-Bomb-A-Nation’ in office. The clock is counting down. Watch out for the UNSCRUPULOUS terrorist production coming to a city near you.
Posted in Accountability, administration, Afghanistan, Ahmadinejad, Al Qaeda, Arab Nations, “Corporate Corruption”, Baghdad, betrayal, Black Ops, Blackwater, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, Democracy In Action, emergency, Foriegn Policy, Halliburton, Holy War, Insurance, Iran, Iraq, jealousy, Karzai, KBR, King George, Lord Cheney, Maliki, Occupation Army, Oil, Orwellian, Pentagon Corruption, Private Armies, profiteers, Propaganda, resonsibility, Shadow Government, Shi'a, state of emergency, Sunni, Taliban, Tax Dollars, The Divider, The Liar, Theocracy, Troop Pullout, veterans, War Contractors, War Cost, War Crimes, WMD | Leave a Comment »
Posted by nytexan on August 12, 2007
We all know how Bush keeps saying that Iran is meddling in Iraq, Iranian weapons are being used against American soldiers in Iraq and how Cheney is marching us closer to an all out war in Iran. Consider this for a moment, what if Iranian weapons are in Iraq but they are not from the Iranian government, they are from illegal arms dealers. Its entirety possible that Bush and Cheney are playing another shell game to get America into yet another unjustified war and Iran is the battlefield.
It has been uncovered that Iraqi officials have been engaged in purchasing Russian and Chinese weapons from Italian arms dealers. What if the Iranian arms found their way into Iraq through illegal arms dealers? If you go along with the Bush Cheney logic of Iran weapons equals meddling and war is ahead; then weapons from Russia and China being sold by Italy should mean war ahead for all. Flawed logic don’t you think?
Here’s another interesting point from the article; U.S. weapons are being smuggled into neighboring Turkey and Iran and creating problems, probably the 190,000 plus weapons the U.S. can’t account for. I think the Bush/Cheney private army is at work here. Interesting how the American MSM always misses the story.
Excepts from Huffington Post:
PERUGIA, Italy — In a hidden corner of Rome’s busy Fiumicino Airport, police dug quietly through a traveler’s checked baggage, looking for smuggled drugs. What they found instead was a catalog of weapons, a clue to something bigger.
Their discovery led anti-Mafia investigators down a months long trail of telephone and e-mail intercepts, into the midst of a huge black-market transaction, as Iraqi and Italian partners haggled over shipping more than 100,000 Russian-made automatic weapons into the bloodbath of Iraq.
As the secretive, $40 million deal neared completion, Italian authorities moved in, making arrests and breaking it up. But key questions remain unanswered.
For one thing, The Associated Press has learned that Iraqi government officials were involved in the deal, apparently without the knowledge of the U.S. Baghdad command _ a departure from the usual pattern of U.S.-overseen arms purchases.
The purchase would merely have been the most spectacular example of how Iraq has become a magnet for arms traffickers and a place of vanishing weapons stockpiles and uncontrolled gun markets since the 2003 U.S. invasion and the onset of civil war.
Some guns the U.S. bought for Iraq’s police and army are unaccounted for, possibly fallen into the hands of insurgents or sectarian militias. Meanwhile, the planned replacement of the army’s AK-47s with U.S.-made M-16s may throw more assault rifles onto the black market. And the weapons free-for-all apparently is spilling over borders: Turkey and Iran complain U.S.-supplied guns are flowing from Iraq to anti-government militants on their soil.
In the documents, Razzi describes it as “strange” that the U.S.-supported Iraqi government would seek such weapons via the black market.
Investigators say the prospect of an Iraq deal was raised last November, when an Iraqi-owned trading firm e-mailed Massimo Bettinotti, 39, owner of the Malta-based MIR Ltd., about whether MIR could supply 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles and 10,000 machine guns “to the Iraqi Interior Ministry,” adding that “this deal is approved by America and Iraq.”
The go-between _ the Al-Handal General Trading Co. in Dubai _ apparently had communicated with Bettinotti earlier about buying night visors and had been told MIR could also procure weapons.
“We are in a hurry with this deal,” an impatient Waleed Noori al-Handal, Jordan-based general manager of the Iraqi firm, wrote the Italians on Nov. 13 in one of the e-mails seen by AP.
He added, in apparent allusion to the shipment’s clandestine nature, “You mustn’t worry if it’s a problem to import these goods directly into Iraq. We can bring the product to another country and then transfer it to Iraq.”
By December, the Italians, having found a Bulgarian broker, were offering Russian-made goods: 50,000 AKM rifles, an improved version of the AK-47; 50,000 AKMS rifles, the same gun with folding stock; and 5,000 PKM machine guns.
Reached at his office in Amman, Jordan, Waleed Noori al-Handal denied the family firm had done anything wrong in the Italian arms case.
“We don’t have anything to hide,” he told the AP.
Citing the names of “friends” in top U.S. military ranks in Iraq, al-Handal said his company has fulfilled scores of supply and service contracts for the U.S. occupation. Asked why he claimed U.S. approval for the abortive Italian weapons purchase, he said he had a document from the U.S. Army “that says, ‘We allow al-Thuraya Group to do all kinds of business.'”
In Baghdad, the Interior Ministry wouldn’t discuss the AK-47 transaction on the record. But a senior ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the matter’s sensitivity, acknowledged it had sought the weapons through al-Handal.
Posted in Arms Trade, Bush, Cheney, illegal arms, Iran, Iraq, Italian, Italy, Mafia, Middle East, military, National, News, Russian, Waleed Noori al-Handal, War | 2 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 12, 2007
Middle East already planning for Bush’s departure
Bush, Congress could collide on Iran By Matt Stearns | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON – Taking military action against Iran could put President Bush on a collision course with Congress, leading Democrats and a Republican lawmaker cautioned Friday following Bush’s threat of unspecified consequences for alleged Iranian meddling in Iraq.
Iraq pullout could create chaos By Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — U.S. troops could withdraw from Iraq within months, but if Iraq’s government remains politically deadlocked, it probably would collapse and the nation would descend into chaos … the U.S. Army concluded earlier this month.
I feel disinformation raining down on my head. I feel another ‘marketing ploy’ to confuse important issues, again. BushCo wants to beat Musharraf at the ‘State of Emergency’ game! Watch out Iran … Darth Cheney has his eye on you …
Cheney’s Secret Escalation Plan? By Dan Froomkin Special to washingtonpost.com
At yesterday’s press conference, President Bush announced that he had put Iran on notice. “One of the main reasons that I asked [U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan] Crocker to meet with Iranians inside Iraq, was to send the message that there will be consequences for people transporting, delivering EFPs, highly sophisticated IEDs [improvised explosive devices] that kill Americans in Iraq.”
Describing Iran as “a very troubling nation right now,” largely because of its nuclear program, Bush warned its leaders that “when we catch you playing a non-constructive role [in Iraq] there will be a price to pay.”
So what price is Bush prepared to exact? Is this saber-rattling a harbinger of war? And perhaps most to the point: What is Vice President Cheney up to?
…..Cheney has long been said to be looking for some way to maneuver Bush into having no choice but to launch a full-scale attack against Iran. Vice President Cheney does not support President Bush’s tack towards Condoleezza Rice’s diplomatic efforts and fears that the President is taking diplomacy with Iran too seriously. “This White House official has stated to several Washington insiders that Cheney is planning to deploy an ‘end run strategy’ around the President if he and his team lose the policy argument. . . . “According to this official, Cheney believes that Bush can not be counted on to make the ‘right decision’ when it comes to dealing with Iran and thus Cheney believes that he must tie the President’s hands.'” Isn’t that called TREASON?
Anger follows fear! Fear that the hijackers of this country are getting closer to taking a fatal step toward the Armageddon they so desperately want. Anger that I must sit here and watch worthless caucuses decide who our leader will not be. Yes, Iraq will need a babysitter. No, we do not have to threaten Iran with ‘mass destruction’ to pour water on the fire we set. As soon as America can demonstrate that religion of oil (the new Christianity) is not the solution, the middle east may be more negotiable. The last thing Americans should endorse is sending Christian Missionaries … shades of the Catholic Missionaries annihilating the natives of the New World who did not convert quick enough. When someone invades your country and shouts that you must renounce the faith of your fathers and embrace Jesus as their Savior, all hell will break loose! This is what Jihadists see. This is what they are called to die for, even thought politics and economics is still the bottom line. The convert or die mentality is the spark for an Armageddon conflagration! I am very angry at Bush for stirring up Christian Dominionists in this country to endorse a theocratic national agenda. Our soldiers are not evangelists! Keep religion out of politics! If the truth hurts, get out before you start a civil war in this country. We know you are watching and listening to our anger … bring it on!
Posted in Armageddon, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, Christianity, civil war, conspiracy, Contempt, Corruption, cover up, destruction, dictatorship, Dillusion, Dominionists, DoubleSpeak, Evangelist, Evil, Foriegn Policy, Iraq, Propaganda, resonsibility, Soldiers, state of emergency, Tax Dollars, terrorists, The Divider, The Liar, threat, Troop Pullout, veterans, War Contractors, War Cost, War Crimes, War on Terror, Waste | Leave a Comment »
Posted by nytexan on August 11, 2007
The truth about the health and well being of our troops never seems to get covered by the main stream media. However, the truth about the U.S. troops seems to smack the British media right in the face.
While Bush will stand up there and continue to lie to us and Petraeus will present a bogus report in September, our soldiers are collapsing where they stand. All is not well in the real world of the Iraq war. As you read the article you will see that the soldiers are not allowed to tell the media what’s really going on. Shocking that Bush would be deceiving the American public.
Here’s alittle tidbit that’s at the end of the article “America’s ‘war tsar’ has called for the nation’s political leaders to consider bringing back the draft to help a military exhausted by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Exhaustion and combat stress are besieging US troops in Iraq as they battle with a new type of warfare. Some even rely on Red Bull to get through the day. As desertions and absences increase, the military is struggling to cope with the crisis.
Lieutenant Clay Hanna looks sick and white. Like his colleagues he does not seem to sleep. Hanna says he catches up by napping on a cot between operations in the command centre, amid the noise of radio. He is up at 6am and tries to go to sleep by 2am or 3am. But there are operations to go on, planning to be done and after-action reports that need to be written. And war interposes its own deadly agenda that requires his attention and wakes him up.
When he emerges from his naps there is something old and paper-thin about his skin, something sketchy about his movements as the days go by.
The Americans he commands, like the other men at Sullivan – a combat outpost in Zafraniya, south east Baghdad – hit their cots when they get in from operations. But even when they wake up there is something tired and groggy about them. They are on duty for five days at a time and off for two days. When they get back to the forward operating base, they do their laundry and sleep and count the days until they will get home. It is an exhaustion that accumulates over the patrols and the rotations, over the multiple deployments, until it all joins up, wiping out any memory of leave or time at home. Until life is nothing but Iraq.
Hanna and his men are not alone in being tired most of the time. A whole army is exhausted and worn out. You see the young soldiers washed up like driftwood at Baghdad’s international airport, waiting to go on leave or returning to their units, sleeping on their body armour on floors and in the dust.
Where once the war in Iraq was defined in conversations with these men by untenable ideas – bringing democracy or defeating al-Qaeda – these days the war in Iraq is defined by different ways of expressing the idea of being weary. It is a theme that is endlessly reiterated as you travel around Iraq. ‘The army is worn out. We are just keeping people in theatre who are exhausted,’ says a soldier working for the US army public affairs office who is supposed to be telling me how well things have been going since the ‘surge’ in Baghdad began.
They are not supposed to talk like this. We are driving and another of the public affairs team adds bitterly: ‘We should just be allowed to tell the media what is happening here. Let them know that people are worn out. So that their families know back home. But it’s like we’ve become no more than numbers now.’
The first soldier starts in again. ‘My husband was injured here. He hit an improvised explosive device. He already had a spinal injury. The blast shook out the plates. He’s home now and has serious issues adapting. But I’m not allowed to go back home to see him. If I wanted to see him I’d have to take leave time (two weeks). And the army counts it.’
A week later, in the northern city of Mosul, an officer talks privately. ‘We’re plodding through this,’ he says after another patrol and another ambush in the city centre. ‘I don’t know how much more plodding we’ve got left in us.’
When the soldiers talk like this there is resignation. There is a corrosive anger, too, that bubbles out, like the words pouring unbidden from a chaplain’s assistant who has come to bless a patrol. ‘Why don’t you tell the truth? Why don’t you journalists write that this army is exhausted?’
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Afghanistan, Bush, Health, Iraq, mental health, military, News, Petraeus, Politics, Soldiers, veterans, War, War Czar | 6 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 11, 2007
By Warren P. Strobel, John Walcott and Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON – President Bush charged Thursday that Iran continues to arm and train insurgents who are killing U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and he threatened action if that continues.
At a news conference Thursday, Bush said Iran had been warned of unspecified consequences if it continued its alleged support for anti-American forces in Iraq. U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker had conveyed the warning in meetings with his Iranian counterpart in Baghdad, the president said.
Bush wasn’t specific, and a State Department official refused to elaborate on the warning.
Behind the scenes, however, the president’s top aides have been engaged in an intensive internal debate over how to respond to Iran’s support for Shiite Muslim groups in Iraq and its nuclear program. Vice President Dick Cheney several weeks ago proposed launching airstrikes at suspected training camps in Iraq run by the Quds force, a special unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to two U.S. officials who are involved in Iran policy.
Cheney, who’s long been skeptical of diplomacy with Iran, argued for military action if hard new evidence emerges of Iran’s complicity in supporting anti-American forces in Iraq; for example, catching a truckload of fighters or weapons crossing into Iraq from Iran, one official said.
The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk publicly about internal government deliberations.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opposes this idea, the officials said. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has stated publicly that “we think we can handle this inside the borders of Iraq.”
Lea Anne McBride, a Cheney spokeswoman, said only that “the vice president is right where the president is” on Iran policy.
Bush left no doubt at his news conference that he intended to get tough with Iran.
“My message to the Iranian people is, you can do better than this current government,” he said. “You don’t have to be isolated. You don’t have to be in a position where you can’t realize your full economic potential.”
The Bush administration has launched what appears to be a coordinated campaign to pin more of Iraq’s security troubles on Iran. Until now, some hawks within the administration – including Cheney – are said to have favored military strikes to stop Iran from furthering its suspected ambitions for nuclear weapons.
Patrick Clawson, an Iran specialist at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said a strike on the Quds camps in Iran could make the nuclear diplomacy more difficult.
Before launching such a strike, “We better be prepared to go public with very detailed and very convincing intelligence,” Clawson said.
What the hell is this guy thinking? Expanding his war to Iran is a solution to his sinking ship? Mayday, Mayday! We must do something to stop this insanity. Lieberman, Tancredo and Darth Cheney are trying to assure a lifetime of war – no winners! Is this the ploy the Bush A-bomb-a-nation will perpetrate to declare the ‘state of emergency’ required to insure calling off elections? Can you spell ‘civil war’ in America between the ‘lemmings’ and the enlightened? We cannot allow any more world atrocities committed in the name of America! We either evacuate or fight. Pick your poison. I personally don’t want to abandon this great experiment to the awful corruption we have been prisoner to for the last eight years. I prefer to stay and fight. Is anyone with me? We are not subjects to a despotic dictator, we are Americans. We are supposed to have a voice, which means we a have a responsible for protecting our freedom!
Posted in "Dr Death", Accountability, Ahmadinejad, Armageddon, betrayal, Black Ops, Bush, Casualties, Cheney, CIA, civil war, Collateral, Corruption, cover up, criminal, DoubleSpeak, Evil, Executive Branch, Hypocracy, Impeach, Iran, Iraq, Islamic Jihad, Lieberman, Oil, Orwellian, Private Armies, profiteers, Proxy War, Republican, resonsibility, state of emergency, stupid, Tehran, The Divider, The Liar, Theocracy, threat, Tom Tancredo, veterans, War, War Cost, War Crimes, War on Terror | 11 Comments »
Posted by nytexan on August 9, 2007
This has to be among the biggest bone head ideas of the Pentagon. With the Pentagon’s help the apocalyptic evangelists are proselytizing US troops in Iraq. This stunning idea of sending right wing fundamentalist Christians into a Muslim country to convert people looks like “onward Christian soldier.” Is the military freaking kidding me? Are they really trying to get more people killed?
Of course the charge is lead by right wing nut job Stephen Baldwin who is the star of Operation Straight Up (OSU), an evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military. Granted they will be proselytizing to US troops but the timing and location is beyond comprehension.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
- Baldwin became a right-wing, born-again Christian after the 9/11 attacks, and now is the star of Operation Straight Up (OSU), an evangelical entertainment troupe that actively proselytizes among active-duty members of the US military. As an official armof the Defense Department’s America Supports You program, OSU plans to mail copies of the controversial apocalyptic video game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces to soldiers serving in Iraq. OSU is also scheduled to embark on a “Military Crusade in Iraq” in the near future.
- “We feel the forces of heaven have encouraged us to perform multiple crusades that will sweep through this war torn region,” OSU declares on its website about its planned trip to Iraq. “We’ll hold the only religious crusade of its size in the dangerous land of Iraq.”
- The Defense Department’s Chaplain’s Office, which oversees OSU’s activities, has not responded to calls seeking comment.
- “The constitution has been assaulted and brutalized,” Mikey Weinstein, former Reagan Administration White House counsel, ex-Air Force judge advocate (JAG), and founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, told me. “Thanks to the influence of extreme Christian fundamentalism, the wall separating church and state is nothing but smoke and debris. And OSU is the IED that exploded the wall separating church and state in the Pentagon and throughout our military.”
- Weinstein continued: “The fact that they would even consider taking their crusade to a Muslim country shows the threat to our national security and to the constitution and everyone that loves it.”
- But behind OSU’s anodyne promises of wholesome fun for military families, the organization promotes an apocalyptic brand of evangelical Christianity to active duty US soldiers serving in Muslim-dominated regions of the Middle East. Displayed prominently on the “What We Believe” section of OSU’s website is a passage from the Book of Revelations (Revelation 19:20; 20:10-15) that has become the bedrock of the Christian right’s End Times theology: “The devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, and whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
- With the endorsement of the Defense Department, OSU is mailing “Freedom Packages” to soldiers serving in Iraq. These are not your grandfather’s care packages, however. Besides pairs of white socks and boxes of baby wipes (included at the apparent suggestion of Iran-Contra felon Oliver North, according to OSU) OSU’s care packages contain the controversial Left Behind: Eternal Forces video game. The game is inspired by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins’ bestselling pulp fiction series about a blood-soaked Battle of Armageddon pitting born-again Christians against anybody who does not adhere to their particular theology. In LaHaye’s and Jenkins’ books, the non-believers are ultimately condemned to “everlasting punishment” while the evangelicals are “raptured” up to heaven.
- This controversy has not deterred OSU from encouraging US troops to play virtual rounds of kill or convert after a hard day of house-to-house searches and counterinsurgency warfare against Iraqi insurgents. What’s more, OSU’s “Freedom Packages” include a copy of evangelical pastor Jonathan McDowell’s More Than A Carpenter –– a book advertised as “one of the most powerful evangelism tools worldwide” — that is double-published in Arabic. Considering that only a handful of American troops speak Arabic, the book is ostensibly intended for proselytizing efforts among Iraqi civilians.
Posted in Evangelist, Iraq, Middle East, military, News, Operation Straight Up, Pentagon, Politics, Religion, Stephen Baldwin, War | 16 Comments »
Posted by nytexan on August 8, 2007
Let’s say Romney gets elected and the war is still going on, will the boys enlist or will they have jobs in the White House? My guess is they will be in the White House. The elite never join unless they come from a military family.
- BETTENDORF, Iowa – Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended his five sons’ decision not to enlist in the military, saying they’re showing their support for the country by “helping me get elected.”
- Romney, who did not serve in Vietnam due to his Mormon missionary work and a high draft lottery number, was asked the question by an anti-war activist after a speech in which he called for “a surge of support” for U.S. forces in Iraq.
- “The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that’s the way we’re going to keep it,” Romney told some 200 people gathered in an abbey near the Mississippi River that had been converted into a hotel. “My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard.”
- He added: “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”
- Romney’s five sons range in age from 37 to 26 and have worked as real estate developers, sports marketers and advertising executives. They are now actively campaigning for their father and have a “Five Brothers” blog on Romney’s campaign Web site.
- Romney noted that his middle son, 36-year-old Josh, was completing a recreational vehicle tour of all 99 Iowa counties on Wednesday and said, “I respect that and respect all those and the way they serve this great country.”
- The woman who asked the question, Rachel Griffiths, 41, of Milan, Ill., identified herself as a member of Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good, as well as the sister of an Army major who had served in Iraq.
- “Of course not,” Griffiths said when asked if she was satisfied with Romney’s answer. “He told me the way his son shows support for our military and our nation is to buy a Winnebago and ride across Iowa and help him get elected.”
I guess it does take a village.
Posted in Election, GOP, Iraq, military, Mitt Romney, News, Politics, Republican, War | 2 Comments »
Posted by nytexan on August 6, 2007
Is there anything regarding the Iraq war that the U.S. can do correct? Here’s a thought to ponder: are our troops being killed by Iran weapons or are they being killed by our own U.S. supplied weapons? Probably both, but since the Pentagon doesn’t have clue where the weapons are who really knows.
It’s not surprising that the Pentagon continues to have the highest budget since they screw up the supplies they have and always need more money.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The Pentagon cannot account for 190,000 AK-47 rifles and pistols given to Iraqi security forces in 2004 and 2005, or about half the weapons earmarked for soldiers and police, according to a government report.
The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, said in a July 31 report to lawmakers that the Defense Department also cannot account for 135,000 items of body armor and 115,000 helmets reported to be issued to Iraqi forces as of September 22, 2005.
The GAO said the Pentagon concurred with its findings and has begun a review to ensure full accountability for the program to train and equip Iraqi forces.
“However, our review of the 2007 property books found continuing problems with missing and incomplete records,” the GAO report said.
The report raised concerns that weapons provided by the United States could be falling into the hands of Iraqi insurgents, just as lawmakers and policymakers in Washington await a September report on the success of President Bush’s so-called “surge” strategy for stabilizing Baghdad.
One senior Pentagon official told The Washington Post some weapons probably were being used against U.S. troops. He said an Iraqi brigade created in Falluja disintegrated in 2004 and began fighting American soldiers.
Since 2003, the United States has provided about $19.2 billion to develop Iraqi security forces, the GAO said. The Defense Department has recently asked for another $2 billion to continue the train-and-equip program.
Congress funded the program for Iraqi security forces outside traditional security assistance programs, providing the Pentagon with a large degree of flexibility in managing the effort, the GAO said.
“Officials stated that since the funding did not go through traditional security assistance programs, the DOD accountability requirements normally applicable to these programs did not apply,” the GAO report said.
Military officials in Iraq reported issuing 355,000 weapons to Iraqi security forces from June 2004 through September 2005, including 185,000 rifles and 170,000 pistols, the GAO said.
But the Defense Department could not account for 110,000 rifles and 80,000 pistols, the GAO said. Those sums amount to about 54 percent of the total weapons distributed to the Iraqi forces.
The GAO quoted officials as saying the agency responsible for handling weapons distribution was too short-staffed to record information on individual items given to Iraqi forces.
Posted in Accountability, department of defense, DOD, Iraq, military, National, News, War, War Cost | 8 Comments »
Posted by bosskitty on August 5, 2007
Gates Says Troop Drawdown Possible
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged Sunday that political stability in Iraq won’t likely happen before the Bush administration makes its critical September assessment on whether its war strategy is working. But Gates declined to predict that a drawdown of U.S. military forces in such a scenario would happen by year’s end.
Gates is almost good at ‘doublespeak‘. More references to Orwellian moments.
“It’s a possibility,” Gates hedged, when asked if he considered a troop drawdown this year a “strong possibility” or would bet on it.
“We’re doing contingency planning on a lot of different possibilities,” Gates said.
“Circumstances changed in a different way,” Gates said. “That’s the process we hope will evolve over time.”
Gates cannot keep his optimism afloat. Speculation about what US “drawdown” capabilities will be when Petraeus reads his script in September, is a marketing exercise. Why can’t Gates keep his story straight? Because, he has no clue what script will handed to him, he is not the only Hollywood production in the works.
US may start Iraq pull-out this year, says Gates
Gates: U.S. underestimated Iraq ‘mistrust’
Gates says Iraq politics disappointing
Gates says political stability in Iraq unlikely before September
Then, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says on Fox Noise,
Security “has improved some” because of U.S. and Iraqi cooperation, she said Sunday.
“Clearly, too, we have a lot of work to do on the political side,” she said. But, she added, “I would not underestimate the importance of the continuing work of the leaders of these very powerful parties in Iraq.” A majority vote would get the law passed “but it would not have the force of all of the groups that wanted to do this,” she said. “They don’t want a 51-49 on constitutional reform.”
Condi is expert at ‘doublespeak‘. No one can pin her down on anything.
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