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 Post subject: Bush's Last Stand
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:29 am 
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Bush's Last Stand

With allies they don't trust and enemies who confuse them, commanders know it will be bloody


The narrow ambush alleys of Kadhamiyah, the tenements providing sniper cover at Diyala Bridge, the dusty, sprawling killing grounds of Sadr City. These are the strongholds of the Shia militias that the Americans will have to take in the battle for Baghdad.

The US forces in the "surge" into the Iraqi capital face a war on two fronts. The murder miles of Haifa Street and Adhamiyah are the homes to the Sunni insurgency, which continues its bloody course four years after the official end of the war, and there is no sign of this stopping as the US forces take on the Shias.

There are other logistical difficulties of fighting an urban guerrilla war in a city like Baghdad. The militias have spread from their power bases into the so called "mixed areas". Outside the Hamra Hotel, where the dwindling group of Western journalists in Baghdad stays, there are checkpoints run by the Mehdi army, led by the radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr; their Shia competitors, the Badr Brigade; and the Kurdish Peshmerga. Further out are the Shia Defenders of Kadhamiyah, set up by Mr Sadr's cousin Hussein al-Sadr and the government-backed Tiger and Scorpion Brigades.

They all look similar: balaclavas or wrap-around sunglasses and headbands, black leather gloves with fingers cut off, and a very lethal arsenal of weapons. When not manning checkpoints, they hurtle through the streets in 4x4s, scattering the traffic by firing in the air. It is impossible to say which particular group they belong to.

This is what confronts the US forces gathering for George W Bush's last throw of the dice in Iraq. He sees the battle to wrest control of Baghdad from the militias as the key to salvaging victory in the Iraqi quagmire, but distinguishing friend from foe will not be easy. The President has already warned that bloodshed will increase, but will there be any gains?



READ MORE HERE

Shock and oil: Iraq's billions & the White House connection

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:46 am 
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Bush seems doomed to repeat history in Iraq, since Iraq has a history of evicting invaders.

The desire to control Iraq is the same as it's always been -- oil and a foothold to control the Middle East. But the results have always been costly to the invader.

At least Britain was some what smart in not trying to occupy Iraq years ago, but rather to install a constitutional monarchy favorable to Britain. But Britain witnessed a revolt over this puppet in 1958. Now in 2008, the Iraqi people look to regain Iraq for themselves, once again.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:37 am 
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During Shock and Awe I said they were walking into a Spider's Web. No way out. Historically it is a repeat of Custer's Last Stand. Bush is a stupid failure as a leader. A perfect terrorist in the destruction of America.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:03 am 
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Despite the huge media campaign led by US officials and a complicit corporate-controlled media to convince the world of US success in Iraq, emerging facts on the ground show massive failure.The fighting came just as the US military announced the death of the 4,000th soldier in Iraq, and on the heels of a carefully crafted PR campaign designed to show that the "surge" of US troops in Iraq has successfully improved the situation.


[url=http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/linkframe.php?linkid=56146]IRAQ: 'Handed Over' to a Government Called Sadr
[/url]

Quote:
Despite the huge media campaign led by U.S. officials and a complicit corporate-controlled media to convince the world of U.S. success in Iraq, emerging facts on the ground show massive failure.

The date March 25 of this year will be remembered as the day of truth through five years of occupation.

"Mehdi army militias controlled all Shia and mixed parts of Baghdad in no time," a Baghdad police colonel, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IPS. "Iraqi army and police forces as well as Badr and Dawa militias suddenly disappeared from the streets, leaving their armoured vehicles for Mehdi militiamen to drive around in joyful convoys that toured many parts of Baghdad before taking them to their stronghold of Sadr City in the east of Baghdad."

The police colonel was speaking of the recent clashes between members of the Shia Muqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army, the largest militia in the country, and members of the Iraqi government forces, that are widely known to comprise members of a rival Shia militia, the Badr Organisation.

Dozens of militiamen from both sides were killed in clashes that broke out in Baghdad, Basra, Kut, Samawa, Hilla and most of the Iraqi Shia southern provinces between the Mehdi Army and other militias supported by the U.S., Iran and the Iraqi government.

The Badr Organisation militia is headed by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, who is also head of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) that dominates the government. The Dawa Party is headed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2008 3:14 pm 
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And now we learn that the surge was done against military recommendations to nix.
Quote:
Bush's January 2007 decision to send an extra 20,000 troops to Iraq was criticized for deepening the unpopular conflict but has since been credited with sharply reducing the violence.

Citing secret memorandums and interviews with a host of current and former officials, the Times said Bush's decision to increase troops for a counterinsurgency in Iraq came after months of tumultuous debate within the administration.

Bush's tendency to defer to commanders in the field and his defense secretary had delayed a new approach to Iraq until the situation bordered on anarchy and "civil war," as a late 2006 CIA analysis termed it, the Times reported. At that point the Pentagon was in favor of moving responsibility to Iraqi forces, facilitating U.S. troop reductions.

The State Department was pushing an alternative plan to fight al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, reining in Baghdad's violence and stemming sectarian violence only when it reached the level of "mass killing," the Times reported. The U.S. ambassador to Baghdad was arguing for authority to negotiate a political solution with the Iraqis.

"The proposals to send more U.S. forces to Iraq would not produce a long-term solution and would make our policy less, not more, sustainable," the newspaper quoted ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad as writing in a classified cable.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:20 am 
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And we further learn, albeit without Bob Woodward really telling us why, that the surge may have been accomplished by "extra-judicial killings".

The Secret Behind the Surge
Quote:
By Tom Hayden | September 10, 2008

Bob Woodward's final book on the Bush years in Iraq, The War Within, reports that top secret American targeting and assassination operations--extra-judicial killings--were "very possibly" the biggest factor in reducing violence in 2006-07, even more than the so-called troop surge itself.

He writes that the "groundbreaking" operations were carried out as Special Access Programs or under the Special Compartmentalized Information effort.

Woodward and his editors consider this strategy of summary executions of "key individuals in extremist groups" so ultra-sensitive that they chose not to reveal "the state secrets that have been so beneficial to Iraq."
...


But he stops short of really exploring this, which leaves the Nation author to ask:

Quote:
Some immediate questions:

• Since the Iraqis on the receiving end presumably know about these tactics, why keep them secret from the American public, Congress and media?

• How are the operations consistent with US constitutional law and international human rights standards?

• Are they joint US-Iraqi operations, or only US operations?

• Are those targeted for execution carrying out any military action at the time, or do their names only have to appear on target lists?

• Did the target lists come from Iraqi informants or official sources, and how were they verified?

• Why were the targets killed instead of being detained?

• How many targeted individuals were killed or made to disappear?

• Who in the Administration, Congress and upper echelons of the media have known, and for how long?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 10:54 pm 
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Bob Woodward's book, The War Within, tells us, in part, on the war for withdrawal vs. surge going on between key military personnel and Bush, as far back as 2006.

General George Casey was said to thought this of Bush's Iraq war mentality "Kill the bastards! Kill the bastards! And you'll succeed."'

Can the same be said of McNasty?

Dubya v the generals

Quote:
...
"We have to win," Bush insisted, repeating his public and private mantra. [US Army General George W.] Casey [jr.] had heard the President's line dozens of times. "I'm with you," he replied. "I understand that. But to win, we have to draw down. We have to bring our force levels down to ones that are sustainable both for them and for us."

Casey felt that the Iraqis, a proud people and resistant to the Western occupation, needed to take over. The large, visible US force was ultimately a sign of disrespect. Worse, the prolonged occupation was making the Iraqis dependent. Each time additional US troops arrived, they soon seemed indispensable.

The Iraqis needed to take back their country and their self-respect, so central to Arab culture. They needed to fight their own war and run their own government; they were doing neither.

Casey studied Bush's face, now wrinkled and showing its 59 years, the right eye slightly more closed than the left under greying, fulleyebrows.

The general had pushed for a drawdown for two years. And while the President had always approved the strategy, he no longer seemed to buy Casey's argument. "I know I've got work to do to convince you of that," the general said, "but I firmly believe that."

Bush looked sceptical. "I need to do a better job explaining to you" why winning means getting out, Casey said.

"You do," Bush replied.

Casey had long concluded that one big problem with the war was the President himself. He later told a colleague in private that he had the impression that Bush reflected the "radical wing of the Republican Party that kept saying, 'Kill the bastards! Kill the bastards! And you'll succeed."' Since the beginning, the President had viewed the war in conventional terms, repeatedly asking how many of the various enemies had been captured or killed.
...


This article notes from the book:
Quote:
...
When President Bush told Gen. Casey in a trip to Baghdad in June 2006 that "we have to win," Casey replied, "But to win, we have to draw down." It remained his dogged mantra as Baghdad collapsed all around him.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, commissioned a group of colonels to review war strategy for the chiefs. One of their presentations ended starkly, "We are not winning, so we are losing." Woodward writes, "Chairman Pace had an unusual sullen look on his face, almost crestfallen, as if to say, 'How could I not have realized this."'
...

The article goes on to tell of the internal dissension between these military officials and Bush.

Now, if these military officials had deep concerns about Bush's "win at all cost" attitude, what would their opinion of McCain be? And if they've had their fill of presidents/VP's with no national security experience, what the heck are they going to think of Palin?

I read another article that indicated with Cheney gone, there wouldn't be a VP trying to direct the military and the intelligence agencies. Now, either Palin stays away, or she becomes this go between for PNACers and this ticked-off bunch.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 9:28 am 
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Quote:
Now, if these military officials had deep concerns about Bush's "win at all cost" attitude, what would their opinion of McCain be? And if they've had their fill of presidents/VP's with no national security experience, what the heck are they going to think of Palin?


My impression of Palin is that she's arrogant, abrasive, cocky, sarcastic, and certainly not ready/qualified to take on any kind of international encounters with any foreign leader. Can you imagine how she will be received by the chauvinists in the ME when she comes storming in with her attitude? At least Condi Rice had a few basic credentials...as Secretary of State.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:59 pm 
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Nobody wants to give ol' Georgie credit for the surge. UCLA has their own study on what has lead to reduced violence in Iraq --

Study: Surge in ethnic cleansing led to reduced violence in Iraq
Quote:
A new study released today by the University of California, Los Angeles concludes that ethnic violence — not the Bush administration’s surge — was the primary factor in reducing violence in Iraq. As FP Passport notes, researchers used satellite imagery from the Pentagon to track “electricity use in Iraq before, during, and after the surge took place”:

“If the surge had truly ‘worked,’ we would expect to see a steady increase in night-light output over time,” says Thomas Gillespie, one of the co-authors, in a press release. “Instead, we found that the night-light signature diminished in only certain neighborhoods, and the pattern appears to be associated with ethno-sectarian violence and neighborhood ethnic cleansing.”

Last year, the Government Accountability Office also said that “there might be fewer attacks because you have ethnically cleansed neighborhoods, particularly in the Baghdad area.” Similarly, in April, CNN’s Michael Ware told ThinkProgress that if “anyone is telling you that the cleansing of Baghdad has not contributed to the fall in violence, then they either simply do not understand Baghdad or they are lying to you.” More here Iraq’s unresolved tensions.
...

About the light usage theory:
Quote:
"If the surge had truly 'worked,' we would expect to see a steady increase in night-light output over time," says Thomas Gillespie, one of the co-authors, in a press release. "Instead, we found that the night-light signature diminished in only certain neighborhoods, and the pattern appears to be associated with ethno-sectarian violence and neighborhood ethnic cleansing."


The UCLA Study says, in part --
Quote:
...
The surge was designed specifically to improve material conditions of life and create a breathing space for political compromise between major factions in the capital city. It was not simply about reducing US military casualties. As with so much of the verbal redefinition of terms that has gone on over the course of the Iraq war (from `war on terror' and `pacification' to `security contractors' and `vigorous interrogation'), the term `surge' has been rewritten since late 2007 to signify a reduction in the overall level of violence when that was only one of the original criteria for increasing troop levels in the capital city. As Baghdad went, so would Iraq. That was the hope. But what has been the empirical reality?

Given conditions on the ground, notwithstanding a dramatic decrease in US military casualties through the spring of 2008, it is hard to establish clear empirical indicators of how things have been going. Continuing high levels of violence across the city have made for great difficulty in collecting local information in a systematic manner.
...

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 Post subject: Re: Bush's Last Stand
PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:54 am 
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"Democrats work to help people who need help.
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That's all there is to it."

~Harry S. Truman


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