Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Thursday, August 10, 2006

RISING UNEASE IN CONGRESS OVER IRAQ WAR

Washington---Signs this summer are pointing to an increasing unsettledness among Capitol Hill lawmakers---of both parties---over the war in Iraq and other U.S. activities pertaining to the war on terror.



USA Today
By Gail Russell Chaddock
The Christian Science Monitor
August 9, 2006


The unease was apparent even before Sen. Joe Lieberman, a strong backer of U.S. strategy on Iraq, took it on the chin Tuesday in Connecticut's Democratic primary. Important congressional votes related to the war on terror await lawmakers upon their return from their August recess, and many---especially those dismayed by Senator Lieberman's defeat---are using this month to calibrate the intensity of public sentiment on the Iraq conflict.

***The Senate left for summer recess after completing only 1 of 12 spending bills needed to keep government agencies operating next year, all but assuring the need for an omnibus package, which are usually a smorgasbord-buffet of pork. They have a lot of work ahead of them so I think that they aren't going to waste their time on the Iraq war. It is a Republican-controlled Congress and they want to stay in Iraq. They'll avoid it at every turn.

Before they left town last week, lawmakers questioned Pentagon officials about the Iraq campaign---and heard the civilian leaders offer a more positive assessment of progress than did military leaders reporting on the view from the ground. The Pentagon testimony was most out of sync over how close Iraq is to civil war.

***Rumsfeld is a liar and thinks that he is good at it, along with Bush and Cheney! Everything that we see or read in the news tells us that things aren't going well in Iraq, including our troops. Iraq is an utter disaster and is too late to fix especially under this administration who won't seem to change the course! Don't let these Republican congresspeople make you think that they want out of Iraq because they don't. It's an election season and thry are worried about being reelected. Why would they be changing their minds now? If they are reelected, they'll stay in Iraq on the same course. At least the Democrats know that we need a new course and a timeline.

Their words prompted Sen. John Warner (R-VA) to signal that congress may need to vote to authorize U.S. troops to fight in a civil war in Iraq.

Yeah, right! "MAY NEED?"

"The real question is: Will Senator Warner follow through, or will the White House put so much pressure on him that he won't follow through," says Larry Korb, who served as assistant secretary of Defense in the Reagan administrtion and is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. "You can't win a civil war."

***The Republicans are weak and can't stand up to the White House."

Whether Capitol Hill's unease over the course of events in Iraq grows may depend in part on the outcome of the fall congressional elections. "If Democrats get control of one house, they'll be able to get a hold of a lot of issues that are under wraps now and could change the climate even more," Korb says.

***Something has to change. The Republicans have run this country down!

One major issue this fall could be the cost of the war. Senate appropriations had hoped to finish debate over next year's defense appropriations bill before the recess, but Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) instead opted to try to move a tax-cut package. A month's delay puts the debate closer to fall elections that will decide control of the House and Senate.

***Frist's failure to get a handle on appropriations bills will lead to a pork-barrel spending spree this fall, undermining repeated promises for fiscal reform!

Since the 9/11 attacks, the cost of the war in Iraq, Afghanastan, and other global war on terror operations is $437B, according to a July 28 report by the Congressional Research Service. By law, the president is also required to estimate "reasonably forseeable costs for ongoing military operations" for the next 12 months, unless he certifies that for national security reasons such an estimate is impossible.

***He uses national security reasons for everything else, so why not this?

A wild card is whether the 109th Congress will open wide-ranging hearings and debate on the conduct of the Iraq war. Nothing is on the agenda yet, say GOP leadership aides. Twelve top Democrats---including ranking members of the armed services, intelligence, and foreign affairs committees---have called on Bush to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq this year.

***The Iraq war is the last thing that the Republicans want to bring up during this election season. And since the Republicans run the Congress, I doubt, very highly if there will be any debate or hearings, let alone "wide-ranging" debate or hearings about the war in Iraq. Look! They're already trying to divert our attention with this heightening of our terror threat level from orange to red. And quess who's helping them? The British! Bush's biggest ally in the war in Iraq! This is a Karl Rove tactic! Next they are going to be telling how great the Republicans are for national security!

"The sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it. If it is not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move toward civil war," said Gen. John Abizaid, commander of U.S. military operations in the Middle East, at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing last week.

After a closed briefing Aug. 3 with the full Senate, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld dampened speculation about a shift in mission. "The Iraqi government needs our support, and that's the purpose of our mission. And we have no reason to believe that that mission will change," he said.

***In other words, "stay the course" THAT ISN'T WORKING!

At a hearing earlier that day, Warner said lawmakers will have to examine "what Congress authorized the president to do in the context of a situation if we're faced with all-out civil war, and whether we have to come back to the Congress to get further indication of support."

Critics say Capitol Hill is slow to recognize the scope of Iraq's sectarian violence---and suggest fuller debate is long overdue. "The military is disagreeing publicly with the civilian leadership openly now," says former Vice President Walter Mondale, one of many former senators who follow the war debate. Senate committees need "to call in a bipartisan groups of scholars, leaders, and foreign commanders and do with this war what [Arkansas Sen. Willaim] Fullbright did about the Vietnam War."

He adds: "We have to realize that just carrying on is not neutral. ...[A] lot of people, including the national security director of the Iraqi government, say our presence there is helping to increase anger... We have to look at this."

***Didn't Bush say that he would listen to the generals on the ground? So what changed his mind now?

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