Janet's Conner

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

Monday, July 17, 2006

MILITARY LEADERS FORESEE IRAQ EXIT IN 2016




U.S. war commanders think some level of American forces will be needed in Iraq until 2016 and those forces will receive continued support from the vast majority of Iraqis.

***The Iraqi people already view the U.S. as occupying forces and occupying forces are not wanted no matter what they are there for. The Iraqi people have already made that clear!

At the tactical level, the U.S. is getting better at detecting deadly improvised explosive devises (IED's), especially using manned spy planes. But the enemy is growing more sophisticated. A raid on an IED factory earlier this year netted two bomb-makers who hold master's degrees in chemistry and physics---from U.S. colleges.

These were among the points made by Iraq war commanders at a closed-door conference last spring at Fort Carson, Colo., home to the 7th Infantry Division. Maj. Gen. Robert W. Mixon Jr., the division's commander, invited scores of retired generals and admirals in the Fort Carson area to hear the commanders and give them feedback.

Lt. Col. David Johnson, division spokesman, said the session was the second held this year at Fort Carson. A third is planned for the fall.

"The whole point is to share knowledge of what is going on in the Army today and to share ideas in an open forum," Col. Johnson said, The Fort Carson-area retired community has "a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience, and we wanted to tap into that," he said.

The seminar is just one example of how the Army is constantly re-examining how it conducts the war on terror in Afghanastan, Iraq and worldwide.

***Well, I hope that they are sharing their ideas with the Bush administration because they sure could use a lot of help since they continue to "stay the course" to nowhere!

Some say the military has a near-obsession with scrutinizing each and every mission and listing things that could have been done better. At Fort Leavenworth, Kan., the Center for Army Lessons Learned collects volumes of after-action reports and commanders' insights and turns them into "lessons learned" reports distributed throughout the Army.

***What good is this if the Bush administration isn't going to listen to anyone and "stay the course." And you can't scrutinize anything that this Bush administration does or you will pay, even if you are one of their own. Bush already thinks that he is getting a war plan from God, so what makes these people think that he is going to listen to them? It is because of the Bush administration's inability to listen to anyone but the civilian part of the military that has gotten us so deep into Iraq, that it's going to take us until 2016 to get out!

Out in the field, the commanders learn lessons on the spot. When Brig. Gen. Kurt Cichowski, chief of staff for strategy at the U.S. Iraq command, was asked earlier this month by reporters how the security crackdown in Baghdad was going, he answered, "I will tell you that there's an evaluation that is going on right now about the entire operaion that has started, and those are the kinds of lessons learned that we hope to tease out of what has happened in order to improve it for the future."

***That's no answer, considering we had the Vietnam War to look back on to help us not make the same mistakes in Iraq as we did there. What about those leassons learned? Iraq is a mirror image on Vietnam!

At Fort Carson, among the featured combat veterans was Col. H. R. McMaster, whose third Armored Cavalry Regiment gained fame by liberating the northern town of Tal Afar from foreign terrorists and Iraqi insurgents. The town's mayor, Najim Abdullah Abid al-Jibouri, penned an open letter in February thanking the Americn troops for his people's liberty. The mayor visited Fort Carson in May to pesonally thank the soldiers and their families.

***Wasn't that when Bush went on his P.R. tour trying to gain support for the war in Iraq? Doesn't anyone remember what happened to that town after Bush mentioned it?

One retired officer made notes and e-mailed his minutes of the session to other officers. The notes say there was general agreement on one issue: the "mainstream media" largely ignores progress. A commander said an embedded reporter filed a generally positive story on the operation in Tal Afar, only to see his stateside editors gut it and apply a negative spin.

***Being an observer of the court of public opinion, it seems to everyday people that the mainstream media is playing up the war! They are always trying to tell a good story and selling this idiot of a president! I think this retired general is wrong! But that's my own opinion!

In fact, editors have grown increasingly resistant to embedding reporters with combat units, something they demanded be done before the invasion in March 2003. The purported reason: They think contact with U.S. service members hurts the reporters' objectivity.

"They come to see the world through the eyes of the troops," said the retired officer's e-mail. Now, newspapers and magazines rely heavily on Iraqi stringers who telephone in reports from various combat scenes.

***They rely on Iraqi stringers because Iraq has gotten so dangerous, it is almost impossible for them to go out into the streets! One of our own U.S. representatives said that the first time he was in Iraq, he was able to visit with the troops out in the field. But the last time he went, which was recently, it had gotten so dangerous, that he wasn't allowed to go out of the green zone.

"We are clearly winning the fight against the insurgents, but we are losing the public relations battle, both in the war zone and in the States," said the e-mail.

***I think this general is full of beans! Does he ever look at the pictures that the public is "seeing!" Has he talked to the troops that are coming home?

Insurgent infiltration of the Iraqi Security Forces is also a big problem. A Green Beret caught a police lieutenant directing by telephone the placement of an IED so it would damage a coalition convoy.

***SO WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT LOSING THE PUBLIC RELATIONS BATTLE, GENERAL!


Source of Info: Washington Times.com
News World Communications, Inc.
Rowan Scarborough
July 17, 2006

DEMOCRATS PRESS BUSH TO TAKE MORE DIRECT ROLE IN MIDDLE EAST




Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. pressed President George W. Bush to involve the U.S. more directly in trying to negotiate a halt in fighting between Israel and Hezbollal militants in Lebanon.

...Condi Rice ought to be going to the area immediately," Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said of the U.S. secretary of State today on Fox News Sunday. ...This is a situation that could spin out of control."

The U.S. is continuing to rely on the efforts of a United Nations mission and those governments in the region to begin negotiations, and Rice said she is ready to make a trip to the region to prod along negotiations....when I believe I can make a difference."

...Simply going in and shuttling back and forth, if you don't know where you're trying to go; is not going to help," she said in a seperate interview on the Fox program.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers agreed that Israel is justified in striking at Hezbollah militants, who kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid and have fired missiles into Israeli towns. In response to the abductions, Israel has conducted dozens of air strikes in Lebanon.

...Any country, particularly Israel, has the right to defend itself and to protect its citizens as we do," Republican Senator George Allen of Virginia said in the Fox interview.

THIRD WORLD WAR

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican, said the current conflict involves more than just the question of Israel's survival.

...We're in the early stages of what I would describe as a third world war," Gingrich said on NBC's Meet the Press. He cited the connections between Hezbollah extremists and Iran and Syria, terrorists attacks on the U.S. and its allies, the fighting in Afghanastan and Iraq and the confrontation with North Korea.

***And what is the one single thread that binds this altogether? THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION!

...If you take all the countries I just listed, that you've been covering, put them on a map, look at all the different connectivity, you'd have to say to yourself this is, in fact, World War III," Gingrich said.

Democrats, including Dodd, Senator Diane Feinstein of California and Madeleine Albright, secretary of State's under President Bill Clinton, said the Bush administration should be trying to bring Lebanon's government into efforts to suppress Hezbollah and put negotiations to establish a Palestinian state back on track.

***Haven't you noticed how the Bush administration let's certain things slide until they need them for political gain? Bush could have tried to get Lebanon to suppress Hezbollah a long time ago if Bush was truly against terrorism!

...There has been a major diplomatic initiative," Albright said on ABC's 'This Week' program. ...I frankly was waiting for Secretary Rice to say she was going to the Middle East."

***Why? Bush is looking forward to all of this destabilization in the Middle East. That's what this administration lives for! It complimants his so-called "war on terror."


ENGAGING

Dodd criticizes the current administration for viewing diplomacy as a 'four letter word.'

...We have missed, over the last number of years, the ability to engage parties in the Middle East," said dodd. ...I can't think of another time in my career in public service when we've been in as much trouble as we are today."

***Once again......Thanks to the Bush administration. This is part of Bush and Cheney's perpetual war plan. Something that they "did" plan for!

Republican Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi agreed that there was a need for 'hands on diplomacy.' At some point, I would suspect that high-level people would be going in there. Some are already going in, Lott said on CNN's "Late Edition" program.

***Don't let this guy fool you! He talks a good talk but is behind Bush 100%!

A White House spokesman said the president has not decided against sending an envoy to the region.

"The president will never rule out that type of action," said Dan Bartlett, counselor to the president.

"We all want the violence to stop," Bartlett said on the CNN program. "If that could be achieved by the president sending an enovy, I'm sure he would do that."

Eight people were killed and 20 injured in Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, by rocket-fire from Hezbollah on the fifth day of the conflict. Israel said said 24 people have been killed in missile attacks following Hezbollah's kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers and killing eight other soldiers. At least 110 Lebanese civilians, three soldiers and two Hezbollah fighters have been killed.


Source of Info: Bloomberg.com
Tina Seeley
July 16, 2006


CORRUPTION CITED IN IRAQ'S OIL INDUSTRY




U.S. Comptroller General David M. Walker told Congress last week that "massive corruption" and "a lot of theft going on" in Iraq's government-controlled oil industry is hampering the country's ability to govern itself.

"It took me about, you know, a second and a half to realize that, obviously, there was corruption going on, because the numbers just didn't add up," Walker said, referring to a trip he took to Iraq this year in which he was shown figures on oil production and revenue.

***Is this Bush's way of telling us he is going to have elections again?

Walker, who heads the Government Accountability Office, made his remarks at a House Government Reform subcommittee meeting last Tuesday called to examine implementation of the Bush administration's 2005 "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." He said one of the failures of the U.S. program was related to the prewar assumption that Iraq would be able to pay for its reconstruction "in large part through oil revenues."

He said about 10% of Iraq's refined fuels and 30% of its imported fuels are being stolen, in part because the subsidized Iraqi price of gasoline, about 44 cents a gallon, is less than half the regional price of 90 cents a gallon. "That provides a tremendous incentive to be able to steal these fuels and be about to sell them for whatevr purposes, corruption or otherwise," Walker said.

Walker noted that oil production, which was to provide prime support to the new government, is below prewar production and distribution levels, complicated by the insurgency and difficulties in maintaining the aging oil infrastructure.

Another GAO official, Joseph Christoff, director of international affairs and trade, pointed out that the Iraqi budget is paying for "what some could contend to be a bloated bureaucracy, primarily because oftentimes you don't know who is working in the different industries---there are ghost employees."

Rep. Christopher Shays, chairman of the subcommittee on national security, said the hearing was held to determine "whether we had and have a strategy and to what extent that strategy is meeting the needs of our engagement in Iraq."

***The Bush administration doesn't have a strategy! His strategy is to "stay the course" and continue to save face.

The GAO report criticized the administration's strategy for not identifying which U.S. agencies are responsible for implementation, for not integrating U.S. goals and objectives with the Iraqi government and for failing to identify future costs.

James Jeffrey of the State Department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs also testified at the hearing. "The organization roles have been as clear as I have ever seen," he said, but he acknowledged, "Of course there are disputes." He said the GAO was correct in saying that "we haven't been able to align our goals, our resources and such fully with the Iraqis," but added: "That's because we have not had a long-term Iraqi government."

***Well maybe we would have a long-term Iraqi government if Bush wouldn't keep changing it because they don't want to do things "his" way!

He said the reconstruction program, which involved the Defense Department, the State Department and the Agency for International Development, was, at $21.9B, "the largest...since the Marshall Plan." He said that prewar assumptions that "there would be a permissive security environment that would allow reconstruction to go forward" turned out to be wrong along with the estimate "that the Iraqi government would make important contributions to the reconstruction effort."

***Why is it that all other reconstruction has been interrupted, but the reconstruction for the huge American Embassy if Iraq hasn't? Where is all of these monies for the Embassy coming from? Better yet, what kind of plans does the Bush administration have for Iraq? Are we colonizing?

As a result, Jeffrey said, "we shifted billions of dollars from longer-term infrastructure into shorter-term projects---primarily security, but also democracy programs."

But "without security," he said, "you really can't do anything or enough on the political and economic tracks. However...the solution to the security situation is not military but political."

Walker's GAO report critisized the administration's failure to identify "current and future costs" or "the sources of funding needed to achieve U.S. political security and economic objectives in Iraq."

The report concludes that neither the Defense Department nor Congress "can relaibly determine the costs of the war, nor do they have details on how appropriated funds are being spent or historical data useful in considering future funding needs." He said it costs about $1.5B a week for U.S. military operations, reconstruction and support for Iraqi forces.

***If the Defense Department isn't itemizing costs, then there is only one reason for that. THEFT BY THIS ADMINISTRATION! This information is vitally important for historical reasons and this administration knows that!

Walker said that although the administration "has resisted for several years providing cost estimates longer than one year in advance, there is a basis to come up with some estimates."

***When the Bush administration goes to Congress for more funding for Iraq, they say that it's for the troops and their equipment. They do this so that if anyone votes "NO," they can have it on record that either this senator or that representative voted "NO," when it came to supporting our troops. The Bush administration is doing this for their political gain when it comes time for elections. This is one of the reasons that they don't itemize!

The Congressional Budget Office last week released its estimate of potential spending requirements for Iraq in the fiscal years 2007 to 2016 based on scenarios where there was either a rapid or slow drawdown of U.S. forces. In the case of rapid withdrawal---troops out by 2009---the CBO estimated an additional $166B would be needed for military operations, on top of $290B already allocated. For a slower withdrawal, were 40,000 troops stay through 2016, it would cost $368B, said the CBO.

***2016! How about that! In the meantime, our schools are going down along with employment and every other thing that the middle class used to look forward too, like being able to retire! The American dream is shot, all because of this Republican Bush Administration. Remember that when you go to the polls in November.

Source of Info: Washington Post
Walter Pincus
July 17, 2006