Janet's Conner

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

Monday, July 31, 2006


Military says 3,700 more troops are headed to Baghdad

The Olympian
By: Tom Lasseter
July 30, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq---The Bush administration's decision to move thousands of U.S. soldiers into Baghdad to quell sectarian warfare before it explodes into outright civil war underscores a problem that's hindered the U.S. effort to rebuild Iraq from the beginning: There aren't enough troops to do the job.

Many U.S. officials in Baghdad and Washington privately concede the point. They say they've been forced to shuffle U.S. units from one part of the country to another for at least two years because there haven't been enough soldiers and Marines to deal simultaneously with Sunni Muslim insurgents and Shiite militias; train Iraqi forces; and secure roads, power lines, border crossings and ammunition dumps.

The U.S. command announced Saturday that 3,700 additional U.S. soldiers are being sent to Baghdad, including two batallions of the Army's 172nd Stryker Brigade, four or five military police companies from northern Iraq and a field artillery batallion that's standing in reserve in Kuwait.

But when U.S. forces have cracked down in one place, Iraq insurgents and foreign terrorists have popped up in another. Some towns have been pacified multiple times, only to return to chaos as soon as the United States reduced troop numbers. In cities such as Baghdad, Kirkuk, Samarra and Ramadi, bloodshed ebbs and flows, but security is never a given.

Violence takes a toll

The frustration of returning to quell violence in the same places multiple times has taken a toll on U.S. morale, undermined Iraqi confidence in the U.S. and cast doubt on the Bush administration's hopes of beginning significant withdrawals of soldiers and Marines by the end of the election year. There are 130,000 U.S. service members in Iraq, down from 160,000 last December.

***This is the same number that has always been there. Don't let them fool you. They only brought in 30,000 more for the elections.

This is exactly what happens when there aren't enough troops: You extend people and you deplete your theater reserve," said a U.S. defense official in Iraq, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

During embedded reporting trips beginning in the summer of 2003, which included time with troops from eight Army divisions, an armored cavalry regiment and several Marine units, a McClatchy reporter was told repeatedly that more manpower was needed.

U.S. officials in Iraq and in the United States said the shortage stemmed from a number of factors, including:

* Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's belief that a small but agile, high-tech U.S. force could topple Saddam's regime, in part because Iraqi exiles had assured the administration that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators. From the beginning, a number of U.S. officers said, senior White House and Pentagon officials said that post-invasion Iraq would require fewer than 200,000 troops.

* The decision early in the U.S. occupation of Iraq, also encouraged by Iraqi exiles, to disband the Iraqi military. This deprived the U.S. military of some potential Iraq allies, and drove some Sunni soldiers and officers into the insurgency.

* Rumfeld's reluctance to increase U.S. deployments in Iraq or the overall size of the Army despite the escalating violence. "It could be two divisions-plus just to secure Baghdad, and you're talking a 10-division Army," said a senior U.S. military official who served in Iraq and is now in the United States.

* The inability or unwillingness of many newly trained Iraqi forces to take over security from the United States or even to operate independently, which has dashed the administration's hopes that U.S. troops would stand down as the Iraqis stood up.

The lack of boots on the ground has forced U.S. commanders in many areas to resort to large-scale raids and quick-hit cordons instead of "clear and hold" operations that would shut down an area, piece by piece, and establish security with a dense military presence.

"I'm almost of the view that you've got to bring more troops and they've got to stay longer, but no one wants to hear that," the senior U.S. military official said.

Military silence

Almost no high-ranking, active-duty U.S. officers are willing to discuss their concerns about troop levels publicly, for fear of being reprimanded or having their careers cut short. There's an unwritten understanding, they said, that the Bush administration doesn't want to hear about the need for more troops.

The top U.S. military officer in Iraq, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., has said that such assertions are untrue. When ground commanders ask for more troops, according to Casey, they get them.

***Yeah, right! That's why Iraq is falling apart! I used to believe Casey before, but not anymore! Everything happening in Iraq contradicts what he has to say.

But the U.S. defense official in Iraq said officers were discouraged from making such requests, and officers in Washington, D.C., and at the military's Central Command confirmed that.


***It's time for rumsfeld to go!


As Conflict Continues and Lebanon Suffers, Israel Loses Support

ABC News
By: Dean Reynolds
July 30, 2006

The longer the conflict between Israel and the Shiite militia group Hezbollah goes on, the greater becomes the legend of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's 46-year-old leader.

Nasrallah may be enemy number one is Israel, but he is the man of the moment in parts of the Arab world.

"Hezbollah delivers the goods," said Fawaz Gerges a Middle East expert and an ABC News consultant. "Hezbollah has stood up to Israel. Hezbollah has proven its muscle."

It is quite a transformation. Just a couple of weeks ago, moderate Arab allies of the United States were highly critical of Hezbollah and Nasrallah, its leader of 14 years, for picking this fight with the Jewish state.

Saudi Arabia called it "unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible," something that will pull the whole region back years.

But two things have happened since.

First, Hezbollah fighters on the ground have shocked the Israelis with their tenacity. Into the third week of fighting, Hezbollah rockets still are routinely on northern Israel.

Second, Israel's offensive, which has killed more Lebanese civilians than Hezbollah fighters, has inflamed the Arab world.

Arab television has provided a steady diet of displaced refugees, and wounded and dying Lebanese victims.

Now, America's friends in places like Cairo, Egypt and Amman, Jordan, are more than worried.

"They are terrified, and they are anxious that the Israeli war in Lebanon de-legitimizes the pro-American regimes," Gerges said.

So the moderates have dropped the complaints about Hezbollah in favor of criticizing Israel---a much safer tactic.

"The huge popularity of Hezbollah and his leader within the Arab public," said Ghassan Khatib of the Jerusalem Media and Communications Center, "has made it difficult for anybody to criticize them or them of their acts."


After being one of the most inept national security advisers in the nation's history, Condoleeza Rice is now earning the same grade as secretaty of state

By: Matthew Rothschild
July 28, 2006

Her description of the conflagaration in Lebanon as the "birthpangs of a new Middle East" was about as callous as it gets, matched only by Bush's remark that the conflict represents "a moment of opportunity."

The 400 Lebanese who have died, an overwhelming number of them civilian and many of them children, were not feeling any birthpangs. They were feeling deathpangs.

Nor were families of the Israeli victims (about 50 so far, and most of them soldiers) cheering the new day, either.

Rice's cruel opposition to an immediate cease-fire has left the whole world outside of Israel (and Tony Blair's kennel) aghast.

And U.N. Ambassador John Bolton's sneering about a cease-fire nor being "the alpha and the omega" only reinforced the arrogance.

More than half a million people in Lebanon have been turned into refugees in just a matter of weeks.

Israelis are bunkered in bomb shelters.

And all Rice can do is issue hollow words of concern and then sabotage any immediate cease-fire?

The expediting of U.S. bombs to Israel at the same time sent all too obvious a message. Did they fly in carriage on the same plane that took Rice to the region? Is she bringing another load with her this time?

As Rice did in the lead up to the Iraq War, so she is doing now: She's drinking her own propaganda.

The Iraq War was going to redraw the map of the Middle East.

Now the Lebanon War is going to do the trick?

The Iraqi people were going to welcome the Americans with open arm.

Now the Lebanses people are going to rise up and somehow defeat Hezbollah when Israel can't even do the job?

Politically naive, Rice also appears woefully jejune about human nature.

When people are being attacked by a foreign power, they rarely rally to that foreign power's side.

And when a group in their midst fights back against the invaders, that group doesn't lose support, it gains support.

The Unites States and Israel have succeeded only in making heroes of Hezbollah thugs.

Rice's green light for Olmert's spilling of red blood has managed only to further enrage the Arab and Muslim world and isolate the United States among its allies (except, of course, for Tony Blair, who is still wagging his tail and licking Bush's face).

It is not in the interest of the United States, and it is not in Israel's interest either, to show the international community utter disdain. And the war crimes of Israel, and Rice's blessing of them, will long be remembered.

Where was Condoleeza Rice when Israel bombed the only power plant in Gaza, bringing about a humanitarian crisis?

Where was Condoleeza Rice, when Israel inflicted collective punishment on the sovereign people of Lebanon?

Where was Condoleeza Rice, when Israel was killing more than 100 Lebanese children?

Condoleeza Rice was in Israel's corner.

For five and a half years, Rice did nothing about the most serious problem in the Middle East, and now she's done worse than nothing.

Rice believes it is the diplomacy of the F-16.



TEHRAN: The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards called on his troops yesterday to "prepare themselves to get even" with Israel and the United States.

"Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards and Basji should prepare themselves to get even with Zionists and Americans," General Yahya Rahim Safavi said.

"The supreme leader will announce the time for this," he said, referring to Iran's top cleric and commander-in-chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

"We have to keep this sacred hatred of Islam alive in our hearts until the time of revenge comes," the general said.

"I hope out nation can one day revenge the blood of innocent people in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanastan," he said, adding, "I ask God to arouse the dignity of Muslims and destroy America, Israel and their associates."

Iran denied it was helping Hizbollah in its fight against Israel in Lebanon.

"We haven't deployed any forces there (Lebanon)," said Hamid Reza Asefi, spokesman of Iran's foreign ministry.

"If we chooses to give them future military support, we will announce it. We have no fear of Mr. Bush and company."

Gulf Daily News
July 31, 2006


Even Churchill Couldn't Figure Out Iraq

The Bush Administration has created such a mess in Iraq that despairing military strategists are talking about drastic, flawed measures such as taking sides of partitioning Baghdad

By: Joe Klein
Sunday, July 30, 2006

"There is something very sinister to my mind in this mesopotamian entanglement," Winston Churchill wrote his Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, in August 1920. "Week after week and month after month for a long time we shall have a continuance of this miserable, wasteful, sporadic warfare marked from time to time certainly by minor disasters and cuttings off of troops and agents, and very possibly attended by some very grave occurence."

While the world has been fixed on the crisis in Israel and Lebanon these past few weeks, Iraq has reached the brink of a "very grave occurence," an all-out civil war between Sunnis and Shi'ites that could quickly spread to neighboring countries. The Iraqi-led military push to pacify Baghdad, Operation Forward Together, has run into fierce resistance from the Sunni insurgency and the Shi'ite militias. The death toll---an average of 100 per day---is at least double the rate of casualties in Lebanon. The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, gave a ridiculously upbeat speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress last week, but his government has been unable or unwilling to cut the grand political deal that is necessary for stability. Any such deal would include a guaranteed proportion, say 20%, of Iraq's oil revenues to the oil-less Sunnis, and also the root-and-branch cleansing of the Ministry of Interior, home base for many of the Shi'ite death squads. "We have been pointed toward civil war since the new Iraqi constitution was approved last October and reinforced in the December elections," a senior U.S. intelligence official told me last week. "The Sunnis have united behind the insurgency because they don't believe the Shi'ites will give them a fair deal." In recent months, according to U.S. intelligence sources, the Saudis and Jordanians, who are predominantly Sunni, have quietly moved to support the insurgency with money and intelligence, fearing that Shi'ite Iran will dominate the new Iraqi government if the U.S. decides to leave.

"They absolutely think we're leaving," said retired Marine Colonel Thomas X. Hammes, author of The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century. "This is what happened in Afghanastan when it became clear the Russians were leaving. The factions began fighting each other."

Afghanastan is instructive: civil war led to the Taliban government; the Taliban provided a safe haven for al-Qaeda; and you know the rest. A U.S. skedaddle from Iraq would probably lead to far worse consequences, given Iraq's strategic location and potential oil wealth. So what do we do now? I asked six leading U.S. military strategists, four of them on active duty, and the desire was univeral. "This is the battle for Baghdad that didn't take place in 2003," said a general, expressing the consensus view. "The strategy of moving more U.S. troops into the city is correct, but...our troops should be partnered with Iraqi units, our military police embedded with their police. The Iraqis must take the lead, but we're going to have to take some risks. Our troops need to be relocated from the safety of their forward operating bases right into the middle of Baghdad. That will mean more U.S. casualties. And if this doesn't reduce the violence over the next few months, we may have to change our basic strategy."

***First of all, this new strategy sucks! Putting ONLY 5,000 U.S. troops into Baghdad is one of the stupidest things I've heard. You'll need much more than that to accomplish what they are trying to do. Secondly, this partnering up with the Iraqis is also ridiculous. They are either Sunnis or they are Shiites. They are already at war with one another because one doesn't trust that the other will take care of "their" people. They are going to either turn on each other in the battlefield or worse yet, they are going to turn on the U.S. troops! This is a civil war that has been coming for years. Bush and his Republican neocons have only worsened it and have finally made it happen. Was that his intention? He has already been called a racist. Is he trying to do away with all Arabs? That's something you yourself will have to decide. Look at what he is doing to the whole Middle East. When will their guns be turned on us because the rest of the world is starting to look at us an "the instigators?"

There was no consensus about what a new strategy might be, but there were two prevailing theories, and each was grievously flawed. "We've got to pick a side," said an Army colonel, who was talking not macro Shi'ite-vs.- Sunni side picking BUT micro Shi'ite-militia picking. "We should move against Sadr," he added, referring to Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, which has been responsible for much of the recent sectarian violence. But even if successful, a move against Sadr would leave the other prominant Shi'ite militia, the Badr Corps, which has close ties to Iran, in control of the Ministry of Interior. The second proposal was chilling. "We could partition Baghdad," said a general. "It's beginning to partition itself." But if the city were divided along the Tigris River---a popular rumor in the Iraqi blogosphere---approximately 1 million Sunnis would be stranded on the Shi'ite side and vice-versa. "The human catastrophe would be extraordinary," said an Army colonel. If partition happens, an Iraqi official told Reuters, "Iraq as a political project is finished," and chaos ensues. Colonel Hammes identified a more basic, undeniable problem: "Talking about a new strategy is useless until we get a new team---in the Pentagon, in the Administration. THESE GUYS HAVE SCREWED UP EVERYTHING. THEY HAVEN'T GOT THE CREDIBILITY TO IMPLEMENT ANYTHING."

Writing to Lloyd George, Churchill, frustrated after all the bloodshed in World War I, asked, "Why are we compelled to go on pouring armies and treasure into these thankless deserts?" But the British had created the problem, cobbling "Iraq" from three disparate Ottoman provinces. They chose sides, picking the Sunni minority to run the country. The Brits remained there 12 years, bleeding occasionally, until 1932. The bleeding continued after they left, as the Sunnis brutalized Iraq until 2003.

The Bush Administration, defiantly ignorant of history, has created a situation far more dangerous than the one Churchill complained about. We are in free fall in Iraq, and there is no net.


Diane Stearns, medical researcher

Daytona Beach News-Journal Online
By: Audrey Parente
July 30, 2006

Stearns, a biochemist, was named principal investigator of a Northern Arizona University study tied to improving health among Native American communities. The project was funded by a joint grant awarded to the Flagstaff, Ariz., university and the Arizona Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

Q. As a chemistry professor, why did you study depleted uranium?

A. To encourage Native American students to go into cancer research. We found that the Navajo Nation is interested in exposure to radiation in mining. It is banned on the reservation, but they are planning to open the mines at Four Corner (Ariz.).

Q. What did you and your students study?

A. In my work we study how materials are toxic. We focus on the science. We looked at uranium as a heavy metal and how it can damage DNA independent of its radioactivity. Depleted uranium is less radioactive, but you are only looking at a small difference. We exposed cells grown in the lab to depleted uranium. It would be the form circulating through the body.

Q. What did you find?

A. We looked at the types of damages. We found strand breaks and that the uranium bonded to DNA---and that is something new.

Q. What does it mean in relationship to health?

A. We found mutations in the cell that can lead to cancer. Usually it also affects birth defects, but we did not study that.

Q. What is the value of this discovery?

A. Our work allows us to raise questions. If there is evidence that (depleted uranium) affects DNA, we definitely need to look at this.

***I thought that those in our military would like to know this since they are and were being exposed to depleted uranium!


Martin Bashir Exclusive to Air on ABC News "Nightline"

July 30, 2006---ABC News' "Nightline" will air an exclusive interview Monday with one of four soldiers accused of murdering prisoners in Iraq, in which he alleges that on the mission in question his command gave specific orders to kill all military-aged males encountered.

"Nightline" co-anchor Martin Bashir talks with Pfc. Corey Clagett from his cell in Kuwait.

Pfc. Clagett maintains his innocence in the May 9 killings on a canal island in Salahuddin province, but also makes the startling claim that units in Iraq are in competition with each other regarding their kill rates.

The story of these soldiers came to light in June when the U.S. military announced their arrest. In the last few weeks, details of the killings have come under question by members of their own brigade, and the investigation was reopened after two initial investigations by commanders in the field found no wrongdoing.

Clagett's first hearing is Tuesday in Tikrit, Iraq. The soldiers could face the death penaly if found guilty.

This is one of many ongoing investigations into soldier wrongdoing in regards to the deaths of Iraqi civilians.

The interview will air tonight, Monday at 11:35pm ET/PT on ABC News' "Nightline."

ABC News Internet Ventures
July 30, 2006