rethinking? there wasn’t any thinking in the first place…

Posted on Wednesday 30 January 2008

Four months after announcing troop reductions in Iraq, President Bush is now sending signals that the cuts may not continue past this summer, a development likely to infuriate Democrats and renew concerns among military planners about strains on the force. Mr. Bush has made no decisions on troop reductions to follow those he announced last September. But White House officials said Mr. Bush had been taking the opportunity, as he did in Monday’s State of the Union address, to prepare Americans for the possibility that, when he leaves office a year from now, the military presence in Iraq will be just as large as it was a year ago, or even slightly larger.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Bush wanted to tamp down criticism that a large, sustained presence in Iraq would harm the overall health of the military — a view held not only by Democrats, but by some members of his own Joint Chiefs of Staff. Within the Pentagon, senior officers have struggled to balance the demands of the Iraq war against the competing demands to recruit, train and retain a robust and growing ground force. That institutional tension is personified by two of Mr. Bush’s top generals, David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Iraq, and George W. Casey Jr., the Army chief of staff. General Petraeus’s mission is to win the war; General Casey must also worry about the health of the whole Army.

We’re concerned about the health of the force as well, but the most important thing is that they succeed in Iraq,” said one senior White House official, adding, “If the commanders on the ground believe we need to maintain the troop numbers at the current level to maintain security for a little while longer, then that’s what the president will do.”
"We’re concerned about the health of the force as well, but the most important thing is that they succeed in Iraq." This is the umpteenth time for "a little while longer." Their creativity in finding ways to justify continuing the war in Iraq is impressive. It’s been a remarkable game of chess – getting backed into a corner, then eeking out yet another reason to stay. The title of this article itself shows how little the Press has learned in the last seven years. "The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity" were likely sent to deliver this "leak" much as the Valerie Plame leak – preparing us for an already made decision that they can get away with renegging on the troop withdrawals. It’s as if the Press forgets that we’re in Iraq on false pretenses and the goal from the very beginning was occupation. This isn’t any more a "rethinking" than Bush’s so-called period of contemplation over the the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations during the holidays at the end of 2006. This is simply their way of sliding out their decisions under the cover of some kind of new rationalization. At our current rates, that means another thousand dead American Children and another gajillion dollars chasing a very bad decision. And whoever said "but the most important thing is that they succeed in Iraq?" Succeed with what? Justifying their previous lies?
False Pretenses
Following 9/11, President Bush and seven top officials of his administration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Nearly five years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exhaustive examination of the record shows that the statements were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses.

On at least 532 separate occasions (in speeches, briefings, interviews, testimony, and the like), Bush and these three key officials, along with Secretary of State Colin Powell, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, and White House press secretaries Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, stated unequivocally that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (or was trying to produce or obtain them), links to Al Qaeda, or both. This concerted effort was the underpinning of the Bush administration’s case for war.

It is now beyond dispute that Iraq did not possess any weapons of mass destruction or have meaningful ties to Al Qaeda. This was the conclusion of numerous bipartisan government investigations, including those by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (2004 and 2006), the 9/11 Commission, and the multinational Iraq Survey Group, whose "Duelfer Report" established that Saddam Hussein had terminated Iraq’s nuclear program in 1991 and made little effort to restart it.

In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated and that culminated in military action against Iraq on March 19, 2003. Not surprisingly, the officials with the most opportunities to make speeches, grant media interviews, and otherwise frame the public debate also made the most false statements, according to this first-ever analysis of the entire body of prewar rhetoric…
    January 30, 2008 | 10:19 AM

    If you have a moment check out the web site crooksand with bluegal, it shows a graphic of a spine and gives you the phone number of Pelosi. If you call the Speaker a staffer answers and after listening to you for just a second says that he will switch you to the speakers comment line. They don’t want to listen to your comment because they’re too busy doing what they want to do. If I sound a little mad it’s because I am.

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