By Jason Leopold
t r u t h o u t | Report
Wednesday 07 December 2005
The US military death toll in Iraq surpassed 2,100 soldiers last month, and despite the fact that there is a strong debate about permanently pulling troops out of the country, there are still unanswered questions as to whether there are actually enough ground forces to deal with insurgents.
The lack of soldiers on the ground has been a hot-button issue since the start of the Iraq war in March 2003. Career military officials believe that's the reason the war hasn't been a "cakewalk," and they blame Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for designing a flawed war plan.
The war plan Rumsfeld shaped in the year before the Iraq war has led to deep divisions between military commanders and the defense secretary that continue to this day, according to some military officials who requested anonymity because they said they were not authorized to speak publicly.
by David Corn
Is the United States in the last throes of empire? That sounds like an ideologically loaded, fatalistic and defeatist question. But it's what I've been wondering about at the start of this holiday season. Might future historians look back at the Bush II days and ask if this was the point when the country started slipping? Might the war in Iraq be regarded as a desperate act of a superpower that had already peaked? Will economists of the latter 21st century examine our economic decisions and say, "What were they thinking?" Or has the Grinch gotten to me?
For Immediate Release Contact: Mikael Moore
December 7, 2005 (202) 225-2201
Members of the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus Urged to Support Murtha's Iraq Resolution
Washington, DC - Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-25), Chair of the 'Out of Iraq' Congressional Caucus sent a letter to the seventy-one members of the 'Out of Iraq' Caucus urging them to cosponsor Congressman John Murtha's resolution, H J Res 73, which would redeploy US Forces from Iraq.
Today, Congresswoman Waters signed on as a cosponsor of H J Res 73.
The text of Congresswoman Waters' letter is as follows:
The Left Coaster: WMDgate: Fixing Intelligence Around Policy, Part 3 -- The White House Iraq Protocol (WHIP) for Deceiving the United States
Day of decision is Dec. 16
Let's not forget Vietnam's first free election
By Newton N. Minow
Published December 6, 2005
Every day, our experience in Iraq sounds more and more like our experience in Vietnam 40 years ago. What can we learn from their parallels?
In the summer of 1965, our ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai E. Stevenson, died unexpectedly. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg to succeed Stevenson. As the Vietnam War escalated, Goldberg went to the UN on July 26, 1965.
Goldberg was a kissin' cousin of my wife, so I called Arthur to ask why he gave up a Supreme Court position. He told me he did not want to leave the court, but Johnson had persuaded him to go to the United Nations. Johnson told him, "Only you, Arthur, will be able to end the Vietnam War."
Arthur added, "If you have any ideas, please call me."
THE OCCUPATION OF IRAQ MUST END
The U.S. occupation of Iraq is in crisis. As any sensible union member knows, the first thing to do when you find you've dug yourself into a hole is to STOP DIGGING. The U.S. needs to find a way out of the mess that our government has gotten us into and stop digging this country deeper into Iraq. Every reason Bush gave for going to war -- Irag having weapons of mass destruction, Iraq collaborating with al Qaida and it being an imminent threat to the US -- has been proven false.
by David Sirota
Sometimes you just have to just laugh at Rush Limbaugh. Here's a guy who dodged the Vietnam War draft by citing a cyst on his ass (no joke), and yet who accuses Vietnam War heroes essentially of treason. Today, Limbaugh's attack is on Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). You remember him – he's that guy who actually went over and served in Vietnam, while Limbaugh sat home, dropped his pants, and pointed his draft board to a cyst on his own ass in order to avoid serving his country.
By Suzanne Goldenberg
The Guardian UK
Tuesday 06 December 2005
The robust defence of rendition offered yesterday by the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, marks the export to a European audience of a position on torture that is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for the Bush administration.
Condoleezza Rice's contradictory, misleading and outright false statements about the U.S. and torture have taken America's moral standing -- and her own -- to new depths.
By Sidney Blumenthal
Dec. 08, 2005 | The metamorphosis of Condoleezza Rice from the chrysalis of the protégé into the butterfly of the State Department has not been a natural evolution but has demanded self-discipline. She has burnished an image of the ultimate loyalist, yet betrayed her mentor, George H.W. Bush's national security advisor Brent Scowcroft. She is the team player, yet carefully inserted knives in the back of her predecessor, Colin Powell, climbing up them like a ladder of success. She is the person most trusted on foreign policy by the president, yet was an enabler for Vice President Cheney and the neoconservatives. Now her public relations team at the State Department depicts her as a restorer of realism, builder of alliances and maker of peace.
By Norman Solomon
Thursday 08 December 2005
Christmas came 11 days early for Donald Rumsfeld two years ago, when the news broke that American forces had pulled Saddam Hussein from a spidery hole. During interviews about the capture, on CBS and ABC, the Pentagon's top man was upbeat. And he didn't have to deal with a question that Lesley Stahl or Peter Jennings could have logically chosen to ask: "Secretary Rumsfeld, you met with Saddam almost exactly 20 years ago and shook his hand. What kind of guy was he?"
London, Day 2: Scotland Trip
Scotland: Stop the War!
By David Swanson
Today, Cindy Sheehan and Scottish mothers who have lost their sons in Iraq held a rally outside the Scottish parliament, spoke at a cross-party meeting of Members of the Scottish Parliament, were welcomed to the City of Glasgow by the Lord Provost, and addressed an anti-war rally in Glasgow. This, plus the trips up to Scotland from London and back took Cindy and Andrew Burgin and me about 16 hours, so we're a wee bit knackered, but we're learning to speak the lingo – and I'm going to run out for fish and chips after posting this.
By Alexander Cockburn for CounterPunch.org:
"Four-Star Generals briefed Murtha and gave him the state-of-the-art data which made his speech so deadly, stinging the White House into panic-stricken and foolish denunciations of Murtha as a clone of Michael Moore."
The immense significance of Rep John Murtha's November 17 speech calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq is that it signals mutiny in the US senior officer corps, seeing the institution they lead as "broken, worn out" and "living hand to mouth", to use the biting words of their spokesman, John Murtha, as he reiterated on December his denunciation of Bush's destruction of the Army.
Insurgents holding four members of a Christian Peacemaker Team kidnapped in Iraq had threatened to kill them tomorrow if Iraqi detainees are not released from U.S. custody. The group holding them has just announced that they have extended the deadline to December 10. Please continue to keep all involved in your thoughts and prayers. May their captors' hearts be softened.
Fitzgerald Presents New Information to Grand Jury
First Appearance in Probe Since Libby Indictment
By Carol Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 7, 2005; 1:09 PM
Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald appeared this morning to present information to a new grand jury in the CIA leak investigation.
Amid Criticism, Rice Seeks to Clarify Interrogation Policy
Secretary of State Faces Questions in Europe Over Techniques
By ANNE GEARAN, AP
Condoleezza Rice, shown in Romania, faced strong criticism in Europe over U.S. handling of terrorism suspects.
Bush Lauds Iraq Progress, Cites Challenges
By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer
Wed Dec 7,12:49 PM ET
WASHINGTON - Trying to build support for Iraq war strategy, President Bush acknowledged Wednesday that reconstruction has proceeded with "fits and starts" but spreading economic progress is lifting hopes for a democratic future.
Wolfowitz's New Job Turning Him Into Iraq War's Invisible Man
By William McQuillen
Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Paul Wolfowitz's role as the architect of the Iraq war is shaping up to be one of the great disappearing acts in Washington.
Crooks and Liars
John Murtha responded to President Bush's speech today. I can't write much (ill) so discuss what he said in the thread.
QT convert is broken (it's about 20 minutes long so a small size vid file-11mgs)
Jesse has the entire transcript posted.
MURTHA: Let me start by going through a timeline and then get to what the president said....read on
Booman Tribune has more...
Think Progress: During his response to President Bush this afternoon, Murtha revealed, for the first time, that the Pentagon will ask for an additional $100 billion for operations in Iraq next year...
12:11:15 PM Comments (147) permalink12:11:15 PM
LINK TO ORIGINAL
Mayor of London Calls Bushies "A Gang of Thugs"
By David Swanson
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, England, threw a bash for anti-war activists this evening and denounced the Bush Administration as "a gang of thugs." He praised the work of those present from the US and the UK who have worked to end the war, including offering high praise for Cindy Sheehan, who also spoke.
BREAKING: Military Will Request $100B For Iraq Next Year, Murtha Reveals
Judd, Think Progress
During his response to President Bush this afternoon, Murtha revealed, for the first time, that the Pentagon will ask for an additional $100 billion for operations in Iraq next year:
Time's Novak to Testify Tomorrow
Time reporter Viveca Novak is scheduled to give a sworn deposition to special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald tomorrow, a spokesperson for the magazine confirmed.
Speaking the Truth
The angry rhetoric on Fox News Monday night seemed all too familiar. John O'Neill, when questioned about the situation in Iraq, used the politics of personal destruction to attack a decorated veteran -- my brother John Kerry. O'Neill's arguments are a repeat of Republican politics during the last five years. We saw the same tactics used against John McCain in 2000, John Kerry last year with the Swift Boat ads, and most recently against John Murtha, one of the most respected Congressional voices on military affairs.
Dan Simpson: Honesty is not their policy
The Bush administration, in manifold ways, shows a consistent lack of acquaintance with truth
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
It is probably fair to say that one of the qualities that in-the-middle voters in 2000 and 2004 found appealing in both halves of the Bush-Cheney ticket was the apparent honesty of the two men.
Putting America Last
The 9/11 Commission report card: Feds fail
by Justin Raimondo
The 9/11 Commission, which still exists as a nonprofit foundation, recently graded the federal government's implementation of their recommendations, and it's a report card [.pdf] worthy of a juvenile delinquent: five Fs and those Fs don't mean "fine" or "fantastic." We're talking capital-F failure, as in "massive intelligence failure," when it comes to five key areas:
Desperate plan to stay the course
Published December 4, 2005
When President Bush went to the Naval Academy the other day, he spoke in front of a sign that could have been an answer on "Jeopardy." It had the words "Plan for Victory." The question: What did the Bush administration fail to do when it invaded Iraq?
Senator spurs hostility from antiwar left for occupying the middle ground on policy
By JERRY ZREMSKI
News Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is standing more clearly than ever in the middle ground on the Iraq War and taking some sharp fire from the antiwar left for doing so.
In the past two weeks, the New York senator and prospective Democratic presidential candidate who voted to authorize the war in October 2002 has made it clear that she won't join the rush to set a quick timetable for withdrawing American troops.
Their grand gesture to Hillary
December 6, 2005
The fighting grannies now have Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in their anti-war sights.
"Starting today, we are going to start bird dogging her wherever she goes," said Joan Wile, the 77-year-old who in 2003 founded Grandmothers Against the War.
"We are very angry with her for straddling the Iraq War fence," said Wile last week over breakfast on the Upper West Side. "We plan to hound her and get her to have some spunk and some ethics, and say what most New Yorkers say, which is let's get out of Iraq, and soon."
Doves could destroy Hillary's '08 hopes
James P. Pinkerton
December 6, 2005
Could Hillary Clinton's presumed presidential aspirations be derailed by dovish fellow Democrats? It's happened before to Democratic hawks.
In 1966, during the Vietnam War, a group of Democratic doves, including the economist John Kenneth Galbraith and the historian Arthur Schlesinger, gathered to oppose the hawkishness of their fellow Democrat, President Lyndon B. Johnson. Galbraith, Schlesinger and Co. were not street-protester types out to trash "the establishment." Instead, they sought to transform the establishment; one tool was the encouragement of new candidates to get into Democratic politics pushing an anti-war agenda.
Clinton greeted by anti-war protesters
By MARC HUMBERT
AP Political Writer
December 6, 2005, 4:19 PM EST
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was greeted Tuesday by anti-war protesters and a second Democratic challenger to her bid for re-election.
The former first lady arrived in Saratoga Springs for a local Democratic Party fundraiser, while outside more than a dozen Iraq war protesters waved signs and called on her to support an immediate withdrawal of troops.
"I'm disappointed she's not that far apart from the current administration," said Barbara Murphy of Clifton Park, a retired state worker.