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Challenging Petraeus


By Ryan Anderson, Win Without War

Yesterday's testimony by General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker before the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees left one vital question unanswered: whether the surge of U.S. forces is making things worse, not better in Iraq both militarily and politically.

With testimony last week by General William Odom (ret.) outlining the very serious danger of renting the loyalty of Sunni strongmen, and the lack of political reconciliation, there is significant evidence that the much touted progress in Iraq is only an illusion.

In a call to greater probity by our elected officials, Tom Andrews has posed these and other questions in an open letter to his former colleagues on the House Armed Services Committee.

Read Tom's letter on Huffington Post to see what questions desperately need to be asked.

This morning, Tom will be interviewed for a podcast on Washington Post Online giving his analysis of the hearings so far. We will have a link to that on our website as soon as it's available - visit www.standupcongress.org this afternoon for this and other breaking news on the Petraeus and Crocker hearings.

And this afternoon Tom will be meeting with key Senators and Representatives to follow up on today's events and discuss our opposition to supplemental war funding. As always, our best chance at preventing yet another $102.5 billion to fund endless war is for as many people to sign our Open Letter to Congress as possible. If you haven't already done so, sign the letter and forward this email to your friends and family encouraging them to join this important effort.

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“…. The tone of General Petraeus was notably sober, and despite an intensified American military campaign over the past 15 months, he acknowledged: "We haven't turned any corners. We haven't seen any lights at the end of the tunnel." ….”

I’ve got a News Bulletin for the good General – The light at the end of the tunnel is that of a Sustainable America un-beholden to foreign energy sources (OPEC), foreign dictatorships (Saudi Arabia), foreign lobbyists (AIPAC), foreign fundamentalists (Zionists), as well as pathological American fundamentalists (NEOCON, Right-wing Christian, etc).

If some goober (me) without any war profiteering interests (which all this really comes down to) can recognize the truth of this faux war on terror and national security state that we live in, then I would hope that this nation could produce a few more people like Senator Russ Feingold, who sees the “war” for what it really is – a scam.

Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Missouri) is currently opening today’s “Iraq War” hearings on CSPAN – he’s continuing the lies in terms of blaming the Iraqi people for the failure of our occupation. If the tv was broadcasting in black and white one would think that we’re still in the 1950-1960’s with a corrupted Congress defending the invasion and slaughter of innocent Vietnamese.

Creating the National Security State:
A History of the Law That Transformed America
Douglas T. Stuart

For the last sixty years, American foreign and defense policymaking has been dominated by a network of institutions created by one piece of legislation--the 1947 National Security Act. This is the definitive study of the intense political and bureaucratic struggles that surrounded the passage and initial implementation of the law. Focusing on the critical years from 1937 to 1960, Douglas Stuart shows how disputes over the lessons of Pearl Harbor and World War II informed the debates that culminated in the legislation, and how the new national security agencies were subsequently transformed by battles over missions, budgets, and influence during the early cold war.

Stuart provides an in-depth account of the fight over Truman's plan for unification of the armed services, demonstrating how this dispute colored debates about institutional reform. He traces the rise of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the transformation of the CIA, and the institutionalization of the National Security Council. He also illustrates how the development of this network of national security institutions resulted in the progressive marginalization of the State Department.

Stuart concludes with some insights that will be of value to anyone interested in the current debate over institutional reform.

· Hardcover: 358 pages

· Publisher: Princeton University Press (February 19, 2008)

· Language: English

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