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W deaf to bad news on Iraq

By Michael McAuliff for The Daily News:

President Bush will hear no evil on the Iraq war - even when the bad news comes from military brass and top government officials, a new report says.

Bush "remains convinced that it is his personal mission to bring democracy to Iraq," according to The New Yorker magazine.

The article, echoing a Daily News story yesterday, says Bush and his inner circle are so determined to follow their own plan that generals fear saying what's wrong in Iraq - and senior advisers are snubbed if they have bad news.

"I tried to tell" the President about problems in Iraq, one former senior official told the magazine. "And he couldn't hear it."

The News quoted another Bush confidant yesterday saying that Team Bush has an "unyielding belief in the wisdom of what they're doing" in Iraq and elsewhere, and that "they're talking to people who could help them, but they're not listening."

New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh said that Bush is motivated in part by religious fervor and that he believes the war must be judged on a time line of decades, not years. "He's a utopian, you could say, in a world where maybe he doesn't have all the facts and all the information he needs and isn't able to change," Hersh said on CNN yesterday.

"I'll tell you, the people that talk to me now are essentially frightened because they're not sure how you get to this guy."

Hersh said such tunnel vision helps explain why the Bush administration went ballistic when Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a Vietnam War hero, recently declared the war is tanking and it's time to bring the troops home.

"The generals know him and like him," Hersh said. "His message to the White House was much more worrisome than maybe to the average person in the public. [White House officials] know that generals are privately telling him things that they're not saying to them."

The administration is looking for options to bring some troops home. The Pentagon is expected to cut forces from the current level of about 160,000 to about 138,000 after next month's elections in Iraq. And under "optimistic" scenarios, forces would be cut to around 100,000 by late 2006.

Hersh, however, reports that keeping fewer boots on the ground may be designed only to provide political cover and that a bigger air war may follow.

"The war is not going to slow down," Hersh told CNN. "We're going to increase the pace of air operations. There's going to be more bombing in direct support of Iraqi units."

A White House spokesman said he hadn't seen Hersh's story and could not comment.

The reports of Bush's determination regarding Iraq come as he's preparing to launch a major new publicity push on the war, starting with a speech Wednesday at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

Also, Bush's ambassador to Iraq warned yesterday that pulling out of the country early would be disastrous. "Terrorists could take over part of this country and expand from here," Zalmay Khalilzad told Newsweek. "And given the resources of Iraq, given the technical expertise of its people, it will make Afghanistan look like child's play."

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So, let me get this straight. If the American occupying forces depart Bush Co. is spreading the fear line that the "terrorists" are going to occupy Iraq in our place. I say, SO WHAT? Let Iraq to the Iraqis to sort out. Maybe it is time that the round pegs be fit into the round holes instead of trying to force the round pegs into the square hole devised by the west years ago. Let the Sunnis, Kurds and Shites settle their own differences in their own ways. That recent meeting in Cairo appears to have been a great start. At least the US could take credit for something positive; the three sides could agree on one thing, the US should GET THE HELL OUT!

Bush has a plan; deceitful, diabolical and it must fail.

The cost of the war so far in direct spending and lost economic growth is about $350 billion (Brookings Institute). So Professor Nordhaus figure (which includes reconstruction and nation-building efforts) of $1.9 trillion in costs during the decade after the invasion seems realistic. Bush knows he must have a return on investment (ROI) and Iraq is a rich country. This burden is beginning to show in his planning, which, can only be described as 'fire fighting'. Time is short. The anti-war movement is getting stronger. The tears of grieving mothers have begun to drown the sounds of our soldier’s weapons.

The neo-cons are trying to draw more Sunnis into this month's election (bribing Iraq media to build on the Sunni vote achieved months back in the referendum to endorse a new constitution) so that a more representative government will emerge.

Death Squads

It is one thing to bribe and another to kill using Shia and Kurd death squads while the US army is in self-protection mode protecting the oil installations and the US contractors who are building permanent bases.

Here is a picture of a Sunni father of seven children. He was beaten and left to die by one of the many US trained 'insurgency elimination squads'.
His eldest son found him after a long search. He cannot be named because his children live in fear of being killed as well.

Without that happening Bush is effectively scuppered. The neo-cons (thru the Arab press) are also trying to turn the Arab world firmly against the jihadists lead by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (The Jordan bombings were CIA back-channel orientated).

I actually saw an article in Arabic that read 'Mr Bush's efforts to spread democracy in the region are starting to bear fruit'.
You can see the importance of these bloodstained efforts by the neo-cons when you consider Mr Murtha's argument that American troops are now a barrier to further progress and if they left, Mr Zarqawi would lose the one thing that unites the Sunnis and jihadists.

Mark Golding
Children of iraq Association

The executive branch of our government has garnered way too much power. It's time to cut these guys off at the knees. Where in the hell did Bush get the idea the military is his personal crusading force? See how quickly power corrupts the weak minded, like Bush himself, the neocons, and especially the right wing thugs.

Congress.. demand a quick time table for withdrawl, or force an end to this fiasco. Take the ability to abuse the military away from these incompetents! Do your job damn it!

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