Monday, December 4, 2006

Is Everyone Now a Cut-and-Runner?

A few "above the line" options from the memo written by Donald Rumsfeld on November 6 and leaked recently to The New York Times:

* Retain high-end SOF [special operations forces] capability and necessary support structure to target Al Qaeda, death squads, and Iranians in Iraq, while drawing down all other Coalition forces, except those necessary to provide certain key enablers for the ISF.

* Withdraw U.S. forces from vulnerable positions--cities, patrolling, etc.--and move U.S. forces to a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) status, operating from within Iraq and Kuwait, to be available when Iraqi security forces need assistance.

* Begin modest withdrawals of U.S. and Coalition forces (start "taking our hand off the bicycle seat"), so Iraqis know they have to pull up their socks, step up and take responsibility for their country.

Does this make Rumsfeld a cut-and-run defeatist who wants "the terrorists" to win? Remember, George Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove have tried to defame proponents of troop withdrawals as quasi-traitors who yearn for ignoble defeat in Iraq. But Rummy--on his way out--noted that a strategic shift in Iraq might require some type of troop pullout. (In the memo, he did not note whether he favored any particular option.) And the Iraq Study Group headed by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Representative Lee Hamilton will release a report Wednesday reportedly calling for a conditional withdrawal that aims to get US troops out of Iraq by early 2008 (if circumstances on the ground permit). Is everyone now a defeat-hankering cut-and-runner?

It's easy for war critics to dismiss the Baker report, for its withdrawal call is vague and wishy-washy. But the key point to keep in mind is that a foreign policy consensus is slowly forming: pulling back troops is part of any quasi-solution to the hellish mess Bush has created in Iraq. Except within the White House. Bush says, of course, he'd like to see troops come home--but only after "the mission is completed." Rumsfeld, Baker, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, congressional Democrats and others are either considering or arguing that disengagement (in some form) cannot wait until a mythical completion of a the "mission" occurs. This is the great divide that is forming within Washington. And on Bush's side, it's getting pretty lonely.

Posted by David Corn at December 4, 2006 11:21 AM


capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

"cannot wait until a mythical completion of a the "mission" occurs."

The best line I have read in a while!



kathleen said...

Russerts interview of Hadley on Meet the Press was terrific! Russert finally nailed someone!

MR. RUSSERT: But in terms of trying to bring the country together, to bring Democrats—who now control Congress—to the table, could the president step forward and say, “I acknowledge we were wrong about WMD, we were wrong about troop levels, we were wrong about the length of the war, we were wrong about the cost of the war, we were wrong about the financing of the war, we were wrong about the level of sectarian violence, we were wrong about being greeted as liberators. We made some fundamental misjudgments, and they were wrong, but now we’re all in this together”? Could he do that?

MR. HADLEY: He’s done a lot of that. He’s acknowledged that...

Hadley just lied through his teeth once again.

Who thinks Hadley might be one of Fitzgerald's targets? I do!

Compulsive liars and psychopathic murderers feel no shame! The only hope for our country or the rest of the world that needs to be protected from these very dangerous criminals is a "corner" or a wing for them in a prison or a state mental institution!

Charlie said...

I wish someone would tell me what the mission was in Iraq these days. I have heard quite a bit about completing "it" but not much about what "it" is.

kathleen said...

Funny how this Baker/Hamilton Commission resembles the four part plan for withdrawal from Iraq proposed by Zbigniew Brezenski many months ago.

If the Bush administration had any conscience or shame they would have jumped on the Brezenski plan then!

Is Baker being allowed to save face for bringing/stealing the 2000 election in Florida and bringing us the dysfunctional Bush administration?

On the Diane Rehm show several months ago Baker actually said at least four times that the world was with the Bush administration in the run-up to the war! Why is he being painted as some type of hero now?

kathleen said...


December 4 , 2006

Take Action Today!

Join thousands across the country in a National Call in Day to hold Congress
accountable to the Mandate for Peace: Tel. 202-224-3121 Congressional Switchboard

Call your Representative and Senators and tell them: "The voters issued a Mandate
for Peace! That means, bring the troops home now!"

Members of Congress return to Washington on Monday, December 4. Let's greet them
with a flood of phone calls, because, as incredible as it may seem, many still don't
get that the troops need to come home from Iraq. Since the elections, the carnage in
Iraq has only gotten worse. Our 140,000 troops in Iraq are unable to stop the ever
deepening spiral of violence. In the last week we have witnessed the bloodiest
attacks since the U.S. invasion almost 4 years ago. Yet congress and the
administration sit and wait... for the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report, for
the Pentagon study group report, the White House study group -- for anything they
can hide behind. On November 7, the people gave Congress a mandate for peace.
Congress has the power to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq -- they control the purse
strings and can stop this war -- and if it fails to do so, we will hold them
responsible for the continued violence in Iraq.

Call your Representative and both Senators tell them: "I insist that Congress act
immediately to bring all U.S. troops home from Iraq NOW! The Congress has the power
end this occupation. Use your power or you will be held responsible for the
continuation of this war."

Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121, or call your Representative and Senators
in their district offices. You can find out who your Representative and Senators are
and also look up their district office phone numbers here

Please make 3 phone calls: to your Representative and to each of your Senators.

Background: The United States has now been engaged in Iraq for longer than our
engagement in WWII. Violence in Iraq has again spiked to ever-higher levels. It is
impossible to say how many Iraqis have died during the war and occupation, but Johns
Hopkins University estimates 650,000. We know that over 2,890 U.S. troops have died,
over 21,000 have been maimed or wounded and over 9,500 have deserted. The
Constitution gives the Congress the power to end this war through the power of the
purse. Sen. Robert Byrd has described this as "the fulcrum of the people's shackle the hands of an overreaching chief executive." Congress must
use this leverage to bring occupation of Iraq to an end. For more information about
the Mandate for Peace campaign, a joint effort of dozens of peace and community

Working together we will end to the US occupation in Iraq and bring our troops home.

capt said...

"On Friday, Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) was seen wearing "tartan" or "buffalo plaid" pajama bottoms. But Domenici insisted they were actually "hunting pants." He explained that he often wears them around the house and when he leaves for work, he doesn't "necessarily take them off." "People stop me to talk about them. They're Christmasy, they're black and white."


Time for the old Bushbot to retire. He is losing it.


kathleen said...

Sunday Show Wrap-Up
Stephen Hadley makes the rounds.
by Sonny Bunch@ Weekly Standard
NATIONAL SECURITY adviser Stephen Hadley was all over your television set this weekend, with appearances on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and This Week. (What, too busy to swing by and check in with the guys at Fox?)

Despite the fact that he had almost a full hour of airtime, he said very little of any import; he definitely deserves a "sticking to the talking points" bonus. He told Tim Russert, "We have not failed in Iraq. We will fail in Iraq if we pull [out] our troops now, before we're in a position to help the Iraqis to succeed. If we succeed in Iraq, it will make the country safer." On This Week, Hadley informed George Stephanopoulos that Iraqi prime minister Maliki "basically said . . . Those forces that operate outside of the law and take innocent life have to be brought to justice within the law, and he has started to do that, there are joint operations that have been mounted by coalition forces and Iraqi forces to go after death squad leaders that are causing this, and fueling a lot of this sectarian violence."

He did show a little bit of fire when discussing the leak of a memo he authored for President Bush that took Maliki to task. When Bob Schieffer asked him if this was a planned leak, Hadley retorted "You haven't been hearing that from me. It was outrageous. It was not authorized to leak a memo of that sort on the eve before

the president is meeting Prime Minister Maliki is unconscionable. It's an effort to embarrass those two leaders. It could've cast a pall over this meeting, a meeting that was very important to Iraqis and to Americans to chart the future of Iraq. It is a good thing . . . that the memo did not have that effect. It was a very successful meeting, and partly because of the graciousness with which Prime Minister Maliki took this."
@ Weekly Standard

capt said...

W.House will defy Democrats on security: Republican

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is unlikely to allow the incoming Democratic majority in Congress to learn details about its domestic spying program and interrogation policy, a Republican senator said on Thursday.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who has criticized the Bush White House's secrecy about national security issues, said he would welcome detailed congressional oversight of the National Security Agency's warrantless eavesdropping.

"It would be ideal," said Specter, whose committee was blocked by the administration this year from conducting a full review of the program, despite an outcry among some lawmakers that the spying was illegal.

"We have to really get into the details as to what the program is, as to how many people they are tapping, what they're finding out," he told an American Bar Association conference on national security.

But he said he had "grave reservations" that Congress would end up getting the information from the administration.


*****end of clip*****

This is what Busheney will do: Ignore, side-step, delay, deny and deflect for the full term of the Democratic majorities. Impeachment is the only option.


kathleen said...

This latest article by Justin Raimando is very interesting! Justin's links are worth reading!

December 4, 2006
Alexander Litvinenko: Blackmailer, Smuggler, Gangster Extraordinaire
In the murky underworld he inhabited, the ex-KGB officer had plenty of enemies
by Justin Raimondo

If a would-be novelist – desperate for money and some kind of recognition – put the events surrounding the death of ex-KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko into a fictional narrative, one can only imagine the kind of reviews it would generate. An improbable plot – caricatures instead of characters – and, in the end, just plain unbelievable. After all, why in the name of all that's holy would Vladimir Putin launch what amounts to the first act of nuclear terrorism – and on British soil, to boot?

Yet that is the narrative written in the screaming headlines of Britain's tabloid press, and their hysterical coverage is reflected here in the States. The involvement of the FSB, Russia's intelligence service, is almost taken for granted: the only disagreement seems to be over whether it was Putin, or "rogue" elements, who poisoned Litvinenko with radioactive polonium-210. The conspiracy theorists have a big problem, however: all known suspects, far from being potential FSB agents, are known for their anti-Putin views.

Another big problem for the "Putin did it" advocates is that the truth about Litvinenko is coming out: he wasn't the "human rights" campaigner and noble dissident his supporters have portrayed, but a man who hoped to profit from his inside knowledge of KGB/FSB affairs. He was also a blackmailer, and may have been involved in the smuggling of nuclear materials from inside the Soviet Union to the West and parts unknown. He was, in short, a man so enmeshed in the underground world of the Russian mafia, in shady deals and off-the-books arrangements, that he could have been the victim of any number of criminal gangs.

The details of Litvinenko's scheme to extort money from prominent Russians is detailed by the Guardian:


kathleen said...

John Dean on target!

Are Congressional Wars Coming? Since Cheney Has Already Said He'll Ignore the Democratic Congress, It Seems Likely
Friday, Dec. 01, 2006

This is the first of a two-part series by the author on Congressional oversight of the Bush Administration by the newly-elected Democratic Congress. - Ed.

During the 2006 campaign, which actually started in 2005, President Bush and Vice President Cheney said remarkably ugly things about Congressional Democrats, describing the possibility that they would take control of Congress as an unmitigated disaster, or worse. For example, as the campaign came to a close, President Bush all but accused Democrats of committing treason: "However they put it, the Democrat approach in Iraq comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses," Bush said.

It was Cheney who led the GOP's attack on Democrats to prevent them from winning control of Congress. In fact, the Vice President was more active in fighting to keep Republican control of Congress, than he was in seeking his own reelection in 2004. The Washington Post reported that Cheney was the star attraction at some 111 GOP fundraisers for the 2006 midterm campaign, in addition to actively campaigning for a slew of Republican candidates. As he traveled the country, Cheney accused Democrats of being soft on terrorism; he named names, and he called people names, as he warned of the end of civilization if Democrats won control of Congress.

At John Dean findlaw!

Since using false pre-war intelligence, illegally invading a sovereign nation, sending in American troops into a war of choice, killing, injuring, torturing, raping and displacing millions of Iraqis is not enough to get impeached!

Could someone please give Cheney, Bush and the rest of this administration blowjobs so that congress would consider impeachment!

kathleen said...

Oh boy another combat coward/Micheal Rubin explaining what went wrong in Iraq!

Odd that as he encourages people to look back before moving forward, he fails to mention the FALSE-PRE WAR INTELLIGENCE USED TO PRE-EMPTIVELY INVADE IRAQ!


This is a must read!

What Went Wrong
A sober look at Iraq.
By Michael Rubin

According to the New York Times, the Baker-Hamilton Commission will call for a drawdown of U.S. military presence in Iraq albeit without a timeline. The proposition is lose-lose. The logic that an imminent withdrawal of troops will force the Iraqi government to be more responsible is nonsense. Iraqis will side with strength; they will interpret withdrawal, promised or actual, as weakness. Nor does creating a vacuum provide a solution to a security problem. If the president accepts the report, it will confirm U.S. defeat in Iraq. Inside-the-Beltway spin and diplomatic word parsing are irrelevant. What matters is street perception. And, even if the president does not accept the report, its very presence will embolden Iraqi insurgents and militias. Any doubter need only listen to the recent rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad

What Went Wrong?
As Iraq goes sour, assigning blame has become a Washington past time. It should be welcome. To learn lessons avoids their repeat. While no one in Washington seeks another military conflict, the Baker-Hamilton recommendations bolster adversaries’ overconfidence. Miscalculations in Tehran, Damascus, or Pyongyang could force the U.S. military into conflict.

The situation in Iraq need not have been so bad. There have been several watershed decisions, the outcomes of which have fundamentally altered policy and debate.

There will be plenty of blame to go around. Policymaking is organic. No memo rises through a department or agency without a dozen officials approving. Sometimes, their edits change happy-to-glad; there was a quip in the Pentagon about one official who would edit a stop sign if he had the opportunity. More often, alterations would reflect debates, compromises, and insertions by those at a higher level who had information or directives about which more juniors staffers were unaware. Such a bureaucracy is why so many foreign-service officers dislike their Washington postings and why Pentagon officers and Langley’s analysts grow frustrated.
@ National Review

kathleen said...

Wash. Post Confirms John Bolton Visited Judy Miller In Jail… "He Doesn't Want To Talk About It"…
Washington Post Posted September 17, 2005

kathleen said...

On Raw Story the only story they do about c-spans three hour interview with President Caller is a story about the one caller who called and called President Carter an "anti-semite"

This is at Think Progress

During an interview yesterday, an anonymous C-SPAN viewer called former President Jimmy Carter “a bigot and a racist and an anti-Semite,” and accused him of “cozying up with every dictator, thug, Islamic terrorist there is.”

Video of the exchange is being promoted by several popular right-wing websites, including the Drudge Report and Michelle Malkin’s Hot Air.

Apparently, the rantings of this random C-SPAN viewer are considered “news.” MSNBC has already run two segments today on this irrelevant non-story, one titled “Carter Controversy” and another called, “Pres. Carter: Anti-Semetic?”





Saladin said...

I'm sure they can manage to create a few more "study groups" to drag this out indifinitely, then the dems can keep up the arm waving so as to appear they are actually doing something while not really doing anything. 2008 eh? What a fuckin joke.

David B. Benson said...

David Corn --- Just get Bush 43 to tell another 'lie': "The mission is completed on December 7, 2006." Then some of the troops will get home by Christmas...

kathleen said...

Jinsa back on line!

Thank You, John Bolton
On Saturday, the UN Security Council voted on an Arab-sponsored draft resolution that sought to condemn the Israeli attack on Beit Hanoun in which civilians were killed, and urge an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. Argentina, China, Congo, France, Ghana, Greece, Peru, Qatar, Russia and Tanzania voted in favor of the draft. Britain, Denmark, Japan and Slovakia abstained. U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton cast the U.S. veto. Excerpts from his remarks appear below.

“First, we are disturbed at language in the resolution that is, in many places, biased against Israel and politically motivated… Secondly, it remains an unbalanced text. Among many such examples are the following: the preambular text equates Israeli military operations, which are legal, with firing of rockets into Israel, which are acts of terrorism. (Emphasis added) Moreover, its characterization of Israeli military actions as ‘excessive and disproportionate’ constitutes a legal judgment that the Security Council would be ill advised to make. Third, the proposed resolution calls for the establishment of a fact-finding mission that is, at this point, unnecessary and will do nothing to improve the situation on the ground. The resolution further promises to consider the establishment of an ‘international mechanism for protection of the (Palestinian) civilian population’ - a promise that is unwise and unnecessary and, at any rate, raises false hopes.

“There is not a single… condemnation of the Hamas leadership’s statement that Palestinians should resume terror attacks on a broad scale, or calls by the military wing of Hamas to Muslims worldwide to strike American targets and interests. More terror, whether directed at Israel or the United States or the European Union Office in Gaza City is not the solution, nor will it enable the Palestinian people to achieve their aspirations.

“It is the responsibility of any Palestinian Authority government to prevent terror and take the necessary steps to stop attacks and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. Hamas has failed utterly in this regard by continuing to play a role in perpetuating instability and violence. The Palestinian people deserve leaders who are prepared to renounce terror, accept the Quartet principles, and become a legitimate partner in peace… The Road Map and the principles contained therein remain the only agreed international basis upon which to move forward towards the two-state goal.

“We call upon all members of the international community to support the Road Map unequivocally. To that end the United States will vote no on this resolution.”

It is hard to think of a clearer statement of American policy. It is hard to imagine a better representative for what we believe to be the bipartisan American understanding that Israel has the right of self-defense against Hamas’s ongoing efforts to increase its arsenal in Gaza, and inculcate Jew-hatred and the veneration of terrorism in the population.

The new Democratic-led Senate should make clear its intention to confirm Amb. Bolton to permanent status as a means of conveying American unanimity on this point.


Carey said...

Seasons Greetings everyone.

You must move fast on this as the VOTE IS TOMORROW.

Help save gulf sea turtles, dolphins and whales.


Carey said...

Please sign this one too against offshore drilling. It's all for the same VOTE TOMORROW.


David B. Benson said...

David Corn --- Unfortunately it seems (just now) that almost nobody (with enough power) is a cut-n-runner...

Saladin said...

Carey, now I see your posts AFTER I sent you an email asking you to come back! Welcome back!

Gerald said...

I see nothing wrong with being a cut and runner! Cutting and running away from killing God's children takes courage because we live under a despotic ruler.

Gerald said...

If any one cares, I would like to remind you that 2,904 soldiers have been killed in Iraq. A wrong and an immoral war!!!!!

Gerald said...

These soldiers died in Iraq for two chickenhawks named Bush and Cheney.

Gerald said...

A somewhat lengthy article but worth the read

erling krange said...

Census Counts 100,000 Contractors in Iraq
Civilian Number, Duties Are Issues
By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 5, 2006;

There are about 100,000 government contractors operating in Iraq, not counting subcontractors, a total that is approaching the size of the U.S. military force there, according to the military's first census of the growing population of civilians operating in the battlefield. The survey finding, which includes Americans, Iraqis and third-party nationals hired by companies operating under U.S. government contracts, is significantly higher and wider in scope than the Pentagon's only previous estimate, which said there were 25,000 security contractors in the country.



Way to make a lot of money! First, you demolish a country, then let your friends do the restoration without competition from others!

Saladin said...

Gerald, I'm afraid the casualties of this horrid war are a lot worse than that. If the figure is from the pentagon you know they are lying.

capt said...

New post/thread!