Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wiggle Room for Hillary?/Post Blows Thompson Scoop

Former Senator John Edwards has been trying darn hard--in between $400 haircuts--to demonstrate he's more antiwar than his two primary rivals: Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Of this pair, Clinton has particularly taken steps to make certain there's little space between her and the other main Democratic contenders on the Iraq issue. (I explained all this after the last Democratic presidential debate here.) And, after all, each of these candidates vow that if elected president he or she will bring the U.S. troops home.

But is there a catch? In an NPR commentary yesterday, veteran newsman Ted Koppel noted that Clinton privately told a senior military official that she knows that American troops will remain in Iraq for decades.

This isn't any newsflash. Even if there were a general pullout of American combat forces ordered today, troops would remain to provide security in the Green Zone and elsewhere, to train Iraqi forces, to patrol the borders, and to chase after al Qaeda in Iraq. Some of these tasks could take years. But will Edwards jump on Clinton's realism and claim HRC is not truly in favor of pulling out the troops? I can see antiwar activists bashing Clinton for this, but will antiwar voters in the Democratic primary demand that the candidates provide specifics (and numbers) regarding their withdrawal plans?

There's still a lot of time before the voting begins, and Edwards is going to keep trying to find a meaningful difference between himself and Clinton on the war. In this ground war, even an inch could count.

FRONT-PAGE MISCUE. I've referred to this quote before, but today I reach for it again: I.F. Stone once said you never know where in The Washington Post you'll find a front-page story. Check out today's paper. Jeffrey Birnbaum has a scorcher of a piece on Fred Thompson. And it's nowhere near the front page.

It's been reported and mentioned (here and elsewhere) that Thompson spent about two decades as a Washington lobbyist. But these reports covered work he did years ago. Birnbaum discovered that Thompson--in between acting gigs--has in the past three years raked in $760,000 for helping a British company that owes billions of dollars in asbestos claims. His mission: obtain inside information on what Congress might do to limit the firm's liabilities. Here's how the piece starts:

By all accounts, Fred D. Thompson will soon be running for president, portraying himself as a Washington outsider on the campaign trail. But over the past three years he showed up every two weeks or so at a lobbying and law firm in downtown D.C. to plot how best to persuade Congress to help a British company.

His main assignment: to use his connections to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) to extract information about goings-on inside Congress and use it to benefit his multibillion-dollar client.

In exchange for this insider wisdom he was paid a cool $760,000.

Even casual observers of the presidential race know that in recent years Thompson, a Republican former senator from Tennessee, was a lobbyist between his acting gigs. What is less widely known is what he did in D.C.

According to people he lobbied with, Thompson was an access man. He contacted his old colleagues to learn the latest about bills his client cared about. Thompson was frequently responsible for finding out what Frist was planning for asbestos legislation, his spokesman said -- an easy task, given his eight years in the Senate representing Tennessee alongside Frist (both were first elected in 1994).

Thompson's client, London-based Equitas Ltd., held billions of dollars to pay off claims from people sickened by asbestos, a once-common building material. It wanted Congress to limit how much it had to pay into a trust fund to cover those liabilities.

In an earlier era, the term of art for what Thompson did would have been "foreign agent." But a law change in 1995 allowed lobbyists for foreign companies to register simply as run-of-the-mill lobbyists, which permitted them to sidestep detailed disclosure requirements about their activities and to avoid the politically charged "agent" designation.

Thompson has been preparing to run for president as a "folksy" outside-the Beltway candidate who will decry Washington. Yet this work is about as inside-the-Beltway as it gets. (You think Jay Leno will ask Thompson about his Equitas connection on The Tonight Show this evening?)

A contradiction this big deserves front-page treatment. The story appeared on p. A23, as part of Birnbaum's "On K Street" column. Okay, maybe the editors didn't want to start a column on Page One. But there should have at least been a teaser on the cover page of the paper. This story revealed more about Thompson then any episode of Law & Order.

Posted by David Corn at June 12, 2007 10:47 AM


Robert S said...

Ted Koppel noted that Clinton privately told a senior military official that she knows that American troops will remain in Iraq for decades.

This isn't any newsflash. Even if there were a general pullout of American combat forces ordered today, troops would remain to provide security in the Green Zone and elsewhere, to train Iraqi forces, to patrol the borders, and to chase after al Qaeda in Iraq. Some of these tasks could take years. - David Corn

By what right, other of course than strict American arrogance and exceptionalism, is the U.S. granted license to maintain and control over an area larger than the Vatican in a foreign and supposedly sovereign country?

This is a simple and fundamental question. That it is ignored in the MSM tells more about the state of affairs here than the aggregate of reporting we are permitted to experience without actively pursuing alternate information sources.

A fair examination would have to deal with the issues of the legitimacy of an Iraqi government elected under occupation of foreign arms.

The U.N. mandate for the current U.S. occupation of Iraq must also be seen through the lens of the Iraqi government's lack of popular legitimacy to grant permission for the foreign troops to stay. Dick Cheney has recently stated that the Iraqi peoples opinion on the matter was as irrelevant as the American people's opinion on the matter.

So, therefore:

A fair examination would deal with issues of the legitimacy of our current government, considering the election scandals, BUSH v. GORE, the politicization of the Dept. of Justice, etc., etc.

Instead, our coverage sounds like a horse race announcer, already in Home Stretch fevered voice, as he calls who is in the lead as the candidates are deciding whether or not to make their ways to the starting gate.

Robert S said...

On Thursday, twelve notable legal scholars asked to file an amicus brief in the Scooter Libby case, arguing that there are serious constitutional questions regarding the legal authority of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. The group includes mostly conservative legal experts, such as Robert Bork and Viet Dinh. But also aboard is Alan Dershowitz, a civil libertarian. - David Corn

At this point, I would take umbrage with Mr. Dershowitz being called a civil libertarian. I acknowledge that he has been, in the past, a supporter of certain civil liberties. However, he has recently called for the codification of the limited applications of torture, and he was apparently successful in suppressing free speech and academic liberty as Norman Finklestein has been denied tenure at De Paul University despite being recommended for such by his department at said institution.

Gerald said...

Another Reason Not to Buy Food at Wal-Mart

Gerald said...

The Emptiness of US Rhetoric to Success

Gerald said...

Historians will savor the irony that at such a moment the United States and Britain spawned self-righteous Christian leaders who did not hesitate to lecture other peoples on the higher virtue of their “civilization”. America and its British satellite alike had less on which to congratulate themselves than they liked to claim even before the epoch-making betrayal of their own vaunted moral standards epitomized by Guantanamo Bay. That there is now a worldwide tide of anti-American feeling must be accounted a positive development. Even a former US president is now lining up with much of the rest of the world as an “anti-American”. Indeed, too much can hardly be made of the extraordinary denunciation by former President Jimmy Carter of Bush’s unilateralism and the appalling folly of Britain’s prime minister in endorsing it. When if ever before did a former president castigated a successor in such terms?

Gerald said...

What can safely be said is that today’s warmongering Western leaders and ideologues will not be remembered for their wisdom. Rather, they will be recalled for getting things woefully wrong — for being, in a word, precisely what they accused others of being: Failures.

Gerald said...

Lies That Unleash Hell

Robert S said...

Rather, they will be recalled for getting things woefully wrong — for being, in a word, precisely what they accused others of being: Failures. - Gerald

Indeed, Gerald. Just as it will come to pass that the resort to the use of force, by any nation, or any peoples, will be seen to be a failure; a tragedy not avoided by judicious use of diplomacy, reason, trust and good will between nations/peoples/individuals...

Gerald said...

Why Hitler Bush Wants to Destroy America?

Gerald said...

Once detained in these prison camps, the people will be completely powerless and forced to accept whatever the rulers decide is best for you (keep in mind the 80% population reduction goal!) Just as the victims in hurricane were Katrina disarmed and placed into a sports stadium and held at gunpoint, these prison camps will be manned by armed guards!

People across the globe are beginning to wake-up to this sinister worldly plan as the internet continues to educate people who seek the truth. However, the majority of the population still gets their news and political information from mainstream media sources. This is very bad because the large majority of the mainstream media is under control of New World Order backers who have news people to lie, spin, and manipulate the real story so that the people will remain oblivious to what is really taking place in their own country and around the globe while the people are brainwashed by fake news reports, altered stories, and non-stop news about Paris Hilton and other Hollywood drama rather than learn about facts that truly effect them.

Will the American public and the rest of the world seek the truth and take action or will they give-up on freedom and let the New World Order have their way with them?

Gerald said...

Robert S., the use of force to control people can be seen as a failure. People may give into the demands of their oppressors but inside the hatred builds and at some point it will be unleashed in various ways.

Robert S., I BELIEVE that the reinstatement of the military draft will create an civil war in Nazi America.

Many, many Americans will be killed and Hitler Bush will win the battle but eventually he will lose the war.

Losing the heart and soul of Americans is the end of our Nazi American empire and I say good riddance to the most evil empire to have ever been born in the history of the universe.

Scroll up and read a good article, "The Emptiness of Us Rhetoric to Success!"

I am in the twilight of my life. When I was young, I believed that America was a good and great nation. In the twilight of my life I see more clearly and the sight I see is that Nazi America is an evil, vile, and a wicked empire.

I credit Hitler Bush for revealing Nazi America's true legacy. EVIL IS HER NAME AND AND MURDER IS HER GAME!!!

Gerald said...

St. Maximilian, Pray for Us

Gerald said...

The Rot of Occupation

Gerald said...

Nazi Americans must read the article, "The Rot of Occupation."

Will Nazi America's occupation of Iraq and soon Iran rot the Nazi American soul?

Gerald said...

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
– Albert Einstein

I have a lot of respect for Uri Avnery, a Jewish peace activist. The world needs more Uris and less Bushes, Cheneys, and Gonzos, like Alberto Gonzales.

capt said...

Tomgram: Engelhardt and Turse, The Bush Administration's Fighting Words

Fighting Words
An 11-Quote Quiz on the Bush Administration's War of Words

From "mission accomplished" through those endless "turning points" and "tipping points" up to the "brink" of "the abyss" and "the precipice," and back again, American officials, military and civilian, in Baghdad and Washington, have never spared the images or the analogies. (Do you remember when our President and Secretary of Defense, for instance, were eagerly talking about taking those "training wheels" off the Iraqi "bicycle" and letting the Iraqi child peddle on his own into Democracy-land?) Reality be damned, they've had a remarkable way, over the last four years, of turning phrases and pretzeling language to suit their needs and the needs of a war that existed largely in their imaginations rather than on the ground. In recent months, backs against the verbal wall, these spinmeisters have begun spinning ever more wildly -- mixing metaphors, grasping at rhetorical straws, and stretching credulity at every turn, if not turning point.

In an effort to analyze this latest surge of sophistry -- a war of words always fought with the "home front" in mind -- we've come up with a short quiz that places genuine quotes from actual military commanders and Washington officials alongside quotes we've spun from our own questionable brains. We challenge you to pick the real ones. Did an American general in Iraq liken the situation there to a pogo stick, a teeter-totter, a slinky, or a jungle gym? It's your choice. Did George Tenet's "slam dunk" line inspire current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to use basketball analogies, when speaking of "security" in the Middle East, or did he flee to the football field of life?

Take this TomDispatch quiz and see if you can guess which quotes are too wild, or not wild enough, for the battling bureaucrats of the Bush administration. Let's start with a warm-up round:


capt said...

Former Senate Intel Chairman Graham: The Case For Impeachment ‘Is Even More Truthful Today’

Former Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) was one of 23 Senators to have voted against the Iraq war resolution in October 2002. "With sadness," he told his colleagues, "I predict we will live to regret this day, Oct. 10, 2002, the day we stood by and we allowed these terrorist organizations to continue growing in the shadows."

Just four months after Bush launched the Iraq war, Graham floated the idea of impeachment. "Clearly, if the standard is now what the House of Representatives did in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the actions of this president [are] much more serious in terms of dereliction of duty," he said. In an interview this week with ThinkProgress, Graham said he stood by his 2003 statement:

How many Americans would say that it is a greater dereliction of duty as President of the United States to have a consensual sexual affair or to take the country to war under manipulated, fabricated, and largely untruthful representations which the President knew or should have known. I think the answer to that question is clear.

Graham added that it’s unlikely Bush would be impeached, explaining that he learned the word impeachment is an "incendiary word" that Americans shy away from. "Americans don’t like impeachment because it connotes the kind of instability that so many other countries around the world have known." But he added that his original remark regarding impeachment "was a truthful statement at the time and it’s even more truthful today."


capt said...

US signals permanent stay in Iraq

US signals permanent stay in Iraq

Critics say a long-term US military presence may provoke greater Iraqi resistance of the 'occupier.'

Washington - This spring's debate over a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq may have implied that the US presence there is likely to wind down soon, but recent comments from both the administration and military officials suggest a different scenario.

In Washington and among American military officers in Iraq, the idea of establishing permanent US bases there is under discussion – with one official citing as an example the decades-long presence of US troops in Korea. The aim would be to keep American soldiers on Iraqi soil well into the century as a support for the Iraqi government against outside aggression, a means of training and developing a new Iraqi military, and a platform from which the US could fight Al Qaeda and other war-on-terror opponents.

Yet as early proposals in notebooks at the White House and the Pentagon are slowly revealed to a US public increasingly opposed to the Iraq war, many Iraq and Middle East experts warn that any plan for permanent bases would cement the US image in Iraq and the region as that of an occupying force.

"This is a really bad idea, one that will only feed the image of the US as the occupier, the colonial power," says Larry Diamond, a former official with the American provisional authority that governed Iraq in the two years after Saddam Hussein's ouster. "There's no way long-term military bases are going to be acceptable to a majority of the Iraqi population."


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

In terms of how long we'll be there: as long as necessary, and not one day more. The Iraqi people need us there to help with security. They need us there to fight off these violent few who are doing everything they can to resist the advance of freedom.


capt said...

Feb. 7, 2003: “It is unknowable how long that conflict [the war in Iraq] will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”

David B. Benson said...

But capt! It's not a war anymore, it an


capt said...

Bush Gets Mugged In Albania

The punditry has been enjoying vicariously Bush’s "rock star" visit to Albania.

But something about this video has bugged me from the beginning:

Why aren’t the Secret Service protecting the President? Why are they allowing the Albanians to get so close and actually ruffle the man’s hair?

And then a commenter (forgive me, your screenname is a little difficult to recreate in a post) pointed out why the Secret Service really wasn’t protecting the President. If you look at the :50 second mark, there’s a watch with a black wristband…at the 1:00 minute mark…it’s no longer there. That’s right, those adoring Albanians–who have actually issued postage with Bush’s face–were mugging the President. Pretty ballsy, if you ask me. After all, look at what he did to a country that actually posed no threat.


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

It looks like someone stole the presidential watch.


capt said...

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth: Adolf Hitler

To sin is a human business, to justify sins is a devilish business: Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy : Russian author, 1828-1910

Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere: Martin Luther King, Jr. : 1929-1968

"that until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; that until there is no longer any first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; that until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; that until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race -- until that day, the dreams of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained: Speech by H.I.M. HAILE SELASSIE I - California 28th February 1968 -


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

A true land of opportunity

Where there's death and destruction, there's profit - as security companies in Iraq know only too well

Gordon Brown was in Iraq yesterday on a "fact-finding mission". It needn't all have looked gloomy for the next prime minister, however - not if he did some fact-finding about Blackwater, a North Carolina company that is now one of the most profitable military contractors operating in Iraq, and proves just what a land of opportunity Iraq really is. Blackwater's president, Gary Jackson, acclaimed a "staggering" 600% growth in 2004: "This is a billion-dollar industry," he said, "and Blackwater has only scratched the surface of it." So if Gordon, or any of us, wants to get on this Iraqi gravy train, we could do worse than see how Blackwater goes about it.

First you need your father to leave you a billion dollars or so, as happened to Erik Prince, Blackwater's founder. Then use the money to set up a company that specialises in shooting people. Of course, you say the company's vision is "to support security, peace, freedom and democracy everywhere". But your brochure is full of photos of men bursting into rooms with machine guns and shooting from helicopters - and it offers five sniping courses: basic military, advanced military, situation sniper, high angle (shooting people from rooftops) and, of course, helicopter.

Making money out of this sort of violence, no matter how you dress it up in idealistic language, can look a little morally dodgy, so it would be best if - like Erik - you were a born-again Christian and you donate pots of money to the Republicans. Since 1989, the Nation reports, Erik and his wife have given $275,550 to Republican campaigns, and $0 to the Democrats. A White House internship - something Erik did in the early 90s - could also provide enough friends in the right places. The odd no-bid contract, such as the one Blackwater got to guard Iraq's Coalition Provisional Authority, wouldn't go astray.

You should be comfortable with your friends making money. For example, you pay your security guards $600 a day, but bill the Kuwaiti Regency Hotel company for $815. Regency, according to the Raleigh News & Observer, bills defence services company ESS for another chunk of money. ESS sends the bill to Kellogg, Brown & Root, who add a percentage for their services and present the inflated bill to the Pentagon. Senator Henry Waxman says he's been trying in vain to find out what that bill is for two years.

We can again learn from Blackwater in how to keep expenses down. On March 12 2004, Blackwater signed a contract with Regency and ESS specifying that each security mission should have a minimum of "two armoured vehicles to support ESS movements". Blackwater had the word "armoured" deleted from the contract and saved $1.5m.

This had was an unforeseen payoff when four Blackwater operatives were sent into Falluja and both vehicles were overwhelmed by a mob. The men were killed and their mutilated bodies hung on a bridge. Now rather than damage Blackwater's reputation, this incident was to prove the company's making as the US military got behind it. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt vowed: "We will be back ... We will hunt down the criminals ... It will be precise, and it will be overwhelming." The result was that the US more or less destroyed the town.

The families of the four men decided to sue Blackwater to find out why they died - but the company can seek profit even in this situation: last Friday it was announced that Blackwater is suing the dead men's estates for $10m, according to the families' lawyers, "to silence the families and keep them out of court".

So there it is - more ways to make money out of Iraq than you or I would have dreamt of. And companies like Blackwater are showing us the way.

· Terry Jones is a film director, actor and Python - www.terry-jones.net


O'Reilly said...

Fred Thompson should answer questions about his work as a lobbyist and how that jibes with the "story" he's pitching.

While we're at it, let's ask him about his rationale for recommending a pardon for Libby and have him take us through the evidence that compels him to argue the conviction, on four felony counts, was wrongly decided.

Pandemoniac said...

All right. Most of the way through the month of May... should be all caught up by the weekend. Another big batch of funnies:

Let's start up with the Senate Majority leader:
"I've learned one thing in listening to all the debates and reading about all these people running for office, and the one fact I've learned, I can't get out of my mind, is that Rudy Giuliani has been married more times than Mitt Romney's been hunting."
-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), quoted by the New York Times.

"At a press conference somebody finally stood up to Bush ... a bird shit on him. Here's what is wrong with this man: he looked at it, and then wiped it off with his bare hand! And this is the guy who doubts that he descended from an ape."
--Bill Maher

"Yesterday, at a press conference in the Rose Garden, President Bush was speaking when a bird pooped on him. Apparently, the bird spent the rest of the day high-fiving other birds."
--Conan O'Brien

"Congratulations to ... Rudy Giuliani. He celebrated a wedding anniversary today. He also has another one tomorrow, and two on Monday if I'm not mistaken."
--Jay Leno

"Today President Bush lashed back at Jimmy Carter saying, 'Hey, if it wasn't for me, there wouldn't be that many poor people for you to build houses for.'"
--Jay Leno on Bush being the worst President in U.S. History

"Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has come to the United States and checked into a weight loss clinic because he's dangerously obese. ... A spokesperson for the clinic said, 'You can't blame the leader of Iraq for eating every meal like it's his last.'"
--Conan O'Brien

"Experts said this is going to be a very busy hurricane season. To which FEMA said, 'Not for us'"
--Jay Leno

"Yesterday at his ranch in Texas, President Bush hosted the leader of NATO. There was an awkward moment when Bush said, 'Maybe some day I could visit you in Natonia.'"
--Conan O'Brien

"All the candidates have made their financial disclosures. Mitt Romney appears to be the richest Republican, worth about $250 million. To which Rudy Giuliani said, 'I would have been worth that much if I just had one wife too.'"
--Jay Leno

"The president of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, came to America today to check into a weight loss clinic 'cause he's dangerously obese. Apparently, Talabani is the only Iraqi these days worried about dying of natural causes."
--Conan O'Brien

"The liberals are saying that this guest worker program ... is really just a way to depress wages and create a permanent underclass of exploited labor. To which the president said, 'And the problem is...?'"
--Bill Maher

"I don't blame the president. He doesn't really understand, first of all, what amnesty means. He thinks amnesty is what happens on soap operas when people wake up and they can't remember anything."
--Bill Maher

"I kid the president. What a week he had. It was a bittersweet moment. He was in the Rose Garden for the last time with his long-time lover Tony Blair. As you know, Tony Blair is stepping down as prime minister and made his final visit to the U.S. There they were in the Rose Garden defending together their decision to go to war in Iraq. Dick Cheney had to be restrained, because usually when he sees two lame ducks, you know...."
--Bill Maher

"President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair held their last joint press conference. President Bush says he's gonna miss listening to Tony Blair, because when he closes his eyes, Blair sounds just like C3PO."
--Conan O'Brien

"During a concert of the Virginia symphony at the 400th anniversary celebration of Jamestown, President Bush briefly took over conducting the orchestra. Which explains why the orchestra is now four trillion dollars in debt."
--Seth Meyers

"Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, the Pentagon's director of operations, was chosen to oversee the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a war czar. Lute was chosen after being the last one in the room to yell, 'Not it!'"
--Amy Poehler

"The average national price of a gallon of gas hit an all-time record high of $3.15 this week. Meaning that wherever you're going this summer, it might be cheaper to mail your car."
--Amy Poehler

"A new bird called the gorgeted puffleg, which is a blue-and-green-throated hummingbird species, was discovered in a cloud forest in Columbia. Though still nothing on bin Laden"
--Amy Poehler

"It's Friday, which means Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice again. ... Actually, presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani says he believes in a woman's right to choose, and he's shown that time and time again when it comes to choosing women. I think this is his third one."
--Jay Leno

"Do you know the story of Shrek? Shrek is a beastly ogre ... and he marries into a family of royalty. Then, eventually, he goes on to become governor of California."
--David Letterman

"The Iraq funding bill that set a date for troop withdrawal, that's all gone by the wayside. The Democrats just backed down, as they always do, but they did it with flare this time. They met on an aircraft carrier and they had a big banner that said, 'Mission Abandoned!'"
--Bill Maher

My thoughts on Iraq here.

My favorite Youtube video here.

capt said...


"If true, this is immoral and unconscionable. What's worse, it's likely to work. In a nasty Machiavellian twist, they are likely in '08 to widen their majority in both houses of congress and ascend to the Presidency -- all on the backs of dead and maimed American troops. Despicable. Evil. Shameful. I could go on and on. And that is the horrifying aspect of our New American Century: Dems v2.1 are little better than the GOP losers they displaced."


Excellent points and I fear you are more than half right on all issues. UGH!

Thanks for the funnies - we need them!


capt said...

General: Iraq needs thousands more troops

WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. military commander who participated in training Iraqi troops said the country needs at least 20,000 more soldiers than originally expected by Washington.

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former head of the U.S. military's training program in Iraq, told a U.S. House of Representatives panel that Iraq needs the additional soldiers in order to take over daily patrols, checkpoints and other responsibilities handled by U.S. personnel, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

However, even with additional troops, it would be years before Iraq could take full control over security operations and the country will need long-term support from the United States, Dempsey said. He estimated it would be five years before Iraqi forces can protect their own airspace.

Dempsey told the panel that Iraq's some 348,000 security troops are improving but the force is plagued by sectarianism and corruption, the Post report stated. He said the country's military suffers from a lack of leaders and the exit of tens of thousands of members.

He said the security situation in the country has made some Iraqis nostalgic for the reign of Saddam Hussein.

"You'll hear people say, 'You know, we were a lot more secure and safe during the Saddam regime,'" he said in the Post article.


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

" has made some Iraqis nostalgic for the reign of Saddam Hussein"


capt said...

New Thread