January 26, 2007 - Last week the President said that operations in Iraq had amounted to “slow failure”. For once the President was right but his Vice President does not agree. Remember the prediction that American troops would be welcomed as liberators? Remember the assertion that our army’s way would be strewn with rose petals? Remember the insurgency languishing in its last throes? Well the Vice President. "Bottom line is that we've had enormous successes and we will continue to have enormous successes." That is the way Dick Cheney described the Bush Administration’s record in Iraq nearly 4 years after the President declared that major combat operations were over on May 1, 2003. Clearly the Vice-President has avoided becoming part of the reality based community that his staff derided just four years ago.
By Mr. Cheney’s standards Pearl Harbor was “an enormous success” for America followed by the string of enormous successes in the Philippines. It took a long time for the nation to recover from those successes but by the end of 1942 the tide had turned. The war in Iraq has now lasted longer than did America’s participation in World War II and there is still no glimmer of light to signal the end of the tunnel...click here for entire article
January 13, 2007 - “Who pays the price? I'm not going to pay a personal price. My kids are too old, and my grandchild is too young. You’re not going to pay any particular price, as I understand it, with an immediate family.” That is what Senator Boxer said to Secretary of State Rice. That is what the rumbling right has characterized as Senator Boxer attacking the Secretary for being a single, childless woman. In an Editorial Murdock’s New York Post called it a “low blow”. Tony Snow joined in the chorus and the Secretary herself sang a new refrain.
January 11, 2007 - “Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice and resolve”, was the President’s somber assessment of the prospect for the future of the American military occupation in Iraq. His not quite Churchillian rhetoric was the theme of the peroration to his speech billed as the new way forward in Iraq. There was precious little new in this “new way forward” other than the 20,000 additional troops deployed in the midst of an Iraqi civil war. “Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.” That sound suspiciously like the mission that the American forces were given in September 2006; clear, hold, and rebuild. The President admitted that the September initiative failed. It failed, he said, because “there were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents and there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have”...click here for entire article
January 9, 2007 - Tomorrow evening President Bush will let the American people in on his new way forward in Iraq. What are said to be bits and pieces of his plan have been leaking out. It is said that he will call for a temporary increase in the commitment of American troops. It is said that he will ask for a Billion dollars or more for a program to provide Iraqis with jobs and rebuild the Iraqi economy. The plan he will announce to the American people is perhaps his last chance to salvage what is left of his stature as President and to recapture the support of the American people for his military adventures in the Middle East.
The American people are focused on Iraq. The Congress of the United States is focused on Iraq. The President, the State Department, and the Pentagon are focused on Iraq. At today’s news briefing Tony Snow repeated the Administration mantra that our national security depends upon being successful in Iraq. No one is talking about the swelling guerilla war in Afghanistan. No one is talking about the roadside bombings and suicide attacks along the highway to Kandahar. No one is claiming that our national security depends upon what happens in Kabul. It is another war that we are not winning but is the war that everybody forgot...click here for entire article
January 1, 2007 - Of what was Saddam convicted? The death of 148 men and boys was the core of the offense. They had been tried, convicted, and condemned by an Iraqi court acting at Saddam’s order. They were convicted of conspiring to assassinate the President of Iraq. Perhaps their crime was in having failed. Like Saddam they were given the ceremonial process of Iraqi Law. The form, if not the substance, was observed. Like Saddam the outcome and their fate was pre-ordained. That was the crime against humanity for which Saddam was condemned. That was the crime for which Saddam paid the wages of sin.
There were more crimes to be sure; more terrible and heinous acts; more worthy to be called “crimes against humanity”. The slaughter of the Kurds at his order; his aggressive war against Iran – the Persians he cursed in the last seconds of his life. His use of poison gas against the Persians and against the Kurds. All of those might have been tried had there not been an unseemly rush to the gallows. As it is the hangman’s rope has robbed humanity of justice in those instances. It has also protected the world against knowledge of those great powers who were complicit in those crimes against humanity for which he was not condemned...click here for entire article
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