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As the Bush administration struggles to weave together any positive pieces out of Iraq, into a quilt large enough to hide themselves and his administration behind, more servicemen die each day. More money goes bye-bye. More bad news filters back.
With everything going on I missed the anniversary of a deceit fostered on Congress by this administration. Just a little over a year ago today, Bush spoke before a large Chicago convention and said, ” We have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror”, he said, pouring on the optimism. “Iraqis have demonstrated that democracy is the hope of the Middle East, and the destiny of all mankind. …….Years from now, people will look back on the formation of a unity government in Iraq, as a decisive moment in the liberty, a moment when freedom gained a firm foothold in the Middle East and the forces of terror began their long retreat.
Two days later an intelligence assessment (pg 471), classified as SECRET, was circulated among White House staff members that showed the forces of terror were not on retreat. It was a stunning refutation of the president’s forecasts most recently made in Chicago, just two days earlier.
In large print it stated: “ATTACKS IN MAY WILL LIKELY SURPASS APRIL LEVELS WHICH WERE THE HIGHEST EVER RECORDED. THE SUNNI ARAB INSURGENCY IS GAINING STRENGTH AND INCREASING CAPACITY DESPITE POLITICAL PROGRESS AND IRAQI SECURITY FORCES DEVELOPMENT.
This was next to a chart showing average attacks per day climbing consistently from January 06 at 72, up each subsequent month: 87, 95, 110, 113 in May 06. A ten point average daily climb would result in an increase of 30o each month. It is the trend that is noticeable, not the number of attacks. As we Americans back home were propelled towards a midterm election, we were being force fed on our progress in Iraq, not that we were steadily losing the battle of security.
This SECRET report continues: INSURGENTS AND TERRORISTS RETAIN THE RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES TO SUSTAIN AND EVEN INCREASE CURRENT LEVEL OF VIOLENCE THROUGH THE NEXT YEAR. The picture could have not been darker.
The US had about 130,000 troops, about 80% of the height of 160,000, and the Iraqis had steadily added security forces and now had some 269,000 military and police. Many of these Iraqis had taken the lead, running security operations within Iraq, although even they had US military advisers embedded with them. We were doing all the right things……….why was it not getting better?
The SECRET transcript says more. ASSESSMENT: CONTINUING SECURITY AND SABOTAGE DIVERT RECONSTRUCTION FUNDS TO TRIAGE REPAIRS AND FUEL IMPORTS. PRODUCTION UNLIKELY TO MEET 2006 MINISTRY OF OIL TARGETS WITHOUT INFRASTRUCTURE REHABILITATION, ENHANCED SECURITY AND EXPANDED FOREIGN INVESTMENT.
The political front was preoccupied with the fight for control between the ministries of Sunnis and those of the Shiites. MINISTERS WILL BE POLITICALLY LOYAL TO THEIR RESPECTIVE PARTIES AND SOME MINISTRIES ARE LIKELY TO BECOME HAVENS FOR THE POLITICAL PARTIES WHO CONTROL THEM.
THREATS OF SHIA ASCENDANCY COULD HARDEN AND EXPAND SHIA MILITANT OPPOSITION AND INCREASE CALLS FOR COALITION WITHDRAWAL.”
SHIA MILITIA INTEGRATION MAY ALIENATE SUNNI ARABS, MANY OF WHOM VIEW SHIA GROUPS AS COMPLICIT IN EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS.
Other intelligence added to the bleak picture. It was at this time that advanced IED’s called explosively formed penetrators (EFP’s) were tearing apart our Humvee’s, Bradley’s, and even penetrating our Abrams. They were not that high tech, but required sufficient sophistication that they could not have been handmade. The high quality of machining and the higher quality of triggering devices had been traced to Iran. Some were triggered by passive infrared devices that could overcome US countermeasures.
It is obvious why this was not made public. If it had leaked it would have cause a fire that could have cost the election. First to fall would be the administration’s credibility. “Hey republicans, are you sure it’s not another WMD?” Second, if it were true, it meant that Iran was killing American soldiers, an act of war. Opponents of the original war had proposed that it would lead to war with Iran…..and here it was proving true. Third, the EFP’s were being fed to a few Shia groups in the south. Suppose the Iranians were to give the technology and knowhow to the militant Sunni’s, the group responsible for 95% of the attacks on US forces? Polls showed that 50% of Sunni’s had positive feelings towards the insurgency. Since Sunnis were 20% of the population of Iraq, that means that at least 10% of the entire population of 20 million, or at least 2 million, looked favorably upon the insurgency. It is now too late. There is no way to turn them around. To win, as republicans want us to do, we will have to kill 2 million people, one third of Hitler’s Holocaust totals.
Here is what we heard, the next day, if you dare remember. This is General Pace, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff: ” Sure the attacks are up. Folks want this place to be ungovernable so that when it is ungovernable, we will walk away and they can take over. So you can expect the attacks to stay up because every day that Maliki and parliament meet it is a bad day for those who are creating the attacks.” The reporter asks: “so are they on the ropes?” He answered, ” they are on the ropes …………if this parliament continues to function, and this prime minister continues to function.”
” You are going to sound like Cheney…” commented the reporter. “You want to retract that?” “I do,” he replied. “I would like to retract that. Thank you. I appreciate that. I appreciate the courtesy.”
The reporter then asked about victory and how it might be achieved? He acknowledged that there would have to be self government and physical reconstruction of the country for that to happen. “Is this going to happen in your lifetime?” he was asked and he replied in true military fashion: “Yes it is. Well, I hope, yeah. I don’t know, “ he said. “I should retract that line. It can happen in my lifetime…….”
Here is the kicker. On May 26, two days after the intelligence assessment, and one day after Pace’s acknowledgment that we at least had very difficult times ahead, the Pentagon released a mandated public report to Congress entitled “Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq.” Although there was a report embedded in the middle of the 65 page document, that showed the attacks per week were over 600, the document put its most positive spin on stability and security.
Some of the happy talk: “Anti Iraqi forces, extremists and terrorists continue to fail in their campaign to derail the political process. and to foment civil war.” the report said, omitting any mention of the dark estimates lifted from the recent intelligence assessment. ” “More than 80 percent of attacks were concentrated in just four of Iraq’s 18 provinces”, it said as if violence had actually gone down. It failed to mention that those four provinces, included Baghdad, and contained 47% of the population. The report predicts that Iraqi rejectionists will maintain strength levels through 2006. But the report went on and completely fabricated this line: ” that the appeal and motivation for continued violent action will begin to wane in early 2007″. The Pentagon report to Congress flatly contradicted its own secret assessment two days earlier that said that terrorists and insurgents retained the resources and capabilities to ” sustain and even increase current levels of violence through the next year.”
Isn’t lying before Congress a crime?
So who’s to blame. You can’t blame the military. They are being forced to put their best face forward and spin positive the impossible task to which they have been given.
You can’t blame the soldiers. They truly are America’s best and are doing an amazing job. They have but one order: to do their duty. And they do it so well. When asked to serve, they stepped up, and anywhere they go, they make a large impact. If anyone is to receive the blame for this shame, it belongs, not so much to those who are responsible for putting our troops into this mess, but to those who abdicated their responsibility to pull them out on time, thereby abandoning them and leaving them stuck in Iraq.
The President is in denial. His administration can pursue only one option. We had this before, when the Nixon administration hunkered down, defending its cover up of the Watergate affair. We can yell at him all we want, but he can’t hear us…………
If America is to pull back from the precipice, and acknowledge that we can’t butcher the 2 million Sunnis required to win, and recognize that we need to pursue other options besides the military one, ir America is to change its destiny, the push that will tip the balance, needs to come from Congress. Not the Democrats mind you, for they do not have the 67 votes needed to overcome the certain veto. It will require the defection of Senate Republicans, one by one, away from the failed policies of Cheney-Bush who commenced a policy so flawed, that even our generals estimate that it will take the Holocaust of 2 million Sunni’s to win the war. It is strictly on the shoulders of these 18 republican (or independent) Senators, that all hope lies. If you have a Republican senator, they need to hear from enough of you, their constituents, to know that their jobs are in jeopardy should they fail. They also need to know they will be forgiven, if they change their votes right now. It is not the brave, but the fence sitters who now hold America’s future in their hands. The destiny of those who will not come back, lies in their decision. Those eighteen are in need of our prayers and our support. They need to know you care. Each voter who has a Republican Senator should take on as their personal responsibility, to call them and ask how long the are willing to prolong a dying cause. Tell them you know it will take the slaughter of 2 million Sunni’s for us to win? Tell them that is unacceptable for Americans. For without your pressure, calls, and letters, those eighteen would continue to plod along through a vacuum devoid of facts, spun by this administration deep in denial, and unknowingly throw this country’s reputation away for some cheap assurances of political loyalty.
Had the opportunity to watch the Health Care debate in Las Vegas. Here are some of the gems.
“We are looking at a system where people tell you the words you want to hear, but are less than forthcoming with plans to make it happen.”
“Half of the bankruptcies in this country are the result of people not being able to pay their hospital bills.”
“31% of the money in the insurance system goes toward the “for profit” system. Using that toward bringing down health costs would prevent financial insolvency.”
“Corporate profits, stock options, execuitive salarys takes 31% out of the healthcare dollar with no benefit to the health of anyone.”
“Doctors do testing to cover their backsides. do away with malpractice.”
“Take the profit out of medicine. Health care is a right, not a privelege,”
“Who has the courage and willingness to take a stand for the American people and take on the insurance companies who give us diminishing returns and insist on higher co-pays and higher deductibles.”
“How does Ameica plan to stay competitive against other countries with lower health care costs.”
“If Individuals hold on to more of their money, using only a fraction of the money to maintain the system. eliminate costs, purchase drugs by bulk, thereby passing the lower costs on to the economy”.
“Single pay, medicare option is the way to go. If people chose this option, this country could evolve. Competition among insurance companies is not the answer for competition drives up prices. Each company is cherry picking for the most lucrative health dollars, whereas the poor will get stuck on Walter Reed type government programs which will collapse under the strain, and a death spiral of the entire system will occur.”
“Some suggest that the government provide subsidies to insurance companies. Did it work for pharmeceuticals? Take insurance companies out of the picture. Health Care is a right.”
“The change will not happen through Congress. Are you kidding? They are beholden to too many lobbyists. Any attempt to change will be chopped up, water downed giving, no relief.”
“This country is literally bankrupt. Controlled by the military industrial complex, this country is whistling through the grave yard. You cannot trust a president. You can only trust the Amercan people. We need a plan where you chose the options. You know what is best for you. On this issue, you cannot trust the leadership. They have been screwing up for fifty years, have you had enough yet…..”
‘There is a role for the president. That is to change the culture. To energize the environment which sets a tone to demand from us the best that is in us. We diet all the time, but with a trainer we have a greater chance of success. The president is not an solution, the president is a tool, the people can use it.’
‘Lobbyists pay for the people who pay for the campaigns that pay for the candidates who pay for the marketers who manipulate you people to vote for those who have been told to suscribe to the view that was paid for originally.’ — Gravell