June 17: Petraeus hints Iraq "surge" may be needed longer

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, said he does not expect the "surge" of 30,000 additional troops to Iraq to finish their job by September, a critical month when lawmakers expect a clear read on whether the larger troop presence is having an effect.

"Fox News" Host Chris Wallace asked Petraeus, "You surely don't think the job would be done by the surge by September?"

"I do not, no," Petraeus replied. "We have a lot of heavy lifting to do. The damage done by the sectarian violence in the fall and winter of 2006 and early 2007 ... was substantial."


General David Petraeus (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Petraeus also did not dispute reports indicating he might want to extend the troop increase into next year, simply calling them "premature."

Petraeus and his partner, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan C. Crocker, appeared on the Sunday talk shows as the final troops arrived as part of the surge strategy, which looks to quell violence in Baghdad and the surrounding regions as Iraqi politicians seek political compromises.

Petraeus and Crocker will return to the United States in September to brief President Bush and lawmakers on the impact of the troop increase. On the shows, they hinted they might warn against lowering the troop presence after September.

Petraeus said he will be ready to "provide a snapshot" of conditions in Iraq but would also outline "the implications of the various courses of actions that might be undertaken at that time."


Amb. Ryan Crocker (Photo by Meet the Press via Getty Images)

On NBC's "Meet the Press," Crocker said, "We'll also try to provide an assessment of what the consequences might be if we pursue other directions. ... Iraq doesn't exist in a vacuum."

Lawmakers in both parties were not warm to the idea of continuing the surge strategy.

"Most members of my conference believe the critical point to evaluate where we are is in September," Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Everybody anticipates there will be a new strategy ... and I don't think we'll have the same level of troops that we have now."

McConnell said there was growing support among Republicans for the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, which suggested a gradual drawdown in the number of troops this year, among other things.

Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, likewise did not seem open to the idea of continuing a larger troop presence in Iraq. "What's required here is that the president of the United States tell them we're going to reduce those troops," he said on "Face the Nation." "The only hope is if they understand that we're going to begin to leave."

Levin said Democrats would continue to try to add amendments to bills to require a timeline for troop withdrawal.

Petraeus reported on the very early results of the surge, which has enabled "us now to launch operations into sanctuaries, areas in which we have had very little coalition force presence other than raids in recent years."

Speaking about the amount of violence, he said, "the aggregate level is about the same. We actually have borne the brunt of much more of that, as have Iraqi security forces, and civilians a good bit less."

Petraeus and Crocker suggested the key to the success of the surge is Baghdad, where Petraeus said "there's about 30 percent of the neighborhoods about which we have real concern. These are the areas of the fault lines between Sunni and Shia. We are focusing on them quite intently, and the additional forces will enable us to conduct additional operations in those areas."

Crocker said violence "has indeed shifted away from the two areas where the surge was directed," Anbar province and Baghdad. "Baghdad is central," he said. "What we are now in position do with the surge at full strength is whack a whole of moles simultaneously."

Petraeus said he does see the month of September "staring us squarely in our eyes," but denied reports that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates bluntly told Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that he had to make more progress by then. "We're talking about decisions that will set the course for years to come," Petraeus said. "Our own experience as a country shows how difficult it is."

But the Iraqis are "keenly aware" of the pressure of the September checkpoint, he said, "and they're going to do everything they can to inject hope in places like Washington and elsewhere."

Petraeus also weighed into the debate over whether most of the violence in Iraq is stemming from al-Qaeda or sectarian violence. Petraeus said al-Qaeda "is the Sunni violence. Al-Qaeda is the face of what is happening on the extremist Sunni side. They are carrying out the bulk of the sensational attacks, the suicide car bomb attacks, suicide vest attacks and so forth.

"So I think it is appropriate to emphasize the role that al-Qaeda Iraq is playing and the role that they play in provoking and giving excuses to the extremist militias of the other side, of the Shia side, as a justification for what they are doing, ostensibly, to protect the Shia people, but then in their own turn carrying out violence of their own."

Immigration

There was just a little bit of discussion about a new attempt to revive the comprehensive immigration overhaul that stalled last week in the Senate.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), an architect of the bill, predicted on ABC's "This Week" that "if we got it to a final vote, there would be a bipartisan majority because this is a comprehensive approach to a problem that's been lingering for 20 years. To my Republican colleagues, this is the best deal we're ever going to get."

But McConnell warned that the bill is a "mixed picture." He said final word on whether the Senate will act on immigration should come by July 4.

the Palestinians

CNN's "Late Edition" focused on the collapse of the Palestinian unity government and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's decision to sign in an emergency government that excludes Hamas, which the United States considers a terrorist faction but was elected last year.

Saeb Erekat, a spokesman for Fatah, Abbas' political party, and the chief Palestinian negotiator, declared that Ismail Haniyeh, who had represented Hamas as prime minister, is no longer in service.

"We don't have two governments. We have one legal, official government headed by Dr. Salam Fayyad," a Fatah member, he said.

But Erekat warned that Fatah, based in the West Bank, does not have the "military power to take back" Gaza, where Hamas seized control. "I believe that the good people in Gaza, the 1.5 million people in Gaza, will not stand for this operation, will not stand for this coup d'etat."

Hamas spokesman Ahmed Yousef contended that Abbas's emergency government is "illegal" and that same thing happened in Gaza happened in the West Bank. "President Abbas has not -- is doing nothing to protect the Palestinian people in the West Bank," he said.

Addressing the issue, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said the breakdown in the Palestinian territory represents "the consequences of a failed strategy by the administration going back several years, particularly with the invasion of Iraq, the concentration of resources and attention there; the animosity that was developed there because of Abu Ghraib and other incidents among the Islamic world; and the inability, really, to focus in on some much more serious threats."

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) countered, though, that "this just didn't happen overnight or during this administration. We've had challenges in the Middle East for a long time, ever since the creation of the state of Israel. But this is a reminder that you can't look at each of these conflicts in isolation: Islamic extremism that animates the actions of not only Hamas, but Hezbollah in Lebanon with Iranian support, and where al-Qaeda consider Iraq to be the central front in their war against the West."

By Zachary Goldfarb |  June 17, 2007; 1:54 PM ET
Previous: June 17 Preview: Once Again, Iraq Is Topic A | Next: June 24 Preview: Immigration From All Angles

Comments

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Petraeus is just another politician in drab olive. He demonstrates a willingness to lie for Bush to extend the war, while failing on the field and in the Green Zone. Who really needs to wait for his September report? It's already written, with content that has been implied since January. He'll tell us a happy tale of success and urge a long term commitment to surge until the political objectives kick in.

Posted by: Butch Dillon | June 17, 2007 2:41 PM

The killing in Iraq will not end for years. Invading Iraq was the most dangerous thing we could have done, but unfortunately for the United States and Iraq, we have a president who is simply too stupid to ever see, much less analyze, the big picture. Bush loyalists who all had their own agenda surround him. Israel and oil was, and continues to be, their main focus. I ask the same question Cindy Sheehan asked, "What noble cause have our military died for?" Israel and oil are not acceptable responses. Private contractors, i.e., Halliburton, KBR, and others have reaped billions from this horror. Iraq is not free; it is in shambles and will be for a very long time. I find it difficult to believe that when Dubya and God have their private conversations, God has not communicated his displeasure at the injustice, cruelty and bloodshed that have resulted because of Dubya's decision to invade Iraq. Delaying the return of our troops, and the end of the United State's participation is this unjust war, is not going to change the outcome. It will only increase the numbers of dead and wounded on both sides of this bloody conflict.

Posted by: Angela Bull | June 17, 2007 2:54 PM

Mega barf alert! What, exactly, *is* 'their job?' Oh, that's right. More oil smuggling and opium exporting.
Cheers,
Lori R. Price
Citizens For Legitimate Government
http://www.legitgov.org/

Posted by: Lori Price | June 17, 2007 2:55 PM

Let me see if I understand this. In 2003, Pres. Bush stood on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln and declared that "major combat operations" in Iraq were over and that the mission was accomplished. It's more than 4 years later and we've just started a new "major combat operation." How do we know when Bush, Cheney, etc. are lying? Anytime they open their mouths.

Posted by: muleman | June 17, 2007 3:13 PM

The Insanity Of It All!!

U.S. should stop arming Sunni militias: PM Maliki

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States runs the risk of creating new militias in Iraq if it arms Sunni Arab tribesmen indiscriminately to battle al Qaeda, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said. In an interview with Newsweek magazine, Maliki gave the first indication his government disagrees with the U.S. military policy of arming and equipping Sunni Arab tribes to fight al Qaeda militants under a model first used in Anbar province. "We want to arm some tribes that want to side with us but on condition that we should be well aware of the tribe's background and sure that it is not connected with terror," Maliki said. "Some (U.S.) field commanders make mistakes since they do not know the facts about people they deal with. I believe the Coalition forces do not know the background of the tribes," he told Newsweek on Friday. "They make mistakes by arming tribes sometimes, and this is dangerous because this will create new militias," he said.

Maliki also appeared to reject criticism of his government's performance in meeting three key political benchmarks aimed at promoting national reconciliation between majority Shi'ites and Sunni Arabs, who were dominant under Saddam Hussein and who now form the backbone of Iraq's bloody insurgency. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Baghdad at the weekend to push Iraq's political leaders on those reconciliation targets and told them Washington was disappointed with their lack of progress. But Maliki said in the interview that drafts of three key laws -- a revenue-sharing oil law, provincial elections and a law allowing former members of Saddam's Baath party to return to public office -- would be handed to parliament next week.

U.S. forces have just completed the placement of an extra 28,000 soldiers in Baghdad and other areas as part of a major security crackdown that is seen as a last-ditch attempt to drag Iraq back from the brink of civil war. It is also meant to buy Maliki's Shi'ite-led government time to reach Washington's benchmarks.

Senior U.S. military leaders said last week they would cautiously continue arming and training tribal police units and would expand the policy out of western Anbar, once the most dangerous areas of Iraq, into other volatile provinces. The strategy was developed as a new way to fight Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in so-called sanctuaries where there were no regular security forces. Some senior military figures voiced reservations similar to Maliki's. Lieutenant-General Martin Dempsey, formerly in charge of restructuring Iraq's security forces, supported the strategy but raised doubts about the role these groups would have after the fight against al Qaeda.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070617/...iraq_maliki_dc

Posted by: Anonymous | June 17, 2007 3:28 PM

This delusional president and his cabinet continue to speak about winning the war in Iraq when the writing is on the wall: we're 5 months into the surge, and there's no evidence of any material progress. Iraq continues to experience daily, deadly sectarian violence.

Fortunately, democracy still works in the US. The republicans witnessed the painful losses they experienced in the November election, with voters citing the Iraq war fiasco as their number one concern as they transferred control of Congress to the democrats in both the senate and house. As a matter of self-preservation, the Republicans are not entering the '08 election with the Iraq war debacle chained to their ankles. They have already signaled to Bush that they will re-evaluate the war strategy in September to measure the effect of the surge in evaluating war funding requests. Since, as this article reports, we already know that the surge has not delivered the goods as Bush promised, and will not do so miraculously by September, we can expect that Congress will become the catalyst to begin drawing down the troops in September on the threat of cutting off funding. By September, the republicans will have cover for having given the surge a chance while ensuring they don't enter the '08 election season tormented by a disastrous, extremely unpopular war their president initiated. September will be the beginning of the end of the war by a gradual troop withdrawal.

Posted by: Ken | June 17, 2007 3:50 PM

Let's "surge" into trying the president, vice president, and co. for lying to the American public, congress, and the world with regards to Iraq and for war crimes/prfiteering. Let's "surge" into impeaching Bush and co. and "surge" on cutting off the war profiteering and oil profiteering that put us there to begin with. Let's "surge" on making our elctions 100% theft-proof.

Posted by: Vaughn | June 17, 2007 3:58 PM

Let's "surge" into trying the president, vice president, and co. for lying to the American public, congress, and the world with regards to Iraq and for war crimes/prfiteering. Let's "surge" into impeaching Bush and co. and "surge" on cutting off the war profiteering and oil profiteering that put us there to begin with. Let's "surge" on making our elections 100% theft-proof.

Posted by: Vaughn | June 17, 2007 3:58 PM

As someone said earlier, Petraus is a politician in uniform. All generals are politicians first. The real soldiers get put out to pasture long before. Truth? from an army guy? These fellows would salute a wooden post and march in step. Thats what they are paid to do. This general was given his conclusions for his report long before he left.

Posted by: Alcibiades | June 17, 2007 4:03 PM

Officers who think for themselves are not an acceptable part of the Military. We breed "yes men" as part of the ritual to become general officers. They function in their positions at the pleasure of the Commander in Chief - the cowardly decider who hides behind a more cowardly VP. Nothing can be done to stop the insanity until we clean our own house.

Posted by: VietVet | June 17, 2007 4:12 PM

Wow, I didn't know there were as many uninformed people out there. Guess they believe the crap that is put out by the WP and the NYT.

By the way, olive drab (not drab olive) was the uniform worn by our soldiers in WWII, but I wouldn't expect some numbskull who is first, last and only a Bush Hater to have his facts straight.

Let's have some real dialogue and find answers instead of spewing hate for the administration and our country with no imagination other than empty diatribes. How about it?

Posted by: Miguel | June 17, 2007 4:12 PM

The clowns in charge have perverted the English language. Words have lost much - surge, for example, used to be related to storms and electricity. Someone please plug them in and give them a surge of rendition medicine. Oh, I forgot, only enlisted men were aware of abuse and convicted, all officers were clean, only the investigator lost his job - forced to retire. Like politicians, they strut and posture, they smile and lie - they have stolen democracy and made us like it - to save us from terrorists.

Posted by: VietVet | June 17, 2007 4:29 PM

We need the troops home to redeploy for WWIII.Which will begin not long from today.Wake up and smell the coffee.

Posted by: Mort Mortalardo | June 17, 2007 4:31 PM

The Iraq war is a complete debacle. 3500 mostly Christian American men dead, 100000 Iraqis dead, and 1 trillion dollars later, this war instigated by the Prince of Darkness and the other Neocons is a longer war than WWII. That is one reason why I am voting for Ron Paul in 2008.

Disclaimer: I am the original washpost. The suits at Wash Post took my moniker and made me washpost3.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 17, 2007 4:35 PM

This was entirely predictable. The surge is not working and cannot work. Any "victory" in Iraq depends on the Iraqis and they have proven themselves incapable of governing. Even if they were to vote in the three critical laws these laws will never be observed. Who is foolish enough to believe, for example, that Iraq will actually share out oil revenues successfully even if a law is passed to that effect.

roig

Posted by: roig | June 17, 2007 4:43 PM

Reading all of the hems and haws now coming from the Administration, and the Administration's man in Iraq, General Petraeus, it is becoming apparent that the fog of war is even now being directed against the American people, to make it possible for the current unplanned and uncontrolled war to be continued, for as long as the Bush Fairy Tale Factory can continue the fraud.

The Republicans intimated a date, of sometime in September, when we would begin seeing success from the current iteration of the same old tactics with a new descriptor. September rushes toward us for too fast for Presidential comfort, and so the spin machine is even now stockpiling obfuscations for use when it has nothing actually good to say about its results.

The rest of the country needs to press Congress to be prepared to demand real meaningful answers from the usual parade of witnesses that will be deployed against the truth about what is going on in Iraq.

Here are five questions that should have been asked in public of Rumsfield and his Dacoits before Congress committed us to the current quagmire. Having failed to get them answered in 2001, we must not let them be passed over in 2007.

Question 1: Where were Saddams's munitions arsenals and storage dumps, and which specific military unit was responsible for securing and eradicating each of those facilities, and on what date did they report their work complete? This will actually require a rather sizable, unclassified report to Congress to be made public along with the General's testimony. General Petreaus must publicly testify to the larger facilities, giving who cleaned them up, how much material they cleaned up, and when they completed the job? If he can't give such data, we must assume that the job hasn't been done to this point, and several, or many, administration flacks and/or senior military commanders are going to have to resign in disgrace or be fired for criminal incompetence. Being of a distrustful nature, I suspect that it will be the later condition that Congress will end up investigating.

Question 2: Since it is apparent that General Petreaus is compelled by the current administration to keep up his stalling over force draw downs in Iraq, What will the actual troop rotations look like under this eternal never surrender option, and where will those troops come from? He will be required to give a detailed breakdown of troops required, in country operations lifetimes, troop level maintenance, including individual casualty replacement provisions, and full cycle rotation times. We are in the fifth year of the war, which using the original dating for the Vietnam war means that we have reached the Christmas 1965 time frame. Since the administration can't conceive of bringing troops home under any conditions likely to apply in Iraq in the next century, the administration is obligated to actually produce a long term plan for dealing with the current fiasco.

Question 3: Since we have an open ended commitment that is going to produce ever increasing rates of non fatal but severely disabling casualties, how is the military medical system to deal with these casualties, and how is the VA to deal with the casualties that the military keeps dumping onto the VA so it won't have to deal with them long term?

Question 3: Since we have committed ourselves to this intractable quagmire, when will the military begin large scale language training in the various Arabic dialects, as well as certain other languages spoken in Iraq, so that we can begin an intelligent "Winning the Hearts and Minds" program.

Which is related to:

Question 4: When will the Army begin building up the badly neglected support units that need to be in the country for the actual task of "Winning the Hearts and Minds". That means Revolutionary Development/Civic Action units, Psychological Warfare units, MP brigades, Combat Engineering Brigades, Military Intelligence/Signal intelligence units, and COIN units that, trying to read between the lines to identify those units existence, and never finding local affairs news referring to such units, suggests that hose units aren't actually in country.

Question 5: Using worst case scenaria, and real world numbers conservatively (meaning higher values rather than lower) estimated, how much is this going to cost, month by month and year by year, in equipment, consumables, and personnel costs.

These questions need to be communicated to General Petreaus, and the Administration and Pentagon now, with the warning that they will be required to give details, no later than 30 September 2007, and that answers that turn out to be seriously underestimated will be in fact, false official statements, actionable as such.

And when General Petreaus makes his report in September, publicly, and openly, the American people will

Posted by: ceflynline | June 17, 2007 5:16 PM

Unlike General Zinni who is said to have read everything he can get his hands on about a country, its people, history and culture where he is assigned and disagrred with the invasion - General Petraeus' knowledge of Iraq seems pretty superficial. There will be an insurgency as long as American troops occupy Iraqi soil. The Iraqis didn't want us there in the first place as much as all hated Saddam. The very idea of invading and occupying a Middle Eastern country was insane in the first place. If we can get troops from the Arab League to try to keep the peace so much the better and then we can get out.

Posted by: BJ | June 17, 2007 5:28 PM

"June 17: Petraeus hints Iraq "surge" may be needed longer"

DOH!!! That's what they said LAST time!!!

Posted by: Joe in CA | June 17, 2007 5:31 PM

Sirs:
Do you realy believe that the US forces will be able to smothen the sectarian war that is going on in Irak in few months when Northern Ireland differences took senturies to solve you are too optimistic.

Posted by: Franco Segre | June 17, 2007 5:32 PM

How much longer can this insanity go on?
3500 of our wonderful soldiers killed and
25,000 wounded for life. What a price so
Bush and Cheney can make money!

I would like a female first President and
Hillary is smart and competent, but in getting to the top she has had to sell out
like her husband, NAFTA and CAFTA, outsourcing our jobs, and she will be unable to stop the war (first) because she
does not want to appear weak as a female,
and (secondly) because it is in the best
interest of the big corporations, oil, etc.

Somalia was also a war we got into with big lies - the starving children -we never
found them only our pilots being dragged
through the dirt and BlackHawk Down. We
were fighting for the oil company who had
oil contracts with one group of warriors,
who were overthrown. We had to get the
group of warriors who had the contracts with the oil company put back into power
to ensure that the oil companies; contracts
were valid.

WE ARE STILL FIGHTING AND LOSING OUR MEN
AS A RESULT OF OIL PROFITS.

Posted by: DORIS LACY | June 17, 2007 5:36 PM

Patraeus is paying the price for his fourth star--complete servility to his benefactor, Bush, the Mighty Decider. Bush and the few supporters left to him deny that the Iraq debacle bears any resemblance to Vietnam. I disagree. The President and the generals lied then and they're lying now.

Posted by: Patrick | June 17, 2007 5:36 PM

How much longer can this insanity go on?
3500 of our wonderful soldiers killed and
25,000 wounded for life. What a price so
Bush and Cheney can make money!

I would like a female first President and
Hillary is smart and competent, but in getting to the top she has had to sell out
like her husband, NAFTA and CAFTA, outsourcing our jobs, and she will be unable to stop the war (first) because she
does not want to appear weak as a female,
and (secondly) because it is in the best
interest of the big corporations, oil, etc.

Somalia was also a war we got into with big lies - the starving children -we never
found them only our pilots being dragged
through the dirt and BlackHawk Down. We
were fighting for the oil company who had
oil contracts with one group of warriors,
who were overthrown. We had to get the
group of warriors who had the contracts with the oil company put back into power
to ensure that the oil companies; contracts
were valid.

WE ARE STILL FIGHTING AND LOSING OUR MEN
AS A RESULT OF OIL PROFITS.

Posted by: DORIS LACY | June 17, 2007 5:36 PM

Petreaus is a house servant for the bushies, plain and simple. The fact that he is still an active General in Bush's toady army elite is all you need to know. All of the military's best and brightest have left either through demotion, dismisal or disgust.
Stalin would be proud of what Bush has done to our military!

Posted by: timbarb | June 17, 2007 5:37 PM

Remember folks, the news people are just as likely to be affected by personal interests as the 'lying' President is. 'Iraq was/is for oil' is no different than saying the WP is a business 'in it for the money and subscribers,' and I think you shouldn't believe everything you read, even when they are 'direct quotes' from the horse's mouth.

Posted by: allyouread | June 17, 2007 5:37 PM

Whatever it takes to defeat our enemy i support.

Posted by: James A Myers | June 17, 2007 5:38 PM

Uh, did'nt we elect a bunch of democrats to stop this war? What exactely are they doing right now? I hope after the new elections there will be a lot of investigations into profiteering and collusion. This truly is an embarrassing time to be american.

Posted by: chris g | June 17, 2007 5:41 PM

To: James A Myers

It's called, American Kamikaze.

Posted by: Joe in CA | June 17, 2007 5:43 PM

"Petraeus said al-Qaeda "is the Sunni violence." This man has no credibility.

Posted by: dennob | June 17, 2007 5:46 PM

Can someone help me to solve my puzzles? Did Gen. Petraneus suggest that the it need about 400,000 GIs to keep Iraq under control during the era of post Sadam? Does he get another star on his shoulder because of taking the new post?

Posted by: penaeus | June 17, 2007 5:58 PM

Surge Tony SnowJob into Iraq-
He's nearly dead anyway....

Posted by: Kase | June 17, 2007 5:59 PM

Now you who have never been in or associated with the military know why the Careerist-Lifer Officer corps and their Non-Com lackeys have been arguing for an all-volunteer force. They need hostaged volunteers to be the fodder for their stupidity and machinations.

You know well that if this was a draft force of citizen soldiers, there would be a mutiny against the can-do sycophants to the machinationss of their political puppeteers. They are institutional zombies who would climb over the backs and bodies of the troops they expose to the waste of the discredited political and military strategies that have us stuck in Iraq, like Br'er Rabbit was stucked to the Tar-Baby.

Now you yellow-ribbon patriots know why there were fraggings prevalent in Vietnam during the draft Army. They didn't suffer the fool lifers and their lackeys putting them in unnecessary mortal danger because of blind obedience and subservience to the old boy's club and its political profiteers. If YOU who say you support the troops do nothing but mouth apologies and wring your hands in impotence doing nothing, the troops of the drafted-Army knew what best to do to protect their interests. The troops of the volunteer force need to be REPLACED by troops of countires NOT ASSOCIATED with the failed and failing foreign policies of this regime that needs to be removed along with its Axis of Evil co-interlocutors.

Do you think most of the casualties of 'Nam were from the enemy's fire?? The enemy are those who stand in political and militry leadership within the Beltway of DC. Just as they sold 58,000 GI's out for a xenophobic theory of of anti-communist dominoes to save the commercial interests that was propping the South Vietnamese regimes, so it is now as both the Repukeliklans and Demorats wage the red flags of battle against the terrorist poster boys, like bin Laden, and so-called terrorist regimes they label Iran's sectarian authoritarians. As they profiteer through the revolving door from governemnt to be lobbyist for the company's raiding the Treasury of our hard-earned tax dollars for their corupt subsidies and profiteering they distract us with sloganeering demogoguery to be the smoke screen for their criminal malfeasance of this nation's welfare and the good of the innocent around the world.

We are all potential road-kill in the way of their plans for their plutocracy, where you will be at best patronized, like those troops for whom you place ribbons and fly flags in guilt from your cowardly selfishness to not take action, one way or the other, for the causes you mouth with such moralizing apologetics.

Look at the deaths and carnage. Who has done more to be the profiteering enablers of that carnage as they furtively wash and wipe the blood of their hands onto others for culpability. From the underlings at Abu Gharaib to "Brownie" at Katrina the guilt is always shifted to the fall guy- the Lee Harvey Oswald metaphor is still in re-runs. There's always a fall guy when something goes wrong. But who gets the credit, except by faint patronizing praise when things go right.

It's time for you sheep of the flock led by Judas goats and guarded by sheep-in-wolves clothing to awake to the dangers of those who speak loudest about your security. It's time you take the power unto yourselves and act as if you were the proverbial shepherd and, first, get rid of those Judas goats and their politcal wolves,then get yourself and the troops the flock out of here. Fix it, or forget it for all of us!!

Lucifers Heretic
SGT, US Army, RET.
LucifersHeretic@gmail.com

Posted by: PFC Lucifers Heretic | June 17, 2007 6:32 PM

Awaiting Patreus, or any other Bush-backed military man to voluntarily end this war is pure fantasy. My 10-year old son woke me up to this with what should have been an obvious. "If those guys are army men and joined to fight, why would'nt they want to just keep on fighting? Isn't that what they learned in Soldier school?" From the mouths of Babes! There will be many new "reasons" given to stay in the decades ahead.

Posted by: Bob Elkins | June 17, 2007 6:39 PM

We don't need another "status report" from the latest presidential proxies (some might say stooges) to string us along while the stooges "surge" the Iraq debacle.

We need a congress that will immediately end the Iraq debacle, as we have demanded, long ago!

Posted by: Daphine | June 17, 2007 6:49 PM

If the Dems can't end the occupation because of Republic obstruction, there's only one thing to do- IMPEACH!!! Grow a pair and end this circus NOW! The Sept. report is going to blame Iran for their failures, just in time to start a NEW war before the elections. Let's see the SOB start another war while he's testfying about how he lied us into the last one!

Posted by: Chuck Norris | June 17, 2007 6:54 PM

T6his is just prolonging the war... We are not suppose to be private guards for Bush and Chaney oil venture.... Bring the troops home, Iraq is doing nothing to help themself and this administration well continue lying to keep troops there to watch out for their oil interest....

For the one that said they would like to see a woman president but not hillary, I agree with you.... Hillary is too much power hungry and statist quo.... We need someone that have not been in Washington so long that they are corrupted and self imaged... we need a president that will honestly listen to the people and work for America ... not just the rich Americans either....but All Americans.....

but again on the war front... Congress should cut off war funds and bring the troops home.....then lets put the Bush Chaney camp up on charges, for all they have done......

Posted by: Judith | June 17, 2007 7:02 PM

So many of you believe any lie that comes out of the President's mouth. The only good that is going to come to this country is when George Bush leaves office. Thank God for term limits! Even worse, the American public wouldn't have to wait that long if Congress had any kind of backbone. I vote no confidence in every idiot that is serving in Washington DC at this time. Not one person in DC can do what is right, everything has to be for a buck, personal gain, personal favors or whatever. Shame on every person in DC that thinks it's ok to debate, argue and take their own sweet time while American citizens die needlessly. That's the key to this, since our soldiers are CITIZENS, nobody in DC can waste their time to bring them home from Iraq and Afghanistan, but if they were swimming across the border and could be hired illegally as gardeners and housekeepers, or were ANYONE that could be paid below minimum wage under the counter, Congress and the President would be all over that. In fact, they'd rewrite laws on their behalf. Criminal, Criminal, Criminal. It's their solution to all the Enron-style scandals of late. Since they can't bilk citizens out of all their money and savings through their business interests, they'll resort to making or saving a buck through illegal labor. Or, how about this, our goverment already lets illegals come and go more freely than its own citizens. What happened to free and unrestricted travel? I know of a few (cold war) countries where this would have been acceptable but not in the United States. Do you not care about the unlawful invasions of privacy, the KGB-style treatment, or the sneaky surveillance of our own citizens on behalf of this administration? "Patriot Act" my a$$. It's designed for patriots alright, just not in the way you might think. I'm thinking McCarthy-ism. This administration only wants uneducated, uninformed, unopinionated "patriots" that take the government at their everyword without question. How safe do you think that makes us? But, I suppose this is all more "diatribe" to you. As for the Department of Homeland Security, we already had (for many, many years) the required agencies to combat terrorism. What George Bush should have done, was get rid of the "good old boys" just sitting around collecting paychecks to improve the liaison functions between government agencies. The offices and resources were already in place. Bottomline, George Bush needed a way to circumvent any laws that would have impeded his agenda. Plain and simple. So you see, Iraq and Afghanistan are not the only failures of George Bush. And sadly, only time will tell what other seriously grave damage this man has done to our country. A good indication of what was to come should have been when Jeb Bush helped his brother into the White House. As for military following orders, I get that. I'm a 12 year veteran. But Generals are Generals for a reason. They're the ones who are supposed to ask the tough questions and make sure that troops aren't being put into harms way on a needless whim. If only some of them (Generals) could have grown some balls while they were in the service. Think of how many lives would not have been lost or how many troops could have returned home in one piece. As for Iraq, we still had people in place from the first Gulf War, why not beef up those bases? Makes sense, but no, we continue to draw down our military through BRACC? I know of a few bases with certain fucntions that would have come in very handy if our military hadn't been drawn down prematurely. We could have opened up some closed bases for that matter for lots $$$$ less than what this "war" is costing and we could have spared our troops lives and limbs in the process. How sad that 2008 couldn't have come sooner for some of our young kids to have enjoyed life and lived. George Bush, his administration and Congress owe tremendously more than a mere debt of gratitude to many families in this country and should think about what they've done for the rest of their lives. And be very ashamed.

Posted by: JC- Oklahoma City | June 17, 2007 7:15 PM

If the Dems can't end the occupation because of Republic obstruction, there's only one thing left to do- IMPEACH!! The September report is only going to claim that military failures are the fault of Iran; just in time to start a NEW war before the next election (just look at Cornyn's statement!). End this circus, IMPEACH NOW! Let's see the SOB start another war while simultaneously testifying about how he lied us into the last one.

Posted by: Jerrod | June 17, 2007 7:34 PM

For all who cry for impeachment, please be realistic. As much as I would like to see both Bush and Cheney impeached, the Dems don't have the votes to do it. Do you honestly think that any Republican tepresentative or senator is going to vote to impreach a Republican president and vice-president? Does anyone know how many votes are needed in the House to impeach? And how many are needed in the Senate to confirm that impeachment? The only thing you could hope for is that Bush and Cheney would resign if threatened with impeachment, but that's a long shot that isn't going to happen.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 17, 2007 7:44 PM

Since only a simple majority is required in the House to pass articles of impeachment, and the democrats have a 29 person majority, that could be easily accomplished. The insurmountable issue is conviction in the senate, where a 2/3 majority is required. Since the democrats lead 51 to 49 (including the 2 independents who caucus with them), and 66 votes are necessary, it is unlikely that 15 republicans would vote to impeach a republican president and vice-president, particularly since Nancy Pelosi, a democrat, would become president. I think the lesson of the Clinton impeachment, which backfired with the voters in the mid-term elections following the impeachment (and resulted in Gingrich resigning), is to chose your fights carefully. While Bush is the worst president ever, and his decision to start the war in Iraq was an unmitigated disaster and appeared to be based on fabricated WMD, the waters are still slightly murky as to whether he simply relied on bad intelligence (Tenet's "slam dunk") or deliberately exaggerated/fabricated it to justify the war in Iraq. I personally believe Bush, Cheney and the neocons decided to invade Iraq and then came up with a post-hoc justification, but there's a tiny amount of wiggle-room there.

Posted by: Ken | June 17, 2007 8:41 PM

Asking the Generals to comment on the war
is like asking the barbers if you need a haircut. Having said that, Patreus is a good man, I believe that, come September,
he will have the courage to say "ENOUGH,
it's time to leave."

Posted by: George | June 17, 2007 9:18 PM

Asking the Generals to comment on the war
is like asking the barbers if you need a haircut. Having said that, Patreus is a good man, I believe that, come September,
he will have the courage to say "ENOUGH,
it's time to leave."

Posted by: George | June 17, 2007 9:18 PM

When the American people begin to realize that elections matter, and all the people get off their lazy butts and go to the polls and vote for people who have sensible and well iterated policies rather than platudinous sound bites then and only then will this country ever get on track. When actors and fake cowboys are elected because their candidacy feels good rather than boring, serious, clearthinking intellectuals we get just what we deserve. Allowing all those conservative presidents to appoint all those conservative supreme court judges resulted in the 2000 election being given to the conservative candidate. If the same thing happens in 2008 don't be surprised. The neocons were planning to go to Iraq before 2000 and the press and media said little or nothing about it. The drumbeat for war had 80% of the citizenry behind it even though the inspections told us nothing is being found. The French who had been in the middle east for ages knew that intervention in Iraq was nuts. So we trashed everything French. The fault is with all those who believed in George Bush even though he was obviously a lying dolt. We as a country fell for it and we will enter the dustbin of history unless we find a government that gives up the notion of world domination, tells the rest of the world it needs to start policing itself and all cooperate through policework and intelligence in crushing the nihilistic terrorists before they cause more civil wars and human suffering. Gangster states must be forced by world pressure to comply with civilized modes of behavior and the power of current communications must be used to educate the masses who are so easily led in places like Sudan, N.Korea,Iran, and other areas where demagogues rule. Violence just breeds more enemies in the muslim world. China is a huge problem in that it's more shoddy practices are now escaping into mainstream trade. Recent failures on providing safe medicinal ingredients and even lead paint in childrens toys point out the dangers of this out-of-control amalgam of state control and unbridled capitalism.The world has become a very difficult place and jingoistic, good-ol-boy, sloganeering is not going to do anything to make it better. Who can do it? I doubt if the Republican or Democratic six front-runners have the depth. Some in the second tier like Huckabee minus some of the religious cant, Richardson, and Biden seem to have real ability and credentials . Boring Al Gore could do it. A Thatcherlike-Hillary, don't spit on the sidewalk Rudy(what did he actually do to make himself the 9/11 savior), can't we just all get along Barack, seem to be missing the points. McCain is lost, Romney and Edwards are sucking up too much to the rural few of the early primaries. The congress needs some non-ideologues who can help run the country like a real business and the electorate needs to get smart in a hurry. It's no surprise that we get more excited over Anna Nicole, Paris, Brad and Angelina then about Katrina,AbuGhraib, Guantanamo, and the rights of the people.Where are Patrick Henry, and The founding fathers now that we need them.Roberts, Alito, Thomas , Scalia, Bush and Cheney are not the answer.

Posted by: bob tichell | June 17, 2007 9:35 PM

As usual, the Administration provides Sunday morning distraction for Meet the Press and Fox News, but the real news is on Face the Nation with the Senate Minority Leader's clear indication that Republicans, hearing the voters' footsteps for '08, will hold out only until September before breaking ranks and giving up on the Surge:

http://ajliebling.blogspot.com/2007/06/surge-sunday-talk-show-smokescreen.html

Posted by: Robert Stein | June 17, 2007 9:48 PM

The good news is I've heard some of our padres marooned in the Green Zone believe the "Surge" officially will end in September. The bad news is it's to be continued under a new name called provisionally the "Bush Push." By the way, they say criticism of Prime Minister Al-Malarki is way overdone. Realistically, what can the poor man hope to accomplish? Talk about being on a tightrope!

Posted by: Rev. Alan P. Hardwicke | June 17, 2007 10:56 PM

How may more must die before we say enough?
How many parents must get the news that their son or daughter was just killed?
How many more will be deformed in combat and carry the scars for life?
How many more before we speak in a load clear voice to our elected officials to bring them home? Now!

Posted by: RB | June 17, 2007 10:58 PM

How may more must die before we say enough?
How many parents must get the news that their son or daughter was just killed?
How many more will be deformed in combat and carry the scars for life?
How many more before we speak in a load clear voice to our elected officials to bring them home? Now!

Posted by: RB | June 17, 2007 10:58 PM

How may more must die before we say enough?
How many parents must get the news that their son or daughter was just killed?
How many more will be deformed in combat and carry the scars for life?
How many more before we speak in a load clear voice to our elected officials to bring them home? Now!

Posted by: RB | June 17, 2007 11:00 PM

How may more must die before we say enough?
How many parents must get the news that their son or daughter was just killed?
How many more will be deformed in combat and carry the scars for life?
How many more before we speak in a load clear voice to our elected officials to bring them home? Now!

Posted by: RB | June 17, 2007 11:00 PM

How may more must die before we say enough?
How many parents must get the news that their son or daughter was just killed?
How many more will be deformed in combat and carry the scars for life?
How many more before we speak in a load clear voice to our elected officials to bring them home? Now!

Posted by: RB | June 17, 2007 11:00 PM

james a myers.

Hey, Rambo, Uncle Sam is a little short of recruits. Have you signed up? Seeing as you're in favor of "anything."

f***** Chicken Hawks

Posted by: Anonymous | June 17, 2007 11:15 PM

Isn't it apparent that we're being set up for a long term occupation to keep everyone out except those chosen few who will control Iraq oil? Isn't it so plain? What other reason is there for a long term occupation? Don't you begin to feel that Orwell was right and war in Oceana will be a constant thing? No one in our current government seems to care about how many young men and women are killed, and the mercinaries are just so much overpaid fodder. Isn't all this clear by now?

Posted by: OCPatriot | June 18, 2007 2:02 AM

Sorry Miguel, olive drab, or drab olive, Bush is a gruesome boob, and you are a willing dupe. And for this President, every dupe counts!

Posted by: Sardou | June 18, 2007 2:49 AM

Bush has one purpose--extend the conflict until January 2008. He will never agree to withdrawal. Petraus, who was supposed to be different, has turned out to be parroting the same line. Stay the course. Stay the course.

Posted by: Julia | June 18, 2007 6:38 AM

There it is, folks! What the General is talking about is the "Bush Push" I've been reading about.

Posted by: Randy Gillworth | June 24, 2007 8:50 PM

Petraeus is a good leader and I believe that he has set us on the right path to seeing the end of the conflict in Iraq.

Posted by: John Doe | June 29, 2007 1:42 AM

The surge is just a feeble attempt by this incompetent President to salvage one of the most disastrous foreign policies decisions ever made. Not to speak of how badly this Administration has prosecuted this war, which is another disaster in itself.
A person wrote that people are just "Bush Haters" who comment critically about the President. Well I got news for him, Bush will be regarded as one the most incompetent Presidents ever. His legacy is easy to predict. During his first term, he hi-jacked 911 and flew it into Iraq. Bush and his subordinates used fear tactics to manipulate Americans' rationale that Iraq was a threat to America's security. The irony is that Bush was and is a threat to America's security. His disregard of laws, domestic and international, is a threat to America's security. His miserable attempt to be a world leader is a threat to America's security. Bush has created more terrorist since 911 because America is much more hated in the world because of his failed foreign policies. This President is ridiculously incompetent at everything he does.
I have never met Bush and I hope I never have the chance. Therefore, I don't "HATE" him. But, I sure hate what he has done to Americas standing and respectability in the eyes of the world.

Posted by: michael | July 2, 2007 2:54 PM

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