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While Bush Goes on Vacation . . .

Raise your hand if you’re surprised.

IRAQ MOVING TOWARDS CIVIL WAR

By ANNE PLUMMER FLAHERTY, Associated Press
The top U.S. military commander in the Middle East told Congress on Thursday that “Iraq could move toward civil war” if the raging sectarian violence in Baghdad is not stopped.

“I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I have seen it,” Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said the top priority in the Iraq war is to secure the capital, where factional violence has surged in recent weeks despite efforts by the new Iraqi government to stop the fighting.

A similar remark was offered by Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who told the panel, “We do have the possibility of that devolving into civil war.” He added that this need not happen and stressed that ultimately it depends on the Iraqis more than on the U.S. military.

“Shiite and Sunni are going to have to love their children more than they hate each other,” Pace said, before the tensions can be overcome. “The weight of that must be on the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government.”

President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld have steadfastly refused to call the situation in Iraq a civil war, although Rumsfeld at a news conference on Wednesday acknowledged that the violence is increasing.

The commanders’ concessions about the threat of a civil war came just three months before congressional elections in which Bush administration policy in Iraq looms as a defining issue. Many voters have tired of the 3-year-old war, which has cost more than 2,500 U.S. lives and more than a quarter billion taxpayer dollars.

Rumsfeld, who testified alongside Abizaid and Pace, did not comment directly on the prospect of civil war but said Iraq’s future lay in the hands of Iraqis, beginning with a reconciliation process that has yet to get under way.

“Ultimately the sectarian violence is going to be dealt with by Iraqis,” Rumsfeld said.

Under questioning by Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., Pace said he did not anticipate one year ago that Iraq would now be in danger of descending into civil war. Abizaid said it was obvious a year ago that sectarian violence was on the rise, and that Iraq’s police forces did not develop as well as U.S. officials had expected.

“It’s vital that we turn this around,” the general said.

Abizaid also said under questioning that it was possible that U.S. casualties could rise as a result of the battle to contain sectarian violence in the capital.

“I think it’s possible that in the period ahead of us in Baghdad that we’ll take increased casualties — that’s possible,” he said.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 3, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    What is it with the numeric stupidity of the MSM? It is not “a quarter billion”; it is over 0.3 trillion dollars of taxpayer money down a rathole.

  2. MysticFire
    August 3, 2006 at 9:01 pm

    …Again?!?!?!?…

  3. chuck from Atascadero
    August 4, 2006 at 4:40 am

    When I was born, Truman was President, so I’ve seen a few in my lifetime, but none compare to this joker we’ve got now.

    I have a question I’d like to ask everyone and anyone: Can you think of a worse Presidential decision in the last 50 years — the last 100 years — than the decision by W. and the neo-cons to invade Iraq????? What a bonehead blunder! We’re be paying for this at least for an entire generation.

    C’mon. Anyone. Name me a worse decision by a U.S. President.

  4. Anonymous
    August 4, 2006 at 4:56 am

    C’mon Chuck. George W is the best president of the 21st century!

  5. MarkMan
    August 4, 2006 at 6:54 am

    You’ve got a point, Chuck. You can’t pin Viet Nam, for example, on just one President. Eisenhower started, followed by Kennedy. LBJ really escalated and Nixon expanded it into Laos and Cambodia. They all share the guilt on that one.

    I was never much of a fan of George Bush I — until the son came along. If only the son had acted more like the father and his team like James Baker and Brent Scowcroft. None of this would have happened.

    So I’m agreeing with Chuck. I can’t think of a single decision by a President that has gone so horribly wrong with so many consequences. I hope Dave will ask this sometime on his show — I think it’s a legitimate question and deserves an answer.

  6. Anonymous
    August 4, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    For mysticfire:
    a quarter billion is 250,000,000=245 million.
    a quarter trillion is 250,000,000,000=250 billion. No wonder the country is bankrupt!

  7. Anonymous
    August 4, 2006 at 6:26 pm

    oops! that should be 250 million and not 245 million.

  8. JerryDinAZ
    August 4, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    TAKE A DEEP BREATH! WE HAVE THE WHITEHOUSE FOR AT LEAST 10 MORE YEARS. SINCE ONLY 10% OF AMERICANS REALLY UNDERSTAND THE WAR ON TERROR, WE NEED THE TIME TO GET TO THE REST OF YOU UP TO SPEED…BUT ONLY 51% OF YOU! THAT’S ALL WE NEED! OH ITS GREAT TO BE A REPUBLICAN! WATCHING THE DEMS SELF DESTRUCT IS THE MOST FUN I’VE HAD IN YEARS. OH…AND MR. PRESIDENT…HAVE FUN & RELAX ON YOUR VACATION! HEHEHE

  9. MysticFire
    August 5, 2006 at 4:12 am

    To Anonymous: My comment was actually directed toward Dave posting AGAIN about GW and the Iraq war. I thought we had redirected his focus at least for a day or two…

    Ah well…back to his banter…

  10. Dave Congalton
    August 5, 2006 at 5:41 am

    Hey Mysticfire,

    What is your problem? Don’t you understand that WE ARE AT WAR? what issue could possibly be more important than what this administration is doing overseas, especially in Iraq?

    Have you been paying attention to the events of the last few days? (1) Republican Chuck Hagel has called for complete miitary withdrawal from Iraq within six months; (2) Sen. Clinton has called for Rumsfeld to step down as SoD; (3) U.S. military generals are finally admitting that Iraq has turned into a civil war; (4) THOUSANDS of people marched in the streets of Baghdad yesterday, calling for the U.S. to withdraw.
    (5) Joe Lieberman is about to be defeated in Connecticut on the single issue of his support for the war.

    Meanwhile, our soldiers continue to die, our money continues to be wasted.

    So the question shouldn’t be why is Dave talking about the war again — the question should be, given how terrible things are going, why isn’t Dave talking about the war more?

    It’s got to be tough to be a neo-con hawk these days and see it all blow up in your face. That’s exactly what’s happening mysticfire and you can’t defend what we’re doing. Attacking me isn’t enough.

  11. Bob from San Luis
    August 5, 2006 at 7:13 am

    Gee, things are going great in Iraq! Haven’t you heard; there was a protest in Baghdad, kind of like how we have protests here in America. This one was a little different though: On Friday August 3, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq, a protest in a mostly Shia area was held to show support by the Iraqi Shias for Hezzbolah in Lebanon. Shouting “Death to America, Death to Israel” some 200,000 protesters carried effigies that were two sided, with one side showing President Bush and the other side showing Saddam Hussein, with the phrase “Bush and Hussein, two sides of the same coin”. See, democracy is flourishing in Iraq! Link here if you would like to read the story. There were no reports of violence during the protest. Aren’t things going swell in Iraq?

  12. MysticFire
    August 5, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    Dave,

    I’m not attacking you. I get it, war sucks but I honestly feel it’s a necessary evil.

    My whole point is that going over and over this on this blog is not doing anyone any good. It’s the same few people bantering back and forth, it’s getting tired. It’s all just the same argument every time you post something about this. No one has any real ideas on how to solve this, and when I asked a question about what would you do…it was ignored. How many times can you beat this subject when there’s HONESTLY nothing you can do about it? If you had the same guest on your radio show 5 days a week, talking about the same issue you’d lose listeners. How is the blog different?

    Suprisingly there are other things going on in the world. Not to say they are more or less important, but nonetheless OTHER THINGS are going on it the world. Can’t we talk about something else for a while?

    The local stuff you’ve been posting is great, keep it up! Why not talk about how businesses are leaving SLO? Schools are closing? We’re losing our middle class…

    Beyond all of this, buck up and support our troops and our government. You have no better solution to the problems, so give a little support to the people who are making the tough decisions. Even if you don’t agree, you’ll have a chance to change it in ’08.

  13. ADAM HILL
    August 5, 2006 at 10:44 pm

    Dave is to be commended for continuing to focus on the war in Iraq and other related foreign policy issues like the war b/t Israel and Hezbollah.

    In fact, I think it’s of such grave importance, that ratings be-damned, Dave should have a war related segment on every single show.

  14. MysticFire
    August 6, 2006 at 2:47 am

    Adam,

    If he would focus on something constructive (i.e., thanking our troops, coming up with ways to solve these war problems) I’d be all for it. But all that is ever said on here is about how horrible things are going in Iraq. How much money we’re spending, how GW is scr3wing the world over by being a bad president. Give me a break. Whether you agree or don’t agree with this war, your not the one making the tough decisions so you should at least be supportive of the people who ARE making the tough decisions. It’s fine to disagree, but isn’t there a time when we can finally just say “I’ve said my peace, now we can move on”?

  15. Rich from Paso
    August 6, 2006 at 5:48 am

    I have the solution to all of your problems, Dave: Get Congress to halt funding for the war in Iraq. All you need is for 41 Senators (all Democrats) to filibuster the next Iraq re-authorizationn bill and the money is gone. DoD would then have to pay for operations out of their current budget and all of the cool toys and stuff will get put on the shelf until we are out of Iraq. See, it’s that simple. Which then begs the question: Why is it that the Democrat Senators don’t filibuster the bill when it comes up? We have been there for three years, therefore three emergency spending bills. Where is the Democrats resolve to do the right thing and bring our boys home, Dave?

    By the way, Pace and Abizaid said that Iraq “could” move to civil war, they did not say that Iraq was in civil war. If you are going to speak for someone, be nice and don’t spin what they say to suit your needs.

  16. Anonymous
    August 6, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    Screw the Democrats and Republofachists. Bring the troops home before they murder any more innocent women and children!

  17. Dave Congalton
    August 7, 2006 at 1:17 am

    Mysticfire,

    I don’t pretend that either my blog or radio show has much impact on national affairs. We do cover national topics from time to time to provide a forum for the Central Coast to participate and give them a chance to dialogue.

    But it’s also important to post these Iraq articles from time to time to coounter the “propaganda” being spewed from Sean and Rush. Do you honestly believe those guys are telling you the truth about Iraq??? Kudos to Rich for making a valilant effort to defend the status quo, but you have to be blind, deaf and dumb to ignore the facts about Iraq.

    One last time: We blew it. Big time. We should never have gone in. We have created a civil war in Iraq and emboldened Iran. When Tom and I talked aobut all this and warned people back in 2003, we were YELLED AT and RIDCULED by all you Bush supporters.

    Well, guess what? We were right. You were wrong. It gives me no joy to say that, but I will continue to post newspaper articles here that show how bad this war is going, a war we never should have fought.

  18. MysticFire
    August 7, 2006 at 3:20 am

    Dave,

    You are SO proving my point, yet missing it altogether.

  19. Anonymous
    August 7, 2006 at 4:20 am

    all you mystics should watch this:

  20. Rich from Paso
    August 7, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    Dave, I will e-mail you the e-mail address of my friend in Iraq and I want you to tell him all of the things you say on your show and your blog. Tell him and his family he was better off under Saddam. Tell him that his brother killed by Saddam was not that big a deal and that Saddam still should be in power. I seriously doubt that you have the guts to literally tell an Iraqi (he’s shia, btw) that his life would be better off with Saddam in power. Remember the old saw “Those who trade liberty for security deserve neither liberty or security”. Yeah the sectarian violence would be gone but the counter on the hundreds of thousands murdered by Saddam would still be ticking. You have the luxuary of being able to poo poo the whole WMD threat because Saddam was out of power and that future is no longer posible, but to claim that we should never have gone and it was a mistake to go ignores the real human beings that no longer live under Saddam’s tyranny.

    E-mail me if you want his e-mail address or send me the e-mail and I will forward it to him. Put your money where your mouth is and tell an Iraqi what you think.

  21. Kirk In SLO
    August 8, 2006 at 3:44 am

    …and then there was silence…

  22. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    August 8, 2006 at 5:21 am

    Dave, I am sorry, but I cannot honestly believe that it was a mistake to invade Iraq. Everyone thought there were WMD’s. Everyone. Even John F’n Kerry and Hillarious Clinton.

    There was a alleged former terrorist on Hannity today. Did you hear it? He thinks that the Muslim is not capable of rational democracy. Hannity does not believe it, but I am not sure. The muslim is taught that Jews and other infidels must be killed, according to Hannity’s guest. Is this true? Do you think that the muslim must be rulled by an iron fisted dictator to keep them in check, or are they capable of self rule. Are they below us in the evolution of society and are barbarians that need to be tortured and killed if they step on the toes of their dictator? Do we look the other way as their leader kills them by the 100000, pays families to send their kids off to blow up people, and developes ways to kill americans?

    Finally, what do you think about the fake and doctored photos on reuters? Why do you think that they changed the photos? How come even fox news tells how many arab deaths, but only that hezbulla launches rockets that hit the cities, without listing feaths? Why, oh great media brains, does this happen?

  23. Rich from Paso
    August 8, 2006 at 11:47 pm

    Okay, Dave, there you go. I have just e-mailed you my Iraqi friend’s e-mail address. As I said in the e-mail, please CC me when you do write him, so I can see what you wrote and then e-mail him back apologizing for all Americans for your lack of understanding of the issues in Iraq.

  24. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    August 9, 2006 at 5:59 am

    Dave, can you let all of us see your email conversation with the alleged Iraqi? I would be interested in what this person has to say? Thanks, NEWT ONE.

  25. Rich from Paso
    August 10, 2006 at 1:04 am

    8/9/06—— < <<< The sound of crickets chirping >>>>

  26. Rich from Paso
    August 10, 2006 at 1:11 am
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