Home > Uncategorized > Are They Off Now Than Four Years Ago?

Are They Off Now Than Four Years Ago?

Well, let’s take a page from the Ronald Reagan quote book. We all remember, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

So why don’t we ask this of the people in Iraq, you know, like Rich’s friend, that is if he isn’t one of the 655,000 IRAQI CIVILIANS KILLED SINCE 2003. The obvious question: Could even Hussein kill that quickly?

From Wednesday’s Washington Post:

“A team of American and Iraqi epidemiologists estimates that 655,000 more people have died in Iraq since coalition forces arrived in March 2003 than would have died if the invasion had not occurred.

The estimate, produced by interviewing residents during a random sampling of households throughout the country, is far higher than ones produced by other groups, including Iraq’s government.

It is more than 20 times the estimate of 30,000 civilian deaths that President Bush gave in a speech in December. It is more than 10 times the estimate of roughly 50,000 civilian deaths made by the British-based Iraq Body Count research group.

The surveyors said they found a steady increase in mortality since the invasion, with a steeper rise in the last year that appears to reflect a worsening of violence as reported by the U.S. military, the news media and civilian groups. In the year ending in June, the team calculated Iraq’s mortality rate to be roughly four times what it was the year before the war.

Of the total 655,000 estimated “excess deaths,” 601,000 resulted from violence and the rest from disease and other causes, according to the study. This is about 500 unexpected violent deaths per day throughout the country.

The survey was done by Iraqi physicians and overseen by epidemiologists at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings are being published online today by the British medical journal the Lancet.”

The quagmire deepens. Nobody in the administration seems to have an answer, so now it’s up to James Baker to come up with some solutions. One last time for our President to get into trouble and be bailed out by friends of his father, a pattern repeated throughout his adult life.

How, oh how, does George W. Bush sleep at night???

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  1. JerryDinAZ
    October 11, 2006 at 4:36 am

    OUR PRESIDENT AND MOST OF THE NATION SLEEP WELL AT NIGHT…VERY WELL. AS DOES ANYONE THAT DOES THE RIGHT THING AT THE RIGHT TIME.
    EVEN CRIMINALS DECRY WHEN POLICE DO A GOOD JOB, AND WHEN THEY DO WE ARE ALL BETTER OFF.
    YOU LIBOCANTS HAVE THE PLEASURE OF THE SAFETY PROVIDED BY A GOVERNMENT AND A PRESIDENT THAT ACTUALLY HAVE A PAIR…
    SO REST WELL AMERICA. YOU PRESIDENT IS DOING HIS JOB.
    KUDOS MR. BUSH! THE VAST MAJORITY ARE WITH YOU. THE REST WILL COME TO THEIR SENSES IN TIME.

  2. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 11, 2006 at 5:44 am

    What brainwashed person believes these shock figures? 655,000 people in 3 years…that is almost 600 people being killed per day of civilians. Not foreign fighters or members of Saddams depressed army.

    How many bodies were found in the desert? 250,000? What about the swamp people that were exterminated? Yeah, I bet many of those people wish for their brutal dictator back. Overall, he was not that bad right?

    How Korea got nukes

    I noticed that the Donna Legg was on tonight for code pink. What a piece of work she is. He peace is a disgrace to our country, and the human race. Donna’s peace is bondage to the government. Here are some of the other people what want the same type of peace Donna wants:

    Cher
    Yoko Ono
    Gloria Steinem
    Jane Fonda
    Angelica Huston, actor
    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actor
    Bahar Soomekh, actor
    Daryl Hannah, actor
    Gore Vidal
    Kate Hudson, actor
    Susan Sarandon, actor
    Samuel L. Jackson, actor
    Willie and Annie Nelson, artist/musician
    Cindy Sheehan, peace mom
    Sandra Ho, actor
    Michael Franti, musician
    Steve Earle, musician
    John Densmore, drummer for the Doors
    Skylark, musician/The Doobie Brothers
    Marisa Tomei, actor
    Laura Flanders, host, RadioNation
    Illeana Douglas, actor/director
    Richard Lewis, actor
    Ed Begley Jr., actor
    Maria Bello, actor
    Daphne Zuniga, actor
    Larry Hagman, actor
    Alexandra Paul, actor
    Michael York, actor
    Frances Fisher, actor
    Leigh Taylor Young, actor
    Vondie Curtis-Hall, actor/director
    Jackson Browne, musician
    Vanessa Williams, actor
    Paul and Deborah Haggis, film director “Crash”
    Mike Farrell and Shelley Fabrese, actor
    Cindy Asner and Ed Asner, actor
    Jill Sobule, singer, activist
    Cornel West, author
    Alice Walker, author
    Maxine Hong Kingston, writer
    Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, writer/historian
    Anne Lamott, writer
    Susan Griffin, author/Emmy Award playwright
    Robbie Canal, artist
    Marilyn and Alan Bergman, songwriters
    Rondell Sheridan, actor “That’s So Raven”
    Maryum Ali, writer

    Also Hugo Chavez and the President of Iraq have signed and support code pink for socialism.

  3. Dave Congalton
    October 11, 2006 at 6:20 am

    Hey New Tone,

    (1) Her name is Dawn, not Donna. If you’re going to attack her, at least get her name right.

    (2) Jack Greene will be on Thursday at 6:05 to discuss North Korea.

    Hey Jerry,

    W. obviously isn’t sleeping well at night because he had to bring in his daddy’s friend James Baker to bail him out of Iraq. Worst President ever!

  4. bob from San Luis
    October 11, 2006 at 8:47 am

    Dave: I doubt that you’ll get through to New Tone; habitual name calling and purposely getting someone’s name wrong is a tried and true conservative tactic. By using the wrong name on purpose or inventing new names to call those with whom you disagree, you get to demean them, to make them somehow less than you are. Of course the reality is that those who resort to that type of behavior are only showing their own shortcomings as they attempt to drag everyone down to their level, which is always pretty low when they continually name call and get names wrong on purpose. It really is immature and brings to focus the idea that they are most likely projecting their own sub-conscientious feelings of low self worth. Pathetic.

  5. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 11, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    There is no demeaning methond in calling someone Donna or Dawn. Like I have seen how shoe spells her name. I just know for a fact that if she supports what code pink does, then she also believes the same thing as many others in the communist community. Cindy Sheehan met with dictator Hugo Chavez to call W a criminal. Chavez locks up people who disagree with him, and the left incorrectly accuse Bush of doing the same. Who is living in the dreamland?

  6. JerryDinAZ
    October 11, 2006 at 4:04 pm

    DAVE,
    MANY OF US HAVE COME TO TRUST YOUR JOURNALISTIC STYLE OVER THE YEARS, BUT THIS HATRED FOR OUR PRESIDENT SEEMS TO HAVE BLURRED THE LINE BETWEEN RESPONSIBLE REPORTING AND BEING USED AS A PUPPET FOR THE SECULAR PROGRESSIVES. THE ARTICLE YOU QUOTED HAS BEEN COMPLETELY DISCOUNTED BY ANY RESPECTED JOURNALIST, GOVERNMENT AND THE MILITARY OF BOTH AMERICAN AND IRAQI AS PROPAGANDA AND IRRESPONSIBLE PROPAGANDA AT THAT! JUST WEEKS FROM AN ELECTION I WOULD THINK YOU WOULD WANT TO BE MORE CAREFUL ABOUT WHAT YOU COPY-N-PASTE HERE IN ORDER TO KEEP THE INTEGRITY OF THE BLOG ABOVE THE FREY. EVEN IF YOU LIKE WHAT IT SAYS…TRUTH OR NOT.
    THOSE NUMBERS ARE COMPLETELY DISTORTED AND MANUFACTURED BASED ON “INTERVIEWS” FOR A PURPOSE…TO DISCREDIT OUR PRESIDENT, AND LIKE MANY OF THE ATTACKS FROM THE “DRIVE BY MEDIA” THEY HAVE BEEN PROVEN WRONG. ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO HANG YOUR HAT ON THAT PEG? SINCE 9-11 THE ATTACKS FROM RADICAL ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS NUMBER OVER 9000! TALK ABOUT THAT! THEY HAVE DECLARED WAR ON THE WESTERN WORLD, TALK ABOUT THAT! IRAN IS NOW FUNDING AND SUPPLYING THE INSURGENTS IN IRAQ TO BRING WEAK KNEED AND LIMP WRISTED AMERICANS TO THEIR SIDE, AND SADLY IT SEEMS TO BE WORKING. WE ARE AT WAR! LIKE IT OR NOT. AND THESE ISLAMIC FASCISTS ARE NOT OPEN TO DISCUSSION OR COMPROMISE! TALK ABOUT THAT!
    WE HAVE A PRESIDENT THAT DOES TAKE THOSE 9000+ TERRORIST ATTACKS (ON ALMOST EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD) VERY SERIOUSLY, YOU SHOULD TOO! THESE LEFTIST FLAGRANT AND HATEFUL ATTACKS ALWAYS…ALWAYS LACK ONE THING. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN? WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY?
    THE DEMOCANTS ARE NOT GOING TO WIN WITH THAT “HATE BUSH” CRAP! THEY ARE NOT GOING TO WIN BY POSTING A COMPLETELY DISCREDITED ARTICLE WRITTEN BY SOME TENURED MARXIST PROFESSOR TO HELP FORWARD HIS PERSONAL AGENDA TO HELP HIS PARTY WEEKS FROM AN ELECTION. GET IT REAL AND KEEP IT REAL OR LOSE IT ALL BY BEING LUMPED WITH THAT IRRESPONSIBLE AND DESPERATE GROUP OF THE LEFT THAT ARE IN A “GROUND HOG DAY” MAZE FROM THE 2000 ELECTION. DON’T YOU THINK THAT 6 YEARS OF WAKING UP INTO THE SAME DEMENTED REALITY IS LONG ENOUGH? CAN YOU, OR DO YOU WANT TO KEEP THIS UP FOR 2 MORE YEARS? PLEASE TELL ME YOUR NOT PINNING YOUR HOPES ON JOURNALIST LYING AND DENIAL!
    HUNKER DOWN DAVE AND CLEAR YOUR HEAD. BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NEXT FEW WEEKS AND GIVE UP ALL THIS HATE! THAT KIND OF REPRESSED ANGER KILLS PEOPLE, EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY. BLOG ABOVE THE FREY FOR A WHILE. YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS DAVE! WE ALL KNOW IT!
    IF YOU CAN’T HELP YOURSELF, AT LEAST BRING IN A “HANNITY” TO THIS BLOG. TEAM UP WITH THE BALANCE FROM THE OTHER SIDE, LIKE SEAN HANNITY DOES WITH ALLAN COMBS AND LET’S DISCUSS AND DEBATE AFTER BOTH SIDES HAVE HAD A CHANCE TO VOICE THEIR REASON.

  7. Rich from Paso
    October 11, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    As the only guy bloggin here that has been to Iraq and seen the country first-hand, through my own eyes instead of seeing it through the myopic eyes fo the mainstream, liberal agenda, hate Bush above all else, media, I can tell you that the numbers are GROSSLY overinflated by the Iraq Body Count group. What you all on the left fail to understand about Iraq is that all arabs look alike. That is a fact. Whenever one of our soldiers kills a terrorist, a foreign fighter, call them what you will, that terrorist goes to the same hospital morgue that an iraqi born terrorist goes to. Often times the hospital medical examiner doesn’t even get to log in the bodies before people whether cohorts or loved ones, come to clamin the bodies. Bottom line: there is NO, NONE, ZIP, ZERO, NADA accurate counting of the real numbers of dead insurgents vis a vi Iraqi citizens. Using anecdotal evidence from an unreputable outfit like the Iraq Body Count group over our military to support your hatred of Bush and the Iraq War is irresponsible and beneath someone of your intellectual and persoanl quality, Dave. But what the hell do I know since I haven’t been there in two and a half years (and you have never been), right, Dave?

    Frankly, I’m surprised you went with this article over the “US Army in Iraq until 2010” story. Which, if you remember back a year, is exactly what I told you was going to be the case when you tried to pin me down on when our soldiers are coming home. Maybe I’m not so full of shit after all, huh, Dave?

  8. JerryDinAZ
    October 11, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    MEMBERS OF THE LIBERAL LEFT EXUDE AN AIR OF MORAL CERTITUDE. THEY PRIDE THEMSELVES ON BEING SELFLESSLY COMMITTED TO THE HIGHEST IDEAS AND SEEM PARTICULARLY CONFIDENT OF THE PURITY OF THEIR MOTIVES AND THE EVIL NATURE OF THEIR OPPONENTS. TO CORRECT ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL INJUSTICE, LIBERALS SUPPORT A WHOLE LITANY OF POLICIES AND PRINCIPLES: PROGRESSIVE TAXES, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, GREATER REGULATION OF CORPORATIONS, RAISING THE INHERITANCE TAX, STRICT ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS, CHILDREN’S RIGHTS, CONSUMER RIGHTS, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE.
    BUT DO THEY ACTUALLY LIVE BY THESE BELIEFS?

    LIBERAL LEADERS AND SPOKESPEOPLE SAY:
    ”DO AS WE SAY…NOT AS WE DO”

    1)MICHAEL MOORE DENOUNCES OIL AND DEFENSE CONTRACTORS AS WAR PROFITEERS. HE ALSO CLAIMS TO HAVE NO STOCK PORTFOLIO, YET HE OWNS SHARES IN HALLIBURTON, BOEING, AND HONEYWELL AND DOES HIS POSTPRODUCTION WORK IN CANADA TO AVOID PAYING UNION WAGES IN THE UNITED STATES.
    2)TED KENNEDY’S CLOSETS ARE CHOCK FULL OF HYPOCRISY. FOR EXAMPLE,
    a.TED AND THE KENNEDY CLAN HAVE PROTECTED THEIR ASSETS FROM ESTATE TAXES – AS KENNEDY FIGHTS TO KEEP THIS TAX ON OTHER AMERICANS!
    b.KENNEDY ALSO HAS FOUGHT AN ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM NEAR HIS CAPE COD HOME.
    3)NOAM CHOMSKY OPPOSES THE VERY CONCEPT OF PRIVATE PROPERTY AND CALLS THE PENTAGON “THE WORST INSTITUTION IN HUMAN HISTORY,” YET HE AND HIS WIFE HAVE MADE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CONTRACT WORK FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND OWN TWO LUXURIOUS HOMES.
    4)BARBARA STREISAND PRIDES HERSELF AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST, YET SHE OWNS SHARES IN A NOTORIOUS STRIP-MINING COMPANY.
    5)HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTS THE RIGHT OF THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRLS TO HAVE ABORTIONS WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT, YET SHE FORBADE THIRTEEN-YEAR-OLD CHELSEA TO PIERCE HER EARS AND ENROLLED HER IN A SCHOOL THAT WOULD NOT DISTRIBUTE CONDOMS TO MINORS.
    6)NANCY PELOSI RECEIVED THE 2002 CESAR CHAVEZ AWARD FROM THE UNITED FARM WORKERS, YET SHE AND HER HUSBAND OWN A NAPA VALLEY VINEYARD THAT USES NONUNION LABOR.

    WOW! WITH LEADERS LIKE THESE AND THE INCREDIBLE MORAL HIGH GROUND THEY SHARE IT’S A SURPRISE TO ME THEY COULDN’T ELECT AL GORE WHO IS SO CONCERNED ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING HE OWNS 3 HUGE HOMES, A HALF DOZEN SUV’S, AND FLY’S HIS SMALL STAFF AROUND ON A PRIVATE COMMERCIAL JET!

    WE WANT MORE “COPY-N-PASTE” ARTICLES! EXPOSING THE LIBS IS SOOO EASY! SO UNLESS YOU SORROSITES HAVE A PLAN WE WILL KEEP EXPOSING YOU…
    IN THE MEAN TIME WE WILL KEEP YOU ALL SAFE AND FREE AND EMPLOYED, AND WEALTHY. PLEASE DON’T SAY THANKS!

  9. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 12, 2006 at 12:03 am

    Dave, did you note that the terrorist killed 70% of the 655,000 supposed killed? So….we should leave and let them die in peace. Then the terrorists would go where and kill?

  10. Rich from Paso
    October 12, 2006 at 12:07 am

    What pisses me off about all these Democan’ts arrogant certitude that they will win the House and/or the Senate this fall. On C-SPAN the other night, some schmuck Democan’t wannabe running for the 10th District in Pennsylvania actually said that when the Democan’ts win the House this fall, and it is a foregone conclusion that they will win, he had been told by the Democan’t leadership that he had been promised a seat on the Appropriations Committee, so he would be able to ensure that a pork barrel project would get Federal funding. What arrogance!!! If there is any justice in this cosmos, the Democan’ts will fail and fail miserably this November just because they have been counting chickens that have not hatched yet.

  11. Red Neckersniff
    October 12, 2006 at 12:35 am

    David, David. I know it is you job to kick the hornet’s nest jest to get things started! But fer cryin out loud! You can’t be serious about these clowns!

    First off, the study $ comes outta M.I.T….that would be anti-Bush, love Teddy country – puhleeze. Second, these experts got there info from going door to door, 1,849 doors in Iraq, and checking in with 12,801 Iraqi’s. No corroboration of data, just sort of a straw poll. And that is 6.94 people per household…average.

    But here is my favorite. A similar study was released just before Nov. 04 elections, obviously with not the impact. The lead researcher, Les Roberts, ADMITTED to releasing the results just before elections intentionally (no kiddin…) Some of the SAME RESEARCHERS were on this study.

    General Casey confirms just what Rich advises,there really is no credible way to get accurate counts. Muslim folks get their people buried fast. Coroner’s offices are not as sophisticated as ours, nor are morgues, which are also run by muslims sympathetic to family members of the dead.

    No credibility, hoss. If there were that many people bein’ killed, don’t you think the Iraqi government would be using that as a political tool to get more aid? to get more troops? Once again…the Iraqi general population is not our enemy and not the ones we are doing battle with! Yes the insurgents hide among them and sometimes the good guys get killed too, that is war…but this is not the kill zone that the press, the ‘Crats and Hollywood is making it out to be, and you know it.

    Speakin of that. Thanks to the New Tone gentleman for increasing my “avoid these jerkoffs” list. I knew there were more slippin around in there somewhere. I was so sad to see Leigh Taylor Young on there…before your time Dave. But for us ol’ timers…yowwwwza Alice B. Toklas!!!

    Bottom line: This is going to BACKFIRE, OR fizzle to something that sounds like air whistling through a nose booger…weak.

  12. JerryDinAZ
    October 12, 2006 at 1:54 am

    BOB, BOB, BOB!
    YOUR POST WAS PERFECT! YPU HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD! WHILE ALL OF US CONSERVATIVES (CULTURE WARRIORS) ARE TALKING ABOUT THE TOPIC AND SOLUTIONS…YOU ARE WORRIED THAT SOMEONE THAT GOT THEIR NAME SPELLED WRONG MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN THEIR FEELINGS HURT! AWESOME! THEN YOU DO THE SECOND DEMOCANT STRATEGY AND STARTED THE “POLITCICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION” YOU ALL LEARNED FROM SLIMEY BILL CITTON!
    STICK TO THE ISSUE! DAVE POSTED A COMPLETELY BOGUS STUDY IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO DEFLECT THE FACT THE THE FOLLEY THING HAS BLOWN UP IN YOUR FACES!
    IF I MISSPELLED ANYTHING IN MY POST, I HOPE NONE OF YOU LIBOCANTS DIDN’T GET YOUR LIL FEELINGS HURT…SHAL WE SING A CAMPFIRE SONG OR CALL A CRISIS COUNSELOR AND TALK ABOUT FOR TEN YEARS?
    PERFECT LIBO POST BOB! THANKS FOR MAKING MY POINT!

  13. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 12, 2006 at 6:17 am

    Had a little more time to check out what Ms. Peace, or should I say Dawn “Chicken” Legg is a part of. I want to warn all of you that it is not pretty. She is in bed with Cindy and Chavez and peace activist Sean Penn carrying his shotgun to blow away Americans suffering from Katrina and here is a more complete list of the people who hate peace and want government control

    Very Sad. Let me know what you think.

  14. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 12, 2006 at 6:55 am

    Dawn, You may qualify to join this group, it is even better than Code Pink for loss of freedoms.

    Global Justice thinks this is worthy of remembering is that dave

  15. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 12, 2006 at 6:57 am

    Dave, you, Glen Starky, and your wife could take the short trip to Berkley to visit your pals is that Michele from San Jose with the blue thingy VIEWER BE AWAY VERY UGLY AND SICK PEOPLE oh well, Dawn check it out and report back k? Peace out!

  16. Conscience of the GOP
    October 12, 2006 at 7:05 am

    Dawn Legg is an awesome babe. She is my idea of an American patriot with true soul. I am sooo in love with Dawn. Code Pink rocks, and their political action makes web spuds like snooze-tone look like the social leeches they realy are.

    Code Pink are patriots. Bush war supporters are leeches. Go suck.

  17. Bob from San Luis
    October 12, 2006 at 7:47 am

    A peer-reviewed study published in the most respected of all medical journals has statistical data gathered in a scientifically approved method which was identical to the methods used in gather similar data from Darfur which was not only accepted but embraced by this administration and the President simply dismisses the results outright. The deaths were not just from intentional attacks on targets of value and inadvertent war casualties, but also took into account outright murder from rival factions trying to establish control over distinct ethic districts, increased deaths due to lack of food, water, medicine and medical care. I have trouble accepting the full number of deaths reported and I would be willing to halve the number reported here, hell, I’d even suggest that one quarter might be more realistic; that is still over 150,000 men, women and children that have died, because we chose to invade their country, a country that had never attacked us, had no capacity to attack us so it was absolutely no threat to our country, and every reason ever given for our invasion has been disproved. So, would all of you conservatives please explain exactly why did we invade Iraq? What is the mission? What is the plan for conclusion of our occupation of Iraq? When we entered into our last declared war, we had either been attacked or had had war declared upon us, and we knew why we were fighting, we had a clear plan of winning that war, our entire country committed every possible resource to winning that war, we did not allow war profiteering, we knew what victory was going to look like, and we achieved it in a decisive manner in less time than we have been in Iraq. Indeed, how does President Bush sleep at night?

  18. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 12, 2006 at 2:43 pm

    Well, my conscience of GOP< I guess if you live in dictatorships like China, Venezuela, Cuba, or Stalinist Russia, Dawn is a patriot. If you live in the United States, the leaders of the group she associates with is lobbying for the defeat of the United States. You can't have it both ways, and I understand why you think she is a patriot using the above viewpoint. Feel free to take a hike and float to your nearest communist country and start your own blog there. I am sure that Raul would be happy to use you for propaganda just like the code pink females were used by Hugo in the above linked photo. Code pink for peace, when will the wool be lifted from their eyes?

  19. JerryDinAZ
    October 12, 2006 at 2:50 pm

    BOB, AND OTHER BLINDED BUSH HATERS,
    YOU ALL MAY WANT TO CHECK OUT THE FIRST STUDY THAT THE JOHN HOPKINS IDIOTS WERE INVOLVED WITH (SEE BELOW)

    100,000 Civilian Deaths Estimated in Iraq

    By Rob Stein
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, October 29, 2004; Page A16

    IF THIS STUDY WERE TRUE (AND WE KNOW ITS NOT) THAT MEANS THAT ALMOST 1000 IRAQIS WOULD HAVE NEED TO BE KILLED EACH AND EVERY DAY SINCE THE ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED!C’MON BOB, DAVE…YOU BOTH KNOW THAT IS 100% BS! WAKE UP GUYS! YOUR SHOWING YOUR HATE AND HOW IT IS BLINDING YOU TO REALITY!
    BECAREFUL WHAT YOU TRY TO PROP UP. WHEN IT TOPPLES IT MAY FALL ON YOU!
    THAT STUDY IS BOGUS AND NO RESPECTED NEWS SOURCE OR EXPERT GIVES IT ANY CREDIBILITY AT ALL. IT’S JUST MORE LIBOCANT DIRTY TRICKS WEEKS OUT FROM A MID TERM ELECTION!
    OK…WE ARE DONE WITH THIS HOAX. WHAT’S NEXT? COPT-N-PASTE YOUR BEST SHOT AND WE WILL TEAR IT DOWN FOR YOU.
    YOU DEFEATOCANTS ARE GRASPING AT STRAWS! LOOKING A LOT DESPERATE! BUT WE ALL KNOW THAT YOU WILL SUPPORT THIS BOGUS STUDY JUST LIKE YOU SUPPORT THE WORST PRESIDENT WE HAVE EVER HAD IN SLICK BILLY CITTON! WHAT PART OF BLOW JOBS IN THE OVAL OFFICE, AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT MAKES YOU PROUD?
    AS FOR BUSH, HE SLEEPS JUST FINE AT NIGHT. BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE IS DOING THE RIGHT THING.

  20. JerryDinAZ
    October 12, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    SEN. HARRY REID: $1 MILLION IN SHADY LAND DEAL

    SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER HARRY REID COLLECTED A $1.1 MILLION WINDFALL ON A LAS VEGAS LAND SALE EVEN THOUGH HE HADN’T PERSONALLY OWNED THE PROPERTY FOR THREE YEARS, PROPERTY DEEDS SHOW.

    SENATE ETHICS RULES REQUIRE LAWMAKERS TO DISCLOSE ON THEIR ANNUAL ETHICS REPORT ALL TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING INVESTMENT PROPERTIES – REGARDLESS OF PROFIT OR LOSS – AND TO REPORT ANY OWNERSHIP STAKE IN COMPANIES.

    GOOD OL’ BOY DINGY HARRY DIDN’T REPORT THE SALE OR TRANSFER NOR HIS INTEREST IN THE BUYERS COMPANY THAT WAS DEVELOPING THE PROPERTY.

    REID HUNG UP THE PHONE WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT THE DEAL DURING AN AP INTERVIEW LAST WEEK.

    AND DINNGY HARRY IS A TOP LEADER OF THE PARTY OF THE CLITTONS?? OH! THIS IS GETTING GOOD!

    NAMBLA NANCY AND DINGY HARRY IS THE BEST YOU CAN COME UP WITH?

  21. nancy pelosi
    October 12, 2006 at 3:47 pm

    27 days from now i’m going to make jerrydinaz my bitch.

  22. mikey ray
    October 12, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    new tone

    I agree, it is just such a horrible thing for someone NOT to want their kids and their friends kids to be killed in a war. What are they thinking? Next they’ll want to abolish hunger and disease!
    Lets all remember to ask:

    WHO WOULD JESUS KILL?

  23. JerryDinAZ
    October 12, 2006 at 10:41 pm

    DAVE,
    HOW BOUT YOU TAKE AWAY THE OPTION OF POSTING AS “ANONYMOUS” AND “OTHER”…LET’S KEEP THE BLOG LEGIT. WHAT SAY YOU?

  24. Dave congalton
    October 13, 2006 at 12:02 am

    I’ve been thinking of blocking posts by that loopy jerrdinaz guy.

    What do the rest of you think?

    Do you think we could have an intelligent discussion of the issues that way?

  25. Tom Madson
    October 13, 2006 at 12:13 am

    Dave, let freedom ring here on the net. If you go for the left view only, might as well go to daily kos.

    I forgot to ask, Dave, have you tried their private dining area?

  26. mikey ray
    October 13, 2006 at 12:14 am

    Jerry

    How ’bout you post something intelligent and worthwhile? Keep this post from a Republicunt rant-fest

  27. Bob from San Luis
    October 13, 2006 at 3:30 am

    “…. So, would all of you conservatives please explain exactly why did we invade Iraq? What is the mission? What is the plan for conclusion of our occupation of Iraq? “ JerryD, I repeat my questions to you since you didn’t respond. Answer the questions please.

  28. JerryDinAZ
    October 13, 2006 at 4:45 am
    OK BOB…HERE IT IS. PHASE 1. LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE DIGESTED THIS AND I WILL POST PHASES 2-7. OUR NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR VICTORY IN IRAQ:Helping the Iraqi People Defeat the Terrorists and Build an Inclusive Democratic State Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces. Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential. Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism. Victory in Iraq is a Vital U.S. Interest Iraq is the central front in the global war on terror. Failure in Iraq will embolden terrorists and expand their reach; success in Iraq will deal them a decisive and crippling blow. The fate of the greater Middle East — which will have a profound and lasting impact on American security — hangs in the balance. Failure is Not an Option Iraq would become a safe haven from which terrorists could plan attacks against America, American interests abroad, and our allies. Middle East reformers would never again fully trust American assurances of support for democracy and human rights in the region — a historic opportunity lost. The resultant tribal and sectarian chaos would have major consequences for American security and interests in the region. The Enemy Is Diffuse and Sophisticated The enemy is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida. Distinct but integrated strategies are required to defeat each element. Each element shares a common short-term objective — to intimidate, terrorize, and tear down — but has separate and incompatible long-term goals. Exploiting these differences within the enemy is a key element of our strategy. Our Strategy for Victory is Clear We will help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq with a constitutional, representative government that respects civil rights and has security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and keep Iraq from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. To achieve this end, we are pursuing an integrated strategy along three broad tracks, which together incorporate the efforts of the Iraqi government, the Coalition, cooperative countries in the region, the international community, and the United Nations. The Political Track involves working to forge a broadly supported national compact for democratic governance by helping the Iraqi government: Isolate enemy elements from those who can be won over to the political process by countering false propaganda and demonstrating to all Iraqis that they have a stake in a democratic Iraq; Engage those outside the political process and invite in those willing to turn away from violence through ever-expanding avenues of participation; and Build stable, pluralistic, and effective national institutions that can protect the interests of all Iraqis, and facilitate Iraq’s full integration into the international community. The Security Track involves carrying out a campaign to defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency, developing Iraqi security forces, and helping the Iraqi government: Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven; Hold areas freed from enemy influence by ensuring that they remain under the control of the Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence; and Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services, advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society. The Economic Track involves setting the foundation for a sound and self-sustaining economy by helping the Iraqi government: Restore Iraq’s infrastructure to meet increasing demand and the needs of a growing economy; Reform Iraq’s economy, which in the past has been shaped by war, dictatorship, and sanctions, so that it can be self-sustaining in the future; and Build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to maintain infrastructure, rejoin the international economic community, and improve the general welfare of all Iraqis. This Strategy is Integrated and its Elements are Mutually Reinforcing Progress in each of the political, security, and economic tracks reinforces progress in the other tracks. For instance, as the political process has moved forward, terrorists have become more isolated, leading to more intelligence on security threats from Iraqi citizens, which has led to better security in previously violent areas, a more stable infrastructure, the prospect of economic progress, and expanding political participation. Victory Will Take Time Our strategy is working: Much has been accomplished in Iraq, including the removal of Saddam’s tyranny, negotiation of an interim constitution, restoration of full sovereignty, holding of free national elections, formation of an elected government, drafting of a permanent constitution, ratification of that constitution, introduction of a sound currency, gradual restoration of neglected infrastructure, the ongoing training and equipping of Iraqi security forces, and the increasing capability of those forces to take on the terrorists and secure their nation. Yet many challenges remain: Iraq is overcoming decades of a vicious tyranny, where governmental authority stemmed solely from fear, terror, and brutality. It is not realistic to expect a fully functioning democracy, able to defeat its enemies and peacefully reconcile generational grievances, to be in place less than three years after Saddam was finally removed from power. Our comprehensive strategy will help Iraqis overcome remaining challenges, but defeating the multi-headed enemy in Iraq — and ensuring that it cannot threaten Iraq’s democratic gains once we leave — requires persistent effort across many fronts. Our Victory Strategy Is (and Must Be) Conditions Based With resolve, victory will be achieved, although not by a date certain. No war has ever been won on a timetable and neither will this one. But lack of a timetable does not mean our posture in Iraq (both military and civilian) will remain static over time. As conditions change, our posture will change. We expect, but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process advances and Iraqi security forces grow and gain experience. While our military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may organize. Our mission in Iraq is to win the war. Our troops will return home when that mission is complete. ——————————————————————————– OUR NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR VICTORY IN IRAQ:Helping the Iraqi People Defeat the Terrorists and Build an Inclusive Democratic State PART I — STRATEGIC OVERVIEW “Our mission in Iraq is clear. We’re hunting down the terrorists. We’re helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We’re advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and grandchildren.” — President George W. BushJune 28, 2003 VICTORY IN IRAQ DEFINED As the central front in the global war on terror, success in Iraq is an essential element in the long war against the ideology that breeds international terrorism. Unlike past wars, however, victory in Iraq will not come in the form of an enemy’s surrender, or be signaled by a single particular event — there will be no Battleship Missouri, no Appomattox. The ultimate victory will be achieved in stages, and we expect: In the short term: An Iraq that is making steady progress in fighting terrorists and neutralizing the insurgency, meeting political milestones; building democratic institutions; standing up robust security forces to gather intelligence, destroy terrorist networks, and maintain security; and tackling key economic reforms to lay the foundation for a sound economy. In the medium term: An Iraq that is in the lead defeating terrorists and insurgents and providing its own security, with a constitutional, elected government in place, providing an inspiring example to reformers in the region, and well on its way to achieving its economic potential. In the longer term: An Iraq that has defeated the terrorists and neutralized the insurgency. An Iraq that is peaceful, united, stable, democratic, and secure, where Iraqis have the institutions and resources they need to govern themselves justly and provide security for their country. An Iraq that is a partner in the global war on terror and the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, integrated into the international community, an engine for regional economic growth, and proving the fruits of democratic governance to the region. VICTORY IN IRAQ IS A VITAL U.S. INTEREST The war on terrorism is the defining challenge of our generation, just as the struggle against communism and fascism were challenges of the generations before. As with those earlier struggles, the United States is fully committed to meeting this challenge. We will do everything it takes to win. Prevailing in Iraq will help us win the war on terror. The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror. Osama Bin Laden has declared that the “third world war…is raging” in Iraq, and it will end there, in “either victory and glory, or misery and humiliation.” Bin Laden’s deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri has declared Iraq to be “the place for the greatest battle,” where he hopes to “expel the Americans” and then spread “the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq.” Al Qaida in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has openly declared that “we fight today in Iraq, and tomorrow in the Land of the Two Holy Places, and after there the west.” As the terrorists themselves recognize, the outcome in Iraq — success or failure — is critical to the outcome in the broader war on terrorism. What happens in Iraq will influence the fate of the Middle East for generations to come, with a profound impact on our own national security. Ceding ground to terrorists in one of the world’s most strategic regions will threaten the world’s economy and America’s security, growth, and prosperity, for decades to come. An emerging democracy in Iraq will change the regional status quo that for decades has bred alienation and spawned the transnational terrorism that targets us today. The terrorists’ perverse ideology is countered by the advance of freedom and the recognition that all people have the right to live under democracy and the rule of law, free from oppression and fear, with hope and optimism for the future. THE BENEFITS OF VICTORY IN IRAQ Helping the people of Iraq is the morally right thing to do — America does not abandon its friends in the face of adversity. Helping the people of Iraq, however, is also in our own national interest. If we and our Iraqi partners prevail in Iraq, we will have made America: Safer… by removing Saddam Hussein, a destabilizing force in a vital region, a ruthless dictator who had a history of pursuing and even using weapons of mass destruction, was a state sponsor of terror, had invaded his neighbors, and who was violently opposed to America; by depriving terrorists of a safe haven from which they could plan and launch attacks against the United States and American interests; by delivering a strategic setback to the terrorists and keeping them on the run; by delivering a decisive blow to the ideology that fuels international terrorism, proving that the power of freedom is stronger than a perverse vision of violence, hatred, and oppression. Stronger… by demonstrating to our friends and enemies the reliability of U.S. power, the strength of our commitment to our friends, and the tenacity of our resolve against our enemies; by securing a new friend and partner in the fight against terrorism in the heart of the Middle East. More Certain of its Future … politically, by bolstering democratic reformers — and the prospects for peaceful, democratic governments — in a region that for decades has been a source of instability and stagnation; economically, by facilitating progressive reform in the region and depriving terrorists control over a hub of the world’s economy. THE CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE If we and our Iraqi partners fail in Iraq, Iraq will become: A safe haven for terrorists as Afghanistan once was, only this time in some of the world’s most strategic territory, with vast natural resources to exploit and to use to fund future attacks. A country where oppression — and the brutal imposition of inhumane practices, such as those of the Taliban in Afghanistan — is pervasive. A failed state and source of instability for the entire Middle East, with all the attendant risks and incalculable costs for American security and prosperity. Furthermore, if we and our Iraqi partners fail in Iraq, the terrorists will have: Won a decisive victory over the United States, vindicating their tactics of beheadings, suicide bombings, and ruthless intimidation of civilians, inviting more deadly attacks against Americans and other free people across the globe. Placed the American people in greater danger by destabilizing a vital region, weakening our friends, and clearing the way for terrorist attacks here at home. The terrorists will be emboldened in their belief that America cannot stand and fight, but will cut and run in the face of adversity. Called into question American credibility and commitment in the region and the world. Our friends and foes alike would doubt our staying power, and this would damage our efforts to counter other security threats and to advance other economic and political interests worldwide. Since 1998, Al Qaida has repeatedly cited Vietnam, Beirut, and Somalia, as examples to encourage more attacks against America and our interests overseas. Weakened the growing democratic impulses in the region. Middle East reformers would never again fully trust American assurances of support for democracy and pluralism in the region — a historic opportunity, central to America’s long-term security, forever lost. If we retreat from Iraq, the terrorists will pursue us and our allies, expanding the fight to the rest of the region and to our own shores. OUR ENEMIES AND THEIR GOALS The enemy in Iraq is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists, and terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida. These three groups share a common opposition to the elected Iraqi government and to the presence of Coalition forces, but otherwise have separate and to some extent incompatible goals. Rejectionists are the largest group. They are largely Sunni Arabs who have not embraced the shift from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to a democratically governed state. Not all Sunni Arabs fall into this category. But those that do are against a new Iraq in which they are no longer the privileged elite. Most of these rejectionists opposed the new constitution, but many in their ranks are recognizing that opting out of the democratic process has hurt their interests. We judge that over time many in this group will increasingly support a democratic Iraq provided that the federal government protects minority rights and the legitimate interests of all communities. Saddamists and former regime loyalists harbor dreams of reestablishing a Ba’athist dictatorship and have played a lead role in fomenting wider sentiment against the Iraqi government and the Coalition. We judge that few from this group can be won over to support a democratic Iraq, but that this group can be marginalized to the point where it can and will be defeated by Iraqi forces. Terrorists affiliated with or inspired by Al Qaida make up the smallest enemy group but are the most lethal and pose the most immediate threat because (1) they are responsible for the most dramatic atrocities, which kill the most people and function as a recruiting tool for further terrorism and (2) they espouse the extreme goals of Osama Bin Laden — chaos in Iraq which will allow them to establish a base for toppling Iraq’s neighbors and launching attacks outside the region and against the U.S. homeland. The terrorists have identified Iraq as central to their global aspirations. For that reason, terrorists and extremists from all parts of the Middle East and North Africa have found their way to Iraq and made common cause with indigenous religious extremists and former members of Saddam’s regime. This group cannot be won over and must be defeated — killed or captured — through sustained counterterrorism operations. There are other elements that threaten the democratic process in Iraq, including criminals and Shi’a religious extremists, but we judge that such elements can be handled by Iraqi forces alone and/or assimilated into the political process in the short term. THE STRATEGY OF OUR ENEMIES Despite their competing goals, these disparate enemy elements share a common operational concept: Intimidate, coerce, or convince the Iraqi public not to support the transition to democracy by persuading them that the nascent Iraqi government is not competent and will be abandoned by a Coalition that lacks the stomach for this fight. The enemy’s strategy, in short, is to intimidate, terrorize, and tear down — a strategy with short-term advantage because it is easier to tear down than to build up. But this strategy is not sustainable in the long term because it is rejected by the overwhelming mass of the Iraqi population. Enemy Lines of Action. The enemy seeks to … Weaken the Coalition’s resolve, and our resolve at home, through barbaric mass-casualty attacks, public slaughter of Iraqi civilians and hostages, infliction of casualties on Coalition forces, and use of the media to spread propaganda and intimidate adversaries. Destroy confidence in the Iraqi government by sabotaging key essential service (oil and electricity) nodes and by derailing the political process. Damage trust in Iraqi Security Forces through propaganda, infiltration, and barbaric attacks on the weak and the innocent. Sabotage Iraqi unity through propaganda against the Shi’a majority punctuated with attacks intended to spark sectarian conflict and civil war. Establish safe havens to plan attacks and conduct intimidation campaigns. Expand the fight to neighboring states and beyond. OUR STRATEGY FOR VICTORY IS CLEAR Our Strategy is Clear: We will help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq with a constitutional, representative government that respects civil rights and has security forces sufficient to maintain domestic order and keep Iraq from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. To achieve this end, we are pursuing a comprehensive approach that involves the integrated efforts of the entire United States Government, the Iraqi government, and Coalition governments, and encourages the active involvement of the United Nations, other international organizations, and supportive regional states. Our strategy involves three integrated tracks — political, security, and economic — each with separate objectives, but together helping Iraqis to defeat the terrorists, Saddamists, and rejectionists, and secure a new democratic state in Iraq. The Political Track(Isolate, Engage, Build) Objective: To help the Iraqi people forge a broadly supported national compact for democratic government, thereby isolating enemy elements from the broader public. To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government: Isolate hardened enemy elements from those who can be won over to a peaceful political process by countering false propaganda and demonstrating to the Iraqi people that they have a stake in a viable, democratic Iraq. Engage those outside the political process and invite in those willing to turn away from violence through ever-expanding avenues of peaceful participation. Build stable, pluralistic, and effective national institutions that can protect the interests of all Iraqis, and facilitate Iraq’s full integration into the international community. The Security Track (Clear, Hold, Build) Objective: To develop the Iraqis’ capacity to secure their country while carrying out a campaign to defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency. To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government: Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters and denying them safe-haven. Hold areas freed from enemy control by ensuring that they remain under the control of a peaceful Iraqi government with an adequate Iraqi security force presence. Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services, advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society. The Economic Track (Restore, Reform, Build) Objective: To assist the Iraqi government in establishing the foundations for a sound economy with the capacity to deliver essential services. To achieve this objective, we are helping the Iraqi government: Restore Iraq’s neglected infrastructure so it can meet increasing demand and the needs of a growing economy. Reform Iraq’s economy, which has been shaped by war, dictatorship, and sanctions, so that it can be self-sustaining in the future. Build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to maintain infrastructure, rejoin the international economic community, and improve the general welfare of all Iraqis. THIS STRATEGY IS INTEGRATED, AND ITS ELEMENTS ARE MUTUALLY REINFORCING Progress along one of the political, security, and economic tracks reinforces progress along the other tracks. For example: As the political process has moved forward, terrorists have become more isolated, leading to more intelligence on their leadership and hideouts from Iraqi citizens, which has led to better security in previously violent areas, a more stable infrastructure, the prospect of economic progress, and expanding political participation. As security operations in Fallujah, Mosul, Tal Afar, and elsewhere have killed or led to the capture of high-level terrorists and insurgents, residents in those areas have come forward to participate in the political process, registering and turning out to vote in vast numbers, and providing local residents a meaningful voice in the new Iraq. As economic activities have progressed, ordinary citizens have returned to normal life and developed a stake in a peaceful Iraq and thus become motivated to support the political process and cooperate with security forces, Part II of this paper will discuss the three tracks — political, security, and economic — in more detail, so Americans can better understand the elements of our vital mission, the nature of our strategy, why we believe this strategy will succeed, the progress we are making, and how our government is organized to help Iraqis ensure lasting victory in Iraq. VICTORY WILL TAKE TIME Our Strategy Is Working. Much has been accomplished in Iraq, including the removal of Saddam’s tyranny, negotiation of an interim constitution, restoration of full sovereignty, holding of free national elections, formation of an elected government, drafting of a permanent constitution, ratification of that constitution, introduction of a sound currency, gradual restoration of Iraq’s neglected infrastructure, and the ongoing training and equipping of Iraq’s security forces. Yet many challenges remain: Iraq is overcoming decades of a vicious tyranny, under which governmental authority stemmed solely from fear, terror, and brutality. Saddam Hussein devastated Iraq, wrecked its economy, ruined its infrastructure, and destroyed its human capital. It is not realistic to expect a fully functioning democracy, able to defeat its enemies and peacefully reconcile generational grievances, to be in place less than three years after Saddam was finally removed from power. We and the Iraqi people are fighting a ruthless enemy, which is multi-headed, with competing ambitions and differing networks. Getting an accurate picture of this enemy, understanding its makeup and weaknesses, and defeating it, requires patience, persistence, and determined effort along all three strategic tracks. Terrorism and insurgencies historically take many years to defeat, through a combination of political, economic, and military tools. Iraq’s violence is different from other such conflicts, where insurgents often had unified command and control or mounted a successful campaign to win the hearts and minds of the population. Nonetheless, Iraq is likely to struggle with some level of violence for many years to come. The neighborhood is inhospitable. Iran and Syria have failed to provide support to Iraq’s new government and have in many ways actively undermined it. The region, while including some cooperative actors, has only recently mobilized to support the emergence of a democratic and stable Iraq. The Sunni community is still searching for strong, reliable leadership. Although many Sunnis also suffered under Saddam, leaders from their community generally associated with the Ba’ath Party, not the opposition to the regime. The Sunni religious community, moreover, is less hierarchical and more dispersed, which is reflected in Sunni politics. As a result of these realities, few Sunni leaders have spoken for the larger Sunni community in Iraq. Elections in December will produce elected Sunni leaders who can represent their community with legitimate authority. Many Sunnis are also coming to terms with the reality that their community no longer monopolizes power in Iraq. They are grappling with their role in a democratic country in which they are a minority, albeit with constitutional protections for minority rights and interests. Many of Iraq’s communities remain skeptical of the central government and nervous about the creation of an Iraqi state where power is concentrated in Baghdad. Their allegiance to a united Iraqi government will depend upon the central government demonstrating the will and capability to govern effectively and fairly on behalf of all Iraqis. Earlier efforts to correct past wrongs have sometimes alienated Sunnis who were not complicit with Saddam’s crimes. Iraq’s leaders need to find a middle ground — between pursuing justice for every past wrong and leaving the past unexamined. With democratization has come the emergence of new groups, not all of whom have shared the goal of a free, pluralistic, and democratic Iraq. Some groups — like members of the Mahdi Militia — have sought to maximize discontent with the Coalition presence and have at times clashed violently with other parties. The continued existence and influence of militias and armed groups, often affiliated with political parties, hamper the rule of law in some parts of Iraq. These groups have also infiltrated the police forces and sparked violent exchanges in areas of the country that are otherwise peaceful. Iraq’s economy is still shackled with many vestiges of a highly centralized economy and stagnant and corrupt institutions. Creating new institutions, reforming old ones, and developing new policies will be necessary to encourage economic growth. The prosperity of average Iraqis will be enhanced only if Iraq reduces the massive subsidy programs that burden its economy. WHY OUR STRATEGY IS (AND MUST BE) CONDITIONS-BASED Success in the short, medium, and long run will depend on progress in overcoming these challenges and on the conditions on the ground in Iraq. Our strategy — along the political, security, and economic tracks — is establishing the conditions for victory. These conditions include: Progress in the Iraqi political process and the increasing willingness of Iraqis to forge political compromises; Consolidation of gains in the training of Iraqi Security Forces (ISF); Commitment to and implementation of economic reforms by Iraqi leaders; Increased cooperation of Iraq’s neighbors; Expanded support from the international community; Continued support of the American people. Although we are confident of victory in Iraq, we will not put a date certain on when each stage of success will be reached — because the timing of success depends upon meeting certain conditions, not arbitrary timetables. Arbitrary deadlines or timetables for withdrawal of Coalition forces — divorced from conditions on the ground — would be irresponsible and deadly, as they would suggest to the terrorists, Saddamists, and rejectionists that they can simply wait to win. No war has ever been won on a timetable — and neither will this one. Lack of a timetable, however, does not mean that the Coalition’s posture in Iraq (both military and political) is static. On the contrary, we continually adjust our posture and approaches as conditions evolve and Iraqi capabilities grow. Coalition troop levels, for example, will increase where necessary to defeat the enemy or provide additional security for key events like the referendum and elections. But troop levels will decrease over time, as Iraqis continue to take on more of the security and civilian responsibilities themselves. We expect, but cannot guarantee, that our force posture will change over the next year, as the political process consolidates and as Iraqi Security Forces grow and gain experience. As Iraqis take on more responsibility for security, Coalition forces will increasingly move to supporting roles in most areas. The mission of our forces will change — from conducting operations and keeping the peace, to more specialized operations targeted at the most vicious terrorists and leadership networks. As security conditions improve and as Iraqi Security Forces become increasingly capable of securing their own country, our forces will increasingly move out of the cities, reduce the number of bases from which we operate, and conduct fewer patrols and convoy missions. While our military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may gather and organize. As our posture changes over time, so too will the posture of our Coalition partners. We and the Iraqis must work with them to coordinate our efforts, helping Iraq to consolidate and secure its gains on many different fronts. OUR STRATEGY TRACKS AND MEASURES PROGRESS We track numerous indicators to map the progress of our strategy and change our tactics whenever necessary. Detailed reports — both classified and unclassified — are issued weekly, monthly, and quarterly by relevant agencies and military units. Many of these reports with detailed metrics are released to the public, and are readily accessible. For example: Gains in training Iraqi security forces are updated weekly at http://www.mnstci.iraq.centcom.mil; Improvements in the economy and infrastructure are collected weekly by the State Department (www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/rpt/iraqstatus/) as well as USAID, which continually updates its many ongoing programs and initiatives in Iraq (www.usaid.gov/iraq); Extensive reports are also made every three months to Congress, and are accessible at the State (www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/rpt/2207/) and Defense (www.defenselink.mil/pubs/) Department websites. Americans can read and assess these reports to get a better sense of what is being done in Iraq and the progress being made on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Some of the most important metrics we track are: Political: The political benchmarks set forth in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546 and the Transitional Administrative Law; the number of Iraqis from all areas willing to participate in the political process as evidenced by voter registration and turnout. Security: The quantity and quality of Iraqi units; the number of actionable intelligence tips received from Iraqis; the percentage of operations conducted by Iraqis alone or with minor Coalition assistance; the number of car bombs intercepted and defused; offensive operations conducted by Iraqi and Coalition forces; and the number of contacts initiated by Coalition forces, as opposed to the enemy. Economic: GDP; per capita GDP; inflation; electricity generated and delivered; barrels of oil produced and exported; and numbers of businesses opened. Other indicators are also important to success, but less subject to precise measurement, such as the extent to which principles of transparency, trust in government institutions, and acceptance of the rule of law are taking hold amongst a population that has never known them. These indicators have more strategic significance than the metrics that the terrorists and insurgents want the world to use as a measure of progress or failure: number of bombings. The following pages break down the three tracks of our strategy — political, security, economic — and explain the logic behind them in more detail. “The only way our enemies can succeed is if we forget the lessons of September the 11th, if we abandon the Iraqi people to men like Zarqawi, and if we yield the future of the Middle East to men like Bin Laden. For the sake of our nation’s security, this will not happen on my watch.” — President George W. BushJune 28, 2005 ——————————————————————————– OUR NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR VICTORY IN IRAQ:Helping the Iraqi People Defeat the Terrorists and Build an Inclusive Democratic State PART II — STRATEGY IN DETAIL “America’s task in Iraq is not only to defeat an enemy, it is to give strength to a friend — a free, representative government that serves its people and fights on their behalf.” — President George W. BushMay 24, 2004 THE POLITICAL TRACK IN DETAIL Strategic Summary: Isolate, Engage, Build The political track of our strategy is based on six core assumptions: First, like people in all parts of the world, from all cultures and religions, when given the opportunity, the Iraqi people prefer to live in freedom rather than under tyranny. Second, a critical mass of Iraqis in all areas of the country will not embrace the perverse vision offered by the terrorists. Most rejectionists can over time be persuaded to no longer seek the privileges of dictatorship — and in exchange will embrace the rewards of democratic stability. Third, an enduring democracy is not built through elections alone: critical components include transparent, effective institutions and a national constitutional compact. Fourth, federalism is not a precursor to the breakup of Iraq, but instead is a prerequisite for a united country and better governance. Federalism allows a strong central government to exercise the powers of a sovereign state, while enabling regional bodies to make decisions that protect the interests of local populations. Fifth, it is in the fundamental interests of all Iraqi communities — and of the region — that Iraq stays a united country. This shared objective creates space for compromise across ethnic and religious divides and for the steady growth of national institutions. Sixth, Iraq needs and can receive the support of the region and the international community to solidify its successes. STRATEGIC LOGIC BEHIND THE POLITICAL TRACK Our efforts and those of the Iraqis on the political track are geared toward isolating hard-core rejectionists by expanding avenues for political participation at all levels of government, engaging the region and all Iraqi communities to demonstrate that there is a place for all groups in the new Iraq, and building national Iraqi institutions and international support to advance the rule of law and offer the Iraqi people a solid framework for a better and more peaceful future. How will this help the Iraqis — with Coalition support — defeat the enemy and achieve our larger goals? Progress in the political process — meeting political benchmarks — will provide momentum against the insurgency and indicate to people “on the fence” that the old regime has passed and that the effort to build a new Iraq will succeed. Inclusive institutions that offer power-sharing mechanisms and minority protections will demonstrate to disaffected Sunnis that they have influence and the ability to protect their interests in a democratic Iraq. Commitment to democracy — rather than other forms of governance — not only is consistent with our values, but is essential to keeping the long-oppressed Shi’a and Kurds as our partners in Iraq. Increasingly robust Iraqi political institutions expose the falsity of enemy propaganda that Iraq is “under occupation,” with decisions being made by non-Iraqis. Such institutions also provide peaceful means for reconciliation and bridging divides. Due to the historical, cultural, political, and economic links between Iraq and its neighbors, many surrounding countries can help Iraq secure its borders and encourage Sunni rejectionists to renounce violence and enter the political process. Expanding international support for Iraq will demonstrate to Iraqis and the world that Iraq is a valuable member of the international community and will further broaden the political and economic support provided to Iraq. PROGRESS ON THE POLITICAL TRACK Our Isolate, Engage, and Build strategy is working: Iraqis have hit every political benchmark in their transitional political process — and are on track to hit the next one: elections in December to select a four-year government under a democratic constitution, with full participation from all of Iraq’s main ethnic and religious communities. In January, 8.5 million Iraqis defied terrorist threats to vote for Iraq’s first freely elected national government and provincial governments. In April, the elected leaders of Iraq’s national legislature came together to form a diverse cabinet that represented all groups, despite election results that heavily favored the Shi’a and Kurdish communities. In June, the national legislature formally invited non-elected Sunni Arab leaders to join constitutional negotiations, demonstrating that leaders from all communities understood the importance of a constitution with input from Iraq’s major groups. In summer/autumn 2005, Iraq’s elected national legislature — and the Sunni leaders invited to join the process — drafted a constitution that was a huge step for Iraq and the region. This draft constitution invests the sovereignty of Iraq in the people and their right to vote, protects individual rights and religious freedoms, and puts forward sophisticated institutional arrangements to safeguard minority rights. By the end of September 2005, approximately one million new voters came forward to check their names on Iraq’s voting rolls — the vast majority in Sunni areas. In October, nearly 10 million Iraqis from all areas of the country again defied terrorist threats to vote in the constitutional referendum. The constitution was ratified. Interest in the political process is stronger than ever. More than 300 parties and coalitions are registered for the December elections, and even those who opposed the constitution have organized for the December vote. In a strategic shift, Sunnis are turning to the political process to advance their interests. During the constitutional referendum, turnout in Sunni areas was strong. Although many Sunnis voted against the constitution, amendments made days before the referendum in response to Sunni requests will permit further changes after the new government is established. This and other provisions of the constitution that defer important issues to the new assembly will ensure that elected Sunni leaders are able to influence the shape of the Iraqi state. A recent change in the electoral process also provides all Iraqis a place in the new assembly. In the January 2005 election, representation in the assembly was directly related to turnout, which led to the depressed Sunni numbers in the body. Today’s electoral system allocates representation by province, which guarantees that even if communities go to the polls in varying strengths, they will all have representation in the new assembly. Signs of a vibrant political life are sprouting. The constitutional drafting committee received more than 500,000 public comments on various provisions. More than 100 newspapers freely discuss political events every day in Iraq. Campaign posters are displayed openly and in increasing number in most of Iraq’s major cities. As Iraq’s political institutions mature, its judicial system has become an independent branch, better able to promote the rule of law: Iraq’s judiciary is organized by an independent council of judges, as in most civil law countries. Saddam Hussein’s system of “secret courts” has been abolished. One year ago, the Central Criminal Court of Iraq had capacity to prosecute fewer than 10 trials and investigative hearings per month. In the first two weeks of September 2005 alone, the Court prosecuted more than 50 multi-defendant trials, and conducted over 100 investigative hearings. The Court is now expanding its reach throughout Iraq with separate branches in local provinces. Hundreds of judges have been trained since the fall of Saddam Hussein. These judges are now working and resolving cases under Iraqi law. In 2003, approximately 4,000 felony cases were resolved in Iraqi courts. In 2004, they resolved more than twice that number. This year, Iraqi courts are on track to resolve more than 10,000 felony cases. International support for Iraq’s political development is also growing: The United Nations Security Council has enacted a series of unanimous resolutions that authorize the presence of Coalition forces and anchor the Iraqi political process with international backing. In November, the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 1637, which — at the request of the Iraqi government — unanimously extended authorization for the Coalition forces to operate in Iraq. The United Nations is also playing an important role in Iraq’s political transition, and plans to expand its capacity with hundreds of personnel located throughout the country. The Arab League, the European Union, and other important regional actors are all engaged and working to support the Iraqi political process. Iraq is winning wider support from its fellow Arab states as well. In November, the Arab League hosted a meeting in Cairo to promote Iraqi national reconciliation and the political process; Iraqi leaders are being received by Arab heads of state; and many Arab countries publicly supported Iraq’s constitutional referendum and called for the broad participation of all Iraqis in Iraq’s political process. At the same time, change is coming to the region, with Syrian occupation ended and democracy emerging in Lebanon, and free elections and new leadership in the Palestinian Territories. From Kuwait to Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt, there are stirrings of political pluralism, often for the first time in generations. CONTINUED CHALLENGES IN THE POLITICAL SPHERE Even with this solid progress, we and our Iraqi partners continue to face multiple challenges in the political sphere, including: Ensuring that those who join the political process leave behind violence entirely; Building national institutions when past divisions and current suspicions have led many Iraqis to look to regional or sectarian bodies to protect their interests; Nurturing a culture of reconciliation, human rights, and transparency in a society scarred by three decades of arbitrary violence and rampant corruption; Building political movements based on issues and platforms, instead of identity; Encouraging cooperation across ethnic, religious and tribal divides when many wounds are still fresh and have been exacerbated by recent hardships; Convincing all regional states to welcome and actively support the new Iraqi state politically and financially; Building ministerial capacity to advance effective government and reduce corruption. THE SECURITY TRACK IN DETAIL Strategic Summary: Clear, Hold, Build The security track is based on six core assumptions: First, the terrorists, Saddamists, and rejectionists do not have the manpower or firepower to achieve a military victory over the Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces. They can win only if we surrender. Second, our own political will is steadfast and will allow America to keep troops in Iraq — to fight terrorists while training and mentoring Iraqi forces — until the mission is done, increasing or decreasing troop levels only as conditions warrant. Third, progress on the political front will improve the intelligence picture by helping distinguish those who can be won over to support the new Iraqi state from the terrorists and insurgents who must either be killed or captured, detained, and prosecuted. Fourth, the training, equipping, and mentoring of Iraqi Security Forces will produce an army and police force capable of independently providing security and maintaining public order in Iraq. Fifth, regional meddling and infiltrations can be contained and/or neutralized. Sixth, while we can help, assist, and train, Iraqis will ultimately be the ones to eliminate their security threats over the long term. STRATEGIC LOGIC BEHIND SECURITY TRACK We are helping the Iraqi Security Forces and the Iraqi government take territory out of enemy control (clear); keep and consolidate the influence of the Iraqi government afterwards (hold); and establish new local institutions that advance civil society and the rule of law in areas formerly under enemy influence and control (build). Efforts on the security track include offensive operations against the enemy, protection of key communication and infrastructure nodes, post-conflict stabilization operations, and the training, equipping, and mentoring of Iraqi Security Forces. Coalition transition teams are embedded in all Iraqi Army battalions to provide assistance and guidance when needed. The model that works is clear — it is resource intensive, requires commitment and resolve, and involves tools across the civilian and military spectrum, including: The right balance of Coalition and Iraqi forces conducting offensive operations; Preparation for such operations through contact and negotiation between local and federal Iraqi government officials; Adequate Iraqi forces to provide security for the population and guard against future intimidation; Cooperation with and support for local institutions to govern after Coalition forces leave; Prompt disbursal of aid for quick and visible reconstruction; Central government authorities who pay attention to local needs. How will this help the Iraqis — with Coalition support — defeat the enemy and achieve our larger goals? Offensive operations disrupt enemy networks and deprive enemy elements of safe havens from which they can rest, train, rearm, and plan attacks against the Coalition, the Iraqi government, and Iraqi civilians. Localized post-conflict operations — providing security, economic assistance, and support to civilian institutions in newly cleared areas — further isolate enemy elements from the rest of the population and give Iraqis space to participate in a peaceful political process. Infrastructure protection helps ensure that the Iraqi government can collect revenues and provide basic services to the people, which is critical to building confidence in the government and weaning support away from insurgents. Putting capable Iraqis forward in the fight increases the overall effectiveness of U.S.-Iraqi operations, as Iraqis are better able to collect intelligence and identify threats in their neighborhoods. As Iraqi forces become more and more capable, our military posture will shift, leaving Coalition forces increasingly focused on specialized counter-terrorism missions to hunt, capture, and kill terrorist leaders and break up their funding and resource networks. PROGRESS ON THE SECURITY TRACK Our clear, hold, and build strategy is working: Significant progress has been made in wresting territory from enemy control. During much of 2004, major parts of Iraq and important urban centers were no-go areas for Iraqi and Coalition forces. Fallujah, Najaf, and Samara were under enemy control. Today, these cities are under Iraqi government control, and the political process is taking hold. Outside of major urban areas, Iraqi and Coalition forces are clearing out hard core enemy elements, maintaining a security presence, and building local institutions to advance local reconstruction and civil society. Actionable intelligence is improving. Due to greater confidence in the Iraqi state and growing frustration with the terrorists, Saddamists, and rejectionists, Iraqi citizens are providing more intelligence to Iraqis and Coalition forces. In March 2005, Iraqi and Coalition forces received more than 400 intelligence tips from Iraqi citizens; in August, they received 3,300, and in September more than 4,700. Iraqi forces are growing in number. As of November 2005, there were more than 212,000 trained and equipped Iraqi Security Forces, compared with 96,000 in September of last year. In August 2004, there were five Iraqi army battalions in the fight; now more than 120 Iraqi army and police battalions are in the fight. Of these battalions, more than 80 are fighting side-by-side with Coalition forces and more than 40 others are taking the lead in the fight. More battalions are being recruited, trained, and fielded. In July 2004 there were no operational Iraqi brigade or division headquarters; now there are seven division and more than 30 brigade headquarters in the Iraqi army. In June 2004, there were no Iraqi combat support or service support battalions; now there are a half dozen operational battalions supporting fielded Iraqi units. Iraqi forces are growing in capability. In June 2004, no Iraqi Security Force unit controlled territory. The Coalition provided most of the security in Iraq. Today, much of Baghdad province is under the control of Iraqi forces, the cities of Najaf and Karbala are controlled by Iraqi forces, and other Iraqi battalions and brigades control hundreds of square miles of territory in other Iraqi provinces. A year ago, the Iraqi Air Force had no aircraft; today its three operational squadrons provide airlift and reconnaissance support and Iraqi pilots are training on newly arrived helicopters. A year ago during the operation to liberate Fallujah, five Iraqi battalions took part in the fight. For the most part, they fell in behind Coalition forces to help control territory already seized by Coalition units. No Iraqi units controlled their own battle space. In September 2005, during Operation Restoring Rights in Tal Afar, eleven Iraqi battalions participated, controlling their own battle space, and outnumbering Coalition forces for the first time in a major offensive operation. Over the last six months, the number of patrols being conducted independently by Iraqi forces has doubled, bringing the overall percentage to nearly a quarter of all patrols in theater. Iraqis are committed to building up their security establishment. Despite repeated and brutal attacks against Iraqi Security Forces, volunteers continue to outpace an already substantial demand. In the past several months alone, nearly 5,000 recruits have joined from Sunni areas. In the recently cleared Tal Afar, more than 200 local volunteers have begun police training before returning to help protect their city. In Anbar, Sunnis have lined up to join the Iraqi army and police, planning to return to their home province and help protect it from terrorists. Iraqis are taking on specialized missions central to overall success. Four Strategic Infrastructure Battalions, with more than 3,000 personnel, have completed training and will soon assume the specific mission of guarding vital infrastructure nodes from terrorist attack. A Special Police Unit highly trained for hostage rescue has almost 200 operators and is conducting operations almost every week in Baghdad and Mosul. In the past several months, hundreds of Iraqi soldiers have undergone intensive special operations training and are now in the fight, hunting, killing, and capturing the most-wanted terrorist leaders. Iraq is building an officer corps that will be loyal to the Iraqi government, not a particular group or tribe. The Iraqi army now has three officer academies training the next generation of junior officers for its army. In September, NATO inaugurated a new military staff college in Baghdad that will eventually train more than 1,000 senior Iraqi officers each year. Today, however, the vast majority of Iraqi police and army recruits are being taught by Iraqi instructors. By training the trainers, we are creating an institutional capability that will allow the Iraqi forces to continue to develop and grow long after Coalition forces have left Iraq. CONTINUED CHALLENGES IN THE SECURITY SPHERE Even with this progress, we and our Iraqi partners continue to face multiple challenges in the security sphere, including: Countering the intimidation and brutality of enemies whose tactics are not constrained by law or moral norms; Building representative Iraqi security forces and institutions while guarding against infiltration by elements whose first loyalties are to persons or institutions other than the Iraqi government; Neutralizing the actions of countries like Syria and Iran, which provide comfort and/or support to terrorists and the enemies of democracy in Iraq; Refining our understanding of the constantly changing nature of, and relationships between, terrorist groups, other enemy elements, and their networks; Addressing the militias and armed groups that are outside the formal security sector and central government command; Ensuring that the security ministries — as well as the fighting forces — have the capacity to sustain Iraq’s new army; Integrating political, economic, and security tools — and synchronizing them with Iraqi government efforts — to provide the best post-conflict operations possible. “My aim is 100 percent clear: all the terrorists living here, they go now. Saddam . . . it’s finished. He’s broken. Now is the new Iraq.” — Gen. Muhammad al-SumraaIraq 303rd Battalion Haifa Street, BaghdadAugust 14, 2005 THE ECONOMIC TRACK IN DETAIL Strategic Summary: Restore, Reform, Build The economic track is based on six core assumptions: First, Iraq has the potential to be not just viable, but prosperous and self-sustaining. Second, a free and prosperous Iraq is in the economic interest of everybody, including Iraq’s neighbors and the greater Middle East. A flourishing Iraq can spur economic activity and reform in one of the world’s most vital regions. Third, increased economic opportunity in Iraq and a growing economy will give larger numbers of Iraqis an economic stake in a peaceful country, and drain the influence of radicals and rejectionists who recruit the unemployed and thrive on resentment. Fourth, economic change in Iraq will be steady but gradual given a generation of neglect, corrosive misrule, and central planning that stifled entrepreneurship and initiative. Fifth, Iraq can be a reliable and contributing partner in the international economic community, demonstrating the fruits of good governance and transparency. Sixth, Iraq will need financial support from the region and international community as its economy transitions from being guided by command principles and hampered by poor infrastructure to a more self-sustaining posture. STRATEGIC LOGIC BEHIND THE ECONOMIC TRACK Our efforts have focused on helping Iraq restore its neglected infrastructure so it can provide essential services to the population while encouraging economic reforms, greater transparency, and accountability in the economic realm. The international community has been instrumental in these efforts, but there is room for the international community to do more. Foreign direct investment, over time, will play an increasing role in fueling Iraq’s economic growth. How will these efforts help the Iraqis — with Coalition support — defeat the enemy and achieve our larger goals? The rebuilding of Iraq’s infrastructure and the provision of essential services will increase the confidence of Iraqis in their government and help convince them that the government is offering them a brighter future. People will then be more likely to cooperate with the government, and provide intelligence against the enemy, creating a less hospitable environment for the terrorists and insurgents. Efforts in the reconstruction realm have significant implications in the security realm when they focus on rebuilding post-conflict cities and towns. Compensation for civilians hurt by counterterrorism operations and the restoration of some economic vibrancy to areas formerly under terrorist control can help ease resentment and win over an otherwise suspicious population. Economic growth and reform of Saddam-era laws and regulations will be critical to ensuring that Iraq can support and maintain the new security institutions that the country is developing, attract new investment to Iraq, and become a full, integrated member of the international economic community. Economic growth and market reform — and the promotion of Iraq’s private sector — are necessary to expand job opportunities for the youthful Iraqi population and decrease unemployment that makes some Iraqis more vulnerable to terrorist or insurgent recruiting. PROGRESS ON THE ECONOMIC TRACK Our restore, reform, build, strategy is achieving results: Oil production increased from an average of 1.58 million barrels per day in 2003, to an average of 2.25 million barrels per day in 2004. Iraq presently is producing on average 2.1 million barrels per day, a slight decrease due to terrorist attacks on infrastructure, dilapidated and insufficient infrastructure, and poor maintenance practices. We are helping the Iraqis address each challenge so the country can have a dependable income stream. Iraq’s nominal GDP recovered from its nadir of $13.6 billion in 2003 to $25.5 billion in 2004, led primarily by the recovery of the oil sector. According to the International Monetary Fund, GDP is expected to grow in real terms by 3.7 percent in 2005 and nearly 17 percent in 2006. Iraq’s exchange rate has been stable since the introduction of its new currency in 2004 and remains so at approximately 1,475 Iraqi Dinar/$1. A stable currency has allowed the Central Bank of Iraq to better manage inflationary pressures. According to the IMF, per capita GDP, an important measure of poverty, rebounded to $942 in 2004 (after dropping to $518 in 2003), and is expected to continue to increase to over $1,000 in 2005. Since April 2003, Iraq has registered more than 30,000 new businesses, and its stock market (established in April 2004) currently lists nearly 90 companies with an average daily trading volume over $100 million (from January to May 2005), up from an average of $86 million in 2004. Iraq is rejoining the international financial community: it is on the road to WTO accession, has completed its first IMF economic health report card in 25 years, and secured an agreement that could lead to as much as 80 percent reduction from the Paris Club for Saddam-era debt. At the October 2003 Madrid International Donors Conference, donors other than the United States pledged over $13 billion in assistance for the reconstruction of Iraq, including $8 billion from foreign governments and $5.5 billion in lending from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, to be disbursed from 2004 through 2007. Iraqi business leaders are decidedly optimistic about the growth of the economy as well as the growth of their own businesses. According to a September poll by Zogby International for the Center for International Private Enterprise, 77 percent of Iraqi businesses anticipate growth in the national economy over the next two years and 69 percent of respondents describe themselves as being “optimistic” about Iraq’s economic future. Today in Iraq there are more than 3 million cell phone subscribers. In 2003 there were virtually none. CONTINUED CHALLENGES IN THE ECONOMIC SPHERE Even with this progress, Iraq continues to face multiple challenges in the economic sphere, including: Facilitating investment in Iraq’s oil sector to increase production from the current 2.1 million barrels per day to more than 5 million per day; Overcoming decades of Saddam’s neglect of Iraq’s basic infrastructure; Preventing, repairing, and overcoming terrorist and insurgent attacks against vital infrastructure, especially electricity and oil related nodes; Dealing with an increased demand for electricity; The liberalization of border trade and increased salaries of Iraqis, has led to increased demand for electrical goods since 2003, which has driven up demand for electricity. At the same time, insurgent attacks and dilapidated infrastructure have complicated efforts to bring more electricity on-line. The Iraqis, with our assistance,are working to ease electricity constraints by providing greater security to transmission lines, investing in new generation capacity, and evaluating the prospects of using natural gas –as opposed to inefficient fuels — to keep generators running. Creating a payment system and a banking infrastructure that are responsive to the needs of the domestic and international communities, and that allow transactions involving possible money laundering, terrorist financing and other financial crimes to be detected; Balancing the need for economic reform — particularly of bloated fuel and food subsidies — with political realities; Building the administrative and technical capacities of Iraqi ministries; Ensuring as much reconstruction assistance as possible flows to Iraqi entities (ministries and businesses); Encouraging local and regional capacity building after decades of a highly centralized government, so that reconstruction and essential services can be more evenly distributed throughout Iraq; Facilitating progress toward a market-oriented economy by reforming commercial laws and other bureaucratic obstacles to attract investment and private sector involvement; Encouraging many in the region and the international community to disburse their pledges more quickly and contribute even greater resources to Iraq’s reconstruction. ORGANIZATION FOR VICTORY The 8 Strategic Pillars Our strategy for victory along the political, security, and economic tracks incorporates every aspect of American power, with assistance from agencies throughout the federal government, and the involvement of the United Nations, other international organizations, Coalition countries, and other supportive countries and regional states. It is predicated on the belief that we must marshal these resources to help Iraqis overcome the challenges remaining before them. Our strategy is comprehensive, and relies on a sustained and courageous effort by hundreds of thousands of Americans and Coalition partners, military and civilian, in the security, political, economic, and diplomatic realms — in addition to the millions of Iraqis they work with everyday. To organize these efforts, we have broken down our political/security/econo
  29. larry king
    October 13, 2006 at 5:09 am

    best post since bottled water.

  30. Red Neckersniff
    October 13, 2006 at 7:13 am

    Well Jerry that oughta keep ’em readin fer awhile while their cuddled down in the nite-nite. Thanks again for the insight, Tone, and especially those sexy photos….makes a seagull wanna puke up his fish.

    Looks like this is another one, yes, another one, that nobody is gonna give an inch on. I know I’m not. I think you guys got yer Hillary blinders on, and you been spoon fed BS by Nancy.

    It is a ways away from the elections, and the agenda is gettin plainer as each little BS bit of “how do we slam the conservatives today” comes to the fore. It is getting too OBVIOUS.
    And voters are starting to see through it. 47% of citizens, surprisingly, did not know who Pelosi was. They do now. A liberal, secular progressive with San Francisco values who wants to tear down all things conservative is going to have a rough road to hoe. Third in line to be the President of the United States? Yeah, she would really be able to lead us into the tough times that lie ahead…”Madam President, Venezuela has just nuked Los Angeles”.
    “YOU TELL THAT MR.MAN BASTARD HE CAN’T DO THAT! YOU GO TELL HIM THAT RIGHT NOW! AND GO GET MY CAR!”

  31. Bob from San Luis
    October 13, 2006 at 8:30 am

    JerryD: Once again, you did not answer my questions that I asked of you; I didn’t ask you to cut and paste a regurgitation of “Official Policy” or any sort of military parsing of the situation. I asked “Why did we invade Iraq?” There was no answer to that question in the 200 paragraphs you pasted in; I want you to type in your own words, why did we invade? Causi Bellis, or “a reason to go to war” should be as plain as day, the reason you declare war or decide to make war should be crystal clear. Please explain in your words why we invaded Iraq. You cut and pasted quite a lot of information (much of which was repeated) , but I apparently didn’t make myself clear; I was asking for you to put the answer into your own words. Think about it.

  32. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 13, 2006 at 4:21 pm

    Bob, I can be much more short for the answer why we invaded the country of Iraq.

    Everyone in the intelligence community thought that Saddam had or was seeking WMD’s.

    Everyone in the previous administration to Bush thought that Saddam was seeking WMD’s.

    People on the Senate Intelligence Committee thought that there were WMD’s.

    Hans Blix was in Iraq to make a show of searching for weapons. It was a sham, Saddam had his minders with Blix and would simply hide evidence before the teams traveled to the area and were allowed access.

    Kofi and Chirac were gaining huge sums of cash from the fake oil for food program put on by the UN. Of course they wanted more time.

    Saddam claimed to have WMD’s and had not followed the UN for over 12 years.

    Therefore, after 12 years of not following resolutions that were never enforced by anyone but the US, President Bush with almost total support from both sides of the political spectrum enforced the UN resolution and took over Iraq. Since that time, as war is never predictable, things have happened and Iraq is not the focal point in the global war on terrorism.

    These are reasons that I believe we invaded Iraq Sir.

  33. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 13, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    my last line shoud read that Iraq is now the focal point on the war on terror.

  34. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 13, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    NEWS FLASH:

    John F’n Kerry said when asked if he could take a trip to New Hampshire and kill two birds with one stone by Bill Mars I think, and Kerry replied he could go to 1600 Penn Ave. and kill one bird with a stone!

    WHat do you think of this? I heard this last night and it has not hit drudge yet? Do you think this is appropriate? Should the Secret Service Investigate? I think so!

    9:31 AM

  35. JerryDinAZ
    October 14, 2006 at 2:10 am

    BOB,
    YOU HAVE BEGUN TO WORRY ME, AND THAT CONCERN HAS TURNED TO PITY. SERIOUSLY BOB…I REALLY FEEL SORRY FOR YOU.
    JESUS COULD HAVE SLAPPED YOU THE FACE WITH A FISH AND STUCK A LOAF OF BREAD UNDER YOUR ARM AND YOUR ANSWER WOULD HAVE BEEN “WHERE IS THE FOOD?”

  36. Bob from San Luis
    October 14, 2006 at 3:54 am

    New Tone: Thank you for your attempt at answering my question. Your reply doesn’t take into account the wholesale manufacturing of intelligence and evidence advanced by the intrusion by the office of the Vice-President at the CIA. Remember if you will that all previous presidents have had a CIA officer as a liaison that would report to the White House with completed reports that had had the evidence vetted to weed out untenable sources and make sure that any reports presented had the very best intelligence backing it. This administration turned that process on it’s head, had raw data “stove-piped” up to senior levels before it had been vetted. That untenable evidence was then “cherry picked” in order to find any items that would lend credence to the results desired for the administration to make its’ case for invading Iraq. Scott Ritter was one of the chief investigators looking for weapons in Iraq, and he states flatly that there was no evidence that there were any current weapons programs of the “Mass Destruction” variety. Only the White House had access to all of the data; what was distributed to Congress was only what the administration wanted them to see. If the WMDs were the reason to go to Iraq and they weren’t there, were we wrong to invade? Or did the administration just “invent” new reasons to be there (i.e., regime change, to liberate the Iraqis, etc, etc,…)? I do understand that there is a mission there, that our troops are doing the very best they can, but lets’s answer the question of the post: Are they (the Iraqis) better off now than four years ago?
    JerryD: You didn’t answer the question, again. By the way, “Where’s the food?” is a question, not an answer.

  37. paul in margarita
    October 14, 2006 at 4:05 am

    YES!!! Nuke Jerry please!! Aside from him there’s quite a bit of inteligent conversation going on here.Why is he always yelling anyway?

  38. JerryDinAZ
    October 14, 2006 at 5:17 am

    BOB,
    HERE WE GO AGAIN…A QUESTION CAN BE ANSWERED WITH A QUESTION. 5TH GRADE ENGLISH. WHERE WERE YOU? DEVELOPING YOUR PLAN FOR IRAQ?
    IN FACT, STATISICALLY, A QUESTION IS ANSWERED WITH A QUESTION 71% OF THE TIME.
    SO BOB…WHERE IS YOUR PLAN FOR IRAQ? I ASKED THAT QUESTION 18 TIMES…WITH NO RESPONSE.
    WILL YOU RESPOND? BOB?
    SEE! HOW FUNNY! I ANSWERED MY OWN QUESTION WITH A QUESTION!

  39. 5th grade teacher
    October 14, 2006 at 5:37 am

    When answering a question with a question, you must first determine if the original question is an “essential question”. In Bob’s case Jerry suggested that Bob’s answer would be a question. Which is entirely possible. Where Bob failed in his obvious joust at Jerry was that he had no idea what the original question was, and if it was an essential question or not.
    It can logically be derived at that Bob’s joust was an attempt to vent his own frustration with the point Jerry made, and somehow decided he needed to be right so he stated a fact which in fact, is not a fact. A better approach would have been to try to clarify the original question that Jesus asked Bob after delivering the fish and bread and then looking to see if it, in fact was an essential question or not, and then to have made his statement (joust). Failure do so only strengthens the hypothesis that Bob was only venting frustration.
    Here is a list Essential Questions
    Elaborating Questions
    Clarification Questions
    Irrelevant Questions
    Irreverent Questions
    Hypothetical Questions
    Unanswerable Questions
    Strategic Questions
    Provocative Questions
    Telling Questions
    Divergent Questions
    Probing Questions
    Inventive Questions
    Planning Questions
    All essential questions may be clarified or answered with another question. In fact it they often are, even though I think 71% might be a slightly high estimate.

  40. slo gamer punk
    October 14, 2006 at 5:51 am

    Dad dudes! Check out this website! The net is full of blog games called “answer my question with a question”! This one is awesome! so far there are 2619 posts! abd its still going on!
    Dads are so freekyfunny

    go here: http://boards.courttv.com/showthread.php?s=4bfa5a239204cfbd7cc0cdc882757072
    &threadid=232708&perpage=40&pagenumber=1.

  41. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 14, 2006 at 6:17 am

    Bob, if for example that the Bush administration did change the CIA’s methods, then why did Clinton and GOre say the same thing? How come THEY thought that Saddam was working on WMD’s as late as 2000? This was before Cheney was even in office, and how did he trick them at that time? I can find the exact quotes for you by Algore, who I believe sees the same info as the president when he was in office, all confirmed that Iraq indeed had WMD’s. I believe that it was a broken intelligence system, but now that were are there, we must help establist some sort of a country there. I feel we need to unleash our power (which we won’t the American people cannot stomach war anymore) and quit trying to play Vietnam DMZ type tactics. Lets crush the terrorists, and get on with life.

    It worked well in WWII, and it could work again. Sadly, life would be lost. More were killed in the Japanese incendary bombs we dropped on Japan burning entire cities to the ground than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. Very horrible and sad, but we broke their will and their brainwashed view of us. At the time, we felt they were almost sub human and vice versa. Many families on Saipan jumped off of cliffs to avoid “being eaten” by American, and the few who hesitated were shot by Japanese snipers.

    BUT, we won and I believe the RIGHT side won the war, and I believe the world is better today because of the destruction of the Japanese Empire. Would this work on the terrorist? COuld we wipe them off of the face of the earth if we could stomach it as a society? Would that be acceptable to most Americans to know we killed 150,000 people to end the terrorist movement of 75,000?

  42. Bob from San Luis
    October 14, 2006 at 6:20 am

    JerryD: I don’t have any expertise that would give me any insight into the best solution to the mess that is Iraq. I have seen a few suggestions that seem to make more sense than what we are doing now. I did link to a “plan” that the right’s hero, Rush, had mentioned. His suggestion was to re-deploy the bulk of our troops in Iraq to the borders of Iraq to seal them off so no more foreign fighters could stream in to Iraq. The absence of US troops in the cities would be a test of the Iraqi forces to see if they could establish order and/or maintain order. Another “plan” that has been mentioned lately is put forth by James A. Baker calling for dividing up Iraq into three distinct ethnic regions with an equality of resources as a prime consideration of how to maintain a balance among the three areas. Like I said, I don’t have the expertise, experience or knowledge to come up with my own plan and considering how Rich can show the weaknesses to most other approaches, I have been reluctant to suggest something. I know that you would like me to bring up something some one of leadership in the Democratic Party has suggested so you can trash it, but I haven’t seen anything that seems to be the best possible resolution to the situation. The only thing that I can state with any conviction is that what is being done right now doesn’t seem to be working very well. I would like to read about how the electrical systems, sewer, water, trash collection, and all health care related issues are being addressed, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. I still feel that a lot of the violence directed at our troops could be due to frustration by the Iraqis because the fore mentioned services are not being provided. Those services are supposed to be being delivered by the American companies who received their contracts through a no-bid awarding, we have companies not doing what they contracted to do but are still receiving payment anyway. Iraq, by all reports is a mess; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is usually the definition of insanity. There needs to be change.
    Now, JerryD, why, in your words, are we there, what was our justification for invading a country that had never attacked us, had no capacity to attack us and so posed no threat to us; why did we invade Iraq?

  43. Bob from San Luis
    October 14, 2006 at 6:35 am

    New Tone: Yes, Clinton and Gore did say that they thought there could be WMDs in Iraq, I don’t believe that they ever stated as a fact that there were WMDs there. The weapons inspectors were searching right up to the point that they were evacuated so they wouldn’t be caught up in the invasion. President Bush was saying that Saddam wouldn’t let the inspectors in; at that very time the inspectors were in Iraq, and they never found any WMDs. Had Bush not be in such a march to invade, the weapons inspectors could have made a much more complete inspection and the question about the WMDs could have been answered without us losing 2700+ troops, over 60,000 wounded and God only knows how many Iraqis have been killed or wounded.
    You say that Iraq is the front in the war on terror; please remember that the only linkage to terrorists being in Iraq was the guy being protected from Saddam by the no-fly zones prior to our invading. Terrorism (other than Saddams dreadful treatment of his people) didn’t exsist in Iraq before we got there. I am not saying we are terrorists; our presence has drawn them to Iraq, as well as created them in Iraq.

  44. Rich from Paso
    October 14, 2006 at 4:59 pm

    Bob, your equivacations and attempts to qualify the Clinton Administration and their beliefs about WMDs in Iraq are just unfounded and wrong. You want to believe that Clinton equivocated so as to give your hero, Clinton (no matter how much you say you held your nose, you still defend him like a hero) a pass on Iraq while slamming Bush for invading. Did Bush pick a fight with Iraq? Yes, but Clinton’s actions (or lack thereof) gave him reason to invade.

    Here is a link to a site that says Clinton was convinced Iraq had WMDs.
    Then there is this speech given by Clinton in 1998 where he says that Iraq was in non-compliance. This speech was given at the start of Operation Desert Fox, the real “Wag the Dog” offensive because it was three days prior that the articles of impeachment were brought against Clinton.

    All of the weapons inspectors, including Scott Ritter, stated that Hussein’s boys delayed there scheduled inspection times repeatedly while they were “inspecting” during 2003. It was the belief that the Iraqis were moving the incriminating evidence out of the “inspectors” eyesight. Just because you didn’t find what you were looking for does not mean it doesn’t exist.

    I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this, Bob, but there were terrorists in Iraq prior to our invasion. Ansar Al Islam was operating with Saddam’s tacit approval (he knew they were there but didn’t stop them), Abu Nidal was a fugitive living in Baghdad as well as one of the 1993 WTC bombers (which was funded by Al Qaida) was living in Baghdad.

    We need to change the debate on Iraq. Iraq is a battle, not a war in and of itself. The Battle for Iraq is one of the fronts in the Global War on Islamofacism. I know you hate that word, Bob, but Islamofascism, no matter how you parse the word “fascism”, best describes the enemy we face. There are fronts in Indonesia, the Phillipines, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq.

  45. jesus
    October 14, 2006 at 9:37 pm

    Islamofascism, Christofascism, what’s the difference?

  46. the devil
    October 14, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    jesus said…
    Islamofascism, Christofascism, what’s the difference?

    Q: The differance?
    A: Heaven or hell

    ps: wait till those idiots find out there ain’t no virgins down here! muwahhahahahaha!

  47. denny hastert
    October 14, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    Virgins? Did someone mention virgins?

  48. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 15, 2006 at 4:26 am

    OK Bob, since you say that the Clinton Administration was not so sure but was still deciding after 10 years if Saddam was living up to his UN Obligation, what do you say about these quotes then?

    Your SCOTT RIDDER
    “Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. Based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM [the U.N. weapons inspectors] suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production.” — Ex-Un Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter in 1998

    Your President (you wish still)

    “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998
    “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” — From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

    “Saddam’s goal … is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed.” — Madeline Albright, 1998

    “(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983” — National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998

    “Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement.” — Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

    “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability.” — Robert Byrd, October 2002

    “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He’s had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001… He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.” — Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002

    “What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.” — Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.” — Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

    “I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons…I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out.” — Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

    “Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people.” — Tom Daschle in 1998

    “Saddam Hussein’s regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal.” — John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

    “The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” — John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

    “I share the administration’s goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction.” — Dick Gephardt in September of 2002

    “Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” — Al Gore, 2002

    We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” — Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

    “There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed.” — Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002

    “I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force – if necessary – to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” — John F. Kerry, Oct 2002

    “The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation.” — John Kerry, October 9, 2002

    “(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. …And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War.” — John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003

    “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.” — Carl Levin, Sept 19, 2002

    “Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.” — Joe Lieberman, August, 2002

    “As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” — Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

    “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources — something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.” — John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002

    “Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East.” — John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002

    “Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Administration’s policy towards Iraq, I don’t think there can be any question about Saddam’s conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts.” — Henry Waxman, Oct 10, 2002

    BOB, I simply cannot understand how you can accuse Vice President Cheney, a very good man, as cherry picking the intelligence! How can you logically ignore all of the above quotes of even your sides leaders and say that Bush lied, people died! Bush did not lie, people died in a battle as Rich correctly stated, and EVERYONE belived there were more WMD’s that were in IRaq. They have been found in smaller quantities, and must have been moved out prior to the invasion. What do you think happened to them Bob?

    Thanks for your consideration.

  49. The New Tone of San Luis Obispo
    October 15, 2006 at 4:29 am

    Sorry, HEre is your fantasy president.

    “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998

  50. Henry Waxman
    October 15, 2006 at 5:10 am

    my nose is smarter than jerrydinaz

  51. Michelle Alexander
    October 15, 2006 at 5:28 am

    Dave, you are on the couch tonight for you comments about removing Jerrydinaz’s comments! Have fun with Tanner, Snoopy, Simon, and Ginger but stay out of my room!

  52. Red Neckersniff
    October 15, 2006 at 6:39 am

    I’ll bet if I were to get ol’ Saddam by hiself for just a little while, we would know for sure where he hid that stuff…similar to what New Tone said, don’t ya know…that is how you WIN A WAR. You get serious. You don’t let up, you don’t give up when it gets tough. Had we done that many moons back, we would have lost our fights…that’s not the American way, like I said before! We put the boots to ’em!. What if we had given up at Normandy? Bastogne? Iwo Jima? Chosin? Hue? Oh sure we had a few disenfranchised crybabies making political statements, I won’t mention any names (he may run for Pres again) The rest of the troops KICKED ASS.

    Ask yourself why our country took a pass on killing Usama when we had the chance, many times over. Why?

    Our men in WWII CRUSHED their enemy. Destroyed their ability and their will to wage war, and then occupied them and brought justice to their murderous psycho generals in MILITARY TRIBUNALS…Most were found guilty and hung or shot. Many innocent people died during these wars and many were homeless, and that is gut wrenching. Would their psycho generals have done us under if they could have? DAMNED RIGHT!

    We will either be the victor, or be a conquered people. Why? Because we did not want to frighten innocents, kill the wrong person, make someone feel bad, violate real or perceived rights, make other countries dislike or condemn us, or destroy the infrastructure of a country. Like the gunfighter of the old West, there is a tough guy who will want to take on the most powerful nation on earth, and win! and then boast of the conquest and become the new gunfighter. Like other great, powerful civilizations, we are crumbling from within because our own people are shackling us so that we can get sodomized by our enemies.

    The difference between us (and the UK) and others is that when we are allowed, we stay around after the ass kickin, and help people heal, and improve their lives. We don’t colonize them and make slaves of them. They still have their own governments, sometimes they are not even a democracy like our own (Spain). On my mantle sits a jewelry box that is stamped “made in occupied Japan” on the bottom, from my Dad’s day. Think of all the money and resources we have put into these countries! Some have been rebuilt from the ground up! Japan, Germany and S. Korea are in the top ten wealthiest nations on the face of the earth! This administration gets no credit whatsoever for the good that has been done in Afghanistan, for the women there, and the kids, and the country as a whole. We have made huge, sweeping reforms in Iraq that has changed the entire country. Thousands of Iraqis are experiencing things both physical and intangible that they have never seen nor heard of in their lives under Hussein, thanks to the coalition. You guys have heard all this before, I am only repeating it because IT SHOWS A PATTERN OF WHAT OUR COUNTRY IS ALL ABOUT! When I hear that our President lied to us, so we could go in there to plunder Iraq…people who say that dishonor the generations of troops who have given their LIVES in countries all over the world to build our reputation as peace makers.

    So I want to know, what will it take, Bob (or anybody else who would like to join in). I don’t want to know your plan. I just want to know, what will it take for you to say, let us unleash the dogs of war, and go and WIN BY DESTROYING OUR enemy…will it be invasion jihad? a bombed U.S. City or cities jihad? Failed diplomacy?
    Israel being wiped out or just severely attacked? London or Paris destroyed? This is not a Mr. Smarty Pants question, and this is not a Bush Vs. whoever debate, or even a conservative vs. liberal one. I promise. I just want, respectfully, to know your view. I think you know mine.

    I do not feel this is “Bush’s War”. All those who do are just spinning it. Politics is politics, and it can be fun, and intense, and we are Americans and can have at it, but this ain’t Bush’s war. Don’t let Usama convince you of that either, him and his little wart-headed friend are taking advantage of our dumb ass media bias and dividing us and making us weaker. This is a war against AMERICA, whether you like it or not. Israel could have told you this a long time ago! “Death to Israel” has ALWAYS been followed by “Death to America”, long before even Reagan was the Pres.

  53. REDLEG
    October 22, 2006 at 11:34 am

    I say screw it! Bring back the draft…WITH NO EXEMPTIONS.

    As far as I’m concerned this country is half assing this whole war trying to work with this all volunteer military crap!

    Lack of an all out war effort just demonstrates a lack of commitment in this countries war against terror.

    I’m tired of seeing cars on the road with their stupid yellow ribbons. How about some ribbons calling for the return of the draft.

    I want America to put it’s money were its mouth is at.

  54. Rich from Paso
    October 22, 2006 at 6:46 pm

    Redleg, I hear where you are coming from but bringing back the draft is just not practical in the short-term. First, as someone who has worn the uniform in Iraq, I don’t want a draft. I knew that everyone I worked with volunteered to be there, and even thought they might not like being their, they knew that it was their choice to have joined in the first place. Second, the draft creates another us and them scenario. As we saw in during the Vietnam War, the priviledged few got breaks to avoid the draft where those that didn’t have the pedigree or the connections had to serve. Third, since the early 1990’s when H.W. Bush and Clinton cashed in the “peace dividend” and shrank our military by 8 division, three fleets and four air wings and sold or gave away all of the support infrastructure with places like Fort Ord, our military cannot support a draft forced increase in personnel. We lack the junior and senior leadership to lead all of these new privates in a draft army. We lack the training facilites to provide the MOS training for these privates. It would easily take five years and a doubling of the defense budget over that time to build new facilties and/or retrofit old facilites like Camp Roberts. My final point on a draft army is, like every time there is an expansion in professional sports, quality goes way down for several years. With every expansion, there are suddenly a lot of players that the day prior didn’t pass muster to play professional sports. The next day they are qualified. Same thing in a draft Army, except these new soldiers are forced to be there.

    Look, I understand the frustration with how the War on Terrorism is being fought. Calls to reinstating the draft may provide some catharsis for that frustration but it is not proactical. A draft Army might have began to start taking the field now if Congress had restarted the draft proceeding following 9/11. I would only support a draft if that newly enlarged military was going to attack every axis on the axis of evil instead of the incremental approach right now. When I say every, I mean North Korea, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Venezuela, Sudan and any other place where the war on terrorism can be brought to the enemy. Such a broadening of the War on Terror would truely be the start of World War III and it is anyone’s guess on which side countries like India, Russia and China would take. But anything short of that kind of total war would be a waste of money and a waste of time for the draftees.

  55. REDLEG
    October 23, 2006 at 9:13 am

    Rich the draft can succeed if done inamodified fashion. Large drafts along the lines of WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam are obviously out of the question. However, it may be possible if the draft was refined. Whenever, the armed forces is not able to meet its quotas the shortages can be met drafting the necessary numbers. But the military can still be selective as to the quality. Which means that ALL males (and females) ages 17-25 are eligible. With NO EXEPTIONS. The only way to get out of it would be of such poor physical/psycological health that you could not even serve in acombat support role. Fitness for service would be determined not by family physicians but by a military medical reveiw board. The fact that you are in college, or related in any way to a political figure (OF EITHER PARTY) would no longer determine wether you served or not.

    I was sent to a private military college and opted not to accept a commission. I found my calling to be in the ranks, I served honorably for seven years, which included that period when we had our first taste of war in the deserts of Iraq. I loved every day of my life in the Army. And to this day It hurts me deeply that I can no longer serve. Forgive me for getting maudelin on you. But none the less the draft can be viable. You don’t have to sacrifice quality. It just has to evolve to meet the needs of this century.

  56. Rich from Paso
    October 23, 2006 at 2:27 pm

    When you said “all volunteer Army crap” in your first post, I assumed that you were in favor of a complete draft to swell the ranks and to increase the Armed Forces back to where they were back in 1991. Based on what you said in this post, I agree with your position even less. Why have a draft for just a few thousand? What does that serve except to make those being drafted one of the “unlucky” ones that gets drafted to make numbers. What if the Army makes its goal the next year? Do those draftees get to go home? I seriously doubt it. Look, my position remains unchanged: You do not raise a draft Army without a purpose, whether that purpose is to preserve the Union or to defeat the Axis nations of WWII. Even if it is to fight in Vietnam, at least there was a purpose. Drafting just a few to help meet recruiting goals serves no purpose and would not result in the fundamental change in policy that you are looking for. I expect that there would be even more draft dodgers and people skipping our because you are talking about so few people and the courts would be full of people suing for every reason under the sun to prove that the draft was inequitable or unfair because of who was being drafted. If China is coming for us, then all hands on deck. But if it is to fight in Iraq or wherever right now, I prefer a volunteer Army over a draft one. Your goal should not be for government mandated compulsary service but for everyone to feel compeled to serve like you did, then there would be no need for a draft.

    Thanks for having served.

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