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Boyceofsummer
08-22-2005, 12:57 AM
Bush plans bid to rally Iraq support

Monday, August 22, 2005; Posted: 1:12 a.m. EDT (05:12 GMT)


Aides say Bush will attempt to portray the Iraq conflict in the context of long wars like World War II.
CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) -- President Bush will launch a new round of speeches to rally support for the war in Iraq, advisers said Sunday, as protesters camped outside Bush's Texas home and polls showed weaker support for the two-year conflict.

Senior aides say Bush will attempt to portray the Iraq conflict in the context of long wars like World War II, which U.S. forces fought from 1941 to 1945.

They said the president also will invoke the September 11, 2001, attacks, arguing once again that the insurgents battling American troops in Iraq share the same ideology as the al Qaeda operatives who crashed hijacked jetliners into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

In a previous attempt this summer to boost sagging support for the war, the president delivered a prime-time, nationally televised address in June to a military audience in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In his speech, Bush assured Americans that the conflict in Iraq was worth the sacrifice. (Full story)

The sacrifice includes 1,862 U.S. troops deaths, including a soldier who was killed by a roadside bomb Saturday near Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

"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," Bush said in June.

"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 our grandchildren."

But his remarks did little to move public opinion. A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll conducted August 5-7 found that 54 percent of those surveyed thought the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake. (Full story)

The 9/11 commission's report, issued in July 2004, found no evidence that Iraq had any operational relationship with al Qaeda.

The CIA concluded in February that Iraq had become a training ground for terrorists who wish to attack U.S. troops -- a haven critics say did not exist before Saddam Hussein's ouster.

Crawford protests
The Iraq issue has followed Bush into his planned five-week vacation in Crawford, where dozens of antiwar demonstrators have set up a makeshift camp near his ranch.

The protesters are led by Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq in April 2004.

Hundreds of white crosses commemorating U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq are now planted just outside Bush's property, and the demonstrators drew support Sunday from folk singer Joan Baez.

"I think Cindy and the women have impeccable credentials -- no matter how hard people try to slander and assassinate their personalities, it is impeccable credentials," Baez said. "I think they simply can't be not listened to."

Sheehan, the founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, began camping outside Bush's Crawford home on August 6 in hopes of having a second meeting with the president.

The first occurred in 2004, when Bush met with families of those killed in Iraq at Fort Lewis, Washington.

She left Thursday to tend to her mother, who suffered a stroke last week, but says she will return to "Camp Casey" if possible.

Meanwhile, in downtown Crawford, more Bush supporters arrived at a pro-Bush camp, The Associated Press reported.

As of Sunday afternoon, more than 150 people had visited the pro-Bush camp, which features a large tent with "God Bless Our President!" and "God Bless Our Troops" banners, the AP reported.

The pro-Bush camp is called "Fort Qualls," for Marine Lance Cpl. Louis Wayne Qualls, 20, who was killed in action last fall in Falluja, the AP said. Qualls' father, Gary Qualls of Temple, Texas, said the anti-war demonstrators are being disrespectful to soldiers.

White House officials concede Sheehan's vigil has drawn much more attention than they anticipated.

GOP discord
Meanwhile, some congressional Republicans have raised questions about the progress of the war.

Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a long-time critic of the administration's handling of the war, told ABC's "This Week" that "'stay the course' is not a policy." (Full story)

Part of the problem, he said, "is we have no measurement for progress."

Sen. George Allen, on the same show, backed the president's war effort even as he acknowledged that it was beset by problems.

"I think there's progress being made, but it's very difficult," said the Republican from Virginia, noting that the Iraqi parliament is attempting to meet a Monday deadline to create a draft constitution. (Full story)

Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, told "Fox News Sunday": "Nobody wants to withdraw, but people are concerned. It's gone on longer than we thought. The violence is larger than we thought it would be."

A bipartisan group of House members and Sen. Russ Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, have proposed a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by the end of 2006.

The administration opposes the plan, arguing that a timetable would simply let the insurgents wait out U.S. troops.

Feingold, a possible Democratic presidential candidate, said the date was "target," not a deadline -- one that would spur the fledgling Iraqi government to take more responsibility for its own security.

"Without any sort of a time frame in place, we'll never even get to that point," Feingold told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, told NBC that setting a timeline for a U.S. withdrawal would be a bad idea. He said the United States is winning the war in Iraq but that his constituents want to know more about U.S. plans.

The president "needs to get out there and lay it out more," Lott said.

CNN's Dana Bash contributed to this report.

Copyright 2005 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

It's time to go Dwight Yoakam on this administration.

|Zach|
08-22-2005, 12:58 AM
Aides say Bush will attempt to portray the Iraq conflict in the context of long wars like World War II.

Really??

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 01:01 AM
Source? Link?

Boyceofsummer
08-22-2005, 01:08 AM
Source? Link?

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 01:09 AM
I checked CNN....but found nada. It's late, I'm tired; if you aren't gonna help me I should go to bed...

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 01:12 AM
FWIW, this is how I imagine you...

Nightfyre
08-22-2005, 01:14 AM
" We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren."
-GWB

Ironic quote of the article.

Boyceofsummer
08-22-2005, 01:15 AM
I checked CNN....but found nada. It's late, I'm tired; if you aren't gonna help me I should go to bed...

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/08/21/bush.iraq/index.html

The Swift Boating of Cindy Sheehan
By FRANK RICH
CINDY SHEEHAN couldn't have picked a more apt date to begin the vigil that ambushed a president: Aug. 6 was the fourth anniversary of that fateful 2001 Crawford vacation day when George W. Bush responded to an intelligence briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" by going fishing. On this Aug. 6 the president was no less determined to shrug off bad news. Though 14 marine reservists had been killed days earlier by a roadside bomb in Haditha, his national radio address that morning made no mention of Iraq. Once again Mr. Bush was in his bubble, ensuring that he wouldn't see Ms. Sheehan coming. So it goes with a president who hasn't foreseen any of the setbacks in the war he fabricated against an enemy who did not attack inside the United States in 2001.

When these setbacks happen in Iraq itself, the administration punts. But when they happen at home, there's a game plan. Once Ms. Sheehan could no longer be ignored, the Swift Boating began. Character assassination is the Karl Rove tactic of choice, eagerly mimicked by his media surrogates, whenever the White House is confronted by a critic who challenges it on matters of war. The Swift Boating is especially vicious if the critic has more battle scars than a president who connived to serve stateside and a vice president who had "other priorities" during Vietnam.

The most prominent smear victims have been Bush political opponents with heroic Vietnam résumés: John McCain, Max Cleland, John Kerry. But the list of past targets stretches from the former counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke to Specialist Thomas Wilson, the grunt who publicly challenged Donald Rumsfeld about inadequately armored vehicles last December. The assault on the whistle-blower Joseph Wilson - the diplomat described by the first President Bush as "courageous" and "a true American hero" for confronting Saddam to save American hostages in 1991 - was so toxic it may yet send its perpetrators to jail.

True to form, the attack on Cindy Sheehan surfaced early on Fox News, where she was immediately labeled a "crackpot" by Fred Barnes. The right-wing blogosphere quickly spread tales of her divorce, her angry Republican in-laws, her supposed political flip-flops, her incendiary sloganeering and her association with known ticket-stub-carrying attendees of "Fahrenheit 9/11." Rush Limbaugh went so far as to declare that Ms. Sheehan's "story is nothing more than forged documents - there's nothing about it that's real."

But this time the Swift Boating failed, utterly, and that failure is yet another revealing historical marker in this summer's collapse of political support for the Iraq war.

When the Bush mob attacks critics like Ms. Sheehan, its highest priority is to change the subject. If we talk about Richard Clarke's character, then we stop talking about the administration's pre-9/11 inattentiveness to terrorism. If Thomas Wilson is trashed as an insubordinate plant of the "liberal media," we forget the Pentagon's abysmal failure to give our troops adequate armor (a failure that persists today, eight months after he spoke up). If we focus on Joseph Wilson's wife, we lose the big picture of how the administration twisted intelligence to gin up the threat of Saddam's nonexistent W.M.D.'s.

The hope this time was that we'd change the subject to Cindy Sheehan's "wacko" rhetoric and the opportunistic left-wing groups that have attached themselves to her like barnacles. That way we would forget about her dead son. But if much of the 24/7 media has taken the bait, much of the public has not.

The backdrops against which Ms. Sheehan stands - both that of Mr. Bush's what-me-worry vacation and that of Iraq itself - are perfectly synergistic with her message of unequal sacrifice and fruitless carnage. Her point would endure even if the messenger were shot by a gun-waving Crawford hothead or she never returned to Texas from her ailing mother's bedside or the president folded the media circus by actually meeting with her.

The public knows that what matters this time is Casey Sheehan's story, not the mother who symbolizes it. Cindy Sheehan's bashers, you'll notice, almost never tell her son's story. They are afraid to go there because this young man's life and death encapsulate not just the noble intentions of those who went to fight this war but also the hubris, incompetence and recklessness of those who gave the marching orders.

Specialist Sheehan was both literally and figuratively an Eagle Scout: a church group leader and honor student whose desire to serve his country drove him to enlist before 9/11, in 2000. He died with six other soldiers on a rescue mission in Sadr City on April 4, 2004, at the age of 24, the week after four American security workers had been mutilated in Falluja and two weeks after he arrived in Iraq. This was almost a year after the president had declared the end of "major combat operations" from the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln.

According to the account of the battle by John F. Burns in The Times, the insurgents who slaughtered Specialist Sheehan and his cohort were militiamen loyal to Moktada al-Sadr, the anti-American Shiite cleric. The Americans probably didn't stand a chance. As Mr. Burns reported, members of "the new Iraqi-trained police and civil defense force" abandoned their posts at checkpoints and police stations "almost as soon as the militiamen appeared with their weapons, leaving the militiamen in unchallenged control."

Yet in the month before Casey Sheehan's death, Mr. Rumsfeld typically went out of his way to inflate the size and prowess of these Iraqi security forces, claiming in successive interviews that there were "over 200,000 Iraqis that have been trained and equipped" and that they were "out on the front line taking the brunt of the violence." We'll have to wait for historians to tell us whether this and all the other Rumsfeld propaganda came about because he was lied to by subordinates or lying to himself or lying to us or some combination thereof.

As The Times reported last month, even now, more than a year later, a declassified Pentagon assessment puts the total count of Iraqi troops and police officers at 171,500, with only "a small number" able to fight insurgents without American assistance. As for Moktada al-Sadr, he remains as much a player as ever in the new "democratic" Iraq. He controls one of the larger blocs in the National Assembly. His loyalists may have been responsible for last month's apparently vengeful murder of Steven Vincent, the American freelance journalist who wrote in The Times that Mr. Sadr's followers had infiltrated Basra's politics and police force.

Casey Sheehan's death in Iraq could not be more representative of the war's mismanagement and failure, but it is hardly singular. Another mother who has journeyed to Crawford, Celeste Zappala, wrote last Sunday in New York's Daily News of how her son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was also killed in April 2004 - in Baghdad, where he was providing security for the Iraq Survey Group, which was charged with looking for W.M.D.'s "well beyond the admission by David Kay that they didn't exist."

As Ms. Zappala noted with rage, her son's death came only a few weeks after Mr. Bush regaled the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association banquet in Washington with a scripted comedy routine featuring photos of him pretending to look for W.M.D.'s in the Oval Office. "We'd like to know if he still finds humor in the fabrications that justified the war that killed my son," Ms. Zappala wrote. (Perhaps so: surely it was a joke that one of the emissaries Mr. Bush sent to Cindy Sheehan in Crawford was Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser who took responsibility for allowing the 16 errant words about doomsday uranium into the president's prewar State of the Union speech.)

Mr. Bush's stand-up shtick for the Beltway press corps wasn't some aberration; it was part of the White House's political plan for keeping the home front cool. America was to yuk it up, party on and spend its tax cuts heedlessly while the sacrifice of an inadequately manned all-volunteer army in Iraq was kept out of most Americans' sight and minds. This is why the Pentagon issued a directive at the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom forbidding news coverage of "deceased military personnel returning to or departing from" air bases. It's why Mr. Bush, unlike Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, has not attended funeral services for the military dead. It's why January's presidential inauguration, though nominally dedicated to the troops, was a gilded $40 million jamboree at which the word Iraq was banished from the Inaugural Address.

THIS summer in Crawford, the White House went to this playbook once too often. When Mr. Bush's motorcade left a grieving mother in the dust to speed on to a fund-raiser, that was one fat-cat party too far. The strategy of fighting a war without shared national sacrifice has at last backfired, just as the strategy of Swift Boating the war's critics has reached its Waterloo before Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury in Washington. The 24/7 cable and Web attack dogs can keep on sliming Cindy Sheehan. The president can keep trying to ration the photos of flag-draped caskets. But this White House no longer has any more control over the insurgency at home than it does over the one in Iraq.

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 01:20 AM
" We are removing a source of violence and instability, and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren."
-GWB

Ironic quote of the article.

I understand your need to divorce that quote, from the sentence preceding it....


"We're advancing freedom in the broader Middle East."

Because you and Boyce don't accept that, let's ignore it...eh?

Boyceofsummer
08-22-2005, 01:23 AM
FWIW, this is how I imagine you...

"I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration , Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids... "
-Base Commander Ripper

Cannibal
08-22-2005, 07:37 AM
"They hate us for our freedom"...

I've heard it all before. :rolleyes:

He won't say anything we haven't heard before, he's a broken record and the majority of Americans know it.

beavis
08-22-2005, 10:09 AM
"I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration , Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion, and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids... "
-Base Commander Ripper
Ah, you gotta love whenever Beyonce comes around. She's always good for a laugh.

Uatu
08-22-2005, 10:13 AM
FWIW, this is how I imagine you...

This is how I imagine him:

Adept Havelock
08-22-2005, 10:53 AM
Well, if we are going to play "pretend it's WW2", let's start by reimposing WW2 levels of taxation, so the folks on the home front will feel involved.

In WW2, anything over $25,000/year was taken by the Govt. as a war tax to finance the war. Let's be generous, and allow 10X that. Now, there is only a 100% tax on incomes over $250,000.

Then let's see how long the upper income GOP supporters for the Iraq misadventure last.

As I recall, In WW2, we also had the overwhelming support of non-Axis nations. Not so much this time. Shrub could have learned a thing or three from Dad about building and maintaining a coalition.

Iowanian
08-22-2005, 11:11 AM
Boyce....you know you'd rather suck his baows.

Mr. Laz
08-22-2005, 11:39 AM
Source? Link?

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/08/21/bush.iraq/

Mr. Kotter
08-22-2005, 11:53 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/08/21/bush.iraq/

Thanks, Laz. Boyce got me there...eventually.

oldandslow
08-22-2005, 11:57 AM
Well, if we are going to play "pretend it's WW2", let's start by reimposing WW2 levels of taxation, so the folks on the home front will feel involved.

In WW2, anything over $25,000/year was taken by the Govt. as a war tax to finance the war. Let's be generous, and allow 10X that. Now, there is only a 100% tax on incomes over $250,000.

Then let's see how long the upper income GOP supporters for the Iraq misadventure last.

As I recall, In WW2, we also had the overwhelming support of non-Axis nations. Not so much this time. Shrub could have learned a thing or three from Dad about building and maintaining a coalition.

:clap:

Excellent post.