The Pentagon said yesterday that violence in Iraq soared this fall to its highest level on record and acknowledged that anti-U.S. fighters have achieved a "strategic success" by unleashing a spiral of sectarian killings by Sunni and Shiite death squads that threatens Iraq's political institutions.
In its most pessimistic report yet on progress in Iraq, the Pentagon described a nation listing toward civil war, with violence at record highs of 959 attacks per week, declining public confidence in government and "little progress" toward political reconciliation.
[. . .]
The escalation of violence in Iraq comes despite increased troop levels -- including a higher-than-anticipated U.S. force level of 140,000 troops and a growing contingent of Iraqi security forces, which this month are projected to reach the goal of 325,000 trained and equipped.
The above, noted by Martha, is from Ann Scott Tyson's "Pentagon Cites Success Of Anti-U.S. Forces in Iraq" (Washington Post). For the nonsense take on the report, read the crap churned out by the War Pornographer and High Flying Adore in the New York Times which treats the report like a gift as opposed to a Congressionally mandated task and also includes this garbage:
"All of us want to find a way to bring America's sons and daughters home again," Mr. Gates said. "But as the president has made clear, we simply cannot afford to fail in the Middle East. Failure in Iraq would be a calamity that would haunt our nation, impair our credibility and endanger Americans for decades to come."
No, he doesn't want them brought home. He was part of the James Baker Circle Jerk and their laughable report (that yet another has come along to pan for gold) isn't about ending the war or the occupation. Gates speaks like yet another arm chair warrior who lost the cultural war but instead of being confined to E-Z boy, he's been put in a position where he will do damage. So he trots out the same lies we heard when the nation turned against Vietnam and you better believe Gordo's going to give that crap play. Put it back in your pants, Gordo, no one wants to see it.
In the real world, which Gates and Gordo can manage despite their thoughts otherwise, CNN reports:
Support for President Bush's management of the Iraq war has dropped to an all-time low even as his overall approval remains tepid but steady, according to a CNN poll released Monday.
The survey, conducted Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corp., found support for Bush's handling of the Iraq conflict has decreased to 28 percent from 34 percent in a poll taken October 13-15.
And a record 70 percent of respondents said they disapproved of Bush's war management, up from 64 percent in the October poll.
And Zach notes Cindy Sheehan's "Walk for Change: In Search of Peace" (BuzzFlash):
As dissatisfaction with the occupation of Iraq soars and the carnage seemingly continues unabated, the new Democratic Congress is on board with staying the disastrous course that BushCo and the Republican dominated Congress set for our nation.
I watched a Democracy Now interview with new Ohio Senator, Sherrod Brown, who was the Congress-member who most consistently voted against George and his policies. When Amy Goodman asked him about voting "nay" to more funding for the war, he dodged the question and talked about his ambitious domestic program.
I think we progressives can all agree that we need health care reform, more tuition assistance (not in the form of military assistance), and redistributing of the tax burden more fairly. However, my question to Senator-elect Brown would be where is Congress going to come up with the funding for all of these amazing social programs?
Breaking the cost of the war down to more manageable numbers, we are spending $10,000,000.00 an hour on this immoral mis-adventure. How many students could we send to college and how many families would be able to afford health insurance with the money already put aside for one hour of the killing.
Potential Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was on CNN with Wolf Blitzer and he said that it may take 30-40,000 more troops to stabilize Iraq and reach the goal of having our military out of Iraq by 2008! Every adverse affect of this occupation that the anti-war movement predicted has come true. There were no flowers and chocolates for our brave young men and women: only bullets, bomb, and IEDs. Every occupation force throughout human history has been met with a homegrown insurgency. With the aid of Saudi Arabian and US trained militia forces, the country is descending into what some people call a civil war and some people call "ethnic violence."
It is clear that there is a maelstrom of violence (at the command of the Saudi royal family) in Iraq and the only way to quench the violence is to stop the violence. Adding more troops will be like adding gasoline to a fire. We need to throw water on the fire, not more fire! If the U.S. sends more troops (while most "coalition" countries are withdrawing), the body bags coming home stateside from Iraq will only increase as will the genocide there.
[. . .]
Gold Star Families for Peace, along with a coalition of progressive peace groups, will be walking the Halls of Congress the first two days that the 110th Congress is in session. It is our money that they are using for killing and it is our Constitution that they are desecrating.
Please join us to work for true change. If you can't join us on those days, it costs money for us to be there and to have our members there. Please consider donating to GSFP to help us defray the costs.
Bring the Peace Mandate to D.C. on J27! On Election Day the voters delivered a dramatic, unmistakable mandate for peace. Now it's time for action. Join CODEPINK and many others in a national march to D.C. on January 27-29, to send a strong, clear message to Congress and the Bush Administration: The people of this country want the war and occupation in Iraq to end and we want the troops home now! Click here for more
And for those keeping track, the New York Times has still not reported on Carne Ross' statements to Butler inquriy in 2004 (made public last week) that there was no evidence that Iraq was a threat in the lead up to the illegal war.
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the washington post
ann scott tyson
the new york times
michael r. gordon