2 thoughts on “Another view of Iraq”

  1. There may be good news, but there sure is a lot more bad news.

    Apparently the “pessimists” include leading Republican Senators and the people who prepare the President’s National Intelligence Estimate.


    Republicans Criticize Bush ‘Mistakes’ on Iraq
    Sun Sep 19, 2004 01:12 PM ET

    By Randall Mikkelsen
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leading members of President Bush’s Republican Party on Sunday criticized mistakes and “incompetence” in his Iraq policy and called for an urgent ground offensive to retake insurgent sanctuaries.

    In appearances on news talk shows, Republican senators also urged Bush to be more open with the American public after the disclosure of a classified CIA report that gave a gloomy outlook for Iraq and raised the possibility of civil war.

    “The fact is, we’re in deep trouble in Iraq … and I think we’re going to have to look at some recalibration of policy,” Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    “We made serious mistakes,” said Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has campaigned at Bush’s side this year after patching up a bitter rivalry.

    McCain, speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” cited as mistakes the toleration of looting after the successful U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and failures to secure Iraq’s borders or prevent insurgents from establishing strongholds within the country.


    Three GOP Senators Urge Refocusing of Iraq Policy

    By Josh White
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, September 20, 2004;

    Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), said he believes the situation in Iraq is going to get worse before it gets better, adding that he believes the administration has done a “poor job of implementing and adjusting at times.” Speaking on CNN’s “Late Edition,” he called for more troops in Iraq.

    “The administration has been stubborn about troops,” Graham said, referring to repeated administration contentions that the U.S. military does not need to be expanded to handle the global war on terror. “We do not need to paint a rosy scenario for the American people. We need to let the American people know this is just like World War II; we’re in it for the duration.”

    On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) announced that he is going to make nearly two dozen policy suggestions to the State Department and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to improve the situation in Iraq. In particular, he suggested starting training camps for security forces in the region surrounding Iraq and offering economic development initiatives throughout the region.

    “The fact is, we’re in trouble. We’re in deep trouble in Iraq,” Hagel said. “And I think we’re going to have to look at some recalibration of policy.”

    “It’s beyond pitiful, it’s beyond embarrassing, it’s now in the zone of dangerous,” said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., referring to figures showing only about 6 percent of the reconstruction money approved by Congress last year has been spent.


    But the criticism from the panel’s top Republicans had an extra sting coming less than seven weeks before the presidential election in which President Bush’s handling of the war is a top issue.

    “Our committee heard blindly optimistic people from the administration prior to the war and people outside the administration – what I call the ‘dancing in the street crowd,’ that we just simply will be greeted with open arms,” Lugar said. “The nonsense of all of that is apparent. The lack of planning is apparent.”

    Best-case scenario in Iraq grim, intelligence panel says
    Tenuous stability, civil war are some of the possibilities
    Friday, September 17, 2004

    The National Intelligence Council presented President Bush this summer with three pessimistic possibilities regarding security in Iraq, including the possibility of a civil war there before the end of 2005.
    In a highly classified National Intelligence Estimate, the council looked at the political, economic and security situation in the country and determined that – at best – a tenuous stability was possible, a U.S. official said late Wednesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
    The document lays out a second possibility in which increased extremism and fragmentation in Iraqi society impede efforts to build a central government and adversely affect efforts toward democracy.
    In a third, worst-case possibility, the intelligence council contemplated “trend lines that would point to a civil war,” the official said. The potential conflict could be among the country’s three main populations – the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.
    It would be fair to call the document pessimistic, the official added. But “the contents shouldn’t come as a particular surprise to anyone who is following developments in Iraq. It encapsulates trends that are clearly apparent.”

    This story can be found at: http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ%2FMGArticle%2FWSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid1031778002227&path=!nationworld&s=1037645509161

  2. All the suits in DC and on the air aren’t worth spit compared to the voice of one Marine Major who is actually working to improve the average Iraqis’ lives.

    “So, you may hear analysts and prognosticators on CNN, ABC and the like in the next few days talking about how bleak the situation is here in Iraq, but from where I sit, it’s looking significantly better now than when I got here. The momentum is moving in our favor, and all Americans need to know that, so please, please, pass this on to those who care and will pass it on to others. It is very demoralizing for us here in uniform to read & hear such negativity in our press. It is fodder for our enemies to use against us and against the vast majority of Iraqis who want their new government to succeed. It causes the American public to start thinking about the acceptability of “cutting our losses” and pulling out, which would be devastating for Iraq for generations to come, and Muslim militants would claim a huge victory, causing us to have to continue to fight them elsewhere.”

    But then again, he’s just a dumb grunt. No doubt the reporters for Reuters & the Washington Post know much more than he.

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