Thursday, July 12, 2007



Now, let's be fair-- Bush didn't exactly say that everything is coming up roses in Iraq, just half of it. And besides, anyone who doesn't agree with his policies is obviously psychologically deranged. Like CIA Director Michael Hayden. A couple of days after voters sent Bush a clear message by sweeping away the Republicans majorities in the House and Senate, Hayden testified in front of the Iraq Study Group-- and gave them "a starkly different picture" than the one Bush was painting then-- and just tried to pain again today. "Hayden said 'the inability of the government to govern seems irreversible,' adding that he could not 'point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around,' according to written records of his briefing and the recollections of six participants. 'The government is unable to govern,' Hayden concluded. 'We have spent a lot of energy and treasure creating a government that is balanced, and it cannot function.'"

This morning Bush claims advances since his escalation and that the advances, however meager, justify the release of more funds from Congress so he can continue what everyone else (except Cheney, McConnell, Lieberman, McCain and McCain's Mini-Me) sees as a dismal failure rapidly spiralling out of control. He demanded that Congress not try to force "an early" end to the occupation.
"The bottom line is that this is a preliminary report and it comes less than a month after the final forces have arrived in Iraq," Bush said. By September, "we hope to see further improvement in the positive areas and further improvement in the negative areas," and will "be in a better position to adjust where we need to make any adjustments" in the current strategy.

"I know some in Washington would like us to start leaving Iraq now," Bush said, but withdrawal "would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al-Qaeda. It means risking mass killings on a horrific scale" and would "allow terrorists to establish a safe haven." He repeated his frequent argument, increasingly rejected by the public and Congress, that the Iraq war is part of a "broader struggle" against al-Qaeda and Iran.

"All these extremist groups would be emboldened by a precipitous American withdrawal, which would confuse and frighten our allies in the region," he said.

Bush's fantasyland report claims progress in 8 of 18 benchmarks Congress set. Bush claims the Iraqi constitution is being revised, minority rights are being protected in the legislature, semi-autonomous governing regions are being set up, Iraqi political and economic support for military operations to secure Baghdad neighborhoods (so that next time Lindsey Graham wants to get a good deal on a rug he won't need a whole brigade to escort him and so that things like this may stop someday), and $10 has been "authorized" for provincial reconstruction projects. Before I go into the absurdity of all these preposterous claims, even Bush agrees that other benchmarks have resulted in dismal failure.
Progress toward elections, disarming militias and issuing an amnesty for those willing to end their fight against U.S. and Iraqi government forces is less certain, with the suggestion that U.S. pressure to achieve these goals may not be a good idea "in the current environment."

Movement toward new elections, legislation to fairly distribute oil revenue, and reversal of existing "de-Baathification" laws that limit Sunni participation in the government is described as "unsatisfactory."

...The ability of Iraqi security forces to operate independently of U.S. military assistance has increased more slowly than anticipated and in some aspects has declined, the report said. Benchmarks on eliminating sectarian-based operations and decision-making within the security forces received failing grades.

The National Security Network has taken an indepth look at all of Bush's spurious claims and issued a blistering report that proves, basically, what 75% of Americans have already figured out: Bush is a liar who just cannot face reality. I urge you to read the whole report at the link above. Here are some of the highlights:
Benchmark 1
Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward forming a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) and then completing the constitutional review.
Response:  The committee reviewing the constitution has experienced numerous delays.  Most of the highly contested issues have been put off.  Even if the government managed to pass the constitution, there would still need to be a national referendum.

Benchmark 8
Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.

Response:  Establishing committees has had little impact on Baghdad’s population which still lacks access to many basic services like water and electricity.

Benchmark 9
Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.

Response: According to military officials the three brigades that came to Baghdad were understaffed and poorly trained causing a major delay in Baghdad security operations. 

Benchmark 13
Assessment: The Government of Iraq with substantial Coalition assistance has made satisfactory progress toward reducing sectarian violence but has shown unsatisfactory progress towards eliminating militia control of local security.

 Response: Estimates of  civilian casualties in Iraq remain roughly the same as they were when the surge began in February.

Benchmark 14
Assessment: The Government of Iraq -- with substantial Coalition assistance -- has made satisfactory progress toward establishing the planned Joint Security Stations in Baghdad.

Response: While the Joint Security Stations have been established there is little to indication that they are having a substantial impact on security and in some cases are actually making Iraqis feel less safe.

Benchmark 16
Assessment:  The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.

Response: The Sunnis - one of the largest and most important minority groups – are currently boycotting the government.

In October of 2004, Ron Suskind famously quoted a Bush Regime lackey in the NY Times Magaizne in a paragraph that all Americans should think about whenever Bush, Cheney or any of their henchmen make a public statement:
The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality-- judiciously, as you will-- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."

And, presumably clean up the mess-- though certainly not while Bush is in office. A consensus of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies paints a considerably bleaker picture of Iraq than Bush's propaaganda report, but... well, see that paragraph about reality above. He is still shrilly threatening to veto any legilsation passed by Congress to end the occupation of Iraq and start bringing our troops home.


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