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Archive for October 29th, 2006

GOP, Democratic leaders spar on Rumsfeld


WASHINGTON – The No. 2 leader in the House on Sunday said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is “the best thing that’s happened to the
Pentagon in 25 years,” sparking a debate with Democrats who said the comments show why the GOP should be voted out of power.

Rumsfeld’s leadership of the bloody mission in Iraq has become a divisive issue in the Nov. 7 elections. Many Democrats and a few Republicans are calling for his resignation, but President Bush repeatedly has defended him. So did House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, during an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“I think Donald Rumsfeld is the best thing that’s happened to the Pentagon in 25 years,” Boehner said. “This Pentagon and our military needs a transformation. And I think Donald Rumsfeld’s the only man in America who knows where the bodies are buried at the Pentagon, has enough experience to help transform that institution.”

Rep. Charles Rangel (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., said voters will have their chance to show if they agree with Boehner on Election Day.
“It’s true President Bush may not be on the ballot, but people like Boehner and people who support Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush, they’re on the ballot,” Rangel said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

“And that’s why we only get two years. You don’t have to wait to get the president. This is a referendum on the war and the incompetency of the Bush administration.”

Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel (news, bio, voting record), head of the Democratic effort to win control of the House, quickly e-mailed a statement to reporters objecting to Boehner’s comments and including quotes from seven military leaders criticizing the defense secretary.

“Congressman Boehner’s defense of Donald Rumsfeld makes it crystal clear that we need change in Washington from the rubber stamp Republican Congress and their blind adherence to President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld’s stay the course policy in Iraq,” Emanuel’s e-mail said.

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Tipping Point for War’s Supporters?


As the fighting in Iraq swerved toward civil war in February, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) expressed “a high degree of confidence” that a new government would take charge and that by the end of the year the conflict “won’t be the same.”

As October opened, Warner returned from Iraq with a far grimmer assessment. “The situation,” he said, “is simply drifting sidewise.” His judgment gave voice to Republican doubt that had been suppressed in a campaign season. Lawmakers who had vowed to “stay the course” called for change. One GOP senator declared Iraq “on the verge of chaos.” By last week, President Bush was saying he too is “not satisfied” and is looking for a fresh approach.

October 2006 may be remembered as the month that the U.S. experience in Iraq hit a tipping point, when the violence flared and shook both the military command in Iraq and the political establishment back in Washington.

Plans to stabilize Baghdad collided with a surge in violence during the holy month of Ramadan. Sectarian revenge killings spread, consuming a town 50 miles from the capital. U.S. officials spoke of setting benchmarks for the Iraqi government to take on more responsibility, only to have the Iraqi prime minister call that suggestion election-year grandstanding. Bush compared the situation to the 1968 Tet Offensive — often seen as a turning point in the Vietnam War — and urged Americans not to become disillusioned.

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The Constitution

The Constitution

Thank You GEF!

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