Archive for July 14th, 2007

Prime Minister: Iraqis Can Keep Peace Without U.S.

by- Suzie-Q @ 5:00 PM MST

U.S. ground forces commander Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, left, talks with Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, right, assistant commander for operations with the 25th Infantry Division in Baqouba, Iraq Friday, July 13, 2007. U.S. troops are trying to take control of Baqouba from Sunni extremists after Iraqi forces lost control of the city last year. (AP Photo/Robert H. Reid)

BAGHDAD (AP) – Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Saturday that the Iraqi army and police are capable of keeping security in the country when American troops leave “any time they want,” though he acknowledged the forces need further weapons and training.

The embattled prime minister sought to show confidence at a time when pressure in the U.S. Congress is growing for a withdrawal and the Bush administration reported little progress had been made on the most vital of a series of political reforms it wants al-Maliki to carry out.

Moreover, the Pentagon on Friday conceded that the Iraqi army has become more reliant on the U.S. military. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, said the number of Iraqi battalions able to operate on their own without U.S. support has dropped in recent months from 10 to six, though he said the fall was in part due to attrition from stepped-up offensives.

In new violence in Baghdad on Saturday, a car bomb leveled a two-story apartment building, and a suicide bomber plowed his explosives-packed vehicle into a line of cars at a gas station in new attacks in Baghdad that killed at least eight people.

Raw Story

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Evening Jukebox… Need You Tonight/Mediate

by- Suzie-Q @ 4:16 PM MST

INXS – Need You Tonight/Mediate – Live at Wembley Stadium 1991

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by- Suzie-Q @ 2:25 PM MST

President Bush attempted to convince the nation that Saddam Hussein had WMD as justification for invading Iraq in 2003. In Oct. 2002, for example, he stated, “If we know Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today — and we do — does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him as he grows even stronger and develops even more dangerous weapons?”

But today on the progressive radio program The Cappy McGarr Show, host Cappy McGarr reveals through a conversation with former Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle that in private, Bush’s real motivation was a personal vendetta:

Of all the reasons used to justify this awful war, the one that stunned me the most…and will shock you…was the one I heard from a close friend of mine former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Senator Daschle was Majority Leader at the time.

The Senate and The House Leadership were meeting with President Bush for a weekly breakfast back then, and as our country was leading up to the Iraq war. … Bush got to talking about why we needed this war, and here’s what he said to Senator Daschle “We need to get Saddam Hussein…that Mother _______ tried to take out my Dad.”

Bush’s feelings for Saddam have long been intensely personal. In 2002, he said to CNN, “Oh, yes, I hate Saddam Hussein. I don’t hate a lot of people. I don’t hate easily.” Six days later at a fundraiser in Texas, Bush said, “There’s no doubt he [Saddam] can’t stand us. After all, this is the guy that tried to kill my dad at one time.” Bush was referring to an “alleged plot by Iraqi intelligence to assassinate Bush’s father.”

It’s troubling that Bush believed he could use U.S. troops as personal hitmen to avenge a grudge.

Think Progress

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Bush’s First Videoblog

by- Suzie-Q @ 2:11 PM MST

Bush’s First Videoblog

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by- Suzie-Q @ 1:55 PM MST

A hallmark of President Bush’s Iraq policy is “as the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down,” referring to the training of Iraqi security forces. But a progress report on Iraq earlier this week showed that “despite stepped-up training, the readiness of the Iraqi military to operate independently of U.S. forces has decreased” since the escalation began.

Nevertheless, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared on NBC’s Today Show yesterday and attempted to deny these reports, giving false portrayals of progress in training the Iraqi security forces:

[I]f you look at the way that they are fighting now, in a less sectarian fashion…I think they’re fighting on behalf of all Iraqis, where they showed up in the numbers that they are supposed to.

Watch the video/Think Progress

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Save Senator David Vitter’s Penis

by- Suzie-Q @ 9:47 AM MST

A commercial for a recently formed organization dedicated to preserving Sen. David Vitter’s genitalia. In 2000, Sen. Vitter’s wife stated that if she caught her husband cheating on her, she would “take away one thing” and referenced notorious castrator Lorena Bobbitt.

Paid for by the Committee to Preserve Sen. Vitter’s Penis. Copyright 2007.


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Russia Suspends Participation In Treaty

by- Suzie-Q @ 9:30 AM MST

MOSCOW — Russia on Saturday suspended its participation in a key European arms control treaty that governs deployment of troops on the continent, the Kremlin said, a move that threatened to further aggravate Moscow’s already tense relations with the West.

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending Russia’s participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty due to “extraordinary circumstances … which affect the security of the Russian Federation and require immediate measures,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin has in the past threatened to freeze his country’s compliance with the treaty, accusing the United States and its NATO partners of undermining regional stability with U.S. plans for a missile defense system in former Soviet bloc countries in Eastern Europe.

Under the moratorium, Russia will halt inspections and verifications of its military sites by NATO countries and will no longer limit the number of its conventional weapons, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The White House reacted with disappointment to Russia’s decision.

“We’re disappointed Russia has suspended its participation for now, but we’ll continue to have discussions with them in the coming months on the best way to proceed in this area _ that is in the interest of all parties involved and provides for security in Europe,” Gordon Johndroe, a spokeman for the National Security Council, said in a statement.


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