Archive for July 31st, 2009

Keeping Troops in Iraq Not Worth the Effort, Memo Advises

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, July 30, 2009

Colonel Timothy Reese, a senior US military adviser in Iraq, has issued a memo urging the US to dramatically speed up its pullout from Iraq, saying it should be announced that all troops will be out of the nation by August 2010.

Col. Timothy Reese

In the blunt memo, Col. Reese says keeping 132,000 US troops in Iraq “isn’t yielding benefits commensurate with the effort and is now generating its own opposition,” he also noted that “guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days,” while reminding the reader that US troops have now been in Iraq for over six years. He also mocked the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki for “childish chest pounding.”

During the campaign the Obama Administration had originally had a similar pullout strategy, saying they would have all troops out by May 2010. This was quickly revised after taking office, however, to removing all combat troops from the nation. This was further revised to note that the troops remaining would still be conducting combat missions, but wouldn’t be officially called combat troops.

Though his administration has hardly removed any troops at all since taking office, President Obama maintains that the pullout remains “on schedule.” The Reese memo will almost certainly raise further questions of whether that schedule needs dramatic revision, particularly at a time when Maliki is openly talking about keeping the troops in Iraq past 2011.

Read Full Post »

House passes $636 Billion$ defense bill

The Hill

By Roxana Tiron
Posted: 07/30/09 07:47 PM [ET]
The House on Thursday bucked President Barack Obama’s veto threats and overwhelmingly approved a $636 billion Pentagon spending bill for fiscal 2010.

The bill, passed on a 400-30 vote, does meet Obama’s demand to cap the F-22 fighter jet program, something he personally lobbied for. But the measure still contains funding for two programs that have drawn veto threats from the administration.

In particular, the White House this week threatened to veto the bill over $560 million for an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as well as $485 million for new helicopters to fly the president on short trips from the White House. The Obama administration did not request funding for either program.

House Panel Reaches Deal on Health-Care Bill

NY Times

Published: July 31, 2009

WASHINGTON — The chairman of a pivotal House committee announced Friday that he had reached an agreement with other Democrats that would allow the panel to approve sweeping health legislation later in the day.

The chairman, Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California, said the agreement supplements a deal struck Wednesday with the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats on his panel, the Energy and Commerce Committee.

To avoid cutting subsidies for low-income people, Mr. Waxman said, Democrats would find additional savings elsewhere in the bill.

Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of California, said the Blue Dog deal would hold down costs. But she said, “It was paid for on the backs of people who cannot afford health insurance,” so liberals raised concerns.

President Obama speaks to the Press after visiting the Pentagon/ Talks about Iraq

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: