You can help make history on Iraq

Commanders in Iraq See 'Surge' Continuing
The Pentagon announced yesterday that 35,000 soldiers in 10 Army combat brigades will begin deploying to Iraq in August as replacements, making it possible to sustain the increase of U.S. troops there until at least the end of this year. U.S. commanders in Iraq are increasingly convinced that heightened troop levels, announced by President Bush in January, will need to last into the spring of 2008. The military has said it would assess in September how well its counterinsurgency strategy, intended to pacify Baghdad and other parts of Iraq, is working... "What I am trying to do is to get until April so we can decide whether to keep it going or not" [Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno] said in an interview in Baghdad last week.  [Emphasis added.]

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi can make bipartisan history on Iraq
George Washington must be banging his fist in heaven at the damage inflicted from home on American troops in Iraq. Enough. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) can change American history by standing hard for 60-to-90-day funding for the war, requiring a new vote by August, and leading a landmark new policy supporting troops and vets.

Action Alert:  Contact your senators and congressman today, to urge them to fight the continuation of this never-ending war.

Carolyn Kay

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Last "Friedman" in Iraq Was the Worst So Far

A "Friedman," you will recall, is a unit of time. It is the "decisive" six month period during which the United States either wins or loses in Iraq.

Made famous - or infamous - by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, the decisive six month period has confronted us many times, according to a tally by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, which back in May 2006 counted no less than 14 instances between November, 2003 and May, 2006 in which Friedman predicted the next 6 months would be decisive.

Of course, such predictions flourish best in an environment where no-one looks back on them.

The jury is in on the last "Friedman,"McClatchy Newsreports, and for U.S. troops, it's the worst so far:

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Economists' Challenge: Is the Surge "Efficient"?

So the Republican supporters of the Administration - and in this group, of course, I include Mr. Lieberman - are saying, why would Congress set a deadline when the surge is working, why would you undermine the President's policy when it is working.

Of course this is a nonsense argument, because the logic of the surge is supposed to be temporary, so it doesn't make sense to say a deadline would undermine the surge, unless - and I challenge the Republicans to say this - the surge is supposed to last more than a year.

Or unless you think that somehow the success of the surge depends on untrue Iraqi beliefs about the future. Like, maybe the Iraqis are supposed to think that the surge is indefinite, while we are supposed to know that's it's temporary. Just as the Iranians are supposed to think that the U.S. might attack, while we're supposed to know - wink, wink - that we're not really going to attack. How these double messages are supposed to work, when people in the Middle East have the same access to our news media that we do, is never explained. But if there is a double message, we have just as much reason to believe that it's the Iraqis and the Iranians that are getting the true message and we're the ones getting the lie.

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UPDATE: Help Me Respond to a Right-Wing Editorial (Draft of Letter to the Editor included)

Yesterday, I posted a diary asking help in formulating a response to an editorial printed in my local newspaper that slanders those who oppose Bush's escalation.

I have written a draft of a response (quoted over the flip).  There were many things I wanted to talk about such as the fact the all three Iraq war veterans in Congress voted for the resolution, how the Iraq War took time, effort, troops, materiale, and attention away from the hunt for Osama, and so on.  However, I decided to keep in short (158 words) and focus only on the question of supporting the troops, hoping it will increase the chances of getting printed.

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I am sure you thought of this: Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, et al.

February 8, 2007

To Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Carl Levin, et al.

I have had my eyes and ears glued to C-Span all this week hoping for an end to the deadlocked Warner-Levin proposal. This haggling back and forth between Democrats and Republicans, like a bunch of bad actors, makes very bad theater for all of America  and the rest of the world to see. Especially,with all the recent pep-talks by the President and both sides of the aisle how important bipartisanship and working together are.I think it's time for a change in how Congress does business.
In the meantime, I strongly support the following two (2) solutions to the problem, assuming Congress decides to go ahead with Bush's surge:

#1 Redeploy the needed troops from the military already serving in Iraq. Simply determine how many soldiers can be spared from each of the occupied areas. They would be best suited for this new assignment and hardly  missed at their present assignments. As an added incentive, offer these men extra combat pay.

#2 Isn't it high time that our friends in the area, such as Eqypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, etc., furnish the troops for for this expedition? Or, why hasn't the United Nations been asked to furnish the needed forces?x                                                                The majority of the American people voted against sending more troops to Iraq. Had the American people known what President Bush's intentions were before the Novemeber 7th elections, they would have retired many more Republicans.  


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