Troops are staying….sorry Cindy.

A quick note to Cindy Sheehan, the code pinkos and others. Nancy Pelosi and her ilk sold you out for your vote in 2006.  They never intended to withdraw or ‘redeploy’ troops in Iraq.  Try to remember their dog and pony show antics  the next time you are at the polls.  And try to wrap your head around the idea that U.S. troops will not be leaving iraq for the foreseeable future.

  WASHINGTON, July 24 (Xinhua) — While Washington is mired in a political debate over the future of Iraq, the U.S. command in Iraq has prepared a detailed plan that foresees a significant U.S. role for the next two years, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

    The classified plan, which represents the coordinated strategy of the top U.S. commander and the U.S. ambassador, calls for restoring security in local areas, including Baghdad, by the summer of 2008, and “sustainable security” to be established on a nationwide basis by the summer of 2009, U.S. officials familiar with the document were quoted as saying.

    The detailed document, known as the Joint Campaign Plan, is an elaboration of the new strategy President George W. Bush signaled in January with the decision to send five additional combat brigades and other units to Iraq. That signaled a shift from the previous strategy, which emphasized transferring to Iraqis the responsibility for safeguarding their security.

    That new approach put a premium on protecting the Iraqi population in Baghdad, on the theory that improved security would provide Iraqi political leaders with the breathing space they needed to try political reconciliation.

    The latest plan, which covers a two-year period, does not explicitly address troop levels or withdrawal schedules. It anticipates a decline in American forces as the “surge” in troops runs its course later this year or in early 2008. But it nonetheless assumes continued American involvement to train soldiers, act as partners with Iraqi forces and fight terrorist groups in Iraq, American officials said.

    The plan, developed by General David Petraeus, the senior U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador, has been briefed to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral William Fallon, the head of Central Command.

    The plan envisions two phases. The “near-term” goal is to achieve “localized security” in Baghdad and other areas no later than June 2008. It envisions encouraging political accommodations at the local level, including with former insurgents, while pressing Iraq’s leaders to make headway on their program of national reconciliation.

    The “intermediate” goal is to stitch together such local arrangements to establish a broader sense of security on a nationwide basis no later than June 2009, the New York Times report said.

 

‘Let’s talk’ with militant Muslims.

Certainly grown men who spout hatred and violence, then send their women and children to do the dirty work must be reasonable and sane people.  Wake Up and get your head out of the sand folks! When it becomes OK to strap bombs to your wives and daughters, we don’t really have a whole lot to talk about.  And don’t feed me any bull about how ‘she may have acted alone’.  This is militant Islam, women don’t go to the store alone.  So they certainly don’t decide to commit martyrdom, acquire the explosives to do so, then walk across town to the police station, ALONE! 

BAGHDAD – Alert guards gunned down a black-clad woman at a police recruiting station Tuesday, a would-be suicide bomber who then exploded before their eyes. But another bomber succeeded, detonating an explosives-laden car at a checkpoint in Ramadi and killing six policemen.

The U.S. commander here acknowledged sectarian violence was on the rise.

Meanwhile, the U.S. command insisted it would continue the search for two abducted U.S. soldiers despite the release of a video Monday by insurgents linked to al-Qaida claiming they had killed the two, along with a third missing soldier whose body was found previously.

Full Story.

Iraq War Vet Blasts Marine Corps at Disciplinary Hearing

Note the headline.  The press is overly desirous of anyone connected to the military who will speak disparagingly about it or the war.  This young man violated a regulation then cursed, in writing, to a Brig. General.  What did he honestly expect the Corps would do?  But that isn’t what is important here.  It’s only important that the big, bad Marine Corps is picking on the little guy! <insert sarcasm wherever you like>. 

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (June 5) – A military panel has recommended a general discharge for an Iraq  war veteran who wore his uniform during a war protest and later responded with an obscenity to a superior who told him he might have violated military rules.

Marine Cpl. Adam Kokesh participated in the protest in March, clad in a uniform that had his name tag and other insignia removed. After he was identified in a photo caption in The Washington Post, a superior officer sent him a letter saying he might have violated a rule prohibiting troops from wearing uniforms without authorization.

After a hearing Monday before an administrative separation board at the Marine Corps Mobilization Command, the panel decided not to recommend an other-than-honorable discharge , choosing instead the general discharge.

“This is a nonpunitive discharge,” said Col. Patrick McCarthy, chief of staff for the mobilization command. “The most stringent discharge that could have been received is other than honorable, and the board chose to raise that up to a general discharge.”

Kokesh is a member of the Individual Ready Reserve, which consists mainly of those who have left active duty but still have time remaining on their eight-year military obligations. His service is due to end June 18, but the Marine Corps is seeking to let him go two weeks early with a less-than-honorable discharge.

That could cut some of his health benefits and force him to repay about $10,800 he received to obtain his undergraduate degree on the GI Bill.

His attorneys said Kokesh was not subject to military rules during the protest because he was not on active duty. They said the protest was a theatrical performance, which meant wearing a uniform was a not a violation of military rules.

The military considered it a political event, at which personnel are not allowed to wear their uniforms without authorization.

Kokesh said he might appeal the board’s ruling on principle.

“Frankly, I’m very disappointed with this decision and I’m very disappointed with the board members who made it,” he said. “I do not think it was in the Marine Corps spirit to take the easy road or to not take a stand. In the words of Dante, the hottest layers of hell are reserved for those who in times of moral crisis maintain their neutrality, and I think that’s what happened here today.”

Marine Capt. Jeremy Sibert said in closing arguments that military personnel can be punished if their civilian behavior “directly affects the performance of military duties and is service-related.” He said Kokesh’s actions could affect how people view the Marine Corps and discourage recruits.

“A lot of us believe in this uniform. At some point, Cpl. Kokesh decided he was above that,” he said.

Full Story

Bush authorizes covert ops against Iran.

US is beginning to rachet up the pressure on our buddy Pres. ImANutJob.  With violence erupting once again in Lebanon, now is the time to keep Iran in check.


Well played!!!

Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran

May 22, 2007 6:29 PM

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

Bush_authorizes_mnThe
CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert “black”
operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former
officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com.

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the
sensitive nature of the subject, say President Bush has signed a
“nonlethal presidential finding” that puts into motion a CIA plan that
reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda,
disinformation and manipulation of Iran’s currency and international
financial transactions.

“I can’t confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether
the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall
American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime,”
said Bruce Riedel, a recently retired CIA senior official who dealt
with Iran and other countries in the region. 

Click Here to See Photos of the Players in Another Iran Operation — the Iran-Contra Affair: Where Are They Now?

A National Security Council spokesperson, Gordon Johndroe, said,
“The White House does not comment on intelligence matters.” A CIA
spokesperson said, “As a matter of course, we do not comment on
allegations of covert activity.”

The sources say the CIA developed the covert plan over the last year
and received approval from White House officials and other officials in
the intelligence community.

Officials say the covert plan is designed to pressure Iran to stop
its nuclear enrichment program and end aid to insurgents in Iraq.

“There are some channels where the United States government may want
to do things without its hand showing, and legally, therefore, the
administration would, if it’s doing that, need an intelligence finding
and would need to tell the Congress,” said ABC News consultant Richard
Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism official.

Current and former intelligence officials say the approval of the
covert action means the Bush administration, for the time being, has
decided not to pursue a military option against Iran.

Full Story.

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Bush Vetoes Troop Withdrawal Bill

Partisan politics at the expense of our troops really tend to piss me off.  Shame on all of you. 

Bush Vetoes Troop Withdrawal Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Bush vetoed legislation to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq Tuesday night in a historic showdown with Congress over whether the unpopular and costly war should end or escalate. In only the second veto of his presidency, Bush rejected legislation pushed by Democratic leaders that would require the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.

“This is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops,” Bush said in a nationally broadcast statement from the White House. He said the bill would “mandate a rigid and artificial deadline” for troop pullouts, and “it makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing.”

Democrats accused Bush of ignoring American’s desire to stop the war, which has claimed the lives of more than 3,350 members of the military.

“The president wants a blank check,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., moments after Bush’s appearance. “The Congress is not going to give it to him.” She said Congress would work with him to find common ground but added that there was “great distance” between them on Iraq.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Bush has an obligation to explain his plan for responsibly ending the war.

“If the president thinks by vetoing this bill, he’ll stop us from working to change the direction of the war in Iraq, he is mistaken,” Reid said.

Lacking the votes to override the president, Democratic leaders quietly considered what might be included or kept out of their next version of the $124 billion spending bill. Bush will meet with congressional leaders—Democrats and Republicans alike—on Wednesday to discuss a new bill.

Bush said Democrats had made a political statement by passing anti-war legislation. “They’ve sent their message, and now it’s time to put politics behind us and support our troops with the funds,” the president said.

He said the need to act is urgent because without a war-funding bill, the armed forces will have to consider cutting back on buying or repairing equipment.

“Our troops and their families deserve better, and their elected leaders can do better,” Bush said.

“Whatever our differences, surely we can agree that our troops are worthy of this funding and that we have a responsibility to get it to them without further delay,” the president said.

7/7 ‘mastermind’ is seized in Iraq

Better late then never… 

7/7 ‘mastermind’ is seized in Iraq-News-World-Iraq-TimesOnline

The al-Qaeda leader who is thought to have devised the plan for the July 7 suicide bombings in London and an array of terrorist plots against Britain has been captured by the Americans.

Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, a former major in Saddam Hussein’s army, was apprehended as he tried to enter Iraq from Iran and was transferred this week to the “high-value detainee programme” at Guantanamo Bay.

Abd al-Hadi was taken into CIA custody last year, it emerged from US intelligence sources yesterday, in a move which suggests that he was interrogated for months in a “ghost prison” before being transferred to the internment camp in Cuba.

Abd al-Hadi, 45, was regarded as one of al-Qaeda’s most experienced, most intelligent and most ruthless commanders. Senior counter-terrorism sources told The Times that he was the man who, in 2003, identified Britain as the key battleground for exporting al-Qaeda’s holy war to Europe.

function pictureGalleryPopup(pubUrl,articleId) { var newWin = window.open(pubUrl+’template/2.0-0/element/pictureGalleryPopup.jsp?id=’+articleId+’&&offset=0&&sectionName=WorldIraq’,’mywindow’,’menubar=0,resizable=0,width=615,height=655′); } Abd al-Hadi recognised the potential for turning young Muslim radicals from Britain who wanted to become mujahidin in Afghanistan or Iraq into terrorists who could carry out attacks in their home country. He realised that their knowledge of Britain, possession of British passports and natural command of English made them ideal recruits. After al-Qaeda restructured its operations in Pakistan’s tribal areas he sought out young Britons for instruction at training camps. In late 2004 Abd al-Hadi met Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, from Leeds, at a militant camp in Pakistan and, in the words of a senior investigator, “retasked them” to become suicide bombers.

‘I found Saddam’s WMDs’.

The Spectator.co.uk

It’s a fair bet that you have never heard of a guy called Dave Gaubatz. It’s also a fair bet that you think the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has found absolutely nothing, nada, zilch; and that therefore there never were any WMD programmes in Saddam’s Iraq to justify the war ostensibly waged to protect the world from Saddam’s use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

Dave Gaubatz, however, says that you could not be more wrong. Saddam’s WMD did exist. He should know, because he found the sites where he is certain they were stored. And the reason you don’t know about this is that the American administration failed to act on his information, ‘lost’ his classified reports and is now doing everything it can to prevent disclosure of the terrible fact that, through its own incompetence, it allowed Saddam’s WMD to end up in the hands of the very terrorist states against whom it is so controversially at war.

You may be tempted to dismiss this as yet another dodgy claim from a warmongering lackey of the world Zionist neocon conspiracy giving credence to yet another crank pushing US propaganda. If so, perhaps you might pause before throwing this article at the cat. Mr Gaubatz is not some marginal figure. He’s pretty well as near to the horse’s mouth as you can get.

Having served for 12 years as an agent in the US Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations, Mr Gaubatz, a trained Arabic speaker, was hand-picked for postings in 2003, first in Saudi Arabia and then in Nasariyah in Iraq. His mission was to locate suspect WMD sites, discover threats against US forces in the area and find Saddam loyalists, and then send such intelligence to the Iraq Survey Group and other agencies.

Between March and July 2003, he says, he was taken to four sites in southern Iraq — two within Nasariyah, one 20 miles south and one near Basra — which, he was told by numerous Iraqi sources, contained biological and chemical weapons, material for a nuclear programme and UN-proscribed missiles. He was, he says, in no doubt whatever that this was true.

This was, in the first place, because of the massive size of these sites and the extreme lengths to which the Iraqis had gone to conceal them. Three of them were bunkers buried 20 to 30 feet beneath the Euphrates. They had been constructed through building dams which were removed after the huge subterranean vaults had been excavated so that these were concealed beneath the river bed. The bunker walls were made of reinforced concrete five feet thick.

‘There was no doubt, with so much effort having gone into hiding these constructions, that something very important was buried there’, says Mr Gaubatz. By speaking to a wide range of Iraqis, some of whom risked their lives by talking to him and whose accounts were provided in ignorance of each other, he built up a picture of the nuclear, chemical and biological materials they said were buried underground.

‘They explained in detail why WMDs were in these areas and asked the US to remove them,’ says Mr Gaubatz. ‘Much of this material had been buried in the concrete bunkers and in the sewage pipe system. There were also missile imprints in the area and signs of chemical activity — gas masks, decontamination kits, atropine needles. The Iraqis and my team had no doubt at all that WMDs were hidden there.’