Thursday, July 28, 2005

Iraq Pullout on the Docket, as well as an End to the "War on Terror"....Just in Time for the 2006 Elections

I love how consistent these guys are. Yes, that's a pun -- depends on what you think is the core "value" to which these yahoos are loyal.

Iraqi PM Call US to Withdraw Troop[s]
This news from Baghdad. Iraq's transitional prime minister Ibrahim al Jaafari has called for what he called the speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. He made his comments at a news conference with US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld who made an unannounced visit to the Iraqi capital.

* Ibrahim al Jaafari, Iraqi Interim Prime Minister:
The great desire of the Iraqi people is to see the coalition forces be on their way out as they (new Iraqi security forces) take more responsibility.

# Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense:
"As the (Iraqi prime) minister (Ibrahim Jaafari) said, we had a good discussion about the progress being made with respect to the Iraqi security forces and our common interest in seeing them develop to the point where they can take over full responsibility for security here in Iraq."

Top US Commander: Withdrawal Could Begin in Spring 2006
Meanwhile, the top US commander in Iraq, Gen. George Casey said yesterday that he believed a U.S. troop withdrawal could begin by spring 2006. His remarks appear to have been the first time since the resistance intensified its campaign in April that top Pentagon officials have suggested a timeline for withdrawal.

* Gen. George Casey:
I do believe that if the political process continues to go positively, if the developments with the (Iraqi) security forces continue to go as it is going, I do believe we will still be able to make fairly substantial reductions after these elections -- in the spring and summer of next year.

Some analysts suggest that the US is orchestrating a public relations campaign in an effort to justify pulling out without having to admit that they are being militarily defeated by the Iraqi resistance. Iraq expert Juan Cole points out on his blog this morning that then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told Congress the US would be down to only a division, roughly 20,000 troops, in Iraq by October of 2003. Cole also points out that in the Spring of 2004, the Pentagon announced a troop reduction from 135,000 to 110,000 that never happened. Cole says, "The fact is that Rumsfeld and Casey have no idea if the situation will permit the US to withdraw substantial numbers of troops by next summer."

Bush Declares an End To Phrase 'War on Terror'
The Bush administration has apparently declared an end to the phrase "War on Terror." The White House has quietly changed the name to "the global struggle against violent extremism." The New York Times cites administration officials as saying that the phrase "war on terror" may have outlived its usefulness, because it "focused attention solely on the military campaign." Gen. Richard Myers, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the National Press Club on Monday that he had "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution." Administration and Pentagon officials say the new name grew out of meetings of President Bush's senior national security advisers that began in January. It also comes as Bush appoints one of his most trusted aides, Karen Hughes, to lead the administrations international propaganda and PR campaign.

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