Wednesday, August 24

Sheehan on Bush - The Battle Rages

President Bush speaking from the relative safety of Idaho:

"On Sheehan, the grieving mother who has camped near his ranch since Aug. 6, the president said he strongly supports her right to protest. "She expressed her opinion. I disagree with it," Bush said. "I think immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake," he said. "I think those who advocate immediate withdrawal from not only Iraq but the Middle East are advocating a policy that would weaken the United States."

Cindy Sheehan's response:

This is the biggest smokescreen from him yet. I didn't ask him to withdraw the troops, I asked him what Noble Cause did Casey die for. I am still waiting for one of the press corps to ask him that. I am still waiting for that answer. First, we were told WMD?s: false. Then we were told Saddam=Osama: false. Then we were told Saddam was a bad man to his own people and we had to get rid of him: he?s gone. Then we were told the Iraqi people had to have elections: they did. Now we are spreading "freedom and democracy" but we are building 14 permanent bases, some the size of Sacramento, Ca. To me that indicates that we are spreading the cancer of imperialism and usurping THEIR natural resources.
Over the past several weeks many people have been putting words, and/or twisting the words of Cindy Sheehan. She's been interviewed many times, but in most of the key interviews her core issue and core questions remain unanswered.

Why are our soldiers, and many thousands of innocent Iraqis (Collateral Damage) dead and continuing to die?

The right argues that she is a radical left-wing peace-nik wacko. Some of her statements have been passionately stated, but she has never said she "hates America", only that she mourns for what America has done on the basis of flimsy evidence.

We now know without question that their were no Weapons of Mass Destruction, and that nearly everything that Colin Powell told the UN about Iraq was false.

We know that the President's own remarks on October 7th 2002 concerning Iraq were not true, and that claims made by former Iraqi defectors were gross exaggerations which the U.S. failed to take proper steps to verify before going to war.
In 1995, after several years of deceit by the Iraqi regime, the head of Iraq's military industries defected. It was then that the regime was forced to admit that it had produced more than 30,000 liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents. The inspectors, however, concluded that Iraq had likely produced two to four times that amount. This is a massive stockpile of biological weapons that has never been accounted for, and capable of killing millions.

The evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his "nuclear mujahideen" -- his nuclear holy warriors. Satellite photographs reveal that Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past. Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes and other equipment needed for gas centrifuges, which are used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

If the Iraqi regime is able to produce, buy, or steal an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball, it could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year. And if we allow that to happen, a terrible line would be crossed. Saddam Hussein would be in a position to blackmail anyone who opposes his aggression. He would be in a position to dominate the Middle East. He would be in a position to threaten America. And Saddam Hussein would be in a position to pass nuclear technology to terrorists.


Supporters of the President have argued that even John Kerry thought there were Weapons of Mass Destruction and voted in support of the Iraqi War resolution (HR 141). But Kerry's own statements at the time, and even the text of the resolution itself belies that arguement that he was voting for us to go to war - rather he was voting for us to find the truth.

From HR. 141

(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION- In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection

(a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--

(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or

(B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to this resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorists attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.

Kerry on signing HR 141:
Kerry (Oct. 9, 2002) Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him (Saddam) by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances.

The problem is and will remain that, as Kerry repeatedly stated - the President did not keep his promise to only go to War as a last resort. Rather than allow the UN inspectors who were already on the ground in Iraq as a result of UN Resolution 1441 - and had already begun to find and destroy several sets of non-WMD missles (which was not contested by Saddam) - the President decided in March of 2003, without provocation, that "enough was enough" and "Saddam can not be trusted" and we went to war.

It has only been after the invasion, and after the completion of the Dulfer Report , that we've discovered that defector sources such as Curveball were completely untrust worthy, that Joe Wilson was absolutely correct about there being no way for Iraq to obtain Yellowcake Uranium from Niger. Only after all this has the right-wing shifted to focus on "Humanitarian Concerns" and building a Democracy in Iraq.

In recent days both Democratic and Republican Senators (Russ Feingold and Chuck Hagel) have stated that we need to pull out troups out of Iraq. That we may in fact be doing more harm than good by feeding an perpetual insurgency engine.

Our Troops have become lightenrod for embittered, desperate jihadist. They are the bait in the Roach Motel. Perhaps we should finally finish the job of getting the Iraqi troop up on their feet, learn to train them the same way the insurgents train their own fighters - by focusing on "teaching the teachers". This method allows a small group of trained persons to gradually train others on their own, who in turn train others - and so on and so forth. What we have done instead is continue to funnel a small group of recruits through a limited and regimented system that has produced dismall results.

We need a different path, not neccesarily one of retreat -but a path of success. One that starts with an end to the lies, and end to the double-talk.

We do need to set a timetable and a date for having a steady transition from U.S. Forces to Iraqi forces in the region. If properly trained, this should not be a red-flag to the insurgents to simply "wait us out", but instead should be planned as a smooth roll-over of competent forces.

Anything less than that - will ultimately be a failure, and none of us, not even Cindy Sheehan wants us to fail in Iraq and make the death of her son and nearly 2000 others sons and daughters of America - be in vain.

Vyan