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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:25 PM
Original message
"As long as I'm president"
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 02:57 PM by bigtree
August 21, 2006

Bush at his press conference today, placed the imperious power of his presidency ahead of the will of the American people and declared his intention to "stay in Iraq" as long as he's president.

Q Mr. President, I'd like to go back to Iraq. You've continually cited the elections, the new government, its progress in Iraq, and yet the violence has gotten worse in certain areas. You've had to go to Baghdad again. Is it not time for a new strategy? And if not, why not?


THE PRESIDENT: The strategy is to help the Iraqi people achieve their objectives and their dreams, which is a democratic society. That's the strategy. The tactics -- now, either you say, yes, its important we stay there and get it done, or we leave. We're not leaving, so long as I'm the President. That would be a huge mistake. It would send an unbelievably terrible signal to reformers across the region. It would say we've abandoned our desire to change the conditions that create terror. It would give the terrorists a safe haven from which to launch attacks. It would embolden Iran. It would embolden extremists.

No, we're not leaving. The strategic objective is to help this government succeed. That's the strategic -- and not only to help the government -- the reformers in Iraq succeed, but to help the reformers across the region succeed to fight off the elements of extremism. The tactics are which change. Now, if you say, are you going to change your strategic objective, it means you're leaving before the mission is complete. And we're not going to leave before the mission is complete. I agree with General Abizaid: We leave before the mission is done, the terrorists will follow us here.

And so we have changed tactics. Our commanders have got the flexibility necessary to change tactics on the ground, starting with Plan Baghdad. And that's when we moved troops from Mosul into Baghdad and replaced them with the Stryker Brigade, so we increased troops during this time of instability.


Q You keep -- you keep saying that you don't want to leave. But is your strategy to win working? Even if you don't want to leave? You've gone into Baghdad before, these things have happened before.


THE PRESIDENT: If I didn't think it would work, I would change -- our commanders would recommend changing the strategy. They believe it will work. It takes time to defeat these people. The Maliki government has been in power for less than six months. And, yes, the people spoke. I've cited that as a part of -- the reason I cite it is because it's what the Iraqi people want. And the fundamental question facing this government is whether or not we will stand with reformers across the region. It's really the task. And we're going to stand with this government.

Obviously, I wish the violence would go down, but not as much as the Iraqi citizens would wish the violence would go down. But, incredibly enough, they show great courage, and they want our help. And any sign that says we're going to leave before the job is done simply emboldens terrorists and creates a certain amount of doubt for people so they won't take the risk necessary to help a civil society evolve in the country.

This is a campaign -- I'm sure they're watching the campaign carefully. There are a lot of good, decent people saying, get out now; vote for me, I will do everything I can to, I guess, cut off money is what they'll try to do to get our troops out. It's a big mistake. It would be wrong, in my judgment, for us to leave before the mission is complete in Iraq.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/08/2006082...


This is an amazingly arrogant course for Bush to choose in light of public opinion which shows that Americans want to see the occupation over and done with, in most cases by year's end as the WH and their generals were hinting just a few months back. Not only are his generals sending reports back that the country is slipping into civil war, the troops on the ground have been questioning what their mission actually is.

Bush acted as if it was some strange thing that someone running for office would appeal to the voters with a promise to cut off the funding that feeds Bush's militarism to "get the troops out". That's the function of Congress, besides the blathering and posturing that gets more intense the closer we get to the elections. The only way to restrain Bush from continuing the deployment of troops in the numbers he has committed to Iraq is for Congress to exercise their oversight responsibilities and reign in the money that supports the failed mission.

It's interesting that Bush is now saying that he'll continue the occupation. It's as if he's saying he's going to proceed independent of the will of Congress, as he regularly does with his 'signing statements' attached to deliberated and approved laws which pass his desk.

The manner in which he blithely dismissed the notion that his Iraq mission has failed with his personal assurance that we could trust his thinking, without his even acknowledging any of the grave and immediate obstacles to any of his stated goals and ambitions there, is a reflection of the power Bush has amassed by just imagining, asserting himself, and waiting for the challenges he knows from experience will not come from the present pack of congressional cowards.

So, now we have a declaration from Bush that the "strategic objective" (I guess this is to substitute for a 'mission') is to help the Iraqi government "succeed". Also, Bush declared that our soldiers were there to help "reformers across the region succeed to fight off the elements of extremism." But, who are these 'reformers' in Iraq? Certainly not the prime minister who openly equated the US mission with some 'Zionist' crusade, nor Maliki, who had to be goaded into including Hizbollah in his condemnations of violence in Lebanon.

What is our democracy's role, our government pledged to protect and defend our own laws and values, in protecting and defending Maliki's Shiite dominated regime that Bush has so obliquely defined as a legitimate democracy? When does our military support for Maliki skew the will of the Iraqis, whose participation and determination of the direction and control of their government should not be restricted to the voting process they endured under our armed occupation and control?

Where is free expression and opposition that are the hallmarks of true democracy to manifest in the face of our military's heavy-hand which is propping up the existing regime? Surely Bush can't be allowed to continue to sell his nonsense that democracy can flourish and grow under foreign occupation.

Bush gave it all away when he blurted out that "this is a campaign" at the end of his defense. That's why our soldiers are still in Iraq. They are the point of Bush's War Party's political campaign to keep their hold on the power they used to take our nation to war, and on the power they use to continue their military muckraking and killing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The War Party and their supporters keep our soldiers bogged down in Iraq as pawns of the Maliki regime's political future, and as pawns in the republican's future as well. They're personal props for their 'fear and smear campaigns; they're Bush's protection racket for the oil that we're 'holding' for the Iraqis; their lives are given away by Bush as muscle for the Maliki government.

But, they are also our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, waiting for some rationality to their mission . . . and a ticket home. Bush and all of the others who are banking on the sacrifices of our soldiers in Iraq should be made to give us reasons for continuing this open-ended occupation which comport with our own values and democratic principles, or end it. To ask our soldiers to defend anything less - as they certainly are now - is a tyranny of our nation's leadership and should be rejected . . . before he leaves office
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. OK, so he's made it pretty clear what America needs to do.
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karlrschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, well "he" spent about, what, an hour in Iraq?
Under heavy security, in secret. At least "he" had an exit strategy. :grr: :puke:
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. Doesn't anybody want to ask him, "WHY IRAQ? Why not Saudi Arabia
to transform into a democracy? Why not China? Why not Vatican City?"

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focusfan Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
4. i just hope the libreals can take over Congress
i hope they can cut Bush down to size he is arrogant and many
other things
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Gato Moteado Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. very insightful
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 02:53 PM by Gato Moteado
especially the "and many other things" part. don't be shy. elaborate.



:silly:
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Trouser Trout Donating Member (326 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. As long as he's the President?
Let's hope that will be about 6 more months.
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I don't believe the Iraqis want a democracy
The Shites are aiming for a theocracy, just like in Iran. This is a no-win situation!!
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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Why would that be any of our business?
Seems to me that the basis of sovereignty is self determination. If the people of Iraq decide to have a camelocracy that is their business, not ours. It isn't a question of winning as there is nothing to win here. It is a question of when and how we will stop our aggression against the people of Iraq and get out of their country.
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Gato Moteado Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. well said
in fact, a camelocracy there would probably be ok. they'd still have a smarter leader than we got.
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Imagevision Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #14
33. The strategy is to help the Iraqi people kill each other... allowing the
US. to step in just in the nick of time and regulate the flow of that oil baby.
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achtung_circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Interesting.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 03:03 PM by achtung_circus
Who is the "they" of which you speak.

Welcome to DU.
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dkofos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. So I guess
The sooner we IMPEACH the bastard
the sooner we will get out of Iraq
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ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. You're so right, bigtree
It's amazing that a person of such little intellect and knowledge has the arrogance to announce what HE intends to do, regardless of the will of the American people. I nominated this, I believe you very clearly pointed out his lack of concern for both the law, and the limits of his power, as stated in the Constitution. He doesn't realize that he's pretty much telling us to shut up, that he'll do as he pleases.
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neoblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. His Arrogance reminds me of Joe Lieberman...
No wonder the two like to kiss in public.
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The_Casual_Observer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. It seemed that many people voted for jr in 2004 because they believed
he would "finish the job". He had no intention of finishing any job, this will be the longest war in US history.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. There is a view, held by Sen. Kerry and others, that if civil war is clear
that will be the point at which we withdraw our troops from Iraq.

Bush, on the other hand, hasn't given any scenario in which he would take our forces out short of his own definition of victory. If anything Bush's reluctance to offer any benchmark for withdrawal, together with his declaration today that he will not allow an exit in his term, should be seen as a caution. After his scolding defense of his 'strategy' and 'changing tactics', he recounted the instance where he had increased the number of troops.

"Our commanders have got the flexibility necessary to change tactics on the ground, starting with Plan Baghdad." he said. "And that's when we moved troops from Mosul into Baghdad and replaced them with the Stryker Brigade, so we increased troops during this time of instability."

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endarkenment Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
13. Here here!
Nice essay Bigtree.

The real question is what level of obvious idiocy would Dear Leader have to engage in publicly before either the submissive media or the compliant congress managed even a mild rebuke of the madness now being displayed?

We can't even get our so called opposition party to stand up against this regime, and they would, at least superficially, appear to have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking such a stand.

I would like to think that the solution to the dilemma Bush poses: that nothing will change while he is in office, is quite simple; he should be removed from office as soon as possible. Nothing of the sort is going to happen.
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unschooler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
15. He says we're there to "change the conditions that create terror"
in one breath and that Iraq had "nothing" to do w/9/11 in another. Whatever. :eyes:
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:19 PM
Response to Original message
16. The Democrats Flee Like Terrified Pups From Their Duty
Bush won't remove the troops because that would send a bad signal. But we're losing badly, but he won't change the way the war is fought. This adds up to the pointless slaughter and maiming of tens of thousands of people, and the waste of trillions of dollars - all for a war that Bush lied us into.

This action demands impeachment.

Yet the Democrats in Congress (with the exception of Feingold, Conyers, and perhaps a very few others) - who were quite happy to censure Clinton over far less - run like scared pups from even censuring this malevolent incompetent. I say we remove them all. They are at best spineless - and at worst, accomplices to Bush's criminal actions.
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badgerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
18. Maybe I missed the memo, but could somebody answer this please?
How are we defining 'victory' here?
How do we know when we've 'won'?

Right now, I'm really afraid it's going to be something like:
"Having laundered every dollar we can through Halliburton and screwed every last drop of oil we can out of the joint, we're now bailing like cockroaches when the light goes on. declaring victory."
:tinfoilhat:
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. we'll know "we've won" when a Pukkke is elected president in 08
otherwise, the terrorists have won.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:04 PM
Response to Original message
20. "If i were king of the forest, not 'puke, not dick, not chimp..."
Then everyone would click their heels together and all the wicked witches and baddies
would be dead and banished and we could return to fairy fancy land where cartoon dollies
sing in the crawford sun, where happy leaders meet in puritain realpolitics for the
execution of their ruthless adgenda.

And crushed beneath the radioactive spawn of their nuclear aspirations, the men who
were once so much for war, learned, died and became the fertilizer for another generation
of hate. What tyranny, i can't hear you for all the noise that the war-industrial complex
is making? What are you saying? I can't hear anything across the atlantic anymore, its
just war and hate coming from stupid morons on high who are really badly positining the rest
of uz in a greater retribution sense of things, in a way that really is just wholly tragic.

Bush is long passed away, and his hollow shell, bequeathed and motivated by a thousand
invisible puppetteers of violence, the invisible hand of the owner holding the whipp
crack on the slave's back.
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glitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. That can be arranged.
"as long as I'm president" Perhaps he wants to be impeached. For someone like him negative attention is probably just as good as positive attention. If he can't be loved, he will be hated.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. a change in control of congress will be a good step in that direction
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Unbowed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 03:42 AM
Response to Original message
24. As long as he's President...
now what can we do about that?
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. to the streets
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
25. link to final
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:39 AM
Response to Original message
27. he could just say anything he wants
his ass is not out in Iraq fighting. and he just does not care what WE think. this that enough to get this man out of the WH. He is a sick sick man who has psychiatric and psychological issues.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. Democrats weigh in
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 10:12 AM by bigtree
Tuesday, August 22, 2006

"The American psyche isn't the problem. The problem is this administration's disastrous Iraq policy,'' said Democratic Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, who lost to Bush in the 2004 election.

"Patience is strained because almost five years later, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, and gone is the promise of 'wanted dead or alive.' The administration's credibility is strained because the president's mantra that 'U.S. troops will stand down as Iraqis stand up' is another misleading myth, and 'stay the course' is a recipe for disaster when the course is broken,'' Kerry said.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco said Bush "should have given more thought to the consequences of a failed state in Iraq before he launched his ill-advised invasion almost 3 1/2 years ago.''

"He did not have a plan for preventing chaos in Iraq when the war started. The mounting death toll in Baghdad and elsewhere in the country is stark evidence that he does not have one today,'' Pelosi said.

Perhaps what is most interesting about the president's aggressive defense of his policy is how Republican candidates will react. While the House Democratic Campaign Committee was quick to release a statement condemning Bush for staying the course, a message echoed in statements by many Democratic candidates, the House Republican Web page contained no statement on Bush's news conference.

more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronic...
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
28. What does this mean?:
"The strategic objective is to help this government succeed. That's the strategic -- and not only to help the government -- the reformers in Iraq succeed, but to help the reformers across the region succeed to fight off the elements of extremism. The tactics are which change. Now, if you say, are you going to change your strategic objective, it means you're leaving before the mission is complete. And we're not going to leave before the mission is complete. I agree with General Abizaid: We leave before the mission is done, the terrorists will follow us here."

:wtf: :wtf: :wtf: :wtf: :wtf:
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #28
30. argghh!
I have no more words to describe my disgust.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #30
35. "The tactics are which change"
I know, I can't express my utter disgust at this gibberish. No words.
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. The tactics are which change.
unbelievable
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #28
31. Which Terrorists?
The ones who have the objective of getting the United States military out of their country? Well, then why would they follow us here, if they've accomplished their mission? This is even more idiotic than usual.
The Professor
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. Plus, he had a brainfart on "strategic objective".
And a drooling, foaming episode at the mouth. x(
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Imagevision Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:11 AM
Response to Original message
32. yeah! we'll just "stay that course" - how fucking lame!
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Bush stays the course in the face of failure
better than anyone
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 04:12 PM
Response to Original message
38. republicans who were for the war before they were against it
Edited on Tue Aug-22-06 04:13 PM by bigtree
Bush faces revolt on Iraq

Republican Representative Walter Jones, who once helped rename French fries "freedom fries" in anger at Paris's opposition to the conflict, reversed course in June 2005 and urged Bush to set a withdrawal timetable.

Michael Fitzpatrick, another Republican representative who backed the March 2003 invasion, has reportedly branded both his Democratic rival -- a decorated Iraq war veteran who supports a US redeployment -- and Bush as "extreme."

"Congressman Fitzpatrick says no to both extremes: No to President Bush's 'stay-the-course' strategy, ... and no to Patrick Murphy's 'cut-and-run' approach," said a Fitzpatrick campaign flier described in the Washington Times.

Moderate Republican Christopher Shays, who backed the use of force to oust Saddam Hussein, told the Washington Post last week that he would propose a time frame for a US withdrawal from Iraq.

"The big problem I have is that the US is not winning the war. Staying the course doesn't sound like a solution to the massive sectarian violence going on in Iraq," conservative economist Larry Kudlow said this week.

http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=138713
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