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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:31 PM
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Dean: Bush Still Has No Plan for Iraq
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Washington, DC - Today, President Bush again failed to recognize the changing
reality on the ground in Iraq, reiterating instead his ongoing commitment to a
failed strategy in the region. The President distorted the Democratic position
on the war and national security, using the politics of fear to distract from
his failed policies and his Party's floundering electoral prospects this
November. Democrats believe we need a new direction in Iraq that is both tough
and smart. Democrats do not believe we should be occupying a nation sliding
into civil war and instead support the phased redeployment of troops so we can
better fight the real global war on terror in places like Afghanistan, where
we're seeing a resurgence of the Taliban, and to close the gaps in our security
here at home.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean today issued the following
statement responding to the President's continued failure to provide a plan for
success in Iraq:

"President Bush clearly has no plan for Iraq. His rhetoric of fear and his
refusal to acknowledge the facts on the ground in Iraq are continuing to make
America less safe," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.
"The American people understand that the United States should not be occupying
a country in the midst of civil war and want real answers about our plan for
success in Iraq. Instead, the President continues to offer a permanent
commitment to a failed strategy, and a permanent commitment to distorting the
tough and smart agenda for real security that Democrats are offering. The
occupation in Iraq is costing American lives and hampering our ability to fight
the real global war on terror against al Qaeda and the resurgence of the
Taliban in Afghanistan, not to mention dealing with the threats posed by Iran
and North Korea. Democrats believe we need a new direction in Iraq that is both
tough and smart, and will fight the real war on terror here at home and around
the globe."


July 2006: More Than 110 Iraqis Killed Daily on Average, Deadliest Month of War
for Iraqi Civilians, Most Dangerous for American Troops. According to figures
from the Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue, July 2006 appeared to have
been the deadliest month of the war for Iraqi civilians. An average of more
than 110 Iraqis were killed each day in July, according to the figures. The
total number of civilian deaths, 3,438, was a nine percent increase over the
tally in June and nearly double the toll in January. The rising numbers,
according to the New York Times, suggested that sectarian violence is spiraling
out of control, and seemed to bolster an assertion many senior analysts have
made in recent months: that the country is already embroiled in a civil war,
not just slipping toward one, and that the American-led forces are caught
between Sunni Arab guerillas and Shiite militias." While the number of
Americans killed in action per month has declined slightly - to 38 killed in
action in July, from 42 in January - the number of Americans wounded has
soared, to 518 in July from 287 in January.

Washington Post: The South Is "Spiraling Into an Abyss of Violence." The
Washington Post wrote, "the Shiite-dominated south appears to be spiraling into
an abyss of violence, fueled largely by power struggles within the religious

"The Insurgency Has Gotten Worse By Almost All Measures." A senior Defense
Department official who wouldn't be named said, "The insurgency has gotten
worse by almost all measures, with insurgent attacks at historically high
levels...The insurgency has more public support and is demonstrably more
capable in numbers of people active and in its ability to direct violence than
at any point in time."

Generals Raised Fears Of Iraq Civil War. In testimony before the Senate Armed
Services Committee on August 3, 2006, Generals Abizaid and Pace both expressed
fears that Iraq was headed towards a civil war. Responding to questions about
escalations in violence in recent weeks, General John Abizaid admitted that
"Iraq could move toward civil war." He described the sectarian violence as
"probably as bad as I have seen it<.>" Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
concurred with Abizaid's assessment that Iraq was in danger of civil war on its
current path. Pace said at the hearing, "We do have the possibility of that
devolving into civil war." While Pace indicated that he did not see this path
developing one year ago, Abizaid admitted that the trend has been consistent,
saying that it was obvious one year ago that sectarian violence was on the

Britain's Outgoing Ambassador To Iraq Said "Civil War" And "Division" Of Iraq
Was More Likely Than A "Stable Democracy." William Patey, the outgoing British
Ambassador to Iraq, wrote in his final diplomatic telegram Iraq would likely
fall into civil war. Patey wrote: "The prospect of a low intensity civil war
and a de facto division of Iraq is probably more likely at this stage than a
successful and substantial transition to a stable democracy." According to
Reuters, the statement "gives a far more pessimistic assessment for prospects
in Iraq than Britain has disclosed in public." 8/3/06]

Former Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Said Iraq Was In Civil War. Iyad Allawi
former Interim Iraqi Prime Minister and leader of the Iraqi National List a
secular nationalist party made up of Sunnis and Shiites said that Iraq was
already in a civil war. Allawi said, "It is unfortunate that we are in civil
war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the
country, if not more. If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war

National Intelligence Estimate Warned In 2003 Of the Strength of the Insurgency
and the Possibility for Civil War. "U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly
warned the White House beginning more than two years ago that the insurgency in
Iraq had deep local roots, was likely to worsen and could lead to civil war,
according to former senior intelligence officials who helped craft the


9/11 COMMISSIONER THOMAS KEANE: "We're Not As Safe As We Should Be." In an
interview on "Meet the Press", Hamilton said, "When you and I go to the
airport, there still is not a unified watch list. There should be. We should
know everybody who's getting on that plane. If any agency has any problems with
them, they shouldn't be allowed to get on the plane. . We still haven't got the
proper technology for screening baggage. . The Congress simply has not given
the agency dollars to put those things into effect. But those are major steps
that no should be taken at the airports. Until they're done, we're not as safe
as we should be." <"Meet the Press", NBC, 8/13/06>

9/11 COMMISSIONER LEE HAMILTON: "We Are Not As Safe As We Should Be." In an
interview on "Meet the Press", Keane said "I'm still nervous about it possibility of an attack]. I think we are not as safe as we should be five
years after the event." <"Meet the Press", NBC, 8/13/06>

9/11 Commission Gave F's And D's To The Bush Administration. The 9/11
Commission gave the Bush Administration 5 F's and 12 D's on the implementation
of the Commission's recommendations for homeland security. 9/11 Commission Recommendations, 12/05]

AIRPORT SECURITY: Still No Unified Terrorist Watch List. There remains no
unified terrorist watch list for screening airline passengers. In its December
2005 report card, the 9/11 Commission gave the Administration a failing grade
for its efforts to improve passenger pre-screening, noting that "few
improvements have been made to the existing passenger screening system since
right after 9/11. The completion of the testing phase of TSA's pre-screening
program for airline passengers has been delayed. A new system, utilizing all
names on the consolidated terrorist watch list, is therefore not yet in
operation." While $130 million has been spent on the Secure Flight program - a
system that would match airline passengers against terrorist watch lists - the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that it remains in development
and faces considerable management and oversight challenges. The TSA is in the
process of reassessing the viability of Secure Flight, after suspending the
program in March due to security and privacy concerns. <9/11 Public Discourse [br />Project, December 2005;, 6/25/06]

PORTS: Screening Technology at U.S. Ports Still Inadequate. "The radiation-
detection technology currently used in the world's ports by the Coast Guard and
Customs and Border Protection Agency is not adequately capable of detecting a
nuclear weapon or a lightly shielded dirty bomb.The flaws in detection
technology require the Pentagon's counterproliferation teams to physically
board container ships at sea to determine if they are carrying weapons of mass
destruction. Even if there were enough trained boarding teams to perform these
inspections on a regular basis -- and there are not -- there is still the
practical problem of inspecting the contents of cargo containers at sea.This
factor, when added to the sheer number of containers on each ship -- upwards of
3,000 -- guarantees that in the absence of very detailed intelligence,
inspectors will be able to perform only the most superficial of examinations."
<"Port Security is Still a House of Cards," Stephen E. Flynn, Far Eastern [br />Economic Review, Jan./Feb 2006]

BORDERS: Millions Wasted On Inadequate Border Security Efforts. Millions of tax
dollars have been wasted as a result of failed border security technology
initiatives that have been undertaken by the Department - the Integrated
Surveillance Intelligence System and the America's Shield Initiatives. The
Administration has failed to provide promised funding for Border Patrol agents
(20 percent short), detention bed spaces (20 percent short), and the
Immigration and Customs agent resources called for by the 9/11 Act (75 percent
short). <"The State of Homeland Security, 2006" prepared by the Democratic [br />Staff of the Committee on Homeland Security; 2/06]

FIRST RESPONDERS: Emergency Preparedness Still Inadequate. The President's
budget for 2007 proposed to cut $612 million from first responder grants and
training programs. The budget cuts funding levels for programs designed to
assist state and local law enforcement agencies by more than $1 billion
compared to FY 2006, the Firefighters Grant Program was cut by 50 percent, and
the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, which trains first responders,
was cut by 66 percent. In addition, the President's 2007 budget requested no
funding to enhance interoperable communications. <"The State of Homeland [br />Security, 2006" prepared by the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Homeland
Security; 2/06]

RAIL AND TRANSIT SECURITY: Bush Has Not Improved Rail and Transit Security.
Terrorist groups have already targeted surface transportation for attacks,
including the attack on a Moscow Metro rail car in 2004, a coordinated series
of 10 explosions on four commuter trains in Madrid that same year, and a
coordinated series of four explosions on three London subway trains and one bus
in 2005. Despite this, the TSA budget dedicates only 1 percent of the
department's funding to surface transportation security. The budget also
eliminates dedicated grants used by public transportation systems to increase
security, forcing surface transportation to compe te with ports and other
critical infrastructure for funding. <"The State of Homeland Security, 2006" [br />prepared by the Democratic Staff of the Committee on Homeland Security; 2/06]

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