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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-14-03 09:52 AM
Original message
Edited on Sun Sep-14-03 10:11 AM by LittleApple81


Republicans Seek State Dept. Control in Iraq
WASHINGTON Frustrated by the slow pace of reconstruction in Iraq, an increasingly vocal group of Republicans on Capitol Hill is urging the White House to shift control of the effort from the Pentagon to the State Department.
Even if Bush were inclined to take control of the Iraqi reconstruction effort away from Rumsfeld, some observers questioned whether Secretary of State Colin L. Powell would be eager to take over an effort that has been thwarted by terrorist bombings, assassinations and sabotage. Much of Congress' ire has been directed at Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, one of the key intellectual architects of the Iraq war.
"Somebody's got to be held responsible for this," said Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), a hawkish Democrat who is usually supportive of the Pentagon but now faults Wolfowitz.
Another Democrat, Rep. David R. Obey of Wisconsin, has called for Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to resign because of their responsibility for what he called a "disaster" in planning for the postwar occupation.

But Thomas Mann, a congressional specialist at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, said members of Congress had begun to view the Iraq occupation as a potential liability in their own upcoming election battles. "The Hill has been shaken to its roots in the last couple of weeks," Mann said. With a few exceptions, "THIS HAS BEEN THE MOST QUIESCENT, UNQUESTIONING CONGRESS WHEN IT COMES TO OVERSIGHT" of the occupation, he said.

"Republicans have been good soldiers, loyalists, and Democrats have been fearful of getting burned politically but that has changed with the bad news," Mann said.

Bush puts a premium on resolve and is typically loath to change strategy, and to remove the Iraq portfolio from Rumsfeld now would seem to acknowledge shortcomings, Mann said. On the other hand, the president "has strong political survival instincts" and is aware that polls show his popularity declining. A CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll released Friday after Bush's Sunday speech asking for $87 billion more to cover reconstruction and occupation costs in Iraq and Afghanistan found his approval rating has dropped to 52%, nearly back to the 51% rating he had before the Sept. 11 attacks.


My rant: This government really sucks. And it is because we Americans are uneducated and lulled by vacuous TV, movies radio, etc. We have been trained to accept programming targeted to the lowest common denominator thus becoming part of a rather stupid mass of humanity. No major issue will get through to their consciousness. I read an article in my small town newspaper that says the reason Jay Leno is always better rated than David Letterman is because Leno gives the American public entertainment and escapism and that's what matters...
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