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Iraq in civil war; Bush admin in denial; troops want out: Kerry has a plan

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:59 PM
Original message
Iraq in civil war; Bush admin in denial; troops want out: Kerry has a plan
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 11:01 PM by ProSense
January 2005 (Iraq election):

SEN. KERRY: I think it's gone as expected. I think it was a good report by Brian. I think it starkly lays out the challenges, Tim. Let me begin, if I can, by saying first of all I was just there a few weeks ago. I think our troops today deserve yet again a thanks and a word of praise from everybody. They are at extraordinary risk. They're doing a remarkable job, and I want to give them that credit.

Secondly, it is significant that there is a vote in Iraq. But no one in the United States or in the world-- and I'm confident of what the world response will be. No one in the United States should try to overhype this election. This election is a sort of demarcation point, and what really counts now is the effort to have a legitimate political reconciliation, and it's going to take a massive diplomatic effort and a much more significant outreach to the international community than this administration has been willing to engage in. Absent that, we will not be successful in Iraq.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe this election will be seen by the world community as legitimate?

SEN. KERRY: A kind of legitimacy--I mean, it's hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can't vote and doesn't vote. I think this election was important. I was for the election taking place. You may recall that back in--well, there's no reason you would--but back in Fulton, Missouri, during the campaign, I laid out four steps, and I said at the time, "This may be the president's last chance to get it right."

The four steps were, number one, massive rapid training. Number two, you've got to do reconstruction, and you've got to get the services to the Iraqis. Number three, you've got to bring the international community in the effort. Number four, you've got to have the elections.

Well, today we did number four, we had the elections. But the other three are almost--I mean, they're lagging so significantly that the task has been made that much harder. And I will say unequivocally today that what the administration does in these next few days will decide the outcome of Iraq, and this is--not maybe--this is the last chance for the president to get it right.

October 2006:

Analysis: Iraq electoral system limiting

1 hour, 14 minutes ago

The search for an end to Iraq's violence is being complicated by an electoral system that empowers religious and sectarian leaders who see little gain in offering concessions to rivals or cracking down on factions that put them in power.

That makes it tough for the U.S. to steer Iraqi leaders toward the kind of political compromise that American military commanders believe is the only way to guarantee long-term stability.

President Bush reviewed Iraq strategy Saturday with top commanders and national security advisers, but there was little sign of any major changes in American policy.

In fact, U.S. options are limited.

The levers of power are firmly controlled by Shiite Muslim religious parties and Kurdish ethnic movements. Many of them see no advantage to concessions that could defuse the predominantly Sunni Arab insurgency, which gave rise to Shiite militias and triggered the worsening sectarian bloodletting.

The unpleasant truth is that the two national elections of 2005 widely hailed at the time as triumphs of democracy solidified sectarian and ethnic divisions and helped set the stage for the political deadlock propelling Iraq toward all-out civil war.


What's really going on in Iraq

Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, a strong critic of President Bush's Iraq war policy, believes Americans should see more truth, not less: "Snipers are a reality. People being blown up is a reality." Yet, in this war, Kerry argues, "People see almost nothing at all. We see only the aftermath of explosions and bombs. As painful as the images of war are, it's important to understand what soldiers go through."

Does footage such as the CNN sniper video help the enemy? "I don't think you help the enemy to have the truth known," says Kerry. "This is a dirty war. . . and it's escalating day by day by day."

Kerry blames the Bush administration for "a calculated effort to hide the reality of war." He also notes that media cutbacks in Iraq coverage also mean Americans receive fewer close-ups of war's brutality.

The debate over how much Americans should see firsthand of US war casualties has been heated ever since the invasion of Iraq. The media are not allowed to photograph coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base, a source of much controversy. The Bush administration calls this a matter of respect, but it is also a way to sanitize a war that has taken the lives of nearly 2,800 Americans and, by one study, more than half a million Iraqis.

President Bush does not attend military funerals because, according to aides, a presidential entourage would cause disruption. But in a recent Washington Post article, the White House took pains to detail Bush's efforts to offer comfort to those who have lost relatives in Iraq. He writes letters to families of those killed, visits soldiers at military hospitals, and meets with relatives of the dead.


Active-Duty Troops Demand Withdrawal from Iraq

Bush admin. won't shift Iraq strategy

Trying to Contain the Iraq Disaster

US asks Iraq assume more provincial security: Rumsfeld

A negotiated withdrawal

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. Is President Bush Betraying Young Americans Dying In Iraq?
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-24-06 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. Civil war
full-scale, catastrophic

Iraq was in a Civil War when Kerry called it:

It's not enough to call it a civil war, call for withdrawal!

US death toll in Iraq for October hits 90

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