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Bush's Iraq Explanations

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Message Ron Fullwood
Now, I'm giving the speech -- you're asking me why I'm giving this speech today -- because there's -- I think I owe an explanation to the American people and will continue to make explanations. -- Bush news conference, Oct. 24, 2006

My blood is boiling after watching Bush's news conference. It's not enough that he and his republican party came in to office together and wiped our our nation's budget surplus by diverting the majority of Americans' contributions to our government to tax breaks for his fellow wealthy class, and to his invasions and occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq. It's not enough that he and his republican party diverted our nations defenses from the pursuit of the terrorists who orchestrated the 9-11 attacks to bog out troops down in Iraq to fight and die defending folks who couldn't care less for the American invaders and oppressors.

Now Bush is telling Americans that he intends to keep our soldiers in Iraq until he can manage to declare some sort of victory in Iraq. He says he's waiting for Iraqis to unify. He says he's waiting for Iraqis to train their military and police. He says he's waiting for Iraqis to stabilize their government. He says that "the only way to lose in Iraq is to leave before the job is done," but, he also says he "will not put more pressure on the Iraqi government than it can bear."

All of the burden for his failure in Iraq is, once again, thrown onto the backs of our soldiers who have never been equipped or prepared to transform Iraq into the ridiculously idyllic, democratic center of the New Middle East that Bush and his regime imagine it should become, just by virtue of their sacrifices. "Americans have no intention of taking sides in a sectarian struggle or standing in the crossfire between rival factions," Bush told reporters. But, that's exactly where our soldiers have been dumped, right in the middle of the cross fire; more precisely, on one side of a multi-fronted civil war.

Despite his own complaints about media portrayal of the violence in Iraq keeping us from seeing the 'flowers' at our soldiers' feet, Bush had his own narrative about the degrading situation there that gave all of his talk about 'progress' in Iraq an air of desperation.

"There has been heavy fighting, many enemy fighters have been killed or captured and we've suffered casualties of our own," Bush said. "This month we've lost 93 American service members in Iraq, the most since October of 2005. During roughly the same period, more than 300 Iraqi security personnel have given their lives in battle. Iraqi civilians have suffered unspeakable violence at the hands of the terrorists, insurgents, illegal militias, armed groups and criminals."

After over three years, and over 2700 American soldiers' lives later, Bush shows no indication at all that he's finished sacrificing our nation's lives and resources for the Iraq muddle. He's 'adjusting tactics' like a toddler at the wheel of his toy car console. The equation in Iraq remains the same. Over 145,000 troops are scattered around Iraq like kindling for a fire; the rest hunkered down, surrounding the seat of the propped-up regime in Baghdad.

It's a "serious concern" to him, and a "serious concern to the American people, " he says. All of that concern has been registered in numerous polls which show the American people have lost whatever faith they may have had in Bush's Iraq diversion and failure. They don't believe his reasons for invading and occupying. They don't believe Iraq is, as Bush and bin-Laden insist, the 'center' of some 'war on terror'. They don't believe the overthrow and capture of Saddam Hussein has made us any 'safer'.

Americans don't believe that setting a timetable for withdrawing troops is 'defeat'. They are demanding, in increasing majorities, that Bush set a date certain to get out. But, Bush is lost in his own bubble. The demand to withdraw from Iraq "is not coming from the inner circles in the U.S. government," Bush said. but the product of the American election campaign. "We are not much concerned about that," he said. All Bush is concerned about is using political language which doesn't concede the failure and defeat as Iraq continues its decline.

Bush won't accept the term 'benchmarks', and has adopted the term 'timetables'. It makes no difference in the policy what the term is, however. The 'stay the course' mission is still on, with Bush digging in even further by refusing to rule out reported plans to establish a permanent military base in Iraq. As Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said in a statement after the news conference, "He has conveniently changed his words, but not his policies."

The Iraqi leadership is apparently just as unconcerned as Bush about the American people's expectations of a timetable for an exit for our troops. Bush says Maliki agreed to a "schedule" for reconciliation and the formation of a 'democracy'. But, Maliki balked at that suggestion earlier, saying, "The Americans have the right to review their policies but we do not believe in a timetable and no one will impose one on us."

Really? With 145,000 of our troops fighting and dying in defense of his puppet regime, Maliki refuses to set a timetable to pull his act together? Why the hell are we supporting him then? Where's the U.S. interest in indefinitely propping-up Maliki's increasingly autocratic regime?

Bush said he 'knows the American people understand the stakes in Iraq . . . they want to win," he said. "What will work is a strategy that's constantly -- tactics that constantly change to meet the enemy. And that's what I was describing in my speech. We're constantly adjusting."

Did anyone, anywhere, understand his garbled defense of the Iraq failure? Any confidence out there at all with the tactics, strategy, timetables, benchmarks, and expectations of Bush for some victory in Iraq? If Americans take the time to listen to this news conference, it will boil their blood . . . before the reality of our country being led by this counterfeit loser chills them right to the bone.
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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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