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Thursday, August 23, 2007

End Of Day Roundup 082307

Hey folks,

Yup, it’s still Thursday. Talk about some misleading headlines. Here are some articles you need to be aware of. First up CNN -Sen. Warner: Take steps to bring troops home in September

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The influential former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has called on President Bush to start the process of bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq in September.

No he didn’t.

Sen. John Warner, a Virginia Republican, said Thursday that a pullout was needed to spur Iraqi leaders to action.

He has recommended Bush announce the beginning of a U.S. withdrawal in mid-September, after a report is released from the top U.S. officials in Iraq, and that those troops should be back in the U.S. by Christmas.

No he didn’t.

Folks, this is completely spun. According to Reuters- Republican senator: Bush should begin Iraq withdrawal

President George W. Bush should announce on September 15 a small initial pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq to spur the Iraqi government to take steps toward political reconciliation, an influential Republican senator said on Thursday.

Virginia Sen. John Warner said Bush should "announce on the 15th that in consultation with our senior military commanders he has decided to initiate the first step in a withdrawal of our forces."

Warner, a senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee who has pressed Bush to change his Iraq policy, suggested a withdrawal of "say 5,000" troops, who could be home by Christmas in December of this year.

Warner said the United States needed "to show that we mean business" when it says its commitment to Iraq is not open ended.

He spoke following his return from an Iraq visit and after the release of a U.S. intelligence estimate projecting that political progress in Iraq would remain elusive over the next year. The report said the position of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government would become more precarious.

More on the NIE report in a second.

Warner said he did not advocate "rapid pullout" from Iraq and pointed out he had voted against any timetable for withdrawal. Congress has asked for a progress report on Iraq by September 15.

U.S. troops had delivered on their commitment to enhance security in Baghdad and elsewhere, but Maliki's government had "let our troops down," Warner said. He said he could not go "as far" as Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan who called for Maliki to be replaced.

WAIT! STOP!! He advised the press that Bush should announce a start to troop withdraws. We all know this already. We already know that General Petraeus will be telling us GOOD news. There will be no need for as many troops there, because we are WINNING.

Second, Warner does not advocate rapid troop pull out. He voted against timetables. The CNN piece leads you to believe he is yet another Senator pumping his fist in the air and calling for the President to bring the troops home NOW. That is simply not the case.

Now to this NIE report. According to the AP -Report finds Iraqi government precarious By KATHERINE SHRADER, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago

The Iraqi government is strained by rampant violence, deep sectarian differences among its political parties and stymied leadership, the nation's top spy analysts concluded in a sobering assessment released Thursday.

All is lost!! Right?

With the country teetering between success and failure in the next year, Iraq's neighbors will continue to try to expand their leverage in the fractured state in anticipation that the United States will soon leave, the new report found.

Who said?

It predicted that the Iraqi government "will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months" because of criticism from various Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions. "To date, Iraqi political leaders remain unable to govern effectively," it said.

Get this.

There was a glimmer of backhanded hope for the Iraqi leadership in the often dark analysis: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will continue to benefit from the belief among other Shiite leaders that "searching for a replacement could paralyze the government."

A Glimmer of hope? {Laughing}

The new National Intelligence Estimate was an update of another high-level assessment prepared six months ago by the top analysts scattered across all 16 U.S. spy agencies. The CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency were the key contributors to Thursday's report, which found some security progress but elusive hopes for reconciliation among Iraq's feuding groups.

Some security progress, BUT!!!

It came at a time of renewed tensions between Washington and Baghdad, and as the Bush administration prepares a mid-September report on how this year's troop buildup in Iraq is working.

Overall, the report finds that Iraq's security will continue to "improve modestly" over the next six to 12 months, provided that coalition forces mount strong counterinsurgency operations and mentor Iraqi forces. But even then, violence levels will remain high as the country struggles to achieve national political reconciliation.

The surge is WORKING!! BUT EVEN THEN!!! This is too funny folks.

"The strains of the security situation and absence of key leaders have stalled internal political debates, slowed national decision-making, and increased Maliki's vulnerability" to factions that could form a rivaling coalition, the document says.

Although al-Maliki is a Shiite, it finds that other Shiite factions have looked at ways to constrain him.

The administration and the many opponents of its Iraq policy both will find evidence in the report to justify the policies they recommend.

So there is good and bad news. We already know this. The political front needs tweaking. No doubt about it. The have just begun. But they can no longer say that the war is lost,,,oh wait, here is Traitor and LWL member Reid.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the report confirms what most Americans know.

"Our troops are mired in an Iraqi civil war and the president's escalation strategy has failed to produce the political results he promised to our troops and the American people," he said.

Somebody update this moron on reality. PLEASE. Most Americans do NOT believe there is a civil war, because there is NO civil war. I just said this, I’ll say it again. If Traitor Reid was to ever get his way, and all the troops pulled out over night, the blood is on HIS hands. The blood of the aftermath and the blood of our brave American men and women who died fighting this war, is on HIS hands. Along with the hands of the rest of the LWL members who have no clue what reality is.

Yet the report also backed many of the administration's arguments: the troop buildup announced in January has created new room for success, and the military can't leave quickly or shift its focus from efforts to stop insurgents and stabilize the Iraqi government.

It’s WORKING.

Earlier this week President Bush said the Iraqi government clearly could do more, but he and his aides quickly sought to tamp down suggestions the administration had lost faith in al-Maliki.

"This is a government that is learning — frankly — learning how to govern," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said. "No, it is not moving nearly as fast as everyone in Washington, D.C., would like it to move."

That is what I was saying. They are new at this. They have to learn how to do it.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, are due to report next month on how much progress is being made with the buildup, which now has some 162,000 troops, the highest of the four-year-old war.

As of like three days ago.

Among the polarizing questions facing U.S. policymakers is whether and how to reduce the number of forces stationed in Iraq.

Hours after the intelligence report's release, Sen. John Warner, a prominent Republican on military affairs, called on Bush to start bringing some troops home by Christmas. He said the move wouldn't destabilize the country, but could send a clear warning to Iraq that time is running out.

{Sigh}

Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the president needs to develop a consensus at home and give clarity to the Iraqi government about the U.S. course. "Groups in Iraq are making assumptions about what they think we will do, and some of those assumptions are wrong," Hoekstra said.

WHO”S FAULT IS THAT!!! I told you this morning. It’s the MMD and the LWL’s fault. Plain and simple. They get this one right also.

The intelligence report warns against scaling back the mission of U.S. forces. Analysts found that changing the U.S. military's mission from its current focus — countering insurgents and stabilizing the country — in favor of supporting Iraqi forces and stopping terrorists would hurt the security gains of the last six months.

The report said there has been measurable, but uneven, progress. In seven of the last nine weeks, U.S. agencies have seen a downward trend in the levels of attacks, said a senior U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the report more freely.

WAIT again! There has been “measurable progress?” I thought it was “modest progress.”

The intelligence analysts found that some localized security initiatives could help lessen the violence in the next year, particularly the improved cooperation from some Sunni tribal sheiks who have banded together and turned on al-Qaida in Iraq.

The people are fighting back. This is a GREAT thing. Notice this report is REALLY not as bad as they are leading you to believe.

But those local efforts could also have a downside. The senior intelligence official said it could empower factions that, in some cases, could challenge the authority of the central Iraqi government.

Another but. According to someone who does not want to be named.

The report and senior officials also found:

• Iraq's neighbors will continue to focus on improving their leverage in Iraq, expecting the U.S. and its allies to leave. "Assistance to armed groups, especially from Iran, exacerbates the violence inside Iraq," the report said. Since January, there is mounting evidence of Iran's support for Shiite militants, including highly lethal explosive devices.

More on Iran tomorrow morning.

• Syria has cracked down on al-Qaida networks inside its borders because they threaten Damascus' security. However, Syria is increasing the range of groups it supports in Iraq to bolster its influence there. And it still allows roughly 50 to 80 foreign fighters a month to travel into neighboring Iraq.

• Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states have not supported the al-Maliki government, but they haven't provided arms or other support to Sunni fighters, choosing instead to stay on the sidelines.

All these things that the AP pointed out was to get you to believe that this is a bleak outlook. That things are not going well in Iraq. But they really don’t pull it off to well, because they have to comment on all the positive in the report.

Basically, it tells us what we already know. The report that I’m waiting to see is by General Petraeus. Then we should see what the FACTS are on the ground. But this full court press by the press is to help the LWL get away from their “War is Lost” message and switch gears to the “Political Progress” failure talking points. I told you they would do this. They can no longer say the war is lost, because we are winning. But they cannot stand behind our military either. Once again folks, they cannot afford politically for us to win.
Peter

Sources:
CNN -Sen. Warner: Take steps to bring troops home in September
Reuters- Republican senator: Bush should begin Iraq withdrawal
AP -Report finds Iraqi government precarious

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