[eDebate] one mo underhanded neocon congressional "dabait"

Jake Stromboli infracaninophile
Mon Jun 26 17:01:42 CDT 2006

last week was republicano stage frighting the american public about 9/11 
with zero sincerity of staying in iraq and stonewalling a democrat victory 
on troop withdrawals cuz they don't give a fuck about the armorless soldiers 
in the murder zone unless they help w elections.  sorry, this is the most 
ridiculous piece of shit administration ever.


Democrats Cite Report on Troop Cuts in Iraq
    By Michael Abramowitz and Thomas E. Ricks
    The Washington Post

    Monday 26 June 2006

Pentagon plan like theirs, Senators say.

    Senate Democrats reacted angrily yesterday to a report that the U.S. 
commander in Iraq had privately presented a plan for significant troop 
reductions in the same week they came under attack by Republicans for trying 
to set a timetable for withdrawal.

    Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that the plan attributed to Gen. 
George W. Casey resembles the thinking of many Democrats who voted for a 
nonbinding resolution to begin a troop drawdown in December. That resolution 
was defeated on a largely party-line vote in the Senate on Thursday.

    "That means the only people who have fought us and fought us against the 
timetable, the only ones still saying there shouldn't be a timetable really 
are the Republicans in the United States Senate and in the Congress," Boxer 
said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "Now it turns out we're in sync with 
General Casey."

    Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), one of the two sponsors of the nonbinding 
resolution, which offered no pace or completion date for a withdrawal, said 
the report is another sign of what he termed one of the "worst-kept secrets 
in town" - that the administration intends to pull out troops before the 
midterm elections in November.

    "It shouldn't be a political decision, but it is going to be with this 
administration," Levin said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's as clear as your 
face, which is mighty clear, that before this election, this November, 
there's going to be troop reductions in Iraq, and the president will then 
claim some kind of progress or victory."

    At issue was a report yesterday in the New York Times that Casey 
presented a private briefing at the Pentagon last week, in which he 
projected the number of U.S. combat brigades - each numbering about 3,500 
troops - would decrease from 14 to five or six by the end of 2007. There are 
now about 127,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, including many support troops beyond 
the combat brigades.

    White House and Pentagon officials declined to confirm the projections, 
saying only that Casey met with President Bush on Friday to discuss how the 
military might proceed in Iraq after Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki forms a 
new government. Bush has often said the U.S. military will stand down as 
Iraqi forces become adequately trained to handle security.

    One White House official said there was "no formal plan presented or 
signed off on" in Casey's meeting with Bush, only a discussion of "various 
scenarios" to guide their discussions with the new Iraqi government.

    "We are entering a phase where discussions with the Iraqis will begin to 
practically define what 'stand up, stand down' will look like over the next 
two years," said this official, who asked not to be identified.

    This official dismissed the suggestion by some Democrats that Casey's 
approach resembles their approach. "A conditions-based strategy outlined by 
our generals on the ground is a far cry from politicians in Washington 
setting an arbitrary date for withdrawal," the official said.

    A Pentagon official said his impression is that Bush and Casey had no 
lengthy discussion about troop reductions, and that any projections of 
specific numbers remain speculative. This source noted that Casey had said 
that he hoped U.S. force levels would be substantially reduced this year, 
but has decided against such a move because of the continuing violence in 

    "I think there will be a modest decrease between now and the end of the 
year," the official added. But, he concluded, "Nobody really knows."

    Casey's meeting with Bush followed an eventful several weeks in Iraq 
that included the death of insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the 
completion of a new Iraqi government. It also followed particularly 
rancorous debates in the House and Senate, in which GOP lawmakers - with the 
encouragement of the White House - went after Democrats for being 
insufficiently supportive of the war effort and said that decisions about 
issues such as troop deployments should remain with the president.

    American commanders in Iraq have long made no secret of their desire to 
reduce U.S. troop levels, so in one sense the report about Casey's briefing 
came as little surprise to some experts on Iraq. But coming so soon after 
the congressional debates, the report served to keep the debate going 
another day.

    Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored an unsuccessful 
resolution setting a July 1, 2007, deadline for the removal of U.S. combat 
troops from Iraq, issued a statement saying the Casey plan looks "an awful 
lot like what the Republicans spent the last week attacking. Will the 
partisan attack dogs now turn their venom and disinformation campaign on 
General Casey?"

    But Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), chairman of the Armed Services 
Committee, played down the significance of the reported briefing. "The 
department's drawn up plans at all times, but I think it would be wrong now 
to say that this is the plan that we're going to operate under," he said on 
"Fox News Sunday."

    Warner counseled patience. "We have struggled and made tremendous 
sacrifice to give this nation its sovereignty," he said. "They are now 
beginning to exercise this sovereignty with a young government. Give them a 
chance to move out. We will consult with them. I'm confident our government 
will not let them make mistakes that would reflect adversely on troop 

    Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), chairman of the Foreign Relations 
Committee, voiced some skepticism that the administration can reach the 
conditions set for withdrawing troops.

    "Given current events in Baghdad, in particular, reported on every day 
quite apart from Anbar province, the violence is horrific," he said on "Face 
the Nation." "So getting to the plans either of General Casey or Maliki are 
a broad sweep. But it is good news to know that there are contingency 


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