Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: IMPEACHMENT IS TOO GOOD FOR BUSH: FROM IRAQ FAILURE TO SURGE FIASCO TO IRAN?
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Saturday, January 13, 2007

IMPEACHMENT IS TOO GOOD FOR BUSH: FROM IRAQ FAILURE TO SURGE FIASCO TO IRAN?



IMPEACHMENT IS TOO GOOD FOR GEORGE W. BUSH.

GUILTY OF ALMOST EVERY IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE PROVIDED IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: HIGH CRIMES, MISDEMEANORS, ABUSE OF POWER, MISFEASANCE, MALFEASANCE AND NONFEASANCE IN OFFICE, DOMESTIC SPYING, ILLEGAL WIRE TAPPING, CONSTITUTIONSAL DEFIANCE, LYING, OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE, TO BEGIN WITH.

HE IS GUILTY OF WAR CRIMES, “CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY” AS DEFINED BY ALL INTERNATIONAL LAW, HE IS AN UTTER FAILURE AND A CRIMINAL BY EVERY DEFINITION.

THIS MAN HAS BROKEN EVERY SECTARIAN/CIVIL LAW OF THIS NATION AND THIS WORLD ,THAT APPLIES TO ACTS OF LEADERSHIP. HE HAS PRESENTED TO THE ENTIRE WORLD A TOTAL HYPOCRITICAL LIP SERVICE TO THE PRECEPTS OF CHRISTIANITY. THIS MAN WILL BE JUDGED BY HISTORY AS SINGLE GREATEST FAILURE AS AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT.

THE BLOOD OF MILLIONS YET TO BE SLAUGHTERED IN HIS FOOTSTEPS WILL STAIN HIS HANDS AND MEMORY SO LONG AS THERE IS A PLANET AN SOMEONE LEFT TO READ OUR HISTORY.

THE SITUATION AND THE OUTCOME.

THE WAR IN IRAQ SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. IT DID HAPPEN AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS HANDLED IT IN THE MOST OVER CONFIDENT AND INCOMPETENT MANNER IMAGINABLE. THERE HAVE NEVER BEEN ENOUGH TROOPS FOR THE TASK AND THEIR EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES HAVE NOT BEEN UP TO THE DEMAND. THE WORD INTELLIGENCE IS A JOKE WITH THE BUSH FOLKS.

THE WAR IS LOST, AND THERE IS NEITHER THE WILL IN THIS NATION OR THE WORLD TO CONTINUE THE CONFLICT. WE WILL WITHDRAW AND THE AFTERMATH WILL BE HIDEOUS. THE REGION WILL COLLAPSE INTO A MAJOR CONFLAGRATION IN A FEW YEARS WHEN THE WORLD WILL BE FORCED TO MOBILIZE IN A WORLD WAR III EFFORT. THE 1300 YEAR WAR IS COMING TO THE FORE AS THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS GIVEN VINDICATION, VALIDATION AND LEGITIMACY TO THOSE FUNDAMENTALIST EXTREMISTS WHO HOLD ALL “INFIDELS” ENEMIES. THEIR DOOR HAS BEEN UNLOCKED.

THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WILL SUPPORT NO MORE. SEVENTY (70%) OF THE IRAQUIS WANT US TO LEAVE AND 61% APPROVE ATTACKS ON THE AMERICANS ON “THEIR” SOIL. THE DISASTER THAT WILL FOLLOW WITHDRAWAL WILL BE WORST THAN THE RULE OF SADDAM…BUT WHEN WILL THAT HAPPEN.

OUR DEPARTURE WILL BE DELAYED AS LONG AS POSSIBLE BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WITH THE HOPE OF KEEPING THE ISSUE ALIVE INTO THE 2008 CAMPAIGN CYCLE. THE CARNAGE THAT WILL INEVITABLE COME TO PASS WILL HAPPEN ON SOMEONE ELSE’S WATCH AND EVERY ATTEMPT WILL BE MADE TO LAY IT THE FEET OF THAT PRESIDENT, THAT ADMINISTRATION, NOT BUSH!

THE ONLY WAY TO STOP THAT NONSENSE AND SEE SOME FORM OF JUSTICE APPLIED TO THIS ADMINISTRATION IS FOR THIS NATION TO RISE UP TO THE POINT WHERE CONGRESS WILL BR COMFORTABLE WITH PUTTING A STOP TO THE WAR, BRINGING GEORGE BUSH TO ACCOUNTABILITY BY IMPEACHMENT, AND TO JUSTICE IN WAR CRIMES PROCEEDINGS.

WE NEED THIS TO HAPPEN; THE WORLD NEEDS THIS TO HAPPEN, AND WE NEED THE TIME TO CLEAR OUR HEADS AND TO PREPARE FOR THE GREATER CONFLICT THAT WILL LIE AHEAD.


AMERICA REACTS TO BUSH MOVE……

"PULL EVERY AMERICAN - CANCEL ESCALATION; "IRAQ IS ARABIC FOR VIETNAM."

EVERYWHERE YOU TURN THE REACTION IS NEGATIVE!

SURVEY FINDS 70% OPPOSE PLAN TO SEND MORE TROOPS
By NANCY BENACAssociated Press
Jan. 12, 2007, 1:20AM

Time

NEWS ABOUT IRAQ

Iraq plan ignites a scathing debate

Gates wants to boost U.S. forces by 92,000

Survey finds 70% oppose plan to send more troops

Bush plan proves to be a tough sell to Congress

Military wives react to new Iraq plan

Americans greet Bush plan with skepticism

Gates, Rice respond to troop surge plan

Iraqis skeptical about U.S. troop increase

America reacts to Bush speech


AMERICA AT WAR

Latest from Iraq

Afghanistan updates

Homeland security news

U.S. military deaths

Profiles of fallen soldiers
Latest war video reports

Talk about war

3,000: An analysis of U.S. military deaths in Iraq

U.S. military interventions since '50s

HOW IT WAS DONE
The AP-Ipsos telephone survey of 1,002 adults was conducted Monday through Wednesday night, when the president made his speech calling for an increase in troops. News had already surfaced before the polling period that Bush planned to boost U.S. forces in Iraq. The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

WASHINGTON — Seventy percent of Americans oppose sending more troops to Iraq, according to a new poll that provides a devastatingly blunt response to President Bush's plan to bolster military forces there.

The Associated Press-Ipsos poll found widespread disagreement with the Bush administration over its proposed solution, and growing skepticism that the United States made the right decision in going to war in the first place.

Just as 70 percent of Americans oppose sending more troops to Iraq, a like number don't think such an increase would help stabilize the situation there, the poll suggested. When asked to name the most important problem facing the U.S., 38 percent of those polled volunteered war, up significantly from 24 percent three months ago.

Iraq is a drag on Bush's overall job approval rating, too. That rating is at 32 percent in the latest survey, a new low in AP-Ipsos polling.

Congress Reacts Angrily To Bush's Iraq Strategy: The Hartford Courant, CT.

January 12, 2007 WASHINGTON -- A day after President Bush implored the nation to support his new Iraq "surge" strategy, his top aides met a storm of criticism Thursday from congressional Democrats and Republicans.
In tense exchanges during three congressional hearings, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and other officials confronted crumbling support for the administration's policy and a growing risk that lawmakers might try to impose limits or conditions on the unpopular mission.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Columbus — A day after President George Bush outlined his new plan for Iraq, he came to Fort Benning, an Army training base, to sell it to the soldiers who will have to implement it.


Bush's comments were met with relatively polite but restrained applause on several occasions.

Protesters, supporters await Bush

As a town that is a gatepost for the Army Infantry prepared for a visit from President Bush, many residents appeared to back the president's plan to send 21,500 additional U.S. troops into the Iraq war, but dozens of protesters outside the base decried it.

The president is due to have lunch here Thursday at Fort Benning, meet with troops and watch an Infantry demonstration, all the while selling the plan for more troop deployments that he announced Wednesday night on national television announced.

Today, on Victory Drive just outside the Army base, about 50 protesters made their opinion clear. Many waved signs, beat drums and shouted at passing motorists who occasionally honked their support.

One protester, dressed as the devil, adorned with horns, a red cape billowing in the breeze and a rubber Bush mask, held a sign that said: "Bush: Lord of the Lies," a reference to the popular William Golding novel.

Gloria Tatum, 63, of Decatur, said she traveled to Columbus because Bush "lied us into war. He was wrong then and he's wrong now."

"We voted [in November] and the vote was that [the war in Iraq] was a mistake."

Her sign read: "Bush, Lord of the Lies."


TEAR DOWN U.S.-IRAN WALLBy AMIR FAROKHIPublished on: 12/22/06

In the wake of the Iraq Study Group report, the United States is scrambling to develop a revised approach in the Middle East. Everything in the region, we have painfully learned, is interconnected: from past colonialism to present anger, from religion to politics, from the precarious comforts of Tel Aviv to the political winds in Baghdad.

America's policy in the Middle East must be as complex as the region itself. One of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group report and of newly appointed Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is to approach Iran diplomatically. President Bush should heed this advice.

Resuming diplomatic relations with Iran, even if only limited to direct dialogue, is not only necessary to moderating Iran's ambitions, but it is also a requisite for regional stability in the Middle East.

The United States' self-imposed policy of ignoring Iran is a policy that has been ineffective for 27 years and is not in our national interests. The result is an Iran that instinctively reacts counter to U.S. interests and is immune to U.S. efforts to limit its regional ambitions. To begin to influence Iran, we must acknowledge Iran's significant geopolitical influence along with our own limitations in the region. Whether we like it or not, we need Iran and whether Iran likes it or not, it could benefit greatly from growing closer to the United States. Somewhere, there is a grand bargain to be struck.

The calculated bluster of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is intended, in part, to stir Iranians' deep-seated nationalism. So long as the United States ignores Iran and moves clumsily in the Middle East, Ahmadinejad will rely on anti-Western sentiment by accusing the United States and others of meddling in Iran's affairs.

To neutralize Iran's anxieties and to make any discussion productive, we must change the manner with which we treat Iran. Iran is wary of the United States for many reasons, not the least of which is America's presence to Iran's east and west.

KETV7. OMAHA, NEBRASKA

Nebraska's Congressional Delegation Reacts To Bush Speech

Nebraska Leaders Question Extra Troops

Nebraska Sens. Chuck Hagel and Ben Nelson said Wednesday that they don't agree with President George W. Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq.
In prepared remarks sent after Bush outlined his new strategy, Hagel said: "This is a dangerously wrong-headed strategy that will drive America deeper into an unwinnable swamp at a great cost. We cannot escape the reality that there will be no military solution in Iraq."

Nelson said, "I am trying to maintain an open mind, however, I cannot ignore the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group and our senior military leaders who have all but unanimously said that sending more troops to Iraq is not the answer."


WLWT5, CINCINNATI, OHIO

Local Military Families React To Bush Speech

Majority Of Americans Oppose Iraq War, Escalation


CINCINNATI -- President George W. Bush asked an increasingly skeptical American public Wednesday for more time and more troops to help make his Iraq war plan work.
Americans overwhelmingly oppose sending more U.S. forces to Iraq, according to a new AP-Ipsos poll that serves as a strong repudiation of President Bush's plan to send another 21,500 troops.

Military members and their families will be asked to shoulder much of the burden for the president’s tactical shift, and their reactions to the president’s call for increased troop strength in Iraq are mixed.

“It is not an answer,” said Eddie Leidenheimer, a veteran with a nephew serving in Iraq who watched the president’s speech at the Norwood American Legion post.

“I think we need to get out, period,” he added.

CAPITAL NEWS9

Soldier reacts to the President's new planUpdated: 1/11/2007 8:37 AMBy: Jola Szubielski
Sgt. Dan McCoy has been home from Iraq now for several months, but the memories of his time spent serving in Baghdad are fresh. And as he listens to the President's new plan for the war in Iraq, he says it sounds all too familiar.

"It's the same strategy, we're adding more troops for the third time, it's the third time we're going back and its just not working, we need to let this government stand on their own feet, pull back a little bit and see where we're at," he said.

But President Bush says now is not the time to back away, instead he's calling for 20,000 more troops, something McCoy says is frustrating for the troops and for himself, his unit is being mobilized in May leaving his future in limbo.

McCoy said, "It's going to be for the safety of our troops there and if it's going to help them I firmly believe in sending them. But if we're using the troops to embed ourselves more into this country, and on the streets, on the street corners, absolutely not. It's just putting more American's at risk and it’s just not worth it."

the President's new plan
One person watching the President's speech with a vested interest was Albany County legislator Dan McCoy. He recently returned home from Iraq, and says he was left disappointed by the address. Our Jola Szubielski watched the speech with him and spoke to him afterwards.



Analysis: Bush's new Iraq plan a gamble


THE BUSH GAMBLE

On Thursday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States would be bullish in letting the Iraqis know where and when they're failing. "If we see them falling short, we will make sure they know that and how strongly we feel about it," he said.

Justifying the addition of 21,500 U.S. troops, Bush also acknowledged the extent to which he needs al-Maliki and the other way around.

Stepping back now "would force a collapse of the Iraqi government" and could mean U.S. troops staying even longer, he said.

Selling the strategy to openly skeptical Republicans and Democrats on Thursday, Secretary of State
SEARCH
Per the
Chicago Tribune, Reid "said he knows of at least 12 Republican senators who oppose Bush's new plan."

But the Wall Street Journal adds: "White House officials calculate that Democrats will be stymied by practical problems, legislative maneuvering and internal divisions in their attempt to prevent the administration from sending 21,500 more soldiers -- and more money -- to Iraq.” More: "White House officials downplayed the possibility of Congress blocking troop escalation, noting that the administration has enough money to send most of the additional 'surge' forces to Iraq. That means any Democratic move to limit funding would effectively impact money used for sustaining troops already in the field."

House Lawmakers React to Bush Iraq Plan
By Dan Robinson Capitol Hill11 January 2007

Robinson report - Download 382k Listen to Robinson report

As Bush administration and U.S. military officials faced skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill, some of the strongest criticisms of the president's military surge in Iraq came from some new members of Congress.

While Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended the president's plan before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, four newly elected congressmen, all Democrats, appeared before television cameras and microphones to express disappointment in the plan.

Patrick Murphy, is an Iraq war veteran who defeated a Republican candidate in his home district in Pennsylvania.

"The reality on the ground is this: By putting more troops into Iraq, [it] does not do anything to find a solution to what is needed there, and that is for the Iraqis come off the sidelines, and fight for their country, fight for their government, protect their neighborhoods, not to rely on the American forces," he said.

Chris Carney, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, opposes sending additional U.S. troops, and questions whether the Iraqi government can meet the commitments President Bush says he received.

"To put so much credibility in the Maliki regime, I think is dangerous," he said. "This is a regime that has proven that it cannot withstand the political pressures of the realities in Iraq, and we must start finding people we can work with in that country to represent our interests."

As part of the Democratic majority in the House, the lawmakers say they are prepared to ask tough questions so Congress can carry out proper oversight regarding Iraq.

Tim Walz is a Democrat from Minnesota:

"The questions are going to be asked," he said. "This is a different Congress. The questions that the American people asked and the message they sent on November 7 are being echoed here today, and we will continue to do so."

But not all say they are prepared to support aggressive proposals, such as one by Senator Edward Kennedy to require Congress to approve any increase in troop numbers for Iraq.

Congressman Murphy says he is not yet persuaded such a step would be wise, and remains hopeful the president will, as he puts it, understand the fervor of the new Congress and Americans.

Joe Sestak, another Pennsylvania Democrat, believes the United States must set a date for withdrawing U.S. forces.

"That date is the only remaining leverage we have over the Shi'ites, the Kurds, the Sunnis, the parties in that country, to accept that they must make a political decision in what is not a military issue," he said. "This is a political civil war."

The views contrasted with Republican Minority Leader John Boehner, who asserts the United States needs to do whatever is needed to ensure success:

"Victory here is essential, and whether that is more troops [or] less troops, we need the number of troops necessary," he noted.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General Peter Pace, Chairman of the [military] Joint Chiefs of Staff, tried to reassure worried House lawmakers:

"This military plan, properly part of new political emphasis and new economic plus-up can provide the success we are looking for," he said.

The Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Ike Skelton, sought assurances from General Pace and Secretary Gates, the Bush administration would re-visit its strategy if the Iraqi government does not keep to its commitments.

The War Within Sen. McCain

Vocal Supporter of Bush Is Increasingly Critical, Isolated
By Dan Balz and Shailagh Murray Washington Post Staff WritersSaturday, January 13, 2007; Page A01

KNOW WHEN TO FOLD 'EM: New York Daily News
Bush's surge reshuffles tactics when U.S. really needs to deal itself a new hand
21,500 more troops to fix my mistakes, Bush admits to failures,but insists increase is critical to winning war.


BY THOMAS M. DeFRANK and KENNETH R. BAZINETDAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU



WAR-WEARY AMERICANS WEIGH NEW BUSH PLAN

By ERIN McCLAM AP National Writer © 2007 The Associated Press
SOURCES AP VIDEOS:
Video Report 1

Video Report 2

Video Report 3

Video Report 4

— Wearied by war, Americans paused Wednesday to listen to President Bush's plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq, responding with frustration, puzzlement and, in some cases, cautious hope.

In a prime-time address to the nation, the president said he would boost the U.S. presence in Iraq to more than 150,000 troops, steeled the country for more violence and said he had made a mistake by not ordering more troops there last year.

At a diner called Miss Katie's in downtown Milwaukee, office manager Dave Berndt said Bush seemed to be "apologizing for what's going on so far, and almost apologizing in advance for what's going on afterwards."

Nearby, bartender Joe Sardino was more blunt: "I think this is a Band-Aid on a large wound."

Going head-to-head with Democrats who have called for an end to the war, Bush said an American pullback now would shatter the Iraqi government and lead to "mass killings on an unimaginable scale."

Still, the president was speaking to a nation that has in large part soured on the war, which this spring will enter its fifth year and which last month cost its 3,000th American life.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll in December put approval of Bush's handling of the war at 27 percent, a record low, and a majority of voters interviewed in exit polls during the midterm elections said they favored pulling some or all troops from Iraq.

Even among Americans who applauded Bush's decision to bolster the American military presence in Iraq, there were questions about why the reinforcements were only being sent now.

"I'd love to know what took him so long to come to this realization," said Wayne Muller, who watched the speech from his home in Raleigh, N.C., and whose son, Cpl. Danny Muller, serves in Iraq's volatile Anbar province.

"We either have to get the troops in there to get the job done or bring them home," Muller said.

In other quarters, there was clear frustration.

Brad Rosen, a 24-year-old Harvard Law student who watched the speech among a crowd of about 100 at Cambridge Common bar, seized on Bush's assertion that 80 percent of the sectarian violence in Iraq is concentrated near Baghdad.

"Where was that information a year ago, when I would have said increase the troops?" Rosen asked. "But now it seems like a defense posture."

Bush called the increase in American force a change in course in the Iraq war, and said failure in Iraq would a be "a disaster for the United States." His speech appeared to stir hope in some that the war might turn for the better.

A handful of veterans gathered at an American Legion post in Killeen, Texas, near Fort Hood, to watch the speech. There, 59-year-old Dave Washko, who called himself "just an old soldier," said he supported Bush.

"I'm just praying it works," he said.

Another veteran there, George Payntar, who served in the Vietnam war, added: "If we pull out, they'll be here. I am afraid if we pull out now, we would lose the progress we made and the Iraqi people would suffer greatly."

At the Atlanta airport, a few dozen Army recruits were gathered, waiting to travel to Fort Benning to start boot camp on Thursday. They seemed weary of political talk and eager for action.

"There's been a lot of talk about strategies," said Jesse Weber, 21, of Richland Center, Wis. He said he hoped Americans who do not support the war would still "support the soldiers," and said he thought Bush "has been kind of slow making his decisions."

The steady slide in public support for the war has been remarkable: Even in Utah, a Bush electoral stronghold, a recent Salt Lake Tribune poll found less than half of respondents supported the Bush war plan.

"I was pleased that he didn't try to be overly optimistic," said Bart Barker, 52, who watched the Bush address from his home in Draper. "The way he talked about deploying added troops does give me a little hope."

Barbara Early, who noted she had read the Iraq Study Group report _ which called the situation in Iraq deteriorating and suggested America begin a troop pullback by next year _ was less optimistic.

"It just seems unsupported by all the expert opinion, against the prevailing wisdom of everyone, except people in his administration," Early said at the San Francisco sports bar where she watched the speech.

At the upscale restaurant and bar Novecento, in Miami's financial district, patrons seemed more interested in the television screens showing Cirque Du Soleil than the president's speech.

But many who did watch it said they were cautiously hopeful.

"I have no idea if this is going to work," said Richard Earl, a 33-year-old money manager. "But he's got a plan. Let's hope it does."

Associated Press writers Mike Baker in Raleigh, Giovanna Dell'Orto in Atlanta, Emily Fredrix in Milwaukee, Brandie M. Jefferson in Cambridge, Mass., Scott Lindlaw in San Francisco, Brock Vergakis in Salt Lake City, Elizabeth White in Killeen, Texas, and Laura Wides-Munoz in Miami contributed to this report.

IRAQ PLAN DRAWS CRITICISM, MOCKERY ON HILL

CBS/AP) President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq ran into a wall of criticism on Capitol Hill on Thursday as administration officials drew confrontational and sometimes mocking challenges from both Democrats and Republicans.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in response that the administration might abandon the increase if the Iraqi government doesn't do its part, but he provided no timetable. "I think most of us, in our minds, are thinking of it as a matter of months, not 18 months or two years," he told the House Armed Services Committee.
Bush and top members of his national security team sought to rally support for the troop buildup a day after he unveiled his plan for turning around a conflict that has lasted nearly four years and cost the lives of more than 3,000 American military personnel.
Instead, Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice found themselves embroiled in the first pitched exchanges in a battle that is likely to dominate Congress for months or longer and is already shaping the 2008 presidential election.


IMPEACHMENT IS THE ONLY ANSWER, BUT WE MUST STOP THE ESCALATION RIGHT NOW!

BUSH ISN'T LISTENING

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Americans voted their disapproval of the President's Iraq strategy, yet he has escalated the conflict. In this VideoNation report, Katrina vanden Heuvel explains that Bush is recklessly using American lives to salvage a delusional national policy and set the stage for wider war. Congress and the American people must rein him in.
WATCH KATRINA’S VIDEO HERE:

In the lead editorial this week, Nation editors argue that ratcheting up pressure on Congress to block Bush's Iraq escalation plan is the first step toward bringing the troops home

TAKE ACTION NOW

After his party's dramatic defeat on November 7, George W. Bush seemed, however briefly, to recognize that his Iraq policy wasn't working. He fired Donald Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary, promised to take the Iraq Study Group's report "very seriously" and pledged to work with the new Congress. But his speech January 10 announcing an escalation of the US occupation of Iraq confirms that Bush's "new way forward" is just more of the same, and that his contemptuous disregard of the will of the people and their elected representatives is unchanged.

The President's escalation, set to begin January 15, is the first test of the new Congress. The American people voted to get our troops out of Iraq, not dug deeper in, and it is up to Congress to see that it is done. Democratic leaders announced before Bush's speech that they would offer House and Senate resolutions opposing the escalation. And even though that escalation may be under way by the time Congress acts, and even though the resolution is nonbinding, it can still serve as a highly public rebuke to an imperial White House.

Some Democrats, most notably Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Joe Biden, are peddling the notion that "as a practical matter, there is no way to say, 'Mr. President, stop.'" But in fact, the opposite is true. A report by the Center for American Progress makes clear that past Congresses have curtailed or ended military deployments. The report notes, for example, that in 1983 the Lebanon Emergency Assistance Act required the President to return to seek authorization if he wished to expand the size of the US contingent in Lebanon. Congress has also acted to cut war funding. In 1970, the report notes, the Supplemental Foreign Assistance Law "prohibited the use of any funds for the introduction of US troops to Cambodia."

Peace groups and members of Congress are crafting creative ideas to counter a Commander-in-Chief who misled us into a catastrophic conflict and now proposes to escalate the war in Iraq.

As the President prepares to escalate (aka "surge") the war in Iraq, the new Democratic Congress and peace activists across the nation are searching for the most effective ways to respond to the continuing Madness of King George. Here is a look at what some legislators, former and current military personnel, and peace groups are doing to end a war that has stretched the military to the breaking point, and sacrificed more than three thousand American men and women to what columnist Paul Krugman calls "the quagmire of the vanities."

•Representative John Murtha has already taken a strong stand in announcing that he will oppose funding for any escalation as Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Murtha told Arianna Huffington that "he wants to ‘fence the funding,' denying the president the resources to escalate the war, instead using the money to take care of the soldiers as we bring them home from Iraq…."

Murtha's stance is critical since the rightwing will wrongly spin (as they have post-Vietnam) that opposition to funding a war is tantamount to not supporting the troops. How best to counter the rightwing political blame game will require hard work and courage in the coming weeks and months.

•In addition to Murtha's stance, Representatives such as James McGovern and Dennis Kucinich--now a Presidential candidate--are also focused on using the power of the purse to end this debacle. Kucinich called for the withholding of funds for future troop deployments after the people spoke against the war so clearly on Election Day, and McGovern introduced the End the War in Iraq Act last session "to prohibit the use of funds to deploy United States Armed Forces to Iraq." While many--especially the still delusional neocons--will try to paint this legislation as anti-military, it isn't. It calls for using those funds "for the safe and orderly withdrawal of the Armed Forces from Iraq."

Although Rep. McGovern's bill only had 19 co-sponsors (including Rep. Kucinich) at the end of Congress' last session, more Democrats may be moved to take a stand when the next supplemental funding bill comes up as early as February – especially as they hear from their constituents and peace activists.

•In the Senate, according to the New York Times, Senator Edward Kennedy will introduce legislation on Tuesday that would require the President to obtain new authorization from Congress prior to sending any more troops to Iraq. Kennedy urged a quick vote, saying, "The importance of this legislation is that it will apply now before we could get the escalation." He cited Congressional intervention in both Vietnam and Lebanon in calling for his colleagues to take action to stop any escalation in Iraq. One clear ally of Sen. Kennedy's is Sen. Russ Feingold – who, along with Sen. John Kerry, introduced legislation during the last session of Congress for a withdrawal to be completed by July of this year. Feingold told The Times: "My concern now is that too many Democrats are going to want to play it safe on this issue and not take the strong stand that American people demand."

Appeal for Redress – Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, spokesman for the extraordinary movement of active military personnel, reservists, and officers (including "a handful of colonels") seeking withdrawal--says that getting Congressional representatives to explicitly take a stand against the occupation is even more pressing than any debate on funding. Hutto believes that the debate must focus on shifting the policy of this government from one of occupation to "withdrawing all troops and bases from Iraq." Any vote to fund the current policy--whether increasing troop levels, or training Iraqi soldiers, or even funding an Iraqi jobs program with no end to the war in sight--supports the principle of occupation, and to Hutto and his fellow-servicemen and women that is simply unacceptable.

"The first priority needs to be to get the leadership in DC to commit to the principle of withdrawal," Hutto says. "Then we can talk about funding needs."

Sen. George McGovern, who recently met with the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) advises that he would continue funding only in the context of moving towards a withdrawal. His book–-co-authored with former history professor and State Department Middle East expert, William R. Polk--outlines a step-by-step, six-month plan for withdrawal to be completed on or before June 30.

McGovern will present his proposal at the CPC's Capitol Hill Public Forum on Iraq this Friday, January 12 at 9:30 A.M. (345 Cannon House Office Building… and word is that new Iraq legislation will come out of this forum). He stresses the need for a massive reconstruction effort led by Iraqis and largely funded by the United States (at a far cheaper cost than maintaining the occupation); a provision for financing law enforcement contingents from other Muslim or Arab countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Indonesia; and reparations to Iraqi civilians for loss of life and property as the British are doing.

"I think [this] is more politically acceptable than simply cutting off funding," McGovern said. "Although, if that's the only thing that will work after trying this more deliberative effort then I would support a funding cutoff. We have to terminate that war in the near term."

Win Without War--a coalition of national organizations advocating for a foreign policy based on international cooperation and enforceable international law – is preparing to join forces with Rep. Murtha in calling for any supplemental to be used only towards a safe and orderly withdrawal. National Director and former Congressman Tom Andrews says, "In response to George Bush's call to escalate the war in Iraq, the message of our campaign will be as simple, direct and as straightforward as possible: NO!" The America Says NO! campaign will utilize local actions, signs, buttons, bumper stickers, flyers, and ads in newspapers and online to communicate this message.

MoveOn is launching an immediate campaign to oppose Bush's escalation and a long-term campaign to force Congress to end the war. It is organizing rallies across the nation, advertising, call-in days, online petitions, and more. Already over 260,000 members have signed MoveOn's petition opposing escalation and made over 8,000 calls to Congress. MoveOn has endorsed the Kennedy bill and – according to Washington Director Tom Matzzie--its message to Democratic leaders is: "Figure it out. Get out of Iraq. All options should be on the table."

Military Families Speak Out--with a membership of over 3,000 military families--is urging citizens to send their Congressional representatives a postcard--"Support Our Troops: De-fund the War!"--to bring the troops home now. And Iraq Veterans Against the War--with members in 41 states, Washington, DC, Canada, and on numerous bases overseas (including Iraq)--is also calling for an end to funding, as well as reparations to Iraqis and full benefits (including mental health) for returning servicemen and women.

Peace Action--with over 28 state affiliates and 100 local chapters across the country--will call on Congress to vote against the supplemental funding bill. But it will also explore with its Congressional allies how the money might be reduced or conditioned. In a statement, Executive Director Kevin Martin said "The question now is, how will the Democratic Congress respond? While they sound skeptical of [Bush's] plan right now, if they refuse to curtail funds in any way and allow Bush to do what he wants, they will become his accomplices in this disastrous war. And the American people will not accept that."

United for Peace and Justice--a coalition of more than 1300 local and national groups--is focused on demonstrating wide antiwar sentiment with March on Washington, DC on January 27 as well as a Congressional Advocacy Day on January 29. UFPJ hopes to have at least one participant from each of the 435 Congressional districts and will "remind Congress why they were elected and demand that they act immediately to end the occupation of Iraq."

While there is still some uncertainty about how to fulfill the mandate of the November election to end this war, peace groups and members of Congress are crafting creative ideas and resolutions to counter a Commander-in-Chief who misled us into a catastrophic conflict and would now recklessly waste more lives and resources in pursuit of his ideological mission and the salvaging of his legacy. It is time to focus on seeking a political resolution, energetic regional diplomacy to contain the civil war, and funding to address this growing humanitarian catastrophe.

And, finally, to find a safe and honorable way home for our troops.
The SenatorS Who Will Not Surge?
THESE TWO CAN STOP THEIR LITTLE DANCE RIGHT NOW
HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI, D-CALIFORNIA, AND SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID, D-NEVADA, are trying to figure out how to respond to the to the expected presidential proposal for to surge the United States deeper into the quagmire that is Iraq.

BUT THE MAN WHO, BY VIRTUE OF HIS LONG SERVICE IN THE SENATE AND HIS MASTERY OF THAT CHAMBER'S POLITICS AND PROCEDURES, IS RECOGNIZED AND RESPECTED BY SAVVY DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS AS THE ESSENTIAL MEMBER OF THE NEW CONGRESS, IS NOT CONFUSED.

SENATOR EDWARD KENNEDY, D-MASSACHUSETTS, IS TODAY INTRODUCING LEGISLATION TO UNIQUIVOCALLY "PROHIBIT THE USE OF FUNDS FOR AN ESCALATION OF UNITED STATES FORCES IN IRAQ ABOVE THE NUMBERS EXISTING AS OF JANUARY 9, 2007."

Kennedy voted against authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq and he has been a consistent critic of the war. But this targeted piece of legislation specifically addresses the "surge" being proposed by the president.

Even more importantly, Kennedy's bill reasserts the role of Congress in a time of war. The Constitution allows the president to serve as commander-in-chief and affords him reasonable war-making powers in that role. But it reserves for Congress the power of the purse, and the founders were clear in their believe that the House and Senate should use that power to constrain a president who is waging war without reason or sound strategies.

The Congress has frequently used the power of the purse to control presidential war-making. Kennedy points to examples from the Vietnam era, but there are also examples from just the past quarter century of the Congress specifically embracing troops caps in Lebanon, in the European NATO countries and in Colombia. Indeed, as the Center for American Progress notes in a detailed new report, "Congressional Limitations and Requirements for Military Deployments and Funding," the Congress has a rich record of stepping in to prevent presidents from expanding U.S. involvement in foreign conflicts.

Kennedy, who came to the Senate in 1963 recognizes that record, and he embraces its central theme: That the Constitutionally-mandated system of checks and balances requires Congress to be in the thick of decision making with regard to wars and their escalation.

Kennedy's specific message is summed up in the title of the speech the senator is delivinng today at the National Press Club: "Escalation is Not the Answer: Time for Congress to Insist on Real Change in Iraq"

Says Kennedy, "It seems to me that we are at a time of a major escalation into a civil war, that's what the proposal of a surge is really about. This president is going to escalate the American presence and escalate the whole Iraqi war. This is a major mistake and a major blunder. If there's one thing that the election was about last fall was sending a very clear message to Congress and to the president that the American people want accountability. They want a change in direction on Iraq, they want accountability, and they want people to stand up and be counted."

Will other members of the Senate stand up and be counted? And will members of the House do the same?

Pelosi is clearly toying with strategies to challenge the proposed escalation of the war. She's said that Congress must be a part of the discussion about the president's "surge" proposal, while the Senate's Reid remains troublingly vague.

Ultimately, it is Kennedy who has proposed the clearest challenge to the administration. And senators, especially those who recognize the futility of expanding this war, need to join him in saying no to the surge.

"I think it's to try to hold policy makers accountable," Kennedy explained in a discussion with The New York Times regarding his legislation. "The president is the commander in chief. This is George Bush's war. But we have some responsibility in holding him accountable and holding accountable the people that want to continue the war in the way that it is being undertaken at the present time. The American people have expressed a different view and we need accountability."

Here are Kennedy's remarks regarding his bill:

The American people sent a clear message in November that we must change course in Iraq and begin to withdraw our troops, not escalate their presence. The way to start is by acting on the President's new plan. An escalation, whether it is called a surge or any other name, is still an escalation, and I believe it would be an immense new mistake. It would compound the original misguided decision to invade Iraq. We cannot simply speak out against an escalation of troops in Iraq. We must act to prevent it.

Today I am introducing legislation to reclaim the rightful role of Congress and the people's right to a full voice in the President's plan to send more troops to Iraq. My bill will say that no additional troops can be sent and no additional dollars can be spent on such an escalation, unless and until Congress approves the President's plan.

My proposal will not diminish our support for the forces we already have in Iraq. We will continue to do everything we can to make sure they have all the support they truly need. Even more important, we will continue to do all we can to bring them safely home. The best immediate way to support our troops is by refusing to inject more and more of them into the cauldron of a civil war that can be resolved only by the people and government of Iraq.

This bill will give all Americans – from Maine to Florida to California to Alaska and Hawaii – an opportunity to hold the President accountable for his actions. The President's speech must be the beginning – not the end – of a new national discussion of our policy in Iraq. Congress must have a genuine debate over the wisdom of the President's plan. Let us hear the arguments for it and against it. Then let us vote on it in the light of day. Let the American people hear – yes or no – where their elected representatives stand on one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Until now, a rubber stamp Republican Congress has refused to hold the White House accountable on Iraq. But the November election has dramatically changed all that. Over the past two years, Democrats reached for their roots as true members of our Party. We listened to the hopes and dreams of everyday Americans. We rejected the politics of fear and division. We embraced a vision of hope and shared purpose. And the American people voted for change.

Many of us felt the authorization to go to war was a grave mistake at the time. I've said that my vote against the war in Iraq is the best vote I've cast in my 44 years in the United States Senate.

But no matter what any of us thought then, the Iraq War resolution is obviously obsolete today. It authorized a war to destroy weapons of mass destruction. But there were no WMDs to destroy. It authorized a war with Saddam Hussein. But today, Saddam is no more. It authorized a war because Saddam was allied with al Qaeda. But there was no alliance.

The mission of our armed forces today in Iraq bears no resemblance whatever to the mission authorized by Congress. President Bush should not be permitted to escalate the war further, and send an even larger number of our troops into harm's way, without a clear and specific new authorization from Congress.

Our history makes clear that a new escalation in our forces will not advance our national security. It will not move Iraq toward self-government, and it will needlessly endanger our troops by injecting more of them into the middle of a civil war.

... Comparisons from history resonate painfully in today's debate on Iraq. In Vietnam, the White House grew increasingly obsessed with victory, and increasingly divorced from the will of the people and any rational policy. The Department of Defense kept assuring us that each new escalation in Vietnam would be the last. Instead, each one led only to the next.

There was no military solution to that war. But we kept trying to find one anyway. In the end, 58,000 Americans died in the search for it.

Echoes of that disaster are all around us today. Iraq is George Bush's Vietnam.

As with Vietnam, the only rational solution to the crisis is political, not military. Injecting more troops into a civil war is not the answer. Our men and women in uniform cannot force the Iraqi people to reconcile their differences. The President may deny the plain truth. But the truth speaks loudly and tragically. Congress must no longer follow him deeper into the quagmire in Iraq.

John Nichols' new book, THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders' Cure for Royalism has been hailed by authors and historians Gore Vidal, Studs Terkel and Howard Zinn for its meticulous research into the intentions of the founders and embraced by activists for its groundbreaking arguments on behalf of presidential accountability. After reviewing recent books on impeachment, Rolling Stone political writer Tim Dickinson, writes in the latest issue of Mother Jones, "John Nichols' nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic, The Genius of Impeachment, stands apart. It concerns itself far less with the particulars of the legal case against Bush and Cheney, and instead combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use of the "heroic medicine" that is impeachment with a call for Democratic leaders to 'reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by the founders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'"

The Genius of Impeachment can be found at independent bookstores and at http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Impeachment-Founders-Cure-Royalism/dp/1595581405

Media Misleading Americans By Using ‘Surge’ To Describe Bush Policy

Research compiled by ThinkProgress shows that when “surge” was first adopted by the mainstream media in November 2006, the term was specifically defined as a “temporary,” “short-term” increase in U.S. forces. In fact, we now know that the Bush administration and the most prominent advocates of escalation all reject a short-term increase in U.S. forces. Rather, they advocate a long-term increase of forces lasting at least 18 months.

The media, in other words, has continued to use the term “surge” even though its definition has fundamentally changed.

The choice of words is not an academic point. A CBS poll released Monday found that only 18 percent of Americans support an escalation of forces in Iraq. However, when asked whether they support a “short-term troop increase,” the number jumps to 45 percent approval (48 percent disapproval).

Every time the media repeats the word “surge,” they are helping to mislead the American people about the long-term escalation being proposed. Reporters and news organizations have a responsibility to stop using the term to describe President Bush’s policy.

NEGATIVE REACTION TO BUSH SURGE PLAN PART 1 SEARCH

NEGATIVE REACTION TO BUSH SURGE PLAN PART 2 SEARCH

BUSH PLANS FOR IRAN NEXT?






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