Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Interesting News Clippings-related to the Iraq War and George bush

The following was taken from the ODP Daily Talking Points from December 11, 2006.

Bush’s Failed Iraq Policies And The Iraq Study Group

According to the final report from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, President Bush’s current strategy in Iraq is “not working” and the situation in the country is “grave and deteriorating.” At the same time, the latest AP-Ipsos poll found that that only 27 percent of Americans approve of President Bush’s handling of Iraq, “down from his previous low of 31 percent in November.” [AP, 12/8/06] It is clear that the American people want a new direction in Iraq, yet President Bush has already “moved quickly to distance himself … from the central recommendations” of the study group. [New York Times, 12/8/06] Editorial boards across the country highlighted the importance of the commission’s report to addressing President Bush’s failed policy in Iraq.

Los Angeles Times: Bush’s Performance “Depressing.” “If the Iraq Study Group is worried that its recommendations will not be taken seriously, then Thursday's news conference with President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair is cause for concern. … Semantics aside, Bush's performance Thursday was depressing. He turned truculent when pressed to describe the situation on the ground (“It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?”) and was irritatingly simplistic explaining his rationale for staying there (“I wouldn’t have our troops in harm's way if I didn't believe that, one, it was important, and, two, we'll succeed”). His opening remarks included the usual airy rhetoric about creating a beacon of democracy in the Middle East and ominous yet vague references to ‘the forces of terror and extremism.’ For minutes at a time, the conference sounded like it could have been taking place in 2003. … Bush is right: The U.S. needs to confront terrorists, and democracy is a worthy goal. But declaring a goal is separate from achieving it. No one will argue that these goals aren't important (that word again). Yet they will remain unattainable until a host of other issues, many of them outlined by the Iraq Study Group, are addressed. Maybe Bush realizes this but can't bring himself to say so publicly. Or maybe he just doesn't believe it. After Thursday's news conference, it's still hard to tell.” [Los Angeles Times, Editorial, 12/8/06]

Los Angeles Times: Bush Administration Must Not Abandon Commission’s Suggestion Of Diplomacy. “If there was an important message lost in the rollout of the Iraq Study Group’s report on Wednesday, it was this: New diplomatic initiatives, even at this 11th hour, are essential not just for ending the Iraq war but also to put the United States in the optimum position after it is over. … Should Iraq's shaky government fail, the United States' ability to control the country's violent disintegration militarily will be minimal. The Bush administration — stubbornly fixated on an improbable victory — is poorly positioned to cope with this, much less to restore a U.S. leadership role so badly undercut by differences over Iraq. Diplomacy is the only alternative. … Critics might dismiss the group's proposals as little more than a nostalgic revival of the unworkable methods of a bygone era. But dialogue and negotiation move opponents toward agreements — in everything from labor disputes to deciding in a family who will prepare dinner. They are the foundation of centuries of diplomacy. Bush's rigidity is particularly dangerous right now as the United States searches for an exit strategy from Iraq that won't make Americans more vulnerable.” [USA Today, Editorial, 12/8/06]

Dallas Morning News: “Flawed and depressing though it is, the Iraq Study Group report has the virtue of being a shot of realism more bracing than the Kool-Aid that much of official Washington has been quaffing for some time. The report's most politically significant thrust is to recommend a withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by early 2008, barring unforeseen circumstances, and deliberate moves to force the Iraqis to take control of their own destiny. The Iraq Study Group correctly recognizes that an open-ended U.S. commitment permits the Iraqis to put off a political settlement. It also recognizes that the American people are running out of patience. Despite President Bush's recent claim that there is ‘no realism’ to talk of a graceful exit from Iraq, that's precisely what this bipartisan panel calls for. … The report is not holy writ, of course, but it does recast the Iraq debate going forward. One year ago, the National Security Council issued a report titled ‘Victory in Iraq.’ Few serious people outside the White House talk that way anymore. Now, as the Iraq Study Group report makes clear, the mission is all about how to get out of Iraq as soon as is feasible and leave the country reasonably stable. This is progress, in that it is better to deal with the world as we find it than as we wish it to be. It's imperative that President Bush get this message.” [Dallas Morning News, Editorial, 12/7/06]

Denver Post: President Bush Needs To “Consider All Options Before Iraq Slides Into Irreversible Chaos.” “The Iraq war report unveiled Wednesday by a bipartisan commission was a bleak rebuke of President Bush's policies and a sobering, high-profile reminder of the challenges the U.S. faces. The Iraq Study Group's report called the situation in Iraq "grave and deteriorating" and predicted severe consequences unless the U.S. military refocuses its mission and aggressive regional diplomatic efforts are undertaken. Of course, the widely anticipated report could not answer one key question: Will a stubborn president heed recommendations that contradict his entrenched Iraq policies? … The situation in Iraq is deteriorating daily - 10 U.S. troops were killed on Wednesday alone - and the nation is in urgent need of new policies and plans. The president needs to thoughtfully but expeditiously consider all options before Iraq slides into irreversible chaos.” [Denver Post, Editorial, 12/7/06]

Baltimore Sun: “Iraq Has Been A Disastrous Blunder”; President Bush Must “Endorse The Report’s Conclusions.” “Members of Congress are calling on the president to endorse the report's conclusions, as he should. If he doesn't, it will call into question his ability to be an effective commander-in-chief. But no one should imagine that the U.S. can extricate itself from Iraq without causing a considerable amount of pain, both theoretical and actual, and opening the way to a distressing escalation of bloodshed, possibly involving other countries. Intelligent policies can help to keep those negatives within bounds; clearly, delay for the sake of delay is pointless. The report of the Iraq Study Group makes for sad reading. The painfully obvious implication is that the war in Iraq has been a disastrous blunder in just about every way imaginable. And the consequences are still mounting.” [Baltimore Sun, Editorial, 12/7/06]

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