Monday, February 19, 2007

Republicans misdirect thier " Slow Bleed" rhetoric

The republicans have come up with a rhetorical response to the Democratic led rejection of the Bush "Surge Policy".

Bush's surge policy began prior to the State of The Union Address when he announced it, and without Congressional input. This lead the House to pass a non binding resolution opposing it - after it already was happening. Unfortunately, the President and the military did not have the 21,500 extra troops the President wanted- and so far only a part of the Surge has been sent.

The "Surge Policy" is part of a joint effort with the Iraqi military and Police to firmly secure the one city and surrounding area of Baghdad. This has been met by heavy violent resistance and many US military have already lost their lives. The Democrats have so far refrained from calling this the "Quick Bleed Strategy"

Democrats deny that they are seeking to cut off funding for the troops, however Democrat Senator Murtha promises to seek legislation to tie the funding to troop readiness= ADQUET TRAINING AND EQUIPMENT.

It is ironic that the Republicans are complaining about the Democrats desire to spend the governments money more wisely, since in the past they were considered the more fiscally conservative party.

US money in Iraq has been 'squandered' - report

The US government wasted tens of millions of dollars in Iraq reconstruction aid, including scores of unaccounted-for weapons and a never-used camp for housing police trainers with an Olympic-size swimming pool, investigators say.

Paul Bremer former coolition authority leadr in Iraq recentlly blamed poor payroll records for the 12 billion dollars lost somewhere in Iraq.

The quarterly audit by Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, is the latest to paint a grim picture of waste, fraud and frustration in an Iraq war and reconstruction effort that has cost taxpayers more than $300 billion dollars and left the region near civil war.

"The security situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, hindering progress in all reconstruction sectors and threatening the overall reconstruction effort," according to the 579-page report, which was being released today.

Calling Iraq's sectarian violence the greatest challenge, Mr Bowen said that billions in US aid spent on strengthening security has had limited effect. Reconstruction now will fall largely on Iraqis to manage, and they are nowhere near ready for the task.

The audit comes as President George Bush presses Congress to approve $1.2 billion dollars in new reconstruction aid as part of his broader plan to stabilise Iraq by sending 21,500 more US troops to Baghdad and Anbar province.

Democrats in Congress have been skeptical. Sen. Jim Webb has suggested that the US is spending too much on Iraq reconstruction at the expense of rebuilding New Orleans, Louisiana, from the devastation that Hurricane Katrina wrought 17 months ago. Rep. Henry Waxman plans in-depth hearings next week into charges of waste and fraud in Iraq.

According to the report, the State Department paid $43.8 million to contractor DynCorp International for the residential camp for police training personnel outside of Baghdad's Adnan Palace grounds, which has stood empty for months. About $4.2 million of the money was spent improperly on 20 trailers for important visitors and an Olympic-sized pool, all ordered by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior but never authorised by the US.

US officials spent another $36.4 million for weapons such as armoured vehicles, body armour and communications equipment that cannot be accounted for. DynCorp also may have prematurely billed $18 million in other potentially unjustified costs, the report said.

Responding, the State Department said in the report that it was working to improve controls. Already, it has developed a review process that rejected a $1.1 million DynCorp bill this month on a separate contract because the billed rate was incorrect.

Meanwhile President Bush has sent in troops ill equipped.

Meanwhile- Military families to Congress: cut the funds

The House passes a non-binding resolution against the "surge"; the Senate fails to. Opponents invoke the need to "support the troops." Is anybody listening to the troops and their families? From Military Families Speak Out, Feb. 5:

Military Families Urge Congress to Vote Down Bush Request for Billions to Contine Iraq War

Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) members today called on Congress to support our troops and honor the fallen by voting against President Bush's request for a supplemental appropriation that would allow the U.S. military occupation of Iraq to continue. Military Families Speak Out, an organization of over 3,200 military families opposed to the war in Iraq, is the largest organization of military families opposing a war in the history of the United States.

"President Bush is now requesting funds to continue an unjustifiable war that is taking the lives of three U.S. troops and countless Iraqi children, women and men each day," said Nancy Lessin, co-founder of Military Families Speak Out and stepmother of a Marine who served in Iraq. "Now is the time, and Congress is the vehicle, by which this horrific war can finally end. We call on Congress to support our troops by voting against the funds that would allow this war to continue. To do otherwise would be to abandon our loved ones and the people of Iraq to the unending and worsening violence of this misbegotten war. "

"Our elected officials cannot oppose this war and fund it at the same time. We expect more than resolutions, limitations and investigations," explained Charley Richardson, also a co-founder of Military Families Speak Out and father of a Marine. "The one thing that Congress can do to end this war, right now, with a 50% plus one vote of either house, is to de-fund it. 

Military families across the country with loved ones currently serving in Iraq, those with loved ones soon to deploy or re-deploy, families with loved ones who have been wounded physically and/or psychologically, and those whose loved ones died as a result of the war in Iraq are available for interview regarding President Bush's supplemental funding request for the Iraq war, and the need for Congress to support our troops by opposing it.

Posted by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)

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