No plan for big Iraq strategy shift or ultimatum to Iraqi leaders




 
--
Boots
 
October 23rd, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: No plan for big Iraq strategy shift or ultimatum to Iraqi leaders


Media: The Associated Press
Byline: DEB RIECHMANN
Date: 23 October 2006


WASHINGTON_Under election-year pressure to change course in Iraq, the Bush
administration said Monday there are no plans for dramatic shifts in policy
or for ultimatums to Baghdad to force progress.

Just two weeks before the Nov. 7 elections that will determine whether
Republicans retain control of Congress, the White House tried to calm
political anxieties about deteriorating security in Iraq. Both Democratic
and Republican lawmakers are calling on President George W. Bush to change
his war plan.

"We're on the verge of chaos and the current plan is not working," Sen.
Lindsey Graham said in an Associated Press interview. U.S. and Iraqi
officials should be held accountable for the lack of progress, said Graham,
a maverick Republican and frequent critic of the administration's policies.

Asked who in particular should be held accountable _ namely Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld or the generals leading the war _ Graham said:
"All of them. It's their job to come up with a game plan" to end the
violence.

Rumsfeld, in remarks at the Pentagon, said U.S. government and military
officials were working with Iraq to set broad time frames for when Iraqis
can take over 16 provinces that are still under the control of U.S. troops.
He said officials were not talking about penalizing the Iraqis if they don't
hit certain benchmarks.

The Iraqis have taken control of two southern provinces but have been slow
to take the lead in others, particularly those around Baghdad and in the
volatile regions north and west of the capital city. Rumsfeld said specific
target dates probably will not be set. Instead, he said there might be a
broader time frame _ such as a one- to three-month window _ for the Iraqis
to take control of certain provinces.

Rumsfeld visited the White House early Monday with Gen. Peter Pace, chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rumsfeld said the United States was looking at
when the Iraqis would move close to setting up a reconciliation process to
help quell worsening sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites.

Frustration with the war is eroding support in Republican as well as
Democratic camps.

Joseph Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
said two Republicans have told him they will demand a new policy in Iraq
after the election. Biden declined to name the Republican lawmakers. He said
Republicans have been told not to make waves before the election because it
could cost the party seats. Yet some prominent Republican lawmakers have
expressed doubts about Bush's policy.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the United States was continually
adjusting its strategy in Iraq.

"In that sense there are new things going on. But are there dramatic shifts
in policy? The answer is no," Snow said.

"There is still a very large to-do list before Iraq is in a position to
sustain, govern and defend itself," he said.

"Are we issuing ultimatums? No."

He acknowledged, however, that Bush no longer is saying that the United
States will "stay the course" in Iraq.

"He stopped using it," Snow said of that phrase, adding that it left the
impression that the administration was not adjusting its strategy to
realities in Baghdad.

Showing progress in Iraq is critical with the approaching elections, which
are widely viewed as a referendum on public support of the war. In Baghdad
on Tuesday, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and Gen. George
Casey, the top U.S. commander there, are scheduled to hold a rare joint news
conference.
October 24th, 2006  
Senior Chief
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Infidel
Media: The Associated Press
Byline: DEB RIECHMANN
Date: 23 October 2006


WASHINGTON_Under election-year pressure to change course in Iraq, the Bush
administration said Monday there are no plans for dramatic shifts in policy
or for ultimatums to Baghdad to force progress.

Just two weeks before the Nov. 7 elections that will determine whether
Republicans retain control of Congress, the White House tried to calm
political anxieties about deteriorating security in Iraq. Both Democratic
and Republican lawmakers are calling on President George W. Bush to change
his war plan.

"We're on the verge of chaos and the current plan is not working," Sen.
Lindsey Graham said in an Associated Press interview. U.S. and Iraqi
officials should be held accountable for the lack of progress, said Graham,
a maverick Republican and frequent critic of the administration's policies.

Asked who in particular should be held accountable _ namely Defense
Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld or the generals leading the war _ Graham said:
"All of them. It's their job to come up with a game plan" to end the
violence.

Rumsfeld, in remarks at the Pentagon, said U.S. government and military
officials were working with Iraq to set broad time frames for when Iraqis
can take over 16 provinces that are still under the control of U.S. troops.
He said officials were not talking about penalizing the Iraqis if they don't
hit certain benchmarks.

The Iraqis have taken control of two southern provinces but have been slow
to take the lead in others, particularly those around Baghdad and in the
volatile regions north and west of the capital city. Rumsfeld said specific
target dates probably will not be set. Instead, he said there might be a
broader time frame _ such as a one- to three-month window _ for the Iraqis
to take control of certain provinces.

Rumsfeld visited the White House early Monday with Gen. Peter Pace, chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rumsfeld said the United States was looking at
when the Iraqis would move close to setting up a reconciliation process to
help quell worsening sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites.

Frustration with the war is eroding support in Republican as well as
Democratic camps.

Joseph Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
said two Republicans have told him they will demand a new policy in Iraq
after the election. Biden declined to name the Republican lawmakers. He said
Republicans have been told not to make waves before the election because it
could cost the party seats. Yet some prominent Republican lawmakers have
expressed doubts about Bush's policy.

White House press secretary Tony Snow said the United States was continually
adjusting its strategy in Iraq.

"In that sense there are new things going on. But are there dramatic shifts
in policy? The answer is no," Snow said.

"There is still a very large to-do list before Iraq is in a position to
sustain, govern and defend itself," he said.

"Are we issuing ultimatums? No."

He acknowledged, however, that Bush no longer is saying that the United
States will "stay the course" in Iraq.

"He stopped using it," Snow said of that phrase, adding that it left the
impression that the administration was not adjusting its strategy to
realities in Baghdad.

Showing progress in Iraq is critical with the approaching elections, which
are widely viewed as a referendum on public support of the war. In Baghdad
on Tuesday, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, and Gen. George
Casey, the top U.S. commander there, are scheduled to hold a rare joint news
conference.
What I find humerous is that many people, including those in the house and senate, seem to thing that civilians are planning the strategy for the action in Iraq.

Who's to blame? It's always the fault of the President, regardless of any facts that may be in play.

It will be interesting to see what kind of noise is made should the power shift in the house or senate.

The bottom line is that if anything happens the President will take the heat for it. If it's something good it will not be reported, if it is something bad it will make the headlines for months, if it is questionable it will be twisted and reported that the President has lied. cheated or stolen from us again. It's a shame that facts cannot be reported as in the past without the editiorializing by the media to tell us how we feel about any one story.
 


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