Wednesday, June 25, 2008


FOX NEWS continues to tout the military success of "the surge" in Iraq, but the military success, although very fragile, has absolutely NOTHING to do with the overall goals of the Bush administration for Iraq according to the Washington Post.

Most of the benchmarks set down by the Bush administration in 2007 for Iraq have not been met according to a General Accounting Office report issued the other day.

However, FOX NEWS pulled out ONLY the military successes and conveniently overlooked the fact that the government in Iraq has accomplished little or nothing.

The Bush administration lacks an updated and comprehensive Iraq strategy to move beyond the "surge" of combat troops President Bush launched in January 2007 as an 18-month effort to curtail violence and build Iraqi democracy, government investigators said Monday.

While agreeing with the administration that violence has decreased sharply, a report released Monday by the Government Accountability Office concluded that many other goals Bush outlined a year and a half ago in the "New Way Forward" strategy remain unmet.

The report, after a bleak GAO assessment last summer, cited little improvement in the ability of Iraqi security forces to act independently of the U.S. military, and noted that key legislation passed by the Iraqi parliament had not been implemented while other crucial laws had not been passed.

The report also judged that key Iraqi ministries spent less of their allocated budgets last year than in previous years, and said that oil and electricity production had repeatedly not met U.S. targets.

Bush's strategy of January 2007, the GAO said, "defined the original goals and objectives that the Administration believed were achievable by the end of this phase in July 2008." Not meeting many of them changed circumstances on the ground and the pending withdrawal of the last of the additional U.S. forces mean that strategy is now outdated, the report said.

The GAO recommends that the State and Defense departments work together to fashion a new approach.

The GAO report contrasted with a Pentagon report, dated June 13 but not released until Monday. The Defense Department's quarterly assessment to Congress, "Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq," said that "security, political and economic trends in Iraq continue to be positive, although they remain fragile, reversible and uneven."

In many respects, the two reports seemed to assess wholly different realities. The 74-page Pentagon document emphasized what it called the "negative role" in Iraqi security that Iran and Syria have played. The 94-page GAO report did not mention Iran and referred to Syria only in the context of Iraqi refugees who had settled there.


This REUTERS NEWS report flys in the face of FOX NEWS glowing reports about how well things are going in IRAQ.

FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, June 25
REUTERSReuters North American News Service
Jun 25, 2008 12:48 EST
June 25 (Reuters) - Following are security developments in Iraq at 1745 GMT on Wednesday:

* Denotes new or updated item

* KERBALA - A bomb attached to a parked minibus killed two people and wounded three others outside a restaurant in Kerbala, 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Baghdad, police said
* KIRKUK - A roadside bomb targeting a police patrol killed one civilian in southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

TIKRIT - A U.S. air strike on a house killed a family, including four children aged between four and 11, in the village of Samra, near the northern town of Tikrit, police said. The U.S. military said its troops had been fired at, then had seen an armed man enter the building. They called in the air strike after he did not respond to calls to come out, it said.

SAMARRA - U.S. forces said they killed two suspected al Qaeda members near Samarra, about 110 km (70 miles) north of Baghdad.

BAQUBA - An Iraqi soldier was killed and three were wounded in an explosion when they entered a booby-trapped house in Mullaeid, a reputed al Qaeda stronghold near Baquba 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - U.S. forces said a military convoy was fired on from a civilian vehicle near Baghdad airport. U.S. soldiers destroyed the vehicle, killing three occupants, they said.

MOSUL - A roadside bomb killed three U.S. soldiers and an interpreter late on Tuesday in Nineveh province, in northwestern Iraq, the U.S. military said.

MOSUL - Gunmen killed Mosul city council's public service director, Khalid Mahmoud, and his driver in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

KIRKUK - A roadside bomb targeting Kirkuk's health director exploded in the city 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The health director escaped unhurt but his driver was wounded, they said. (Compiled by Khalid al-Ansary)


FOX NEWS and the mainstream press are bending over backwards these days to bring "feel good" stories to the American people about how things are going in Iraq.

The city of Basra is a perfect example of how FOX NEWS and the media are praising how "the surge" has brought peace and tranquility to Basra and how the Iraq security forces have run the Mehdi Army out of town.

There is one glaring problem with this kind of reporting. It tells only half the story.

There are huge water and electricity shortages in Basra and many of the residents fear a return to violence if something isn't done soon about the daily living conditions.

You can read more about the REAL BASRA in the story below and not the truncated version given to the American people by FOX NEWS.


Freed of militias, Basra has new problems
But electricity, water shortages pose new challenges in Iraqi city

The Associated Press

BASRA, Iraq - Men and women can openly study for the first time in years at Basra University, free from the threat of Shiite gunmen enforcing extreme Islamic views.

To get to class, however, the students must navigate traffic jams and ubiquitous checkpoints that the Iraqi military calls the price of peace in this sweltering, oil-rich southern city where temperatures soar above 120 degrees.

It often doesn't get any cooler indoors. Basra is suffering widespread electricity shortages that residents blame on Iraqi authorities, who in turn point the finger at neighboring Iran. And then there's the lack of clean tap water.

From students to merchants, people here say they are happy and hopeful about their new freedoms three months after the Iraqi military wrested control of the country's second-largest city from Shiite militiamen. But frustration is rising over the failure of the Iraqi government to follow through on its promises to improve basic services, provide jobs and distribute enough food to citizens.

"The government gives us food rations, but it is not enough. We are all tired," Chitaya Mashhan Madloon said as she pushed through the crowd at a market, using her black robe to wipe sweat from her forehead.

Possibility of more violenceMany worry the neglect could ignite more violence.
"The services are getting worse, they're not getting better. This is creating ill will toward the government," said Mustafa Mahdi Hussein, the dean of Basra University's college of administration and economics.


No sooner had the Pentagon issued their glowing report on how violence was down all across Iraq than a series of bombings have killed three more U.S. soldiers in Iraq on Wednesday.

FOX NEWS' anchors BRIT HUME and LAURA INGRAHAM have been misleading their audiences and the familes of American soldiers in Iraq by claiming security conditions in Iraq have improved.

They haven't as this report (see story below) indicates violence is on the upswing all across IRAQ.

Three US soldiers killed in Iraq bombing

A roadside bomb killed three US soldiers and an interpreter in northern Iraq, the US military said today.

A military statement gave no further details about last night's attack in Nineveh province, where US and Iraqi forces have been waging a crackdown against al Qaeda insurgents.

It brings the US military death toll to 25 so far in June. US troop deaths are up from May when they fell to 19, the lowest monthly total since the 2003 invasion. More than 4,100 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq.

Two US soldiers and two US government employees were among 10 people killed yesterday when a bomb exploded at a council meeting in the Baghdad stronghold of Iraqi Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

On Monday, a gunman killed two US soldiers and wounded three as they left a council building southeast of Baghdad.

The US military said violence in Iraq fell to a four-year low in May following crackdowns by US and Iraqi forces on Shia militias in Baghdad and the south of the country, and on al Qaeda in Mosul, capital of Nineveh province. US officials say Mosul is the last major urban stronghold of the Sunni Arab insurgents. Despite the crackdown, security forces have reported frequent shootings and bomb attacks around the city.

The head of Mosul city council, Khalid Mahmoud, and his driver were killed in a drive-by shooting today, police said.

Late yesterday, a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded near a police station in Mosul, killing a policeman and a child and wounding 73 people, including seven policemen, police said.

The US military said as many as 90 civilians were wounded in the bombing, which it blamed on al Qaeda.



Both BRIT HUME and LAURA INGRAHAM of FOX NEWS have been cheering about how stabilized MOSUL, Iraq has become.

What are HUME and INGRAHAM going to say NOW?

90 Wounded in Mosul; Sunnis Blamed
Wednesday, June 25, 2008; A07

BAGHDAD, June 24 -- A car bomb wounded 90 civilians in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, the U.S. military said in a statement. The military said the attack was carried out by the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Capt. Khalid Ibrahim Salman, a police official, said the Khazraj police station in downtown Mosul was the target of the bombing. The city is one of the last urban strongholds of al-Qaeda in Iraq.


It appears as though Israel isn't going to be happy until they get the United States to strike Iran and this is just what the Bush Administration and their propaganda puppet FOX NEWS have been waiting to hear.

CBS is reporting Wednesday that Israel is working all the channels in an effort to get the United States to launch an air strike on Iran.

The Bush administration has already setup contingency plans for an air strike on Iran, but sources close to the administation claim they want to do it right after Labor Day so it will have more impact on the Presidential election.

Vice President Cheney is said to favor a strike, but both Joint Chife of Staff Mullen and Defense Secretary Gates are opposed to an attack which could touch off a third war in the region.

The following is how CBS News will be reporting Israel's request to the U.S. on Wednesday.

Israel Prodding U.S. To Attack Iran
June 24, 2008

(CBS) Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen leaves Tuesday night on an overseas trip that will take him to Israel, reports CBS News national security correspondent David Martin. The trip has been scheduled for some time but U.S. officials say it comes just as the Israelis are mounting a full court press to get the Bush administration to strike Iran's nuclear complex.

CBS consultant Michael Oren says Israel doesn't want to wait for a new administration. "The Israelis have been assured by the Bush administration that the Bush administration will not allow Iran to nuclearize," Oren said. "Israelis are uncertain about what would be the policies of the next administration vis-à-vis Iran." Israel's message is simple: If you don't, we will.

Israel held a dress rehearsal for a strike earlier this month, but military analysts say Israel can not do it alone. "Keep in mind that Israel does not have strategic bombers," Oren said. "The Israeli Air Force is not the American Air Force. Israel can not eliminate Iran's nuclear program."

The U.S. with its stealth bombers and cruise missiles has a much greater capability.

U.S. intelligence estimates Iran won't be able to build a weapon until sometime early in the next decade.

But Israel is operating on a much shorter timetable. "The Iranians, according to Israeli security sources, will have an operable nuclear weapon by 2009. That's not a very long time," Oren said.

For now, the Bush administration is counting on new economic sanctions which took effect Tuesday to persuade Iran to give up its nuclear program.

But nobody's counting on it.


Two Caliphates in Baghdad: U.S. Paying High Cost for Ignoring History's Lessons

By Ben Tanosborn, Middle East OnlinePosted on June 24, 2008, Printed on June 24, 2008

The Brits made an imperial mess of Iraq back in 1930, now it is America's turn!

We followed the fate of the French in Vietnam; are trying hard to imitate the Russians in Afghanistan; and now, our emulation-in-progress is of our beloved European cousins.

Who would ever think that it was an American philosopher (by way of Spain), George Santayana, who stated just a century ago, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." And American government leaders always seem to be the forgetful ones, although as it happens in all these cases, it is the American people who are condemned to pay the consequences in both blood and dollars.

We are not even speaking of millennia ago, or even centuries; only the recent past. How can we be so forgetful as to how the British bamboozled a timid Iraqi Parliament, where the true nationalists lacked a voiced, into signing an agreement in 1930 that would have Iraq in turmoil with coup after coup until Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979? And we all know what has happened since then. Seventy-eight years later here we are, cramming down their throats an illegal "strategic alliance" that is similar in both content and tone to that Great Britain "imposed" on Iraq almost eight decades ago.

And I say illegal for both Iraq and the United States. For Iraq, it's a non-valid agreement since it will be contracted under duress from an occupier's demands, whatever excuses are brought forward to obtain legitimacy. For the US, it's also an invalid pact unless it is subsequently ratified by the US Senate. We are told that the wording in this strategic alliance has been crafted so as to "avoid such ratification." Nonsense, if the provisions in such agreement or alliance have the underlying intent of a treaty, it is a treaty; and as a treaty, constitutionally, it must be ratified.

Go back to link to read full story.


Fox Analyst: Iraqis ‘Owe Us’ 100-Year Leases On Their Oil, ‘We Ought To Take It’»

Last week, the New York Times reported that four Western oil companies — Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, and BP — are in the final stages of negotiating no-bid oil contracts “to service Iraq’s largest fields.” These contracts would run for one to two years, and give the oil companies a “foothold” in bidding on future contracts.

But one-to-two year service contracts aren’t enough for analyst Bob Beckel, a Fox News liberal. On the O’Reilly Factor last night, Beckel said that “what we ought to do is get Iraq to give us a 100 year lease” for exploring their oil fields:

BECKEL: OK, now, what we ought to do is get Iraq to give us 100 year lease on their unexplored — they’re the second largest source of oil in the world. Known reserves. Give the United States oil companies 100 year leases. Let us explore. We can get it quickly. It’s through sand. It’s the fastest way to get oil.

Beckel justified giving U.S. oil companies a century of business in Iraq by claiming, “The Iraqis owe us, Bill. We ought to take it.”

Watch it:

As the New York Times notes, such no-bid contracts play into the suspicions of those who believe that the U.S. invaded Iraq “precisely to secure the oil wealth these contracts seek to extract.” It’s uncertain what role the U.S. played in negotiating the four no-bid contracts.
If U.S. companies were given 100-year leases like Beckel wants, more people would likely agree with former Centcom Commander John Abizaid’s 2007 claim about the war in Iraq: “
Of course it’s about oil.”


The Coming Catastrophe?The finishing touches on several contingency plans for attacking

By David DeBatto24/06/08

Global Research Editor's noteWe bring to the attention of our readers David DeBatto's scenario as to what might occur if one of the several contingency plans to attack Iran, with the participation of Israel and NATO, were to be carried out.

While one may disagree with certain elements of detail of the author's text, the thrust of this analysis must be taken seriously.

"Israel has said a strike on Iran will be "unavoidable" if the Islamic regime continues to press ahead with alleged plans for building an atom-bomb." (London Daily Telegraph, 6/11/2008)
"Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany joined President Bush on Wednesday in calling for further sanctions against Iran if it does not suspend its uranium enrichment program." Mr. Bush stressed again that "all options are on the table," which would include military force. (New York Times, 6/11/2008)

We are fast approaching the final six months of the Bush administration. The quagmire in Iraq is in its sixth painful year with no real end in sight and the forgotten war in Afghanistan is well into its seventh year. The "dead enders" and other armed factions are still alive and well in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan again controls most of that country. Gas prices have now reached an average of $4.00 a gallon nationally and several analysts predict the price will rise to $5.00-$6.00 dollars per gallon at the pump by Labor Day.

This, despite assurances by some major supporters of the decision to invade Iraq that the Iraq war "will pay for itself" (Paul Wolfowitz) or that we will see "$20.00 per barrel" oil prices if we invade Iraq (Rupert Murdoch).

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