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Blunderov
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Veto! Iraqi quagmire comes to Washington
« on: 2007-05-01 19:29:28 »
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[Blunderov] Them Dems haven't blinked. Yet. Pelosi has retained her focus on the mandate. So far. OK. I'm impressed. So far.

If it was me, I'd tell Dubya to take it or leave it. It's a non issue really. He can just furnish a signing statement to the effect that he feels absolutely no compulsion to obey the provisions of the bill anytime he doesn't wish to. Done and dusted.

Failing that, he could probably do a Robert Mugabe and simply command the mint to print him as much money as he requires. "So what's different" I hear you cry. Quite. That's what a fiat currency is for and it's good for exports. It's all about blank cheques and balances you might say.

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,134280,00.html?ESRC=iraq.RSS

Veto!
Associated Press  |  May 01, 2007
WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush vetoed legislation to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq Tuesday night in a showdown with Congress over whether the unpopular and costly war should end or escalate.

In only the second veto of his presidency, Bush rejected legislation that would have required the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later. He vetoed the bill immediately on his return to the White House from a visit to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, headquarters of U.S. Central Command, which oversees military operations in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.

Democrats made a last-minute plea for Bush to sign the bill, knowing their request would be ignored. "The president has put our troops in the middle of a civil war," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Reality on the ground proves what we all know: a change of course is needed."

Lacking the votes to override the president, Democratic leaders quietly considered what might be included or kept out of their next version of the $124 billion (euro91.1 billion) spending bill.

It was a day of high political drama, falling on the fourth anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech on an aircraft carrier and his declaration that major combat operations in Iraq had ended. Democrats held an unusual signing ceremony before sending the bill to the White House.

"This legislation respects the wishes of the American people to end the Iraq war," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives.

Bush signed the veto with a pen given to him by Robert Derga, father of Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Dustin Derga, who was killed in Iraq on May 8, 2005. The elder Derga met Bush April 16 when the president hosted military families in the East Room of the White House. Derga asked Bush to promise to use the pen in his veto. On Tuesday, Derga contacted the White House to remind Bush to use the pen, and so he did.

Minutes after Bush vetoed the bill, an anti-war demonstrator stood outside the White House with a bullhorn and shouted: "How many more must die? How many more must die?"

One option Congress is considering for follow-up legislation would demand the Iraqi government meet certain benchmarks or face the withdrawal of U.S. troops. To avoid another veto, such a bill would have to allow Bush to waive the restriction.

Democratic officials asserted that no decisions had been made on a next step. Lawmakers said they first wanted to scrutinize Bush's veto response to determine whether he was willing to compromise and where he might be willing to negotiate.

On Wednesday, Bush plans meet with congressional leaders from both parties, including the top Democrats, Reid and Pelosi. Past meetings have not led to any compromises, although members said this time they were hopeful Bush would signal a willingness to negotiate.

Until then, Democratic leaders were careful not to get ahead of the script.

"I don't want to get into a negotiation with myself," Reid said when asked about conversations with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell and other Republicans have said they would agree to provisions that lay out standards for the Iraqi government to meet in creating a more stable and democratic society.

"A number of Republicans think that some kind of benchmarks properly crafted would be helpful," McConnell said. Bush and GOP allies have said they will oppose legislation that ties progress on such standards to a withdrawal of U.S. combat forces.

"House Republicans will oppose any bill that includes provisions that undermine our troops and their mission, whether it's benchmarks for failure, arbitrary readiness standards or a timetable for American surrender," said the House minority leader, John Boehner.

Separately, Bush has complained about several billion dollars in domestic spending that Democrats put in the bill, including about $3.5 billion (euro2.6 billion) in disaster aid for farmers.

Some Republicans say they would support tying goals for Iraqi self-defense and democracy to the more than $5 billion (euro3.7 billion) provided to Iraq in foreign aid. But such an idea has not piqued the interest of Democrats.

When Bush announced a U.S. troop increase in January, he said Iraq's government must crack down on terrorists from both the Shiite and Sunni Islamic sects, equitably distribute oil wealth, refine its constitution and expand democratic participation. He attached no consequences if these benchmarks were not met.

Tuesday's developments came exactly four years after Bush's speech on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln decorated with a huge "Mission Accomplished" banner. In that address, a frequent target of Democrats seeking to ridicule the president, he declared that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

At the time, Bush's approval rating was 63 percent, with his public disapproval at 34 percent.

Four years later, with over 3,300 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis killed in Iraq and the country gripped by unrelenting violence and political uncertainty, only 35 percent of the public approves of the job the president is doing, while 62 percent disapprove, according to an April 2-4 poll from AP-Ipsos.

The anniversary prompted a protest in Tampa not far from where Bush spoke. "He's hearing us. He's just not listening to us," said Chrystal Hutchison, who demonstrated with about two dozen others under a "Quagmire Accomplished" banner.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker acknowledged Tuesday that there "is something of an al-Qaida surge going on" in Iraq, with the group using suicide car bombs as its principal weapons, but he said that does not mean the U.S.-Iraqi campaign is not working.

"We're just fighting at a number of levels here against a number of different enemies," Crocker told reporters during a videoconference from Baghdad.




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Salamantis
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Re:Veto! Iraqi quagmire comes to Washington
« Reply #1 on: 2007-05-02 11:59:19 »
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Blunderov
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Re:Veto! Iraqi quagmire comes to Washington
« Reply #2 on: 2007-05-10 10:46:51 »
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[Blunderov This just in from Crooks and Liars. In view of Pelosi's response it might be prudent to wonder who has the keys to the mint? Better not let Dubya get them.

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/05/10/signing-statement-could-lead-to-lawsuit/

Signing statement could lead to lawsuit

10 May 2007, 14:15:09 | Steve Benen

For several weeks now, the president’s critics have imagined an entirely plausible scenario: Bush could sign a congressionally backed funding bill for the war in Iraq, with the various conditions included (i.e., a withdrawal timeline), and then decide he won’t follow the law. When he signs the bill, the president could issue one of his infamous signing statements, explaining that he’ll abide by the legislation’s provisions as he sees fit.

There’s ample reason to expect such a move. The president has “touched up” hundreds of bills with signing statements, in which Bush has announced his intention to treat legal provisions as suggestions, which he can accept or ignore, depending on how his lawyers interpret the law.

On a recent conference call, House Speaker Pelosi touched on how she might react to such a move.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is threatening to take President Bush to court if he issues a signing statement as a way of sidestepping a carefully crafted compromise Iraq war spending bill.

Pelosi recently told a group of liberal bloggers, “We can take the president to court” if he issues a signing statement, according to Kid Oakland, a blogger who covered Pelosi’s remarks for the liberal website dailykos.com.

“The president has made excessive use of signing statements and Congress is considering ways to respond to this executive-branch overreaching,” a spokesman for Pelosi, Nadeam Elshami, said. “Whether through the oversight or appropriations process or by enacting new legislation, the Democratic Congress will challenge the president’s non-enforcement of the laws.”

It’s encouraging to know the Dem leadership won’t take signing statements lying down. This has been an extra-constitutional tactic, abused by Bush, for far too long.

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Blunderov
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Re:Veto! Iraqi quagmire comes to Washington
« Reply #3 on: 2007-05-17 02:29:36 »
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[Blunderov] I've been wondering why Bush would want a war czar. (And how anyone might so misguided as to accept such a maifestly poisoned chalice.) Given that overseeing the theatres of the Afghanistan and Iraq seems clearly within the purview of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, why would such an appointment be necessary? Or why not tell Cheney to do it?

<light bulb moment>

"US President George W Bush has vetoed a bill that would have set a deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

Congressional opponents of the war believe that as a result, the president alone must now take responsibility for continuing America's involvement."

[Bl.] Aha! Seems the Dems have been quite crafty. The whole world knows that Dubya has never been one to stick around to face consequences. Hence the appointment of Gen Lute. How soon the inevitable rift will occur remains to be seen.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6663935.stm

War-torn Iraq 'facing collapse' 

Rival factions are struggling for local supremacy in Iraq
Iraq faces the distinct possibility of collapse and fragmentation, UK foreign policy think tank Chatham House says.
Its report says the Iraqi government is now largely powerless and irrelevant in many parts of the country.

It warns there is not one war but many local civil wars, and urges a major change in US and British strategy, such as consulting Iraq's neighbours more.

The UK Foreign Office stated that security conditions, although "grim" in places, varied across Iraq.

"Most insurgent attacks remain concentrated in just four of Iraq's 18 provinces, containing less than 42% of the population," a Foreign Office spokesman told the Press Association news agency.

"Iraq has come a long way in a short time," he added, saying the international community "must stand alongside the Iraqi government".

'Harsh realities'

It is not the first time that the Royal Institute for International Affairs - a highly respected foreign policy institution in London known as Chatham House - has been critical of American and British strategies in Iraq.

This latest paper, written by Gareth Stansfield, a Middle East expert, is unremittingly bleak, says BBC diplomatic correspondent James Robbins.

  There is not 'a' civil war in Iraq, but many civil wars and insurgencies involving a number of communities and organisations struggling for power

Chatham House report on Iraq

Mr Stansfield, of Exeter University and Chatham House, argues that the break-up of Iraq is becoming increasingly likely.

In large parts of the country, the Iraqi government is powerless, he says, as rival factions struggle for local supremacy.

The briefing paper, entitled Accepting Realities in Iraq, says: "There is not 'a' civil war in Iraq, but many civil wars and insurgencies involving a number of communities and organisations struggling for power."

Mr Stansfield says that although al-Qaeda is challenged in some areas by local leaders who do not welcome such intervention, there is a clear momentum behind its activity.

Iraq's neighbours also have a greater capacity to affect the situation on the ground than either the UK or the US, the report adds.

Sole responsibility

The paper accuses each of Iraq's major neighbouring states - Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey - of having reasons "for seeing the instability there continue, and each uses different methods to influence developments".

The paper says: "These current harsh realities need to be accepted if new strategies are to have any chance of preventing the failure and collapse of Iraq."

Mr Stansfield contends that the American security surge is moving violence to different areas, but is not overcoming it.

Certainly there is a growing sense in London and Washington that the American commander in Iraq, Gen David Petraeus, is likely to ask for more time to continue the surge later this summer to deliver results, our correspondent says.

That will confront the Bush administration with a real dilemma, he adds.

US President George W Bush has vetoed a bill that would have set a deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

Congressional opponents of the war believe that as a result, the president alone must now take responsibility for continuing America's involvement.

The report urges the governments in London and Washington to include radical cleric Moqtada Sadr, who leads the Mehdi army, one of the major Shia militias, as a political partner and no longer treat him as an enemy.






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