Letter2Congress: Send a Letter to Congress

Precinct Master: January 2007

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Use this page to navigate all the components and rooms of the Precinct Master Blog Sites.

In The News - Kris Kristofferson

You may contact Precinct Master Ed. at:

ed.dickau@gmail.com or ed.dickau@shadowpolitics.us

The Precinct Master Front Page

The Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes Home Page

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Apathy The Danger

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John F. Kennedy Presents The Declaration Of Independence

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Martin Luther King: I Have Dream With We Shall Over Come

Cher: The Masters Of War: Another Type Of Reminder

Joan Baez: We Want Our Freedom Now & We Shall Overcome

Another Voice From My Past: Joan Baez In A Reminder Of Love

Let There Be Peace On Earth

Mormon Tabernacle Choir: The Battle Hymn Of The Republic

Peter, Paul And Mary, Peace March DC, 1971

Peter, Paul, Mary and Pete Seeger: Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Bruce Springsteen: Blowing In The Wind

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What Happens When You Wait Too Long


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We The People Now.org

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Additional Graphics Assaults Found At The Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes:

Page 0 Introduction and Sam Adams Dedication

Page 1 Military Action, Consequences and “Awards”

Page 2 Administration Players, Positions and Problems

Page 3 Emphasis on War Crimes, Plus the Lieberman Problem

Page 4 Primarily Metallic Peace and War Display Work

Page 5 The Fascist Designs (Plus)

Page 6 Homeland Insecurity Plus Nasty Ann Coulter Panels

Page 7 Criminality, Oil, Corruption, Manipulation and Retribution

Page 8 Impeachment Panels

Page 9 Corruption, BuShit and Impeachment

Page 10 Eclectic Impeachment Collection

Page 11 Eclectic Impeachment Collection

Page 12 Gonzales, Justice and the Voice of the Militant Rise

Page 13 Fruit Cakes and Spin

Page 14 Watchful and Virginia’s 2nd Amendment Democrats

Page 15 Emphasis Rove and Jail

Page 16 Scary as Halloween Irritating as a Broken Record

Page 17 Running out of Time, an Angry Page

Page 18 Bad News, What Bush Wants, and What We Want

Page 19 The Bush Agenda, Screw ups and Let’s March

Page 20 The Beginning, The Problems, Let’s March

Page 21 The Bush Stamp Collection

Page 22 Stamp Collection Continued

Page 23 Peace, Bigger Stamps and The Gas Price Hits

Page 24 Eclectic Mix

Page 25 A Cheney Page

Page 26 Not Nice To Condi Rice

Page 27 Coulter, Blackwater, Dictatorship Decrees

Page 28 The Pump Page, Some Over Laps

Page 29 Emphasis Justice, Virginia

Page 30 A Darkness Upon Our Land and Political Failure

Page 31 A Darkness Upon Our Land; Nuremberg Day Dreams

Page 32 Our Esteemed Leaders At Their Worst

Page 33 Our Esteemed Leaders And Consequences

Page 34 The Darkness Of Fascism

Page 35 The New Leadership Clique: America Betrayed

Page 36 Monday Morning Commentary

Impeachment Is Too Good For Bush

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Impeachment Post Friday 01/19/07 The Twilight Of Our Democracy?

New 01/17/07 Impeachment Is Imperative

Impeachment: Voice For Justice: Contributor Tom Chelston




Help Mobilize for Jan. 27-29! Plus, Latest Details on the Demo


Saturday, January 27
Assemble 11:00AM on the Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets
March kicks off at 1:00PM
Transportation information
Housing board
Grassroots Lobby Day -- Monday, Jan. 29
Spread the word!
Make a donation

Momentum is beginning to build for the politically urgent mobilization on Saturday, Jan. 27th. There are already more than 500 endorsements for the demonstration and we are hearing from groups around the country that they are organizing to get people to Washington, DC. In order to send the strongest, clearest message to the new Congress we are working hard to have the largest turnout possible.

And we have set another important goal for this mobilization: We want to have at least one person from each of the 435 Congressional districts marching on Jan. 27th to help represent the truly nationwide peace majority.

We are inviting you to sign up to be a local coordinator for people coming from your area to Washington, DC. Being a local coordinator means doing the things we hope you are already doing -- spreading the word and encouraging people to come to DC, helping to arrange buses, car caravans or rideshares, hosting a sign-making party -- but it also will mean following up with people in your area who will find you through the coordinator's listing on our website.

Many of you are already working on some or all of these activities -- and more! Now we've set up this system to help people in your area connect with your efforts. By signing up as a local coordinator, you will be putting your congressional district on our map that will show that folks are coming from all around the country to stand up for peace!

· Sign up and/or find out more information about being a local coordinator
· Ideas and resources for local coordinators
· Once you sign up, your location and info will show up on this map and people will be able to "RSVP" for whatever you are organizing (car caravan, sign-making party, etc.).

You will then be able to log in and change or update your listing as needed, and also contact the people who have RSVP'd for your listing. This is a great way to reach new people in your area, to build your group's membership if you have one, or even to start a new one.

If you want to know more about the role of the coordinators before signing up, please get in touch with either Susan Chenelle (susan at unitedforpeace.org) or Leslie Kauffman (lak at unitedforpeace.org); both can be reached by phone at .

If you have other creative ideas for organizing people to come to DC that we haven't listed here or in our materials on the website, please let Susan or Leslie know and we'll share them in future bulletins to member groups.


Many of the details of the January mobilization are still being worked out, so please keep checking the UFPJ website for updates. Here is the information so far:


LOGISTICS: Assemble on the Mall,between 3rd and 7th Streets, at 11 am. March will kick off at 1pm. More details coming soon!

If you are organizing buses or can offer any kind of transportation to DC,

please post the details on our ride board ASAP. (Click here for tips on organizing buses.)

We also have a housing board and info on affordable lodging in the DC area.

And, of course, we hope everyone will make whatever financial contribution you can to help make this an historic mobilization.
Visit http://www.unitedforpeace.org/ for further resources and updates on the January 27-29 mobilization. Together we can end this war!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007



Text of President Bush's Speech on Troop Levels
NPR.org, January 10, 2007 ·

The complete text of President Bush's Jan. 10 speech on the U.S. mission in Iraq and his policies in the Middle East. The president's speech, delivered from the library of the White House, began just after 9 p.m. ET.

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight in Iraq, the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror — and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.

When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation. The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together, and that as we trained Iraqi security forces we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.

But in 2006, the opposite happened. The violence in Iraq — particularly in Baghdad — overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made. Al Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognized the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis. They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam — the Golden Mosque of Samarra — in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq's Shia population to retaliate. Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today.

The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people — and it is unacceptable to me. Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.

It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq. So my national security team, military commanders, and diplomats conducted a comprehensive review. We consulted members of Congress from both parties, our allies abroad, and distinguished outside experts. We benefitted from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton. In our discussions, we all agreed that there is no magic formula for success in Iraq. And one message came through loud and clear: Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.

The consequences of failure are clear: Radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions. Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people. On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.

The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis. Only Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighborhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents. And there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have. Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.

Now let me explain the main elements of this effort: The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital. The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi Army and National Police brigades across Baghdad's nine districts. When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi Army and National Police brigades committed to this effort, along with local police.

These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations — conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints, and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.

This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad. This will require increasing American force levels. So I've committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq. The vast majority of them — five brigades — will be deployed to Baghdad.

These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.
Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not.

Well, here are the differences: In earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighborhoods of terrorists and insurgents, but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we'll have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared. In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighborhoods that are home to those fueling the sectarian violence.

This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter those neighborhoods — and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.

I've made it clear to the Prime Minister and Iraq's other leaders that America's commitment is not open-ended. If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people — and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people.

Now is the time to act. The Prime Minister understands this. Here is what he told his people just last week: "The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation."

This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering. Yet over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents.

When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas. Most of Iraq's Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace — and reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible.

A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.

To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year.

And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution.
America will change our approach to help the Iraqi government as it works to meet these benchmarks. In keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers in Iraqi Army units, and partner a coalition brigade with every Iraqi Army division.

We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped army, and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, which remains the essential U.S. security mission in Iraq. We will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance.

We will double the number of provincial reconstruction teams. These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen the moderates, and speed the transition to Iraqi self-reliance. And Secretary Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq.

As we make these changes, we will continue to pursue al Qaeda and foreign fighters. Al Qaeda is still active in Iraq. Its home base is Anbar Province. Al Qaeda has helped make Anbar the most violent area of Iraq outside the capital. A captured al Qaeda document describes the terrorists' plan to infiltrate and seize control of the province. This would bring al Qaeda closer to its goals of taking down Iraq's democracy, building a radical Islamic empire, and launching new attacks on the United States at home and abroad.

Our military forces in Anbar are killing and capturing al Qaeda leaders, and they are protecting the local population. Recently, local tribal leaders have begun to show their willingness to take on al Qaeda. And as a result, our commanders believe we have an opportunity to deal a serious blow to the terrorists.

So I have given orders to increase American forces in Anbar Province by 4,000 troops. These troops will work with Iraqi and tribal forces to keep up the pressure on the terrorists. America's men and women in uniform took away al Qaeda's safe haven in Afghanistan — and we will not allow them to re-establish it in Iraq.

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity and stabilizing the region in the face of extremist challenges. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria. These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq.

Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops. We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We'll interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We're also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East. I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence-sharing and deploy Patriot air defense systems to reassure our friends and allies.

We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

We will use America's full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf States need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists and a strategic threat to their survival.

These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbors, and they must step up their support for Iraq's unity government. We endorse the Iraqi government's call to finalize an International Compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform. And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region, to build support for Iraq and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.

The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time. On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life.

In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy, by advancing liberty across a troubled region. It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom, and to help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian Territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq.

They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists, or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?

The changes I have outlined tonight are aimed at ensuring the survival of a young democracy that is fighting for its life in a part of the world of enormous importance to American security.

Let me be clear: The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq are without conscience, and they will make the year ahead bloody and violent. Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue — and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties.

The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will.

Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship.

But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world — a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people.

A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them — and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and our grandchildren.

This new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the different courses we could take in Iraq. Many are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States, and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq's borders and hunting down al Qaeda.

Their solution is to scale back America's efforts in Baghdad — or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces. We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear the country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale.

Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.

In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy. If members have improvements that can be made, we will make them. If circumstances change, we will adjust. Honorable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms.

It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed.

Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.

This group will meet regularly with me and my administration; it will help strengthen our relationship with Congress. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the Armed Forces we need for the 21st century.

We also need to examine ways to mobilize talented American civilians to deploy overseas, where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.

In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us. These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary — and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time.

They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table. They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty. We mourn the loss of every fallen American — and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.

Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed.

Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can, and we will, prevail.

We go forward with trust that the Author of Liberty will guide us through these trying hours. Thank you and good night.

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Tomorrow the media and DC will be alive with a war of words, the question will be: “Will he get his troops or not?” Will he play out a “Security for Baghdad Strategy” cover action while planning the inevitable pull out, because what he is talking about is securing Columbus Ohio, while fighting is going on in the farm field of Southern Ohio and the Urban centers of Northeast Ohio, or securing Hartford Connecticut for Lieberman while fighting rages along the Connecticut River and in the Tobacco Fields and the slums of New Haven and Bridgeport.

He is either delusional, or he and his people think we are all stupid, ah ha…both! This war is lost because we are not willing, nor is the rest of the world, to do that which will eventually be done at a catastrophic cost to world, when there is finally no choice but to face and end the war of 1,300 years!

In the end you know it will be the Iraui’s fault, because they did not have the will to defend themselves…trust me…that will be the final finger point!


Dear Ed.,
Thought you might like to be one of the first to see my thoughts on tonight’s non-event. The letter is be sent to all my friends tonight and will be posted on my web site. Mike

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007Dear Mr. President: Send Even MORE Troops (and you go, too!) ...from Michael Moore

Dear Mr. President,

Thanks for your address to the nation. It's good to know you still want to talk to us after how we behaved in November.

Listen, can I be frank? Sending in 20,000 more troops just ain't gonna do the job. That will only bring the troop level back up to what it was last year. And we were losing the war last year! We've already had over a million troops serve some time in Iraq since 2003. Another few thousand is simply not enough to find those weapons of mass destruction! Er, I mean... bringing those responsible for 9/11 to justice! Um, scratch that. Try this -- BRING DEMOCRACY TO THE MIDDLE EAST! YES!!!

You've got to show some courage, dude! You've got to win this one! C'mon, you got Saddam! You hung 'im high! I loved watching the video of that -- just like the old wild west! The bad guy wore black! The hangmen were as crazy as the hangee! Lynch mobs rule!!!

Look, I have to admit I feel very sorry for the predicament you're in. As Ricky Bobby said, "If you're not first, you're last." And you being humiliated in front of the whole world does NONE of us Americans any good.

Sir, listen to me. You have to send in MILLIONS of troops to Iraq, not thousands! The only way to lick this thing now is to flood Iraq with millions of us! I know that you're out of combat-ready soldiers -- so you have to look elsewhere! The only way you are going to beat a nation of 27 million -- Iraq -- is to send in at least 28 million! Here's how it would work:

The first 27 million Americans go in and kill one Iraqi each. That will quickly take care of any insurgency. The other one million of us will stay and rebuild the country. Simple.

Now, I know you're saying, where will I find 28 million Americans to go to Iraq? Here are some suggestions:

1. More than 62,000,000 Americans voted for you in the last election (the one that took place a year and half into a war we already knew we were losing). I am confident that at least a third of them would want to put their body where there vote was and sign up to volunteer. I know many of these people and, while we may disagree politically, I know that they don't believe someone else should have to go and fight their fight for them -- while they hide here in America.

2. Start a "Kill an Iraqi" Meet-Up group in cities across the country. I know this idea is so early-21st century, but I once went to a Lou Dobbs Meet-Up and, I swear, some of the best ideas happen after the third mojito. I'm sure you'll get another five million or so enlistees from this effort.

3. Send over all members of the mainstream media. After all, they were your collaborators in bringing us this war -- and many of them are already trained from having been "embedded!" If that doesn't bring the total to 28 million, then draft all viewers of the FOX News channel.

Mr. Bush, do not give up! Now is not the time to pull your punch! Don't be a weenie by sending in a few over-tired troops. Get your people behind you and YOU lead them in like a true commander in chief! Leave no conservative behind! Full speed ahead!

We promise to write. Go get 'em W!


Michael Moore



Even the most resonable of us get frustrated with some things, and Microsoft is one of my things!!!

Mujibar was trying to get a job in India .

The Personnel Manager said, "Mujibar, you have passed all the tests, except one.

Unless you pass it you cannot qualify for this job." �

Mujibar said, "I am ready" �

The manager said, "Make a sentence using the words Yellow, Pink and Green." �

Mujibar said, "The telephone goes green, green and I pink it up, and say, 'Yellow, this is Mujibar.'' Mujibar now works as a technician at a call center for computer problems. �

No doubt you have spoken to him. I have.

If I had a car like Windows that needed a weekly tune up and new additional parts to run safely; it would long ago been labeled a lemon, recalled and replaced!

If I had a car like Internet Explorer that froze up, or swerved off the road and crashed daily, it would long ago been totaled by my insurance company and replaced with a safe vehicle!

If I had a car like Microsoft Word that crashes at will, so much so Microsoft wants reports, (so they can sell you a new version),; that car would have to have a James Bond-like parachute ejection seat!

Pretty soon everyone will be singing a New Penguin song, and it won't be from a movie: "I Love Linux"!




Security threats Toolkit
Microsoft leaves Word flaws unpatched
Joris Evers CNET News.com
Published: 10 Jan 2007 09:52 GMT

Microsoft on Tuesday released fixes for vulnerabilities in its Windows and Office software, but left several known Word zero-day flaws without a patch.

As part of its monthly patch cycle, Microsoft published
four security bulletins with fixes for 10 vulnerabilities. Three of the bulletins are deemed "critical", the company's most serious rating; the fourth is tagged "important", a notch lower. All bulletins, however, address flaws that could allow an attacker to commandeer a PC.

"Microsoft does recommend that all customers sign up for Microsoft Update and enable its Automatic Updates functionality to receive all updates available this month and to help make their systems more secure," a Microsoft representative said in an emailed statement.

Among Microsoft's fixes are three vulnerabilities that were previously known. Still, the company left several known zero-day vulnerabilities without a patch.

"Conspicuous by their absence are patches for the zero-day exploits in Word," Andrew Storms, director of security operations at network security firm nCircle, said in a statement. These patches were probably pulled due to quality issues, he said. Microsoft on Friday
postponed four of its planned eight security bulletins.

All of the security vulnerabilities addressed by Microsoft's first fixes of 2007 relate to how multiple versions of Windows and Office handle specific files. Attackers could create malicious files that, when opened, at worst could give the attacker control of a vulnerable PC, according to Microsoft's bulletins.

Nine of the 10 security holes Microsoft provided fixes for lie in Office applications. Five affect Excel, three hit Outlook, and one impacts the Brazilian Portuguese grammar checker for Office. Opening rigged files could trigger the flaws and allow an attack to occur, Microsoft said. Both Windows and Mac versions of Office are affected.

"Today's patch release illustrates once again that the volume of client-side vulnerabilities for the Windows platform is not slowing down," Oliver Friedrichs, a Symantec Security Response director, said in a statement. "Attackers are exploiting vulnerabilities with increasing speed, and it's imperative that computer users protect themselves by installing updated software patches as quickly as possible."

The tenth hole is in Windows and is similar to a bug Microsoft
rushed out a fix for in September after Windows users came under attack. The vulnerability lies in a Windows component called "vgx.dll" that is meant to support Vector Markup Language documents in the operating system. VML is used for high-quality vector graphics on the Web.

Like the first VML hole, this vulnerability can be exploited by tricking a user into viewing a malicious VML file on a website with Internet Explorer. All recent versions of Windows are vulnerable with all recent versions of IE, including IE 7, according to Microsoft. The exception is Windows Vista, which is not affected, it said.

Microsoft's patches will be distributed via Automatic Updates and the company's Microsoft Update downloads website.





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"One clear lesson from the Republican victory of 2004 and the Democratic victory of 2006 is that the best place to look for polls that are spot on is RasmussenReports.com."

Michael Barone,

Senior Writer for U.S. News & World Report and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics

Employee Costs Not Likely to Jump with Minimum Wage
Seventy percent of small business owners say an increase in the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour would have no impact on their employee costs. "This most likely reflects that many small business owners pay more than the minimum wage to their employees," Rachakonda said.

Job Loss Concerns Temper Steady Hiring Expectations
Expected hiring remained steady in December as 30 percent of workers anticipated their firms would hire in coming months. However, the number of workers worried about losing their jobs rose from 17 to 18 percent this month. This trend was exacerbated among private firm managers, who reported a three point increase in job loss concerns, as well as a three point increase in expected layoffs.

Job Security Concerns Take FL Worker Confidence to 2006-Low
Worker confidence in Florida fell to a 2006-low in December, as the state’s Hudson Employment Index SM plummeted nine points to 112.4. Declining optimism around personal finances, expected layoffs and job security contributed to the decrease. The latest reading is well below last December, when the state’s Index registered 120.4.


Only 9% Predict 2007 to Be Best Year Ever
Looking ahead to 2007, hopes are in place for a somewhat better year. Nine percent (9%) expect 2007 to be one of the best years ever while an additional 48% say it will be good or excellent. Just 10% believe the year ahead will be a poor one.

Most Believe Man Will Walk on Mars in Next 25 Years
Fifty-three percent (53%) say it is at least somewhat likely that man will walk on Mars within the next 25 years. That’s a little changed from 55% in a survey conducted a year-and-a-half ago.
Fifty-six percent (55%) of Americans believe it is somewhat or very likely that life exists on other planets. Twenty-two percent (22%) say it’s not very likely and 13% believe it is not at all likely.

Most Likely to Keep New Year's Resolutions
Forty-two percent (42%) of Americans say that they will make a New Year’s Resolution for 2007. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 1,000 adults found that 51% will not. Watching football on New Year’s Day is a bigger part of the national ritual—47% say they’ll be watching a game.

Congressional Ratings: 11% Rate Congress Good or Excellent

Just 11% of American voters give the outgoing Congress good or excellent marks. That’s down from 13% two weeks ago and 15% on Election Day. The latest Rasmussen Reports tracking survey finds that 38% say Congress has done a “fair” job while 47% give it a poor rating.

Voter dissatisfaction with Congress comes through loud and clear in this survey. Just 14% say that Congress has passed legislation that improved the quality of American life, down from 17% on Election Day. Sixty-one percent (61%) say Congress hasn’t done a thing to improve the lives of most Americans.


October - November Polls
August - September Polls
June - July Polls
April - May Polls
February - March Polls
Favorables for Democratic Candidates in 2008 Favorables for Republican Candidates in 2008 Favorables for Other Major Political Figures Hudson Employment Index
Match-Ups for Democratic Candidates in 2008 Match-Ups for Republican Candidates in 2008 Election 2008 Slate Magazine On Rasmussen

©2006 Rasmussen Reports Inc.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007




Published: Tuesday, January 09, 2007

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) - Two U.S. air strikes in Somalia killed large numbers of Islamic extremists, government officials and witnesses said Tuesday. THE TARGETS WERE SUSPECTS IN THE BOMBINGS OF TWO U.S. EMBASSIES IN EAST AFRICA IN 1998.

The attacks, by an AC-130 gunship, came after the terror suspects were spotted hiding on a remote island on the southern tip of Somalia, close to the Kenyan border, Somali officials said. The island and a site 250 kilometres north were hit.

It was the first overt military action by the U.S. in Somalia since the 1990s and the legacy of a botched intervention - known as "Black Hawk Down" - that left 18 U.S. servicemen dead. The U.S. military said Tuesday it had sent an aircraft carrier to join three other U.S. warships conducting anti-terror operations off the Somali coast.

U.S. warships have been seeking to capture al-Qaida MEMBERS THOUGHT TO BE FLEEING Somalia after Ethiopia invaded Dec. 24 in support of the government and have begun flying intelligence-gathering missions over Somalia.

President Abdullahi Yusuf told journalists in the capital, Mogadishu, that the U.S. "has a right to bombard terrorist suspects who attacked its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania." Monday, Yusuf had entered the restive capital for the first time since his election.

Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Aideed told The Associated Press the United States had "our full support for the attacks."



Already, many people in predominantly Muslim Somalia had resented the presence of troops from neighbouring Ethiopia, which has a large Christian population and has fought two brutal wars with Somalia, most recently in 1977.

Ethiopian forces had invaded Somalia to prevent an Islamic movement from ousting the weak, internationally recognized government from its lone stronghold in the west of the country. The U.S. and Ethiopia both accuse the Islamic group of harbouring extremists, among them al-Qaida suspects.

Ethiopian troops, tanks and warplanes took just 10 days to drive the Islamic group from the capital, Mogadishu, and other key towns.


One U.S. attack took place on Monday afternoon on Badmadow island. The area is known as Ras Kamboni and Is Suspected To Be A Terror Training Base. Ethiopian and Somali troops had over the last days cornered the main Islamic force in Ras Kamboni, with U.S. warships patrolling off shore and the Kenyan military guarding the border to watch for fleeing militants.

Witnesses said at least four civilians were killed in another attack 50 kilometres east of Afmadow town, including a small boy. The claims could not be independently verified.

“My 4-year-old boy was killed in the strike," Mohamed Mahmud Burale told the AP by telephone. "We also heard 14 massive explosions."

The AC-130, a four engine turboprop-driven aircraft, is armed with 40 mm cannon that fire 120 rounds per minute and a 105 mm cannon, normally a field artillery weapon. The plane's latest version, the AC-130U, known as "Spooky," also carries Gatling gun-type 20 mm cannon. The gunships were designed primarily
for battlefield use to place saturated fire on massed troops.

"We don't know how many people were killed in the attack but we understand there were a lot of casualties," government spokesman Abdirahman Dinari said. "Most were Islamic fighters."

The alleged mastermind of the embassy bombings in East Africa, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, escaped to Ras Kamboni, according to testimony from one of the convicted bombers.

Mohammed is believed to be the leader of the al-Qaida East Africa cell.

Leaders of the Islamic movement have vowed from their hideouts to launch an Iraq-style guerrilla war in Somalia, and al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden's deputy has called on militants to carry out suicide attacks on the Ethiopian troops.



European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he told UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday that a UN peacekeeping force may be needed to guarantee security and stability in Somalia. He said Ugandan forces may be the first deployed to replace Ethiopian troops.

Jendayi Frazer, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for Africa, said Sunday that the United States would use its diplomatic and financial resources to support the government. The U.S. has pledged US$40 million in political, humanitarian and peacekeeping assistance.

The African Union has begun planning for a peacekeeping force, and Uganda has promised at least 1,000 soldiers. Frazer has said she hopes the first troops will begin arriving in Mogadishu before the end of the month.

© The Canadian Press 2007

'Many dead' after US strike on Somalia

Iraqi Qaeda allies urge backing for Somali Islamists

"In this great showdown, the Islamic State in Iraq calls on all Muslims to stand with their brothers in Somalia and support them with money, arms and men and to pray for their victory over the enemy," the so-called Islamic State in Iraq said in a statement dated Dec. 27 posted on the Internet.

U.S. airstrikes target al-Qaida in Somalia

WASHINGTON - At least one U.S. airstrike in Somalia that targeted an al-Qaida cell wanted for two 1998 U.S. embassy bombings killed large numbers of Islamic extremists, government officials said Tuesday.

The attack came after the terror suspects were spotted hiding on a remote island on the southern tip of Somalia, close to the Kenyan border, Somali officials said.

Eyewitnesses also said another attack was carried out Monday about 155 miles north of the original strike and more strikes were reported on Tuesday

Target of U.S. strike wanted for multiple attacks

NAIROBI, Kenya - Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the main target of the U.S. military action Monday in Somalia, is master of disguises who speaks several languages and likes to wear baseball caps.

One of the FBI’s most wanted, he has a $5 million price on his head for allegedly planning the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which killed 225 people.

U.S. airstrikes target al-Qaida in Somalia

By Andrew England in Cairo

Updated: 23 minutes ago

A US aircraft launched an attack in southern Somalia against suspected al-Qaeda terrorists, killing many people, Somali officials said on Tuesday.

US military officials refused to comment on the air-strikes, which reportedly involved an AC-130 gunship and took place in an area known as Ros Kamboni.

US officials have previously told the Financial Times that they deem it their right to pursue terrorists wherever they are.

The attack came 16 days after Ethiopian troops led an offensive against a rival Somali Islamist movement, which both Addis Ababa and Washington accused of harbouring and including al-Qaeda suspects.

The US says three suspects believed to be involved in the 1998 US embassy bombings in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, as well as a 2002 attack on an Israeli-owned hotel on the Kenyan coast and a simultaneous attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter aircraft, have been hiding out in Somalia.

It says they include Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, a Comorian who is on the FBI's most wanted terrorist list and is believed to be the leader of an East African terrorist cell. The other two are a Kenyan and a Sudanese national.

It was not clear whether any of the suspects had been killed or wounded in the attack.

"The US has a right to bombard terrorist suspects who attacked its embassies in Kenya and Tanzania," Abdullahi Yusuf, Somalia's interim president said after the attack, which would be the first known direct US military involvement in Somalia since its failed intervention in the Horn of Africa nation in the 1990s.

The US Central Command said on Tuesday it was deploying an aircraft carrier, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, off the Somali coast. The carrier includes F/A 18 Hornets or Super Hornets jets and E-2C Hawkeyes, reconnaissance aircraft, and it was the first time such a vessel had been deployed off Somalia in "recent memory" a US navy spokesman said.

Other US ships have been patrolling Somalia's coastline, one of Africa's longest, to prevent Islamists fleeing by sea.

Washington was thought to have given Addis Ababa tacit support for its offensive against the Somali Islamists.

The Islamist movement, which was an alliance of Islamic courts, had controlled much of southern Somalia before the offensive. But faced with Ethiopian tanks and aircraft, it retreated from all its strongholds and its fighters fled south towards the Kenyan border.

The movement, which came to prominence after seizing control of Mogadishu, the Somali capital, from an alliance of US-backed warlords in June, was not a monolithic group and included hardliners and conservatives. Islamist leaders repeatedly denied any links to al-Qaeda and terrorism.

In spite of their rapid defeat they have insisted they will continue to fight, fuelling concerns that Ethiopian troops could be sucked into a guerrilla war.

Efforts are underway to put together an African-led peace keeping force to bolster the weak Ethiopian-backed Somali transitional government. On Monday, Mr Yusuf entered Mogadishu for the first time in years.

However, his government, which has been plagued by divisions and includes warlords, has little popular support and is dependent on Ethiopia's troops for security. Before the Ethiopian offensive, its area of control was restricted to the small, central town of Baidao.

Somalia, a Muslim nation, has not had an effective central government since the ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and has been plagued by warlordism and clan-based violence.

The lawlessness and the country's proximity to the Middle East caused US officials to describe Somalia as a potential haven for terrorists after the September 11 attacks.

Monday, January 8, 2007






From Buddy T,Your Guide to Alcoholism & Substance Abuse.FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!


EITHERUnfortunately when many former drinkers go through the grieving process over the loss of their old friend, the bottle, some never get past the anger stage.It is a very real loss. The drink has been their friend for many years and one they could count on. When the whole world turned against them, the bottle never let them down.

It was always there ready for the good times, the celebrations, the parties, as well as the sad, mad, and lonely times, too.Finally their old friend let them down... they got in trouble with the law, lost a job or career, almost lost their family, or the doctors told them they had to stop drinking... whatever the reason, the circumstances of their life brought them to the point where they made a decision to say "so long" to the bottle.Whether they realized it or not, they began the stages of grieving -- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance -- the same stages most people go through when they have a great loss in their lives or have been told they have a terminal illness.

First comes the denial -- it's really not that big a deal, I've always said I could quit anytime -- and then the anger and depression when they realize just how much that had come to depend on their old friend alcohol.Many make it through the process to the final stage -- accepting the loss, learning and growing through the experience, and moving on.Some never make it. It's sad to see them, sometimes many years later, still stuck in their anger, bitterness, and resentment at having to make the change in their lives.

They haven't had a drink in years, but they have also never had a "sober" day.You even see them in the 12-step rooms... been in the program for years and years and their lives seem to be a constant unmanageable struggle. All those years and they have no more of a spiritual awakening than they did the first time they walked into the room."Dry Drunk" has been described as "A condition of returning to one's old alcoholic thinking and behavior without actually having taken a drink." Or as one wise old drunk put it, if a horse thief goes into A.A. what you can end up with is a sober horse thief. Or a personal favorite: you can take the rum out of the fruit cake, but you've still got a fruit cake!

Those who quit drinking but are still angry about it, wind up living miserable lives and usually make everyone else around them miserable too. If it has been said once in an Al-Anon meeting, it has been whispered thousands of times, "I almost wish he would go back to drinking."Okay, I Don't Like It, Now What?The simple answer to that question is to find something that you do like, but that is not always as easy as it sounds.There is a theory that in order to fully recover from the effects of alcoholism, the alcoholic must replace the obsessive behaviors in his life with their spiritual opposites. Frankly, there are those who believe that without such spiritual help from a power greater than themselves, true recovery is impossible.

The Alcoholics Anonymous program has championed this theory for many years to millions of "hopeless drunks" who are now living happy and sober lives. It's hard to argue with that record of success.But beyond the spiritual side of recovery, there are other steps that can be taken to help make life fun again, without alcohol:Develop a hobby. Take up gardening, start or expand a collection, build something, go fishing, or learn how to develop your own web pages! Try to find some activity to fill those leisure hours that you used to spend drinking.Get healthy. All those years of drinking probably took some toll on your physical health. Join the YMCA, take up an exercise program or jogging, or play a sport. Get on some kind of regular (daily) improvement routine.Improve your mind. It's never too late to learn new things. Get a library card, take a continuing education class, improve your job skills, or surf the 'Net

.Spend time with your family. Maybe you can't replace all those times that you neglected your wife and children while you were in the barrooms, but you can make a new start. Take your wife out to her favorite place, take the kids or grandchildren to the park, or start a project in which the entire family can participate.Life doesn't have to be a miserable experience just because you quit drinking. There's a whole world out there for you to explore and learn about.Updated: August 11, 2006WHAT'S A "DRY DRUNK"?"Dry drunk" is a term describing the state of the alcoholic who is uncomfortable when he is not drinking. "Dry" simply refers to the fact that there is abstinence, while "drunk" signifies a deeply pathological condition resulting from the use of alcohol in the past.

The "dry drunk syndrome" is a group of symptoms that occur together and constitute an abnormality. Since the abnormality of the alcoholic's attitudes and behavior during his drinking career is generally recognized, the persistence of these traits after the alcoholic stops drinking might seem equally abnormal.

Therefore, the term "dry-drunk" alludes to the absence of favorable change in the attitudes and behavior of the alcoholic who is not drinking."DRY DRUNK" TRAITS:GRANDIOSE BEHAVIOR AND POMPOSITY



Ordinarily I would not use this term. But when I came across the article "Dry Drunk" - - Is Bush Making a Cry for Help? in American Politics Journal by Alan Bisbort, I was ready to concede, in the case of George W. Bush, the phrase may be quite apt.Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded. Such an individual is said to be dry but not truly sober. Such an individual tends to go to extremes.It was when I started noticing the extreme language that colored President Bush's speeches that I began to wonder.

First there were the terms-- "crusade" and "infinite justice" that were later withdrawn.

Next came "evil doers," "axis of evil," and "regime change", terms that have almost become clichés in the mass media.

Something about the polarized thinking and the obsessive repetition reminded me of many of the recovering alcoholics/addicts I had treated. (A point worth noting is that because of the connection between addiction and "stinking thinking," relapse prevention usually consists of work in the cognitive area).

Having worked with recovering alcoholics for years, I flinched at the single-mindedness and ego- and ethnocentricity in the President's speeches. (My husband likened his phraseology to the gardener character played by Peter Sellers in the movie, Being There).

Since words are the tools, the representations, of thought, I wondered what Bush's choice of words said about where he was coming from. Or where we would be going.First, in this essay, we will look at the characteristics of the so-called "dry drunk;" then we will see if they apply to this individual, our president; and then we will review his drinking history for the record. What is the dry drunk syndrome? "Dry drunk" traits consist of:·


Clearly, George W. Bush has all these traits except exaggerated self importance. He may be pompous, especially with regard to international dealings, but his actual importance hardly can be exaggerated. His power, in fact, is such that if he collapses into paranoia, a large part of the world will collapse with him.

Unfortunately, there are some indications of paranoia in statements such as the following: "We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends." The trait of projection is evidenced here as well, projection of the fact that we are ready to attack onto another nation which may not be so inclined.Bush's rigid, judgmental outlook comes across in virtually all his speeches. To fight evil, Bush is ready to take on the world, in almost a Biblical sense. Consider his statement with reference to Israel: "Look my job isn't to try to nuance. I think moral clarity is important... this is evil versus good."Bush's tendency to dichotomize reality is not on the Internet list above, but it should be, as this tendency to polarize is symptomatic of the classic addictive thinking pattern.

I describe this thinking distortion

Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective as either/or reasoning-- "either you are with us or against us." Oddly, Bush used those very words in his dealings with other nations.

All-or-nothing thinking is a related mode of thinking commonly found in newly recovering alcoholics/addicts. Such a worldview traps people in a pattern of destructive behavior.Obsessive thought patterns are also pronounced in persons prone to addiction. There are organic reasons for this due to brain chemistry irregularities; messages in one part of the brain become stuck there. This leads to maddening repetition of thoughts.

President Bush seems unduly focused on getting revenge on Saddam Hussein ("he tried to kill my Dad") leading the country and the world into war, accordingly.Grandiosity enters the picture as well. What Bush is proposing to Congress is not the right to attack on one country but a total shift in military policy: America would now have the right to take military action before the adversary even has the capacity to attack. This is in violation, of course, of international law as well as national precedent. How to explain this grandiose request? Jane Bryant Quinn provides the most commonly offered explanation in a recent Newsweek editorial, "Iraq: It's the Oil, Stupid."

Many other opponents of the Bush doctrine similarly seek a rational motive behind the obsession over first, the war on terror and now, Iraq. I believe the explanation goes deeper than oil, that Bush's logic is being given too much credit; I believe his obsession is far more visceral.On this very day, a peace protestor in Portland held up the sign, "Drunk on Power."

This, I believe, is closer to the truth. The drive for power can be an unquenchable thirst, addictive in itself. Senator William Fulbright, in his popular bestseller of the 1960s, The Arrogance of Power, masterfully described the essence of power-hungry politics as the pursuit of power; this he conceived as an end in itself. "

The causes and consequences of war may have more to do with pathology than with politics," he wrote, "more to do with irrational pressures of pride and pain than with rational calculation of advantage and profit."Another "dry drunk" trait is impatience.

Bush is far from a patient man: "If we wait for threats to fully materialize," he said in a speech he gave at West Point, "we will have waited too long." Significantly, Bush only waited for the United Nations and for Congress to take up the matter of Iraq's disarmament with extreme reluctance.Alan Bisbort argues that Bush possesses the characteristics of the "dry drunk" in terms of: his incoherence while speaking away from the script; his irritability with anyone (for example, Germany's Schröder) who dares disagree with him; and his dangerous obsessing about only one thing (Iraq) to the exclusion of all other things.In short, George W. Bush seems to possess the traits characteristic of addictive persons who still have the thought patterns that accompany substance abuse.

If we consult the latest scientific findings, we will discover that scientists can now observe changes that occur in the brain as a result of heavy alcohol and other drug abuse. Some of these changes may be permanent. Except in extreme cases, however, these cognitive impairments would not be obvious to most observers.To reach any conclusions we need of course to know Bush's personal history relevant to drinking/drug use. To this end I consulted several biographies. Yes, there was much drunkenness, years of binge drinking starting in college, at least one conviction for DUI in 1976 in Maine, and one arrest before that for a drunken episode involving theft of a Christmas wreath. According to J.D. Hatfield's book, Fortunate Son, Bush later explained:"[A]lcohol began to compete with my energies....I'd lose focus." Although he once said he couldn't remember a day he hadn't had a drink, he added that he didn't believe he was "clinically alcoholic."

Even his father, who had known for years that his son had a serious drinking problem, publicly proclaimed: "He was never an alcoholic. It's just he knows he can't hold his liquor."Bush drank heavily for over 20 years until he made the decision to abstain at age 40. About this time he became a "born again Christian," going as usual from one extreme to the other.

During an Oprah interview, Bush acknowledged that his wife had told him he needed to think about what he was doing. When asked in another interview about his reported drug use, he answered honestly, "I'm not going to talk about what I did 20 to 30 years ago."That there might be a tendency toward addiction in Bush's family is indicated in the recent arrests or criticism of his daughters for underage drinking and his niece for cocaine possession.

Bush, of course, deserves credit for his realization that he can't drink moderately, and his decision today to abstain. The fact that he doesn't drink moderately, may be suggestive of an inability to handle alcohol. In any case, Bush has clearly gotten his life in order and is in good physical condition, careful to exercise and rest when he needs to do so.

The fact that some residual effects from his earlier substance abuse, however slight, might cloud the U.S. President's thinking and judgment is frightening, however, in the context of the current global crisis.One final consideration that might come into play in the foreign policy realm relates to Bush's history relevant to his father. The Bush biography reveals the story of a boy named for his father, sent to the exclusive private school in the East where his father's reputation as star athlete and later war hero were still remembered.

The younger George's achievements were dwarfed in the school's memory of his father. Athletically he could not achieve his father's laurels, being smaller and perhaps less strong. His drinking bouts and lack of intellectual gifts held him back as well. He was popular and well liked, however. His military record was mediocre as compared to his father's as well.

Bush entered the Texas National Guard. What he did there remains largely a mystery.

There are reports of a lot of barhopping during this period. It would be only natural that Bush would want to prove himself today, that he would feel somewhat uncomfortable following, as before, in his father's footsteps. I mention these things because when you follow his speeches, Bush seems bent on a personal crusade. One motive is to avenge his father. Another seems to be to prove himself to his father. In fact, Bush seems to be trying somehow to achieve what his father failed to do - - to finish the job of the Gulf War, to get the "evildoer" Saddam.To summarize, George W. Bush manifests all the classic patterns of what alcoholics in recovery call "the dry drunk."

His behavior is consistent with barely noticeable but meaningful brain damage brought on by years of heavy drinking and possible cocaine use. All the classic patterns of addictive thinking that are spelled out in my book are here: the tendency to go to extremes (leading America into a massive 100 billion dollar strike-first war);A "KILL OR BE KILLED MENTALITY;"THE TUNNEL VISION;"I" AS OPPOSED TO "WE" THINKING;THE BLACK AND WHITE POLARIZED THOUGHT PROCESSES (GOOD VERSUS EVIL, ALL OR NOTHING THINKING).HIS DRIVE TO FINISH HIS FATHER'S BATTLES IS OF NO SMALL SIGNIFICANCE, PSYCHOLOGICALLY.

If the public (and politicians) could only see what Fulbright noted as the pathology in the politics. One day, sadly, they will.Katherine van Wormer is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa Co-author of Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective (2002). She can be reached at: Katherine.VanWormer@uni.edu

Written by:Tom Andrews, Win Without War Robert Naiman, Just Foreign PolicyJanuary 8, 2007

Defying the vast majority of the American public and top military leaders, the president of the United States is about to announce an escalation of his failed war in Iraq.

It appears to many that it comes down to the president's not wanting the failure of the Iraq war to occur on his watch, that the images of Americans being evacuated from the Green Zone be reserved for his successor in the White House.Without the character and fortitude to accept a difficult reality, the president has decided to prolong the agony with the commitment of additional US troops.

This would mean that thousands more of our soldiers and innocent Iraqis will die for a failed policy, a character flaw and a cynical political calculation.What is astonishing is that the president might actually get away with it. Some in Congress, like Senators McCain and Graham, have launched a vigorous public campaign to support the president's escalation. Others, like Senator Biden, believe that there is nothing that Congress can do about it.That leaves a fed up American public, who issued a mandate in November for political leaders to start bringing our troops home, with only one option - hit the streets. We can begin this week 24 hours after the president announces his escalation.

The Win Without War Coalition, www.winwithoutwarus.org, and allied groups opposed to the war are urging Americans to flock to their town squares, churches, synagogues, neighborhood centers and parks 24 hours after the president announces his escalation of the war.They can sign up and learn more by going to the web site www.americasaysno.org hosted by Win Without War member True Majority. Those gathered will pause to recognize soldiers from their state who have lost their lives in Iraq.

They will take a group photo of themselves and their answer to the president's escalation of the war with a simple and clear message: "NO!" The photos will be sent to their local newspaper and to campaign web site: www.americasaysno.org. where participants will be able to watch the response come in from neighborhoods throughout the country. Many will make a short video - "Why We Are Saying NO in 30 Seconds" and upload it on the web site and YouTube.This will mark the beginning of a series of public actions against the war including a march in the nation's capitol on January 27 organized by United for Peace and Justice and a national "Meet Up With Members" in the district offices of Representatives and Senators during the first Congressional District Work period of the new Congress.Voters took to the polls in November to demand that the government start bringing our troops home.

A recent CNN poll indicates only one in ten Americans support sending more troops to Iraq. Fewer than a third of Americans support the war, with a clear majority saying that they want U.S. troops out of Iraq within a year. Before the November Congressional elections, Americans told pollsters that if the Democrats won they expected Congress to end the war.

Here is what General John Abizaid, our top commander in Iraq and the region, told the Senate Armed Services Committee a few weeks ago: "I met with every divisional commander, General Casey, the Corps commander, General Dempsey... And I said... if we were to bring in more American troops now, does it add considerably to our ability to achieve success in Iraq? And they all said no."Last month US soldiers stationed in Baghdad told the Associated Press that the city "is embroiled in civil warfare" between Shiites and Sunnis that "no number of American troops can stop." They worried that "dispatching a new wave of soldiers would result in more U.S. casualties," and questioned whether "an increasingly muddled American mission in Baghdad is worth putting more lives on the line."

There are, of course, options to the president's military escalation. Most sober analysts - and the majority of Americans - agree that there is no military solution to the conflict in Iraq, only a political one. The United States needs to work with regional governments, including Iran and Syria, to achieve reconciliation in Iraq.

In a recent poll conducted by the University of Maryland, 82% of Democrats and 72% of Republicans said we should directly engage with Syria and Iran to establish a political solution in Iraq, as was unanimously recommended by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.The fate of our troops and any hope for turning around the disaster in Iraq now rests clearly with us. Whether or not Congress will allow the president to get away with his attempt to "double-down" his failed gamble in Iraq will depend on a clear and robust rejection by the American people.When President Richard Nixon announced in April of 1970 that he would escalate the Vietnam War by invading Cambodia, Americans reacted with shock and disbelief.

Protests erupted throughout the country, and Congress later banned US troops from operating in Cambodia and Laos. Today, more of the American public, including top military brass, is against this war and President Bush's proposed escalation than was opposed to the Vietnam War in 1970.It is time for an American surge to stop the Bush war in Iraq. We can begin this week with a simple and clear message: Mr. President, Members of Congress, read our lips: "NO!"Under the U.S. Constitution, the House of Representatives can vote to impeach the president, charging him with "high crimes and misdemeanors;" he would then be tried by the Senate.

House speaker-elect Democrat Nancy Pelosi said in November that any effort to impeach Bush is "off the table."But rules of parliamentary procedure written by Thomas Jefferson to govern the U.S. House of Representatives allow state legislatures to send charges to the House to set impeachment proceedings in motion, said Stuart Hutchison, 57, of Wayne, an Impeach Group organizer.

The Jefferson clause has been used once before, to impeach a federal judge, he said. In theory, the House would be obliged to "cease its business and take up the order," he added."The fact that success is not guaranteed does not relieve our state of its obligation to do all it can to defend the United States Constitution according to the oath of our state's officers," said Hutchison, whose salt-and-pepper hair is swept back in a style that resembles those worn by Jefferson or George Washington. "

Even if you're the president, you need to be held accountable."State legislatures in Illinois, California, Minnesota and Vermont already have introduced bills to vote on impeachment resolutions that would be sent to the U.S. House of Representatives if approved.Impeach Group members said the American political system can survive the upheaval of impeachment proceedings -- "on a blue dress they handled it," said Joan Palmino.ROCHELLE RILEY: Impeach now to end warJanuary 7, 2007BY ROCHELLE RILEYFREE PRESS COLUMNIST

Now that Washington has installed new representatives and elected its first female speaker of the House...Now that Democrats have seized control of Congress away from a Republican Party, whose leader has run amok for six years...Now that it is apparent to even a 6-year-old that President George W. Bush's strategy for the Iraq war is based on a fairy tale...Now that 3,000 American soldiers have died...Now that the majority of the American people have said: Enough! ...Now it is time for Congress to quit singing "Kum Ba Yah" and stop treating impeachment as if it's a bad word.Beyond politicsIt is past time for Congress to begin impeachment hearings against the president, proceedings that have nothing to do with party politics and everything to do with truth, justice and the American way.America should not be deterred by how such an investigation might look outside America. America can't look any worse to countries watching us run roughshod over weaker countries, the law and common sense.Regardless of how much we pretend we weren't involved, America is being partly blamed for the juvenile handling of last week's execution of Saddam Hussein.

And if I hear one more Republican apologist say that Bush's behavior is vindicated by the absence of a major terrorist attack, I will scream. The global terrorists are biding their time. But our internal terrorists have been attacking us for two years.Enough already!Between seeking access to Americans' mail, listening to Americans' telephone conversations, ignoring prisoner torture and holding potential suspects at Guantánamo Bay for months or years -- while suspending their rights to challenge their imprisonment -- the president has used the Constitution for nothing more than to wipe his behind.

He does not care that the only beneficiaries of the Iraq war have been defense contractors, not Iraqi citizens or a government he dreams of instituting, but which Iraq will never be able to sustain.Bush refuses to listen to the military advisers whose duty is to make him smarter. He refuses to listen to constituents who have tired of flag-draped coffins for a cause they can't explain to their neighbors.Bush's arrogance, stubbornness and incessant need for war mean that the American soldiers' death toll that we never believed would reach 3,000 may hit twice that before our soldiers are allowed to leave Iraq.When is enough enough?After years of laughable sound bites and impossibly naive mottos -- "Win the day!" "Stay the course!" "Can't cut and run" -- the president is on the verge of greater disaster. Only Congress can stop him.Rep. Nancy Pelosi made history once this month. She must make history again. If America is lucky, perhaps she can lead her government to demand answers, end American involvement in a war we shouldn't have begun, get our troops home -- and send the president back to Texas.

Contact ROCHELLE RILEY at or rriley99@freepress.com.Don't allow impeachment of President Bush to fall off the tableHome News Tribune Online 01/8/07Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says "impeachment is off the table."

Former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon, John Dean, speculates that even if the House of Representatives were to draw up and pass articles of impeachment on President George W. Bush, the effort would lack enough votes in the Senate where the trial to convict would require a two-thirds majority vote.My friends and colleagues say it's too late into Bush's term to impeach him.Impossible. Implausible. Impractical.My reply? Hold hearings, assemble evidence and pursue impeachment in earnest.Impertinent? I don't think so, and neither does a growing number of American citizens, including Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., who introduced House Resolution 635 back in December of 2005 calling on Congress to do just such a thing.

It has roughly 30 co-sponsors and growing.The resolution cites: "the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics" as reasons to form a committee to investigate the President's behavior for evidence of "high crimes and misdemeanors."Others have noted Bush's disgusting response, or nonresponse, to Hurricane Katrina and his illegal wiretaps as further grounds for impeachment.

Several local resolutions have been passed around the country, notably in Vermont and San Francisco (Pelosi's home district) calling for impeachment.These efforts look like more of a growing ground swell than a grinding to a halt.One of the most interesting aspects of the Nixon impeachment process was that, at that outset, impeachment also seemed "off the table." But by late 1973, the flames of public indignation had been stoked by several months of Senate Watergate Committee hearings and Nixon's attempt to fire Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox. When the Supreme Court ordered the release of Nixon's tapes showing his attempt to cover up the break-in at the Watergate Hotel, Nixon resigned as near certain, bipartisan impeachment stared him in the face.Former member of Congress Elizabeth Holtzman sat on the House Judiciary Committee during Nixon's impeachment proceedings.

She's been a leading advocate of starting proceedings against Bush and recently published a book, "The Impeachment of George W. Bush." She noted that impeachment efforts must be nonpartisan to be successful, unlike the efforts against former Presidents Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson.Regarding Nixon's impeachment Holtzman wrote: "Then the American people spoke . . . and said, "That's it, enough is enough. We can't have a president who is above the law. . . . We are not a banana republic.' "Excellent news anchor and reporter Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now" radio and TV broadcast recently wrote that former President Gerald Ford's pardoning of Nixon may not have been the completely healthy gesture for a nation that many, in retrospect, have judged it to be. She feels that an impeachment trial of Nixon may have driven home the point that no president is above the law to men like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney who became appointees of Ford's.

The rest of us have accountability in our personal, professional and public lives. Why shouldn't the president have the same? After the Clinton proceedings you can bet on one thing: No U.S. President will soon be putting mirrors on the ceiling of the Oval Office and hanging around after hours with a buxom staffer in a black beret.And by the way, the Founding Fathers were correct: A monarchy was never a good idea. President Bush has yet to grasp that simple concept.Memo to Pelosi: Impeachment is never off the table. It's a critical part of our Constitution — the one you've sworn to uphold.Gene Racz covers Middlesex County government and is co-author of "Bury My Heart at Cooperstown" (Triumph Books, 2006). He can be reached at or

Impeachment overdue

Why haven’t we impeached this so-called president yet?

How many more young men and women have to die for his intolerable stubbornness?

Will we continue to mortgage our country for his narrow-minded views?

Will we continue to lose our credibility as the greatest nation on Earth to the rest of the free world?Will we continue to force-feed democracy down the throat of a tribal community in a country that had no weapons of mass destruction and posed no threat to anyone other than their own people?

Will we continue to let our soldiers suffer death and dismemberment for a civil war we cannot win?

Tell me, when will we stand up as a nation and say enough is enough and enforce the tenets of the Constitution and put the checks and balance to good use, as they were intended?
To keep someone with no good moral conscience from taking over Congress, the country, and not following the letter of the law in lieu of his own twisted agenda. Let’s impeach President Bush.

He does not serve this country, he serves only himself.Carolyn Dimmick Island Lake A 'Surge' to Save Bush's Legacy

By Robert Parry, Consortium News. Posted January 3, 2007.
With 3,000 American soldiers already dead along with possibly a half million or more Iraqis, Bush is determined to escalate the war in the Middle East into a pitched battle for his presidential legacy.Also in War on IraqWestern Oil Companies a Step Away from Iraq's 'Prize'Andrew Murray-Watson, Danny Fortson, Tim Webb

Pelosi Tells Bush to Justify Any Iraq EscalationBob Geiger

Bush and the Neocon's 'Surge' to Nowhere Robert Dreyfuss

Saddam's Execution Was a Gargantuan PR Disaster Matt Taibbi

AWOL Soldiers Get Cold Shoulder from Canada Mary Ambrose

Our Meaningless 'Sacrifice' in Iraq Must Stop

If press reports are correct -- that George W. Bush will approve a troop “surge” in Iraq of 17,000 to 20,000 soldiers -- the follow-up question must be whether the escalation will do anything but get more Americans and Iraqis killed while only forestalling the defeat of Bush’s war policy.Even top advocates for the “surge,” such as retired Army Gen. Jack Keane and neoconservative activist Frederick W. Kagan, have argued that U.S. troop levels must be increased by at least 30,000 for 18 months or more to bring security to Baghdad, what they call a “precondition” for any successful outcome."Any other option is likely to fail,"
Keane and Kagan wrote in an op-ed article in the Washington Post on Dec. 27, 2006.

So, the more modest escalation of up to 20,000 soldiers would appear to represent what might be called "Operation: Save Bush’s Legacy," with the goal of postponing the inevitable until 2009 when American defeat can be palmed off on a new President.Right now, Bush seems caught between his determination to stave off admission of failure and the shortage of U.S. troops available to throw into the conflict in Iraq.

Just to reach a 20,000-troop increase, Bush would have to delay the scheduled departure of two Marine regiments now deployed in Anbar Province.The escalation to 160,000 troops, from the current 140,000, also would be hard to maintain for long, since the Pentagon has warned that existing troop levels in Iraq already are straining the U.S. military and forcing repeated tours for soldiers and Marines.Yet all the signs point to Bush going in that direction. Over the past few weeks, he even appears to be orchestrating a slow-motion purge of senior military leaders who oppose the "surge" and instead favor a phased withdrawal.

First, Bush fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Nov. 8, just two days after Rumsfeld sent Bush a memo suggesting a “major adjustment” in Iraq War policy that would include "an accelerated drawdown of U.S. bases" from 55 to five by July 2007 with remaining U.S. forces only committed to Iraqi areas that request them."Unless they [the local Iraqi governments] cooperate fully, U.S. forces would leave their province," Rumsfeld wrote in his Nov. 6 memo.Proposing an option similar to a plan enunciated by Democratic Rep. John Murtha, Rumsfeld suggested that the commanders "withdraw U.S. forces from vulnerable positions -- cities, patrolling, etc. -- and move U.S. forces to a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) status, operating from within Iraq and Kuwait, to be available when Iraqi security forces need assistance."And in what could be read as an implicit criticism of Bush’s lofty rhetoric about transforming Iraq and the Middle East, Rumsfeld said the administration should "recast the U.S. military mission and the U.S. goals (how we talk about them) -- go minimalist."Though many Americans viewed Rumsfeld as the personification of Bush’s "tough-guy" strategy in the Middle East, the Defense Secretary’s downfall may have been caused by his going wobbly on the war.

Mistaken judgmentWashington insiders also may have been wrong when they interpreted Bush’s selection of former CIA Director Robert Gates as a concession to the "realists" advocating a disengagement from Iraq. It may actually have been the opposite -- the replacement of a disillusioned Rumsfeld with a dutiful Gates.The "conventional wisdom" was misguided, too, when it assumed that Bush would interpret the Democratic victory on Nov. 7 as a sign to begin winding down the Iraq War. Instead, Bush signaled his disdain for anyone suggesting a troop withdrawal.In Amman, Jordan, on Nov. 30, Bush mocked the expected recommendations from the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, headed by longtime Bush Family adviser James Baker who considered a troop drawdown combined with a revived Israeli-Palestinian peace process and direct talks with Iran and Syria as the only realistic course.

But Bush declared that U.S. forces would "stay in Iraq to get the job done," adding "this business about graceful exit just simply has no realism to it whatsoever."When the Iraq Study Group issued its formal report on Dec. 6, Bush gave it a cool reception and indicated it would be only one of several reports on Iraq that he would consider. Bush said he wanted Gates to undertake a review with the U.S. generals.


Soon, there was a drumbeat from White House allies and from neoconservative circles for a military escalation, not a gradual withdrawal. That suggestion, however, was countered by a Pentagon leak revealing that the Joint Chiefs of Staff opposed an escalation because they doubted it could achieve any lasting strategic objective.Bush, who has always insisted that he listens to his generals on military matters such as troop levels, reacted to their resistance to the "surge" with a purge.The first to be pushed to the door was Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East who suddenly announced that he was accelerating his retirement which would take effect in March.

Abizaid, who speaks fluent Arabic, was criticized by some in Washington for being too concerned about Arab sensibilities.Getting the bum’s rush with Abizaid will be Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq who had called the idea of a troop escalation unnecessary and possibly counterproductive. The New York Times reported that Casey would be replaced in February or March, several months ahead of schedule."As Baghdad spun further out of control [in 2006], some of the President's advisers now say, Mr. Bush grew concerned that General Casey, among others, had become more fixated on withdrawal than victory," the Times reported.By ousting "surge" opponents -- from Rumsfeld at the Pentagon to the top commanders in the Middle East -- Bush and his neoconservative aides in Washington appear to be taking personal control of the Iraq War strategy.

The President seems determined to put in place a military hierarchy that will fall in line with his edicts, rather than disagree with him.The Iran GambleBut less clear is whether Bush will stop at a 20,000-troop escalation in Iraq or whether he will "double-down" his Middle East bet further by expanding the war beyond Iraq’s borders to confront other U.S. adversaries in Syria and Iran.Along with Israeli leaders, Bush has declared that Iranian progress on a possible nuclear bomb is unacceptable. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has even called the prospect an "existential threat" to Israel.

But Bush and Olmert are facing a ticking clock if they want to act before they lose one of their few remaining international allies. British Prime Minister Tony Blair has agreed to resign from his post sometime in the spring.So, with Bush purging his regional military commanders by March -- and presumably replacing them with more pliable generals -- the next few months could prove to be crucial for the future of the Middle East.Though Bush may yet back away from the idea of expanding the war beyond Iraq, his apparent decision to escalate U.S. troop levels there suggests that he will do whatever he can -- even if it bloats the death toll -- to escape the opprobrium of having committed perhaps the greatest strategic blunder by any President in U.S. history.With 3,000 American soldiers already dead along with possibly a half million or more Iraqis, Bush is determined to escalate the war in the Middle East into a pitched battle for his presidential legacy.

Tagged as: bush, surge, escalation, iraq, legacyRobert Parry's new book is Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq."
WASHINGTON - Advocates of a "surge" of US troops inIraq' SEARCH

News News Photos Images Web' Iraq hope to persuade President Bush' SEARCH News News Photos Images Web' President Bush that the victory he seeks there is only possible with a substantial and prolonged escalation of the US presence.

The new congressional Democratic leadership, on the other hand, is calling on Mr. Bush to resist the idea. Yet the president may not satisfy either the "large and long surge" or the "no surge" camp when he unveils his plans in a speech to the American public, likely to occur Wednesday night. Speculation has grown as Bush has consulted widely and reshuffled his Iraq diplomatic and military teams that he could opt for a modest increase - no more than 20,000 troops.

Critics say that would simply repeat past tactics that have not delivered, while advocates of a big surge say it could be worse than nothing, only exposing more US troops to danger without providing the larger numbers they say are needed to get the job done of securing the civilian population."We must not low-ball this," says Frederick Kagan, a military historian at Washington's American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and a prominent proponent of a "large and long" US military increase.

Insisting Iraq will be costly and bloody for the United States no matter what policy is chosen, he adds, "We can pay the price and win, or pay a similar price and lose."Nearly two months after the Iraq Study Group dismissed any rise in US troops; advocates of military escalation are calling for an increase of up to 40,000 troops over the current 140,000 on the ground. The goal would be to secure Baghdad with a large American footprint long enough to allow economic development to take hold, and to defeat insurgents in the western Al-Anbar Province.

The strategy is supported by two prominent senators - longtime troop-increase advocate John McCain and Joseph Lieberman - and Washington neoconservatives. Other senators say they could support a small increase lasting a few months. Still others condemn the idea, including Republican Chuck Hagel, who calls it "folly."Supporters say it would finally call on the US military to do something it should have done from the beginning. "The US military has never set the task for itself of providing security," says Mr. Kagan.

What he advocates "is not simply a surge of troops," he says, "but a change of mission."The major shift in mission that Bush is expected to announce is for US soldiers to take on the task of providing security to Iraqi civilians, primarily in Baghdad, instead of leaving that to the Iraqis. "What's being prepared is actually a drastic departure" from recent strategy, says Paul Hughes, a former Army colonel who served in Iraq under the Coalition Provisional Authority.Bush has made it increasingly clear that he is committed to achieving "victory" in Iraq. He has announced a number of diplomatic and military moves in recent days suggesting that he is lining up his team for what he sees as the defining foreign- policy effort of his last two years in office.

First, director of national intelligence John Negroponte, a seasoned diplomat and former ambassador to postwar Iraq, was moved back to the State Department to serve as deputy to Secretary of StateCondoleezza Rice' name=c1>SEARCHNews News Photos Images Web'
Condoleezza Rice. The president's new Iraq policy is expected to include a substantial new reconstruction program involving small teams of State Department officials working among Iraqis, and Mr. Negroponte is seen as a boon to its successful implementation.Then Bush announced that Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus will replace Gen. George Casey as commander of multinational forces in Iraq. An expert in counterinsurgency, General Petraeus agrees with "surge" advocates that securing the civilian population must come first in Iraq.

Perhaps more important, official sources say, is that Petraeus fits better with Bush's vision of "victory." General Casey advocated transferring security duties to Iraqi soldiers and was doubtful that foreign soldiers could successfully fulfill that function.The Iraq Study Group, chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker III and former congressional leader Lee Hamilton, emphasized diplomacy and a redeployment of US forces to training Iraqi forces as a prelude to reducing the American footprint. On the other hand, the pro-escalation forces foresee the US military performing key security functions for at least the next 18 months.

And while the Iraq Study Group pointedly refrained from speaking in terms of "victory" in Iraq, the escalation protagonists insist that victory is not only still possible but necessary to halting the march of Islamic extremism in the Middle East."This war is still winnable," says Senator Lieberman of Connecticut.Lieberman, who refers to himself as an Independent Democrat, spoke Friday at an AEI forum where Kagan unveiled "Choosing Victory," a report he co-authored on how to achieve success in Iraq.Virtually all sides in the debate over a new war strategy agree that Iraq is deteriorating rapidly and the situation there may have outstripped the US ability to turn things around.

But the surge advocates' focus on "victory" - and their picture of the dire consequences for US security if the US is not successful in Iraq - is much more in tune with Bush's outlook.The reshuffling of the president's Iraq team reflects in part an effort to rid the administration of divisions in Iraq policy that existed prior to the invasion. But some officials and analysts say the disputes over policy changes remain.Cleavage continues over surge, with some policymakers and critics saying the right kinds of US troops and equipment are not available - and that ultimately Iraq can only be secure under Iraqis themselves.Bush, who spoke at length by videoconference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last week, is expected to emphasize that the new security mission will be carried out with additional Iraqi security forces as well.But surge advocates and critics tend to agree that the number of additional troops the Bush administration is considering is unlikely to be enough to make a difference.

Mr. Hughes, now a specialist in post conflict peace and stability operations at the US Institute of Peace in Washington, notes that the peacekeeping force in the Balkans was set up on the principle of one peacekeeper for every 50 civilians. That would mean 100,000 soldiers in Baghdad alone, excluding the huge Shiite sector of Sadr City.If Bush sends 20,000 additional troops, "would we reach the number we would need? I don't think so," Hughes says. "Just sending more troops to Baghdad is like pouring more water in the sands of Al-Anbar. It's just going to disappear without accomplishing anything."

Originally published January 8, 2007BAGHDAD, Iraq // In his first wide-ranging interview, the No. 2 U.S. commander in Iraq conceded yesterday that a military "surge" would not be enough to rescue Iraq, advocating economic and political changes as well, as top Democratic lawmakers in Washington stiffened their opposition to any escalation of U.S. troop strength.

Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno, who has day-to-day command of war operations, said he believes that a combination of jobs, provincial elections, anti-militia legislation and stronger Iraqi security forces could stop the nation's plunge toward all-out civil war. Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, his predecessor, spelled out the same approach before his departure one month ago.

By echoing his predecessor, Odierno's Comments are raising concerns in Washington and Iraq that the U.S. war effort is exhausting old tactics that haven't worked. Indeed, many Iraqis do not trust that a new Baghdad security plan can change their circumstances because the U.S. and Iraqi government have promoted at least five such plans before, all of which failed to stop the violence.The commander's statements came days before President Bush is to announce a new course for U.S. policy in Iraq, probably Wednesday. It's expected to include a "surge" of between 9,000 and 30,000 U.S. troops, an increase in civilian advisers to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government and perhaps $1 billion in new aid for reconstruction efforts.

In Washington yesterday, top Democratic lawmakers emphasized that they oppose any plan to escalate U.S. troop strength in Iraq but made clear that they are not ready to cut off funds for troops there now. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said that Congress would scrutinize any Bush request to fund an escalated U.S. presence in Iraq."The American people and the Congress support those troops.

We will not abandon them. But if the president wants to add to this mission, he is going to have to justify it. And this is new for him, because up until now, the Republican Congress has given him a blank check with no oversight, no standards, no conditions, and we've gotten into this situation which is a war without end, which the American people have rejected," Pelosi said on CBS' Face the Nation.On Friday, Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada sent Bush a public letter opposing any increase in U.S. troops in Iraq and calling for a phased redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq starting in four to six months.Political solutionSen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., a Delaware Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said yesterday that Bush's expected plan to escalate U.S. troop strength in Iraq "is a prescription for another tragedy."

Biden also announced that he will seek the presidency in 2008."There is now a civil war. You need a political solution," said Biden, speaking on NBC's Meet the Press. His committee plans extensive hearings on Iraq in coming weeks.Taking the opposite view was Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee."I support a surge with a purpose - co-joining with the Iraqi political and military leadership to control this country," Graham said, also on Meet the Press. "We cannot let this country go into the abyss.

"Now is the last chance, and the only chance, to get this right."Graham said many Republican lawmakers are prepared to back Bush's call for an escalation of U.S. forces in Iraq.In other developments, bombers, fighter jets and attack helicopters unleashed a thundering attack today as U.S. and Iraqi soldiers closed in on a web of sunken irrigation canals east of Baghdad, where they believed Sunni Arab insurgents were massing.The pre-dawn strikes shook the ground and sent orange fireballs and thick smoke into the sky. The attacks, in a remote area of farms and palm groves, continued sporadically after dawn.The air assault came after soldiers yesterday set fire to shoulder-high reeds to clear their view ahead of a final push in Diyala province, a region they say has become a training ground for al-Qaida in Iraq and other militant groups.U.S. soldiers killed 21 armed men. At least four Iraqi soldiers were killed and 27 wounded by anti-tank mine blasts.

About 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops are participating in the assault, which includes attack helicopters, tanks and Humvees.Another mine disabled a U.S. Bradley fighting vehicle, injuring eight people.New battleThe fighting is part of a military operation announced Saturday by the prime minister and intended to quell sectarian violence.Iraq's parliament speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the government's highest-ranking Sunni official, said yesterday he objected to the new plan for "legal reasons," and said parliament must vote on it.In Baghdad, Odierno said he proposed several approaches to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates during his visit here last month, including a surge.

"What I will tell you is when Secretary Gates was here with General [Peter] Pace, we offered several different courses of action. Some included surge of troops, some included a surge in economic capabilities." Others, he said, included boosting other Iraqi capabilities in the treasury, justice, and rule of law fields, "and some didn't include a troop surge."Odierno arrived in Baghdad less than a month ago, replacing Chiarelli. During his tenure, Chiarelli repeatedly said that if more Iraqis had jobs, fewer would join a rogue group or shoot at American soldiers. The unemployment rate here is at least 25 percent, government officials estimate.

Iraqis falterBoth commanders said they believed that Iraqi forces should take the lead in enforcing security, while conceding that, while they are improving, Iraqis have faltered when given the lead. Some forces have been overtly sectarian. Others lost control of their communities, forcing U.S. troops to intervene. Both commanders said that U.S. troops should be on the periphery of areas handed over to Iraqi forces in case violence erupts.Both said that U.S. forces must tackle not only Sunni insurgents but Shiite militias - yet both stopped short of advocating that U.S. forces go after firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who leads Iraq's largest militia, the Mahdi Army, and supports the Iraqi government.

"I'm not sure we take him down," Odierno said. "There are some extreme elements [of the Mahdi Army] ... and we will go after them. I will allow the government to decide whether [al-Sadr] is part of it or not. He is currently working within the political system.
Both Odierno and Chiarelli said that the military could not do everything and that Iraq needs a political solution. Both also said that everyone should be patient with Iraq's nascent government, noting that it has been in power less than a year.