Saturday, August 20, 2005

Army Planning for 4 More Years in Iraq

So says the Army's top general, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, in an interview with the Associated Press.

Schoomaker said commanders in Iraq and others who are in the chain of command will decide how many troops will be needed next year and beyond. His responsibility is to provide them, trained and equipped.

About 138,000 U.S. troops, including about 25,000 Marines, are now in Iraq.

"We are now into '07-'09 in our planning," Schoomaker said, having completed work on the set of combat and support units that will be rotated into Iraq over the coming year for 12-month tours of duty.

Schoomaker's comments come amid indications from Bush administration officials and commanders in Iraq that the size of the U.S. force may be scaled back next year if certain conditions are achieved.

Among those conditions: an Iraqi constitution must be drafted in coming days; it must be approved in a national referendum; and elections must be held for a new government under that charter.

Meanwhile, Dubya again invoked Sept. 11 as the reason we're in Iraq, despite the indisputable fact that Iraq had nothing to do with Sept. 11:
President George W. Bush launched a counter-offensive against growing public discontent over Iraq on Saturday, when he defended the war as a way of protecting Americans from another September 11 attack, a message he will reinforce when he takes to the road next week.

"Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

"They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war," he said.

But fortunately, the article exposes Dubya's tactic for what it is, an attempt to fool the public:
"They're trying to get the public's attention again and remind them of the arguments that once worked with the public," Larry Sabato, director of the center for politics at the University of Virginia, said.

If Bush falsely implying Iraq is tied to Sept. 11th wasn't bad enough, he also insults those who fought in World War II:
Bush likened the current situation to World War Two when U.S. forces "helped former enemies rebuild and form free and peaceful societies that would become strong allies of America."

American can do better than George W. Bush.