The Bush administration is sending strong signals that U.S. troop reductions in iraq will be slowed down or halted in the coming months, a move that would jeopardize hopes of relieving strain on the Army and Marine Corps and revive debate over an open-ended Americ an commitment in Iraq. This move is in response to pressure from military commanders in Iraq who fear any further reduction in the size of their forces would reverse the success they have achieved over the past few months in dealing with terrorism. General Petraeus is to report to the president and Congress in April about his recommendations regarding the size of US forces in the coming year. There are indications he believes it is best to halt further reduction and consolidate success. Bush emphasized in the State of the Union address he will base his decisions on recommendations of Petraeus.
A major problem is the uncertainty as to what will happen once the size of American forces in Iraq are cut back. Will the Sunni-led Awakening Movement be a factor in reducing insurgent attacks or will it become involved in fighting with Shiite troops who are loyal to the government?
An unknown factor in the coming year is the attitude of an incoming president in January, 2009. A President John McCain will undoubtedly continue the Bush policy of relying on recommendations of General Petraeus. A president Obama is probably the most difficult to gauge in terms of troop reductions.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Bush, Iraq, Petraeus, troop reductions
President Bush, while visiting a community service project, told the group he once had been an alcoholic but found God which helped him overcome his problems. “As you might remember, I drank too m uch at one time in my life.. I undersdtand addiction, I understand how a changed heart can help you deal with addiction.” The president’s words could also be interpreted another way. Ordinarily, a person who drinks may get into fights in which another person might be injured. Once Geroge Bush ended his drinking addiction, he now seeks to get other people involved with fighting while he stands off to the corner. His decision to cease drinking may have been a live saver for him, but it certainly has led to a new addiction — having the American people fight in just about every corner of the globe. I guess when he drank, he had images and fears that so many drinkers obtain, now, his images and fears get the entire world in trouble. Heck, the man thinks there are WMD where none exist!
At points, one almost wishes George Bush took a drink or too and kept the rest of the world out of his personal problems.
Ulrike Putz, correspondent for the German publication, Der Spiegel, made contact with Palestinian militants who spend each evening making Kassam rockets. He talked with several young men connected with the Islamic Jihad who are dedicated to risking their lives making the bombs. “It’s a long journey,” says the German newspaperman, “through the pitch-deark night as the taxi heads towards he secret rocket factory in the Gaza Strip. Since Abdul(not real name) and his two friends got in, it has become a life-threatening trip. The young men prodfuce rockets for the Islamic Jihad. Day after day, their rudimentary bombs land on Israel villages, fields and kibbutzum.” Israel ordinarily retaliates by attempting to kill leaders of the group by targeting cars. The men claim they get supplies from the Sudan or eastern Europe which go through secret tunnels from the Egyptian border and they are receiving money, but they would not reveal the sources of those funds.
The team claimed they could make up to a 100 rockets each night. They send rockets to unknown destinations and blame Israel for the misery of the people of Gaza. At no point in this story is their any recognition on the part of these young men how they are creating misery for the people of Gaza. Their minds simply block at their connection to chaos in Gaza since they refuse to blame any other party but Israel.
Their continued existence will most probably at some time result in an Israel invasion to ensure the end of rocket attacks.
The extensive dependence on reservists in fighting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars frequently results in rather bizarre encounters between members of the same family. Sgt. Tammi Johnson, a reservist, was deployed to Kirkuk Air base in Iraq only to discover she was taking over work tasks presently being done by her son, Derrrick. “This is all just a big coincidence,” said Derrick, “When I found out that she was coming to replace me, my jaw dropped just wondering what the chances were of this occurring.”
The nonstop deployment and redeployment of members of the military adds considerablly to family pressures and results in such a strange situation. A basic problem is the American military has been too long overseas and the same people have for too long been entrusted with responsibility for fighting wars the vast majority of this nation does not want fought. It would be preferable if the Johnsons could spend time together in America.
China’s top think tank, the Chinese Academcy of Social Science(CASS) has published a report which outlines a potential new foreign policy strategy for its nation. The report, “China’s Modernization 2008″ suggest pushing a brand new concept called, “Peace Dove Strategy” that is linked to the UN Charter and would endeavor to foster world peace. This approach seeks to build an Asian-Pacific economic Cooperation alliance which would dove tail with an Asia-Europe Economic alliance. South America, Oceana and Africa would bring up the rear in having China be a proactive leader in developing economic relations throughout the world.
The strategy certainly fits into China’s economic drive which presents witnesses their involvement in developing resources throughout the world including significant investments in Africa, South America and Asian nations. It is interesting the strateg makes scant reference to the United States or to North America. There is more focus on areas like Australia and southeast Asia than on dealing with America in the future. Perhaps, the Chnese recognize that as the United States becomes bogged down in the Middle East it enables an active player such as China to become dominant in other areas of the world. This is merely another fall out from Bush’s disastrous engagement in Iraq. Apparently, Bush would rather be triumphant in Iraq and allow China to exert its influence in the rest of the world.