Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bush, Defense, Foreign Policy Teams to Meet (Uh-oh. He looks really, really happy.)

FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “In his first eight months in office before September 11, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time.”

* “News coverage has pointedly stressed that W.'s month-long stay at his ranch in Crawford is the longest presidential vacation in 32 years. Washington Post supercomputers calculated that if you add up all his weekends at Camp David, layovers at Kennebunkport and assorted to-ing and fro-ing, W. will have spent 42 percent of his presidency ‘at vacation spots or en route.’”Charles Krauthammer, “A Vacation Bush Deserves,” The Washington Post, August 10, 2001.


FAHRENHEIT 9/11: “For the next eight months, it didn’t get any better for George W. Bush.”

* In a poll conducted September 5 to September 9, 2001, Investor’s Business Daily and the Christian Science Monitor showed President Bush’s approval rating at 45%, down from 52% in May ( Investor’s Business Daily/Christian Science Monitor Poll, conducted by TIPP, 9/5 to 9/9, 2001). Zogby’s polling had Bush at 47% in late July 2001, down from 57% in February (Zogby, 7/26 to 7/29, 2001).


Bush before September 11: the awful truth

By Margo Kingston
March 29, 2004
The Sydney Morning Herald

" officials did know in the summer of 2001 that something horrific was about to happen. The President's Daily Brief (PDB) of August 6th was delivered to the Crawford ranch, where Bush was on holidays. Presumably he read it - but he did not interrupt his vacation."


Bush, Defense, Foreign Policy Teams to Meet

Associated Press Writer
22 minutes ago

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush is looking at world hot spots from Baghdad to Pyongyang, without leaving Texas.

Keeping up an annual tradition, Bush was meeting with his defense and foreign policy teams on Thursday at his ranch, where he is spending August.

Vice President Dick Cheney and top-rung advisers, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will come casual for serious talks about issues ranging from ongoing violence in Iraq and standoffs with Iran and North Korea over their nuclear programs to anti-American sentiment abroad, especially in the Middle East.

The unhurried pace of this one-stoplight town stands in sharp contrast to events across the globe: Suicide bombings in Iraq. On-again, off-again negotiations with the reclusive North Korea. Iran's decision to restart sensitive nuclear work in defiance of European-led negotiations. The pullout next week of some 9,000 Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Bush's update on defense and foreign policy issues comes at a time when his approval ratings are hovering below 50 percent. An AP-Ipsos poll conducted Aug. 1-3 showed Bush's overall job approval was at 42 percent, with 55 percent disapproving. That's about where his approval rating has been all summer, but slightly lower than it was when the year began. His approval on his handling of Iraq stood at 38 percent.

Iraq, where the death toll of U.S. troops has topped 1,840, is likely to take a center stage.

The administration is hoping that progress on the political front will help deflate violence and allow the United States and its partners to begin withdrawing troops next year.

Rumsfeld said success in drafting a new Iraqi constitution is critical toward persuading the majority of Iraqis that the "new Iraq is worth fighting for." But a deadlock has arisen over the drafting of the charter, which is supposed to be completed by Monday.

Cindy Sheehan, a California mother of a fallen soldier, is holding a roadside protest to bring the troops home.

So far, Rumsfeld has not publicly voiced his thoughts on when U.S. forces may be able to come home in large numbers — a decision that hinges on the level of violence and the capabilities of Iraqi security forces, which now number 178,000.

A joint U.S.-Iraqi committee that is identifying areas to revert to Iraqi control will submit its final report by the end of September. That is the first step toward what Gen. George W. Casey, the top commander in Iraq, has said could lead to a "fairly substantial" reduction in the 138,000-strong U.S. force by the spring and summer of next year.

Casey has not disclosed numbers, but Pentagon officials have mentioned a reduction figure of 20,000 to 30,000 troops. That would still leave about 100,000 Americans in Iraq well into next year.

But first the Pentagon will likely have to increase the number of U.S. troops above the current 138,000 to improve security for a planned October referendum and a December election, when a burst of insurgent violence is expected, Rumsfeld spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said this week.

Last January, when Iraq had its first elections, troop levels were raised as high as 160,000, mainly by overlapping some units arriving in Iraq to begin a one-year tour with those who were ending their yearlong tours. Di Rita said that this time commanders could also ask for volunteers to serve extended tours or send some U.S.-based troops to Iraq to augment the force during the fall election period.

The White House says Rumsfeld will brief the president on the
Quadrennial Defense Review, a congressionally mandated top-to-bottom review of defense strategy and plans. The review, begun earlier this year, will be completed around January, in time for the February budget submission.


add some extree-hot cajun-context at...


Rapilogue: Where do we go?

"What ravages of spirit
Conjured this temptuous rage
Created you a monster
Broken by the rules of love
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do
And fate has led you through it
You do what you have to do..."

- Sarah Machlaclan, "Do What You Have To Do"

Chiggidy-check yo'self...

Martial Law 9/11: Rise Of The Police State (2005)

Evil has spread across the land. Martial Law: 9/11 Rise of the Police State exposes the high-tech control grid that is being set up across America.

Out of the ashes of the September 11th tragedy, a dark empire of war and tyranny has risen. The Constitution has been shredded and America is now a Police State. This film exposes not just who was behind the 9-11 attacks, but the roots and history of its orchestrators.

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