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Mon

05

Feb

2007

Operation Co-Optation: Bush and the Dems - The Wars and US Reporting on the Documentary Conference
Monday, 05 February 2007 13:20
by Danny Schechter

The symmetry was perfect. Up in New Haven, where I spent the weekend at the War, Documentary and Iraq conference, we watched “IRAQ FOR SALE” and learned how the war has in many respects been outsourced to private contractors, ie. mercenaries and politically connected corprations, who have profited while the killing goes on and on. And then, yesterday, we learned on page one of the New York Times that, lo and behold, we’ve lost our own country too to the same interests. The war had come home or maybe clearly came from "home." The headline was stark and the facts undeniable:

“In Washington, Contractors Take on Biggest Role Ever.”

contracting has soared during the Bush presidency, fueled by a philosophy that encourages outsourcing almost all government work.
LETS BE FRIENDS

And while privatization runs rampant in the sewer of corruption that is our Nation’s capitol, the horse-traders and deal-makers in our Congress were being courted by George W. W Bush who knows that to get get along he has to go along with the new power equation. And so there he was “aw shucksing” in with that down home country style asking as Nancy Pelosi spoke of a new era of bi-partisanship. The co-optation of the Democratic majority has begun anew as The Prez told his critics how much he respects them and their right to disagree with him in this “time of war.”

In a rare appearance before an audience of Democrats, President Bush said Saturday that he did not question the patriotism of those who disagreed with his Iraq strategy and asked lawmakers not to let dissension over the war entirely erode their trust in him.

“I welcome debate in a time of war, and I hope you know that,” Mr. Bush said. “Nor do I consider a belief that if you don’t happen to agree with me, you don’t share the same sense of patriotism I do. You can get that thought out of your mind if that’s what some believe.”

The president’s words were met with applause from House Democrats, who gathered here at a secluded resort along the James River for their annual issues conference. Newly in control of Congress, Democrats invited Mr. Bush to their retreat, eager to show that they could no longer be overlooked by the White House.

What more is there to say? The handwriting is on the wall. He has returned to the playbook he used in Texas, so well documented by Molly Ivins in her book “Shrub,” where he wooed (ie “worked with”) Texas Democrats (Incidentally, the Pres issued a statement after she died saying how much he respected and admired his relentless critic in chief.) Haha.

WASHINGTON POST: Democrats Split on How to End the War Those Who Aren't In Congress Press Clinton and Obama

letters.washingtonpost.com

Meanwhile, another market is blown to smithereens in Baghdad as at least 125 people die or are wounded as the carnage continues As does the surge despute growing doubts expressed even by those who favor the new “plan.” (See Mediachannel video)

letters.washingtonpost.com

The New York Times reports today: "A growing number of Iraqis blamed the United States for creating conditions that led to the single worst suicide bombing in the war.''

BBC: BRITS INVOLVED IN SURGE TOO

British officers have expressed serious concerns about the commitment of Iraqi troops they are training for the new US offensive in Baghdad.

Their comments underline the scale of the challenge in making the new security plan for the capital work and continuing problems building up the new Iraqi army.

The BBC has learnt that the British military is preparing up to 1,500 Iraqi soldiers for service there - a deeper level of involvement in the US security push in Baghdad than previously acknowledged.
COSTS OF SURGE — UP, UP AND AWAY

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows that the real troop increase associated with President Bush's escalation policy could be as high as 48,000, more than double the 21,500 soldiers that Bush has claimed. Moreover, despite administration assertions that the escalation would cost $5.6 billion, the CBO report estimates that "costs would range from $9 billion to $13 billion for a four-month deployment and from $20 billion to $27
billion for a 12-month deployment."

Combat units being sent to Iraq need to be backed up by "substantial support forces, including personnel to staff headquarters, serve as military police, and provide communications, contracting, engineering, intelligence, medical, and other services." According to the CBO, while the Pentagon has specified the number of combat troops being deployed as part of the escalation, it has "not yet indicated which support units will be deployed along with the added combat forces, or how many additional troops will be involved.

And while all this goes on unabated except by some Dem “chatter” and non-binding blather, an American General takes over in Afghanistan. “People are confident that this is winnable, “ said the outgoing British General who sounds like the Russian General who said something similar, tovarich, years ago. Ho Ho.

www.guardian.co.uk

And Plans for war with Iran move along undetected by the media machine which sold us one war and is already complicit in selling another.

www.zmag.org

And this despite the fact that the US government cannot prove any link between Iranian actions and the Iraq conflict.

www.latimes.com

DEJAVU ALL OVER AGAIN

Toronto Sun’s Eric Margolis: Fight Against Iran too Familiar

With disturbing deja vu, the U.S. Congress and media are swallowing the administration's torrent of unproven allegations against Iran precisely the way they lapped up its grotesque lies about Iraq.
www.ichblog.eu/content/view/337/2/

And in that other war—the one against human rights and Constitutional protections:

Life harsher in new Guantanamo unit - Yahoo! News

news.yahoo.com

INDO DISASTER

In another part of the world, the war with global climate change opened a new front as the Mail & Guardian reports:

At least twenty people have been killed in severe flooding in the Indonesian capital
and surrounding areas where nearly 340,000 people have been displaced following several days of torrential rain, officials said on Sunday. Jakarta Governor Sutiyoso declared "highest alert" for the city at midnight on Saturday after heavy rains continued in the upper areas around the city of Bogor.
A friend writes from Jakarta that this is bad, very bad.
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