"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

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The Endgame in Iraq

From Jack Keane, Frederick W. Kagan & Kimberly Kagan writing for The Weekly Standard.

On September 16, General Raymond Odierno will succeed General David Petraeus as commander of U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. The surge strategy Petraeus and Odierno developed and executed in 2007 achieved its objectives: reducing violence in Iraq enough to allow political processes to restart, economic development to move forward, and reconciliation to begin. Violence has remained at historic lows even after the withdrawal of all surge forces and the handover of many areas to Iraqi control. Accordingly, President Bush has approved the withdrawal of 8,000 additional troops by February 2009.

With Barack Obama's recent declaration that the surge in Iraq has succeeded, it should now be possible to move beyond that debate and squarely address the current situation in Iraq and the future. Reductions in violence permitting political change were the goal of the surge, but they are not the sole measure of success in Iraq.

The United States seeks a free, stable, independent Iraq, with a legitimately elected representative government that can govern and defend its territory, is at peace with its neighbors, and is an ally of the United States in the war on terror. The Iraqi leadership has made important strides toward developing a new and inclusive political system that addresses the concerns of all Iraq's ethnic and sectarian groups. But it has also taken steps in the wrong direction.

These authors of the surge of American forces in 2007 provide an interesting and insightful analysis of not only military, but political considerations in Iraq. They discuss how and when we should drawdown force, long-term security agreements, and the way ahead to ensure Iraq remains a stable democracy and ally to the United States.

For a full read, click here.

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U.S., Iraqi Negotiators Agree on 2011 Withdrawal

From the Washington Post.

U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have agreed to the withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces from the country by the end of 2011, and Iraqi officials said they are "very close" to resolving the remaining issues blocking a final accord that governs the future American military presence here.

Iraqi and U.S. officials said several difficult issues remain, including whether U.S. troops will be subject to Iraqi law if accused of committing crimes. But the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were unauthorized to discuss the agreement publicly, said key elements of a timetable for troop withdrawal once resisted by President Bush had been reached.

With the current security gains in Iraq, this tentative timetable for withdrawl of US forces will allow Iraqi forces to continue to mature and secure their country from foreign intervention. US forces will be out of cities by next June. In addition, military trainers will stay in Iraq for an unspecified period of time. While not mentioned here, I am certain long-term bilateral security agreements are also in the works much as they are with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

It is much better the US is able to withdraw from Iraq under secure conditions as opposed to unsecure conditions which were present when President Bush announced the surge of US forces in January 2007.

For a full read, click here.

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John McCa$h

From PoliPundit.

The John McCain campaign and Republican National Committee released very strong financial numbers that will even rival what “The Messiah” has been raking in. McCain’s take of $27 million alone in July, certainly gives off the impression that GOP voters are willing to stand by the candidate and make the race competitive money wise:

Michael Sparxx also quotes an AP article which states:

McCain has been a subpar fundraiser and has lagged the much-more adept Obama in monthly campaign tallies. But the RNC, with big-draw President Bush helping, has trounced its Democratic counterpart in collections. That has helped McCain and the GOP stay competitive financially with Obama and the Democratic National Committee.

It is interesting. I always see how President Bush's approval ratings are so low. However, when I ask people (from all over the country) they seem to either like President Bush or are ambivalent about him. Very rarely, do I meet a person that actually despises him. Of the few I meet who despise him, I ask why and they usually say something about how dumb he is. When I delve further, they either cannot come up with any particular reason for being dumb or state he does not speak well. I usually reply with he speaks well enough to become president and that usually ends the discussion.

Now, this AP article states the RNC is using President Bush to ensure a "big-draw" in fundraising.

Low approval ratings. Dumb president, yet big-draw for fundraising. This is one of those things that make you go Hmmmm.

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Bush Wrongly Blames America

From J.R. Dunn at the American Thinker.

I take second place to no one in my admiration for George W. Bush. But there are times when he comes out with something so obtuse, so ill thought out, that it simply grates on the brain. Remarks of the "I have gazed into Putin's soul" variety. (I gazed into Putin's soul too. I needed two weeks of electroshock to straighten me out afterward.)

Last week gave us yet another example. Visiting Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust museum and memorial, a deeply moved Bush was heard to say, "We should have bombed Auschwitz."

Mr. Dunn goes on to explain how with 1940's technology bombing Auschwitz would not have prevented (or even slowed) the Final Solution. In fact, he notes it was bombed (accidentally) once.

The final irony, clear evidence that history holds all the cards and lays them down in exactly the order she pleases and none other, lies in the fact that Auschwitz was bombed. In late 1944 U.S. bomber forces carried out a strike against Buna, a camp only a few miles away from Birkenau. It was a synthetic rubber plant, a prime target, using slave labor from the rest of the Auschwitz complex. (There were several dozen camps in the entire system.) Somehow a stack of bombs, and perhaps more than one, found its way into Birkenau, an example of the CEP in action. The bombs blew up a number of buildings and killed several hundred people. All of them Jews. (emphasis added)

I too, like J.R. Dunn, believe the Allies did everything in their power to not only prevent the Final Solution, but also to end the Nazi regime that was responsible for it. Statements like this made by the President do not do justice to the memory of the quarter million Americans which fought and died to prevent things like the Final Solution.

For a full read, click here.

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