Bush not swayed by findings in Iraq study

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Bush not swayed by findings in Iraq study

The president praises the report for seeking 'a way forward' but rejects several key goals.

By James Gerstenzang
Times Staff Writer

December 8, 2006

WASHINGTON — President Bush, responding Thursday to a scathing bipartisan assessment of the Iraq war, vigorously rejected the idea that deteriorating conditions there require the United States to scale back its goals and said that he remains committed to "victory in Iraq."

"I thought we would succeed quicker than we did, and I am disappointed by the pace of success," Bush said at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

But he declared, "I also believe we're going to succeed. I believe we'll prevail."

As he has many times before, Bush cast the Iraq war as part of a global struggle between violent ideological extremists and defenders of freedom and democracy.

"We will stand firm again in this first war of the 21st century," the president said. "We will defeat the extremists and the radicals. We will help a young democracy prevail in Iraq. And in so doing, we will secure freedom and peace for millions, including our own citizens."

Bush praised the report of the Iraq Study Group, which was headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, a Republican, and former Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, a Democrat, for focusing on "a way forward."

But he shied from embracing its recommendations on several key issues:

• The report urged the Pentagon to refocus its efforts on training Iraqi forces and suggested that combat troops could begin to pull out as early as 2008, but the president insisted they must stay until victory was achieved. "I've always said we'd like our troops out as fast as possible," he said, but "our commanders will be making recommendations based upon whether or not we're achieving our stated objective. And the objective, I repeat, is a government which can sustain, govern, and defend itself."

• The report urged Washington to begin direct talks on Iraq with Iran and Syria, but Bush said such talks could not begin until Syria stopped trying to topple the government in Lebanon and Iran made a verifiable commitment to halting its pursuit of enriched uranium — a critical step toward developing nuclear weapons.

• The commission urged Bush to step up U.S. involvement to mediate the conflict between Palestinians and Israel, but the president said progress there depended on the Palestinians forging a unified government committed to peaceful resolution of the conflict — a step he said extremists were trying to block.

"Congress isn't going to accept every recommendation in the report, and neither will the administration.

"But there's a lot of very important things in the report that we ought to seriously consider," Bush said.

"To show you how important this one is, I read it, and our guest read it," Bush added, a reference to Blair, at his side in an auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door to the White House.
He can't be swayed.
His medication inhibits flexibility of mind.
I heard the US ambassador (Bush's 2nd puppet in London) on the radio this morning.

He was rolling out the tired old claims that Iraq was better-off than under Saddam, and saying the Iraq government had to get a grip.

What is clear is that the Baker report will not change much. The fact Iraq had gone belly-up was acknowledged months ago by the US and UK. The only reason Coalition troops are still there is to preserve the illusion of an "exit strategy" which is, in effect, an extended "cut and run" which will shift the blame on to the Iraqi government. Itsn't it a shame that scores of soldiers, policemen and civilians will die to perpetuate this illusion?!? :evil:

The critique of Baker III by Matthew Parris in today's Times is worth a read


Tony Blair will like the Baker report. It is shallow and dishonest. It shows how to weasel a way out of trouble and leave former friends to fall, undefended, by the wayside. It suggests how blame may be shifted onto hapless Iraqi ministers, and fatuous “milestones” and “timetables” confected with a view to their being demonstrably missed. It explains how international conferences may be set up in order that they should fail. For Britain and the United States, Baker is now, with no shadow of doubt, the only way out. So is “Forward with James Baker III!” to be my banner?
King George should be Swayed on the end of a rope for the Illegal War of Aggresion he instituted with his Poodle Blur.
Did you really expect anything more of Bush? Man's an arrse. 2 year and counting....
thanks for the link.
What an utterly extraordinary situation we are in?
We attacked and occupied a country and all though still militarily superior and unbeaten we have nevertheless lost.

The otherside haven't beaten us so we haven't been driven to the table by them.
Which means without the bracing pressure of a victor demanding terms,
we have to somehow try and conceive our own surrender terms!

Does anybody know if in the entire history of warfare such a situation has ever occurred before?

The Iranian government has responded more positively than the Bush Administration has to the Iraq Study Group's proposal for talks between the two. And government sources in Tehran tell TIME that this reflects a sincere and calculated desire among the Iranian leadership for improved relations with Washington.

I wonder who has more to lose here: the US or the Iranians? If recent events are anything to go by, if I was Bush (thank God I'm not) then I would seriously consider all alternatives. Talking to Iran should not be an end unto itself but rather a means to a larger and long term goal of stabilizing the region.
MrPVRd said:
Does anybody know if in the entire history of warfare such a situation has ever occurred before?
Undoubtedly so! Nothing is new on this planet!

You mean the commander-in-chief of the world's most powerful military being at a total loss and waiting on some blue ribbon commitee so he can craft his next move? Don't think so. But then it is not very often superpowers are saddled by intellectually lazy leadership.
Rumsfeld makes secret farewell trip to Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a secret farewell trip to Iraq, a senior Pentagon official confirmed on Saturday.

Rumsfeld's trip, first reported by ABC News, was his 13th unannounced visit to the country. It came one day after he gave a farewell address at the Pentagon and nine days before he is replaced by Robert Gates.

No other details of Rumsfeld's trip or whether he was still in Iraq were immediately available.

Rumsfeld, who became a lightning rod for world criticism over the Iraq war, announced his resignation in November, the day after Republicans lost control of both Houses of the U.S. Congress amid voter unhappiness with the war.


The Yanks won the battles in Nam and 'Lost' the war.
Now Georgei boy is slowly prepareing for a pull out to leave the 'Home' team to lose, when his boys are Home, as in Nam.
PTP asked

Because thats what people do when they are ashamed of their actions and can't stand the scrutiny that comes with the light of day. I seriously doubt anybody was overjoyed to see Rummy 'over there.' If anything, this was probably a highly choreographed event that had everything to do with ''rehearsed spontaneity" than anything else.

A guilty trip maybe?
I'm surprised he has the Brass neck, I really am. Does he actually believe he's popular?

I worked with US SF earlier this year, and while they would never badmouth the CiC "Hell No" , von Rummy was another matter altogether,

Yes, the events are heavily chorographed, and when a grizzled Ranger who must have been in since the arse end of Vietnam tells me that , I believe him.
He's just running out the clock now. This is now about determining who "lost" Iraq. It's either going to be the next guy's problem or (and this is much more likely) he's looking for the new Congress to bail him out by calling "bullshit" on the whole exercise and cutting off funding (as they did following Vietnam).

The hawks will then be able, as before, to bleat on ad nauseum about how their noble efforts in support of a just cause were undercut by self-serving politicians. And mark my words, there'll be some right-wing nutcase who'll actually campaign on such a platform- it might even be McCain if he continues his foray into "Crazy Baseland" in the hope of getting the nomination.
Pongo asks 'Why'

Rumsfeld had to return to Iraq and stand there one last time and survey the the carnage and destruction he played so much a part in creating.

He stood there wiping a tear from his eye, his heart swelling with pride pleased to have done so much that the Martians had told him to do.


Bush will stay the course just to ensure President Hills Clinton gets her place in history:


she'll be like Dick Nixon after JFK and LBJ screwed the pooch in Vietnam.
If you want to read a deadly serious book on war.
I would refer you to Kurt Vonegut's comic novel 'Slaughter House 5'.

When you have read that and Catch 22 you can come back and withdraw your remark about me being a tosser.

Both books clearly illustrate the all too often mad absurdity of war.
Just because a fellow cracks a joke does not mean that he is not able also to be deadly serious.

As for the Iraq war, if you are able to tell me any human parties who have benefitted whatsoever from this exersise I will be only too happy to withdraw my suggestion that Donald Rumsfeld may have launched the attack on behalf of the Martians.
Oh beautiful shot of the embassy Alib,

as for the wretched H. Clinton, I'd like to see Arriana Huffington as the next U.S. president.
Rumsfeld is very popular with the troops.
As to the ISG report I take it that no one has actually read the thing ? The report is complete garbage as far as it being a "strategy" for succeding in Iraq. To encourage Iran and Syria to cooperate in Iraq the IRG seems to offer Syria the Golan and Iran the green light on their nuclear program. How can one country offer territory of another ? It would be like the US making a deal with Spain granting Spain Gibraltar. The report recomends talks with the inurgency. According to a UK news article the US has been talking to the insurgency for the last several months. Unfortunately the talks collapsed, not a real surprise. To sum up the President's position:

Bush: I Agree With Every Part of the ISG Report, Except The Parts About Withdrawing/Surrendering and Negotiating With Syria and Iran

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