President George W. Bush will unveil his “new” Iraq plan in a speech before the nation at 9 p.m. Bush is expected to announce an increase of up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops in a “surge and accelerate” plan that has drawn widespread opposition from Democrats, Republicans and the Pentagon.
By DOUG THOMPSON
While the new Democratic leadership of Congress talks a good game about reform and the need to purge the corrupting influence of special interest money from politics, they cozy up to the same fatcat lobbyists who controlled the GOP-led Congress for the past 12 years.
Last week, some 200 well-heeled lobbyists and political action committee directors shelled out $1,000 each to rub elbows with the new Democratic congress – a repeat of a similar event Republicans staged in 1995 after they won control.
Pentagon planners have examined President George W. Bush’s “new” plan for his failed Iraq war and most agree on one key point: It won’t work.
“There is a lot of concern that this won’t work,” a key military official told The New York Times.
That concern is echoed by the number two American commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen Raymond Odierno, who admitted in an interview with Nancy Youssef of McClatchy Newspapers that Bush’s proposed “troop” surge would not be enough to rescue Iraq.
President Bush is continuing the shuffle of his military, intelligence and foreign policy team that began with the dismissal of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his replacement by former CIA Director Robert Gates.
This past week he moved Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte to the number two slot at the State Department and brought in retired National Security Agency Director Mike McConnell to replace Negroponte.
The ancient Greek poet Archilochus opined, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Let me submit that we’re living through the final months of the decidedly hedgehog presidency of George W. Bush, whose strategic failures can logically be remedied by the election of a fox in 2008.
Gunfire in Iraq shattered Army Spc. Chris Carlson’s leg and left him with a limp and some shrapnel, but no Purple Heart.
The Army rebuilt Carlson’s leg with titanium, but nearly four months after he was shot while guarding a convoy north of Baghdad, it still hasn’t awarded the 25-year-old Modesto, Calif., resident the medal that’s given to soldiers who are wounded in combat.
“I thought, ‘That freakin’ sucks,’ ” Carlson said in a telephone interview. “I was shot in Iraq, and it was definitely not training.”
What does a multibillionaire need to do to get some respect? Oprah Winfrey spends $40 million to open a school in South Africa for underprivileged girls and everyone is on her case.
Why so much money? Why all the luxury? Did the school really need a yoga room? And, of course, how could Oprah turn her back on her own backyard and spend all that money overseas?
I can’t say that Oprah and I have similar visions of how the world works. When I was working on welfare reform 10 years ago I did her show and it was quite clear that Ms. Winfrey and I are on very different wavelengths.
The naming of retired Navy Adm. John McConnell to the nation’s top spy post is not sitting well with those who already see too many uniforms at the helms of U.S. intelligence agencies.
President Bush picked McConnell on Friday to be the next director of national intelligence, a relatively new position that rides herd on the 16 large and small intelligence agencies in official American spookdom. He would succeed John Negroponte.