A new White House report on Iraq will show improved progress on just one of 18 political and security goals — efforts to allow former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party to rejoin the political process, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.
The latest conclusions, to be released Friday, largely track a comparable poor assessment in July. The earlier White House report said the Iraqi government had made satisfactory gains toward eight benchmarks, unsatisfactory marks on eight and mixed results on two.
President Bush, defending an unpopular war, ordered gradual reductions in U.S. forces in Iraq on Thursday night and said, “The more successful we are, the more American troops can return home.”
Still, Bush firmly rejected calls to end the war, saying the insurgents who threaten Iraq’s future are a danger to U.S. national security. American troops must stay in the battle, Bush said, and more than 130,000 will remain after the newly ordered withdrawals are completed in July.
“The principle guiding my decisions on troop levels in Iraq is: return on success,” the president said.
Gen. David Petraeus’ high-profile report on Iraq is pumping new life into Sen. John McCain’s presidential bid, his backers say, making the Arizona Republican appear prescient and courageous on the campaign’s most vital issue.
Whether the new dynamic in Iraq can salvage McCain’s troubled campaign is far from certain. But he is wooing voters with a sense of momentum not seen since he drastically reduced his staff and spending two months ago.
Democrats on Wednesday battled to scotch the notion that General David Petraeus’s upbeat report on his troop surge strategy had punctured their drive to bring US troops home from Iraq.
Party leaders said they would launch a new attempt in the Senate next week to change the mission of the war, though Petraeus’s marathon testimony in Congress appeared to have bought more time for President George W. Bush.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid said Bush’s expected announcement in a televised address Thursday that he would reduce US troop levels by 30,000 to pre-surge levels by mid-2008 did not go far enough.
“This is unacceptable to me, this is unacceptable to the American people,” Reid said.
Solemnity and sadness, remembrance and resolve filled American hearts and minds on yet another September 11 anniversary this week. Once again, for a few minutes, television transported us to the southern tip of Manhattan, to a flag-draped, once-shattered wall of the Pentagon, and to a farm field in Pennsylvania.
It seems to me that the most uncommon attribute in American life is common sense. While everybody thinks they have it, not too many people actually do.
Talk show hosts like to suggest that they are all about common sense, but they really are in the business of populism, which is all about directing public prejudices against convenient scapegoats. While this is common, it isn’t sense.
The perfect illustration of the uncommonness of common sense is the war in Iraq. Everything about it is ridiculous except the bravery of our troops.
Sen. Hillary Clinton sees the human factor as topmost in confronting hemispheric trade and immigration issues.
In an exclusive interview with this correspondent the morning after she participated in the Univision-sponsored Democratic Party presidential primary debate here, Clinton took the opportunity to expand on these two issues of major interest to 49 million U.S. Hispanics and nearly 400 million more in some two dozen countries south of our border.
Odds are, the next president of the United States already has come face-to-face with Iowa’s secret agent man – code name “Dr. Vote.”
John Olsen is a man of many disguises.
Sometimes he’s in a suit and tie. Or it could be a red, white and blue sweater. Often, he wears the T-shirts and campaign buttons of his favorite candidate (of that day anyway).
And with his ever-present back pack over his shoulder, he slips into campaign rallies with two sneaky missions.