“Blogs sometimes include information — accurate and otherwise — about the U.S. military’s global war on terror. U.S. Central Command officials here took notice and created a team to engage these writers and their electronic information forums.”
- 39 percent of Americans approve of the job Bush is doing, only the second time Bush has fallen below 40 percent in Fox polling
- 81 percent believe Iraq is likely to end up in a civil war.
- 69 percent oppose allowing Dubai Ports World to manage U.S. ports.
From CNN/USA Today/Gallup:
- 38 percent approve of the job Bush is doing, a rating “mired near its record low” of 37 percent.
- 47 percent approve how he is handling terrorism, “down 7 points since early February and a record low.”
- 64 percent disapprove of Bush’s handling of Iraq, a record high.
- 52 percent do not find Bush “honest and trustworthy,” tying November’s worst-ever mark.
Only 36 percent of voters approve of the job President Bush is doing, while 58 percent disapprove, his worst approval rating in a Quinnipiac University national poll and down 9 points from his 45 – 48 percent approval rating one year ago.
During his interview with Fox News today, Tom DeLay said his hands are clean of Abramoff’s malfeasance:
I’ve hired lawyers that look through everything that we’ve done, my relationship with Jack Abramoff, every contact we made with him, everything. And they’ve given me a complete bill — clean bill of health.
DeLay might want new lawyers. From an ABC News report published today:
When Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and his wife flew from Houston to a golf resort in Scotland in June 2000, the first-class airfare cost $14,001, a big-ticket item for a public servant. But someone else paid.
The American Express bills of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff show he footed the bill for the tickets, in an apparent violation of House ethics rules.
In January 2005, Newsweek reported that the Bush Administration was considering using the “Salvador option” against insurgents in Iraq:
[T]he Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported “nationalist” forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers.
It should come as no surprise, then, that sectarian death squads tied directly to the Iraqi Interior Ministry are running rampant in Iraq. Today we learned that the head of the Baghdad morgue has fled the country in fear for his life after reporting that the units have killed more than 7,000 people since last summer. The death squads operate so openly that an American military official in Iraq said, “the amazing this is”¦they tell you exactly what they are going to do.”
In a desperate bid to rescue a failed policy in Iraq, the Bush administration may have given the green light to a strategy that ends any hope of national reconciliation and finally tears Iraq apart along sectarian and ethnic lines.
– Ken Gude
that found that 72 percent of U.S. troops want out of Iraq within a year. “It shouldn’t surprise anybody that a deployed soldier would rather be at home than deployed, even when they believe what they are doing is important and vital work,” Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said. (HT: Dadahead)
A recently-released videotape shows Bush failed to respond to urgent warnings about Hurricane Katrina. The Washington Post describes the scene: “Bush was dialed into the conference Sunday at noon Eastern time from a meeting room at his ranch in Crawford.”
Though President Bush has famously spent a great deal of his presidency vacationing at his ranch in Crawford, the White House has always maintained that he is not distracted when he is down there.
MCCLELLAN: I don’t think the president of the United States ever gets a break. … I mean, it’s always been an opportunity for him to go home and spend some time at home. But it’s also a time when he continues to focus on the important priorities of the American people, when he continues to focus on fulfilling his responsibilities. [Press Briefing, 8/1/03]
Bush was warned about two of the most important, and catastrophic, events in his presidency — 9/11 and Katrina — while he vacationed in Crawford. And a comparison of the two events shows a disturbingly familiar pattern of Bush being distracted from his duty to protect the American people.
Bush Is Warned
Bush Fails To Respond
9/11: “[T]he president had received an intelligence briefing — the contents of which were declassified by the White House Saturday night — warning ‘Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.’ But Bush seemed carefree as he spoke about the books he was reading, the work he was doing on his nearby ranch, his love of hot-weather jogging, his golf game and his 55th birthday.”
KATRINA: “Bush did not ask a single question during the final briefing before Katrina struck on Aug. 29, but he assured state officials: ‘We are fully prepared.’”
Herbert London, the president of the conservative Hudson Institute, has published a commentary urging the Bush administration to use “an American military strike to knock out Iran’s uranium processing capacity”:
Any way you cut it, military force seems like the most likely stratagem for success. Will Bush do it? He cannot afford not to do it. His legacy cannot be a nuclear Iran prepared to destabilize all of the Middle East and possibly Europe. This is yet another test of American will.
Unfortunately for people like London, who are always thinking up new ways for U.S. soldiers to be sent into harm’s way, there is wide agreement among U.S. military analysts and Iran experts that no good military options exist for Iran:
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Sam Gardiner, a simulations expert from the U.S. Army’s National War College, after leading a “war game” on Iran:
After all this effort, I am left with two simple sentences for policymakers. You have no military solution for the issues of Iran. And you have to make diplomacy work. [Atlantic Monthly, 12/04]