There goes the Surge Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by The Cohen Brother, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 6:51 am
US officials admitted last night that the bombing of the Iraqi parliament shows that not even the heavily fortified Green Zone is safe any more, despite the security crackdown launched earlier this year in the Iraqi capital.
American and Iraqi security officials were last night investigating how a suicide bomber evaded a ring of security checks and blew himself up in the assembly's cafe, killing three MPs and five other people and wounding more than 20.
About 100,000 US and Iraqi soldiers are on the streets of the capital as part of the troop "surge" begun two months ago; while security inside the Green Zone has been tightened following the recent discovery there of two suicide bomb belts.
But after the deadliest attack ever in the Green Zone, US officials warned that nowhere is safe in Baghdad. "The international zone is not safe, it is just safer than the rest of the city," said Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Garver.
Posted by Kate, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 8:39 am
Based on this one crazy in the green zone, who was most likely an "insider terrorist" just waiting for his chance to do something horendous like this, the U.S. should cut and run? Based on this incident, the surge is a failure? You should be more concerned with Nancy Pelosi pretending she is President of the U.S.
Posted by Marvin, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 8:47 am
Bravo to Pelosi for her trip to Syria. The bipartisan Iraq study group recommended opening dialog with Syria, Israel is willing to talk with Syria, so what is our "leader" in the White House waiting for??? Talking cannot hurt or is Bush (or should I say Bushs' puppetmaster Cheney) planning to stretch our military even thinner by invading both Iran and Syria.
The biggest hypocrisy of Bush, Cheney and their cronies is their attacking Pelosi and Lantos for visiting Syria, while ignoring the fact the republican congressmen where in Syria before, during and after the Pelosi visit.
Posted by Carl, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 9:08 am
Bravo to Pelosi. The message to the world is that sane adults are now in charge and that the US is not a rogue nation. Kate, you have a huge misconception of our system of government. The Legislative branch is supposed to provide oversight and to prevent the president from becoming a de-facto monarch. When a president thinks of himself as a monarch, which Bush certainly does, it's obligated to intervene and take an active role in governing. When a president puts his nation in peril by refusing to engage other countries, like Iran and Syria in diplomatic talks, the legislative branch needs to intervene. This is exactly what Pelosi is doing. Our nation can't survive any more of Bush, who should have been impeached years ago and what Pelosi is doing is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when a president gets out of control.
This is far from 'one crazy in the green zone'. This is something that will continue to happen, just like us taking heavy casualties whenever we go into sadr city.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 11:19 am
I am trying to control myself in the face of people who gleefully rejoice at anything that injures the United States. There was nothing flippant about my statement.
If we can believe Howard Dean and Tom Pantos, Pelosi was in Syria to offer up an alternative foreign policy. Who knows, perhaps she was hitting them up for campaign contributions like Clinton did the Chinese.
Posted by anon., a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 12:24 pm
I wasn't aware of anyone gleefully rejoicing in the manner you suggested. You seem to alway avoid the topic at hand. Evasion and obfuscation don't promote dialogue in a positive manner. Now you attack our House Speaker for daring to use diplomacy, something the present administration apparently isn't well versed in. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 1:33 pm
since only congress can declare war and congress appropriates war fundings, it's absolutely appropriate for the congress to get involved in foreign policy when the commander in chief refuses to consider diplomatic options and insists only on military ones. this is what the framers of our constitution had in mind when they considered the danger of an american president becoming a monarch. speaker pelosi's diplomaticintiative was conducted in that spirit. her message to a very concerned world is:not everybody in the us government is insane, and now people with brains, decency and sanity are in charge. i can sleep much better now knowing that nancy pelosi is in charge and is keeping a close watch over that band of criminals and liars.
Posted by Kate, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 5:39 pm
Sarlet- You obviously do not understand the specific powers enumerated in the Constitution to each of the three branches of our government. Just because you don't like the President of the United States doesn't mean that Nancy Pelosi gets to take over an area delegated to the President.
Marvin - All of those individuals that you speak of were in those countries after meeting and confering with the President. It's a completely different situation from the Pelosi trip. Pelosi met with the Syrian thug, but until recently, refused to meet with the President of the United States. Go figure. I guess she likes Syria better than the U.S.
Speaking of Israel...Pelosi couldn't even accurately relay feedback from her meeting with Israel to Syria. Doesn't say much about her "diplomacy capabilities".
Posted by anon., a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 8:01 pm
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] no laws were broken, and legistlators from both parties often fly overseas to meet with foreign leaders and dignitaries. i might add the you have a lot of audacity to attack the dems. over this issue when the president you support has not upheld the constitution, or honored geneva convention. habeus corpus ring a bell? torture? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2007 at 7:32 am
Shades of Rudolph Hess.
Ah, yes. The Geneva Convention that says if they are not in uniform and responsible to a commander just shoot them. There is no habeas corpus for a war prisoner, they are routinely held until the end of hostilities unless they are honorable folk who will take a parole. Some of those released from Gitmo were subsequently killed or captured in active combat against US forces.
Posted by judith, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2007 at 11:00 am
Given the Democrats' refusal to pull the budgetary plug on the war and Bush's commitment to soldier on in a messianic stupor, we can be fairly sure that U.S. troops, now on fifteen-month tours of duty, will not be coming home next year or the year after that. Limited and temporary "success" stories in Iraq will either actually take place or be invented, thereby allowing the current administration and its successors to continue funding the occupation for well into the next decade.
Despite the media babble about the "surge" (a term connoting force and brevity), the shift in strategy announced by Bush in January has always been a long-term proposition. General Petraeus, cast as savior by the politicians, knows this better than most. As the co-author of the new field manual on counterinsurgency (COIN, FM 3-24) published in December of last year, he wrote: "Clear-hold-build objectives require lots of resources and time. U.S. and HN [host-nation] commanders should prepare for a long-term effort."
Posted by Marvin, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2007 at 3:39 pm
Kate--what about the Ohio republican congressman that was with Lantos and Pelosi and who recently came out in support of the trip (Web Link=), had he conferred with Bush before his trip?
If Pelosi met with "the Syrian thug", isn;t this the same Syrian thug that the other Republican congressman met with. The point is, i donot think that Pelosi or any other congress person, republican or democrat, need permission from Bush to travel to Syria or anywhere else.
Also casting aspersions on Pelosi's patriotism, which has become a hallmark of the Bush gang when dealing with anyone that dares question their deeds, does not work either, since she was just acting on recommendations by the bipartisn Iraq study group, which has strongly suggested opening dialog with Syria and Iran (as opposed to starting another war).
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2007 at 6:08 pm
Instead of blaming good Americans who are horrified at the catastroph this awful administration has caused our nation, maybe this administration should concentrate on finding Carl Rove's 'missing' e-mails.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 14, 2007 at 7:27 pm
Sure, as soon as we find the missing papers that Berger "carelessly" lost, and the source of the $90,000 being given, caught on tape, that William Jefferson stored in his freezer, and the reason that Dems are so upset at the firing of 8 federal judges when Clinton fired over 120 in the course of 8 years and nobody said anything BECAUSE IT IS LEGAL..oh, what the heck, it doesn't matter anyway. Only Republicans can be hunted.
Posted by Kate, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 14, 2007 at 8:51 pm
The Logan Act forbids U.S. Citizens from conducting diplomacy without approval from the government. Nancy Pelosi, a leader of the Democrat Party, ignored the President's decision that she not meet with Syrian's president. Lantos stated that the Democrat Party had an "alternative foreign policy". Unfortunately, for him and Ms. Pelosi, they do not have the authority to engage in executive branch duties per the U.S. Constitution. Whether the Republican from Ohio had permission, I do not know. If he didn't then he should be charged with violating the Logan Act also. We know one thing for sure...Nancy Pelosi did not have permission. That was made clear to everyone prior to her trip and she should without a doubt be charged with violating the Act.
Posted by Marvin, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2007 at 7:07 am
Go for it--charge Pelosi, Lantos with violating the Logan act--of course you will have to prove that they were conducting "diplomacy". And Bush will have to explain why only republican congresspeopke can travel to syria and meet with the leader while democrats cannot.
i look forward to the trial--how soon can they be charged????
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2007 at 9:07 am
I can't wait to have them charged with violating the Logan act, right after Bush, Cheney and the rest of the gang are charged with taking the country to war based on falsified, forged and manufactured intelligence and for the sake of a neo-conservative emperial fantasy and for war profiteering.
Posted by The Cohen brother, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2007 at 11:57 am
The joint Army-USMC manual, co-authored with Marine Lt. General James Amos, is an exhaustive exposition of a strategy that purports to win heart and minds yet refers to insurgents as "amoral and often barbaric enemies." Similar ideological tensions cut across the entire manual.
For example, the traditional stereotype of Marines as the ultimate killing machine runs up against their new role carrying out what the manual calls "armed social work": "The environment that fosters insurgency is characterized by violence, immorality, distrust, and deceit; nonetheless, Army and Marine Corps leaders continue to demand and embrace honor, courage, and commitment to the highest standards."
In every chapter of the manual, the military's attempt to cloak itself in a mantle of righteousness is shot through with irony. A short section on why the French were defeated in Algeria is titled "Lose Moral Legitimacy, Lose the War," a particularly awkward word choice in the wake of Abu Ghraib and other U.S. atrocities.
More important, even a cursory reading of the manual confirms that the new campaign will be a protracted one and in the current context is probably too little too late and in all probability doomed to fail.
In order for counterinsurgents to be successful, the manual teaches, "The local populace should be small and constant." In other words, U.S. effectiveness will depend on the small size of the area to be controlled. But Baghdad is a sprawling city of some 6 million people, and the areas that surround the city like Diyala province must be included in any comprehensive security operation. Even with the recently added U.S. troops and Iraqi army and police units, there is no way they can approach the manual's "density recommendation" of "20 to 25 counterinsurgents for every 1000 residents."
Posted by SkepticAl, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2007 at 11:46 pm
"Draw the Line" wrote: "Sure, as soon as we find the missing papers that Berger "carelessly" lost, and the source of the $90,000 being given, caught on tape, that William Jefferson stored in his freezer, and the reason that Dems are so upset at the firing of 8 federal judges when Clinton fired over 120 in the course of 8 years and nobody said anything BECAUSE IT IS LEGAL..oh, what the heck, it doesn't matter anyway. Only Republicans can be hunted."
Hey pal - bring 'em all down! Berger and Jefferson should face the music. That won't make Republicans look any better though. And even some Republicans are mad about these firings. Clinton, and other presidents, lowered the boom on the other guy's appointees, AND had to put in replacements with Congressional approval. Bush won't have to do that b/c of a Patriot Act ammendment.
The question isn't what's legal, but rather what's ethical. Read those emails (the ones they can produce at least) and tell me it all sits well with you when they talk about "loyal Bushies"... and they had a spread sheet that tracks which attorneys belong to an ultra-conservative legal organization, and a GOP Senator was meddling in an investigation. Rove even suggested firing all 93 just to cover their tracks on the ones they really wanted out. Legal, but craven. Can you imagine being one of those other lawyers and finding out later why you lost your job? I'm not saying the Dems are all peaches and cream, but the current admin. has established a whole host of new all-time lows.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2007 at 6:56 am
The "Surge" is nothing more than a crass marketing gimmick, concocted by war propagandists who have been lying to the country for the last four years about Iraq, to justify to an anti-war populace why we must continue our occupation.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2007 at 7:43 am
These are comments from Adrienne Kinne, US Army (1994-1998), US Army Reserves (1998-2004, activated 10/01-10/03), Arabic linguist (military intelligence). He now works for the VA in White River Junction as a research health science specialist (MS in psychology).
I was always opposed to our invading Iraq. I knew Bush was manipulating 9/11 from the start. It was very frustrating, and continues to be so. The media totally dropped the ball. I suppose that's because the vast majority of our media is owned by three men who have ties to Bush and their own motivations for wanting us to invade Iraq (though I didn't understand the threat of media consolidation and corporate interests back then).
Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2007 at 8:35 am
There is a new book out by a former Bush speechwriter, Victor Gold GOP, in which the author slams the administration and exposes their zeal for creating a pretext for a war that was planned many years in advance.
For further info on this new book check out the website: