Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp,
and Jeane Kirkpatrick
Twenty Facts about Israel and the Middle East
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The world's attention has been focused on the Middle East. We are confronted daily with scenes of carnage and destruction. Can we understand such violence? Yes, but only if we come to the situation with a solid grounding in the facts of the matter—facts that too often are forgotten, if ever they were learned. Below are twenty facts that we think are useful in understanding the current situation, how we arrived here, and how we might eventually arrive at a solution.
ROOTS OF THE CONFLICT
* When the United Nations proposed the establishment of two states in the region—one Jewish, one Arab—the Jews accepted the proposal and declared their independence in 1948. The Jewish state constituted only 1/6 of one percent of what was known as "the Arab world." The Arab states, however, rejected the UN plan and since then have waged war against Israel repeatedly, both all-out wars and wars of terrorism and attrition. In 1948, five Arab armies invaded Israel in an effort to eradicate it. Jamal Husseini of the Arab Higher Committee spoke for many in vowing to soak "the soil of our beloved country with the last drop of our blood."
* The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was founded in 1964—three years before Israel controlled the West Bank and Gaza. The PLO’s declared purpose was to eliminate the State of Israel by means of armed struggle. To this day, the Web site of Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority (PA) claims that the entirety of Israel is "occupied" territory.* It is impossible to square this with the PLO and PA assertions to Western audiences that the root of the conflict is Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
* The West Bank and Gaza (controlled by Jordan and Egypt from 1948 to 1967) came under Israeli control during the Six Day War of 1967 that started when Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and Arab armies amassed on Israel’s borders to invade and liquidate the state. It is important to note that during their 19-year rule, neither Jordan nor Egypt had made any effort to establish a Palestinian state on those lands. Just before the Arab nations launched their war of aggression against the State of Israel in 1967, Syrian Defense Minister (later President) Hafez Assad stated, "Our forces are now entirely ready . . . to initiate the act of liberation itself, and to explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland . . . the time has come to enter into a battle of annihilation." On the brink of the 1967 war, Egyptian President Gamal Nassar declared, "Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel."
* Because of their animus against Jews, many leaders of the Palestinian cause have long supported our enemies. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem allied himself with Adolf Hitler during WWII. Yasir Arafat, chairman of the PLO and president of the PA, has repeatedly targeted and killed Americans. In 1973, Arafat ordered the execution of Cleo Noel, the American ambassador to the Sudan. Arafat was very closely aligned with the Soviet Union and other enemies of the United States throughout the Cold War. In 1991, during the Gulf War, Arafat aligned himself with Saddam Hussein, whom he praised as "the defender of the Arab nation, of Muslims, and of free men everywhere."
* Israel has, in fact, returned most of the land that it captured during the 1967 war and right after that war offered to return all of it in exchange for peace and normal relations; the offer was rejected. As a result of the 1978 Camp David accords—in which Egypt recognized the right of Israel to exist and normal relations were established between the two countries—Israel returned the Sinai desert, a territory three times the size of Israel and 91 percent of the territory Israel took control of in the 1967 war.
* In 2000, as part of negotiations for a comprehensive and durable peace, Israel offered to turn over all but the smallest portion of the remaining territories to Yasir Arafat. But Israel was rebuffed when Arafat walked out of Camp David and launched the current intifada.
* Yasir Arafat has never been less than clear about his goals—at least not in Arabic. On the very day that he signed the Oslo accords in 1993—in which he promised to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel—he addressed the Palestinian people on Jordanian television and declared that he had taken the first step "in the 1974 plan." This was a thinly-veiled reference to the "phased plan," according to which any territorial gain was acceptable as a means toward the ultimate goal of Israel’s destruction.
* The recently deceased Faisal al-Husseini, a leading Palestinian spokesman, made the same point in 2001 when he declared that the West Bank and Gaza represented only "22 percent of Palestine" and that the Oslo process was a "Trojan horse." He explained, "When we are asking all the Palestinian forces and factions to look at the Oslo Agreement and at other agreements as 'temporary' procedures, or phased goals, this means that we are ambushing the Israelis and cheating them." The goal, he continued, was "the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea," i.e., the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea—all of Israel.
* To this day, the Fatah wing of the PLO (the "moderate" wing that was founded and is controlled by Arafat himself) has as its official emblem the entire state of Israel covered by two rifles and a hand grenade—another fact that belies the claim that Arafat desires nothing more than the West Bank and Gaza.
* While criticism of Israel is not necessarily the same as "anti-Semitism," it must be remembered that the Middle East press is, in fact, rife with anti-Semitism. More than fifteen years ago the eminent scholar Bernard Lewis could point out that "The demonization of Jews [in Arabic literature] goes further than it had ever done in Western literature, with the exception of Germany during the period of Nazi rule." Since then, and through all the years of the "peace process," things have become much worse. Depictions of Jews in Arab and Muslim media are akin to those of Nazi Germany, and medieval blood libels—including claims that Jews use Christian and Muslim blood in preparing their holiday foods—have become prominent and routine. One example is a sermon broadcast on PA television where Sheik Ahmad Halabaya stated, "They [the Jews] must be butchered and killed, as Allah the Almighty said: 'Fight them: Allah will torture them at your hands.' Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them."
* Over three-quarters of Palestinians approve of suicide bombings—an appalling statistic but, in light of the above facts, an unsurprising one.
THE STATE OF ISRAEL
There are 21 Arab countries in the Middle East and only one Jewish state: Israel, which is also the only democracy in the region.
Israel is the only country in the region that permits citizens of all faiths to worship freely and openly. Twenty percent of Israeli citizens are not Jewish.
* While Jews are not permitted to live in many Arab countries, Arabs are granted full citizenship and have the right to vote in Israel. Arabs are also free to become members of the Israeli parliament (the Knesset). In fact, several Arabs have been democratically elected to the Knesset and have been serving there for years. Arabs living in Israel have more rights and are freer than most Arabs living in Arab countries.
* Israel is smaller than the state of New Hampshire and is surrounded by nations hostile to her existence. Some peace proposals—including the recent Saudi proposal—demand withdrawal from the entire West Bank, which would leave Israel 9 miles wide at its most vulnerable point.
* The oft-cited UN Resolution 242 (passed in the wake of the 1967 war) does not, in fact, require a complete withdrawal from the West Bank. As legal scholar Eugene Rostow put it, "Resolution 242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between 1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until ‘a just and lasting peace in the Middle East’ is achieved. When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces ‘from territories’ it occupied during the Six-Day War—not from ‘the’ territories nor from ‘all’ the territories, but from some of the territories."
* Israel has, of course, conceded that the Palestinians have legitimate claims to the disputed territories and is willing to engage in negotiations on the matter. As noted above, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered almost all of the territories to Arafat at Camp David in 2000.
* Despite claims that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are the obstacle to peace, Jews lived there for centuries before being massacred or driven out by invading Arab armies in 1948-49. And contrary to common misperceptions, Israeli settlements—which constitute less than two percent of the territories—almost never displace Palestinians.
* The area of the West Bank includes some of the most important sites in Jewish history, among them Hebron, Bethlehem, and Jericho. East Jerusalem, often cited as an "Arab city" or "occupied territory," is the site of Judaism’s holiest monument. While under Arab rule (1948-67), this area was entirely closed to Jews. Since Israel took control, it has been open to people of all faiths.
* Finally, let us consider the demand that certain territories in the Muslim world must be off-limits to Jews. This demand is of a piece with Hitler’s proclamation that German land had to be "Judenrein" (empty of Jews). Arabs can live freely throughout Israel, and as full citizens. Why should Jews be forbidden to live or to own land in an area like the West Bank simply because the majority of people is Arab?
In sum, a fair and balanced portrayal of the Middle East will reveal that one nation stands far above the others in its commitment to human rights and democracy as well as in its commitment to peace and mutual security. That nation is Israel.
Bill Bennett, Jack Kemp, and Jeane Kirkpatrick need no introduction. This report was produced by Americans for Victory Over Terrorism, a project of Empower America.
Progress in the Mideast
By Charles Krauthammer
Peace without treaties
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Because we Americans tend to gauge Middle East success by White House signing ceremonies complete with dignitaries, three-way handshakes and pages of treaty provisions, no one seems to have noticed how, in the absence of any of that, there has been amazing recent progress in defusing the Arab-Israeli dispute.
First, the more than four-year-long intifada, which left more than 1,000 Israelis and 3,000 Palestinians dead, is over. And better than that, defeated. There's no great Palestinian constituency for starting another one. In Israel, tourism is back, the economy has recovered to pre-intifada levels, and the coffee shops and malls are full again.
Second, the Gaza withdrawal was a success. On the Israeli side, it was accomplished with remarkable speed and without any of the great social upheaval and civil strife that had been predicted. As for the Palestinians, without any fanfare whatsoever, their first-ever state has just been born. They have political independence for 1.3 million of their people, sovereignty over all of Gaza and, for the first time, a border to the outside world (the Rafah crossing to Egypt) that they control.
Third, on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian line, vigorous electoral campaigns are underway. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has abandoned Likud, established a new centrist party that leads all others in the polls, effectively marginalized those remaining Israelis who want to hold on forever to all the territories, and set Israel on a path to a modest and attainable territorial solution to the century-old conflict.
As a result, Israel's regional isolation is easing, as Islamic countries from Pakistan to Qatar to Morocco openly extend or intensify relations, while anti-Israel rejectionists such as Syria and Hezbollah are isolated and even condemned by name in the U.N. Security Council.
How did this come about? Israeli unilateralism and Palestinian maturation.
After a year and a half of unparalleled terror, culminating with the Passover massacre of 2002, the Israelis finally decided that they had to give up the illusion of a Palestinian peace partner and take things into their own hands. They did. Israel reoccupied the West Bank cities it had ceded to Yasser Arafat, who had used them as havens of terrorism; began an extremely effective campaign of targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders that ultimately induced their successors to declare a truce with Israel; and, most important, decided to unilaterally draw the border between Israel and Palestine.
Gaza is now 100 percent Palestinian. The security fence Israel is building in the West Bank will, in effect, create a second Palestinian sovereignty on 92 percent of that territory. Everyone knows what that fence means. Israelis on the Palestinian side of the fence will ultimately leave one way or the other. And, in a final settlement — if and when the Palestinians ever decide to make their peace with a Jewish state — that remaining 8 percent could be exchanged for pieces of Israel transferred to Palestine.
The other great watershed has been the maturation of the Palestinian national movement. Arafat was a revolutionary who disdained nation-building. Revolutionaries destroy the old order. His mission was to destroy Israel. Which is why, to the consternation of his Western admirers, in 10 years he built not a single schoolhouse, hospital or road in the territory he controlled. Instead, he built a dozen private militias and a state propaganda machine designed to poison the new generation against Israel. Now that he is gone, the Palestinian cause can begin the demystification from revolution to nation-building.
The other demystification was Gaza. The Gaza Palestinians have just received exactly what they wished for: self-government, borders, openings to the outside world and an absence of any Jews. As a result, however, they are now faced with the distinctly unromantic task of creating their new state. It's not that many Gazans would not like to continue the romance of revolutionary terrorism and jihad. But they no longer have the means. The separation fence makes it almost impossible to launch attacks into Israel. And rockets launched into Israeli towns are met by retaliatory Israeli artillery barrages that make the rocketeers rather unpopular at home. A similar equilibrium will be achieved on the West Bank when the fence is completed next year.
Sharon represents the majority of Israelis bent on achieving that equilibrium. It will not only bring stability and relative peace, but it also offers the contours of an ultimate settlement. That's why even old regional antagonists see the promise of this moment — all achieved, mind you, without a single Rose Garden ceremony.
Friday, December 02, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Joyce Comments: You know that the Democrat party is in desperate shape and on life-support nationally by it releasing this communist-style "children's book" to overtly propagandize childen--who ironically are under age 18, the legal age for law-abiding U.S. citizens to first register to vote in this country--it is so off the mark from reality it is hilarious and must be seen as fiction or fantasy. I wonder why rats weren't used instead as the stars of the book since they are DemocRATS.
I almost fell out of my seat laughing at this one folks. I saw this ad on Daily Chaos for a book called "Why mommy is a Democrat."
Why Mommy is a Democrat brings to life the core values of the Democratic party in ways that young children will easily understand and thoroughly enjoy. Using plain and non-judgmental language, along with warm and whimsical illustrations, this colorful 28-page paperback depicts the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance, peace, and concern for the well-being of others. It's a great way for parents to gently communicate their commitment to these principles and explain their support for the party.
Why Mommy is a Democrat may look like a traditional children's book, but it definitely isn't just for children. With numerous subtle (and not-so-subtle) satirical swipes at the Bush administration and the Republican party,Why Mommy will appeal to Democrats of all ages!
Finally, a portion of the profits will be donated to Democratic candidates and party organizations, so your purchase will help make an immediate difference!
What core values? LOL Now you know this is a fictional book. Get a load of the sample pages they let you see.
Yes, they did a great job of keeping us safe back in the 90's when they did squat about Osama Bin Laden. They really keep us safe now by trying to undermine our war effort. This is looking like it needs to be placed in the fiction section folks. ;)
I guess the $160,000 to send a kid to college is the Republicans fault? Gee, who is it that seems to run our American colleges? Aren't they run by liberal elites? They are the ones who are charging the $160,000. LOL This is definitely slated for the fiction section. If would really be best in a section devoted to various forms of propaganda. This book is all about the indoctrination of young minds, something the libs know a lot about.
For some Must-Read quips about this unbelievable book check out http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1532077/posts#comment?q=1
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 12/01/2005 04:16:00 PM
The Economist: Why America must stay: America should keep its troops in Iraq until Iraqis ask them to go
Nov 24th 2005 print edition
WARS waged abroad are often lost at home; and that may be starting to happen with Iraq. Calls for American troops to withdraw are familiar in the Arab world and Europe, but in the United States itself such talk has remained on the fringes of political debate. Now, with surprising suddenness, it has landed at the centre of American politics.
On November 17th John Murtha, a hawkish Democratic congressman, suggested pulling the troops out of Iraq in six months, prompting an unseemly spat between the former marine colonel and the White House. Moves to set a timetable have been voted down, but the Republican-controlled Senate has voted 79-19 for 2006 to be "a period of significant transition to full Iraq sovereignty" and the Pentagon is mumbling about troop reductions. Meanwhile, some hundred Iraqi leaders at a reconciliation conference in Cairo backed by the Arab League talked about setting a timetable for withdrawal.
There is some politicking in this. In Cairo, the Shias and Kurds, who dominate Iraq's new order, were offering an olive branch to the sullen Sunnis, who used to run the show under Saddam Hussein. In America, Republicans are looking nervously at the 2006 elections. Democrats sense that George Bush is vulnerable—and that Iraq presents the best way to hurt him now that most Americans regret invading the country. Yet there is plainly principle too: Mr Murtha and millions of others maintain that America is doing more harm than good in Iraq, and that the troops should therefore come home.
This newspaper strongly disagrees. In our opinion it would be disastrous for America to retreat hastily from Iraq. Yet it is also well past time for George Bush to spell out to the American people much more clearly and honestly than he has hitherto done why their sons and daughters fighting in Iraq should remain in harm's way.
The cost of failure
Every reasonable person should be able to agree on two things about America's presence in Iraq. First, if the Iraqi government formally asks the troops to leave, they should do so. Second, the argument about whether America should quit Iraq is not the same as the one about whether it should have gone there in the first place. It must be about the future.
That said, the catalogue of failures thus far does raise serious questions about the administration's ability to make Iraq work—ever. Mr Bush's team mis-sold the war, neglected post-invasion planning, has never committed enough troops to the task and has taken a cavalier attitude to human rights. Abu Ghraib, a place of unspeakable suffering under Mr Hussein, will go into the history books as a symbol of American shame. The awful irony is that the specious link which the administration claimed existed between Iraq and al-Qaeda in order to justify going to war now exists.
Two-and-a-half years after Mr Bush stood beneath a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished", the insurgency is as strong as ever. More than 2,000 Americans, some 3,600 Iraqi troops, perhaps 30,000 Iraqi civilians and an unknown number of Iraqi insurgents have lost their lives, and conditions of life for the "liberated" remain woeful. All this makes Mr Bush's refusal to sack the people responsible for this mess, especially his defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, alarming.
But disappointment, even on this scale, does not justify a precipitate withdrawal. There are strong positive and negative reasons for America to see through what it started.
Flickers of hope
Iraq is not Vietnam. Most Iraqis share America's aims: the Shia Arabs and Kurds make up some 80% of the population, while the insurgents operate mainly in four of Iraq's 18 provinces. After boycotting the first general election in January, more Sunni Arabs are taking part in peaceful politics. Many voted in last month's referendum that endorsed a new constitution; more should be drawn into next month's election, enabling a more representative government to emerge. That will not stop the insurgency, but may lessen its intensity. It seems, too, that the Arab world may be turning against the more extreme part of the insurgency—the jihadists led by al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who blow up mosques around Baghdad and Palestinian wedding parties in Jordan (see article). Though few Arabs publicly admit it, Mr Bush's efforts to spread democracy in the region are starting to bear fruit.
So America does have something to defend in Iraq. Which, for Mr Bush's critics, leads into the most tempting part of Mr Murtha's argument: that American troops are now a barrier to further progress; that if they left, Mr Zarqawi would lose the one thing that unites the Sunnis and jihadists; and that, in consequence, Iraqis would have to look after their own security. This has a seductive logic, but flies in the face of the evidence. Most of the insurgents' victims are Iraqis, not American soldiers. There are still too few American troops, not too many. And the Iraqi forces that America is training are not yet ready to stand on their own feet. By all means, hand over more duties to them, letting American and other coalition troops withdraw from the cities where they are most conspicuous and offensive to patriotic Iraqis. Over time, American numbers should fall. But that should happen because the Iraqis are getting stronger, not because the Americans are feeling weaker. Nor should a fixed timetable be set, for that would embolden the insurgents.
The cost to America of staying in Iraq may be high, but the cost of retreat would be higher. By fleeing, America would not buy itself peace. Mr Zarqawi and his fellow fanatics have promised to hound America around the globe. Driving America out of Iraq would grant militant Islam a huge victory. Arabs who want to modernise their region would know that they could not count on America to stand by its friends.
If such reasoning sounds negative—America must stay because the consequences of leaving would be too awful—treat that as a sad reflection of how Mr Bush's vision for the Middle East has soured. The road ahead looks bloody and costly. But this is not the time to retreat.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 12/01/2005 01:41:00 PM
Leaking At All Costs: What the CIA is willing to do to hurt the Bush administration by John Hinderaker
11/30/2005 12:00:00 AM
The Weekly Standard
THE CIA'S WAR against the Bush administration is one of the great untold stories of the past three years. It is, perhaps, the agency's most successful covert action of recent times. The CIA has used its budget to fund criticism of the administration by former Democratic officeholders. The agency allowed an employee, Michael Scheuer, to publish and promote a book containing classified information, as long as, in Scheuer's words, "the book was being used to bash the president." However, the agency's preferred weapon has been the leak. In one leak after another, generally to the New York Times or the Washington Post, CIA officials have sought to undermine America's foreign policy. Usually this is done by leaking reports or memos critical of administration policies or skeptical of their prospects. Through it all, our principal news outlets, which share the agency's agenda and profit from its torrent of leaks, have maintained a discreet silence about what should be a major scandal.
Recent events indicate that the CIA might even be willing to compromise the effectiveness of its own covert operations, if by doing so it can damage the Bush administration. The story began last May, when the New York Times outed an undercover CIA operation by identifying private companies that operated airlines for the agency. The Times fingered Aero Contractors Ltd., Pegasus Technologies, and Tepper Aviation as CIA-controlled entities. It described their aircraft and charted the routes they fly. Most significantly, the Times revealed one of the most secret uses to which these airlines were put:
When the Central Intelligence Agency wants to grab a suspected member of Al Qaeda overseas and deliver him to interrogators in another country, an Aero Contractors plane often does the job.
The Times went on to trace specific flights by the airlines it unmasked, which corresponded to the capture of key al Qaeda leaders:
Flight logs show a C.I.A. plane left Dulles within 48 hours of the capture of several Al Qaeda leaders, flying to airports near the place of arrest. They included Abu Zubaida, a close aide to Osama bin Laden, captured on March 28, 2002; Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who helped plan 9/11 from Hamburg, Germany, on Sept. 10, 2002; Abd al-Rahim al-Nashri, the Qaeda operational chief in the Persian Gulf region, on Nov. 8, 2002; and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, on March 1, 2003.
A jet also arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from Dulles on May 31, 2003, after the killing in Saudi Arabia of Yusuf Bin-Salih al-Ayiri, a propagandist and former close associate of Mr. bin Laden, and the capture of Mr. Ayiri's deputy, Abdullah al-Shabrani.
Flight records sometimes lend support to otherwise unsubstantiated reports. Omar Deghayes, a Libyan-born prisoner in the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has said through his lawyer that four Libyan intelligence service officers appeared in September in an interrogation cell.
Aviation records cannot corroborate his claim that the men questioned him and threatened his life. But they do show that a Gulfstream V registered to one of the C.I.A. shell companies flew from Tripoli, Libya, to Guantánamo on Sept. 8, the day before Mr. Deghayes reported first meeting the Libyan agents. The plane stopped in Jamaica and at Dulles before returning to the Johnston County Airport, flight records show.
The Times reported that its sources included "interviews with former C.I.A. officers and pilots." It seems difficult to believe that the information conveyed in those interviews was unclassified. But if the agency made any objection to the Times's disclosure, it has not been publicly recorded. And the agency's flood of leaks to the Times continued.
The other shoe dropped on November 2, when the Washington Post revealed, in a front-page story, the destinations to which many terrorists were transported by the CIA's formerly-secret airlines--a covert network of detention centers in Europe and Thailand:
The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.
The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.
The Post's story caused a sensation, as the "current and former intelligence officials" who leaked the classified information to the newspaper must have expected it would. The leakers evidently included officials from the highest levels of the CIA; the Post noted that the facilities' existence and location "are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country." Further, the paper said that it "is not publishing the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program, at the request of senior U.S. officials." So this top-secret leak was apparently not a rogue operation. On the contrary, it appears to have been consistent with the agency's longstanding campaign against the Bush administration, which plainly has been sanctioned (if not perpetrated) by officials at the agency's highest levels.
Both the Post and the leaking officials knew that publication of the secret-prisons leak would damage American interests:
[T]he CIA has not even acknowledged the existence of its black sites. To do so, say officials familiar with the program, could open the U.S. government to legal challenges, particularly in foreign courts, and increase the risk of political condemnation at home and abroad.
The damage foreseen by CIA leakers quickly came to pass. Anti-American elements in a number of European countries demanded investigations into the use of their countries' airports and air space by civilian airlines that are known or suspected CIA fronts. In Spain, the foreign minister testified before a parliamentary committee that no laws were broken in what allegedly were CIA-linked civilian landings in Majorca. But that site will be closed to the agency in the future:
[H]e said the government would immediately step up checks on civilian aircraft that flew over or stopped in Spanish territory to make sure they were civilian flights. If necessary, the government would implement more exhaustive checks inside aircraft, he said.
Similar outcries and investigations occurred in the Canary Islands, Portugal, Norway, and Sweden.
The twin leaks to the Times and the Post have severely impaired the agency's ability to carry out renditions, transport prisoners, and maintain secret detention facilities. It is striking that top-level CIA officials are evidently willing to do serious damage to their own agency's capabilities and operations for the sake of harming the Bush administration and impeding administration policies with which they disagree.
The CIA is an agency in crisis. Perhaps, though, there is a ray of hope: the agency has referred the secret-prison leak to the Post to the Justice Department for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. It is a bitter irony that until now, the only one out of dozens of CIA-related leaks known to have resulted in a criminal investigation was the Valerie Plame disclosure, which was trivial in security terms, but unique in that it helped, rather than hurt, the Bush administration.
John Hinderaker is a contributing writer to THE DAILY STANDARD and a contributor to the blog Power Line.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 12/01/2005 10:17:00 AM
By Richard Lamm
FrontPageMagazine.com | April 5, 2005
It is easy to see why illegal immigrants are attractive to employers. These are generally good, hard working people who will quietly accept minimum wage (or less), who don't generally get health or other benefits, and if they complain, they can be easily fired. For some employers it is an abused form of labor. Even minimum wage is attractive to workers from countries whose standard of living is a fraction of ours.
But it is not "cheap labor." It may be "cheap" to those who pay the wages, but for the rest of us it is clearly "subsidized" labor, as we taxpayers pick up the costs of education, health, and other municipal costs imposed by this workforce. That has become a substantial and growing cost as the nature of illegal immigration patterns has changed.
For decades, illegal immigrants were single men who would come up from Mexico or Central America alone, pick crops or perform other low paid physical labor and then go home. They were indeed "cheap labor." But starting in the 1960s, these workers either brought their families or smuggled them into the country later. They become a permanent or semi-permanent population living in the shadows but imposing immense municipal costs.
Illegal immigration today isn’t "cheap" labor, except to the employer. To the rest of us it is "subsidized labor," where a few get the benefit and the rest of us pay. These costs ought to be obvious to all, but the myth of "cheap labor" and "jobs Americans won’t do" persists.
It is hard to get an exact profile of the people who live in the underground economy, but the average family of illegal immigrants has 2 to 4 school-age kids. It costs U.S. taxpayers more than $7000 a child just to educate them in our public schools. Now no minimum wage workers, or even low wage workers, pay anywhere near enough in taxes to pay for even one child in school. Even if their parents were paying all federal and state taxes, Colorado’s estimated 30,000 school-age children of workers illegally in the U.S. impose gargantuan costs on other taxpayers.
The dilemma is compounded by the fact that approximately 50 percent of illegal workers are paid in cash, off the books. Go to any construction site almost anywhere in America, and you will find workers paid cash wages. Virtually every city in America has an area where illegals gather and people come by to get “cheap” cash-wage labor.
The health care cost of this "cheap" workforce is also significant and subsidized by U.S. taxpayers. The total cost of this “subsidized” labor is impossible to ascertain and difficult to even estimate, but it is immense and growing as our population of these workers grows. A few benefit, many pay.
Americans pay in more ways than taxes. Cheap labor drives down wages as low income Americans are forced to compete against these admittedly hard working people. Even employers, who don’t want to wink at false documents, are forced to lower wages just to be competitive. In many ways it is a “race to the bottom,” fueled by poor people often recruited from evermore-distant countries by middlemen who profit handsomely.
Professor George Borjas of Harvard, an immigrant himself, estimates that American workers lose $190 billion annually in depressed wages caused by the constant flooding of the labor market from newcomers.
Let me suggest that correctly analyzed, the fight against illegal immigration is both a liberal and conservative cause. There is no moral or legal justification for this abused form of labor.
Richard D. Lamm served three-terms as governor of Colorado. He is Co-Director of the Institute for Public Policy Studies and a member of the Board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform. Email Dick Lamm at email@example.com.
December 1, 2005
The Sierra Times
Illegal Alien Advocates Exploit Mexican Immigrants
Jim Kouri, CPP
The debate over illegal immigration is intensifying with most Americans calling for tighter border security and lots more immigration enforcement. A minority of special interest advocates on the left -- some on the right -- oppose the elimination of a revolving door illegal immigration and in fact want fewer restrictions on illegal immigration. The agenda of some Libertarian Republicans is obvious -- cheap labor. However, what are the motives of members of the Democrat Party? Why does it appear they are exploiting illegal immigrants, most of whom are Mexican nationals?
Whenever this hot-button issue is discussed on a broadcast or cable news show, the Democrats always claim the moral high-ground by cloaking their talking points with an air of superior compassion. But beneath that facade of compassion may be a cynical, treacherous goal -- more votes at the expense of people's lives and freedom.
This writer has covered the illegal immigration story and related subjects for a number of years. The suffering of many illegal immigrants is hidden from Americans by a compliant news media who want to show a positive spin on illegal immigrants. You'll rarely, if ever, read a story in the New York Times about criminal aliens who routinely kill, assault, rape and rob American citizens. You'd be hard-pressed to find a story in the Washington Post about a human trafficking ring running sex slave establishments using children. And when hundreds of illegal aliens were discovered working at military installations and nuclear power plants, where were the reporters from the wire services?
The Democrats, the Libertarian-wing of the Republican Party and the mainstream news media bend over backwards to put a happy face on an American underworld filled with misery, brutality and hopelessness.
For instance, in Long Island, New York, a successful businessman was arrested for his harboring of an illegal alien. But it was far more than that: he had the Latino man living in the basement of his mansion and the illegal alien worked as a valet for the man and his family. Then at 6 AM in the morning, the businessman woke the illegal and drove him to the businessman's factory in the Bronx, and the illegal immigrant worked 10 hours a day without compensation. All this immigrant received were three squares and a cot in a basement. No wages. No weekends off. No holidays. No vacations.
This writer recently wrote an article regarding 11 illegal aliens -- men, women and children -- found dead in a railroad boxcar in Iowa. Another article addressed the apprehension and conviction of a human smuggling ring "enforcer" who, in addition to brutalizing women, disposed of the newly born baby of an illegal alien woman who was kept in an apartment and was forced to work in sleazy bars in New Jersey. Still another article involved a gang of kidnappers who abducted illegal immigrants from their smugglers and held them for ransom. These cases are not extraordinary. They are all too commonplace.
Is this what the compassionate liberals have in mind for the tens of thousands of illegal aliens coming into the United States annually? Even their arguments in support of illegal immigrants smack of racism. They tell Americans that these undocumented aliens take jobs Americans won't take, for instance, cleaning toilets. In essence they are saying illegal aliens are sub-humans cattled into the United States to perform a function. This is de facto slavery, plain and simple.
The fact of the matter is when liberal-left activists, who've hijacked the Democrat Party, see hordes of illegal aliens crossing the border, they see votes. Same as when they see a dead body -- they see a new Democrat voter. Or when they see a US prison population of hundreds of thousands of convicts. Potential votes. While they make baseless allegations that Republicans are disenfranchising certain groups of people so they will not vote, the Democrats enfranchise illegal aliens who are voting for whomever is busing them to the election polls. And don't fool yourself; illegal aliens are voting. Which is why the Democrat Party opposes states trying to pass legislation that requires voters to display a valid voter ID card.
The American left long ago realized their hopes for raising the standard of living for the world's poor was indeed a hopeless dream. So in their zeal to obtain equality of living standards and fodder for their arrogant attempts at social engineering, they are eagerly trying to replace a European-based population who voluntarily observe birth control, with a Third-World population that does not practice birth control. While American families will have one or two children, Third-World immigrants will have up to nine or ten kids. This cynical social engineering plan results from their notion that if they can't move us out of power, they'll breed us out of power. In turn, with an enslaved electorate, they can bring about their true goal of a Socialist utopia. A utopia built on the suffering of millions of illegal aliens.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a staff writer for New Media Alliance (thenma.org), and he's a columnist for TheConservativeVoice.Com, AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. If you wish to sign up for his intelligence reports, write to JimKouriReports@aol.com. Kouri's own website is located at http://jimkouri.us
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Joyce Comments: President Bush to the Democrats
United States Naval Academy
9:45 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Thanks, please be seated. Please be seated. Thanks for the warm welcome. It's good to be back at the Naval Academy. I'm pleased to provide a convenient excuse for you to miss class. (Applause.)
This is the first year that every class of midshipmen at this Academy arrived after the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. Each of you has volunteered to wear our nation's uniform in a time of war -- knowing all the risks and dangers that accompany military service. Our citizens are grateful for your devotion to duty -- and America is proud of the men and women of the United States Naval Academy. (Applause.)
I thank Admiral Rempt for his invitation for me to come and give this speech. I appreciate Admiral Mike Mullen. I'm traveling today with a man who's done a fine job as the Secretary of Defense -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. (Applause.) Navy aviator, Don Rumsfeld. (Applause.) I'm proud that the Governor of the great state of Maryland, Bob Ehrlich, and his wife, Kendel, is with us. Thanks for being here, Governor. (Applause.)
I so appreciate that members of the United States Congress have joined us, starting with the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator John Warner of the state of Virginia. (Applause.) Former Secretary of the United States Navy, I might add. (Applause.) Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Congressman Pete Hoekstra. (Applause.) From the state of Arizona, Congressman John Shadegg. (Applause.) And from the state of Indiana, Congressman Mike Pence. (Applause.) I'm honored you all came, thanks for being here.
I appreciate the Mayor of the city of Annapolis, Mayor Ellen Moyer, joining us. I want to thank all the state and local officials. I want to thank the faculty members here. Thank you all for letting me come by. (Applause.)
Six months ago, I came here to address the graduating class of 2005. I spoke to them about the importance of their service in the first war of the 21st century -- the global war on terror. I told the class of 2005 that four years at this Academy had prepared them morally, mentally and physically for the challenges ahead. And now they're meeting those challenges as officers in the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
Some of your former classmates are training with Navy SEAL teams that will storm terrorist safe houses in lightning raids. Others are preparing to lead Marine rifle platoons that will hunt the enemy in the mountains of Afghanistan and the streets of Iraqi cities. Others are training as naval aviators who will fly combat missions over the skies of Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere. Still others are training as sailors and submariners who will deliver the combat power of the United States to the farthest regions of the world -- and deliver compassionate assistance to those suffering from natural disasters. Whatever their chosen mission, every graduate of the class of 2005 is bringing honor to the uniform -- and helping to bring us victory in the war on terror. (Applause.)
In the years ahead, you'll join them in the fight. Your service is needed, because our nation is engaged in a war that is being fought on many fronts -- from the streets of Western cities, to the mountains of Afghanistan, the islands of Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa. This war is going to take many turns, and the enemy must be defeated on every battlefield. Yet the terrorists have made it clear that Iraq is the central front in their war against humanity, and so we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror.
As we fight the enemy in Iraq, every man and woman who volunteers to defend our nation deserves an unwavering commitment to the mission -- and a clear strategy for victory. A clear strategy begins with a clear understanding of the enemy we face. The enemy in Iraq is a combination of rejectionists, Saddamists and terrorists. The rejectionists are by far the largest group. These are ordinary Iraqis, mostly Sunni Arabs, who miss the privileged status they had under the regime of Saddam Hussein -- and they reject an Iraq in which they are no longer the dominant group.
Not all Sunnis fall into the rejectionist camp. Of those that do, most are not actively fighting us -- but some give aid and comfort to the enemy. Many Sunnis boycotted the January elections -- yet as democracy takes hold in Iraq, they are recognizing that opting out of the democratic process has hurt their interests. And today, those who advocate violent opposition are being increasingly isolated by Sunnis who choose peaceful participation in the democratic process. Sunnis voted in the recent constitutional referendum in large numbers -- and Sunni coalitions have formed to compete in next month's elections -- or, this month's elections. We believe that, over time, most rejectionists will be persuaded to support a democratic Iraq led by a federal government that is a strong enough government to protect minority rights.
The second group that makes up the enemy in Iraq is smaller, but more determined. It contains former regime loyalists who held positions of power under Saddam Hussein -- people who still harbor dreams of returning to power. These hard-core Saddamists are trying to foment anti-democratic sentiment amongst the larger Sunni community. They lack popular support and therefore cannot stop Iraq's democratic progress. And over time, they can be marginalized and defeated by the Iraqi people and the security forces of a free Iraq.
The third group is the smallest, but the most lethal: the terrorists affiliated with or inspired by al Qaeda . Many are foreigners who are coming to fight freedom's progress in Iraq. This group includes terrorists from Saudi Arabia, and Syria, and Iran, and Egypt, and Sudan, and Yemen, and Libya, and other countries. Our commanders believe they're responsible for most of the suicide bombings, and the beheadings, and the other atrocities we see on our television.
They're led by a brutal terrorist named Zarqawi -- al Qaeda's chief of operations in Iraq -- who has pledged his allegiance to Osama bin Laden. Their objective is to drive the United States and coalition forces out of Iraq, and use the vacuum that would be created by an American retreat to gain control of that country. They would then use Iraq as a base from which to launch attacks against America, and overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East, and try to establish a totalitarian Islamic empire that reaches from Indonesia to Spain. That's their stated objective. That's what their leadership has said.
These terrorists have nothing to offer the Iraqi people. All they have is the capacity and the willingness to kill the innocent and create chaos for the cameras. They are trying to shake our will to achieve their stated objectives. They will fail. America's will is strong. And they will fail because the will to power is no match for the universal desire to live in liberty. (Applause.)
The terrorists in Iraq share the same ideology as the terrorists who struck the United States on September the 11th. Those terrorists share the same ideology with those who blew up commuters in London and Madrid, murdered tourists in Bali, workers in Riyadh, and guests at a wedding in Amman, Jordan. Just last week, they massacred Iraqi children and their parents at a toy give-away outside an Iraqi hospital.
This is an enemy without conscience -- and they cannot be appeased. If we were not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle. They would be plotting and killing Americans across the world and within our own borders. By fighting these terrorists in Iraq, Americans in uniform are defeating a direct threat to the American people. Against this adversary, there is only one effective response: We will never back down. We will never give in. And we will never accept anything less than complete victory. (Applause.)
To achieve victory over such enemies, we are pursuing a comprehensive strategy in Iraq. Americans should have a clear understanding of this strategy -- how we look at the war, how we see the enemy, how we define victory, and what we're doing to achieve it. So today, we're releasing a document called the "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq." This is an unclassified version of the strategy we've been pursuing in Iraq, and it is posted on the White House website -- whitehouse.gov. I urge all Americans to read it.
Our strategy in Iraq has three elements. On the political side, we know that free societies are peaceful societies, so we're helping the Iraqis build a free society with inclusive democratic institutions that will protect the interests of all Iraqis. We're working with the Iraqis to help them engage those who can be persuaded to join the new Iraq -- and to marginalize those who never will. On the security side, coalition and Iraqi security forces are on the offensive against the enemy, cleaning out areas controlled by the terrorists and Saddam loyalists, leaving Iraqi forces to hold territory taken from the enemy, and following up with targeted reconstruction to help Iraqis rebuild their lives.
As we fight the terrorists, we're working to build capable and effective Iraqi security forces, so they can take the lead in the fight -- and eventually take responsibility for the safety and security of their citizens without major foreign assistance.
And on the economic side, we're helping the Iraqis rebuild their infrastructure, reform their economy, and build the prosperity that will give all Iraqis a stake in a free and peaceful Iraq. In doing all this we have involved the United Nations, other international organizations, our coalition partners, and supportive regional states in helping Iraqis build their future.
In the days ahead, I'll be discussing the various pillars of our strategy in Iraq. Today, I want to speak in depth about one aspect of this strategy that will be critical to victory in Iraq -- and that's the training of Iraqi security forces. To defeat the terrorists and marginalize the Saddamists and rejectionists, Iraqis need strong military and police forces. Iraqi troops bring knowledge and capabilities to the fight that coalition forces cannot.
Iraqis know their people, they know their language, and they know their culture -- and they know who the terrorists are. Iraqi forces are earning the trust of their countrymen -- who are willing to help them in the fight against the enemy. As the Iraqi forces grow in number, they're helping to keep a better hold on the cities taken from the enemy. And as the Iraqi forces grow more capable, they are increasingly taking the lead in the fight against the terrorists. Our goal is to train enough Iraqi forces so they can carry the fight -- and this will take time and patience. And it's worth the time, and it's worth the effort -- because Iraqis and Americans share a common enemy, and when that enemy is defeated in Iraq, Americans will be safer here at home. (Applause.)
The training of the Iraqi security forces is an enormous task, and it always hasn't gone smoothly. We all remember the reports of some Iraqi security forces running from the fight more than a year ago. Yet in the past year, Iraqi forces have made real progress. At this time last year, there were only a handful of Iraqi battalions ready for combat. Now, there are over 120 Iraqi Army and Police combat battalions in the fight against the terrorists -- typically comprised of between 350 and 800 Iraqi forces. Of these, about 80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side-by-side with coalition forces, and about 40 others are taking the lead in the fight. Most of these 40 battalions are controlling their own battle space, and conducting their own operations against the terrorists with some coalition support -- and they're helping to turn the tide of this struggle in freedom's favor. America and our troops are proud to stand with the brave Iraqi fighters. (Applause.)
The progress of the Iraqi forces is especially clear when the recent anti-terrorist operations in Tal Afar are compared with last year's assault in Fallujah. In Fallujah, the assault was led by nine coalition battalions made up primarily of United States Marines and Army -- with six Iraqi battalions supporting them. The Iraqis fought and sustained casualties. Yet in most situations, the Iraqi role was limited to protecting the flanks of coalition forces, and securing ground that had already been cleared by our troops. This year in TAL Afar, it was a very different story.
The assault was primarily led by Iraqi security forces -- 11 Iraqi battalions, backed by five coalition battalions providing support. Many Iraqi units conducted their own anti-terrorist operations and controlled their own battle space -- hunting for enemy fighters and securing neighborhoods block-by-block. To consolidate their military success, Iraqi units stayed behind to help maintain law and order -- and reconstruction projects have been started to improve infrastructure and create jobs and provide hope.
One of the Iraqi soldiers who fought in TAL Afar was a private named Tarek Hazem. This brave Iraqi fighter says, "We're not afraid. We're here to protect our country. All we feel is motivated to kill the terrorists." Iraqi forces not only cleared the city, they held it. And because of the skill and courage of the Iraqi forces, the citizens of TAL Afar were able to vote in October's constitutional referendum.
As Iraqi forces increasingly take the lead in the fight against the terrorists, they're also taking control of more and more Iraqi territory. At this moment, over 30 Iraqi Army battalions have assumed primary control of their own areas of responsibility. In Baghdad, Iraqi battalions have taken over major sectors of the capital -- including some of the city's toughest neighborhoods. Last year, the area around Baghdad's Haifa Street was so thick with terrorists that it earned the nickname "Purple Heart Boulevard." Then Iraqi forces took responsibility for this dangerous neighborhood -- and attacks are now down.
Our coalition has handed over roughly 90 square miles of Baghdad province to Iraqi security forces. Iraqi battalions have taken over responsibility for areas in South-Central Iraq, sectors of Southeast Iraq, sectors of Western Iraq, and sectors of North-Central Iraq. As Iraqi forces take responsibility for more of their own territory, coalition forces can concentrate on training Iraqis and hunting down high-value targets, like the terrorist Zarqawi and his associates.
We're also transferring forward operating bases to Iraqi control. Over a dozen bases in Iraq have been handed over to the Iraqi government -- including Saddam Hussein's former palace in Tikrit, which has served as the coalition headquarters in one of Iraq's most dangerous regions. From many of these bases, the Iraqi security forces are planning and executing operations against the terrorists -- and bringing security and pride to the Iraqi people.
Progress by the Iraqi security forces has come, in part, because we learned from our earlier experiences and made changes in the way we help train Iraqi troops. When our coalition first arrived, we began the process of creating an Iraqi Army to defend the country from external threats, and an Iraqi Civil Defense Corps to help provide the security within Iraq's borders. The civil defense forces did not have sufficient firepower or training -- they proved to be no match for an enemy armed with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars. So the approach was adjusted. Working with Iraq's leaders, we moved the civil defense forces into the Iraqi Army, we changed the way they're trained and equipped, and we focused the Army's mission on defeating those fighting against a free Iraq, whether internal or external.
Now, all Iraqi Army recruits receive about the same length of basic training as new recruits in the U.S. Army -- a five-week core course, followed by an additional three-to-seven weeks of specialized training. With coalition help, Iraqis have established schools for the Iraqi military services, an Iraqi military academy, a non-commissioned officer academy, a military police school, a bomb disposal school -- and NATO has established an Iraqi Joint Staff College. There's also an increased focus on leadership training, with professional development courses for Iraqi squad leaders and platoon sergeants and warrant officers and sergeants-major. A new generation of Iraqi officers is being trained, leaders who will lead their forces with skill -- so they can defeat the terrorists and secure their freedom.
Similar changes have taken place in the training of the Iraqi police. When our coalition first arrived, Iraqi police recruits spent too much time of their training in classroom lectures -- and they received limited training in the use of small arms. This did not adequately prepare the fight they would face. And so we changed the way the Iraqi police are trained. Now, police recruits spend more of their time outside the classroom with intensive hands-on training in anti-terrorism operations and real-world survival skills.
Iraq has now six basic police academies, and one in Jordan, that together produce over 3,500 new police officers every ten weeks. The Baghdad police academy has simulation models where Iraqis train to stop IED attacks and operate roadblocks. And because Iraqi police are not just facing common criminals, they are getting live-fire training with the AK-47s.
As more and more skilled Iraqi security forces have come online, there's been another important change in the way new Iraqi recruits are trained. When the training effort began, nearly all the trainers came from coalition countries. Today, the vast majority of Iraqi police and army recruits are being taught by Iraqi instructors. By training the trainers, we're helping Iraqis create an institutional capability that will allow the Iraqi forces to continue to develop and grow long after coalition forces have left Iraq.
As the training has improved, so has the quality of the recruits being trained. Even though the terrorists are targeting Iraqi police and army recruits, there is no shortage of Iraqis who are willing to risk their lives to secure the future of a free Iraq.
The efforts to include more Sunnis in the future of Iraq were given a significant boost earlier this year. More than 60 influential Sunni clerics issued a fatwa calling on young Sunnis to join the Iraqi security forces, "for the sake of preserving the souls, property and honor" of the Iraqi people. These religious leaders are helping to make the Iraqi security forces a truly national institution -- one that is able to serve, protect and defend all the Iraqi people.
Some critics dismiss this progress and point to the fact that only one Iraqi battalion has achieved complete independence from the coalition. To achieve complete independence, an Iraqi battalion must do more than fight the enemy on its own -- it must also have the ability to provide its own support elements, including logistics, airlift, intelligence, and command and control through their ministries. Not every Iraqi unit has to meet this level of capability in order for the Iraqi security forces to take the lead in the fight against the enemy. As a matter of fact, there are some battalions from NATO militaries that would not be able to meet this standard. The facts are that Iraqi units are growing more independent and more capable; they are defending their new democracy with courage and determination. They're in the fight today, and they will be in the fight for freedom tomorrow. (Applause.)
We're also helping Iraqis build the institutions they need to support their own forces. For example, a national depot has been established north of Baghdad that is responsible for supplying the logistical needs of the ten divisions of the Iraqi Army. Regional support units and base support units have been created across the country with the mission of supplying their own war fighters. Iraqis now have a small Air Force, that recently conducted its first combat airlift operations -- bringing Iraqi troops to the front in TAL Afar. The new Iraqi Navy is now helping protect the vital ports of Basra and Umm Qasr. An Iraqi military intelligence school has been established to produce skilled Iraqi intelligence analysts and collectors. By taking all these steps, we're helping the Iraqi security forces become self-supporting so they can take the fight to the enemy, and so they can sustain themselves in the fight.
Over the past two and a half years, we've faced some setbacks in standing up a capable Iraqi security force -- and their performance is still uneven in some areas. Yet many of those forces have made real gains over the past year -- and Iraqi soldiers take pride in their progress. An Iraqi first lieutenant named Shoqutt describes the transformation of his unit this way: "I really think we've turned the corner here. At first, the whole country didn't take us seriously. Now things are different. Our guys are hungry to demonstrate their skill and to show the world."
Our troops in Iraq see the gains that Iraqis are making. Lieutenant Colonel Todd Wood of Richmond Hill, Georgia, is training Iraqi forces in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit. He says this about the Iraqi units he is working with: "They're pretty much ready to go it on their own ... What they're doing now would have been impossible a year ago ... These guys are patriots, willing to go out knowing the insurgents would like nothing better than to kill them and their families ... They're getting better, and they'll keep getting better."
Our commanders on the ground see the gains the Iraqis are making. General Marty Dempsey is the commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command. Here's what he says about the transformation of the Iraqi security forces: "It's beyond description. They are far better equipped, far better trained" than they once were. The Iraqis, General Dempsey says, are "increasingly in control of their future and their own security _ the Iraqi security forces are regaining control of the country."
As the Iraqi security forces stand up, their confidence is growing and they are taking on tougher and more important missions on their own. As the Iraqi security forces stand up, the confidence of the Iraqi people is growing -- and Iraqis are providing the vital intelligence needed to track down the terrorists. And as the Iraqi security forces stand up, coalition forces can stand down -- and when our mission of defeating the terrorists in Iraq is complete, our troops will return home to a proud nation. (Applause.)
This is a goal our Iraqi allies share. An Iraqi Army Sergeant named Abbass Abdul Jabar puts it this way: "We have to help the coalition forces as much as we can to give them a chance to go home. These guys have been helping us. [Now] we have to protect our own families." America will help the Iraqis so they can protect their families and secure their free nation. We will stay as long as necessary to complete the mission. If our military leaders tell me we need more troops, I will send them.
For example, we have increased our force levels in Iraq to 160,000 -- up from 137,000 -- in preparation for the December elections. My commanders tell me that as Iraqi forces become more capable, the mission of our forces in Iraq will continue to change. We will continue to shift from providing security and conducting operations against the enemy nationwide, to conducting more specialized operations targeted at the most dangerous terrorists. We will increasingly move out of Iraqi cities, reduce the number of bases from which we operate, and conduct fewer patrols and convoys.
As the Iraqi forces gain experience and the political process advances, we will be able to decrease our troop levels in Iraq without losing our capability to defeat the terrorists. These decisions about troop levels will be driven by the conditions on the ground in Iraq and the good judgment of our commanders -- not by artificial timetables set by politicians in Washington. (Applause.)
Some are calling for a deadline for withdrawal. Many advocating an artificial timetable for withdrawing our troops are sincere -- but I believe they're sincerely wrong. Pulling our troops out before they've achieved their purpose is not a plan for victory. As Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman said recently, setting an artificial timetable would "discourage our troops because it seems to be heading for the door. It will encourage the terrorists, it will confuse the Iraqi people."
Senator Lieberman is right. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a message across the world that America is a weak and an unreliable ally. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a signal to our enemies -- that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run and abandon its friends. And setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorists' tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder -- and invite new attacks on America. To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)
And as we train Iraqis to take more responsibility in the battle with the terrorists, we're also helping them build a democracy that is worthy of their sacrifice. And in just over two-and-a-half years, the Iraqi people have made incredible progress on the road to lasting freedom. Iraqis have gone from living under the boot of a brutal tyrant, to liberation, free elections, and a democratic constitution -- and in 15 days they will go to the polls to elect a fully constitutional government that will lead them for the next four years.
With each ballot cast, the Iraqi people have sent a clear message to the terrorists: Iraqis will not be intimidated. The Iraqi people will determine the destiny of their country. The future of Iraq belongs to freedom. Despite the costs, the pain, and the danger, Iraqis are showing courage and are moving forward to build a free society and a lasting democracy in the heart of the Middle East -- and the United States of America will help them succeed. (Applause.)
Some critics continue to assert that we have no plan in Iraq except to, "stay the course." If by "stay the course," they mean we will not allow the terrorists to break our will, they are right. If by "stay the course," they mean we will not permit al Qaeda to turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban -- a safe haven for terrorism and a launching pad for attacks on America -- they are right, as well. If by "stay the course" they mean that we're not learning from our experiences, or adjusting our tactics to meet the challenges on the ground, then they're flat wrong. As our top commander in Iraq, General Casey, has said, "Our commanders on the ground are continuously adapting and adjusting, not only to what the enemy does, but also to try to out-think the enemy and get ahead of him." Our strategy in Iraq is clear, our tactics are flexible and dynamic; we have changed them as conditions required and they are bringing us victory against a brutal enemy. (Applause.)
Victory in Iraq will demand the continued determination and resolve of the American people. It will also demand the strength and personal courage of the men and women who wear our nation's uniform. And as the future officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps, you're preparing to join this fight. You do so at a time when there is a vigorous debate about the war in Iraq. I know that for our men and women in uniform, this debate can be unsettling -- when you're risking your life to accomplish a mission, the last thing you want to hear is that mission being questioned in our nation's capital. I want you to know that while there may be a lot of heated rhetoric in Washington, D.C., one thing is not in dispute: The American people stand behind you.
And we should not fear the debate in Washington. It's one of the great strengths of our democracy that we can discuss our differences openly and honestly -- even at times of war. Your service makes that freedom possible. And today, because of the men and women in our military, people are expressing their opinions freely in the streets of Baghdad, as well.
Most Americans want two things in Iraq: They want to see our troops win, and they want to see our troops come home as soon as possible. And those are my goals as well. I will settle for nothing less than complete victory. In World War II, victory came when the Empire of Japan surrendered on the deck of the USS Missouri. In Iraq, there will not be a signing ceremony on the deck of a battleship. Victory will come when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can provide for the safety of their own citizens, and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot new attacks on our nation.
As we make progress toward victory, Iraqis will take more responsibility for their security, and fewer U.S. forces will be needed to complete the mission. America will not abandon Iraq. We will not turn that country over to the terrorists and put the American people at risk. Iraq will be a free nation and a strong ally in the Middle East -- and this will add to the security of the American people.
In the short run, we're going to bring justice to our enemies. In the long run, the best way to ensure the security of our own citizens is to spread the hope of freedom across the broader Middle East. We've seen freedom conquer evil and secure the peace before. In World War II, free nations came together to fight the ideology of fascism, and freedom prevailed -- and today Germany and Japan are democracies and they are allies in securing the peace. In the Cold War, freedom defeated the ideology of communism and led to a democratic movement that freed the nations of Eastern and Central Europe from Soviet domination -- and today these nations are allies in the war on terror.
Today in the Middle East freedom is once again contending with an ideology that seeks to sow anger and hatred and despair. And like fascism and communism before, the hateful ideologies that use terror will be defeated by the unstoppable power of freedom, and as democracy spreads in the Middle East, these countries will become allies in the cause of peace. (Applause.)
Advancing the cause of freedom and democracy in the Middle East begins with ensuring the success of a free Iraq. Freedom's victory in that country will inspire democratic reformers from Damascus to Tehran, and spread hope across a troubled region, and lift a terrible threat from the lives of our citizens. By strengthening Iraqi democracy, we will gain a partner in the cause of peace and moderation in the Muslim world, and an ally in the worldwide struggle against -- against the terrorists. Advancing the ideal of democracy and self-government is the mission that created our nation -- and now it is the calling of a new generation of Americans. We will meet the challenge of our time. We will answer history's call with confidence -- because we know that freedom is the destiny of every man, woman and child on this earth. (Applause.)
Before our mission in Iraq is accomplished, there will be tough days ahead. A time of war is a time of sacrifice, and we've lost some very fine men and women in this war on terror. Many of you know comrades and classmates who left our shores to defend freedom and who did not live to make the journey home. We pray for the military families who mourn the loss of loves ones. We hold them in our hearts -- and we honor the memory of every fallen soldier, sailor, airman, Coast Guardsman, and Marine.
One of those fallen heroes is a Marine Corporal named Jeff Starr, who was killed fighting the terrorists in Ramadi earlier this year. After he died, a letter was found on his laptop computer. Here's what he wrote, he said, "[I]f you're reading this, then I've died in Iraq. I don't regret going. Everybody dies, but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so they can live the way we live. Not [to] have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators_. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark."
There is only one way to honor the sacrifice of Corporal Starr and his fallen comrades -- and that is to take up their mantle, carry on their fight, and complete their mission. (Applause.)
We will take the fight to the terrorists. We will help the Iraqi people lay the foundations of a strong democracy that can govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself. And by laying the foundations of freedom in Iraq, we will lay the foundation of peace for generations to come.
You all are the ones who will help accomplish all this. Our freedom and our way of life are in your hands -- and they're in the best of hands. I want to thank you for your service in the cause of freedom. I want to thank you for wearing the uniform. May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
END 10:28 A.M. EST
Read More from This Year by President George W. Bush on Iraq
6/28/05 - President Bush Speaks About U.S. Iraqi Policy
8/24/05 - President Bush addresses the Troops
10/4/05 - President Bush holds press conference
10/6/05 - President discusses War of Terror
10/13/05 - President addresses Troops in Iraq in videoconference
10/25/05 - President addresses Joint Armed Forces Officers' wives
10/28/05 - President discusses WOT in Norfolk, VA
11/11/05 - President Bush makes speech addressing critics
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Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/30/2005 01:07:00 PM
Opening Remarks Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
October 19, 2005
(10:00 a.m. EDT)
Thank you. I would like to deliver this in full. It's my first opportunity to talk to you specifically about Iraq. I've spoken many times about why we are there, but I would like to talk about how we assure victory.
In short, with the Iraqi Government, our political-military strategy has to be to clear, hold, and build: to clear areas from insurgent control, to hold them securely, and to build durable, national Iraqi institutions.
In 2003, enforcing UN resolutions, we overthrew a brutal dictator and liberated a nation. Our strategy then emphasized the military defeat of the regime’s forces and the creation of a temporary government with the Coalition Provisional Authority and an Iraqi Governing Council.
In 2004, President Bush outlined a five-step plan to end the occupation: transferring sovereignty to an Iraqi interim government, rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure, getting more international support, preparing for Iraq’s first national election this past January, and helping to establish security. Our soldiers and marines fought major battles, major battles, against the insurgency in places like Najaf and Sadr City and Fallujah.
In 2005, we emphasized transition: a security transition to greater reliance on Iraqi forces and a political transition to a permanent, constitutional democracy. The just-concluded referendum was a landmark in that process.
And now we are preparing for 2006. First we must help Iraqis as they hold another vital election in December. Well over 9 million Iraqis voted on Sunday. Whether Iraqis voted yes or no, they were voting for an Iraqi nation, and for Iraqi democracy.
And all their voices, pro and con, will be heard again in December. If the referendum passes, those who voted no this time will realize that their chosen representatives can then participate in the review of the constitution that was agreed upon last week.
This process will ultimately lead to Iraqis selecting a lasting government, for a four year term. We must then have a decisive strategy to help that government set a path toward democracy, stability, and prosperity.
Our nation – our servicemen and women – are fighting in Iraq at a pivotal time in world history. We must succeed. And I look forward to working together with you on winning.
We know our objectives. We and the Iraqi Government will succeed if together we can:
* Break the back of the insurgency so that Iraqis can finish it off without large-scale military help from the United States.
* Keep Iraq from becoming a safe haven from which Islamic extremists can terrorize the region or the world.
* Demonstrate positive potential for democratic change and free expression in the Arab and Muslim worlds, even under the most difficult conditions.
* And turn the corner financially and economically, so there is a sense of hope and a visible path toward self-reliance.
Now, of course, to achieve this, we must know who we are fighting. Some of these people are creatures of a deposed tyrant, others a small number of home-grown and imported Islamist extremists. They feed on a portion of the population that is overwhelmed by feelings of fear, resentment, and despair.
As I have said, our strategy is to clear, hold, and build. The enemy’s strategy is to infect, terrorize, and pull down.
They want to spread more fear, resentment, and despair -- inciting sectarian violence as they did 2 weeks ago in Hillah, when they blew up devout worshippers in a mosque, and committed this atrocity during the holy month of Ramadan. They attack infrastructure, like electricity and water, so that average Iraqis will lose hope.
They target foreigners. The enemy forces have never won even a platoon-size battle against our soldiers and marines. But their ultimate target is the coalition’s center of gravity: the will of America, of Britain, and of other coalition members. Let us say it plainly: The terrorists want us to get discouraged and quit. They believe we do not have the will to see this through. They talk openly about this in their writings on their websites.
And they attack the Iraqi Government, targeting the most dedicated public servants of the new Iraq. Mayors and physicians and teachers and policemen, soldiers – none are exempt. Millions of Iraqis are putting their lives on the line every single day to build a new nation and the insurgents want most to strike at them.
Sadly, this strategy has some short-term advantages because it is easier to pull down than to build up. It is easier to sow fear than to grow hope.
But the enemy strategy has a fatal flaw. The enemy has no positive vision for the future of Iraq. They offer no alternative that could unite Iraqi as a nation. And that is why most Iraqis despise the insurgents.
The enemy leaders know their movement is unpopular. Zawahiri’s July letter to Zarqawi reveals that he is "extremely concerned" that, deprived of popular support, the insurgents will "be crushed in the shadows." "We don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the Taliban," he warned, whose regime "collapsed in days, because the people were passive or hostile."
Knowing how unpopular they are, the enemy leaders also hate the idea of democracy. They will never let themselves or their ideas face the test of democratic choice.
Let me now turn to our political-military strategy. We are moving from a stage of transition toward the strategy to prepare a permanent Iraqi government for a decisive victory.
The strategy that is being carried out has profited from the insights of strategic thinkers, civilian and military, inside and outside of government, who have reflected on our experience and on insurgencies in other periods of history.
We know what we must do. With our Iraqi allies, we are working to:
* Clear the toughest places – no sanctuaries to the enemy – and to disrupt foreign support for the insurgents.
* We are working to hold and steadily enlarge the secure areas, integrating political and economic outreach with our military operations.
* We are working to build truly national institutions by working with more capable provincial and local authorities. We are challenging them to embody a national compact – not tools of a particular sect or ethnic group. These Iraqi institutions must sustain security forces, bring rule of law, visibly deliver essential services, and offer the Iraqi people hope for a better economic future.
None of these elements, as you have said, Mr. Chairman, can be achieved by military action alone. None are purely civilian either. This requires an integrated civil-military partnership. And let me briefly review that partnership.
Clear the toughest places -- no sanctuaries. As we enlarge security in major urban areas and as insurgents retreat, they should find no large area where they can reorganize and operate freely. Recently our forces have gone on the offensive. In Tall Afar, near the Syrian border, and in the west along the Euphrates valley in places like Al Qaim, Haditha, and Hit, American and Iraqi forces are clearing away insurgents.
As one terrorist wrote to another: "[I]f the government extends its control over the country, we will have to pack our bags and break camp."
Syria and Iran allow fighters and military assistance to reach insurgents in Iraq. In the case of Syria, we are concerned about cross-border infiltration, about unconstrained travel networks, and about the suspicious young men who are being waved through Damascus International Airport.
As a part of our strategy, we have taken military steps, as with our offensive in Tal Afar, to cut off the flow of people or supplies near that border. And we are also taking new diplomatic steps to convey the seriousness of our concerns. Syria and indeed Iran must decide whether they wish to side with the cause of war or with the cause of peace.
Secondly, to hold and enlarge secure areas. In the past our problem was that once an area was clear militarily, the Iraqi security forces were unable to hold it. Now, Iraqi units are more capable.
* In August 2004, five Iraqi regular army battalions were in combat. Today, 91 Iraqi regular army battalions are in combat.
* A year ago, no American advisors were embedded with these battalions. Now all of these battalions have American advisors.
With more capable Iraqi forces, we can implement this element of the strategy, holding secure areas – neighborhood by neighborhood. And this process has already begun.
* Compare the situation a year ago in places like Haifa Street in Baghdad, or Baghdad’s Sadr City, or downtown Mosul, or Najaf, or Fallujah, with the situation today.
* Security along the once notorious airport road in Baghdad has measurably improved. Najaf, where American forces fought a major battle last year, is now entirely under independent Iraqi military control.
As this strategy is being implemented, the military side recedes and the civilian part – like police stations and civic leaders and economic development -- move into the foreground. Our transition strategy emphasized the building of the Iraqi army. Now our police training efforts are receiving new levels of attention.
Third, we must build truly national institutions. The institutions of Saddam Hussein's government were violent and corrupt, tearing apart the ties that ordinarily bind communities together. The last two years have seen three temporary governments govern Iraq, making it extremely difficult to build national institutions even under the best of circumstances. The new government that will come can finally set down real roots.
To be effective, that government must bridge sects and ethnic groups. And its institutions must not become the tools of a particular sect or group.
Let me assure you, the United States will not try to pick winners. We will support parties and politicians in every community who are dedicated to peaceful participation in the future of a democratic Iraq.
The national institutions must also sustain the security forces and bring rule of law to Iraq.
The national institutions must also visibly deliver essential services. Thanks to you and other members of Congress, the United States has already invested billions of dollars to keep electricity and fuel flowing across Iraq. In the transition phase, we concentrated on capital investment, adding capacity to a system that had deteriorated to the point of collapse. But, with freedom, the demand for electricity has gone up by 50% and the capability we have added is not being fully utilized because of constant insurgent attacks. We are with the Iraqis developing new ways to add security to this battered but vital system. And the Iraqis must reform their energy policies and pricing in order to make the system sustainable.
The national institutions must also offer the Iraqi people hope for a better economic future.
Millions of farmers, small businessmen, and investors need a government that encourages growth rather than fostering dependence on handouts from the ruler. The government, the next government, will need to make some difficult but necessary decisions about economic reform.
In sum, we and the Iraqis must seize the vital opportunity provided by the establishment of a permanent government.
Well, what is required?
First, Iraqis must continue to come together in order to build their nation. The state of Iraq was constructed across the fault lines of ancient civilizations, among Arabs and Kurds, Sunni and Shi’a, Muslims and Christians. No one can solve this problem for them. For years these differences were dealt with through violence and repression. Now Iraqis are using compromise and politics.
Second, the Iraqi Government must forge more effective partnerships with foreign governments, particularly in building their ministries and governmental capacity.
* On our side of this partnership, the United States should sustain a maximum effort to help the Iraqi government succeed, tying it more clearly to our immediate political-military objectives.
* On Iraq's side, the government must show us and other assisting countries that critical funds are being well spent – whatever their source. They must show commitment to the professionalization of their government and bureaucracy. And they must demonstrate the willingness to take tough decisions.
Third, Iraq must forge stronger partnerships with the international community beyond the United States.
The Iraqis have made it clear that they want the multinational military coalition to remain. Among many contributors, the soldiers and civilians of the United Kingdom deserve special gratitude for their resolve, their skill, and their sacrifices.
Now the military support from the coalition must be matched by diplomatic, economic, and political support from the entire international community. Earlier this year, in Brussels and Amman, scores of nations gathered to offer more support. NATO has opened a training mission near Baghdad. And now, as Iraq chooses a permanent, constitutional government, it is time for Iraq’s neighbors to do more to help.
* The major oil producing states of the Gulf have gained tens of billions of dollars of additional revenue from rising oil prices. They are considering how to invest these gains for the future.
* These governments must be partners in shaping the region’s future.
* We understand that across the region, there are needs and multilateral programs in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Pakistan as well as Iraq. Rather than consider them in a disjointed way, they together form part of a broad regional effort in transforming the Arab and Muslim world. We hope the governments of the region, as well as others in Europe and Asia, will examine these needs and then invest decisively, on an unprecedented scale, to become continuing stakeholders in the future of Iraq and of the region.
Finally, the U.S. Government must deepen and strengthen the integration of our civilian and military activities.
* At the top in Iraq, we have established an effective partnership between the Embassy and Ambassador Khalilzad on the one hand, and the Multinational Forces command and General Casey on the other.
* To be sure, civilian agencies have already made an enormous effort. Hundreds of civilian employees and contractors have lost their lives in Iraq. But more can be done to mobilize the civilian agencies of our government, especially to get more people in the field, outside of Baghdad’s International Zone, to follow up when the fighting stops.
* We will embed our diplomats, police trainers, and aid workers more fully on military bases, traveling with our soldiers and marines.
* To execute our strategy we will restructure a portion of the U.S. mission in Iraq. Learning from successful precedents used in Afghanistan, we will deploy Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in key parts of the country. These will be civil-military teams, working in concert with each of the major subordinate commands, training police, setting up courts, and helping local governments with essential services like sewage treatment or irrigation. The first of these new PRTs will take the field next month.
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, to succeed, we need most your help and your support, and that of the American people. We seek support across the aisle, from both Democrats and Republicans.
And I know that we all, as Americans, know the importance of success in this mission. It is hard. It is hard to imagine decisive victory when violent men continue their attacks on Iraqi civilians and security forces and on American and coalition soldiers and marines. And we honor the sacrifice because every individual has life stories and friends and families – and incalculable sorrow that has been left behind.
But of course, there is a great deal at stake. A free Iraq will be at the heart of a different kind of Middle East. We must defeat the ideology of hatred, the ideology that forms the roots of the extremist threat that we face. Iraq’s struggle – the region’s struggle – is to show that there is a better way, a freer way, to lasting peace.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 11/30/2005 09:28:00 AM
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