imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Iraq Setbacks Change Mood in Washington

by paperbox Tuesday, May. 25, 2004 at 8:51 AM

Iraq Setbacks Change Mood in Washington Lawmakers in both parties as well as some military leaders fear the occupation is heading for failure. Bush stands firm, but U.S. goals may be scaled back. By Doyle McManus Times Staff Writer May 23, 2004



WASHINGTON — President Bush is hearing increasingly bleak warnings that the U.S. occupation of Iraq is heading for failure — from Republican and Democratic members of Congress, current and former officials and even some military officers still on active duty.

But so far, at least, the White House says it hasn't heard anything that makes it want to change course.

Weeks of military and political setbacks have produced a striking change of mood in the capital about the prospects for success in Iraq, where U.S. and allied forces are struggling to establish security to allow a new Iraqi "caretaker government" to begin work June 30.

A series of Senate hearings last week showcased the growing fears of many foreign policy experts — a mood some described as "panic."

"I believe we are absolutely on the brink of failure," retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, a former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "We are looking into the abyss. We cannot start soon enough to begin the turnaround."

"If the current situation persists, we will continue fighting one form of Iraqi insurgency after another — with too little legitimacy, too little will and too few resources," warned Larry Diamond, a former advisor to the U.S. occupation authority in Baghdad. "There is only one word for a situation in which you cannot win and you cannot withdraw: Quagmire."

Hoar and Diamond's assessments were grimmer than most. But the two men were far from alone.

Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, which returned from Iraq in April, has given reporters an equally blunt view. "We are winning tactically, but have made a few tactical blunders … [which] created strategic consequences in world opinion," Swannack said in an e-mail message. "We are losing public support regionally, internationally and within America — thus, currently, we are losing strategically."

He added: "I believe Operation Iraqi Freedom is a just cause, America needs to stay the course and we must regain the moral high ground."

Another active-duty officer who recently returned from Iraq — and spoke on condition he not be identified — was crisper. "We could not have screwed up more if we had set out to do it deliberately," he said. "We gave ourselves all the disadvantages of occupation, but none of the advantages."

Even Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R.-Ind.), the cautious chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, warned that the U.S. might be headed for a dead end unless the administration outlined a clearer strategy.

"A detailed plan is necessary to prove to our allies and to Iraqis that we have a strategy, and that we are committed to making it work," Lugar told administration officials at a hearing. "If we cannot provide this clarity, we risk the loss of support of the American people, loss of potential contributions from our allies and the disillusionment of Iraqis."

Leslie H. Gelb, a former president of the private Council on Foreign Relations — and a top Pentagon strategist during the Vietnam War — said he had never seen confidence sink as quickly in Washington as it has in recent weeks.

"I've never heard the kind of dark defeatism I'm hearing now, both in and out of government, including the worst days of the Vietnam War," said Gelb, a Democrat. "Support for this war is plummeting. In Vietnam, that happened much more slowly, and only after much higher casualties."

Not everyone agrees. Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a House committee Friday that he thought Hoar and other critics were wrong.

"It's going to be tough, but no, I don't think we're on the brink of failure; I think we're on the brink of success here," Myers said. "I think that as the new transitional government stands up, that there will be traction there with the Iraqi people that will be very important to them. And I think we'll continue to move forward."

"Don't panic," counseled Phebe Marr, an Iraq expert formerly at the National Defense University. "It is worse than I had thought it was going to be, worse than most people thought it was going to be. But no one is considering just leaving — because the [result] would be not just that Iraq would go down the drain, but that it would be a center of terrorism."

Still, Marr said that when she briefed mid-level State Department officials recently, the mood she encountered was: "Help! Help! We can fail here!"

To counter that spreading sense of disorder and shore up public support, Bush plans to give six major speeches on Iraq in the six weeks remaining before the transfer of sovereignty to the transitional government, White House officials said. The first speech is scheduled Monday at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

Officials said Bush planned to explain his strategy in Iraq in greater detail and warn that there would probably be more setbacks — and more U.S. casualties — ahead.

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Bush would outline "a clear strategy on how we need to move forward … the security front, the sovereignty front, humanitarian and civil infrastructure, and the international and diplomatic fronts as well — all in a context of keeping Iraq on a path of progress to democracy."

Officials said there was no immediate sign that Bush was planning to announce any major new initiatives or shifts in policy in Monday's speech. The main theme, one aide said, will be a familiar one: "Stay the course." But it may be delivered in a more sober tone than before. "We've been pretty clear that this is going to be hard stuff. It's going to be tough," he said.

A major aim, the aide added, is to help set "rational expectations for what we'll see over the next weeks and months in Iraq." The White House wants to avoid a politically damaging letdown if the transfer of sovereignty does not visibly improve the military situation.

Senior officials have long warned that the June 30 milestone could produce an upsurge in violence.

"I would predict … that the situation will become more violent even after sovereignty," warned Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command. "So it's possible that we might need more forces."

If Bush decides to make a serious change in strategy, there is no shortage of suggestions.

Some hawks, such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), have called for a significant increase in troop strength in Iraq. But Abizaid has said that he didn't believe more troops were necessary at this time.

Several foreign policy experts, including Diamond and Gelb, have proposed that the United States set a target date for withdrawing its troops to make it clear that the occupation won't last forever. Bush aides dismiss that idea. "It would just encourage the bad guys to wait us out," said one.

Others, such as Lugar, have suggested that speeding up Iraq's elections would help. But the administration says early elections are impractical, and Iraq expert Marr said that in any case, it isn't elections that Iraqis crave most.

"We keep thinking that when we have these elections, somehow this is miraculously going to create legitimacy for some government," she said. "Iraqis aren't used to these kinds of elections. They're used to services. They're used to security…. And that will confer a great deal of legitimacy."

Yet other critics have proposed that different regions of Iraq begin to govern themselves on their own schedules — enabling the Kurdish north, for example, to hold elections before the rest of the country. But Marr and other experts argue that such a plan would lead to partition and civil war.

The most widespread suggestion, from Bush supporters and critics alike, is that the president lower his sights and accept that his dream of bringing democracy to Iraq may have to take second place — for years, in all likelihood — to restoring security.

Some traditional Republican conservatives have begun to charge that "neoconservatives" have led their party — and their president — astray with expansive foreign ambitions.

"We need to restrain what are growing U.S. messianic instincts, a sort of global social engineering where the United States feels it is both entitled and obligated to promote democracy, by force if necessary," Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the conservative chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a speech. "Liberty cannot be laid down like so much Astroturf. Law and order must come first."

Some administration officials acknowledge that they are already thinking about deferring the original goal of a thriving multiethnic democracy in Iraq to seek a more modest target of stabilizing the country under a more-or-less "representative" government.

In public, Bush still says he is aiming at nothing less than democracy — and that Iraq is getting there.

"An Iraqi democracy is emerging," the president said last week. "Iraq now has an independent judiciary, a free market, a new currency, more than 200 newspapers in circulation, and schools free of hateful propaganda…. In time, Iraq will be a free and democratic nation at the heart of the Middle East. This will send a message — a powerful message — from Damascus to Tehran: that democracy can bring hope to lives in every culture."

But at lower levels of the administration, Marr said, the goal has changed.

"We are in a desperate state there," she said.

"We don't have any security in the country…. The big agenda now has to be jettisoned. The big agenda was: We're going to create a democracy and spread it around the region," Marr said. "They have a much more realistic goal now in Iraq: stability."

*



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Times staff writers Ronald Brownstein and Mary Curtius contributed to this report.



Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy