Meanwhile, back in Iraq
During our hurricane adventure, the War in Iraq has continued unabated. 40 US soldiers have died. Literally thousands of Iraqis have died since the day Katrina struck, starting with 1,000 Shiites who died in a stampede when someone shouted "bomb" during a parade. Parliamentary leaders and school teachers have been assasinated. Police officials and politicians kidnapped, suicide bombs, roadside bombs, on and on, the parade of death started by Bush's Hitler-style invasion of Iraq continues. Meanwhile, the hapless Mr. Bush, politically castrated by Katrina's massive display of our emperor without his clothes, continues to demand we all act as accomplices to his mass murder in the Middle East. Today's buffoonery is truly tragi-comic, as Mr. Bush warns of "an upsurge in violence" in Iraq, as he once again for what seems like the one millionth time claims he has slain "the #2 Al-Queda leader in Iraq", probably once again some unfortunate goat farmer simply trying to defend his land from a Nazi-style foreign invader, a man Mr. Bush, who is a brutal killer, calls "a brutal killer" in his stock propaganda "we killed the #2 guy" speech that we have heard ad nauseum, as if it even matters given that Al-Queda plays such a little part in the Iraqi insurgency anyway. And "more violence"? For Christ sakes Mr. Bush, can it be any worse than the world you have created for these people?
Bush warns of upsurge of violence in Iraq
Wednesday, September 28, 2005; Posted: 11:39 a.m. EDT (15:39 GMT)
(AP) -- President Bush on Wednesday warned there will be an upsurge in violence in Iraq before next month's voting, but said the terrorists will fail. "Our troops are ready," he said.
Bush's remarks in the Rose Garden came a day after Iraqi and U.S. forces announced they had killed Abdullah Abu Azzam, the No. 2 al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, during a weekend raid in Baghdad.
"This guy's a brutal killer," Bush said.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq issued an Internet statement denying that Abu Azzam was its deputy leader, calling him "one of al-Qaeda's many soldiers" and "the leader of one its battalions operating in Baghdad." The U.S.-led coalition, however, called Abu Azzam the mastermind of an escalation in suicide bombings that have killed nearly 700 people in Baghdad since April.
"We can expect they'll do everything in their power to try to stop the march of freedom," Bush said. "And our troops are ready for it."
Bush spoke following a meeting with Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, and Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. Central Command. He said he has dispatched the two generals to Capitol Hill to brief members on the war on terrorism and operations in Iraq.
"The support of Congress for our troops and our mission is important and Americans need to know about the gains we have made in recent weeks and months, they need to know the way we're adapting our tactics, and the way we're changing our strategies to meet the needs on the ground," Bush said.
Bush cited as evidence of the progress he wants lawmakers -- and Americans -- to see, the killing of the al-Qaeda leader, the increasing numbers of Iraqi troops capable of guarding cities and the closing off of a main route for foreign terrorists coming into Iraq from Syria.
But the president's remarks also came on a day when a female suicide bomber blew herself up outside an Iraqi army recruiting center, killing at least six people and wounding 30, in Tal Afar, an area where U.S. and Iraqi forces routed militants in a major offensive two weeks ago. Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for the blast.
The president is facing declining public support for the war that has claimed the lives of at least 1,925 members of the U.S. military A weekend anti-war demonstration in Washington drew an estimated 100,000 to the capital and polls show Bush approval rating is at the lowest point of his presidency.
National polls have shown a majority of Americans now believing the war was a mistake. In an AP-Ipsos poll this month, only 37 percent approved or leaned toward approval of how Bush has handled the situation in Iraq; strong disapproval outweighed strong approval by 2-1, 46 percent to 22 percent.
Insurgent attacks have escalated ahead of an October 15 referendum on a new constitution that has raised fears of a bloody sectarian split between Iraq's Shiite Muslim majority and the disaffected Sunni minority.
If two-thirds of voters in any three of Iraq's 18 provinces reject the document on Oct. 15, a new government must be formed and the process of writing the constitution started over.
"As these milestones approach we can expect there to be increasing violence," Bush said.
The Pentagon has announced that about 9,400 active-duty U.S. troops in Iraq who are scheduled to finish one-year tours in January will be kept there an extra seven to 10 days so that a transition to the units replacing them will not begin during the Iraqi election scheduled for December.
There currently are about 147,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Although U.S. officials say they cannot forecast precisely how many they will have in Iraq during the December election period because there is an ongoing rotation of units, the extensions announced Friday appeared to indicate that the number would exceed 150,000.
Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address