Not So Young But Angry Conservatives Unite

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bush says Leaving Iraq a Bad Signal


Bush: Leaving Iraq Would Be a Bad Signal
Aug 11, 6:14 PM (ET)By NEDRA PICKLER

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - President Bush said Thursday he sympathizes with war protesters like the mother camped outside his Texas ranch demanding answers for her solider-son's death, but he said he believes it would be a mistake to bring U.S. troops home now.
Bush said he had "heard the voices of those saying, 'Pull out now.'" And he said, "I've thought about their cry and their sincere desire to reduce the loss of life by pulling our troops out. I just strongly disagree."
"Pulling the troops out would send a terrible signal to the enemy," the president told reporters between meetings with his military and foreign affairs advisers.
Outside his sprawling ranch, California mother Cindy Sheehan sat on the road with a growing group of war protesters who have pitched tents in shallow ditches. Sheehan's son, Casey, was killed five days after he arrived in Iraq last year at age 24.

Sheehan began her standoff on Saturday, declaring she would stay for the entire month that Bush plans to stay in Texas if he won't meet with her. Since then, dozens of other activists have traveled from across the country to join her, including at least three other parents who have lost children in the war.
"The president says he feels compassion for me, but the best way to show that compassion is by meeting with me and the other mothers and families who are here," Sheehan said. "All we're asking is that he sacrifice an hour out of his five-week vacation to talk to us, before the next mother loses her son in Iraq."
The protesters put a human face on Americans' increasing opposition to Bush's handling of the war. An AP-Ipsos poll early this month showed just 38 percent of respondents approved of his handling of Iraq. More than 1,840 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the war in March 2003
"I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan," Bush said. "She feels strongly about her position. She has every right in the world to say what she believes. This is America. She has a right to her position. And I've thought long and hard about her position. I've heard her position from others, which is, 'Get out of Iraq now.'"
"And it would be a mistake for the security of this country and the ability to lay the foundations for peace in the long run if we were to do so," the president said.

The White House put out an accounting of all the meetings that Bush has had with families of the war dead - 900 relatives of 272 people who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sheehan met the president in June 2004 but said she deserves another visit since there have been so many revelations about faulty pre-war intelligence since then.
Bush said reports that the Pentagon may increase or decrease troop levels in Iraq next year are simply "speculation and rumors." He noted, though, that the United States had sent more soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan before elections and was considering doing so again before another round of Iraqi elections in December.
Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, has said repeatedly that "fairly substantial" reductions are expected after the election if the political process stays on track, if the insurgency does not expand and if the training of Iraqi security forces proceeds as planned.
Bush said he would make any decision to remove troops based on recommendations by Casey, who gave a briefing by videolink during the president's ranch meeting with advisers.
"My position has been clear, and therefore, the position of this government is clear," Bush said. "Obviously, the conditions on the ground depend upon our capacity to bring troops home."

Bush said Casey reported that Iraqi security units were becoming more capable, although he acknowledged they were not ready to work alone without support from U.S. forces. He described the Iraqis' progress as improving from "raw recruit" to "plenty capable."
"I know it's hard for some Americans to see that progress," Bush said. "But we are making progress."
Bush reiterated that the United States sees no reason that an Iraqi committee working to draft a new national constitution cannot finish its work by a Monday deadline.
On another Mideast topic, Bush indicated that the new Iranian president will receive a U.S. visa to attend an annual United Nations gathering next month.
Bush said U.S. investigators still have not yet determined what role Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have played in the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Six former hostages have identified Ahmadinejad as one of their captors.

Even so, Bush said, the United States has separate obligations to other countries as the host nation for the United Nations, which is headquartered in New York.
"We have an agreement with the United Nations to allow people to come to meet, and I suspect he will be here to meet at the United Nations," Bush said.
As host, the United States is obligated under U.N. rules to approve visas to foreign leaders irrespective of political considerations.
Bush said he welcomed the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency's warning to Iran about the consequences of its nuclear ambitions.
The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board of directors expressed "serious concern" Thursday over Iran's resumption of nuclear activities that could lead to an atomic bomb.
"That's a positive first step," Bush said.
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  • At 7:13 PM, Blogger LaRayaAsul said…

    The mistake was the imperialistic act of agression - invading Iraq in the first place.

    Now we are stuck with the neo-con mess. Sure it would be a mistake to pull out now.

    We are wasting our energy on fools endevours while the important issues are not addressed. What a pack of idiots running the United States! We are on a very clear path of self destruction.

    Why not show the lady the respect of meeting with her and hearing what she has to say? How about showing entertaining of opinion? Why would not she change her mind when enlightened with constructive debate from the articulate leader of the free world?

  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger NDwalters said…

    Why show te lady respect for smearing her son? Imperialism usually denotes an empire, you Commie whacko. We're not conquering, we're liberating. What issues do you libs think you care to address? We nominate leaders and get stuff ready and you all dismiss it. Two faces, everyone of you.

  • At 12:55 AM, Blogger Kevin said…

    well so much for 'break time'

  • At 8:00 AM, Blogger NDwalters said…

    Kevin, it was a break, right?

  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger Kevin said…

    yes, yes it was.

  • At 11:36 AM, Blogger LaRayaAsul said…

    That is precisely what is wrong with you neo-cons. I am not communist. I just know that war a bad move. Any fool can see that. The soldiers are just doing the job they are supposed to do. Not supporting the war is still supporting the troops. You listen to Rush too much... learn to think for yourself. Why don't you go fight, if you think it is so smart. You are misguided for supporting such a pack of lying crooks. I pray that God will help you lost souls.

  • At 11:41 AM, Blogger Kevin said…

    'What issues do you libs think you care to address?'

    Ummm, I think the number one question on peoples minds is WHY the president lied to the American public.

    And I mean, come on, even the most right-winged friends I have say the president lied, they (being on their side of the political spectrum) just don't seem to care.

    Regardless, that would be a good starting block. How about the infamous WMD's? How about the true connection between Sadam and Osama? How about, where is Osama?

    Few think Sadam was not a tyrant, but it's pretty clear that Bush could have simply addressed the nation as suggesting we're going to overthrow a tyrant and liberate those people. Rather than concoct the stories that they did, the connections that they did, and convince America that Iraq was a threat to us.

    Because thus far, there has been no proof of that at all.

  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger NDwalters said…

    Lied? Can you prove malice or aforethought? It's all law you have to prove. Also, I doubt he lied, as much as he went on crap info, GEORGE TENET(cough)! Tenet tried his best (9/11-cough!) and was continuing (hiring cub scouts-cough, hack!)

    "Few think Sadam was not a tyrant, but it's pretty clear that Bush could have simply addressed the nation as suggesting we're going to overthrow a tyrant and liberate those people. Rather than concoct the stories that they did, the connections that they did, and convince America that Iraq was a threat to us."

    Kevin, what they did was weight the wrong stuff too well. How many Americans would go in because it was the "right thing to do" versus a "clear and present danger." And with all due respect, if there were NEVER any WMDs, what on earth were those Kurds and Iranians and others gassed with?

    Yeah, we backed them, not the best call, back in the day. However, we're trying to make amends.

    Lara, whatever, prove we were out to conquer. Otherwise, THINK FOR YOURSELF, and stop listening to Air Heads America and going to MORON.ORG.

    Kevin, are these real conservatives or RINOS that think like you and others did? I mean, honestly, conservatives as I, or more than me, help me out here....

  • At 11:36 AM, Blogger Kevin said…

    Well, you're about as right-winged as it gets. I think you think otherwise, but its just the case. So perhaps these people were more to the left of you? I don't really know. But they are a hell of a lot more right-winged than I.

    And all the same, I respect what you said regarding the president needing to 'market' the cause, and I have understood that for a long time now, but it's still wrong. You have to at least admit that we shouldn't be 'marketed' into going to war, don't you?

    It's specifically wrong in the sense of the soldiers fighting the war and their families left behind. The military is used defensively. In this case, it went fully on the offensive. And yes, we've done that before, but in this case, the public BELIEVED it was a defensive strategy and for the most part backed it.

    Hell, when the whole thing started, my response to supporting the war was "if what Bush and the government are saying is true, and the link DOES exist, then I support the war effort".

    But as you know, none of those links have been shown in any way, shape, or form. And that is highly aggravating.

    I spent a lot of time arguing with the left a few years ago that this is the right thing to do. Moreover, given a democracy, we should trust that we hired the right people to gather the right intelligence, and ergo make the right decisions.

    I was wrong. Very wrong.

  • At 11:37 AM, Blogger Kevin said…


    Just FYI, I don't think it's Lara.

    Pretty sure it is La Raya, like 'The Ray' in a ray of sunshine

  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger Mooneyguy said…

    Leaving would be a bad signal from Bush alright. It would signal, "I screwed up when I failed to properly plan for this war and its aftermath. That's why we lost. My bad."

  • At 10:20 AM, Blogger Kevin said…


  • At 10:56 AM, Blogger Staci said…

    Yep, Bush lied by relied on intelligence, right? Now they are saying that this intelligence was reported in 96. I'm pretty center and this right wing left wing bullshit is just that...bullshit. If you guys think after all the support Sadaaaam Insane gave the terrorists that he wouldn't use WMDs when one of his own scientest said he buried the plans in his garden, you are fucking insane. Argument is old and tired.

    And BTW, neo stupids, woops, liberal idiots, Bush met with Sheehan over a year ago. Get your facts straight. Stop drinking the Kool Aid you guys are drinking. I don't listen to Rush either. And I have relatives over there who are VOLUNTEERING to go back because they believe we are doing good and we are right. I have a cousin acting as a spy, looks middle eastern and speaks/reads/writes Arabic. He is on the front line and his recent email informs he hasn't been shot at in a month and he's in a hot spot. He says it's not the Iraqis that are the problem, but the reporters reporting news from the safety of their 5th floor in a hotel. You are pretty pathetic to rely on news out there...whether right, left or center. Skeptism and really looking at facts would show who is the fool.

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger Kevin said…

    Great point. '96 it is.

    So blame Clinton for fuck sake if you want. The fact remains the same that we invaded a country on bullshit information.

    I'm about as democrat as I am republican, so I don't care who you fucking blame. They can both be wrong.

    But if we then blame this whole mess on Clinton, would it make you (or anyone else) change your tone about us being there? Somehow I doubt that.

    I don't know what this spy bullshit is. Not much of a spy if you know about it, eh?

    And I have friends over there too, some whom have volunterred post service, and some that have not. But unless our sample sizes are drastically different, you are misquoting them.

    I have found that they are no different than us here. Some agree with the cause, some don't. One thing generally remains constant, however, and that is that they are doing their job.

  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Staci said…

    He can spy as long as he doesn't disclose his location. Big woop. His emails are constantly edited to remove any implications. Maybe better wording since you want to be nitpicking is called 'infiltration' which is the same. When someone reads, speaks, writes, looks like and dresses as a local, simplistic definitions would be spy.


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