Veterans for America Daily Report
Iraq War: Bush Works to Rally Support for Iraq "Surge"
Tue Jan 9, 2007 12:44
 

Veterans for America Daily Report
Iraq War: Bush Works to Rally Support for Iraq "Surge"
http://www.veteransforamerica.org/

President Bush yesterday began promoting his plan to send more troops to Iraq, bringing more than 30 Republican senators to the White House as part of a major campaign to rally the American people behind another effort to stabilize the country.

Senators who met with Bush said the president made it clear that he is planning to add as many as 20,000 U.S. troops to help quell violence in Baghdad. They also said the president is arguing that his new plan has a better chance for success than past plans because of a greater willingness of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to commit Iraqi forces against all perpetrators of violence, including Shiite militias.

50 Militants Said Killed in Iraq Battle

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, backed by American warplanes, battled suspected insurgents for hours Tuesday in central Baghdad, and 50 militant fighters were killed, the Defense Ministry said.

Elsewhere, a cargo plane carrying Turkish construction workers crashed during landing at an airport near Baghdad, killing 30 people and injuring two, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. Initial reports indicated the plane crashed due to bad weather and heavy fog, a Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not yet been authorized.

The Bravest Front of All

On the day that he left, the alarm clock went off just after 4, in that shadow hour between darkness and dawn. L'Angel Hardgrove slipped out of bed while her husband was showering to brew their favorite coffee, and would remember the cozy aroma of hazelnuts filling up the hotel room. She put on a pink sweater and matching eye shadow, and Mike buttoned his uniform.

They made their way across the parking lot to Shoney's, where the tables were full of men in fatigues. The Fredericksburg National Guard Armory was just down the road, and this past Sunday was the morning the 116th Brigade Special Troops Battalion was leaving. Mike was going to Iraq.

War's Toll on Iraqis Put at 22,950 in '06

BAGHDAD, Jan. 7 -- More than 17,000 Iraqi civilians and police officers died violently in the latter half of 2006, according to Iraqi Health Ministry statistics, a sharp increase that coincided with rising sectarian strife since the February bombing of a landmark Shiite shrine.

In the first six months of last year, 5,640 Iraqi civilians and police officers were killed, but that number more than tripled to 17,310 in the latter half of the year, according to data provided by a Health Ministry official with direct knowledge of the statistics. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information, said those numbers remained incomplete, suggesting the final tally of violent deaths could be higher.

Democrats Split Over Iraq Approach

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 — The new Democratic majority in Congress is divided over how to assert its power in opposing President Bush’s plan to send more troops to Baghdad, as leaders explore ways to block financing for a military expansion without being accused of abandoning American forces already in Iraq.

White House Gears Up to Sell Plan for Troop Increase in Iraq

Despite Mr. Bush’s insistence that he does not govern by polls, the White House is acutely aware that a vast majority of the American public disapproves of the job Mr. Bush is doing in Iraq. But advisers to the president believe that the public is willing to give Mr. Bush another chance — especially if he puts forth a policy that is heavy on specifics.

The president’s advisers are also mindful of polls showing that while the public wants the situation to improve in Iraq, it does not necessarily favor immediate withdrawal.

Heavy Fighting Erupts in Baghdad Streets

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- U.S. and Iraqi soldiers, backed by American warplanes, battled suspected insurgents for hours Tuesday in central Baghdad, and 50 militant fighters were killed, the Defense Ministry said.

Bush?s Task: Thrusting New Strategy on ?a Sovereign Nation?

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 — It’s a refrain that President Bush and his top deputies have uttered many times over:

“Iraq is a sovereign nation, and we stay because they have asked us to be there,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in October.

“Iraq is a sovereign nation which is conducting its own foreign policy,” President Bush said in November.

“It’s a sovereign nation; it’s their system, they make those decisions,” Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, the American command’s chief spokesman in Iraq, said last week.

Now, as President Bush prepares to unveil his new strategy for Iraq on Wednesday night, the question is this: Can American officials compel the Iraqis to follow the new American plan?

“Let me put it this way: at the end of the day, we’re going to have to do

Latest Plan Sets a Series of Goals for Iraq Leaders

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 — President Bush’s new Iraq policy will establish a series of goals that the Iraqi government will be expected to meet to try to ease sectarian tensions and stabilize the country politically and economically, senior administration officials said Sunday.

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