Monday, December 11, 2006
Dubya's Own Iraq Study Group
Bush Seeks More Advice On Iraq
President Meets With State Department Officials, Then With Historians And Generals
WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2006
Mr. Bush's remarks echoed his previous statements and gave no indication of any change of strategy.
He defined success in Iraq as "a country that governs, defends itself, that is a free society, that serves as an ally in this war on terror."
"And the reason why that's vital," he said, "is because Iraq is a central component of defeating the extremists who want to establish safe haven in the Middle East, extremists who would use their safe haven from which to attack the United States ..."
Later, in the Oval Office, he was to seek advice from a handful of experts, including Stephen Biddle of the Council of Foreign Relations, Eliot Cohen of the School of Advanced International Studies and three retired Army generals: Wayne Downing, Jack Keane and Barry McCaffrey
~And here's the line-up~
This guy makes sense
Stephen Biddle "argues that 'calls for a war against "evil" . . . are rhetorical license without meaningful strategic content. "Terrorism," by contrast is a tactic, not an opponent. Declaring a "War on Terrorism" is like declaring a "War on Strategic Bombing" or a "War on Alliances"'. The real opponent is the ideology that underpins al Qaeda's terrorist program. Ultimately, 'the center of gravity in this war thus lies in the hearts and minds of politically uncommitted Muslims'
Eliot A. Cohen is a professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. Cohen is the Director of the Strategic Studies department at SAIS and has specialized in strategic studies, the Middle East, Persian Gulf, Iraq, arms control, and NATO. He is a member of the Project for the New American Century and was called "the most influential neoconservative in academe" by energy economist Ahmad Faruqui
General Wayne Downing most recently served in the White House as National Director and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism. As the President's principal advisor on matters related to combating terrorism, he was responsible for the close coordination among the military, diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, information, and financial operations of our war on terror, and for developing and executing a strategy that integrated all elements of national power.
Since his retirement from the Army, General Keane is currently President GSI, LLC, is senior advisor to Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts and Co. and advisor to Chairman and CEO, URS Corporation. He is a director of METLIFE, Inc and General Dynamics Corporation.
General Keane serves as a member of the Department of Defense Policy Board. He is also a military contributor and analyst for ABC News
According to an article written by Seymour Hersh published in 2000 The New Yorker, General McCaffrey committed war crimes during the Gulf War by having troops under his command kill retreating Iraqis after a ceasefire had been declared. Hersh's article "quotes senior officers decrying the lack of discipline and proportionality in the McCaffrey-ordered attack." One colonel told Hersh that it "made no sense for a defeated army to invite their own death. ... It came across as shooting fish in a barrel. Everyone was incredulous." 
These charges had been made by Army personnel after the war and an Army investigation had cleared McCaffrey of any wrongdoing. Hersh dismissed the findings of the investigation, writing that "few soldiers report crimes, because they don't want to jeopardize their Army careers."
Hersh describes his interview with Private First Class Charles Sheehan-Miles:
When I asked Sheehan-Miles why he fired, he replied, "At that point, we were shooting everything. Guys in the company told me later that some were civilians. It wasn't like they came at us with a gun. It was that they were there -- 'in the wrong place at the wrong time.'" Although Sheehan-Miles is unsure whether he and his fellow-tankers were ever actually fired upon during the war, he is sure that there was no significant enemy fire. "We took some incoming once, but it was friendly fire," he said. "The folks we fought never had a chance." He came away from Iraq convinced that he and his fellow-soldiers were, as another tanker put it, part of "the biggest firing squad in history."
On Tuesday, Mr. Bush will meet via video conference with senior military commanders and the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, and then host Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi in the Oval Office. On Wednesday, he meets with officials at the Pentagon.
On December 4, 2006, Bloomberg reported that Khalilzad will soon be leaving his post in Iraq, possibly to replace John Bolton as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.
He is a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) and was one of the signers of the January 26, 1998, PNAC Letter sent to President Bill Clinton. Khalilzad is also a former board member of Friends of Afghanistan, which received extensive U.S. funding.
Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi
Thursday April 27 2006 12:41 GMT
Iraq vice-president sister killed
The sister of Iraq's new vice-president has been shot dead in Baghdad, two weeks after his brother was killed.
Tariq al-Hashemi was elected on Saturday as part of an attempt to build a united Iraqi government, drawn from different religious groups.
He is head of the Iraqi Islamic Party and one of the country's most well-known Sunni Muslims.
His sister Meysoun al-Hashemi and her bodyguard were killed in a drive-by shooting in the capital Baghdad.
One of his brothers was killed on 13 April
plus lawmakers from the armed services, intelligence and foreign relations committees.